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Leiter Looks Back
LEITER LOOKS BACK: TWO REVIVALS OF 1925-1926

LEITER LOOKS BACK: TWO REVIVALS OF 1925-1926

By Samuel L. Leiter Hamlet. London production. L to R: Percy Waram (Horatio), Basil Sydney (Hamlet) This series began in the spring of 2020, when the pandemic made it seem as if live theater, on, off, off-off, or even off-off-off might never come back, or, if it did,...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: REVUES OF 1925-1926

LEITER LOOKS BACK: REVUES OF 1925-1926

By Samuel L. Leiter Earl Carroll's Vanities 1925 Brand-name revues were starting to decline by the 1925-1926 season, the Ziegfeld Follies, for example, having no new representative during the season. But there were still enough of the familiar titles available to...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FOUR MUSICALS FROM 1925-1926

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FOUR MUSICALS FROM 1925-1926

By Samuel L. Leiter No, No, Nanette As I picked my way through the 1925-1926 season, searching for shows to look back on for this column, I wound up with five, only to realize afterward that the first four appeared seriatim. While only a few new musicals of historical...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: MUSICALS OF 1924-1925

LEITER LOOKS BACK: MUSICALS OF 1924-1925

Scene from “Chocolate Dandies,” song “Manda,” sung by Valada Snow. Ca. 1924. By Samuel L. Leiter Of the 248 shows I calculate were produced in the 1924-1925 season (a number that may not match that of other sources), the vast majority of them on Broadway, 29 were book...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FOUR PLAYS OF 1924-1925

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FOUR PLAYS OF 1924-1925

Richard Bennett and Pauline Lord in They Knew What They Wanted By Samuel L. Leiter Burns Mantle, editor of The Best Plays of the Year series, took great pride in the fact, for the first time in the series’ six-year history, all ten of his selections for 1924-1925 were...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FIVE REVIVALS OF 1923-1924

LEITER LOOKS BACK: FIVE REVIVALS OF 1923-1924

Walter Hampden as Cyrano By Samuel L. Leiter Given the great number of shows opening on Broadway in 1923-1924 (as during every year of the twenties), it’s only natural that a healthy number was of revivals, both period classics and more recent examples, some on their...

Leiter Looks Back: Five Revues of 1923-1924

Leiter Looks Back: Five Revues of 1923-1924

The Marx Brothers in I'll Say She Is! Lotta Miles at center. By Samuel L. Leiter There were at least sixteen shows that could be classed as revues during the 1923-24 season, almost all of them on Broadway. That includes The Greenwich Village Follies, which had...

Leiter Looks Back: Five Revues of 1922-1923

Leiter Looks Back: Five Revues of 1922-1923

          By Samuel L. Leiter   I count twelve shows we can classify as musical revues for the New York season of 1922-1923, the season having begun in June and run through the end of May. In chronological order, they are Ziegfeld Follies...

Five Musicals of 1922-1923 (Part 11)

Five Musicals of 1922-1923 (Part 11)

      By Samuel L. Leiter   If prizes were ever handed out for the best musical theatre seasons of the 1920s, 1922-1923 wouldn’t come close. Not only wouldn’t it be considered in the running, it would be mired in the decade’s lower half with little...

FIVE PLAYS FROM 1922-1923 (Part 10)

FIVE PLAYS FROM 1922-1923 (Part 10)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   The New York theater season of 1922-1923 was memorable. According to my count (which differs a bit from other available surveys), 202 shows of every variety opened (down by a dozen or so from 1921-1922), Of those 202, 122 were new...

FIVE REVIVALS OF 1921-1922 (Part 9)

FIVE REVIVALS OF 1921-1922 (Part 9)

      By Samuel L. Leiter   The production of revivals in the 1921-1922 season brought little glory to the plays resuscitated or to the season through which they were scattered. Most were of plays from the previous half century, others were of more...

FIVE REVUES OF 1921-1922 (Part 8)

FIVE REVUES OF 1921-1922 (Part 8)

    By Samuel L. Leiter   Looking back on the season of 1921-1922, for which we’ve already surveyed selected plays and musicals, brings us next to a slew of revues. These continued to emulate, albeit in a more formal and, often, visually elaborate,...

FOUR MUSICALS OF 1921-1922 (Part 7)

FOUR MUSICALS OF 1921-1922 (Part 7)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   Today we look back on four musicals of 1921-1922, a season, like those immediately before and after, not known for the glory of its musical theater. Naturally, as the shows surveyed here reveal, it was easy enough to find...

FIVE PLAYS OF 1921-1922 (Part 6)

FIVE PLAYS OF 1921-1922 (Part 6)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   When this series began, my intention was to offer installments in which I described, for each season from 1920-1921 on, a small selection (five, when possible) of plays, musicals, revues, and revivals. The biggest problem I’ve run...

SHAKESPEARE REVIVALS OF 1920-1921 (Part 5)

SHAKESPEARE REVIVALS OF 1920-1921 (Part 5)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   A few weeks back, when I began this series, I said my intention was to provide in each installment a survey of a few significant shows for each year from the 1920s onward in the categories of plays, musicals, revues, and revivals, in...

THREE REVUES OF 1920-1921(Part 4)

THREE REVUES OF 1920-1921(Part 4)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   The Twinkling Twenties probably never twinkled more tantalizingly than when they focused their peepers on revues, both those with one-time-only titles, and those that returned annually with their titles differentiated only by the...

Five Musicals of 1920-1921

Five Musicals of 1920-1921

Leiter Looks Back: Five Musicals of 1920-1921 (Part 3)     By Samuel L. Leiter   Note: The function of this column is to describe either five plays, musicals, revues, or revivals for a specific year, from the 1920s on. Today Leiter looks back briefly at...

Three Plays of 1920-1921   (Part 2)

Three Plays of 1920-1921 (Part 2)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   Leiter Looks Back looks back again to the 1920-1921 New York theater season, for which we’ve already commented on two commercially successful shows. Following our plan, I'm offering three more straight plays, one predominantly...

Two Plays of 1920-1921 (Part 1)

Two Plays of 1920-1921 (Part 1)

  By Samuel L. Leiter   Despite the many years gone by, those looking back on the New York theatre of 1920 through 1950 can often be charmed by how fresh much of it still can seem. Of course, the bulk of it remains buried under a carpet of old-fashioned...

LEITER LOOKS BACK: A NEW SERIES

LEITER LOOKS BACK: A NEW SERIES

    By Samuel L. Leiter   I’m happy to announce the beginning of Leiter Looks Back, my new series on Theater Pizzazz, a retrospective of popular, significant, or simply interesting New York stage productions, beginning with the 1920s and—depending on...

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