Our second show of the season is the classic comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Making its Broadway premiere in 1939, this play has continued to entertain audiences for decades.
The Man Who Came to Dinner centers around the famously outlandish New York City radio wit Sheridan Whiteside (‘Sherry’ to his friends). Upon arrival to the home of Ernest W. Stanley and his family in Mesalia, Ohio, Sherry slips on a patch of ice outside the Stanleys’ front door and injures his hip. Confined to the Stanleys’ home for a month, Whiteside proceeds to wreak havoc on the lives of his hosts. A rotating cast of colorful characters find themselves in Sherry’s presence including Dr. Bradley, the absent-minded town physician, the eccentric Professor Metz and his glass-encased cockroach colony, and the glamorous and loose-living actress, Lorraine Sheldon. Sherry’s attempt to thwart a love triangle causes a series of additional schemes that eventually leads to someone getting trapped in an Egyptian mummy case.
After the success of the original Broadway run starring Monty Woolley, The Man Who Came to Dinner saw Broadway revivals in 1980 and 2000. The Ellis Rabb-led 1980 production garnered Drama Desk Award nominations for Roderick Cook and Carrie Nye, and the Nathan Lane-starring 2000 revival saw both a Drama Desk Award nomination for Lewis J. Stadlen and a Tony Award nomination for Jean Smart.
The play also found success through its film adaptation starring Woolley, Bette Davis, and Ann Sheridan in 1942. Woolley also starred in the first radio adaptation in 1942.
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