American playwright Anne Nichols wrote several successful Broadway plays in the 1920’s and 30’s, beginning with her first and most famous play called Abie’s Irish Rose. The story is about an Irish Catholic girl who marries a young Jewish man despite the objections of their families. The basic story premise was copied several times, and Anne Nichols actually sued one imitator (Universal Pictures) over its movie The Cohens and the Kellys. The judge in the appeal case found in favor of the defendant, and summarized the plot as follows:
Abie’s Irish Rose presents a Jewish family living in prosperous circumstances in New York. The father, a widower, is in business as a merchant, in which his son and only child helps him. The boy has philandered with young women, who to his father’s great disgust have always been Gentiles, for he is obsessed with a passion that his daughter-in-law shall be an orthodox Jewess. When the play opens the son, who has been courting a young Irish Catholic girl, has already married her secretly before a Protestant minister, and is concerned to soften the blow for his father, by securing a favorable impression of his bride, while concealing her faith and race. To accomplish this he introduces her to his father at his home as a Jewess, and lets it appear that he is interested in her, though he conceals the marriage. The girl somewhat reluctantly falls in with the plan; the father takes the bait, becomes infatuated with the girl, concludes that they must marry, and assumes that of course they will, if he so decides. He calls in a rabbi, and prepares for the wedding according to the Jewish rite.
Meanwhile the girl’s father, also a widower, who lives in California, and is as intense in his own religious antagonism as the Jew, has been called to New York, supposing that his daughter is to marry an Irishman and a Catholic. Accompanied by a priest, he arrives at the house at the moment when the marriage is being celebrated, but too late to prevent it, and the two fathers, each infuriated by the proposed union of his child to a heretic, fall into unseemly and grotesque antics. The priest and the rabbi become friendly, exchange trite sentiments about religion, and agree that the match is good. Apparently out of abundant caution, the priest celebrates the marriage for a third time, while the girl’s father is inveigled away. The second act closes with each father, still outraged, seeking to find some way by which the union, thus trebly insured, may be dissolved.
The last act takes place about a year later, the young couple having meanwhile been abjured by each father, and left to their own resources. They have had twins, a boy and a girl, but their fathers know no more than that a child has been born…
The Dayton Playhouse is presenting this play under the direction of Richard Brock, beginning Friday October 14th through October 23rd. Click the link for more info and ticket information, or call the box office at 937-424-8477.
DaytonMostMetro.com and The Dayton Playhouse are giving away THREE PAIRS of tickets to the Saturday October 15th show at 8pm. Simply fill out the form below to be entered to win (winners will be selected randomly at 3pm on Friday October 14th). Also, be sure to like our On Stage Dayton Facebook page for up-to-date information, reviews and ticket giveaways in local theatre! GOOD LUCK!
Ticket Contest Closed
Congratulations to our winners – enjoy the show!
Jacqueline W. (Piqua)
Lindsay S. (Beavercreek)
Lynn K. (Dayton)