The Theatre: Prank

Finishing a turn in As Thousands Cheer one Manhattan night last winter, plump Dancer Marilyn Miller whirled airily offstage, bumped brutally into her costar, frail Dancer Clifton Webb. Up to her side to berate Dancer Webb leaped Chorusman Chester ("Chet") O'Brien, who was also the show's second assistant stage manager. When it was over. Dancer Webb threatened to quit if O'Brien were not fired, Dancer Miller threatened to quit if O'Brien were fired. Everybody stayed.

In early summer James P. ("Jimmy") Donahue, fabulously rich & prankish young Woolworth scion, thought of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!