Act 1, Bad News, Scenes 1-3
• The play begins at the funeral for Sarah, the grandmother of Louis Ironson. Rabbi Isidor Chemelwitz speaks over her coffin.
• The rabbi admits that he never knew Sarah, and comments on the non-Jewish names of some of her grandchildren.
• The rabbi sees Sarah less as an individual than as a representative of her generation, a woman who brought Judaism to the United States.
• Scene 2 takes place on the same day, in Roy M. Cohn's office, where he is talking to Joe Pitt, chief clerk for Justice Theodore Wilson, a judge on the Federal Court of Appeals.
• Conversation is difficult because Roy is constantly interrupted by the phone. Apparently, Roy has borrowed a large sum of money from this client Aileen Soffer.
• Roy says he admires Joe's principles and learns that Joe is a Mormon. He offers Joe a job in the Justice Department...
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