What local connection do these actors all share: Denzel Washington, Margo Martindale, Zach Grenier, Denis O’Hare and Judy Kaye?
They all performed at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Washington appeared in the 1979 production of Ceremonies in Dark Old Men.
Which of these plays was not made into a musical for the stage or screen? Teahouse of the August Moon, The Elephant Man, Juno and the Paycock, The Front Page, The Man Who Came To Dinner, You Can’t Take It With You, Our Town. For extra credit, give the name of the show that the others did become.
It was You Can’t Take It With You. We think. Do you know how hard it is to find a successful play that was not tried as a musical? Teahouse was made into Lovely Ladies, Kind Gentleman, a memorable flop; The Elephant Man: was the basis of a hilarious lampoon of musicals as Elephant! in the film The Tall Guy (well worth a look); Juno and the Paycock became, sure enough, Juno; The Front Page became a British musical Windy City; The Man Who Came To Dinner was Sherry with Clive Revill; Our Town was rewritten, workshopped extensively and produced once in 1987 by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt as Grover’s Corners, but they lost the rights from Wilder’s estate.
Theater critic Walter Kerr’s home life was the basis of a novel penned by his wife and then became a television series. Name it.
Please Don’t Eat The Daisies
Name three living Broadway stars who, for all practical purposes, can’t read music. Name the living Broadway composer who can’t notate. And for really extra credit, what noted musical accompanist helped two of them to get by until he died in 2004?
Barbara Cook, Mandy Patinkin and Carol Burnett. The composer is Mel Brooks. The accompanist was the late Wally Harper for Cook and Patinkin.
What 2003 Broadway box office flop (but Tony-nominated) tried out at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and whose director later blamed part of the problem on the lack of world-class resources promised by the Playhouse such as a turntable (a claim strongly disputed locally)?
Urban Cowboy. Director Lonny Price can be seen seriously dissing the Playhouse during a panel discussion preserved online at the American Theater Wing’s website.
Name the composer and/or lyricist of these relative box office flops: Carmelina, Pipe Dream, 70 Girls 70, Greenwillow, Here’s Love, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and a personal favorite, Celebration (all were recorded at least in concert versions)
Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Frank Loesser, Meredith Willson, Leonard Bernstein and Alan Jay Lerner, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. The 1600 song is “Take Care of This House.”
Name one major straight play written in verse by the following authors: T.S. Eliot, Christopher Fry, a translation by Brian Hooker or Anthony Burgess, Caryl Churchill, Archibald MacLeish
Murder in the Cathedral, The Lady’s Not For Burning, Cyrano de Bergerac, Serious Money, J.B.
Finally, questions connected to shows opening this month:
When Gwen Verdon had surgery during the original production of Chicago (Broward Center Oct. 9-20), the producers contemplated ending its run. But then they hired a much-younger replacement who had recently become world famous. Who was she?
The play version of Of Mice and Men (Palm Beach Dramaworks Oct. 11-Nov. 10) was based on the novella by John Steinbeck. What Nobel Prize-winning writer penned the play adaptation?
Steinbeck himself, although it was directed by George S. Kaufman who doubtless had a few dramaturgical suggestions.
Frederick Knott, playwright of Dial M For Murder (Maltz Jupiter Theatre Oct. 31-Nov. 10) wrote only one other hit play 14 years later. What was it?
Wait Until Dark