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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3 Days Away!

Dear Friends,

We wanted to send you one last reminder that a reading of our new play, Adoption Roulette, will be performed at The Theatre for the New City (155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets) on October 08, 2018 at 7:00pm.

To read more about Adoption Roulette—the true story of Elizabeth Fuller’s experience adopting a child from Russia, our wonderful performers, and The Theatre for the New City, click here.

Tickets for the reading are $5 suggested donation at the box office. The Monday, October 8th performance starts at 7pm, but the theatre suggests arriving between 6:00-6:30pm.

We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Adoption Update

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that our reading of Adoption Roulette at The Theatre for the New City (155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets) on October 08, 2018 at 7:00pm will star both the actors/writers, Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig, and our new star, Sachi Parker, acclaimed theatre and film actress and only child of show biz icon Shirley MacLaine.

 

Sachi Parker began her film career working with director Burt Reynolds on the film Stick. Other notable films include Back To The Future, Riders to The Sea, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Scrooged. Parker recently completed All Me, All The Time with Keir Dullea. Ms. Parker’s theatre work includes The Lulu Plays, My Cup Runneth Over, Pastorale, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, and The Three Sisters.

To read more about Adoption Roulette—the true story of Elizabeth Fuller’s experience adopting a child from Russia, our wonderful performers, and The Theatre for the New City, click here.

Tickets for the reading are $5 suggested donation at the box office. The Monday, October 8th performance starts at 7pm, but the theatre suggests arriving between 6:00-6:30pm.

We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Adoption Reading

Dear Friends,

As we told you last week, our new Broadway bound play Adoption Roulette, is booked to perform a reading at The Theatre for the New City on October 08, 2018.

The reading with the authors/stars Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig will be held in their Johnson Theatre at 155 First Avenue (between 9th and 10th Streets). It will begin at 7:00pm and the audience is asked to be there by 6:30pm.

Admission is a minimum suggestion donation of $5 at the box office when you visit on the day of the performance.

Elizabeth Fuller has written ten published books. She is an Op-Ed contributor to the New York Times. She is the playwright of Me and Jezebel which she first wrote as a book.  In 2015, Me and Jezebel won best play by Broadway.com. The New York Times called it “Delicious. Great fun to watch!” The play has performed worldwide and the book is optioned for a movie.

Joel Vig created six starring roles in Broadway’s Hairspray, which won 8 Tony awards including Best Musical. Mr. Vig also created the title role in the cult Off-Broadway musical Ruthless!, which won Best Musical honors. Mr. Vig has written plays that have played both in New York and around the country. Joel won the Judges’ Choice award in the non-fiction writing contest sponsored by Barnes and Noble and Dans Papers in East Hampton in August, 2017.

We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Save The Date

Dear Friends,

Exciting news! We just received word that we will be performing a reading of our new play, Adoption Roulette written by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig, on October 8th at The Theatre for the New City!

We are still waiting on the specific details of performance time and in which of the four theatres we will be performing. As soon as we have those details we will pass them along, so you can purchase your tickets!

Authors Elizabeth and Joel will be performing the reading and we could not be any more excited by this, as we are still raving about their performance we saw in June!
Stay tuned for more details and in the meantime, save the date 10/08/2018!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn

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New Season Newsletter

Dear Friends,

We are calling this our New Season Newsletter since it is our first one since returning from vacation—and it is indeed about the upcoming theatre season.

Before we begin, though, we’d like to tell you that we have been away in Ocean City, New Jersey. This is our 12th year to be visiting—and we just think it is a marvelous place to go! Let us know if you’d like to hear more.

Exciting news about our newest play, Adoption Roulette: as we’ve told you before, this is a play about a couple in Westport, Connecticut who are trying to adopt a child in Russia. We are moving ahead with plans to produce the play this winter, and our next act is to arrange another reading of the play in Manhattan with a lovely theatre company—Theatre for the New City—which has four theatres downtown and plans to present a Reading of our play hopefully in October.

The actors for this performance will be the two authors, Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig, both of whom are excellent actors in addition to be excellent writers.

We are very excited about this project and we will let you know as soon as plans are finalized.

Meanwhile, the Broadway season is about to get under way and we will be sharing more information with you in the upcoming weeks.

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn

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The Power of Theatre

Dear Friends,

One more prior newsletter to share with you before we head back to New York City and the realities of summer coming to an end.

We cannot—CANNOT—stress the importance that the theatre can—and should!—have in the political realm. The tradition started with Shakespeare himself, and who knows, perhaps even before that!

Our friend Arthur Miller once said that it is the job of an artist to remind people of what they have chosen to forget. And in this political climate, nothing could be more true!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to discuss with you an incredible theatre happening that occurred a couple of weeks ago:

It is the conflict between The Theatre, as represented by Hamilton, and the Government-to-be, as represented by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence.

As you all know, Vice President-Elect Pence went to a performance of Hamilton where he was specifically addressed by the cast at the end of the performance (their spokesperson being Brandon Dixon).

Mr. Dixon made a plea to Vice President-Elect Pence–as a representative of our new government starting 20th of January.  The cast requested that Vice President-Elect Pence look out for their interests, aka those of the common people.  While Mr. Pence was walking out of the theatre at the time of the speech, he stopped and listened to what Mr. Harris had to say.

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To us, it is a fascinating happening.  It is The Theatre…

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