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Bookworm Blurbs

I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.

The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story - Philip Barry

This Broadway hit starred Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord of the Philadelphia Lords, an inhibited and spoiled daughter of the privileged. Divorced from C.J. Dexter Haven, she is engaged to a successful young snob. A gossip weekly sends a reporter and a camera woman to report the wedding arrangements and they are injected into the house by Tracy's brother who hopes to divert their attention from father's romance with a Broadway dancer.  (source

 

This is the third work that my tumblr book club read in our adventure into plays and short stories last week (others we read were Arsenic and Old Lace and "It Had to be Murder"). Of the three, I think Arsenic and Old Lace was most definitely my favorite, though I did enjoy the others a good deal, as well. 

 

In comparison to Arsenic and Old Lace, The Philadelphia Story was a bit more difficult to read. Barry has included many, many stage directions in his script, which definitely cut into the dialogue. The result is a script that I'm sure has the potential to be performed magnificently, but is extremely choppy to read. I found this distracting and I must admit that it detracted from my enjoyment of the story. 

 

As for the story itself, I did like it very much. I liked most of the characters - Dexter, though a rogue, could be quite funny, and Tracy, though a snob, was endearing at times. But I think that my favorite character by far was Dinah, Tracy's younger sister. I thought her attempts to sound super smart were hilarious and I loved all the trouble that she got herself into. However, as much as I liked the characters, I really did not like the ending of the play.

I would have much rather seen Tracy end up with Mike than with Dexter (though, thank goodness George was no longer an option; he was snobby and boring!), and I don't really understand why Tracy thought that a second marriage to Dexter would be any more successful than their first. I suppose that this serves as commentary on society --- but I still didn't really like it. 

(show spoiler)

 

I would love to see the film adaptation of this, and I'd love even more to see the play performed. I found the script difficult to read and I would not recommend it to those who are new to reading plays, but I think that if this script were to be performed, it would be very enjoyable.