Monday, July 27, 2009

Taking Woodstock, by Elliot Tiber and Tom Monte

(hb; 2007: memoir)

From the inside flap:

"Before there was a Woodstock Concert, there was Elliot Tiber working to make a go of his parents' upstate New York motel. The Jewish clientele who had frequented the Catskills had discovered Florida, and the upstate tourist business was dying. To save his family's livelihood, Elliot put on plays and local festivals. In the process, he became the area's issuer of event permits. he even used his own income from work as a Manhattan interior designer to support the family business.

"In the summer of 1969, Elliot Tiber's life change in a way he never could have foreseen. Working in Greenwich Village, a mecca for gays in America, Elliot socialized with the likes of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and a young photographer named Robert Mapplethorpe, and yet managed to keep his gay life a secret from his family. Then, on Friday, June 28, Elliot walked into the Stonewall Inn -- and witnessed a riot that would galvanize the American gay movement. And on July 15, when Elliot read that the Woodstock Concert promoters were unable to stage the show in Wallkill, he offered them a new venue. Elliot soon found himself swept up in a vortex that would change his life forever..."


Intimate, inspiring, breezy-read account of how Elliot Tiber (born Eliyahu Teichberg), weekend manager of his parents' El Monaco Motel, in White Lake, New York, was struggling to find his place in the world, when two things happened: the Stonewall Riot (the first time New York homosexuals openly fought back against illegal police oppression) and the Woodstock Concert (three-day rock concert which took place between August 15th and August 18th, 1969, on Max Yasgur's Bethel, New York farm field).

The Stonewall Riot (which took place outside the Stonewall Inn, on June 28, 1969) moved Stonewall patron Tiber to offer Woodstock promoters space in Bethel, New York (located just outside White Lake) for their Woodstock Concert. The international craziness that ensued because of the riot and the concert is hilarious, moving, and scary, as these events were two of the major happenings that summed up the attitudes and conflicts that continue to flavor and frame our social, sexual and political developments today.

Excellent, personal, timely, and unique-perspective read, this. Check it out.

The resulting film is scheduled for an August 28, 2009 stateside release.

Demetri Martin plays Elliot Teichberg. Jonathon Groff plays Michael Lang, one of the key concert promoters. Eugene Levy plays Max Yasgur. Liev Schreiber plays Vilma. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays Dan. Kevin Sussman plays Stan. Jason Antoon plays Abbie Hoffman.

Ang Lee directs, from a script by James Schamus.

No comments:

<em>Calypso</em> by David Sedaris

(hb; 2018: nonfiction) Overall review This is an excellent, hilarious, heartfelt and family- and relationship-themed collection o...