Category Archives: Theatre Greats

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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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!!
iceman cometh
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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Prince on Broadway

Dear Friends,

In December we posted the news about our recommendation for this week in our Summer Series: Prince of Broadway.  It is currently in previews and will open August 24th.

It is a musical that celebrates the career of Broadway legend, and our dear friend, Harold Prince.

In fact, when we wrote Hal to wish him the best of success, he very kindly replied that he considers himself “a continuum of everything Lawrence and Armina Langner gave to the theatre. They were my idols and I remember them not only for their extraordinary accomplishments, but their generosity. As a kid, they always made me feel welcomed and encouraged me.”

Over the span of his career, Hal has received 21 Tony Awards, a Kennedy Center Honor, and a National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton.  His long list of productions have helped shape Broadway with shows such as Fiddler on The Roof, 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, and Show Boat to name a few!
hal-prince
This is one show you absolutely do not want to miss!  Click here to order tickets or to learn more.

We are so happy for Hal—and wish him the best of success for this exciting show.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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A Sad Goodbye.

Dear Friends,

We are writing you today with the very sad news that our dear friend and fellow theatre producer, Elliot Martin has passed away.

Click here for the article the New York Times wrote about his great theatrical life.   Broadway showed its tribute by dimming the marquee lights in his honor last Friday.
Martin
We are so saddened by his departure from this world and our hearts and prayers go out to his family, especially his children Richard and Linda.

We will miss you terribly, Elliot.

Much love,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

 

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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.

glenn-close

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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Goodbye Tammy

Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate the life of a beautiful and wonderful friend, actress Tammy Grimes, who died on Sunday.

We first knew Tammy when she was an apprentice at our Westport Country Playhouse in 1949.  She was always outstanding, funny, and brilliant!

She starred in our musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, on Broadway—for which she won a Tony.

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Here is a brief look at the projects that Tammy worked on over the years:

Filmography

Three Bites of the Apple (1966), Arthur? Arthur! (1969), Play It as It Lays (1972), The Horror at 37,000 Feet (1973), The Borrowers (1973), Somebody Killed Her Husband (1978), The Runner Stumbles (1979), Can’t Stop the Music (1980), The Last Unicorn (1982), The Stuff (1985), America (1986), Mr. North (1988), Slaves of New York (1989), Backstreet Justice (1994), A Modern Affair (1995), Trouble on the Corner (1997), High Art (1998)

Stage

The Littlest Revue (1959), The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1960), Rattle of a Simple Man (1963), High Spirits (1964), The Only Game in Town (1968), Private Lives (revival) (1969), A Musical Jubilee (1975), California Suite (1976), Tartuffe (revival)(1977), Trick (1979), 42nd Street (1980), Sunset (1983), Orpheus Descending (revival) (1989), Wit & Wisdom (2003)

Here is the article in today’s New York Times:

Tammy Grimes, the Original ‘Unsinkable Molly Brown,’ Dies at 82

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Click on the title or the picture above to link to the full article.

We knew her so well—she was so charming and fun, and we will miss her so much.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Playwrights

With the end of summer looming and a new school year and theatre season on the horizon, we thought we’d take a bit of a break and head down the coast to spend a bit of time with our daughter and granddaughters.

We started this Newsletter just over a few years ago and we have been very fortunate in our ever-increasing number of subscribers. But we also realize that many of you haven’t had time to go back and read all of our articles, and so we thought we’d share a few with you while we’re lounging away on the beach, watching our granddaughters play!

In this post, we revisit some of the great and phenomenal playwrights The Theatre Guild has worked with over the years…enjoy!

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

One of the fascinating aspects of The Theatre Guild is all of the wonderful playwrights we have worked with in our 95 years, such as:

George Bernard Shaw—possibly the greatest playwright of the century—had 14 plays produced by The Theatre Guild.

george bernard shaw

The Theatre Guild produced 9 of Eugene O’Neill’s plays.

Eugene O'Neill

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine starred in 25 plays on Broadway for The Guild over a 30 year period from 1925 to 1956.

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Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, who wrote Oklahoma! at the suggestion of The Theatre Guild and collaborated with The Theatre Guild to create Carousel and Allegro.

rodgers and hammerstein

Of course, we can never forget Dore Schary—who wrote Sunrise At Campobello, which we produced and then later adapted to our current running play FDR, starring Ed Asner, which will be performing in Laguna Beach, CA in November, and Chicago in April 2015.

dore schary

These playwrights were so talented…

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The Celestials of Broadway

Dear Friends,

We are writing to you today to urge you to go see Lunt and Fontanne: The Celestials of Broadway.

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It is playing at The New York International Fringe Festival 64E4 Mainstage: Venue #11 (64 East 4th Street, between 2nd Avenue & Bowery) for four more performances this month: Wednesday 8/17 at 7pm, Saturday 8/20 at 7pm, Tuesday 8/23 at 2:15pm, and Saturday 8/27 at 4:45pm.

In LUNT AND FONTANNE: THE CELESTIALS OF BROADWAY, Mark E. Lang’s new stage play about the Lunts, today’s audiences get a chance to meet Alfred and Lynn, explore their life on and off the stage, see them perform scenes from their favorite plays– including Shakespeare’s TAMING OF THE SHREW and Molnar’s THE GUARDSMAN; interact with famous friends such as Noel Coward and Laurence Olivier; and share their experiences on Broadway, in London during World War II and on tour.

Alfred and Lynn were very dear to us here at The Guild—they performed in our productions from 1920-1960, with 25 consecutive seasons from 1929-1949!  We are excited that real-life married couple Mark E. Lang and Alison Murphy are portraying these beloved theatre stars and throwing them back into the limelight where they belong.

Click here to purchase tickets or learn more about the play.

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Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Patrice.

Dear Friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you the passing of Patrice Munsel.  Patrice was one of the musical theatre greats, a dear friend, and a wonderful person.

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Patrice is—still to this day—the youngest star ever at the Metropolitan Opera, debuting when she was just 18 years old.  She later ventured into musical theatre, movies, and television.

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Patrice came on many of our theatre cruises.  We always loved it when she came along, as she was such a delightful and entertaining person!  We will miss her greatly.

To read her obituary in the New York Times, please click here.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

 

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Chaplin’s World

Dear Friends,

We received an email today about the opening of Chaplin’s World—a museum in Corsier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland dedicated to the life and works of Charlie Chaplin.  But it is more than just a museum—it is an experience and a peek into Charlie’s world.  You can visit their website to read more about it.  It looks like a wonderful place to spend a few vacation days.

It made us think about our lovely visit with Charlie at his home in Corsier-sur-Vevey.  Needless to say, he was incredible!  Here is a picture from the weekend Marilyn and I spent with Charlie and his lovely wife, Oona.

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Top Left to Right: Marshall Young and Philip Langner
Bottom Left to Right:  Oona O’Neill Chaplin (daughter of Eugene O’Neill), Marilyn Langner, Charlie Chaplin

 

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