Oklahoma….OK!

Dear Friends,

Big things are happening next year!

In additional to our 100th Anniversary, we are so excited that our beloved Oklahoma! –the biggest hit we ever produced—is returning to Broadway! This will be the sixth time since we opened the musical at the St. James Theatre in 1943 that it has appeared on Broadway.

oklahoma

Previews will begin March 19, 2019 and it will open April 7th at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street). It will be a limited run, closing on September 01, 2019.

Tickets are not currently available, but will be released January 05, 2019.  Click on the picture above for more information.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

PS–if you’re interested in reading more about Oklahoma!‘s history, here are a handful of our posts over the years:

  1. Oklahoma!
  2. A Match Made In Music
  3. Green Grow The Lilacs
  4. The Lift of a Lifetime
  5. Broadway Hit!

 

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A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

Dear Friends,

December 07, 1941–the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor–is a day we won’t forget.

I was standing outside a building in Connecticut when I heard the news. It seemed so incredible at the time that the Japanese would send out their kamikaze pilots to kill thousands of sailors and civilians alike.

pearl harbor

photo courtesy of msn.com

That was 77 years ago today.

I am sure many of you have been to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu and visited the memorial there—it is such an emotional experience.

We can all be thankful that we are not in a war at the present time. Let us pray that we remain at peace and be grateful for the brave men and women who lost their lives that fateful day.

Best regards,
Philip Langner

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Tickets Flourishing

Dear Friends,

It’s time for our yearly talk about ticket prices on Broadway.

Our favorite comparison, which we remember well, is when the Broadway ticket prices skyrocketed from $4.80 to $5.75. Can you believe that the producers were terribly worried that Broadway would crumble at that sharp increase in ticket prices!!!!

At any rate, those $5.75 tickets would cost $80.68 today (based on the inflation rate). This $80.86 price is two-thirds of the current ticket price, which seems to be holding steady at $125.00 per ticket.

We find it interesting that in those days we felt that Broadway might come to an end because there were only so many seats in a theatre, whereas most other goods and services could expand to meet the higher demand.

All our worries were unfounded because Broadway is flourishing, both in terms of average ticket price and number of viewers going to shows. Who knew?!?

And, Hurray!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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To Kill on Broadway

Dear Friends,

Great News! One of our favorites books has made it to Broadway!

To Kill A Mockingbird is currently in previews and opens on December 13, 2018. It is adapted to the stage by the talented Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher, and stars Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch and LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Calpurnia. One of the biggest surprises in the cast is the decision to cast Scout and Jem as adults (played by Celia Keenan-Bolger and Will Pullen respectively) rather than children.

mockingbird

This is the first time To Kill A Mockingbird has been present in the theatre and you do not want to miss out on the amazing opportunity to see it. It is playing at the Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street) and you can purchase your tickets by clicking here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Giving Thanks.

Dear Friends,

We wanted to take a moment to wish you and your family a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving.

The tradition was started in the year 1621 when the surviving Pilgrims on the Mayflower celebrated a fruitful harvest and 90 members of a neighboring Wampanoag tribe joined in the celebration and feast. It was first declared a holiday by the Continental Congress in 1777.

While the holiday has changed significantly over the last 400 years, we hope that however you may celebrate, the spirit of thankfulness and love for our neighbors will rule the day.

Imagine how different our country might have been if the Wampanoag had refused to help the Pilgrims that first winter?

It seems today, more than ever, we all could use a little reminding of our history in this country and that apart from a very small minority of Americans, everyone’s ancestors hailed from some place far away. But let us not speak of politics, let us focus on the positive, on the love, and on the spirit of what Thanksgiving means.

 

thanksgiving ecard

 

You can read more about the details of the first Thanksgiving, including all the names of the Pilgrims in attendance of that first fateful meal by clicking here.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Watch It Again, Sam

Dear Friends,

As you know, we love old movies. And of these, our most favorite must be Casablanca.

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Berman, this film is so beautifully done we could just watch it again and again!

casablanca

It was filmed during the middle of WWII, and ironically, no one expected it to be a hit—let alone one of the greatest movies ever made! It was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, winning for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing for a Screenplay.

We found a 1942 review by Variety, which states:

[The] Film is splendid anti-Axis propaganda, particularly inasmuch as the propaganda is strictly a by-product of the principal action and contributes to it instead of getting in the way. There will be few more touching scenes to be found than when a group of German officers in Rick’s [Café] begins to sing Nazi tunes and [Bergman’s onscreen husband] Henreid instructs the orchestra to go into “La Marseillaise.” A bit frightenedly at first, but then with a might that completely drowns out the Germans, the [nightclub] patrons and [servers] in Rick’s give voice to the anthem of France of “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” It is just another facet of the variety of moods, action, suspense, comedy and drama that makes “Casablanca” an A-1 entry at the b.o.

To our mind, the greatest picture we have ever seen!

To read the full review, click here.

If it’s been awhile since you’ve seen this classic, we urge you to watch it immediately—a glorious evening!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Actors’ Strike of 1919

Dear Friends,

Today we’d like to tell you about an exciting Theatre Guild happening that took place on Broadway in 1919.

Actors’ Equity Association was formed by Broadway actors in 1913. After they were formed, they started approaching theatrical producers  to arrange contracts for their actors with each of them. The producers and Equity were not able to come to an agreement–with one notable exception–and in 1919 the Broadway actors decided to strike.

Happily The Theatre Guild was that one notable exception who chose to recognize Actors’ Equity and agree to a contract. The result was that The Theatre Guild was the only producer with a play running on Broadway during the strike.

The play was John Ferguson running at the Fulton Theatre on 46th Street, and it became a huge sell-out lasting for six months!

According to my father, Lawrence, “I was looking for a play for us to produce and I picked a book off the shelf—little thinking that I held the future of the new Theatre Guild in my hand! It was just the play we were looking for! My fellow Board members were all as excited about the play as I was and we decided to produce it at once.”

Wasn’t it fortuitous that The Guild had a sensible reaction to actors on Broadway wanting to have a union, and what a happy result!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Cat’s Meow

Dear Friends,

After reading an article in the New York Post, today we wanted to set aside the theatre and discuss something even more important in our lives.

Cats.

No, not the musical. But actual cats. We have four of these lovable and amazing creatures, who bring so much joy to our lives. We have often looked at them and wondered how better to communicate with them and now researcher Susanne Schötz is helping us. She is a professor at Lund University in Sweden and her new book, The Secret Language of Cats, will be released on November 6th.

In The Secret Language of Cats, Schötz offers a crash course in the phonetic study of cat sounds. She introduces us to the full range of feline vocalizations and explains what they can mean in different situations, and she gives practical tips to help us understand our cats better.

cats

It is translated into English by Peter Kuras and is available for pre-order on Amazon right now by clicking here.

And to leave you with a bit of cuteness during all the political ugliness right now, we thought we’d share some pictures of our four cats. Their names are Dorothy Parker (we got her at the Algonquin Hotel), Ondine, Juliet, and McClain Stevenson.

home office

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Show Boat

Dear Friends,

The other night we saw one of our favorite musicals on television: Showboat.

show boat 1951

This film was produced in 1951, starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel and directed by George Sidney. It was based on the original Broadway musical written by Oscar Hammerstein II with music by Jerome Kern. It tells the story of late 19th century hijinks aboard a Mississippi River show boat. It features some of Broadway’s greatest show tunes including Ol’ Man River, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, and Make Believe.

This musical is so superb that it makes us want to discuss the importance of theatre in our lives. We seldom think about it, but what if, at 5:30pm every night after a day of work, we simply had dinner and went to bed? Our workdays are usually not very spiritual or uplifting, so it is at nighttime and weekends that we get to observe and participate in the “finer things in life,” as in “what are we living for?” So this film says it all!

It’s wonderful and we’re so glad to have seen it on television! If you want to see it, it is available to watch via streaming or to purchase on Amazon (click here )

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Adoption Rules The Evening

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you how spectacular our reading on Monday night went. Authors Liz and Joel have written such a spellbinding story based on Liz’s experiences in adopting a child in Russia.

The wonderful addition of Sachi Parker to the cast made for a thrilling component to the already suspenseful reading.

We are so very excited that we are featuring this extraordinary and powerful play and we cannot wait to bring it to more venues here in New York City!

adoption roulette reading

Thank you to those of you who came out to the performance. We hope that you enjoyed the night as much as we did!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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