Lulu Ames, a stylish and optimistic widow from Akron, Ohio, arrives in New York City, ready to forget her unhappy marriage and thrive in the bustling, vibrant town. But the Hotel Marlowe, where Lulu moves to join her old friend and fellow widow Connie Mercer, is hushed and genteel to the point of deathly boredom. The lonely, judgemental, fading ladies who haunt the corridors are hovering with their tedious amusements and drab routines. There is Mrs. Lauterbach, whose children have forgotten her, Mrs. Nichols, in her wheelchair, who manipulates her resentful son into providing care, and catty Mrs. Gordon, who’s kleptomania is her way of feeling alive. Determined not to give in to the movie matinees and library books which make up the lives of her fellow guests, Lulu leaps happily into a romance with Paul Osgood, an adoring younger man, only to find that, when faced with his energetic social whirl and the spectre of his beautiful, fickle ex-wife, she is not as casual and lively as her young paramour. Parker and d’Usseau’s The Ladies of the Corridor is a pointed, cautionary drama about the lot of older women in mid-20th century America, who are relegated to uselessness after the death or departure of a husband, and with half of their lives ahead, struggle to find socially and emotionally appropriate ways to occupy their time.
The Ladies of the Corridor guide sections