Charlie Evans, a pool shark down on his luck in the bedroom as well as in the pool hall, has two days to pay off a $3,000 debt, or have his legs broken by Bulldog, a psychotic debt collector who also happens to be having an affair with Charlie’s wife, Helen. In his desperation to recover both the money and his self-esteem, Charlie gets involved in a series of hustles, pushing the tension to a breathtaking climax.
The complicated narrative of the play allows French to build a convincing case for Charlie’s humanity—how his actions, devious, frantic and perplexed as they are, spring directly from his need to survive his pathetic circumstance and to maintain his dignity as a survivor. Tired, suspicious, despairing, knowing that the game is no good for him and yet knowing no other game, Charlie plunges into a situation which may mean disaster or salvation, because in Charlie’s world of cliché and stereotype, everything comes down to betting on the right thing at the right time.
Cast of two women and eight men.