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In the 1930's, a teenage Bronx boy, David Kolowitz, works in Mr. Foreman's machine shop as a helper and delivery boy. Most of his time, however, is spent daydreaming of an acting career in which he imagines himself to be a latter-day Ronald Colman. His parents are unsympathetic with David's aspirations, preferring that he become a pharmacist. But, determined to be a part of the theater, David answers an ad for a job as a paying apprentice in a seedy theater troupe headed by gin-guzzling Mr. Marlowe. Mr. Marlowe's daughter and leading lady, Angela, uses her pseudo-glamour to keep David in the company when he begins to develop cold feet. By day he continues to work for Mr. Foreman, albeit aimlessly, while by night he rehearses for his first stage appearance. His girl friend, Wanda, although understanding his desire to become an actor, is jealous of both Angela and the sexy Miss B, the secretary to Harry Hamburger, to whom David makes frequent deliveries. Meanwhile, David's parents are frantically trying to borrow money so as to induce him to withdraw from the play and begin his study of pharmacy without further delay. Nevertheless, the play does go on, with David using his new stage name of Ron Colman; and Mr. and Mrs. Kolowitz, Wanda, and David's buddy, Marvin, are all in the audience. Despite many mishaps--missed lines, missed entrances, and the stiffness of David's acting--everyone goes backstage after the performance to congratulate the new actor. And David's parents, of course, both agree that he was the best one in the show.