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The Show-Off by George Kelly
Transcript of The Show-Off by George Kelly
Things to Know
Born 1887 in Philadelphia, PA
Ninth of 10 children
Playwright, actor, director
Followed brother (Walter) into vaudeville briefly
Wrote plays about the middle class
The Show-Off (1924) "became an American comedy classic"
George Kelly's niece
Born 1929 in Philadelphia , PA
Daughter of Margaret Katherine ( a Phys Ed Instructor ) and John Brendan Kelly a three-time Olympic Gold winner for rowing
Actress on Broadway (1949), then films (1950s)
Retired in 1956 to marry Prince Rainier III, becoming Princess of Monaco
Patrick Kelly - founded family contracting firm
Walter Kelly - famous vaudeville monologuist
John Kelly - Olympian, businessman
Grace Kelly (John's daughter)
Life and Influence
Born into a wealthy family
Wanted to be relatable - wrote about middle class because he "felt that audiences would rather watch" familiar characters
Gay man, closeted for 50 years
Family did not approve
Effect: plays and characters show that he is critical of marriage
Set in the 1920s
Mrs. Fisher - practical, but boring
Clara Fisher - older daughter, married to Frank Hyland
Amy Fisher - younger daughter, naive, obsessed with Aubrey
Joe Fisher - son, inventor
Aubrey Piper - annoying, liar, but fun
Aubrey is a self-centered show-off who makes up stories about his job and his mistakes. He is in a relationship with Amy Fisher, who is very much in love with him, but the rest of the Fishers hate him.
When Aubrey and Amy get married, Aubrey fails to handle their money well. After spending too much, constantly having to borrow from Clara's husband Frank, and finally being fined $1000 for a traffic accident, Aubrey forces the couple to move in with the Fishers (just days after Mr. Fisher suddenly dies).
He lies often and seems to cause more harm than good - but everything turns out well in the end.
Other Plays and Accomplishments
The Torchbearers (1922)
first Broadway hit
The Show-Off (1924)
Craig's Wife (1925)
won Pulitzer Prize
None of his other plays (5 more before leaving Broadway) were huge successes.
"'the best play that has yet been written by an American"'
- Heywood Broun
''a valentine to a city''
- Helen Hayes
'the great comic writer''
. Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 March 2014. Web. 14 May 2015.
. Encyclopedia Britannica, 4 December 2014. Web. 14 May
Keating, Douglas. “George, The Playwriting Kelly Princess Grace's Uncle Was A Pulitzer Dramatist. And
His Real Philadelphia Play, ‘The Show-off,’ Is Back In Town.”
. 6 January 1991. Web. 14 May 2015.
Kelly, George. “Show-off: a transcript of life in three acts.”
. Boston: Little, Brown, 1924.
Web. 13 May 2015.
Marshall, Jack. “Audience Guide: The Show-Off by George Kelly.”
. The American
Century Theatre, 2013. Web. 14 May 2015.