Music: Diseuse

In a small theatre 50 stories above the street, in Manhattan's Chanin Building, a "mobile"-one of the famed contraptions of Sculptor Alexander ("Sandy") Calder-stood on the stage, its burnished discs blazing in the spotlight. Before it, in slinky black gown and monkey-fur jacket, swayed a woman whose saucer eyes, blazing teeth, and hair like a jackpot of fresh-minted pennies made her look remarkably like Harpo Marx. A friendly, arty-social audience applauded. Marianne Oswald, diseuse (singing actress), friend of intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic, was making her U. S. debut.

Savagely, in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!