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"At the Vanity Fair"

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portrait of Mary Willard


Willard, Mary (American playwright, 1947-____), “At the Vanity Fair,”

a 35-minute comedy in English, set in a penthouse apartment in San Francisco, California, U.S.A., 8:00 p.m., Tuesday evening, 1998,

3f

; • © 1997 by Mary Willard; • in Mary Willard's At the Vanity Fair (Encino, California, U.S.A.: The Author, 1997); • script/rights available from Mary Willard, 5056 Woodley Avenue, Encino, California 91436, U.S.A., telephone (home) 818.854.8284, (work) 818.854.8284, e-mail juanini@pacbell.net. • Cited by Mary Willard via ftp, February 25 and August 24, 1998; Willard says,

§ Dramatis Personae Eleanor (f), mother of Clementine; Clementine (f), Eleanor’s daughter; Trudy (f), Eleanor’s best friend.

§ Synopsis “Eleanor is about to undergo cosmetic surgery. She leads her daughter Clementine to believe it’s life threatening surgery. Eleanor and Trudy are best friends. They are both selfish, rich, pampered women. They have more money than brains. They’ve been everywhere and done everything. Clementine is Eleanor’s daughter by one of her many husbands. She is a sensible, sweet woman who only wants to help Mother. § Another Synopsis “Eleanor Victor, a rich, snobbish, vain and selfish woman plans to under go a facelift the following morning. Her best friend Trudy Hamilton and she, both selfish, rich, pampered women, have more money than brains. They’ve been everywhere and done everything and are discussing going to Vienna when the doorbell rings. It is Clementine, Eleanor’s daughter by one of her many husbands. She is a sensible, sweet woman who only wants to help Mother. Trudy called to tell her that her mother was going to have surgery. She does not tell her what kind so Clementine arrives agitated fearing heart surgery. When she discovers that it’s for a face-lift for her 72-year-old vain mother she gets upset. Her mother in her same old selfish way, explains why she feels the need for the surgery. Her argument includes the facts that she was a good mother because she always spent a lot of money on her and showed her a good time. After much pouting on Eleanor’s part, Clementine begins to see the value of selfishness and agrees to leave her husband and children and go to Vienna with her mother and Trudy just for the fun of it. She can always be responsible later. Finally, she has become her mother’s daughter.

§ Comment ". . . [A]bout vain women and what happens when they age.” • Mary Willard and her husband, Fred Willard, a busy television actor, live in Los Angeles where they run a weekly sketch comedy workshop. She is the author of the hit comedy Elvis and Juliet, which has been performed in twenty-two cities and four countries. She and her collaborator, Marty Stuart, were finalists in the ASCAP/ Disney competition for their musical comedy Moon Shine!, which was produced in Los Angeles at the Grove Theatre. Her short plays, ‘Murder, She Rewrote,’ ‘At the Vanity Fair’ and ‘Chateaux Beaux Eaus’ have been performed in dozens of theatres. Elvis and Juliet will open at the Abingdon Theatre, 312 West 36th Street, First Floor, New York, New York 10018-6494, U.S.A., February, 2006, and her comedy An Occasional Sin will open in Upland, California, U.S.A., April 2, 2005.”

§ Themes aging, altruism, beauty, deception, female bonding, mother-daughter relationship, privilege, surgery, vanity, wealth.

See also Mary Willard's

  • "A Hunka Hunka Santa Claus," a 10-minute comedy in English, set in an employment agency hiring Santa Clauses, 3:00 p.m., Thursday, November 19, 2003, 2m1f
  • Murder, She Rewrote," a 10-minute comedy in English, set in a small apartment, anywhere, U.S.A., 8:30 a.m., Saturday, 1m2f

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted February 25, 1998, and updated May 19, November 12, 1998, October 14, 2003, November 14, 2004, by the site Webmaster.

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1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

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