The Cat's Meow

by  Steven Peros

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 8f

"Recommended – Hands Down! Will have you on the edge of your seat." - CBS Radio
"A Terrific New Drama." - The Los Angeles Daily News

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The Cat's Meow

by  Steven Peros

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 8f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Mystery/Thriller, Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Based on the true story of a mysterious Hollywood death, The Cat's Meow offers a fascinating cross section of Jazz Era characters who intersect for one notorious weekend on board William Randolph Hearst's yacht in 1924. The play was adapted for film in 2002, with a screenplay by the author, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, and starring Kirsten Dunst, Eddie Izzard, and Edward Herrmann.

Weekend guests include: Charlie Chaplin, who has been carrying on with movie star Marion Davies, a secret known to Davies' paramour, the married – and much older -- Hearst; and movie mogul Thomas Ince, who is hoping to revive his flagging fortunes by forming a partnership with Hearst. Playing with fire, Ince tries to convince Hearst that he can handle both Marion's movie career... and her private life as well.

During its 1997 Los Angeles premiere, audiences and critics were both entertained and moved by this darkly comic morality play, laced with clandestine romance, Hollywood excess, and steadily heating tensions, which erupt in a shocking act of violence.
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Reviews

"Hearst Yacht Mystery is The Cat's Meow...A stylish and sardonically funny expose of corrupt Tinseltown values. " - The Los Angeles Times

"Recommended – Hands Down! Will have you on the edge of your seat." - CBS Radio

"A Terrific New Drama." - The Los Angeles Daily News

"Steven Peros' intriguing fictionalized speculation imagines the worst as everyone cavorts through an oceanic orgy of intrigue, seduction, infidelity, blackmail, booze, drugs, and murder." - The Daily Variety

Keywords

Betrayal, Love

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre

Cautions

  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

6m, 8f
ELINOR GLYN - 60; British romance novelist, screenwriter, and social dictator.
THOMAS INCE - 40s; a silent film pioneer and studio mogul.
MARGARET LIVINGSTON - 20s; an actress and mistress to Ince.
GEORGE THOMAS - Ince’s business manager.
MARION DAVIES - 27 (but passing for 23); a movie star and Hearst’s public mistress.
CHARLIE CHAPLIN - 35; British; an internationally known movie star.
LOUELLA PARSONS - 40s; a Hearst movie reviewer from the East Coast.
WILLIAM RANDOLPH HEARST - 62; Newspaper and silver mining magnate. A large, wealthy, powerful, married man.
JOSEPH WILLICOMBE - Hearst’s loyal and discreet personal secretary.
DR. DANIEL GOODMAN - 40s; former physician, now a Hearst movie studio executive.
MRS. GOODMAN - 30s; Dr. Goodman’s conservative wife.
CELIA MOORE - 20s; a flapper/actress.
DIDI DAWSON - 20s; also a flapper actress.
MRS. INCE (VOICE ON PHONE) - 40s, Ince’s recently awoken wife, who remained at home. (NOTE: For “Mrs. Ince”, some productions have had an actress appear on stage, with a phone in her hand. If this method is utilized, doubling is possible with “Mrs. Goodman.”)
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting

Casting Notes

Doubling possible for "Mrs. Ince" and "Mrs. Goodman."

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Authors

Steven Peros

Steven Peros

1997 - The Coast Playhouse, West Hollywood, California - Rialto Entertainment

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