Holiday (play)

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Written by Philip Barry
Date premiered November 26, 1928
Place premiered Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre
New York City, New York
Original language English
Genre Comedy
Setting Edward Seton's home in New York City

Holiday is a 1928 play by Philip Barry which was twice adapted to film. The original play opened in New York on November 26, 1928 at the Plymouth Theatre (now known as the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre) and closed in June 1929, after 229 performances. It was directed by Arthur Hopkins, set design by Robert Edmond Jones, and costume design by Margaret Pemberton. It was included in Burns Mantle's The Best Plays of 1928-1929.


The story follows Johnny Case, a corporate lawyer on Wall Street. He has abundant financial prospects but little social background. Before the start of the play, Julia, the eldest daughter of the Seton family, has met Johnny at Lake Placid. During the ten-day trip, they have fallen in love and are to be married. But there is one person who does not want the marriage this quickly: Julia's father, Edward, who questions Johnny's life's goal "to retire early and work late."

After Johnny makes $25,000, he plans to go away and enjoy life while he is still physically capable. The stock market being what it is in 1928, stocks keep climbing and climbing. Johnny achieves his goal and announces his plans even as Julia's father is announcing the engagement. Julia is upset at his decision; she wants a proper house in town and a place in the country. Now the woman Johnny met and fell in love with at Lake Placid is gone; she is just as materialistic as her father.[1]


  • Ben Smith as Johnny Case
  • Dorothy Tree as Julia Seton
  • Monroe Owsley as Ned Seton
  • Walter Walker as Edward Seton
  • Hope Williams as Linda Seton
  • Thaddeus Clancy as Seton Cram
  • Rosalie Norman as Laura Cram
  • Barbara White as Susan Potter
  • Donald Ogden Stewart as Nick Potter
  • Cameron Clemens as Henry
  • Beatrice Ames as Delia
  • J. Ascher Smith as Charles

Katharine Hepburn was the understudy to Williams.

Other productions[edit]

The revival went up on December 3, 1995 at the Circle in the Square Theatre and closed on January 14, 1996 after 50 performances. It was directed by David Warren, sets by Derek McLane, costumes by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by Donald Holder, sound and score by John Gromada, and style/movement by Loyd Williamson. The cast featured Tony Goldwyn as Johnny Case, Laura Linney as Linda Seton, Kim Raver as Julia Seton, Jim Oyster as Henry, Reese Madigan as Charles, Reg Rogers as Ned Seton, Tom Lacy as Edward Seton, Rod McLachlan as Seton Cram, Becca Lish as Laura Cram, Michael Countryman as Nick Potter, and Anne Lange as Susan Potter.[1]

Film adaptations[edit]

The play was adapted for film twice: The first filmed Holiday was released in 1930. Directed by Edward H. Griffith, it starred Ann Harding, Mary Astor, Edward Everett Horton, Robert Ames and Hedda Hopper. Holiday was filmed again in 1938. Directed by George Cukor, this version starred Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, and Edward Everett Horton, who reprised his role from the 1930 film.