Recent Events

Lambs’ Exhibit short films not seen in nearly a century!

March 14, 2019

Monday, March 11th, 2019

In the early 1930’s, The Lambs ® created 2-reel comedy short films with Columbia Pictures. These shorts were created as a means to raise fund for the Club during the Great Depression. Most of these films have never been seen in almost a century. The films offer a rare historical look at The Lambs, its famous members and activities. The presentation included: Shave it with Music (1932), The Curse of the Broken Heart (1933), Poor Fish (1933) and Hear’em and Weep (1931).

A columnist for Classic Images magazine and Lambs’ member, Robert Tevis, who organized the screening, said, “It’s exciting to open the door to forgotten film history.”

George Willeman, of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress, plucked these rare gems from the Library of Congress vaults and presented them at The Lambs 51st Street Clubhouse to a packed house. Willeman, who is the nitrate film vault manager, brought the films to the attention of his friend, Mr. Tevis.

Mr. Tevis and Marc Baron, Shepherd of The Lambs, rolled up their sleeves and visited the Special Collections room at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, facilitated by Steve Massa of the library staff.  The Library holds 35 linear feet of 192 boxes of Lambs’ archives.

Robert Tevis did archival research to put these films into their glittering context. He stated, “I was ecstatic to find a letter on George Gershwin’s personal stationary to the then Shepherd of The Lambs, saying in effect “count me in.” Another letter from famed actor Spencer Tracy in 1932, sadly declining the opportunity to participate, read, “You must believe there’s nothing in the world I’d rather do than this thing for The Lambs’ club.”    “What it shows is how much giants of entertainment loved their Club and wanted to help,” said Shepherd Baron.

Acting greats and Lambs Tracy and William Powell were prohibited to participate due to their contracts at the time with major studios.

“In addition to theater, Lambs members have always been involved movies. Paramount Pictures and United Artists were formed by Lambs, as was Screen Actors Guild – and more recently the merger of SAG-AFTRA.”

The evening’s film program was made possible to by the generosity of Sony Pictures, which owns the rights to the Columbia film library. The company allowed the presentation of the films to Lambs members and invited guests and allowed The Lambs Foundation to keep a copy for their archives.

Willeman also spoke about the Library of Congress’ film facility in Culpepper, VA. He pointed out that the Film Foundation estimates that 90% of silent films no longer exist, and the Library estimates that 75% of all films ever made are lost.

Founded in 1874, The Lambs is America’s first professional theatrical organization. Its member included Fred Astaire, George M. Cohan, W.C. Fields, Will Rogers, and John Philip Sousa. Lerner and Loewe first met at The Lambs, and Loewe left a bequest of royalties from Brigadoon to The Lambs Foundation. Current luminaries include Joyce Randolph (Trixie of The Honeymooners), Don Pippin, and Honorary members Jim Dale and Matthew Broderick.

Tevis said his favorite scene in The Curse of the Broken Heart – a spoof of melodramas of the day – occurs when the heroine is attempting to rescue the hero. Both are airborne in the cockpits of two separate biplanes. The hero is tied up and cannot fly his plan. His girlfriend in the other is trying to shoot the ropes with which her lover has been villainously bound. Shooting at his plane, she hit’s him. When we cut back to see he is bleeding. Still, he urges her, shouting, “Don’t worry, darling, I still have confidence in your aim.”

Willeman concluded by inviting everyone to visit the Library’s Culpepper, VA, facility, which houses a cinema that is open to the public.  In reference to the fact that the Library of Congress is America’s library and funded at taxpayer expense, he told the audience, “I always say about our screenings – you’ve already paid for them!”

The evening was underwritten by a grant from The Lambs Foundation, founded 75 years ago to promote education in the arts and support non-profit theatre.

To download press release – CLICK HERE.

Below is an assortment of photos taken by Lamb Jim Manley:

 

An Evening with Helen Gallagher

February 7, 2019

– Monday, Feb 4, 2019

Acclaimed actress and acting teacher, Helen Gallagher, gave a talk at The Lambs about her great career in musical theater, soap operas, film and teaching the craft. Interviewed by Foster Hirsch, a profession of film at Brooklyn College and author of 16 books on theater and film. This was another great evening in collaboration with our friends at Harvardwood. The house was packed with members of The Lambs and Harvardwood, and friends and former students of Helen. Thanks to Lamb Magda Katz for videotaping Helen !

New Artifacts Added to the Fold

January 23, 2019

1931 telegram to Donald BrianThree pieces of Lambs history were recently framed for the Fold. They are all Western Union telegrams that were sent from club members to others. Two are new to the club and contain hundreds and hundreds of signatures of members, some who joined the club in the 19th century. A newer one, from 1972 (yes, Western Union was still in use) was sent by Shepherd Tom Dillon to an ailing member. It was put into a nice new frame. Look for these on the walls of the Fold. Thanks to the Lambs Foundation for preserving these.

The widest, and biggest, has an amazing story. On September 7, 1931, this Western Union telegram was sent to Lambs member Donald Brian on the occasion of opening night of the revival of The Merry Widow. It is signed by more than 200 fellow Lambs and friends. Among those who signed this are Robert Hood Bowers (1877-1941) composer/conductor for silent movies; Albert O. Brown (1872-1945) Shepherd 1921-24, 1930-32, theater manager; R. H. Burnside (1873-1952) Shepherd 1918-21, Immortal Lamb, and writer, director, producer, actor who staged hundreds of shows and ran the Hippodrome; Harold De Becker (1889-1947) Actor; Ernest Glendinning (1884-1936) silent movie & stage actor; John McGraw (1873-1934) member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, won World Series three times; Ray Peck (1874-1950) Shepherd 1945-47, Immortal Lamb, writer, lyricist, composer of musical comedies; Edwin Milton Royle (1862-1942) successful playwright; Percy Wenrich (1887-1952) Immortal Lamb, producer, Tin Pan Alley composer and member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame. More than a dozen names are illegible; if you can decipher these, please inform the Club Historian.

1. Arthur Hurley
2. Robert L. Hagree
3. John Hobble
4. Frank Allworth
5. Will Philbrooke
6. Karl Stall
7. Franklin Woods
8. Thomas Cowan
9. Percy Wenrich
10. Earle Boothe
11. Robert Hood Bowers
12. John Sibel
13. Eugene Revere
14. Karl Stanton
15. Harold Bowden
16. John Leffler
17. J.C. Dunn
18. Ralph Riggs
19. Lionel Adams
20. Reginald Nessa (?)
21. John Henry Means
22. Donald A. Leonard
23. Carleton Macy
24. Mortimer H. Weldon
25. Leonard Loud
26. Ralph J. Locke
27. Charles Purcell
28. Albert J. Simmons
29. R. Barawall (?)
30. Bruce Elmore
31. Oscar Shaw
32. Ralph Theodore
33. Walter Armin
34. John Burke (?)
35. George Nash
36. John McGraw
37. Ross Hertz
38. ?
39. John T. Hughes
40. Bill Holbrook
41. Averell Harris
42. Hap Ward
43. Harry Short
44. William Carey ?
45. Adrian H. Rosley
46. Robert Pitken
47. Gardner Soper
48. Minor Watson
49. Ross Hertz
50. Vincent Serrano
51. Jack Combs?
52. Charles Brown
53. Henry O’Neill
54. Albert O. Brown (shepherd)
55. Edwin Milton Royle
56. John L. McManus
57. George Drury Hart
58. August Kleinecke
59. Hal Fonde
60. Roy Cropper
61. John Park
62. Albert H. Spink
63. Sam Wallack
64. Thomas L. Martin
65. Carl Simmonay ?
66. Henry Dazian
67. Charles P. Hammond
68. William J. Kelly
69. Jed Prouty
70. Frank Lalor
71. John Kline
72. Clyde Veaux
73. John Clarke
74. Harry McNaughton
75. Lee Kohlmar
76. J. Hammond Dailey
77. Edward Ellis
78. Barry Macollum
79. Percy Hilton
80. Norval Keedwell
81. Al Ochs
82. Lester E. Wallack
83. Jerome (Joe) Daley
84. Arthur Hurley
85. ?
86. ?
87. John Brennan ?
88. ?
89. M.D. Stauffer
90. Walter N. Greaza
91. Clay Clement
92. James Marshall
93. Burke Clarke
94. Eddie Poland
95. Edward Butler
96. Ray Peck
97. Arthur Gordon
98. Dr. William Frieder
99. Charles Halton
100. Thomas P. Shearer
101. William Holbrook
102. J. Sylvester Murray
103. Priestly Morrision
104. James L. Seeley
105. Edward Dillon
106. Harold Woolf
107. Ken Webb
108. Bruce Elmore
109. ?
110. Matthew Smith
111. Frederick Stanhope
112. William J. Rapp
113. George W. Swett
114. John B. Hendricks
115. William Lynn
116. Edwin Campbell
117. ?
118. ?
119. Harold De Becker
120. Robert H. Burnside
121. Franklyn Underwood
122. J.P. Lewis ?
123. William Danforth
124. George S. Christie
125. Louis Morrell
126. Joseph R. Garry
127. Aubrey Yates
128. Richie Ling
129. Mitchell Lewis
130. William H. White
131. Paul Everton
132. Henry Sherwood
133. Hugh V. O’Connell
134. Charles J. Schofield
135. Herbert L. Waterous
136. Harry A. Silvey
137. ?
138. Sudworth Frasier
139. Ernest Lawford
140. Louis M. Jacobs
141. Harold Vizard
142. Tom Fadden
143. Sam Coit
144. Dwight C. Leeper
145. Robert T. Haines
146. Mercer Templeton
147. ?
148. Leo Kennedy
149. Tom Kane
150. Clarence Bellair
151. Edward F. Flammer
152. ?
153. A. J. Wood
154. James ?
155. John D. Ravold
156. Henry O’Neill
157. ?
158. Roy Walling
159. ?
160. Maurice Lavigne
161. Lewis Hooper
162. William Ingersoll
163. Dodson L. Mitchell
164. Albert E. Morgan
165. ?
166. John A. Butler
167. W. Spencer Wright
168. John McGowan
169. Albert Phillips
170. ?
171. Edward Eddy
172. Henry C. Mortimer
173. Oswald Yorke
174. ?
175. Bruce Reynolds
176. Frederick B. Manatt
177. ?
178. John Carmony
179. Harrison Brockbank
180. Emmett Shackelford
181. Samuel H. Wallack
182. Roger Gray
183. Howard Marsh
184. Harland Dixon
185. William ?
186. ?
187. Ernest Glendinning
188. Allen ?
189. Forrest H. Orr
190. Jack ?
191. Hugh Huntley
192. Daniel E. Hanlon
193. ?
194. Victor Baravalle
195. James Wolfe
196. Charles F. O’Connor
197. James ?
198. Jack Roseleigh
199. Thomas B. Findlay
200. Franker Woods
201. Donald ?
202. Peter M. Lang
203. Dick ?
204. Raymond Bramley
205. Ivan Miller
206. ?
207. Horace Braham
208. Detmar H. Poppen
209. William E. Morris

David Friedman at The Lambs

November 19, 2018

The Lambs was the place to be on Monday Evening, November 12th when Lamb Sandi Durell presented the well-known and beloved composer David Friedman.  David Friedman (composer of the recent award winning off Broadway hit Desperate Measures), writer for Disney animated films (Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and many more), arranger for 6 Broadway musicals, producer of all the late-great Nancy LaMott’s CDs, who appears monthly with Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today’s Show “Everyone Has a Story” segment, regaled the full house with some of the stories he gathered that are now part of his latest book ‘How They Met’, reading selections and telling humor-filled tales about the relationships between long standing couples.

The audience was riveted throughout as David wove stories in and through his songs of inspiration – longing, love and matters of the heart and soul. With David at the piano singing and playing “You’re Already There,” he introduced the lush voiced Peter Saide (recently The Sheriff in Desperate Measures) who gave meaning to “There is Life,” “Trick of Fate” and the well known “Help Is on the Way.” The lovely soprano Raissa Katona Bennett (Phantom of the Opera), added her luminous vocals to “It’s Never Too Late (lyrics by Kathie Lee Gifford), “What I Was Dreamin’ Of” and the much needed mantra of today (or any day), “We Can Be Kind.”

Just about the entire audience lined up for a signed copy of David’s book, including the 17 song CD.

Special thanks to Lamb Magda Katz for her help and for filming the event and taking photos!