Bonhams to offer the Estate of Broadway greats Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman

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Bonhams to offer the Estate of Broadway greats Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman
Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003), On the Town, 1944. Featuring Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Chris Alexander, Nancy Walker, John Battles and Sono Osato. Estimate: $3,000-5,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Bonhams will offer the Collection of Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman in A Helluva Life, a single-owner sale online from September 2 – 14, 2021. Adolph Green (1914-2002) was a celebrated playwright and a legendary figure in the world of Broadway. Along with his long-time collaborator Betty Comden, Green artfully crafted words and coined classic phrases and lyrics for scripts and songs spanning nearly 30 Broadway productions and M.G.M. film musicals for over 60 years, including the line, “New York, New York, it's a helluva town!” from the 1944 musical On the Town. The pair, whose creative partnership lasted longer than any other writing duo in Broadway history, is best remembered for the award-winning screenplay for the iconic 1952 film musical Singin’ in the Rain. Included among the many sale highlights are six Tony Awards (being sold individually) – five were won by Adolph Green over the course of 24 years, for the musicals Hallelujah, Baby! (1967), Applause (1970), The Will Rogers Follies (1991), and On The Twentieth Century (1978), a production for which he won in two categories. Also included is Phyllis Newman’s Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in Subways Are For Sleeping (1961). Each award is estimated at $4,000 – 6,000.

Bonhams Director of Popular Culture Helen Hall commented, “Adolph Green and Phyllis Newman were the quintessential Broadway couple, with a catalogue of Broadway and Hollywood hits to their names. They were true New Yorkers and their apartment on Central Park West witnessed star-studded parties with their Broadway friends and partners, with Lauren Bacall, Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim being regular fixtures around the grand piano in their living room. We are delighted to bring to auction their wonderful collection of fine art, photographs, objects, jewelry and memorabilia to celebrate the long-awaited reopening of Broadway after this unfathomable year.”

According to Amanda and Adam Green, "Our parents both had long and extraordinary careers and lives. Our mother began hers at the age of 3, performing in films, radio and doing her Carmen Miranda act in Atlantic City. Our father and his partner Betty Comden had a 60-plus years' creative partnership that produced some of the greatest MGM and Broadway classics – at times putting themselves on center stage. Our parents were married for 42 years until our father died. Both were first generation Americans who came from the humblest of beginnings and went on to create artistic and personal lives for themselves beyond their wildest dreams. We are proud of their legacy and happy to share some of it with you. They did indeed lead A Helluva Life."

Additional highlights include:

• Adolph Green’s personal annotated script for Singin' in the Rain, M.G.M., 1952. Estimate: $800-1,200

• Groucho Marx Photographs, signed. Estimate: $600 – 800

• Al Hirschfeld (1903-2003), On the Town, 1944. Featuring Adolph Green, Betty Comden, Chris Alexander, Nancy Walker, John Battles and Sono Osato. Estimate: $3,000-5,000

• A Bulgari Cabochon Turquoise and Diamond Brooch. Estimate: $7,000-10,000

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