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The Philadelphia Story

by Philip Barry
directed by Charles Newell

Mar 07, 1997 — May 04, 1997

Written at the end of the Great Depression and on the eve of the Second World War, Philip Barry’s The Philadelphia Story is a remarkable comedy about some serious issues. In this story of a young woman’s discovery that ‘the time to make up your mind ab out people is never,’ Barry explores questions that still seem relevant today–what does privacy mean in the age of the mass media? how can you reconcile class division with the ideals of democracy?

Barry may have been, as some have suggested, a bit too much in love with the upper classes, but The Philadelphia Story suggests that Barry was also truly interested in what constitutes a first class human being. But more than that, what makes Barry’s p lay appealing over fifty years after it was first produced is the timeless charm of the characters and the pure pleasure of his verbal wit. And if the 1940 movie starring Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart, and Cary Grant is perhaps the best known version of the play, it is on the stage where Barry’s wit shines and where his comic vision finds its best realization.

In Rotating Repertory with Tartuffe

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