Entries Tagged as 'AuspiciousDebuts'

Monday, March 17th, 2014

“Who’s Afraid of Recording?”

Theatregoers in Shakespeare’s day would say they went to hear a play; they wouldn’t say they had seen one. The recent release by Masterworks Broadway of the original-cast album of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” gives us good reason to sound like Elizabethans and forego seeing this classic piece of American drama for the pleasure […]

Friday, December 6th, 2013

A Love Affair in Camera

To mark Vivien Leigh’s centenary year, we thought of reproducing here a few of the hundreds of portraits of her by photographer Angus McBean. McBean was the dean of theatrical portraiture for the London stage at midcentury. For over three decades Vivien Leigh was his muse. A single portrait—his favorite of her—hung in his home […]

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Auspicious Debuts: Dear Liar

On July 31, 1957, a thin crowd at MIT’s Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge, Mass. listened as Jerome Kilty (Harvard ’41) and Cavada Humphrey read—or pretended to read—from the correspondence of George Bernard Shaw, “the well-known vegetarian,” and famed English actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell. Campbell.   Perhaps some day, if you are very good and behave properly […]

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Auspicious Debuts: Our Town

Just over seventy-five years ago, Our Town opened at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre, two weeks ahead of its scheduled Broadway premiere. That same day, January 25th 1938, The Boston Post carried a headline linking the new show to a suicide. Rosamond Pinchot, the glamorous starlet once billed as the loveliest woman in America, had taken her own […]

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

The birth of a score

Researching the publication history of music scores can be a difficult venture. Materials documenting the business end of contracting, engraving or lithographing, proof-reading, and finally printing an edition are often lost to history, but occasionally, a shining gem of documentation will appear out of nowhere. Recently, I had the good fortune to dine with Michael […]

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Auspicious Debuts: “A captive, but a lion yet”

John Brown’s raid against the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, on October 16th, 1859, and his subsequent martyrdom elicited an immediate outpouring of abolitionist sentiment across the Northern states. In Columbus, Ohio, twenty-two-year-old William Dean Howells responded with “Old Brown,” his first separately printed work; the poem was soon reprinted in the Ashtabula Sentinel, […]

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Auspicious Debuts: Birdwatching with a future president

Theodore Roosevelt is perhaps the most prolific American president, having published over forty books and numerous articles during his life. His very first publication was significantly less august than his later writings: a four-page pamphlet titled The Summer Birds of the Adirondacks in Franklin County, N.Y., co-written with his friend Hal Minot and published in […]

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Auspicious Debuts: The Great Discovery

Late in 1891 Steele MacKaye embarked on one of the most outlandish enterprises in theatrical history. Without as much as a prop or a single penny, he had wooed the president of the World’s Columbian Exposition into adopting his proposal to erect the largest theatre ever built and to reenact on its colossal stage Columbus’ […]