The Show-Off by George Kelly was named the 1924 Pulitzer Prize for Drama by the duly appointed jury. But it didn’t win the prize. Columbia University higher-ups vetoed the jury’s decision and named Columbia product Hell-Bent Fer Heaven the winner.

One hundred years after this political swerve and inside deal, Falconbridge Players brings this play named “The best comedy which has yet been written by an American” (by New York Tribune theater critic Heywood Broun) to Madison.

Confident loudmouth Aubrey Piper (the “Show-Off” of the title) blusters and brays his way into the low-key and respectable Fisher family via marriage. He spends a modest salary like a plutocrat while blithely singing the praises of socialism. All hat and no cattle, they would say if this wasn’t North Philadelphia. He is a classic Show-Off, and this is his story. Over the past century Aubrey Piper has been portrayed by top-shelf comedic actors over the years including Red Skelton, Spencer Tracy, Orson Bean, and Lee Tracy.

A Falconbridge reading, coming February 27, 7 PM to Arts + Literature Laboratory, 111 S. Livingston St. in Madison.

A still from the 1926 silent film production of The Show-Off