Category Archives: Productions

Final Chance!

Dear Friends,

Just a reminder that Prince of Broadway will be closing its limited run in only 12 more performances–with its final performance on 10/29/2017!

It showcases the life and times of our dear family friend, Harold Prince, including some of his greatest productions, like:

West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret, Evita, Company, Follies, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd, and The Phantom of the Opera to name a few!

You definitely do not want to miss out on this spectacular show!  Click here for your last chance at tickets!
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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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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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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.

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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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Marry Harry

Dear Friends,

We are writing today with some exciting news!

A delightful musical, Marry Harry, will be coming to the York Theatre April 25-May 21.

marry harry fullIt is a romantic comedy about love and family in the East Village and “Marry Harry cooks up ideas of family loyalty, marriage, love, and food with a side of humor, heart, and just the right amount of spice.”  It is written by our friend, Jennifer Robbins.

We think it’s a wonderful way to spend the evening—a fun musical with a superb cast and a lot of laughing!

You can click here to read more about it and buy your tickets or call the theatre directly 212/935-5824.

And the York is currently offering a special price on tickets $39.50 (April 25-May 3) using the promo code MARRY39 and $56.00 (May 5-23) using the promo code MARRY56!

york marry harry

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Close on Broadway!

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing to tell you about a thrilling–possibly the most thrilling–thing that happens in the theatre:

It is very occasionally getting to see great actors/actresses perform live.

New York now has, gloriously, that chance, as Glenn Close–one of the world’s greatest actresses–is currently starring in Sunset Boulevard at the Palace Theatre.

This is a wonderful opportunity to see this phenomenal actress perform.  Sunset Boulevard is playing now through May 28th.

glenn-close

Click on the picture for show times and to purchase tickets.

Enjoy!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Best Play!

Dear Friends,

We are very excited to announce some wonderful news about our latest play, Me & Jezebel by Elizabeth Fuller:

BroadwayWorld—with a record number of voters from 75 regions worldwide—has just posted 2016 Long Island winners and Me & Jezebel won Best Play!

broadwayworld

Me & Jezebel is a delightful play written by Elizabeth Fuller based on the month that Bette Davis stayed with Fuller’s family at their Westport, CT house.

Congrats to everyone—especially Liz, who wrote such a brilliant play inspired by Bette herself!

And if you are interested in bringing this fantastic play to your theatre, please contact us.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Jezebel on Tour

Dear Friends,

We are writing you today about our play, Me & Jezebel—which we have been touring for two years—starring Loretta Swit.

Me & Jezebel, an off-Broadway hit, is a hysterical real-life comedy written by Elizabeth Fuller about a time when Bette Davis came to Westport, CT for a two-day visit and stayed for well over a month!

“The Bette-Davis-in-her-70s look is just right: the too-perfect pageboy, the oversize glasses, the Chanel (or at least Chanel-like) suit and is great fun to watch in Elizabeth’s Fuller’s “Me and Jezebel,” adapted from her memoir”—New York Times

We are happy to report that Loretta has a few dates open in 2017 so if any theatre owners/managers reading this newsletter are interested in booking this wonderful comedy in your theatre, please call us!

212/873-0676

jezebel

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Prince of Broadway

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Today we received a check from Fiddler on the Roof, one of many hit plays produced by famed Broadway producer, Harold Prince.

We invested in Fiddler in 1964 and to date, it has earned profits of more than $15 million over the last 50 years!  Our profits are more than 30 times our initial investment over this time period!

Every check that we receive makes us very happy—and we strongly urge you to consider play investing as a way to expand your theatre pleasure.  While there are risks and certainly no guarantees for a hit, we feel that investing in plays and musicals is a great way to support the arts and your community and is very much an enjoyable investment when you pick a hit!

If you would like to learn more about play investing, we suggest that you contact The Broadway League—the governing body of Broadway plays.

The other thing that came to mind when we received our check is that Harold Prince is now producing a new play on Broadway—Prince of Broadway, which is a tribute to his glorious 60 year career.  Prince of Broadway is set to open in August 2017 and it “examines the circumstances and fortune, both good and bad, that led him to creating some of the most beloved theater of all time.”

In addition to Fiddler on the Roof, some of Harold’s many productions include:

Damn Yankees

West Side Story

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Sweeney Todd

Evita

The Phantom of the Opera

Cabaret

Follies

A Little Night Music

Show Boat

hal-prince

WOW!

We are sure that Prince will be an event to remember and cannot wait to see it!

Happy New Year and Happy Theatre!

Philip and Marilyn Langner

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President Trump: Theatre Muse?

Dear Friends,

We are thinking about the effect of the Trump election on our American theatre.

As we all know, the theatre is an important and powerful mechanism to react to current political environment.  As an example, we think a big reason Hamilton has resonated with so many people right now is the current political climate, and the unrest that parallels the unrest that Hamilton saw.  Furthermore—and even more directly—there have been a resurgence of WWII plays resurrected around New York City in the months leading up to this election.

These plays included a couple of versions of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui by playwright Bertolt Brecht and The Drumf and the Rhinegold by Wagner.  You can read more about these in the New York Times (link to full article).

trump-plays

There is no doubt that this is a great time for playwrights to be writing and theatres to be presenting even more plays about the political scene in a more dramatic fashion than newspapers (of course, newspapers are wonderful).

We have always thought of theatre and films as a great means of communicating about the political events of the era.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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