Jimmie, a salesman who loved his work, is thrown for a loop when his job is "extirpated" and seeks solace in bourbon. Jimmie, who is full of self-deluding swagger about his sense of dedication, and is, perhaps, not too bright, is grateful when his friend Curly offers him a job working for his father, Vinnie—even though his prospective employer turns out to be a loan-sharking mobster. Put to work collecting debts and performing other unsavory tasks, Jimmie, eager as ever to satisfy his boss, is eventually jailed on a murder rap, but bargains his way to freedom by agreeing (secretly) to inform on his associates. But as Jimmie moves up in the mob hierarchy, the more his anguish and longing for respectability increase, exacerbated by the defection of his friend Curly (who falls into disfavor with his father and takes a lowly job in a diner); the guilt he feels at murdering a derelict (a former friend who happened to owe money to Vinnie); and the disaffection of his daughter, Wanda (who loves to fish, but is always hooking on to painful and embarrassing truths). Almost surreal in concept and execution, the play treats these sometimes chilling incidents in heightened, cartoonish style, with characters being stabbed or thrown from rooftops only to reappear later, and with Vinnie's henchmen synchronized in dress and gesture. But, in the end, the message of the play emerges with startling clarity; true morality, as opposed to the abstract notions droned from pulpits, is something which should infuse our lives on a daily basis, and within the confines of individual choice and responsibility.
An unique and truly original work which treats time and place in a brilliantly theatrical manner in order to point up some very simple and sobering, truths. First presented by the Los Angeles Theater Center, with Carol Kane, Tom Waits and Bud Cort featured in the cast. "…the play sneaks around from behind and becomes startling in its oblique power." —Variety. "Babe is good at wrapping his medium around his message, creating a real entertainment whose layers must be peeled if one is to find its heart." —LA Times.