Winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, God of Carnage relates an evening in the lives of two couples, residents of a tony Brooklyn neighborhood, who meet to discuss a playground incident. Alan and Annette’s son hit Michael and Veronica’s son in the face with a stick, resulting in two broken teeth. The four of them agree to discuss the incident civilly, but, as the night wears on and drinks are imbibed, the polite veneer breaks down. The couples initially spar against each other, but the men gang up on the women and the spouses switch sides as the fighting continues. Reza’s play suggests that our civilized trappings do a poor job of hiding our venality and bile.
In Ira Levin’s classic comedic thriller, Deathtrap, a washed-up playwright finds a chance to rise to the top once more, a shot he’d be willing to kill for. Sidney Bruhl hasn’t written a hit play for 18 years when he receives a script from a former student, Clifford Anderson, that’s a guaranteed success. His wife, Myra, suggests the two men could collaborate; Sidney jokes that it’d be just as easy to murder the young man and steal the script for his own. When Clifford arrives later that evening, no one--not even the visiting psychic--could predict where the dark events of the night will go. Who is innocent? Who only seems that way? Is anyone really safe when a man sees a clean shot at success?
Grandpa Vanderhof and his wacky family, the Sycamores, have been happily living their zany lives in his house by Columbia University in New York for many years. This family (and their friends) are a madcap group of eccentrics, marching to the beat of their own drum, with pride and joy. Their hobbies include collecting snakes, building fireworks in the basement, writing a myriad of plays that never get published, and taking ballet lessons. Things like stress, jobs, and paying taxes to the government are for other people, not for them! But when practical young Alice Sycamore becomes engaged to her company’s Vice President Tony Kirby, the Vanderhof/Sycamore clan must straighten up to meet the new in-laws. Disaster ensues when the Kirbys arrive at the wrong time and, despite the best laid plans, see Alice’s family in all of its crazy glory.
A Broadway opening night party in the producer’s stylish home brings together a delicious cacophony of characters—playwrights, producers, actors and wannabes-- proving the old adage “there’s no people like show people” with an armload of wit, warmth and winter coats. It’s Only A Play is a laugh-out-loud comedy love letter to the resilience of live theatre, and an homage to the people that -- even when things seem impossible -- always believe that the marquee will be lit again, and the show must go on
Moss Hart’s Light Up the Sky takes place in the hotel room of Broadway actress Miss Irene Livingston, prior to the opening of a new play in an out-of-town tryout. Over the course of the evening we follow a truck-driver-turned-playwright watching his first play being produced in Boston. This backstage comedy features the grandly temperamental leading lady; her sarcastic, gin-rummy-playing mother; the flamboyant director; the lowbrow producer; and his ice-skating, wisecracking wife. The opening night seems to go awry and the producer, cast, etc., believe it is a flop and turn against one another, against the producer and especially against their unlikely author. When it turns out that the reviews are favorable, however, the tables turn, and we see how easily show business people can go from friends to enemies to friends, once more.
To chase his blues away, a modern day musical theatre addict known simply as ‘Man in Chair’ (Martin) drops the needle on his favorite LP – the 1928 musical comedy The Drowsy Chaperone. From the crackle of his hi-fi, the musical magically bursts to life on stage, telling the tale of a pampered Broadway starlet who wants to give up show business to get married, her producer who sets out to sabotage the nuptials, her chaperone, the debonair groom, the dizzy chorine, the Latin lover and a pair of gangsters who double as pastry chefs.
Britain's master farceur (Two Into One, Run For Your Wife, et al.) is at it again. Set in a hospital, It Runs in the Family contains the usual assortment of farcical nuts running in and out of doors mistaking everybody for someone else, as Dr. Mortimore tries to fend off a paternity suit, an ex wife, a punkish son and various other lunatics so that he may, at last, deliver the Ponsonby Lecture in an international conference.