Thursday, August 5, 2021

Theatergoing Memories, Part 2: National Tours

Now that we've discussed summer stock, how about national tours? Here are the ones I remember seeing as a kid in Philly (at the Forrest or Locust Street Theaters) and as a college student in Pittsburgh:

Jane Alexander and Henry Fonda
in William Saroyan's 
The Time of Your Life
Sleuth with Michael Allinson; Jean Simmons, Margaret Hamilton and George Lee Andrews in A Little Night Music; Dawn Welles from Gilligan's Island in Chapter Two; Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in The Gin Game, Krapp's Last Tape and Not I (Samuel Beckett one-acts) and The Many Faces of Love, their two-person program of readings from poems, stories and plays incl. Tandy recreating her original Blanche DuBois; Hair with future rock star Meat Loaf in the ensemble; a production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Theater of Living Arts on South Street before it was gentrified; Forrest Tucker and George Dzunda in That Championship Season; The Time of Your Life by William Saroyan with Henry Fonda, Jane Alexander, Gloria Graham, Strother Martin, a young Richard Dreyfuss and Lewis J. Stadlen.

More: for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf (can't remember cast); The Elephant Man (can't remember cast); Twigs with Sada Thompson repeating her Tony-winning performance as three disparate sisters and their crotchey old mother, Daniel J. Travanti (long before Hill Street Blues) and Oscar nominee Joe Mantell (Marty); Good Evening, a very funny two-man revue written by and starring Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke (I recall a hysterical sketch satirizing the life of Jesus long before Monty Python's Life of Brian and the classic bit about a one-legged man auditioning for the role of Tarzan); Barbara Rush (I think) and Tom Troupe in Same Time, Next Year; Equus with Douglas Campbell; Julie Harris in The Belle of Amherst; Children of a Lesser God; Lily Tomlin in her first solo show, Appearing Nitely; Dame Judith Anderson in a program of readings incl. an excerpt from Medea where she played all the characters.

Sada Thompson in Twigs

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