The time is winter, the place a chilly summer house on Long Island, where Allen and Charlotte, after twenty spendthrift years together, are "hiding out" —burning bogus art works for heat and raiding a neighbor's back porch for food. They are joined, unexpectedly, by Terry, a nun facing a crisis of belief, and then by Martin, a failed Broadway playwright, and his new wife. Terry and Martin are brother and sister, and Charlotte, years ago, was the girl whom Martin's mother had chosen as his intended bride. But this, like so many well-meant plans, never came to pass—nor, for that matter, did most of the hopes and dreams that all had held in their promising, and much happier, youth. The house they had come together in belonged to Bess, departed mother of Martin and Terry, who appears as a "vision" now and again to evoke the past or comment on the present—and to bring into focus the funny, albeit desperate and ultimately touching, plight to which all these zany yet very human and believable people have come.
Successfully presented both on the stage (Trinity Square Repertory Company, Providence, R.I.) and on television (Public Television's "Theater in America" series), this biting, mordant comedy uses wit and laughter to delineate the plight of a group of "losers" who come together by chance in a chilly, deserted Long Island summer house. "…a stage full of characters as idiosyncratic as the Sycamores of You Can't Take it with You, and just as amiable…a blizzard of hilarity…" —Boston Herald American. "…great fun…some of the wittiest lines I've heard in a long, long time in the theater…" —Providence Journal.