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Abraham Lincoln Dies at Versailles 5 (2m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The sixteen-year-old grandson of the late President Lincoln, named after his grandfather, meets a girl in the gardens of Versailles. But it is her mother, who, upon discovering the young man's identity, relates the story of her being at Gettysburg as a young girl on the day the president delivered his famous speech. She has never forgotten that moment when he kissed her lightly on the forehead, as she now does to the young man, passing his grandfather's kiss on to him. What she doesn't know is that the boy with the famous name and such promise will die in France within a few days.

     

American Sunset, An Comedy/Satire; Drama 3 (1m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In her many years as membership secretary at Grassy Acres Country Club, Miss Potter has worked with dedication to limit applications to the "right people" only. So she and Mrs. Stonewell (head of the admissions committee) have no qualms about interviewing young Mr. Upton, who has impeccable family and social credentials to recommend him. But while he passes muster easily, Mr. Upton then flabbergasts them by announcing that his mission is not to get into the club but to stay out! In fact he is opposed to all that the club stands for. The penalty for this breach is, of course, death, which the well-bred Upton accepts with obedient calm. But here too a surprise is in store, as he shortly rises from the "dead," leaving Mrs. Stonewell in shock and the chastened Miss Potter to long thoughts as to who the right people, and what the best values, really are.

Imaginative in concept and style, this perceptive, bizarre comedy deflates the silly pretensions and snobbery of the "country club set" with devastating and delightful accuracy.     

Autograph Hound, The Comedy/Satire 3 (1m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As the Associated Press describes "THE AUTOGRAPH HOUND is…so funny and unphony that an old hand playwright could be proud of it. The play, at the Off-Broadway Jan Hus Theatre, is funny in a comfortable way. It bases its humor on human and domestic foibles. The playwright's views seem to be that some faults are completely ridiculous and in no way admitting of praise and yet, reassuringly, they spring from an unquenchable human spirit to be celebrated rather than censured. The wife in the three-character play is a full-blown eccentric who stands for hours outside every possible celebrity gathering place to get autographs. One night when she's out, standing in the snow, her husband tears up the treasured collection housed in three living room filing cabinets, bests her in a strangling contest when she gets home, sends their daughter out to find her own apartment, and declares a turning point. But what way will they turn? She's the one, after all, with the 'thrill of the chase' as she expresses it. They find their togetherness—he joins her hobby."

The Off-Broadway debut of the author (in tandem with LEMONADE). A sharply humorous and inventive play which takes a scratching and revealing look at the obsessive celebrity-chasers who find their meaning in life through collecting autographs. "…a frequently funny, if slanderous analysis of the types who haunt stagedoors, hotel entrances and Sardi's doorway in search of celebrities signatures." —Variety. "There's a nice feel of boldness to the writing; a good sense of structures; and a genuinely funny wit to the dialogue." —Cue Magazine.   

Elephants 2 (2m, 0f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In 108 A.D., in the city of Rome, a rich young man, Domitian, finds his friend Arcadius drunk in an alley and insists upon hearing what caused such a sensitive and meticulous young man to come to this. Arcadius sadly relates how he was forced by the Emperor to attend "the games" in the coliseum. There he witnessed elephants prodded by fire to trample Rome's enemies, among them a golden-haired child, strapped to the ground. It was horrible, but when Domitian comforts him and reminds him it's over, Arcadius replies that he has been back to the games every day, because he has lost his soul.

     

Housekeeper, The Comedy/Satire 2 (1m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Foundering a bit after the death of his aged (and domineering) mother, Manley Carstairs, a self-styled literary artist, engages a housekeeper, Annie Dankworth, to look after his large Victorian house (and himself). When Annie first arrives, wearing sneakers and carrying her belongings in a grocery cart, Manley is taken aback, but she seems so eager to please that he relents—after which their relationship progresses rapidly from initial reserve to active hatred. Annie is one of the world's great oddballs. She insults her employer, denigrates his writing, admits she forged her references, accuses Manley of lusting after her and, in general, makes his life a hell. Eventually Manley can take no more, but when he advances on Annie with strangulation in mind, he trips, falls into her arms, they embrace, and the rest is history. Conveyed in a series of fast-paced, juxtaposed scenes—some in the present, some in the past—the play covers all these unlikely events with lively wit and biting humor, becoming funnier and funnier as it builds toward its unexpected and thoroughly delightful conclusion.

This offbeat, delightfully zany comedy deals with the unlikely involvement which develops between a middle-aged, rather stuffy bachelor and the eccentric bag lady he hires as a housekeeper. "A hilarious comedy of amorous faux pas. A comic valentine." —Rocky Mountain News. "One of the best new comedies to come around in a long time." —Westmore News. "The opening night audience was convulsed with laughter." —Barnstable Patriot.    

Last of Mrs. Lincoln, The Drama 16 (11m, 5f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Impulsive, imperious and foolish in money matters, Mary Todd Lincoln was beset by a series of unhappy events in the years following her husband's tragic assassination. Disturbed by still persistent rumors that she, as a Southerner, had hampered the Union cause; frustrated in her attempts to obtain a pension from Congress; and deeply grieved by the untimely death of her beloved son Tad; she was, for a brief time, committed to a mental institution by her sole surviving son, Robert. But, as the play so eloquently makes clear, Mary Lincoln was also a woman of great courage and compassion, who grew in stature as she came to accept the vicissitudes of her life—and her ultimate reconciliation with her remaining son is a moment of deep emotion and human understanding. Told through a sequence of varied and theatrically brilliant scenes, the play is both a true and touching portrait of a remarkable and much maligned woman, and an ironic statement on the misconstructions which history so often imposes on the truth.

A critically acclaimed Broadway production, this moving and vivid study of the trouble-filled later years in the life of Lincoln's widow. "A superb night of stage magic." —The Record. "…a play of great force!" —Newhouse Newspapers. "A grand display of absorbing drama." —Associated Press.     

Laughter in the Shadow of the Trees 3 (1m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Martin, a brilliant, distinguished critic, is rapidly falling into a state of dementia. His wife, Felicia, remains the epitome of the supportive wife and loyal fan, even in the face of his insults and peevish behavior. Their daughter Jan tries to persuade her mother to put Martin into a home, but a silver thread of hope and affection makes it impossible for Felicia to let him go.

     

Lemonade Comedy/Satire; Drama 2 (0m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As outlined in Show Business: "LEMONADE features Jan Miner and Nancy Coleman as a pair of Peoria matrons who seek respite from the doldrums of middle age by selling spiked lemonade to highway travelers. The dialogue is hilarious as the two trade drinks and the fantasies they have concocted to brighten their dull lives. But the two strong performances really emerge when we find there is no sale. Miss Miner's Mabel has not raised a crippled son; Miss Coleman's Edith has not seen her children burn to death. Their lemonade grows tepid; their fantasies lose lustre. Prideaux's theme is the desperation with which we seek to evade the mundane, the illusions small people live by, and the emptiness which can exist beneath the veneer of supposed well-being."

First presented by New York's famed Playwrights Unit, this perceptive and funny study of two frustrated and lonely middle-class matrons went on to Off-Broadway success on a double bill with The Autograph Hound, by the same author. "The dialogue is bright, witty and to the point an evening of dark humor." —WABC-TV. "Prideaux's plays are light as a souffle, his lines sparkle like prisms and his wit is derived from sharp observations of oh, grateful surprise normal people." —Long Island Press.

Librarian, The 3 (1m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In a mental institution, a librarian, driven to the edge of madness, is questioned by a doctor. She tells him of her bewilderment that libraries could close, in such a great country, due to a lack of funding, revealing that the closing of her beloved library has caused her to resort to violence. She finds comfort only in the voices of the great artists of the past, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Shakespeare and, above all, Vincent Van Gogh, and from them, she clings to hope.

     

Mixed Couples Comedy/Satire 5 (3m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The time is 1927, the place an airplane hangar in New Jersey where two couples wait for the fog to lift so their chartered plane can fly them to Washington. Their meeting is quite by chance, but also ironic, as it develops that the four had switched partners twenty-five years earlier, and haven't seen each other since. One couple has settled into suburban bliss, he a professor, she a housewife and mother; the other couple are Park Avenue types, he a rich, hard-driving businessman, and his wife (after all these years) still an aspiring actress. Cautious and civil at first, their conversation turns gradually bitchier (and funnier) as time hangs heavy, bootleg liquor flows, and old enmities are revived. As their veneers crumble, it is clear that neither couple has benefited as much as they had expected from their marital switch, and that beneath their pretense lies aridity, albeit tempered by the witty hijinks they go through to convince themselves (and us) that all's well in their reordered worlds.

Presented on Broadway, this witty and ingenious comedy of old wounds newly re-opened provides a field day for its two leading ladies. "There are two (no let's be totally fair to the men, four) razzle dazzle performances in James Prideaux's new play MIXED COUPLES…" —NY Post. "…a bittersweet romantic comedy…" —NY Times. "…a sophisticated comedy of words and situations…" —The Hollywood Reporter.

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