Out of a Blue Sky, 1930

Sono molto curiosa di sapere qualcosa di più a proposito di una commedia che Leslie Howard adattò e diresse nel 1930: Out of a Blue Sky, da Das Blaue von Himmel di Hans Chlumberg.  Ecco il cast:


Otis Sheridan (Property Man)
Earl Redding (Electrician)
Tammany Young (Stage Manager)
Willa Grey (Lottie)
Gregory Ratoff (Stage Director)
William Gargan (Play Reader)
Martin Noble (Joe)
Benjamin Kamsler (Paul)
Stanley Wood (Treasurer)

Personaggi fra il pubblico:

Reginald Owen (Dr. Friedrich Neumann)
Katherine Wilson (Gabriela Neumann)
Warren William (Paul Rana)
Eleanor Terry (Jessica Wenderoth)
Tanya Amazar (Sonia Lanser)
William Haskell (Alexander Sonnholz)
J. Gibbs Penrose (Irate Spectator)
Joan Graham (Ellie)
Lee Crowe (Lewis Leitner)

Ecco invece un riassunto della trama dalla recensione di  John Mason Brown sul New York Evening Post del 10 febbraio 1930:

It is one of those dramas which set out to prove that truth is stranger than fiction by the simple device of asking a supposedly non-Equitiy group from the audience to come up on stage and take part in an improvised play which proves, of course – and by some lucky coincidence – to be nothing less than the story of their own lives.
The action is laid both behind and in front of the curtain of what we are asked to believe is the Stadttheater in Vienna, on an evening when “Camille”, that sturdy tale of a bad lady with an irresistible cough, is billed there. The evening is a special one… for Camille is to be directed by Gregory Ratoff and the decors is to be the work of Leon Bakst.
Everything, however, has gone wrong on this fatal night, for a stupid stage manager has posted by mistake an old announcement which says there will be non performance. Accordingly, when the curtain rises, after many delays, stage hands are seen playing cards on the stage, no scenery is in place, and the members of the company are not in the theatre.
As a director, with money in the box office, a full audience out front and no apparent chance of giving a performance, Gregory Ratoff is, naturally enough, furious and apologetic all in one breath. Indeed, he does not know what to do at all until his play reader offers him the droll suggestion that he ask some members of the audience to volunteer to come upon the stage and try their hands at an experiment improvisation.

La trama mi sembra molto interessante, e riesco facilmente a capire perché Leslie avesse voluto adattare e mettere in scena questa commedia. Come nei suoi racconti, si divertiva molto a “smontare il giocattolo”, a ridere di tutto quello che si nasconde dietro la finzione del teatro e del cinema.

Sono anche curiosa di capire come la commedia di Chlumberg gli sia capitata fra le mani. Dovrò approfondire il discorso.