TINY TIM IS DEAD
by Barbara Lebow
by Barbara Lebow
Published by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
3M, 2W, 1Boy
December 24th and 25th, amidst cardboard shelters and trash-can hearths, Otis Pope, a
sardonic army veteran, decides who is allowed to stay in the enclave, and who must go. Currently part of this "family" are Verna, a disoriented frequently pregnant, sometimes gritty, other times child-like woman; her nameless and mute eight-year-old son called Boy; Charlie, a down-on-his-luck unemployed blue collar worker; Azalee Hodge, an outspoken woman trying to climb back up and Filomeno Cordero, a recent immigrant from Central America, who finds the group on Christmas eve.
Discovering a worn-out copy of Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the group responds to Verna's pleas to re-enact the old story as a gift for her son. She can't wait to be Tiny Tim. The others cast Pope in the Scrooge role, though he resists playing along. In a revisionist inspiration, Pope becomes MC of the "Tiny Tim Telethon." Filo, unfamiliar with the story, assumes a reggae interpretation of the wrong Marley's ghost.
Antagonisms, opinions, addictions and moments of violence overtake them all. The tale is never completed and the makeshift family is broken up. One by one, willingly or not, the characters depart, leaving Boy alone, with no promises for the future.
“...a bittersweet fantasy that manages to convey a message as potent as (the) play is absorbing.”
—Philadelphia Daily News.
“Its edges are sharp as a madman’s tongue.”
"...a dramatic reminder of the woes, and occasional wonders, of modern life in America."
—Burlington County Times.
"TINY TIM IS DEAD takes the audience on a heart-warming and heart-wrenching journey
into the world of a group of urban street people."