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The Top 20 Worst Quotes About The Theater
Peter O'Toole
Room service, please.

Despite the obvious glitz and glamour, working in the theater is a job like any other - with backbiting gossip you'd find around any corporate water cooler.

Take a trip backstage, below, and check out the worst comments, nasty asides and other juicy offstage tidbits that were ever uttered by famous actors, playwrights, and directors...

1. The only reason anyone goes to Broadway is because they can't get work in the movies. -- Bette Davis

2. It's one of the tragic ironies of the theatre that only one man in it can count on steady work -- the night watchman. -- Tallulah Bankhead

3. Next to a tenor, a wardrobe woman is the touchiest thing in show business. [Birdie, in All About Eve] -- Joseph Mankiewicz

4. The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster. -- Oscar Wilde

5. Shakespeare's plays are bad enough, but yours are even worse. -- Leo Tolstoy, to Anton Chekov

6. I have no intention of uttering my last words on the stage. Room service and a couple of depraved young women will do me quite nicely for an exit. -- Peter O'Toole

7. Broadway is a main artery of New York life - the hardened artery. -- Walter Winchell

8. Theater people are always pining and agonizing because they're afraid that they'll be forgotten. And in America they're quite right. They will be. -- Agnes De Mille

9. The dumbing down of the country reflects itself on Broadway. The shows get dumber, and the public gets used to them. -- Stephen Sondheim

10. Acting is the art of speaking in a loud clear voice and the avoidance of bumping into the furniture. -- Alfred Lunt

11. To save the theatre, the theatre must be destroyed, the actors and actresses must all die of the plague. They poison the air, they make art impossible. It is not drama that they play, but pieces for the theatre. We should return to the Greeks, play in the open air; the drama dies of stalls and boxes and evening dress, and people who come to digest their dinner. -- Eleanor Duse

stella adler
Best author? A dead author...

12. The virtue of dress rehearsals is that they are a free show for a select group of artists and friends of the author, and where for one unique evening the audience is almost expurgated of idiots. -- Alfred Jarry

13. Coughing in the theater is not a repiratory ailment. It is criticism. -- Alan Jay Lerner

14. The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one's office for a job. --Tennessee Williams

15. The best author is a dead author, because he's out of your way and you own the play. -- Stella Adler

16. Theatre director: a person engaged by the management to conceal the fact that the players cannot act. -- James Agate

17. I had learned to have a perfect nausea for the theatre: the continual repetition of the same words and the same gestures, night after night, and the caprices, the way of looking at life, and the entire rigmarole disgusted me. --Isadora Duncan

18. I would just like to mention Robert Houdin who in the eighteenth century invented the vanishing birdcage trick and the theater matinee - may he rot and perish. Good afternoon. -- Orson Welles

19. Life is like a theater; often very bad people occupy the best seats. -- Euripides

20. If all the world's a stage I want to operate the trap door. -- Paul Beatty

More theater quotes around the Web:

Theatrical Quotes

Broadway's Lesser Known Awards


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