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Happy Birthday (Loos) - Full Length Play, Comedy

Happy Birthday (Loos)

Anita Loos

Customer Rating: starstarstarstarstar (Rate this!)

Full Length Play, Comedy

11m, 10f

ISBN: 9780573609954

"Ingenious and charming." - New York Post

"A delightful, sentimental comedy." - The New York Times

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Rental Materials | Author | Reviews
$19.95
: Acting Edition

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Description

Full Length Play

Comedy

Romantic Comedy

Time Period - 1940s / WWII

Settings Of Play - Jersey Mecca Cocktail Bar in Newark, New Jersey

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Physical Comedy, Special Effects

Monologues, Scene work, Competition or audition material

Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes

CAUTIONS

Alcohol, Mild Adult Themes

TAGS

Feminism, Love

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult, Senior, Teen (Age 14 - 18)

PERFORMANCE GROUP

College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

Tony, From Broadway

A hit of 1947 Broadway season, Happy Birthday was produced starring Helen Hayes in a Tony Award-winning performance. Anita Loos, fondly remembered for her classic of the flapper-era, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, has fashioned this comedic fantasy of the meek librarian who has a night on the town. Shy and inhibited Addie Bemis works in a Newark library and has fallen in love with an unsuspecting bank teller. On the ruse of discussing her modest savings, she braves a cocktail bar in order to meet him away from work. When she takes the first drink of her life (and quite a few more), she sings, dances and becomes the life of the party. The bar becomes an iridescent wonderland. Bottles light up, the cash register plays music, street clothes become dazzling costumes, and strangers become beloved friends. And before the night is through, Addie has vanquished a romantic rival and won her beau.

"Ingenious and charming." - New York Post

"A delightful, sentimental comedy." - The New York Times

Happy Birthday was first presented on Broadway by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City on October 31, 1946. It was directed by Joshua Logan and starred Helen Hayes who won the 1947 Tony Award for Best Actress for the role.
Characters

CASTING

11m, 10f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

CHORUS SIZE

N/A (Not a musical)

JUNE
MARGOT
MR. BEMIS
DON
POLICEMAN
HERMAN
GABE
MANUEL
ADDIE
DAD MALONE
PAUL
GAIL
MR. NANINO
BERT
TOT
MAUDE
MYRTLE
BELLA
THE JUDGE
EMMA
GLORIOUS
Rental Materials

MUSICAL STYLE

N/A (Not a musical)

VOCAL DEMANDS

N/A (Not a musical)

Author

Other Anita Loos titles:

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Reviews
Zachary Hollwedel 4/24/2013 10:06 AM
Anita Loos’ Happy Birthday doesn’t break new ground or ask its audience to grapple with jarring social issues. It doesn’t shed light on foreign injustices or unravel long-buried family secrets. It is simply, in the best way imaginable, a fun play that offers its readers, audience, and characters a little reprieve from the everyday mundane.  

Set in a contemporary bar at the time of its writing (1947), Happy Birthday introduces a mousy librarian to alcohol for the first time, a vice she has refused her entire life in no small part due to her father’s abuse of the substance. The setup, along with Addie’s initial reluctance to take even a sip, leaves one to wonder how and why she will ever abandon her teetotaling ways. Her first drink comes relatively early into the play, after initial reluctance on her part and an unexplained (initially) desire to speak with the town’s banker. Once the booze touches her lips, though, I found that her stalwart inclination toward abstinence was not the thorn in my side I anticipated, and I was thoroughly along for the ride.

There’s great fun to be had in Happy Birthday, and Loos mines the situation for every ounce of humor she can – be it from Addie sloshing, singing, and swaying, or from two glorious old sots who engender a bit of fun to amuse themselves on their girls’ night out. More surprisingly, however, is the number of then-taboo topics Loos slips in without judgment: adultery, pregnancy out of wedlock, alcoholism, and mild physical abuse. As if numbed by liquor, these subjects roll right off the backs of the play’s characters, imbuing the otherwise harmless world with a sense of depth and reality that past and future generations can relate to alike.

I’ll have another double pink lady.

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