The first play, COMPULSION, deals with a distraught young husband whose wife is planning to divorce him because of his over-energetic sexual demands. He persuades a long absent visiting friend to pose as a priest and talk sense to her—which works beautifully until she catches on. Whereupon she turns the tables on hubby in hilarious fashion. In the second play, INTEGRITY, a disgruntled husband (a penniless actor) argues with his cynical wife (a very successful novelist) while her deaf father studies his chessboard in unruffled calm amid the din. This time it is the husband who threatens divorce, and in the resulting free-for-all both hurl the other's most prized possessions out the window. In the heat of their dispute their passion is rekindled, however, and love finds a way—while the old gentleman remains blissfully unaware of what has been going on. In the third play, HABIT, a neglected wife asks for a divorce, as her husband doesn't even pay attention to her outrageous comments, much less her amorous needs. When an attractive young bachelor neighbor appears and suggests that he is willing to assume the latter portion of the marital obligation, however, the husband finally comes to life—at least until he discovers that the young man is an actor engaged by his wife. Whereupon all settle back to dull normalcy, to the obvious relief of both parties.
A trio of skillfully interconnected comedies, which offers three contrasting (and very funny) aspects of what is ordinarily a quite unfunny matter. The plays, all utilizing the same basic set, and with identical casting requirements, may be presented with equal effectiveness either singly or as a well-balanced three-act program.