The Wrong Way Light Bulb

The Wrong Way Light Bulb $13

Leonard Spigelgass

Published by Dramatists Play Service

7 Male 4 Female

"The action takes place in an apartment house in Brooklyn, well designed by Donald Oenslager, that is practically a slum

Harold Axman, the protagonist, is a young liberal of infinite good will who has inherited the apartment after the death of his grandfather

His tenants are a varied lot - a black woman and her militant son, a sexy Puerto Rican girl who shortly is sharing her landlord's bed, a gently humorous Jewish woman (not another Jewish mother, praise be) who knew him as a boy and uses this knowledge to get favors, a family of strict orthodox Jews - and at first they are filled with distrust of their new landlord

Little by little they begin to cotton to him, all except the black militant, filled with hatred of all whites, especially Jews

When the latter is arrested after the Jewish woman has been assaulted and robbed, a riot breaks out in the neighborhood, a Turkish bath which has been left to Axman burns down and people are wounded and killed

The militant, released from arrest, is triumphant at one more incident to call attention to his cause

Axman is beaten, eager to retreat from the scene of what he believes is his failure and to find a place free of hatred and strife

Mr Spigelgass sensibly makes him realize that there is no such place in our world today, but he tempers his message with "hope" ~ George Oppenheimer

The Broadway production of this provocative play was critically hailed for the honesty - and humor - with which it told its timely story of a young white liberal who unexpectedly finds himself a landlord in a racially mixed Brooklyn neighborhood

" a thoughtful play and a serious one with a generous amount of humor that comes naturally out of the characters" ~ Newsday

" a provocative, interesting and even compelling play " ~ Variety

" a very honest play, largely humorous on the surface but desperately serious at the core" ~ NY Post

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