Life with Father

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Life with Father is the title of a humorous autobiographical book of stories compiled in 1935 by Clarence Day, Jr., which was adapted in 1939 into a long-running Broadway play by Lindsay and Crouse, which was, in turn, made into a 1947 movie and a television series.


The book

Clarence Day wrote humorously about his family and life. The stories of his father, Clarence "Clare" Day, Senior, were first printed in the New Yorker magazine. They portray a rambunctious, overburdened Wall Street broker who demands that everything from his family should be just so. The more he rails against his staff, his cook, his wife, his horse, salesmen, holidays, his children and the inability of the world to live up to his impossible standards, the more comical and lovable he becomes to his own family who love him despite it all. First published in 1936, shortly after his death, Day's book is a picture of New York upper middle class family life in the 1890s. The stories are filled with affectionate irony. Day's understated, matter-of-fact style underlines the comedy in everyday situations.[1]

Broadway play

The 1939 Broadway production ran for over seven years to become the longest-running non-musical play on Broadway, a record that it still holds.[2] It opened at the Empire Theatre on November 8, 1939 and ran at that theatre until September 8, 1945. It then moved to the Bijou Theatre where it ran until June 15, 1947, and finished its run at the Alvin Theatre on July 12, 1947, closing after 3,224 performances. The play was produced by Oscar Serlin, staged by Bretaigne Windust, with setting and costumes by Stewart Chaney. It starred Howard Lindsay, his wife Dorothy Stickney, and Teresa Wright.[3] James Christie, a young red headed actor was also a long running member of the cast. James Christie, or Jimmy Christie, at 15 years old, began playing Whitney (the third son) in 1939 on Broadway at the Empire Theatre and remained during most of its 7 year run, playing both Whitney and John (the next to eldest son) as he aged through the play's run. James Christie currently 78 years old, lives in California.

  • Katherine Bard as Annie
  • Dorothy Stickney as Vinnie
  • John Drew Devereaux as Clarence           
  • Richard Simon as John
  • Raymond Roe as Whitney
  • Larry Robinson as Harlan
  • Howard Lindsay as Father
  • Dorothy Bernard as Mother
  • Ruth Hammond as Cora
  • Teresa Wright as Mary
  • Richard Sterling as the Reverend Dr. Lloyd
  • Portia Morrow as Delia
  • Nellie Burt as Nora
  • A.H. Van Buren as Dr. Humphreys
  • John C. King as Dr. Somers
  • Timothy Kearse as Maggie

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