This is a slapstick and sentimental play from 1936 by Moss Hart and George S Kaufman. Kaufman is most famous for this play, along with co-writing with Hart, Edna Ferber, and Ring Lardner at various times for plays and adaptations. He’s also probably the main character model for Barton Fink. Moss Hart is known writing the book Act One and for being married to Kitty Carlisle.
The play begins in a house full of an eccentric family. The mom is a painter! The grandfather says all kinds of things! There’s a guy wearing a toga! It’s the trope (or creation of the trope?) of the bohemian, eccentric family who has abjured capitalism in order to pursue a life, not of leisure necessarily, but of jouissance. The daughter in the family falls in love with a much more straight-laced man and they’re both worried about their families meeting. It turns out that this young man’s family just so happens to own the bank that might be foreclosing on her family’s house soon enough. A meeting is set up and it goes terribly, notably with everyone getting arrested. This leads to a final act confrontation and fallout where everybody learns a few lessons.
The play is relatively predictable by today’s standards, but it was pretty beloved for the time, and makes some choice and funny time-period jokes (laughing at the president’s wife! A classic), but like I said it’s pretty sentimental and fun, anti-capitalist, in the nicest of ways. There’s some juicy parts, which is why it’s always been a go-to for certain actors. There’s a famous movie version too that came out soon after the play and won Best Picture in 1938. It’s a little forgotten, most likely because Gone with the Wind came out the next year.