re: I loved Landau's film performances, but did he ever play Broadway?
Posted by: MFeingold 12:20 am EDT 07/17/17
In reply to: I loved Landau's film performances, but did he ever play Broadway? - WaymanWong 10:49 pm EDT 07/16/17

The Hollywood Reporter obit says that Landau appeared in STALAG 17 (which had a long run on Broadway in the early 1950s) and FIRST LOVE (a quick-closing flop in the early 60s). IBDB doesn't list him as appearing in either of those, but it's possible that he appeared in a road tour or stock production of the first and, in the pre-Broadway tryout (which I vaguely recall as having been extremely troubled) of the other.

The obit also makes clear, as you said, Wayman, that he appeared opposite Edward G. Robinson in the national tour of MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, presumably replacing Martin Balsam, who had played the role of Robinson's son-in-law on Broadway. (The characters are given only type names in the script, i.e, The Husband, The Young Girl, The Son-In-Law, &c.)

I've also found references to Landau's playing the lead in an Equity Library Theatre revival of Franz Werfel's GOAT SONG off-Broadway in 1952-53. This is interesting because Robinson, who spent much of his early career acting for the Theatre Guild, had been in the original 1926 production of Werfel's play. (Digression: Robinson's other roles for the Guild included The Button-Molder to Joseph Schildkraut's Peer Gynt, Smerdyakov in The Brothers Karamazov, Caesar in Androcles and the Lion, and Signor Ponza in the US premiere of Pirandello's Right You Are - not shabby!)

So obviously Martin Landau was a working NY stage actor in the 1950s, whether he appeared on Broadway or not, until the attention he got from NORTH BY NORTHWEST ultimately lured him away to Hollywood. He was marvelous in films, but it's a pity he never came back to the stage.

(Parenthetical sidelight on that 1023 Peer Gynt with Edward G. Robinson: While Joseph Schildkraut was playing Ibsen's great anti-hero, his father Rudolph Schildkraut, was in a nearby theatre playing the tyrannical father at the center of GOD OF VENGEANCE - the play and production at the core of Paula Vogel's currently running INDECENT. Everything's connected and the past is never more than two steps away from us.)

Previous: Landau directed a show Off-Broadway in 1995 - TimDunleavy 10:17 am EDT 07/17/17
Next: re: I loved Landau's film performances, but did he ever play Broadway? - Billhaven 08:40 am EDT 07/17/17

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