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The Cocktail Hour

At Bennett Hall, 62 Centre Street

Executive Producer: Seward and Cecelia Johnson; Associate Producer David and Ellen Ross

The Cocktail Hour

by A.R. Gurney

September 13 - October 7 

Tuesday to Thursday, & Saturday @ 6pm.  Sunday* @ 3pm.

Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award as Best Off-Broadway Play.

The time is the mid '70s, the place a city in upstate New York. John, a playwright, returns to his family's house, bringing with him a new play that he’s written about them. His purpose is to obtain their permission to proceed with production, but his wealthy, very proper parents are cautious from the outset. For them, the theatre is personified by the gracious and comforting Lunts and Ina Claire, and they are disturbed by the bluntness of modern plays. There is also John's sister Nina to contend with, although her reservations have to do with the fact that John has given her character a minor role. 
 The confrontation takes place during the ritual of the cocktail hour, and as the martinis flow, so do the recriminations and revelations, both funny and poignant. In the end, it is evident that what John has written is closer to the truth than his family has been willing to admit, and that beneath their WASP reserve, his parents and siblings are as beset by uncertainties and frustrations as their presumed "inferiors." But though they seem shackled by the past and tantalized by an alien future, the ties that bind them do prevail—surmounting disputes and disappointments and, with unfailing warmth and humor, converting pained resignation into cautious but hopeful anticipation.

"The Cocktail Hour is as funny and moving as The Dining Room…it could be the best play he has done so far." —The New Yorker.

"An examination of an overprivileged family that fights domestic battles while downing drinks." —The New York Times 

"It makes for a deliciously funny and also occasionally touching evening, as Gurney's family sit around raking over old coals and settling old scores with a quite new and beguiling freshness." —New York Post

Directed by Dan Foster

Run time: 2 hours

*September 16th performance is Senior Sunday.  Senior Sunday performances are free to all seniors, reservations required. Call 508-228-4305 to reserve.