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Broadway Playbill with June Allyson
|Written by||Jay Allen|
|Date premiered||December 26, 1968|
|Place premiered||Morosco Theatre
New York City
Forty Carats is a play by Jay Allen. Adapted from the French original by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy, the comedy revolves around a 40-year-old American divorcee who is assisted by a 22-year-old when her car breaks down during a vacation in Greece. Their ensuing romantic interlude changes from a brief encounter to a potentially serious relationship when he turns up on her New York City doorstep to take her 17-year-old daughter on a date. Finding the attraction between them still irresistibly strong, she must overcome her resistance to a May–December romance while contending with her mother, ex-husband, and a real estate client who would like to discuss more than business.
After two previews, the Broadway production, directed by Abe Burrows, opened on December 26, 1968, at the Morosco Theatre, where it ran for 780 performances. The opening-night cast included Julie Harris, Franklin Cover, Glenda Farrell, Murray Hamilton, Nancy Marchand, and Michael Nouri. June Allyson, Joan Fontaine, and Zsa Zsa Gabor succeeded Harris, who won the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, in the lead role.
Over the years, the play has become a popular vehicle for leading ladies of "a certain age".