You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

by  Robert Anderson

Collection / Anthology, Comedy

This was one of the most successful comedies in Broadway history. The topic is sex, in all its mysterious and fascinating manifestations, and the treatment of this is so skillful, tasteful and explosively funny that the plays are not only captivating…

Read more +

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

by  Robert Anderson

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

Additional Info

As the New York Daily News briefly outlines: THE SHOCK OF RECOGNITION breaks in on a difference of opinion between…an earnest young dramatist and…his matter-of-fact producer who doesn't like the opening moment of the play. A wife is having breakfast in bed and she says something to her husband, who is in the bathroom. So he comes out, jaybird naked, and yells to her. 'You know I can't hear you when the water's running.' The producer doesn't think this confrontation is quite nice or necessary. The author insists that the scene is quite important—and, after all, it lasts only an instant. So a quarrel over taste develops, and a job-hunting actor…becomes involved. He eagerly begins to strip, demonstrating how he would handle the role. Also involved is…the producer's secretary…THE FOOTSTEPS OF DOVES shows us a couple who, wed twenty-five years, come to a store to pick out a new bed or beds. Should they buy twin beds or a double? They don't get much sales effort from the salesman…for the salesman is gay. Into the discussion, uninvited, comes a blonde young thing…who wants a big bed because she is all alone.I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS maintains the light humor of the first two, but at base it is serious and touching as it shows [parents] discussing the sex education of their almost-adult children, a girl and boy. [The father] is quite moving when he learns in a letter that his son is cutting adrift from the parental harbor. For a windup there is I'M HERBERT about two old, old people sitting on a porch in a pair of rocking chairs and talking. Just talking—and of course they don't know how funny they are. Each has had one or more previous marriages and perhaps a few flings, but they are hazy as to details. In fact, they don't always know which one the other one is." THE SHOCK OF RECOGNITION calls for 3 men, 1 woman, INTERIOR; THE FOOTSTEPS OF DOVES for 2 men, 2 women, INTERIOR; I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS for 1 man, 2 women, INTERIOR; and I'M HERBERT for 1 man, 1 woman.
Read more +

Reviews

"This was one of the most successful comedies in Broadway history. The topic is sex, in all its mysterious and fascinating manifestations, and the treatment of this is so skillful, tasteful and explosively funny that the plays are not only captivating and touching but universal in appeal. "…a masterly light touch…we have a delightful gift of springtime in the Broadway theatre." —NY Daily News. "The best and brightest new American play of the season…" —NY World Journal Tribune. "…notably fine comic and dramatic episodes, written with skill and insight…" —NY Post.

Considerations

License details

  • Licensing available for professional groups only. Some restrictions apply.
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Resources

More

Authors

Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson, who has been described as the "dramatist of loneliness," was one of America’s major playwrights to chronicle mid-century American life. Anderson was born in New York City in 1917 and received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, where he began writing for the stage. His plays ...

View full profile

Now Playing

Community Experiences