Making A Statement

Dear Friends,

Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is—and Mark Wahlberg has done just that.

In light of the tremendous pay gap between him and co-star Michelle Williams for reshoots during the filming All The Money in The World (when our dear friend Christopher Plummer joined the cast), Mr. Wahlberg donated the gap in pay between his and Ms. Williams to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. He was quoted as saying:

I 100 percent support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name.

Additionally, William Morris Endeavor—the agency representing both Wahlberg and Williams—donated $500,000 to Time’s Up.

For those of you who are not familiar, Time’s Up is dedicated to fighting harassment in the workplace, starting with a legal-defense fund for abuse victims. Their mission station from their website:

Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.

If you’re interested in learning more or donating to this amazing program, click here.

Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard—thank you to the wonderful people at Time’s Up and all their incredible donors, like Mr. Wahlberg. He could have made a moderate donation; however, he chose to do what was right—and fair—and we commend him highly for that decision.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

 

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Spreading The Word of The Musical

Dear Friends,

As our Twitter followers know, last week we braved the cold, rainy New York weather and went to see one of the most popular shows on Broadway: The Book of Mormon.

We won lottery tickets and thought we’d take the opportunity to share our love of musicals with our granddaughters.book of mormon 2

The show was entertaining and kept the audience laughing throughout! Although I (Philip) do have to confess, of all the billions of ideas for a musical—I would have never imagined one about Mormon missionaries to Africa could be so successful!

As Ben Brantley from NY Times explains in his latest review:

But gosh darn it if I didn’t feel born again all over again, ready to spread the word about the faith that this show preaches and, more important, practices. I do not mean the religion of the followers of Joseph Smith, which is so scrupulously disassembled here, but the holy faith of musical comedy, into which my mama baptized me before I could walk.

You can read Mr. Brantley’s full interview here.

The Book of Mormon is currently showing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre at 230 49th Street. To learn more and/or purchase tickets, click here.

We know that our granddaughters had a marvelous time and could not stop talking about it—so the evening was a success!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Match Made in Music

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing you about Carousel, which is coming back to Broadway with previews starting February 28th.

Carousel has a fascinating history.

In about 1940, the Theatre Guild decided it would like to make a musical from the play it had previously produced, called Green Grow the Lilacs. They invited Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to write the musical which became, as you know, Oklahoma!.
With the glorious success of Oklahoma!, The Guild wanted Richard and Oscar to write another musical. The Guild examined the previous 50-60 plays it had produced on Broadway. Ultimately, a play The Guild presented in 1922, Liliom by famed Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár, was chosen.

The musical, now called Carousel, was acclaimed everywhere and The Guild had another musical hit!

After Carousel, Richard and Oscar wrote one more musical, Allegro, for The Guild, but it was not as well received as Oklahoma! and Carousel. Richard and Oscar were great friends of ours, as were their children. I (Philip) grew up with Mary Rodgers, who was a great long-time friend.

We are so delighted that Carousel, which is being produced by Scott Rudin and Roy Furman, is being presented again next month at the Imperial Theatre. To purchase tickets, click here. It’s a great show!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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March On NYC.

Dear Friends,

On Monday, we celebrated the life of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and we find that so many of his profound words still have so much meaning in today’s world.
One of his most famous quotes reads: Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

And it is in that spirit that we are writing to you. The Women’s March Alliance is organizing a march this Saturday and we wanted to urgently invite you to join. We received the following email yesterday from ATPAM:

Dear Member of ATPAM –

I invite you to join IATSE President Matthew D. Loeb, myself and sisters and brothers from other IATSE NY area locals as we take to the streets for the New York City Women’s March this coming Saturday, January 20. The march begins at 11am and will go down Central Park West, across Central Park South and down 6th Avenue, ending at 43rd Street at around 4pm.

Meeting place for the IATSE cohort will be on Central Park West between 65th and 66th Streets, near the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. Look for the IATSE signs!

Bring a sign (no wood or metal), do your vocal warmups (so they can hear us down in Washington!) and keep an eye on the weather reports to dress accordingly. Comfortable shoes are a must.

If you can’t attend the march in New York, check with your local labor council – either city or state – to find out where people are marching in your area.

Let’s keep the pressure on and continue to make noise about issues that affect working men and women across this country.

I hope to see you on Saturday!

In solidarity,

Nick

We suggest that you support this powerful movement—even if you cannot make it to the march, there are many ways to support it. For you, for your daughters, for your mothers, for your sisters, for your great-great-granddaughters.

To join the march (which starts right outside our door step!), donate to the cause or learn more click here: https://womensmarchalliance.org/2018-womens-march-on-nyc/

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

 

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Journey From A Play To A Musical, Part 1

Dear Friends,

Over the holidays, we came across the French movie Liliom on television. The movie was based on the play written by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár in 1909.

Of course, Liliom was not unfamiliar to us—The Theatre Guild brought the play to Broadway in 1921 and in 1945 convinced Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to turn it into a musical, with a notable name change: Carousel.

Carousel has been on our minds lately, as it is coming back to Broadway starring Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, and Renée Fleming and directed by Jack O’Brien. Previews begin next month (February 28th) and the musical opens on April 12th.

Carousel

We are so very excited at its return to Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street—and we cannot wait to see it!

Tickets are now on sale, which can be purchased in person at the Imperial (249 W. 45th Street) or clicking here.

Stay tuned next week for more history behind the creating of Carousel!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We hope this finds you well and staying warm (especially those on the East Coast who are dealing with our Cyclone Bomb of ice and snow)!

Today we are recommending January as a great time to go to the theatre. Everything is winding down from the holidays—and there are many empty seats for the wonderful shows and musicals now playing.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year filled with lots of great theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

new year 2018

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All The Money

Dear Friends,

We were reading a review yesterday in the New York Times about our dear friend, Christopher Plummer.

He has a new movie, All The Money in The World, and it is just fantastic!

According to Manohla Dargis’s review in the New York Times:

Mr. Plummer can be an aloof, fairly cool screen presence and he chills Getty Sr. with cruel glints, funereal insinuation and a controlled, withholding physicality. A lot of actors soften their heavies, as if nervously asserting their own humanity. With Mr. Scott, Mr. Plummer instead creates a rapacious man whose hunger for wealth and power (and more money, always more) has hollowed him out and whose fatherly touch, at its most consuming, brings to mind Goya’s painting of Saturn eating his son. The horror of Getty Sr. is that he is never less than human, but that he’s hoarded everything, including every last vestige of love, for himself. It’s a magnificent portrait of self-annihilation.

Of course, we aren’t surprised by this—we have known Chris for a very long time and we’ve seen him in many memorable performances.
Chris Plummer
All The Money in The World is showing at a movie theater near you.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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It is such a wonderful time of the year. Last week, we shared the story of Dusty and Katie. It shows that the Theatre Development Fund—through theatre—can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. As you finish up your holiday shopping and—especially if you have a few more people on your list to shop for—do consider giving them a membership in the Theatre Development Fund. And while you’re getting one for them—get one for yourself! To become a member, click here!

Here are three great reasons to join:

  1. Tickets cost only $9-$47!  Save up to 70% on hundreds of theatre, dance and music shows daily.
  2. Buy tickets online in advance! Purchase discounted tickets days, and sometimes weeks, in advance right from the comfort of your computer.
  3. Give back! Your membership (along with every discounted ticket you buy) supports TDF’s many far-reaching arts education and theatre accessibility programs.

And if you’re thinking “I can’t join—I don’t’ work in the theatre industry” then we have GREAT! news for you: you don’t have to be! Here is the full list of those who are eligible:

  • Full-time students (high school or above)
  • Full-time teachers (primary or junior high school faculty, high school faculty, university or college faculty, teachers of drama/dance/music)
  • Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)
  • Full-time union members
  • Retirees (no longer working and at least 62 years of age or older)
  • Full-time government employees/civil servants
  • Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time hourly workers – 40 hours a week – who are eligible for overtime pay)
  • Full-time arts professionals
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Freelancers
  • Full-time clergy

Don’t miss out on the theatre—don’t miss out on joining TDF!

Happy holidays to you and yours!
Philip and Marilyn

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Theatre Development Fund

WHAT A THEATRE STORY! 

Dear Friends,

We have shared with you how fabulous the Theatre Development Fund is in providing affordable theatre tickets and today we wanted to show why this is important.  We received the following email from a mother, who shared her story about why the theatre is so important to her and her son.

Being life-long devotees of the theatre, we have always known how wonderful it is—but it is so incredible to hear how it can influence other people’s lives.  We ask that if you are looking for a charity to share with this holiday season, that you consider giving to the TDF—so they can continue all of their wonderful work!

December 04, 2017

Dear Philip,

I’m writing to you today as a mother. My son Dusty is 20 years old and severely autistic. He is ‘low verbal’ — he has a few words but is not conversational. Both Dusty and I love Broadway. When I took him to his first show we were asked to leave by an usher because of Dusty’s quiet scripting — ‘self-talk’. I had to drag Dusty out of the theatre. He was screaming ‘Stay Stay.’ That feeling of rejection was profoundly isolating.

Years later, Dusty and I mustered our courage and returned to Broadway for the inaugural TDF Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. I sobbed through the opening watching the joy in Dusty’s face during ‘The Circle of Life’. Since then, Dusty has seen over 15 Broadway shows, thanks to TDF. No one has ever asked us to leave.

Last February I got up the nerve to take Dusty to a regular, non-autism friendly performance of Wicked. As Glinda sang, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He had never done anything like that before. That is the power of theatre.

I hope you will join me in supporting TDF.

Best,
Katie Sweeney
New York, NY

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To make your tax-deductible donation to the Theatre Development Fund, click here.

Happy Marvelous Theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

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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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