Adirondack Community College
Waiting for Lefty is a series of interconnected scenes depicting workers for a fictional taxi company. The focus alternates between the drivers' union meeting and vignettes from their difficult, oppressed lives. The climax is a defiant call for the union to strike. The play's wild success brought Odets unexpected fame and fortune. Odets's dramatic style is distinguished by a kind of poetic, metaphor-laden street talk, by his socialist politics, and by his way of dropping the audience right into the conflict with little or no introduction. Often character is more important than plot, which Odets attributed to the influence of Anton Chekov. Instead of trying to create historical account, Odets used the strike as a way to attack what he saw as the larger issue: that in the middle of the Great Depression the capitalist structures of the time had remained unaltered.