Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


George S. Kaufman Site Launches

Filed under: Headline Shooter   Tagged: ,

Welcome! More, from Baltimore Broadway World (or something like that—it’s always so hard to ferret out the title on sites like this):
On November 16th, on what would have been his 117th birthday, the first official website for America’s greatest comic dramatist, George S. Kaufman, was launched.
The site - www.georgeskaufman.com - contains a wealth of information, graphics, and links about Kaufman, his life, and the Broadway classics he created with, among others, Moss Hart, Edna Ferber, and the Gershwins, such as You Can’t Take It With You, Dinner at Eight, and Of Thee I Sing. Included, of course, are some of his immortal witticisms, such as his comment on the much-altered film of his play Stage Door: “They should have renamed it Screen Door.” The website should be essential to theater scholars, students, fans of Broadway history, and anyone interested in a good laugh.
The George S. Kaufman website has been edited and written by Laurence Maslon, Associate Arts Professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and editor of the Library of America edition, Kaufman & Co.: Broadway Comedies. The Boston Phoenix called that 2004 volume “the best collection of plays that anyone’s put out in years” and it was enthusiastically reviewed in the New York Times by Woody Allen. The nine plays in that volume are highlighted on the website with full plot synopses, commentary, cast breakdowns, dialogue selections and links for each comedy: The Royal Family, Animal Crackers, June Moon, Once in a Lifetime, Of Thee I Sing, Dinner at Eight, Stage Door, You Can’t Take It With You and The Man Who Came to Dinner. In addition, another fifteen plays and musicals are profiled in section named “Critics’ Choice,” along with an extended catalogue of Kaufman’s lesser known works. The website is supplemented with a full biography, filmography, and archive section, which contains more than a dozen articles by Maslon, glossaries, and biographies of collaborators, all suitable for downloads. The web design is by Pink Rat, LLC.
Anne Kaufman Schneider, the playwright’s daughter and executrix of his estate commented, “I’m thrilled that my father and his collaborators are going to reach new generations of theatergoers and admirers of great comedy through the Internet. Not that my father would have known the difference between the Internet and a hair net, but I’m sure he’d have been thrilled, too.”
If Eugene O’Neill represents the tragic mask of American drama, George S. Kaufman can lay claim to its smiling counterpart. No other comic dramatist in America has enjoyed more popular success and perennial influence or has been more fortunate in his choice of collaborators. His particular brand of sharp comedy and satire produced forty-five Broadway comedies and musicals; also renowned as a humorist and wit, he was a charter member of the famed Algonquin Round Table. Kaufman was also the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for drama, including the first Pulitzer ever awarded to a musical.
Kaufman once remarked that “Satire is what closes on Saturday night,” but, ironically, there has not been a Saturday night since 1925 when a George S. Kaufman comedy hasn’t been playing somewhere in America.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree