The Man Who Came to Dinner



  • A comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart,first performed in 1939 in New York. The play features a characterbased on the US playwright and theater critic, Alexander Woollcott,who had previously collaborated with Kaufman and Hart on two plays.Although it gives a highly unflattering portrait, Woollcott laterappeared in the role with a touring company. When the play ran inWashington, he stayed at the White House with his friends, PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor. He later reported to EthelBarrymore that "Mrs Roosevelt runs the best theatrical boardinghouse in Washington."

    In the play, the famous critic Sheridan Whitesidefalls and injures his hip outside the house of Richard and June Stanleyin a small town in Ohio. The Stanleys have to nurse the pompous Whitesideover Christmas, during which they find him an eccentric and difficultguest. As he is finally leaving, Whiteside slips again and has tobe returned to the family.

    The play features the Cole Porter song 'What Am I To Do',written under the pseudonym 'Noël Porter' because it is sungby a character inspired by Noël Coward.