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Cort Theatre

(New York). One of Broadway's smaller and most engaging theatres, the Cort on West 48th Street was designed by Edward B. Corey to hold a thousand spectators comfortably in an ...

Cort Theatre

Cort Theatre   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
86 words

... Theatre (New York). One of Broadway's smaller and most engaging theatres, the Cort on West 48th Street was designed by Edward B. Corey to hold a thousand spectators comfortably in an auditorium in the style of Louis XVI . It was built by impresario John Cort and opened in 1912 with a resounding hit: Peg o' My Heart starring Laurette Taylor . Although it served as a television studio between 1969 and 1972 , the playhouse has had a long history presenting nonmusical plays in an intimate...

Cort Theatre

Cort Theatre   Reference library

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
178 words

... Theatre , New York, on West 48th Street, between the Avenue of the Americas and 7th Avenue. This opened in 1912 with Laurette Taylor in the immensely successful comedy Peg o' My Heart by her husband John Hartley Manners . In 1916 there was a revival of Hazelton and Benrimo's The Yellow Jacket , and in 1919 came Drinkwater 's Abraham Lincoln . In 1930 there was a notable revival of Chekhov 's Uncle Vanya , and in 1933 The Green Bay Tree by Mordaunt Shairp with Laurence Olivier , in an elegant setting by Robert Edmond Jones , had a...

Cort, John

Cort, John (1859–1929)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
163 words

..., John ( 1859–1929 ), manager and producer . The son of a Newark, New Jersey, minister, he entered the theatre over his father's objections, beginning as half of a vaudeville comedy team, Cort and Murphy . Before long, however, he abandoned performing to build his first theatre. Cort was so successful at the start that he soon had a major chain of vaudeville houses. When he lost his theatres through overexpansion he started again, this time building legitimate playhouses. As head of the Northwest Theatrical Circuit he dominated the theatre in his area....

Fifth Season, The

Fifth Season, The (1953)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
96 words

...Season, The ( 1953 ) , a comedy by Sylvia Regan . [ Cort Theatre , 645 perf.] Max Pincus (Menasha Skulnik ) and Johnny Goodwin (Richard Whorf ) run a faltering garment company which is in trouble to some extent because of the traditional ups and downs of the industry, but also because Johnny spends too much time away philandering. So most of the company's woes fall on the already woeful Max. Luckily, Max is lovable and good enough to help matters to a happy ending. This slim, cliché‐ridden comedy succeeded handsomely on the strength of the tiny,...

Magic Show, The

Magic Show, The (1974)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
94 words

...Show, The ( 1974 ) , a musical entertainment by Bob Randall (book), Stephen Schwartz (music, lyrics). [ Cort Theatre , 1,920 perf.] When the Passaic Top Hat, a minor New Jersey night club, hires a young magician ( Doug Henning ) to replace a tired old act, much against the wishes of a jealous old‐timer ( David Ogden Stiers ), it gets more than it bargained for. Notable songs : West End Avenue; Lion Tamer; Up to His Old Tricks. The slim plot was merely an excuse for Henning's spectacular feats of magic, which turned the show into a long‐running...

Curran, Homer F.

Curran, Homer F. (1885–1952)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
169 words

...University, where he developed an interest in theatre. He later purchased the Cort Theatre in San Francisco, but sold it after he built the Curran Theatre in 1922 . When the Great Depression discouraged New York producers from taking their plays to California, Curran, in association with Fred Butler and Edward Belasco , brother of David Belasco , regularly bought the rights for new (and older) plays and mounted them for Western tours. As a result he is generally credited with retaining interest in live theatre on the West Coast. In 1939 he founded the...

Season in the Sun

Season in the Sun (1950)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
108 words

...in the Sun ( 1950 ) , a comedy by Wolcott Gibbs . [ Cort Theatre , 367 perf.] Tired of writing glib articles for The New Yorker , George Crane (Richard Whorf ) flees with his wife, Emily ( Nancy Kelly ), to the supposed quiet and privacy of Fire Island, where he proposes to dedicate himself to becoming a serious novelist. But quiet and privacy are not what George finds. Instead, his summer cottage turns into a way station for a motley assortment of kooks and bores. In desperation, George returns to the relative sanity of New York City. The comedy was...

Shrike, The

Shrike, The (1952)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
118 words

...The ( 1952 ) , a play by Joseph Kramm . [ Cort Theatre , 161 perf.; Pulitzer Prize.] Despondent over his failure to obtain work as a theatrical director, Jim Downs (José Ferrer ) attempts to kill himself and is committed to the psychiatric ward. Taking advantage of her legal status, his vicious, estranged wife, Ann ( Judith Evelyn ), determines to keep him there until he comes back to her. She quietly turns the doctors against him and agrees to his release only after he promises to abandon a warm, loving girl with whom he has been having an affair....

Taylor, Laurette

Taylor, Laurette (1884–1946)   Reference library

The Concise Oxford Companion to the Theatre (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
139 words

...Laurette ( née Cooney ), , ( 1884–1946 ), American actress. She had already had a long career, being on the stage from childhood as ‘La Belle Laurette’ in vaudeville , when in 1912 she appeared at the Cort Theatre , New York, as Peg in Peg o' My Heart , by her second husband John Hartley Manners ( 1870–1928 ). She played the part in London in 1914 . It was always thereafter associated with her, and she also starred in many of his other 30 plays, though they were not worthy of her considerable talent. After Manners's death she retired from the...

Under Cover

Under Cover (1914)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
138 words

...Cover ( 1914 ) , a play by Roi Cooper Megrue . [ Cort Theatre , 349 perf.] A man known as Steven Denby (William Courtenay ) has smuggled a valuable necklace into the country, then hides it in his room at the home of friends he is visiting. Inspector Daniel Taylor ( De Witt C. Jennings ) is determined to retrieve the jewels and threatens to jail the sister of Denby's fiancée, Ethel Cartwright ( Lily Cahill ), for a crime the sister inadvertently committed if Ethel does not help trap Denby. Appearing to walk into the trap, Denby turns the tables by...

Upstairs and Down

Upstairs and Down (1916)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
151 words

...and Down ( 1916 ) , a comedy by Frederic and Fanny Hatton . [ Cort Theatre , 320 perf.] At a giddy Long Island weekend party, the hostess, Nancy Ives ( Christine Norman ), begins to wonder about the amorality and immorality of her social set. Her guests are petty, selfish, and self‐deceiving. Elizabeth ( Mary Servoss ) and her sister, Alice Chesterton ( Juliet Day ), are good examples—lying and backbiting each other in their efforts to attract the same man, Terrence O'Keefe ( Courtney Foote ). Deciding she would be happier in a blue collar world,...

Merton of the Movies

Merton of the Movies (1922)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
153 words

...of the Movies ( 1922 ) , a comedy by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly . [ Cort Theatre , 398 perf.] Merton Gill (Glenn Hunter ) is so film struck that he has become the joke of the tiny Illinois town of Simsbury. When his preoccupation causes him to neglect his duties as clerk in Amos Gashwiler's general store and get fired, Gill immediately heads for Hollywood, where he is befriended by “Flips” Montague ( Florence Nash ), a bathing beauty in a famous slapstick series. She lands him a small part in a film, but Gill is disillusioned by the...

Male Animal, The

Male Animal, The (1940)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
151 words

...Animal, The ( 1940 ) , a comedy by James Thurber and Elliot Nugent . [ Cort Theatre , 243 perf.] Tommy Turner (Nugent), a professor of English, suddenly finds himself confronted by two problems: the return to campus of Joe Ferguson ( Leon Ames ), a former college football star and old flame of Turner's wife, Ellen ( Ruth Matteson ), and an editorial in the college newspaper protesting Turner's reading of a letter sent by the anarchist Vanzetti to Vanzetti's daughter before his execution. Turner's edginess about Joe leads to getting them both drunk and...

Sunrise at Campobello

Sunrise at Campobello (1958)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
214 words

...at Campobello ( 1958 ) , a play by Dore Schary . [ Cort Theatre , 558 perf.; Tony Award.] Franklin D. Roosevelt (Ralph Bellamy ) has taken a swim that has left him tired and achy. Within a few hours he can no longer move parts of his body. His wife, Eleanor ( Mary Fickett ), his mother, Anna ( Roni Dengel ), and his long time political associate Louis McHenry Howe ( Henry Jones ) all recognize that he has polio. They gather together to help Roosevelt, who is depressed and even terrified when he thinks of his helplessness should a fire break out....

Grapes of Wrath, The

Grapes of Wrath, The (1990)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
196 words

...of Wrath, The ( 1990 ) , a stage adaptation of John Steinbeck 's novel by Frank Galati . [ Cort Theatre , 188 perf.; Tony Award.] Originating at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, this earthy and captivating version staged by Galati was perfectly suited to the gritty kind of acting at which the company excelled. Lois Smith was the indomitable Ma Joad, Gary Sinise was her ex‐con son Tom, and Terry Kinney was the preacher Casey, the conscience of the epic tale about destitute “Okies” who seek a new life in California. Presented simply on a planked...

Five Star Final

Five Star Final (1930)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
245 words

...Star Final ( 1930 ) , a melodrama by Louis Weitzenkorn . [ Cort Theatre , 175 perf.] Caring only about circulation, the callous newspaper owner Bernard Hinchcliffe ( Berton Churchill ) orders his editor, Randall (Arthur Byron ), to revive the sordid, long‐buried story of Nancy Vorhees ( Merle Maddern ), who had been acquitted of the charge of shooting her lover. Nancy is now married to Michael Townsend ( Malcolm Duncan ) and is preparing for the wedding of her daughter Jenny ( Frances Fuller ). When a reporter visits her, she gives him a picture of...

Room Service

Room Service (1937)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
204 words

...Service ( 1937 ) , a farce by John Murray and Allen Boretz . [ Cort Theatre , 500 perf.] Gordon Miller (Sam Levene ), a penny‐ante producer, has a play, a director ( Philip Loeb ), a cast of twenty‐two actors, and the promise of a theatre but no money. He sells a ten‐percent interest in the show to Joseph Gribble ( Cliff Dunstan ), the manager of the White Way Hotel, in return for lodging his entire entourage. But when the bills mount up, the hotel attempts to oust the company. Miller has his not‐very‐bright playwright, Leo Davis (Eddie Albert ),...

Purlie Victorious

Purlie Victorious (1961)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
198 words

...Victorious ( 1961 ) , a comedy by Ossie Davis . [ Cort Theatre , 261 perf.] Purlie Victorious Judson ( Davis ), an exuberant young African‐American preacher, returns to his small Georgia hometown, hoping to acquire Big Bethel Church and convert it into an integrated house of worship. His plans are opposed by the hidebound, unreconstructed Ol' Cap'n Cotchipee ( Sorrell Brooke ) who resents all modern innovations, such as colleges that teach students to pronounce “nigger” as if it were spelled “negro,” as well as the political leanings of his son, Charley...

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
188 words

...Rainey's Black Bottom ( 1984 ) , a play by August Wilson . [ Cort Theatre , 275 perf.; NYDCC Award.] Ma Rainey ( Theresa Merritt ), an African‐American blues singer, is difficult at the best of times, and the 1920s are not the best of times, particularly for blacks in Chicago. When she arrives for a recording session, she has had a run‐in with the police after an automobile accident, the producer is demanding she use a new arrangement by the young trumpet player Levee ( Charles S. Dutton ), and the equipment either is not functioning or has been sabotaged....

Rainmaker, The

Rainmaker, The (1954)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
267 words

...The ( 1954 ) , a play by N. Richard Nash . [ Cort Theatre , 124 perf.] The Curry family has two problems: their farm is threatened by a severe, prolonged drought, and they have been unable to marry off plain, outspoken Lizzie Curry (Geraldine Page ). Into their midst swaggers a handsome con man, Bill Starbuck ( Darren McGavin ), who promises to bring rain for a fee of $100 and who courts Lizzie. Nature finally brings the rain; but by the time Starbuck leaves, he has given Lizzie sufficient confidence and poise for her to win a husband on her own....

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