Floundering a bit after the death of his aged (and domineering) mother, Manley Carstairs, a self-styled literary artist, engages a housekeeper, Annie Dankworth, to look after his large Victorian house (and himself). When Annie first arrives, wearing sneakers and carrying her belongings in a grocery cart, Manley is taken aback, but she seems so eager to please that he relents—after which their relationship progresses rapidly from initial reserve to active hatred. Annie is one of the world’s great oddballs. She insults her employer, denigrates his writing, admits she forged her references, accuses Manley of lusting after her and, in general, makes his life a hell. Eventually Manley can take no more, but when he advances on Annie with strangulation in mind, he trips, falls into her arms, they embrace, and the rest is history. Conveyed in a series of fast-paced, juxtaposed scenes—some in the present, some in the past—the play covers all these unlikely events with lively wit and biting humor, becoming funnier and funnier as it builds toward its unexpected and thoroughly delightful conclusion.
This offbeat, delightfully zany comedy deals with the unlikely involvement which develops between a middle-aged, rather stuffy bachelor and the eccentric bag lady he hires as a housekeeper. “A hilarious comedy of amorous faux pas. A comic valentine.” —Rocky Mountain News. “One of the best new comedies to come around in a long time.” —Westmore News. “The opening night audience was convulsed with laughter.” —Barnstable Patriot.