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A university professor leaves his job to become a theater critic, creating problems with his family and friends.

University drama professor Laurence Mackay and his wife Kate Mackay prefer the quiet of home life - however quiet theirs can be living in a New York City apartment with four rambunctious adolescent and/or infant sons and a sheepdog - than the high life often associated with the New York theater. That is why they plan to move to the country whenever they can find a suitable house. Their lives have the potential to change when Larry becomes a theater critic for one of the big New York City newspapers, meaning that he, along with his six colleagues at the other big New York papers, control what stays and what goes on Broadway by their critiques. Things do not start off well for Larry in this new job when the first play he is to review is that of his and Kate's best friend, Alfred North, who is the godfather to their children. Larry, who had always been seen as a fair man, hates the play, and gives it a bad review. Kate begins to believe that Larry is changing because of his new job, seeming now to enjoy the socialite parties he used to abhor, and almost wanting to be able to write a bad review as they contain more quotable witticisms than good reviews and wield more power in terms of fear from producers. He also seems no longer to want to move to the country. They are, out of circumstances, forced to move regardless. In their run down country home in Hooton, New York, Kate tries to carve out a new life for their family. But her participation in a local charity theater production for which she asks Alfred for a new play to mount threatens not only the Mackay's friendship with Alfred, but the Mackay's marriage altogether.


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