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October 17, 2022

Love in the Air: Romantic Comedies


How does it feel to be falling in love? From classic love stories to fresh takes on contemporary relationships, here’s a broad selection of heartwarming and hilarious romantic comedies from Concord Theatricals’ vast catalog of plays and musicals.

6 Rms Riv Vu by Bob Randall (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4w, 4m)
A vacant apartment with six rooms and a river view is open for inspection by prospective tenants, and among them are a man and a woman, strangers when they meet. As the last to leave, they find themselves locked in. Though both are happily married, they discover a mutual attraction as they wait out the long night ahead.

A Medieval Romance by Jules Tasca and Mark Twain (US)
(Short Play, Satire/Political Satire / 3w, 6m)
Jules Tasca, adapting Mark Twain’s short stories to create a short play, wrote A Medieval Romance. A Lord conceals his daughter’s birth only to have his brother’s daughter fall in love with her while she is disguised as a Duke.

Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2w, 4m)
Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He’s a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she’s a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. After a six-day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie’s loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic, Velasco, where everything that can go wrong does. Paul just doesn’t understand Corie, as she sees it. He’s too staid, too boring, and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous.

Butterflies Are Free by Leonard Gershe (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2w, 2m)
This charming romantic comedy inspired a hit movie starring Goldie Hawn. Young Don Baker has been blind since birth, his overprotective mother following his every move. Don finally decides to take his own apartment and pursue his songwriting ambitions. When she meets his kooky neighbor, sexy actress Jill, Mrs. Baker’s controlling instincts go into overdrive, with hilariously touching results.

Cactus Flower by Abe Burrows (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4w, 7m)
A philandering dentist keeps his many affairs at bay by claiming to be married with children. When the ruse threatens to catch up with him, he drafts his prickly nurse to pose as his “wife.” She blossoms, and he finds himself falling in love with the lovely “cactus flower” right under his very nose. This Broadway hit later became a successful film starring Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn.

Girlfriend by Todd Almond and Matthew Sweet (US/UK)
(Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy / 2m)
In Nebraska in the ’90s, Will, a bit of a social outcast, and Mike, the popular football player, figure out that there is more to life than what high school has taught them. Days after graduation they explore their relationship and begin to ask themselves where their lives begin. Based on the album by Matthew Sweet, Girlfriend is a pop/rock musical for everyone who’s lived in a small town and feels for their first love.

Holiday by Philip Barry (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 5w, 7m)
Free-spirited Johnny Case finds himself engaged to one girl but preferring another. The wealthy Seton sisters are his intended, socially proper Julia, and Linda, non-conforming and fresh. Expecting his future son-in-law to toe the family line, patriarch Edward Seton realizes that Johnny cannot. Having met and fallen for Linda, Johnny and she, two kindred souls, take their life-as-a-holiday in the company of each other. This classic romantic comedy became a beloved film starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

How to Survive an Apocalypse by Jordan Hall (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2w, 2m)
A young and successful urban couple becomes convinced that their lifestyle is coming to an end. They become “preppers,” hoarding supplies and learning to hunt. But their obsession takes its toll, and they are both forced to imagine the apocalypse without the love of their life. A romantic comedy about the end of days.

Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise by Ken Ludwig (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1w, 1m)
When two strangers meet by letter during World War II, a love story begins. Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig tells the joyous, heartwarming story of his parents’ courtship, and the results are anything but expected.

Kingdom Come by Jenny Rachel Weiner (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4w, 1m)
Samantha is lonely and confined to her bed. Layne is shy and too afraid of the world to journey into it. But when these two thirty-somethings connect through an online dating site, they fall for each other fast and hard. What could go wrong? Our new, digital world is upended in Kingdom Come, Jenny Rachel Weiner’s blisteringly funny and all-too-relatable comedy about what happens when the feelings are real, but the people are not.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers by Neil Simon (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3w, 1m)
Middle-aged and married, overworked and overweight, Barney Cashman wants to join the sexual revolution before it’s too late and arranges three seductions: the first, Elaine Navazio proves to be a foul-mouthed bundle of neuroses; Bobbi Michele is next, a 20-ish actress who’s too kooky by half; finally comes September and Jeanette Fisher, a gloomy, depressed housewife who happens to be married to Barney’s best friend.

Love Person by Aditi Brennan Kapil (US)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3w, 1m)
Love Person is a four part love story in Sanskrit, ASL and English in which love transcends sexual orientation, physical attraction, and social structure and rests instead on the ways in which we communicate and how communication bonds or breaks us.

Love…Or Best Offer by Phil Olsen (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2w, 2m)
Cheryl is a widow of two years, Stan is newly divorced. After failed blind dates, their best friends, Lori and Dave, convince them to try online dating with the new dating website, “Friends, Love or Whatever.” With the worst dating advice in the world from their friends, Cheryl and Stan set out to find happiness and true love – online.

Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 1w, 1m)
Maytag Virgin
follows Alabama school teacher Lizzy Nash and her new neighbor, Jack Key, over the year following the tragic death of Lizzy’s husband. The play explores the ideas of inertia and self-enlightenment, and the bridge between the two.

Private Lives by Noël Coward (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3w, 2m)
Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear and a roundelay of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then apart, and new partnerships are formed.

Romance Novels for Dummies by Boo Killebrew (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3w, 2m, 1girl)
Sisters Liz and Bernie couldn’t be more different: Liz is a polite, southern stay-at-home mom; Bernie is a flailing actress smoking and swearing her way through New York City. But when Liz is suddenly widowed, she and her young daughter move in with Bernie to start again. This comedy asks us to imagine how we might handle the curveballs – big and small – that life throws us.

Romance/Romance by Barry Harman and Keith Herrmann (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3w, 2m, 1girl)
This delightful pairing of one-act musicals, one classic and one modern, takes a comical and moving look at the mysteries of love. In Act I, two wealthy but bored socialites in turn-of-the-century Vienna masquerade as impoverished bohemians seeking romance. Act II explores modern affection and disaffection as two married couples share a summer house in the Hamptons.

Romantic Comedy by Bernard Slade (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 4w, 2m)
Arrogant, self centered and sharp tongued Jason Carmichael, successful co-author of Broadway romantic comedies, is facing two momentous events: he is about to marry a society belle and his collaborator is retiring. Enter Phoebe Craddock, Vermont schoolteacher and budding playwright. Quicker than a flash, Jason acquires a talented and adoring collaborator in the mousy Phoebe. Fame and success are theirs for ten years and then Jason’s world falls apart.

Same Time, Next Year by Bernard Slade (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 1w, 1m)
The plot follows a love affair between two people, Doris and George, married to others, who rendezvous once a year. Twenty-five years of manners and morals are hilariously and touchingly played out by the lovers. Starring Ellen Burstyn in the original Broadway production, who later recreated her role in the successful motion picture. It remains one of the world’s most widely produced plays.

Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 6w, 18m)
Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. The deadline for his new play is fast approaching, but he’s in desperate need of inspiration. That is, until he finds his muse… the feisty, brilliant and beautiful Viola. This crafty young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing (including breaking the law) to appear in his next play. Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms, inspiring him to write his greatest romantic masterpiece.

She Stoops to Comedy by David Greenspan (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3w, 3m)
Alexandra Page, a self-involved actress, known for her portrayals of tragic heroines, disguises herself as a man in order to play Orlando opposite her girlfriend, Alison Rose, who has been cast as Rosalind in an out-of-town production of As You Like It. The play examines the friendships and love relationships of its seven characters, and plays with the nature of authenticity – both on and off the stage.

Southern Comforts by Kathleen Clark (US)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 1w, 1m)
A beautiful exploration of the intimate workings of all relationships, Southern Comforts is the tour-de-force journey of a taciturn Yankee widower and a vivacious grandmother from Tennessee who meet later in life and find a way into each other’s hearts.

Stage Kiss by Sarah Ruhl (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 3w, 4m)
Art imitates Life. Life imitates Art. When two actors with a history are thrown together as romantic leads in a forgotten 1930s melodrama, they quickly lose touch with reality as the story onstage follows them offstage. A charming tale about what happens when lovers share a stage kiss—or when actors share a real one.

The Cemetery Club by Ivan Menchell (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 4w, 1m)
Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husbands’ graves. Ida is sweet tempered and ready to begin a new life; Lucille is a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun; and Doris is priggish and judgmental, particularly when Sam the butcher enters the scene. He meets the widows while visiting his wife’s grave. Doris and Lucille squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida. They are guilt-stricken when this nearly breaks Ida’s heart.

The Gulf by Audrey Cefaly (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 2w)
The divide between Kendra and Betty mimics the very world that devours them: a vast and polarizing abyss. On a quiet summer evening, somewhere down in the Alabama Delta, Kendra and Betty troll the flats looking for redfish. After Betty begins diagnosing Kendra’s dead-end life with career picks from What Color is Your Parachute, their routine fishing excursion takes a violent turn.

The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 6w, 9m)
Tracy Lord, of the Philadelphia Lords, is divorced from C.K. Dexter Haven and engaged to a successful young snob. On her wedding weekend, C.K.—whom Tracy obviously still loves—crashes the party, along with a gossip reporter and a camerawoman. Barry’s hit Broadway comedy inspired an Oscar-winning 1940 film starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn and was developed into the musical High Society (US/UK).

Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (US/UK)
(Full-Length Play, Comedy / 2w, 3m)
An all-American love story about two very new Americans. It’s 1975. Saigon has fallen. He lost his wife. She lost her fiancé. But now in a new land, they just might find each other. Using his uniquely infectious style The New York Times calls “culturally savvy comedy” – and skipping back and forth from the dramatic evacuation of Saigon to the here and now – playwright Qui Nguyen gets up close and personal to tell the story that led to the creation of… Qui Nguyen.

For more charming romantic comedies that’ll make your heart flutter, visit Concord Theatricals in the US or UK.

Header Image: 2015 Kirk Douglas Theatre production of Girlfriend (Craig Schwartz)