1984

Pyjama Game

by Richard Adler & Jerry Ross

October 1984

With the MUSIC MAKERS

The Pyjama Game is a musical based on the 1953 novel 7½ Cents by Richard Bissell. The book is by George Abbott and Richard Bissell; the music and lyrics are by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story deals with labour troubles in a pyjama factory, where workers’ demands for a seven-and-a-half cent raise are going unheeded. In the midst of this ordeal, love blossoms between Babe, the grievance committee head, and Sid, the new factory superintendent.

The original Broadway production opened on May 13, 1954, at the St. James Theatre, and ran for 1,063 performances, with a brief stop at the Shubert Theatre at the end of the run. It was revived in 1973, and again in 2006 by The Roundabout Theatre Company. The original production, produced by Frederick Brisson, Robert E. Griffith and Harold S. Prince, won a Tony Award for Best Musical. The 2006 Broadway revival won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical. The musical is a popular choice for community and school group productions.

The original West End production opened at the London Coliseum on October 13, 1955 where it ran for 588 performances.


All My Sons

by Arthur Miller

Directed by Judith Kaveney

July 1984

All My Sons is a 1947 play by Arthur Miller. It opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre in New York City on January 29, 1947, closed on November 8, 1949 and ran for 328 performances. It was directed by Elia Kazan (to whom it is dedicated), produced by Elia Kazan and Harold Clurman, and won the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. It starred Ed Begley, Beth Merrill, Arthur Kennedy, and Karl Malden and won both the Tony Award for Best Author and the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. The play was adapted for films in 1948 and 1987.

Miller wrote All My Sons after his first play The Man Who Had All the Luck failed on Broadway, lasting only four performances. Miller wrote All My Sons as a final attempt at writing a commercially successful play; he vowed to “find some other line of work” if the play did not find an audience.

All My Sons is based upon a true story, which Arthur Miller’s then-mother-in-law pointed out in an Ohio newspaper. The news story described how in 1941–43 the Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.  The story of defective engines had reached investigators working for Sen. Harry Truman’s congressional investigative board after several Wright aircraft assembly workers informed on the company; they would later testify under oath before Congress.  In 1944, three Army Air Force officers, Lt. Col. Frank C. Greulich, Major Walter A. Ryan, and Major William Bruckmann were relieved of duty and later convicted of neglect of duty.


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The Male of the Species

by Alun Owen

Directed by Betty Sigley & Barbara Hosie

May 1984

Never trust a man – whoever he is. This is the bitter lesson learned by Mary MacNeil in her relationships with three different men: her father, a mendacious womaniser; a smooth-talking office flirt, Cornelius; and an elderly barrister, Emlyn, who is enchanted by Mary’s youthful vitality and charm. Only one of these men will win her heart in the end…

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1983

Brigadoon

by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe

Directed by Jan Hatchman

October 1983

With the Music Makers

Brigadoon is a musical with a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as “Almost Like Being in Love”, have become standards. The story involves two American tourists who stumble upon Brigadoon, a mysterious Scottish village that appears for only one day every 100 years. Tommy, one of the tourists, falls in love with Fiona, a young woman from Brigadoon.

The original production opened at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. It starred David Brooks, Marion Bell, Pamela Britton, and Lee Sullivan. In 1949, Brigadoon opened at the West End theatre and ran for 685 performances; many revivals have followed. A 1954 film version starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, and a 1966 television version starred Robert Goulet and Peter Falk.


The Rose and the Crown

June 1983

 

 


 

Plaza Suite

by Neil Simon

Directed by Audrey Hoving

April 1983

The play, Plaza Suite, is composed of three acts, each involving different characters but all set in Suite 719 of New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The first act, Visitor From Mamaroneck, introduces the audience to not-so-blissfully wedded couple Sam and Karen Nash, who are revisiting their honeymoon suite in an attempt by Karen to bring the love back into their marriage. Her plan backfires and the two become embroiled in a heated argument about whether or not Sam is having an affair with his secretary. The act ends with Sam leaving (allegedly to attend to urgent business) and Karen sadly reflecting on how much things have changed since they were young.

The second act, Visitor from Hollywood, involves a meeting between movie producer Jesse Kiplinger and his old flame, suburban housewife Muriel Tate. Muriel – aware of his reputation as a smooth-talking ladies’ man – has come for nothing more than a chat between old friends, promising herself she will not stay too long. Jesse, however, has other plans in mind and repeatedly attempts to seduce her.

The third act, Visitor from Forest Hills, revolves around married couple Roy and Norma Hubley on their daughter Mimsey’s wedding day. In a rush of nervousness, Mimsey has locked herself in the suite’s bathroom and refuses to leave. This is the most comic of the acts, filled with increasingly outrageous slapstick moments depicting her parents’ frantic attempts to cajole her into attending her wedding while the gathered guests await the trio’s arrival downstairs. The scene ends and they finally get married.

 


 

 

1982

The Sentimental Bloke

by Brown, Arlen & Thompson based on the works of C J Dennis

Directed by Audrey Hoving

October 1982

The Sentimental Bloke is a 1961 Australian musical by Albert Arlen, Nancy Brown and Lloyd Thomson based on Songs of a Sentimental Bloke by C.J. Dennis. It is one of the most successful Australian musicals of the 20th century.

Albert Arlen and Nancy Brown had worked on the musical since 1950. Initially, they sought the involvement of George Johnston, who showed little interest. Later, the actor Lloyd Thomson was brought on board as writer. Arlen and Brown went to England in 1955 to promote the show. This was unsuccessful so they returned to Australia, borrowed some money, and self-produced the musical in an amateur production at Canberra’s Albert Hall in March 1961. The cast included Edwin Ride and Brown. The show had a one-week run in Canberra, which was so popular that extra seating in the aisles had to be arranged. J. C. Williamson’s directors Sir Frank Tait and John McCallum attended the final performance.

Later that year, J.C Williamson’s produced the musical professionally in Melbourne. The original six-week season at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre (from 4 November 1961), directed by John Young, was later extended to five months. The roles of The Bloke, Doreen and Rose of Spadger’s Lane were played by Edwin Ride (from the amateur Canberra production), Patsy Hemingway and Gloria Dawn respectively. Through 1962, the production toured to Adelaide (Tivoli Theatre), Brisbane (Her Majesty’s Theatre), Sydney (Theatre Royal) and Auckland, New Zealand (His Majesty’s Theatre).


Man Alive

by John Dighton

Directed by Judith Kaveney

May 1982

In preparation for the New Year’s day sale, a window dresser has the bright idea of utilizing a special sun lamp in the display window which contains two female dummies and Waldorf, a male dummy fresh from the factory. The lamp’s rays have fantastic properties and turn Waldrof into a beguiling young man and later turn Hathaway, the store’s unpopular owner, into a dummy. While Hathaway is helplessly immobilized, Waldorf revolutionizes the store by throwing a free champagne party. He also thoroughly enjoys himself with the adoring female staff. His human life is short, if exceedingly merry, while Hathaway’s enforced sojourn in the display window has taught him a few valuable lessons.

” A lovely and original bit of nonsense.” – The Evening News , London


1981

Reedy River

by Dick Diamond

Directed by Audrey Hoving

Musical Director: Chris Leechman

September 1981

Reedy River is a 1953 Australian folk musical about the 1891 Australian shearers’ strike. The libretto was written by Dick Diamond with songs chosen by John Gray. Two new songs were written for the musical by Diamond with music by Miles Maxwell.

The play premiered at the Melbourne New Theatre on 11 March 1953. The Sydney production featured The Bushwhackers instead of an orchestra.

 


For His Brother’s Crime

by Charles E Blaney

Directed by Audrey Hoving

May 1981

 


This romantic melodrama concerns the travails of twin brothers, Victor and Ben, one “industrious and sober,” the other “an idler and drunkard.”