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First Love (Taylor) Drama 26 (23m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Richard Watts describes the play as the "appealing heartfelt chronicle of a son's often sorely tried devotion to a remarkable, courageous and almost epically exasperating mother. Episodic and somewhat leisurely, it possesses a kind of humorous sadness that is steadily engaging. If the French author-diplomat hadn't loved his mother deeply, he might have made a fairly devastating case against her. Possessive, driving and ruthlessly resourceful, she could be a trial to everybody and an embarrassment to her child. But she had the indomitable quality of never accepting defeat, she fought on unceasingly for the goal she had set, and her ambition was not for herself, but for the two loves of her life, her son and France. And she was capable of every sacrifice to further the dreams to which she devoted her life…"

Based on the memoir Promise at Dawn, by Romain Gary, this imaginative and affecting Broadway success delineates the special relationship between a widowed mother and her son. Played on a virtually bare stage, it ranges widely in time and place and from boyhood to maturity, creating a mosaic of scenes and events which blend into an unforgettably human story. "Gary's story is enchanting, and so is playwright Taylor's device for putting it on stage." —NY World-Telegram & Sun. "…a warmly affectionate play…" —NY Post. "…scenes that have humor and tenderness…" —NY Newsday.    

Happy Time, The Comedy/Satire 12 (8m, 4f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The "happy time" of the title is the growing up of twelve-year-old Bibi Bonnard, youngest member of a gay, uninhibited French family living in Ottawa. Bibi's father is a good-humored whimsical musician, leader of a vaudeville orchestra, who wants his son to grow up to appreciate the warmth and humor of life, and to understand that "to be truly a man one must know two things: One must know love, one must know truth." The other men of the family are: young, exuberant Uncle Desmonde, bon vivant, travelling salesman, and "Casanova of Canada"; Uncle Louis, who drinks wine from a water cooler, and "has not let the thought of work disturb his slumbers in twenty years"; and Grandpere, who believes that one lives only as long as one loves, and is determined to live forever. The quieting influence in this mercurial household is Bibi's mother, Maman, a Scot among Frenchmen, who tries with amused determination to rule her men with some kind of order and usually fails, though in so doing she manages to retain her good-humored tolerance. It is Maman who warns the men that their carefree ways may someday get Bibi into trouble, but when her prediction comes true and the trouble comes, she has reason to be proud of her, for they really rally like the Three Musketeers, rise to the occasion, and show their true honesty and humanity. They strike a blow for freedom, and in a scene that is warmly humorous and deeply touching, Bibi learns what it is "truly to be a man."

A great comedy success on Broadway, and a most happy and carefree theatrical treat.

Legend Comedy/Satire 16 (15m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

A lighthearted, captivating and highly inventive spoof of the Old West and its larger-than-life heroes. Presented on Broadway.

Although fast and furious and filled with lively action, this delightful comedy is also, in essence, a "dream" play, for it treats the classic period of the Old West as a part of American mythology. It tells of a mysterious, romantic girl who appears in a remote mining town in quest of the fabled West and its legendary heroes, and who finds what she is seeking in an Outlaw, a Sheriff, a Banker and the rough but lovable men of the town. It is comedy that echoes all the facts and fancies, and dreams and illusions, of Western lore as it follows the heroine through a series of lively escapades: from bank robbery to enforced, unaccustomed domesticity after being taken into custody by the Sheriff. In the end a burst of violence seems to shatter the myth which she has summoned to life, leaving her with no more than memories. But, ironically, they are memories which, together with her own story, are sure to merge into yet another legend of the West—to be told and re-told, with suitable embellishments, by generations yet to come.

Pleasure of His Company, The Comedy/Satire 7 (5m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As told by McClain, "A somewhat tarnished international playboy returns to the San Francisco home of his former wife to give away their daughter in marriage. He hasn't laid eyes on the girl since she was a sprout and now discovering her a resplendent young woman, he turns on the charm that has won his reputation in all the playgrounds of the world. The daughter is utterly transported, the mother and the fiance are helpless against this sophisticated tidal wave. But the impasse is rationally resolved when the girl wins her plea to be allowed a small sabbatical abroad [with her father] before settling down to the marriage she still cherishes."

"Thoroughly delightful…the sort of gay and silken comedy of manners that puts everyone at ease on and off the stage." —NY Times. "A sparkling, thoughtful drawing room comedy…It will be tenanting the Longacre Theatre for months to come…There's a surface shimmer to it all, with more than a little sound philosophy beneath. It's wise and witty and warming…we saw the final curtain fall with regret. For here's the literate laugh hit we've been waiting for. A gem and a joy." —NY Mirror. "Pleasure is the word for it." —NY Herald-Tribune. "An enormously satisfactory comedy…it is filled with heart and humor." —NY Journal-American.

Sabrina Fair Comedy/Satire; Romance 14 (7m, 7f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

"A modern version of the Cinderella fable," writes Atkinson, in the Times. It is set on Long Island in the 1950s, and deals with the involvement of a very rich family named Larrabee with Sabrina Fairchild, the daughter of their family chauffeur. She is bright, well-educated, and has just returned from five years in Paris, where she has done a brilliant job as an executive in a U.S. government overseas office. She has come home to find out if she is still in love with the younger Larrabee son, David. The elder son, Linus, a cynical, good-humored tycoon who has taken control of the family fortune, detects Sabrina's feeling for his brother, and for his own amusement lays a trap to bring them together. It works: David falls in love with Sabrina and wants to marry her. At the same time, a rich young Frenchman who has known Sabrina in Paris turns up and asks her to marry him. Faced with this dilemma, Sabrina discovers it is really Linus she wants. After an amusing scene in which Sabrina's father, the chauffeur, makes a rather amazing revelation, Sabrina breaks down Linus' resistance and gets her man. An unusual number of fine character parts for actors: the beautiful mother of wit and perception; the father, whose one passion is attending funerals; the chauffeur who has been dabbling in the stock market and likes his job because it gives him time to read; the smart magazine editor who, as a house guest, is the interested observer. "SABRINA FAIR is a delightful, sparkling hit." —Robert Coleman, NY Mirror.

"The best American comedy of manners in more than a decade." —Saturday Review. "A remarkably pleasant piece of theatre…Mr. Taylor writes in a sparkling daze of incredulity and satire." —NY Times.  

Touch of Spring (or Avanti!), A Comedy/Satire; Romance 9 (7m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As the New York Post outlines: "It is set in a real Rome. A Rome you really miss…It is set there because a young, conservative, slightly stuffy American businessman has come to retrieve the body of his father, who was killed in an automobile accident. Confronted with bureaucratic pasta and accustomed to his own business power, he blusters futilely until the arrival of a "professional assistant'—a young Italian who, for a fee, will cut through any red tape. And though we have seen this character, more or less, in many stories about Americans in Italy, Mr. Taylor has created him extra special wonderfully. He is a pimp for all sexes and all variations, and takes his own sex any way you choose. He deals with the bureaucracy as he deals with life—optimistically, high spiritedly and with a sure knowledge of his own childishness. The American businessman also meets a young lady, as he would have to in such a play. She is the daughter of his father's lover, who was killed in the car accident. Nor should it come as a surprise to anyone that they have an affair, that the young man is married, that his wife unexpectedly arrives and that he leaves agreeing to meet her for a month in Italy. Just as her father and her mother had been doing for twelve years…So then what it adds up to is grown-up entertainment…so well done and so basically diverting that it can only be taken for the pleasurable thing it is."

Dealing with love and red tape and the magical atmosphere of Rome in the spring, this delightful witty comedy (presented on Broadway as AVANTI!) went on to phenomenal success in London in the newly revised version offered here. "…it is warm and funny and, above all, civilized." —NY Newsday. "…delightful, romantic and adult…" —Women's Wear Daily. "This frolic is such fun! Samuel Taylor has written a joyous comedy." —London Evening News. "Escape into spring for a lovely fling." —London Daily Express.   

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