Langston Hughes's Tambourines to Glory is a spirited, tragic-comedy that follows the lives of Laura Reed and Essie Bell Johnson, who decide to start their own gospel church on a street corner in Harlem. Laura dreams of becoming rich and famous while Essie genuinely desires to serve the Lord and her community. When the Devil (not a symbol or metaphor, but Beelzebub himself!) enters the picture, the conflict intensifies between the two women, their community and their faith. As these powerful forces collide and the conflict between the characters spiral out of control, Laura and Essie fight to find their way back from the ravages of Hell.