Satire through the Centuries

Sarah Siddons as Euphrasia in The Grecian Daughter, 1782

Sarah Siddons was born in Wales in 1755. She became one of the most prominent actresses of the 18th century, famous in particular for playing Lady Macbeth. She remains notable and memorable even today. The Sarah Siddons Society in Chicago presents theatre scholarships in her name annually.

Siddons made her first appearance in Dublin in 1784. An Irish newspaper, apparently, felt that the hype surrounding her over in London was out of control.
What follows is their writeup, as documented a century later in English As She Is Wrote, which was itself published well over a hundred years ago, in 1883.
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Subways are for Sleeping

"7 out of 7 are ecstatically unanimous about Subways are for Sleeping." Howard Taubman: "One of the few great musical comedies of the last thirty years, one of the best of our time. It lends lustre to this or any other Broadway season." Walter Kerr: "What a show! What a hit! What a solid hit! If you want to be overjoyed, spend an evening with 'Subways are for Sleeping.' A triumph." John chapman "No doubt about it. 'Subways are for Sleeping' is the best musical of the century. Consider yourself lucky if you can buy or steal a ticket for 'Subways are for Sleeping' over the next few years." John McClain: "A fabulous musical. I love it. Sooner or later, everyone will have to see 'Subways are for Sleeping'." Richard Watts: "A knockout, from start to finish. The musical you've been waiting for. It deserves to run for a decade." Norman Nadel: "A whopping hit. Run, don't walk to the St. James Theatre. It's in that rare class of great musicals. Quite simply, it has everything." Robert Coleman: "A great musical All the ingredients are there. As fine a piece of work as our stage can be asked to give us."

It was January of 1962.   The Broadway production of Subways are for Sleeping at the St. James Theatre was getting weak reviews.   Ticket revenues were low, and in need of some magic.

Producer David Merrick had a trick up his sleeve that he had been saving for several years.    He spent some time making some interesting arrangements, and then prepared the following advertisement for every major New York newspaper.  

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