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:
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/14)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/14)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/14)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/14)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (12/14)
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 January 12, 2012
“If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage” (theatre adage)

"If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage” (or, “If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage") is a popular drama adage, used both on Broadway and in Hollywood. The saying means that what the audience sees should all be written down in a good script.

In a 1959 newspaper article, it was written that film writer and producer Fred F. Finklehoffe (1910-1977) “said it about 20 years ago and is glad to repeat it any time.”


Wikipedia: Fred F, Finklehoffe
Fred Franklin Finklehoffe (February 16, 1910, Springfield, Massachusetts – October 5, 1977) was an American film writer and producer. He was educated at Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.) where he met his writing partner John Cherry Monks, Jr. (both class of 1932).

Monks and Finklefhoffe wrote a play set at VMI in 1936, “Brother Rat”, which was adapted into a 1938 film of the same name. A 1940 film sequel entitled Brother Rat and a Baby was also produced. Monks and Finklehoffe also wrote the MGM musical, Strike Up the Band. Finklehoffe was nominated for the 1944 Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay with Irving Brecher for his work on Meet Me in St. Louis.

2 August 1959, Hartford (CT) Courant, “To Write For Television, You Need A Good Agent” by Steven H. Scheuer, pg. 7G:
“If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage,” says movie and Broadway writer Fred Finkelhoffe (sic). He said it about 20 years ago and is glad to repeat it any time.

Google Books
A Tree with Rosy Apples
By Sid Chaplin
Newcastle Upon Tyne: Graham
1972
Pg. 25:
As the Broadway producer said: ‘If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.”

Google News Archive
6 June 1982, Sydney Morning Herald, “Why you don’t see much Hoges humour now,” pg. 59, col. 3:
He writes a lot of the material himself and, as he says, if it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage.

New York (NY) Times
MOVIES, BOOKS AND THE REAL STORY
Published: July 19, 1987
To the Editor:
Reading John Updike’s article reminds me of an interesting comment. Several months ago, Publishers’ Weekly featured an article about the Hollywood agents who are always on the lookout for books that lend themselves to being made into movies. One of these agents said, ‘’If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.’’
RUTH WRESCHNER
New York City

Google Books
Which Reminds Me
By Tony Randall with Michael Mindlin
New York, NY: Dell Pub.
1989
Pg. 97: 
“If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage,” goes the old theatrical saying.

New York (NY) Times
Opening For ‘Moon’ Postponed
Published: October 19, 1993
(...)
The Broadway opening was originally scheduled for the Marquis Theater on Dec. 5. A delay was announced last week, but Mr. Berlind said then that there was a possibility the show would open before year’s end. “If it’s not on the page, it’s not on the stage,” he said yesterday. “We’re 70 percent or 75 percent there, but there’s some transitional writing required between scenes, and some rethinking of the second act.”

Google Books
The Screenwriter’s Problem Solver:
How to recognize, identify, and define screenwriting problems

By Syd Field
New York, NY: Dell Pub.
1998
Pg. 270:
If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage is the old Hollywood expression, and knowing when to set something up and then pay it off is fundamental to the craft of screenwriting.

2 August 2002, San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune, “‘The Road to Perdition’ leads nowhere; sorry I went along” by Don Freeman, Pg. E11:
As the old show-business line goes, if it’s not on the page it’s not on the stage, which is a way of saying that in the beginning there must be the word.

Khaleej Times Online (UAE)
Shy spy
(New York Times)
12 January 2012
Gary Oldman talks about his muted turn in British espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
(...)
“You know the old saying, ‘If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage,’” he says. “That is so true. A script, to me, is your map of the world, and sometimes you have to work very hard. I worked very hard on this character.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film • (0) Comments • Thursday, January 12, 2012 • Permalink