Category Archives: Theatre News

A Hal of a Guy

Dear Friends,

As you know, Broadway marquees went dim Wednesday night to say good-bye to our dear friend, Hal Prince.

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We have known and worked with Hal on numerous projects over the last 60 years—the most notable being Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story, and Cabaret. He was a remarkable man, a wonderful friend, and will be sorely missed.

There were so many extraordinary things Hal accomplished in his life and we consider ourselves so blessed to have known him.

Click here for NY Times feature on Hal: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/31/theater/hal-prince-dead.html

Goodbye, dear friend, we will miss you tremendously.
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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100 Years of Great Theatre

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow night there will be a celebration in honor of our Centennial Anniversary.

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The evening format is an interview led by the talented Foster Hirsch to our former Theatre At Sea artistic director: the incomparable Lee Roy Reams and longtime Theatre Guild star, who has co-written and stars in our most current production, Adoption Roulette:  the wonderful Joel Vig.

It will be presented at The Coffee Club starting at 6pm and there are a few seats left, with an entry fee of $10 for the interview and cocktail hour. Please email us if you are interested in attending: theatguild@aol.com

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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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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The Tonys

Dear Friends,

Just a quick reminder that this Sunday evening will be the 73rd Annual Tony Awards. They will be held at Radio City Music Hall here in New York City and televised on CBS starting at 8:00pm (Eastern Time).

The Tonys are always such a wonderful show—and this year should be no exception, as the talented and always wonderful James Corden is returning as host of the evening’s festivities.

Tonys Corden

With so many wonderful plays and musicals currently running, the field is packed with a lot of different favorites, including a revival of Oklahoma! (originally commissioned and produced by The Theatre Guild), which earned 8 nominations.

We certainly have our favorites whom we hope will win. How about you? To read more about the nominees visit the Tony’s website https://www.tonyawards.com/

Best,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Play On Shakespeare

Dear Friends,

In the mail this weekend we received a notification from Play On Shakespeare Festival which we wanted to share with you today.

Their Shakespeare festival will begin next Wednesday (May 29th) at 7:00pm with The Two Gentleman of Verona. The month-long festival will be held here in New York at the Classical Stage Company (136 E. 13th Street) and the final performance will be The Noble Kinsmen on June 30th at 2:00pm.

Of course, Shakespeare is very near and dear to our hearts—my (Philip) father started the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, CT in the early 1950s. And because Shakespeare was a love of my father’s, Shakespeare was also a large part of my life and I just could not image theatre without Shakespeare.

With 39 performances available to you, we strongly urge you to go partake in the Play On Shakespeare Festival! Below is a list of the plays being shown. To learn more and purchase tickets, click here.

PLAY ON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL LINE UP
May 29 7:00pm – The Two Gentlemen of Verona
May 30 2:00pm – The Taming of the Shrew
May 30 7:00pm – Titus Andronicus
May 31 7:00pm – Henry VI, Part 1
June 1 2:00pm – Henry VI, Part 2
June 1 7:00pm – Henry VI, Part 3
June 2 2:00pm – Richard III
June 3 7:00pm – The Comedy of Errors
June 5 7:00pm – Love’s Labour’s Lost
June 6 2:00pm – Edward III
June 6 7:00pm – Richard II
June 7 7:00pm – Romeo and Juliet
June 8 2:00pm – A Midsummer Night’s Dream
June 8 7:00pm –King John
June 9 2:00pm – The Merchant of Venice
June 10 7:00pm – Much Ado About Nothing
June 12 7:00pm –Henry IV, Part 1
June 13 2:00pm – The Merry Wives of Windsor
June 13 7:00pm –Henry IV, Part 2
June 14 7:00pm – Henry V
June 15 2:00pm – As You Like It
June 15 7:00pm – Julius Caesar
June 16 2:00pm – Hamlet
June 17 7:00pm – Twelfth Night
June 19 7:00pm – Troilus and Cressida
June 20 2:00pm – Measure for Measure
June 20 7:00pm – Othello
June 21 7:00pm – All’s Well That Ends Well
June 22 2:00pm – Timon of Athens
June 22 7:00pm – King Lear
June 23 2:00pm –Antony and Cleopatra
June 24 7:00pm – Macbeth
June 26 7:00pm – Coriolanus
June 27 2:00pm – Pericles
June 27 7:00pm – Cymbeline
June 28 7:00pm – The Winter’s Tale
June 29 2:00pm – Henry VIII
June 29 7:00pm – The Tempest
June 30 2:00pm – The Two Noble Kinsmen

Regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Constitutional Thoughts

Dear Friends,

We are very excited to learn that the play Jesse Green of the New York Times calls “the best and most important play of the season,” is staying on Broadway a little longer.

What the Constitution Means to Me has extended its run at The Helen Hayes Theatre (44th St. between 7th & 8th Ave) until August 24th. The remarkable play is one where Obie Award Winner Heidi Schreck “recalls her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women in her own family and the founding document that dictated their rights and citizenship.”

Constitution

To read more about it and order tickets, click here or on the picture above.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Oh What A Beautiful Opening!

Dear Friends,

The Theatre Guild was founded in New York City in 1919 by my (Philip) father Lawrence Langner, Philip Moeller, Helen Westley, Maurice Wertheim, Lee Simonson, and Theresa Helburn. My (Philip) mother, Armina Marshall served as a co-director. The Theatre Guild evolved out of the work of the Washington Square Players and departed from the usual theatre practice in that its board of directors shared the responsibility for choice of plays, management, and production and is known for the production of high-quality, noncommercial American and foreign plays. Our first production was the play “Bonds of Interest”, which opened April 14, 1919 at the Garrick Theatre.

Since last week marked our 100th Anniversary, we found it fitting that a revival of our most successful musical, Oklahoma!, opened to rave reviews. This production, directed by Daniel Fish, was originally developed, produced, and premiered at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College.

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Ben Brantley of the New York Times writes:

How is it that the coolest new show on Broadway in 2019 is a 1943 musical usually regarded as a very square slice of American pie? The answer arrives before the first song is over in Daniel Fish’s wide-awake, jolting and altogether wonderful production of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!,” which opened on Sunday night at the Circle in the Square Theater.

To read the full review, click here.
Oklahoma! is playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre. To buy tickets, click here or on the picture above.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn

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Ed in Danbury

Dear Friends,

Today we are writing you about a lovely event that is taking place this Sunday (April 07, 2019) at 3:00pm in Danbury, Connecticut.  It is starring our dear friend Ed Asner in God Help Us! at The Palace Danbury.

We know how brilliant Ed  was as FDR (we presented him in 102 different theatres across the US!), so we know that you will definitely enjoy this show!

ASNER

Click here or on the picture above for more information and to order tickets:

Our best wishes to you all.

Sincerely,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Saddest Good-bye

Dear Friends,

It is with very heavy hearts that we are writing to you today. We received the devastating news that our beloved Director/Stage Manager, Ron Nash, has passed away.

Ron and his husband Norman are very dear to us and have joined us on many adventures over the years. Ron’s death was very sudden and so shocking that it seems surreal to us that he is gone.

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photo credit: Norman Duttweiler

Good bye, dear friend. We love you—your happy spirit, magnificent creativity, and brilliance will certainly be missed. Your passing has created a void in so many who have the privilege of knowing you, but your kindness and wonderfulness will never be forgotten.

Our love and deepest sympathies go out to Norman.

Love,
Philip & Marilyn

PS—below is Ron’s official biography, which shows but a sampling of all the great work that he did.

RON NASH lists among his directorial and design credits national tours of Song of Singapore starring Loretta Swit, The Wiz starring Peabo Bryson and Grace Jones, Murder Among Friends starring Lana Turner, Tammy Grimes, and Arlene Dahl, Janus starring Joan Fontaine, Dreamgirls starring pop vocalist Mikki Howard, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Stella Parton, and Under Milkwood starring Judith Light. He directed a new production of Shirley Valentine starring Loretta Swit in Toronto. Mr. Nash also co-directed the Broadway production of Oh! Calcutta!, which ranks as the fifth longest running musical on Broadway, as well as productions in Tokyo, Oslo, Tel Aviv, Milan, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, and Chicago. Mr. Nash has been a Production Stage Manager on Broadway for 12 years, as well as with the New York Shakespeare Festival for 7 productions. Mr. Nash also directs and coordinates productions for the Theatre Guild’s cruises on the Mediterranean and the Amazon, with celebrities such as Helen Hayes, Patrice Munsel, Claire Bloom, Patricia Neal, Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Alan Arkin, Sandy Duncan, Cliff Robertson, Judy Kaye, Zoe Caldwell, Lynn Redgrave, Jean Stapleton, Carol Channing, and Gena Rowlands. He directed 5 time Emmy Award winner Ed Asner in FDR and toured with him to over 150 American cities. He toured for 3 years with both Jean Stapleton and Loretta Swit in different productions of Eleanor: Her Secret Journey. He served as Artistic Director at the Forestburgh Playhouse, in which capacity he directed over 25 shows including A Christmas Carol, The Sunshine Boys, Deathtrap, Witness for the Prosecution, 1776, On Golden Pond, Driving Miss Daisy, Ragtime, Titanic, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Diary of Anne Frank, Miss Saigon, West Side Story, South Pacific, Dial M for Murder, Born Yesterday, Carousel, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, M. Butterfly, The Night of the Iguana, The Chosen and Equus. Since 2014, he has lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico with his husband Norman Duttweiler and has guest lectured at New Mexico State University and guest directed a local production of The Laramie Project. Mr. Nash holds an M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University and is a member of Actors’ Equity and the Society of Directors and Choreographers.

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