Monday, October 19, 2015

The Kenley Players 1957-1972

I loved summer stock plays when I was a teenager but it wasn't easy to see them as we had to go all the way to Dayton, Ohio! It was only 50 mies away but it might as well have been in another country. My dad wouldn't drive that far so when i did talk them into going, we had to take a Greyhound.

John Kenley had set up his well-respected circuit that included Warren and Dayton, Ohio a few years before I was born. Take a look at some of these great touring shows!

Below is the one which i didn't SEE but I used the ad to get a letter from Stefanie Powers. I wrote her in care of the theater and she wrote me back on motel stationary.  One thing I asked her to clarify was the correct way to spell her name...which the ad didn't.

And this one below looks awesome! It's one of my favorite plays and some of my favorite folks were to be in it. 

Only they weren't. Chaney was quite ill already when the ad appeared in may and died in July. He was replaced by Peter Lupus who certainly had the imposing build for Jonathan Brewster but perhaps not the required gravitas. Michael Dunn who would likely have played Jonathan's alcoholic doctor buddy, also passed away that summer. On top of all else, Margaret Hamilton backed out for some reason.


  1. Hey this is so cool. I met with Tony in Tacoma years ago in his downtown office. Very nice guy, but quite old at the time. He hooked me up with a meeting with his son who was starting a magazine at that time so I had lunch with him a week or so later.
    It was great fun just now seeing your posts and clippings. Thanks post the post!

  2. I am looking for 1967 Philadelphia Story with George Hamilton. I see you have a group photo that includes a photo of George and the name of the play. Any possibility you have something else in your collection that you could share? Thanks for this great walk down memory lane.

    1. Since the production was live and never filmed, I'm afraid I have nothing. I did find a couple articles about George from that time period that mention he would be co-starring in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY opposite Sally Kellerman. Looks like Sally dropped out before the play actually began its run, replaced by an unknown actress.