Los Angeles! City of tanned shoulders! Smog-spewing, pay-per-viewing, sit-com maker for the world! Del’s put in 17 years there, bouncing among foster homes. Smart, sharp-tongued, a master mimic, she’s fed up with her world and with being Del. So she’s faked her own death and is leaving both herself and L.A. behind until her escape lands her in an all-day traffic jam.
Fast-forward eight years. It’s opening night for the one-woman play she’s written and is starring in a show called Breakout, about a Los Angeles traffic jam. Wildly funny, she seems to be skewering workaholics, road ragers, pickup artists, and car culture in general. But readers will see what her audience can’t, that the show is a portrait of herself, of her hunger for her mother and her terror of rejection, her free-floating identity and yearning for connection.
Flashing between Del’s present and future, Breakout gives us a backstage pass into a young playwright’s psyche, letting us watch her life being transformed into a art, heartache into comedy, solitude into community, and anger gradually giving way to acceptance.