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Life With Mother

Life With Mother
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Clarence Day
Adapted by: Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 1950
ISBN-10: 0822206625
ISBN-13: 9780822206620
Cast Size: 8 female, 8 male

About the Play:

Life with Mother is a full-length comedy adapted for the stage by Howard Lindsay and Russel Crouse, based on a humorous autobiographical book of stories about his father compiled by Clarence Day. This well-received sequel to the famous Life with Father is about Mother's determination to get a 22-year-overdue engagement ring. Through being engaged before, Father had soured on engagement rings, and Mother wants to have the engagement ring that Father gave to another sweetheart before they were married. For the rest of play Mother plots to get the ring for herself and succeeds.

Life with Moher is the delightful comedy that followed the earlier play. Most of the familiar figures in Life with Father are here as their characteristic selves: Mother, Father, the children and some others. The play shows the Day family in their summer home entertaining friends and relatives. The basic plot involves Mother's attempt to provide an engagement ring for one of the boys, who wants it for his engagement to the girl next door. Though it happens that the engagement is short-lived, the desire for a ring is almost irresistible. Mother, never having had an engagement ring of her own, determines to get one. Mrs. Bessie Logan comes to visit the Days. Now widowed, she was formerly engaged to Father and when the engagement was broken, Father demanded the return of the beautiful ring. The former Bessie Fuller refused to give the ring back, and still wears it. When Mother learns this she insists that Father go into action. This puts Father in a spot. His old love Bessie plays a delightful game with him and, in the end, relents. The plot is further enriched by Cousin Cora's marriage and the introduction of her husband, Clyde Miller. Father almost meets his match in Clyde, who is an offensive know-it-all. When these two get in an argument, the sparks fly. Father practically kicks Clyde out of the house when Clyde blames Father because railroad stock Father had bought for Cora happens to decline a few points. Father characteristically explodes at Clyde's reflections upon his honesty, but that is satisfactorily settled when Mother buys back Cora's stock at a loss. The play ends when one of the younger boys sets off to Yale, after having been warned by his mother to be sure to put on warm clothes and eat the right food. Life With Mother, like Life With Father, is the broadly painted picture of a man and a marriage, the chronicle of a household, and record of a class.

Life with Mother, a sequel to Life With Father, had a two-week pre-Broadway engagement in 1939 before an enthusiastic full house at the Cass Theatre in Detroit. It then premiered at the Empire Theatre, the same theatre as its predecessor, and ran for a year on Broadway in New York City.

Cast: 8 female, 8 male

What people say:

"Life With Mother (based on Clarence Day's stories by Howard Lindsay & Russel Grouse) is not only the sequel but just about the equal of Life With Father." — Time Magazine

"Sequels have an odd habit of being somewhat less delightful than their originals, but in the case of Life With Mother, the sequel to Life With Father, it's the exception proving a rule." — The Indianapolis Star

About the Playwright:

Howard Lindsay, born Herman Nelke, (1889-1968) and Russel Crouse (1893-1966) collaborated on a succession of Broadway comedies and musicals. Their twenty-eight-year writing, producing, and theatre-management partnership was one of the longest collaborations of any in Broadway history. It was also one of the most brilliant. In 1946 their play State of the Union took home the Pulitzer Prize, and in 1960 The Sound of Music won the Tony for Best Musical.

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