Dear David Chelsea,
In the fall of 1978, in Portland, Oregon, Richard Vidan handed me a manuscript libretto of a play he said was by you, with the idea that I would compose the music. I did compose the music, but Mr. Vidan decided not to produce the play. Instead he starred himself in a play that allowed him to bare the breasts of the leading lady.
The copy he gave me was missing the title page, but I ran across it recently while sorting through my old piles, I mean files. The play is about some Italian peasants and involves the reform of a villain and a marriage.
I am wondering if this play is in fact by you and has it ever been produced elsewhere?
Thanks for your time, I'm just curious, I have no plans or intentions regarding this manuscript.
It would have been unusual for the leading lady in a Portland theater production of the time not to at least bare her breasts; l hope Richard kept his clothes on. l never knew Richard went so for as to hire a composer for the play. Too bad it never went further. I wrote a lot of unproduced plays in my late teens, most of which deserve to stay buried, but my memory is that one rose above my usual level by virtue of being based on a very funny poem by W.S. Gilbert and written in my best pastiche Gilbert and Sullivan style. I've been in touch again with Richard recently, sharing memories of an actress and costume designer we both knew who died recently.