Member of Dramatists Guild, Inc.
Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights
International Center for Women Playwrights Playwrights Guild of Canada
Sunday Dinner was first produced at The Complex in Hollywood, CA from April 3rd through April 27th, 1997, with the following cast and crew:
Lori Fleming: Meghan OÕSullivan
Charlie Davis: Paul Reuhl
Violet Costa Della Torre: Diane Grant
Sylvia Cranston: Sybil Grieb
Stage Manager: Pat Perkins
Set/Design/Construction: Andrew Frew and Paul Ruehl
Sound Design: Andrew Frew
Costume Design: Sylvia Grieb, Joyce Smith and Beverly Hausner
Front of House: Ray Dannis
Directed by Babs Warden Lebowsky
CAST OF CHARACTERS
CHARLIE DAVIS An attractive, intelligent single man, eager to please
LORI FLEMING His girlfriend, honest, down to earth
VIOLET COSTA DELLA TORRE
Charlie's mother, twice divorced, charming and manipulative
Charlie's ex-girlfriend, slightly older than Lori, sophisticated and stylish
The present - a quiet Sunday evening
The living room/dining room of a one bedroom apartment, with windows center back and an ornamental tree in front of one of them.
The kitchen is off up right through a door from the living room. In front of the kitchen door is a dining table. The bedroom and bathroom are off left, down a hall.
The front door is off down right. There is an intercom on the wall beside it.
The room is furnished with a large sofa and not enough chairs. It's decorated in an Art Deco fashion but there are incongruous groupings of small objects in curio cabinets or on tables. One surface is covered with teacups. There is a collection of ceramic cats and dogs. There is a decorative throw over the back of the sofa, a larger lacy one on a table.
An arresting painting of a beach at sunset is prominently displayed on one wall. There's a thermostat beside it.
A bottle of white wine sits in a wine cooler, with two wine glasses beside it.
AT RISE: Lori enters, humming. She's carrying a bowl of chips and a bowl of dip. She puts the bowls on the coffee table in front of the sofa. She pushes Charlie's sandals under the table. CHARLIE enters, wearing boots and jacket. He's carrying a set of lueprints. He puts the blueprints down and takes off his jacket.
I swear. She lies in wait for me.
Who else? Mrs. HabibyÕs gone to the hospital and Mr. Habiby was white as a sheet. SheÕs as big as a house and carrying very low, so itÕs got to be a boy. Or was it a girl? And the Forgartys on fourth moved and left the place like a pigsty.
So, how does the house look?
Great. We're going to start roofing tomorrow.
(Charlie takes off his boots. Lori pours two glasses of wine from the bottle in the cooler.)
Now Marc thinks he came up with the idea of steel. "Galvanized panels," he says. "The only way to go."
He doesn't. That was your idea.
He's changed the specs so many times he doesn't remember who thought what. Architects are so nuts.
Unlike contractors. They're rock solid. Sensible.
Feet on the ground.
(Lori hands him a glass of wine.)
Hey, thank you.
To Davis Construction.
Long may we build.
(They click glasses and drink. Kiss.)
I made fried chicken.
Very nice, very nice. You take good care of me.
(He takes the glass from Lori's hand. Pulls her onto the sofa.)
Well, I'm glad.
So am I.
(They sit close together.)
Isn't this wonderful, Charlie?
Today is our third of a year anniversary.
We've been together four months today.
You don't look a day older than when we met.
Why thank you, sir.
You are still the most adorable, the sweetest, the dearest, the sexiest woman I know. Have ever known. Will ever know.
You are the best, Charlie. The very best.
And the happiest guy in the world.
You know what would make everything perfect?
I thought it was.
What would make it perfect?
Not a big one. Maybe a cocker spaniel.
A cocker spaniel.
Who would take care of it?
They're no trouble, Charlie. Mrs. Bloom said she wouldn't mind if we got one.
You asked Mrs. Bloom?
I think Eddie's a great name, don't you?
After Uncle Eddie. He loves dogs.
Who would it belong to?
I don't think either of us wants that kind of responsibility, Lori.
I guess it would tie us down.
I know it would.
It was just a thought.
I'm happy with us the way we are. Very happy. These have been the best four months of my life.
I never thought I'd meet someone I could tell everything to. Someone who'd tell me everything. Someone to share with. It's wonderful.
We really lucked out, didn't we? There are so many people without anybody out there.
Nobody to turn to when they need help. Nobody to talk to when they're in pain. When they're lonely.
Would you like another drink, Charlie?
(Lori gets up.)
I mean, look at Ma. A two time loser.
(Lori quickly picks up bowl of chips.)
(Charlie takes the bowl of chips.)
When I think of her all alone that apartment with the view of the condo next door...all by herself day after day.
(Lori pours herself more wine.)
She's just around the corner, Charlie.
She's still alone. And you know she's not well.
I don't think she's unhappy.
She doesn't know she's unhappy. That's the terrible part.
(takes another handful of chips. Pause)
How big is the chicken?
(Lori puts the bottle down hard.)
Could we have her every other Sunday and not every Sunday?
Do we have to talk about that now? I'm just wondering about today.
Oh, yeah, it is. I forgot.
That's because you're working every day. And we had her last Sunday.
So what if we had her last Sunday?
So, I had the flu and asked you not to have her.
You weren't going anywhere because you were sick so I didn't think it mattered.
But I did say I wasn't feeling well.
You just had to lie there.
I felt trapped lying there.
You could have gone out.
I didn't want to go out because I had the flu.
You didn't want to, so it didn't matter.
It didn't matter to you!
You don't have the flu today, do you?
I asked you yesterday. I said, "Do you want to invite your mother for Sunday dinner and you said, "I don't think so." And now you say, "How big is the chicken?"
Is it big enough for three?
Oh! Are you going to invite her or not?
Is this your time of the month?
(She grabs the chip bowl. Sits and eats. Charlie looks at her and shakes his head. Then, he goes to telephone and dials. Lori goes to the thermostat and turns it up.)
What are you doing?
Turning up the heat.
(Charlie turns it down, goes back to the telephone and dials again..)
You know what she's going to say.
It's like an igloo in here.
When does she say that?
Hi, Ma. Lori was just saying that we haven't seen your smiling face in a while and we were wondering if you'd like to come over for dinner.
It's about seven, I guess.
I'll have to move the tree.
(hand over mouthpiece)
I'll do it.
I can do it.
We would have called earlier but we just got in.
(Lori struggles with the tree, trying to carry it to the other side of the sofa.)
Of course we do. Just us.
Every time she comes over, we have to discuss the tree. Do you water it enough? It's drooping a bit, isn't it?
(into the phone)
No, you don't have to dress up. If you don't want to change, don't. No. You don't even have to think about it, Ma.
What is it doing there?
(covers the mouthpiece)
I'll do it.
(into the phone)
Which one? Yes, it's nice, it's nice.
She'll try to look out the window and she'll say, "I don't know why you have this tree blocking the view and then we'll have to move it. Why don't we move it before she says that?
(hand over mouthpiece)
Will you leave that for me?
(shouting into telephone)
Wear whatever you want!
(lowers his voice)
I'm sorry, Ma, I'm sorry. O.K. Ten minutes.
(slams down the phone and grabs the tree)
Give me that. I asked her. The least I can do is move the tree.
It's my tree and I am going to move it.
(They struggle over the tree and move it across the room a few feet. It drops on Charlie's foot. He hops around, screaming in pain.)
Are you OK?
No, I am not OK!
(Charlie collapses on the sofa, holding his foot.)
(goes over to him, kneels and looks at his foot.)
Does it hurt a lot?
(Lori gently rubs his foot.)
Is this better?
The agony has somewhat abated.
(Lori kisses his foot.)
Poor little foot. Better?
(He kisses her. They kiss again. They sink down into the sofa, lost to the world. Charlie suddenly sits up.
IÕd better go.
I've gotta pick up Ma.
(She pushes him away and his injured foot hits the floor hard.)
(He gingerly puts his sandals on, tries to kiss Lori. She pulls away.)
(gets up and goes to door)
O.K. I'm going. Look at me. I'm going.
(She takes a chip, puts it in the dip, which spills on her shirt.)
Dammit. I wonder what would get that out? Is this your time of the month? What if it is? Great, now, I'm talking to myself.
I can't stand that woman.
(Charlie enters. He's heard.)
I forgot my car keys.
(She exits to bedroom.)
Have you seen them?
They were on the cabinet.
(Charlie looks at the cabinet. The keys are there.)
I found them. That's where they were, on the cabinet.
( picks them up. Lori enters, putting on a baseball jersey that says DAVIS CONSTRUCTION.)
I guess you're still mad at me.
She makes me yammer. I get nervous and I talk, talk, talk about all sorts of stupid stuff.
You do not talk about stupid stuff. You are charming and I love to listen to you.
I'm sorry I shouted.
What's a dinner? I'm sorry I got so upset.
You always say what you think, donÕt you?
Would you like me to pretend?
Never. Just give it to me straight. I can take it.
I like that.
Elegant, ain't it?
It belongs to Charlie Davis. He's the President of the company. And the first baseman.
It looks better on you than it does on him.
(Charlie goes to door and turns back.)
Do you want to move that tree?
You know what? It looks good there. Let's leave it.
O.K. by me.
I like it.
So do I.
(Charlie puts his arms around her.)
(referring to the shirt)
It feels good, doesn't it?
(They embrace and sink to the sofa.)
Let's take it off.
(He takes off the shirt, throws it on the floor.)
You have to go.
I will, I will.
(kisses her, then dramatically)
I'd give you the world, darling.
I don't want the world. I want a dog.
(like a dog)
Bark, bark, bark.
(patting his head)
Nice doggie, nice doggie.
(The intercom buzzes.)
(The intercom keeps buzzing. Charlie nuzzles Lori, growling. The intercom buzzes relentlessly. Charlie jumps up and goes to the intercom.)
Hello, hello, hello.
There's nobody there.
You left me to answer the intercom.
I stopped the buzzing, didn't I?
You left me all alone.
Let me make it up to you.
(He goes back to Lori and wraps her in an embrace. The door opens and VIOLET appears in the doorway. It's an entrance. She always makes an entrance. She's wearing an mauve caftan, dangling earrings and
four inch heels. She has a small carrying case in her hand.)
(They don't hear her.)
Hello, hello, hello.
(Lori sees her over Charlie's shoulder.
(Lori jumps up and exits to the kitchen.)
(falls off the back of the sofa. He gets up. Picks up the shirt.)
How did you get here?
(Lori sticks her hand out of the kitchen door. Charlie throws her the shirt.)
You didn't walk, did you?
I took a cab.
You took a cab around the corner?
(Violet gives Charlie the case. He puts it on the table.)
What the hell is that tree doing there?
How did you get in?
Mrs. Bloom took pity on us.
(Violet turns and gestures dramatically at the open doorway.)
(SYLVIA, a beautiful woman, expertly made up and dressed in a beautifully cut business suit, with a handbag over her shoulder, appears and poses in the doorway. She is laughing.)
Ciao, Charlie. Long time no see.
Isn't this fun? Sylvia's in town. She dropped by, out of the blue, and I said to her, "Why don't you come along and we'll surprise Charlie?" Are you surprised?
Is anybody going to ask me in?
(Charlie stares at her.)
Make it soon, sweetie. I have to use the little girl's room.
(to Sylvia, laughing)
Come in before you burst.
(gives Charlie a big kiss.)
I'll just freshen up.
(Sylvia exits to the bathroom.)
Is she staying for dinner?
I don't know. She just dropped by.
I don't think the chicken's big enough for four.
Will you pay the taxi driver, dear? He's waiting out front.
It's the end of the month.
Why didn't Sylvia pay for the taxi?
Sylvia is my guest.
Lori, dear, where are you?
Be right there.
(Violet straightens up the sofa, then lies down on it, taking up the entire space. Lori enters.)
Violet, what a pretty dress.
It's a caftan, dear.
It was so last minute, I just grabbed any old thing out of the closet.
Well...it's very nice. The purple's lovely.
Thank you, dear. It's violet.
Violet for Violet.
(Lori perches on the end of the sofa.)
I hope I'm not putting you out.
Oh, no. You never do.
You're not feeling well, today?
I dragged myself over.
I know how much Charlie looks forward to my visits.
(She puts her feet on the arm of the sofa, nudging Lori with them.)
I'll go get a chair.
I'd give you the sofa but I can't move about much. It's my heart.
(Lori picks up the chair from beside the dining table.)
It's my heart.
(Lori moves the chair closer to the sofa.)
I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.
It's my heart.
Oh, of course, your heart.
Heart is Number One.
The Number One killer, dear. It's the Number One cause of death in the country.
I thought cancer was.
(indicates Lori's upper lip.)
Do you have something...?
On your teeth, dear.
(Lori rubs her teeth.)
Oh, it's chocolate.
IÕve been working with chocolate and there was a piece on the kitchen counter. I couldn't resist.
Working with it?
I have this fabulous recipe for French Chocolate Cake IÕm dying to try but IÕm experimenting with the chocolate first. Melting chocolate is really tricky.
It's nothing, really.
Now, now, Lori. IÕm sure itÕs fascinating process.
Well, there are different techniques. You can use a very gentle heat but you absolutely must avoid getting water, even a little bit of steam, in the chocolate or it seizes up.
It goes lumpy. Sometimes, it turns into a solid mass and then itÕs game over.
ThatÕs why I like the oven method most of the time - two hundred and twenty-five degrees is perfect - but when IÕm adding milk or butter or cream, I use a heavy based saucepan – I just bought it, itÕs a beauty –
on direct heat, and watch it very, very carefully so it doesnÕt burn. My friend, Maria, thinks IÕm nuts. She swears thatÉ.
(Violet puts her hand on Lori's arm.)
(stopped in her tracks)
It's like an igloo in here.
It's about sixty-eight degrees, I think.
Could you turn up the heat?
You know I have to watch.
(Lori turns the thermostat up.)
I see you moved the tree.
Would you like a glass of white wine?
Is it chilled?
(Lori goes over to the cabinet for the bottle.)
It sure is.
Wouldn't say no.
Didn't think you would.
(Lori almost drops the bottle.)
Relax, dear. It's only Sylvia.
Who is Sylvia?
I am. And you must be Lori.
I guess I must.
I've heard a lot about you.
(clutching the bottle)
You have? Charlie didn't tell me you were coming.
No, he didn't.
Vi didn't tell me how pretty you were.
(Sylvia looks around for a place to sit.)
I'll get the other chair. It's in the kitchen.
(She thrusts the bottle into Sylvia's hand and rushes off into the kitchen.)
She's such a ditz.
(Lori is just in earshot. Amused, Sylvia holds out the bottle.)
(Violet laughs. Sylvia sits in Lori's chair.)
What do you think?
I don't know, Vi. She's kind of cute.
So's a Disney dog. How about that fish wallpaper in the bathroom?
Do you think she actually bought that little boudoir chair?
My dear, Architectural Digest.
(Lori enters from the kitchen, carrying a chair.)
Here we go.
(She puts the chair down on the other side of the sofa and sits.)
Help yourself to chip and dip.
(Vi shows her the almost empty chip bowl. Lori grabs it.)
Excuse me. Make yourself at home.
Bring some glasses will you, dear?
You got it.
(She exits to the kitchen. Violet picks up the dip bowl.)
(Offstage, we hear a banging of cupboard doors and cutlery being dropped. A glass smashes.)
Be right there.
Take your time, dear.
Didn't I tell you?
(Lori enters with a bag of potato chips, the chip bowl, a wine glass and a water glass. She gives the wine glass to Vi and the tumbler to Sylvia.)
I'm sorry about this glass. Do you mind, Sylvia?
Dr. Spock. I love it.
My dear, it's divine. So original.
Free from Burger King.
(Lori tears open the potato chip bag and pours chips into the bowl. She spills the chips on the floor, picks the chips up off the floor, and not knowing what to do with them, puts them in the bowl. Violet holds out her glass.)
Here we go.
(She pours Vi a glass of wine.)
(to Sylvia, English accent)
Will you partake, dahling?
(to Lori, mimicking Violet)
Just a splash.
(Lori pours Sylvia a glass of wine.)
Don't forget yourself, Lori. You could use one.
Right. Thank you.
(She pours herself a glass of wine. Sits. In silence, all three drink deeply. The intercom rings. Both Sylvia and Lori jump.)
(Lori goes to the intercom.)
Who is it?
It's me. I forgot my key.
(She presses the buzzer.)
He forgot his key.
What's he doing out front?
I took a cab.
You took a cab around the corner?
I don't have a car.
I once had the most beautiful red Ferrari. My dears, you should have seen that car.
Vi. I drove a Ferrari when I was in Florence.
How marvellous. Rico...
(she looks at Lori)
...my second husband...
Charlie's stepfather. He talks about him a lot.
Is that so?
I've heard he was adorable.
He was Italian! He adored Ferraris. He actually wore driving gloves. How I laughed when I saw those gloves. We'd race across the Mojave Desert, one hundred and twenty-five miles an hour, screaming our heads off.
A wild man. Such fun.
(Silence. They sip.)
(politely, to Sylvia)
You were in Florence?
Sylvia's an interior decorator. She flies all over all over the world for her clients. London, Santiago, Firenze.
(pointedly to Lori)
(Lori doesnÕt understand.)
Firenze is Florence.
Which reminds me, Vi.
(She pulls two airplane bottles of alcohol out of her purse.)
(She gives them to Vi.)
What fun. Thank you.
(She clicks the bottles together. Kisses them, puts them down. Silence.)
What do you do, Lori?
I'm a court reporter.
(Vi clears her throat.)
Actually, I'm studying to be a court reporter. I work in a bank.
How do like Lori's little things?
They're very nice.
(looks around the room.)
Most of the things are Charlie's. I brought my collections with me when I moved in. And the tree.
You collect things?
I'm not a serious collector. My Mom started me on the teacups.
(She picks up a teacup and admires it.)
(warming to the subject)
What I love is that painting. It makes the room, don't you think?
I guess she does. She gave it to Charlie.
You did, dear.
And the rest of the room?
My Art Deco period.
I thought you were Vi's friend.
We've been pals for ages. We had so much fun, didn't we, Syl? We used to do lunch and then we'd...
...shop, shop, shop...
...zoom around and hit the fashion shows, the theatre, the boutiques, the galleries, the you name it.
Charlie introduced us.
So you're Charlie's friend, too.
I used to be.
Were you good friends?
(Charlie enters. Violet pours the last of the wine into hers and Sylvia's glass.)
Welcome back. What took you so long?
I met Mrs. Bloom in the hall. Mrs. Habiby had twins.
(He glares at Vi.)
Was the cab expensive, dear?
Everything's relative, Ma. Related to the U.S. deficit, it was cheap.
I am Harriet the Housebound except for the occasional cab.
I didn't steal the Ferrari.
Rico loved that car.
There is the bus, Ma.
I never use public transportation. Fortunately, I've no place to go.
God, it's hot in here.
(looks at the thermostat.)
What happened to this?
I didn't turn it up.
(Charlie turns the thermostat down.)
Gosh, Charlie, I'd forgotten how tall you were.
And you're so...tall, too.
Gosh, thank you.
Join us, for heaven's sake. How about a glass of wine?
No, thank you, Ma.
Come on, do you good.
(picks up the empty wine bottle.)
Whoops. Dead soldier!
I think we have another bottle.
Do you want some help?
I can do it, thank you.
You'll want to get reacquainted.
(She exits to the kitchen. Charlie stands, indecisively. Violet points to the chair next to Sylvia.)
Will you sit?
(Charlie places the chair as far away from Sylvia as possible. She poses at the end of the sofa, smiling.)
Doesn't Sylvia look lovely, dear?
Great, just great.
Have you put on a little weight?
Will you excuse me? I'll just freshen up, too.
(She exits to the bathroom.)
So. You're in town.
I had a couple of weeks and nothing to do and I thought why not look up some old friends. Catch up. Vi says you and Marc are doing well. Business is good.
It's picking up.
I'm not surprised. You do terrific work. Are you still doing some remodeling?
I'm dying to take a look at Felipe's Cantina again. Do you remember that? It was such a hole in the wall when you started.
No job too big...
SYLVIA AND CHARLIE
No job too small.
I loved working on that. Do you remember the fight we all had over the flooring? To tile or not to tile.
That was the question.
And the ptomaine poisoning? I was so sick.
God, yes. So was I. Who said, "The special of the day looks good.?"
Marc did. Is he still changing the specs?
You've made some changes.
Uh huh. How's Miami? Still the happening place?
So they tell me. Lori seems very nice.
How's the ice cream salesman?
How's the import export salesman?
He wasn't a salesman, sweetie.
He's in Rome. He's a jerk.
What goes around, comes around.
Oh, Charlie, I'm so sorry. You were always so good to me. I made a mistake. People do make mistakes. You know that.
(puts her hand on his knee)
I miss you.
(Lori enters and sees Sylvia's hand on Charlie's knee.)
Here we go.
(She gives Charlie a bottle of wine.)
How are things in the kitchen?
How are things out here?
(She thrusts the bottle at Charlie. Violet enters.)
Ooh. You found one. Hooray.
(settles herself on the sofa.)
Where did I leave my case?
(Charlie hands Vi her carrying case.)
Never leave home without it, eh Ma?
It's my lifeline, dear. Thank you.
(Vi opens the case and puts her vitamin bottles on the table, one by one.)
Vitamin C with Citrus Bioflavonoid, Violet Hips and Acerola in a base of Alfalfa Cereal Grass to maximize absorption, Vitamin E for the red blood cells, emulsified Vitamin A complex with Vitamin D –
the sunshine vitamin - indispensable if you're cooped up for any length of time - Beta Carotene, Grape Seed Extract, Selenium, Brewer's Yeast...
(Charlie points at a bottle still in the case.)
That's a new one. What is it?
(Violet takes a bottle out of the case.)
Desiccated whole liver.
(Charlie takes a vial out of the case.)
I meant this one.
Dr. Mortimer prescribed it.
(Vi takes the bottle away from Charlie, puts it back and slams the case shut.)
It's for stress. Thank you.
Do you like that tree there, dear?
(Charlie opens the wine bottle. Violet takes out a small jar from the case and hands it to Lori.)
Lori, this is for you. I thought you might be able to use it.
(looking at jar)
Miracle Face Cream?
It works wonders for dry skin. You just put a little around the mouth and beside the eyes. I use it all the time.
I'd give you one, too, but you don't need it.
She's got that English schoolgirl look. Isn't that disgusting?
I could just kill her, couldn't you?
(Pop goes the cork.)
(holding out her glass)
(Charlie pours her more wine. Pours more for Sylvia.)
What about Lori?
(holding out her glass)
That's a good idea.
(Charlie doesn't pour.)
I'm going to have an Arrowhead sparkling water.
Why don't you have Arrowhead, too?
Be human. Give the woman a drink.
You know what they say about booze. H-A-L-T. When you are too H - Hungry, too A - Angry, too L- Lonely, too T - Tired. HALT.
Thank you, Betty Ford.
Dr. Mortimer says that drinking can be good for the cardiovascular system.
(Charlie exits to the kitchen, carrying the bottle, without pouring Lori any.)
Dr. Mortimer is a specialist!
To friends. The old and the new.
(Charlie enters from the kitchen, carrying dinner plates. He starts to set the table.)
I don't know about anybody else, but I would like to eat.
Is it dinnertime?
Past. Way past.
I know how you like your dinner on time, Charlie.
(Lori glares at her.)
I'll be off.
(Lori hands Sylvia her purse.)
You were invited, dear.
You were invited, Vi.
And I invited you.
I don't know what to think.
Don't think. Go with the flow.
Will I be any trouble, Lori?
She's perfectly capable of managing one more, aren't you, dear?
(Lori looks at Charlie, who gives her no help.)
Gosh, that chicken does smell good.
Gosh. Let's party.
Have a glass of wine.
What a lovely idea! I think somebody took the bottle back to the kitchen.
(Lori starts toward the kitchen.)
Can I help you, Lori?
No, thanks. We can manage. Have some dip.
(Lori exits into the kitchen. Charlie follows. Lori speaks offstage.)
You didn't tell me about Sylvia!
Sylvia was a long time ago!
You don't have to shout.
You're the one who's shouting.
I'll do that. Give it to me.
I can do it.
I'll help you. Give it to me.
(We hear a crash offstage. Charlie enters.)
There'll be a slight delay.
(Lori enters from the kitchen and goes to the front door.)
Where are you going?
I'm going to borrow a platter from Mrs. Bloom.
I'll help you.
Thanks. You're a big help.
(to Vi and Sylvia)
Hang in there.
She's not going to last. She doesn't have it. Am I right?
I don't know.
He's on the rebound. Come on, didn't you see the look he gave you?
The terrified one?
He's crazy about you.
I'd like to believe that.
Sylvia, go for it. He's hard working, he's educated, he's going places...he's good-looking...he has a beautiful smile, doesn't he have a beautiful smile?...
He has a beautiful smile.
...And he's still up for grabs.
Women don't grab men, Vi.
If they had any sense they would.
I'll make you a bet. In a month, she'll be out that door for good.
A bottle of Beaujolais. What do you say?
If you lose, you win. Are we on?
I don't want to lose by default. You can't try to break them up. No tricks, no interference.
Are we on or not?
You are so wicked. We're on.
(raises her glass)
VIOLET AND SYLVIA
(They click glasses. Drink deeply. They are now both quite looped.)
Nobody knows how to drink anymore.
Where have all the fun people gone? Life isnÕt perfect? So what? Laugh at it. Dress up, ring for room service.
Oysters and champagne. And dancing after.
Exactly. You know how to live. With style!
(shakes her head)
I don't know why he wastes his time on these... I think it's sex.
You know what I mean. Nothing lasting. She's so...wrong.
(lowers her voice).
She can't help it, of course, poor thing. She comes from nothing.
How awful for Charlie.
(gets up, looks around)
I mean look at what she's done to this room. Isn't it tacky?
It's a bit haphazard...a little...
formless... kind of...
(Violet picks up a ceramic dog.)
Tacky, tacky, tacky.
(puts dog back, looks at the throw over the sofa)
Where does she get these things?
(takes the throw off the sofa and puts it on her head, like a scarf. )
Do you like it, darling? It is all what I have left, my babushka.
Vi, put that back.
(Violet flings the throw to Sylvia. She sees the lacy throw on the table, holds it in front of her face as if wearing a veil, then flourishes it and sings.)
IÕm the Sheik of Araby.
Your love belongs to me.
At night when youÕre asleep
Into your tent IÕll creep
The stars that shine above
Will light our way to love
YouÕll rule this land with me,
The sheik of Araby.
(She tosses the throw to Sylvia.)
Honestly, Vi, sometimes, you remind me so much of my mother. She was just like you.
Vivacious, witty, charming...?
(Sylvia tosses the throw back.)
The tree's not bad.
You can't mean that. What is it doing there?
A professional opinion.
It would look better over by the window.
Do you think so? That spoils the view.
By the picture. Or maybe by the cabinet.
This isn't our place, Vi.
She'll never notice.
We can move it back. Let's just see what it looks like.
(Sylvia shakes her head but she's amused.)
Come on, come on, come on. Chicken.
I can't stand it.
(takes the tree by the trunk and starts to lift it, struggles, then puts her hand on her heart.
Oh, my heart.
Violet! Be careful. You'll hurt yourself.
(She rushes over to the tree. Vi grabs it again.)
Quick. Before they come back. Get the other side.
Don't talk. Lift.
You are such a weakling.
Seriously. I can't do it.
Move, move. Here we go.
(They get the tree moving.)
Told you we could do it.
(They let the tree down.)
(Lori comes through the door, carrying a platter. She stops short when she sees them and almost drops it.)
What's going on?
VIOLET AND SYLVIA
(They move away from the tree.)
And what were you doing?
Umm, moving the tree, I guess.
What was wrong with it where it was?
(looks at Violet)
Right. I'll thank you to put it back where I had it.
I'm really sorry, Lori. I don't know what we were... Vi! Tell Lori what we were thinking.
I can't breathe. I can't breathe.
My heart. My heart.
What have we done?
Lori! Help me.
(Lori helps Sylvia lift Violet who lists and gasps for breath.)
Help me to the sofa.
Here we go. Here we go.
Can't catch my....can't catch my....
Don't move. Rest. Put your feet up.
(She takes a vial of pills out of ViÕs case, opens it, gives a pill to Vi.)
It's your heart pill.
(She exits to the kitchen.)
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
(Sylvia runs out of the kitchen with a glass of water.)
Here, Vi. Take your pill. Drink this.
(Violet swallows her pills with the water, then hands the glass back to Sylvia.)
Aaaaah. So cold, so cold.
I'll get you a blanket!
(She exits to the bedroom. Charlie enters, followed by Lori.)
What is it? Ma!
(Violet falls back, out cold. Charlie runs over to her.)
(Violet stirs slightly. Sylvia enters with a blanket and covers her.)
Something sure as hell happened. What the hell happened?
(Charlie slaps Vi's face to revive her.)
She insisted on moving that tree and it was too much for her.
She insisted on moving the tree, Ms. Interior Decorator?
How could you let her do that?
Vi, please, please, wake up. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
(Violet responds to the slapping and comes to.)
She's coming around.
Are you all right, Ma?
Yes, yes, I think so, dear. Yes. Just a small attack.
But you were doing so well.
It's this heart.
How could I have let you do that?
Don't blame yourself. I get carried away.
(She reaches for Charlie's hand.)
Don't be angry with Sylvia, dear. That tree's been bothering me all evening.
Ma, the tree was all right where it was.
You can't possibly like it there.
What's wrong with it there?
It looks...so...wrong. You don't like it there, do you Lori?
Tell me where you want it, Vi, and I'll move it.
I'll move it.
I'll move it.
I'm not going to discuss this.
We don't have to discuss it. I'll move it.
Where would you like the tree, Ma?
I'm not quite sure. Maybe, if I had something to eat, first.
Why don't we get the dinner on the table?
I'll get dinner on the table after you move the tree.
I am not going to move that goddamned tree!
You were going to move it. Two seconds ago you said, "Where would you like it, Ma?"
What the hell does that matter? I'm not saying that now.
If Vi wants it moved so badly, I'll move it.
You will not!
It's my tree and I'll move it.
I want to eat and I want to eat right now.
I can get dinner!
LORI AND CHARLIE
Are we going to eat or not?
You can. Anytime.
(Lori exits into the kitchen, enters with the chicken in the pan, and shoves it at Charlie.)
Have some chicken, Charlie.
(Violet clutches at her heart and gasps. Lori starts to cry.)
That's it. I quit.
(He goes to the front door.)
Where are you going?
Out for something to eat!
(He exits. Lori exits to the kitchen. Pause.)
Could you bring me some of that chicken, dear?
Should you eat right away?
Food always makes me feel better. Is there a drumstick in there?
(Sylvia gives Violet a plate of chicken.)
I've lost my appetite.
Come on. Mmmm. It has a nice nutty coating on it.
(takes her vitamins out of their bottles)
A and D, C, E....You should try some of these. You need to take better care of yourself.
(takes a Vitamin E with her wine)
Thank you for helping, dear. You're so kind.
(Lori enters from the kitchen, carrying a bowl of potatoes, hands it to Sylvia.)
My dear, the chicken is delicious.
(She exits to the kitchen. Sylvia holds out the potatoes and Violet helps herself.)
(Sylvia shakes her head. Violet digs in. Lori enters, carrying a bowl of salad and hands it to Sylvia.)
(Sylvia holds out the salad bowl and Violet helps herself. Violet holds up her greasy fingers.)
Are there some napkins over there?
(Lori enters from the kitchen, carrying napkins and salt and pepper. Sylvia puts the potato bowl down. Lori hands her the napkins.)
Napkins. Salt and pepper.
(puts the shakers down)
So sorry the service is slow.
Aren't you eating?
I'm leaving, thank you very much. Just continue to make yourselves at home.
(looks at the painting)
I can't believe I ever liked that stupid thing.
(starts to take the painting down)
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Here, let me help you.
(Sylvia helps her take the painting off the wall.)
There. Take it with you when you go. You are going, aren't you? Or are you going to stay and rearrange the furniture first?
Anything else you'd like? Charlie, for example? I don't know why you'd want him. He's very hard to get along with.
Did you get something to eat, dear?
I talked to Mrs. Bloom.
I told her we're going to get a dog!
Not too big.
A cocker spaniel.
(ironically, to Violet)
How sweet. First, the dog. Then, the children.
I'm allergic to dogs.
You won't have to pat it, Ma.
It'll jump on me. They always jump on people who hate them.
We'll get one that doesn't jump.
Who's going to take care of it?
Who will it belong to?
To us. Lori and me.
(firmly to Violet)
And I like that tree where we put it.
That's fine, dear.
I'll be off. Thanks for dinner. It was so good.
You didn't eat anything.
(Sylvia picks up her purse.)
Have some chicken. You must be starving.
I know I am.
(Charlie takes a piece of chicken.)
Take care of yourself.
(Suddenly, Violet turns pale, staggers and clutches her heart.)
(Violet falls against the table, gasping for breath.)
Call Dr. Mortimer. Charlie, please, in my case. The nitroglycerine...in my...
(Charlie and Sylvia help Vi to the sofa.)
We've got you. You're all right. You're all right.
Under my tongue. Huurrr...
(She collapses on the sofa, gasping for air. Sylvia finds the pill and puts it under Vi's tongue.)
She's turning white. She's turning white. This is a bad one. This is bad. She'll have to go to emergency.
What should I do?
Call Dr. Mortimer. The number's there in the red book by the phone.
(Lori picks up the book. Violet gasps and cries out.)
I'll drive. Wallet! Where's my wallet?
(Sylvia finds the wallet.)
Here it is.
(She throws the wallet to Charlie.)
Car keys. Car keys.
(He looks frantically. Sylvia finds the keys. Lori dials.)
Where are my car keys?
(Sylvia throws the keys to Charlie. Sylvia and Charlie pick Vi up off the sofa.)
Dr. Mortimer, please. I'm getting the service.
Take her under the arms. Hold on, Vi. We've got you.
I'm going to carry you, Ma. Here we go. Here we go.
I'm on hold. What should I do?
I'll get the door.
(Sylvia opens the front door.)
Not the hospital, Charlie. Don't make me stay in the hospital.
I'll take care of you, Ma. Don't worry. I'll take care of you.
(Violet grabs Sylvia's arm.)
Pray for me.
(Charlie exits, carrying Violet. Sylvia starts out.)
Sylvia, your purse.
(Lori gives her the purse.)
Will she be all right?
I hope so. I haven't seen her this bad since last Mother's Day.