This Kaufman and Hart comedy is a wicked funny tale of three on-the-skids vaudeville troupers Jerry, Mae, and George, who decide to head for Hollywood and try their luck at the newest craze: "talkies". There they find absurd Hollywood starlets, insane movie studio executives, crazy gossip columnists, desperate cigarette girls, dim witted stage mothers and jaded studio hands. This gem is an incredible sendup of the excesses of the movie business before it was the movie business.
* Pay What You Will Preview limited to 50 audience members. Even if you order a ticket from Brown Paper Tickets for July 14, only the first 50 audience members in line will be admitted.
MST Presents Comedy About When Sound Turned the Movie Business Upside Down
Movie people may seem nuts today, but in the late 1920’s the motion picture business was even crazier. That was when the industry was turned on its ear by the introduction of “talkies” (talking pictures).
Once in a Lifetime, to be presented by Marin Summer Theater on July 14, 15, 16, and 17 at San Marin High School in Novato, is a comedy that tells the story of three on the skids vaudeville actors who head to Hollywood in 1927 after the release of The Jazz Singer.
The original Broadway production of Once In A Lifetime, directed by George S. Kaufman, opened at the Music Box Theatre on September 24, 1930 and ran for 406 performances. The cast included Grant Mills as Jerry Hyland, Jean Dixon as May Daniels, Hugh O'Connell as George Lewis, Spring Byington as Helen Hobart, Charles Halton as Herman Glogauer, Janet Currie as Phyllis Fontaine, Eugenie Frontai as Florabel Leigh, Sally Phipps as Susan Walker, and Kaufman as Lawrence Vail, a role Moss Hart essayed later in the run.
Here are some quotes from Once In A Lifetime by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman -
"What did they have to go and make pictures talk for? Things were going along fine. You couldn't stop making money - even if you turned out a good picture you made money."
"I have twelve magnificent dogs, all named after Fox executives."