The author of the opera bouffe Mrs. Candy And Saturday Night tells this time of stiff-necked Mattie Lou Wycliff and her pitiful and absurd obsession with ""family"" and the New Orleans social scale, while overlooking the scandals in her own home. To her daughters, Elizabeth, Amelia, Constance, her son, Sylvester, and her granddaughter, Betty, old Mattie Lou's pretensions in the midst of real poverty, her snobbishness in a changing world, bring quiet bitterness, later open rebellion. Betty's love for ex-GI Joe Bivona, Elizabeth's middle aged romance with Creole Maurice de Bonnevier, are finally strong enough to put Mattie Lou in her place, but not until domestic disasters have shaken all. For Betty must come out and attend all the important balls, and learn not only to defy family conventions but to love Joe's completely Italian mother; Sylvester's mounting irrationality has to reach a climax that teaches Mattie Lou to respect Joe and Maurice. The shame of social holdovers, the impaling of Southern womanhood on the lance of satire, these are accomplished with something of the quality of The Glass Menagerie's sympathy and tenderness, and present a deft, domestic comedy of errors -- and manners.