Category Archives: Musicals

An American In Paris

Dear Friends,

Last night we rewatched one of our favorite musicals—An American in Paris—and if you haven’t seen in the 1951 movie starring Gene Kelly, we urge you to watch it as soon as possible!

Like most of Kelly’s movies, this one is filled with wonderful songs and fantastically choreographed dance sequences. Of course, we loved it the first time we saw it many, many years ago–and we weren’t the only ones!

AAIP

After digging through the archives, we found an original review from Variety, where they called An American in Paris

one of the most imaginative musical confections turned out by Hollywood in years, spotlighting Gene Kelly, Oscar Levant, Nina Foch, and a pair of bright newcomers (Leslie Caron and Georges Guetary) against a cavalcade of George and Ira Gershwin’s music.

You can read the full review by clicking here or on the photo above.

It swept the 1951 Academy Awards, winning Best Picture, Story & Screenplay, Color Cinematography, Color Art Direction, Score for a Musical Picture, Color Costume Design. And personally speaking, we think it’s the best film of all!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Tonys

Dear Friends,

Just a quick reminder that this Sunday evening will be the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. They will be held at Radio City Music Hall here in New York City and televised on CBS starting at 8:00pm (Eastern Time).

The Tonys are always such a wonderful show—and this year should be no exception, as the talented and always wonderful James Corden is returning as host of the evening’s festivities.

Tonys Corden

With so many wonderful plays and musicals currently running, the field is packed with a lot of different favorites, including a revival of Oklahoma! (originally commissioned and produced by The Theatre Guild), which earned 8 nominations.

We certainly have our favorites whom we hope will win. How about you? To read more about the nominees visit the Tony’s website https://www.tonyawards.com/

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The 100 Best

Dear Friends,

As we have shared with you numerous times, we are huge fans of watching movies—particularly of tuning in to Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and watching their great line-up!

This year in an effort to make sure we haven’t missed any of the great ones, we consulted the American Film Institute (AFI), who have an on-going list of the Top 100 Movies of All Time.

Throughout the years we have seen many of them, but not all. Therefore, we’ve decided to rectify this and have started working our way through the list below.  For example, recently we’ve seen The Philadelphia Story and It Happened One Night.

AFI’s TOP 100 MOVIES OF ALL TIME

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)
2. THE GODFATHER (1972)
3. CASABLANCA (1942)
4. RAGING BULL (1980)
5. SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952)
6. GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
7. LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
8. SCHINDLER’S LIST (1993)
9. VERTIGO (1958)
10. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
11. CITY LIGHTS (1931)
12. THE SEARCHERS (1956)
13. STAR WARS (1977)
14. PSYCHO (1960)
15. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
16. SUNSET BLVD. (1950)
17. THE GRADUATE (1967)
18. THE GENERAL (1927)
19. ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
20. IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
21. CHINATOWN (1974)
22. SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
23. THE GRAPES OF WRATH (1940)
24. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
25. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
26. MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
27. HIGH NOON (1952)
28. ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
29. DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)
30. APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
31. THE MALTESE FALCON (1941)
32. THE GODFATHER PART II (1974)
33. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)
34. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
35. ANNIE HALL (1977)
36. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957)
37. THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
38. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
39. DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
40. THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)
41. KING KONG (1933)
42. BONNIE AND CLYDE (1967)
43. MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
44. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940)
45. SHANE (1953)
46. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
47. A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)
48. REAR WINDOW (1954)
49. INTOLERANCE (1916)
50. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
51. WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
52. TAXI DRIVER (1976)
53. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
54. M*A*S*H (1970)
55. NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
56. JAWS (1975)
57. ROCKY (1976)
58. THE GOLD RUSH (1925)
59. NASHVILLE (1975)
60. DUCK SOUP (1933)
61. SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941)
62. AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
63. CABARET (1972)
64. NETWORK (1976)
65. THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951)
66. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
67. WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1966)
68. UNFORGIVEN (1992)
69. TOOTSIE (1982)
70. A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (1971)
71. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998)
72. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994)
73. BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
74. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)
75. IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (1967)
76. FORREST GUMP (1994)
77. ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN (1976)
78. MODERN TIMES (1936)
79. THE WILD BUNCH (1969)
80. THE APARTMENT (1960)
81. SPARTACUS (1960)
82. SUNRISE (1927)
83. TITANIC (1997)
84. EASY RIDER (1969)
85. A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (1935)
86. PLATOON (1986)
87. 12 ANGRY MEN (1957)
88. BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
89. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
90. SWING TIME (1936)
91. SOPHIE’S CHOICE (1982)
92. GOODFELLAS (1990)
93. THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971)
94. PULP FICTION (1994)
95. THE LAST PICTURE SHOW (1971)
96. DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
97. BLADE RUNNER (1982)
98. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
99. TOY STORY (1995)
100. BEN-HUR (1959)

How many have you seen?

Regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Oh What A Beautiful Opening!

Dear Friends,

The Theatre Guild was founded in New York City in 1919 by my (Philip) father Lawrence Langner, Philip Moeller, Helen Westley, Maurice Wertheim, Lee Simonson, and Theresa Helburn. My (Philip) mother, Armina Marshall served as a co-director. The Theatre Guild evolved out of the work of the Washington Square Players and departed from the usual theatre practice in that its board of directors shared the responsibility for choice of plays, management, and production and is known for the production of high-quality, noncommercial American and foreign plays. Our first production was the play “Bonds of Interest”, which opened April 14, 1919 at the Garrick Theatre.

Since last week marked our 100th Anniversary, we found it fitting that a revival of our most successful musical, Oklahoma!, opened to rave reviews. This production, directed by Daniel Fish, was originally developed, produced, and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

oklahoma

Ben Brantley of the New York Times writes:

How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway in 2019 is a 1943 musical usually regarded as a very square slice of American pie? The answer arrives before the first song is over in Daniel Fish’s wide-awake, jolting and altogether wonderful production of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!,” which opened on Sunday night at the Circle in the Square Theater.

To read the full review, click here.
Oklahoma! is playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre. To buy tickets, click here or on the picture above.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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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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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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Oklahoma….OK!

Dear Friends,

Big things are happening next year!

In additional to our 100th Anniversary, we are so excited that our beloved Oklahoma! –the biggest hit we ever produced—is returning to Broadway! This will be the sixth time since we opened the musical at the St. James Theatre in 1943 that it has appeared on Broadway.

oklahoma

Previews will begin March 19, 2019 and it will open April 7th at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street). It will be a limited run, closing on September 01, 2019.

Tickets are not currently available, but will be released January 05, 2019.  Click on the picture above for more information.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

PS–if you’re interested in reading more about Oklahoma!‘s history, here are a handful of our posts over the years:

  1. Oklahoma!
  2. A Match Made In Music
  3. Green Grow The Lilacs
  4. The Lift of a Lifetime
  5. Broadway Hit!

 

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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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A Jewish Legacy

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you today a wonderful DVD by PBS—Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy.

We saw it when PBS first aired it and we liked it so much we bought our own copy so that we could continue to enjoy this amazing show.

This program “examines the unique role of Jewish composers and lyricists in the creation of the modern American musical. The film showcases the work of legends such as Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, George and Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.” It  includes performances by Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Barbra Streisand, Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, and many more!

Don’t miss out—you can order your copy from PBS today! The cost is only $29.99, and you can get it by clicking on this link or on the picture below.

broadway PBS

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

 

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Don’t Forget!

Dear Friends,

One last reminder that The Tony Awards will be this Sunday, June 10th. They will be hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban and will be aired on CBS starting at 8pm Eastern Time.

Here is a list for those who are up for the top awards:
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Garfield, Angels in America
Tom Hollander, Travesties
Jamie Parker, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Mark Rylance, Farinelli and The King
Denzel Washington, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Glenda Jackson, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Condola Rashad, Saint Joan
Lauren Ridloff, Children of a Lesser God
Amy Schumer, Meteor Shower

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Harry Hadden-Paton, My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Tony Shalhoub, The Band’s Visit
Ethan Slater, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Lauren Ambrose, My Fair Lady
Hailey Kilgore, Once On This Island
LaChanze, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Katrina Lenk, The Band’s Visit
Taylor Louderman, Mean Girls
Jessie Mueller, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Anthony Boyle, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Michael Cera, Lobby Hero
Brian Tyree Henry, Lobby Hero
Nathan Lane, Angels in America
David Morse, Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Susan Brown, Angels in America
Noma Dumezweni, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Deborah Findlay, The Children
Denise Gough, Angels in America
Laurie Metcalf, Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Norbert Leo Butz, My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Grey Henson, Mean Girls
Gavin Lee, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical
Ari’el Stachel, The Band’s Visit

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Ariana DeBose, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical
Renée Fleming, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Lindsay Mendez, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel
Ashley Park, Mean Girls
Diana Rigg, My Fair Lady

Best Play
The Children
Farinelli and The King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two
Junk
Latin History for Morons

Best Musical
The Band’s Visit
Frozen
Mean Girls
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical

Best Revival of a Play
Angels in America
Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women
Eugene O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh
Lobby Hero
Travesties

Best Revival of a Musical
My Fair Lady
Once On This Island
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel

Of course, we have our favorites like we’re sure that you do as well. Who will win? We just can’t wait to find out!

For more information, click here.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

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