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90° in the Shade and Dust in Your Eyes

Emanuel (Jimmy) Wax, from 29 degrés à l'ombre by Eugene Labiche
One Acts, Two Plays in One Volume
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-0343-8

MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $40 per performance for each play.
THE STORIES: 90° IN THE SHADE. It is the custom of Hector Pomadour to invite his friends to his home on Sunday for lunch and games. On this occasion, one guest has run into another gentleman on his way and has invited him to join the group. Hector is delighted, as Adolphe Dumanoir seems to be a man worth knowing—at least, that is, until he is caught hugging and kissing Hector’s wife. This calls for a duel, of course, despite the summer heat—and after Hector has been assured by his friends that the guilty Dumanoir would never think of defending himself. When Dumanoir makes it clear that he has no intention of being so foolishly gallant, the picture changes; and while Hector and the others huddle to discuss strategy, Madame Pomadour and Dumanoir hatch a little plot of their own. Dumanoir agrees to let Hector off with a scratch, provided that Madame P. gives him another kiss. This she does, only to be discovered again, provoking greater outrage. But ingenuity comes to the fore, honor is satisfied, and all ends in a spirit of jovial camaraderie. (4 men, 2 women.) DUST IN YOUR EYES. Doctor and Madame Malingear are perfectly satisfied with their pleasant, uneventful existence until they learn that their daughter, Emily, is seriously interested in Frederick Ratinois, a young man who has been an increasingly frequent caller. When confronted regarding his intentions, Frederick confesses his love for Emily and declares that his father is a retired businessman “of sufficient fortune.” The Malingears are pleased, but they are also concerned that Frederick’s family might find them lacking in social or financial standing. When they learn that Frederick’s parents plan to visit them incognito, the Malingears decide to “throw dust in their eyes” with abandon. And so they do—inenting lavish extravagances that, in truth, they cannot afford. Monsieur and Madame Ratinois respond in kind, and soon both families are near bankruptcy. Fortunately a kindly, level-headed uncle saves the day, bringing the lovers happily together at last. (6 men, 6 women, 1 boy.)