2/26/2014 4:32 PM
I saw this produced off-broadway in 1961 as part of a 2 play evening of theatre. The other play was not memorable, but The Bible Salesman stuck with me.
It was both poignant and funny. The title character is a young black man from the South who misunderstands an ad. He thinks he has a job selling bibles in New York, when, in fact, it is an ad that has to do with ordering bibles to sell in your community.
The manager of the business sees an opportunity to exploit this young man, so pretends to interview him for the job. My review title refers to the young man's answer when the manager asks him if he is, or ever has been, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party. (This was the time of the McCarthy hearings) The young man thinks for a moment and replies: "No Sir! I's a Baptist...sink or swim." There is a lot in this play that is stll relevant to audiences today.