It's an ordinary day at the Harvey House Restaurant along the Santa Fe Railroad in Las Vegas, New Mexico. The 20th century is just a couple of years away, and the six people on the staff of the restaurant are engaged in their usual struggles. Mary wants to run things because she's smarter than the others. Effie takes her on at every turn, in the meantime waiting impatiently for her boyfriend who hasn't showed up in three months. Whistle, a young native girl, thinks the white people talk too much and eat entirely too much. Miss Mecham wants them all to remember that women with jobs are much better off than women with children. Raul, the young Mexican kid, thinks the whites are loco, and Bachmann, the German chef, makes rules that few people follow. That's the ordinary part of the day. Then we get word that there's an armed woman roaming around, having been a part of a train holdup earlier that morning. Mary is terrified, Whistle oblivious, and Effie so curious that when she meets the armed woman, she invites her to apply for a job as a Harvey Girl. Mixed in with all this are the strange and wonderful people of the town: Swamp, a fast-talking shyster who makes money selling stuff he doesn't own; Glitterman, a studious miner, who knows he will hit pay dirt somewhere between the subcrustacean stratum of the Precambrian Era and the deposits of the wandering antediluvian bog waters; Stella who reads a lot of books, wants to be a Harvey Girl, and eats free at the restaurant because she has no parents; Shudder who runs a herd of sheep all by herself because she has a past that includes murder and she knows they're after her; Pillage, a Civil War vet, who needs a job and freedom from his nightmare of dying in a swamp with a hundred injured horses; Miss Longtree, a retired actress who speaks in verse; and, finally, Godlee, a preacher man, who believes the end of the world will come tonight, and he's right, it does. This satirical play is fast moving and magnified. Think Molière with a dose of the Coen brothers.
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