THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide




entire contents copyright 1997 by THE THEATER MIRROR

THE THEATER MIRROR received this E-mail today:

Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 11:00:49 -0700
From: (Jerry Doiron)
Organization: Shaw Festival Theatre
Subject: Vernon Duke

I'm writing from the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.
We're looking for a score and book for Vernon Duke's Sadie Thompson. I did a lycos search and got your page. Would you have any information on Vernon Duke that might help me in this quest?
I'd be grateful for any help you might be able to offer


I've forwarded your note to BAKER'S PLAYS who handle rights and know more about such things than I do.
I'm also forwarding it to Stephen Finn, who is another fount of vast information on things theatrical and musical.
I hope one or the other can help.

Break a leg...

Then our Mr. Finn promptly replied thusly:

Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 17:45:47 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Vladimir Dukelsky

Vernon Duke's real name, forgive me for being a pedant, but any friend of Larry Stark is prone to this....
Sadie Thompson was produced, so there is probably a complete score and at least one or more scripts lying around someplace. Call Tams Witmark in NYC first, in the past I have found them to be an incredible source of really obscure material. Failing that, the library at Lincoln Center may help, but they tend to be a little scattered.
The show (1944) was written for Merman, who backed out and was replaced by June Havoc (Gypsy Rose Lee's sister Baby June from the Stein Sondheim muiscal), who got great notices and gave what was said to be the performance of her career. Alas, the show only ran seven and a half weeks.
If neither Tams nor Lincoln Center is any help, let me know. There are a couple of other more obscure avenues I can try to follow up for you.


Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 07:52:13 -0400 (EDT)
From: Brown Family
Subject: Harwich Junior Theatre

Could you add our theatre to The Mirror? Harwich Junior Theatre just won the NETC 1997 Award for Excellence in Theatre.
Our home page is
Thanks a lot.

Joanne Brown
Harwich Junior Theatre

From the information on your web-site it's obvious that the honor is richly deserved.
Pity you don't list ther address of your theatre...

Date: Wed, 21 May 1997 11:39:20 -0500 (CDT)
From: (Sharyn Shipley)
Subject: Putting one foot in front of the other.

It's the Endless Rewrite. I'm not complaining, mind you, because it's increased the speed and interest of the play about 100%. I want it to go fast, like Othello. I want it to fly by.
Also I had to have my pitcher took and write a bio. Yuck.
Hope all's well.

NOTE: Sharyn Shipley is The Theater Mirror's very own "playwright NOT in residence" --- as you can see if you read Reflections . And when Larry Stark answered:

Yeah, I thought you were working. I could Hear the Silence of your working...
Does the photo and the bio mean you've found a producer, or that you've found a Publisher?
When will you next get to see actors grappling with your words?

Sharyn replied:

I'll send it when I write it. It's a tough write. See the actors in August. The play will be professionally read (actors and writer get paid) at the Skirball Museum in LA on August 3.
Ain't life grand?

Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 09:02:01 +0000
From: mkaplan
Subject: Mark Twain Would Be Proud of You!

Hey, Larry! Read your review of "Zoo Story." Sounds like the performance is one of the highs of this year or any other.
I don't think I will go see it, though: saw Jerry and the dog and Krapp a million times in acting workshops over the years. Both are great vehicles for actors; both are chock full of meat for overcooking/undercooking by actors young and old who are on an ego trip.
Audiences don't want to see that kind of stuff...they are better left to daytime television. Rather save my $ and time for a new play or two or....a bottle of bourbon. Hope your bottle was Wild Turkey.
Keep up the good work...your enthusiasm for live theatre is greatly appreciated by those of us who have spent our time pitching in the minors. Maybe someday some of your respect and love for "boston" theatre will rub off on those arrogant ones of the GLOBE --- haters and disdainers of anything not big$$--.
Much love and respect.Mort

Gee, Mort, I've always thought of myself as pitching in the minors myself. And, as you will remember, in my youth I took Peter Brook's suggestion that "any open space can be made a theatre" and spent my time happily in very tiny spaces, such as the one you worked in at Northeastern so effectively, and the old Tufts Arena Theater, or the second-floor Lyric Stage on Charles Street. If something moved on a stage in front of an audience, I wanted to see it and talk about it.
And I guess I never really grew out of that.
Then again, I was never in a position to "make or break" a show until the much-delayed opening of "Hair!" here in Boston --- and when my review raised the ugly possibility of clay feet, our publisher felt it necessary to add a review of his own that saw no imperfections. And guess whose review qualified to get quoted in the advertising...
I was embarrassed when Rosann M. Weeks --- who worked in another tiny space in the cellar of The Old West Church --- said her business depended on MY reviews. "A good review, we get good audiences; a bad review we get lousy audiences; a so-so review, we get so-so audiences," she said, and it was the first time (honest) I connected critical opinions with business.
But newspapers live by their advertising, and the smaller the theatre the smaller the advertising-budget. The first word I heard from the GLOBE about reviewing small local theatres was when Greg McDonald who was Arts Editor at the time said "If we followed our income-sources, we'd only review rock records and movies, because that's where all the money is; we review plays and books out of moral obligation." He also said that the paper could do these smaller companies no good at all because "If we slam them, they die; if we praise them, they go to New York. We can't win."
Well, around that time down in New York City Brooks Atkinson reviewed a production at The Circle in The Square in The TIMES, and suddenly the world became aware of something they had to call "off-Broadway" theater! And since the GLOBE couldn't ask someone whose word could make-or-break a big expensive (and lavisly advertising) Broadway try-out to waste his time in church basements, they finally had to hire William A Henry III to cover what someone started calling "off-Boston" theater. (Bill really broke new ground when they gave him the television beat, and he began reviewing cable shows in addition to network stuff.)
Ah me, old buddy;
let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the deaths of kings...

Date: Thu, 22 May 1997 20:55:43 -0400

From: David G
Subject: A few changes

Hi larry -
Incredible how comprehensive you are!!!! Great job. A few changes on our shows

Mystery Cafe
- at Three Cheers
290 Congress St
Friday & Saturday @ 8:00pm
"We the Jury!"
Interactive Jury Trial comedy mystery$32.95- $34.95
(617) 320-0040

The Mystery Love Boat has changed to
"Aloha Means Goodbye!"
on the Boston Harbor Mystery Cruise
aboard the Bay State
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30

His Majesty's Feast is history once again
Mass. Hysteria is touring

That's it. That's enough!

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 14:29:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: Crystal Tiala

USITT New England announcement.
USITT New England finally has a presence on the web. Check us out. Send suggestions. We can be found at:
Special Thanks to Jeff Gardiner for his help in uploading and improving the page.
And to Emerson College and Russ Swift for hosting the page.

Crystal Tiala
Crystal Tiala
Scene Designer
11 Hunting Lodge Road
Storrs, CT 06268
Phone: 860-429-0494

Date: Sun, 18 May 1997 21:48:32 -0400
From: Richard Gist
Subject: Re: web-coverage of theater

This Internet thing just keeps better n' better. Your page is absolutely fantastic. You need no suggestions. I added a link to The Mirror at:
Thanks again for your kind comments and keep up the great work on your own page. It's glorious!
Richard Gist
Balto-Wash Theatre Page
Aisle Say Internet Reviews

Compliments are sweetest from respected peers.

From: "S C"
Subject: Evening/Weekend Acting Classes in Boston
Date: Sat, 17 May 1997 18:12:23 PDT

Hi Larry,
I am a 24 year male with no experience in acting. I am eager to receive some acting training. Are you aware of some good acting classes in Boston with suitable timings for a person with a full time job.
Is it possible to get some acting work (unpaid of course), which requires only evening/weekend involvement? I don't mind throw-aways and walk-overes as I just looking for some elementary exposure for now.
PS: Thanx for setting up The Greenroom Discussion Forum. It's great!

Off the top of my head: ACTORS' WORKSHOP does classes; the director of "Hunger" and JAVA THEATER gives classes. I think there are classes with LYRIC STAGE.
But obviously I'll need to do some more looking.

Does anyone else have some good advice?

As far as small parts, there's no guarantee and though there are lots of audition-calls, there's always competition. I'd recommend you go to plays at several community theatres for a while, and go back after the show and ask what people know. Don'' be discouraged, though. You might just show up some night at, say, The FIREDOG THEATRE and volunteer to read. It'' be a way in, and a chance to talk about how to go further with people who are already involved.
I'll get back to you as I find out more. Until then, break a leg... Love,

Date: Thu, 15 May 1997 16:18:00 -0700
From: Scot Key
> Subject: Boston plays in early August

I'll be vacationing in Boston Aug 4-12 and was wondering if a site existed that would list most, if not all, of the shows in Boston. I checked the list for all of New England, and few Boston shows were mentioned.
TIA for info, and thanks for putting together a fine theater site.
Scot Key
Hayes MS
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Well, I'll keep my eye out, Scot, and let you know what develops.
Summer stuff is just getting organized, and our listings are dependent on what comes in, or what we can filch from websites or other sources. (The Sunday New York TIMES had previews of summer shows, but very little information on Boston itself.

From: "Paul Blum"
Subject: Re: Great site
Date: Tue, 13 May 1997 20:38:42 -0700

Thank you very much for offering to add us to your links-list. You really have an amazing web site, actually a bit overwhelming - organized, informative, and really fun. We'll link in with you and give our readers something new to play with, in case they haven't found you yet. And thanks for the positive comments on our web site. I really approve of your goal of getting uncluttered lists of all stages in a given area.

I am the "reporter" for the Monterey County Theatre Alliance newsletter Back Stage, meaning I gather a lot of the material and write the stories. My husband maintains the web site, and is really having fun with it. Since a lot of energy is put into the newletter and the web site, its challanging to try to reach as many people as possible.

I rather quickly looked over the Theater Mirror. I'm going to spend some liesurely time this weekend reading it. My husband and I have made quite a few trips to New England. Our daughter went to college in New York but we always flew into Boston. It will really be fun to read in depth about the New England (and world-wide) theatre scene.
Thanks again,
Terry (and Paul) Blum

Date: Mon, 12 May 97 17:31:32 -0700
From: Robert Gentile
Subject: Les Miserable

Do you know if the play "Les Miserable" will be playing somewhere soon?
Thank you,

24 Mar 97
Detroit, MI

21 Apr 97
Fort Wayne, IN

28 Apr 97
Grand Rapids, M

I 5 May 97
Boston, MA

7 Jul 97
Atlanta, GA

Source: Alan Wasser Associates (via Todd Singletary)

That information came from Jill Hobgood's THEATRICOPIA site:
But you didn't have to go that far.
There's a site called LARRY STARK'S THEATER MIRROR
( ), and in its listing of "Shows Up And Running THIS WEEK under "L" for "LES MIS" you will find:

"The Last Flapper" (till 25 May)
"Laughter on The 23rd Floor" (till 11 May)
Ethel Kewskin Theatre, 1349 Newfield Avenue, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT


"Les Miserables" (till 5 July)
106 BoylstionStreet, BOSTON


"The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe" Children's play (till 18 May)
Pine Tree Players, Beaver Hill Road, SPRINGVALE, MAINE
"A Little Night Music" (till 18 May)
et cetera......

You really ought to look into The Theater Mirror from time to time, Bob. Lots of interesting information crops up there, from time to time.
(a k a Larry Stark)

THE THEATER MIRROR, Boston's LIVE Theater Guide