Introducing Newest Member of Broadway Players’
A young 24 year old Spencer Tracy arrives in Grand Rapids nearly halfway through William H. Wright’s Broadway Players’ Second Season in Grand Rapids, Michigan. His first performance is in the Broadway Players’ stage production of; “The Meanest Man in the World” at Powers’ Theatre, Monday 16 June 1924. Considered an actor of ability, he was imported to play an important role in the first George M. Cohan production to be presented by the Broadway Players.
It was his second season at Powers’ with William H. Wright’s Broadway Players that Spencer makes the transition from supporting actor to leading man opposite Selena Royle, one of Broadway’s shining stars.
Selena Royle arrives in Grand Rapids just one week after Spencer. She will prove to be the best contact of his career. It is through Selena and the Royle family connections in New York that Spencer makes his big break into Broadway and on to Hollywood, and it all came together in Grand Rapids.
Tue 10 Jun – Spencer begins rehearsing “The Meanest Man in the World”
Mon 16 Jun – Sun 22 Jun 1924
The Meanest Man in the World
Role: Carlton Childs, an idealistic young businessman
Spencer then heads back to Milwaukee across the lake arriving wednesday 25 June 1924 in time to be at the birth of his son John Tracy born thursday morning 26 June.
Mon 14 Jul – Sun 20 Jul 1924
Role: Rossmore; the power behind the contraband
A Great New Biography on Spencer Tracy by James Curtis.
Finally, the one I’ve been waiting twenty years to be written. The one that covers his Grand Rapids years that kick-started his career. A compilation of never before published interviews by those who were there, nicely written into a narrative you can’t put down.
Tracy Family Grand Rapids Residences:
1924 — Hotel Browning, 72 Sheldon Blvd SE
1925–26 — Oakwood Manor Apartments, 547 Cherry St SE Apt ??
more to come…