Category Archives: Plays

Happy New Year!

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year!

We hope this finds you well and staying warm (especially those on the East Coast who are dealing with our Cyclone Bomb of ice and snow)!

Today we are recommending January as a great time to go to the theatre. Everything is winding down from the holidays—and there are many empty seats for the wonderful shows and musicals now playing.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous new year filled with lots of great theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

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Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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It is such a wonderful time of the year. Last week, we shared the story of Dusty and Katie. It shows that the Theatre Development Fund—through theatre—can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. As you finish up your holiday shopping and—especially if you have a few more people on your list to shop for—do consider giving them a membership in the Theatre Development Fund. And while you’re getting one for them—get one for yourself! To become a member, click here!

Here are three great reasons to join:

  1. Tickets cost only $9-$47!  Save up to 70% on hundreds of theatre, dance and music shows daily.
  2. Buy tickets online in advance! Purchase discounted tickets days, and sometimes weeks, in advance right from the comfort of your computer.
  3. Give back! Your membership (along with every discounted ticket you buy) supports TDF’s many far-reaching arts education and theatre accessibility programs.

And if you’re thinking “I can’t join—I don’t’ work in the theatre industry” then we have GREAT! news for you: you don’t have to be! Here is the full list of those who are eligible:

  • Full-time students (high school or above)
  • Full-time teachers (primary or junior high school faculty, high school faculty, university or college faculty, teachers of drama/dance/music)
  • Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)
  • Full-time union members
  • Retirees (no longer working and at least 62 years of age or older)
  • Full-time government employees/civil servants
  • Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time hourly workers – 40 hours a week – who are eligible for overtime pay)
  • Full-time arts professionals
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Freelancers
  • Full-time clergy

Don’t miss out on the theatre—don’t miss out on joining TDF!

Happy holidays to you and yours!
Philip and Marilyn

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Theatre Development Fund

WHAT A THEATRE STORY! 

Dear Friends,

We have shared with you how fabulous the Theatre Development Fund is in providing affordable theatre tickets and today we wanted to show why this is important.  We received the following email from a mother, who shared her story about why the theatre is so important to her and her son.

Being life-long devotees of the theatre, we have always known how wonderful it is—but it is so incredible to hear how it can influence other people’s lives.  We ask that if you are looking for a charity to share with this holiday season, that you consider giving to the TDF—so they can continue all of their wonderful work!

December 04, 2017

Dear Philip,

I’m writing to you today as a mother. My son Dusty is 20 years old and severely autistic. He is ‘low verbal’ — he has a few words but is not conversational. Both Dusty and I love Broadway. When I took him to his first show we were asked to leave by an usher because of Dusty’s quiet scripting — ‘self-talk’. I had to drag Dusty out of the theatre. He was screaming ‘Stay Stay.’ That feeling of rejection was profoundly isolating.

Years later, Dusty and I mustered our courage and returned to Broadway for the inaugural TDF Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. I sobbed through the opening watching the joy in Dusty’s face during ‘The Circle of Life’. Since then, Dusty has seen over 15 Broadway shows, thanks to TDF. No one has ever asked us to leave.

Last February I got up the nerve to take Dusty to a regular, non-autism friendly performance of Wicked. As Glinda sang, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He had never done anything like that before. That is the power of theatre.

I hope you will join me in supporting TDF.

Best,
Katie Sweeney
New York, NY

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To make your tax-deductible donation to the Theatre Development Fund, click here.

Happy Marvelous Theatre!
Philip and Marilyn

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Giving Thanks.

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Dear Friends,

This being Thanksgiving week, we are thinking about thanks in the theatre world.

We always felt that the theatre would suffer—and perhaps come to an end—because it is not a mass-production enterprise.  Therefore, it cannot equal automobiles, electric lights, and all sorts of items in our daily lives that are mass-produced by machines.

We have previously told you that in 1943, when we brought Oklahoma! to Broadway, Orchestra tickets were $5.75 each, the equivalent to $81.53 today.  Since currently  Broadway musical tickets are averaging $125.00, it is clear that ticket prices have gone up faster than inflation—although only somewhat faster!

The good news is that all 40 Broadway theatres currently have plays running or will be opening new plays this Spring.  This make us very happy because the fact that plays are not mass-produced has not yet ended the theatre!

We are happy and giving thanks this week to all of those who work hard to make the theatre the success that it continues to be!

Best regards and Happy Thanksgiving!
Philip and Marilyn

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The Iceman Cometh Back To Broadway

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing to you about Eugene O’Neill’s play The Iceman Cometh, which will be returning to Broadway this spring starring Tony and Academy award winner Denzel Washington!!
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Having originally produced this play on Broadway, we are so very excited that it is coming back–and with such a wonderful actor playing the lead!  This is one of O’Neill’s greatest plays and we remember having it here in New York—an unbelievable evening!

It  has also reminded us about the other Eugene O’Neill plays that The Theatre Guild produced in New York in the 1920s-1950s.  They were:

  • Marco’s Millions
  • Strange Interlude
  • Dynamo
  • Mourning Becomes Electra
  • Ah, Wilderness!
  • Days Without End

In addition, The Guild had a very personal relationship with O’Neill and helped him in other aspects of his life.

Nowadays, it is very difficult to mount serious plays and we salute the theatres, like the Roundabout and the Jacobs Theatre, that are making an effort to keep these plays going!

The Iceman Cometh opens April 26, 2018, with previews starting on March 22nd.  It will be playing at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre.  To read more or purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

We believe this will be the greatest play of this season!

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More Off-Broadway

Dear Friends,

We wanted to share with you another comedy appearing Off-Broadway this fall.

It is School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, which is a story of teenage girls in Ghana.

It is “buoyant and biting comedy [that] explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe.”  It is written by Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Tony Awarding Winner Rebecca Taichman.

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School Girls will be playing November 02-December 10, 2017 at the MCC Theatre MCC (at The Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher St, New York, NY 10014).  Click here to read more and purchase tickets.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Indecent on Broadway

Dear Friends,

In continuing our Summer Series, this week’s recommendation is Indecent.

Indecent, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel, is based on the real-life events surrounding the 1923 Broadway debut of God of Vengence by Sholem Asch.  It is directed by Rebecca Taichman, who won a Tony Award for Best Director and is currently playing at the Cort Theatre with extended performances until August 6th.

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Charles Isherwood of the New York Times calls the play a “superbly realized production…[and] sheds an eye-opening light on a little-known time when theatrical history, Jewish culture and the frank depiction of homosexuality intersected, with explosive results.”  You can read the full review here.

Don’t miss this powerful and wonderful play—click here to purchase tickets!

Best regards,
Philp 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.”
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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.

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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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Addendum

Hello Friends!

We received a lot of comments and interest about yesterday’s newsletter regarding finding less expensive tickets to Broadway shows.

We wanted to follow up with a bit more advice to help you on your search.

When you are looking, the best days for tickets (in terms of availability) are Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and Wednesday matinees. 

These days will increase your chances of getting less expensive tickets.  In terms of availability if you are purchasing them via discounted websites, and also for increased chances for Rush tickets or being selected for Lottery tickets.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

PS—if you haven’t read yesterday’s post, click here to read it.

 

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