Aren’t We All? – 1923

AREN’T WE ALL, a comedy in three acts by Frederick Lonsdale. Produced by Charles Dillingham at the Gaiety Theatre, New York, May 21, 1923.

Cast of characters

 Morton George Tawde
Hon. Willie Tatham Leslie Howard
Lady Frinton Mabel Terry-Lewis
Arthur Wells Denis Gurney
Martin Steele Jack Whiting
Kitty Lake Roberta Beatty
Lord Grenham Cyril Maude
Margot Tatham Alma Tell
Roberts F. Gatenby Bell
Hon. Mrs. Ernest Lynton Marguerite St. John
Rev. Ernest Lynton Harry Ashford
John Willocks Geoffrey Millar

Act I.—A Room in Willie Tatham’s House in Mayfair.

Act II.—A Room in Lord Grenham’s House in the Country.
Act III.—Same as Act II. Staged by Hugh Ford.

Margot Tatham, returning unexpectedly from a trip to India, walks in upon her husband, the Hon. Willie Tatham, kissing Kitty Lake full upon the lips. Both surprised and hurt, Margot threatens to leave Willie forthwith, but Lord Grenham, Willie’s father, a boastful old beau who is proud of his own escapades, manages to save his son by coming accidentally upon a young Australian who had met Margot in India and who remembers one famous moonlight night when even she forgot her home and Willie long enough to permit herself to be kissed. A happy compromise follows.
(Burne-Mantles, The Best Plays of 1922-1923, p. 577-578)

Reviews

Cyril Maude appeared last night at the Gaiety in Frederick Lonsdale’s English comedy, “Aren’t We All?” If we were to explain in our own way the meaning of the play’s title we would say: Yes, we are all Cyril Maude fans. That is, theatergoers are when this star has a part that fits him as perfectly as Lord Grenham does.[…]
The other important parts are in more than competent hands. That very intelligent actress, Miss Mabel Terry-Lewis, plays Lady Frinton. […] Leslie Howard and Miss Alma Tell are the Hon. Willie and Margot, a well selected pair. […]
(The New York Sun, May 22, 1923)

Winter having come in spite of the “If,” Cyril Maude last night celebrated its going, and the advent of Spring, by producing a very genuine, if very light, light comedy.
“It’s our tender moments that tell against us,” said Lord Grenham in the first act, and much of the evening was devoted to entangling a virtuous young couple in amorous peccadillos and then disentangling them.[…]
In London the play was taken somewhat too seriously, to its great detriment and to the equally great loss of those who might and should have enjoyed it. The audience last night gave itself freely to Mr. Lonsdale’s amiable cynicism, chuckled deeply at his always billiant and often richly human wit.[…]
The secret of last night’s success may possibly lie in the fact that, instead of being done, as in London, for a woman star (Marie Lohr), the production was founded upon the ripe art and winning personality of Cyril Maude. That is the logical as well as the opportune foundation; for Willie’s father, Lord Grenham, is the titular fool of all these lovers, and the god from the machine as well.[…]
Not the least persuasive feature of the production is the excellence of character drawing in all parts and the equal excellence of the players. The curate’s wife of Marguerite St. John, the young Australian of Geoffrey Millar, and the Willie Tatham of Leslie Howard may be especially mentioned, but scarcely without a distinction that is invidious to others in the cast.
(John Corbin, The New York Times, May 22, 1923)

What rare good fortune has befallen in the waning last quarter of the theatrical season to have a comedy so deft and delicious as this little one from London, called “Aren’t We All?”
Not the smallest part of our good fortune is that Cyril Maude appears in the leading role and makes of it one of those genial characters in which he delights and which delights his admirers.[…]
Mr. Maude, always so wise in his selection of the supporting players, is again aided by Miss Mabel Terry-Lewis […] As Lady Frinton in “Aren’t We All?” she plays the role which was acted by Miss Ellis Jeffreys in London. Miss Terry-Lewis carried everything before her last night as a sophisticated widow who knew how many one and one make, and ever so much besides.
Ably carrying on the excellent traditions of Mr. Maude and Miss Terry-Tewis was Miss Marguerite St. John as the meddlesome wife of a meddlesome near player, Harry Ashford. Even these two were presented at the last as human being after all.
Leslie Howard as the son who follows a philandering father is again one of those nice young English chaps. All the other members of the cast fitted neatly into the play.[…]
(The Evening Telegram, New York, May 22, 1923)

The little comedy by Frederick Lonsdale, entitled “Aren’t We All?” suggests the very pertinent question whether, in the last analysis, we aren’t, all of us, rather fools, in the manner in which we conduct our lives and meet the so-called “problems” we are constantly being called upon to face–whether, in short, we aren’t all pretty devoid of that devine gift, wisdom, which expresses itself most divinely in a saving sense of humor.[…]
As the unregenerate and unrepentant old Lord Grenham, with his stiffening legs and perfectly curled moustache, Cyril Maude created a distinct personaly, delightful from the first moment to the last. And Mabel Terry-Lewis, the perfect Mabel Sabre of “If Winter Comes,” again revealed her brilliant talents as Lady Frinton […]
Excellent work, too, is done by that quiet, young comedian, Leslie Howard, as the young husband, and Geoffrey Miller as the young Australian. marguerite St. John and Harry Ashford do all they can with the conventionally silly parts of a rectitudinous rector and his wife, and Alma Tell, who is very earnest and simple, will do better with the young wife when she limbers up a bit and makes her touch somewhat lighter.
“Aren’t We All?” is an airy bubble with bright lines and delightful acting.
(Anita Block, The New York Call, May 23, 1923)

Gallery

Leslie Howard and Roberta Beatty in Aren't We All?

Leslie Howard and Roberta Beatty in Aren’t We All?

Aren't We All?

Leslie Howard and Roberta Beatty in Aren’t We All?

Alma Tell - Aren't We All

Alma Tell in Aren’t We All

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