Funny and fantastic, A. R. Gurney's autobiographic comedy The Cocktail Hour takes us back to the time of the-mid '70s. The place is a city in upstate New York where John, a playwright, returns to his parent's house, bringing with him a new play which he has written about them. His purpose is to obtain their permission to proceed with production, but his wealthy, very proper parents are cautious from the outset. And there is also John's sister, Nina, to contend with, although her reservations have to do with the fact that John has given her character such a minor role. Their confrontation takes place during the ritual of the cocktail hour, and as the martinis flow so do the recriminations and revelations, both funny and poignant. Bradley, John's father, is told that the play is basically about him. That fact, and Bradley's continual consumption of Scotch, complicates the evening even further. There is also the presence of an unseen cook, who has inexplicably turned off the oven, ruined the roast and burned the vegetables. These things escalate and bring the play to a fascinating conclusion.
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