Scope and arrangement
This collection, which ranges in date from 1885-2003, though the bulk of the materials are from 1940-2003, extensively covers the personal life and professional career of Dorothy Loudon, including materials relating to stage, film and television productions, albums, nightclub performances ans well as personal correspondence.
The personal files include correspondence with family and friends, family papers and items from Loudon's childhood and high school years, items pertaining to her husband Norman Paris and their marriage and appointment books and address books. The professional files include materials on Loudon's cabaret/nightclub engagements, awards, tributes, benefits, workshops and albums. The production files include scripts, programs, correspondence, opening night party guest books, publicity materials, contracts and notes from film, television and, primarily, stage productions in which Loudon appeared. These productions are also covered extensively in the scrapbooks Loudon maintained throughout her career. There are also scrapbooks on Loudon's career in general. In addition to the production shots in the scrapbooks there are also personal and family photos and other professional photographs, including headshots, portraits and shots of theater marquees. The sheet music and audio recordings represents Loudon's singing career, as a nightclub and recording artist. This collection also includes artifacts, such as costume pieces, framed posters, souvenir gifts from shows and awards.
Notable items in this collection include Loudon's correspondence with many notable figures in theatre, including Michael Bennett, Fred Ebb, Katharine Hepburn, John Kander, Angela Lansbury, Mike Nichols, Harold Prince and Stephen Sondheim; the production shots in Loudon's scrapbooks; the costume pieces in the artifacts series; and the rare, unreleased audio recordings of live performances in the audio visual materials series.
The Dorothy Loudon papers are arranged in seven series:
This series consists of correspondence, publicity materials, programs, certificates and general files which relate to Loudon's professional life, outside of specific productions she appeared in. These files also document her cabaret/nightclub engagements, awards Loudon received, including her three Tony Award nominations, tributes and benefit concerts she performed in, a musical theatre workshop she taught and albums she recorded.
This series also includes sound and video recordings, such as live recordings of benefits and tributes in which Loudon appeared include Night of 100 Stars, Happy Birthday Mr. Abbott, Lyrics and Lyricists at the 92nd St Y, a Mabel Mercer celebration at Town Hall, Sondheim at Carnegie Hall and Charles Strouse and Jule Styne tributes. There are recordings of commercial and non-commercial recordings of songs associated with Loudon's nightclub and cabaret career and well as from recordings, including her albums Broadway Baby, Dorothy Loudon at the Blue Angel and Saloon as well as the Alan Jay Lerner, Noel Coward and Youmans & DeSylva, Henderson & Brown editions of Ben Bagley's "Re-Visited" series, which included songs performed by Loudon. Also included are song recordings sent to Loudon by Jerry Bock, Craig Carnelia and Kander & Ebb, interviews with Loudon and Loudon's Musical Comedy Workshop.
This series contains materials pertaining to productions Loudon appeared in. The majority of these are theatrical productions, including Broadway productions, such as Nowhere to Go But Up (1962), Nol Coward's Sweet Potato (1968), The Fig Leaves Are Falling (1969), Three Men on a Horse (1969), The Women (1973), Annie (1977), Ballroom, (1978) Sweeney Todd (1979), The West Side Waltz (1981), Noises Off (1983), Jerry's Girls (1985), Dinner at Eight (2002), as well as off-Broadway, regional and touring productions, such as The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1963), The Apple Tree (1967), The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1971), Princess Grace and the Fazzaris (1982), Annie II: Miss Hannigan's Revenge (1989), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Love Letters (1991), The Matchmaker (1991), Show Boat (1996), Sweet Adeline (1997), Over and Over (1999) and High Spirits. There are also a few items on Loudon's film and television appearances and various tributes and benefits she performed in. The types of items in this series include scripts and scene excerpts, programs, congratulatory opening night correspondence, opening night party guest books, clippings and reviews, publicity materials, cast lists/contact sheets, contracts, rehearsal schedules and notes.
This series contains sound and video recordings, including recordings of live performances of stage productions, such as Annie, Annie 2, Ballroom, The Fig Leaves are Falling, It Gives Me Great Pleasure, Jerry's Girls, Lolita, My Love, Nowhere to Go But Up, Princess Grace and the Fazzaris, Sweeney Todd (starring Loudon & George Hearn), Sweet Adeline and The West Side Waltz. Also included are recordings of songs from television shows she appeared in, such as The Garry Moore Show, Dorothy, The Milton Berle Show and The Arthur Murray Show. There are also demos of such shows as, Luv, Musicale, Night of the Hunter, The Showgirl of 72nd St and The Skin of Our Teeth.
- ca. 1940-2000
This series consists of meticulously assembled, bound scrapbooks documenting Loudon's career, which provide an excellent overview of Ms. Loudon's work. There are scrapbooks on her major theater, film and televisions productions, as well as on her early career as a cabaret/nightclub singer and as a performer in summer stock, and a few on her career in general, on the solo albums she recorded and on benefits, concerts and special events she performed in. The materials in these scrapbooks are photographs, including productions shots and portraits, correspondence, (mostly congratulatory telegrams and cards), clippings (interviews and reviews) as well as other publicity materials, such as flyers, press releases contacts, sheet music, programs, costume sketches and other ephemera.
- ca. 1880-1996
This series contains personal photographs, including many of Loudon as a child and as a young woman, many with her parents and other family members. There are also several nineteenth-century photographs of her ancestors. There are photographs of Loudon as an adult with various friends; many of them are from boat trips to Europe and other locations. There are also several signed headshots from James Kirkwood, Jr. There are also photographs of Loudon's husband, Norman Paris, including professional portraits, as well as candid photographs of Paris and Loudon, celebrating special events such as their wedding and Paris' birthday. Professional photographs include headshots, portraits and candid images of Loudon performing as well as a few production photos and photos of marquees and posters for shows Loudon appeared in. Also see Series IV: Scrapbooks, for production shots.
This series includes mainly conductor/piano score and orchestra parts for arrangements of songs Loudon performed in nightclub/cabaret acts, recordings, stage productions, benefits, and televisions shows. Some published songs are also included.
This series constains early family and childhood books and ephemera, oversized framed posters, award plaques and statues, souvenirs from shows, opening night gifts and costume pieces, including a tiara, ballet slippers, a hat Loudon wore in Noises Off and the whistle she used in Annie.