Set in New York, Three Days of Rain centers on a brother Walker, his sister Nan, and their childhood friend Pip who meet to settle their parents' estate. The two fathers were long-time friends and partners in architecture; their legacy is the brilliantly daring creation, the 1960's Janeway House. In this tense and brittle reunion, much more is at stake than who gets the house. Brother and sister discover their father's sparse diary, and use it to create a story for themselves that will explain away the present and make sense of their parent's passionless marriage. Over the three days of rain entered in the young architect's diary, the same three actors then play their own parents and reveal a romantic significance and creative dilemma that none of these children could ever have imagined. Julia Roberts will make her Broadway debut in spring 2006 as Nan in a revival of Richard Greenberg's Three Days of Rain.
Presents three comedies of manners by playwright Noel Coward, including "Blithe Spirit," in which a man is visited by the ghost of his first wife; "Hay Fever," the story of a family of bohemians who wreak emotional havoc on weekend visitors; and "Private Lives," in which a newly divorced couple find themselves in adjoining hotel rooms while honeymooning with their new spouses.
The plays in this volume demonstrate the extraordinary skill and versatility Coward's writing achieved in the late 1920s. The volume contains his best-loved classic, Private Lives, which was an immeditate hit when it was first staged in 1930. Coward's sparkling dialogue and repartee have ensured the play's popularity ever since. Of Bitter-Sweet in 1929 Noël Coward wrote that it was "a musical that gave me more complete satisfaction than anything else I had yet written. Not especially on acount of its dialogue or its lyrics or its music or its production but as a whole." The Marquise is an "eighteenth century comedy" filled with maids and duels, whilst Post-Mortem is a vilification of war that contains some of Coward's most powerful writing.
Volume Four of Noël Coward's plays contains a selection of Coward's plays from the thirties and forties which includes Blithe Spirit, a comedy that centres around the spirit medium Madame Arcati. The play that mocks sudden death was produced at precisely the moment when bombs were bringing it to Britain "I shall ever be grateful, for the almost psychic gift that enabled me to write Blithe Spirit in five days during one of the darkest years of the war." The play was for years the longest-running comedy in the history of British theatre. Present Laughter follows the life of Garry Essendine, a world-weary, middle-aged projection of the dilettante, debonair persona - self-obsessed and dressing-gowned who struts through the play like an educated peacock. It is a comedy about the 'theatricals' that Noël best knew and loved, and was originally a star vehicle for himself. It is the closest to an autobiographical play that Coward ever wrote. This Happy Breed is a saga of a lower middle-class family; and three shorter pieces fromTonight at 8.30 - is a farce set in the South of France, and serves as an oblique tribute to Frederick Lonsdale; The Astonished Heart is about the decay of a psychiatrist's mind through personal sexual obsession. Red Peppers, which closes the volume, was a cynical tribute to the lost music halls of the First World War.
Written in 1941, concerns the predicament of a man who must face his imperious and jealous wives when they return from the after-life to haunt him. This is a humorous into the lives of a twice-married couple, who, having checked into a posh hotel, have nothing to do but eat, drink, bicker, make love, and congratulate themselves on their isolation from a world unworthy of them.