All posts filed under: THEATRE

“The Jew on the Stage and the Screen” – 1929

A photo recently surfaced on Tumblr, of the Baz from the 1929 stage play Judas (co-written by Rathbone and Walter Ferris). I’ve decided to feature it here because it signifies a notable period in Basil’s life. It’s very high res, click on the images and enlarge them to full size and you can see all the details of the dust on the floor, the vein running over his forearm, and the homespun weave of…whatever that thing is he’s wearing. It makes it all quite immediate and real. A frozen moment in great clarity. The moment was in January 1929. Things must have looked pretty great to him right then. Judas might not have been a hit with the critics (it only ran for twelve performances), but his theatre career was riding high; the year before he’d been touring The Command to Love all over America and playing in a festival of Shakespeare in New York. At 37 he was looking forward to a long and distinguished stage life on both sides of the Atlantic. Later …

Watchman, What of the Night?

I’ve been  preparing for this blog for a while, asking friends and collectors for tidbits and morsels, doing a lot of web exploring, which can occasionally bring up nicely unexpected things. And just today I found one. A little book written by Jed Harris, Broadway producer/director, called Watchman, What of the Night?. I’ve linked to a pdf file, but  at Archive.org  the text is available in various formats, including a Kindle version. The book is notable for fans of the Baz because it’s all about the struggle (and such it really seems to have been) to get The Heiress onto Broadway for its first outing in 1947. The whole book is interesting but there’s one passage that’s just pure gold for Rathbone-admirers or would-be biographers, so I’m going to quote it in full. But first a little background on Harris, taken from the book’s flyleaf: “A producer-director whose name is synonymous with perfection in the legitimate theatre tells the story of an Opening Night. When Henry James’sWashington Square was first made into a play, it died a …