On the Last Day of the Week in the Seventh Month of the Year in the City of Brotherly Love


Title: On the Last Day of the Week in the Seventh Month of the Year in the City of Brotherly Love
Status: theater-ready, one amateur production, unpublished (unless you count this blog page as publication)
Genre: Dark comedy
Running time: 10 minutes
Cast size: 2M + 3 extras
Tag line: N/A
Blurb:
A cheesesteak shop owner takes English-only a bit too far.

ON THE LAST DAY OF THE WEEK IN THE SEVENTH MONTH OF THE YEAR IN THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE

a 10-minute play by Chas Belov

Copyright © by Charles Belov

All rights reserved. Written permission from the playwright is required to perform this play before an audience.

Disclaimer: This play is inspired by a news story. Any similarity between the characters in this play and the actual people involved in the news story are completely coincidental.

CHARACTERS

JACK: A male.

LUIGI: A White male. Italian accent.

NEW CUSTOMER: A person.

TERRY: A person.

PAT: A person.

SETTING

A low-end restaurant in South Philadelphia.

TIME

Saturday afternoon, July 1, 2006

(A low-end restaurant in South Philadelphia. LUIGI is behind the counter. JACK enters or is already onstage.)

JACK
Hey, Luigi, gimme a medium pizza with pepperoni. And a San Pellegrino. To go.

(LUIGI ignores JACK)

JACK cont.
Luigi, please give me a medium pizza with pepperoni.

(LUIGI ignores JACK)

JACK cont.
What am I, the invisible man? Gimme a medium pizza with pepperoni.

(LUIGI ignores JACK. NEW CUSTOMER enters or is already onstage.)

LUIGI
May I help you?

NEW CUSTOMER
Yes, could I have a cheesesteak with hot peppers to go? And a Sprite.

LUIGI
No problem. Itʼll be 10 minutes. The Spriteʼs in the fridge.

NEW CUSTOMER
Thanks. Whereʼs the restroom?

LUIGI
Back there by the jukebox.

(NEW CUSTOMER exits. LUIGI writes down the order.)

LUIGI cont.
Hey, Pat!

(PAT enters and takes the order. )

JACK
(To PAT)
Hey, Pat! This guy wonʼt give me a simple medium pizza with pepperoni.

(LUIGI and PAT ignore JACK. PAT exits.)

JACK cont.
Luigi, have you guys gone crazy?

(LUIGI ignores JACK. Long pause.)

JACK cont.
Iʼm sorry I didnʼt call you about the Tampa Bay game on Sunday.

LUIGI
Donʼt worry about it. I was busy.

JACK
He speaks to me. He can hear me. Good. Iʼd like a medium pizza with pepperoni.

(LUIGI ignores JACK. TERRY enters.)

LUIGI
Hi, Terry. What can I do for you?

TERRY
I want an order of Italian noodles with vegetarian sauce for here. And a Coke.

LUIGI
Cominʼ right up. About 10 minutes. The Cokeʼs in the fridge.

TERRY
Thanks. Iʼm goinʼ out for a smoke.

(TERRY exits. LUIGI writes down the order.)

LUIGI
Hey, Pat!

(PAT enters and takes order and exits. Pause.)

JACK
Italian noodles with vegetarian sauce?

LUIGI
Thatʼs what they ordered.

JACK
Why didnʼt they call it—

LUIGI
Ah, ah, ah. Donʼt say it. Read that sign up there.

JACK
No shoes. No shirt. No English. No service.”

LUIGI
Now what can I get for you?

JACK
A medium pizza with pepperoni.

(LUIGI ignores JACK. Long pause.)

JACK cont.

All right. An Italian pie—no, an Italian savory pie with…Italian sausage. A medium. And Italian water.
(Pause)

To go.

LUIGI
Sure, itʼll be about 10 minutes. You know where the water is.

JACK
Thanks, Luigi.

(LUIGI ignores JACK.)

JACK cont.
What now?
(Pause.)
All right, what do you want me to call you?

LUIGI
Louis.

JACK
Louis?

LUIGI
Itʼs English for…what itʼs English for.

JACK
Why donʼt you just say it?

LUIGI
When you walk around South Philly, what do hear?

JACK
Birds chirping. Buses going by. The wind in the trees.

LUIGI
No, when people are talkinʼ.

JACK
They talk about work. Their girlfriends. Their boyfriends. The Phillies.

LUIGI
You hear them talkinʼ Spanish! Theyʼre all over South Philly. They should be speakinʼ English.

JACK
And youʼre going to ignore them if they donʼt.

LUIGI
Iʼm takinʼ a stand. English-only or else!

JACK
Thatʼs ridiculous. Just about every word in English comes from some other language. “South Philly Cheesesteak Café” comes from…
(Pause)
German, Greek, Latin, Norse, and French.

(LUIGI ignores JACK)

JACK cont.
Let me guess. Itʼs “South Philly Cheesesteak” now.

LUIGI
I changed the sign a few weeks ago. Shows how often you show your face in here.

(Pause.)

JACK
Donʼt tell me that when your parents came over, they never spoke Italian again.

LUIGI
To each other. To us kids. They didnʼt tell the grocer he had to speak to them in Italian. You can bet they didnʼt tell the government.
(Pause)
Itʼs their attitude. Like they own the place.

JACK
Oh, come on. Theyʼre probably talking about the Phillies just like everyone else. Or the World Cup.
(Pause)
Iʼm surprised you arenʼt talking about the World Cup. Italy could win this year.

LUIGI
Yeah, I know. I been watchinʼ it.

JACK
When did you get cable?

(Long pause.)

LUIGI
I donʼt have cable.

JACK
ABCʼs only shown a few games. The only Italy game they showed was two weeks ago. The only broadcast station showing all the games—

LUIGI
I watched it at Mikeʼs place.

JACK
Mike took his wife and kids to Cleveland as soon as school let out.

LUIGI
So youʼre in touch with Mike but youʼre not in touch with me.

JACK
Iʼm house sitting for him. And youʼre watching the Spanish station.

(Long pause.)

LUIGI
Donʼt spread it around, okay?

JACK
You wouldnʼt take my order for a lousy pizza…

LUIGI
Please! They havenʼt won since eighty-two.

JACK
I guess some things are more important than principles.

LUIGI
Jack, who covered for you when you took Betty Williams to the movies on a school night? And who punched your timecard when you snuck out of the warehouse early all those summers?
(Pause)
Iʼm just askinʼ you to cover for me. Be a friend. Peace?

(Long pause.)

JACK
Peace.

(They shake hands over the counter.)

JACK cont.
Are you going to turn in my order?

LUIGI
Whoops! Sorry!

(LUIGI writes down the order.)

LUIGI cont.
Hey, Pat!

(PAT enters and takes the order. Seeing no other new customers, he looks at the order.)

PAT
(To JACK)
I see you finally got clued.

JACK
And what was your excuse for ignoring me?

PAT
Last time I crossed him, it took me three years to get off dishwashing duty.

(PAT exits. LUIGI reaches under the “counter” and pulls out a “jar” from a shelf.)

LUIGI
Just ʼcause weʼre friends, Iʼm gonna share with you a special treat I been hidinʼ under the counter here. My uncle sent these from Italy.

(LUIGI “opens jar” and offers it to JACK. JACK takes an “olive.” For the next several lines, they are both taking and eating “olives.”)

JACK
Which uncle?

LUIGI
My fatherʼs older brother. You ainʼt gonna make me say his name, are you?

JACK
Peace.

LUIGI
Thanks.

JACK
These olives are really good.

LUIGI
You said it. I could eat a handful all at once.

(LUIGI grabs a handful from the “jar” and stuffs them into his mouth as he offers JACK the “jar.” JACK takes one.)

JACK
Not me. I like to savor them slowly.

(LUIGI doesnʼt respond.)

JACK cont.
I said, I like to…
(Pause)
I like to eat them slowly.

(LUIGI doesnʼt respond.)

JACK cont.
Louis? Louis?

(LUIGI “drops” the “jar” and grabs at his own throat.)

JACK cont.
Luigi, can you talk?

(LUIGI shakes his head “no.” JACK goes to do the Heimlich Maneuver; realizes he doesn’t have the slightest idea how; realizes Pat works in a restaurant, and must know how to do it.)

JACK cont.
Pat! Do the Heimlich maneuver!

(Nobody responds.)

JACK cont.
Hey, Pat! Heʼs choking! Come do the Heimlich maneuver!

(Nobody responds as LUIGI falls to the floor, his struggling becoming weaker and weaker.)

JACK cont.
Thatʼs what itʼs called, for Chrissake! The Heimlich maneuver! The Heimlich maneuver! The Heimlich maneuver…

(LUIGI dies. Long pause. PAT enters with a pizza box.)

PAT
Here’s your pizza.

(Blackout. End of play.)


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3 Responses to “On the Last Day of the Week in the Seventh Month of the Year in the City of Brotherly Love”

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