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The Philadelphia Story

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  6w, 9m

This smash Broadway comedy, about an eventful wedding weekend at the estate of a wealthy American family, inspired an Oscar-winning film and the hit musical High Society.

The Philadelphia Story

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6w, 9m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
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Details

Summary

Tracy Lord, of the Philadelphia Lords, is a headstrong and spoiled daughter of the privileged class. Divorced from C.K. Dexter Haven, she plans to wed a successful young snob. At the family estate, Tracy's wedding weekend grows more eventful as a gossip reporter and a camerawoman arrive cover the wedding arrangements. Tracy’s brother hopes to divert their attention from Father Lord’s romance with a Broadway dancer, and Tracy finds herself growing interested in Connor, the fascinating reporter. At the end of a pre-wedding party, Tracy and Connor take a moonlight dip in the pool and meet her ex-husband and financé on their way back to the house. The following morning her intended agrees to forgive her, but his smug attitude enrages Tracy and she breaks off the engagement. Connor offers to marry her, but she turns him down and remarries Dexter, to the satisfaction of everyone.

This Broadway hit was adapted into a smash 1940 film starring Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart. The play was later adapted into the musical film High Society, starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

History
The Philadelphia Story premiered at the Shubert Theatre in New York on March 28, 1939. Directed by Robert B. Sinclair, the production featured Katharine Hepburn, Joseph Cotten and Van Heflin. Hepburn reprised her role in the 1940 film adaptation, appearing alongside Cary Grant and James Stewart.
ELSIE
ELIZABETH IMBRIE
THOMAS
C. K. DEXTER HAVEN
GEORGE KITTREDGE
EDWARD
MACAULAY CONNOR
MIKE
TRACY SAMATHA LORD
SETH LORD
DINAH LORD
WILLIAM TRACY
MAC
MAY
ALEXANDER LORD

  • Time Period 1930s
  • Setting Seth Lord's house in the country, near Philadelphia. 1930s.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)

Media

“Funny, intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable.” – Chicago Critic

“The play is well written... a well-crafted coy work in which the attitudes of a family of very wealthy Philadelphia blue bloods are contrasted to the sense and sensibility of a couple of hard-working members of the perennial middle class.” – The New York Times

“Barry’s lively script is hard not to be taken with... Barry’s snappy, often very funny language continues to delight... an altogether amusing time.” – DC Theater Arts

“Funny, intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable... This stylistic romantic comedy is superbly written in the glossy upper-class language befitting the idle over-educated rich... a clever, well-played comedy of manners.” – Chicago Critic

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

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Authors

Philip Barry

Philip Barry (1896-1949), one of the most gifted writers of American comedy, wrote over twenty plays for the Broadway stage, including such hits as The Philadelphia Story, Without Love (both with Katherine Hepburn), Foolish Notion (with Tallulah Bankhead), Hotel Universe, Par ...
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