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You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running

One Acts, Short Comedy Collection
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-1288-1

MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $105 per performance when all four plays comprising YOU KNOW I CAN'T HEAR YOU WHEN THE WATER'S RUNNING are produced together. (This is the only basis on which the omnibus title may be used.) $40 each when produced individually; $55 for I'M HERBERT.
THE STORIES: The Shock of Recognition breaks in on a difference of opinion between Jack Barnstable, an earnest young dramatist, and Herb Miller, his matter-of-fact producer. Miller doesn’t like the opening moment of Barnstable’s play. A wife is having breakfast in bed and she says something to her husband, who is in the bathroom. So he comes out, jaybird naked, and yells to her, “You know I can’t hear you when the water’s running.” The producer doesn’t think this confrontation is quite nice or necessary. The author insists that the scene is important—and, after all, it lasts only an instant. So a quarrel over taste develops, and a job-hunting actor, Richard Pawling, becomes involved. He eagerly begins to strip, demonstrating how he would handle the role (3 men, 1 woman).

In The Footsteps of Doves, George and Harriet, who have been wed 25 years, come to a store to pick out a new bed or beds. Should they buy twin beds or a double? They don’t get much sales effort from the salesman. Into the discussion, uninvited, comes a young blonde, Jill, who wants a big bed because she is all alone (2 men, 2 women).

I'll be Home for Christmas is light and humorous, but at base it is serious and touching as it shows a mother and father discussing the sex education of their almost-adult children, a girl and boy. The father is quite moving when he learns in a letter that his son is cutting adrift from the parental harbor (1 man, 2 women).

I'm Herbert is a sketch about two old, old people sitting on a porch in a pair of rocking chairs and talking. Just talking—and of course they don’t know how funny they are. Each has had one or more previous marriages and perhaps a few flings, but they are hazy as to details. In fact, they don’t always know which one the other one is (1 man, 1 woman).
The topic is sex, in all its mysterious and fascinating manifestations, and the treatment of this is so skillful, tasteful and explosively funny that the plays are not only captivating and touching but universal in appeal.

“…a masterly light touch…we have a delightful gift of springtime in the Broadway theatre.” —New York Daily News.

“The best and brightest new American play of the season…” —New York World Journal Tribune.

“…notably fine comic and dramatic episodes, written with skill and insight…” —New York Post.