A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“I don’t have enough coffee or middle fingers for today” (3/26)
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake” (3/26)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (3/26)
“If you are not coffee, chocolate, or bacon, I’m going to need you to go away” (3/26)
“Life happens, coffee helps” (3/26)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from December 14, 2012
“An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut”

American drama critic and author George Jean Nathan (1882-1958) wrote in Encyclopædia of the Theatre (1940):

“An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut.”

In other words, an actor is nothing without a playwright providing the lines. Nathan’s saying has been included in many quotations websites.


Wikipedia: George Jean Nathan
George Jean Nathan (February 14, 1882 – April 8, 1958) was an American drama critic and editor. He worked closely with H.L. Mencken, bringing the literary magazine The Smart Set to prominence as an editor, and co-founding and editing The American Mercury.

Google Books
Encyclopædia of the Theatre
By George Jean NATHAN
New York, NY: A.A. Knopf
1940
Pg. 396:
19. An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut.

Google Books
Broadway Babylon:
Glamour, Glitz, and Gossip on the Great White Way

By Boze Hadleigh
New York, NY: Back Stage Books
2007
Pg. 27:
About improvisation he (George Jean Nathan—ed.) felt, “An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut.”

Known to friends as difficult, to others as impossible, Nathan held that “No chronically happy man is a trustworthy critic.”

Froogville
MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2007
The Monday bon mot
“An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut.”
George Jean Nathan (1882-1958)

I recently went to see a “play” that had had no discernible writing expended on it; the entire evening was a doughnut-less hole.

Google Books
Drop Dead Chocolate:
A Donut Shop Mystery

By Jessica Beck
New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press
2012
Pg. ? (before page 1—ed.):
“An actor without a playwright is like a hole without a doughnut.” —George Jean Nathan

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • Friday, December 14, 2012 • Permalink