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Eagle Eyes

Readers add to Filichia's rundown of images of Broadway marquees, window cards, and cast albums in movies. logo
Prompted by an interesting photo that's included in the CD booklet for the soundtrack recording of The Producers, I recently wrote a column about Broadway marquees, three-sheets, window cards, and cast albums that are seen in various movies and TV shows. (Click here to access it.) I asked you all to tell me what I missed, many of you stepped forward to cite films and videos that gave their regards to Broadway.

Let's do window cards first: Liz David mentioned seeing the ones for Les Misérables, Falsettos, The King and I, and Gypsy in the movie Life With Mikey. Those were smartly chosen, for the picture deals with a children's talent agency and all those shows have roles for kids. Michael Dale noted that "either on The Mary Tyler Moore Show or on Rhoda, Ms. Morgenstern had a framed window card for Dear World on her wall." A reader identified simply as "Ed" believed it was in Rhoda; he also mentioned that, in Rosemary's Baby, there are two framed window cards in Guy and Rosemary's apartment. I shoulda remembered that, because what I've always loved about those window cards is that they're for Nobody Loves an Albatross and Luther -- precisely the two shows in which Guy is said to have appeared in Ira Levin's novel. Lastly, there were two separate sightings of Evita: Jon Lutyens spotted a window card in Labyrinth, while Chris Stonnell saw an ad on the side of a bus in Superman 2 -- "which means," he noted, "that Evita not only played New York in 1980, but Metropolis, too."

That brings us to three-sheets. Byron Kolln noticed that, "in Isn't She Great?, Nathan Lane saunters past ones for Luv, Funny Girl, The Subject Was Roses, Flora, the Red Menace, and Half a Sixpence." That's particularly impressive for a film made in 2000; hats off to the art director and set decorator who found mementos of 35-year-old shows. Andy LeClerc stated that, "In A Simple Wish, you can see the posters for Big in Shubert Alley. By the way, it's a movie in which a young girl asks her male fairy godmother (Martin Short) to help her dad land a leading role in a Broadway musical -- A Tale of Two Cities." Hmmm. If that oft-mentioned new musical version of A Tale of Two Cities does get on, maybe it'll show up in a movie, too.

As for cast albums: Cary Wong remembered that, in Jeffrey, Nathan Lane (playing a priest) displayed the cover of My Fair Lady with the image of God as George Bernard Shaw. Steven LaVigne noted that, "In Cactus Flower, Goldie Hawn sells a copy of the Mame cast album. I'm sure that's because Gene Saks directed both the stage Mame and this movie." Jeffrey Nash recalled something different from the same scene: "A customer asks Goldie Hawn to help him special-order the cast album from Mame. Even as a nine-year-old, I wondered, 'What kind of record store doesn't have Mame in stock?' " Well, I went to my Cactus Flower videotape and found what actually happened was that the customer asked for the album in mono and Hawn told him that it had been discontinued. Indeed, that's what happened to mono albums as time went on; they ceased to be available, forcing people to buy the more expensive stereo albums.

Finally, a look at theaters and their marquees. The greatest number of you, starting with Marc Miller, noticed that in All About Eve, across the street from Margo Channing's Aged in Wood are Lost in the Stars at the Music Box and The Devil's Disciple at the Royale. Susan Berlin wrote, "We know that in Promises, Promises, Chuck Baxter is to meet Fran Kubelik at a basketball game. But in the original movie, The Apartment, [they're supposed to meet] at The Music Man at the Majestic." Indeed, if you look closely, in the display case on the right you can see that famous picture of Robert Preston in his band uniform, holding a River City child in his right arm and pointing with his left. Max Woodward noted that, "in Roseland, which takes place in that dance hall, when people enter we see the Alvin across the street, with the Shenandoah marquee. On their way out, Annie is up there." Andrew J. Milner must be a Woody Allen fan; he not only mentioned that the Booth's marquee for Sunday in the Park With George is in Hannah and Her Sisters but also that Allen and Diane Keaton talk during "Runyonland" when they see the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls in that film.

Jared Eberlein wrote that, "In more than one sequence in Vanilla Sky, Tom Cruise stops in front of the Marquis Theater, where Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun sits prominently." Aaron Knudsvig noted, "In Noises Off, Michael Caine comes out of the Broadhurst, and the marquee of The Secret Garden is across the street at the St. James." Speaking of the St. James: Josh Ellis wrote that "in Valley of the Dolls, when Anne (Barbara Parkins) gets out of a cab in a snowstorm on 44th Street to deliver a letter, you can see the St. James across the street. Hello, Dolly! is there, but I forget with which star." Steven LaVigne knew: "Valley of the Dolls shows Ginger Rogers in Hello, Dolly! just before Barbara Parkins meets Susan Hayward. Later, Sharon Tate and Patty Duke come out of the L.A. Music Center after seeing -- you guessed it -- Ginger Rogers in Hello, Dolly! (I'm surprised that Josh didn't mention something he told me many years ago: The reason why there were window cards from Whodunnit? and Show Boat on The Nanny is because those stage shows were co-produced by Douglas Urbanski, whose wife produced that TV series.)

Let's close with Mark Waltz's observation that, "In A Chorus Line, when Alyson Reed's cab arrives at Times Square, the marquee of La Cage aux Folles is at the Palace." Mark was the only one who mentioned this, I guess because he's the only one who got that far into the movie.


[To contact Peter Filichia directly, e-mail him at [email protected]]

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