Warhol People Descend on Caffe Cino

Warhol People Descend on Caffe Cino

“The Cino was becoming well known,” Robert Patrick said, “and it attracted people who just cared about publicity—i.e., the Warhol people. The first was Soren Agenoux, who did a crazy gay Christmas Carol.” Vinyl, Ronald Tavel’s loose adaptation of the novel A Clockwork Orange, was also staged at the Cino in 1967 after Warhol shot his own filmed version. In both the movie and stage versions, Mary Woronov played the doctor and Gerard Malanga was the victim. “I started doing movies for Andy Warhol when Ronnie Tavel was also working for Andy Warhol,” Woronov recalled. “That’s when I met Ronnie, and he used me constantly in his plays. That’s how I ended up at Caffe Cino, La MaMa, and other Off-Off-Broadway places.” Actor Norman Marshall, who also appeared in the Cino version of Vinyl, said that Woronov was a convincing S&M sadist: “She was really torturing the poor guy.” Many at Caffe Cino felt that the presence of the Warhol people fundamentally changed its character. “Soren Agenoux’s shows were absolutely nonsense,” playwright William Hoffman said. “They were doing plays that were gibberish, very speed-oriented.” There was the feeling that, well, Maybe the play might make sense on drugs? Or not. “The Warhol crowd was what it was,” Robert Patrick added. “I don’t know whether to blame Warhol. He was surrounded by freaks, creeps—some of them were okay people, some were not. Mostly, it was just a freak show and cultivated as such.”

From Chapter 12 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


Caffe Cino
31 Cornelia St, New York, NY 10014