Category Archives: Theatre News

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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A Good Friday for Theatre

Dear Friends,

Happy Easter! Today we thought we would share with you a wonderful new play that has just opened on Broadway: Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women.

It is staring Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf, and Alison Pill and is directed by Joe Mantello.

According to Jesse Green, New York Times:

Glenda Jackson is back; even better, she’s back in a role that’s big enough to need her. Watching these three women in “Three Tall Women” means seeing the ghosts and echoes of many other women as well. They complete Albee’s imaginative leap into difficult souls, which of course means all of us. And they honor a play that despite its frailties and wrinkles has aged beautifully, into a burning, raving classic.

three tall women

Three Tall Women is playing at the Golden Theatre (252 W. 45th Street) from now until June 24th. Don’t wait—you do not want to miss out on this fantastic play!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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In The Body of The World

Dear Friends,

Eve Ensler, creative genius of The Vagina Monologues, is back telling her own personal narrative of receiving a life-threatening diagnosis while working with women suffering from the ravages of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in her play In The Body of The World.

In her own brilliant words, you can hear Eve describe how illness can be both “transformative and transcendent.”

It is written and performed by Tony Award winner Eve Ensler and directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus.

Eve Ensler ad

It is currently showing at the Manhattan Theatre Club now until March 25, 2018. Click here to buy your tickets—this is definitely a show that you do not want to miss out on seeing!

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Making A Statement

Dear Friends,

Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is—and Mark Wahlberg has done just that.

In light of the tremendous pay gap between him and co-star Michelle Williams for reshoots during the filming All The Money in The World (when our dear friend Christopher Plummer joined the cast), Mr. Wahlberg donated the gap in pay between his and Ms. Williams to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. He was quoted as saying:

I 100 percent support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name.

Additionally, William Morris Endeavor—the agency representing both Wahlberg and Williams—donated $500,000 to Time’s Up.

For those of you who are not familiar, Time’s Up is dedicated to fighting harassment in the workplace, starting with a legal-defense fund for abuse victims. Their mission station from their website:

Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.

If you’re interested in learning more or donating to this amazing program, click here.

Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard—thank you to the wonderful people at Time’s Up and all their incredible donors, like Mr. Wahlberg. He could have made a moderate donation; however, he chose to do what was right—and fair—and we commend him highly for that decision.

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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All The Money

Dear Friends,

We were reading a review yesterday in the New York Times about our dear friend, Christopher Plummer.

He has a new movie, All The Money in The World, and it is just fantastic!

According to Manohla Dargis’s review in the New York Times:

Mr. Plummer can be an aloof, fairly cool screen presence and he chills Getty Sr. with cruel glints, funereal insinuation and a controlled, withholding physicality. A lot of actors soften their heavies, as if nervously asserting their own humanity. With Mr. Scott, Mr. Plummer instead creates a rapacious man whose hunger for wealth and power (and more money, always more) has hollowed him out and whose fatherly touch, at its most consuming, brings to mind Goya’s painting of Saturn eating his son. The horror of Getty Sr. is that he is never less than human, but that he’s hoarded everything, including every last vestige of love, for himself. It’s a magnificent portrait of self-annihilation.

Of course, we aren’t surprised by this—we have known Chris for a very long time and we’ve seen him in many memorable performances.
Chris Plummer
All The Money in The World is showing at a movie theater near you.

Best regards,
Philip and Marilyn

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Merry Christmas!

Dear Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
christmas
It is such a wonderful time of the year. Last week, we shared the story of Dusty and Katie. It shows that the Theatre Development Fund—through theatre—can have a huge impact on everyone’s life. As you finish up your holiday shopping and—especially if you have a few more people on your list to shop for—do consider giving them a membership in the Theatre Development Fund. And while you’re getting one for them—get one for yourself! To become a member, click here!

Here are three great reasons to join:

  1. Tickets cost only $9-$47!  Save up to 70% on hundreds of theatre, dance and music shows daily.
  2. Buy tickets online in advance! Purchase discounted tickets days, and sometimes weeks, in advance right from the comfort of your computer.
  3. Give back! Your membership (along with every discounted ticket you buy) supports TDF’s many far-reaching arts education and theatre accessibility programs.

And if you’re thinking “I can’t join—I don’t’ work in the theatre industry” then we have GREAT! news for you: you don’t have to be! Here is the full list of those who are eligible:

  • Full-time students (high school or above)
  • Full-time teachers (primary or junior high school faculty, high school faculty, university or college faculty, teachers of drama/dance/music)
  • Recent graduates (26 years of age and under)
  • Full-time union members
  • Retirees (no longer working and at least 62 years of age or older)
  • Full-time government employees/civil servants
  • Full-time staff members of not-for-profit organizations
  • Full-time non-exempt employees (full-time hourly workers – 40 hours a week – who are eligible for overtime pay)
  • Full-time arts professionals
  • Members of the armed forces
  • Freelancers
  • Full-time clergy

Don’t miss out on the theatre—don’t miss out on joining TDF!

Happy holidays to you and yours!
Philip and Marilyn

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Theatre Development Fund

WHAT A THEATRE STORY! 

Dear Friends,

We have shared with you how fabulous the Theatre Development Fund is in providing affordable theatre tickets and today we wanted to show why this is important.  We received the following email from a mother, who shared her story about why the theatre is so important to her and her son.

Being life-long devotees of the theatre, we have always known how wonderful it is—but it is so incredible to hear how it can influence other people’s lives.  We ask that if you are looking for a charity to share with this holiday season, that you consider giving to the TDF—so they can continue all of their wonderful work!

December 04, 2017

Dear Philip,

I’m writing to you today as a mother. My son Dusty is 20 years old and severely autistic. He is ‘low verbal’ — he has a few words but is not conversational. Both Dusty and I love Broadway. When I took him to his first show we were asked to leave by an usher because of Dusty’s quiet scripting — ‘self-talk’. I had to drag Dusty out of the theatre. He was screaming ‘Stay Stay.’ That feeling of rejection was profoundly isolating.

Years later, Dusty and I mustered our courage and returned to Broadway for the inaugural TDF Autism Friendly Performance of The Lion King. I sobbed through the opening watching the joy in Dusty’s face during ‘The Circle of Life’. Since then, Dusty has seen over 15 Broadway shows, thanks to TDF. No one has ever asked us to leave.

Last February I got up the nerve to take Dusty to a regular, non-autism friendly performance of Wicked. As Glinda sang, “Because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” Dusty picked up my hand and kissed it. He had never done anything like that before. That is the power of theatre.

I hope you will join me in supporting TDF.

Best,
Katie Sweeney
New York, NY

tdf

To make your tax-deductible donation to the Theatre Development Fund, click here.

Happy Marvelous Theatre!
Philip and 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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