The Hot L Baltimore
The setting for THE HOT L BALTIMORE is almost like an added cast member. It is the seedy lobby of a once elegant hotel; the E on the neon marquee has not been replaced and the wrecking ball is only a month away. More than 6 dozen residents, an assorted gathering of unwanted people, cling to their home, their dreams and fantasies, reach for a fugitive happiness but most of all retain their stubbornness about not being defeated. They are more than individuals: they represent a moment of time in America, an America that Clive Barnes, New York Times drama critic termed "a nation of transients looking for a past and a wake-up call.”
The hotel residents range from adolescent to senile. There are three hookers: one mature, full of salty humor; one dumb, hot-tempered and good natured; and a young, winsome girl who keeps changing her name because she hasn't yet found one that satisfies her. There is a deaf old man who likes to play checkers, and an elderly, gentilely brought up lady who believes in ghosts.
The play was written for the Circle Theatre Company, where Lanford Wilson has been playwright-in-residence since 1960. It opened in the 105-seat theatre in February 1973 and was such a success with critics and audiences that is was moved six weeks later to an off-Broadway commercial theatre, the Circle in the Square, where it has run for over a year.
About the Play
About the Production