THE STORY: Father of the groom, Curtis, simply wants to make a memorable toast. But before he is able to raise his glass, he must defend the time-honored ways of his past, including his attire. Cultures clash when a surprise guest is announced, threatening to throw convention out the window. Curtis finds that balancing the standards of his late father and the needs of his future family may prove too messy for a black tie affair.
"There are not many fixed verities in the world of the theater, but one of the few is that when A.R. Gurney returns to home territory—writing about the manners and morals of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant upper class—the results will most likely be gratifying. Mr. Gurney's BLACK TIE…is one of this prolific writer's most enjoyable plays in years, a modest but effortlessly engaging comedy about the generational shifts in the subset of humanity Mr. Gurney has been writing about with warmth, humor and insight throughout his career…BLACK TIE is insightful and touching in its depiction of a man welcoming back that ghost many of us have to banish consciously from our minds as we grow older, the voice of a parent (or grandparent) that becomes an internal barometer of the propriety of our behavior, whether we like it or not." —NY Times. "A lighthearted romp about what really matters—manners…As usual, Gurney's dialog is sharp." —NYTheatre.com. "Wryly witty and warmly embracing of its characters' eccentricities and foibles, this generation-gap tale is a charmer—funny, observant, and altogether winning…highly satisfying, quietly touching…Gurney's faith in the ability of civil behavior to improve human relations may be quixotic in this increasingly selfish, solipsistic world, but this gentle cri de coeur persuasively argues that there's hardly any problem that wouldn't benefit from it." —BackStage.