DU PONT "WONDERFUL WORLD OF CHEMISTRY"
AT N.Y. WORLD'S FAIR:
MUSICAL REVUE TO BE PRESENTED IN NEW ENTERTAINMENT
- 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
- 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.
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