Waiting for Lefty
N.p. N.p., Circa 1935. Vintage photograph of playwright Clifford Odets and actor Roman Bohnen in costume for Odets' 1935 play "Waiting for Lefty." INSCRIBED by Odets: "To Wally / Sincerely, / Clifford Odets." Odets appeared alongside Bohnen in Scene V, "The Intern Episode," a segment about two doctors. Stamp of noted Broadway photographer Florence Vandamm on the verso.
"Waiting for Lefty" debuted off-Broadway at the Civic Repertory Theatre on January 6, 1935. It was one of the most celebrated openings in American theatre history, documented in Harold Clurman's "The Fervent Years," his history of the Group Theatre. Elia Kazan, who was in the Broadway cast, also writes about it in his autobiography, "A Life." The play transitioned to Broadway shortly thereafter, opening on March 26, 1935 alongside another Odets short play, "Till the Day I Die," written especially for the double bill. The play's overwhelming success resulted in international praise and recognition for Odets, who was heralded as a major new voice in American theatre.
Roman Bohnen enjoyed a lengthy career on the stage and screen, working with the Group Theatre for nine years, co-founding the Actors' Laboratory Theatre, and later appearing in a number of films, most notably "Of Mice and Men" (1939) and the key film noir "Brute Force" (Jules Dassin, 1947). Bohnen is perhaps best remembered today for his performance as Mr. Derry, Dana Andrews' character's father in "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946).
Florence Vandamm is considered to have been one of the most important photographers for the Broadway stage in the early twentieth century. Her archive is held in the New York Public Library.
8 x 10 inches. Near Fine, lightly age toned.
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