Sherwood Anderson's The Triumph of the Egg is the fifth play in this odd little book. It is a silly and highly amusing comedy that calls itself a "slice of life". It concerns the aspirations of a former chicken farmer to attain a fortune running a diner/coffee shop. He is called Father and his sad, long suffering, possibly nagging wife is called Mother. They have a young (4, 5) son Frankie. That Frankie is on stage shows how dated this play is. Producing a play with a 4 year old character almost never happens now because hiring kids that young is difficult on many levels. Father is a dreamer who seems to live in a state of perpetual hope. He decides that entertaining the customers and making them feel at home is the way to make a success of his new venture.
The play has a divided set of which only casual mention is made but might be helpful in making this play work. Part of the stage is the diner/coffee shop in a train station, the other is a shabby attached apartment in which Father, Mother and Frankie live. The train station is in a small town and apparently everyone in it knows everyone else. Joe Kane, the son of a well known, well off, town member comes into the shop and in him Father sees his chance to entertain his way to riches. This goes horribly awry. Every attempt he makes to endear himself to Joe fails utterly. In the process, he reveals his life story and so offends and upsets Joe that Joe runs from the place. Father is the comforted by a newly sympathetic Mother,who has been listening through apartment wall, as the play ends.
The set division could be interesting if one could watch Mother react to each of Father's failures. This would add an interesting component to the events. There is a lot of funny stuff going on between Father and Joe, and Father is an endearing, funny little guy. His striving is both amusing and heartbreaking.