This isn’t the first time the Ford’s amphitheatre stage has undergone a major transformation… In 1938, four years after his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Hollywood Bowl, film director Max Reinhardt chose the Ford as the venue for his staging of Goethe’s Faust.
In the program notes, Reinhardt described the theatre as “the Cinderella among open-air theatres—in my opinion, the most beautiful of them all.”
Under the direction of set designer Nicolai Remisoff, the production involved the creation of an elaborate Bavarian village, including a church, tavern and prison.
With a breathtaking set like this, it’s no surprise that a who’s who of 1930s era Hollywood movie stars packed the audience for the premiere. An LA Times review describes fans crowding the entrance with their autograph books as stars such as Hedy Lamarr, Peter Lorre, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Olivia de Havilland and Lucille Ball arrived for the performance.