Category Archives: Productions

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.

bay street theatre.jpg

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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Spreading The Word of The Musical

Dear Friends,

As our Twitter followers know, last week we braved the cold, rainy New York weather and went to see one of the most popular shows on Broadway: The Book of Mormon.

We won lottery tickets and thought we’d take the opportunity to share our love of musicals with our granddaughters.book of mormon 2

The show was entertaining and kept the audience laughing throughout! Although I (Philip) do have to confess, of all the billions of ideas for a musical—I would have never imagined one about Mormon missionaries to Africa could be so successful!

As Ben Brantley from NY Times explains in his latest review:

But gosh darn it if I didn’t feel born again all over again, ready to spread the word about the faith that this show preaches and, more important, practices. I do not mean the religion of the followers of Joseph Smith, which is so scrupulously disassembled here, but the holy faith of musical comedy, into which my mama baptized me before I could walk.

You can read Mr. Brantley’s full interview here.

The Book of Mormon is currently showing at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre at 230 49th Street. To learn more and/or purchase tickets, click here.

We know that our granddaughters had a marvelous time and could not stop talking about it—so the evening was a success!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Match Made in Music

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing you about Carousel, which is coming back to Broadway with previews starting February 28th.

Carousel has a fascinating history.

In about 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!.
With the glorious success of Oklahoma!, The Guild wanted Richard and Oscar to write another musical. The Guild examined the previous 50-60 plays it had produced on Broadway. Ultimately, a play The Guild presented in 1922, Liliom by famed Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár, was chosen.

The musical, now called Carousel, was acclaimed everywhere and The Guild had another musical hit!

After Carousel, Richard and Oscar wrote one more musical, Allegro, for The Guild, but it was not as well received as Oklahoma! and Carousel. Richard and Oscar were great friends of ours, as were their children. I (Philip) grew up with Mary Rodgers, who was a great long-time friend.

We are so delighted that Carousel, which is being produced by Scott Rudin and Roy Furman, is being presented again next month at the Imperial Theatre. To purchase tickets, click here. It’s a great show!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Journey From A Play To A Musical, Part 1

Dear Friends,

Over the holidays, we came across the French movie Liliom on television. The movie was based on the play written by Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnár in 1909.

Of course, Liliom was not unfamiliar to us—The Theatre Guild brought the play to Broadway in 1921 and in 1945 convinced Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II to turn it into a musical, with a notable name change: Carousel.

Carousel has been on our minds lately, as it is coming back to Broadway starring Joshua Henry, Jessie Mueller, and Renée Fleming and directed by Jack O’Brien. Previews begin next month (February 28th) and the musical opens on April 12th.

Carousel

We are so very excited at its return to Broadway at the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street—and we cannot wait to see it!

Tickets are now on sale, which can be purchased in person at the Imperial (249 W. 45th Street) or clicking here.

Stay tuned next week for more history behind the creating of Carousel!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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The Band’s Visit

Dear Friends,

We hope this finds you well and hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday weekend.

We wanted to tell you about a wonderful musical that is getting rave reviews—and we think you should add show tickets to your holiday wish list!

It is The Band’s Visit, which Ben Brantley of the New York Times says is “one of the most ravishing musicals you will ever be seduced by.”

It is the story of a mix-up that sends an Egyptian Police Band into a remote Israeli village and “celebrates the deeply human ways music, longing and laughter can connect us all.”

the bands visit

It is now playing at the Barrymore Theatre (243 W 47th Street), starring Katrina Lenk and Tony Shaloub.  It is written by Itamar Moses, with songs by David Yazbak, and directed by David Cromer.

To buy tickets or read more about it, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Carousel

Dear Friends,

Hurray!  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel is coming back to Broadway!

The Theatre Guild originally produced this play on Broadway in 1945–it was the second musical Rodgers & Hammerstein had written for The Theatre Guild.

Carousel was adapted from the play, Liliom, which The Theatre Guild had produced on Broadway in 1921. In some ways we love it even more than Oklahoma! (the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The Theatre Guild produced) because the love story in Carousel is so fantastic!
Carousel
We think you will love seeing Carousel (again?) because it has so much to offer!  It will be playing at the Imperial Theatre (249 W. 45th Street). Previews begin February 28, 2018 and it opens April 12, 2018.  To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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