After being deserted in her wheelchair while her cranky nurse goes shopping, the title character of AGNES persuades a stranger to kill her, thus releasing her from her limited and unhappy life. In BREAK, two construction workers achieve new insight into their lunch hour woes when the Virgin Mary pays them an unexpected and confused visitation. The sundry characters of EULOGY FOR MISTER HAMM wait on line to use their flop house's one available bathroom, and find they must unwillingly band together when they fear that their superintendent may be dead. The action of LUCKY NURSE takes place in a single night. Madge, a nurse who works with newborns, worries about having to put her dog to sleep because he's getting too old. Her friend Jerry leaves his shift to cruise a singles bar where he meets and seduces Sherri. Afterwards, Sherri takes a cab home and meditates on her frequent one-night-stands, but the driver upsets her and she jumps out. Finally, the cabbie ends up at the hospital to have a look at the baby he abandoned only hours ago while Madge looks on and wonders, unknowingly, how anyone could desert their child in the middle of a cold night. AGNES calls for 1 man, 2 women. BREAK calls for 2 men, 1 woman. EULOGY FOR MISTER HAMM and LUCKY NURSE call for 2 men, 2 women.
These four one-act musical plays span such seemingly incompatible subjects as White House secretarial chit-chat, construction site visitations by the Virgin Mary and flop house plumbing, are all unified by a sense of irony, irreverence and, finally, compassion for the work-a-day lives of their characters. "[Michael John LaChiusa] has a heightened hothouse style reminiscent of that in Leonard Bernstein's TROUBLE IN TAHITI, with everyone singing intensely about seemingly mundane matters." —NY Times.