Note: This is the revised version. I changed it from a murder to theft because the murder (which is actually a suicide) seems a bit harsh for a nursing home. It is still in the developing stage but gives you the idea. The original version is also here as a sub-page

                                                House Plant 
                                                          by   Bob Goldstick 
                       a sing-a-long 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 Sole 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) 

(not sure about this – refers to faust and it’s too obtuse)                                  
  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) yes, everything but real life -the devil would have been her  master  and that's not real life no matter how long it goes on even 
  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 still in the hospital , Jack. They took her away to emergency, but I haven’t heard anything yet. 


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 theft of MARY 
              Knoles’s diamond ring, you have the right to remain silent, etc. 

              (interupts) yeh, I know that bit. What is this? 

               grand theft is what it is – off a lady who was having a heart attach – man that is cold. She had it on when she came into the room and it was gone before she went to the hospital. You were right there when she went into distress and then the ring was gone. Explain that?
                           (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 i


so what, that's no reason to steal from  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? But you couldn’t wait for the will. After all, she might not die for a long time. So you slipped her ring off while everyone else was dealing with her emergency.


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 steal from one of them. And right in front of everyone. It doesn’t make any sense


for $100,000 dollars. That’s what that ring was worth. She never took it off and then it disappeared right after you ran to her when she fainted. She changed her will last year and named you as beneficiary. Of course it probably won't stand up in court. Sounds like she lost it a long time ago. But maybe you thought you’d grab what you could now and not wait.. 


I didn't know about any  ring, 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 ring. No will. No money. No nothin. Anyway, I don't need the money. I make enough. 


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 or even $100,000 ring 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 theft thing. They 
                 don't really think you did it do they? 


                             Yes they do. 


That's crazy.- Her son.- Now he could have tried to kill her.. Especially after he found out about  the money.- Wow, are you going to get that money? That's a lot of money. 


       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 It Had To Be You

It had to be you
It had to be you
I wandered around, and I finally found
The somebody who
Could make me be true
And could make me be blue
And even be glad
Just to be sad - thinking of you

Some others I've seen
Might never be mean
Might never be cross, or try to be boss
But they wouldn't do

For nobody else gave me a thrill
With all your faults, I love you still
It had to be you
Wonderful you
It had to be you


                           (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 stolen her diamond ring? 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 steal for love or 
                       money. So   who? 


 yeh. He's just mean enough to do it. He was really angry about the will. 


Hell, he could have done it to make sure he got something out her out.  He may have just flipped  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 women 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 steal from Mary. Why?  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.  And needed a little extra compensation.

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? You know she might recover and live another 10 years so you might be jumping the gun. Did you steal the ring just to get something now in case Jack is really the rightful heir?

  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 at least, she's not here for a while 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 steal something from 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 stole my mother’s ring and forced her to change her will 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 might have stolen the ring just to frame you. 

And  you could have stolen that ring from her you old bastard just to make her life more miserable- 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.. If he goes to jail for stealing her ring, 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. 

(a few more people come in and Jack intgroduces Que Sera Sera

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty? Will I be rich?
Here's what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows day after day?
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

Now I have children of my own
They ask their mother, what will I be
Will I be handsome? Will I be rich?
I tell them tenderly

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que sera, sera

                            (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 
                          in a coma in the hospital) 


 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 not dead. Funny thing about this coma 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 stashed the ring in the plant by the door as they were wheeling me out. Thought it would shake things up a bit. Never thought they would blame Jack.
   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 coma 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 stashed the ring. I didn't really think there would be a mystery.    I thought I was going to die. 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) 

Jane is leading a sing-a-long with the lyrics up on a screen like karaoke



Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along singing a song
Side by side

Don't know what's coming tomorrow
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road sharin' our load
Side by side

Through all kind of weather
What if the sky should fall
As long as we're together
It doesn't matter at all

When they've all had their quarrels and parted
We'll be the same as we started
Just to travel along singing a song
Side by side

When they've all had their quarrels and parted
We'll be the same as we started
Just to travel along singing a song
Side by side

                           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 
             stolen ring. 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 leonard 
                          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 happy. 
    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 stealing 
                           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 think I was due anything of hers, like the ring, 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 could fall with so much emotion 

 I've got a crush on you, sweetie pie

All the day and night-time hear me sigh

I never had the least notion

That I could fall with so much emotion

Could you coo, could you care
For a cunning cottage that we could share
The world will pardon my mush
'Cause I have got a crush, my baby on you



           (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 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.