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Kempy

(1849—1922) lawyer and mathematician


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(1922), a comedy by J. C. and Elliott Nugent. [Belmont Theatre, 212 perf.] James Kemp (Elliott Nugent), who is known as “Kempy,” is a somewhat naïve and pliable plumber who dreams of becoming an architect. Coming to fix a leaky pipe in the house of his fiancée, Ruth Bence (Ruth Nugent), he is confronted by Ruth's sister Katherine (Lotus Robb), who has just had a nasty fight with her boyfriend, “Duke” Merrill (Grant Mitchell), and decides to get even by bambooz-ling Kempy into marrying her. But that night she makes him sleep alone on the living room couch. The next morning more sober thoughts win the day, so Duke, who is a lawyer, arranges to pair everyone happily. Written with an uncredited assist from Howard Lindsay, the Richard G. Herndon production was the comedy sleeper of the season and helped establish Elliott, whose family had heretofore been largely associated with vaudeville, as an important figure in the legitimate theatre.

From The Oxford Companion to American Theatre in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Theatre.


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