On the occasion of Freddy's funeral and, at his behest, six of his friends gather at the home of Hank and Kate in Kansas City, where five of them grew up. Hank and Kate were childhood sweethearts whose apparently idyllic relationship has proceeded uninterrupted through the years. Andy and Nessa were childhood sweethearts also, but are now divorced and living in New York. He's a successful advertising executive; she's the author of a bestselling roman â clef based on her friends' lives. Paul is the new Undersecretary for Eastern Affairs in Washington, and his wife, Alice, the only one who has not known the others since grammar school is a housewife obsessed with the many infidelities she imagines Paul has committed. Hovering over them all is the spirit of Freddy, the only admitted homosexual in the group. As the liquor flows and memories (and recriminations) become more telling, Hank, in an emotional outburst, admits that he had been having an affair with Freddy for years prior to his death. Kate is overwhelmed by this revelation, the friends take sides and, as the night winds down into morning, facades are stripped away as no-holds-barred truth-telling replaces the party atmosphere with which the evening began. In the end Hank and Kate agree to strive for a more honest relationship, and the others, each in his or her own way affected by the absent Freddy, resolve to use the legacy of directness and honesty which he left them to set their own lives on firmer paths.
Produced with great success by the South Coast Repertory Company in Los Angeles (where it won the Foundation for the Dramatists Guild/CBS Award), and then presented Off-Broadway, this arresting play (which draws comparisons with The Big Chill) moves from high comedy to explosive drama as it examines the jarring yet sometimes hilarious revelations which come out when five childhood friends are reunited for the funeral of a sixth. "GOODBYE FREDDY ranks with the best modern-day American plays and Elizabeth Diggs joins the ranks (along with Marsha Norman and Beth Henley) as the leading women playwrights of today" —Drama-Logue. "…the playwright has a keen ear for dialogue and a watchful eye for those offhanded moments when characters accidentally reveal themselves" —NY Times. "Her well-observed characters are likeable, interesting people with witty tongues in their heads, and their emotional scuffles over issues of love and friendship have real value." —NY Post.