KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE
The long "lost" comedy by the author of The Women.
KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE
KISS THE BOYS GOODBYE premiered at the Henry Miller Theatre on September 28, 1938, featuring John Alexander, Ollie Burgoyne, Helen Claire, Wyman Holmes, Sheldon Leonard, Lex Lindsay, Hugh Marlowe, Millard Mitchell, Edwin Nicander, Philip Ober, Benay Venuta, Carmel White and Frank Wilson. It was directed by Antoinette Perry and produced by Brock Pemberton.
It's the summer of 1938, and the whole country is talking about the casting event of the decade -- who will be hired to portray Velvet O'Toole, the epitome of Southern aristocracy and charm, in the movie version of the smash hit Civil War novel, Kiss the Boys Goodbye? Lloyd Lloyd, a hot young Hollywood director, is onboard a train heading for New York with his big discovery (Cindy Lou Bethany, the daughter of a Georgia congressman) secretly stashed in the next compartment. Rumor has it that she's a shoe-in for the role of Velvet -- once she passes muster with the film's producer, Herbert Z. Harner. But Lloyd has other plans. Cindy Lou is a saccharine sweet Southern Belle, whose charms are thick enough to slice with a machete. Lloyd hopes that once Harner gets a look at a real Southern belle, he'll hire Brooklyn-born Myra Stanhope, the studio's slightly tarnished star attraction, whom Harner has declared box office poison, and with whom Lloyd is having an affair.
Cindy Lou's unveiling is to take place at the Westport, Connecticut, home of Horace and Leslie Rand. Rand, editor of the sophisticated humor magazine Manhattan Man, has planned an amusing little weekend. In addition to Harner, Lloyd and Cindy Lou, he and his wife, Leslie, have invited three other guests: Madison Breed, a left-wing newspaper columnist; B.J. Wickfield, Breed and Rand's stuffy, conservative publisher; and "Top" Rumson, Leslie's handsome, but naive, polo-playing cousin. Tagging along with Rumson is none other than Myra Stanhope, tipped off by Lloyd, and hoping to use this weekend to secure the role of Velvet O'Toole for herself. At any cost.
Scene 1: A
drawing room on the Dixie Flyer, northbound.
Scene 2: The
Rands' living room, Westport, Connecticut.
Scene 1: The living room. Before dinner that evening.
Scene 2: The same. After dinner.
Scene 1: The bath-house. Midnight.
Scene 2: The living room. A moment later.
(in order of speaking)
LLOYD LLOYD, a dyspeptic young Hollywood director who'd rather be a doctor; 30s
CONDUCTOR, a gregarious, outgoing fellow who likes to talk; 35-50
CINDY LOU BETHANY, the epitome of the Southern Belle, only more so; 18-20
GEORGE, the Rands' butler, a Harlem black with dreams of stardom; 30-45
MAIMIE, the Rands' no-nonsense black maid, raised in Georgia; 30-45
MADISON BREED, a popular newspaper columnist whose politics lean to the left; 40s
B.J. WICKFIELD, a pompous and conservative publisher; mid-50s
LESLIE RAND, a well-bred lady trying not to act like one; early 30s
HORACE RAND, a successful magazine editor; lean, handsome, cynical; mid-30s
HERBERT Z. HARNER, a good-looking young movie producer; 30s
"TOP" RUMSON, a wealthy, handsome and naive young polo player; 25
MYRA STANHOPE, a slightly fading movie star who'll do anything to play Velvet; 33
OSCAR, a pushy reporter with a camera; 30-50