Category Archives: Reviews

“Me” Off-Broadway

Dear Friends,

We have just returned from our wonderful vacation—it was so nice to spend some quality time with our daughter and granddaughters.

As the summer winds down and we’re gearing up for an exciting Fall season, we just wanted to take a moment to recommend an off-Broadway musical for you: Me The People.

The zingy songs aim at the misguided, hypocritical and tragically unfit people who rep us in Washington remind us how important satire is at a time of national upheaval. The rousing finale is nothing short of brilliant. It alone is worth the price of admission.”—The Huffington Post

me the people
It is showing at the Triad Theatre on 72nd Street and they are currently selling tickets through October 01, 2017.  I know that we’ve said it before, but this is a show you definitely do not want to miss!

Click here to buy tickets or learn more!
Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Spreading the Word.

Dear Friends,

This week’s Summer Series recommendation is a show that Ben Brantley of the New York Times (who has seen it four times!) calls the best musical of this century: The Book of Mormon.

It is written and composed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q).  It is the satirical story of two young Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda to spread the word of God.
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It has won 9 Tony Awards and they just released additional seats for this fall.  This is great news because you do not want to miss out on this show—it’s a comical way to end the summer (or start the fall or anytime you want to see it!).

To read more and purchase tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Hello Dolly!

Dear Friends,

Our recommendation this week in our Summer Series is Hello Dolly!.

While a departure from the somberness of most of our first recommendations, Hello Dolly! is a heavy hitter on Broadway right now thanks in large part to its star—the incomparable Ms. Bette Midler, who won a Tony for her performance.

In 1970, after a record breaking 2,844 performances Hello Dolly! closed its run at the St. James Theatre.  It only took 37 years for a revival to finally make its way back to Broadway and with it 10 Tony nominations and 4 Tony Awards:  Best Revival of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical (Bette Midler), Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Gavin Creel), Best Costume Design of a Musical (Santo Loquasto). 

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It’s currently playing at the Shubert Theatre and starring Bette Midler, David Hyde Pierce, Gavin Creel, and Kate Baldwin and is directed by Jeffrey Zaks.
This is definitely not a show to miss! Click here for tickets.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Me The People

Dear Friends,

We want to share an off-Broadway musical with you today called Me The People: The Trump America People.  It is currently showing at the Triad Theatre on West 72nd Street.

It is “just what the columnist ordered—an uproarious take on the craven, self-dealing Trump agenda intent on tearing down our government and building a stupid wall. The show delivers a topical, up-to-the minute mockumentary of red-white-and-orange America.”
me the people
Sarah Downs from Front Row Center says that it is “a clever, satirical revue set to tunes from the Supremes to the Eagles to CeeLo Green. The talented quartet of Aisha Alia Dukes, Mitchel Kawash, Richard Spitaletta and Mia Weinberger sing with exuberance and commitment, doing hilarious impressions of everyone from Sigmund Freud to Jared Kushner to Hillary Clinton.”

Tickets are on sale through September 02, 2017—you definitely don’t want to miss this!  To learn more or buy tickets, click here.

Best regards,
Philp and 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.”
dolls house
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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A Couple of Reviews

Dear Friends,

Today we are sending you couple of reviews of the musical we recently told you about, Marry Harry, which is currently playing at the York Theatre (619 Lexington Ave—between 53rd and 54th Streets / phone: 212.935.5824) until May 21st.
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For the New York Times review, click here.
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Click here to read the ZealNYC review.

Both reviews tell you what a charming show it is and we hope that you will be able to see it.

For tickets and information, click here.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Terms

Dear Friends,

Last week on television, film maker Michael Moore announced a marvelous happening—he is coming to Broadway with his play, The Terms of My Surrender.  According to Moore:

it’s a humorous comedy about a country that just elected a madman as president.

The play, which Moore says is “simultaneously entertaining and infuriating,” will run for 12 weeks at the Belasco Theatre, with previews starting July 28th. To purchase tickets click here.
terms of surrender
We think this is brilliant and cannot wait to go see it!  As we have said in a few past articles (Power of Theatre and President Trump), we believe one of theatre’s biggest responsibilities is to speak out about the political culture of our time.

Thank you Michael Moore—we know that it will be a huge success!

And before we go, we’d like to leave you with a great quote from Arthur Miller:
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Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner
The Theatre Guild

PS—to read more about this play, you can click here to see an article from the New York Times.

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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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