Tag Archives: opera


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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Catfish Row, Circa 1935

A look at Catfish Row: aka the set of Porgy & Bess, designed by Sergei Soudeikine.

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Porgy & Bess

Last night we saw the most incredible theatrical happening that we have seen in years!

It was the San Francisco Opera Company’s production of Porgy & Bess, presented by PBS at 9pm Eastern Time.  Incidentally, if you would like a DVD of this glorious production you can order it at PBS.  Dial 1 800  PLAY PBS or click here to link to PBS’s website.  The cost for a dvd is $28.74 including shipping.

The director, who spoke and described the history of Porgy & Bess, spoke about how the authors, George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, wrote the opera and decided to bring it in 1934 to The Theatre Guild, which had been producing serious plays since 1919.

The Theatre Guild board immediately said Yes!, and they presented it on Broadway, opening October 10, 1935 at the Guild Theatre on West 52nd Street.

Having seen this San Francisco Opera production last night, we simply can’t tell you how fantastic it was!  It is definitely in our opinion, the greatest theatrical works that America has created.

All of the actors in this San Francisco production were wonderful.  Additionally, no attempt was made to glamorize the totally poverty-stricken society that this play displays for us.

FUNNY  SIDENOTE: I remember seeing the original production at a matinee. I was 9 years old, and I remember that my mentor was given strict instructions that I must not be allowed to watch the last scene, as it was much too tragic!  AND I remember that my mentor did not take me out of the theatre seat, and so I saw the whole show.  Afterwards, my irritated parents spoke to me about the tragic ending.  I said, “That’s not tragic.  He’s going to New York!”  I still remember 80 years later.

porgy and bess


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