Read Three Plays: Once in a Lifetime / You Can't Take it With You / The Man Who Came to Dinner by George S. Kaufman Moss Hart Online


Three American theater classics by two popular playwrights. "Once in a Lifetime" is a satire about three small-time vaudevillians who set out for Hollywood as films move from silents into sound.The 1936 Pulitzer Prize winner "You Can’t Take It With You" is about a zany family of hobby-horse enthusiasts. For thirty-five years Grandpa has done nothing but hunt snakes, throwThree American theater classics by two popular playwrights. "Once in a Lifetime" is a satire about three small-time vaudevillians who set out for Hollywood as films move from silents into sound.The 1936 Pulitzer Prize winner "You Can’t Take It With You" is about a zany family of hobby-horse enthusiasts. For thirty-five years Grandpa has done nothing but hunt snakes, throw darts, and avoid income-tax payments; his son-in-law makes fireworks in the basement, and other assorted family members write plays, operate amateur printing presses, and play the xylophone. They live in playful eccentricity until daughter Alice brings home her Wall Street boyfriend."The Man Who Came to Dinner" (1939) became a long-running hit. It portrays an eminent lecturer (based on Alec Woollcott) who accepts a dinner invite in a small Ohio town, slips on the ice outside his hosts’ home, and is forced to their sickbed. Convalescing he turns the house into bedlam with his wacky friends and diabolic pranks.Also included in this volume are “Men at Work” and “Forked Lightning,” two essays Kaufman and Hart wrote about each other....

Title : Three Plays: Once in a Lifetime / You Can't Take it With You / The Man Who Came to Dinner
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802150646
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 240 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Three Plays: Once in a Lifetime / You Can't Take it With You / The Man Who Came to Dinner Reviews

  • Sketchbook
    2019-03-12 02:03

    Polly Wolly Doodle. It took 2 to write these plays ? Having written for the Marx Bros, Kaufman brings a sense of joyous anarchy to these now mothballers (but swell for high schools and amateur theatre groups). You take a tin plot, with a pinch of romance, and crowd the stage with characters in-out, all doing "madcap"/kick in yer pants nonsense. O my gott, "madcap.""Dinner" springs from a visit the blabbermawth Alec Woollcott paid to Hart's lavish spread in Bucks County, PA. Hart told Kauf that he feared what would happen if Alec hurt himself there and couldn't leave. Zut ! The play ! ~~ Pandemonium rules w good scenes for actors playing versions of Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Harpo Marx. It's boy scout camp.There is not a "funny" line herein, but rather Whiteside issues insult after insult to others (usually women): "I may vomit," "Miss Bedpan," and so on. ~~ "You Can't" -- well, no, you can't, as a pert ingénue introduces her beau to her "madcap" family. Maybe you like "heart warming." Efficient sitcom, now drip-dry.I could not finish "Lifetime." These plays illustrate another time and place and country that no one has ever seen or experienced.

  • Marilee
    2019-02-24 00:43

    This is three plays in one. Once in a Lifetime is about three schemers who go to vaudeville to take advantage of the booming industry when "talkies" start being produced. This one was probably my favorite of the three. You Can't Take it With You is about a fairly normal young woman who comes from a family of eccentrics, whom she loves dearly and is fiercely protective of. Things come to a head when their quirks start to affect her life outside of the home. The Man Who Came to Dinner is about a celebrity who falls and injures himself at someone's home and can't be moved until he has recovered. He takes over the house completely and there are various consequences. I really enjoyed reading the writings of Kaufman and Hart and look forward to more.

  • Jessica
    2019-02-23 01:41

    All three plays are simply brilliant and hilarious. Superb!

  • Michael Emond
    2019-03-15 03:07

    After reading the Moss Hart biography I wanted to see a sample of his collaboration of his work with George S. Kaufman so I got my hands on this collection. Now, there is about as much point to read a screenplay to get a feel of the movie as there is to read a play script to get a feel for the play. Although reading a play script is a little more accessible than a movie script. But regardless, I still wanted to get an idea of what all the fuss was about. I choose to read “The Man Who Came For Dinner” since reviews said it held up the best. It is about a famous radio personality and critic (Whiteside) who was visiting a family for dinner (we never find out why he was visiting THIS family, since he seems to have hundreds of famous friends and this family certainly isn’t a) famous or b) very close to him) and ended up slipping on ice on their front porch and having to stay there. We pick up the action with him having been there many weeks, while recovering, and he is taking over the house and the household staff and threatening the family with suing them.I can see this play being a huge hit. A great example of a farce, populated with great characters for the actors to play off of. There are times the humour goes too far (penguins??) but mostly it is witty and there are great bits of timing and running jokes. The one oddity to me is the ending. The last minute rescue was a good idea, I just wished it felt more organic and less forced.Overall, I have to say I can see why this play was a hit and the wit and speed of the play works. It is a little busy, filled with a lot of characters, but the authors managed to handle the characters well. Some get short changed in later acts (E.g. Bert is fleshed out well in act one and barely heard from afterward same with Mrs. Stanley) but to keep the play moving it is understandable. Three stars because - let's be honest - reading a play is never close to SEEING a play. So while it is fun to read them at one level - it is still not fulfilling on a different level.

  • 04evans
    2019-03-15 03:08

    The thing that stuck out to me about this play was that it was actually funny. The main reason I thought it was funny was because we actually watched the play in class. I never really gave plays a chance before, because it is different reading it that actually seeing it. When you can actually see it there is more room for humor like the way people say the lines or their facial expressions. The worst thing about the play to me was that it wasn’t good till I actually saw the play. Some plays are funny on paper but some aren’t. One play that I liked on paper was rumors, the play we read in class. I don’t plan on reading anymore of Kaufman and Hart’s plays. I know I said that last time but, this time I mean it because this is the last paper about a play I will have to do in this class anyway. The reason I chose them again this time was because it was a familiar author and I figured it wasn’t that bad last time so it won’t be that bad this time. I got really lucky though since we watched the play in class. The book didn’t really make me feel much. I guess it made me laugh, but laughter isn’t really a feeling. It made me feel relieved when I was done because I could start on this and it made me happy when I found out we were going to be watching it in class. If I were to rate the book I would give it 4 out of 5. I gave it a 4 because it was surprisingly good but not good enough to make me want to read plays all the time.

  • Neil
    2019-03-03 23:58

    Kaufman and Hart comedies are still a staple of regional theater, and reading these three plays (in some cases re-reading, in others enjoying them for the first time), it's easy to see why they don't go away. The screwball sensibilities of these plays are still fresh after all these years, in many ways fresher than the work of more recent playwrights like Neil Simon. There are references that contemporary audiences mostly wouldn't get, but the humor in the relationships between the characters more than compensates for that. I think the reason that this work holds up so well is that Kaufman and Hart's characters were iconoclasts even in their day, and they remain free spirits even now, so time hasn't made them old fashioned. My only regret is that there aren't more of these plays to enjoy.

  • Nasser
    2019-03-14 00:54

    I never thought I would be reading a play that a where I don’t have to read it for school. this play is a very funny plan about a family. where the writer George Kaufman just makes them very good and real. each character I can feel that I am watching the play in person so that something that kept me reading. I also like all the storylines around the main problems which kept me always thinking and that’s what I like not just in a play but in a book. so overall this play was very good and I hope I get some more George Kaufman plays because this one really got me hooked in.

  • Jane Mcneil
    2019-02-28 21:09

    Once in a Lifetime can read a bit implausible to our modern world. In fact, I'm still confused about the aeroplane fiasco. But Hart brilliantly portrays the craziness and lure of the bygone Hollywood scene with a backdrop of interrelated characters. (Hart's first big hit.) You Can't Take It With You has hilarious quirky characters & ends perfectly with it's prophetic title's message. (My favorite out of the 3.)The Man Who Came to Dinner is a clever farce with an unlovable but humorous lead. All of which should remind us: Laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.

  • Esther
    2019-03-02 01:52

    I loved the play "You Can't Take It With You" when I was a kid. The family in the play is a precursor of sorts to the nutty family you see in Little Miss Sunshine.

  • Tamsyn
    2019-03-18 02:55

    I read all three for te first time, though I have heard of them. My favorite was You Can't Take It With You -- I bet it would be great to see it live. Thanks, Umber, for this suggestion!

  • Pseudonymous d'Elder
    2019-03-05 04:10

    This book includes two of my favorite comic plays of all time--"The Man Who Came to Dinner" and "You Can't Take It With You."

  • Megan
    2019-03-09 03:53

    I read the last two plays in this book. I found them both entertaining and funny. They have a definited period feel to them.