top of page

Rediscovered: Amsel's other John C. Attle poster!

A lot of different subjects have been discussed during my interviews for the documentary. I'm not yet sure how they will fall into place, or how much time may be given to each of them. But John C. Attle was an important figure in two of my interviews -- including David Layton, who shared with me this long lost little treasure:

Amsel designed the poster from a photograph by Ken Howard. (I'm not sure what this poster is dated; I presume the early to mid 1970s.) This was in addition to Amsel's illustrated DOWNSTAIRS AT THE UPSTAIRS poster for Attle.

John C. Attle was many things -- an entertainer, singer, performer, comedian, -- and he was a friend of Amsel's, He was also a victim to the AIDS epidemic.

Here is a lovely 1972 review of Attle's performance by The New York Times:

The number of graduates of the cast of “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” who have turned up on the tiny stage of the Down stairs at the Upstairs has reached the point where one loses track of them. But the current “Brel” graduate‐in‐residence at the Downstairs, John C. Attie, is not the sort of per former who gets lost in a crowd.

Mr. Attle has a friendly, frisky, puppy‐dog personality, supplemented by a remarkably expressive face and bright, gleaming eyes that lend an air of expectant excitement to everything he does. He is singer and, in a low‐keyed way, a comedian. But, in reality, he is less a singer or comedian than a vibrantly communicative performer who projects an aura that is so winning that almost anything he does seems amusing. And, within the con text of the warm goodwill that he creates, his pleasant singing voice takes on an impressive appearance of authority.

The songs he sings are not particularly funny in them selves, although he injects some of them with a spirit of wild humor. They include the works of Carole King; a gospel‐based number by Bette Midler's musical director, Barry Manilow; gentle, folk‐type song of his own and the inevitable Brel, Mr. Attie gives each song a distinct and appropriate interpretation, never going for laughs where they do not fit and moving easily from fun to sensitive emotion. All in all, it is an unusually well‐rounded performance in which he frequently makes silk purses out of ma terial that might normally pass for sows' ears.


Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Pinterest App Icon
bottom of page