In her five years as the divorcee daughter of TV’s virago Maude, actress Adrienne Barbeau tried hard to advance her cause as libertine—but mother seldom approved. Recently, however, the 33-year-old Barbeau cut the apron strings, donned a deep purple Frederick’s of Hollywood corset and, with a look more New Orleans French Quarter than upper suburbia, has taken her place on the walls of the nation alongside pin-up posters of Cheryl Tiegs and Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Partially responsible for Phase 1 of the new image launch is Barbeau’s husband-writer-director-composer John Carpenter (ABC TV’s Elvis) who plans to guide his recently wed wife to new heights as a singing, recording and movie star. “My husband encouraged me to pose for the poster,” said Barbeau, “because he’s a real admirer of Howard Hawks.” Who is Hawks? The man who directed Jane Russell’s ample bosom in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
With brother Jimmy just back from the Middle East, brother Billy drying up in an Americus drink tank and sister Gloria playing her disorderly harmonica, evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton could have been counselling the family back home last week. But instead, she was in Vancouver where she spoke to 1,000 people at a promotional rally for Christian broadcasters. Introduced by Alderman Bernice Gerard, who made waves last summer with a protest march through Vancouver’s nude Wreck Beach, Stapleton delivered a sermon on the healing power of love and discussed her most celebrated case of “inner healing,” the not-so-prodigal publisher of Hustler magazine, Larry Flynt. “I never told him to shut down his magazine,” said Stapleton. “His interest in it will subside as his Christianity develops.” As for brother Billy’s bornagain faith in abstention: “We’ve been praying for this day ever since he became a professional drinker.” Following which, the Lord was praised and the hat was passed.
Long before John Travolta had shoe£ laces to tie, Cab Calloway, the erst| while Knight of Hi De Ho, was singing 2 and dancing up a storm in places like < Harlem’s Cotton Club and in films like > Stormy Weather. In Toronto last week to tape a session with vibraphonist Peter Appleyard, for his TV jazz series, the 71-year-old crooner demonstrated that he “ain’t lost that swing.” Resplendent in an ice-cream tux, Calloway swung through old familiars September Sony and Old Man River and announced a new era for his theme song, Minnie the Moocher. “She’s a good old gal, been
through a lot, swing, bebop, rock and roll —now she’s dressed up in disco,” he said. In fact, Calloway’s disco version sounds an awful lot like the original 1931 recording, but that hasn’t alien-
ated younger fans who launched the single into the Top 100 on the U.S. charts recently. True lovers of dance are advised to check out the flip side, Chicken Ain't Nothin but a Bird. “It’s crazy,” says Calloway with a keyboard grin.
Although her style is more disco than bel canto and her looks more Donna Summers than Leontyne Price, Canada’s Claudja Barry (Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes) has a spirited desire to sing on an operatic stage some day. Barry, a Juno Award winner last week as most promising female vocalist, flew the Canadian coop in 1970 for a European career as a pop star and, after trooping round the continent with her light show, taped music and four male dancers, finally settled in Munich where she began studying voice at the Hochschule für Musik. While she’s naturally pleased with her Juno, and happy to be featured on programs such as Hot Pops (to be aired on the CBC March 26and 29),Barry wants to leave more than a heavy dance beat as her legacy. “When my kids ask me what I did for a living,” said Barry, “I want to tell them I was remembered for more than Boogie Woogie Dancin' Shoes.”
It’s a passion play gone punk, where the costumed cult of patrons pick up cues faster than the players and the audience is actually encouraged to throw things at the stage. So, not surprisingly, when the cast of The Rocky Horror Show was pelted with toast, playing cards and rice at last week’s Toronto opening, they didn’t bat an eyelid—everything was unfolding as it should. “It gets a little crazy sometimes,” said Jessie Thomson, a 23-yearold Toronto actress who plays the part of Janet. “The whole thing is just a big party as long as the heckling doesn’t get out of hand.” Although the original stage production has been playing to packed houses in London since 1972, the Rocky cult, whose motto is “Don’t dream it... be it,” has been fanning the flames of its fanaticism around the 1975 movie version Rocky Horror Picture Show which is playing in more than 200 theatres in North America. “Sometimes the audience forgets that if they throw toast on the stage, it’s not the same as throwing it at a screen,” said Thomson. “Basically, it means we have to stop the show and clean up.”
Like the 260 pounds that compose his ample girth, most things about the Cinderella rock star Meat Loaf are oversized. A perfect example was the Arabian Nights-theme party thrown in Toronto last week to celebrate the recordsetting 1.2 million Canadian sales of his first album, Bat Out of Hell. “There’s more than a steak dinner goin’ down,” said Meat Loaf (aka Marvin Lee Aday, 30) before riding a horse into a tentbedecked hotel ballroom filled with toga-wearing guests, harem girls, a llama and a lion. Accompanied by his
wife of three weeks, Leslie Loaf, and his lead female singer, Karla de Vito, Meat Loaf admitted that there were big plans ahead for the big fella, including a new
album and a foray into rock ’n’ roll filmmaking. Based on the Peter Pan story, the movie will be called Never Land and you guessed it... Meat Loaf has already cast himself as Tinker Bell.
Although a book filled with sovereignty-association tract and socialdemocratic philosophy wouldn’t ordinarily be considered popular reading outside Quebec,Premier René Lévesque’s presence at a downtown Toronto bookstore last week may prove otherwise. Dressed in a grey, two-piece suit and huddled over recently published, English-language copies of his book My Quebec (Methuen, $9.95), Lévesque disappeared in the crush of autograph seekers and media types who threatened to turn a simple book-signing session into a literary riot. Luckily, for those who wanted a glimpse of him, where there was smoke there was fire. Ignoring Toronto’s anti-smoking bylaw, which prohibits smoking in many public places, Lévesque chained his way through the one-hour signing stint ignoring both a serious case of writer’s cramp and the fact he could be slapped with a $1,000 fine for puffing. Said a policeman on the scene: “I can’t really arrest him, can I?”
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.