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Broadway: Angel Pavement

2 minute read

In Heaven an angel is nobody in particular.—George Bernard Shaw.

On Broadway these heavenly days, angels are everybody in general. Said Cinemactor Melvyn Douglas (producer of Broadway’s newest smash hit, Call Me Mister) to Columnist Lucius Beebe: “You can’t keep the investors off you with Flit or a bodyguard. They secrete themselves around your hotel apartment. . . . Total strangers . . . stuff wads of currency in the pocket of your jacket. . . .”

The latter-day angels had really gone to work on Call Me Mister. Two days after its first audition it was completely capitalized (for $150,000)—something of a record. Its backers were many and various: an accountant ($27,000), a publisher ($21,000), a music publisher ($15,-ooo), a Broadway producer ($9,000), a tobacco magnate ($5,000), a socialite ($4,500), a reporter, a broker, an actor, a housewife, a secretary ($3,000 each), a dancer ($1,000), a half-dozen others.

This week, what with Mister’s advance sale crowding $150,000, its angels hoped to get their first dividend. Tobacco Magnate Howard Cullman, Broadway’s archangel, could tell them all how lucky they were. By pedantic calculation of risks, he made the black on only six of the 15 shows he had backed during the 1945-46 season. Three were dead losses; six were still to be produced.

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