The premise of the 1939 comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner is so outrageous that it could only be based on a true story.
George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart based their play, about a cantankerous celebrity guest who arrives for dinner at a country estate and ends up staying a month, on an incident that happened to Hart involving radio star Alexander Woollcott.
In the play, opening Thursday at Stage West Community Playhouse, the troublesome guest is Sheridan Whiteside (Peter Clapsis), an ill-tempered radio personality who visits the prosperous Stanley family in Ohio and accidentally slips on a patch of ice, injuring his hip.
While he recuperates, he moves in with the family, bringing his secretary, Maggie Cutler (Jeanine Martin), and a raft of his buddies, including the Noel Coward-like Beverly Carlton (Daniel Laufenberg) and the madcap, Harpo Marx-like Banjo (Juan Triana)
Whiteside runs up the telephone bill, alienates the Stanley kids (Lillie Marwood, Alex Garcia) from their parents (Karen Doxey, Michael Jeffrey) and turns the household upside-down when he wants to broadcast his show from the Stanleys' living room.
Whiteside's secretary has fallen in love with a local newsman, Bert Jefferson (W. Paul Wade), so Whiteside calls in the glamorous actor Lorraine Sheldon (Linda Clapsis) to break up the romance.
The situation grows hilarious when Mr. Stanley's sister Harriet (Mollie Lutz) shows up, and Whiteside say she's a murderer.