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After a successful run in a Broadway production of Cyrano de Bergerac , actor John Sheridan looks forward to an extended fishing vacation in Maine. Before leaving the theater, John informs playwright Paul Taylor that he wants an unknown, youthful actress as his co-star in their next production, Strange Laughter . With the help of her friend, Nora Bartlett, waitress Kim Walker then tricks John into signing a letter of introduction to his producer, Charles Gilbert. Upon reading the letter and meeting Kim, Charles offers her the lead in Strange Laughter , but Paul sees Kim as an unproven amateur and vows to keep her out of the play. With his vacation ruined by unseasonable rain, John returns to New York, not knowing that Charles is holding a party in Kim's honor at the actor's apartment. John takes a liking to the young woman and goes along with her deception until they can leave the party. After taking her home, however, John advises the inexperienced Kim to give up acting and return to her hometown in North Dakota. Instead, Nora plants a story with the newspapers that Kim attempted suicide after being rejected by John. In order to restore his public persona, John takes Kim out the next evening, and after she sings "Danny Boy" to him, he is so impressed that he finally agrees to give her the female lead in Strange Laughter . In the meantime, Paul begins to feel responsible for Kim's suicide attempt, believing he gave her "no hope" when he rejected her for the play. Paul offers her the choice role, only to discover that she had already been given it by John. Having fallen in love with the playwright, Kim confesses all, but Paul mistakes her sincerity for more deception. Once rehearsals for the play begin, Paul is so cruel to Kim in his direction that John threatens to leave the production. Paul quits instead, and John takes over the directing chores. The day before Strange Laughter opens, Paul publicly demands that his name be removed from the play's credits. Kim then chases Paul throughout his hotel in a futile attempt to get him to attend the play's final dress rehearsal. On opening night, Nora informs John that Kim is pining for Paul, so John takes her mind off Paul by pretending to be in love with her himself. After hearing critics praise Kim's work between acts, Paul sneaks into the theater and sees the play's conclusion. Seeing him backstage, John changes the play's ending so that Kim and Paul can be reunited on stage.