[Reginald Denham, English actor, writer and Broadway director.] Four chatty Autograph Letters Signed to the theatre historian W. Macqueen-Pope, with carbon of a reply by MP, and two associated items from other parties.

Reginald Denham (1894-1983), English actor, writer and Broadway director [W. Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960), theatre historian]
Publication details: 
One of Denham’s letters dated 8 June 1951; the others without year but from the same time. All four from 100 Central Park South, New York 19. Macqueen-Pope’s letter dated 5 October 1951; 359 Strand, WC2 [London]. The other two items also from 1951.

From the Macqueen-Pope papers. (See his entry in the Oxford DNB.) The seven items are in good condition, though one of Denham’s letters has slight wear to one edge. All date from the same period. The four Denham letters total 5pp, foolscap 8vo; three are signed ‘Reg’ and the other ‘Reginald’; two are on his letterhead. The fully-dated Denham letter (8 June 1951) is the longest at 2pp, 8vo. Addressed to ‘My dear Mac’, he gives details of a visit he is paying to England to settle his late mother’s affairs (‘She was 83.’) He is also going to ‘confer with Edward Percy.

[Ralph Reader, Broadway and West End theatrical impressario.] Typed Letter Signed to theatre historian W. J. Macqueen-Pope, thanking him for writing about ‘the new Award’ [perhaps the Novello?] and giving his news.

Ralph Reader (1903-1982), Broadway and West End theatrical impressario associated with Scouting movement Gang Show and FA Cup Final community singing [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960)]
Publication details: 
26 June 1957; on his letterhead, 14b Fitzjohn’s Avenue, NW3 [London].

From the Macqueen-Pope papers. See his entry in the Oxford DNB. 1p, 12mo. In good condition. Signed ‘Ralph’ and addressed to ‘Dear Popie’. It was ‘extremely good’, ‘and typical too’, of MP to write to him ‘about the new Award’. He is ‘at Newcastle now with the Val Parnell Summer Show and we ring up on Monday’. MP will know ‘what we shall be going through at the moment!’ He ends by thanking him ‘VERY [sic] much for writing’.

[Christopher Fry breaks America, 1950-1951.] Fry’s own cuttings, with manuscript captions, largely from English and North American newspapers, many describing the success of John Gielgud’s US touring production of ‘The Lady’s Not For Burning’.

Christopher Fry [born Arthur Hammond Harris] (1907-2005), distinguished English playwright, leading exponent of verse drama [John Gielgud]
Publication details: 
Cuttings from North American, English, European and African newspapers and magazines, dating from between 19 July 1950 and 20 July 1951.

Long and almost universally-appreciative articles, with photographs and cartoons, reflecting the excitement and energy of the period during which Fry was, as Michael Billington writes in his entry on the playwright in the Oxford DNB, ‘a dominant figure in British drama’. Ranging from three continents, with a few articles in foreign languages (Swedish, German, French). Among the material are John Gielgud’s long statement ‘Mr. Gielgud discovers Mr. Fry’, New York Times, 5 November 1950; and Richard L. Coe, ‘ “Lady” Delights A Packed Gayety’, Washington Post, 21 March 1951.

[Joseph Cotten, Hollywood and Broadway actor.] Signed Autograph Inscription ‘For John’.

Joseph Cotten [Joseph Cheshire Cotten Jr.] (1905-1994), Hollywood and Broadway actor, associated with Orson Welles, in whose ‘Citizen Kane’ he starred
Publication details: 
1947; no place.

On 16 x 14 cm leaf of green paper, with rounded outer edges, torn from autograph album. In good condition, lightly aged. Reads: ‘For / John / With every good wish, / Joseph Cotten / 1949’. Above the inscription has been laid down a photograph of Cotten cut from a newspaper. See image

[Burton Lane, Broadway and Hollywood composer and lyricist who discovered Judy Garland.] Autograph Note Signed to ‘Dear Peter’, thanking him for a fan letter.

Burton Lane [born Burton Levy] (1912-1997), Broadway and Hollywood composer and lyricist, whose work includes ‘Finian's Rainbow’ and ‘On a Clear Day You Can See Forever’, discoverer of Judy Garland
Publication details: 
18 December 1976; on his letterhead, 146 Central Park West, New York.

1p, 4to. In fair condition, lightly creased. Folded once. Reads: ‘Dear Peter, / Many thanks for your letter. It’s always pleasant to read nice things that people say about one’s work. / All my best wishes to you. / Sincerely, / Burton Lane’. Two-line typed biography of Lane at head of reverse.

[Mary Martin, Broadway star.] Two Typed Letters Signed (both 'Mary') to 'Popie', i.e. the English theatre historian MacQueen-Pope, discussing her family's plans and the projected production of 'South Pacific' at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Mary Martin [Mary Virginia Martin[ (1913-1990), American actress, singer, and Broadway star associated with Rodgers and Hammerstein [W. J. MacQueen-Pope; Larry Hagman]
Publication details: 
One 28 May [1950], the other undated, but from 1951. Both on her letterhead.

Each letter 1p, 8vo. Both in fair condition, lightly aged and creased. On signing one of the letters she has slightly smudged it. ONE: 28 May [1950]. She thanks him for his 'fascinating-looking book, THE MELODIES LINGER ON', and for his 'most generous inscription'. She and her husband 'Richard' (the drama critic Richard Halliday) have 'read bits and pieces and have looked at every photograph, and can't wait to really sit down and read the book from cover to cover!' She continues: 'And that will be soon.

[John Van Druten, dramatist.] Typed Letter Signed ('John van Druten') to W. J. Macqueen-Pope, discussing his memories of Ivor Novello, and his new play 'I am a Camera', based on Christopher Isherwood, and Julie Harris.

John Van Druten [John William Van Druten] (1901-1957), English playwright and theatre director [Walter James Macqueen-Pope (1888-1960),; Ivor Novello; Christopher Isherwood; Julie Harris]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the A. J. C. Ranch, Thermal, California. 15 January 1952.

2pp, 8vo. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. A very good and informative letter. Written from the A. J. C. Ranch, which Van Druten had purchased with his former lover Carter Lodge (now his business manager) and the British actress Auriol Lee. Van Druten left his interest in the ranch to Lodge, together with the rights to his work, including the play discussed here, 'I am a Camera', an adapatation of Christopher Isherwood's stories. (For the relationship between Van Druten and Isherwood, see Peter Parker's biography of the latter.) This entitled Lodge to income from the film 'Cabaret'.

[Marsha Hunt, Hollywood and Broadway actress.] Autograph Letter Signed ('Marsha Hunt') to the English playwright Christopher Fry, describing her admiration for, and association with, his work, with reference to Richard Burton and Vincent Price.

Marsha Hunt [Marcia Virginia Hunt] (born 1917), Hollywood and Broadway actress [Christopher Fry (1907-2005), playwright]
Publication details: 
On her letterhead, Sherman Oaks, California. 28 February 2005.

3pp, 4to. In good condition, lightly aged. A long and entertaining letter, beginning: 'Dear Mr. Fry, | Probably late in 1949, in a New York City duplex living room, two married couples lay prone on the floor, fanned out around a single copy of “The Lady's Not for Burning”, the better to read aloud all its colorful roles. The couples were Alfred Drake (with whom I had played the previous season in my first Broadway play), his wife, my writer husband [i.e. Robert Presnell Jr] and I.

[ Daniel Frohman, American theatre produced. ] Autograph Letter Signed, inviting General Townshend to 'the Famous Playerrs Ball', where he will met 'some of our leading lights in the picture world', including Elsie Ferguson.

Daniel Frohman (1851-1940), American theatre and film producer and manager [ Elsie Ferguson (1883-1961), American stage and screen actress ]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of the Lyceum Theatre, 43rd Street, New York. Undated, but circa 1921.

2pp., 12mo. On tinted paper. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. The letter begins: 'Dear Gen. Townshend | Won't you come with me to the Famous Players Ball on Wed. eve? | I am going to ask Miss Balfour. We can all dine here at my office at 7 on that eve - & have time to see later a litttle entertainment prior to the dancing.' He offers to present him to 'some of our leading lights in the picture world especially Elsie Ferguson who is now playng in Arnold Bennetts "Sacred & Profane Love' (which appeared in 1921).

[ Howard Lindsay and Russell Crouse. ] Typescript of play 'Life with Father', with accompanying note to theatre historian W. Macqueen Pope from the agents Myron Selznick (London) Ltd.

Howard Lindsay (1889-1968) and Russel Crouse (1893-1966)
Publication details: 
Typescript without place or date. Note from Myron Selznick (London) Ltd dated 18 November 1943.

159pp., 4to. Typed in red and black. In good condition, on aged paper, in worn green card covers. TWO: Typed Note, signed by Enid Reynolds, 'Secretary to Mr. David Henley', sending the play to Macqueen-Pope. In good condition on aged paper. 1p., landscape 12mo. Lindsay and Crouse's 1939 adaptation of Clarence Day's book was the longest running non-musical Broadway play in history, spawning a film and television series.

[Mary Anderson, American actress.] Autograph Card Signed ('Mary de Navarro') to an unnamed female recipient.

Mary Anderson [Mary Navarro; Mary Antoinette Anderson; Mary Anderson de Navarro] (1859-1940), American actress
Publication details: 
6 July 1925. On letterhead of Court Farm, Broadway, Worcestershire.

On both sides of an 8.5 x 11 cm card. The item has been soaked in order to remove it from backing, and this has resulted in fading of the ink and slight ruckling. She explains that she would have been pleased to accept the recipient's offer 'under usual circumstances', but that 'firms are volunteering to let me have their articles at wholesale prices', so she is 'bound in the interest of Boys and Girls to accept their more favorable terms'.

[Printed 'Hire Script' of the world's longest-running musical.] The Fantasticks. Book and Lyrics by Tom Jones. Music by Harvey Schmidt.

Tom Jones (b.1928) and Havery Lester Schmidt (b.1929) ['The Fantasticks', the world's longest-running musical, which ran for a total of 42 years and 17,162 performances off Broadway]
Publication details: 
Frank Music Company Ltd, 13 St George Street, Hanover Square, W1.

v + 83pp. In grey printed wraps. Printed on rectos only and comb-bound. On aged and worn paper, with stamps of the Hire Library of Messrs Chappell & Co. Ltd, 50 New Bond Street. With pencil markings and annotations. Loosely inserted is an 'On Loan' receipt to 'Mr. T. Dickinson, 12A, York Mews, London, N.W.5.' The first English production of the play was at the Apollo Theatre, London, opening on 7 September 1961. It ran for 44 performances.

Approximately fifty Autograph and Typed Letters Signed to Laurence Rivers, Inc., along with cuttings, etc., concerning Segall's play 'Lost Horizons'.

Harry Segall on Broadway
Publication details: 
Most from New York on various dates in 1934.

Lost Horizons by Harry Segall (1897-1975) opened at the St James Theatre on Broadway on 15 October 1934. An impressive testament to the efficient marketing of mainstream entertainment in early-twentieth-century America. Laurence Rivers, Inc., of 19 West 44th Street, New York City, were clearly the play's publicists, and the majority of these letters are from the representatives of various religious organisations in New York, thanking William Fields of the company for the gift of free tickets.

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