George Hay’s run-down acting troupe performs Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives in a Buffalo rep theatre, when George gets a call from famous Hollywood director Frank Capra. Capra says he intends to attend one of the troupe’s shows, because he’s interested in casting George and his wife Charlotte in a film.
Meanwhile, Charlotte learns that George has slept with the troupe’s ingénue Eileen, who is now pregnant with his baby. Infuriated, Charlotte refuses to believe the news about Capra, threatens to run away with their attorney Richard, and storms out of the theatre. A frustrated George drinks to cope.
But when Charlotte reads about Capra’s latest film in the newspaper, she realizes George told the truth. She returns to the theatre but can’t find George. She asks her visiting daughter Roz to help her call all the bars in town, but to no avail.
Roz has brought her new fiancé with her, a weatherman named Howard. But deaf grandmother Ethel misunderstands, and introduces him to Charlotte as Frank Capra. Charlotte immediately begins to flatter and pamper the confused Howard.
A drunken George returns to the theatre, where he runs into Howard. George assumes the stranger is Eileen’s brother, here to take revenge on her seducer, so he hog-ties Howard and locks him in a closet. Charlotte and Roz find George and hurriedly prep him to perform Private Lives, insisting Capra has come to see the show. George costumes himself for Cyrano instead, and bumbles onstage spouting lines from the wrong show. As the performance crashes to an end, the captive Howard breaks out of his closet and hops into the spotlight, crying for help. George tumbles into the orchestra pit, a feat that lands him in the hospital.
Later, a sober George apologizes to Howard, who reveals that he’s just run into an old flame, who turns out to be George’s former lover Eileen. Howard says he and Eileen have decided to marry and have kids immediately. Troupe member Paul proposes to his long-time crush, the newly-single Roz, who accepts. Charlotte forgives George, and rejects their lawyer Richard. Finally, the real Frank Capra calls to say he’ll attend the evening show, giving George and Charlotte one more chance to make it big in Hollywood.
George Hay: A traveling actor who manages his own troupe. Middle-aged, overdramatic, craves fame. Considers himself a ladies’ man. Married to Charlotte.
Charlotte Hay: A traveling actor who helps run the acting troupe. Middle-aged, a “drama queen” onstage and off, dreams of Hollywood stardom. Plays all the leads, even the ones she’s too old for. Married to George.
Ethel: A character actor in the troupe. Elderly, hard of hearing. Charlotte’s mother. Dislikes George.
Rosalind Hay (“Roz”): Formerly a troupe actor, but left to start a “real” career. Sensible and straightforward. Rebels against parents George and Charlotte. Engaged to Howard, a weatherman.
Howard: A weatherman. Excitable, enthusiastic, considers himself an actor due to his job. Engaged to Rosalind.
Eileen: An aspiring ingénue in the troupe. Having an affair with George. Ambitious and ruthless.
Paul: An actor and stage manager in the troupe. Devoted to his job and his employers. Still pines for his ex, Rosalind.
Richard: The troupe’s attorney. Wealthy and entitled. In love with Charlotte, constantly urges her to leave her husband.