In Sunday's Arts Section of The Hartford Courant, I write about
But I was just as interested in his career as a stage manager, producer and director. I could have talked to him for hours and I hope he writes his memoirs some day about his life in the theater, which began in 1950 as assistant stage manager to "Gentleman Prefer Blondes."
Here are a few stores and observations that didn't make the printed story.
Adler's favorite play was
“We use to call her 'the singing Hun.' She was a tough lady. Very tough. But we were great together. I have a marvelous picture of her taken by Eisenstaedt and on it she wrote, ‘To Jerry, with love to the man who gets me on the road.' "
“He opened the second act of his show by telling the audience that he really was a great violinist contrary to what everyone says. He tells them he even has a Stradivarius. ‘Would you like to hear me play it?’ he asks and of course the audience says yes and applauds. So he looks offstage to me and says, ‘May I have my Stradivarius?’ So from the wings I throw a fake violin out out, landing on the floor at his feet. He would stand there for five minutes, not saying a word, and get this huge laugh.
"At the last performance the violin didn’t break all the way and I saved it and he signed it. I still have it.”
On Zero Mostel:
“I was working a play he was in in the ‘50s, ‘Lunatics and Lovers,’ I think, and the House UnAmerican Activities Committee was after him at the time as part of its Communist hunt. We used to hide Zero every night after the show because the
On an on-stage goof during the run of "My Fair Lady" in the 1950's, where he was stage manager.
"In those days if a prop phone on stage had to ring, it was the stage manager who operated it. Well, in a scene between
"Kaufman has a great line about the theater and about knowing if you have a show that's going to succeed or not. He said, "I'll tell you something. No matter what you do, when the curtain goes up, the truth comes out.' And that's true. You just never know until there's an audience. Until then, you just hope and live in wishful thinking. But when there's an audience there, they tell you what you have.
On Richard Rodgers' last musical, 979's "I Remember Mama," starring
"It could have been a good show but she wasn't very good in it. She had no stage presence and she was very selfish. She kept getting people fired -- and giving them parties and she would say, 'Oh, I cant understand how the producers could do such a thing to you' -- and she was the one who fired them!"
"I had to pull the curtain down on him during a performance. That made the front page of the