The Plays of Philip Barry from Paris Bound to The Philadelphia Story
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
I grew up in the other end of Rochester from where Philip Barry had lived a half century earlier. As a child, I would go with my family to see and smell the Lilac Festival at Highland Park, not far from where Barry was raised. I would explore Cobbs Hill, also near the Barry home, any number of times. ...
Prologue: Mapping Wonderland
Before he was a playwright specializing in the meticulous world of the well-to-do, Philip Barry was a specialist in the evanescent. His sister, Agnes, who became Sister Agnes in the Order of the Sacred Heart, remembered her younger brother mesmerized by flowers and butterflies and soap bubbles (Gill, “Dark Advantage” 9). ...
In 1920, a young man expressed in the Atlantic Monthly the feelings of many in his generation about the world being handed to him. He titled his essay “These Wild Young People” and indicated that he was “One of Them.” John F. Carter Jr. seized the momentary right to speak for those young people who were being written off by their elders ...
In an interview three decades after the death of her husband, Ellen Barry offered brief glimpses of their years together. They met, she recalled, on Fifth Avenue—“where we used to promenade on Sundays”—and had tea at the Plaza Hotel. She recalled theirs to be “a happy marriage,” peppered by moments of her jealousy, ...
3. Faith and Fantasy
Philip Barry was, in many ways, a skeptic. As we’ve already seen, he could be skeptical about his own craft and the social class he had been permitted to enter. He could intermix enjoyment with a deconstruction of why we enjoy and what it is we do not notice as we enjoy ...
4. The Hepburn Factor
By the early 1930s, Philip Barry seemed to many to be in danger of running himself dry, and it wouldn’t be long before he entered into his first prolonged and possibly most frustrating Broadway slump. Burns Mantle’s Best Plays volume for 1931–32 suggests a kind of leeriness on the editor’s part, ...
5. Trapdoors and Thresholds
If Philip Barry’s career as a playwright was to be a struggle between what he wanted and what others wanted, that was not necessarily a bad thing. Plays such as In a Garden, White Wings, and Here Come the Clowns were the end result of working isometrically ...
If Philip Barry is to be remembered as the purveyor of “high” comedies, or “light” comedies, or “sophisticated” comedies, that is certainly not the worst of legacies. If he is to be associated with evening wear, cocktail glasses, and lilting banter—like a Thin Man film or a caricature of Noël Coward ...
Appendix: The Plays Chronologically
The goal of the series is to publish a wide range of scholarship on theater and performance, defining theater in its broadest terms and including subjects The series focuses on the performance and production of theater and theater artists and practitioners but welcomes studies of dramatic literature as well. Meant to be inclusive, the series invites studies of traditional, ex-...
Page Count: 240
Illustrations: 1 line drawing
Publication Year: 2010
OCLC Number: 730524454
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