Directors' Choice Award Winner
A Green Umbrella
by Loren Lester
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A GREEN UMBRELLA is a show-within-a-show about the greatest married acting couple of all time: ALFRED LUNT and LYNN FONTANNE (aka “The Lunts”); their life-long love affair with the theater (and each other.)
We begin in 1957 as The Lunts’ dearest friend, NOEL COWARD, is trying to write a biographical musical about their life-story. Through flashbacks, Act One takes us through all the conflicts that The Lunts had to overcome in order to finally get married.
After intermission, we’re back in 1957 with Noel struggling to write Act Two, ironically as The Lunts struggle to find a second act to their lives. The theater world is largely ignoring them, and with no children, they wonder what will they leave behind? Eight shows a week for almost forty years - was it all worth it?
Noel is worried; he fears that the Lunts will be forgotten unless he can write a great ending. The Lunts reveal their inner pain to Noel but make him promise that he won’t include any of it in the musical he’s writing. Noel realizes that he has to abandon the project - The Lunts have to create an ending for themselves.
In the end their love - unlike their performances - hasn’t proven to be ephemeral. And although they’re aware that they’ll hardly be remembered in the future, they take solace in what they accomplished onstage. As for offstage - we realize that they never really were offstage. They walk off arm-in-arm to go to bed, but when they open the door to the bedroom upstage, there isn’t a room there at all - just a set of footlights.
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