The blurb read:
New York City, 1959. Fading vaudeville comic Chick Sherman, along with his long-suffering agent, tries to revive his career with a role in an avant-garde off-Broadway play. While his grown daughter searches for answers from her absentee showbiz father, a lifetime of private and professional struggles rise to the surface, cracking the polished public persona of the world's favorite former "funny man."
the Theater Guide gave the more detailed synopsis - from Northlight's website -
It's 1959 in New York City. Chick Sherman, a famous comic in his sixties, finds that his offers for work are dwindling. His agent, Junior, tries to talk Chick into taking some time off. Junior mentions that has received a call to meet with a big-time director, but it's not the kind of show Chick is used to-it isn't a comedy.
Katharine Sherman, a bright young woman in her twenties and Chick Sherman' daughter, works as an archivist at Carnegie Hall with a charismatic young man name Nathan Wise. She deflects his romantic pursuits with questions about his parents an what they might know about her father's life. After having been kept at arm's length fo so many years by Chick, Katharine is hungry for information.
Junior meets with the director, Matthew, but is confused as to why he wants Chic Sherman in a show that is not a comedy and that will not run on Broadway. He is convinced, however, that this will give Chick both a new edge and a new audience, two things he desperately needs. Managing an agreement between Chick and the director proves to be harder than Junior thought. When the two finally meet, it become apparent that Chick and Matthew have very different ideas about the play. After a uncomfortable encounter with the playwright, Victor La Plant, Chick finds himself even more conflicted in his decision whether or not to sign onto this risky, avant-garde play.
After coming home from her search into her father's life empty-handed, Katharine decides to confront Chick about his distance, and forces him to open up to her. But as soon as they begin to make some headway, Nathan shows up to take Katharine out to the dinner that she finally agreed to.
The next day, tensions are as high as ever around the Sherman apartment when a brutal argument breaks out between Katharine and Chick. Katharine is more determined than ever to find out anything about her father's early life. In her continued search into his past, Katharine corners Junior for information; but Junior confides that Chick doesn't like to talk about the past, even with him.
Chick's involvement in LaPlant's In Lucy's Kitchen is announced in a press conference. When Matthew, Victor, and Chick meet for their first rehearsal, they argue and very little gets accomplished. Chick and Victor on one side and Matthew on the other. Chic becomes discouraged and tries to back out, but Junior won't let him. When little improves by the second rehearsal, Matthew suspiciously resigns, citing a "scheduling conflict" while the other two set out to stage the play their way.
Katharine's search comes to a disturbing discovery and she finds herself unsure of what to do with the information she has found. She decides to wait for the right moment to confront Chick with this new-found evidence. She clearly did not know that what she would uncover about her father would both shock her and lead to a new level of understanding between father and daughter.
Chick and Victor's show finally opens, and the show is a hit! Everyone is excited, but Chick is more relieved than anything. After so much difficulty, he has finally found peace in his career and as a father.
some more from the guide the theater publishes on their website-
so this one is one to watch for - or if you live in the Chicago area- make a real effort to see this before it closes- it was worth spending an evening getting to know these characters and their stories...