Popkins $13

Murray Schisgal

Published by Dramatists Play Service

4 Male 2 Female

As the play begins Chuck Popkin, an underpaid assistant editor, is greeted by his wife, Claudia, with the unsettling news that she is leaving him, not for another man but for another woman: Eleanor Lipton in the public relations department

Shortly thereafter his boss, Mr. Barnaby, tells him that his services are no longer required, although he does offer one slim ray of hope if the meek Chuck is man enough to take the risk involved

As it happens, a certain cold-blooded criminal known as "The Cobra," now serving time in the State Prison, is also an exceptional (if primitive) writer, but he refuses to talk with agents or publishers about his work

Chuck's assignment is to get himself put in jail, befriend "The Cobra," and persuade him to let Barnaby's firm publish his book.To everyone's surprise the plan not only works but does so with such success - thanks to Chuck's romantic involve- ment with "The Cobra"- that Chuck ends up taking over the company

Meanwhile Claudia's liaison with Eleanor is not working out quite as happily as expected, so she leaves her to move in with two Costa Rican house painters and then to decamp with Stanley Hitzig, a free spirit who dresses like a Viking and who sets Claudia up in the real estate business in California

When Chuck and Claudia eventually get together again they are, to put it mildly, changed people, but, as the play ends, they decide to give it another go-this time, no doubt, to replace their former mistakes with even more antically outrageous new ones

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