“Every Day a Visitor” is a play about seniors living — no, make that confined — in a faded Bronx nursing home. They have no family, friends or, very soon, an audience nearby.
Based on a short story by playwright Richard Abrons and presented off-Broadway a dozen years ago, the play tells the story of seven residents in a home that, as one resident describes it, “is not how I pictured ending up.”
The home has seen better days, when it was filled with people. Now it’s just these seven residents subsisting on a meagre diet and few activities.
An attendant suggests that the seven can improve their spirits and empower themselves by assuming the persona of famous individuals. So soon we have a would-be LaGuardia, Bella Abzug, and Kissinger strutting around the stage. Moreover, the most withdrawn and ill of them assumes the role of president.
His first edict is that if one is hospitalized, someone from the group would visit him or her every day. For some reason, their play-acting energizes the group, and even makes them nicer to each other — though why this happens is never clear.