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Theatre and Plays

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Theatre and Plays

Theatre and Plays

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The Killing of Sister George, Marcus, Frank
81 Marcus, Frank The Killing of Sister George
New York Random House (c.1965) NO 1st American printing Hardcover Near Fine in Good dj 
[book itself is solid and clean, with just a trace of shelfwear; jacket stained and mottled along spine, with title almost completely faded away thereon (B&W photographs) Comedy about an actress who in real life is the antithesis of the beloved "Sister George" character she plays on a popular radio program, and her younger roommate-companion. The play's title refers to the imminent "death" of the radio character, the anticipation of which makes the actress, June Buckridge (originally played by Beryl Reid), even more of a misery to live with than before. The play only implies that the two women have a lesbian relationship, but when it was transposed to film in 1968 this aspect was brought explicitly (even garishly) to the forefront under the direction of Robert Aldrich, who handled the whole thing with the same subtlety and delicacy that he'd demonstrated with WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? a few years earlier. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. 
Price: 7.00 USD
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Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays [*SIGNED*], Martin, Steve
82 Martin, Steve Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays [*SIGNED*]
New York Grove Press (c.1996) 0-8021-1595-0 / 9780802115959 2nd printing Hardcover Fine in Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) John Gall Signed by Author
[a lovely copy, no discernible wear to either book or jacket]. (B&W photographs) SIGNED by the author (signature only) on the ffep. A lovely copy of Martin's first full-length play (and second published book, after "Cruel Shoes"), in which he employs the device of a debate between Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso to explain, in Martin's words, "in a light-hearted way, the similarity of the creative process involved in great leaps of imagination in art and science." The original production opened at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 1993 and moved on to a long run at the Westwood Playhouse in Los Angeles. Also included in this volume are four shorter works: "The Zig-Zag Woman," "Patter for the Floating Lady" and "WASP." Bill Irwin and Carol Kane are among the actors depicted in the photographs from the various productions. Signed copies seem to be fairly scarce in the marketplace at the moment. [NOTE that the book is a stated "First Edition," but with a number line ending in 2, hence the second printing.] Signed by Author 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Quintero Directs O'Neill, McDonough, Edwin J.
83 McDonough, Edwin J. Quintero Directs O'Neill
Chicago A Capella Books (c.1991) 1-55652-105-7 / 9781556521058 First Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj) Al Hirschfeld 
[very nice clean copy, no discernible wear to book; jacket shows only light surface wear, vertical crease in front flap]. (B&W photographs) "A brilliant episode in American theater history comes to life in [this book]. Drawing on hundreds of hours of personal interviews, critical reviews, and memoirs, this sourcebook documents the production history of every Eugene O'Neill play directed by Jose Quintero. [The book] traces the genesis of each of these productions, from initial designs through opening night reviews, along with Quintero's other O'Neill stagings. Twenty-three photos evoke the energy, intensity, and intelligence of Quintero's landmark direction of O'Neill's profound American dramas." 
Price: 10.00 USD
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Sanford Meisner on Acting , Meiser, Sanford, and Dennis Longwell
84 Meiser, Sanford, and Dennis Longwell Sanford Meisner on Acting
New York Vintage Books 1987 0-394-75059-4 / 9780394750590 First Edition Softcover Near Fine  Illustrated by (cover) Vincent Topazio 
[nice tight copy, minor cover wear, very light browning to page edges]. Trade PB "Today Sanford Meisner, who has been a fixture at the Neighborhood Playhouse for fifty years, is the best known and most beloved teacher of acting in the country. This book...follows an acting class of eight men and eight women for fifteen months, beginning with the most rudimentary exercises and ending with affecting and polished scenes from contemporary American plays. Throughout these pages Meisner is a delight -- always empathizing with his students and urging them onward, provoking emotion, laughter, and growing technical mastery from his charges." Introduction by Sydney Pollack, himself a former student of Meisner's.  
Price: 7.00 USD
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That Championship Season, Miller, Jason
85 Miller, Jason That Championship Season
New York Atheneum 1972 NO First Edition Softcover (softcover issue) Very Good Illustrated by (cover) R. Kursar 
[diagonal crease across lower corner of front cover, very slightly dog-eared at top corner of front cover, otherwise just minor handling wear] Trade PB (B&W photographs) Five-character drama about a reunion of four members of a Pennsylvania championship high school basketball team with their now-dying coach, twenty years after their triumph in the Big Game. It was a multiple award-winner on stage (Pulitzer Prize, New York Drama Critics Circle Award, Tony Award), but the 1982 film adaptation (directed by playwright Miller) was pretty much a bust. Another production was produced for Showtime in 1999, with Paul Sorvino (the only original Broadway cast member to repeat his role in the 1982 film) assuming the directorial reins, while also remaining in the cast -- but now in the role of the coach. 
Price: 30.00 USD
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Edward, My Son; a play in three acts, Morley, Robert, and Noel Langley
86 Morley, Robert, and Noel Langley Edward, My Son; a play in three acts
New York Random House 1949 (c.1948) 1st U.S. edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj 
[nice clean copy, minimal shelfwear; slight browning to jacket spine and right edge of front panel, light soiling to rear panel, very minor wear at extremities]. (B&W photo frontispiece) Drama about a man whose obsession with making his son (never seen on stage) a success drives him to rather extreme measures. The original stage play starred co-author Morley, Peggy Ashcroft (to whom the play is dedicated), and Ian Hunter; only Hunter was tapped for the 1949 film version directed by George Cukor, with the two principal roles being assumed by the more movie-boxoffice-friendly duo of Spencer Tracy and Deborah Kerr. (Morley did get to essay the role he created one more time, though, on TV's "United States Steel Hour" in 1955.) 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Striptease, Repeat Performance, and The Prophets: Three Plays, Mrozek, Slawomir
87 Mrozek, Slawomir Striptease, Repeat Performance, and The Prophets: Three Plays
New York Grove Press, Inc. (c.1972) 0-394-48280-8 / 9780394482804 1st printing Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
(price-clipped) [no significant wear to book, just a teensy bump to top rear corner; jacket shows surface wear, tiny scrape mark near top of front panel]. "Slawomir Mrozek, the Polish author whose plays -- among them 'Tango' and 'Police' -- have earned him a reputation as one of Europe's most inventive and most frequently produced new playwrights, has written three more plays that confirm his position as a master of modern satire whose concerns are as political as they are moral." 
Price: 12.00 USD
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Sailor, Beware!; Variations on a Familiar Theme, in Eight Scenes, Nicholson, Kenyon, and Charles Robinson
88 Nicholson, Kenyon, and Charles Robinson Sailor, Beware!; Variations on a Familiar Theme, in Eight Scenes
New York Farrar & Rinehart (c.1933, 1932) First Edition Hardcover Very Good in Good dj Illustrated by (dj) John O'Hara Cosgrave II 
[quite a decent copy, with some slight deterioration to the cloth near the top of the rear cover, tiny bump/dent at bottom of rear cover, spine slightly turned but binding solid; jacket edgeworn and moderately soiled, and has been internally repaired and reinforced with brown paper tape, which has disguised various small bits of paper loss at corners and edges (still reasonably attractive, however)]. "Uproarious Naval Comedy" that served as the basis for a seemingly endless number of film adaptations, in 1936 (as "Lady Be Careful"), 1942 (as "The Fleet's In") and finally under its original title in 1952. The wacky sailors in the three versions, respectively, were: Lew Ayres, Benny Baker and Buster Crabbe; William Holden and Eddie Bracken; and Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. (Quick, what's the last "Naval comedy" you can remember? If the first title that came to mind was "The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell," Frank Tashlin's completely non-uproarious 1968 groan-fest with Bob Hope and Phyllis Diller -- well, if you wondered why the genre has died out, that might be your answer right there.) 
Price: 50.00 USD
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The Year Boston Won the Pennant, Noonan, John Ford
89 Noonan, John Ford The Year Boston Won the Pennant
New York Grove Press (c.1970) NO 2nd printing Softcover Very Good 
[corners of front cover bent/creased, small bookstore stamp on ffep, remainder stamp on top edge]. Trade PB The author's first play. 
Price: 6.00 USD
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American Dream: Play in Three Acts, O'Neil, George
90 O'Neil, George American Dream: Play in Three Acts
New York Samuel French 1933 First Edition Hardcover Very Good+ in Very Good dj Illustrated by (dj) D. Sherwood 
[solid copy, mild dust-darkening to top edge but otherwise nice and clean; jacket is somewhat soiled, about 3/8" paper loss at top of spine, extending slightly onto front panel but not affecting illustration, also some minor paper loss at bottom of spine]. The first Broadway play by this St. Louis-born playwright and poet, this was a trilogy of one-act plays about three generations of an American family, the Pingrees, with episodes set in 1650, 1849 and 1933. Brooks Atkinson, the New York Times critic, was most impressed by the modern segment: "Never has the emptiness of these times been told with quite so much malicious humor as Mr. O'Neil concocts in the personages and the fatuous dialogue of this whirligig scene." Staged by the Theatre Guild, the play ran for just 39 performances, and O'Neil made only one more foray on Broadway, "Mother Lode," which fared even worse when it opened -- and closed -- in December 1934. By then, though, the playwright had already discovered the Hollywood screenwriting mother lode and had permanently relocated in the West. He had a pretty decent success there (among his credits were MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION and INTERMEZZO), but not exactly a long and happy life: he died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1940, at the age of 42. 
Price: 40.00 USD
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Paradise Lost; a play in three acts, Odets, Clifford
91 Odets, Clifford Paradise Lost; a play in three acts
New York Random House 1936 First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [moderately shelfworn book, slight fraying to cloth at top of spine, bottom corners lightly bumped, gilt spine lettering dulled but still readable]. (B&W photo frontispiece) Odets's play about "the decay of the middle class" (per Harold Clurman, in his introduction). First presented by the Group Theatre in December 1935; the original cast included Morris Carnovsky, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Luther Adler, Elia Kazan, and Vincent Sherman. Odets came to Hollywood in early 1936, hoping to make some easy movie money to help finance this production; he may not have gotten on the train quickly enough, though, as the play closed in February 1936. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Rocket to the Moon; a romance in three acts, Odets, Clifford
92 Odets, Clifford Rocket to the Moon; a romance in three acts
New York Random House (c.1939) First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good dj 
[nice clean book, with minimal shelfwear; jacket browned at spine, tiny tear and associated tiny crease at top of front panel, modest chip (paper loss) at top of spine]. (B&W photographs) Odets play, originally produced by the Group Theatre in 1938, about a dentist who's carrying on with his young assistant, while his business and his marriage are in a shambles. "Rocket" was less overtly political than his earlier work, and less successful than his previous play, "Golden Boy." ("Rocket" ran just 131 performances on Broadway, about half as long as "Golden Boy," which by then was already headed for the silver screen, just as Odets himself had decamped for Hollywood.) 
Price: 60.00 USD
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The Big Knife, Odets, Clifford
93 Odets, Clifford The Big Knife
New York Random House (c.1949) NO 2nd printing Hardcover Very Good+ in Good dj 
(price-clipped) [nice clean book, with moderate shelfwear to bottom edge and top of spine; jacket edgeworn, with some chipping along the top edge, 1-1/2" closed tear at top of front panel]. One might gather from this play -- "a savage indictment of Hollywood doings, authentic as well as venomous," in the words of critic Howard Barnes -- that Odets's time in the cinema capital, trying but only fitfully succeeding at being a screenwriter, might have left him just a teensy bit embittered. One would be correct. John Garfield (who would soon have his own reasons for being embittered by Hollywood) starred in the Broadway production in 1949, directed by Lee Strasberg; by the time the film version was made in 1955, Garfield was dead and the role went to Jack Palance, who gave a scenery-chewing performance under the direction of Robert Aldrich, never the most subtle of filmmakers. 
Price: 35.00 USD
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The Greatest Revue Sketches, Oliver, Donald, comp. and ed.
94 Oliver, Donald, comp. and ed. The Greatest Revue Sketches
New York Avon Books (A Bard Book) 1982 0-380-79194-3 / 9780380791941 2nd printing Softcover Very Good 
[moderate soiling to page edges; binding solid, no markings in text]. Mass Market PB "The revue sketch is the theater's most delightful sub-genre. The revue gained popularity in the twenties and thirties in the productions of Florenz Ziegfeld, Earl Carroll, George White, and the Shuberts. Here is comedy from classic Broadway productions, many unavailable for decades and some seeing print for the first time. Of particular use to drama students is a table of contents by number of characters, [although the collection] is primarily presented for the general reader who wants to bring a little laughter into his life." Includes works by Ring Lardner, W.C. Fields, George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, Jean & Walter Kerr, Abe Burrows, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, James Kirkwood, Mel Brooks, Robert Benchley, David Freedman and others. Also includes brief biographies of the authors. Paperback original, jam-packed with great stuff (over 50 individual pieces in 475 pages); rather hard-to-find. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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The Entertainer, Osborne, John
95 Osborne, John The Entertainer
London Faber and Faber 1957 NO First Edition Hardcover Near Fine in Good dj Illustrated by (dj photo) Tony Armstrong Jones 
[nice tight clean book, very light wear to extremities, ownership signature of noted film director Vincent Sherman on ffep; jacket has various tiny edge-tears and one slightly larger one (about one-inch, closed) at top of front panel, and the front panel is also a bit wrinkled from having gotten a little wet at some point]. Osborne's searing drama about a washed-up music hall entertainer was first staged in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957, under the direction of Tony Richardson, with Laurence Olivier in the lead; they re-teamed for the movie, three years later. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Betrayal, Pinter, Harold
96 Pinter, Harold Betrayal
New York Grove Press, Inc. (c.1978) NO Book Club Edition Hardcover Fine in Near Fine dj Illustrated by (dj design) Charlotte Staub 
[nice tight copy, appears unread, no significant wear to book; jacket has a mildly browned strip across the top of the front panel]. "The play begins in 1977, with a meeting between adulterous lovers, Emma and Jerry, two years after their affair has ended. During the nine scenes of the play, we move back in time, through the stages of their affair, with the play ending in the house of Emma and Robert, her husband, who is Jerry's best friend." Adapted into the 1983 film of the same name starring Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge, directed by David Jones from a screenplay by Pinter. Includes the original "Curtain Time" book club flyer, laid in. 
Price: 20.00 USD
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Jig Saw: A Comedy, Powell, Dawn
97 Powell, Dawn Jig Saw: A Comedy
New York Farrar & Rinehart (c.1934) NO First Edition Hardcover Good 
(no dust jacket) [light staining to cloth at bottom of rear cover, occasional light dampstaining to edges of a few pages, spine cloth faded, slight bumping to corners, previous owner's signature on ffep]. The only one of Powell's ten or so plays to be published during her lifetime, it had a brief (49-performance) run in New York in 1934, with Ernest Truex and Spring Byington in the leads. Ownership signature of Academy Award-winning screenwriter Daniel Taradash on ffep. 
Price: 100.00 USD
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Something Different; a comedy in two acts, Reiner, Carl
98 Reiner, Carl Something Different; a comedy in two acts
New York Samuel French, Inc. (c.1967) Unstated printing Stapled wraps Near Fine 
[nice clean copy, the only blemish being a couple of staple-removal holes near the upper right corner of the front cover]. (stage diagram) Reiner's only produced play, a comedy about a one-hit-wonder playwright who's been suffering from writer's block ever since his initial success, twelve years earlier. He decides that the only way to overcome his creative inertia is to relive the underprivileged circumstances under which he wrote his first play -- by erecting an exact facsimile of his poor Jewish motherís Bronx kitchen, smack in the middle of the living room of his 14-bedroom, 9-bath suburban mansion. Bob Dishy and Linda Lavin starred in the original Broadway production, which ran a respectable 111 performances under Reiner's direction; reviewing a less successful 1983 revival, critic Frank Rich described the show as "not a play but an extended sketch, [although] it does have its merits as a grab bag of cockamamie jokes." 
Price: 35.00 USD
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Green Grow the Lilacs; a play, Riggs, Lynn
99 Riggs, Lynn Green Grow the Lilacs; a play
New York/Los Angeles Samuel French (c.1931) Later Printing (see note) Softcover Good 
[soiling/staining/discoloration to covers, front hinge a little tender; text is clean]. Play about fussin' and feudin' ranch folk, set in pre-statehood Oklahoma, or maybe I should say "Oklahoma!", given that it's best known (if it's known at all) as the source material for the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, which premiered to great acclaim in 1943 and has had a notable afterlife. (The original play ran for just 64 performances in early 1931, but also toured the Midwest and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.) Riggs, a native Oklahoman himself, wrote quite a few other plays (not one of which is remembered, let alone performed, these days), and also had a sort of desultory screenwriting career, with credits including the turgid THE GARDEN OF ALLAH (1936) and two of the decidedly non-turgid Universal Sherlock Holmes B-pictures of the 1940s. I find it somewhat amusing (your mileage may vary) that this very American play was written entirely when the author was in residence in France, and also that the role of the cowpoke Curly in the original Broadway production was essayed by the very un-cowpoke-like Franchot Tone. (NOTE: Inside-front cover blurbs for the plays "Night Must Fall" and "And Stars Remained" date this printing as circa 1937.) 
Price: 25.00 USD
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Roadside: A Comedy, Riggs, Lynn
100 Riggs, Lynn Roadside: A Comedy
New York/Los Angeles Samuel French 1930 Later Printing Softcover Very Good Illustrated by "AM" 
(printed wraps) [solid copy, internally clean, age-toning to edges of text-block; original price on front cover altered by hand from 75 cents to 85 cents]. (two small woodblock illustrations) Riggs's play immediately preceding "Green Grow the Lilacs," his most famous work (by virtue of being the source material for "Oklahoma!"). "Roadside" was the first of his many plays to receive a professional production in New York, opening at the Longacre Theatre on Sept. 26, 1930, with Ralph Bellamy in the lead as "Texas," a character described by the New York Times critic as "an American Gargantua -- a Paul Bunyan of the Plains." 
Price: 35.00 USD
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