Dear theatre friend,
Happily, some of you have had enough extra time to write to me– all those hours previously spent going, coming and watching plays possibly? I’ve greatly enjoyed reading all. Thank you!
My short memory of Ratner’s brought forth this from actor and writer William Kinsolving:
While rehearsing on the Lower Eastside, William had limited time to eat and went into the closest restaurant, Ratner’s, also enticed by the aroma of those lovely onion rolls. Not having time to peruse the menu, he ordered a hamburger! Given his charming nature, all was forgiven when he explained his origins and innocence. Kinsolving also learned that Sir Lawrence Olivier, also rehearsing in the neighborhood, often ate there and the waiters affectionately renamed him, Sir Labele!
Producer Renee Landegger had a similar reaction of cultural dislocation while eating at Veselka recently after a nearby performance. She did discover that cheese blintzes and potato latkes were not far from her Czech heritage, and didn’t starve!
Several readers have reminded me of the wonders of the Internet and television– who knew there were any alternatives to loving the stage? I do know how much I enjoy getting Theater Editor, Scott Heller’s New York Times Theater Updates which offers many options of the digital variety.
Wine connoisseur Peter Morrell contributed this:
“Once I discovered G.B. Shaw’s ‘Don Juan in Hell’, I was angered that my philosophy professors hadn’t posed these timeless questions in as fascinating a manner as Shaw. I recently came across a full 1 hour 36 minute recording onYouTube, directed by Charles Laughton, with the stellar cast of Charles Boyer as Don Juan; Agnes Moorehead as Lady Ana; Sir Cedric Hardwick as the Commandatore and Laughton as the Devil himself. What a miracle, 117 years later, to be able to hear this perfect recording. We’ve now been given an abundance of time to listen and be challenged by the important questions Shaw examined.”
Peter and others have pointed out that the Metropolitan Opera Live Stream and PBS Thirteen have marvelous broadcasts of previous programs on their websites– all available for our entertainment and comfort, especially now.
If you know of other websites for viewing plays, theatre news, even the title of a good film or two– send the info to me and I’ll disseminate gladly.
I’m certain you’ll still have time to focus on your literary side and write just one of your stories.
Please, please do send something for our fellow deprived theatre lovers–we need a diversion, too!
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.