Did you know that Tallulah Bankhead was the first starring actress to perform at the Falmouth Playhouse in July of 1949?
“…appealing to her audience to believe in fairies, she abandoned the flummery of the stage and reached over the footlights directly to the audience, asking all to shut their eyes, to cross their fingers (she demonstrated just how), and, at the magic moment about to follow, to wish success to the new playhouse. She said that she didn't know quite what to say to launch a summer theatre, but that she did know how to launch a ship. ‘Now, cross your fingers,’ she said. ‘Close your eyes, and wish. I christen thee Falmouth Playhouse.’ Down crashed the bottle of champagne on a prop phonograph console. Some 600 playgoers, it seemed, swayed in the spirit of the occasion and, though all surely did not close their eyes on the little tableau wherein Donald Cook handed the napkin wrapped champagne bottle to Tallulah and she gave it a healthy swing, all certainly did cross fingers and join in wishing success to the newborn child.”
The play was Noël Coward’s Private Lives. The “package price” for Bankhead, her leading man, two other company members and the Broadway production was $6,500.00.
Do you know anyone who attended a production at the Falmouth Playhouse in its first years? Click on the image of a postcard to share a recollection!