Saturday, August 7, 2021

Theater Memories Part 4: Regional Productions

John Glover was in many
productions with the
Philadelphia Drama Guild
After posts on summer stock, national tours and out-of-town tryouts, how about regional productions? Most of the regional shows I saw as a teen and college student were from the Philadelphia Drama Guild, for many years in residence at the Walnut Street Theater and then at the Zellerbach on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. Douglas Seale was artistic director. (He later was on Broadway in Noises Off and appeared on TV as butlers. I think he played Dolly Parton's once.) There was a resident company and John Glover, who later won a Tony Award for Terrence McNally's Love! Valour! Compassion! and starred on Smallville, was in most of the shows and stands out in my memory.

Here are the ones I recall seeing from PDG: The Glass Menagerie and Long Day's Journey Into Night with Geraldine Fitzgerald; Ceremonies in Dark Old Men with Douglas Turner Ward; Hamlet (Glover was magnificent); The Miser; Hedda Gabbler with Roberta Maxwell and Glover as Eliot Lovborg; Pinter's The Birthday Party with Leonard Frey and Glover; The Importance of Being Earnest; Twelfth Night with Domini Blythe; Saint Joan with Domini Blythe in the title role, David Rounds as the Dauphin and Tony van Bridge as the Bishop of Beauvais; The Night of the Iguana with Douglas Seale as Nonno; The Royal Family, soon after it was done on Broadway; Watch on the Rhine; Of Mice and Men; Joe Egg; Thark, a silly haunted house farce with Paxton Whitehead and comedienne Anna Russell; Robert Prosky and his two sons in The Price; The Front Page and AN Enemy of the People which featured several fellow theater students from Temple University.

Other regional productions in Philly: A Streetcar Named Desire with Shirley Knight (on tour with the McCarter Theater) which I saw on election night 1976; Maria Tucci as Major Barbara; Moby Dick Rehearsed; Love Letters on Blue Paper; Joe Orton's Loot; another Twelfth Night outdoors in the courtyard in City Hall. I may have forgotten some and will add them if I remember.

Outside of Philly: The Merry Wives of Windsor with Pat Carroll as Falstaff (Washington, DC); Albee's All Over (McCarter Theater, the production later transferred to Off-B'way); David Hare's The Secret Rapture (Chicago's Steppenwolfe); Humana Festival of New Play at the Actors Theater of Louisville (three times); Ashes/Vanities, Mr. Roberts (Pittsburgh Public Theater).

No comments:

Post a Comment