Set in a seedy hotel of a black neighborhood in a Midwestern city, the play introduces a series of finely drawn representative characters: a pimp who sends his girl out on the street to earn money for his drugs; the light-skinned dancer whose husband, now in jail, once owned the hotel and ran the rackets which prey on them all; the cynical go-getter who has taken over the hotel; a black cop who has learned to see only what he wants to see; a shuffling cleanup man who drowns his disappointments in booze; and an imperious older woman who demands she be treated like a lady despite her frayed finery. It is the interaction of their lives, in the hotel and on the "Square" outside, that forms the moving and revealing core of the play—a core which is suddenly beset with tension and unnamed fear when Blood, the former racket boss, returns unexpectedly. Humor and poignancy are blended as the action quickens and the various characters reveal the truth about themselves, coming, in the powerful ending, to the greater truth they all must now comprehend: the need to stop destroying themselves and to destroy, instead, the terrible environment which, through their acceptance, has kept them all in thrall.
A powerful allegory of black life in modern America, produced to critical and popular acclaim by New York's prestigious American Place Theatre. "He is a playwright happily obsessed with meanings and metaphors." —NY Times. "…filled with the imagery, language and ideas of a writer going full blast." —NY Post. "Phillip Hayes Dean is an impassioned writer who creates with a touch of the poet." —The Hollywood Reporter.