Barry, Philip


Barry, Philip
(1896-1949)
   Son of prosperous Irish American parents from Philadelphia, Philip Jerome Quinn Barry was a sickly child who filled his lonely days with books. He entered Yale University in 1914 and made an impression by his literary activities. Rejected for military service at the time of America's entry into World War I, Barry instead worked for the State Department in London. He continued his education at Yale after the war and began to write plays before enrolling in George Pierce Baker's playwriting class at Harvard. Barry had an initial success with You and I (1923), originally titled The Jilts, a work that established his style of mixing sophisticated, witty comedy with astringent social commentary.
   Barry's lasting contribution stems from this combination, a formula permitting him to create a 20th-century American equivalent to British comedy of manners. Many of his plays feature the "Barry girl," seen most vividly in Tracy Lord of The Philadelphia Story* (1939). The "Barry girl," personified by Hope Williams on stage and Katharine Hepburn* on both stage and screen, is typically a pampered, headstrong young woman who both profits from and rejects the social expectations of wealth and privilege. The Philadelphia Story has proven the most durable of Barry's dramatic accomplishments, a frequently revived work that provided the source for the MGM musical motion picture High Society (1956), with music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Among Barry's other pre-World War II plays, Holiday (1928) and The Animal Kingdom* (1932) were particularly well-received and became popular films. His dramatic output prior to 1930 includes In a Garden (1925), White Wings (1926), Paris Bound (1927), Cock Robin (1928; coauthored by Elmer Rice), and Hotel Universe* (1930). Barry's brand of high comedy declined after World War II, but he remains the singular proponent of sparkling, sophisticated, socially conscious Broadway comedy.
   See also comedy; playwrights.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Barry,Philip — Barry, Philip. 1896 1949. American playwright whose works, mostly comedies about the wealthy, include The Philadelphia Story (1939). * * * …   Universalium

  • Barry, Philip — ▪ American dramatist born June 18, 1896, Rochester, N.Y., U.S. died Dec. 3, 1949, New York City       American dramatist best known for his comedies of life and manners among the socially privileged.       Barry was educated at Yale and in 1919… …   Universalium

  • Barry, Philip —    см. Барри, Филип …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Philip Barry — (* 18. Juni 1896 in Rochester, New York; † 3. Dezember 1949 in New York City) war ein US amerikanischer Dramatiker. Obwohl er vor allem für seine Komödien über die Umgangsformen bekannt wurde, schrieb er auch ernst …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Barry (name) — Infobox Given Name Revised name = Barry imagesize= caption= pronunciation= gender = meaning = region = origin = related names = footnotes = Barry is both a given name for males and a surname, being the English form of the Irish names Bairre… …   Wikipedia

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  • Philip Barry — Philip Jerome Quinn Barry (June 18, 1896 December 3, 1949) was an American playwright. Though most known for his comedies about manners, he also wrote serious dramas, often on religious themes. His 1927 play John is about the Baptist, and Barry… …   Wikipedia

  • Barry Smith (organist) — Barry Smith (born 1939) is a South African organist, choral and orchestral conductor, author, and musicologist.Early life and educationBorn in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Smith was a choirboy at St Mary s Collegiate …   Wikipedia

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