Category Archives: Productions

2019 Season at the Playhouse

Dear Friends,

If you’re looking for something cool to do to escape this awful heatwave we are having, we’d like to recommend you look at your local theatre for some great summer theatre!
Of course, having run The Westport Playhouse for years, it is always our go-to for summer theatre.

Below is the list of plays in production this season, along with a short summary (which we pulled from their website).

Hershey Felder as IRVING BERLIN
July 16 – August 3, 2019
From Czarist Russia to New York’s Lower East Side to Broadway, Irving Berlin’s uplifting immigrant story epitomizes the American Dream. His songs captured our hearts. Featuring Berlin’s most popular standards including the Great American Songbook classics “Blue Skies,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “White Christmas,” and more, Felder’s one-man show celebrates Irving Berlin, the composer, and reveals the inspiration for Berlin’s countless hit songs.

MLIMA’S TALE
October 1 – 19, 2019
Mlima’s Tale is a powerful, theatrical fable about a magnificent and beloved Kenyan elephant named Mlima hunted for his coveted ivory tusks. As traffickers maneuver the illicit ivory market, the animal’s invincible spirit follows their path of desire, greed, crime, and corruption.

DON JUAN
November 5 – 23, 2019
Meet the legendary Don Juan as you’ve never seen him in this darkly comic take on a classic tale. Wherever he goes, the notorious seducer and antihero leaves behind a trail of broken hearts and society scandals, relying on his trusty sidekick, Sganarelle, to clean up his unruly messes. When an unearthly visitor arrives, Don Juan may finally be forced to confront his wicked ways. Sex, politics, religion — nothing is sacred in Molière’s brilliant comedy.

For more information or to purchase tickets click here: https://www.westportplayhouse.org/

Enjoy!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Theatre Guild on the Air

Dear Friends,

In digging through our archives today, we were reminded that on this day—July 12th—a mere 58 years ago in 1961we released Watching Out for Dulie. It was adapted to television for our series, “The US Steel Hour,” by Arthur Heinemann from a novel by David Hestheimer and starred Larry Blyden, Shari Lewis, Patricia Cutts, and Lloyd Bochner.

In 1945, The Theatre Guild began broadcasting a radio program called The Theatre Guild on the Air in an effort to bring theatre into the homes of millions of radio listeners. After 8 years of presenting weekly plays on the radio, it was decided that an even better and further reaching medium for The Theatre Guild on the Air would be television.

The United States Steel Corporation came on board as sponsor to present “The US Steel Hour” every other week. Our show ran on NBC until its final performance in 1963, starring our beloved Theatre Guild favorites Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt.

While we were unable to locate Watching Out for Dulie for online viewing, UCLA—which houses part of The Theatre Guild archives, and is alma mater to Marilyn—has posted some of the episodes of “The US Steel Hour” on YouTube, which you can find here:

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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To Kill on Broadway

Dear Friends,

Great News! One of our favorites books has made it to Broadway!

To Kill A Mockingbird is currently in previews and opens on December 13, 2018. It is adapted to the stage by the talented Aaron Sorkin, directed by Bartlett Sher, and stars Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch and LaTanya Richardson Jackson as Calpurnia. One of the biggest surprises in the cast is the decision to cast Scout and Jem as adults (played by Celia Keenan-Bolger and Will Pullen respectively) rather than children.

mockingbird

This is the first time To Kill A Mockingbird has been present in the theatre and you do not want to miss out on the amazing opportunity to see it. It is playing at the Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street) and you can purchase your tickets by clicking here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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3 Days Away!

Dear Friends,

We wanted to send you one last reminder that a reading of our new play, Adoption Roulette, will be performed at The Theatre for the New City (155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets) on October 08, 2018 at 7:00pm.

To read more about Adoption Roulette—the true story of Elizabeth Fuller’s experience adopting a child from Russia, our wonderful performers, and The Theatre for the New City, click here.

Tickets for the reading are $5 suggested donation at the box office. The Monday, October 8th performance starts at 7pm, but the theatre suggests arriving between 6:00-6:30pm.

We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Adoption Update

Dear Friends,

We are excited to announce that our reading of Adoption Roulette at The Theatre for the New City (155 First Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets) on October 08, 2018 at 7:00pm will star both the actors/writers, Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig, and our new star, Sachi Parker, acclaimed theatre and film actress and only child of show biz icon Shirley MacLaine.

 

Sachi Parker began her film career working with director Burt Reynolds on the film Stick. Other notable films include Back To The Future, Riders to The Sea, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Scrooged. Parker recently completed All Me, All The Time with Keir Dullea. Ms. Parker’s theatre work includes The Lulu Plays, My Cup Runneth Over, Pastorale, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, and The Three Sisters.

To read more about Adoption Roulette—the true story of Elizabeth Fuller’s experience adopting a child from Russia, our wonderful performers, and The Theatre for the New City, click here.

Tickets for the reading are $5 suggested donation at the box office. The Monday, October 8th performance starts at 7pm, but the theatre suggests arriving between 6:00-6:30pm.

We hope to see you there!

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Adoption Roulette

Dear Friends,

We cannot tell you what a spectacular evening we had this past Wednesday seeing the play Adoption Roulette at The Lambs.

You may remember from our Monday post that  we would be attending a reading of a new play—and it was just remarkable!

It was written and performed by Elizabeth Fuller and Joel Vig and is the true-life story of Elizabeth and her husband trying to adopt a child from Russia. They soon find themselves trapped in a story which has all the elements of a Hitchcock thriller set in Siberia.

And we must tell you, the entire audience was spell-bound and glued to their seats. So much so that when the performance was over, no one moved, and everyone had questions!

It was such a wonderful happening and we couldn’t be more thrilled that we hope to present it soon in other theatres.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

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Staged Reading

Dear Friends,

We are excited about a reading of the play that we told you about last week, now called Adoptrivat.

The reading will be this Wednesday (two days from now) at The Lambs Foundation (3 W. 51st Street in Manhattan) at 7pm.

It is a small theatre, so seating is very limited—but there may still be a few seats left.

If you are interested in attending, you can call The Lambs Foundation 212/586-0306 or email them at RSVP@The-Lambs.org to inquire about seats.

We will be writing again soon.

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

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Children of a Lesser God

Dear Friends,

There is always a risk in producing theatre. Sometimes the stars align and you have a hit on your hand that still pays after 40 years. Other times, the fates are fickle and you lose what literally feels like the shirt off your back.

This happened to us in 1958, when one of our Broadway plays lost a whopping $15,000! I can tell you that we went through all the stages of grief when that happened! So we can completely understand the sense of loss and shock the producers of the revival of Children of A Lesser God must be going through right now.

However more shocking is the actual amount of money that will be lost, $4.25 million (according to the New York Times). We cannot believe it—we were devastated with $15,000 (today’s equivalent is about $125,000)—but to lose over $4million is just unfathomable. Our hearts go out to Children of a Lesser God, but we speak from experience when we say, you just have to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. That, dear friends, is the only way to live this thing we call “ La Vida!”

children of a lesser

This revival of Children of a Lesser God by Mark Madoff stars Joshua Jackson and Lauren Ridloff, who was nominated for a Tony for her role. It is currently playing at the Studio 54 Theatre (254 W. 54th Street) and will be running until May 27th.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets—you definitely don’t want to miss out on a show that Jesse Green of the New York Times says is “fierce, crackling, passionate and profound. Lauren Ridloff gives a blistering, knockout debut performance. And I am awestruck by Joshua Jackson.” To read the full review, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Week in Review

Dear Friends,

It’s been a week full of excitement in the theatre!

As you may know, the Tony Award Nominations have been announced. We will be discussing these more in detail in the upcoming weeks leading up to the June 10th celebration, but in the meantime, you can find a list of all the nominees here.

Also, May kicks off the summer theatre season.  Just today we received a brochure from The Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY announcing their line-up. If you are going to be in the Sag Harbor area, you should definitely add seeing a show at this wonderful theatre to your list. Their performances are always brilliant!

Their season kicks off May 29th with the world-premiere of the play Fellow Travelers by Jack Canfora. It is set in Hollywood and explores the relationships between Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, and Elia Kazan.

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The rest of their summer line-up includes: Frost/Nixon, Confessions of A Mormon Boy, and Evita. To learn more or book tickets, click here.

If you’d like us to highlight your Summer Theatre, please email us theatguild@aol.com

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Carousel Has Opened!

Dear Friends,

As you may know, the revival of our musical Carousel opened this week on Broadway to great reviews.

Of course, we are not surprised. We (The Theatre Guild—at the time, Philip’s father, Lawrence and Theresa Helburn) urged and paid Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II to create a musical adaption Ferenc Molnár’s play, Liliom. It took multiple requests from Lawrence and Theresa, but Rodgers and Hammerstein II finally agreed and we opened Carousel on Broadway in 1945, and it has had several revivals since.

This revival has an all-star cast led by Joshua Henry, Renee Fleming, and Jessie Mueller, is directed by Jack O’Brien and is choreographed by Justin Peck.

According to his review in the New York Times, Ben Brantley observes that:

The tragic inevitability of “Carousel” has seldom come across as warmly or as chillingly as it does in this vividly reimagined revival. As directed by Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Justin Peck, with thoughtful and powerful performances by Mr. Henry and Ms. Mueller, the love story at the show’s center has never seemed quite as ill-starred or, at the same time, as sexy.

Carousel broadway

Carousel is playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Call the box office for tickets 212/239-6200 or click here to order online.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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