Tuesday, 7 February 2012

TV prophecy by Mr. Plummer

I wonder why I started to write down the names of actors/actresses.  Maybe it's the 6 degrees of separation.  For some of the below-named, they have been and gone by my time.  Mr. Plummer really worked with the best.  This book could be a text book for theatre history, early television history. Old terms I've not heard of before "the last of the great "actress/managers." His take on what tv was and what it was to become is spot on.   And, may I say, actors could not get away with as much these days as they did back then. The day of instant upload from cell phones has hurt may actors/actresses.  I think the real power in Hollywood are the PR people.  They can spin anything.

"Those were the early warning signs that this explosive new invention was about to get out of hand and go too far, that one day soon it would tell us how to eat, how to dress, how to live.  Drunk with power, it could dictate policy, bring down corporations, swing elections, topple governments.  Newscasters [Edward R. Murrow, Brinkley, Cronkite] were turned into opinionated superstars.Nothing would be sacred anymore, neither the dignity of high office nor the sanctity of the ruling class. All would become an open book - what was caviar to the general was now popcorn for the masses.  Today we have become quite accustomed to being fed intravenously with third-rate dogma; like some insidious germ warfare it all seems painstakingly planned, carefully calculated. Oh, sometimes, something fine comes along to momentarily redeem it, but not often enough."

This being said, if people didn't watch the 'third-rate dogma', it would stay on air.  Are we the product of what tv/media tells us to like or do we tell tv what to produce? Unfortunately, I think it's the tv that has the control.  For example, let's take breastmilk and formula (collective groan be gone).  TV, with all the formula company advertising, makes parents, grandparents and children think formula is 'close' to breastmilk.  That's like saying Michigan is better to live because it's closer to Hawaii than Ohio.  Closer?  Yes.  As good as Hawaii?  Not a chance (I love Michigan, by the way - I'm taking my daughter to Mackinac Island when she turns 13).  TV commercials, adverts in parenting magazines, samples given out at doctor's offices...it's a great example of "it would tell us how to eat, how to dress, how to live."

Maybe this is why I want to read these plays.  They were written, most of them I'm assuming, before the advent of tv. They made us look at life differently.  Life was the reality and it was portrayed on stage, read in books, to cut us, make us think, make us laugh. I miss going to Stratford to escape my reality. This book is my escape right now...but I like it better when I'm alone reading and posting. I can't wait to get started on the plays, poems, and (other) prose.

My ticket (yes, I'm going alone) to "A Word or Two" is for August 22.  Maybe the waiting for it will make my life slow down a bit.  That would be nice.

If any of you who may read this have a copy of one of the mentioned plays, or know where I can find one/them, please, let me know.  I'm going to have to start collecting them soon.  I'm thinking it will be the plays which will be the most difficult to find compared to the books and poetry.

Odd bit of Mr. Plummer history in this section?  He acted on soap operas!  Yes, he did.  Must pay the bills.

Feb 7

Betty Davis 
Rosalind Russell
Marjorie Rambeau
Eva la Gallienne
Gladys George
Paul Lucas 
Frank Morgan
Paul Muni
Martin Greene
Everett Sloan 
Shirley Booth
Kent Smith
John Williams
Frances Fuller - Worthington Miner's wife
Robert Webber
Audrey Christie 
Connie Ford
Noël Coward
Marlene Dietrich
Marti Stevens 
Judy Garland
Gene Kelly
Tammy Grimes
Silvia Sidney 
Ian Keith
Vivica lindfors
Lloyd Bridges
Lee Marin 
Lee Grant
Victor Karloff
Frank Overton
Jason Robards
Maurice Evans - Hamlet
Claudette Colbert
Helen Hayes
Mildred Natwick
Ian Keith
Richard Kelly
Ed Begley
E G marshall
Rod Steiger 
Shirley Booth
Maureen Stapleton
Martha Graham
Fred Astaire
Robert Preston
Gig Young
Bernie Hart
Harold Kennedy
Rex Harrison
Robert Coote
Martyn Greene
Robert Webber - Mr. P's fave
Val Avery - Mr. P's fave
Lawrence Tierney
Dorothy Parker
Marc Connelly
George Kaufman
Robert Benchley 
Robert Sherwood
Alexander Woolcott
Judith Anderson
Mildred Natwick
The Lunts -
Helen Hayes
George Abbott
Katherine Cornell - Mr P's sponsor (last great actress/managers)
Josh Logan
Ruth Gordon
Garson Kanin
Kitty Miller
Marguerite Jamois
Gérard Phillipe 
Jean Vilar
Pierre Fresnay
Anne Hunter
Mrs Leslie Carter
Florence Reed
Katherine Cornell
Maurice Evans 
Edith Evans 
Sir Ralph Richardson 
Orson Welles
Tyrone Power
Kirk Douglas
Judith Anderson
Gertrude Musgrove
Ruth Gordon 
Laurence Olivier
Raymond Massey
Godfrey Tearle
Cedric Hardwicke
Margery Maude 
Eva Leonard Boyne
John Emery
Anna Cameron 
Eva La Gallienne - Mr P's broadway debut of mr p at 24 yrs old - ran 1 night!
Peggy Ann Garner 
Albert Salmi

Donald Richardson
Henry sherek
 Binky Beaumont 

Herman Shumlin
Kermit Bloomgarden
George C Scott
Colleen Dewhurst
Stephen Elliot
David Wayne
Anthony Perkins
Richard Kiley
Anne Shoemaker
Aileen McMahon
Sidney Lumet
Franklin Schaffner
Dan Petrie 

Fred Coe
Robert saudek
David Susskind
Hubbell Robinson

Stage Manager
Eddie Bayless

Warren wade

Casting directors
Marion Dougherty 
Rose Tobias Shaw

Elmer Rice
Maxwell Anderson 
Morris Carnovsky group theatre
Horton Foote
Alvin Sapingsley
Paddy Chayefsky
Reginald Rose
S Lee Pogostin
James Costigan
Mel Brooks
Carl Reiner
Larry Gelbart
Elaine Carrington - soap writer 
Alvin Salinsley

Tennessee Williams
W H Auden
T S Eliot 
Norman Mailer
Robert Roark
Oscar Levant
Maxwell Anderson 
Sam Behrman
Richard le Gallienne - poet
Josephine Bartington (saved by le G)

Jack benny
Phil Silvers
Imogene Coca 

Tv agent
George Morris

Montherlant's Queen After Death
Rudyard Kipling's the light that failed
Robinson Jeffers' Medea 
Le Cid
Pirandello's Henri IV
Les Oeufs de l'Autruche
Look After Lulu (Occupe-toi d'Amélie)
The Shanghai Gesture
Michael Arlen's Green Hat
Candida - Marchbanks
Chekhov's The Three Sisters
Behrman's No Time for Comedy
The Doctor's Dilemma
The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Antony and cleopatra
White Cargo
The Constant Wife - Somerset Maugham
Charles Laughton The Private Life of Henry VIII
Lewis Carroll's Red Queen
Émilie Zola's Thérèse Raquin
Rostand's Chantecler
The Starcross Story  - close in 1 night
Walter Macken's Home is the Hero
Christopher Fry's the Dark is Light Enough
Noël Coward's Present Laughter 

On a soap opera! 

Pepper Young's family
Life can be beautiful

Tv shows
Kind Lady
Dark Victory
The Riddle of Mayerling
Swinburne' Even the Weariest River
The Wwhooping Cranes

Marty Manulis
Fielder Cook

Leonard Bernstein
Yvonne Printemps

Monsieur Vincent - Yvonne Printemps 

"I wasn't born I was squeezed out of a Rag at Sardi's Bar"

Method actors from the Studio
Classical brigade

Stanley Gilkey (theatrical manager) 1955
Guthrie McClintic
John Cabot Lodge

Theatre companies around the world
Brecht Ensemble
Italy's piccolo teatro
Chinese Peking theatre
Kabuki from Japan 
Paris:TNP, Jean Vilgar's classic company 

Alfred de Musset
Alexandre Dumas
Victor Hugo
François Mauriac 
André Malraux 
Jean Cocteau
Michael Korda's Charmed Lives

Margaret Webster civic rep theatre

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