The play begins in the grubby Los Angeles apartment of Wilson, an aging landlord who was once involved in the motion picture industry but is now considering torching his decrepit building for the insurance money. Wilson, a closet homosexual who is haunted by echos of his young wife's voice, takes in Weldon, the drifter son of a friend from his studio days who has arrived in town broke and jobless. Also on hand are Marliss, a young prostitute, strung out on drugs, who has abandoned her son to head west with Weldon; a hard-bitten hustler named Drew, who once collected rents for Wilson and who now pushes his wife aside to take up with Marliss; and a transvestite, Penny, who lives with a greasy auto mechanic, Bill. Told in a series of elliptical, but interrelated scenes, involving two or three of the characters in various combinations, the action of the play has a cumulative effect as it probes into their self-destructive lives and attitudes, and follows their irreversible descent into the pit of hopelessness and numbing futility.
A disturbing revealing and totally absorbing study of the "underside" of glamorous Los Angles. "Steppling's vision is his own, and his dramaturgy has been honed and etched to precise conventions that draw us in and hold us fascinated." —LA Herald-Examiner. "…contains the kind of insight and personal vision of which true theatre is made, and his singular, inimitable approach may well be one of the paths future playwrights might follow. He is an original." —Drama-Logue. "There is something compelling about his work that keeps you staring, voyeur-like, as his characters sink deeper and deeper into the urban slime." —San Francisco Chronicle.