First Lady


May 5, 1938


Majestic Theatre


“First Lady” centers on a feud between two Washington hostesses, who show no quarter in their struggle for the position of First Lady. Irene Hibbard, wife of a Supreme Court Justice, incurs the undying hatred of Lucy Chase Wayne, wife of the Secretary of State, when she stole Lucy’s cook. For revenge Lucy lets a false rumor circulate that the party is considering Hibbard for the Presidency in order to discourage Irene’s interest in a young Senator. Irene immediately returns to the family hearth to “stick with her husband in his hour of need.” But the rumor gets out of Lucy’s control and threatens to become reality. Realizing that she would be responsible for thwarting her own husband’s ambitions, Lucy tries to repair the damage. The battle between the ladies rages on at social fnctions and in congressional lobbies. When all seems lost, Lucy gets a brilliant inspiration and with the help of the foreign office learns that a former marriage of Irene’s is still in effect, the foreign-obtained divorce is not recognized in this country. Using this, she forces Irene to retire from the field.

Authors: Katherine Dayton and George S. Kaufman

Historian’s Corner

“First Lady” was the counterbalance to “Peg O’ My Heart. The rights had just recently been released for amateur production.