A heartwarming play by John Patrick, first produced in 1950.Mrs. Ethel P. Savage has just inherited $10 million from her late husband. After her husbands death, she realizes her crazy, youthful dreams and plans to use the money to help others make do the same. Her stepkids—Lily Belle, Titus, and Samuel—commit her to The Cloisters, a sanatorium in Massachusetts, so that they can get their hands on the money. Somehow or another, Mrs. Savage manages to send them on one wild-goose chase after another from her seclusion.Along the way, she gets to know the Cloisters's residents:Hannibal: A former statistician, who believes he is an excellent violinist.Florence: A dignified woman who carries around a baby doll, believing it to be her deceased son.Fairy May: A plain girl who believes she is stunningly beautiful, and is determined to have someone say "I love you" to her at least once a day.Jeff: A handsome guy whose plane was shot down in World War II, and thinks the incident left him with a disfiguring scar.Mrs. Paddy: Was told once to shut up, and never spoke again, except to rant: "I hate lightning, skunk cabbage, custard, mustard, spiders, blisters...."Dr. Emmett: The voice of reason.Miss Willie: A nurse who stays on because she's married to Jeff, but he doesn't remember her.Even though the setting and premise look serious on paper, this play, done right, is both comedy and gentle satire. The three Savage children are contrasted against the kind inmates at the Cloisters; add Mrs. Savage to the mix, and audiences are often left wondering who the sane ones really are.
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