Author Archives: theatguild

All Hail The King!

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you an wonderful happening that cannot be missed: Glenda Jackson starring at King Lear on Broadway.

This is a limited run at the Cort Theatre (138 West 48th Street). It is currently in previews and will be opening April 4, 2019.

Ms. Jackson is such a phenomenal actress and we are so excited to see her in such an iconic Shakespearean role!

Glenda Jackson

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

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Rolling Back To Broadway

Dear Friends,

As we already announced in December, our beloved Oklahoma! is making its 5th appearance on Broadway—and previews are only a few weeks away! At the time we wrote to you, tickets were not on sale—but they are now! Click here for tickets.

In 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!.

Our original production, which opened on March 31, 1943, was by far our most successful Broadway hit, playing for five years (2,200 performances) in its original run! It was so popular we actually had to hire NYPD to handle the lines of ticket buyers!

This most recent production will be at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street) with previews starting March 19th, opening on April 7th, and closing on September 01, 2019.

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary musical! Click on the picture below to purchase tickets
oklahoma
Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Puritanical Thinking

Dear Friends,

Yesterday we had a lovely conversation with a friend who is originally from Bulgaria, but now lives in Texas.

She was telling us how she was brought up in Bulgaria, where both the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches had congregations.

The subject of the conversation was that her family and the people she knew did not believe that mankind arrived in this world as sinners.

Think of that! You and we, when we were born, had not done anything evil. We were completely free, innocent, and kindly human beings. How much evil could we have done in our mother’s womb?

When I (Philip) was a child I went to church every Sunday and was totally sold on the fact that I was loaded with sin!

That’s the end of today’s sermon! We do not have to feel that all our thoughts are EVIL.

Enjoy life!
Philip & Marilyn

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Saving The Drama

Dear Friends,

We can’t tell you how happy we were when we heard the news that the “Hamilton Team” were purchasing The Drama Book Store to prevent it from closing permanently. In a recent New York Times article, the new owners—Lin-Manuel Miranda, Thomas Kail, Jeffrey Seller; and James L. Nederlander—cited the book store as having played an important role in their lives and we couldn’t agree more!

We have lost count of the numerous times in our 100 years that we have frequented the Drama Book Store looking for our next inspiration for our 228 plays on Broadway. We were deeply saddened to hear that it might close and breathed a huge sigh of relief when the news broke last month that it would be saved!

We understand that the book store is currently closed while the new owners search for a new home. And when they do, you can bet we’ll be one of the first in line celebrating.

To read more about it, click here and here.

Thank you Hamilton Team for your wonderful help in saving this immeasurable support network for the theatre district. We salute you!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Lili Marlene

Dear Friends,

Whenever we see one of our cats lounging around the office (picture below sprawled out on the fireplace mantle), we have the urge to sing Lili Marlene to her.

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The song itself was based on a poem written by a 22 year-old solider (Leip) in WWI to his beloved sweetheart. In the early 1930s, Norbert Schultze set it to song. However, it did not become popular until 1941 when German broadcasters in Africa lost a large portion of their records in a bomb raid. Lili Marlene was one of the few surviving records and once it was one the air, it became popular with both soldiers and citizens alike. The original songstress to sing it was Lane Anderson, however, it was Marlene Dietrich’s version which is best remembered.

Originally written and performed in German, it was eventually translated into 48 languages worldwide.

Click on this link to hear the incomparable Marlene Dietrich perform it and you’ll easily see why it was such a popular hit!

Incidentally, I (Philip) spent a good deal of time with Marlen Dietrich when we were filming Judgement at Nuremburg. I even visited her in her apt, where we would sit on the floor and play cards. She was very lovely, friendly, exceptionally talented, and down-to-earth.

To read more about the thrilling history of this song, click here.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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BlacKkKlansmen

Dear Friends,

As you know, the Oscars are just three short weeks away. And today we want to urge you to go see BlacKkKlansman. Even if you have seen it, we think it is well worth watching again. It is, quite simply, a remarkable film.

It is based on the actual story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American cop who, along with his Jewish partner Flip Zimmerman, infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. John David Washington and Adam Driver portray Stallworth and Zimmerman respectively in a film with an all-star cast and directed by the incomparable Spike Lee .

It has been nominated for 6 Oscars:
• Best Picture
• Actor in a Supporting Role, Adam Driver
• Directing, Spike Lee
• Film Editing
• Music (Original Score)
• Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

Click on the link below to watch a clip of the movie:

https://watchabc.go.com/vp2/ext/player.html?videoId=VDKA7647738&brand=oscars&sharingVideoUrl=https://oscar.go.com/nominees/best-picture/blackkklansman&autoplay=true

WONDERFUL!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Hope & Fury

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. today, we wanted to share with you a wonderful program that we watched last night on CNBC called Hope & Fury: MLK, The Movement and The Media.

It was such a wonderful and informative show and brought us back to the time when this remarkable man worked tirelessly to change the course of our country. His life serves as a direct contrast to the direction that our current President seems to be leading us and we are hopeful that our country will continue to look to Dr. King’s life and advice to navigate the current crisis we find ourselves in today.

To watch clips of the show, please click on the picture below:

Hope and fury.png

Dr. King, we salute you!
Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Flying Down To Rio

Dear Friends,

As we are preparing for a snowstorm due to hit New York City tomorrow, we thought we’d take an opportunity to share with you another one of our favorite classic movies: Flying Down To Rio.

The 1933 movie is a romantic comedy musical that stars Dolores Del Rio and Gene Raymond, who fall in love on an ill-fated plane trip to Rio.

flying to rio

Most remarkably, this is the first time Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire appeared on screen together and help save the day!

We think it’s a great movie to watch anytime, but most especially when hunkered down trying to stay warm on snowy, cold days!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Kennedy Center

Dear Friends,

Last week, we watched the Kennedy Center Honors and we thought we might share with you a newsletter we wrote several years ago about our connection with the Kennedy Center.

To watch the full broadcast of this year’s Honors, click here to go to CBS https://www.cbs.com/shows/kennedy_center_honors/

Happy New Year!
Philip & Marilyn Langner

 

Dear Friends,

Today we want to tell you about the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.–a GREAT U.S. theatre!

We have been thinking about the Kennedy Center since we saw President and Mrs. Obama attending a performance there recently.

We were very involved in opening the Kennedy Center because The Theatre Guild was designated as the subscription organization for the Kennedy Center theatre-goers to subscribe to each winter series of plays.

We began in 1971 and had a subscription audience of 15,000 members.  We remained at the Center for 15 years, and during that time we also presented some of our own plays there.

The Eisenhower Theatre is great for plays and musicals, with a seating capacity of 1,161!  It is a lovely theatre and one of the very best places to bring a play.

eisenhower theatre

It’s a wonderful historic theatre that has come into existence in our lifetime.  According to The Kennedy Center’s Archives:

Two months after President Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, Congress designated the National Cultural Center (designed by Edward Durell Stone) as a “living memorial” to Kennedy, and authorized $23 million to help build what was now known as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Fundraising continued at a swift pace–with much help coming from the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteers, who fanned out across the nation to attract private support and nations around the world began donating funds, building materials, and artworks to assist in the project’s completion. In December 1964, President Lyndon Johnson turned the first shovelful of earth at the Center’s construction site, using the same gold-plated spade that had been used in the groundbreaking ceremonies for both the Lincoln Memorial in 1914 and the Jefferson Memorial in 1938.

From its very beginnings, the Kennedy Center has represented a unique public/private partnership. As the nation’s living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center receives federal funding each year to pay for maintenance and operation of the building, a federal facility. However, the Center’s artistic programs and education initiatives are paid for almost entirely through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.

The Center made its public debut on September 8, 1971, with a gala opening performance featuring the world premiere of a Requiem mass honoring President Kennedy, a work commissioned from the legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. The occasion enabled Washington to begin earning a reputation as a cultural hub as well as a political one; as The New York Times wrote in a front-page article the next morning, “The capital of this nation finally strode into the cultural age tonight with the spectacular opening of the $70 million [Kennedy Center]…a gigantic marble temple to music, dance, and drama on the Potomac’s edge.”

The Center’s presence also enabled Washington to become an international stage, hosting the American debuts of the Bolshoi Opera and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, as well as the first-ever U.S. performances by Italy’s legendary La Scala opera company.

To read and learn more about the Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts, visit their website.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

 

 

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100 Years of The Theatre Guild

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We are so excited about this upcoming year, which marks the 100th Anniversary celebrations for The Theatre Guild. The Theatre Guild was started in 1919 in New York City by my (Philip) father, Lawrence Langner along with Philip Moeller, Helen Westley, Maurice Wertheim, Lee Simonson, and Theresa Helburn. Lawrence’s wife (Philip’s mother), Armina Marshall, served as a co-director.

As we head into the new year, we would like to remind you that January is the perfect time to renew your love of theatre and urge you, now that the holidays will be winding down, to find a show or musical that has piqued your interest and go see it!

But before we jump ahead, we also wanted to take a moment to tell you about a very special place that was created by our dear friend Ed Asner. As you will remember, in recent years Ed had been touring around the U.S. in our production of Dore Schary’s play, FDR. Ed has, along with his son, Matthew, and daughter-in-law, Navah, created The Ed Asner Family Center. This center was created as:

a one-stop shop for those with special needs and their families seeking wholeness in all attitudes of life. The Center will act as an oasis of balance and thought, of interaction and education. Most importantly, The Center will give children and adults of all levels of ability a chance at dignity, confidence, and self-respect. At The Ed Asner Family Center, we do not only cater to the needs of the special child. We aim to enroll the complete family and help them meet the challenges they face with grace.

If you are looking to make a charitable contribution this holiday season, we ask you to please consider this inspiring and wonderful place that is truly making a difference in people’s lives. To read more about The Ed Asner Family Center, learn about the programs and services they offer, or make a donation, please visit their website at http://edasnerfamilycenter.org/

Best wishes for a Happy 2019!
Philip and Marilyn

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