Note: This is the original version written about 30 years ago. It would need some obvious changes to be performed in a nursing home (sexual language probably have to get toned down) and more music added within the story, but the essence of the play still holds true 4/4/2022 bob goldstick
by Bob Goldstick
a sing-a-long murder mystery
stage is divided into two parts - the left side is
the activity room of a convalescent hospital,
small spinet piano on the left , walls are
generally bare with some homemade pictures
stuck up - like a preschool wall - , two
residents in wheel chairs, very modest decor -
left side of the stage is dark
entertainer - Jack, 50 ish, friendly, flirty, old hippie
activity director - Jane, mid 30's, dedicated, bawdy,
old woman 1 - MARY, 80's, in wheel chair, has beginning alzheimers,
dressed in night clothes, big slippers, carries teddy bear
old woman 2- emily, 70's, wearing hawaiian mu mu, slippers, hair in
curlers, always shuffles, never stops moving, never talks,
old man Leonard - 80's, wearing shirt and tie, in wheel chair, mentally
Harold, mary's son - 50's, business suit mentality
two residents in activity room - no one moving
- long build on the lights to emphasize the
boredom - nothing is happening - nothing has
happened since they either ate or used the
bathroom - that's all they do, eat,shit,piss and
(yelling) - Don't touch my chair.- HELP! He's touching my chair. HELP!
HELP! He's touching my chair.
OK OK Stop yelling. Do you have to yell all the time?
Who are you?
You know who I am.
! do ?
(ignoring him) Nice to meet you. My name is Mary - (sings) For it was
mary mary grand as any name can be
That's always been one of my very,very favorite songs. You know Jack is
coming to play today -
Yes, Jack? Piano Jack, Jacky, Jacky, are you wacky, Jacky
Oh MARY, Mary, wacky is something you know about.- But why Jack,
he's not wacky, he's the best thing about this place. But here I go again.
Talking like it means something. I must be wacky, and getting wackier by
So why is Jack wacky?
Wacky Jacky, wacky Jacky - (sings out of tune)wacky, wacky Jacky, won't
take no Jack, Jack, why won't he take no Jack, it's his birthright, he won't
take no Jack, (drifts off singing 'pick up the slack Jack')
Hello, hello, MARY, MARY are you all right?
(she sits dazed, eyes glazed over, motionless,
- she mumbles rock a bye and good night)
- LEONARD, WHAT'S the yelling? Oh MARY. She can't hear you anymore.
She comes and goes, comes and goes. you know that LEONARD
Yeh I know. But I forget what I know so how am I supposed to know what
You know we're gonna have some music soon, some good old toe-
Great, boy I remember the tommy dorsey band. Now there was an
orchestra. Me and the missus would dance for hours. We fell in love on
the dance floor. We would just dance and dance, we couldn't stop
I know what you mean. I used to get like that with my boyfriend, we just
Oh a boyfriend. What's his name?
He's not my boyfriend anymore. I guess we were never really boyfriend-
girlfriend, we were just real close friends if you know what I mean.
Oh? what happened?
We were just checking it out.- See how it feels kind of thing, and he didn't want to get serious
I know how he feels. There are too many fish in the sea . You should have
seen me at the senior center. Sometimes I was the only guy there. I'd
dance till I dropped but then they'd all want to settle down. Hell I was the
only game in town. but it still feels good to get chased. After begging for it
all my life now its handed to me on a silver platter .... and me with no knife
and fork - what a joke
How was it for you when you were younger?
(sings) Moonlight and roses bring wonderful memories of you (stops
singing) - We made love. It wasn't all sex. Sex was a small part of it - too
small if you ask me - but nobody asked me. We were into romance,
flowers, dancing, kisses and caresses. Then after the kids came and we
figured out what was happening it cut down on the sex part from almost
nothing to - yeh I sort of remember
I liked the romance too but I get into the sex in a big way. my boyfriend
couldn't ever say he didn't get enough. - I wore that poor sucker out, and
had such a good time doing it
Shh, shh somebody will hear you
-Let them hear me. It ain't against the law. It's a shame you didn't enjoy it
more when you had the chance. You guys are all the same. You say you
want it. You go crazy trying to get. Then when it's given to you with (she
leans down and whispers in his ear) the full passion of woman, a woman
who loves to make you feel like a man by caressing you for hours with a
delicate tongue and sensitive fingers exporing every nook and crany of
your delicious body.
(riled) Stop, stop, such language, you should be ashamed. You kids
today, no respect,no respect, when's the damn music coming
(waking up) Music? Music? Are we gonna have music? whoppee
(piano player enters)
(very exaggerated) Hey everybody. Are you ready for some music.- It's
show time. I hope you all had a good month. Now it's time to forget your
troubles come on get happy
(starts to play and sing - MARY starts to keep
time with her hands and feet - very animated
compared to seconds ago - the music makes
her young again - LEONARD smiles - he's
content just to hear the music JANE starts to
react to the music also, then kind of slows
down her reaction)
(piano player sings - MARY sings along,
LEONARD just nods his head in approval and
smiles, Emily shuffles across the room,
sometimes in time to the music, she does a
little turn and shows a bit of a dance step, then
she suffles back and sits down.
(Jack sings) 5
I can't give you anything but love, baby
that's the only thing I've plenty of, baby,
dream a while, scheme a while, you're sure to find
happiness and I guess, all the things you've always
gee i'd like to see you looking swell, baby
diamond bracelets woolworth doesn't sell baby
till that lucky day you know darn well baby
i can't give you anything but love
(during the singing JANE starts to hand out
drinks and cookies.)
(piano player starts solo - lights fade on main
stage lights come up on right side stage - its
1925- rudy vallee is singing "i can't give you
anything but love" on the radio - MARY gets up
from her wheel chair in the dark and now
enters right side stage - looking the same
physically but with spring in her step she's
only 17- it's her bedroom, big old bed, dresser,
furniture can be minimal to set the stage
(singing a long) dream a while scheme a while.(stops singing) Oh baby,
you're sure to find - boy are you gonna find it today baby - I don't know
why - but I feel different today - my body feels different - i'm in love
(grabs her stuffed teddy, hugs it and swings
around - she's more like 14 in this move)
I'm in love.. .with the greatest guy in the world. He's perfect - perfect -
perfect. I get these tingly feelings just thinking about him. And when he
kisses me - whoa - stuff starts happening. I don't know what it is, but I like it - love it, love it love it - it's magic - makes me feel all grown up
(knock on the window- she runs to it)
sweetheart what are you doing here ?- Are you crazy? - If mom and dad
find you we are in TROUBLE
(played by Leonard only made up now to look 20) -
open the window, let me in, it's freezin out here
(she opens the window - he climbs in he
kisses her - she swoons)
Oh darling, it seems like forever since I saw you. But why are you here,
now, Boy if Mom and Dad find out we are
Look, I just had to see you. I can;t get you out of my mind. (sings) for it
was mary, mary, grand as any name can be. (stops singing) Grand as
any babe can be. Pretty as a picture.
Oh, Lenny. You're not gonna start singing again. Someone will hear you.
You know the only way to stop me from sing in to you
(grabs her and kisses her again, more passion
than the first time. They continue kissing as
the lights fade on the right and come up on
the left. sound changes from radio doing I
can't give you anything but love to present day
Wow, that was a great song. You look like you're ready to dance around
a bit. Here's my favorite dance song. I played this song last week and a
woman told me they played this song at her wedding. Well, that's not
unusual. I play a lot of songs people play at their wedding. No, she said.
That was the only song they played at my wedding. We had a player
piano and that was the only roll we had. Everybody was exausted after 15
(starts to play beer barrel polka)
(plays a few bars then stops)
I think it was the bride and groom stole the rest
of the piano rolls and figured everybody would
go home early so they could get on with the
(starts to play again)
(lights fade on left - back up on right - beer
barrel polka is playing on radio. Leonard is
getting dressed. Mary is laying in bed.
Wow. That was wonderful. It seemed so natural. I love you Lenny. You
can sing to me anytime you like (whispers) only not now (giggles) don't
start singing 0 Solo Mio (tickles him & giggles)
Mary. Stop that. Don't make me laugh. Stop it. Don't get silly now. I better
get out of here before we get caught.
(Leonard moves toward the window. Mary gets out of bed and runs to
Darling, don't be mad at me. I was just kidding. Don't be mad. Kiss me
once before you go and never will I cry. Kiss me twice before you go and
never will I die
I'm not mad. Stop being silly. I've got to go. (Kisses her once on the
(climbs out the window)
- wow - wow - wow - wow - wow - wow - wow - wow -and whopee. life is
so wonderful - I feel so alive (lights fade)
(finishing the song) - MARY is slumped over
her chair again like before)
- any requests - anyone have a favorite song - how about this one (starts
(Emily gets up and starts to dance, shuffle,
move, across the room, then back again)
when whippoorwill calls, and evening is nigh
i hurry to my blue heaven
just turn to the right
and find a little white light
that'll lead you to my blue heaven
i see a smiling face, fireplace a cozy room
a lithe nest that's nestled where the roses bloom
just molly and me - and baby makes three
we're happy in my blue heaven
(STARTS piano solo - lights fade down then up
on the right side stage
someone is singing my blue heaven - live
band at a dance hall - LEONARD is dancing -
Honey I just love this song. it's about you and me - (sings) just MARY
and me and baby makes three (pats her on the belly when he sings
baby) - wow honey, a new baby
WIFE. (Mary only made up younger)
yes darling, a new baby and a new life, for all of us, life, we made life -
that's like what god does, (they dance some more then sit down)
how did you like the show - I think its was based on that old Faust thing
it was ok.i.'m not sure what it was all about but it was exciting - why didn't
she go with him at the end? he offered her everything!
(slightly amused) 'es, everything but real life -she devil would_Oe her
master and that's not real life no matter how long it goes on -bven
forever, especially forever, you know forever can be a long long time
Yeh like that movie, that went on forever and it sure seemed like a long
honey, would you sell your soul for anything
Yeh I'd sell my soul for a good tango. (yells) Hey how about a good
tango around here.
(band starts to play a tango, Leonard and
Mary get up to dance. It's obvious that they
dance well together. Lights fade on right, up
on left,piano player is finishing a tango -)
all right- that was a great tune you asked for LEONARD - a good tango,
now who else wants to hear something special - any more requests
This is a great old tune,
( starts to play !auras' theme from dr. zhavago
LEONARD hums along and gets a big smile.
Emily gets up again)
(HAROLD enters, about 50 ish, business suit
with briefcase, walks up to MARY, he is
oblivious to the music, the people around him
and everything else)
Hi Mom, how are you doing. We need to talk mom. I've been hearing
some things that are real disturbing, mom, mom? I wish you'd pay
attention. Your lawyer called today. He said you made a new will. Mom,
damn it, Mom will you stop that damn "i'm out of it "act. This is important.
IMPORTANT MOM. I'm not leaving till you talk to me.
(JANE walks over to him just as the song is
finishing, she pushes in between HAROLD and
(very animated) MARY, why don't you ask him to play your song "i'll be
loving you, always - c'mon MARY, shakes her, no response, c'mon MARY
- you always want to hear him sing that song, it's your favorite, c'mon
MARY, (shakes her more vigorously - looks concerned) (to JACK) go get
a nurse, quick, tell her MARY's not responding, hurry -
(she keeps trying to wake MARY up - takes her
pulse, etc. lights fade)
(same setting, next day) LEONARD is there and a new person in a wheel
chair - JANE is getting the drink table ready, new pictures on the wall
JACK walks in - goes up to JANE
Hey Jane. How you doin'. How's Mary. Gave me quite a scare yesterday.
Mary's dead , Jack. They took her away to emergency, but she was dead
before they left. Believe me I know. I've seen enough death around here
to know it when I see it. Mary's dead. And do you want to knwo the real
kicker. They say someone killed her. Yeh. Killed her. Cyanide or some
kind of rat poison in her drink. Nobody can figure out why anyone would
want to kill MARY, she wasn't hurting anyone, she was so sweet
yeh, she sure loved the music. she would come alive when I started to
play, her feet would move, her hands would move, she'd sing, she'd
dance if she could have. Sometimes she wouldn't remember who I was.
She'd say "have you been here before? I like MARY, that's my name,
MARY, not contrary, just old MARY" - then she'd fade away until I started
playing - then bingo - she was up and at'em
you know there is a rumor going around. She told everybody you and
she were lovers a long time ago, like when you were 20 and she was 40
you've got to be kidding
no serious business
that's nuts - hey everybody, it's show time (talking to the residents) hey
everybody, here we go again, lets take that magic trip on a sailing ship -
starts playing Ain't She Sweet
(Emily gets up and starts her shuffle)
Ain't She Sweet
See her walkin down the street
Now I ask you very confidentially
Ain't she sweet
Ain't she nice
Look her over once or twice
Now I ask you very confidentially
Ain't she nice
Just cast an eye
In her direction
Now me oh my
Ain't that perfection
I repeat, Don't you think she's kind of sweet
Now I ask you very confidentially
Ain't she sweet.
(lights go down on the left stage - up on the
rights, ain't she sweet is playing on the radio -
it's the beach on a hot summer day LEONARD
is in his bathing suit ((in his head - he's really
still in his normal clothes)) he's flirting with a
lady laying under an umbrella - he's dancing
to the song and showing off his body and
Boy, it sure is a hot day
Lady (played by JANE)
yeh, but not hot enough, if you know what I mean (stroking the sand)
wow! yeah, I know what you mean - boy do I know what you mean - but
i've got this kid here, he's out swimming in the water so I can't go
we don't have to go anywhere, really - just over there (points to pier
pilings) just c'mon and help me with this here blow up toy - now if you just
stand behind me, we can see how to get this to inflate to it's proper size
(looks toward the water, looks at the woman, looks toward the water,
lights go down, come up on left stage end of "ain't she sweet"
all right! that was fun, eh LEONARD, where did you go LEONARD? she
was so sweet she put you -
(starts playing "in the mood")
(detective walks in and interrupts)
all right, allright, lets quiet down a bit. Are you JACK Simmons
Then I must inform you that you are under arrest for the murder of MARY
Knoles, you have the right to remain silent, etc.
(interupts) yeh, I know that bit. What is this?
murder is what it is - cold blooded murder
(police station -desk in a bare room - police calls on the radio, JACK and
JANE are seated in chairs facing the desk, waiting for the officer)
what the hell is going on here
remember that rumor I told you about, you and MARY, maybe they
so what, that's no reason to murder someone - supposed I did sleep with
her 30 years ago. I may have and don't remember.- Where was she 30
years ago? Where was I? In college scoring every chance I could. I did
my share. Thats what we were supposed to do back then. But Mary. I
think I would remember. But I don't know her last name and I didn't know
the last names, or the first names, of many of the woman I slept with. But
that was 30 years ago. What could that have to do with yesterday. She
doesn't remember yesterday let alone 30 years ago. This just doesn't
I'll tell you what doesn't make sense. Why would am 80 year old woman
decide to leave her entire fortune - and we're talking fortune - 5 million
- why did she change her will to leave her entire fortune to --- a piano
player $5 million
$5 million dollars. What the hell is going on here. She had a will?
Don't play dumb with me. She told everybody about your affair when you
were in college. Everybody knew she was going to leave you money, her
son HAROLD knew, the nurse knew, nobody knew how much. But they all
knew. All of it does seem a bit excessive, don't you think?
I don't know what you are talking about (to JANE) Do you know what they
are talking about?
no. I never heard anything about you and her till this morning
Did she ever say anything to you about the money?
I don't know. She said something one time about lots of money and I told
her I didn't need any money and she started calling me wacky JACKY.
She said lots of stuff. If I told you what some of these woman say to me
you wouldn't believe it,
So you admit taking advantage of them
whoa .l’m the only one that relates to them - I play music for them that
makes them happy, the only thing in their lives that makes them happy,
Their kids don't make them happy. They never come to see them and
when they do show up they talk down to them, around them, anywhere
but to them. The staff don't make them happy. Some try but they're
overworked, underpaid and just not able to give these folks what they
need. A reason to live. And it ain't their job. It's sort of my job I give them a reason to live, why would I want to kill one of them
for $5 million. She changed her will last year and named you as
beneficiary. Of course it probably won't stand up in court. Sound like she
lost it a long time ago. But maybe you didn't think anybody would
I didn't know about any money or any will. All I knew was a sweet old lady
who like to sing and would go in and out while I played. That's all I knew.
No will. No money. No nothin. Anyway, I don't need the money. I make
And we have your word for that. That should hold up in court. Your honor.
He said he didn't know and we believe him cause why would he lie. Not
for 5 million dollars. He's a saint? He don't need the money. You had
motive means and opportunity. You'd better call a lawyer
scene 4 - activity room
(JACK walks into activity room, LEONARD is there)
Hey LEONARD, how are you doing?
How am I doing? How are you doing? What's with this murder thing. They
don't really think you did it do they?
Yes they do.
That's crazy.- Her son.- Now he could do it. Especially after he found out
about the money.- Wow, are you going to get that money? That's a lot of
The will. He knew about the will.- Everybody knew but me.
Yeh. He knew. He came in ranting and raving about this will. Like he
needs the money. Hell, I know why she did it.- He only came to see what
he could get off her and she knew it.- You gave her life.- You gave her
memories. He gave her nothing but heartache. For years and years.-She
used to look forward to your coming here. Sometimes that was the only
thing that brought her to reality. Without the music, she was a house
What did she say to him about the will?
She did the fade out thing. She always did the fade out thing.- Just
mumble something and nod off.- Sometimes I thought she was faking but
could never prove it.- It was convenient. We all have our devices.
Well, it's time to play. Thanks for the info. I don't know what it means but
it's something. I'll play one of your favorites till everybody gets here.
(starts to play 0 Solo Mb)
(lights fade down on left - up on right -
LEONARD gets up and moves into lit scene -
he's singing acapella, he gets interrupted by
MARY, its the same MARY as before, in her old
clothes- he sings to her and she smiles
Oh, Mary. You are so beautiful. You inspire me so sing from my heart.
You make the world seem like a chocolate candy for me, delicious,
delectable, but always with a surprise. I never know what's going to
happen. That scares me. But I love it.
Leonard, I surprise myself. I don't know why I act the way I do. I just do.
I don't know why I love you like I do, I don't know why I just do
I don't know why you thrill me like you do, I don't know why you just do.
You never want to here my romancin
The only time you hold me is when we're dancing (grabs her and starts to
dance, lights fade on right, up on left, Jack is finishing singing
i don't know why I just do>
(when the lights come back to real time
Leonard is sobbing)
scene 5- Activity Room
(Jane is sitting at her desk doing paper work,
Hi, Yes this is Jane. Yes, I'm in charge of all the activities here. No, we
don't use jugglers or clowns. We don't use opera singers either. We love
animal acts and musicians. Especially musicians, we do love our
Hi Jane, how you doing?
How am I doing? Let's see. Mrs. Murphy died last night. Woman hasn't
said a word to me for 6 months. Last night she starts to talk to me. Tells
me about her family, her lovers, her dreams, then she died. Right in the
middle of telling me about the time the old man was (whoever he was)
was going to ....I don't know, she didn't finish. She just lay there and died.
Then there's Emily. She gets up, she sits down, she gets up, she walks
over there, she sits down, she gets up, she walks over her, she sits down,
she drives me crazy. She never stops doing nothing. Then there's this
Mary thing. Who could have killed her? There's Jack. But I don't really
think he could have done it. He really doesn't care about money and I
know he loved all the people here. He would talk about them for hours.
Every day was a new adventure from the sublime to the absurd. Sublime
to see the looks on the people when he would play something like 0 Solo
Mio and a tiny Italian lady would just nod her head like she was listening
to Caruso, then, when he was finished and packing up, she would sing
the whole song in a tiny voice and everybody would applaud, then there
was the old black woman talking the blues while he's singing the song,
'talk to me, talk to me, ... you tell 'em honey, that's right, you tell 'em'.
She's listening to Muddy Waters, she's 25 years old, in some dark bar,
listening to some factory worker play the blues on his Saturday gig. Jack
loves what he does. And, anyway, he's not the type to kill for love or
money. So who? Harold?
yeh. He's just mean enough to do it. He was really angry about the will.
Hell, he could have done it to put her out or her misery, or put himself out
of his misery of having to visit this god awful place.and deal with doctor bills, anguish of seeing his mother in this state of partial vegetation. How can you feel happy when you know your mother is suffering through the most seemingly eternal hell, completely helpless, even the simplest bodily
function is an ordeal and in constant pain. He may have just flipped And if
he did do it, he was doing her a favor. You know that. You've been here
longer than Mary, almost 20 years since that accident. It's a shame you
didn't have someone to help out over the years. I don't think anyone has
come to see you for as long as I've been here and that's over 10 years.
Wow, what a bitch.
Thanks for your daily reminders. You have such a mean side.
Mean? How could I possibly have a mean side. I'm here every day, 10
hours a day at least, cheering you and everybody else up around here.
I'm Miss happy,happy,happy. Didn't I just give you quite a rise the other
day. You know you love it when I talk dirty. You eat it up just like you
wished you could eat it up right now. But you're a little too old for me, and
way to inexperienced after what you told me. Sounds like you only got
laid about 3 times in your whole damn life
Hey, it was more than three times.
Three, thirty or three hundred. You didn't get nearly enough, You think
about it all the time. All the pussy you didn't get. Why did you stay with
that crazy lady for 40 years if she didn't put out at least once in a while.
What kind of man are you.
Not much of one any more and not much chance for improvement. But
maybe, one of these days.
You are terrible.
(Jane leaves, gives Leonard a wink and
Wow, she is quite something. So who did do it. Maybe Jane, she's as
crazy as the rest of us here. After 10 years, she's bound to be a little nuts.
Crazy enough to kill Mary. Why? To put her out of her misery? She did
say it like that. That it would be OK. She talked about Mrs Murphy telling
her her whole life, like a confession before she died. Maybe Jane thinks
she's a bit closer to god than the rest of us. Doing god's work, as it were.
Doing the devils works is what it is. Maybe she thinks she's doing the
devils works and wants to. Maybe she's one of them devil worshipers.
The way she talks about sex is pretty bad. She could be one of them
mercy killing nurses. I'd better be careful of her.
(Looks around, sees Emily walking by)
(HAROLD, MARY's son walks into the activity room and is greeted by
Well. Well. It can't be me you're coming to see.
Yes. Its you. Don't you think it's time we stopped this ridiculous feud. Dad
its been over 20, years.
What do you want? It must be the money. That's all you ever wanted from
me or anyone else. Money,money,money. So, do you really need the $5
mill that bad that you'd actually talk to your father?
Do you? That's not a rhetorical question. Why the hell are you here?
Dad, look, I just want to visit with you and talk about mom.
You want to visit and talk about mom, with me. After you put her in this
home knowing how she still hated me, knowing all the bitterness of the
last 20 years, out of all the nursing homes in the world, you put her in
mine. I can't leave. I can't even take a shit without help. Now, she's dead
and I don't have to see her and feel the pain and guilt, I only have to live
in this hell hole of a life with a body that doesn't work, a brain that is mush
and a heart that's been broken every single day for the past god knows
how long. The one good thing about this place is you lose all track of
time. Is it in hour, a day, a year, it's always always. You want to talk, watch
this, it's a trick I learned from your mother
(he fades away and slumps in his chair)
Dad, dad, are you all right?
What's the matter, LEONARD, what's happening
Nothin much. Just playing a bit. There ain't much to do in here.
Get away from him. Are you going to do him in too?
Who are you?
I'm LEONARD's son. He's my father
JACK (to LEONARD)
His father. You're his father?
(nods his head) Yeah, I'm out of the closet. I'm a father.
Get away from him. You killed my mother you son of bitch.
His mother? MARY?, LEONARD, MARY was your WIFE? Your WIFE?
Well sort of. Ex-WIFE for over 20 years. We hadn't spoken in a long time.
And she didn't remember anything so what would be the point of anyone
knowing. If she didn't know it didn't matter. And this piece of trash hasn't
spoken to me for over 20 years.
HAROLD (to Jack)
Look, will you get out of here or do I have to call someone
Who you gonna call? Ghost busters? The piano player hit squad?- Let's
rid the world of this scourge of humanity.
Look, i'm not kidding - I don't want you near my father
Oh great. Now you're running my life. I like this. Nothing for 20 years then
- bingo - total control. You little shit.- You really do amaze me.(to JACK)
He wants to grill me about MARY and her will. Seems he was gonna get
the $5 mill till you showed up. You'd better look out. He could have killed
her just to frame you.
And you could have killed her you old bastard just to finish the job you
started long ago - just like you almost killed me at the beach
The day I almost drowned. You know the day. Not very important to you,
but I never was
I always loved you.
You call that love. You're making eyes at some lady and I almost drown.
I didn't know you were drowning.
Yes, that's the point. You were so lost in your shorts you forgot about me
I didn't forget. I head you calling, I thought it was the old "cry wolf' routine. you always did to get attention. I didn't think you were really in trouble.
Dad, I was 7 years old in the ocean by myself. You forgot about me. You
just wanted to get laid. Admit it. Damn it. You weren't even gonna get it.- It
was just in your head. You almost let me drown so you could play out
some fantasy escapade in the your head
That's not true.
You didn't even see the lifeguard bring me in. They had to look for you.
Maybe I was wrong.- Maybe you did score.- Maybe you scored bigtime.-
Wow, what a stud. Look, we have to talk about mom. This will doesn't
make sense. You and me should split the money, That's what she would
She said what she wanted - she wanted to give it all to JACK. Sounds
good to me. I like him a whole lot more than I ever liked you.
(storms out) You damn old fool. You know better than anyone she was in
no condition to change her will. This bastard forced her into it then killed
her to get the money. If he fries, I get the money without your help and
you'll just rot in this place till you die
From your lips to God's ears. The sooner the better.
(end of Act 1)
(Mary is sitting on her bed from the first scene.
She looks like she did earlier (except she's
Wow, you know I never knew that was Leonard. All those years and the
object of my dissatisfaction was right there all the time. Here I was playing
these elaborate scenes in my head about how I could somehow pay him
back and I was already doing it just by being there. Drove him crazy. Poor
fella. After all the things he did to me. He deserves what he gets. I hope
he lives for years and years. A long, boring, meaningless, helpless,
painful (aside) I guess that's enough) life.
Oh, you thought I'd be a saint by now. After all I'm dead. Funny thing
about this dead thing - it doesn't seem to happen all that fast. After all,
here I am talking to you. If I was dead I couldn't do that. But I'm not alive like I was - well that wasn't really alive - what did he say, house plant - that about sums it up. No movement, No thought, just emotion. It was like
being a plant right under the airport runway. Every 5 minutes all hell
breaks loose and you can't do anything about it. This is much better. I'm
so glad I did it. Oh, you didn't know. I did it. I had the cyanide from some
rat poison I had stashed away for years just for the proper moment.
Everybody saw it at one time or another. In the teddy bear. Old Edgar
Allen Poe taught me that one. I learned so much from those great books I
read - then I met Leonard and my life stopped. Went into this suspended
animation. Another thing about this death thing - I can see my whole life
and it's pretty scary. I threw all those years away to get laid. Once we did
it I had to stay with him or be a whore, and I couldn't do that to Mom and
Dad. He was a pig, no, not a pig. Just ignorant. He really didn't know any
better. That day at the beach when he almost let Harry drown because he
was getting his dick massaged by some old-has-been-never-was-bitch,
he couldn't help it. Oh yeh, the language. It's kind of open season here.
Like anything that I want to be. Like someone who can curse like a sailor.
It's a linguistic thing. You see. I can think about things. Make jokes in my
head. Be sacrilegious. Anything I want now. And now I like to talk like
Jane. She has such a clear way of expressing herself don't you think?.
And god knows I heard her filthy mouth often enough to be forced to find
the beauty in it or go nuts. Of course I was already nuts. It's just a figure
So, I did it. I took myself out. I didn't really think there would be a mystery. I thought everyone would think I died. People die there all the time. Nobody makes a fuss. They wheel them out, they wheel them in. The assembly line of old farts (and lots of fresh farts) never stops. You'll see. What are you now? 30, 50. It's right around the corner for you. Let's see. Some of you will be hurt in some accident or another and join the ranks pretty soon. Yes, the gentlemen in the third row. Drive real careful tonight. You have a date with destiny and she's been waiting a while to find the right moment. That curve that you like to power through has bit of slick on it tonight. Keep it under 70. The rest of you will work hard at staying alive for as long as you can. But the body or the mind always give out eventually. Sooner or later, you're gonna wind up here, in Hell Hole # 1.
You better hope its your mind. At least I didn't know most of what was
happening the last few years. It was all a blur. I felt a lot. But I didn't really know what was happening. But Leonard. Now he's in up to his armpits, or up to his chin actually. Everytime he takes a deep breath he smells shit. That's a hard way to go. And a long way to go. He's not sick enough to die, well enough to live or crazy enough to take the plunge.
(lights go down, come up on left stage)
But we'll travel along, singing a song side by side.
Hey Leonard, now you're the one singing all the time. Are you taking
Mary's place as the resident musicologist?
No, it just helps to pass the time. So, what's new in the case of the
Murdered Mary. You still think Jack didn't do it.
I don't know what to think. What about this thing about him and her
having a fling when he was in college. He was about 20. I think he was
back East. Where were you and Mary 30 years ago?
What are you talking about. Jack and Mary? 30 years ago? That is nuts.
She never cheated on me when we were married. After that I don't know.
But that was 20 years ago and we hadn't had sex for years. So I just can't
see her with Jack
(lights down to about half - Jane and loeonard
stop - lights up on left stage, Mary is sitting on
Will you listen to that shit. N0000. I never cheated on him. What a sap.
But Jack? No. I just like to think about it cause he made me really ahppy.
The only one. That will thing. I never thought they would take me
seriously. But if I could have I would have left everything to Jack, good old
Jacky, not-so-wacky Jacky. He really made me happy. I would sing along.
He'd sing and play. Tell stories. Make us laugh. Make us cry too. When
he would play 0 Sole Mio and I would think about how Lenny would sing
to me (sings) 0 Sole Mio. I would break down, but I was happy too.
Happy to relive some of my life, especially some of the good stuff. Even if
it made me cry now. At least it happened. I was alive before.
Somebody loved me. Loved me enough to sing to me and make a
complete fool of himself every time he did it.
(lights down on right - up on left)
Well, maybe you didn't know about her affairs. She wouldn't come right
out and say,"hey, Lenny, guess what I did today? Met this gorgeous guy at
the market. We spent the afternoon in the sack. Had a great time too. I
was screaming. You should take some lessons. Maybe our sex life would
pick up to the point where we had one."
Will you stop that? Jane, damn it. You drive me crazy with that talk. And
don't talk about MARY like that.
Like what? Like sexual. Like with real feelings. You always told me about
this wife of yours that was a cold fish. Nice person, but no passion. That
doesn't match up with Mary. She had a lot a passion. You could see it in
how she reacted to the music. She loved to sing and make jokes. She
was as full of life as she could be, considering she was almost brain
dead. So what was with this wife of yours who never liked to have fun.
She may have been a fun lovin old lady, but she was cold to me. Every
night we would get into bed, and every night there was another reason
why we couldn't or shouldn't make love. It made me so crazy. Yeh, I
fooled around. But what was I supposed to do. Only get laid 5 times in my
life and never know what real sex was all about. That didn't seem fair. She
really gave me no choice. If she was out there fooling around too then we
REALLY didn't know each other at all.
(lights down on left - up on right)
Well, well, well. He had a thought. Something actually stirred his brain to
think. Amazing. I don't think I had a real conversation with that man for 40
years. All he ever cared about was how he looked, how much money he
had, and, i guess, whether he was ever gonna get laid again. Now he
realizes maybe we really didn't know each other. I would try to sit him
down, night after night and say 'Lenny, we have to talk about stuff once
in a while. Life can't just be hello and goodbye. At least we don't really
fight. We snap at each other. But let's talk about something, anything.' I
got nothin. Talk about your house plant. I had a house plant that knew
how to go to work and knew how to sleep and did damn little else.
(lights down on right, up on left)
Who ever knows anybody. I'm starting to really wonder if anything good
can come on any relationship. You know there's only four things that can
happen when you sleep with somebody new. He likes her, She doesn't
like him. Waste of time and nothing but trouble - stalkers, hasslers, etc.
Number 2, she likes him, he doesn't like her. More trouble. She moons
after him, makes him feel guilty. Number 3, they don't like each other.
Just a waste of time, at least it's usually over pretty quick. They usually
don't get married. Number 4, they both like each other. Now, there's real
trouble. They have a relationship. They go on a trip that always ends with
reality. Now, do they really like each other. Do they sit and talk for hours
about everything. Or do they just exist with this other person so that they
have somebody. It starts out with somebody to make love with and feel
close to. But that usually goes first. They wind up with somebody to either
fight with or ignore. Either case its a dead end.
Yeh, we were number 2 I think. She really fell for me in a big way and I
really felt bad about breaking her heart. And in those days, when we had
sex together it was a really big thing. If I didn't marry her, she would have
been disgraced. Or at least, that's what we thought.
(lights down on left, up on right)
Do I believe my ears. Lenny is actually realizing we made a big mistake.
The only reason he married me was to save my reputation. Give me a
break. He never cared about anybody but himself. He may believe that
crap, but it ain't true. He married me because I loved to make love to him.
It was really wonderful at first. I don't know what happened. We were
really couple number 4, he likes her, she likes him, first comes love, then
Now, watch this. We can do some amazing things here. Now, first i'll say
'you know, Mary was really a wonderful lady. I guess I really loved her."
(lights down on right, up on left)
You know, Mary was really a wonder ful lady. I guess I really loved her.
Yes, Sometimes we do realize that too late to do anything about it. Speak
of the ... uh
devil? devil? you too? Jane, you don't really believe I did it
No, we were just talking about lost loves, and you showed up and caught
me by surprise.
Oh, I'm sorry. Didn't mean to jump at you. I just can't get this murder
thing off my mind.
Anything new? Do they still think you did it.
Yes, they still think I did it. But something good has come of it.
They threw this will out. Everybody that looked at the situation thought it
was ridiculous that a woman with diagnosed alzheimer's could be ,
allowed to arbitrarily change her will. Make's sense to me. So they agree
that I don't seem nuts enough to believe that the will would stand up in
court, therefore, I didn't really have a motive to kill her, therefore, I
probably didn't do it. But they still won't let me leave town.
That's OK with me. I'd like to not let you leave my bed for about three
days to make up for lost time so I could remind you of my charms.
Don't start now. The last thing I need is to get all that stuff stired up again.
Oh, what stuff is that. Is it that lovey-dovey stuff that you used to love so much. What was that story you used to tell them about George Gershwin and how he used to make time with the ladies and when he got them alone at about two in the morning, with a glass of wine, he would look at them and say' oh, I just got inspired to write a song' and he'd walk over
to the piano and noodle around a little bit and then say ' I've got it' and
then you'd start to sing (sings)
I've got a crush on you, sweetie pie
All the day and nighttime, here me sigh
I never had the least notion, that I caould fall with so much emotion
(as she sings they start to dance together and
dance from the left side to the right side. the
lights follow them and come down on the left,
up on the right, Sarah Vaughn is singing "I've
Got a crush on you "
I just love holding you.
It is pretty wonderful.
(singing along) I never had the least notion, I could fall with so much
I just love when you do this song now. I get so wet, its hard for me not to
start making noises. And you know what happens when I start making
(lights down on left, but not all the way, we can
still here the song playing and see them
dancing - lights up on the right. Mary is sitting
in the activity directors chair)
Hey I'm over, Reality, what is reality. Sometimes my dreams were more
real than reality. Jack and Jane really do seem suited for each other.
Maybe I should work a little magic. We get to do that here. For a while.
The it's on to bigger and better things. The next great adventure into life
and death. But we are responsible for what happens. So I don't want to
work magic if they're just gonna wind up like me and Lenny. That would
be cruel. So how do I know if they are really for each other? We could
take a poll. How many want them to wind up together? Lets see some
hands. I'm not kidding. Do you think Jack and Jane have a chance at real
love, a lifetime of sharing, or not. Lets get with it. We have a play to put on
here. Hands up if you think Jack and Jane should get together? Lets
see...., ain't it a bitch. I still need my goddamn glasses. Now that just don't
make sense. I've to talk to somebody about that.
(lights down on left, up on right, Jack and Jane
are dancing, they dance back to the left side,
Jack is singing
the world will pardon my mush, but I have got a crush, my baby on you.
Yeh, we still have that little magic something. I don't know what it is or
where it could go. But it's definitly there now. Now don't start with the 'lets go into my office routine. That's all I'd need now is to get caught "taking advantage of another woman, what a cad". I'd be back in the slammer.
No, I won't pressure you. But it sure would be nice again. And maybe we
could do better. This whole Mary and Leonard thing has really gotten to
me. There were two people who had spent a lifetime together living in the
same house and not knowing each other. Yeh he knew who she was, but
he didn't really know her at all. And she didn't have a clue. There has got
to be a better way. And we have a pretty good head start on somethings.
You've got to admit. We are great together.
Yes, we're great together, but, lets not go too fast here. Lets let the dust
settle from the murder mystery. Right now I'm still in it too much to think
(lights down on left, up on right)
He'll wait until hell freezes over if its up to him. I'm gonna have to do
something. OK. Now, lets see the nays. Who doesn't want them to get
together. How many of you really think there is no true love for Jack and
Jane. At least not this time around. (giggles to herself) Boy could I tell you
stuff. But we're not allowed. It's really strict. I'm not really supposed to be talking to you now. I could really be that house plant if I get caught.