Luv (play)

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Luv is a play by Murray Schisgal.

A mix of absurdist humor and traditional Broadway comedy more in the Neil Simon vein, Luv concerns two college friends - misfit Harry and materialistic Milt - who are reunited when the latter stops the former from jumping off a bridge, the play's setting. Each discovers the other is equally miserable as they share hard-luck stories. Milt sees in Harry an answer to his primary problem - his wife Ellen, who he tries to foist on his old pal so he can run off with his mistress.

After twenty-eight previews, the Broadway production, directed by Mike Nichols, opened on November 11, 1964 at the Booth Theatre. It transferred to the Broadhurst and then the now-demolished Helen Hayes before completing its run of 901 performances. It won the Tony Award for Best Director, Best Producer (Claire Nichtern) and Best Scenic Design (Oliver Smith).

Alan Arkin, Eli Wallach, and Anne Jackson comprised the original cast. Barbara Bel Geddes, Larry Blyden, Gene Wilder, and Gabriel Dell were among the replacement performers later in the run.

The 1967 film version, directed by Clive Donner and starring Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk, and Elaine May, added various locations and extraneous characters. Reviews criticized Donner's heavy-handed approach to the material and the miscasting of the three leads, and it proved to be a commercial failure. Harrison Ford has an uncredited role as a hippie.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Tony Award for Best Play (nominee)
  • Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Scenic Design (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Producer of a Play (winner)
  • Tony Award for Best Author of a Play (nominee)