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Aspirin & Elephants - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Aspirin & Elephants

Jerry Mayer

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

3m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573693540

"Witty and engaging. Delightful...The kind of comedy that leaves you smiling." - Variety
"Superb...Ironic, wise, clever, perceptive and consistently hilarious." - The Hollywood Reporter

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

Romantic Comedy

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day

Settings Of Play -

The present, during the summer. On the luxury cruise ship, "Royal Norway," on a cruise from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg and back again.


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


Mild Adult Themes, No Special Cautions


Adult, Senior


College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Outdoor, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups, Church / Religious Groups

ASPIRIN & ELEPHANTS is a hilarious romantic comedy with six very strong roles bursting with the kind of witty dialogue actors love and audiences rave about. This award- winning comedy deals with an upscale 60ish mother and father who take their two married daughters and sons-in-law on a North Sea cruise to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. The cruise was Mother's idea, who hopes to get her husband's spirits and also his libido raised after a recent heart attack. (His heart attack explains the title of the play. He jokes about his coronary, which felt like an elephant sitting on his chest. Now he has to take an aspirin every day.)

What Mom doesn't know is, her daughters are having their own share of big time problems with their husbands. Before the cruise is over, the courses of all three marriages change drastically and a father bonds forever with his ego challenged daughter. "It's easy to see why this laugh-filled, emotionally moving comedy about marriage, family relationships and overcoming life's reverses has enjoyed record-breaking runs in theatre after theatre."

"Witty and engaging. Delightful...The kind of comedy that leaves you smiling." - Variety

"Aspirin & Elephants sails on a sea of comedy...Never less than entertaining." - The Los Angeles Times

"Superb...Ironic, wise, clever, perceptive and consistently hilarious." - The Hollywood Reporter

"Witty dialogue...You will leave feeling good and hopeful about the power of love" - The Outlook

"A willing audience laughs and cries and roots for a happy ending." - B'Nai B'Rith Messanger

"Mayer's laudably unchauvinistic contention is that men are the major problem in most marital conflicts. A sure-fire audience pleaser in the Neil Simon mode." - Drama-Logue

July 14th, 1989, Santa Monica Playhouse, Santa Monica, CA, Producer, Santa Monica Playhouse


3m, 3f


Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Parts for Senior Actors


These are upper middle-class Midwesterners. They're neither ethnic, nor WASPish, they're somewhere in the middle, St. Louis. These are real, identifiable people and they are at their funniest and most moving, when they are played for reality.

HONEY FRANK - Late 50s; attractive; warm; elegant; very much in love with Steven Frank Jr., (“Junior”) her husband of forty years. She runs her household and charity projects like a “Secretary of State,” smoothly and capably. Honey is “Hepburn” to Junior’s “Tracy,” and a close friend to their two daughters.
STEVEN FRANK JR. (“JUNIOR”)” - Early to mid 60s; appealing and masculine; a guy everyone likes. He owns a men’s clothing manufacturing firm and because of his rough charm, he’s equally at ease with loading dock foreman and department store head. Recently had a heart attack; should not appear whiny or self pitying; Rather, he’s a lion with a thorn in his paw.
LIZ NATHAN - Mid 20s; capable; no nonsense daughter; attractive but not as stunning as her sister Stephanie; intelligent; bluntly honest; confident that she can get any job done. Despite all this, she’s appealing and fun.
ARNIE NATHAN - Late 30s; a diamond in the rough. Arnie’s a struggling comedy writer, fighting for self-esteem as a writer and a son-in-law. He has obviously “married up,” but not because he’s a social climber, he’s just crazy about Liz. We are continuously aware of Arnie’s appetites, both sexual and gastronomical.
STEPHANIE GALE - Mid 30s; a knockout; a “Princess” but not an airhead. Stephanie has lots of undiscovered potential which she discovered during the course of the play. There’s substance to Stephanie, even though at first she seems materialistic and narcissistic, because she’s trying to hard to win her husband’s love.
SCOTT GALE - 40s; Ivy League handsome; successful; competitive. He makes a contest out of everything, from drinking to running his lingerie firm more profitably than his father did, to making Stephanie constantly come to him for affection. It’s important not to play Scott too contemptible. Remember, he thinks he’s funny, likable and above all, a winner.
Jerry Mayer

Jerry Mayer

Jerry Mayer, born and educated in St. Louis, Mo., has had an impressive career in television, writing and producing such prized shows as M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life and five Mitzi Gaynor's TV Specials, plus her famous Las Vegas Act.  Mr. Mayer thoroughly enjoyed his TV career, but has happily discovered that by far his first love ... view full profile

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