This comedy by Paul Osborn focuses on four sisters living in a small Midwestern town.
The year is 1938. The place is a small midwestern town, where the four Gibbs sisters share in each other’s lives, sometimes perhaps too much. They squabble and reconcile, but always take care of each other. They may have disagreements, but woe to the person who interferes!
Cora Swanson and her sister, Ida Bolton, along with husbands Thor and Carl, have lived next door to each other for their entire married lives. Arry, their “old maid” sister, lives with Cora and Thor. A fourth sister, Esther and her husband, David live just down the street.
The family is anxiously awaiting the arrival of Ida and Carl’s son, Homer, and his fiancée, Myrtle Brown. Homer and Myrtle have been engaged for seven years and dated for five years before that. It’s difficult to believe, but this will be the first time anyone in the family has met her. It seems a happy, simple, situation, but trouble ensues as two of the sisters begin to question their lives and decide to make some changes before it is too late.
This heart-warming comedy has had several Broadway and regional productions and has received multiple Tony and Drama Desk awards.
Note: the four sisters – Aaronetta (Arry), Cora, Esther, Ida, and their husbands are in the 60-70 age range, unless otherwise noted. Casting will depend on the performers’ look and ability to play older
AARONETTA (ARRY) GIBBS: An “old maid”, living with sister Cora and her husband Thor. She is disappointed and angry about her life’s situation and is jealous of Cora. She harbors a family secret.
CORA SWANSON: Married to Thor; she and her husband took in Arry when she had nowhere else to go. Sometimes Cora regrets this decision.
ESTHER CRAMPTON: Married to David. On David’s insistence, they live a few streets away from her sisters. Esther is initially cowered by her domineering husband, but eventually discovers that she is made of sterner stuff.
IDA BOLTON: Lives next door to Cora and Thor, with her husband Carl and son Homer. She worries about Homer and wants to see him married and settled down.
THEODORE (THOR) SWANSON: “Salt of the Earth,”; wonderful sense of humor. Devoted to Cora; he shares a secret with Arry.
CARL BOLTON: Loves his wife and son but is dissatisfied with his lot in life. Has “spells” (akin to panic attacks) from time to time.
DAVID CRAMPTON: Unfailingly polite and soft-spoken, but sarcastic, caustic, and something of a tyrant. Wants little to do with the rest of the family.
THE YOUNG FOLKS:
HOMER BOLTON: 40 years old; Ida and Carl’s son, engaged for 7+ years to his fiancée, Myrtle Brown. Painfully shy and awkward; he is reluctant to commit to Myrtle and leave his parents’ home. Given to the same sort of “spells” as his father.
MYRTLE BROWN: Homer’s fiancée; 39 years old. Enthusiastic, sweet, and kind. She wants so much to make a good impression on Homer’s family. Loves Homer very much but is frustrated by his reluctance to marry her.