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THEATER | "The Man Who Came to Dinner" 

It definitely has one of the best-known titles in the repertory, but Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman's "The Man Who Came to Dinner," a great hit of the 1940's and 50's, isn't presented very often anymore, so it's nice to see it returning for the holidays. This production is presented by Screen Plays (and besides being a famous play, it was indeed a famous screenplay, for the 1942 movie with Monty Woolley and Bette Davis). The Man is Sheridan Whiteside, a waspish, self-absorbed radio celebrity, sidelined in small-town Ohio after an accident. He makes life hell for his hosts, his secretary, his nurse, and everyone else within earshot — on Christmas Eve, yet. Kaufman and Hart's script is a sterling example of the old-school "well-made" farce, as well as a trove of old-school slapstick and name-dropping of the rich and famous of the 1930's: Eleanor Roosevelt, Jascha Heifetz, and many other names in Sheridan's little black book. Jean Gordon Ryon directs, and the cast includes many local theater stalwarts, including Ray Salah as The Abominable Whiteside.

Screen Plays presents "The Man Who Came to Dinner" on Thursday, December 18, through Saturday, December 27, at Geva's NextStage Theatre, 75 Woodbury Boulevard. $15-$20. gevatheatre.org.

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