Drummers, Dreams And Family Matters: A Two-Act Play About An Almost Normal Family by Norman Weinstein
The Tuckers are in conflict with their conservative family head Harold. His father Ellis disapproves of his son's pomposity, as Harold does Grandpa Ellis' drinking and gadfly ways; a problem in the making, he furtively plans to become a hot-air balloonist. Wife and mother Adriane, a librarian, has gradually turned to political liberalism and activism in a town so reactionary that feminism still ranks as far-out radicalism. Daughter Charlotte, 15, determines to be an actress and/or psychiatrist, both of which ambitions Harold strongly opposes, as he also does her teenage friends. Larry, 13, a rather dangerous inventor and possible genius who nevertheless does poorly in school, is secretly developing alternative fuel from garbage and later a way to detect poisonous mushrooms. Although a political conservative, Harold is also a committed environmentalist who resolves to emulate his hero, Henry David Thoreau. Over his family's protests he forces them to experience life’s true meanings by literally “going Thoreau". The beautiful and flirtatious radical feminist Millicent Leeds, detested by Harold, arrives to assist Adriane in her goals, and matters become even messier when the Tuckers go camping in France, where, according to Harold, basic family values still prevail despite that country's despicable socialism.