The Beggars Group is staging a production called:

Do it! is based on Jerry Rubin's best selling book of 1970 that goes by the same name. The play was seen at the the St. Marks Theatre in New York City for the month of April, 2001. What follows appeared in the playbill:


the play

Review by Stew Albert

lives? Surprisingly alive. Not just by way of this Beggars Group production. But through a recent translation and publication in Sweden. And, in all those young people who e-mail me in search of a chewed up battered version of the original edition and who spend mini-fortunes in used bookstores and on e-bay till they finally land a copy and go transcendental over its content.

Alive surprisingly, because Do-It's author Jerry Rubin went very publiclyRubin picture from Yippie to Yuppie and is, on the surface of things forgotten. Amnesicacal journalists merge Jerry's rebel accomplishments with Abbie Hoffman's achievements, who, because of his steadfastness to the surrealist cause becomes the only mythic Yippie saint, as if Laurel never met Hardy.

Jerry Rubin the Yippie, is the underground's underground, and Do-It among many Rubin books, is its fiery funny manifesto. It's over 30 years, since Jerry tried to give a copy of his new book to the hanging judge at the Chicago 8 trial, and as DO IT!, created by The Beggars Group makes obvious,the words, the phrases, the images still charm and sear the soul.

It is appropriate that Do-It becomes a play. It is a most theatrical book. And like a play it was in someways a collective accomplishment. Besides Jerry's overarching vision and style, there were others. Eldridge Cleaver wrote the introduction, Jim Retherford polished it for style, I, for content, Nancy Kurshan for spirit, and Quentin Fiore for design, and there were so many more. Jerry did not look in the mirror and see an isolated aching genius, he wanted happy company in his creativity. He acknowledged it and was grateful.

The book caught on. It was a counter-cultural best seller and has had many translations, Italian, Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish and now Swedish among them. It changed lives and was described as a literary Molotov Cocktail exploding at the American dinner table.

The Beggars Group production goes to the heart and mind of Do-It and Jerry Rubin. It evokes the words of the text translated by time and violent circumstance into something fresh, bloody raw and challenging. Do-it presented a surrealist portrait of Amerika and The Beggars Group presents us with a surrealist version of Do-It. And passing through this flamboyant process, we realize that Do-It is not about nostalgia but living in and waging battle against George Bush's Texas Babylon. Thanks to the Beggar's Group Do-It has traveled with us into the 21st Century and its nightmare.

As for Jerry Rubin, DO-IT offers liberation for his suffering soul and through stage ritual returns him to his revolutionary source. As an old friend and comrade prankster I am delighted and relieved.

Stew Albert

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