“Waiting For Lefty” takes place at a union meeting of New York taxi drivers, where the cabbies contemplate a strike. It’s really a corrupt company union, and the cabbies will never get anywhere unless they form their own honest union. They await the arrival of Lefty, their elected chairman.
Meanwhile, playwright Clifford Odets lets the audience look at intimate details of the lives of the people affected by the shattered economy: A cab driver whose wife threatens to leave him unless he stands up for himself; A lab assistant is asked by his boss to spy on an important chemist; A cabbie and his girl friend want to marry, but he doesn’t make enough money to support a family; A company spy is uncovered at the union meeting; A doctor is fired due to the anti-Semitic policies of his hospital, which also plans to close its charity ward.
The play makes its unsubtle point: That everything good and decent that has ever happened for the American worker occurred because brave men and women who worked for a living risked their personal safety, organized, formed unions, and demanded that the bosses give them fair compensation for an honest day’s work.
Charlie Mount directs “Waiting For Lefty,” a Chestnuts production, at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., near North Hollywood and Universal City.
Free parking across the street. Sept. 3- Oct. 10. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. General admission $22. Premium seating (first four rows) $25. Seniors (65+) and veterans (with ID) $17. Current military (with ID) $11. KCRW members (with ID) $18. Students (25 and under with ID) $5. Except for the opening night Sept. 3 performance, when all seats will be $27 (includes reception).
For reservations, call (323) 851-7977. For online ticketing, visit www.theatrewest.org.