"BRISKLY ENTERTAINING! It it's martini-dry wit you crave, you'll find it here. Richard Poe and Maureen Anderman are superb." — The Boston Globe
"The Huntington and director Maria Aitken do terrific work. SIT BACK AND BE ENTERTAINED!" — WBUR
"LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY & POIGNANT!" —Talkin' Broadway
"A SMASH! Prepare to be shaken and stirred. Particularly potent and very funny. Meticulous direction and superb acting by Waterston, Poe, Anderman, and Gray." — South Shore Critic
"SUBLIME! The playwright couldn't have asked for a better production." — The Hub Review
"Worth the price of admission for Maureen Anderman. She's masterful and award-worthy." — WGBH

The pre-dinner cocktail is a revered ritual in John's parents' elegant home, but when he returns to announce that he has written a play about them, their calm demeanor dissolves. As the martinis flow, so do the revelations and recriminations, both funny and poignant, in this heartfelt comedy about the ties that bind.

Approximate run time: 2 hours, including one ten-minute intermission. 

Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

"The family roast can’t seem to get to the table, and cocktail hour is extended. What’s not to love? We have been talking about a revival of A.R. Gurney’s American comedy of manners for a few years now, and when we knew Maria Aitken was available to direct it, the cocktail was complete!"— Peter DuBois
"The idea of a year going by without working at the Huntington is so stressful that I have sought solace in the occasional martini while working elsewhere. I was filled with joy when the opportunity arose to return to my favorite theatre in America to direct The Cocktail Hour, for I am already in training in the cocktail department."— Maria Aitken


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Video

Jump to: Audio | Photos

Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

  • Behind the Scenes of The Cocktail Hour

    Huntington favorite Maria Aitken returns to the Huntington to direct A.R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Go behind the scenes of this American comedy of manners with Maria and cast members James Waterston, Richard Poe, Maureen Anderman, and Pamela J. Gray.

    Watch

    Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

  • New York State Writers Institute Interview with Gurney

    In a 2009 interview with the New York State Writers Institute, playwright A.R. Gurney  discusses setting his plays in a single location.

    Watch

  • Peter DuBois on The Cocktail Hour

    Artistic Director Peter DuBois discusses A.R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour, and explains why frequent Huntington collaborator Maria Aitken is the perfect choice to direct this American comedy of manners.

    Watch

    Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

  • The Cocktail Hour Scenic Design Presentation

    Scenic Designer Allen Moyer takes you behind the scenes of the WASP-y Buffalo home of John's parents in The Cocktail Hour, and shares his inspiration and designs for the set along with process shots from the Huntington Scene Shop.

    Watch

    Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

  • The Cocktail Hour Production Photos

    Photo credit: T. Charles Erickson

    Watch

  • What Audiences Are Saying About The Cocktail Hour

    Hear what audiences are saying about A.R. Gurney's comedy-on-the-rocks The Cocktail Hour, and get a sneak peek at scenes from the production directed by Huntington favorite Maria Aitken.

    Watch

    Video shot, edited, and produced by Thom Dunn

Audio

  • A Conversation with Playwright A.R. Gurney

    On Sunday, December 1, The Cocktail Hour playwright A.R. Gurney spoke with Bob Oakes (WBUR’s “Morning Edition”) about his long and continuing career, his body of work, and his relationship to this autobiographical play.

    Listen

Photos

  • The Cast of The Cocktail Hour

    Richard Poe, Maureen Anderman, James Waterston, and Pamela J. Gray in The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • Richard Poe, Maureen Anderman, James Waterston, and Pamela J. Gray

    Richard Poe as Bradley, Maureen Anderman as Ann, James Waterston as John, and Pamela J. Gray as Nina in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

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  • James Waterston as John

    James Waterston as John in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

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  • Maureen Anderman as Ann

    Maureen Anderman as Ann in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • Pamela J. Gray, Richard Poe, and James Waterston

    Pamela J. Gray as Nina, Richard Poe as Bradley, and James Waterston as John in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • James Waterston and Richard Poe

    James Waterston as John and Richard Poe as Bradley in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • Richard Poe as Bradley

    Richard Poe as Bradley in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • James Waterston and Maureen Anderman

    James Waterston as John and Maureen Anderman as Ann in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • James Waterston and Richard Poe

    James Waterston as John and Richard Poe as Bradley in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney's The Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

  • Pamela J. Gray as Nina

    Pamela J. Gray as Nina in the Huntington Theatre Company's production of AR Gurney'sThe Cocktail Hour. Photo: T. Charles Erickson

    View

Articles

  • Battle Scars: A.R. Gurney focuses on the culture of his youth

    From Los Angeles Times, May 9, 1991: Playwright A.R. Gurney has endured sharp criticism for focusing on the culture of his youth, but his latest effort, The Snow Ball, comes as he is earning long-awaited acclaim.

    More

  • Real Life Onstage: The Cocktail Hour and More

    The Cocktail Hour is doubly autobiographical — a play about a frustrated publisher named John who returns home brandishing a play he has written about his family to confront their resistance to being dramatized. John is clearly fashioned in the image of Gurney himself, and his upper-class clan bears more than a passing resemblance to the playwright’s own.

    More

  • The WASP Life

    While the prep- schooled scions of the old-money elite controlled America’s political, business, and military establishment for decades, they remained chronically underrepresented in the arts — and happy to remain that way. However, as their influence slipped away in the later decades of the 20th century, it fell to the outcast artists among them to counter — or embrace — the stereotypes that had come to define the “WASP.” The family that A.R. Gurney conjures in The Cocktail Hour exemplifies the paradox of this situation.

    More

  • The History of the Martini

    The martini is the beverage par excellence of America’s much-dwindled leisure class. Eschewing flashy colors and overpowering mixers, it relies instead on a refined balance amongst a few ingredients: ice, dry vermouth, a twist of lemon or an odd number of olives, and gin. It is an acquired taste, unapologetically strong, and rooted in tradition.

    More

  • A Look At Playwright A.R. Gurney

    Albert Ramsdell Gurney, Jr. grew up “surrounded by plays” — at school, on the radio, at the charity performances of his parents’ social clubs, on weekend trips to local theatres and Broadway. While his upper class milieu hardly considered dramatic writing an exemplary career, it was in many ways the natural trajectory for a man who had been immersed in the theatre since childhood.

    More

Press Reviews

Jump to: Audience Buzz | Features
"BRISKLY ENTERTAINING! It it's martini-dry wit you crave, you'll find it here. Richard Poe and Maureen Anderman are superb." — The Boston Globe
"The Huntington and director Maria Aitken do terrific work. SIT BACK AND BE ENTERTAINED!" — WBUR
"A SMASH! Prepare to be shaken and stirred. Particularly potent and very funny. Meticulous direction and superb acting by Waterston, Poe, Anderman, and Gray." — South Shore Critic
"Worth the price of admission for Maureen Anderman. She's masterful and award-worthy." — WGBH

"HILARIOUS, with cross-generational barbs flying and witty one-liners being served up faster than the free-flowing cocktails." — Tab/Wicked Local

"SUBLIME! The playwright couldn’t have asked for a better production." — The Hub Review

"LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY & POIGNANT!" — Talkin' Broadway

"EXQUISITE PERFORMANCES! A smooth drink well worth savoring." — Broadway World

More Reviews

Audience Buzz

"Saw this very funny, fast-moving play on Friday night. It's well worth making a date of it."— Rob C., via Facebook
"Saw #TheCocktailHour at @huntington theater last night. It was very enjoyable! The cast was GREAT and the stage managing was top notch ;)"— @GraceMullane
"Bravo to everyone @huntington for a strong opening of THE COCKTAIL HOUR, which explores a family's lingering lifelong questions."— @MatthewBWillis
"Clever dialogue & authentic-looking set in the @huntington Theatre Company's 'The Cocktail Hour.'"— @VLiTBHA
"The moody, urbane love child of Edmund Tyrone + Miss Julie = #CocktailHour @huntington by A.R. Gurney. Do let's throw ice cubes at Bradley!"— @hfgerardo
"★ ★ ★ ★! I love the plays by A.R. Gurney. The set was amazing. The performances were solid. It was a lovely evening of theatre."— Kevin, via Goldstar
"★ ★ ★ ★! Typically charming and amusing Gurney play. Waterston and Anderman were outstanding. A good evening of theatre."— Ron Johns on Goldstar

Features

  • Huntington Stages A.R. Gurney Comedy Of Manners

    From BU Today, Nov. 20, 2013: "The bite, poignancy, and universal themes of The Cocktail Hour resonate as powerfully today as when it premiered Off-Broadway 25 years ago. The A. R. Gurney comedy of manners is set deep in a gilded New England WASP culture that on its surface seems even more rarified than it did then. . . . "
  • The Icy Relationship That Inspired The Cocktail Hour

    From The Boston Globe, Nov. 14, 2013: "A.R. Gurney’s The Cocktail Hour is about a playwright whose parents are unhappy that he’s written a play about them. Want to guess what Gurney’s mother said to him after she saw it in New York? . . . "

Artists

  • A.R. GurneyPlaywright
  • Maria AitkenDirector
  • Richard PoeBradley
  • James WaterstonJohn
  • Maureen AndermanAnn
  • Pamela J. GrayNina
  • Allen MoyerScenic Design
  • Candice DonnellyCostume Design
  • Paul PalazzoLighting Design
  • John GromadaSound Design

Prices & Seating


Section
Performance Day AA A B C D
Friday, Saturday, Sunday &
Tuesday Preview, Wednesday matinee
$76 $61 $46 $36 $25
Sunday - Thursday evening;
Saturday matinee
$87 $72 $52 $40 $25
Friday & Saturday evening;
 Sunday matinee
$99 $83 $68 $53 $25

View Seating Chart  |  Get Directions

 
Discount Ticket Prices

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Active Military and Veterans and Immediate Families
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$25
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Seniors $5 off
35 Below (No AA)
Learn more about our 35 Below program
$25
Seatmap

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South End / Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA: 527 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02116
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