THE STORY: As outlined in Variety: “THE GNADIGES FRAULEIN (translatable as 'The Gracious Lady') is the justification of the word 'Slapstick’ in the overall title. It’s a far-out tragic-comedy in the genre of the Theatre of the Absurd, with a touch of the Theatre of Cruelty. It’s quite funny at times, though basically and finally sad. The scene is a rickety bunkhouse, for 'permanent transients’ in a place called Cocaloony Key, obviously off the southern tip of Florida. The characters include a kooky society gossip columnist, the frowsy crone who runs the place, a demented former Viennese vaudevillian, a Cocaloony bird (evidently a local name for a pelican) and a tomahawk-brandishing, war-whooping, blond-wigged Indian.” The interplay of these characters, antic in both appearance and behavior, forms the heart and meaning of the play. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, it becomes both fascinating and deeply affecting as the underlying humanity of each “grotesque” is made real through what they are, and do, and what happens to them.
Presented on Broadway, with The Mutilated, as part of a double bill with the overall title of Slapstick Tragedy. A bizarre and brilliantly imaginative excursion into the Theatre of the Absurd, which brings humor and arresting theatricality to the author’s singular understanding of those who have been rejected and isolated by society. “Tennessee Williams in an antic mood.” —NY Daily News. “…he can write so well, so humorously and compellingly and can create characters of deep dimension.” —NY Journal-American.