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Theatre and Plays

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Theatre and Plays

Theatre and Plays

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Oh What a Lovely War, Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton and the members of the original cast
121 Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton and the members of the original cast Oh What a Lovely War
London Methuen & Co. Ltd. (c.1965) NO Later Printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Fair dj 
(price-clipped) [solid copy, light shelfwear, one top corner very lightly bumped, previous owners' stamp on ffep; jacket shows heavy wear to surface and edges]. (B&W photographs) The acclaimed British stage presentation, "a chronicle of the First World War, told through the songs and documents of the period," as "presented by a company of pierrots, whose songs, costumes and routines reflect the sequence of events and moods in England and Europe from the pre-war days of ragtime and the 'balance of power' to the early months of recruiting and optimistic war songs and on to the long years of stoical trench humour and 'Keep the Home Fires Burning.'" Filmed by Richard Attenborough (his directing debut) in 1969. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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By Emily Possessed [*SIGNED*], Thomas, Mona Bruns
122 Thomas, Mona Bruns By Emily Possessed [*SIGNED*]
New York Exposition Press (c.1973) 0-682-476781 / 9780682476782 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Very Good dj Signed by Author
(price-clipped) [no discernible wear to book; jacket a little rubbed, one-inch closed tear and associated creasing at top rear hinge]. (B&W photographs) SIGNED by the author on the back of the ffep. "A true story of a colorful theatrical career and a case of psychological possession." The latter refers to the author's over-identification with the role of " Aunt Emily," which she played for eight consecutive years on the TV soap opera "The Brighter Day." "She [Emily] possessed me completely in both worlds--the real and the make-believe," says the author. According to the jacket copy, "it was only when the serial came to its inevitable end that the actress began to realize the extent of this possession. Her inability to return to her real-life role forced her, after many confused and unhappy months, to become her own psychiatrist, to delve into her past, particularly her deliberately forgotten childhood, and to search her innermost soul for clues to her dilemma." All of which makes this veteran character actress something of a pioneer in the field of repressed-memory retrieval, I suppose. (She was also the mother of Frankie Thomas, who played "Tom Corbett, Space Cadet"!) Jacket blurb by Fred Astaire. Foreword by Allen Potter. Signed by Author 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Oh! Calcutta!: An Entertainment with Music, Tynan, Kenneth, et al.
123 Tynan, Kenneth, et al. Oh! Calcutta!: An Entertainment with Music
New York Grove Press (c.1969) NO 2nd printing Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
Near Fine in VG+ (price-clipped) dj [minimal handling wear to book, appears tight and unread; jacket very slightly worn/wrinkled along bottom edge, slight dog-earing at top of spine, spine faintly yellowed]. (B&W photographs) Contributors to this "frankly erotic" revue were Julian Barry, Samuel Beckett, Jules Feiffer, Dan Greenburg, John Lennon, Jacques Levy, Pat McCormick, Leonard Melfi, David Newman & Robert Benton, Edna O'Brien, Sam Shepard, The Open Window, Kenneth Tynan, and Sherman Yellen. 
Price: 12.00 USD
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I've Got Sixpence; a play in two acts, van Druten, John
124 van Druten, John I've Got Sixpence; a play in two acts
New York Dramatists Play Service (c.1953) NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj photo) Gjon Mili 
(price-clipped) [no significant wear to book, slight age-toning to page edges, one-time owner's address label on ffep; jacket lightly spotted/soiled and a bit yellowed, small chip at top of spine, another small chip at bottom of front panel]. (B&W photo frontispiece) Van Druten's play about some pretty big themes -- things like religious faith, and what makes life worth living -- had a very short run (23 performances, if you must know) on Broadway in December 1956. The jacket photo, also reproduced as the book's frontispiece, depicts co-stars Edmond O'Brien and Viveca Lindfors, he playing an unsympathetic role as a brutish novelist, she as the woman whom he impregnates during their brief affair, then abandons. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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The Empire Builders, Vian, Boris (translated from the French by Simon Watson Taylor)
125 Vian, Boris (translated from the French by Simon Watson Taylor) The Empire Builders
New York Grove Press, Inc. (c.1967) 2nd printing Softcover Good 
[book is only lightly worn, but has some neat pencil underlining sprinkled throughout the text]. Trade PB (B&W photographs) "An eminently respectable bourgeois family of father, mother, daughter, and their maid, flee, within the confines of their own home, from a strange, unknown, and terrifying Noise which pursues them as they move upward from floor to floor until they reach the attic. ... In a progression of mounting horror and the darkest comedy, the family is reduced to nothing and the curtain falls on one of the most terrible scenes in the modern theater." Illustrated with 24 photographs, showing the "varied conceptions of the play as presented in Paris, London, Helsinki, Vienna, Brussels, Malmo, and Berlin." The first of Vian's plays to be published in America, following his death in 1959. Surprisingly scarce. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Man of La Mancha; a musical play, Wasserman, Dale; lyrics by Joe Darion, music by Mitch Leigh
126 Wasserman, Dale; lyrics by Joe Darion, music by Mitch Leigh Man of La Mancha; a musical play
New York Random House (c.1966) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj Illustrated by (dj) Al Hirschfeld 
[nice copy, very slight wear to cloth at spine ends, extremely light bumping to top corners; jacket shows moderate rubbing, some fading to spine]. (B&W photographs) Musical adaptation of "Don Quixote," which premiered in 1965 with Richard Kiley in the title role, and was adapted for the big screen in 1972, with Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. Although not marked or signed in any way, this book was obtained from the estate of Arthur Hiller, director of the 1972 film version. [A couple of NOTES: (1) As usual with published versions of musical plays, this incudes the lyrics of the songs but NOT the music. (2) The jacket is unclipped, with a printed price of $3.95 and the printing code 8/66 on the front flap; these are the only reliable indicators of the true first edition, as the book club issue of this title also states "First Printing" on the copyright page.] 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Five Star Final: A Melodrama in Three Acts, Weitzenkorn, Louis
127 Weitzenkorn, Louis Five Star Final: A Melodrama in Three Acts
New York Samuel French 1931 First Edition Hardcover Very Good- 
(no dust jacket) [good solid copy, spine cloth faded and spine lettering mostly rubbed away, minor scuffing to front cover; some pencil annotation next to cast list, ink numbers next to scene descriptions on synopsis page, text itself is unmarked]. Classic play about the cynical world of yellow tabloid journalism, by an author who "knows what he writes about," per the Preface by Herbert Bayard Swope. Produced in New York in late 1930, with a fast-moving film version released by Warner Bros. the following year (directed by Mervyn LeRoy and starring Edward G. Robinson as the hard-bitten city editor); they liked it so much they remade it -- albeit to considerably lesser effect -- as "Two Against the World" in 1936, with Humphrey Bogart. 
Price: 75.00 USD
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Jacobowsky and the Colonel: Comedy of a Tragedy, in three acts, Werfel, Franz (translated by Gustave O. Arlt)
128 Werfel, Franz (translated by Gustave O. Arlt) Jacobowsky and the Colonel: Comedy of a Tragedy, in three acts
New York The Viking Press 1944 First American Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
[minor shelfwear, light age-toning to edges of text block; jacket faded at spine, short closed tear and associated diagonal crease at bottom right corner of front panel, a couple of tiny edge-nicks here and there]. Play about "the magnificent and unforgettable Jacobowsky, waif of the world, [who] has spent his life running away -- from Poland, from Berlin, Vienna, and Prague -- sustained by his knowledge that whatever happens there are always two possibilities. And then there is his 'opposite,' the elegant, swashbuckling Colonel Stjerbinsky, hero and buffoon." The jacket blurb states explicitly that "the play here presented is Franz Werfel's original, as distinguished from the version now appearing on Broadway." (That version, an adaptation by S.N. Behrman, opened on Broadway in March of 1944, and subsequently served as the basis for the 1958 film ME AND THE COLONEL, starring Danny Kaye.) The original German title was "Jacobowsky und der Oberst." 
Price: 75.00 USD
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They Shall Not Die, Wexley, John
129 Wexley, John They Shall Not Die
New York Alfred A. Knopf 1934 NO First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(patterned paper-covered boards; no dust jacket) [slight bumping to bottom corners, some fading to spine, tiny tear at top of spine; firmly bound and internally clean]. Dramatization of the Scottsboro Boys case and trial, by a playwright who went on to a relatively brief screenwriting career before his political associations caught up with him and got him blacklisted. The original Broadway production starred Claude Rains as attorney "Nathan G. Rubin," a fictionalized version of Samuel Leibowitz; also in the cast were Tom Ewell, Ruth Gordon, Dean Jagger and Erskine Sanford. Wexley had previously scored a hit with his prison drama "The Last Mile," which was filmed twice, in 1932 and 1959. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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"Sweet Bird of Youth" (in Esquire: The Magazine for Men, issue of April 1959), Williams, Tennessee
130 Williams, Tennessee "Sweet Bird of Youth" (in Esquire: The Magazine for Men, issue of April 1959)
Chicago Esquire, Inc. 1959 NO (Vol. LI, No. 4; whole no. 305) Magazine Very Good 
[moderately worn, short separation of front cover at bottom of spine (less than one inch), miscellaneous minor creasing to covers]. (B&W/color illustrations, ads, etc.) The highlight of the issue is the first publication of the Williams play. (The original Broadway production, starring Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, had only just opened in March, and the New Directions hardcover edition of the play wasn't published until December.) A small-print notice informs us that "this is the author's original working script and is subject to production changes." Another significant piece contained in this issue is a frank assessment by Richard H. Rovere of John F. Kennedy's Presidential prospects, entitled "Kennedy's Last Chance to be President." Also of interest: a cartoony pictorial essay (by Harvey Kurtzman, of all people) about a visit to Ireland by James Cagney; an article by Sybille Bedford about the 1957 murder trial of Dr. John Bodkin Adams, a sort of condensed version of her book "The Trial of Dr. Adams"; an article looking into the newest advances in the area of genetics; and book reviews by Dorothy Parker, who finds much to admire in three novels, including Romain Gary's "Lady L," and in Ms. Bedford's book about the Adams trial. 
Price: 45.00 USD
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27 Wagons Full of Cotton, and other one-act plays, Williams, Tennessee
131 Williams, Tennessee 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, and other one-act plays
Norfolk CT New Directions (c.1953) Third Edition Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj design) Lustig + Connor 
[light shelfwear, discoloration to pp.184+185 from laid-in vintage bookmark (Pickwick Book Shop, Hollywood); jacket shows a little wear at extremities, tiny closed tear at top of front panel, tiny chip at top of rear panel]. Contains two previously-unpublished plays added for this edition, "Something Unspoken" and "Talk to Me Like the Rain." Also includes an introductory essay by Williams entitled "Something Wild...." Unclipped jacket priced at $3.50. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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American Blues: Five Short Plays, Williams, Tennessee
132 Williams, Tennessee American Blues: Five Short Plays
New York Dramatists Play Service Inc. (c.1948) NO First Edition Stapled wraps First Printing Very Good+ 
[a little wear along spine, some uneven age-darkening to printed paper wrappers]. First printing (with Williams's name misspelled as "Tennesse" on the front wrapper), collecting the plays "The Dark Room," "Ten Blocks on the Camino Real," "The Case of the Crushed Petunias," "The Unsatisfactory Supper" and "Moony's Kid Don't Cry." 
Price: 125.00 USD
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"But He Doesn't Know the Territory", Willson, Meredith
133 Willson, Meredith "But He Doesn't Know the Territory"
New York G. P. Putnam's Sons (c.1959) 2nd impression Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderate external soiling, light mottling to spine, some offsetting (discoloration) to endpapers, very light spotting/foxing to page edges]. The last of the author's three memoirs, this one deals entirely with the creation of his most beloved work, with Willson telling his own story of how he and his wife Rini "lived through the events leading up to our watching our only child -- a Broadway musical comedy called The Music Man -- come out onto the New York stage in front of God and everybody, make its bow and speak its piece." Maybe the best memoir (certainly one of the funniest) ever written about the conception and production of a classic Broadway musical. 
Price: 25.00 USD
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"But He Doesn't Know the Territory" [*SIGNED*], Willson, Meredith
134 Willson, Meredith "But He Doesn't Know the Territory" [*SIGNED*]
New York G.P. Putnam's Sons (c.1959) First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Signed by Author
[beautiful copy, no discernible wear to book at all; jacket has a couple of tiny smudges on the spine, very light soiling to rear panel, a superior example of this wear-prone jacket]. SIGNED by both Meredith Willson and his wife Rini on the ffep. The last of the author's three memoirs, this one dealing entirely with the creation of his most beloved work, "The Music Man." It's more than just a behind-the-scenes-in-the-theatre story, though, as the author explains in the rear jacket blurb: "This is a love story, but because it's about a husband and wife -- Rini and me -- the book stores can't put it with the love stories. Certain people find the book amusing (sample comment from Cousin Phil: 'It's kind of humorous, what there is of it, and there's quite a lot of it too, such as it is'), but they can't put it with the humor books because there's some pretty good suspense in here [ etc.]." It's Willson's own story of "how together we lived through the events leading up to our watching our only child -- a Broadway musical comedy called The Music Man -- come out onto the New York stage in front of God and everybody, make its bow and speak its piece." Maybe the best memoir (certainly one of the funniest) ever written about the creation of a Broadway show -- one of the most popular and enduring Broadway shows, to boot, a gen-u-wine American classic. Signed by Author 
Price: 400.00 USD
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The Music Man, Willson, Meredith
135 Willson, Meredith The Music Man
New York G. P. Putnam's Sons (c.1958) Fireside BCE Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj 
[solid clean copy, light shelfwear, slight fading to spine cloth; jacket browned at spine (typical with this book), with an approximately 2-inch tear/split along left side of front panel, a bit of wear at spine ends]. (B&W photographs) Beloved classic of the musical theatre, which has somehow managed to remain so despite the fact that it mocks everything in its path, and has as its "hero" is a thorough-going rotter who is (just barely) redeemed by love, or something. Proof that great songs can put just about anything over, even in I-o-way. 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Greatest Show on Earth: A Play in Four Acts, Woods, William Whitfield
136 Woods, William Whitfield The Greatest Show on Earth: A Play in Four Acts
Chicago Brentano's 1940 First Edition Hardcover Very Good 
(no dust jacket) [light wear to extremities, a little spotting/soiling to top page edges; attractive vintage bookplate (Mary and Seymour Korman) on ffep]. (photo frontispiece portrait of author) Very scarce anti-war drama, in which the protagonist, a World War I veteran whose younger brother was killed in combat and who becomes a isolationist/pacifist as a result, goes into politics, apparently for the sole purpose of exposing how America had been conned into the conflict. In a fiery concluding speech at a national political convention (no party named, please!), he rails on about how "it wasn't really our war. We were lied into it. And the common people of Europe might as well know that it wasn't their war. It belonged to the diplomats and foreign offices, to the Governments and crowns of Europe .... these tradition-sotted vermin and their whole rotten program of international alliances, secret understandings, political concessions and territorial aggrandizement." Prefacing this final triumphant speech, Act IV consists almost entirely of a re-enactment of conversations (and machinations) among Woodrow Wilson, Georges Clemenceau, David Lloyd George, and several Italian diplomats at the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris. In a somewhat Brechtian transitional moment between this historical interlude and the concluding action of the play proper, the protagonist states to his listeners (and thus to the audience/reader) that this scene represents "the things I saw and heard as an aide at the Peace Conference." However -- and contrary to expectations, I should say -- it would appear that this is not an "I-wuz-there" dramatization: Mr. Woods, at least according to his N.Y. Times obituary, spent the war years in New York as a newspaperman, and in 1918 joined the staff of the Institute of American Meat Packers in Chicago, eventually becoming its president. There's no indication that he ever went anywhere near Paris -- although he did put in a brief pre-war stint as a college instructor at Texas A&M, so it's conceivable he might have set foot in Paris, Texas, at some point. He died, by the way, in January 1939; hence this play, his only published work, can fairly be characterized as a "keep-us-out-of-war" plea from beyond the grave. It might also be noted, for the bibliographically-attentive among you, that the publisher of this book was not the New York-based Brentano's (which ceased to operate as a publisher in about 1933), but rather Brentano's Bookstores, Inc. of Chicago ("Booksellers to the World"). 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Kismet: A Musical Arabian Night, Wright, Robert, and George Forrest (music & lyrics); Charles Lederer and Luther Davis (book)
137 Wright, Robert, and George Forrest (music & lyrics); Charles Lederer and Luther Davis (book) Kismet: A Musical Arabian Night
New York Random House (c.1954) NO Fireside Theatre BCE Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
[book has minor external dampstain at bottom corners (inside of book not affected), otherwise no significant wear; jacket typically browned at spine and edges, lightly dampstained at bottom of front and rear panels, small tears at several corners]. "The romantic tale of a day in the life of a handsome and poetic beggar in legendary Bagdad." Filmed by M-G-M in 1955, with Howard Keel and Ann Blyth taking the parts essayed by Alfred Drake and Doretta Morrow in the Broadway production. 
Price: 15.00 USD
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The Catalogue of The American Play Co., With Original Casts [cover title: The Plays of the American Play Company], [The American Play Company]
138 [The American Play Company] The Catalogue of The American Play Co., With Original Casts [cover title: The Plays of the American Play Company]
New York The American Play Co. 1908 NO First Edition Softcover Very Good 
[moderate edgewear, some soiling to page edges, general wear due to age but still quite solid]. "The American Play Company presents herewith its first annual catalogue of plays with a record of their original casts and productions, representing what it knows to be the pick and flower of dramatic material, now available for stock production in the United States. The American Play Company represents for stock plays the combined forces of the two best known and most successful dramatic agents in America, Miss Elisabeth Marbury, the oldest established play agent in the world, and Messrs. Selwyn and Co., who have achieved wonderful success in the last few years. The two offices combined control for stock the plays, almost without exception, of every prominent dramatic author in the world." Includes original casts of just over 200 plays, one per page, giving title, author, character names, actors' names, and "synposis of scenes" (actually just a list of the acts and their settings, e.g. "Act II: Vernon's Blacksmith shop, Adjoining His Living-room"). 
Price: 150.00 USD
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Joan of Lorraine [souvenir program] [*SIGNED*], {Sidney, Sylvia} {Anderson, Maxwell}
139 {Sidney, Sylvia} {Anderson, Maxwell} Joan of Lorraine [souvenir program] [*SIGNED*]
[n.p.] [No Publisher Noted] (ca.1947) NO Wraps Very Good 
[moderate edgewear, a bit of insect-nibbling along edge of rear cover and at upper corner of front cover]. (B&W photographs) Souvenir program for the stage presentation of "Joan of Lorraine," originally presented on Broadway in 1946 with Ingrid Bergman in the title role. This program was for the touring company with Sylvia Sidney (who has SIGNED this copy at the top of the front cover, which is a full-page portrait of herself). Much of the program is about Miss Sidney herself: a brief biography, various photos, a center-spread of scenes from her movies,and a very short article, "How to Succeed in Films." The booklet also contains "The Story of Joan of Arc," as well as biographical sketches of author Maxwell Anderson and director Arthur L. Sachs, and portrait shots of some of the other cast members. (There are also two more signatures, those of Arthur Sachs and actress Ann Corey, both signed next to their photos.) (++) 
Price: 30.00 USD
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