(In early 2010, Joyce E. Henry was a guest blogger on Stage Voices, recounting the early days of Circle in the Square. With Theodore Mann—and Henry—in our thoughts, this is the last of her five posts.)
RE-PRODUCING 'THE ICEMAN'
Joyce E. Henry, Ph.D.
There were other unwelcome visitors to my lobby box office besides the copulating rats. From time to time Bowery residents would stop in, looking for a handout. At showtime, with customers waiting for the theater to open, their presence was a tad embarrassing, and drove Ted Mann crazy. He would tell them in no uncertain terms to “Get Out!” and instructed me to say the same. And as a New Yorker, I could be as callous as he.
But there was one fellow who seemed to be a little different. He would not come right before the show started, but, perhaps, in the middle of the afternoon. He was a giant of a man, with a big head surrounded by a wisp of white hair; his cheeks were ruddy and his eyes were blue. I fancied he might have been a sailor—he looked as though he belonged on a ship. There was no question he was looking for a handout, though, but he had the decency or tact not to approach customers—just me. My finances were stretched thin as it was, but I could usually find a quarter or so to send him on his way with “Many thanks” and a “God bless you” or two.