by John Patrick
Directed by Bob Anderson
November 1, 2 and 3, 1979
Freds Dollar Store (old location, Lafayette Street, downtown)
Featuring - Bob Anderson, Emily Chamblee, Katherine Conroy, David Cook, John Graef, Frances Heller, Jeri Mangum, Ann Martin, Kathy Poling, Inez Thomas, and Charles Thomas,
The Curious Savage, by John Patrick, is the warm-hearted tale of Mrs. Ethel Savage, a slightly eccentric, extremely wealthy widow. Being the recipient of her deceased husband’s estate, she wants to make the best use of it, despite her greedy stepchildren’s selfish attempts to get their hands on it. Mrs. Savage, however, has put her wealth into negotiable bonds in the hopes of establishing a fund to help others realize their hopes and dreams, much to the siblings’ chagrin. They then commit her to a "sanitorium" in the hopes of shocking her to her senses. There she meets a variety of social misfits, all needing exactly the kind of help Mrs. Savage can provide and who eventually appear more sane that those outside the walls of the institution.
These wonderful individuals run the gamut of characterization possibilities, and immediately endear themselves to Mrs. Savage (and to the audience as well). With the help of her new-found friends, Mrs. Savage leads her stepchildren on a merry chase which eventually brings them to the pits of humiliation and despair even as Mrs. Savage obtains her freedom.
The dominant mood is comedy with plots, plans, and hi-jinx, however the philosophy is far from laughable. The audience is left with a feeling that the neglected virtues of kindness and affection have not been entirely lost in a world that seems motivated at times only by greed and dishonesty.