Friday, May 15, 2020



Fred and Adele Astaire.

The pall that has fallen across the globe may be preventing us from seeing and commenting on live theatre but that shouldn’t stop us from thinking and remembering the New York theatre of the past, even if that past happened before we were born. That, at least, is the impetus for my recent postings on Theatre’s Leiter Side, Theater Pizzazz, and Theater Life, all designed to keep the idea and spirit of theatre alive, not only the good but the bad and the ugly as well.

If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll be familiar with those that offer overviews of New York theatre from 1970-1975, drawn from my unpublished Encyclopedia of the New York Stage for those years (the published volumes cover 1920-1950). You may also be aware of a series I just began for Theater Life called On This Day in New YorkTheatre, which offers surveys of all the shows that opened on specific days—those on which the entries are posted—in one of the decades between 1920 and 1950.

And today I commence yet another series, Leiter Looks Back, which recalls the highlight shows of those three golden decades. You can read all about it here. I know I’m being a bit of a quarantined nut-cake, but what else can I do to distract myself from being whupped by my wife at Scrabble nearly every day?