Cocktail Hour

 The Cocktail Hour is a comedy of manners by A. R. Gurney. It premiered in June 1988 in San Diego, California at the Old Globe Theatre and, on October 20, 1988, in New York City at the Off Broadway Promenade Theatre. The original cast consisted of Keene Curtis as the father, Bradley; Nancy Marchand as the mother, Ann; Bruce Davison as their son John; and Holland Taylor as their daughter, and John's younger sister, Nina. It was directed by Jack O’Brien, who at that time was the Artistic Director of the Old Globe.

Like many of Gurney’s plays, The Cocktail Hour is a comedy exploring the world of upper-class families in the Northeastern United States. A review in The New York Times described it as "an examination of an overprivileged family that fights domestic battles while downing drinks."

The setting is an upper-class home in the 1970s. The play opens on Bradley and Ann having preprandial cocktails with their middle-aged, ostensibly single son and daughter. The cocktail hour stretches out because "the maid doesn't know how to cook a roast". So the little family carries on consuming increasing amounts of alcohol leading to increasing arguments. Their son, John, is an editor at a publishing company and a part-time playwright. He has written a play that seems to present an unflattering picture of the family, and the parents are upset. The discussion of John's play, which is also called The Cocktail Hour, gives Gurney a lot of opportunity to lampoon the theatre scene.

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