In the conference room of a four-power zone in Germany, four Colo-nels, representing their respective countries, The United States, England, France, and Russia, are apparently getting nowhere with their negotiations except deeper into a mess of red tape. A man—called the Wicked Fairy—drops in on them and invites them to accompany him to a nearby castle, which they do. Soon joined by the Good Fairy, at the castle they discover The Sleeping Beauty. Each of the Colonels sees her as his own particular ideal—the Frenchman as an eighteenth-century lass of the boulevards, the Russian as a flaxed-haired figure out of Chekhov, the Englishman as something virginally Elizabethan, and the American as a moll in an all-night dive. The Colonels each get a chance to waken and claim her, but they all fail, surrendering the illusion that they had long cherished. The American and the Frenchman, however, decide to stay at the castle for the next hundred years and take another chance at making their dreams come true.
Received the Critic's Circle Award as the best foreign play of the season. "…intellectual charade…" —NY Times. "A wonderfully diverting fun fest! Constantly amusing and rewarding." —The Mirror.