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 

                                                House Plant  
                                                          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  
detective -  

Act 1  
scene  1  

                            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  

                                  MARY  -  

(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?  

                                  MARY  -  
Who   are  you?  


You  know   who I am.  


                                MARY -  
       ! do ? 

(ignoring him) Nice to meet you. My name is Mary - (sings) For it was  
mary mary grand as any name  can be  

                             LEONARD  -  

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  
the  moment.  

So why is Jack wacky?  

                                MARY -  

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')  

                             LEONARD  -  

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  

                             LEONARD  -  

Yeh I know. But I forget what I know so how am I supposed to know what  
I know?  

                                JANE -  

You know we're gonna have some music soon, some good old toe-  
tappin music  
                                 LEONARD -  

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  

                                JANE   -  

I know what you mean. I used to get like that with my boyfriend, we just  
bogie  down  

                              LEONARD -  

Oh a boyfriend. What's his name?  

                                JANE   -  

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.  

                              LEONARD -  

Oh?  what happened?  

                                JANE   -  

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?  

                                 LEONARD -  

(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  

                               JANE  -  

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  

                                  MARY -  

(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  
                 dreamed of  
             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  
               BOYFRIEND   (Leonard)  

            (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  

   BOYFRIEND   (Leonard)  

 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.  

                               BOYFRIEND   (Leonard)   

          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)  

main stage  

                                 JACK -  

                          (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  
  long time  


  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)  

scene 2  

(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  
                           (lights  darken)  

scene 3  
(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  
                               believe it  


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  
                             make  sense.  

                          (detective enters)  


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  
challenge it.  


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,  
                           phone  rings)  


  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  

                           (LEONARD   enters)  


                       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  
                          tongue action)  

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)  

scene 6  

(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?  

                             (JACK  enters)  


            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  

                            what  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  
have wanted.  


  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)  

                   Act 2  

scene 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  
                                of speach.  

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)  

                          LEONARD   (singing)  

           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  
                                            the  bed  


 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  
                            comes trouble.  

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  

                          (jack enters)  
       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.