Press Releases


Letterhead

DU PONT "WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHEMISTRY" AT N.Y. WORLD'S FAIR:
MUSICAL REVUE TO BE PRESENTED IN NEW ENTERTAINMENT TECHNIQUE
 
An intriguing concept in entertainment as live actors sing, dance and talk with life-size figures on motion picture screens has been utilized by Du Pont in "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" at the New York World's Fair 1964-65.
 
Produced and directed by Michael Brown, who also has written the book, music and lyrics, the musical revue will have a record number of showings, being performed by eight different troupes in two theatres simultaneously. To accommodate the crowds expected to attend "The Wonderful World of Chemistry", it will be presented 40 times daily for a total of 14,600 times during the two seasons of the Fair.
 
Brown's exciting new theatrical technique is used throughout, from a lively song-and-dance exploration of the way the chaos of the past was turned into the science of chemistry, to a lavish fashion show predicting uses of Du Pont fibers.
 
Three motion picture screens, three and a half feet wide and seven feet high, are literally choreographed as they move around the stage independently of each other. The screens actually become members of the cast as the figures they project combine voices and even hand props to each other. They perform with the flesh-and-blood cast members, too. At one point, a screen character hands a rose to a live performer. In another scene, life size dancing feet on film are choreographed with live cast members.

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Everybody bursts into song in "The Wonderful World of Chemistry," including the versatile family of Du Pont products which contribute so much in bringing us better things for better living. Animated cartoons and a narration are combined with screen and live actors in dramatizing the evolution from caveman to "Corfam", a new poromeric material which promises to be as revolutionary to the shoe industry as nylon was to stockings when introduced at the New York World's Fair in 1939.
 
The ancient Greeks are depicted as thinking but not experimenting, The alchemists of the Middle Ages as experimenting but not thinking. Chemistry's wonderful world started when a mid-eighteenth century French genius named Lavoisier combined experimenting and thinking. It was this great chemist's young apprentice, E.I. du Pont, who left France to establish the company on the banks of the Brandywine in Delaware.
 
Highlights in fashion in Du Pont fibers have been created by four leading American designers in the show's opulent fashion revue. The prophetic quartet, predicting fall and winter fashions for '64 and spring and summer fashions for '65, are Donald Brooks of Townley, Oleg Cassini, Ceil Chapman and David Kidd of Arthur Jablow. The fashion sequence, called "Four Seasons", has been created in five Du Pont fibers: nylon, "Orlon" acrylic fiber, "Dacron" polyester fiber, "Lycra" spandex and "Antron" nylon.
 
Book music and lyrics for "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" are in the lively vein for which Michael Brown is celebrated as a cabaret and record performer as well as a leading words-and-music man for Broadway, off-Broadway, night club and industrial shows. Brown's songs, typified by "Lizzie Borden", "The John Birch Society and "The Third Avenue El", have been featured in every one of Julius Monk's Upstairs at the Downstairs revues, Monk's current "Plaza 9" at the Hotel Plaza, "New Faces" and "The Littlest Revue". Having started his career singing his own songs at New York's Ruban Bleu, Brown recently returned to performing at New York's Blue Angel and London's Hotel Savoy.


Letterhead

SHOWMAN AND SCIENTIST TEAM UP
TO CREATE THE DU PONT EXHIBIT
 
By Bill Doll

 

(This article was written for use in the special Du Pont section of the New York Sunday Times)

 
World's Fairs have a way of eliciting extraordinary entertainments from show business newcomers as well as established producers.
 
As examples, it should be recalled that, in addition to more conservative presentations, Chicago's Columbian Exposition of 1893 offered muscle-man Sandow The Great under management of the then obscure Florenz Ziegfeld. Similarly, in Chicago in 1933 at "The Century of Progress," a 24-year-old Michael Todd came up with "The Flame Dance," a diversion exposing the charms of several specially selected young ladies.
 
The New York World's Fair of 1964-65 will boast its quota of established producers. The Music Hall's Leon Leonidoff and Meyer Davis will present "Wonderworld," at the 12,000-seat World's Fair Amphitheater. With Paul Feigay, Olympic star Dick Buttons is transforming the New York City Building into a winter wonderland for their "Icetravaganza."
 
In the search for an unusual presentation for its Fair exhibit, Du Pont elected to team a young showman with an established scientist for a production to be called "The Wonderful World of Chemistry."

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Michael Brown, the showman, has devised numerous successful industrial shows for major American business concerns. He has also written for Broadway and periodically performs solo, in the Noel Coward vein, at New York and London supper clubs. A recent appearance at the Blue Angel, in fact, brought jubilant applause from the critics.
 
Dr. Jonathan Karas, the scientist, has the job of working many of Du Pont's experiments right into the script. Dr. Karas has served with distinction on the faculties of various institutions of learning, and is the recipient of science achievement awards that include a citation from the Department of Defense for his work on nuclear energy.
 
He now heads a firm called Science House, specializing in the application of creative science and engineering to the problems of mass communication. His chemical legerdemain will add a scientific twist to Michael Brown's words and music..
 
Production work on "The Wonderful World of Chemistry" began long before completion of construction on the striking Du Pont Pavilion, which will house two identical theatres and a sizable exhibition hall. For the casting, Mr. Brown and assistant producer David Carter interviewed more than 3,600 youthful singers and dancers before selecting sixty to appear in the show. They will be divided into eight different casts so that two shows can be given simultaneously throughout the day. Incredibly, the show will be presented 40 times a day and, during the Fair's two-year run, will be seen an unprecedented total of 14,600 times.
 
After a recent production meeting with musical director Norman Paris and Broadway theatrical designers William and Jean Eckart, Mr. Brown described the show as a lively song-and-dance exploration of the development, through the ages, of the science of chemistry.

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"The ancient Greeks thought but did not experiment," he pointed out. "The alchemists of the Middle Ages experimented but did not think. Chemistry's wonderful world started with an 18th century French genius named Lavoisier combined experimenting and thinking. It was this great chemist's young apprentice, E.I. du Pont, who left France to establish the company on the banks of the Brandywine in Delaware."
 
One intriguing piece of stagecraft for the du Pont show that has kept Mr. Brown shuttling back and forth between New York and Hollywood is a process that will permit live actors to sing, dance and talk with life-sized figures on multiple motion picture screens. This fascinating process has been masterminded by Bob Hills, the special production consultant who has spent more than ten years perfecting the techniques of film-to-live-to-film progressions. At one point a screen character hands a rose to a live performer. In another scene, a live actor blows out the candles on a filmed cake and splashes frosting on another live performer.
 
In integral part of the show are fashions being created by four leading American designers making full use of Du Pont fibers. The prophetic quartet -- predicting fall and winter fashions for 1964 and spring and summer fashions for 1965 -- are Donald Brooks, Oleg Cassini, Ceil Chapman and David Kidd of Arthur Jablow. The fashion sequence, called "Four Seasons," will be created in five Du Pont fibers: nylon, "Orlon" acrylic fiber, "Dacron" polyester fiber, "Lycra" spandex and "Antron" nylon.
 
After viewing the musical performance, visitors will move into another exhibit area where they will view more chemical magic by Dr. Karas.

Source: Press Releases by Bill Doll & Company for the DuPont show

 

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