Abie’s Irish Rose – Anne Nichols, 1924

I’ve been curious about this play since enjoying Robert Benchley’s ongoing reviews/feud with it during its endless Broadway run. It’s good’n’corny–sentimental, predictable, full of stereotypes (plot is Abraham Levy marries Rose Mary Murphy, families disapprove until the first grandchild)–but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Jonathan just told me Bridget Loves Bernie was based on it!

Priceless lines from the Wikipedia article:

Abie’s Irish Rose [Benchley] described variously as “Something Awful”, “Just about as low as good clean fun can get”, “Showing that the Jews and the Irish crack equally old jokes”, “The comic spirit of 1876”, “People laugh at this every night, which explains why democracy can never be a success” and finally “Will the Marines never come?” Lorenz Hart … wrote these lines for “Manhattan”: “Our future babies we’ll take to Abie’s Irish Rose — I hope they’ll live to see it close.”

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