Act one of Goodtime Charley reads like Once Upon a Mattress; full of innuendo and burlesque. Act two reads like Game of Thrones; building to a scene where a vengeful Charley runs a sword through his General, feeds his Archbishop to the Inquisition, and tosses his treacherous mother down a flight of stairs. The New York Times described the show thus:
“The tone of the book is uncertain. It tries to be both flippant and serious, but it really succeeds in being neither. The story of a little guy’s being made into a king is not a bad idea at all – but although Mr. Grey is the star, the story rests on Joan. This is a conflict of narrative interest that Mr. Michaels never resolves. Whose story is this? We never find out.” ~Clive Barnes. New York Times. 1975.