Tag Archives: books

The Nazi Officer’s Wife

Dear Friends,

Today rather than recommend a play, we are going to tell you about a marvelous book called The Nazi Officer’s Wife.

It is a terrific read that tells the story of a young Jewish woman.  It is the story of her life in Vienna just before Hilter came to power through the end of the Second World War.

This book takes you on her journey—as a young woman at university to the slow demoralization and loss of everything familiar to her—including her family—as Hilter escalated his anti-Semitic laws in Germany, Austria, and conquered countries.

Even if you are not interested in WWII, this is an amazing tale about one woman’s journey and struggle to survive against all odds.

You can order it from Amazon by clicking on this link.

Best regards—and reading!
Philip & Marilyn

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Hamilton Rising!

Dear Friends,

Hamilton continues to be perhaps the most stunningly successful play of our lifetimes!

hamilton official

The big news yesterday was that it received 16 Tony Award Nominations—the largest number in Tony History, which goes back 70 years!

For all of us in the theatre, we don’t recall any initial success as big as this.

The closest that come to mind are Fiddler on The Roof and My Fair Lady.  Of course, it is hard to compare these plays accurately, as all of the great hits prior to Hamilton occurred in the pre-social media/internet world and did not have the instant world-wide publicity and acclaim that Hamilton enjoys.

Today we wanted to share with you another manifestation of Hamilton’s popularity:

The book “Hamilton Revolution,” which is a behind the scenes look at making the musical and written by Hamilton author Lin-Manual Miranda and cultural critic Jeremy McCarter, is flying off the shelves!

In fact, the New York Times quips (quite correctly) that getting the book isn’t any easier than getting a ticket!  The book, which came out on April 12th, is now in its second printing and it estimated to have 400,000 copies in print by the summer!

It seems we just can’t get enough!  Congrats to Miranda and the entire cast and crew of Hamilton on their 16 Tony nominations!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

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Book Update

Dear Friends,

Back in July, we told you about a book coming out this October written by dear family friend, John C. Wilson called Noah, Tallulah, Cole and Me: A Memoir Of Broadway’s Golden Age.

It’s getting rave reviews and has nearly sold out on Amazon!  It really is quite spectacular—and something that everyone who loves Broadway should read!

john c wilson

One reviewer commented:

Readers of Broadway history might well remember the name John C. Wilson: longtime manager, gatekeeper and comrade of Noël Coward; producer of plays with Gertie, Kit, Tallulah and the Lunts, as well as Olivier and Gielgud; and director, within a year, of the original “Kiss Me, Kate” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” Little has been known of Jack Wilson until now, with the discovery of his unpublished and forgotten 1958 autobiography, “Noël, Tallulah, Cole, and Me.” Thomas Hischak has put the pages in order and filled in the gaps, resulting in an absorbing and fascinating description of thirty years of Broadway and West End history, guided by an unassuming fellow from Trenton who was thrilled and surprised to be in the center of it all.

—Steven Suskin, author of Show Tunes and The Sound of Broadway Music

You can go online and order from Amazon—but hurry before they run out! With the holidays around the corner, it would also make a fantastic gift for the Broadway lover in your life!

 —The Theatre Guild

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John C. Wilson

Today an incredible thing has happened to us.

We have been sent a preliminary copy of a wonderful book—a biography of John C. Wilson, who was our partner in the Westport Country Playhouse for 15 years. In that time, we came to know him very well. His house was in Fairfield, near The Playhouse.

This book tells all about the Golden Age of the Theatre. Jack Wilson was the great friend of ALL the most famous legends of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s—Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Noel Coward, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Cole Porter, Philip Barry, Lorette Taylor, Binkie Beaumont, Lilian Gish, Bea Lillie, Tallulah Bankhead, Gertrude Lawrence, Gypsy Rose Lee, and more! He directed many famous plays on Broadway—including some for The Theatre Guild.

We have been asked to review the book and make suggestions about it, which we are doing now.
A description of the book is below. We think it is one of the best books on the American Theatre. It is scheduled for an October release –we will let you know when it is available!

john c wilson

Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me
A Memoir of Broadway’s Golden Age
JOHN C. WILSON – WITH THOMAS S. HISCHAK AND JACK MACAULEY

An important figure during the golden age of Broadway, John C. Wilson staged such famous productions as Kiss Me Kate and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. He also worked with many of the greatest actors, playwrights, producers, and other artists from the 1920s through the 1950s, including Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Carol Channing, and Tennessee Williams. In his twenties, Wilson met Noel Coward and became both his lover and manager. Despite Wilson’s marriage to Russian princess Natalie Paley in 1937, he remained close friends with Coward until John’s death in 1961.

In Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me: A Memoir of Broadway’s Golden Age, producer-director Wilson provides an eye witness account of a never-to-be-seen-again period in American theatre and culture. The narrative covers Wilson’s youth, his education at Yale, his experience working in silent films, and details of his professional and personal relationship with Coward. Wilson also recounts his theatrical career on Broadway and in London, his marriage to Paley, and life within international high society. The people Wilson befriended—Tallulah Bankhead, Cecil Beaton, Claudette Colbert, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers, among others—are described with affection, candor, and colorful panache. Wilson also shares behind-the-scenes stories about such landmark theatre productions asPrivate Lives, Blithe Spirit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Kiss Me, Kate.

Completed in 1958, just three years before his death, Wilson’s autobiography sat idle for decades. Wilson’s great nephew Jack Macauley and theatre historian Thomas Hischak have edited the original manuscript and added commentary to help guide the reader through the myriad names and productions that are mentioned. From his long-term relationship with Coward to his enduring marriage to Paley, Wilson’s life was as charmed as it was celebrated. Featuring nearly forty photos,Noel, Tallulah, Cole, and Me is an engaging account of one of the most important periods in Broadway’s history, as well as a fascinating look into the lives of the glamorous men and women of the era.

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 288 • Size: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-5572-2 • Hardback • October 2015 • $65.00 • (£44.95)
978-1-4422-5573-9 • eBook • October 2015 • $64.99 • (£44.95) (coming soon)
Subjects: Performing Arts / Theater / Direction & Production, Biography & Autobiography / Entertainment & Performing Arts, Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs, Performing Arts / Theater/ Biography

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Holiday Shopping Made Easy!

I’m not sure about you, but we just can’t believe that Christmas is right around the corner! And with every passing moment, the season gets busier and busier.

If you’re finding yourself running low on time and energy to face all the shopping crowds, let Amazon do all the work for you! And if you’re looking for unique gifts for the theatre lover in your life (and even better if it’s you!), check out our Amazon store!

http://astore.amazon.com/thethegui0b-20

The greatest Christmas present we think is the Gene Kelly movie 4 pack—four great Gene Kelly movies—On The Town/For Me & My Gal/Summer Stock/Invitation to The Dance—and it’s currently on sale for $11.39!!

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Happy holidays from our house to yours!

Philip & Marilyn

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