Friday, February 24, 2017

Humbert Allen Astredo in FRAGMENTS, 1967

More than a year before joining the cast of DARK SHADOWS, actor Humbert Allen Astredo was sharing the stage in a one-act play called FRAGMENTS with Gene Hackman and James Coco. The production ran for 24 performances between Oct. 2 and Oct. 22 in 1967 and appears to have been a success despite its modest stint.

From what I can tell, Astredo was the top-billed actor in this performance, which also shared a stage with a second play from the same creative team, BASEMENT. (Hackman and Coco appeared in both plays.) Hackman had the louder of the roles, though, according to an Oct. 4, 1967 review in New York's Democrat and Chronicle. If the photos are evidence of anything, it's that Hackman had much more to work with that Astredo, who the newspaper said performed "while arranged supine on a cot so that only his bare soles confront the audience."

FRAGMENTS/BASEMENT has a pretty interesting pedigree. It was written by Marc Merson and Edgar Lansbury, the latter of which is brother of actress Angela Lansbury and the late producer Bruce Lansbury. (Edgar would go on to produce the movie adaption of GODSPELL and the cult classic BLUE SUNSHINE.) Merson was the executive producer of DOC HOLLYWOOD, a movie I've seen more times that I care to admit.

I'm not sure whatever happened to Hackman and Coco. I think one of them was in that moose movie with Ray Ramano.

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