New York City, the capital of the free world, is dark, its lights turned off as enemy submarines lurk offshore, as close as Coney Island. Three men - a gunner from a B-17 bomber who's a national hero, a magazine editor uprooted from civilian life and attached to the Allied High Command, and the violence-stalked captain of a Royal Navy Merchant freighter - find their destinies linked with three volunteer hostesses from New York's famous Stage Door Canteen. Genevieve Rose is a beautiful Broadway Star in an experimental Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that seems headed for disaster. Elise Ginsburg is an indomitable young refugee from Hitler's terror.And Bernadine Flaherty is the ambitious, talented teenage dancer from Brooklyn hoping for her big show business break.
Against Manhattan's wartime glamour, GIs fresh from combat in North Africa and the Pacific find themselves dancing with the likes of the Stage Door Canteen's Katherine Hepburn and Ava Gardner. Food, whiskey and clothes are rationed, and spies are where one least expects to find them. Life is lived for the moment, love is passionate and often random, and those who can, snatch at a chance for happiness. For beyond the frenetic blackout, the entire world is fighting and dying.