"I WANT TO USE THIS CROWN TO CHANGE THE WORLD! If I can just change one life, one little insignificant life, I think it will justify the beauty that God has given me. Thank you all! Thank you for loving me so much."
So ends the victory speech of 17-year old Tracey Ackhart upon her coronation as Miss Late Teen Colorado. The "loving," alas, soon ends. A day before the national pageant in Virginia Beach, Tracey disappears, hurling the rest of her family, whose lives until then had revolved around her, into disarray.
Grace and Ron, Tracey's parents, differ in the way they cope with the stress, and tension between them percolates. Grace longs for a luxurious life and hot coitus with Stan, the beauty trainer. Ron dreams of a simpler life in Cuba. Travis, Tracey's awkward, generally disliked younger brother, is conflicted. Unsure how to feel about a sister who ruthlessly tormented him, he attempts escape from the situation by exploring his sexuality in front of the television.
The ties of family begin to fray, flashbacks uncover mystery, and startling discoveries and revelations hurtle the entire family towards an emotional abyss. Darker memories emerge, nervous breakdowns erupt, the cause of TraceyΥs disappearance is uncovered, and a catharsis, of sorts, is reached.
Colorado is a sharp, dark comedy tinged with tragedy and sadness. It aims for the gut. Simultaneously satirical, witty, tender and unsettling, this is a play about disappointment American style, the dreams of a family, and the traps set to keep those dreams far, far away.