Finding herself in dire circumstances, the widowed Sylvia Darling determines that her son, Stephen, will complete his college education and develop his supposed literary talents; thus, she accepts a contract as singer in a Broadway nightclub, billed as "Dearie," and becomes an immediate sensation. Samuel Manley, a wealthy publisher who is attracted to Sylvia, allows her to entertain in his home, escorted by Luigi, the club proprietor. At college, Stephen and his self-styled roommates, Paul and Max, are expelled; and he romances Edna, the publisher's niece, who promises to promote his book with her uncle. Unimpressed by the egotistical youth, Manley rejects his work, and enraged, Stephen accidentally wounds his mother; furthermore, he denounces her when he learns that she is a cabaret entertainer, but he repents and is forgiven. Sylvia marries Luigi.