Friday Night - The River & Passport & Mary Agnes Is Thirty-Five


James Elward

Published by Dramatists Play Service

3 Male 4 Female

In the first play, The River, two unmarried ladies meet in a cafe to lament the fact that one of them just reached the dangerous age of 30 - which the other (a far more philosophic sort) has long since sailed safely past

Brooding on the finality of it all, and the broken romances which have embittered them, the two find their attention drawn to the couple at the next table - a sweet young thing in her twenties and the older man with whom she is obviously having an affair

They don't mean to eavesdrop, but it is as if they were seeing themselves just a few years earlier, and their knowledge of what the young girl is in for makes them want to speak up. Which they do - with funny, touching and ultimately beneficial results (2 men, 3 women)

The second play, Passport, deals with a lonely middle-aged newspaperman, a little the worse for drink and sadly convinced of his ineffectiveness and failure as a person

Out of his monologue spoken perhaps with the aching desire that someone will miraculously hear, and care, comes a remarkable portrait of a man alone - wanting to feel alive again; but reconciled to an existence without real meaning or purpose (1 man)

In Mary Agnes Is Thirty-Five, a couple arrive at the girl's apartment after an evening out-he bent on seduction, and she determined to preserve her honor

They have both reached the age where loneliness might seem to be a tempering influence, but he has (without really being aware of it) become the predatory bachelor and she (although she still has hopes) the frigid spinster

Their confrontation is poignant and very real - but ultimately, as it must be, a stalemate (1 man, 1 woman)

This trio of sharply etched studies of big city life and loneliness, introduced the author to New York audiences. The three plays, skillfully compounded of humor, poignance and revealing insights, fit together into a marvelously cohesive evening, but may also be produced individually

"There are no special effects, no gimmicks. But there is considerable truth" ~ Wall Street Journal

"He is a deft craftsman, with the ability to etch character in sure, swift strokes and with an accurate ear for the nuances of dialogue" ~ Jersey Journal

" tight dramatic form alive and playable" ~ NY Post

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