When aspiring novelist Wanda seeks the advice of successful writer Brutus, she gets more than she bargained for. Of the manuscript she sent him, he tells her, "It was wretched, it was ignominious. It takes seventeen trees to make one ton of paper. You might think about that the next time you consider writing." None of this prevents Wanda and Brutus from moving in together and commencing a sadomasochistic relationship. But when a dispute over the apartment arises, Wanda's ex-boyfriend, pistol-toting cowboy Frank, sledgehammers the door and enters with his sidekick, a British bartender named Watson, at which point the story takes a surprising allegorical turn. "Call me Israel!" Wanda says, and it suddenly becomes clear that Frank and Watson bear a notable resemblance to two fellahs on the international scene named Bush and Blair, while Wanda and Brutus' territorial hostilities are not dissimilar to a certain notorious conflict in the Middle East. Can Frank and Watson resolve this crisis? Have they any business doing so? Will it all come down to a game of poker? Cowboy Frank seems to think he has the answer: "Be like me. Do like I do. And it works."
"…one of the liveliest, boldest and—against the odds—funniest studies ever of a subject that even hard-core satirists tend to approach on tiptoe." —NY Times. "…Shanley has brought rough political theater urgently back to a town that produces so many dead revivals it would test the patience of a necrologist…that he can have us both laughing and horrified at the world says a lot…" —NY Observer. "…mischievously funny and fiercely serious…" —NY Newsday.