The Clean House
Published by Samuel French Inc
1 Male 4 Female
After its acclaimed run at Yale Repertory Theatre it was done to equal acclaim at several major theatres coast to coast before winding up off Broadway at Lincoln Center, where it had an extended run
The play takes place in what the author describes as "metaphysical Connecticut", mostly in the home of a married couple who are both doctors
They have hired a housekeeper named Matilde, an aspiring comedian from Brazil who's more interested in coming up with the perfect joke than in house-cleaning
Lane, the lady of the house, has an eccentric sister named Virginia who's just nuts about house-cleaning
She and Matilde become fast friends, and Virginia takes over the cleaning while Matilde works on her jokes
Trouble comes when Lane's husband Charles reveals that he has found his soul mate, or "bashert" in a cancer patient named Anna, on whom he has operated
The actors who play Charles and Anna also play Matilde's parents in a series of dream-like memories, as we learn the story about how they literally killed each other with laughter, giving new meaning to the phrase, "I almost died laughing"
This theatrical and wildly funny play is a whimsical and poignant look at class, comedy and the true nature of love
"Fresh, funny ... a memorable play, imbued with a melancholy but somehow comforting philosophy: that the messes and disappointments of life are as much a part of its beauty as romantic love and chocolate ice cream, and a perfect punch line can be as sublime as the most wrenchingly lovely aria" ~ NY Times.
"A rich work about big themes from a young playwright with an original and audacious voice" ~ Variety
"Casts a spell that had me hooked" ~ NY Daily News