Scope and arrangement
This collection includes production material used by Layton in his role as a director, choreographer, and producer for stage productions, television specials, and live concerts, as well as personal and business correspondence, photographs, and awards. Production material is arranged by chronological order followed by alphabetical order- chronological material is primarily scrapbooks, with each scrapbook representing multiple productions, while alphabetical material is arranged by production title.
The scrapbooks were compiled by Layton and his family members and demonstrate Layton's career from early dance and theater performances in public schools in Brooklyn to choreographing Broadway shows and producing major television productions. Additionally, the scrapbooks document his marriage to Evelyn Russell and Russell's career as a stage actress. The scrapbooks contain both personal and professional material. Personal material include photographs of Layton, Russell, and their son Jeb, correspondence and cards, and material relating to the death of Russell and both of Layton's parents. Professional material includes clippings, correspondence, legal contracts, opening night cards and telegrams, programs, and photographs including headshots, production stills, rehearsal photographs, and casual backstage snapshots of performers like the Carpenters, Carol Channing, Danny Kaye, and Barbra Streisand.
The correspondence in the collection is distributed throughout the scrapbooks and in one file of separated material. The correspondence is not extensive, often consisting of cards or notes in recognition of a significant occasion, such as a birthday or the opening of a show. Notable correspondents include Lauren Bacall, David Begelman, Carol Channing, Cy Coleman, Noel Coward, Lillian Hellman, Kenneth Jeffrey Feld, Betsy Friday, John Huston, James Kirkwood, Dorothy Lamour, Mary Martin, Bette Midler, Olivia Newton-John, William F. Paley, Lionel Richie, Joan Rivers, Jerome Robbins, Richard Rodgers, Mary Rodgers, Rosalind Russell, Mark Rydell, Kenny Sacha, Liz Smith, Ray Stark, Barbra Streisand, Jule Style, and Doreen Wells.
Production binders are composed of annotated scripts, cast lists and contact sheets, correspondence, photographs, rehearsal schedules, rundowns, sheet music, and storyboard sketches. Unsorted material contains loose programs and clippings. The small selection of separated photographs are primarily family photographs. Slides include family snapshots, rehearsal photographs, and production stills- many are duplicates of photographs found in the scrapbooks and would be a good place for a researcher to begin their research.
This collection contains sound and video recordings. Sound recordings include recordings of Androcles and The Lion, The Case of the Dead Flamingo Dancer, and Grand Tour, recordings of Noel Coward, Diahann Carroll, Diana Ross, Marianne Tatum, and an audio recording of Layton receiving his Tony Award for George M!.
Video recordings consist of recordings of the rehearsals of Carol Channing and Her Ten Stout-Hearted Men and performances of George M!, National Theatre of the Deaf, No Strings, On the Town, Sail Away, Scarlett, and The Sound of Music. Footage of Noel Coward in his home in Les Avants, Switzerland and England (1961-1962) and footage of Layton and Russell, most notably of Russell performing with the Smothers Brothers, is held here.
Inquiries regarding audio and video in the collection may be directed to the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound (firstname.lastname@example.org). Audio and video materials will be subject to preservation evaluation and migration prior to access.
The collection is arranged into two groupings: Production Material and Personal Miscellany. Production Material is arranged chronologically then alphabetically within. Personal Miscellany is arranged alphabetically. All the material is based upon productions. Note that the material in Personal Miscellany is similar to the correspondence and photographs found in the Production Material section, only these documents are loose and not affixed in a scrapbook.