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Lillian Hellman’s second play, Days to Come, is a family drama set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town which threatens to tear apart both town and family. “It’s the story of innocent people on both sides who are drawn into conflict and events far beyond their comprehension,” Hellman said in an interview before Days to Come opened in 1936. “It’s the saga of a man who started something he cannot stop…”
She was “very full of the most miraculous kind of contradictions,” observed Jane Fonda on playing Lillian Hellman (1905-1984). Hellman persistently spoke her mind as one of America’s most celebrated playwrights and controversial icons. Hailed as a “dramatist of extraordinary strength and skill” (John Chapman, The New York Daily News), Hellman pursued questions of truth and deception, integrity and complicity throughout her life and plays. Drawing from melodrama’s conflicts between good and evil, Hellman created characters of textured moral ambiguity, including the indelible Regina Giddens of The Little Foxes.
Mint Theater Company presents "Hindle Wakes" by Stanley Houghton. 12/23/17 through 2/17/18 at Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd St.
THE LUCKY ONE followed MR. PIM PASSES BY and THE TRUTH ABOUT BLAYDS as Mint’s third production by A.A. Milne—best remembered today as the creator of Winnie the Pooh. The play tells the timeless story of antagonism between two brothers: Gerald, who stands in the sun and Bob, who stands in Gerald’s shadow. When Bob finds himself in serious legal trouble, he turns to Gerald for rescue. When Gerald fails to come through, years of simmering resentment boil over in a confrontation that is as stirring as it is surprising.
At once ironic and fanciful, the work of A.A. Milne spanned novels, light verse, essays, and children’s literature. Yet beyond his beloved Winnie-the-Pooh books, Milne wrote over two dozen plays marked by “enchanting ingenuity” (E.V. Lucas), skillful craftsmanship, and subtle wit. Peering beneath the polite surfaces and semblances of English life, Milne concealed a serious and penetrating eye under a charmingly light touch.
Set aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, The New Morality tells the story of how the brazen Betty Jones restores dignity to her household and harmony to her marriage, by losing her temper and making a scene.
A writer of “wit, gaiety and skillful craftsmanship,” the Brooklyn-born British playwright Harold Chapin (1886-1915) wrote ten one-act plays and four complete, full-length works before falling as a WWI soldier at the age of twenty-nine. With Chapin’s tragic early death, the British and American theater lost an already assured comic talent. Revolving around the whims and wits of candid female characters, Chapin’s philosophical comedies of manners brim with “imagination and sympathy,” sparkling dialogue, and a sense of humor at once sharp-edged and fanciful.
THE FATAL WEAKNESS, George Kelly’s last produced play, tells the story of Ollie Espenshade—an incurable romantic who discovers, after 28 years of marriage, that her husband is a lying cheat. It opened in New York on November 19, 1946 in a production starring Ina Claire. Although Claire’s triumphant return to Broadway after a five year absence garnered much of the press attention, Kelly’s play turned more than a few critics’ heads.
Admired for his character-driven satires and gimlet-eyed plays of modern manners, George Kelly (1887-1974) led a distinguished career in the New York theatre from the 1910s through the 1940s.
PHILIP GOES FORTH tells the story of a young man who rebels against his father and a career in the family business and ventures to New York to write plays. He leaves home without his father’s support or blessing, but with this warning: “Don’t imagine, whenever you get tired floating around up there in the clouds that you can drop right back into your place down here;—that isn’t the way things go—”
Pulitzer Prize-winner George Kelly wrote ten full-length plays during a distinguished career in the New York theatre. Kelly crafted indelible American types in his classic “plays of character” The Torch Bearers, The Show-Off, and Craig’s Wife, as well as underappreciated
works like Philip Goes Forth.
LOVE GOES TO PRESS is a wise-cracking romantic farce set in a makeshift press camp in the village of Poggibonsi, Italy, 1944. Headlining are two smart, sassy and determined journalists who brave the front lines to get their stories. Annabelle and Jane, both glamorous American women, are autobiographical caricatures of the authors: Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles.
Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) covered nearly every major confl ict during her lifetime, from the Spanish Civil War to the U.S. invasion of Panama (when she was 81). Famously, she was one of the few reporters who witnessed D-Day; she did so by locking herself in the toilet of a hospital ship – the first ship to survive the crossing. Gellhorn published 17 books during her six-decade career as a journalist, short story writer, and novelist.
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