OTTO A. HARBACH - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 10/19/1953 - HFSID 266615
OTTO A. HARBACH Letter to theater own Frank Mandel: "I've felt like a frustrated rat in a trap of mirrors ..." ALS: "Otto/A. Harbach", 3¾p, 7¼x10¾. Mamaroneck, New York, 1953 October 19. On his personal imprinted letterhead to Frank Mandel. Begins: "Dear Frank
Sale Price $2,380.00
OTTO A. HARBACH
Letter to theater own Frank Mandel: "I've felt like a frustrated rat in a trap of mirrors ..."
ALS: "Otto/A. Harbach", 3¾p, 7¼x10¾. Mamaroneck, New York, 1953 October 19. On his personal imprinted letterhead to Frank Mandel. Begins: "Dear Frank". In full: "This is old man procrastination - at a loss how to start this letter so long overdue. So much has happened to me in the last six months I've felt like a frustrated rat in a trap of mirrors. First Peter De Rose and I were one the verge of selling our play when he suddenly died. Again I find myself beating about in a vacuum. All summer I have been trying to sell off some of our land here in Mamaroneck - Have had a road surveyed and the ground plotted but as yet everything is a standstill. It seems every time I move or open my mouth somebody hands me a bill for services rendered - services that get me nowhere. I've decided to give away the whole thing for a song and forget about it. - It's the only thing that will get me back to normal. - Nothing further has developed in the Cohan-authorship situation since you wrote so vigorously to Diemsey. It will not be hard to prove George had no authorship interest. Now I come to this part of this letter that gives me great pleasure - viz - the swell telegram you sent me on my birthday. - Oscar read it at the party. Someday I'll let you hear the applause it got. - You see the doings of the evening were recorded on tape. I have gotten myself a machine and often listen to the speeches that were made that evening. It was a grand affair and I so wish that you and Isolde could have been there. Added to the various other incidents that have kept me busy this summer was the visit of my only grandson. Christopher (son of Bob now divorced from Anne.) Chris flew over from London where he is attending school. He came by plane alone. - was a great hit at the party and later celebrated his birthday here at the house - He is all of seven, but the brightest kid I've ever met up with - always a jump ahead of you. Last week he took a plane back. - also alone. The people who were supposed to meet him were four hours late and he met the issue like an adult. - He's back in school now - thank Heaven. - I hope to have him with me again next summer. Many plays are opening and closing on Broadway - none of which I've seen. 'Me and Juliet' was not too well received by the press but would have been, had it been written by any one but Oscar and Dick. Oscar is now in London putting on 'The King and I.' Under separate cover I'm sending you a menu that may interest you. - Eeda joins me in love for all of you out there. Again with apologies and thanks I sign myself an erstwhile partner in life's adventure." Writer, lyricist and composer OTTO ABEL HARBACH (1873-1963) wrote the lyrics for some 50 Broadway musical comedies, most notably The Firefly (1912-1916), No, No Nanette (1925-1926), The Desert Song (1926) and Rose Marie (1927). In addition to collaborating with such Broadway legends as OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN (1895-1960), mentioned in this letter, (and also Sigmund Romberg, George Gershwin and Jerome Kern), Harbach had worked with writer, lyricist, producer, director and theatre owner FRANK MANDEL (circa 1884-1958) on No, No Nanette and The Desert Song. At the time of this letter, Me and Juliet, was running on Broadway (May 28, 1953-April 3, 1954), as was The King and I (March 29, 1951-March 20, 1954), the highly successful collaboration of Hammerstein and composer, lyricist, writer, conductor and producer RICHARD RODGERS (1902-1979). The Cohan mentioned in this letter was most likely the great GEORGE M. COHAN (1878-1942), although we have been unable to determine the work in which authorship was in dispute. Worthy of further research. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Fine condition.
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