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Dear Playbill...
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DEAR PLAYBILL: My daughter and I enjoyed those two fine actresses--Katharine Hepburn and Dorothy Loudon-- in [[italics]] The West Side Waltz [[/italics]]. Can you tell me if Ms. Hepburn was really playing the piano?
--S.T. Burgess
King of Prussia, Pa.
[[italics]] Ms. Hepburn appears to be playing because she has learned all the finger positions for the musical pieces she must perform. However, the music you hear is on tape. [[/italics]]
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DEAR PLAYBILL: In the October DEAR PLAYBILL column, it was erroneously stated that Claudette Colbert has appeared in four plays on Broadway, including her latest [[italics]] A Talent for Murder [[/italics]]. I can think of at least nine Broadway plays in which she has appeared.
--Milton Goodman
New York, N.Y.
PLAYBILL [[italics]] did not state that Ms. Colbert has appeared in four plays on Broadway. It stated that Ms. Colbert has appeared in four plays at the Biltmore Theatre, including [[/italics]] A Talent for Murder...PLAYBILL [[italics]] did err, in another article, in stating that Ms. Colbert is 76 years old. She is, by her own admission, 78. [[/italics]]
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DEAR PLAYBILL:  At a performance of [[italics]] The First [[/italics]] the other night, I noticed that the history of the Martin Beck Theatre ("At This Theatre") had an omission. I saw the musical [[italics]] Oliver! [[/italics]] there on September 18, 1965. Why was this not listed as one of the shows that played at this theatre?
Joseph T. Messina
Brooklyn, N.Y.
[[italics]] Limited space for the feature, "At This Theatre," does not permit us to list shows that transferred from one theatre to another. [[/italics]] Oliver! [[italics]] originally opened at the Imperial Theatre in 1962. You will find it listed in the history for the Imperial, since that is the theatre where the musical originated. [[/italics]] [[/column 1]]
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DEAR PLAYBILL: I thoroughly enjoyed Milo O'Shea and Micheal O'Keefe in [[italics]] Mass Appeal [[/italics]]. While watching the play, I suddenly recalled a delightful comedy I saw many years ago involving a priest who was so upset over a noisy tavern across the street from his church he prayed for a miracle and made it disappear. Please tell me the name of this play and the brilliant actor who played the priest.
--Angela G. Bigley
West End, N.J.
[[image:  black and white profile photograph of an older, balding male facing to the right]] [[italics]] That was [[/italics]] Father Malachy's Miracle [[italics]] by Brian Doherty, which opened at the St. James Theatre on Nov. 17, 1937. Father Malachy was played by Al Shean--the famed vaudeville and review comic who won renown as half of the celebrated team of Gallagher and Shean. [[/italics]]
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DEAR PLAYBILL: How did the term "turkey"--to describe a flop show--originate?
--Julie Flamm
New York, N.Y.
[[italics]] According to Don B. Wilmeth, author of [[/italics]] The Language of American Popular Entertainment [[italics]], the term "turkey" to indicate a bad show originated in New England many years ago when poor, amateur actors staged plays on Thanksgiving Day, hoping to make some money. Their plays and performances were usually bad. Another explanation is that the playright Dion Boucicault wrote a bad play in the 1890's that opened on Thanksgiving and he called it his "turkey". [[/italics]]
[[italics]] Have a question about the theatre? Write to [[/italics]] PLAYBILL, [[italics]] Dept. D.P. 100 Avenue of the Americas, New York, N.Y. 10013 [[/italics]] [[/column 2]] [[/end page]]
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