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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kind Sir
Written byNorman Krasna
Characters3 M 3 F
Date premiered26 September 1953 (New Orleans)[1]
4 November 1953 (New York)
Place premieredAlvin Theatre, New York
Original languageEnglish
SubjectComedy
SettingThe New York apartment of Miss Jane Kimball

Kind Sir is a 1953 play written by Norman Krasna and directed by Joshua Logan. It was the inspiration for the 1958 film Indiscreet.

Background

Norman Krasna had written the play by June 1950.[2] He was delayed putting it on by working with Jerry Wald at RKO.

Joshua Logan says Krasna told him he wrote it with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in mind for the leads. Logan says after he read the play "I was amazed again at the way Norman could take a small misunderstanding, a white lie, and turn it into a full-length, funny and even romantic play... It did not have the GI humor and lustiness of John Loves Mary but it was brilliantly constructed and had the glamour and delightful aura of drawing room comedy that had been missing from the theatre for years."[3] Logan called it "a good play. It had all the craftsmanship of the best Pinero farce - plus the charm and elegance of something by Lonsdale or Maugham."[4]

Logan offered the female lead to Joan Crawford who read the first two acts on stage just to see if she would do it but did not want to commit to a stage play. Charles Boyer agreed to play the male lead and Mary Martin the female lead. Rehearsals began in September. "I know we'll have to work terribly hard to make it terrible," said Logan of the play.[5]

Logan struggled with mental health issues during rehearsals.[6] In October 1953 he checked into a sanitorium for several weeks.[7]

The production cost $75,000. This was entirely provided by Krasna, Logan and the stars.[8]

Original cast

Reception

The New York Times called it "trivial theatre that is spasmodically entertaining."[10]

The play had a huge advance but reviews were not strong and it ran on Broadway for 166 performances.[11][12] Logan said although the play had a million dollar advance, the largest ever for a nonmusical play, reviews were poor. "My great idea of pairing Mary Martin and Charles Boyer in a light romantic comedy had backfired," Logan wrote. "The public came to see a combination of South Pacific, Algiers and Mayerling. With their appetites set for a juicy steak dinner they had been served fish. Exquisitely prepared fish but nevertheless not steak. And the shock to the taste buds caused not only disappointment but anger."[13]

References

  1. ^ KIND SIR' IN NEW ORLEANS: Logan's Production of Krasna Play Is Hailed at Premiere Special to The New York Times 28 Sep 1953: 21.
  2. ^ DALRYMPLE PLANS PRODUCTION IN FALL New York Times 15 June 1950: 40.
  3. ^ Logan p 348
  4. ^ Logan p 384
  5. ^ She's Washed That Gal Right Outa Her Hair: Mary Martin, after nearly four years as Nellie Forbush, prepares to emerge as a new woman in her first straight play. Right Outa Her Hair By SEYMOUR PECK. New York Times 20 Sep 1953: SM19.
  6. ^ Logan p 360-385
  7. ^ LOGAN IN SANITARIUM: Producer-Director of 'Kind Sir' Resting Near New Orleans New York Times 22 Oct 1953: 34.
  8. ^ Financing of 'Kind Sir' a Stage Rarity Chapman, John. Chicago Daily Tribune 6 Sep 1953: f7.
  9. ^ http://ibdb.com/production.php?id=2384
  10. ^ AT THE THEATRE By BROOKS ATKINSON. New York Times 5 Nov 1953: 41.
  11. ^ Kind Sir at Playbill
  12. ^ DELAYED 'TIGHTS' IN DEBUT TONIGHT: ' Extravaganza,' Postponed Twice, Opens at Hellinger With Jeanmaire, Goldner By SAM ZOLOTOW. New York Times 5 Mar 1954: 16.
  13. ^ Logan p 384

Further reading

  • Logan, Joshua (1976). Josh, my up and down, in and out life. Delacorte Press.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 March 2021, at 00:18
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