THE STORY: As told by the New York News, VISIT TO A SMALL PLANET “is an imaginative affair in which an alien comes from another planet to do a bit of sightseeing and to see or start a war. He thinks he has arrived in time to see the Civil War, which he expects will be jolly, but he has misjudged his landing and gets here in 1957. He tries to make the best of it. 'Isn’t hydrogen fun?' he gurgles, as he hears about modern warfare. Where he comes from, civilization has gone way beyond what we have here. They don’t have babies anymore, for instance, he explains to us earthlings, 'We gave it up. Sometimes I think we were a bit hasty.' This interplanetary visitor, who can read human minds, and even have an enchanting conversation with a Siamese cat, plops himself into an average community whose population includes an average general, an average boy and girl in love, and an average TV newscaster or oracle and an above-average cat.” Since he has missed the Civil War, the visitor from outer space (not from Mars, he insists) decides to make his own war —he’s enchanted with all the new playthings the twentieth century has invented for war-making, and he wants to toss a few of them around. Since on his planet emotions withered away to make room for intellectual development, he sees no reason why a few people shouldn’t be happy to die for his amusement; and it takes the combined action of the entire cast to persuade him to call off his war.
One of Broadway’s big hits. “…gloriously funny…an almost endless barrage of freshly-minted quips to keep the merriment rolling.” —NY Herald-Tribune.