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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Photography: New York Stage: 1890 - 1939

                                      Blue Jeans by Joseph Arthur.  Fourteenth Street Theater, 1890


Sherlock Holmes by William Gillette, with cooperation of Arthur Conan Doyle/ Garrick Theater, 1899



The Blue Bird by Maurice Maeterlink New Theater, 1910 (This play had premiered at the Moscow Art Theater on Sep. 30, 1908)

J.J. Shubert allows the chorus girls to stretch from their steam train ride on a national tour

         The Boss by Edward Sheldon. Astor Theater, 1911  (with Holbrook Blinn and Emily Stevens)

Shubert Theater, 44th Street   1913


The Long Voyage Home by Eugene O'Neill. Playwright's Theater, 1917.   Provincetown Players


The Jest 1919  Directed by Arthur Hopkins. With Lionel Barrymore, John Barrymore.

The Hairy Ape by Eugene O'Neill. Provincetown Playhouse, 1922

Winter Garden Theater 1923

Hell-Bent Fer Heaven by Hatcher Hughers 1924. Pulitzer Prize winner 1923/24. Klaw Theater 
(Andy forces Sid to dance while Rufe plays "Turkey in the Straw.")


Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O'Neill, 1924 Greenwich Village Theater. Provincetown Players



Wild Birds by Dan Totheroh, Cherry Lane Theater, 1925  (Donald Duff and Mildred Macleod)

                   Lulu Belle by Edward Sheldon and Charles Macarthur. Belasco Theater, 1926

                   Porgy by Dorothy and Du Bose Hayward (from his novel.) Guild Theater, 1927  (Act 2,
                   scene 4: Charleston crown-actor Jack Carter-rushes out into the storm to save Clara.)
                       ("Porgy" was the basis for George Gershwin's 1935 opera, "Porgy and Bess.")


Strange Interlude by Eugene O'Neill, John Golden Theater, 1928. The Theater Guild.
(Nina Leeds Evans-Lynn Fontanne-has a child by a man other than her husband because of the threat of inherited insanity. Here, she is dismayed at the hatred her son Gordon-Charles Walters-feels for his real father-Glenn Anders.) This play was celebrated for the spoken stream of consciousness of all the characters, including the 11 year old boy. There were 9 acts, with a one hour dinner intermission after Act 5. Pulitzer Prize winner 1927/ 28.


The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov, translated from the Russian "Visnnevyi sad"by Constance Garnett. Civic Repertory Theater, 1928. Directed by Eva Le Galliene. (With Harold Moulton and Alla Nazimova.) This was a revival of the Masterwork originally produced at the Moscow Art Theater in 1904.

Street Scene by Elmer Rice. Playhouse. 1929 (Ac actual house at 25 W. 65 Street was duplicated for this set.) Pulitzer Prize winner 1928/ 29.


 Once in a Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman Music Box Theater, 1930. (Here, we begin to see Hollywood's influence on New York Stage. This was a satire on the situation in Hollywood following the public acceptance of the Vitaphone.)




The House of Connelly by Paul Green. Martin Beck Theater, Sep. 28, 1931
THE FIRST PRODUCTION OF THE NEWLY FORMED GROUP THEATER. DIRECTED BY LEE STRASBERG. CAST: MORRIS CARNOVSKY, MARY MORRIS, EUNICE STODDARD, STELLA ADLER, FRANCHOT TONE. The original ending of the play was changed from a grim one to one that implied the possibility of social regeneration. This play rehearsed for 12 weeks!



Design for Living by Noel Coward. Ethel Barrymore Theater, 1933. (With Lynn Fontanne, Noel Coward and Alfred Lunt.) Her gowns were by Bergdorf Goodman. 

Ethel Barrymore Theater exterior

Men in White by Sidney Kingsley. Broadhurst Theater, 1933, GROUP THEATRE, DIRECTED BY LEE STRASBERG. A financial success and the Pulitzer Prize Winner. This play rehearsed for 8 weeks.  Above are the minute preparations for an operation to save a nurse suffering from an abortion after an affair with one of the young doctors. "At the first preview of Men in White, the audience found a passing reference to the moon funny. They understood that an affair between a lonely intern and a pretty nurse was to follow. It took a while to discover that it was the word, and not the scene, that had caused the "bad" laugh." --Harold Clurman





Four Saints in Three Acts, words by Gertrude Stein; music by Virgil Thomson. 44 St. Theater, 1934
Featured an all African American cast, which Virgil Thomson has to fight for at the time. (featured from left to right: Bruce Howard, Edward Matthews, and Beatrice Robinson-Wayne.) The longest continuous run of an American Opera up to its time.


THEY SHALL NOT DIE by John Wexley. Royale Theater, 1934. Theater Guild.  Cast included Claude Rains and Ruth Gordon.

The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman. Maxine Elliot's Theater, 1934. Her first play, based on a case in 19th Century Scotland.



Gold Eagle Guy by Melvin Levy. Morosco Theater, 1934. THE GROUP THEATER, DIRECTED BY LEE STRASBERG, DANCE INSTRUCTION BY HELEN TAMIRIS. CAST: MORRIS CARNOVSKY, STELLA ADLER, WALTER COY, RUSSELL COLLINS.

L'aiglon by Edmond Rostand.  Civic Repertory Company, 1934. Eva Le Galliene and Ethel Barrymore

Awake and Sing! by Clifford Odets. Belasco Theater, 1935. GROUP THEATER, DIRECTED BY HAROLD CLURMAN. SET: BORIS ARONSON. CAST: JULES GARFIELD--AKA JOHN, MORRIS CARNOVSKY, J. EDWARD BROMBERG, STELLA ADLER, LUTHER ADLER, SANFORD MEISNER, ART SMITH.  Considered one of the major achievements of the Group Theater.

Dead End by Sidney Kingsley. Belasco Theater, 1935. Dir. Sidney Kingsley. "Dead end kids."

Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets  THE GROUP THEATER



Brother Rat by John Monks, Jr. & Fred Finklehoffe. Biltmore Theater, 1936. Cast included Eddie Albert and Jose Ferrer.


Our Town by Thornton Wilder. Henry Miller's Theater, 1938. Directed by Jed Harris.

The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry. Shubert Theater, 1939 Cast included: Forrest Orr, Van Heflin, Shirly Booth, Vera Allen, Katherine Hepburn, Joseph Cotten.

Key Largo by Maxwell Anderson Ethel Barrymore Theater, 1939 Cast included: Paul Muni, Frederic Tozere and Karl Malden!!



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