Contented, kindly Mary Haines, a well-off woman living in New York City, is the envy of her friends, boasting a wholesome, happy marriage, adorable children, and a comfortable home. Unfortunately, she is living in a fool’s paradise… which her tactless friend, the gossip-hungry Sylvia Fowler, discovers, when a favored manicurist spills the beans: Mary’s husband Stephen Haines has been nabbed by Crystal Allen, a sultry, gold-digging man-eater, who sets her traps behind the perfume counter at Saks Fifth Avenue. Sylvia arranges, in humiliating fashion, for Mary to hear the tale from that same manicurist, and so Mary’s painful dilemma is created: keep silent, keep her marriage, and condone her husband’s cheating ways…. or divorce him, making way for her rival to step into her place? Filled with strong, colorful, comedic characters, a snappy supporting cast of many dozens, and an abundance of witty dialogue, Clare Boothe Luce’s The Women is juicy, wicked, and full of guilty fun. both a scathing commentary on the life of the superficial, selfish socialite and a knowing, heart-felt depiction of romantic rivalry, toxic friendships, and the thousands of supporting roles women play in offices, salons, and their own lives.
Casting note: this play contains over 40 roles, but with some strenuous doubling of the Featured characters, only 20 actors are absolutely necessary.