Beggar on Horseback


Beggar on Horseback
   George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly mixed elements of European expressionism with middle-American comedy at the behest of producer Winthrop Ames, who gave them a German play, Paul Apel's Hans Sonnenstösser 's Höllenfahrt, to adapt. Kaufman and Connelly tried, but instead Beggar on Horseback emerged as a wholly original work when it opened at the Broadhurst Theatre, under Ames's management, on 12 February 1924 for a 224-performance run.
   The central consciousness is that of aspiring composer Neil McRae, who cannot get his music performed and survives by doing orchestrations for others. Neil's kindly neighbor, Dr. Albert Rice, and Cynthia Mason, who has feelings for Neil, try to help as he contends with the manipulative Gladys Cady, daughter of a wealthy widget manufacturer, who is hell-bent to marry him, but only if he makes a million dollars as a songwriter. Neil, a nervous wreck, takes a sleeping pill and dreams that he marries Gladys (who carries a bouquet made of currency at the ceremony), that they live in a mansion with a huge staff, and that Gladys's grasping family demand that he fill out a requisition for a pencil with which to write a song. He finally cracks and murders his in-laws. At his trial, the judge reprimands him for daring to use his imagination. Neil is sentenced to work in an art factory, producing fake masterpieces. Awakened from his nightmare, Neil determines to marry the sweet-natured Cynthia instead of Gladys. A 1925 motion picture version starred Edward Everett Horton. Beggar on Horseback was given a major revival in 1970 at the Lincoln Center.*

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beggar on Horseback — A parody of the expressionistic parables that were popular at the time, it rails against the perils of trading one s artistic talents for commercial gain. At its core is Neil McRae, a poor, young classical composer. Concerned about how hard he s… …   Wikipedia

  • set a beggar on horseback, and he’ll ride to the devil — A proverb (now frequently used elliptically) with many variations, meaning that one unaccustomed to power or luxury will abuse it or be corrupted by it. 1576 G. PETTIE Petit Palace 76 Set a Beggar on horsebacke, and he wyl neuer alight. 1592… …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Set a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride a gallop. — См. Натореет крестьянская овца, лучше боярской козы обрыкается …   Большой толково-фразеологический словарь Михельсона (оригинальная орфография)

  • set a beggar on horseback and he'll ride to the Devil — proverb someone unaccustomed to power or luxury will abuse or be corrupted by it …   Useful english dictionary

  • beggar — see set a beggar on horseback, and he’ll ride to the devil beggars can’t be choosers sue a beggar and catch a louse if wishes were horses, beggars would ride …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • horseback — see set a beggar on horseback, and he’ll ride to the devil …   Proverbs new dictionary

  • Bettler — 1. Am Tag ein Bettler, zu Nachts ein Dieb. – Sailer, 199; Simrock, 1032. 2. An ringen Bedler, thiar egh ian dör amgungkân. (Nordfries.) – Firmenich, III, 5, 65. Ein schlechter Bettler, der nicht eine Thür umgehen, meiden kann. 3. Au der mis… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • Greta Nissen — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Nissen. Greta Nissen …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Marc Connelly — Photographié en 1937 par Carl van Vechten Marcus Cook Connelly, connu comme Marc Connelly, né le 13 décembre 1890 à McKeesport  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, Thematic Index — absence absence makes the heart grow fonder he who is absent is always in the wrong the best of friends must part blue are the hills that are far away distance lends enchantment to the view out of sight, out of mind …   Proverbs new dictionary


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