Category Archives: Everything Else

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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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:

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

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A Day That Shall Live in Infamy

Dear Friends,

December 07, 1941–the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor–is a day we won’t forget.

I was standing outside a building in Connecticut when I heard the news. It seemed so incredible at the time that the Japanese would send out their kamikaze pilots to kill thousands of sailors and civilians alike.

pearl harbor

photo courtesy of msn.com

That was 77 years ago today.

I am sure many of you have been to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu and visited the memorial there—it is such an emotional experience.

We can all be thankful that we are not in a war at the present time. Let us pray that we remain at peace and be grateful for the brave men and women who lost their lives that fateful day.

Best regards,
Philip 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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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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Summer Update

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and enjoying your summer! We cannot believe how quickly it has passed by—but here we are in mid-August and we wanted to share with you a few updates.

Our new play Adoption Roulette, which we are featuring for our Centennial Celebrations next year, will be having readings in Connecticut in the next few weeks. We are so excited that there has been so much interest and support in this important play about a Connecticut couple trying to adopt a child in Russia. It is good, and we cannot wait to move it forward! In addition to readings, we are actively looking for an actress to play the main character. More details as things progress.

In other news, it’s that time of the year when we pack it up and head down the coast with our family for a bit of r&r before our granddaughters go back to school. During this time, we’ll take the opportunity to resend some past Newsletters of interest.

That’s the news from here!

Happy summer!
Philip & Marilyn

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A True American Hero

Dear Friends,

We have a big event to discuss with you today. It concerns whom we are calling America’s Hero of the Century: Senator John McCain.

He spent over 5 years in a POW camp in North Vietnam (and we’re still wondering how in God’s name could we have gone to war with a country 10,000 miles away that no one ever heard of and managed to kill over 58,000 of our soldiers!?!)

In today’s political climate, it is something we should take to heart. And one of the things that Senator McCain is known for is standing up to whomever he feels is wronging the people of America, whether it be short-sighted presidents or dissidents in the US Senate, even if they are in the same party!

Through it all, Senator McCain refuses to give up on the American people and works tirelessly for them, which is why we consider him to be THE AMERICAN HERO OF THE CENTURY.

We are writing to you today because he has just published a new book –- his memoirs, which we urge you to read.

To order his book from Amazon, click on the picture below:

john mccain book

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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