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1998 version


this version has been replaced by a new version from 2004


FREAKS
By Eric Nakao


ACT I
Scene 1


BLEEKER HOUSE. There is a couch in the center, an armchair to the side and a counter in the rear. Behind the counter is a big sign that reads: “The Bleeker House For Wayward Souls Trying To Break Into Show Biz.”

(MARTHA wanders in, suitcase in hand. BOB sits behind the counter reading Variety.)

MARTHA
Excuse me. I'm looking for a room?

BOB
Why, is one missing?

(RIM SHOT)

MARTHA
Pardon me?

BOB
Why, are you trying to get out of prison?

(RIM SHOT)

MARTHA
What are you, some sort of comedian?

BOB
That's right. I'm the comedian your mother warned you about. Rahrrr!

MARTHA
Then you are a comedian.

BOB
Sure, can't you tell?

MARTHA
Not by those jokes.
(drums a rim shot on the counter and dings the bell.)

BOB
Ah, a fellow comedian.

MARTHA
I'm not a comedian. Or a fellow.

BOB
Then what are you? An actor?

MARTHA
An actor.

BOB
Dancer?

MARTHA
Dancer?

BOB
Singer?

MARTHA
Singer.

BOB
A parrot?

MARTHA
A parent?

BOB
A parent?

MARTHA
Why do you keep asking me these strange questions?

BOB
No no. Why are you . . .
(waves her hand at the sign.)
here?

MARTHA
(reads)
“The Bleeker House For Wayward Souls Trying to Break Into Show Biz.” Oh. Well. I guess I took a wrong turn someplace. I'll just . . .
(starts to exit)

BOB
Wait! You're from out of town, right?

MARTHA
So?

BOB
And you're a wayward soul, right?

MARTHA
I wouldn't say that.

BOB
You wouldn't say that.

MARTHA
I didn't say that. And besides, I'm not trying to break into show biz . . . ness.

BOB
Ah, but you are a wayward soul.

MARTHA
I am not a wayward soul.

BOB
Yes you are.

MARTHA
No I'm not.

BOB
Yes you are.

MARTHA
No I'm not.

BOB
First time in LA?

MARTHA
So?

BOB
Well, the footlights, the glamour.

MARTHA
I didn't come to Los Angeles for footlights.

(MARTHA starts to exit again. BOB rushes out to stop her.)

BOB
Oh, but you must.

(OFF-STAGE SINGERS sing OOMPA OOMPA until BOB starts to sing.)

MARTHA
Why?

BOB
Why.

MARTHA
Yeah. Why? Why?

BOB
Well. Because . . . because . . .

MARTHA
Just as I thought. Sorry, person who spends her days sitting behind a counter, but this is not the life for me.

(MARTHA starts to exit again, but BOB rushes in front of her.)

BOB
OH OH OH, WHO PUT THE ANGEL IN LOS ANGELES?
SOME SAY SHE'S WAITIN' THERE FOR ME.
WITH EYES SO SHINY
AND LIPS SO FINE-EE,
I WANT TO TELL THE WORLD
SHE'S MINE ALL MINE-EE-EE-EE.

WHO PUT THE ANGEL IN LOS ANGELES?
SOME SAY SHE'S WAITIN' THERE FOR ME-EE-EE.
IN LOS ANGELES, CAL-I-FOR-NEE-A-A-A-A,
HEAVEN BY THE SEA.

(OFF-STAGE SINGERS sing OOMPA OOMPA until MARTHA starts to sing.)

MARTHA
What do angels have to do with show business?

BOB
Angels are a metaphor for show business.

MARTHA
They are not.

BOB
I mean show business is a metaphor for angels. You know, nice and happy.

MARTHA
That's not what I heard.

BOB
Why, what have you heard?

MARTHA
OH OH OH, WHO PUT THE JEALOUS IN LOS ANGELES?

BOB
Not me.

MARTHA
SOME SAY IT'S WAITIN' THERE FOR ME.
WITH THOUSANDS TRYIN'
TO WIN, DENYIN'
THAT THEY DON'T STAND A CHANCE
AND END UP CYANIDIN'.

WHO PUT THE JEALOUS IN LOS ANGELES?
I JUST DON'T WANT TO END THAT WAY-AY-AY
IN LOS ANGELES, CAL-I-FOR-NEE-A-A-A-A.
I THINK I'M OK.

(OFF-STAGE SINGERS sing OOMPA OOMPA until BOB starts to sing.)

BOB
I never said you weren't.

MARTHA
You said I was a wayward soul.

BOB
I did not!

(MARTHA starts to exit. BOB stops her.)

BOB
OK OK, maybe I said it. But, you know, I know you so much better now. What was your name again?

MARTHA
Martha.

BOB
Martha. Bob.

MARTHA
Bob?

BOB
Yeah. So you see, Martha. OK, now everything you said is true. The jealousy, the denial, -- oh, the stories I could tell -- but if you make it, it’s just so --

MARTHA
And if you don’t make it?

BOB
Oh, Martha. If you don’t make it . . . Well, it's like the smog, right? You just pop a lozenge and you'll be “just so,” too.

BOB
OH OH OH, WHO PUT THE LOZENGE IN LOS ANGELES?

MARTHA
Pop a lozenge.

BOB
A SUCKER FOR SUCCOR, CAN'T YOU SEE?
IF YOU JUST STAY HERE,
YOU'LL BE OK HERE.
YOU MAY JUST FIND THE WAY
TO LIVE YOUR LIFE, YOU MAY HERE.

WHO PUT THE LOZENGE IN LOS ANGELES?
FOR EVERY DISEASE AND EVERY THOUGHT IMPURE
IN LOS ANGELES, CAL-I-FOR-NEE-A-A-A-A,
SHOW BIZ IS THE CURE.

(OFF-STAGE SINGERS sing OOMPA OOMPA until BOB starts to sing.)

MARTHA
I thought show business was the root of all impure thoughts.

BOB
Well, if that’s the way you feel, why not give it a shot and see if you can do something about it?

MARTHA
Well, I don't have any talent for one thing.

BOB
No talent! Why, it's like standing next to Janis Joplin here. And besides, you don't have a place to stay yet, do you?

MARTHA
Well . . .

BOB
Well?

MARTHA
Well, all right. But only till I find someplace else.


BOB
Hallelujah!

(BOB picks up MARTHA'S suitcase and they head back to the counter.)

MARTHA
Oh by the way, do you have a polka band in here?

BOB
WHO PUT THE TEMP INTO TEMPTATION?

MARTHA
WHO PUT THE TEMP IN TEMPORARILY?

BOB
IN LOS ANGELES, CAL-I-FOR-NEE –

MARTHA
A-A-A-A,

BOB
HEAVEN BY THE --

MARTHA
HEAVEN BY THE --

BOB AND MARTHA
HEAVEN BY THE SEA.

(BOB hands MARTHA the key.)

BOB
You don't mind sharing a room, do you?

MARTHA
Sharing?

BOB
Yes. We're very crowded. Half price.

MARTHA
Well, it's not the money --

BOB
All right, full price.

MARTHA
But --

BOB
Sorry, break time.
(puts a clock face sign on the counter and starts reading Variety)

MARTHA
But --
(Without looking up, BOB taps the top of the sign with a pencil and shoos MARTHA away. EM enters and sits on the couch. MARTHA wanders over to the couch and sits beside her.)

MARTHA
Is she always like that?

EM
Mm.

MARTHA
And you put up with it?

EM
There are a lot of creative people around here.

MARTHA
You mean destructive.

EM
Well, from out of the ashes . . . You have a nice voice, by the way. Are you a singer?

MARTHA
Not this again.

EM
Oh, don't worry about it.
(EM extends her hand)
Em.

MARTHA
Oh.
(shakes EM’s hand)
Martha.

EM
Martha. Maaartha. Maaarthaaa . . .

(MARTHA takes her hand away.)

MARTHA
(to BOB)
Uh, Bob?

(BOB taps the top of her sign and shoos MARTHA away.)

MARTHA (cont.)
(to EM)
So, are you a singer?

EM
I sing, but I am not a singer.

MARTHA
Dancer?

EM
I dance, but I am not a dancer.

MARTHA
Are you a --

EM
Martha. Look at me.

(MARTHA looks)

EM (cont.)
No. Look at me.

(MARTHA looks harder. Suddenly, EM lunges forward, grabs MARTHA by the shoulders and puts her face close to hers.)

EM (cont.)
Look at me, Martha. Look deep within my soul, for I have nothing to hide. Or rather, I have nothing to hide, but that which I choose to reveal. Can you guess what I am, Martha! Can you!

MARTHA
Uhhh . . .

EM
No Martha, I am not an "uh." I am an aaaaa . . .

MARTHA
You are an aaaaa . . .

EM
ccccc . . .

MARTHA
ccccc . . .

EM
trrrr . . .

MARTHA
esssss . . .

EM
Yes Martha, I am an actress. And I am also your roooo . . .

MARTHA
My roooo . . .

EM
mmmmm . . .

MARTHA
mmmaaaate.

EM
Yes, Martha, yes. I am your actress-roommate.

MARTHA
Oh. Wonderful.
(to BOB)
Oh Bob? Bob?

BOB
Yes, Martha.

MARTHA
Could I have a, uh --

BOB
A tome? A weighty tome?

MARTHA
No.

BOB
A chapter? A verse?

EM
Oh, Martha isn't averse to anything, are you, Martha.

MARTHA
Yes. I mean no.

EM
WHAT DO YOU WANT?
OH MARTHA, TELL.
A CHAPTER, VERSE,
YOU THINK WOULD SUIT YOU WELL?
EM (cont.)
A SENTENCE LONG
AND HARD, CONFESS --

MARTHA
(to BOB)
A WORD --

EM
A WORD, THE WORD
YOU NEED IS YES.

MARTHA
THE WORD IS “NO.”
THE WORD IS “I.”
THE WORD IS
“CAN'T TELL YOU THE REASON WHY.”

EM
THEN YOU MUST STAY.

MARTHA
NO, I MUST STEAL
INTO A WORLD
THAT OFFERS SOMETHING REAL.

EM AND BOB
OH MARTHA, STAY.
OH MARTHA, PLEASE.
WE'LL BEG YOU PRETTY
ON OUR
EM AND BOB (cont.)
(kneel)
BENDED KNEES.

MARTHA
OH, PLEASE GET UP.
I'VE NOT A CLUE
OF WHY I SHOULD STAY HERE
AND BE LIKE YOU.
Hey!

(BOB grabs MARTHA'S suitcase and she and EM play Keep Away From Martha.)

EM AND BOB
SHOW BIZ.
SHOW BIZ.
SHOW BIZ IS GREAT.

(They push MARTHA back onto the couch, then proceed downstage, turn around and begin vamping their way back towards MARTHA in a V-pattern.)

EM AND BOB (cont.)
IT GIVES YOU THINGS
THAT YOU DESIRE,
THE FUEL YOU NEED
TO FEED YOUR INNER FIRE.
WE OFFER YOU
THE PERFECT LIFE,
FAR FROM THE PATHWAYS
OF THE PLUNGING KNIFE.

(EM and BOB sit on either side of MARTHA. Each grabs a hand and begins pulling back and forth on MARTHA in wavy motions.)

EM AND BOB (cont.)
SO MARTHA STAY WITH US AWHILE
AND TILL THE GARDEN OF YOUR INNER STYLE.
AND WHEN YOU’RE THROUGH,
YOU WILL CONCEIVE
A SHOW BIZ ADAM
FOR YOUR SHOW BIZ EVE.
(toss their heads back and give an "ole" with their hands)

MARTHA
Are you guys in some sort of cult?

EM
Now Martha, if we were in a cult --

BOB
would we treat you this badly --

EM AND BOB
on the first day?
(shake their heads in unison.)

MARTHA
I don't know. Maybe you're testing me.

BOB
Honey, the only tests we care about around here are screen tests. Screen tests and auditions. And you gotta be tough. Tough as an inner tube, so you can --

(BOB grabs MARTHA by the shoulders and begins bouncing her up and down on the couch.)

BOB (cont.)
bounce back! Bounce back! Bounce back!

MARTHA
Stop! Stop!

(EM stops BOB.)

EM
It's true, Martha. You have to be tough, to roll with the punches and bounce back, bounce back . . .

(BOB bounces up and down.)

EM (cont.)
with your inner strength, your inner --

MARTHA
Tubeness?

BOB
Ah, I like this one. Harrr!

EM
That's right, Martha. Your inner tubeness. Now, we're not testing you. And while there may be certain parallels --

BOB
Blagh!

EM
we’re not a cult either.

MARTHA
And you want me to be like that?

(BOB pantomimes “blagh!”)

EM
No. We want you to be whatever you want to be.

MARTHA
Through show business.

EM
Through show business.

MARTHA
Well . . . all right. But only till I find another place.

EM
Oh, of course. Come on, Bob. Let's show Martha to her new room.

(BOB grabs MARTHA'S suitcase and she and EM link arms with MARTHA as they begin to exit.)
EM AND BOB
YOU'RE GOING TO STAY.
MARTHA, HOORAY.
LET'S ALL GO UPSTAIRS NOW
SO WE CAN PLAY --

(GEORGE and MARK enter. GEORGE carries a guitar inside of a case. MARK, just a guitar.)

MARTHA
(to GEORGE and MARK)
Help.

(MARTHA, EM and BOB exit. GEORGE slumps on the couch. MARK paces around behind.)

MARK
I can't take you anywhere, can I. Huh?

GEORGE
I go where I go, Mark.

MARK
You go where you go. How can you be so stupid?

GEORGE
I ain't stupid, Mark.

MARK
You ain't stupid! How could you leave our money out there like that?
GEORGE
I ain't no security guard, Mark. Besides, it was your case.

MARK
(hugs his guitar)
My case. My beautiful case.
(to GEORGE)
My case. Our money.

GEORGE
Hey, I was talking to a fan, OK?

MARK
A fan! She wasn't even listening to us!

GEORGE
She was listening.

MARK
She was eating her lunch.

GEORGE
And tapping her foot.

MARK
And talking to her friend.

GEORGE
She was a potential fan.

MARK
She was twelve-years old, for Chrissakes! What were you thinking?

GEORGE
Twelve-year olds make up a significant portion of the record buying population. Rolling Stone magazine. Besides, she wasn't 12. She was at least thirteen . . . and a half.

MARK
Oh, big difference. Do the math, son.

GEORGE
I did. She's thirteen and a half.

(MARTHA, EM and BOB enter.)

EM
Hey guys, what's up?

BOB
What's down?

MARK
George, in the age range of his potential mating pool.

EM
14?

(MARK shakes his head.)
BOB
13?

MARK
12.

BOB
Oh my Lord, hide your daughters.

GEORGE
Thirteen and a half. At least.

BOB
Oh, well . . .

GEORGE
A teenager. A teenage woman --

MARK
A potential woman.

GEORGE
who liked our music, --

MARK
Who was eating her lunch.

GEORGE
and listening, --
MARK
And talking to her friend, Pippi Longstocking.

GEORGE
and tapping her foot.

MARK
In your dreams!

GEORGE
At least I have dreams!

EM
Guys, guys. Did someone steal your money again?

(GEORGE and MARK nod.)

MARK
And my case.

MARTHA
His case?

EM
Where people throw their money.

BOB
Among other things.
MARK
(pats guitar)
Where am I gonna put old Betsy now?

GEORGE
I have a suggestion. And there's plenty of room up there, too!

MARK
Oh, and how would you know that?

EM
Guys, guys. Where are your manners? Can't you see we have a new guest in our happy home? Guys, this is Martha. Martha, George.

GEORGE
Hiya.

EM
And that’s Mark over there.

MARK
Salaam.

EM
Together they make up the outrageously melodic, stupendously futuristic, incontainably new wave musical group --

BOB
George and Mark.

EM
The Freaks!

(TOY HORN FLOURISH heard.)

MARTHA
Oh. So what do you . . . I mean how long have you been --

BOB
Freaks?

MARTHA
No no, I didn't --

MARK
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS

GEORGE
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

MARK
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS,

GEORGE
DON'T KNOW WHAT AND DON'T KNOW WHO.

MARK
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS

GEORGE
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

MARK, GEORGE,
BOB AND EM
BUT THAT'S OK.

MARTHA
Is it?

MARK, GEORGE,
BOB AND EM
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS
AND WE DON'T KNOW RIGHT OR WRONG.
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS
WHO'VE BEEN AT THIS FOR SO LONG.
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS
AND WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO PRAY.
BUT THAT'S OK.

MARTHA
You know, I think I'm having second thoughts here.

MARK, GEORGE,
BOB AND EM
THAT'S OK.

EM
Hey, I have an idea. Why don't Martha and I join the band.

BOB
Perfect!
MARK AND GEORGE
THAT'S OK.

MARTHA
Me, a freak? Oh, I don't know . . .

(DRUMS are heard.)

MARK
Oh no, here it comes!

MARTHA
What what, where?

(Red lights turn on as MARK, GEORGE, BOB and EM start slithering and bumping and grinding around the room and toying with MARTHA.)

MARK, GEORGE,
BOB AND EM
IF YOU'RE A FREAKY LITTLE DARLIN'
AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
IF YOU'RE A FREAKY LITTLE DARLIN'.
DON'T KNOW WHAT AND DON'T KNOW WHO.
IF YOU'RE A FREAKY LITTLE DARLIN'
AND YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
WELL, THAT’S!

(Red lights turn off. Strobe lights turn on. MARK, GEORGE, BOB and EM really start dancing hard.)
MARK, GEORGE,
BOB and EM (cont.)
O!

(MARK and GEORGE pick up MARTHA and toss her lengthwise across the stage and onto the couch.)

MARK, GEORGE,
BOB and EM (cont.)
K!

(MARK, GEORGE, BOB and EM, screaming, pile on top of MARTHA. Strobe lights turn off and the red lights turn back on. Then the red lights turn off and the regular lights turn back on. MARTHA pops her head up through the pile of people.)

MARTHA
OK, OK. You made your point.

(EM gets up.)

EM
A wonderful idea.

MARTHA
Now wait a second, I never said . . .
(tries to disengage herself from the pile)
Do you mind?

(MARK, GEORGE and BOB start falling away.)

MARK
Oh, you don't have to.

GEORGE
We can see it in your elbows.

MARTHA
My elbows.

EM
Remember. I sing, but I am not a singer.

MARTHA
That's right. I can't be in your group because I am an actress.

(EM shakes her head at GEORGE and MARK.)

MARK
Oh really. Then do something.

EM
Yes, Martha. By all means, do do something.

MARTHA
Well, let's see. To be or not to be --

EM
(Applauds)
Oh, brilliant. Author! Author!
BOB
Who wrote that?
(to GEORGE)
Did you write that?

MARTHA
No. I mean, Romeo, Romeo.

(EM playfully mouths "Romeo, Romeo" to MARK.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Forgive thy father, reform thy name. Oh jeez.

EM
There, you see? She is an actress. She just hasn't learned her lines yet. Now come now, Martha. Be in our group. Be a Freak.

MARTHA
But I thought you were an actress.

EM
It is only my life.

MARTHA
Then why would you want to be in a band?

EM
Remember. I sing, but I am not a singer.

MARTHA
What does that mean exactly?

EM
Well, right now it means that while I am an actress --

BOB
And a brilliant one.

EM
Thank you, Robert. That while I am an actress, I can and will do many things at this point in my career.

BOB
And throughout her career.

GEORGE
If she has one.

MARTHA
Including being a Freak?

EM
A Freak, a Beatle --

GEORGE
A Mama.

MARK
A Papa.

BOB
A Rubber Ducky.

EM
Remember. One of the hardest things in show business is getting started.

BOB
(pokes MARTHA)
Vroom, vroom.

EM
Now George and Mark here have already gotten started.

BOB
And brilliantly, I might add.

EM
And now that they have so graciously invited us to partake in their good fortune, the least we can do is supply them with a good answer. So what do you say?

MARK
But can she sing?

EM
Like Maria Callas.

BOB
Janis Joplin.

EM
Come Martha, sing that Carmen song you were enjoying with Robert and I a few moments ago.

(BOB starts pulling MARTHA over to the couch.)

GEORGE
No no. Martha doesn't have to be a Freak if she doesn't want to.

MARTHA
It's not that I don't appreciate the offer. It's just that --

EM
What? What? What are you gonna do? Just sit here, twiddling your pretty little thumbs, waiting for someone to discover you?

(BOB examines one of MARTHA's thumbs.)

MARTHA
No no. It's just that . . .
(to GEORGE)
Thirteen and a half?

GEORGE
Maybe 14. Practically a woman.

MARTHA
Well . . . all right.

BOB
Hallelujah!

MARTHA
But only till I find my own place.

EM
WE’VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS

GEORGE
AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

EM
WE’VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS,

MARK
DON’T KNOW WHAT AND DON’T KNOW WHO.

EM
WE’VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS

BOB
AND WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

(EM, MARK, GEORGE and BOB look at MARTHA.)

MARTHA
BUT THAT'S OK . . . FOR NOW.


ACT I
Scene 2


BLEEKER HOUSE.
(MARTHA enters. BOB is sitting behind the counter.)

BOB
All hail the Freak!

(ROYAL FLOURISH heard.)

MARTHA
Oh yeah, hi.

BOB
So how's it going?

MARTHA
Oh fine.

BOB
Fine? Fine? How fine?

MARTHA
There's not much to tell, really. We play in the park, --

BOB
Yeah?

MARTHA
go to auditions.

BOB
Uh huh. And?

MARTHA
Then we go back to the park again.

BOB
Wonderful! Wonderful experience!

MARTHA
Yeah, I guess it's kind of fun. Different.

BOB
Sure it is. And you know what? Someday you're gonna look back and think, gosh, I miss those days, playin’ in the park, comin’ back to talk to good ol’ Bob . . .

MARTHA
Yeah, well. If you'll excuse me, I'm meeting someone.

BOB
Meeting someone?

MARTHA
Yeah.

BOB
You know someone?

MARTHA
I guess. In fact, I think that's her now. If you'll excuse me.

(MS. HENKLE enters, carrying a briefcase. MARTHA goes to greet her.)

BOB
Well sure, if you really feel you need to meet someone. I mean meet someone.

MARTHA
Ms. Henkle?

MS. HENKLE
Martha? Martha, my dear. So good to finally meet you face to face. And such a charming face, too.

MARTHA
(good-natured embarrassment)
Oh, Ms. Henkle. How good of you to come.

(MARTHA and MS. HENKLE sit on the couch.)

MS. HENKLE
Oh, not at all. We don't often get applicants of your caliber at our little institution.

MARTHA
Oh, now I know you have many fine students at your campus.

MS. HENKLE
Well, we are proud of our student body, past, present and
(pokes MARTHA)
future.
MARTHA
Oh, Ms. Henkle.

MS. HENKLE
Now you say that you're interested in our American history program?

MARTHA
Very much.

MS. HENKLE
A wonderful choice, fascinating subject.

(BOB gestures a yawn.)

MS. HENKLE (cont.)
Yes. As a matter of fact, I’ve got some brochures here. Let me see.

(MS. HENKLE pulls brochures out of her briefcase and begins showing them to MARTHA. EM, GEORGE and MARK enter. They begin silently conversing with BOB about who MARTHA is with. BOB points to MARTHA, then ducks behind the counter and pops up wearing glasses and a backpack. Then she pulls out a pair of little American flags, waves them and points again at MARTHA. EM, GEORGE, MARK and BOB consult, then rush out.)

(MARTHA and MS. HENKLE begin to exit.)

MS. HENKLE
Oh, you have nothing to worry about, dear. I'm sure you'll do just fine.

MARTHA
So you think I have a good chance?

(BOB rushes in wearing an American Revolution dress.)

BOB
It's show time!

MARTHA
Actually, we were just --

BOB
Oh, you don't want to leave now. Why, the show's just beginning.

(BOB ushers MARTHA and MS. HENKLE to the armchair. )

BOB (cont.)
Sit ye! Sit ye!
(returns to center stage)
Ladies and gentlemen! The Bleeker House Players are proud to present, "George and
Martha: A Revolutionary Love Story!"

(ROYAL FLOURISH heard.)

BOB (cont.)
You know, they say that George Washington had wooden teeth, but I didn't believe it till I saw a picture of a beaver trying to make a dam out of his molars!

(RIM SHOT)
BOB (cont.)
But seriously, folks. We begin our story at Mt. Vernon. It's the middle of winter, the middle of the Revolution, and the beginning of our little drama.

(BOB goes and stands by MARTHA and MS. HENKLE while EM as Martha Washington and GEORGE as the President enter, in costume. GEORGE sits on the couch. EM stands.)

EM
George, don't you think it's about time you got back to the Revolution?

GEORGE
But how can I, my pet, with your glorious beauty standing in my path?

EM
Oh, that's very flattering, honey, but the war . . .

GEORGE
You mean the war that rages within my breast for you, dear Martha.

EM
Oh dearest, your words do indeed set my downy bosom aflame with wanting, but your men . . .

GEORGE
They're not going anywhere. Come, let us instead sit by yon fire and toast marshmallows. And when the howling blizzard doth pass, so too, will I be gone.

EM
Oh George, but you should be with your men before the storm passeth, not after. To show them how deeply you care for them, for their cause, for . . .

EM (cont.)
OH GEORGE, YOU MUST GO TO VALLEY FORGE
TO FIGHT FOR WHAT'S RIGHT AND WHAT'S FREE.
AND WHEN, WHEN YOU GO TO VALLEY FORGE,
YOU GO NOT FOR YOU AND FOR ME,
BUT FOR AMERICA, AMERICA,
THEN GOD WILL SHINE ON THEE.

GEORGE
OH MARTHA, I OWE IT ALL TO YOU
FOR TURNING ME ROUND WITH YOUR PLEA.
I SHALL (I SHALL!), I SHALL GO TO VALLEY FORGE.
AND NOT JUST FOR YOU AND FOR ME,
BUT FOR AMERICA, AMERICA,
THEN GOD WILL SHINE ON THEE --

(GEORGE rises and stands close to EM.)

GEORGE AND EM
AND FOR AMERICA, A-HA-MER-HER-RI-HI-CA,
THEN GOD WILL SHINE ON THEE.

(EM helps GEORGE put on his coat. He gives her a big kiss, then strides to the door. When he opens it, a blizzard of snow rushes in. GEORGE pauses, then turns to EM with a snow mask covering his face, his dark little eyes blinking in question through the eye holes. But EM pushes his face away with a smile, then pushes him out and closes the door behind her.)

MS. HENKLE
(applauding)
Bravo! Bravo!

MARTHA
Yes, very "bravo" of you. Now if you'll excuse us.

(MARTHA starts escorting MS. HENKLE towards the exit, but BOB stops them.)

BOB
Wait, you can't leave now. Why, we've just begun. We've barely begun.

MARTHA
I'm sure you don't need us to put on your show.

BOB
Well, I'm sure that without an audience, there is no show.

MARTHA
But I'm not an audience.

BOB
Well, we're not a show.

GEORGE
I thought we were a show.

MARTHA
A show of force.

EM
Well, if you want to leave, you can. I just don't know why you'd want to.

MARTHA
My guest and I, --

EM
Your guest?

MARTHA
Ms. Henkle, --

EM
Ah.

MARTHA
were just on our way to lunch.

EM
Ah. Well. So were we.

MARTHA
You were not.

GEORGE
Chili dogs and onion rings! Let's go together!

MS. HENKLE
Actually, we have reservations --

BOB
Oh, but how can you have reservations about chili dogs!

(BOING SOUND heard. BOB and GEORGE react.)

GEORGE
And onion rings!

(Lower pitched BOING heard. BOB and GEORGE react.)

MARTHA
I really don’t think Ms. Henkle is in the mood for chili dogs.

BOB
What about franks and beans?

GEORGE
Ben and frank.

BOB
Speaking of which, where is Ben?

GEORGE
Ben who?

BOB
Why, there's only one Ben.
(to audience)
Or is there?

(BOB, GEORGE and EM usher MARTHA and MRS. HENKLE off to the side as MARK enters, in costume.)
MARK
THIS OLD REVOLUTION
HAS GOT ME DOWN.
WHICH WAY SHALL I TURN?
GO UP OR GO DOWN?
SEE HOW CONFUSING
THE TIMES HAVE BECOME.

NOW BENJAMIN, NOW BENEDICT.
NOW FRANKLIN, NOW ARNOLD.
NOW STATESMAN, NOW TRAITOR.
AHHH!

WHICH WAY SHALL I TURN?
WHICH WAY SHALL I BE?

(FRIEND #1 and FRIEND #2, in costume, enter and approach MARK from either side.)

MARK (cont.)
HERE COME MY OLD FRIENDS.
OR MY ENEMIES?

FRIEND #1
HO, BENJAMIN.

FRIEND #2
HO, BENEDICT.

FRIEND #1
HO, FRANKLIN.

FRIEND #2
HO, ARNOLD.

FRIEND #1
HO, STATESMAN.

FRIEND #2
HO, TRAITOR.

MARK
(sweeps his cloak over his face)
AHHH!

(FRIENDS #1 and #2 give MARK a friendly tap and keep walking. MARK slowly emerges from his cloak.)

MARK
THE COUNTRY NEEDS
TO BE IN SYNC,
BUT I AM TORN
BETWEEN AND THINK.

OH BENJAMIN, OH BENEDICT.
OH FRANKLIN, OH ARNOLD.
OH STATESMAN, OH TRAITOR.
(sweeps off-stage)
AHHH!

MS. HENKLE
(applauding)
Bravo! Bravo!

EM
(to MARTHA)
There, now wasn't that better than going to lunch?

GEORGE
Food for the mind.

BOB
Mind food.

EM
Food for the soul.

BOB
Sou --

MARTHA
Why should I care?

BOB
Well, if you want to learn stuff, you could learn just as much by watching our play as you could at any college.

MARTHA
Is this what all this is about?

BOB
Is this what all what this is about?
GEORGE
She means is this what all that was this about.

EM
Besides, we have a part for you. It's not the lead. That would be me. But it's a great part. Betsy Ross.

BOB
Betsy Ross! I thought I was Betsy Ross.

EM
Well, you are, in spirit, but on stage, Martha is, OK?

BOB
But I want to be Betsy Ross, all of me.

MARK
In your dreams.

EM
In all our dreams, Mark, who is not helping very much. But we want Martha to play Betsy Ross now because it would be a good learning experience, right?

MARTHA
Actually, Ms. Henkle and I were just going to lunch.

BOB
Did you hear that? Martha doesn't want my part, she wants to go to lunch.

EM
No no. Martha doesn't know what she wants.

GEORGE
She wants chili dogs and onion rings!

(BOING SOUND heard. GEORGE reacts.)

EM
No. Martha doesn't know what she wants yet, that's why we're helping her. Now Bob . . .
(BOB resists.)

EM (cont.)
Bob . . .

BOB
Oh, all right. Here.

(BOB takes off her costume and standing in her underwear, hands it to EM.)

MARTHA
But I don't want to take Bob's part. She looks so tiny standing there.

EM
You're not taking Bob's part, tiny though she may be. She wants you to have it. Don't you, Bob.

(BOB starts to cry.)

EM (cont.)
There, you see?

MARTHA
Oh, I don't know.

EM
Listen, you're not taking her part, understand? Bob's going to be one of the Minutemen.

(BOB lets out a wail.)

EM (cont.)
As a matter of fact, I think I hear them now.

(MARCHING SOUNDS heard. Three MINUTEMEN enter, carrying rifles and marching.)

MINUTEMEN
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK.
TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
OH, GUESS WHO WE ARE?
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
WE'RE YOUR NEIGHBORS AND FRIENDS.
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
WE'RE READY TO FIGHT.
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
WHEN THE SIGNAL YOU SEND
THE FIGHTING MINUTEMEN.
THE FIGHTING MINUTEMEN.
(resume marching)
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK.
TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
WE'RE STEALTHILY HID
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
IN YOUR DAILY LIVES,
MINUTEMEN (cont.)
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
UNTIL WE RECEIVE
(TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK, TICK TOCK)
THE SIGNAL THAT DRIVES
THE FIGHTING MINUTEMEN.
THE FIGHTING MINUTEMEN.

EM
(to BOB)
There, now isn't that nice?

(EM goes over to CHUCK, one of the MINUTEMEN.)

EM (cont.)
Sorry, Chuck.

(She takes CHUCK's rifle. CHUCK bursts into tears and runs off the stage. EM hands the rifle to BOB.)

EM (cont.)
There, what did I tell you. When Emmy makes a promise, she keeps a promise. Now what do you say?

(BOB bursts into tears and runs off the stage.)

EM (cont.)
That's it. Go call your mom and tell her the good news!

(EM hands MARTHA the costume.)
EM (cont.)
OK. Now Martha. Put on this dress and be Betsy Ross.

(MARTHA puts on the costume.)

MARTHA
I don't know. Bob didn't look too happy.

EM
Listen, we'll work something out. Maybe being a Minuteman isn't the answer, --
(for the benefit of the two remaining MINUTEMEN)
even though it's a great part!

(The MINUTEMEN congratulate one another.)

EM (cont.)
But the thing is, you're here now, right? Bob's gone. She abandoned us.

MARTHA
She abandoned us?

EM
OK, whatever. But you are here, right? You're in costume -- and you look fabulous, by the way -- and you've got a song.
(to GEORGE)
George, give Martha a song.

(GEORGE gives MARTHA some sheet music, a big American Revolution flag and a needle and thread.)
EM (cont.)
So just go on out there now and sing your American-history-loving little heart out, then you can go to lunch.

MARTHA
Really?

EM
Sure. What did you think? That we're a bunch of slave drivers around here that don't let people go to lunch? We're union, you know.
(to others)
Sort of.
(to Martha)
So just go on out there, sing your song and then you can go.

(MARTHA goes, looking over her sheet music. She sits on the couch and pretends to be sewing the flag.)

MARTHA
RED, WHITE AND BLUE,
THREE COLORS THAT ARE TRUE.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE,
FOR BABY, ME AND YOU.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE,
I'M SEWING FOR OUR LAND
(rises and snaps open the flag on "symbol")
A SYMBOL OF AMERICA,
A BANNER BOLD AND GRAND.

(A wounded SOLDIER enters and stands next to MARTHA.)

MARTHA (cont.)
WHEN YOU ARE BLUE
FROM FIGHTING THIS OLD WAR,
RED, WHITE AND BLUE,
WILL MAKE YOUR SPIRITS SOAR.
DON'T YOU GIVE IN
TO FEELINGS THAT AREN'T TRUE,
REMEMBER GOOD OLD BETSY ROSS,
SHE'LL SEW A FLAG FOR YOU.

(MARTHA holds out the flag for the SOLDIER. He starts weeping and wipes a tear away with a corner of Old Glory. MARTHA consoles him.)

(EM and MS. HENKLE applaud.)

EM
Touching!

MS. HENKLE
Pathos! Pathos! Wonderful performance!

EM
And educational. Something that an American history major could truly appreciate.

MARTHA
Excuse me, but I'm not going to study American history so I can appreciate your play.

EM
Why not?

MARTHA
Well, for one thing, it's full of inaccuracies. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that Benjamin Franklin and Benedict Arnold were the same person!

EM
Oh really, really. I must have misread that chapter. Well, that's perfect.

MARTHA
Perfect.

EM
Sure. Now, not only can you play Betsy Ross, --

MS. HENKLE
And beautifully.

EM
but you can also serve as our technical adviser.

MARTHA
And if I choose not to serve?

EM
Too late, you've already been signed.

(GEORGE hands MARTHA a contract. MARTHA starts to read it, but GEORGE snatches it away.)

EM (cont.)
Besides, what better way to serve your country than to educate the American public through your art?

MARTHA
You mean your art.

EM
Whatever.

MARTHA
Ms. Henkle?

MS. HENKLE
You know, my grandfather was in vaudeville --

GEORGE
Everybody loves show business!

EM
There, you see? Ms. Henkle, your benefactor, has a root or two firmly planted in the fertile fields of the entertainment industry.

MS. HENKLE
and I've often wondered what it would've been like to have followed in his footsteps.

EM
And she regrets having planted her tulips in the dusty fields of academia.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, my tulips are quite happy where they are. But I do know some people who own a theater and they're always looking for new plays.

EM
A theater?

MS. HENKLE
Why yes. A charming little place near the college.

EM
I love college!

MS. HENKLE
Well, why don't we discuss it over lunch?

GEORGE
Chili dogs for everyone!

(BOING SOUND heard. GEORGE, the SOLDIER and the MINUTEMEN react.)

MS. HENKLE
Oh, I don't know if you all can come. Maybe we can squeeze in one or two more.

(GEORGE puts his arm around MS. HENKLE.)

GEORGE
Sorry guys, maybe next time.

(EM steps between GEORGE and MS. HENKLE.)

EM
One more will be fine, Ms. Henkle.

(She begins ushering MS. HENKLE towards the exit.)
EM (cont.)
So, as you were saying . . .

MS. HENKLE
Well, as I said, it's a small place that some friends of mine own. I think I can swing it, but there's no guarantee.

EM
Well, that you would even consider asking is a dream come true.
(to MARTHA)
Coming, Betsy?

MARTHA
But what about my application?

MS. HENKLE
Well, it looks promising, dear --

EM
But there’s no guarantee.

(EM and MS. HENKLE laugh as MARTHA follows them out.)


ACT 1
Scene 3


BLEEKER HOUSE.
(MARTHA, wearing a pair of glasses, sits on the couch and studies an American history book. BOB enters and notices her. She takes out a feather duster from behind the counter and begins dusting. She makes her way over to MARTHA and tries to get her attention by humming, dusting around her, etc., but does not succeed. Finally, she begins dusting MARTHA's book, then goes up her arm and into her face.)

MARTHA
What are you . . .
(pushes the duster away and sneezes)
Oh, Bob.

(BOB turns up her nose and goes back to the counter. MARTHA closes her book and goes over to BOB who's reading Variety.)


MARTHA (cont.)
Listen Bob, I'm really sorry about what happened yesterday.

(BOB puts up the clock sign, taps the top with a pencil and shoos MARTHA away.)

MARTHA (cont.)
You know, I really didn't want --

(BOB harumphs and rumples her paper.)
MARTHA (cont.)
Bob?

(BOB harumphs and rumples some more. MARTHA snatches the paper away.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Bob, would you please listen? I'm trying to apologize.

BOB
For what? For stealing my part? For stealing my dream?
(snatches her paper back)

MARTHA
But I didn't. Em made me.

BOB
She made you take my dream?

MARTHA
No, she made me take your part.

BOB
Taking my part and taking my dream is the same thing, Ms. Benedict Arnold.
(returns to her paper)

MARTHA
But your dream is to be a comedian, isn't it?

BOB
Oh, and a comedian can't play it straight?

MARTHA
No, of course she can --

BOB
You don't think I can play the ingenue?

MARTHA
No, I'm sure you could --

BOB
Well, then what are you saying?

MARTHA
I, I don't know.

BOB
Unless you're saying that although I could play it straight, although I could play the ingenue, by playing the Minuteman, my natural comedic ability could be better showcased, leading to an expansion of said role.

MARTHA
Yes. That's what I meant.

BOB
That I could even be . . . the star.

MARTHA
Well, I don't know. As long as Em is around.

BOB
What?

MARTHA
Well, maybe the star.

BOB
The co-star.

MARTHA
Yes.

BOB
The showstopper.

MARTHA
Exactly.

BOB
The scene stealer.

MARTHA
Public enemy #1.

BOB
Well, I feel better now.

MARTHA
Well you should, my goodness.

BOB
So, what were you reading?

MARTHA
Huh?

BOB
Reading, reading.

MARTHA
Oh, just some American history stuff.

BOB
Oh, so you've been accepted.

MARTHA
No no. I just thought I'd get a head start.

BOB
Oh. Cheating, eh?

MARTHA
I am not cheating! I would never –

(RIM SHOT)

MARTHA (cont.)
Oh, that was a joke.

(BOB holds her hand to her side in a comic's pose.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Well, speaking of jokes. And cheating.

(RIM SHOT)

MARTHA (cont.)
How did you know I wanted to study American history?

BOB
What do you mean?

MARTHA
What do you think I mean?

BOB
Oh, you mean the play. Oh, well, I overheard you talking to that woman.

MARTHA
Ms. Henkle.

BOB
Right. I even did you, as a matter of fact.

MARTHA
Did me?

(BOB ducks behind the counter, then pops up wearing glasses and a backpack)

BOB
Hi! Did you get your classes yet?

(BOB comes out and she and MARTHA start strolling around together like they're on campus.)

MARTHA
Oh, not yet. Still waiting.

BOB
Well hey, ain't that the truth. And gosh and golly gee, there sure are a lot of cute fellers around here.

MARTHA
Oh yes, the College of Eating and Studying is famous for the cuteness of its male students.

BOB
But I guess we'll never get asked out while we’re stuck wearing these things.
(indicates her glasses)

MARTHA
Oh, I don't know about that.

BOB
Oh really. Then there’s hope?

MARTHA
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES
CUZ THEY'RE SO PRETTY
AND NICE, AND NICE.
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES.
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.

BOB
Wow!

MARTHA
WHENEVER THEY'RE NEAR THEM,
THEY ALWAYS WILL CHEER THEM.

BOB
DING DONG, DING DONG.

MARTHA
WHENEVER THEY'RE WITH THEM,
THEY ALWAYS WILL KISS THEM.

BOB
DING DONG DELL.

MARTHA AND BOB
(start waltzing)
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES
CUZ THEY'RE SO PRETTY
AND NICE, AND NICE.
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES,
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.
(stop waltzing)
MARTHA
SO IF YOU'RE A LASSIE
WITH WINDSHIELD AND CHASSIS,

BOB
DON'T FEEL BLUE.

MARTHA
THERE'S ALWAYS A FELLA.
YOU'LL BE CINDERELLA

BOB
AND BRAND NEW.

MARTHA AND BOB
(start waltzing again)
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES
CUZ THEY'RE SO PRETTY
AND NICE, AND NICE.
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES,
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.

(EM enters.)

EM
Well I'm glad someone's having a good time around here.

MARTHA
Why, what's the matter?

EM
You're friend, for one thing.

MARTHA
My friend?

EM
Yes. Ms. Henkle. Trudy.

BOB
Trudy.

MARTHA
She's not my friend. She's my adviser.

EM
You mean your “opinionater.”

MARTHA
Why, what's the matter?

EM
That woman has an opinion about everything. The play's too long. Why not put this over here? Is this line really necessary? Is this song really necessary?

MARTHA
The Benjamin/Benedict song?

EM
No. The Minuteman song.

(BOB almost has a heart attack. MARTHA steadies her.)

MARTHA
What's the matter with the Minuteman song? I thought it was kind of attractive.

EM
Attractive. Henkle says it makes them look creepy. Can you believe that?

BOB
You know, she may have a point there, Em.
(puts her arm around EM's shoulder)
See, I've been giving some thought about my character, you understand?

MARTHA
Uh, maybe this isn't a good time for that, Bob.

(EM stares down BOB.)

MARTHA (cont.)
So what else is she saying? She's still doing the play, isn't she?

EM
Well sure, she's still doing the play. It's a great play. But everything has to go through her. She knows this person. She knows that person. Bucky and her used to be in the drama club together.

BOB
Bucky.

EM
And get this. She wants to direct.

MARTHA
Really.

EM
Yes, really. She says she has this gift. This vision.

MARTHA
I thought the writer was supposed to have more of a say in the theater.

EM
Listen, I’m not a writer, OK?

MARTHA
Well, maybe you should start thinking of yourself as one.

EM
No way. Why would I want to think of myself as a writer when I can think of myself as an actress? I mean I am an actress.

MARTHA
What about a producer?

BOB
An actress-producer. Sounds like an agent.

(RIM SHOT)

EM
I'm not an agent. I wouldn't mind being a producer though.

MARTHA
Well, there you go. And as the producer, couldn't you tell the director what to do?

EM
Yeah, right. If I was the real producer, but I'm not. It’s just that I have no real power here, you know? Henkle has all the power. I'm more like her lackey. Her Tinker Bell.

BOB
Tinker Bell had power. She had fairy power.

EM
The thing is, I wouldn't mind working for her so much if she just had some sort of vision.

MARTHA
Well, tell her that.

EM
How do you tell someone with no vision that she has no vision?

BOB
Give her some of your vision.

EM
Hey Tinker Bell, I would if I could. But the real problem is that she has all the power and she thinks that this power is her vision, you know?

MARTHA
What's wrong with power?

EM
Nothing, if you're in a power position, but she's not. She's put herself in a vision position, so when she has to come up with a vision solution, there's nothing there.

BOB
If there's nothing there, what's the problem? Just hit her in the head with a 2 x 4 and push her out of the way.

EM
No. Nothing's there in the vision area, but plenty's there in the power area. So when a vision solution is required and no vision comes out, the power comes rushing in to take its place.

MARTHA
Well, why can't she see that?

EM
Because she has no vision! I'm standing here talking about a woman with no vision to a person with no hearing!

MARTHA
OK, so what are you going to do about it?

EM
Well, I don't know what I'm going to do, but what I have to do is take over the vision area as director and keep her tied up in the power area.

MARTHA
But won't you still have the same problem with her having all the power?

EM
No. If I'm the director, she won't have all the power anymore. I'll still have problems, but I can work around them a little, say yes yes yes to her suggestions, then do things my way when it comes to doing the actual play.

MARTHA
Sounds dangerous.

EM
Yeah, but anything's better than what I've got now. And besides, it's just gonna get worse when I take off my writer's hat and put on the hat I really wanna wear.

MARTHA
Your actress hat.

EM
Right. And with Trudy Henkle as my director.

MS. HENKLE
(off-stage)
Hello, hello!

EM
Oh no, here she comes.
(starts to exit)
I'm not here.

BOB
Should we tell her what you just said about her?

EM
(whisper)
You do that and I'll demote you from the Minutemen to the Boston Tea Party chorus line!

(EM mouths the words "Not here" to MARTHA and exits. MS. HENKLE enters.)

MS. HENKLE
Hello, hello.

BOB
She's not here!

MS. HENKLE
Who's not here?

MARTHA
Uh, can we help you with something, Ms. Henkle?

MS. HENKLE
Oh no, dear. I just dropped by to give you some more brochures.
(hands MARTHA brochures)

MARTHA
Oh. More brochures. You know, Ms. Henkle, I think I'm getting a little passed the brochure stage, don't you? Shouldn't I start on the application stage?

MS. HENKLE
You can never have enough preparation, dear.

BOB
Martha's preparing. You should see her read all those history books.

(BOB puts a book in MARTHA's hands in a reading position.)

MS. HENKLE
That's all very nice, dear. But there are other things that Martha could do to prepare for admission.

MARTHA
Like reading brochures?

MS. HENKLE
Yes. Reading brochures and --

BOB
Being in a play.

MS. HENKLE
Exactly.

MARTHA
What good is that gonna to do me?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, well, we at Briarwood College can appreciate the well-rounded individual. Now your academic record is quite impressive, Martha, but I noticed that you don't have much in terms of extracurricular activities.

MARTHA
But I want to study American history.

MS. HENKLE
From what perspective?

MARTHA
From a historical perspective.

BOB
I'm getting a headache.

MS. HENKLE
A historical perspective.

MARTHA
Yes, of the people who caused and experienced the historical events.

MS. HENKLE
And what good will knowing that do?

MARTHA
Well, then we compare their context and perspective with our context and perspective --

MS. HENKLE
Ah, but how can you know what our context and perspective is if you have no extracurricular activities?

BOB
She can do our play!

MARTHA
I'm already doing the play.

BOB
And she's in a band.
MS. HENKLE
Wonderful!
(begins to exit)
Explore your options, dear. Read the brochures and I'll get back to you.
(exits)

MARTHA
What was that all about?

BOB
I don't know. But she's the one who can get you into your college, so you better listen.

MARTHA
Maybe Em was right about that vision thing.

BOB
Maybe she was, maybe she wasn't. But in the meantime, look who's here.

(GEORGE and MARK enter, arguing.)

MARK
It's a stupid song.

GEORGE
It's not a stupid song. It's a great song.

MARTHA
What. "Oh George, You Must Go To Valley Forge?"

GEORGE
No. "The Workaday Blues."

MARTHA
Oh, did Em write a new song?

GEORGE
No, it's my song. I wrote it.

BOB
For the show?

GEORGE
For the band, the band!

BOB
Sorry.

GEORGE
How could you forget about the band?

BOB
I'm not in the band.

GEORGE
(to MARTHA)
How could you forget about the band?

MARTHA
I haven't.

BOB
Forget the band. What about the song?

GEORGE
Forget the band!

MARK
It's a stupid song.

GEORGE
It's not a stupid song! It's a great song!

MARTHA
Well, why don't you play it for us, then?

MARK
Yeah, play it for them.

GEORGE
It's not a stupid song!

MARTHA
Just play it, George.

GEORGE
(sits down on the couch with his guitar)
OK. Here it is. "The Workaday Blues" --

BOB
(like little kid)
By Stanley Beetleman.

MARK
It's a stupid song! We can all feel it coming!

GEORGE
It's not a stupid song!

MARTHA
OK, shh shh.

BOB
Yes, everybody. Shh shh, shh shh.

MARK
It's a stupid song.

GEORGE
It's not a stupid song!

MARK
Then play it, why don't you!

GEORGE
I would if everyone would just shut up for a second!

BOB
Yes, everybody. Shh shh shh, shh shh shh.

MARTHA
OK, everybody's listening now, George. So . . .

GEORGE
(starts playing)
OH, I LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD
AND I WORK IN CENTURY CITY.
(HEY HEY. HEY HEY.)

MARK
What a stupid song.

GEORGE
WHERE THE BUILDINGS ARE TALL
AND THE PEOPLE, THEY TRY TO LOOK PRETTY.

MARTHA
It's not so bad.

GEORGE
OH WELL, I TAKE THE NUMBER 4
DOWN OLD SMB,
SIXTY MINUTES LATER,
I'M A DOWN BY THE SEA.
MISSED MY STOP A WAY BACK THERE, BUT
THAT'S ALL RIGHT.

BOB
Missing your stop is kind of stupid, though.

MARTHA
Oh I don't know, I've missed my stop a couple of times, haven't you?

MARK
Oh no, here it comes.

GEORGE
MAN, I'M BUSTED REAL BAD.

MARK
Arrrrrrrgh!

GEORGE
IF I GO BACK NOW, MY ASS IS FRIED, BABY.
CUZ THAT BOSS O' MINE, WELL,
HE'S JUST BAD NEWS, DUDE.

MARTHA
Is he all right?

GEORGE
OH, SHOULD I GO BACK NOW?
SHOULD I GO BACK TO CENTURY CITY?
(OH NO! OH NO!)
WHERE THE BUILDINGS ARE TALL
AND MY BOSS IS KINDA SHITTY.
(to MARK)
Don’t say it.
OH, IF I GO BACK NOW
I'LL BE FORTY MINUTES LATE,
BREEZE INTO THE OFFICE
GEORGE (cont.)
AND MY BOSS'LL BE A WAITIN',
HE'LL SAY, "COME ON OVER HERE," THEN SMILE AND
THAT AIN'T RIGHT.

MARTHA
OK, I think we get the idea.

GEORGE
MAN OH MAN, WHEN THAT DUDE STARTS SMILIN', MAN, --

MARK
She said we get the idea.

GEORGE
AND YOU GO OVER AND HE'S JUST SMILIN' AND SMILIN' AND --

MARK
Stop singing!

GEORGE
OH MAN! OH MAN! MY ASS IS FRIED! FRIED!

MARK
That's it.

(He grabs GEORGE'S guitar and starts to swing it to the floor, but BOB snatches it away and starts strumming and strolling.)
BOB
ALAS, MY LOVE,
YOU DO ME WRONG
TO CAST ME OFF
DISCOURTEOUSLY . . .

GEORGE
Hey, I'm not finished yet!

MARK
Your song is crap. It's time to flush, bro.

GEORGE
My song is not crap.

MARK
Your song is crap! You sing the songs of crap!

GEORGE
My song is not crap! I sing of the oppressed working conditions of the proletariat!

MARK
Oppressed working conditions! You've never worked a day in your life!

MARTHA
I had a supervisor who was mean to me once.

MARK
And what was that talking part all about?

GEORGE
Hey, it's the blues, baby. When you got the blues, you gotta just talk it out sometimes.

MARK
You don't talk the blues, you shit-cheeked anal cavity. You sing the blues! Sing the blues!

GEORGE
Talking part of the song is a perfectly acceptable tenet in the blues lexicon. Martha?

MARTHA
Yes?

GEORGE
Acceptable tenet?

MARTHA
Uh . . .

MARK
Acceptable tenet. What did you think of the song?

MARTHA
Well . . .

GEORGE
Go ahead. Be honest. I respect your opinion.

MARTHA
Well . . .

BOB
It sucks!

MARK
There, you see?

GEORGE
OK. That's one opinion. Martha?

MARTHA
Well, it didn't suck.

BOB
Yes it did! Oh, my ear canals are still puckering up from all those big sucking noises!

GEORGE
Martha?

MARTHA
Well, maybe that talking part --

BOB
Sucked popsicles!

GEORGE
Martha?

MARTHA
Well, it didn't suck.

BOB
Yes it did! It sucked the big P till its lips turned purple!

MARTHA
You suck, Bob.

BOB
You promised you'd never tell.

MARTHA
It didn't suck, George. I liked the last part --

MARK
You mean the crappy part?

MARTHA
and I admire your feelings for the working people --

(EM enters.)

EM
What working people?

BOB
Ah, look what the working song sucked in.

EM
What working song? I haven't written any working song.

GEORGE
My working song, Emmy. You're not the only person who writes songs around here.

EM
Oh. Well. Let's hear it, then.

BOB
Wait a minute, let me unpucker my ear canals first.
(pops her ears with her fingers while making popping sounds)

GEORGE
You can hear it in the park. Come on.

(GEORGE, MARK and MARTHA start to exit.)

EM
Uh, guys, guys. I've been meaning to tell you. I, uh, can't be in the band anymore.

MARK
What?

MARTHA
Well if Em isn't going to be in the band, I don't know if I want to either.

MARK
What?

EM
Well, you know with the play and everything I don't really have a lot of spare time --

MARK
Spare time! Is that what we were to you, spare time?

EM
Well, I'm sorry, Mark, but this play is important to me. And besides, I only joined the band for Martha.

MARK
And now she's leaving, too.

EM
No she’s not.

MARK
She just said she was.

MARTHA
Well, I just don't want to be the only girl in the band, especially . . . you know.

MARK
There, you see? She's afraid to be alone with us.

EM
Find another girl then.

GEORGE
But we don't know any other girls.

EM
Oh, sure you do. What about . . .

(EM looks around the room and sees BOB slumped in the armchair with the guitar)
EM (cont.)
What about Bob?

MARK
Bob?

EM
Yeah. She's a girl. Right, Bob?

(BOB looks like a girl.)

MARK
But can she sing?

BOB
(strums guitar)
ALAS, MY LOVE,
YOU DO ME WRONG
TO CAST ME OFF DISCOURTEOUSLY.
FOR I HAVE LOVED YOU,
OH, SO LONG,
DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY.

MARK
OK, good enough. Let's go.

(MARK, MARTHA and BOB starts to exit. GEORGE follows.)

GEORGE
But she said my song sucked.

MARK
We all think your song sucked, bro.

MARTHA
I never said that.

EM
And don't forget, rehearsals for "George and Martha" start next week.

MARK
You think we're gonna be in your crappy play after you dump on us like this?

EM
It pays 250 a week.

GEORGE
We'll be there.

BOB
(strumming guitar)
ALAS, MY LOVE,
YOU DO ME WRONG
TO CAST ME OFF DISCOURTEOUSLY
FOR I HAVE LOVED YOU,
OH, SO LONG,
DELIGHTING IN YOUR STRUMPERY . . .


ACT I
Scene 4


PARK. A bench and garbage can.

(MARTHA, BOB, GEORGE and MARK sing with GEORGE and MARK playing their guitars. An open guitar case lies at their feet for donations.)

MARTHA, BOB,
GEORGE AND MARK

WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS,
DON'T KNOW WHAT AND DON'T KNOW WHO.
WE'VE BEEN FREAKS FOR WEEKS
AND WE DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY . . .

BOB
I know what to say, this heat is killin' me.
(goes and plops down on the bench as the song begins to get thrown off-track)

MARTHA, GEORGE
AND MARK

BUT THAT'S . . .

GEORGE
I'm with you, Bobby.
(goes back to the bench with BOB)

MARTHA AND MARK
O . . .

BOB
Whew! What a scorcher!

GEORGE
You can say that again.

MARTHA
K . . .

MARK
Cut, cut. Bob, George, what the hell are you doing?

BOB
Aw, leave us alone.

MARK
I thought you wanted to be in the band?

BOB
I do. Go ahead, I’m listening.

MARK
You’re not here to listen. You’re here to sing.

(MARK goes over to BOB and pulls her up. MARTHA comes back and slumps down on the bench. MARK lets BOB go and she flops to the ground.)

MARK (cont.)
Oh, this is just great.

GEORGE
Aw, give it a rest, bro. It's too hot to sing.

MARK
What are you talking about?

MARTHA
It's so hot.

MARK
It's not that hot.

BOB
IT'S SO HOT.
IT'S SO HOT.

GEORGE
WE'VE TRIED TO KEEP OUR COOLS,

BOB
BUT WE FIND WE CANNOT.

MARTHA
OUR TEMPERATURES ARE RISING
FROM THIS UNRELENTING HEAT.

GEORGE
THE BEST THING WE CAN MUSTER
BOB
IS TO

MARTHA
SIMPLY

GEORGE
RE -

BOB
PEAT,

BOB, MARTHA
AND GEORGE

THAT HONEY, IT'S SO HOT.
OH DARLIN', IT'S SO DRY.
OUR TEARS HAVE GONE TO HEAVEN,
SO WE CAN'T EVEN CRY.

OH, IT'S SO VERY GRIM.

BOB
AGHHH!

BOB, MARTHA
AND GEORGE

WE'VE LOST ALL OUR VIGOR
AND WE'RE LOSING OUR VIM.
CUZ IT'S SO HOT
THAT WE'RE SHRIVELLING UP,
OH NO.

BOB, MARTHA
AND GEORGE (cont.)
(Overlapping)
OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!

MARK
Hey, you don't see me bellyachin', do ya?

GEORGE
Yeah, well, we don't really look to you as a role model, bro.

BOB
Take a break, Jake.

MARTHA
If everyone would just stop talking for awhile I think we'd cool down faster.

MARK
I, for one, cannot rest while knowing there are people out there who need to be entertained.

GEORGE
There aren't any people out there, you heat-seeking motherfucker.

BOB
And if they don't find this entertaining, they don't deserve to be entertained.

MARK
I know. I'll sing by myself.

GEORGE
You don't sing solo, Marky.

MARK
I'll dance then.

GEORGE
You don't dance solo either.

BOB
Does anybody have a barf bag?

MARK
I'll dance with Martha then. Come on, "Martho," time to get back to work.

(He pulls MARTHA up and they start dancing the hula. MARTHA does OK at first, then starts to wilt. MARK tries to prop her up, but she slips to the ground.)

GEORGE
Give it up, bro.

BOB
Yeah. Look what you've done. You’ve killed "Martho."

MARK
I haven't kill her. Look, she's still dancing.

(He tries making MARTHA’s limp body hula, but is not successful. So he slides her around, props up her backside so that it's facing the audience and wiggles it from side to side. MARTHA swats at him with her hand.)

MARTHA
Stop that! What are you doing?

MARK
Nothing. I'm just helping.

(As MARK and MARTHA continue to argue, GEORGE and BOB get up and start dancing over.)

GEORGE AND BOB
IT'S SO HOT.
OH HONEY, YOU SHOULD BE ALERTED
THAT IF WE TURNED INTO CAMELS
ALL OUR HUMPS WOULD BE INVERTED.
ARE THOSE OUR LIVES
FLASHING BEFORE OUR EYES?
IF THERE WERE AWARDS FOR BORING LIVES,
WE’D SURELY WIN A PRIZE.
BUT WAIT, HOLD ON.
WE THINK WE HEAR BELLS.
IT'S THE GOOD HUMOR MAN
WITH HIS ICE CREAM TO SELL.
OH, HELP IS ON THE WAY.

(They help MARK and MARTHA up and celebrate.)

GEORGE AND BOB (cont.)
WE'RE GONNA BUY SOME ICE CREAM,
HIP HIP HOORAY.
GEORGE, BOB
AND MARTHA

CUZ IT'S SO HOT,
BUT WE DON'T FRET, CUZ WE'RE . . .

MARK
GONNA BUY WHAT WE WANNA GET.

GEORGE, BOB,
AND MARTHA

AND IT'S SO HOT,
BUT WE'RE STILL COOL, CUZ WE'RE . . .

MARK
GONNA BUY AND WE'RE GONNA RULE --

GEORGE, BOB,
AND MARTHA

(THE WORLD.)
AND IT'S SO HOT,
BUT THAT'S OK.

(GEORGE, BOB, MARTHA AND MARK start dancing off-stage in a line)

GEORGE, BOB,
MARTHA AND MARK

HOORAY A-BYE-BYE.
HOORAY A-BYE-BYE.
HOORAY A-BYE-BYE, A BYE-BYE, A BYE-BYE.

GEORGE, BOB
AND MARTHA

A BUY BUY --

MARK
THAT ICE CREAM!

GEORGE, BOB
AND MARTHA

A BUY BUY --

MARK
THAT ICE CREAM!

GEORGE, BOB,
MARK AND MARTHA

A BYE-BYE.
(They drop to the ground.)

MARTHA
You know, I think I really did see an ice cream truck over there.

MARK
No way.

MARTHA
Why are you always so contrary?
(gets up)
Come on, Bob.

(She pulls BOB out of the pile.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Let's go get some ice cream for everybody.

BOB
Why do I always have to do everything?

MARTHA
(gets money from the case)
Because we love you.

MARK
Like a doggy.

BOB
I'm gonna get Mark one of those really big popsicles so he can shove it up his --

(MARTHA pulls BOB away)

MARTHA
Come on, let's go.

(MARTHA and BOB start to exit. ICE CREAM TRUCK BELLS heard.)

BOB
Turn off them damn bells! We can hear you, god dammit!

(MARTHA and BOB exit. MARK and GEORGE continue lying in a heap.)

GEORGE
You know, that popsicle doesn't sound so bad.

MARK
I'm getting up.
(goes and sits on the bench.)

GEORGE
Refreshing.

(GEORGE goes and sits next to MARK who scoots over a little. THEODORE and THE TRASHETTES enter. They stand to the side and observe.)

MARK
So what do you think of Bob and Martha?

GEORGE
Oh, I don't know. They're kinda cute.

MARK
I meant as part of the band.

GEORGE
That's what I meant.

MARK
No way.

GEORGE
I did.

MARK
You didn't.

GEORGE
(rises)
And what exactly are you implying?

MARK
(rises)
I imply nothing. I state the obvious.

GEORGE
Oh yeah?

MARK
Yeah!

GEORGE
Oh yeah?

MARK
Yeah!

(THEODORE and THE TRASHETTES approach.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, gentlemen. What seems to be the problem here?

GEORGE
Sir, I can see by your attire that you're a man of the world. Enlighten us then. If a person says that the female members of a band are kind of cute, could that not refer to the professional aspects that they contribute to said band?

THEODORE
Well, yes.

GEORGE
(to MARK)
See?

THEODORE
And no.

MARK
(to GEORGE)
See? Hey, wait a minute.

GEORGE
Yeah, wait a minute. What exactly do you want here anyway? Watch the money, Mark.

MARK
(standing by the case)
I'm already there, bro.

(THEODORE and THE TRASHETTES go over to the case, peer in and laugh softly.)

THEODORE
Oh my.
(takes out his billfold and lets a fingerful of cash flutter into the case.)

MARK
Hey, what do you think you're doing?

GEORGE
Yeah, what do you think you're doing? Do it again.

THEODORE
Gentlemen, I don't want your money. I want to give you money.

MARK
Go ahead.

GEORGE
Yeah.

THEODORE
Gentlemen, my card.

(THEODORE hands MARK a card.)

MARK
(reads)
“Theodore Tintorento. King of the Fads Incorporated.”
(to THEODORE)
You're this King of the Fads?

THEODORE
Oh, no no. I represent the King of the Fads.

MARK
You're the Prince of the Fads.

THEODORE
No no.

GEORGE
The Duke of the Fads.

THEODORE
No.

MARK
The Constable of the Fads.

GEORGE
The Landed Gentry of the Fads.

THEODORE
Gentlemen, please. As I said before, I represent the King of the Fads --

MARK
Yeah, well we ain't no fad.

GEORGE
You got that right, bro!

(GEORGE high fives MARK.)

THEODORE
Oh yes, I can surely see that.
(peers into the case)
But, and forgive me for being so bold, don't you want to be successful, too?

MARK
We are successful.

GEORGE
You got that right, bro.

(GEORGE starts to high five MARK, but he isn't there.)

MARK
Come on, George. I think we've heard enough from Mr. Fad here.

GEORGE
Yeah. We ain't no fad.

(GEORGE and MARK start gathering up their things.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, I meant no offense. I mean you really could have it all. Fame.

GEORGE
We got fame.

THEODORE
Money.

MARK
We got money.

THEODORE
Women.

GEORGE
We got money.

THEODORE
Please gentlemen, if you’d only think --

MARK
We don’t gotta think. We know what we want.

THEODORE
Oh now, gentlemen, there’s always something your friends can give you that you can’t get on your own.

(THEODORE signals to the TRASHETTES.)

MARK
Oh yeah, like what?

TRASHETTE #1
HITTING THE BIG TIME,
DON'T NEED NO CAR.

TRASHETTE #2
WANNA GET NOTICED?
WANNA BE A STAR?

TRASHETTE #3
DO YOU FEEL LIKE DANCIN'?
YOU KNOW I'VE GOT THE KEY.

TRASHETTE #1
COME ON AND NONNY NONNY WITH ME.

THE TRASHETTES
HEY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, UH HUH.
SAY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, YEAH YEAH.
IF YOU'RE A HONEY,
SAY HONEY HONEY, ALL RIGHT.

TRASHETTE #3
HONEY, HONEY!

THE TRASHETTES
HEY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, TONIGHT.

GEORGE
Hey, what's all this nonny nonny stuff?

MARK
He's trying to push that "King-a-tha" shit thing on us again.

GEORGE
Yeah. And we ain't no shit thing.

MARK
You got that right, bro.

(GEORGE and MARK high five each other, then start to exit. THEODORE signals to THE TRASHETTES.)

TRASHETTE #1
THINK YOU'VE GOT CHARISMA.
SO READY THAT IT ACHES.

TRASHETTE #2
STEP OUT OF YOUR ABYSMAL
LITTLE LIFE IS ALL IT TAKES.

TRASHETTE #3
DO YOU FEEL LIKE SCRATCHIN'?
YOU KNOW I'VE GOT THE KEY.

TRASHETTE #1
COME ON AND NONNY NONNY WITH ME.

(THEODORE tosses a fistful of money into the air. GEORGE and MARK eagerly gather it up.)

THE TRASHETTES
HEY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, UH HUH.
SAY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, YEAH YEAH.
IF YOU'RE A HONEY,
SAY HONEY HONEY, ALL RIGHT.

GEORGE
HONEY, HONEY!

THE TRASHETTES
HEY NONNY NONNY.
HEY NONNY NONNY, TONIGHT.

THEODORE
So what's it going to be, gentlemen?

(GEORGE and MARK look at the money, THE TRASHETTES, then each other.)

GEORGE AND MARK
We're in!

GEORGE
Bring on the King!

(MARK high fives THEODORE, then THEODORE and THE TRASHETTES start dancing off the stage. GEORGE and MARK gather up their guitars and follow in kind.)

THE TRASHETTES
HEY, LITTLE CONNIE,
DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'RE GONNIE
WHEN YOU NONNY NONNY WITH ME?

(GEORGE and MARK suddenly pause with second thoughts. THEODORE signals for THE TRASHETTES to start flirting with the boys again. They do and GEORGE and MARK resume their dancing exit.)
THE TRASHETTES (cont.)
HEY, LITTLE LONNIE,
DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'RE GONNIE
WHEN YOU NONNY NONNY WITH ME?

(GEORGE and MARK pause again. THEODORE hands some money to THE TRASHETTES who wave it in the boy’s faces. GEORGE and MARK look at each other, take the money, toss away their guitars and resume their dancing exit.)

THE TRASHETTES (cont.)
HEY, LITTLE VONNIE,
DON'T YOU KNOW YOU'RE GONNIE
WHEN YOU NONNY NONNY WITH ME?
HEY HEY HEY.

(GEORGE, MARK, THE TRASHETTES and THEODORE exit. MARTHA and BOB enter. MARTHA has two ice cream cones and BOB, an ice cream cone and a 12-inch, missile-shaped popsicle.)

MARTHA
Hey, where'd they go?

BOB
They probably went to take a leak. You know how guys are.

MARTHA
(notices guitars lying on the ground)
What do you think this means?

BOB
Oh, you know. When guys have to take a leak, they just drop whatever they're doing and sprint on over to the nearest can.

MARTHA
You mean bathroom.

BOB
Right

MARTHA
Cuz there's a garbage can right over there. But still, their guitars. Couldn't they take care of their business without abandoning their beloved instruments?

BOB
Maybe they were abducted.

MARTHA
Space aliens?

BOB
Talent police.

MARTHA
What if we have to testify on their behalf?

BOB
We'll take the Fifth.

MARTHA
Wait a minute. If they were arrested by the talent police --

BOB
Abducted.

MARTHA
why wouldn't they take their guitars as evidence?

BOB
Good point. They haven't been abducted. They're taking a leak. Let's wait.

(BOB and MARTHA sit on the bench. BOB hums and whistles a little tune.)

BOB (cont.)
Hm hm hm hm hm --
(whistle)
Dee dee dee dee da da doo. Hey look, Mark's popsicle's startin' to melt. What should I do?

MARTHA
Put it someplace cold.

(BOB holds the popsicle out to MARTHA.)

MARTHA (cont.)
I'm not cold. I'm like a volcano. You should see the lava.

BOB
Warn the villagers!

(MARTHA takes the popsicle.)

MARTHA
Why did you have to get such a big one?

(She goes over to the garbage can and throws it and her two ice cream cones away. BOB holds up her cone without looking at MARTHA. MARTHA shakes her head, comes and gets BOB’s cone, throws it away also, then sits back down.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Where are those guys anyway?

BOB
Maybe they had more than one leak.

MARTHA
Should we go look for them?

BOB
Nah, it's too hot.
(starts stretching and yawning)

MARTHA
(starts stretching and yawning, too)
You wanna sing that song again?

BOB
I don't think so. Besides, I'm startin' to get kinda sleepy.

MARTHA
Oh, me too.

BOB
Let's just sit here.

IT'S SO HOT.
OH HONEY, IT'S SO HOT.

MARTHA
WE'VE TRIED TO KEEP OUR COOLS,
BUT WE FIND WE CAN . . .

(BOB and MARTHA fall asleep. EM enters and sees the sleeping duo. She gathers up the guitars, sits down on the bench and starts playing one of the guitars.)

EM
(to MARTHA)
ALAS, MY LOVE,
YOU DO ME WRONG
TO CAST ME OFF DISCOURTEOUSLY.
FOR I HAVE LOVED YOU,
OH, SO LONG,
DELIGHTING IN YOUR COMPANY . . .

MARTHA
(awakens)
Oh, Em. What are you doing here?

(She nudges BOB who snorts awake.)

MARTHA (cont.)
Where are George and Mark?

EM
Oh, they ran off and joined the circus.

BOB
(yawning and stretching)
Shovelmania.

EM
Yep. They're gonna be big stars. If they play their cards right.

MARTHA
Should we wait then?

EM
No no. You can't plan your life around someone else's expected failure.

BOB
Why not?

EM
Because then you'd be a vulture. And you don't want to be a vulture.

BOB
Everyone else does it.

EM
True, but you're not everyone else, are you. Besides, if they succeed, you're left with nothing and you'd still be a vulture.

MARTHA
But they dumped us, didn't they?

EM
So? You dump them now.

MARTHA
How can we dump them when they've already dumped us?

EM
Well, you can start by saying good-bye.

BOB
Good-bye.

EM
Good riddance.

BOB
Good riddance.

MARTHA
Good-bye, good riddance. How can we say good anything when they're already gone?

EM
Oh, easy. Watch this . . .
(rises)
SO LONG, SUCKER.
SUCKER, SO LONG.
SEE YA, BABY, MAYBE NEXT YEAR.
DON'T MEAN TO TEASE YA,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR PAIN,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR LITTLE FEARS.

MARTHA
But --

EM
'MEMBER LAST YEAR
ROUND THIS TIME
ANOTHER KISS-OFF
DID OCCUR,
BUT I WUN'T LEAVIN',
YOU WAS LEAVIN' ME.
YOU SAID YOU MET ANOTHER GIRL,
I WAS A DUD, SHE WAS A PEARL,
BUT IN 6 MONTHS I TOOK YOU BACK AGAIN.
NOW I'VE MET ANOTHER GUY,
HE'S THE APPLE OF MY EYE,
THAT'S WHY I'VE CALLED YOU HERE,
SO I CAN SAY,

BOB
(rises)
(THAT'S WHY SHE'S SINGIN')

EM AND BOB
SO LONG, SUCKER.
SUCKER, SO LONG.
SEE YA, BABY, MAYBE NEXT YEAR.
DON'T MEAN TO TEASE YA,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR PAIN,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR LITTLE FEARS.

EM
So, do you get it now?

MARTHA
I'm still not sure.

EM
She's still not sure.

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS,
A DUD, A SPUD, A CRUD, A MISS
OH-WHY-OH-WHAT-IS-TO-BECOME-OF-ME?
THEY DUMPED YOU.
SO WHAT? GET A LIFE.
THEY WEREN'T YOUR SPOUSE.
YOU'RE NOT THEIR WIFE.
SO SAY GOOD-BYE AND QUICK,
SO YOU CAN BE

BOB
(A STAR IN YOUR OWN)

EM AND BOB
SO LONG, SUCKER.
SUCKER, SO LONG.
SEE YA, BABY, MAYBE NEXT YEAR.
DON'T MEAN TO TEASE YA,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR PAIN,
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR LITTLE FEARS.
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR LITTLE FEARS.
ONLY TRYIN' TO EASE YOUR LITTLE FEARS.
EM AND BOB (cont.)
AND SO, A-SO LONG, SUCKER.

BOB
SO LONG, SUCKER!

EM AND BOB
A-SUCKER, SO LONG.

MARTHA
Well, that’s easy for you to sing, but how does one go about achieving this "so long, suckerhood."

BOB
“dom.”

EM
Well, you can start by starting your own group.

MARTHA
Our own group.

EM
Yeah. You have your own guitars now, right?

(EM hands MARTHA a guitar)

MARTHA
But these are Mark and George's, aren't they?

BOB
(grabs the other guitar)
Community property!

EM
Those clowns won't need these beat up old things where they're going.

MARTHA
But there are only two of us.

EM
You can be a duo. Like Sonny and Cher.

MARTHA
But they were a guy and a girl.

BOB
Chad and Jeremy.

MARTHA
I think you're going in the wrong direction.

EM
Bob and Martha then.

MARTHA
That still sounds like a guy and a girl.
(to BOB)
What's your real name?

BOB
Bob.

MARTHA
No, your birth name.

BOB
Boob.

MARTHA
Your name's not Boob.

BOB
Yes it is.

MARTHA
No it's not.

EM
Bobbie Ann.

MARTHA
Bobbie Ann and Martha?

EM
That's kind of hard to say. You've got that “Ann-and” thing goin' on there.

MARTHA
Martha and Bobbie Ann?

EM
Martha and Bobbie and who?

BOB
I don't like Bobbie. Boob and Martha.

MARTHA
Your name is not Boob.

BOB
Yes it is.

MARTHA
No it's not.

BOB
Yes it is.

MARTHA
No it's not.
(to EM)
How about using neither of our names.

EM
What about Just Us Girls?

BOB
Just Us Girls or Justice Girls as in Truth, Justice and the Babes Alone-ian way?

EM
Well, let's see. Ladies and gentleman, The Tonga Room is pleased to present Just Us Girls!

(BOB makes crowd cheering sounds.)

EM (cont.)
Ladies and gentlemen, The Tonga Room is pleased to present Justice Girls!

(BOB makes crowd cheering sounds.)

EM (cont.)
Sounds like a tie.

MARTHA
Just Us Girls. Justice Girls?

BOB
Knock, knock.

MARTHA
Who's there?

EM
Just Us Girls.

BOB
Justice? Girls?

MARTHA
No no.

BOB
No no girls?

MARTHA
No no. OK, let's call ourselves Just Us Girls for now and figure out the symbolism later.

BOB
What do you mean?

EM
OK, now that that's settled, let's talk about “George and Martha.”

BOB
The play or the people? Hey, why doesn't Martha play Martha since her name's Martha?

EM
Because I'm playing Martha.

BOB
Yeah. And Martha's getting damn tired of that, too!
(to MARTHA)
Tell her, damn it!

MARTHA
I don't wanna play Martha.

BOB
God damn it!

MARTHA
Why do you want me to play Martha?

EM
Because if you’re Martha, then she can be Betsy Ross.

BOB
Damn it! Damn, damn it!

MARTHA
So how's it going with Ms. Henkle?

EM
Don't ask.

BOB
See? You can't get a straight answer out of her!

MARTHA
She's still the director?

EM
Like Alfred Hitchcock with hair.

BOB
You know, if we call ourselves Just Us Girls, our initials will be J.U.G.

MARTHA
So?

BOB
So! So we'll be the Jugs then, damn it! The Jugs! Get it? Here comes the Jugs, all four of 'em!

MARTHA
Oh, Bob.

EM
Oh, Boob.

BOB
No, I'm serious, damn it!

MARTHA
How can you be serious when you come up with ideas like that?

BOB
Knock, knock.

MARTHA
Who's there?

BOB
Serious.

MARTHA
No, you're not. You're pulling my leg.

BOB
Would you rather I pulled your jugs?

MARTHA
Let's change the subject.

BOB
Why do men have nipples?

EM
Martha wants to change the subject, Boob.

MARTHA
Her name's not Boob.

BOB
I think I'm going to cry.

EM
Oh God.

BOB
Boo hoo. Boo hoob. Boo oob. Boo oob.

MARTHA
Your name's not Boob.

EM
Yeah. Stop crying, you big baby.

BOB
I'm not a baby.

EM
Yes you are. You're so full of self pity sometimes that it's just --

BOB
A pity? A self pity?

EM
No. A shelf pity.

MARTHA
What's a shelf pity?

EM
It's a pity you put on display so everyone can see it.

BOB
Like an award. Best of Show.

MARTHA
Best of Show Off.

BOB
Ruff!

EM
And speaking of Best of Show, they're having auditions at Beach Baby A-Go-Go.

BOB
Ruff!

EM
Why don't you guys go?

BOB
Ruff!

EM
Would you stop that?

MARTHA
Do you think we're ready?

EM
Sure. You’ve got a name.

MARTHA
What about a song?

EM
Sing that Girls Who Wear Glasses song. That was kinda cute.

MARTHA
Cute. Is that gonna be our thing? Cute?

EM
Maybe. The important thing is for you to get out there so your thing can start doing whatever it is it's gonna do.

BOB
Ruff!

EM
Come on. Let's go.

(EM starts to exit with MARTHA. BOB follows.)

MARTHA
Well, OK. As long as you're coming with us.

EM
Oh, I'd like to. But the thing is I have to go back to the House and work on my play. You and Bob the Wonder Dog can go.

MARTHA
Do you think we're ready?

EM
Sure. It's good experience.

BOB
Ruff!

MARTHA
But what if we get on stage and Bob starts barking? What if that's our thing?

EM
That won't be your thing.

MARTHA
I don't want to be a part of a dog act.

BOB
Ruff!

EM
It won't be your thing.

BOB
Ruff!

EM
(turns and faces BOB)
STOP BARKING!

BOB
Ruff!

EM
Stopit.

BOB
Rf.

EM
(turns back to MARTHA)
It won't be your thing. Come on, let's go.

(EM and MARTHA exit with BOB bringing up the rear.)

BOB
Ruff!


ACT II
Scene 1


KING OF THE FADS INCORPORATED. Stage. Chairs.

(GEORGE and MARK are sitting.)

GEORGE
Do you think we should’ve told Martha and Bob we were leaving?

MARK
Nah.

GEORGE
You don't think they'll be worried.

MARK
Nah. We'll tell ‘em later.

GEORGE
I think we should tell them now.

MARK
We can't. The King of the Fads'll be here any minute. If you’re not here, he'll cut your head off.

GEORGE
I don't need my head.

(THEODORE and the KING OF THE FADS enter.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, may I present to you him who knows of where he speaks, who sees where others see not, who brings the things that rings the chimes of those with nothing better to do. The one, the only, King . . . of the Fads.

(MARK and GEORGE jump up.)

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA,

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA.

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA,

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA.

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA,

MARK
KING-A-THA,

GEORGE
KING-A-THA

MARK AND GEORGE
FADS.

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, the King of the Fads thanks you for your melodic, yet tediously repetitive, greeting, and he in turn extends his warmest and most heartfelt embrace.

MARK
Well tell the King that we accept his embrace with open arms and we in turn look forward to a successful and mutually beneficial collaboration.

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
The King of the Fads says that there's no need to transmit your message through me. That he can hear you just fine.

MARK
Oh, well, tell the King. I mean, thank you, King, your Highness. And we look forward to . . . what I said before.

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
The King of the Fads thanks you for your indulgence and, too, looks forward to a mutually successful collaboration.

GEORGE
Ask the King –

MARK
(hits GEORGE and whispers)
He can hear you!

GEORGE
(whispers)
I know that!

MARK
(whispers)
Then act like it!

GEORGE
(whispers)
Don't rush me!
(to the KING)
Your Highness,

GEORGE (cont.)
(talks and gestures as of the KING were hard of hearing)

WHAT . . . ARE . . . YOUR . . . PLANS . . . FOR --

MARK
(hits GEORGE and whispers)
Don't talk to him like that!

GEORGE
(whispers)
He can hear me!

MARK
(whispers)
He can hear you when you talk to him normally!

GEORGE
(whispers)
I know that!

MARK
(whispers)
Then do it!

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, the King of the Fads apologizes for keeping you in suspense.

GEORGE
Tell the King --

(MARK hits GEORGE.)

MARK
There's no need to apologize, your Highness.

GEORGE
(whispers)
I was gonna say that!

MARK
(whispers)
Well, it's too late!

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, the King of the Fads says he has written a song that he'd like you to perform.

GEORGE
Tell the King --

(MARK hits GEORGE.)

MARK
Thank you, your Highness. We would be honored to perform your musical composition.
GEORGE
(whispers)
Why don't I ever get to talk to him?

MARK
(whispers)
Well, go ahead! Who's stopping you?

(THEODORE hands MARK and GEORGE some sheet music.)

THEODORE
His Royal Highness calls it The Funky Monkey and thinks it's going to be a big hit.

GEORGE
(to KING)
I'M SURE IT'S VERY GOOD!
(gestures enthusiastically)

(BACKUP SINGERS, MUSICIANS and VIDEO TECHNICIANS enter with equipment and set up for the song.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, if you would be so kind.

(GEORGE and MARK take their positions.)

GEORGE
(to KING)
DON'T WORRY, YOUR HIGHNESS, YOU CAN COUNT ON US!
(gestures enthusiastically)

(VIDEO TECHNICIAN stands in front of GEORGE and MARK with a clapboard.)

VIDEO TECHNICIAN
Funky Monkey music video, take one.
(claps clapboard and steps aside)

GEORGE AND MARK
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.

THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
CUZ HE'S A MONKEY!
HE'S A FUN-KEY MONKEY.
OH, HE'S A MONKEY!
HE'S A FUN-KEY MONKEY.

(THE FUNKY MONKEY DANCERS enter and dance like monkeys, doing the jitterbug, hip hop, running at each other and spinning around when they link arms or hop on each other’s backs, etc.)

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE!

BACKUP SINGERS
CAN DANCE! CAN DANCE!

GEORGE AND MARK
THAT MONKEY CAN ROCK!
THAT MONKEY CAN ROLL!
THAT MONKEY CAN DANCE
WITH A HO HO HO!
CUZ HE'S A MONKEY!
HE'S A FUN-KEY MONKEY.
OH, HE'S A MONKEY!
HE'S A FUN-KEY MONKEY.

HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.
HE’S A MONKEY.
HE'S A MONKEY.
HUH!

THEODORE
And . . . cut! Print it! Beautiful, boys, beautiful.

(GEORGE gestures enthusiastically to the KING.)

MARK
And you think it's gonna be a big hit?

THEODORE
Oh, we know it is.

MARK
(to GEORGE)
They know it is!

(THE TRASHETTES enter.)

GEORGE
Cut!
(high fives MARK)
Print it!

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
The King of the Fads says why don’t these charming ladies take you to your rooms now.

MARK
We've got rooms?

GEORGE
Cut!

(GEORGE starts to high five MARK, but MARK isn't there, so he high fives TRASHETTE #3.)

GEORGE (cont.)
Print it!

THEODORE
Oh, only the best for our newest stars.

(GEORGE gestures enthusiastically to the KING as he, MARK and THE TRASHETTES exit.)


ACT II
Scene 2


BEACH BABY A-GO-GO. Bare stage.

(MARTHA and BOB enter carrying guitars and wearing glasses. A female PRODUCER presides from off-stage and communicates through the PA system.)

PRODUCER
Name and song.

MARTHA
Uh, Just Us Girls? Girls Who Wear Glasses.

PRODUCER
OK, go.

MARTHA
OK. A-1, a-2, a-1-2-3-and . . .

MARTHA AND BOB
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES
CUZ THEY'RE SO PRETTY
AND NICE, AND NICE.
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO WEAR GLASSES --

PRODUCER
Thank you. Next.
MARTHA AND BOB
THEY DON'T THINK TWICE.

WHENEVER THEY'RE NEAR THEM,
THEY ALWAYS WILL CHEER THEM.

PRODUCER
Excuse me.

MARTHA AND BOB
DING DONG, DING DONG.

PRODUCER
Hello.

MARTHA AND BOB
WHENEVER THEY'RE WITH THEM,
THEY ALWAYS WILL KISS THEM . . .

PRODUCER
Hello. Ding dong.

BOB
(sing song)
Who is it?

MARTHA
DING DONG DELL . . .
PRODUCER
(sing song)
Get off the stage.

BOB
(sing song)
But we're not finished.

PRODUCER
(sing song)
So what?

MARTHA
(tugs at BOB)
Come on, Bob.

BOB
No.
(to PRODUCER)
But we're not finished.

PRODUCER
You know what? I don't care. Next!

(VOMIT enters with guitars and drums.)

PRODUCER
Name and song.

VOMIT #1
Uh, Vomit? I Don't Feel So Hot.

PRODUCER
OK. Go Vomit. Justice Girls, what I said.

VOMIT #1
I . . .

VOMIT #2
WHAT’S THE MATTER?

VOMIT #1
DON'T . . .

VOMIT #2
WHAT'S THE STORY?

BOB
But that's not fair!

VOMIT #1
FEEL . . .

VOMIT #2
WHERE'S THE ACTION?

VOMIT #1
SO . . .

VOMIT #2
YOU DON'T LOOK GOOD.

BOB
Did you hear what I said?

VOMIT #1
HOT!

VOMIT #2
ARE YOU GOING TO --

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!

BOB
Hello?

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!

PRODUCER
Wait wait whoa.

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!
(drink brown liquid from bottle)

PRODUCER
Cut! Cut!

(VOMIT stops playing and the brown liquid spills out of their mouths and down their T-shirts.)

MARTHA
Come on, Bob.

BOB
No.
(to PRODUCER)
You said we could sing a song.

PRODUCER
You did, you sucked, now get off the stage.

BOB
We didn't suck.

PRODUCER
Your song sucked, therefore, you sucked. Security! God damn it!

BOB
We've got other songs.

MARTHA
We do?

PRODUCER
Good. Sing them someplace else.

BOB
But we want to sing them here.

PRODUCER
But you already sang a song and now it's someone else's turn.

BOB
But we only sang half a song.

PRODUCER
I don't have to hear a whole song to know you suck. Security! Where's fucking security?

BOB
But you said we could sing a whole song.

PRODUCER
I did not!

BOB
Yes you did! You said name and song, name and song. Not name and half a song.
(to VOMIT)
What do you think about this?

(VOMIT stares back dumbfounded.)

PRODUCER
Song, half a song. What's the difference?

BOB
We want to sing another song. Another half a song.

PRODUCER
I don't have time for this.

BOB
Yes you do, yes you do. If you have time for a whole song, then you have time for two half songs . . . Hello? Are you still there?

PRODUCER
Yeah, I'm still here.

BOB
Well, are you going to let us sing another half song or what?

PRODUCER
Whatever.

(BOB and MARTHA take off their glasses and whisper to each other. BOB hands MARTHA some sheet music. MARTHA looks it over.)

PRODUCER (cont.)
I'm waiting. I apologize for the delay, Vomit.

BOB
OK, we're ready.

PRODUCER
Wonderful.

BOB
WE COME IN PEACE
TO SING OUR SONG.
WE HOPE THAT WE
WON'T BE TOO LONG.
WE ONLY ASK
BOB (cont.)
FOR HALF A CHANCE TO SING
A LITTLE SONG
THAT WE ENJOY
TO ENTERTAIN
AND NOT ANNOY.
WE ONLY ASK
FOR HALF A CHANCE TO PLAY.

BOB AND MARTHA
THEN HERE COMES MISS POTTY MOUTH,
SMELLING UP THE FLOOR.
HERE COMES MISS POTTY MOUTH,
OPEN UP A DOOR.

PRODUCER
Security!

BOB AND MARTHA
SUCH BAD LANGUAGE.
DOES SHE HAVE NO SHAME?
A LITTLE THIS, LITTLE THAT,
LITTLE POTTY MOUTH, POTTY MOUTH.
WE ALL KNOW YOUR NAME.

PRODUCER
Security! Where's fucking security?

(GUARD #1, a physically imposing woman, enters and starts crowding BOB and MARTHA off the stage.)

BOB AND MARTHA
WHY WON'T YOU
LET US SING OUR SONG?
WE DON'T LIKE YOU,
SO WE'LL SAY SO LONG.

PRODUCER
Oh, boo hoo.

BOB AND MARTHA
BUT BEFORE WE
EXIT LIKE WE CAME,
A LITTLE THIS, LITTLE THAT,
(to GUARD #1)
LITTLE POTTY MOUTH, POTTY MOUTH --

(GUARD #1 becomes incensed. BOB and MARTHA exit quickly with GUARD #1 in hot pursuit. CRASHING and SMASHED GUITARS SOUNDS heard off-stage.)

PRODUCER
OK Vomit, from the top.

VOMIT #1:
I . . .

VOMIT #2
WHAT'S THE MATTER?

VOMIT #1
DON'T . . .

VOMIT #2
WHAT'S THE STORY?

VOMIT #1
FEEL . . .

VOMIT #2
WHERE'S THE ACTION?

VOMIT #1
SO . . .

VOMIT #2
YOU DON'T LOOK GOOD.

VOMIT #1
HOT!

VOMIT #2
ARE YOU GOING TO --

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!

PRODUCER
Love it!

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!

PRODUCER
You’re killin' me here!

VOMIT #1, 2 AND 3
VOMIT!

PRODUCER
La la la la . . .

(VOMIT drinks brown liquid from bottles and spews it out.)


ACT 2
Scene 3


HOTEL ROOM. A bed. Food, bottles of liquor and women's undergarments lie scattered about.

(MARK lies groaning on the bed. GEORGE lies in a similar state on the floor.)

GEORGE
(groaning)
Oh, I'm so happy. Mark, are you happy?

(A LONG SONOROUS BELCH fills the room.)

GEORGE (cont.)
He's happy. Oh yeah.

MARK
Ugh. I think I'm gonna hurl.

GEORGE
Go for it, dude.

MARK
Have you ever heard the expression, "choking in your own vomit?"

GEORGE
Is that what you're gonna do?

(MARK groans.)
GEORGE (cont.)
OK, here's what you do. Lie on your stomach and hang your head over the edge of the bed.

(MARK does this and hurls a gushing stream of vomit onto the floor.)

GEORGE (cont.)
Heave ho, heave ho.

(MARK vomits again.)

GEORGE (cont.)
You OK, man?

(A LONG SONOROUS BELCH fills the room.)

GEORGE (cont.)
Oh yeah. You know, when we get famous it'll be like this all the time. National tours, fancy hotels, women throwing themselves at us. Phoenix. Dallas.
(makes an intercourse motion with his fist)
Portland . . .

(THEODORE and the KING OF THE FADS enter.)

THEODORE
Oh, don't get up, gentlemen.

(A LONG SONOROUS BELCH fills the room.)

GEORGE
Mark says thank you.

(The KING whispers to THEODORE.)

THEODORE
Gentlemen, the King of the Fads would like to know if everything was to your satisfaction.

GEORGE
(groaning)
It was the happiest night of our lives.
(tries to gesture enthusiastically to the KING)

THEODORE
Good, good. Because we seem to have run into the tiniest of problems.

GEORGE
(sensing trouble, sobers up and rises quickly)
Problem? What problem?
(points to vomit)
Is it that mess over there?
(to MARK)
Now you've done it!
(to KING)
Don't worry, King! A little moppy and shiny and it's as good as new!

(gestures enthusiastically to KING while rushing to a mop and bucket in the corner.)

THEODORE
Oh please, gentlemen, it's not that.
GEORGE
Oh, they're tightening the screws now, Mark.
(to KING)
What is it, King? Give it to me straight. Is it Mark? Cuz if it is, he's gone. Yesterday's news. Homo ejectus.

MARK
(gets up)
So, what is it then? You liked us yesterday.

THEODORE
Oh, and still do. What we have here is a little thing we like to call an IHF.

MARK
IH what?

GEORGE
F! F!
(to KING)
I swear, he's gone, King! Hook 'em and cook 'em, that's what I say!

THEODORE
Yes. IHF. In-house fad.

MARK
In-house fad. What's that?

THEODORE
Oh, you know, an idea generates a lot of in-house excitement for awhile, and then . . .

MARK
But we sang the song. We made the video.

THEODORE
Yes yes. This isn't easy, gentlemen, believe me.

MARK
Well, what's wrong with it then? We can make changes. We're not proud.

GEORGE
(mopping furiously)
You got that right, bro!

THEODORE
There's nothing wrong with it. It's just an idea whose time has come and gone. You understand, don't you? Here.
(pulls a video from his pocket and hands it to MARK)

The King of the Fads would like you to have this for your portfolio.

GEORGE
Portfolio! King! King! What's that guy trying to say?

MARK
He's saying we're yesterday's news. Hooked, cooked, and overlooked.

THEODORE
Not at all, gentlemen. We liked what we saw. Now build on it and grow. Gentlemen, it's been a pleasure.

(THEODORE and the KING exit.)

GEORGE
King! King!

MARK
George, no. He can't hear you . . . anymore.

GEORGE
What do you mean? Of course he can! You said so yourself!

MARK
It's over, bro.

GEORGE
I guess you're right. It is over. We were fools for coming here. Fools for ever believing in ourselves. Singers. Musicians. Ha!
(looks towards the heavens and shakes his fist)
Did you hear that, King? You had your fun and now we're nothing! Are you happy? Can you hear me, King?

MARK
Come on, George. Let's go.

(GEORGE sighs and he and MARK prepare to exit.)

GEORGE
(indicates video)
What's that?

MARK
The Funky Monkey video.

GEORGE
Oh. You know, I never liked that song.

MARK
Yeah, well, they said they didn't like it either.

GEORGE
That's right! It wasn't us, was it.

MARK
That's what they said.

GEORGE
It was them!

MARK
I don't think they said that.

GEORGE
I know. We'll take what we learned here and start a new band. Our own band.
(to the heavens)
Ah, King, I knew you wouldn't let us down.
(gestures enthusiastically)

MARK
Yeah, well, come on. Let's get out of here.

(GEORGE and MARK begin to exit.)

GEORGE
Wait a minute.
(goes back and takes a bottle of champagne)
For our portfolio.


ACT II
Scene 4


PARK.
(MARTHA and BOB enter carrying their guitars. BOB’s guitar has a fist-sized hole in it.)

MARTHA
Well, that didn't turn out very well.

BOB
I know. And they were so mean to us. Look what that security guard did to my guitar.
(holds up her guitar.)
You know, this could've been my face. Instead of a nose, I'd have a big hole there. You could’ve strung a rope through my face and swung me from a tree like an old tire.

MARTHA
So, how does it sound?

BOB
My face?

MARTHA
Yes, Bob. How does your face sound?

BOB
Well, let's see.

(BOB and MARTHA sit on the bench and BOB starts strumming her guitar.)
BOB (cont.)
Hm. Sounds OK, considering.

TWO-HOLED GUITAR.
TWO-HOLED GUITAR.
I AM PLAYING
A TWO-HOLED GUITAR.
TWO-HOLED GUITAR.
TWO-HOLED GUITAR.
I AM PLAYING ONE NOW.

MARTHA
(plays guitar)
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE, OH,
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE.

BOB
DO DO.

Y'know, I don't see why they couldn't have treated us better.

MARTHA
Yeah, after all we're . . .
BOB AND MARTHA
JUST US GIRLS.
JUST US GIRLS.
YOUNG AND STRONG AND FREE.
JUST US GIRLS,
IN OUR WORLD,
SEE WHAT WE CAN SEE, OH,
SEE WHAT WE CAN SEE THAT
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER.
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE, OH,
TWO HOLES ARE BETTER THAN ONE, DO DO.

MARTHA
You know, I think we're OK.

BOB
Me, too.

MARTHA
I think we can make it.

BOB
Me, too.

MARTHA
Maybe not as singers.

BOB
Oh, no.

MARTHA
But as something.

BOB
As girls who wear glasses.
(puts on her glasses)
As girls who have noses.

MARTHA
As students of American history.

BOB
As students of American noses.

MARTHA
I'm gonna go see Ms. Henkle and see how my application’s doing.

BOB
Me, too.

MARTHA
But you don't have an application.

BOB
I don't care. I have a brain. Can I not think? I have feet. Can I not walk? I have fingers. Can I not fill out . . . an application?

MARTHA
Do you want to apply?

BOB
Sure.

MARTHA
To college?

BOB
Sure.

MARTHA
And what would you like to study? And don't say American noses.

BOB
American noses.

MARTHA
You're so strange.

BOB
(plucks guitar)
I DON'T KNOW.
I CAN'T EXPLAIN
WHAT IS THE CAUSE.
I MUST BE STRANGE.
DOING DOING DOING.

MARTHA
All right, let's go. You don't have to pick a major right away.

(BOB and MARTHA start to exit.)

BOB
DOING DOING DOING.

MARTHA
You're such a little girl sometimes.

BOB
I am a little girl. You've found me out. I'm a foundling.

MARTHA
You're not a foundling.

BOB
I am.

MARTHA
You're not.

BOB
I'm a foundling at your doorstep.

MARTHA
You're a basket case.

BOB
And a little girl?

MARTHA
Sometimes.

BOB
You've found me out.

(BOB and MARTHA exit.)

(MARK and GEORGE enter. MARK has the video and GEORGE, the bottle of champagne. They sit on the bench.)

GEORGE
Well, what should we do now?

MARK
Build and grow.

GEORGE
On what?

(MARK taps the video.)

GEORGE (cont.)
Oh yeah. You know, it all seems like a dream now.

MARK
Maybe it was. Let's play this back. Maybe we'll be standing there in our underwear.

GEORGE
Well, at least we have this.
(taps bottle of champagne)

MARK
Shall we pop the cherry?

GEORGE
Why the hell not.
(pops open the bottle and champagne flows out)

MARK
Ah, there we are. Just overflowing with promise.

GEORGE
(takes a drink)
Ahhh, that's primo stuff.

MARK
Hey, gimme some of that.

GEORGE
Agh, get yer own.

MARK
Give me that.
(grabs the bottle and takes a drink)
Mm, this is good.

GEORGE
Only the best.

MARK
And we had this.

GEORGE
For a day and a night.
(gestures enthusiastically to the heavens)

MARK
But now what?

GEORGE
Let's get it back.

MARK
Build and grow.

GEORGE
Endurance.

MARK
Evolution.

GEORGE
Should we get back together with Martha and Bob?

MARK
Nah. We're too evolved for them now.

GEORGE
We were IHF, weren't we.

MARK
Big time.

GEORGE
We've popped our cherries.

MARK
And we're drinking in the vintage.
(takes a drink)
Ahhh.

GEORGE
(takes the bottle)
Maybe we should pop their cherries.

MARK
Bob and Martha's?

GEORGE
Yeah.

MARK
Nah. We don't have the time.

GEORGE
I suppose.
(takes a drink)
But that Martha's kinda cute.

MARK
What?

GEORGE
Martha. Kinda cute.

MARK
Where did that come from?

GEORGE
Oh, I've had it inside of me. You don't think I have needs? Desires? Yearnings?

MARK
Yearnings.

GEORGE
Yes, yearnings. I yearn for Martha. She's the star on my horizon, the babble in my brook, the grease in my monkey.

MARK
What's the matter with you? You're like a completely different person.

GEORGE
I am what I feel, Mark. And what I feel is love.

MARK
Oh, God.

GEORGE
I love her.
(grabs MARK by the shoulders)
Did you hear me? I love her! I love her!
(rises)
GEORGE (cont.)
I YEARN FOR MARTHA.
IT'S A FEELING I LIVE FOR.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA.
SHE'S THE ONE THAT I ADORE.

SHE'S THE SONG IN MY HEART,
THE SPRING IN MY STEP,
THE WINTER, SUMMER, FALL IN LOVE
THAT I JUST CAN’T FORGET AT ALL.
WHEN SHE IS AROUND,
OH, THE CLOUDS FLY AWAY,
THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING
AND THE BIRDIES SING HOORAY

FOR SCRUMPTIOUS MARTHA,
I COULD EAT HER DAY AND NIGHT.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA.
ALL I WANT IS ONE MORE BITE

OF THAT PERFECTLY SWEET,
DELIGHTFULLY FINE,
CHEWING ON A MARTHA
IS A JUICY VALENTINE.
IF YOU COULD JUST TASTE,
OH, WHAT I’M TASTING NOW.
YOU’D ORDER UP A MARTHA
AND YOU’D WRAP YOUR LIPS
AROUND HER
GEORGE (cont.)
SWEET AND LOVELY.
SO NICE ABOVE ME.
LIKE HEAVEN TO ME.
CHA DA DA DA.

(The I YEARN FOR MARTHA DANCERS swirl in. They put a top hat and tails on GEORGE and give him a cane.)

MARK
Who are these assholes?

GEORGE
Why, those aren’t assholes. It’s the I Yearn For Martha Dancers!

(THE I YEARN FOR MARTHA DANCERS do a June Taylor Dancers-type routine with GEORGE as Fred Astaire.)

DANCERS
HE YEARNS FOR MARTHA.
IT'S A FEELING HE LIVES FOR.
HE YEARNS FOR MARTHA.
SHE'S THE ONE THAT HE ADORES.

SHE'S THE SONG IN HIS HEART,
THE SPRING IN HIS STEP,
THE WINTER, SUMMER, FALL IN LOVE
THAT HE JUST CAN’T FORGET AT ALL.
WHEN SHE IS AROUND,
OH, THE CLOUDS FLY AWAY,
THE SUN IS ALWAYS SHINING
GEORGE (cont.)
AND THE BIRDIES SING HOORAY

FOR SCRUMPTIOUS MARTHA,

MARK
I COULD EAT HER DAY AND NIGHT.

DANCERS
HE YEARNS FOR MARTHA.
ALL HE WANTS IS ONE MORE BITE

OF THAT PERFECTLY SWEET,
DELIGHTFULLY FINE,
CHEWING ON A MARTHA,
IS A JUICY VALENTINE.
IF YOU COULD JUST TASTE,
OH, WHAT HE’S TASTING NOW.
YOU’D ORDER UP A MARTHA
AND YOU’D WRAP YOUR LIPS
AROUND HER

SWEET AND LOVIN'.
SO NICE ABOVE HIM.
LIKE HEAVEN TO HIM.
CHA DA DA DOING . . .

(DANCERS are swept off the stage on “doing.”)

MARK
I never realized you were so fruity.

GEORGE
Well, love does that to you. I'm all peaches and bananas now.

MARK
Well, get over it. We're a cutting edge band and you can't cut an edge with a banana.

GEORGE
Why cut an edge when the warm and fruity center is so very delightful?

MARK
We have to cut an edge because that's the direction we're going in.
(holds up the video)
Remember this?

GEORGE
I remember.

MARK
Remember all the women?

GEORGE
Ah.

MARK
Our one true success. Now we have to keep going in that direction. Grow and evolve, remember?

GEORGE
Oh, but I have evolved, Mark. Can’t you see?
(takes the video)
This tape represents our rebellious stage. Our rocky adolescence.

MARK
I like rocky adolescence.

GEORGE
But now that we've rebelled against our authority figure, --

MARK
The King of the Fads.

GEORGE
we realize our essential essences, --

MARK
Out of work musicians.

GEORGE
and must now replace the authority figure with that which represents our emerging identities --

MARK
As bowls of fruit.

GEORGE
as vessels of love. You don't understand yet because you have no love interest.

MARK
I have career interest.

GEORGE
You can't have career interest unless you have a love principle.

MARK
What?

GEORGE
But what was I thinking? You do have a love principle.

MARK
My career.

GEORGE
No. Your --

MARK
Don't say it.

GEORGE
Your --

MARK
Don't even think it.

GEORGE
Your, your, your, your --

MARK
No, no, no, no!

GEORGE
Bob!

MARK
Aghh!

GEORGE
Bob. Your love interest. The love of your life. Your soul mate.

MARK
She's like a bunyon to me!

GEORGE
It's all so perfect. Me and Martha. You and Bob. Bananas and peaches. Grapes and watermelons.

MARK
I ain't no grape. And Bob ain't no watermelon.

GEORGE
All right then, apples and figs.

MARK
I ain't no figgin' fig.

GEORGE
Yes you are! You’re the figs. Bob's the apples. Martha's the peaches. And I'm the bananas.

MARK
You got that last one right. And you can be the figs, too, while you’re at it.

GEORGE
No no. You're the figs! You're the figs! Come on, let's go tell Apples and Peaches the good news.
(starts to exit)

MARK
Oh, by the way, Bananas. Does Peaches know she's Peaches yet?

GEORGE
Not yet, but she will. Come on.

MARK
OK, but you tell 'em the good news, OK?
(follows)

GEORGE
Come on, come on.


ACT II
Scene 5


MS. HENKLE'S OUTER OFFICE. Couch. Table with college catalog.

(RECEPTIONIST leads MARTHA and BOB in.)

RECEPTIONIST
Please have a seat. Ms. Henkle will be right with you.

MARTHA
Thank you.

(RECEPTIONIST exits. MARTHA sits. BOB wanders around.)

BOB
I'm so excited! Are you excited, Martha?

MARTHA
Uh, why don't you sit down, Bob. Here.
(hands BOB a catalog)
Look at this catalog and see if you can find some classes you'd like to take.

(BOB sits, flips through the catalog, then points to a picture.)


BOB
Who's that?

MARTHA
I don't know. Some guy.

BOB
Oh. He looks happy. Do you think I'll be this happy if I come here?

MARTHA
I don't know. Here.
(takes the catalog, flips through it and hands it back to BOB)

Here's a list of the majors. Do you see anything you like?

BOB
(looks them over)
Hm, there are so many. Oh look, here's music.

MARTHA
Do you think you'd like to study music?

BOB
Nah. Is there a comedy major?

MARTHA
Mm. What about philosophy? I hear a lot of comedians like to study philosophy.

BOB
So you mean if I took philosophy there'd be a lot of comedians in my class?

MARTHA
Oh, Bob.

BOB
Would my professors be comedians? Oh, I'm too excited to think about this now. I want to study everything! Music! Philosophy! Art! History! Contents!

MARTHA
Contents.

(BOB points to something in the catalog and hands it to MARTHA.)

BOB
TEACH ME, TEACH ME,
I WANT TO LEARN
SOMETHING IMPORTANT
SO I CAN RETURN
SMARTER THAN I USED TO BE.
TEACH ME A LESSON, PLEASE.

MARTHA
That's the table of contents, you doofus.

BOB
There, you see? There's so much you can teach me while we're here.

MARTHA
Oh, no. Not me. There are professors and counselors who can help you with that.

BOB
But I don’t want them, Martha. I want you to teach me.
MARTHA
TEACH YOU, TEACH YOU,
GIVE ME A BREAK.
TEACHING YOU SOMETHING
WOULD BE A MISTAKE.
IF YOU WANT TO
IMPROVE YOUR MIND,
ASK SOMEONE ELSE THIS TIME.

BOB
TEACH ME, OH, TEACH ME.
DON'T YOU WANT TO REACH ME?
I'D LOVE TO BE YOUR TEACHER'S PET
AND SIT UPON YOUR KNEE.

YOUR KNEE, YOUR KNEE.
I'D BE YOUR LITTLE GIRL.
I'D STUDY HARD AND WOULD NOT
DISAPPOINT YOU FOR THE WORLD.

MARTHA
This is not about me, Bob. It's what you want.

BOB
Well, I wanna take what you take.

MARTHA
Why?

BOB
Because I like you. I want to be near you.

MARTHA
BOB, OH BOB.
WHAT AM I TO DO?
YOU'RE LIKE A WAD OF CHEWING GUM
STUCK UNDERNEATH MY SHOE.

MY SHOE, MY SHOE.
MUST I GIVE YOU THE BOOT?
THEN YOU'D GO BOUNCING DOWN THE STAIRS
WITHOUT A PARACHUTE.

BOB
Am I that worthless to you?

MARTHA
Oh Bob, just concentrate on what classes you wanna take.

(BOB flips through the catalog.)


BOB
BOYS ALWAYS MAKE PASSES
AT GIRLS WHO TAKE CLASSES
CUZ THEY'RE SO PRETTY
AND FREE OF LICE . . .
AND OF VICE . . .
AND FANNY BRYCE . . .

Wasn't Fanny Bryce a comedian? Hm. I wonder if I should change my name to Fanny. Hi, Fanny. Look who's here, it's Fanny! It's Fanny! Hi, Fanny! Look, it's Fanny! Fanny. Fanny.

MARTHA
(exasperated)
Would you please stop talking.

(MS. HENKLE enters.)

BOB
Oh, look who's here. It's Ms. Henkle. Hi, Ms. Henkle!

MS. HENKLE
Oh, hello Martha.

BOB
Wait a minute, my name's not Martha.

MARTHA
(rises and shakes hands with Ms. Henkle)
Hello, Ms. Henkle.

MS. HENKLE
And what brings you here today?

(BOB, also risen, looks at her hand, then gestures a handshake.)

MARTHA
Well, I was just wondering how my application was coming along.

BOB
(play acting)
Ms. Henkle, how nice to see you again.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, it's coming along.

MARTHA
Oh. Well. So, does everything look OK then?

BOB
(play acting)
Oh, my dear Ms. Henkle, you mean you can't quite recollect me in your memory?

MS. HENKLE
Well, to be perfectly honest with you, Martha, I'm not at liberty to say.

MARTHA
Oh.

BOB
(play acting)
Why, it's Fanny! Not the Fanny. Yes! It's the Fanny. Oh, well, how honored we would be to have the Fanny seated in one of our classrooms.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, but you shouldn't take it badly.

MARTHA
Oh?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, no no. You know how these things can go.

MARTHA
Oh yes.

MS. HENKLE
And who's your friend here?

BOB
It’s Fanny!

MS. HENKLE
Oh, like Fanny Bryce.

BOB
(shakes Ms. Henkle's hand)
Ms. Henkle, how good to see you again.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, have we met?

MARTHA
At Bleeker House. The play? She was one of the Minutemen, whatever.

MS. HENKLE
Ah, the play. Yes.

BOB
Yes, the play, Ms. Henkle. The play's the thing.

MS. HENKLE
Well, so how have you been, Fanny?

MARTHA
Bob.

BOB
Fanny.

MS. HENKLE
Well, Bob Fanny. The play is commencing quite nicely, yes.

BOB
Commencing. That's a college "toim," ain't it?

MARTHA
But I was just talking to Em and she seemed to be saying that there were some problems or something that needed to be worked out?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, well, there are always problems to be worked out. Isn't that right, Bob Fanny.

BOB
Oh, right you are, Mrs. H.

MS. HENKLE
As a matter of fact, I was just on my way to the theater to meet some actors. Would you like to tag along?

MARTHA
Oh, well, I was really more interested in my application.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, don't worry about that, Martha dear. After all, we mustn't concern ourselves too much with things that we have no control over.

BOB
That's what I say. We mustn't concern ourselves too "strainuously" with things what she said.

MARTHA
Well . . .

MS. HENKLE
Oh, come with us, Martha. You can help them read their lines.

BOB
Yes, Martha, you can help them read their lines.

MARTHA
Well, all right. As long as you know that I'm still very interested in coming here.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, of course, of course.

(MS. HENKLE begins to exit with BOB. MARTHA follows.)

BOB
Speaking of courses, did Fanny Bryce ever take any philosophy classes here?

(BOB laughs with MS. HENKLE as they exit.)


ACT II
Scene 6


BLEEKER HOUSE.
(EM sits on the couch working on her play. GEORGE enters in top hat and tails and carries a big basket of fruit. He searches the room. MARK enters also and observes.)

GEORGE
Martha. Oh, Martha dear. It's your little Pookie.

EM
Hey hey! Actress-writer at work here.

GEORGE
Bearing gifts of his undying devotion.

EM
What's his problem?

MARK
Love bug.

EM
For Martha?

(MARK shrugs.)

GEORGE
Tasty “vitaminas.” Attractive to the eye. And look who's bringing them. It's your little Pookie.

EM
Hey hey! Little Pookie. Do you mind?

(GEORGE comes up to EM.)

GEORGE
Have you seen Martha?

EM
Why do you ask?

GEORGE
I come bearing gifts.

MARK
Of his undying devotion. Try the figs.

EM
Does she know?

GEORGE
Oh, I'm sure she does . . .
(indicates his heart)
in here.
(starts looking around again)
Oh, Martha. Kumquat.

MARK
So what are you working on?

EM
Oh, you know. "George and Martha."

GEORGE
Martha. Peaches. It's Bananas.

MARK
So how's it going?

EM
Oh, coming along. Better than before.

(GEORGE comes up to EM.)

GEORGE
She's not here, is she.

(EM shakes her head.)

GEORGE (cont.)
So what are you working on?

EM
Uh, "George and Martha: A Revolutionary Love Story."

GEORGE
Perfect! I'm already named George and Martha can play Martha.

EM
Forget it. I'm Martha.

GEORGE
Oh, but you must let Martha be Martha. And could you write some fruit in there somewhere. Maybe some cherries.

EM
Forget it.

GEORGE
But George Washington . . .

EM
I know.

GEORGE
And he . . .
(makes chopping motions)

EM
Uh uh. Besides, you're not in the play anymore. You and Mark dumped me for that King of the Fads guy, remember?

GEORGE
Ah, a youthful folly that I now regret.

EM
How did that thing go anyway?

(MARK gives a thumbs down.)

GEORGE
Write me a part then.

EM
My play is cast. Plaster cast.

GEORGE
Plaster can get broke.

EM
Broken.

GEORGE
PLASTER CAN GET BROKE,
JUST LIKE MY HEART IN TWO.
PLASTER CAN GET BROKE.
OH, WHAT AM I TO DO, TO DO.
OH, WHAT AM I TO DO.

EM
MEND IT WITH A SONG.
SING BETWEEN THE LINES.
RECAST YOUR LOVE IN IRON,
THEN EVERYTHING IS FINE, IS FINE.
THEN EVERYTHING IS FINE.

GEORGE
You and I think alike.

EM
No way. I was just playing off your lyrics. And by the way, I never knew you were so fruity.

MARK
That's what I said.

GEORGE
I only sing what's in my heart. And my basket.

EM
What is it with that basket anyway?

GEORGE
In this basket I have placed succulent reminders of my love for my beloved.
(takes out a peach)
Peaches for Martha. Sweet, soft, yet easily bruised.
(takes out a banana)
Bananas for myself. A greenish tint, yet ripening quickly and firm in its resolve.

EM
What are all these other fruits?

GEORGE
Oh. Well. Bob and Mark are in here, too.

EM
(to MARK)
You like Bob?

(MARK shrugs.)

GEORGE
(holds up an apple)
Apples for Bob, tart and crunchy.
GEORGE (cont.)
(holds up a fig)
And figs for Mark, kind of soft and baggy.
(bounces the bottom of the fig with the flats of his fingertips)

EM
Hey, you tried to get me to eat one of those figs.
(pokes MARK)
What was that all about?

MARK
You looked hungry.

GEORGE
You like Em?

MARK
Negative.

EM
He likes Bob.

MARK
I don't like Bob. She’s like a zucchini to me.

GEORGE
Then who do you like?

EM
Yes, Mark. Who do you like?

MARK
No one. I like no one.

GEORGE
Oh, fiddlesticks. Of course you like someone. Here.
(hands MARK a guitar)
Write her a song.

MARK
Write who a song?

GEORGE
Whoever. Whoever you truly love will come out in your song.

MARK
(starts playing)
Well . . .
BOB . . .
BOB . . .
I LIKE BOB
LIKE CORN LIKES COB . . .

EM
Strike one.

GEORGE
Try Em.
MARK
(playing)
EM . . .
EM . . .

EM
Yes?

MARK
EM . . .

EM
Oh, heavens to Betsy, I think I'm going to swoon.

MARK
Well, I told you I didn't like anybody.

EM
Excuses, excuses. If you’re really a songwriter, you should be able to write a song about anybody or anything, regardless of your so-called personal feelings.

MARK
I am a songwriter.

EM
Then prove it.

MARK
(playing)
LOVE, GLOVE, STARS ABOVE --

EM
Oh, you're hopeless.

MARK
Hey, I'm just not that kind of writer, y’know?

I GOT NO LOVE SONGS.
IT'S JUST NOT IN MY BRAIN.
WHEN I SEE SKY,
I SEE THE CLOUDS
AND THINK ABOUT THE RAIN.

I GOT NO LOVE SONGS.
IT'S JUST NOT IN MY LIFE.
WHEN I SEE WEDDING CAKE
I SEE THE CAKE,
NOT MAN AND WIFE.

EM
More excuses.

MARK
No. Statements of fact.

EM
Oh really. Then fact this in.

YOU DO WANT LOVE SONGS.
YOU'RE JUST AFRAID TO CALL.
FOR INTO EVERY LIFE
A LITTLE RAIN AND LOVE MUST FALL.

EM (cont.)
YOU DO KNOW LOVE SONGS.
YOU'RE JUST AFRAID TO SING.
FOR THE NOTE YOU HEAR
WITHIN YOUR EAR
MIGHT BE A WEDDING RING.

MARK
Emmy, the way you turn my lyrics around on me is just shameful.

EM
Hey, someone's gotta ask the tough questions.

MARK
But I've already given you my answer.

EM
Say it again. I wasn't listening.

MARK
I GOT NO LOVE SONGS,
WHY DO YOU ASK ME WHY,
IF SONGS OF LOVE I DO NOT HOLD
BENEATH A STARRY SKY?

EM
YOU SHOULD KNOW LOVE SONGS,
THEY’D LOVE YOU BY THEIR SIDE --
MARK
BUT I HAVE TRIED,
I DO NOT HIDE
NO LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS --

EM
KNOW LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS --

MARK
NO LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS, LOVE SONGS,
HAVE I.

GEORGE
He beat you.

EM
I let him. It's his song.

MARK
Don't be bitter, Emmy.

EM
I'm not bitter and I'll prove it. Beach Baby A-Go-Go is holding auditions.

GEORGE
Beach Baby A-Go-Go. That sounds like a girls nightclub.

EM
Oh, grow up, George. Pookie. What if I told you that Vomit auditioned there.

MARK
Vomit! Those no-talent, upchuck artists!

EM
Yep. Got a contract and everything.

MARK
Did you hear that, bro? Vomit!

GEORGE
Oh. Well. I don't know that I wish to explore that period of my development again.

MARK
After what they did to us? I'm still wiping off the stains from my blue suede Hush Puppies.

EM
I sent Bob and Martha there, too.

GEORGE
Martha?

EM
Mm hm.

GEORGE
My Martha?

EM
That peach of a girl.

GEORGE
Come on, Mark. Let's go audition.

MARK
I'm with you, bro.

(MARK and GEORGE begin to exit.)

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA.
SHE'S THE GIRL IN ALL MY DREAMS.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA.
SHE'S THE PEACHES AND THE CREAMS . . .

MARK
Vomit, you've hurled your last meal!


ACT II
Scene 7


PATCHWOOD THEATER. Stage.

(Prospective actors, TIM and SILAS, are waiting. MS. HENKLE and MARTHA enter with BOB following.)

MARTHA
So should I apply to other colleges, too, or just wait for an answer from Briarwood?

MS. HENKLE
Well, it never hurts to have other options. But you should be hearing from Briarwood in a few weeks, so why not wait?

MARTHA
Hm, a few weeks. Would that be closer to two or three weeks?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, two, three, four weeks . . .

MARTHA
Four weeks. Should I really wait that long?

BOB
Four weeks is a month, isn't it? If you wanted her to wait a month you should’ve say so.

MS. HENKLE
I'm not saying she should wait. I'm saying she can wait.

BOB
So you're saying she shouldn't wait.

MS. HENKLE
No no. I'm saying that she can wait, so why not wait?

BOB
So she got in.

MS. HENKLE
I'm not saying that.

BOB
So she didn't get in.

MS. HENKLE
I'm not saying that, either.

BOB
(pause)
Did I get in?

MS. HENKLE
Ah, here we are.
(to TIM and SILAS)
Welcome to the Patchwood Theater, gentlemen. Martha, Bob Fanny, meet Tim and Silas, actors extraordinaire.

BOB
And not bad to look at either.

MS. HENKLE
Oh indeed. And these comely visages should be reflected quite nicely at the box office.

MARTHA
But can they act?

MS. HENKLE
Act? Of course. Boys, boys.
(takes out a harmonica-like instrument)
On three. A-one and two and . . .
(blows a note)

TIM
To be or not to be . . .

SILAS
that is the question.

BOB
(applauds)
Author! Author!

(TIM and SILAS congratulate each other.)

MARTHA
Speaking of authors, does Em know about these two?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, I'm sure her reaction will be nothing short of enthusiastic --

BOB
Bravo! Bravo!

MS. HENKLE
for she and I get along famously.

BOB
That's not what I heard.

MS. HENKLE
Oh? What have you heard?

BOB
Oh, what you said, only stick a "do" and a "not" in there somewhere.

MS. HENKLE
Oh really.

BOB
And that the only reason she puts up with you is because you got her this theater.

MS. HENKLE
Ah.

BOB
And that she thinks a tree stump could direct a play better than you, but --

MS. HENKLE
Yes?

BOB
It's only a rumor.

MS. HENKLE
Well, Bob Fanny, it's a good thing I don't listen to rumors.

BOB
Oh, me neither.

MS. HENKLE
Wonderful. Shall we begin?

MARTHA
Begin what?

MS. HENKLE
Why, rehearsals, dear girl.

BOB
Yes, dear girl, rehearsals. What a tree stump you are.

MARTHA
Don't you think we should wait for Em? I mean it's her play and she is the star.

MS. HENKLE
Oh, there are no stars, dear girl.

BOB
Yes, there are no stars, dear girl, only starlings and meteorites.

MS. HENKLE
Now Tim, you'll be playing George Washington.

(DRESSERS enter and dress TIM as George Washington.)

MS. HENKLE (cont.)
Tough, yet tender. Father of our country, leader of men and follower of Truth, Justice and God-fearing Liberty. Can you do it?

TIM
I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

BOB
Bravo! Bravo!

MS. HENKLE
And Silas, you are Benjamin Franklin.

(DRESSERS dress him as Ben Franklin.)

MS. HENKLE (cont.)
Lover of life, liberty and the pursuit of a well-placed garter belt.

BOB
Oo la la!

MS. HENKLE
And Martha, you are Martha Washington.

(DRESSERS dress her as Martha Washington.)

MARTHA
Oh, I couldn't.

MS. HENKLE
Of course, you can.

MARTHA
But isn't Em, Martha?

MS. HENKLE
Do you see her here?

MARTHA
No, but --

MS. HENKLE
But what? What? You want to be an actress, don't you? And you, Bob Fanny, will be
. . . Betsy Ross --

BOB
Oh, happy day!

(DRESSERS dress her.)

MS. HENKLE
sewer of flags, planter of rumors, harvester of indiscretions. But first . . .

(STAGEHANDS bring out a fancy table and four chairs in which they seat BOB, MARTHA, TIM and SILAS. They give them sheet music and give MS. HENKLE a microphone.)
MS. HENKLE (cont.)
a word from one of our sponsors.

MARTHA
Sponsors.

MS. HENKLE
(to audience through microphone)
Hello, friends. After an entertaining evening at the Patchwood, why not experience a truly unique dining experience at Santa Lucia, home of Meatballs L'Agria.

TIM
I LOVE THE PARMESAN

SILAS
GRATED ON PESTO.

MARTHA
AND A CHIANTI WINE

BOB
AIDS THE DIGESTO.

TIM AND SILAS
OUR LOVE'S FOREVER, DEAR.

BOB AND MARTHA
PAINTED IN FRESCO.

TIM, SILAS,
BOB AND MARTHA
SANTA LUCIA,
TIM, SILAS,
BOB AND MARTHA (cont.)
(hold up forks with meatballs)
MEATBALLS L'AGRIA.
(smile at audience)

MS. HENKLE
(through microphone)
Valet parking available, all major credit cards accepted.

MARTHA
Ms. Henkle?

MS. HENKLE
Helps pay the bills.

MARTHA
But will the audience accept it?

MS. HENKLE
Oh, theater people will sit through anything as long as it's live. And!

(She points to BOB who sits in a chair with one leg propped up, scratching herself in the groin.)

BOB
Oh, this annoying feminine itch. Yaha!

(EM enters with a couple of scripts.)

EM
Hey, how's it goin'?

BOB
(still scratching)
Yaha!

MS. HENKLE
Splendid! Really sell it, Bob Fanny!

EM
How did that meatball song go?

MARTHA
This is OK with you?

EM
I can live with it.

MARTHA
You can live with an ad about feminine itching?

(BOB rises and stumbles and rolls around the stage, scratching prodigiously)

BOB
Urrrrr . . .

EM
Hm. Trudy, I thought we agreed to stay away from the bodily function products.

MS. HENKLE
Well sure, till they started wavin' their tamales in my face.

EM
You couldn't have asked me first?

(BOB stands close to EM, exhausted, but still scratching.)

BOB
Oh, this annoying feminine itch.

(EM holds out her hand and MS. HENKLE gives her a can of anti-itch spray.)

EM
Why not try Comfy Vaj for fast, effective relief.

(She hands BOB the can. BOB sprays herself and is cured.)

BOB
(to audience)
Thanks, Comfy Vaj.

MS. HENKLE
Well I would have, but you were busy writing.

EM
Well sure, I'm always writing these days.

MS. HENKLE
Well, you are a writer.

EM
I am not a writer. I'm an actress.

MS. HENKLE
If you say so.

EM
I'm sorry, what did you say?

BOB
She questions your ability as an actress.

MS. HENKLE
Oh nonsense, Bob Fanny. I do not question Em's ability as an actress. It's just that there's a time for everything and right now we need a writer more than we need an actress.

BOB
Oh nonsense, Tru Henkle. Writers are a dime-a-dozen while actresses of Em's caliber are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

MS. HENKLE
That may very well be, but without a play, there's no play, is there.

BOB
(holds out the can for MS. HENKLE)
Here, I think you need this more than I do.

MS. HENKLE
What I mean is, without a script, there's no performance, is there.

BOB
Let's improvise!

EM
Shut up, Bob.
(hands MS. HENKLE a script)
OK, forget it. Take a look at this. I think I've solved a lot of the problems we were having.

MS. HENKLE
Oh? Well, let's have a look then, shall we?
(starts reading)
Hm.

(BOB strides over to EM and starts to take her script.)

BOB
Better let me have a look at that.

(EM slaps her hand.)

BOB (cont.)
Ow!

EM
I especially like the part where Martha discusses Lockean philosophy with Thomas Jefferson.

MS. HENKLE
Hm.

BOB
You know, Martha's Martha now.

MARTHA
That's not true. I just --

MS. HENKLE
Y'know, I'm not quite sure here.

EM
Yes yes. It takes a little getting used to, but if you'd just give it a chance.

BOB
Y'know what would really liven up a philosophical discussion scene? Comedians.

MS. HENKLE
Y'know, I'm having kind of a problem with the entire focus of the play.

EM
You mean the love story. Yes. That's why I'm taking it in this new direction.

MS. HENKLE
Uh, not so much that. But where's the drama now?

EM
The drama's in the setting, the Revolution. New ideas, new beginnings.

MS. HENKLE
Yes, but how do you convey that to the audience?

BOB
(to EM, under her breath)
Comedians, comedians.

MS. HENKLE
Hm. You know where the real drama is?

EM
Why don’t you tell me.

MS. HENKLE
I think it's in this Benjamin Franklin/Benedict Arnold character.

BOB
(holds up a comprehending finger and speaks like in the Benjamin/Benedict song)

Ahhh!

EM
Yes, he is interesting, I’ll grant you that. But he's more of a sideline character, to show the conflicted feelings when breaking away from one you’ve shared so much with.

MS. HENKLE
Precisely. And isn't that more interesting than debating the merits of Lockean philosophy?

EM
Not necessarily.

MS. HENKLE
And the Benjamin/Benedict character embodies his idea, doesn't he.

EM
So?

MS. HENKLE
So how does Martha Washington embody her idea?

EM
She embodies her idea because that’s what she believes in.

BOB
Tick tock, tick tock.

MS. HENKLE
And how does she fit into the play as a whole? How does she fit into her time, her place?

EM
So I haven't worked out all the details, but the basic premise is sound, right?

MS. HENKLE
Well, it may be sound, but is it the best solution? I mean why focus your attention on a secondary character like Martha Washington when a dynamic, interesting character like Benjamin/Benedict could so easily carry the load?

EM
But Benjamin/Benedict is a man.

BOB
Y'know, that Ben Franklin always seemed a little chesty to me.

MS. HENKLE
So what?

EM
So I didn’t spend all that time writing a play where I wind up playing a secondary character, that's what.

MS. HENKLE
Well, wasn't it Shakespeare who said "the play's the thing?"

EM
Oh, well, wasn't it Shakespeare who said "go fuck yourself with a ten-foot pitard!"

MS. HENKLE
Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, dear. But as director of this play, I have to tell you that I just don't feel you're ready to take on a leading role.

EM
Director of this play! The only reason you're the director is cuz you got us this fuck ass theater!

MS. HENKLE
No I'm not. I'm the director because I have vision.

EM
Vision! If you have vision why can't you see what a shit-faced weasel you are!

MS. HENKLE
I do have vision and I see that you're just not ready to take on a leading role. And furthermore, that your so-called play is in need of major changes and if you aren't willing to make them, I'll have to go out and find someone who will!

EM
That's it.

(EM snatches the script from MS. HENKLE and begins to storm out.)

MARTHA
(sympathetically)
Em, where are you going?

EM
I'm going to New York to get my play produced!

MS. HENKLE
Wait! I'm coming with you!

EM
Oh, no. You stay here and help Martha!

MS. HENKLE
But it's you I care about!

EM
Aghh!!!

(EM storms out with MS. HENKLE in pursuit.)

BOB
You know, if I had had more lines in that last exchange, they'd still be here.

MARTHA
Well, we have four actors and a theater. Now all we need is a play.

(THEATER MANAGER passes through.)

THEATER MANAGER
Sorry girls. No Henkle, no theater.

MARTHA
Well, at least we have four actors. Now all we need is a play and a theater.

TIM
Sorry, we don't work with losers.

(Tim exits with SILAS)

MARTHA
Is that what we are? Losers?

BOB
I don't know. Let's go find Mark and George.

MARTHA
OK.


ACT II
Scene 8


BEACH BABY A-GO-G0.
(MARK and GEORGE stand on the stage. GEORGE still has his top hat, tails and basket of fruit. The PRODUCER speaks from off-stage like before.)

PRODUCER
Name and song.

MARK
We don't got no name.

PRODUCER
You have to have a name.

GEORGE
For the Love of Martha.

MARK
The Rock and Roll Hamburgers.

PRODUCER
OK, Hamburgers. Song?

MARK
We don't got no song.

PRODUCER
Then why are you here?

GEORGE
Where's Martha!

PRODUCER
Who?

MARK
Where's Vomit!

PRODUCER
Listen, if you're not going to sing, get off the stage, OK?

MARK
Answer our questions first!

PRODUCER
Sing or get off the stage.

MARK
OK OK. One. Two. A-one, two, three, huh!

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE ONE THAT I ADORE . . .

MARK
WHERE’S VOMIT!
GOD, I HATE THEM!

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE ONE MY HEART BEATS FOR . . .

MARK
I'LL KILL 'EM!
THE BILE RISES IN MY THROAT
AT THE THOUGHT OF 'EM!

PRODUCER
Wait. Cut, cut! Are you guys in the same group?

MARK
Where are they!

PRODUCER
Where are who?

MARK
Vomit!

GEORGE
Martha!

PRODUCER
What is it with you and Vomit? And who is this Martha chick? That song sucked by the way.

MARK
Just tell us where they are and we'll handle the rest.

PRODUCER
You know what? This audition is over. Next!

MARK
This audition ain't over till you tell us what we wanna know!

PRODUCER
Oh, I think it is. Security!

MARK
We ain't scared of no security!

(GUARD #2, male and very big, enters.)

MARK (cont.)
Uh oh.

GUARD #2
Rahrrr!

(MARK and GUARD #2 battle it out.)

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE GIRL IN ALL MY DREAMS.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE PEACHES AND THE CREAMS . . .

(MARK jumps on GUARD #2’s back.)

MARK
Hit him! Hit him!

GEORGE
(throws fruit at GUARD #2)
SHE'S THE PEACHES AND CREAMS,
A JELLO PARFAIT, --

MARK
No! Use your fists! Your fists!

(GEORGE takes a watermelon out of his basket and hits GUARD #2 over the head. The melon engulfs his entire head and stays there.)

GEORGE
A CHOCOLATE CHIP FRITATA
THAT’LL TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY.
THEN YOU’LL SWEAR YOU’VE JUST DIED
AND GONE OFF ON A WING . . .

(MARK jumps off GUARD #2's back and punches him in the stomach. GUARD #2 doubles over. MARK hits him between the shoulder blades with a karate chop.)

MARK
Ha!

(GUARD #2 goes crashing to the floor, melon intact.)
GEORGE
TO WHERE THE ANGELS FROLIC MERRILY,
AT PEACE WITH EVERYTHING . . .

(VOMIT enters.)

PRODUCER
All right, you wanted Vomit? You got 'em!

MARK
Vomit!

PRODUCER
Seize them!

(VOMIT slowly approaches, drinking from their bottles and spewing brown liquid at MARK and GEORGE.)

MARK
Not this time, Vomit! Not this time!
(puts his head down and charges)
Aghhh!!!

(MARK crashes into VOMIT causing them to scatter. GEORGE throws fruit.)

GEORGE
SO SWEET AND LOVELY --

PRODUCER
Would somebody please shut that guy up?

(VOMIT #3 charges GEORGE. GEORGE peels a banana and tosses the skin in VOMIT 3's path who slips and crashes to the floor.)

GEORGE
SO NICE ABOVE ME,
(takes out a watermelon and stands over VOMIT #3)
LIKE HEAVEN TO ME.
CHA DA DA --
(watermelon slips through his fingers)
WHOOPS!

(VOMIT #3 has taken a drink from his bottle and when the melon lands on his stomach, he spews up a geyser of brown liquid. Meanwhile, MARK is being held from behind by VOMIT #2 as VOMIT #1 spews brown liquid at him.)

MARK
George! George!

(GEORGE grabs his basket and dumps its contents over VOMIT #1's head.)

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE WIND BENEATH MY SAILS . . .

(GEORGE grabs GUY #2 from behind and MARK starts pummeling him)

GEORGE (cont.)
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE BLOWHOLE IN MY WHALES . . .

MARK
All right, let him go, George!

(GEORGE lets him go. A teetering VOMIT #2 takes a swig from his bottle, then spews up a geyser of brown liquid while spiraling to the floor. MARK turns to face VOMIT #1 who is about to take a drink, but MARK snatches the bottle from him.)

MARK (cont.)
Oh, no you don't.

(MARK takes a drink and is about to spew the liquid at VOMIT #1, but soon realizes how vile it tastes and spits it out to the side.)

MARK (cont.)
Oh man. How do you drink this stuff, bro?

(VOMIT #1 takes back the bottle, holds up a finger, then takes a drink and spews up a geyser of brown liquid as he spirals to the floor.)

GEORGE
All right, Ms. Beach Baby A-Go-Go, we've taken care of your goons, now where is she!

PRODUCER
Where is who?

(BOB and MARTHA enter.)

BOB
Hey, did we miss the party?

MARK
Bob!

GEORGE
Martha! My love!

(He rushes to MARTHA and escorts her to the middle of the stage.)

PRODUCER
Oh god, I should have known.

BOB
What's that supposed to mean?

PRODUCER
Nothing. Just get out.

BOB
Maybe we wanna sing a song first.

PRODUCER
Oh, right. After what you just did to my latest discovery?

BOB
Oh, they're all right. Aren't you, guys.

(From their lying position, VOMIT #1, 2 and 3 raise their hands, then let them fall back down.)

BOB (cont.)
See? Now how ‘bout that song?

PRODUCER
You've already sung your song, your two half songs. And that moron in the top hat has been singing ever since he got here.

BOB
Well, we've never sung as a group before.

PRODUCER
You guys are a group?

(BOB, MARTHA, GEORGE and MARK look at each other, then shrug and nod.)

BOB
Yeah.

PRODUCER
What's your name then?

(BOB leans back and confers with the others.)

BOB
(to PRODUCER)
We're the Freaks.

PRODUCER
The Freaks. Well, as long as you know what you are. OK, go ahead.

(BOB, MARTHA, GEORGE and MARK confer.)

PRODUCER
Come on, I haven't got all day. Vomit, are you sure you're OK?

(VOMIT raises and drops their hands again.)

BOB
This is a song written by George --

(GEORGE tips his hat)

BOB (cont.)
that used to suck popsicles, but that we're gonna try again.

(GEORGE grabs a guitar and stands in front with BOB, MARTHA and MARK lining up behind.)

PRODUCER
OK. But if I hear the words "yearn" or "Martha," I'm coming down there to throw you out myself. Name and song.

BOB
The Freaks. The Workaday Blues.

GEORGE
(playing)
OH, I LIVE IN HOLLYWOOD
AND I WORK IN CENTURY CITY,

BOB, MARTHA
AND MARK
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

GEORGE
WHERE THE BUILDINGS ARE TALL
AND THE PEOPLE, THEY TRY TO LOOK PRETTY.

BOB, MARTHA
AND MARK
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

GEORGE
OH WELL, I TAKE THE NUMBER 4
DOWN OLD SMB.
SIXTY MINUTES LATER,
I'M A-DOWN BY THE SEA.
MISSED MY STOP A-WAY BACK THERE, BUT
THAT'S ALL RIGHT.

BOB, MARTHA
AND MARK
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

(GEORGE falls back into the line and BOB steps forward.)

BOB
OH, SHOULD I GO BACK NOW?
SHOULD I GO BACK TO CENTURY CITY?

MARTHA, MARK
AND GEORGE
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

BOB
WHERE THE BUILDINGS ARE TALL
AND MY BOSS IS KINDA SHITTY.

MARTHA, MARK
AND GEORGE
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

BOB
OH, IF I GO BACK NOW,
I'LL BE FORTY MINUTES LATE,
BREEZE INTO THE OFFICE
AND MY BOSS'LL BE A-WAITIN',
HE'LL SAY "COME ON OVER HERE," THEN SMILE AND
THAT AIN'T RIGHT.

MARTHA, MARK
AND GEORGE
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.

(BOB falls back into the line and MARTHA steps forward.)
MARTHA
OR SHOULD I STAY RIGHT HERE AT THE BEACH
WHERE EVERYTHING'S PRETTY?

(MARTHA falls back and MARK steps forward.)

MARK
OR SHOULD I SCREW MY BOSS,
MY JOB AND CENTURY CITY?

(MARK falls back and GEORGE steps forward.)

GEORGE
BECAUSE THERE'S MORE TO LIFE THAN WORKIN'
LIKE A SLAVE FOR THE MAN.

(GEORGE falls back and BOB steps forward.)

BOB
DON'T GET NO ATTENTION.
COMPENSATION'S A SCAM.

(BOB falls back and MARTHA steps forward.)

MARTHA
TREAT YOU LIKE A DOG,
THEN KICK YOU OUT AND
THAT AIN'T RIGHT.

(MARTHA falls back and they all start dancing out in a line.)
MARK, GEORGE,
BOB AND MARTHA
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA.
SHOO BOP A-DO WA,
SHOO BOP A-DO WA --

PRODUCER
Thanks, Freaks. Don't call us, we'll call you.

(MARK, GEORGE, BOB and MARTHA exit dancing. VOMIT rises and begins to exit.)

PRODUCER (cont.)
Whoa whoa hey. Would you guys mind cleaning up a little before you take off? Yeah, there’s some mops and shit over in the corner there. If you could just . . .

(VOMIT commandeers the janitorial supplies and begins to clean. VOMIT #2 grabs the still unconscious GUARD #2 by the feet and drags him out, then returns.)

PRODUCER (cont.)
Yeah. I really like what you guys are doin’, y'know? You’ve got a kind of Nirvana meets Bob Dylan kind of thing goin’ on there.

(VOMIT #3 starts to throw the watermelon into the garbage.)

PRODUCER (cont.)
Oh, hey hey, if that melon’s still good, just wipe it off a little and put it in the fridge, will ya?

(VOMIT #3 examines the melon, then takes out a handkerchief and starts wiping.)
PRODUCER (cont.)
Hm. Y’know, I’m startin’ to get kinda hungry. I skipped breakfast. I’ll tell you what. I’m gonna go out, get a little nosh, and when I get back maybe I’ll bring you guys a little something. OK? OK.

(CHAIR SCRAPING, WALKING and DOOR OPENING AND SHUTTING SOUNDS heard as the PRODUCER exits. VOMIT finishes cleaning as the next scene is being set up, then exits.)


ACT II
Scene 9


BLEEKER HOUSE.
(MARTHA, BOB, MARK and GEORGE enter. GEORGE has a new basket of fruit.)

BOB
Well, that was a big waste of time.

MARK
Oh, I don't know. I got to haul ass on Vomit.

GEORGE
And I got to declare my love for my darling Martha.

MARTHA
Oh, uh, I've been meaning to speak with you about that, George.

(MARTHA and GEORGE sit on the couch.)

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE ONE THAT I ADORE.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE ONE MY HEART BEATS FOR . . .

MARTHA
Oh, you wrote me a song.

GEORGE
Yes, and I bought you this.

(GEORGE shows MARTHA the basket of fruit.)

MARTHA
A basket of fruit. How cheerful of you.

GEORGE
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE GIRL IN ALL MY DREAMS.
I YEARN FOR MARTHA,
SHE'S THE PEACHES AND THE CREAMS . . .

(GEORGE hands MARTHA a peach.)

MARTHA
Oh George, I don't know how to say this, but I don't love you. I'm sorry.

GEORGE
Alas.
(gets up and wanders away)

MARTHA
I'm sorry, George.

BOB
Agh, forget about him.

MARTHA
But he seems so disconsolate.

GEORGE
(sits in the armchair and plays his guitar)
MY HEART IS BREAKING.
I CAN'T GO ON.
MY HEART IS ACHING.
ALAS, ANON.
ALAS, ANON.

MARTHA
I'm sorry, George.

MARK
He'll get over it.

GEORGE
MY LOVE HAS SPOKEN.

MARK
Sooner or later.

GEORGE
MY LOVE IS GONE.
MY HEART IS BROKEN.
ALAS, ANON.
ALAS, ANON.

MARK
There, I think he's finished.
GEORGE
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
I LOVED, I LOVED.
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
I LOVED.

BOB
Well, at least he's in the past tense now. Are you finished over there, Mr. Brokenheart?

MARK
You finished, bro?

MARTHA
I think he just needs to be alone for awhile.

BOB
Then why doesn't he leave?

MARTHA
I think he'll be all right.

BOB
Good. Cuz I really think we should start talking group now, y’know?

MARTHA
But that producer said "don't call us, we’ll call you."

BOB
Forget her! You saw the kind of vomit that glorified disk jockey likes running her tongue over.

MARTHA
Yuck.

MARK
You got that right, bro. The Freaks are back!

(MARK high fives BOB)

MARTHA
Uh . . .

MARK
What?

MARTHA
Uh . . .

BOB
Shh, shh. Martha's trying to say something.

MARTHA
Y'know, I think I'm getting kind of tired of being a Freak, you know?

BOB
Really. Did you hear that, Mark?

MARK
Yeah, and I don't like it one bit. Miss High and Mighty here tells my bud that she don't love him and now she's sayin’ that she don't wanna be no freakin’ Freak.

MARTHA
No no. It's not that I don't like being a Freak. It's just that, you know, you heard what that producer said, like, just as long as you realize what you really are and all that?

MARK
Hey, she's the freak around here, not us.

MARTHA
There, you see?

MARK
What? I don't see nothin'.

MARTHA
You called her a freak. Like that's a put down. Like it's a negative thing.

MARK
So?

MARTHA
So, so, do you really want to be associated with a negative thing? Like people calling the producer a freak and then that's our name, too?

BOB
You know, she may have a point.

MARK
Agh, she ain't got no point. It's a great name. I thought up that name.

BOB
Oh yeah? Well, we thought up a name, too.

MARK
Oh yeah? Like what?

BOB
Like Just Us Girls. Like when me and Martha were a group after you and George dumped us.

MARK
Well, I don't like it.

BOB
Well, I do.

MARK
But I ain't no girl!

BOB
Hey, you ain't man enough to be a girl! Besides, it don't matter. You and Mr. Brokenheart over there can be our back-up musicians.

MARK
No way. We're frontliners.

BOB
No, you’re not. You’re backsiders. The buns of the band.

MARTHA
Y'know, it's not just the name. I don't know if I want to be in the group at all.

BOB
Don't wanna be in the group at all!

MARTHA
Well, I said that this was only temporary, remember?

BOB
Yeah, until you found someplace else.

MARTHA
So?

BOB
So, have you found someplace else?


MARTHA
Well . . .

BOB
Well, well, Henkle took off after Em, so you can forget about college.

MARTHA
Yeah, well . . .

BOB
And Em is in New York, so there's no play.

MARK
If there ever was one.

BOB
And you don't love the guy who thinks you're just an angel from heaven --

GEORGE
MY HEART IS BREAKING.
I CAN'T GO ON --

BOB
I mean I don't think I've ever met anyone where so many things have gone so wrong before.

MARTHA
You know, I really can't sing.

BOB
Not true, my dear. You have a lovely voice.
(to MARK)
Isn't that right.

MARK
Well, if you really want to know what I think --

GEORGE
She has a peach of a voice.

BOB
There, you see? A peach of a voice.

MARTHA
No no, you're just saying that so I'll stay in the group.

BOB
No, I'm not. Besides, you don't have to sing. You can play the tambourine. Or be our conscience.

MARK
We don't need no conscience.

BOB
There, I've given you two perfectly good choices, you can be our conscience or play the tambourine. What's it gonna be?

MARTHA
I don't think so.

BOB
She doesn't think so. I . . . oh, I know.

(She takes MARTHA by the hand and leads her back to the counter.)

BOB (cont.)
You can have my old job.

MARK
You worked here?

BOB
Yes, I worked here. What do you think I was doin’ back here all this time?

MARK
Oh, I don't know. I always thought of you as kind of an animatronic lawn jockey.

MARTHA
Oh, I couldn't take your job from you, Bob.

BOB
Sure you can! I'm a singer now. I'll make my money in the park. Come on!

MARTHA
Well, what do I have to do?

BOB
Oh, easy. Just sit back here and read Variety or your history books or whatever.

MARTHA
Well, I guess I could do that. For now.

BOB
Sure, for now.
(to MARK and GEORGE)
Come on, guys. Let's let Martha get acquainted with her new situation.

(BOB, MARK and GEORGE start to exit, then BOB stops.)

BOB (cont.)
But first let's write Martha a song to remember us by.

MARK
I'm tired of writing songs.

BOB
I meant someone with talent.

GEORGE
When my heart broke, my muse escaped through the crack and flew away.

BOB
Hm. Well, maybe I'll think of something in the park. Come on.

(They begin to exit again.)

MARTHA
I've got a song.

(They stop again.)

BOB
Really?

MARTHA
Yeah. It was supposed to be for Em's play maybe. A French mademoiselle is saying good-bye to her officer-lover as he goes off to fight in the Revolution.

MARK
Are you sure you've got the right country?
MARTHA
(plays guitar)
AU REVOIR, MON AMOUR, GOOD-BYE.
I HATE TO SEE YOU GO
PARCE QUE LE GUERRE
IS IN THE AIR,
MAUVAIS FORTUNE OF MINE.

MARK
I think we're gonna need subtitles for this song.

MARTHA
Then the officer sings . . .

AU REVOIR, MON AMOUR, GOOD-BYE.
DON'T LOOK SAD, DON'T FEEL BLUE.
FOR CAN'T YOU SEE,
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE
TOUJOUR L'AMOUR OF MINE.
FOR CAN'T YOU SEE,
YOU'LL ALWAYS BE
TOUJOUR L'AMOUR OF MINE.
TOUJOUR L'AMOUR OF MINE.

GEORGE
That's it. I'm staying.

BOB
But she doesn't love you.

GEORGE
I don't care. I'll be a bell hop, sell fruit for a penny a piece, ten cents a dozen, just to be near.

BOB
Ah well. Come on, Mark, let's go out and start hitting those benches.

(She begins to exit with MARK. MARTHA puts on her glasses and starts reading a history book.)

MARK
But it just don't make no sense. A penny a piece. How can a person survive on prices like that?

GEORGE
(plays guitar near MARTHA)
MY LOVE RETURNS.
I CAN GO ON.
MY HEART DOTH YEARN.
ALAS, ANON.

BOB
So should we go back to calling ourselves the Freaks?

GEORGE
ALAS, ANON.

MARK
I don't think so. I mean with four people it's not so bad, but when there are only two, you really start to get identified with the concept.

(BOB and MARK continue exiting. GEORGE sings in the background.)

BOB
What about Just Us Girls?

MARK
I don't wanna be called the Freaks with just two people and you think I'm gonna wanna be called Just Us Girls?

GEORGE
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
I LOVE, I LOVE.

(MARTHA takes out the clock sign and puts it between her and GEORGE.)

GEORGE (cont.)
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
AH, LOVE.
I LOVE.

THE END


copyright (c) 1998 eric nakao
date posted: december 6
, 2004
latest web page update: january 1, 2005



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