Saturday, November 17, 2018

Just A Little Change

(BELLE and ADAM are in bed.)

ADAM:  Hey Belle?

BELLE:  Yes?

ADAM:  This is a little awkward.

BELLE:  Is it about the fact that we need to buy all new utensils now?

ADAM:  Uh, no.

BELLE:  Didn’t you have forks before that witch showed up?  Where did all the non-enchanted forks go?

ADAM:  No, uh, I--I wanted to talk about how you haven’t seemed that...into me.


ADAM:  Since, you know, I was--cured.

BELLE:  Right.

ADAM:  Is everything--okay?

BELLE:  Well, gosh, how do I put this?

ADAM:  Babe, you can talk to me.  Whatever you say, I’ll still love you.  No matter what.

BELLE:  I liked you better when you were the Beast.

(A beat.)

ADAM:  What?

BELLE:  You were so hot.

ADAM:  Honey, I was a dog-man.

BELLE:  I know.

ADAM:  I was like...half-bear.

BELLE:  I know!

ADAM:  You liked that?

BELLE:  I loved that!

ADAM:  I thought you fell in love with me for my personality.

BELLE:  Personality?  We said, like, two words to each other, then we waltzed, and then you got turned back into--(With barely hidden disgust.)--this.

ADAM:  Don’t say it like that!

BELLE:  I just don’t know why I learned to love you as a beast and then they turned you into a human.  That would be like falling in love with a blonde and then their hair magically turns brown.

ADAM:  You don’t fall in love with someone for their hair.

BELLE:  Maybe YOU don’t.

ADAM:  Now what are we supposed to do?

BELLE:  Well--can you grow a beard/

ADAM:  Not really?

BELLE:  A mustache?

ADAM:  No.

BELLE:  Stubble?  Anything? Meet me halfway here.

ADAM:  Maybe you could just learn to love me like this?

BELLE:  Or maybe I could move into the library and we just see each other on holidays?

ADAM:  Do you realize how crazy you sound?

BELLE:  Fine, every other weekend, but no more waltzing, you’re no good at leading.

ADAM:  Belle--

BELLE:  You were a much better dancer when you were eight feet tall and had a snout.

ADAM:  Belle.

BELLE:  God, I miss that snout.

ADAM:  Would you listen to yourself?

BELLE:  You know, if you had just ASKED me before you turned back--

ADAM:  I thought you’d be thrilled.

BELLE:  Nobody ever asks a woman what she wants.

ADAM:  When we first met, I scared the hell out of you.

BELLE:  That wasn’t fear, you bland pile of yogurt, that was excitement!  You were so exciting!

ADAM:  I was a monster.

BELLE:  First of all, you’re being very judgmental.

ADAM:  You never--

BELLE:  And second of all, maybe I like monsters.

ADAM:  Well then maybe you should have married Gaston.

BELLE:  God, he was so tall.

ADAM:  Belle!

BELLE:  What?

ADAM:  I’m tall!

BELLE:  You’re not THAT tall.

ADAM:  Well, I’m still a prince.

BELLE:  That’s true.  You are.

ADAM:  And I am who I am, so you’ll just have to get used to it.

(A beat.)

BELLE:  Maybe.

ADAM:  What do you mean ‘Maybe?’

BELLE:  Okay, so don’t be mad--

ADAM:  What did you do?

BELLE:  I invited a gypsy over for breakfast tomorrow.

ADAM:  Why would you do that?

BELLE:  So you can kick her out.

ADAM:  Why would I--ohmygodno!

BELLE:  Come on!

ADAM:  I am not going back to being a waltzing rug!

BELLE:  Maybe she’ll turn you into something even better this time.  Like a lizard! Imagine if you were a lizard!

ADAM:  That would be horrible!

BELLE:  No, it wouldn’t!  Lizards are very in right now.

ADAM:  I am not kicking that woman out and I am not turning into a creature and you are not moving into the library and if you keep this up, I’m not ordering any new forks!

BELLE:  Okay!

(A beat.)


ADAM:  What?

BELLE:  I just realized--this means we have to eat breakfast with a gypsy.

End of Play

Ain't That a Pie in the Face?

(A waiting room.  BUB, SNOWBALL, JIM, and MIMSY are all seated.)

BUB:  Forty-three years I’ve been with that circus, and this is how it ends?  I’m going to die retired in some shack in Montana like a schmuck? I could have had a noble death.  I could have been eaten by a lion or had my throat ripped out by a seal like Felix, but no. Instead they take my dignity.

SNOWBALL:  I’m going back to get my degree.

JIM:  In clowning?

SNOWBALL:  No, in culinary.  I don’t know if you all knew this, but I made all the pies we threw at each other.  I’m not sure if any of them were good, but--

JIM:  They looked good.

SNOWBALL:  Thanks, Jim.

JIM:  No problem, Snowball.

MIMSY:  I’m going to walk inside an imaginary box and wait for time to ravage my body.

(A beat.)

BUB:  There’s always that one weird clown.

SNOWBALL:  Mimsy isn’t weird.  She studied clowning in Europe.  It’s very different over there.

BUB:  Give me an American clown any day.  You ever see a European trip on a banana peel and fall into a kiddie pool?  It’s a disgrace.

JIM:  Hey Bub, where did you go to school?

BUB:  When I was starting out, you didn’t go to school for clowning.  You walked twenty-four miles to an abandoned warehouse and a guy named Moe hit you in the face with a four-pound carp until you passed out.  That was how you became a clown.

SNOWBALL:  That sounds terrible.

BUB:  That carp claimed a lot of lives, I’ll admit it, but the clowns that came out of that warehouse were some of the most talented and damaged people you’re ever likely to meet.

JIM:  What happened to Moe?

BUB:  It turned out he was a serial killer, but we didn’t know that at the time.

SNOWBALL:  Goodness.

BUB:  We used to have the best serial killers in this country.  Bundy, Zodiac, Nancy Reagan--they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

JIM:  Hey Snowball, what happened with you and Tony?

SNOWBALL:  I mean, he still gets gigs here and there.  They just hired him to do this gender reveal party--

JIM:  An acrobat?

SNOWBALL:  He prefers trapeze artist.

JIM:  Right, sorry.

SNOWBALL:  It’s fine. He’s kind of pretentious.  But it was hot making out with him.

JIM:  Did you make out on the trapeze?

SNOWBALL:  Oh yeah. All the time.

JIM:  What was that like?

SNOWBALL:  Well, it was more swinging around than anything, but it was pretty exciting.  Sometimes he’d be like, let’s do it without the net, and I’d be like, No, I don’t think, and he’d be like, Just one time, and I’d be like, Tony, we talked about this, and he’d be like, Nick takes his girlfriend up here all the time and they never have the net, and I was like, Well, why don’t you date Nick’s girlfriend then since she’s so awesome, and he was like, I don’t want to date her, she’s dating Nick, and also, she eats fire, and that’s weird, and I was like, Oh, that’s weird, but asking a clown to make out with you three stories up with no net isn’t, and he was like--

BUB:  Remind me never to get in a clown car with her.

SNOWBALL:  It’s just hard, you know, making it work in our field, and now that there’s no more circus--

JIM:  Do you think they’ll ever bring it back?

SNOWBALL:  I heard Disney might buy it.

JIM:  The circus?


BUB:  Sons-of-bitches.

JIM:  What’s wrong with Disney?

MIMSY:  Mickey Mouse is a symbol of failed hope.  What are his pants? What are his dreams? Where does he belong in the lost place we call America?

(A beat.)

BUB:  What’s wrong with them--is that all they care about is money.  The circus isn’t about money.

JIM:  Bub, we sold cotton candy for eighteen dollars.  I’m pretty sure money was a big part of it.

SNOWBALL:  What are you going to do now, Jim?

JIM:  I’m going to become a make-up artist--

SNOWBALL:  That’s amazing.

JIM:  --For dogs.

SNOWBALL:  For--what?

JIM:  It’s this new thing.  People are putting make-up on their dogs, but, like, dogs squirm a lot, so you really have to have a way with them to get them to stay still long enough to--and remember how I was so good with the dogs?  Like, I’d just look at them and they’d jump through those little hoops? Plus, I’m wicked good with make-up and the other day, I practiced on this stray cat I found in the alley near my apartment, and I almost got half an eyebrow penciled on her before she tore a hole in my arm with her claws.  But, like, cats are really mean, so I bet I’ll have better luck with dogs.

(A beat.)

BUB:  You’ll be dead in six months.


BUB:  Three months if you try putting eyeliner on a pitbull.

SNOWBALL:  Mimsy, are you okay?  You seem so stoic.

BUB:  She always seems that way.

MIMSY:  I was just thinking about how one time I saw a little kid crying in the front row.  I walked up to her. I asked her why she was crying. The circus was going on all around us, and there she was, weeping openly.  Her mother was sitting next to her, but she wasn’t saying a word. It was as though she were a mannequin or a large doll. The crying girl told me that she was crying because there was so much life all around her and that the excitement and the enthusiasm created a vortex of deep-seated grief in her that could only be explained by the realization that life is three-rings and a tent and then it’s the sawdust swept up by a janitor and the elephants packed into cages and the faint smell of hot dogs fading in and out of one’s mind as the circus leaves town once again.

(A beat.)

BUB:  I am not going to miss her.

JIM:  Did you make her laugh?

MIMSY:  Who?

JIM:  The little girl.

MIMSY:  Oh. I don’t remember.

SNOWBALL:  I’m sure you did.

MIMSY:  I don’t remember her laughing.

BUB:  She probably had a complex.

MIMSY:  But I’d like to think she did.

JIM:  Yeah?

MIMSY:  Yes. I’d like to think that maybe I made her laugh.

End of Play

Caesar Calls Out

(Two phone calls.  On one side, JULIUS and his wife CALPURNIA.  On the other side, CASSIUS and BRUTUS.)

CALPURNIA:  Just tell them, you’re not coming in.

JULIUS:  Yeah, I really can’t make it in there today.

CASSIUS:  What’s he saying?

BRUTUS:  He says he can’t come in.

CASSIUS:  Well tell him he has to come in.

BRUTUS:  I just--Hey buddy, it’s Brutus.  We’re really going to need you to come in today.

CALPURNIA:  What are they saying?

JULIUS:  They’re saying I need to come in.

CALPURNIA:  Who’s saying that?

JULIUS:  Brutus.

CALPURNIA:  He’s going to murder you.

JULIUS:  Will you calm down?  Nobody’s getting murdered.

CASSIUS:  Are we murdering him or what?

CALPURNIA:  Okay, fine. Go get murdered.  What do I care?

JULIUS:  Brutus, I’m really not feeling well.

BRUTUS:  He says he’s not feeling well.

CASSIUS:  I told you we should have killed him yesterday.

BRUTUS:  We had the workplace harassment seminar yesterday.

CASSIUS:  We could have moved it.

BRUTUS:  Oh yeah, try moving that seminar, watch what happens.

JULIUS:  You there, buddy?

BRUTUS:  Hey buddy, listen, uh, it’s really important that you get here, like, as soon as possible, and, uh, don’t wear any armor or anything.  Like, nothing a knife would have trouble piercing, you know?

CALPURNIA:  What’s he saying?

JULIUS:  Just some stuff about dress code.

CASSIUS:  You’re such an idiot.

BRUTUS:  I’m staying one step ahead of him.

CASSIUS:  This is why nobody ever asks you to assassinate anybody with them.

JULIUS:  Brutus, what is this about?

BRUTUS:  Uh, we--

CASSIUS:  Tell him it’s about--

BRUTUS:  We can’t find the paper.  You know, the, uh, paper--

CASSIUS:  The paper?

JULIUS:  They’re looking for a paper.

CALPURNIA:  What paper?

BRUTUS:  The one you signed.

JULIUS:  Something I signed, I guess?

CALPURNIA:  You mean a decree?

JULIUS:  Are you talking about a decree?



JULIUS:  Oh, I left that on my desk.  It’s next to the head of the last army I defeated.


CASSIUS:  Look what you did.

BRUTUS:  I, um, meant the--other decree?

JULIUS:  They said they’re looking for the other decree.

CALPURNIA:  They’re just making stuff up.  There is no decree. My dream was correct.  They want to murder you and throw Rome into chaos.

BRUTUS:  Is that Calpurnia?  Hey Calpurnia!

CALPURNIA:  Hey Brutus, how’s Jen?

BRUTUS:  Oh, she’s still got that thing on her shoulder.

CALPURNIA:  Did she try the lotion I gave her?

BRUTUS:  You know, I gave it to her, but I don’t know if she tried it.  I’ll have to ask her.

CALPURNIA:  Ask her and see what she says.

BRUTUS:  I will. Thanks, Cal.

CALPURNIA:  No problem. (Laughs.)  They’re definitely going to kill you.

CASSIUS:  She’s onto us.

BRUTUS:  No, she’s not.

CALPURNIA:  They are going to kill you and I am going to marry someone half your age and dance on your grave, you big idiot.

BRUTUS:  She doesn’t suspect a thing.

JULIUS:  Brutus, I really need today off, but, uh, I should be in again tomorrow.

BRUTUS:  He says he’s going to come in tomorrow.  Can’t we do it then/

CASSIUS:  Nooooooo, we have the motivational speaker tomorrow.

BRUTUS:  That’s tomorrow?


BRUTUS:  Hey Julius, we have the motivational speaker tomorrow, so--today’s really the best day for you to come in and find that, uh, other decree.

JULIUS:  They keep talking about this other decree.

CALPURNIA:  How are you this stupid and this powerful at the same time?

JULIUS:  I’m a man?

CALPURNIA:  Do not go to work today.

CASSIUS:  Give me the damn phone.  I’ll get him here.


CASSIUS:  By saying the one word no self-inflated, powerful man can resist.

(He takes the phone.)

Hey Julius, I didn’t want to spoil the surprise, but, uh--you’re actually getting an award.

JULIUS:  An award?

CALPURNIA:  Oh dammit.

CASSIUS:  We were keeping it a secret, but--

JULIUS:  I’ll be right there.  Is there a ceremony? If there’s a ceremony, don’t start it without me.  Do I get to make a speech? I can make a speech. I don’t mind. I don’t mind making a speech.  I’ll see you in an hour. Half an hour. Ten minutes, tops.


CALPURNIA:  You’re so dead.

JULIUS:  Bye honey, gotta run.

CALPURNIA:  There goes Rome.

End of Play