Constructed as a series of vignettes, skits and brief incidents, the play portrays the life and attitude of one Tommy Flowers—irrepressible cut-up, determined freeloader and disenchanted rebel against society. In the course of his adventures he befriends a destitute old actor, acquires an oversized sheep dog (his best friend) and finds love with a beautiful music student (whom he meets in the ladies' room at Bloomingdale's). But as Tommy moves from scene to scene, his bright red shopping bag at the ready for pilfering and his agile wit poised to hoodwink everyone in sight, we also glimpse the root causes of his alienation—his ailing, complaining mother back home; an unhappily married brother; a former girlfriend who has settled for a suffocating domesticity; and a venturing forth that has brought more rejection than acceptance. In the end, betrayed yet again, but still buoyantly defiant, Tommy devises his final rip-off—a bomb to blow him, and at least some small portion of a world he cannot accept, into oblivion.
An Off-Broadway success, selected by Time magazine as one of the ten best plays of the year, this biting, hilarious, touching and totally original work captures the essence of the "now generation," from flower children to violent revolutionaries. "…a boisterously funny, rueful, sentimental, raunchy and outrageous work…It is also consistently entertaining." —NY Daily News. "…clever and very funny…Mr. McNally is a nimble writer for the stage, with a God-given knack for telling scenes and sharp, immediate characterizations…" —The New Yorker. "He seems to have his finger on the pulse of the below thirty generation." —Variety.