Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Jack & Jim

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Jack & Jim

Article excerpt

Jack Larson played Jimmy Olsen on Superman in the '50s, Now his poetry to his late lover, director James Bridges, has been set to music by composer Ned Rorem

During his seven smash seasons as "golly-gee"-ing reporter Jimmy Olsen in the pioneering 1950s hit TV series The Adventures of Superman, clean-cut Jack Larson had a not-so-squeaky-clean behind-the-scenes romance with Montgomery Clift, who was shooting Hitchcock's I Confess on the lot across the way at Warner Bros. He even starred in fellow gay actor Rock Hudson's first film, Fighter Squadron ("Rock was so bad in one scene, they had to cut it!" says Larson). The toast of Tinseltown's secret gay glitterati and an aspiring poet-playwright, Larson soon met writer-director James Bridges--later famous for The Paper Chase and The China Syndrome. The two managed to maintain the impossible in closeted Hollywood: a long-term relationship--over 30 years, although Larson claims "it wasn't difficult, because we never thought about it"--ended only by Bridges's death in 1993. Some poems he wrote for Bridges have now turned up in a new Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra CD of Ned Rorem's music, More Than a Day.

Composer Rorem met the dynamic duo in 1962 and a year later set some of Larson's verse to music, Poems of Love and the Rain. To memorialize Bridge, Rorem has resurrected two songs from that set, placing them in an entirely new context by adding seven more of Larson's poems to form a scintillating cycle for countertenor Brian Asawa, who also sings the earlier From an Unknown Past (transcribed especially for him).

"I'm very proud of the CD," says Larson. Indeed, the recording contains some of Rorem's most exuberant songs--not surprising, given the 77-year-old's reputation as America's preeminent exponent of the art song. Rorem must feel some kind of satisfaction that his quiet yet persistent rant against dissonant, atonal modernist complexity has finally found vindication. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.