(High sweeping music comes to a dramatic and swelling climax and ends.
Evelyn lights a cigarette and steps forward.)
EVELYN: Take ten everyone! We're reworking the murder scene at 7:30
and then the blacksmith's ballet at 8:30.
Benjamin! Come here!
BEN: (enters enthusiastically) Did I do it wrong?
EVELYN: No, no... I saw something
that intrigued me!
I don't know why I never thought of it before!
BEN: Something I did?
No, something you didn't do!
EVELYN: I see you didn't shave today.
do forgive me. I was running late, and-
EVELYN: Do not apologize, Benjamin. Not ever. Your stubble
delightfully intrigued me!
BEN: You want me to have a beard?
Only in the first act...
BEN: Well, we can give it a try...
EVELYN: Don't fear, we will supply the
necessary foam and razors.
BEN: I beg your pardon?
EVELYN: So you can shave at intermission.
EVELYN: No, no- I wouldn't heart of it! We will supply the necessary instruments.
I don't doubt it, but-
EVELYN: A daring, rough blacksmith in Act One and a debonaire,
clean socialite in
Act Two! Intriguing!
BEN: I think its brilliant! I do sense a minor problem.
EVELYN: Do tell.
BEN: Well I could let the facial hair grow but I'm afraid it's replenishment
will take longer than 24 hours
EVELYN: I don't follow.
BEN: Do you want me to have a full beard in Act One?
EVELYN: I do.
BEN: And you want it gone for Act Two.
EVELYN: It even sounds intriguing coming
BEN: Well, perhaps a costume piece will help get the effect you want.
EVELYN: No. Nothing artificial will suffice. Is there a problem
a beard, Benjamin?
BEN: Growing one, no. Resurrecting one night after night, yes.
BEN: Perhaps I can explain it better. Are you married?
EVELYN: I am.
BEN: And your husband
EVELYN: My husband has a full beard.
BEN: I see... and if he shaved it off, how long would
it take to grow back?
EVELYN: I've never seen my husband without his beard.
I fear I wouldn't recognize
BEN: But how long would it take to grow back?
EVELYN: Your question intrigues me.
BEN: Let's try another approach.
EVELYN: I'm open.
BEN: Your legs.
BEN: No, no, hang on... You do shave your legs, madam.
EVELYN: When I was younger.
BEN: No longer?
EVELYN: There are more permanent measures used to create desired smoothness.
BEN: Jolly good. And after you wax, how long does it take
you need to wax again.
EVELYN: I'm waning.
BEN: Stay with me- we're nearly there.
About a month...
BEN: And its the same for shaving.
EVELYN: What is?
BEN: I can't shave
between Act One and Act Two and then have a beard
the next night for another show! Its impossible!
Are you sure?
BEN: Of course!
BEN: Perhaps... perhaps I can have
different wigs in the two acts
to show a change.
EVELYN: I don't care for that idea...
grow on you...
EVELYN: Wait! Yes! Hairstyles!
BEN: That's much easier!
EVELYN: Why didn't
I think of it?
BEN: Unscheduled miracle.
EVELYN: This solves everything.
BEN: And to
think, I'm just in the chorus.
BEN: Of course.
EVELYN: You're not playing
the role of Wayne?
BEN: No that would be Rudolph.
EVELYN: Oh Lord. What role are you playing?
BEN: I'm one of the blacksmiths.
EVELYN: A minor role?
BEN: Well, there are no small
EVELYN: Have you any lines?
BEN: Well, not really...
EVELYN: What a waste
of time! I wanted to take ten.
I barely have four left.
BEN: So you don't need me to get measured for a
EVELYN: In ten seconds I will no longer be able to hear you.
BEN: I'll shave for tomorrow's
EVELYN: I doubt it will go noticed.
BEN: Thank you. (Exits)
cigarette) Rudolph! How long does it take for hair to grow!?
By Kevin Schwab
Lights up on a porch. There is a bench swing stage
left and a dark window with an
unmoving silhouette stage right.
They are separated by a screen door and a broken potted
BARBARA- (on the swing, left) That pie is going to burn, Ethel!
EDWARD- (on the swing, right)
Leave her be- she knows when to take the pie out.
BARBARA- There's nothing worse than overdone blueberry pie.
you smell that? Its overdone!
BARBARA- Its too hot to be civil, Edward. Sometimes you
to take a loud tone with that woman.
EDWARD- Quit nagging her.
BARBARA- Patience is for the young.
To tell you the truth, Barb, you could do without a slice of pie...
BARBARA- What a remark! Get to work, mister! I
pot off of this porch straight away...
EDWARD- I'll take care of it, Barbara, no need to rush.
rather take my time than get heatstroke.
BARBARA- If I paid you by the hour, I'd be in a sore spot.
If you paid me at all, I'd be a lucky man.
BARBARA- You'll get what's coming to you.
EDWARD- I rely on two
things of any constancy... Your payments and Death's Hand.
BARBARA- Has she gone to the kitchen?
still saying the rosary.
BARBARA- Another constancy. You two should team up
and waste time together.
BARBARA- (different tactic) Ethel, pie!
EDWARD- Pay her no mind, Ethel.
This isn't fair. I can't even enjoy a pleasant breeze
out on my own porch. Overdone blueberries and
in the air...
EDWARD- No breeze today anyhow.
BARBARA- No need for one, I suppose. We get all the hot air
we need in these parts coming right out of you.
EDWARD- I'd storm off this porch if I had the strength to go somewhere!
BARBARA- Tired already? You have plenty to do in the yard yet.
EDWARD- Its too sunny for gardening.
You'll have more blueberries to pick if Ethel doesn't get a move on.
EDWARD- I leave the berry picking for someone
with better eyesight.
BARBARA- Here we go again. If its not your rheumatism or your
aching back then you always
have your eyes to blame.
EDWARD- There are more useless things on my body than I can count.
At least they wore
away after constant use- unlike your parts which died from boredom.
BARBARA- Really! You fix one screen door and suddenly
life has some sort of meaning. Be glad the swing still
moves or you'd have more work than usual this morning.
(They start to swing)
EDWARD- I think I have more than enough to do.
BARBARA- The swinging helps the
EDWARD- Its the only thing on this house that hasn't required maintenance.
BARBARA- I do love
this old house.
EDWARD- Very relaxing.
BARBARA- Very. Even if there are no trees nearby for shade.
Or water nearby for a breeze.
BARBARA- The constant warmth is far better than a frigid rain.
we could use some rain.
BARBARA- It would help the flowerbeds...
EDWARD- And the berries...
And the heat.
(They stop swinging)
EDWARD- I do have work in the yard...
BARBARA- Yes, you do.
I could help Ethel first.
BARBARA- It may be too late.
BARBARA- (calling softly to
the window) Ethel...
BARBARA- Its burned for sure.
EDWARD- It sure is.
slowly fade on the motionless scene)
COMING UP NEXT: I really want to write a play or maybe... oh I don't know- a musical based on this painting. Something tells
me it's been done before, though...