Benjamin Schwartz was born with "a slight pigmentation abnormality" —i.e., he is purple from the neck up. This naturally leads to problems with the other kids, who call him a "retarded grape," after which fights ensue—invariably won by Ben. In fact he becomes so good at using his fists that his mother's dream of his becoming a lawyer is soon side-tracked by a career in the ring, and an eventual shot at the title. But the progression of his pugilistic successes is also an opportunity for the author to poke hilarious good fun at some abiding cliches of our times, as Kid Purple becomes the great "off-white" hope. His mother may have died of a broken heart when she heard of his first fight, but his sister (now the lawyer in the family) steps in to learn how to smoke cigars and manage his career, and a resourceful black trainer, Willie Hogan, teaches him all the dirty tricks he needs to know to make it to the top. Which he does, culminating in a hard-won victory over Sweet Eddie Kareem, the reigning champ, and some valuable lessons in life for a basically sweet-natured kid from Great Neck who, in the final essence, is only searching for acceptance and happiness in a non-purple world.
A truly original and brightly funny comedy which uses a heightened "comic strip" style to make its hilariously devastating comments about some popular prejudices of our times. Produced Off-Broadway by New York's noted Manhattan Punch Line Theatre. "…the Manhattan Punch Line Theatre's first production of the season. Good choice." —NY Times. "…it is the universal story of every offbeat kid who did not fit the family or community mold and went out and made a world for himself." —Variety.