Theater: On The Shoals DINNER AT EIGHT

by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber

It's raining stocks and bonds outside, but the portents don't penetrate the penthouses in Dinner at Eight, Kaufman and Ferber's glittering 1932 melodrama of the Depression. The countless plots revolve around a dinner party, an exercise in social climbing rendered all the sillier when the titled English guests of honor pop off to Florida hours before the soiree. While the featherbrained, steel-hearted hostess is lamenting lost social lions and lopsided lobster aspic, she fails to see that her daughter's impending marriage is on the shoals and that her husband's shipping business, the source of all the family's careless rapture, is sinking...

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