The setting is an austere waiting room in a New York hospital, where Lillian Hellman awaits the death of her longtime companion, Dashiell Hammett. As she maintains her vigil, Miss Hellman's mind is flooded with memories: her exciting but tempestuous years with Hammett; her girlhood in New Orleans and New York; reminiscences of her beloved parents; and her days of success and failure as an artist and a public figure committed to liberal causes (some of which brought her into sharp conflict with the powers-that-be). With occasional pauses to peer into the adjoining (offstage) sick room, she recalls the people and incidents that shaped her life—glittering figures from the worlds of Hollywood and the New York theatre, literary giants who were both friends and foes, and dearly loved personal associates like her black nanny, Sophronia, who perhaps more than any other, helped her to gain her burning social consciousness. In the end the play is both a tour de force for an accomplished actress, and also a vital, fascinating, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always compelling portrait of a remarkable woman—and artist—whose contributions both to the theatre and the conscience of our nation will never be forgotten.
Based on the autobiographical writings of Lillian Hellman. A sensitive, revealing portrait of one of our theatre's immortals, which captures both the feisty, combative public persona and the compassionate, humorous woman known only to those of closer acquaintance. "…powerful and satisfying characterization…" —Variety. "…it works absorbingly as ribald, poignant entertainment." —Time Magazine. "Her words remain a stirring expression of bravery and integrity during a time of witch hunts." —NY Times. "An evening of stunning, absorbing theater." —Newhouse Newspapers.