Monday, June 30, 2014

Big Bill Finger weekend: play and dedications

On 6/28/14, I had the honor of seeing the premiere of Fathers of the Dark Knight, which is, I believe, the first play ever about Bill Finger (and the other guy).

Writer/direction Roberto Williams threw the passion of many men into the production, and it showed.

Adding to the special nature of the proceedings: Bill’s granddaughter Athena and great-grandson Ben were in attendance (along with Athena’s mom/Fred’s ex-wife Bonnie). Roberto invited Athena to say a few words before curtain:

What’s more, the venue would have been no stranger to Bill. The play was staged at his alma mater, DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. 

The seats in the auditorium look old enough to date back to the early 1930s. Maybe Bill had once sat in the same seat I did.

The last time I had been at DWC was in 2006; I’d gone there to soak up the atmosphere but mainly to try to find his yearbook photo—this before I knew that, in high school, his name was Milton Finger. (So I didn’t find the photo…on that expedition. But later I did.)

Congrats to Roberto, the spot-on cast, and the hard-working crew on an unprecedented show. When Bill (played by Ezekiel Jackson) says “You don’t call me Bill the Boy Wonder for nothing!” I was, I admit, a few degrees hotter than proud.

The cast with Athena.

 The cast doing the now-ubiquitous “Oscar selfie.” 

 Finger family portrait (Ben, Athena, Ezekiel). 

 Bill and me.

The next day, Athena, Ben, professor/Bill advocate Travis Langley, and I had Brooklyn brunch with Charles Sinclair and his wife Gayle.

After, Charles gave Athena one of only three possessions of Bill’s that he had: a sculpture Bill made of his first wife Portia in an art class in the early 1950s. 

The other two items Charles inherited from Bill: a paperweight (which he gave to me in 2006) and a desk (the one slightly visible behind them in the photo above and more visible here).

Put another way: seven years after I found both Charles and Bill
’s second wife Lyn and six years after I found Athenathe Dynamic Trio to whom I dedicated Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batmanthe three finally twos. 

By chance, the week before the play, I saw Lyn for the first time in six years. The day before the play, Athena met Lyn. The day after the play, Athena met Charles. Lyn and Charles have met but have not seen each other in around 50 years. Given that Lyn and Charles are both over 90 and live in the New York area while Athena lives in Florida, the prospect of getting all three in the same room is slim.

Oh, zooming in on the banner outside DeWitt Clinton:

Change the world indeed.


Delmo said...

Glad I got to witness the Saturday part of this, and once again great to meet you finally!

Unknown said...

Wow (that's it, all I got for this blog post (-: )