Children of a Lesser God

Dear Friends,

There is always a risk in producing theatre. Sometimes the stars align and you have a hit on your hand that still pays after 40 years. Other times, the fates are fickle and you lose what literally feels like the shirt off your back.

This happened to us in 1958, when one of our Broadway plays lost a whopping $15,000! I can tell you that we went through all the stages of grief when that happened! So we can completely understand the sense of loss and shock the producers of the revival of Children of A Lesser God must be going through right now.

However more shocking is the actual amount of money that will be lost, $4.25 million (according to the New York Times). We cannot believe it—we were devastated with $15,000 (today’s equivalent is about $125,000)—but to lose over $4million is just unfathomable. Our hearts go out to Children of a Lesser God, but we speak from experience when we say, you just have to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. That, dear friends, is the only way to live this thing we call “ La Vida!”

children of a lesser

This revival of Children of a Lesser God by Mark Madoff stars Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff, who was nominated for a Tony for her role. It is currently playing at the Studio 54 Theatre (254 W. 54th Street) and will be running until May 27th.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets—you definitely don’t want to miss out on a show that Jesse Green of the New York Times says is “fierce, crackling, passionate and profound. Lauren Ridloff gives a blistering, knockout debut performance. And I am awestruck by Joshua Jackson.” To read the full review, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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New England Summer (Theatre)

Dear Friends,

As we mentioned last week, the Summer Theatre season kicks off this month and if you’re traveling in New England this summer, New England Today has put together a list of Summer Playhouses and Theatres.

westport

Whether you’re traveling in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, or touring through all the New England states, there are recommendations to keep you busy all summer long!

Click here to view the article and information on each Playhouse/Theatre.

We spent years running the Westport playhouse and we just love, love, love Summer Theatre!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Week in Review

Dear Friends,

It’s been a week full of excitement in the theatre!

As you may know, the Tony Award Nominations have been announced. We will be discussing these more in detail in the upcoming weeks leading up to the June 10th celebration, but in the meantime, you can find a list of all the nominees here.

Also, May kicks off the summer theatre season.  Just today we received a brochure from The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY announcing their line-up. If you are going to be in the Sag Harbor area, you should definitely add seeing a show at this wonderful theatre to your list. Their performances are always brilliant!

Their season kicks off May 29th with the world-premiere of the play Fellow Travelers by Jack Canfora. It is set in Hollywood and explores the relationships between Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, and Elia Kazan.

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The rest of their summer line-up includes: Frost/Nixon, Confessions of A Mormon Boy, and Evita. To learn more or book tickets, click here.

If you’d like us to highlight your Summer Theatre, please email us theatguild@aol.com

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Mean Girls

Dear Friends,

Last week we went to see the new Broadway musical, Mean Girls. And what a fun time we had! There was so much laughing, we weren’t sure we were ever going to stop!

Of course, we’d expect nothing less from the remarkable Tina Fey, who has adapted her screenplay into this must-see Broadway musical.

The Washington Post effuses that “at the conclusion of 2½ hours of exuberant Broadway-style pop and hip-hop, the feel-good resolution actually now does make you feel good.”

means girls 2

Photo: Joan Marcus

Of course, we must admit we hold a bit of a soft spot for any production that plays in the August Wilson Theatre, 245 W. 52nd Street, as it was originally the Guild Theatre, constructed by the Theatre Guild in 1925! However, we certainly think this is a must-see for Broadway! To order tickets or learn more, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Carousel Has Opened!

Dear Friends,

As you may know, the revival of our musical Carousel opened this week on Broadway to great reviews.

Of course, we are not surprised. We (The Theatre Guild—at the time, Philip’s father, Lawrence and Theresa Helburn) urged and paid Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II to create a musical adaption Ferenc Molnár’s play, Liliom. It took multiple requests from Lawrence and Theresa, but Rodgers and Hammerstein II finally agreed and we opened Carousel on Broadway in 1945, and it has had several revivals since.

This revival has an all-star cast led by Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming, and Jessie Mueller, is directed by Jack O’Brien and is choreographed by Justin Peck.

According to his review in the New York Times, Ben Brantley observes that:

The tragic inevitability of “Carousel” has seldom come across as warmly or as chillingly as it does in this vividly reimagined revival. As directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck, with thoughtful and powerful performances by Mr. Henry and Ms. Mueller, the love story at the show’s center has never seemed quite as ill-starred or, at the same time, as sexy.

Carousel broadway

Carousel is playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Call the box office for tickets 212/239-6200 or click here to order online.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Good Friday for Theatre

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! Today we thought we would share with you a wonderful new play that has just opened on Broadway: Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

It is staring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, and Alison Pill and is directed by Joe Mantello.

According to Jesse Green, New York Times:

Glenda Jackson is back; even better, she’s back in a role that’s big enough to need her. Watching these three women in “Three Tall Women” means seeing the ghosts and echoes of many other women as well. They complete Albee’s imaginative leap into difficult souls, which of course means all of us. And they honor a play that despite its frailties and wrinkles has aged beautifully, into a burning, raving classic.

three tall women

Three Tall Women is playing at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street) from now until June 24th. Don’t wait—you do not want to miss out on this fantastic play!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Flashback Friday

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and if you’re in the Northeast, we hope you survived the latest (4th!) nor’easter!

We thought we’d take a moment today to share with you one of our most popular posts on our Newsletter—that is of a photo we have of Paul Robeson dressed as Othello.

We originally shared this with you in January 2015, so we thought it was a great time to re-share for all of our members, including new members who have subscribed to our Newsletter since then!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

This Throwback Thursday features a great photo of Paul Robeson in his garb as the well-known character of Othello, which The Theatre Guild produced on Broadway in 1943-1944.

Robeson’s portrayal of Othello was so masterful and well-performed that John Dover Wilson—one of the premier Shakespeare critics at the time—commented that Robeson’s Othello was the best performance of the century!

When I was about 10 years old, I used to spend wonderful times wrestling and playing with Paul’s son, Paul Jr.!

Paul broke through so many barriers coming from the son of a former slave, and knowing him and his family was indeed an honor!

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Once On This Island

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you a wonderful musical that we think is simply fantastic and our daughter and granddaughters keep raving about: Once On This Island.

It is a powerful story about life and love, where one island girl embarks on a journey to find the love of her life. The story is filled with laughter and amazing music with vibrant costumes. It stars Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Tamyra Gray, and Norm Lewis as the Island Gods who help the girl along her way.

Jesse Green, The New York Times, says that “the hallmark ingenuity, warmth and intensity bordering on excess that characterize Mr. Arden’s style is recapitulated everywhere within the production, from the frankly stupendous singing (Chris Fenwick is the music supervisor) to the electric choreography of Camille A. Brown.” You can read the full review here.

OOTI 2

It is currently playing at the Circle in the Round Theatre (235 W. 50th Street)—and it’s something you do not want to miss! To learn more and order tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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In The Body of The World

Dear Friends,

Eve Ensler, creative genius of The Vagina Monologues, is back telling her own personal narrative of receiving a life-threatening diagnosis while working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in her play In The Body of The World.

In her own brilliant words, you can hear Eve describe how illness can be both “transformative and transcendent.”

It is written and performed by Tony Award winner Eve Ensler and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

Eve Ensler ad

It is currently showing at the Manhattan Theatre Club now until March 25, 2018. Click here to buy your tickets—this is definitely a show that you do not want to miss out on seeing!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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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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