Pearl Harbor

Dear Friends,

Today is December 08, 2017—one day and 76 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our entry into WWII.

I remember the day so well, exactly where I was standing by a building up in Connecticut about 2:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  What an incredible shock!

In recent years, I visited the War Memorial in Honolulu—built where the battleship, USS Arizona was sunk with 1,700 sailors on board.  The Memorial is quite lovely and poignant and very significant.

It seems so easy to forget a war that happened nearly 80 years ago.  How many wars have we had since then? How about Vietnam?  Every now and then when I happen to see a map of the Far East, I ask myself “how in God’s name could we have gone there and done that?”

A woman who worked for my parents was married to a man who died in the Bataan death march, where 700 American soldiers were marched through the Philippines shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Please forgive all of these musings.  The resulting thought is, of course, why?  Why do we have to get into wars?  Why do so many people have to die?  Now we have North Korea so eager to do so—they are reported in the paper today as saying “we have to go to war very soon.”

I guess they don’t remember Pearl Harbor, where 2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded.  Nor must they remember 340,000 Japanese who died because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 06 and August 09, 1945 respectively.  Nor do they remember the nearly 1.4 million people who died in the Vietnam War.

We cannot forget—or we are doomed to repeat history.  What can we do?

Sincerely,
Philip and Marilyn

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The Band’s Visit

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

We wanted to tell you about a wonderful musical that is getting rave reviews—and we think you should add show tickets to your holiday wish list!

It is The Band’s Visit, which Ben Brantley of the New York Times says is “one of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

It is the story of a mix-up that sends an Egyptian Police Band into a remote Israeli village and “celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.”

the bands visit

It is now playing at the Barrymore Theatre (243 W 47th Street), starring Katrina Lenk and Tony Shaloub.  It is written by Itamar Moses, with songs by David Yazbak, and directed by David Cromer.

To buy tickets or read more about it, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Giving Thanks.

thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

This being Thanksgiving week, we are thinking about thanks in the theatre world.

We always felt that the theatre would suffer—and perhaps come to an end—because it is not a mass-production enterprise.  Therefore, it cannot equal automobiles, electric lights, and all sorts of items in our daily lives that are mass-produced by machines.

We have previously told you that in 1943, when we brought Oklahoma! to Broadway, Orchestra tickets were $5.75 each, the equivalent to $81.53 today.  Since currently  Broadway musical tickets are averaging $125.00, it is clear that ticket prices have gone up faster than inflation—although only somewhat faster!

The good news is that all 40 Broadway theatres currently have plays running or will be opening new plays this Spring.  This make us very happy because the fact that plays are not mass-produced has not yet ended the theatre!

We are happy and giving thanks this week to all of those who work hard to make the theatre the success that it continues to be!

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip and Marilyn

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Playwrights Welcome

Dear Friends,

We received an email yesterday from Samuel French, with whom The Theatre Guild has worked for many years.  It was a reminder about Playwrights Welcome—a program with the Dramatist Guild and participating theatres to offer playwrights free tickets to shows.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Become a member of the Dramatist Guild (click here to learn more and become a member)
  2. Go to the Samuel French Playwrights Welcome website to find a participating theatre near you and their terms for the Playwrights tickets. For example in New York State, the following theatres are participants:
    • Atlantic Theater Company (New York, New York)
    • Axis Company (New York, NY)
    • Irish Repertory Theatre (New York, NY)
    • Paul Robeson Theatre (Buffalo, NY)
    • The Pearl Theatre Company (New York, NY)
    • Queens Theatre (Queens, NY)
    • Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (New York, NY)
    • Road Less Traveled Productions (Buffalo, NY)
    • Roundabout Theatre Company (New York, NY)
    • Urban Stages (New York, NY)
    • Vineyard Theatre (New York, NY)
  3. Go to the Box Office of a participating theatre and ask if they have Playwright tickets.
  4. If so, present your Dramatist Guild card and your ID and go see a great show!

As we have written about the rising price of theatre tickets—especially on Broadway—we are so excited to learn about this opportunity for members of the Dramatist Guild to see shows for free!

And for those of you who plan to start their Thanksgiving Day travels early—please have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Carousel

Dear Friends,

Hurray!  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel is coming back to Broadway!

The Theatre Guild originally produced this play on Broadway in 1945–it was the second musical Rodgers & Hammerstein had written for The Theatre Guild.

Carousel was adapted from the play, Liliom, which The Theatre Guild had produced on Broadway in 1921. In some ways we love it even more than Oklahoma! (the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Theatre Guild produced) because the love story in Carousel is so fantastic!
Carousel
We think you will love seeing Carousel (again?) because it has so much to offer!  It will be playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Previews begin February 28, 2018 and it opens April 12, 2018.  To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Stuck in Gander

Dear Friends,

This week we’re recommending a fantastic musical called Come From Away—the story of how a small town in Gander, Newfoundland was directly affected by 9/11 and how it “welcomed the world.”

come from away.jpg

It was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, with Christopher Ashley winning for Best Direction in a Musical.  According to the Washington Post, “this effervescent musical, enveloped in Canadian good will, is an antidote for what ails the American soul” and Ben Brantley of the New York Times says “even the most stalwart cynics may have trouble staying dry-eyed during this portrait of heroic hospitality under extraordinary pressure.”

To order tickets or read more, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Still Beautiful

Dear Friends,

Those of you who joined us at the beginning will know that the very first show we wrote about was Beautiful: The Carol King Musical.  In fact, seeing the show is partly what gave us the inspiration to start this newsletter—we wanted to share our stories and experiences about the theatre with you!

Beautiful is such a great show!  If you haven’t seen it, we definitely urge you to add it to your list of “must sees.”   It is the story of how Carol King became Carol King—and it is just fabulous!

To order tickets click here
And to see a short video about it, click below:

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

PS—if you’re new and wanted to read the play that started it all, click here to read our first ever Newsletter!

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Final Chance!

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder that Prince of Broadway will be closing its limited run in only 12 more performances–with its final performance on 10/29/2017!

It showcases the life and times of our dear family friend, Harold Prince, including some of his greatest productions, like:

West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera to name a few!

You definitely do not want to miss out on this spectacular show!  Click here for your last chance at tickets!
prince of bway 2
Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Courage in Reporting

Dear Friends,

An amazing thing happened to us a few days ago when we watched a reporter, Ronan Farrow, reading a long, fascinating article that he wrote about film producer, Harvey Weinstein.

What struck us so much about this was the fact that Ronan is someone that we knew very well at the age of 3-4 years old, when he lived in Newtown, CT with his wonderful mother, the extraordinary Mia Farrow.

Mia is a wonderful lady who has raised—and dedicated herself—to seeing that children without parents could still have a happy family life.

Now here is Ronan, 29 years old—with so many degrees and abilities—commanding the air waves.  His report, published in The New Yorker, “Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories,” was the result of nearly a year of researching facts and working to find someone willing to publish it.  Originally he went to NBC, for whom
he worked at the time, and was told it wasn’t “reportable.”  Thankfully The New Yorker thought it was.
ronan farrow
It takes courage to stand up and never stop believing in what you are working on—and we are so proud of Ronan for having the courage to not back down and not give up until his story was heard.

To read the terrific article he wrote in The New Yorker, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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The Iceman Cometh Back To Broadway

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing to you about Eugene O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh, which will be returning to Broadway this spring starring Tony and Academy award winner Denzel Washington!!
iceman cometh
Having originally produced this play on Broadway, we are so very excited that it is coming back–and with such a wonderful actor playing the lead!  This is one of O’Neill’s greatest plays and we remember having it here in New York—an unbelievable evening!

It  has also reminded us about the other Eugene O’Neill plays that The Theatre Guild produced in New York in the 1920s-1950s.  They were:

  • Marco’s Millions
  • Strange Interlude
  • Dynamo
  • Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Ah, Wilderness!
  • Days Without End

In addition, The Guild had a very personal relationship with O’Neill and helped him in other aspects of his life.

Nowadays, it is very difficult to mount serious plays and we salute the theatres, like the Roundabout and the Jacobs Theatre, that are making an effort to keep these plays going!

The Iceman Cometh opens April 26, 2018, with previews starting on March 22nd.  It will be playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.  To read more or purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

We believe this will be the greatest play of this season!

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