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Once in a Lifetime

Once in a Lifetime
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 0573613389
ISBN-13: 9780573613388
Cast Size: 14 women, 24 men

About the Play:

Once in a Lifetime is one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

Once in a Lifetime is a full-length comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. A down-on-their-luck vaudeville trio goes to Hollywood shortly after the talking-pictures revolution to make their fortunes, and end up posing as vocal coaches for a major producer. A Broadway and West End favourite and most popular title with community theatres.

Once in a Lifetime is set in America in 1927. It is the age of the Talkies and The Jazz Singer has hit the screens. Three on-the-skids vaudeville troupers Jerry, Mae, and George, decide to leave New York and head out west to Hollywood and find work in this new industry called the "Talkies." They try their luck as voice coaches to the stars of the Silent Screen. After a hilarious series of consistent blunders, the most outspoken of the three is promoted by the Head of the studios and given the freedom to cast and direct his own film. This fast-paced, wild romp offers marvellous character opportunities while cleverly spoofing the absurdities of the early workings Tinsel Town.

Once in a Lifetime premiered in 1930 at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway in New York City, directed by George S. Kaufman. It has been revived regularly through years, both on and off Broadway, and has been performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 14 women, 24 men (doubling possible)

What people say:

"Ideal summer theatre with comic climaxes that distinguish the humor of the 30s...Grand chains of lunacy." — The New York Times

"A lovely play... Gracefully insane." — New York Post

About the Playwright:

Moss Hart (1904-1961) was an American playwright and theatre director, best known for his interpretations of musical theatre on Broadway. He also succeeded in Hollywood, becoming a notable screenwriter. Among his many accolades are the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Academy Award nomination for best screenplay, and a Best Director Tony Award.

George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) was an American playwright, theatre director and producer, humorist, and drama critic. After brief periods studying law and as a salesman, he began to contribute humorous material to newspapers; by 1915 he was writing for the theater section of the New York Tribune, moving to the New York Times (1917-30). He wrote forty-five plays and musicals in his career. The vast majority were hits and two of his collaborations won the Pulitzer Prize.

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