THE STORY: As George Oppenheimer comments: "Miss Mercier has taken the theme of lack of communication and understanding between the generations, but this time she has brought freshness and a natural comic flair to her story. Her scene is a home in a small town on Long Island. In it live a schoolteacher, her sixteen-year-old son of a broken marriage and her brother who, at the outset, seems an ignorant and ordinary man with only his affection for the boy to redeem him. John, the son, is typical of today's disturbed youth—restless, rebellious, sensitive, something of a kook. His mother and uncle are fearful that he will become a replica of his father, an unsuccessful painter. When John wants to drop out of school and become a poet, their fears are more than ever confirmed. Yet it is the seemingly insensitive uncle rather than the intelligent mother who recognizes that there is a spark in the boy and who encourages him." And it is from this deepening chord of understanding with his uncle that the boy draws not only the strength to break away but the determination not to misuse his opportunity—and, ultimately, the maturity to accept the sudden, tragic twist of fate which, in the final moments of the play, destroys the dreams his newfound hopes have generated.
A touching, humorous and dramatically vivid study of a sensitive youth in rebellion against his life and times which, in its Broadway production, introduced an exciting new writing talent to the American stage. "…it has honesty, humor and infinite compassion, rare commodities in our theatre today." —NY Newsday. "…possibly the most honest and unpretentious dramatization of the conflict between young and old Broadway will see this season." —Village Voice. "…an absorbing play about recognizable characters in an authentic situation…it has humor, pathos and compulsion." —Variety.