The Royal family


The Royal family
   A witty lampooning of the Drew-Barrymore family theatrical dynasty, The Royal Family, which opened on 28 December 1927 at the Selwyn Theatre, mixes humor and sentiment in its portrait of an eccentric family of stage performers spanning three generations. George S. Kaufman (who directed the original production) and Edna Ferber collaborated on this valentine to the theatre and its lovable eccentrics. The Royal Family focuses on the Cavendish clan, led by aging matriarch Fanny, a legendary actress in fragile health. Fanny's daughter Julie is a star, and Julie's daughter, Gwen, is an ingénue of great promise. Mother and daughter must choose between marriage and career, while Julie's swashbuckling, philandering brother Tony (a thinly disguised portrait of John Barrymore) hides out at the family home to avoid publicity over a Hollywood love affair gone awry. Other characters include Fanny's actor brother Herbert and flamboyant impresario Oscar Wolfe. The comedy is laced with pathos, culminating in Fanny's death even as she plans yet another barnstorming tour. The Royal Family is frequently revived, notably in 1975 with Eva Le Gallienne as Fanny, a production filmed for television.*

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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