Category Archives: Acting

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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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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A Doll’s House, Part 2

Dear Friends,

As you may remember from last week we kicked off our Summer Series, where we would take a bit of time each week to highlight a show currently on Broadway that we think you should see.  Some are plays, some are musicals—but they all are fantastic!
This week’s selection is A Doll’s House, Part 2.  It is a sequel, written by Lucas Hnath, to Henry Ibsen’s 1879 classic A Doll’s House and is the story of Nora coming home.  Laurie Metcalf won her first Tony Award for her performance as Nora, opposite of Chris Cooper.  Ben Brantley of the New York Times called A Doll’s House, Part 2 “smart, funny, and totally engrossing.”
dolls house
While originally we were going to save discussing this fantastic play for later in the summer, it was just announced that new casting will begin on July 25th.  So, if you would like to see Laurie Metcalf in her Tony Award winning performance, as well as Chris Cooper and Condola Rashad, you only have until July 23rd!

Don’t miss out on this amazing performance!  Buy your tickets and read more about the play here.

Best regards,
Philp and Marilyn

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Summer Series Intro + Oslo

Dear Friends,

We hope that you had a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July!

What better way to keep cool this summer than to go see a show?  We thought we would take a bit of time each week to highlight a show currently on Broadway that we think you should see.  Some are plays, some are musicals—but they all are fantastic!

We decided to start with the best–The Best Play, that is.  Winner of the Tony for Best Play,  Oslo tells the true story of the pathway to peace of 1993 Oslo Accords.  The play centers around Norwegian diplomat Mona Juul and her husband, Terje Rød-Larsen, who helped orchestrate the highly secretive peace negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat.

oslo

In addition to winning a Tony for Best Play, Michael Aronov won a Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play.

If you haven’t seen this yet, we urge you to go soon, as it will be closing on July 16th.  It is showing at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre at Lincoln center.  To purchase tickets, click here.

According to the New York Times review:

This rich drama of quixotic politics fills to the bursting point its capacious new home at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Staged (and admired) last summer at the Lincoln Center Theater’s smaller downstairs space, the Mitzi E. Newhouse, “Oslo” has now become the colossus it was always meant to be, while giving an even sharper focus to the urgent behind-the-scenes intimacy at its fast-beating heart.

You can read the full review here.

Best regards,
Philp and Marilyn

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Only One More Day…

Dear Friends,

We hope that you are enjoying your weekend.  We just wanted to take a moment to remind you about the Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, tomorrow night (Sunday).

They will be aired on CBS, starting at 8pm Eastern Time.
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We’ve listed the main nominees in our Newsletter a couple of weeks ago (click here to read!) or you can click here to see all the nominees.

We can’t wait!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Tony Awards!

Dear Friends,

In just a few short weeks will be the night that Broadway lives for:

The Tony Awards

This year will be hosted by Kevin Spacey and we cannot wait!  It will be aired on Sunday, June 11th at 8pm Eastern Standard time on CBS.

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Here are the top nominees in plays and musicals this year (click on the shows to see their websites):

Best Play 
A Doll’s House, Part 2 by Lucas Hnath
Indecent by Paula Vogel
Oslo by J.T. Rogers
Sweat by Lynn Nottage

Best Musical
Come From Away  
Dear Evan Hansen 
Groundhog Day The Musical 
Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play 
Denis Arndt, Heisenberg 
Chris Cooper, A Doll’s House, Part 2 
Corey Hawkins, John Guare’s Six Degrees of Separation 
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter 
Jefferson Mays, Oslo 

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play 
Cate Blanchett, The Present 
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo 
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie 
Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes 
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2 

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical 
Christian Borle, Falsettos 
Josh Groban, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day The Musical 
David Hyde Pierce, Hello, Dolly! 
Ben Platt, Dear Evan Hansen

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical 
Denée Benton, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 
Christine Ebersole, War Paint 
Patti LuPone, War Paint 
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly! 
Eva Noblezada, Miss Saigon 

It appears Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 lead the nominations with 12, followed closely by Hello Dolly! with 10 nominations and Dear Evan Hansen with 9 nominations.  For more nominees and to read more about this year’s Tony Awards, click here!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Terms

Dear Friends,

Last week on television, film maker Michael Moore announced a marvelous happening—he is coming to Broadway with his play, The Terms of My Surrender.  According to Moore:

it’s a humorous comedy about a country that just elected a madman as president.

The play, which Moore says is “simultaneously entertaining and infuriating,” will run for 12 weeks at the Belasco Theatre, with previews starting July 28th. To purchase tickets click here.
terms of surrender
We think this is brilliant and cannot wait to go see it!  As we have said in a few past articles (Power of Theatre and President Trump), we believe one of theatre’s biggest responsibilities is to speak out about the political culture of our time.

Thank you Michael Moore—we know that it will be a huge success!

And before we go, we’d like to leave you with a great quote from Arthur Miller:
arthur-miller
Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner
The Theatre Guild

PS—to read more about this play, you can click here to see an article from the New York Times.

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Memories On The Small Screen

Dear Friends,

Last Saturday a film we produced played on NBC.  It was Judgement at Nuremberg, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Maximilian Schell, Montgomery Clift, and Werner Klemperer.

Judgement at Nuremberg

We enjoyed it so much—it was so filled with the author, Abby Mann’s screenplay.  And, despite being thought of as too “intellectual and thoughtful,” it was one of our greatest successes! We just love the story about how the film came together and decided to re-share our story with you today (we originally posted the story below November 2014).

KATHARINE HEPBURN’S UNKNOWN TRIUMPH! 

In 1960, a teleplay was performed on Playhouse 90. The program was called Judgment at Nuremburg, which was a somber and serious piece.
Philip Langner of The Theatre Guild, Inc. received a script “over the transom”—as they say about unknown scripts. The Guild directors liked the script and “knowing” its virtual impossibility as a film, decided—with the author’s agreement—to have a play written and to produce it on Broadway.

At the time, Katharine Hepburn was playing Antony & Cleopatra at the Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT (created by Lawrence Langner). On a very remote possibility, Philip and the author, Abby Mann, drove to Stratford on a matinee day to see Kate.  After the matinee, they went to her cottage.  She opened the door and Philip said politely “Kate, you have a lovely suntan!”  Kate said with her typical Locust Valley lockjaw accent—“That’s not a suntan, those are spots!” Looking back, Philip always wondered if he should have replied, “well, they do look wonderful on you!”

Kate agreed to look at the t.v. production, which she did at The Theatre Guild building on 53rd Street. She liked the teleplay enormously and decided to work diligently to make it into a film.

She sent the play to Spencer Tracy and she succeeded! Tracy sent it to Hollywood producer, Stanley Kramer, who produced it in 1961 with the most incredible cast for such a serious—and therefore risky—film.  Kramer persuaded all 9 film stars to take modest salaries.  The film was released in 1961.

Kramer was the Producer, Philip Langner the Associate Producer, and Abby Mann was the Screenwriter. The incredible cast included:

  • Spencer Tracy
  • Richard Widmark
  • Burt Lancaster
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Max Schell
  • Montgomery Clift
  • Judy Garland
  • William Shatner
  • Warner Klemperer

Thus, one of the Great War films of all time was created.

And who got it done? Katharine Hepburn.

AND WHO WAS NEVER TOLD ABOUT HER TRIUMPH? The World. 

Judgment at Nuremburg was nominated for 11 Academy awards, winning 2 for Best Actor (Schell) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Mann). The film was recently entered into the Library of Congress National Film Registry.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

PS—The discussion in this film on the subject of war is so important, and of course, it is wildly pertinent in today’s world with North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Yemen all hoping(?) for some war excitement.

And also: we bought a DVD of Judgement at Nuremberg at Amazon, which is currently for on sale for $12.00.  To order your copy, click here.

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Classic Movies on the Small Screen

Dear Friends,

Today we want to write to you about a lovely happening brought to us by our daughter.

I am speaking about the films that are available every day on Turner Classic Movies (here in New York, it’s Channel 82).

We have been going about our business for years, only really watching PBS and a handful of news stations, but we never seem to branch out and explore other channels.  Finally, our daughter “made us” turn to Channel 82 and we have been extremely enthusiastic ever since!

TCM actors

The best thing about TCM is that they play movies you’d never get to see normally and when you watch them, you realize that you are getting to watch the best movies that were made between 1930-1950!

Many of these films are absolutely wonderful!  In analyzing them, we find that they are very much like Broadway plays.  Back then, movies had not gone into space or battled aliens or imaginary characters—they simply had the feel of the stage, however, you were just viewing them on the big (and now small) screen!

It is so interesting to watch great stars like Bette Davis or Joan Crawford just by changing the channel.  We love this era of movies, where everyone spoke so passionately about life!

The next time you find yourself in front of the television, do turn it on to Turner Classic Movies—you never know what you’re going to find! For example, last night’s line-up was The Good Earth (1933), a wonderful film adaptation of the novel by Pearl S. Buck.  That was followed by the entertaining musical Gold Diggers (1933) starring Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell.  After that was a favorite of ours, Holiday, starring Carey Grant and Katharine Hepburn.  All around, it was an entertaining evening!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

PS—speaking of Bette and Joan, the FX series Feuds: Bette and Joan, starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, only has only weeks left—don’t miss out!  Sundays at 10pm (Eastern Standard Time) on the FX channel.

feud poster

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Great Actresses on Broadway

Dear Friends,

Today we are coming back to a subject that we’ve discussed previously—namely the bravura performance of Glenn Close in her Broadway play, Sunset Boulevard.

In years past, great actresses would play on Broadway every year, sometimes in a new play and sometime in an old one.

We are thinking of acting greats, such as Helen Hayes and Lynn Fontanne (who performed for The Theatre Guild in 19 plays over her career!).

Each year we would ask ourselves “which play is Helen Hayes in this year?” and then we would go see that play.  This seems almost directly opposite to modern times when we ask which is the most popular play showing on Broadway this season.

So it is in this spirit of focusing on the great stars that we urge you to see one of our greatest actresses, Glenn Close, in Sunset Boulevard, which is currently running on Broadway only until June 25th.

glenn-close

That is only 12 more weeks!  We are urging you to not miss out on seeing her amazing performance!

Click here for tickets while they last!  Or call the Palace Theatre 212/730-8200.

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