opening NY July 23 2004










Nola (EMMY ROSSUM) leaves her abusive stepfather and tornados out of Kansas for New York to follow the faint trail of her biological dad whom she’s never known. With nothing more to go on than a nickname, Nola has readied herself for the impossible search with the dream of also making it as a singer/songwriter.
After a cold night spent in Central Park, Nola lands a job at an East Village diner owned by an eccentric and mysterious woman named Margaret (MARY MCDONNELL), who runs an escort service. Margaret recognizes in Nola a fellow outsider and offers her a place in her extended family that includes Ben (JAMES BADGE DALE), the diner’s cook and part-time law student, tabloid columnist Leo (STEVEN BAUER), and a transvestite named Wendy (MICHAEL CAVADIAS) who is one of Margaret’s “girls.”
Nola comes to see that, while the city may be daunting in many respects, it is also, quickly, disarmingly welcoming and takes her up as one of its own. Nola flourishes in her strange new life and surroundings, and begins to question whether she knows as much as she thinks and if she’s falling for the cook.
After the transgendered Wendy defends herself against a client, Niles Sternlicht (THOM CHRISTOPHER), he threatens to destroy Margaret’s life and career. Nola helps Wendy skip town, further enraging Sternlicht and inciting him to begin legal action against Margaret and bring down her escort service.
Like a romantic comedy with a cynical twist, NOLA makes the impossible seem even probable as Nola and Ben come to Margaret’s rescue in a courtroom scene worthy of a three-card Monte dealer. And in the end, Nola finds friendship, love and the past she never knew.