Category Archives: World View

The Power of Theatre

Dear Friends,

One more prior newsletter to share with you before we head back to New York City and the realities of summer coming to an end.

We cannot—CANNOT—stress the importance that the theatre can—and should!—have in the political realm. The tradition started with Shakespeare himself, and who knows, perhaps even before that!

Our friend Arthur Miller once said that it is the job of an artist to remind people of what they have chosen to forget. And in this political climate, nothing could be more true!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

The Theatre Guild Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Today we wanted to discuss with you an incredible theatre happening that occurred a couple of weeks ago:

It is the conflict between The Theatre, as represented by Hamilton, and the Government-to-be, as represented by Vice-President Elect Mike Pence.

As you all know, Vice President-Elect Pence went to a performance of Hamilton where he was specifically addressed by the cast at the end of the performance (their spokesperson being Brandon Dixon).

Mr. Dixon made a plea to Vice President-Elect Pence–as a representative of our new government starting 20th of January.  The cast requested that Vice President-Elect Pence look out for their interests, aka those of the common people.  While Mr. Pence was walking out of the theatre at the time of the speech, he stopped and listened to what Mr. Harris had to say.

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To us, it is a fascinating happening.  It is The Theatre…

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Pearl Harbor

Dear Friends,

Today is December 08, 2017—one day and 76 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and our entry into WWII.

I remember the day so well, exactly where I was standing by a building up in Connecticut about 2:00 pm on a Sunday afternoon.  What an incredible shock!

In recent years, I visited the War Memorial in Honolulu—built where the battleship, USS Arizona was sunk with 1,700 sailors on board.  The Memorial is quite lovely and poignant and very significant.

It seems so easy to forget a war that happened nearly 80 years ago.  How many wars have we had since then? How about Vietnam?  Every now and then when I happen to see a map of the Far East, I ask myself “how in God’s name could we have gone there and done that?”

A woman who worked for my parents was married to a man who died in the Bataan death march, where 700 American soldiers were marched through the Philippines shortly after Pearl Harbor.

Please forgive all of these musings.  The resulting thought is, of course, why?  Why do we have to get into wars?  Why do so many people have to die?  Now we have North Korea so eager to do so—they are reported in the paper today as saying “we have to go to war very soon.”

I guess they don’t remember Pearl Harbor, where 2,400 Americans were killed and another 1,200 wounded.  Nor must they remember 340,000 Japanese who died because of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 06 and August 09, 1945 respectively.  Nor do they remember the nearly 1.4 million people who died in the Vietnam War.

We cannot forget—or we are doomed to repeat history.  What can we do?

Sincerely,
Philip and Marilyn

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Tuning In

Dear Friends,

We are writing today about a wonderful TV news program, which “tells it like it is,” The Rachel Maddow Show.

What we love about her is the fact that she really researches her topics fully and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  In this day and age where the news is hard to get, Rachel is a refreshing source of information.

In an article on PoliticusUSA, Jason Easley writes:

As the American people get more engaged and look for factual news and information, they are increasingly turning to MSNBC as the Rachel Maddow led network is growing three times faster in total viewers than Fox News in primetime.”

Click here for the full article:
Rachel Maddow
Of course, we think it would be great if she’d throw her hat in the political arena!  In the meantime, we’ll just continue tuning in to her show weeknights at 9pm ET/6pm PT on MSNBC.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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On The Move

Dear Friends,

Hamilton is on the move again—this time across the pond.

According to Variety, Hamilton will be making its West End debut next November at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

hamilton-chicago

The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is: will it enjoy the success it has seen in the US?  There are no guarantees, of course, but we think it will.  It is such a fantastic show that is resonating with audiences today to make a real connection.  It is our experience that when a show can do that it is going to run for a very long time.

You can read the full article at Variety here.

We wish The Victoria Palace Theatre all the best success and a very long Hamilton run!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

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One Large Leap for Womankind

Dear Friends,

It looks like we are once again on the verge of history—and a giant leap forward for women in our country (since it’s already been happening in other countries!).

While nothing is finalized until the Democratic Convention in July, it appears that Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Nominee for President.

This is just simply extraordinary and we couldn’t be happier or more excited that our country is on the verge of making history.

Congrats Hillary—and congrats to America for bringing forward women’s equality!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Crazy Arts Happening!

Dear Friends,

Today we are visiting a troubling subject.

It is the effect of The Puritans on all of our lives (here in the United States).  The latest example, unfortunately, is that a big NYC arts organization has let its CEO go—right as he was about to begin a multimillion-dollar fund raising campaign—because he was having an affair with another high ranking executive in the company.  Both were consenting adults and both were executives.

According to the company the reason he is being let go is that he didn’t report his affair to the company.

Can you imagine how the people in Europe—think France—are laughing insanely at us?!  Think of the hundreds of thousands of theatre-goers who may well be deprived of great theatre as a result of the Puritans landing here several hundred years ago!

It reminds me of a conversation with a great friend and London theatre owner—we were talking about the Puritans and their effect on life in America, like no drinking on Sundays and so many other matters—just look at all the Blue Laws in each state!  My English friend said to me:

“Well yes, you got the Puritans and we got rid of them!”  Good friends, our lives have been affected by these Puritans constructs in thousands of ways—many of which we are not even aware!

Would love to hear your thoughts about the effects of the Puritanism in your life.

Regards,

Philip and Marilyn

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Running The World!

Dear Friends,
Today I thought we’d deviate slightly to the edge of theatre and discuss something even more exciting: women!
The other day, I saw a woman delivering groceries.  This in and of itself doesn’t seem that far out of the ordinary in this day and age, but–and this might sound crazy–I have never seen a woman deliver groceries!  Men delivered groceries…men delivered everything.  In fact, when we look way, way back men even played the part of women on stage.
A few weeks ago, we read that the Buffalo Bills hired Kathryn Smith as the first full-time female assistant coach in the NFL! 
But whom we wanted to speak about most of all is Angela Merkel!  She is quite commanding in her ability to not only lead Germany, but is widely accepted as the de facto leader of Europe and was named by Time Magazine as Person of the Year for 2015!
Yes, women still have a long way to go to catch up to men in these male-dominated arenas, but we are happy to see that women are staking their claim and with role models, such as Merkel and Smith, leading the charge it won’t be long before their dominance (?) can be seen everywhere!

Click on the pic below to read the full article by Time!

time magazine
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30 Million Men

Dear Friends,

Sometimes the greatest drama comes to us from real life, and so today we’d like to talk about the 30 million men in China.

Many years ago (about 35), the rulers of China decided they would reduce their burgeoning population by limiting every family to one child.

Marilyn and I remember the occasion very well because we were certain that it was one of the craziest ideas ever thought of.  We didn’t fully go into all the possible results of this new law, but it evoked enormous head-shaking on our part in knowing that while China was trying to address their problem, they were not giving pause to the implications and ramifications that this law would set forth.  In society where a male child was preferable, no one stopped to think what would happen if there were only male children.

NOW WE SEE THE RESULT.  Some 35 years later there are 30 million men and 0 (+/-) women (aka very few) in the same age group.  So what the hell are these men going to do?  China is now seeing a whole host of interesting problems crop up:

  1. First of all, one has to imagine the sex trade is growing exponentially right now!
  2. And of course, they will have no wives to make their lives happy and worthwhile (and Marilyn didn’t even tell me to say that! Ha!)
  3. The majority of these men will never have children—and thus there will be no one to take care of them when they are old.
  4. Articles that we have read have said that marriage-age Chinese women are only seeking out the wealthiest men—and why not? There are 30 million suitors from which to choose!

The monumental and colossal 30 million men conundrum that China created 35 years ago.  How will it be solved?  Can it be solved?  China announced this week that it will be repealing its “one child” law—but is it too late?

WHAT A HAPPENING!  Lord, we need help!

—Philip & Marilyn

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