The big city tabloids call her the “Red Flame of New York,” a beautiful, young Communist whose fiery speeches are as hot as the tight, red dresses she wears on stage. But Martha loses this glamorous life when she is sent to Schenectady under orders to marry Milo Milwaukee, the diminutive leader of GE’s largest union. What Martha and the Communists don’t realize is that Milo is only pretending to be a Red. In the spring of 1950, this is a dangerous game because Communism is Public Enemy Number One.
Warnings are everywhere: from anti-Communist bubble gum cards to Loyalty Boards investigating people for “suspicious” behavior. Soon Joseph McCarthy will bumble his way to Schenectady, searching for hidden communists like Martha, and even fakers like Milo. Killing McCarthy may be their only way out if Martha and Milo don’t kill each other first.
“When Mommy Was a Commie” is a hilarious romp through Schenectady in the early 1950s, inspired by the outlandish, real-life episodes that took place during the Red Scare, America’s spy war with Russia, and the Cold War that continues today.