Dinner with Friends

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Dinner with Friends
Written by Donald Margulies
Characters Karen and Gabe
Tom and Beth
Date premiered 1998
Place premiered Humana Festival of New American Plays
Original language English
Setting Connecticut
IOBDB profile

Dinner with Friends is a play written by Donald Margulies. It premiered at the 1998 Humana Festival of New American Plays and opened Off-Broadway in New York on November 4, 1999.[1] The play received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.[2]

Plot summary[edit]

Gabe and Karen, a happily married middle-aged couple, have been friends with Tom and Beth, another married couple, for many years. In fact, it was Gabe and Karen who fixed up their friends in the first place. While having dinner at Gabe and Karen's home, Beth tearfully reveals that she is getting a divorce from Tom, who has been unfaithful.[3]

Tom, who had been away on business, finds out that Beth has told their friends about the looming divorce, and hastens to Gabe and Karen's home. Tom and Beth had planned to tell their friends about their breakup together, but Tom now believes that Beth has unfairly presented herself as the wronged party, and feels he must present his own side of the story.

Over the course of the play, we see both couples at different ages and stages of their lives, and we witness the effects of Tom and Beth's breakup on Gabe and Karen, who first feel compelled to choose sides, and then begin to question the strength of their own seemingly tranquil marriage. They also begin to see the real meaning behind their friendships with Tom and Beth.

Original Off-Broadway cast[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
  • 2000 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play
  • 2000 Dramatists Guild/Hull-Warriner Award
  • 2000 Outer Critics Circle Award
  • 2000 Drama Desk Award nomination
  • 2000 American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award

Film adaptation[edit]

The play was adapted into a 2001 TV movie starring Dennis Quaid as Gabe, Andie MacDowell as Karen, Greg Kinnear as Tom, and Toni Collette as Beth. It was nominated for two Emmys, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie.[4]


External links[edit]