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It's Only a Play

It's Only a Play
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 81
Pub. Date: 1992
ISBN-10: 0822205823
ISBN-13: 9780822205821
Cast Size: 2 female, 5 male

About the Play:

It's Only a Play has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues.

It's Only a Play is a full-length comedy by Terrence McNally. With careers on the line and reputations at stake, the creators of a new Broadway play nervously await the make-or-break reviews on opening night to see if their show will be a hit in this hysterical and biting comedy. It's Only a Play is alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender – reminding audiences why there's no business like show business.

It's Only a Play is an hilarious send-up of show business and its often bizarre practitioners. It's the opening night of The Golden Egg on Broadway, the latest comedy by rising playwright Peter Austin, and his rich-but-inexperienced producer Julia Budder is throwing a star-studded celebration at her lavish Manhattan townhouse. Downstairs, the who's who list of celebrities are pouring in. But the real action is upstairs in the producer's sumptuous bedroom – where a nutty collection of insiders keeps crossing paths as they wait for the all-important judgment of the critics. On hand are Peter's "best" friend, an egotistical but insecure comic actor who passed up a chance to star in the play for a television series – which has since been cancelled; the brilliant but unstable director (who courts failure and is devastated when his work is well received); and the pill-popping leading lady (who is hoping to revive her career after a series of flop movies). Also present are a fawning, hypocritical drama critic (who is a closet playwright); a would-be singer working as a part-time servant; and a hard-boiled lady taxi driver who has seen it all, many times over. The good natured bonhomie with which the evening begins grows steadily bitchier – and funnier – as the reviews (all bad) come in, and those assembled seek desperately to pin the blame on each other. But, as euphoria slides into despair, the narcissism, ambition, childishness and just plain irrationality that infuse the theatre and its denizens take over, and as the curtain falls plans are eagerly afoot for their next venture – this one sure to be the hit they have all been hoping for.

It's Only a Play originally ran off-off-Broadway in 1982 at the Actors and Directors Theatre and was later produced off-Broadway in 1985 with great success by New York's famed Manhattan Theatre Club at The Space at City Center Theatre. Terrence McNally updated the period references for the Broadway revival in 2014 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, transferring to the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in 2015. It's still enormously popular, and has been a staple of community theatres and regional repertory houses since then.

Cast: 2 female, 5 male

What people say:

"This show is without a doubt hilariously, sidesplittingly funny… These are among the funniest lines to roll off a stage in years… It's Only a Play deserves only a rave." — New York Times

"It's Only a Play is wickedly funny." — Associated Press

"It's Only a Play is, indeed, only a play. But it's a very funny one." — Miami Herald

About the Playwright:

Terrence McNally (1938-2020) was an American playwright whose career has spanned six decades. Initially active in the burgeoning Off-Broadway theatre movement in the 1960s, he is one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully made the transition to Broadway, and, in the process, passed from avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. In addition to four Tony Awards for his plays, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and was a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor. He is considered one of America's great playwrights.

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