from the original program
June Moon was Ring Lardner's one great success on the Broadway stage. He wrote skits of varying degrees of success for Ziegfeld and had collaborated with George Cohan on Elmer the Great, but he had never achieved the success on the stage that it seems was his goal and his passion. Looking back over Lardner's life and his work without knowledge of what had "made him famous" might give the impression that he was primarily a playwright and lyricist (albeit a struggling one) who wrote other things to keep food on the table.
In Niles, Michigan, as a youth, he wrote and performed in family skits. After graduation, his first writing was for a local theater company. His personal correspondence and his professional writing were peppered with verse. His earliest work which was published outside the newspaper was either light verse or music. There can be no doubt that he had theatrical aspirations.
But success came late. And it only came once--June Moon, his collaboration with George Kaufman.
Twenty years ago, Jonathan Yardley, Ring's second biographer, characterized June Moon as a "period piece," and commented on the PBS production of the play by saying, "What was funny in the twenties was merely a curiosity forty-five years later." It seems the addition of another twenty odd years has made it funny again. The last couple years have been especially good for June Moon.
The big break occurred in January, 1997, when The Drama Dept., revived the play at the Ohio Theater. Their production received very good reviews and was awarded a Lortel award for best revival. Since then, the revival seems to be building up steam. See the partial list of new productions, and the partial listing of all productions below.
production has come to my attention:
links. . .
||July 1929||Atlantic City, NJ|
||9 Oct 1929-||New York, NY|
|Company not known||1930||Philadelphia, PA
|Road Company||27 Feb 1930-||Chicago, IL
St. Louis, MO
Kansas City, MO
||19-28 Mar 1931||Pasadena, CA|
|University of Northern Iowa||Studioproduction of scenes
Nov. 12, 1937.
|Cedar Falls, IA|
||week of 2 Aug 1955||Tamworth, NH|
||week of 17 Aug 1965||Tamworth, NH|
||week of 2 Aug 1977||Tamworth, NH|
Workshop Syracuse University
||24-28 Aug 1993||Tamworth, NH|
Acting Program New York University
||1996||New York, NY|
||3-12 May 1996||New York, NY|
Theatre Co. Kent State University
||26 Jul - 11 Aug 1996||Kent, OH|
Department Ohio Theatre
||7-19 Jan 1997||New York, NY|
Department McCarter Theatre
||16 Sep - 5 Oct 1997||Princeton, NJ|
Department Variety Arts Theatre
||18 Dec - Feb 1998||New York, NY|
|Theatre Three||14 Mar - 12 Apr 1998||Dallas, TX|