The Gilded Age
A Story of Today
Previews Fri- Sun | January 8-10
and Fri-Sat | January 15-16
Press Opening | Sunday, January 17
Run Fri - Sun | January 22-February 21
Plus two Thursdays Feb 11, 18 at 7:30pm
All Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 pm
All Sundays at 3:00 pm
A panoramic romp through Twain's America--which is to say, ours--The Gilded Age gives us a steamboat race on the Mississippi, strange dealings on the floors of Congress, and a high society murder trial. The Hawkins family holds 75,000 acres of Tennessee land that they are sure will someday make them rich. Their beautiful adopted daughter Laura travels to Washington DC to become a lobbyist and persuade or connive the federal government to buy the land. With the help of a Senator, Laura Hawkins enters nouveau riche Washington society, leads a scandalous life, and gains her opportunity to match wits with Congress.
Fun fact to know and tell: "Laura Hawkins" is the real name of Twain's childhood sweetheart, whom he would later feature in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Becky Thatcher.
We fired one of the authors of this book.
Twain wrote The Gilded Age in collaboration with his friend and neighbor Charles Dudley Warner on a dare from their wives. It was an unusual collaboration in that they didn't write together: they alternated chapters, Twain writing the main plot and Warner writing a subplot involving different characters. They only sat down to write together when it was time to tie up loose ends in the last chapter. This is of course no way to write a cohesive novel, and critics generally agree that the whole book doesn't hang together very well. Our adaptation dispenses with the subplot and focuses on Twain's streamlined tragicomic tale of Laura Hawkins.
This world premiere City Lit adaptation is by Paul Edwards, winner of three Jeff Awards for Best Adaptation, most recently for City Lit's Peyton Place.