Lloyd Richards: We did a lot of work on the play in rehearsal. Cut 45 minutes out, cut one character out, and we went to New Haven. I think the word started to float back to New York that possibly there was something that had some value there. We got to Philadelphia, opened to a little bit more than half a house, and by the fourth day, we were a sell-out. The Shuberts came and saw the show in Philadelphia, and said they did not have a theater for us in New York, but if we would go to Chicago for eight weeks, they would underwrite the show against loss, and they would have a theater for us in New York, the Barrymore.
I was just to the Barrymore, and saw another show there. It was wonderful to walk in the Barrymore, because some of the ushers, or some of the people who worked in the theater who’d been to the Barrymore a few times, they’d come up to you, and they’d say, “Oh, you’re back.” There is a family in the theater, and “How wonderful to have you back.” It was wonderful to be in that theater again, because there is so much history in those theaters. It was an adventure.
Well, in Chicago, for those eight weeks, Lorraine could only be there for opening. She was from Chicago. Her father was a real estate broker in Chicago, and evidently a very good one, a militant one, and he had taken the first restrictive covenant case to the Supreme Court, and won it. So all of the real estate interests in Chicago were against him. It was Lorraine’s sense that actually that pressure had killed him, and she resented those interests for that. And of course, (she) inherited some property when he died. Well, when they found Lorraine was in town, there were all of these warrants that started to appear, and she had to leave town. We did our work on that play over the phone for eight weeks. I would work on the play, it would perform at night, and I would talk to Lorraine, make suggestions. She never saw that work, during that period, until we got back to New York. When we opened in New York, it was quite an exhilarating opening.