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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 16, 2022
“Author! Author!” (audience shout)

“Author! Author!” are shouts that members of the theater audience make on the opening night of a successful play. The playwright then usually comes out and takes a bow, after the actors.
       
The audience demand for the author (although not expressly written as “Author! Author!”) is from at least the early 1800s. “Cries for the author” was printed in The Times (London, UK) on March 27, 1817. “A storm of applause and a general cry for the author” was printed in Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland) on September 17, 1842. “Overwhelming cries for the author” was printed in The Era (London, UK) on December 11, 1842.
 
“Author! Author!” has been cited in print since at least the 1860s. “Cries of ‘author! author!’ were then vociferated” was printed in The Morning Post (London, UK) on May 18, 1863. “Vociferous shouts of ‘Author! author!’ burst out like rockets from all sides” was printed in the Glasgow (Scotland) Daily Herald on October 3, 1863. “Some one in their haste began to cry in their usual style, ‘Author! author!’” was printed in Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country (London, UK) in April 1864.
           
   
Newspapers.com
27 March 1817, The Times (London, UK), “First Representation of Germanicus, a Tragedy, in Five Acts,” pg. 3, col. 2:
The noise was at length appeased, and cries for the author were silenced; when TALMA, who had had time to change his dress, came on the stage in plain clothes, and exerted all the power of his lungs to make these words be heard—“Gentlemen, the author of the tragedy which we have had the honour to represent before you wishes to remain anonymous.”
 
Newspapers.com
17 September 1842, Caledonian Mercury (Edinburgh, Scotland), “Opening of Convent Garden Theatre,” pg. 2, col. 2:
At the fall of the curtain the audience gave a most unequivocal verdict of approval, and Mr. Bartley announced it for repetition on Monday, amid a storm of applause and a general cry for the author, who did not, however (and herein he evinced the best taste), make his appearance.
   
Newspapers.com
11 December 1842, The Era (London, UK), “Drury-Lane Theatre,” pg. 8, col. 2:
Yet with these accessories of the machinist and the actor, in spite of the vociferous plaudits at the fall of the curtain, and the announcement by Mr. Macready that the new tragedy would be played four times a week, together with the overwhelming cries for the author, in deference to which Mr. Marston dropped a triple obesiance before the lamps, we do not think that, as a five act play, it can retain a hold upon the public, or draw an average profit to the exchequer.
 
Newspapers.com
18 May 1863, The Morning Post (London, UK), “Haymarket Theatre,” pg. 6, col. 3:
Cries of “author! author!” were then vociferated, when Mr. Wigan reappeared, and expressed his regret that the “authoress” was not in the house to testify to the audience the gratification she must feel at the warm reception accorded to her play.
 
Newspapers.com
3 October 1863, Glasgow (Scotland) Daily Herald,, “The First Night of a New Play,” pg. 4, col. 2:
At last the curtain falls to immense cheering. Vociferous shouts of “Author! author!” burst out like rockets from all sides. This is a supreme moment. You bow from your box and love mankind.
 
Newspapers.com
4 October 1863, Lloyd’s Weekly London Newspapers (London, UK), “The First Night of a New Play,” pg. 8, col. 5:
At last the curtain falls to immense cheering. Vociferous shouts of “Author! author!” burst out like rockets from all sides. This is a supreme moment. You hurry behind the scenes to congratulate and be congratulated, to compliment and be complimented, to shake the leading actors warmly by the hand, and gratefully salute the cheek of the heroine—if she will let you.
   
Google Books
April 1864, Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country (London, UK), “Our Private Play,” pg. 19:
The applause of course redoubled, and (Pg. 20—ed.) to conceal the awkwardness of the situation, some one in their haste began to cry in their usual style, ‘Author! author!’
 
Newspapers.com
28 January 1865, Liverpool (UK) Mercury, “Prince of Wales Theatre,” pg. 7, col. 3:
The author was also loudly called for, but he did not make an appearance. The cheering and cries of “Author, author,” having been kept up for about five minutes, Mr. Bancroft at length stepped in front of the curtain, and, having thanked the audience for the marks of approval with which “May and December” had been received, said, as regarded the author, “the bird had flown; had he been present the Nightingale would no doubt have warbled his thanks.” 
 
Newspapers.com
31 January 1865, The Western Flying Post (Yeovil, UK), “Amateur Dramatic Society,” pg. 4, col. 5:
At the conclusion of the drama loud calls of “author, author,” were made, and as the public would not seem to be satisfied unless the author did make his appearance, the curtains were drawn, and the individual in question obeyed the mandate.
 
Google Books 
Cecil’s Tryst:
A Novel

In Three Volumes. Volume III
By James Payn
London, UK: Tinsley Brothers
1872
Pg. 93:
The piece, in short, was an unequivocal success; and at its close, after the actors had been summoned before the curtain, there arose from all sides that cry of ‘Author! Author!’ which makes young ears to tingle and the young heart to beat, as much, perhaps, as any sound from human lips.
     
Google Books
Miser Farebrother:
A Novel

In Three Volumes. Volume II
By Benjamin Leopold Farjeon
London, UK: Ward & Downey
1888
Pg. 73
Meanwhile the hooting and hissing and the cruel cries for “Author! Author!” continued.
 
“Oh!” sighed Aunt Leth,“ how dreadful! how dreadful! I shall never have courage to come to another first night.”
 
OCLC WorldCat record
Author! author!
Author: Robert Van Gelder
Print Book, English, [1940]
 
OCLC WorldCat record   
Author! Author!
Author: Donald Henderson
Print Book, English, 1945
Publisher: J. Westhouse, London, 1945
   
OCLC WorldCat record
Author! Author!
Author: P. G. Wodehouse
Summary: Comprises a selection of the letters Wodehouse wrote to Townend over a period of more than thirty years
Print Book, English, 1962
Edition: First printing View all formats and editions
Publisher: Simon and Schuster, New York, 1962
   
OCLC WorldCat record
Author, author!
Author: Hugh Garner
Print Book, English, [©1964]
Publisher: Ryerson Press, Toronto, [©1964]
 
WIkipedia: Author! Author! (fillm)
Author! Author! is a 1982 American autobiographical film directed by Arthur Hiller, written by Israel Horovitz and starring Al Pacino.
   
IMDb
Author! Author! (1982)
Trivia

The film’s title is an ovation used in the theatre to call the playwright onstage after a well-received opening performance.
         
Google Books
Wilde Complete Plays
By Oscar Wilde
Introduced by H. Montgomery Hyde
London, UK: Methuen Drama
1988
Pg. 4:
On the first night Wilde responded to shouts of ‘Author! Author!’ by coming on to the stage smoking a cigarette and delivering a short speech.
 
City Paper (Washington, DC)
Playthings
by BOB MONDELLO
MAY 5TH, 1995
Though the name-dropping is fast and furious and the jokes relentlessly inside, it’s hard to imagine any patrons—even ones who’ve never ventured near a Broadway stage—feeling left out of the fun at Terrence McNally’s show-biz spoof It’s Only a Play. The passions let loose in MetroStage’s theatrical funhouse are primal. The stereotypes date back to Aeschylus. So, probably, do the hors d’oeuvres, but that’s another story.
(...)
Count among them: The vain playwright (Jack Vernon) who had the misfortune to enter his own opening night party two steps in front of Arthur Miller so that cries of “author, author” were instantly transformed into “Arthur, Arthur”; ...
 
OCLC WorldCat record
Author, author
Author: David Lodge
Summary: “Thronged with vividly drawn characters, some of them with famous names, Author, Author presents a fascinating panorama of literary and theatrical life in late Victorian England. But at its heart is a portrait, rendered with remarkable empathy, of a writer who never achieved popular success in his lifetime nor resolved his sexual identity, yet wrote some of the greatest novels about love in the english language.” From the bookjacket
Print Book, English, 2004
Edition: 1st American ed
Publisher: Viking, New York, 2004
 
Twitter
Sandra Newman
@sannewman
Replying to @sannewman
Then at curtain call, when the audience cries “Author, author!” (oh yes, they will), there’s a fun surprise – a raccoon walks onstage!
9:08 AM · Apr 5, 2016
 
Twitter
Muppet Quotes
@MuppetQuotes
STATLER: Arthur! Arthur!
WALDORF: Don’t you mean “Author, author”?
STATLER: His name’s Arthur. Arthur Miller.
WALDORF: No, it’s Roger Miller.
STATLER: Oh.
STATLER & WALDORF: Roger! Roger!
1:00 PM · Oct 14, 2020

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMusic/Dance/Theatre/Film/Circus • Friday, December 16, 2022 • Permalink


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