"Elmer and Lily is composed in six short sketch - . . . written with the intention of trying to extend the form, content, and style of the musical i evue," wi ites William Saroyan in his foreword to Elmer and Lily. To ab. orb al ial fo the play, Saroyan spent many evenings in Harlem, he tells us. and has tried to express the "innocence and unrest — various kinds of seeking, various kinds of effort, hope, and dreaming," which he saw. He wants us to know, for oxample, the essence of the dance halls where "the boys and girls break into tire while dancing to something sweet but hard and strong— the music always supple and tough, the boys and girls always impersonal about the dreams of perfection they danced."