The Butter and Egg man
- One of the few plays written by George S. Kaufman without a collaborator, The Butter and Egg Man won praise for its wit and lively characterizations when it opened at the Longacre Theatre on 23 September 1925 for a 243-performance run. The title of the comedy was suggested by nightclub hostess Texas Guinan's way of describing bumpkins and rubes, and the term fits Kaufman's Peter Jones of Chilli-cothe, Ohio, who arrives in New York anxious to invest money in a Broadway play. Jones falls into the hands of a desperate playwriting team, Joe Lehman and Jack McClure, who have lost their gangster backer. Jones buys 49 percent of the play, but when it receives bad reviews during its out-of-town tryout, Lehman and McClure sell their half to Jones, only to watch him fix the play's weaknesses, bring it to New York, and score a profitable hit. Upon learning that he is being sued for plagiarism, Jones sells the play back to Lehman and McClure for a substantial profit and, with his hometown girlfriend in tow, returns to Chillicothe to open a hotel. A motion picture version of The Butter and Egg Man was released in 1928.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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