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The Club

The Club
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Eve Merriam
Publisher: Samuel French (covermay change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 44
Pub. Date: 1977
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573680833
ISBN-13: 9780573680830
Cast Size: 7 female

About the Play:

The Club is a full-length gender-swapping musical revue by Eve Merriam. Behind every man there really is a woman. The members of a stuffy, all male club circa 1900, tap dance and sing fourteen songs of the era, all indicative of male smugness and superiority. Both biting social satire and audience-pleasing entertainment, during the finale, the audience discovers that the top hats, white ties and tails are actually being worn by women.

The Club is a satirical feminist commentary set in an exclusive upper-class, men's club in 1903; a time when male chauvinist behaviour and banter were in full flower. The gloves come off and this wry and sharply comic satire gives your audience the chance to hear what these men love – and hate – about the women in their lives, expressed through telling sexist jokes and racy stories, and singing genuine popular songs of the period; all painstakingly unearthed by Eve Merriam from the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. An Obie-winning feminist musical with a satirical twist, The Club gets everyone thinking about gender roles and stereotypes – because, dressed in formal male attire, all roles – to a man, as it were – are played by women.

The Club premiered in 1976 at the Circle in the Square Downtown off-Broadway in New York City. The highly successful production ran for 19 months, masterfully directed by a then-unknown Tommy Tune, and won an unprecedented 10 Obie Awards. The Canadian premiere was in 1978, to great success, at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary. It continues to be widely staged in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions as a cult favourite.

Cast: 7 female

What people say:

"Merriam's play, which is gathering buckets of awards in a New York off-Broadway version, is a musical-comedy about an exclusive 1909 men's club. And it skewers its targets with a wickedly clever twist: all the fat-cat men are played by women." — The Globe and Mail

"Extraordinary! High Caliber! Style and Verve!... A refracting lens for the condescension and bigotry that pervade those good old songs, and by implication, our culture." — The New York Post

"Wickedly witty, delicious musical!" — Cue

About the Playwright:

Eve Merriam (1916-1992) was an award-winning American poet, playwright, and writer. Born in Philadelphia with the given name Eva Moskovitz, her award-winning poems and plays ran the gamut from pixieish verse to fierce feminism. Her best known work was also her most unusual: The Club, a play in which seven women dressed in white tie and tails as Edwardian gentlemen traded chauvinist jokes and songs. She was 50 years old then; in her more than 70 years of life, she wrote over 50 books for adults and children.