THE STORY: The place is an affluent suburb in a mid-sized American city, the time, the “possible future,” when the national economy has slid from recession into depression and even worse. The action of the play follows the plight of some representative families as they face conditions never before imagined: job loss, businesses collapsing, the country club besieged by squatters, and their friends and neighbors turning into hoarders, cadgers and thieves. Their attempts to survive while all is tumbling down are sometimes hilarious and sometimes genuinely moving as they turn curtains into clothes, dream up new ways to make zucchini appetizing, and fight over jobs they would have spurned in better days. But while told in broad, comic strokes, their story is also a moral tale, for while the times are out of joint, the resourcefulness and resiliency of the people remain strong—and, with this, the conviction that if the spirit is undaunted, renewal and recovery are sure to come in time.
A funny, perceptive and often scathing satire on the collapse of our consumer economy, first presented with great success by the Hartford Stage Company. Written in an allegorical, tongue-in-cheek style, the play draws rich humor from the plight of recession’s victims—but also comes disquietingly close to the chilling truth in doing so. “…laughter was freely mixed with moans of recognition.” —NY Times.