Lillie Scones is a sweet retired nanny who runs a boarding house with one resident and "a cat the size of the Louisiana Purchase." Her two friends, Jocelyn and Carmella, help to pass the time by listening to music and gossiping. Then Stuart, an old charge of hers, rents a room. Lillie is tickled to have him around again, not knowing he is planning on robbing the bank on the corner. Stuart's mind may not be totally on the bank job, however, when he meets Betty. However, when Stuart finds out that Betty is about to graduate from an academy on the very night they plan to rob the bank, the perfect alibi presents itself - why not go to the graduation, be seen there, sneak out and rob the bank. Perfect, thinks Little Pat, Stuart's wise-cracking sidekick. Unfortunately for the two would-be crooks the graduation is at a police academy. Throw in a chief of police, a suspicious fiancé and a half-pint brat with an "Al Capone do-it-yourself tool kit," and nobody knows what will happen next. In the spirit of Frank Capra, this tale of a bank heist and three retired nannies has all the classic comedy twists and surprises fit for any audiences.
PLAYWRIGHT PAT COOK TALKS ABOUT
"EVERY LITTLE CROOK AND NANNY"
Q.: What inspired you to write this play?
A.: Actually, my wife or I came up with the title (we're still arguing over that one) and I wondered what I could do with it. This, believe it or not, is how the play began.
Q.: What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
A.: Probably the Scrabble game. When I visit my folks my mother and I still play Scrabble and do crossword puzzles together. A favorite character would be Kitty, of course.
Q.: Where do the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
A.: Not as such. When I was a kid I remember watching a lot of anthology shows, such as "Playhouse 90" and "Armstrong Circle Theatre." This was one of those plays that, when I was writing it and came to a snag, I kept thinking "Now how would they do this on that show?" I sort of visualized it as I might have seen it on TV back then.
Q.: What did you try to achieve with this play?
A.: Really, I just wanted to write a comedy with a little heart - sort of a Frank Capra kind of thing.
Q.: Anything else you'd like to say about it?
A.: Just how thankful I am to Eldridge and its editors for publishing it.