Only A Play
by Terrence McNally
December 1-16, 1989
Directed by Terry Veal
An hilarious send-up of show business and its often bizarre practitioners, which uses the occasion of a disastrous opening night party to pile one wildly funny comic sequence upon another.
- Len Slater's Hirschfeld-inspired
illustration of the IT'S ONLY A PLAY cast -
From left: Marcellus Hankins, Len Slater, Linda Slawson, Francis Crim,
Betty Shedeck, Kingley Adams, Dennis Garland, and Martha Stroud
It's the opening night of "The Golden Egg" on Broadway, and
Julia Budder, the wealthy producer, is throwing a lavish party in her lavish Manhattan townhouse. Downstairs the celebrities are pouring in, but the real action is upstairs where a group of insiders have staked themselves out in the producer's bedroom, waiting for the reviews to come in. Included are the excitable young author; the brilliant but unstable director (who courts failure and is devastated when his work is well received); the pill-popping leading lady (who is hoping to revive her career after a series of flop movies); and the playwright'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.
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 bonhommie 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 which 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.
Play Service, Inc.