.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2013
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

EVERYTHING HOLLYWOOD - written by Tanis Harms

(Ideal for dinner theater.  Actors can be the waiters.
EXAMPLE PROGRAM: main course, ACT 1, dessert, ACT 2)

.            $30.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S PACKAGE
.                                    (plus sheet music)
.            
how you receive this & package description

PREMISE:     A Hollywood film about Broadway
.            is being made, but the real-life soap opera
.            keeps changing and influencing
.            the direction of the entire script.
STYLE:       comedy, spoof on old Hollywood films
TOPIC:       true love
SCRIPTURE:   1 Corinthians 13
NOTES:       for CAST, SET, PROPS and MUSIC

SCRIPT:                    ACT 1
.                       CENTER STAGE

Song #1: “EVERYTHING HOLLYWOOD-EVERYTHING BROADWAY”.

(Music begins.  EXTRAS, DIANE, SCOTT, MARIE and TODD
begin an old Hollywood style song and dance number.
When SINGERS begin to “argue”, SONG DIRECTOR and/or
PIANIST are confused and try to get them back on track.
GLEN stands to the side, bewildered, reacting.)

(M) It’s Hollywood         - (L) No, it’s Broadway!
(M) It’s Hollywood         - (L) No, it’s Broadway!
(M) But love is in the air - (L) Romance is everywhere –
(M) In Hollywood           - (L) No, it’s Broadway!
(M) In Hollywood           - (L) Wonderful love stories!
(M) Popular &gorgeous people-(L) Costumes and glitter!
(M) And gorgeous people!   – (L) Make up!
(M) Make up and break up!  – (L) No! we mean putting on
.                                MAKE UP!
(M) Oh!  Hollywood         – (L) No! it’s Broadway!
(M) Lights!                – (L) Action!
(M) Cameras!               – (L) THAT’S Hollywood!
.                                This is “BROADWAY”!
(M) Okay!                  - (L) Finally!
(M) Whatever!  -  (W) So,  – (ALL) WELCOME TO BROADWAY!!!
.                                                      2
(EXTRAS exit, TODD exits SL, MARIE exits SR.  Meanwhile,
SCOTT and DIANE come out of the crowd, hand in hand
and stroll to USL where there is a bench.
Sitting down, SCOTT looks up reflectively.)

SCOTT   Ahhh, true love.  Do you remember those days?
.       When we first met?  It was YOUR big debut
.       on Broadway.  We BOTH looked stunning!

DIANE   How could I ever forget.  You were so dashing.
.       It was truly - love at first sight.

(TODD strides out to LC and stops to comb his hair.
MARIE steps out to RC and sees TODD.  She stops and
puts a hand to her chest, and with very bad acting...)

MARIE   Oh - me, how - dashing.  Be still - my heart –
.       This – must be – love... truly -

(TODD drops his arms in disgust and groans.
GLEN abruptly walks toward them from SR.)

GLEN    Cut! Cut!  CUT!  What?  What was that?

TODD    I simply cannot work with this – with HER!

GLEN    (to TODD) Could you TRY?  Can you not - pull from
.       your usual motivation?  Just – FEEL the love –
.       how much do you love yourself?  You are handsome,
.       you are dashing.  Blah blah blah.
.         (quickly spins around to face MARIE)
.       Now listen, doll.  This is a movie about LOVE -
.       and acting - on Broadway.  You’re cute,
.       and I like you, but how can I put this gently...
.       your acting - is - horrendous!

(MARIE puts a hand to mouth, exits USL, sobbing loudly.  
GLEN starts to follow as MAKEUP rushes past from SL.)

GLEN    I guess we’re taking five, everyone.  DALE! DALE?
.       (to MAKEUP)  Where’s Dale?

(MAKEUP shrugs and continues rushing toward
DIANE who holds a diva pose – waiting for her powder.
SCOTT gets up slowly from the bench and rubs a hip.)

SCOTT   Finally!  This bench is giving us hemorrhoids.  3

(DIANE puts up a talk-to-the-hand while MAKEUP quickly
touches up her face.)

DIANE   Speak for yourself, dear.  I – DO NOT – get -
.       hem... Hem-or - I simply do not get those.  

SCOTT   So the slight wincing on your face is from...

DIANE   Having to tolerate your jokes, dear.

(GLEN still walks in circles searching in vain.)

GLEN    Dale! Where’s –

(DALE rushes on from STAGE RIGHT with a coffee.)

GLEN    Dale - there you are!  (sees the coffee)  
.       I needed that – and...

(As DALE is about to drink the coffee, GLEN takes the cup,
gulps it down and hands the cup back to a shocked DALE.)

GLEN    I need a rewrite on this opening scene.

DALE    Wha-Why?  Now what’s wrong with it?

GLEN    Nothing is wrong with it!  It’s just my
.       leading lady - she cannot act!  Perhaps if you –
.       I don’t know - gave all the lines to Todd?

DALE    But, that will change everything –

GLEN    If you can’t do it, I’ll find someone who can!

TODD    Oh! I can help. Let’s say, I saw the leading lady
.       standing there - looking at me - and I could say
.       something like- “She stands there, looking at me,
.       and she dreamily thinks hooow - DASHING I look–“

GLEN    Okay, let’s leave the writing to the
.       professionals.  YOU – stick to acting.
.       (to DALE) YOU – get writing!  Write-write-write.
.       (to TODD) Come on, we have to find Marie
.       and do some damage control.

TODD    Why do you need MEEE for that?                  4

GLEN    Because you’re alluring, and ladies usually
.       cannot help but melt when they are near you.

TODD    This is very true.

(GLEN and TODD exit in the direction that MARIE left in,
past UPPER STAGE LEFT.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE goes to her corner to think and type madly.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE RIGHT – STREET

(BETTIE steps out on the other side, suitcase in hand.
Setting down her suitcase, she gets all happy-dramatic.)

BETTIE  Here I am Hollywood!  Ready to be discovered.

(BETTIE holds an open-armed pose for a few seconds,
then drops them, wondering what to do next.)

BETTIE  Ahhh, SO, I’ll – just be waiting –
.       right here then.  Just standing here –
.       waiting to be discovered.  Or - or sitting.
.       But I will be here – just – waiting...
.       hoping to be discovered...

(BETTIE sits down on her suitcase to wait.)

.              E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE rips out the paper and adds it to a stack,
and puts another paper into the typewriter.)

.                      CENTER STAGE

(GLEN enters USL with TODD and MARIE following behind.)

GLEN    (to MARIE)  See?  You’re going to be just fine,
.       kid.  Can you SEE your name up in lights
.       over there:  Marie Wiltandshine!  See it?

MARIE   Noooo???

GLEN    Well, it’s not really there yet, is it?!     5
.       You have to imagine it.  Don’t you have
.       an imagination?  You ARE an artist -
.       of sorts - after all.

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE rips out the paper and adds it to a stack,
then rushes out to center stage with it.)

.                    CENTER STAGE

DALE    Done.  Script is ready.

(As DALE runs past, GLEN rips the script from DALE’s
hands and hands a page to each actor.  SCOTT and DIANE
sit back on the bench.  TODD and MARIE go back to
their same spots.  GLEN stands LSR.  DALE always stands
behind him, slightly lower stage right.)

GLEN    All right.  Places.  And let’s do a read through.
.       The song has just ended, aaaand – action.

(The ACTORS all go into their zones.)

SCOTT   (reading)  Ahhh, true love.  Do you remember
.       those days, when we first met?
.       It was your debut on Broadway.

DIANE   (reading)  Ahh, that was such a long time ago.
.       You must remind me, dear.
.       (looking up)  Wait.  WAIT!  Am I now
.       a forgetful, senile woman?

GLEN    It’s not implying that.  
.       Please, just work with what you’re been given!

DIANE   (rolling eyes, then getting back into character)
.       You must remind me, dear.  (suddenly improvising)
.       Because I just LOVE hearing YOU tell the story.

DALE    (to GLEN)  She’s adding her own lines!

DIANE   (glaring pose at DALE)  I AM NOT THAT OLD!

GLEN    (aside to DALE)  Her adlib was good, actually.
.       Carry on, please.
.                                                       6
(GLEN shrugs pleadingly at DALE and then DIANE, then   
turns his attention to TODD to carry on.  TODD acts
along with Scott’s dialogue.  MARIE just stands there.)

SCOTT   The first time I saw you, you were there –
.       standing on the stage – at -
.       center-middle-stage left...  And our eyes met.

DIANE   Yes, continue, darling.  You are doing so well.

SCOTT   You were wearing a blue sequined off-the-shoulder
.       Christian Dior evening gown –

TODD    CUT!  STOP!

GLEN    Whaaaat is it now?

TODD    (emphasizes “I” by drawing it out)
.       I - don’t have any lines now.  I mean,
.       I get why SHE doesn’t have any,
.       but why don’t I - have any?  Just because
.       SHE cannot act, why should I - have to suffer?

(MARIE begins to sob and rushes out USL.)

SCOTT   (musing)  And has my character now become a –
.       fashion critic?

DIANE   At least your character does not suffer
.       from memory loss!

GLEN    Take five.  (to DALE)  Rewrite?  Please!
.       Aaaand – (to TODD) damage control –

TODD    Nah-ah, I - am going to oversee the script rewrite.

GLEN    Nooo-oooh...

(Too late, TODD pushes DALE over to LOWER STAGE LEFT.
GLEN throws up his hands, then wanders in circles.
Seeing MAKEUP rush by, he gets her attention.)

GLEN    Ahhh. Marie!  Have you seen Marie?

(MAKEUP shrugs and rushes over to powder DIANE’s face.
GLEN sighs and goes to STAGE RIGHT.)
.                                                       7
.              E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(Miming everything, TODD and DALE pace, argue, type,
and DALE pulls at her own hair...)

.              E. LOWER STAGE RIGHT – STREET

(As soon as GLEN steps “outside”, BETTIE sees him
and pops up, standing - clutching her neck.)

BETTIE  Oh! You gave me quite a scare!  
.       But no matter, are you here to discover me?

GLEN    Hey!  Have you seen... Have you – sss...
.         (studies BETTIE and becomes intrigued)
.       Say, are you new to Hollywood, kid?

BETTIE  Why yes, I just got off the bus,
.       from Kansas - aaan-

GLEN    Can you act?

BETTIE  Annnnd I DO want to act!  Very badly.

GLEN    You want to act badly?

BETTIE  I so very badly want to act – well.

GLEN    Okay, so say this line, (very dully)  “Oh me,
.       how dashing, be still my heart.  This must be
.       love..  Truly – love at first sight.”

(BETTIE takes a brief moment to find a motive.)

BETTIE  Oh me, how dashing, be still my heart.  This
.       must be love..  Truly – love at first sight.

GLEN    Brilliant.

BETTIE  Really?

GLEN    Really-really.  So what was your motive
.       to say that with such feeling?
.       Was it – the love for a long-lost boyfriend?  
.       The hope to love – a new-found boyfriend?

BETTIE  No00?  It is for the LOVE of Hollywood,          8
.       fame and fortune.

GLEN    (amused)  We can work with that.
.       Follow me.  You’re hired.

BETTIE  (twirls, arms up)  Hollywood!  I have arrived!

.                     CENTER STAGE

(BETTIE follows GLEN in with an excited twirl to look
about the studio.  She suddenly becomes overwhelmed.)

BETTIE  So, ah, oh wow!  Ah, what is the movie about?
.       And tell me about the character I’m playing?

GLEN    It’s very simple, kid.  It’s a classic story!
.       Broadway actors tell their love story of –
.       how they met, fell in love, fell out of love,
.       fell in and then out of love, and then –
.       BACK in love again - once and for all.  It has that
.       ‘they-all-lived-happily-ever-after’ whoop-lah
.       kind of ending and all that.  You know,
.       everything Hollywood – everything - Broadway.
.       You - are the woman.  The young version.

DIANE   Excuse me!

GLEN    (louder)  The YOUN-GER version.

BETTIE  Sounds magical.  A Hollywood film - about Broadway.

GLEN    I like the way you think, kid.  But now,
.       just keep the thinking to yourself.  Okay?  
.       I’m the director.  And - time - is money!

BETTIE  Sorry.

(BETTIE sees SCOTT stretching his legs and rushes over.)

BETTIE  (gushing)  Oh, as I live and breathe–
.       Scott Harrison!  Never in my wildest dreams
.       could I have ever imagined acting
.       in the same movie as Scott Harrison!

(DIANE clears her throat loudly and strikes a pose.
BETTIE now looks over at DIANE.)
.                                                        9
BETTIE  And – ah - oh, um, are-are you – can it beeee?

SCOTT   (aside to BETTIE)  Diane DiMarco.

BETTIE  Diane DiMarco?!  (sees DIANE’s offended glare)
.       I mean, of course you are.  I was just so
.       tongue-tied.  Because – I mean, well - it’s YOU!!!
.       And you LOOK - (thinking the response through)
.       I mean, you’re just – right here!  In person.

DIANE   Of course I am.  Breathe, darling.  Just breathe.

BETTIE  It’s just that – YOU - are my idol.  You are
.       the reason why I wanted to act in the first place.
.       Why, when I was just a WEE tiny, little - girl –

DIANE   Yes, and you still are – darling –
.       with a WHOLE lot to learn.

(DIANE now snubs BETTIE.  BETTIE wonders at her faux pas,
and tries to nonchalantly scout the stage.)

.              E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE gathers the new pages and stands.  TODD tries to
straighten her hair, then grabs the papers from
DALE’s hands and walks out.)

TODD    Wait... I – would not want anyone
.       to get the wrong idea.

DALE    (dryly)  Indeed.

.                      CENTER STAGE

(TODD walks out with some pages of the script, followed
by DALE.  Dabbing her eyes, MARIE dares to step out
from SL’S curtain.)

TODD    (seeing BETTIE)  Who is this?

GLEN    (to everyone)  Attention everyone,
.       may I introduce to you our new leading lady –
.       (to BETTIE)  Ahhh...

BETTIE  Bettie McDavis!
.                                                     10
GLEN    Bettie McDavis?  No.  That’ can’t be right.
.       It’s not a very good name for a movie star.
.       No matter, we’ll come up with a different name
.       later.

(MARIE starts to sob again, and rushes across stage
to exit SR.  GLEN waves her off.)

GLEN    There she goes again.  Just let her go.
.       We do not need her anymore.

TODD    That means we can keep the original script?

GLEN    Yes, back to the original script.

DALE    Thank you!  I was NOT feeling this last rewrite.

(DALE says this while looking at TODD.  
TODD balks at this insult against his efforts.)

TODD    I gave you some really good lines there –
.       for ME to say.  I’m just saying.

(DIANE and SCOTT go back to their bench.)

DIANE   Well I also say “thank you.”

SCOTT   Afraid you cannot handle remembering any more
.       lines-changes?

DIANE   Are you speaking for yourself again, darling?

SCOTT   Actually... yes.

GLEN    Okay-okay, so Bettie, ehhhh-noooo... Maureen,
.       Gretchen?-no, Helen?  More thought required.
.       Anyway, SHE – delivered the line from scene one
.       while we were outside, and it was brilliant.
.       So let’s move this run-through along
.       aaaand pick it up at scene two.

(GLEN points to a spot on the floor.  BETTIE obediently
stands there.  DALE quickly gives BETTIE a sheet of paper
and steps out of the way.)

GLEN    Aaaaand – action.
.                                                   11
(DIANE looks at SCOTT with a little fire.)

DIANE   But as I remember it, our relationship
.       was not always a bed of roses, dear.

SCOTT   (patronizing) Very good dear!
.       Your memory is back.

DALE   (to GLEN)  Now HE is adding lines!

DIANE   And they are not very good ones!

(GLEN glares at SCOTT and gives him a “What are
you doing” gesture.)

SCOTT   Sorry, couldn’t resist.  Okay, ahem...
.       (back in character)  It certainly WAS NOT –
.       always a bed of roses, darling.  I never thought –
.       you would forgive me after all my indiscretions.

(DIANE flicks her hair and looks away, thinking seriously.)

SCOTT   Are you all right, darling?

(As DIANE continues to look away angrily, BETTIE crosses
her arms in anger and stares out with hurt in her eyes.
TODD approaches her beseechingly.)

TODD    Darling, speak to me.  I just asked you –
.       are you all right?

BETTIE  My – heart – hurts so much.  
.       This betrayal is SUCH a-
.         (looks at script closer then back out)
.       –betrayal.

(DALE mouths the word “betrayal” with BETTIE and nods
approval.  GLEN scratches his head and comments to DALE.)

GLEN    Really?  I think we need a different word there.
.       (as DALE shrugs then sulks, turns back to ACTORS)
.       Whatever.  Let’s continue, shall we?

TODD    (acting)  With my whole heart, with my entire being,
.       I swear that I will do everything in my power
.       to mend my broken ways.  I beg you to forgive me.
.                                                    12
Song #2a: “WHAT SHALL I DO?”

TODD    Please give me a chance. A new circumstance.
.       For me, for you, for love so true.

(BETTIE starts to sing, and it is terrible.)

BETTIE  But can I ever trust you again?
.       Where are all the truthful men?
.       So many days I have spent
.       Struggling without relent
.       There is so much pain and anguish–

(TODD winces.  DIANE holds her hands over her ears.
GLEN uses a finger to try to clean his ear.)

GLEN    Please stop!  Stop the pain and anguish.
.       And by that, I mean - cut.
.       And by that, I mean – please,
.       never do that again!

BETTIE  What exactly?

GLEN    Sing.  Never ever sing, ever again.

SCOTT   (to DIANE)  For a moment there, darling,
.       I thought you had indigestion?

DIANE   And you, darling, please STOP trying to be funny
.       before you hurt yourself.

(DIANE groans and rolls her eyes, then stands up.)

DIANE   Look, why don’t I just play BOTH parts.
.       You KNOW I am capable.  With just a little bit
.       more makeup and better lighting-

GLEN    I love you, Diane, but no!

TODD    I - could sing both parts of the song, just like–
.       (quickly singing while thinking of new words...)
.       Please give me a chance. A new circumstance.
.       For me, for you, for love so true.
.       You know you can trust me___ again.
.       I can be a truthful man -

GLEN    NO!                                          13

(TODD continues singing and thinking to convince GLEN.)

TODD    (singing and thinking quicker...)
.       So many ways I have been
.       Improving upon myself
.       Don’t want to put you on a shelf–

GLEN    Uuuummmm, no.  Now, please, just let me think-
.       Let me think.

BETTIE  (worried)  I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean
.       to let everybody down.  Was it THAT BAD?

(EVERYONE stares at BETTIE with frozen horror.
GLEN steps up to BETTIE, thinking.)

GLEN    Chin up, kid.  And just imagine your name
.       up in lights reading:
.       (uses an arm to banner the name in the air)
.       BETTIE Mc– no! (pulling back, then trying again)
.       Sarah-no!  Well, (making big whatever-circles)
.       something-something – up in lights!
.       (using both arms in a field goal score signal)

BETTIE  I already have.

GLEN    (shocked)  So you can see it?

BETTIE  Of course, I see it right up there.  Clear as day.
.       (shows GLEN where it is with an arm motion)

GLEN    Ohhh-kay, good.  So, meanwhile –

(GLEN uses his head to motion DALE to follow him ESL.
BETTIE slumps shoulders and wrings her hands.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(GLEN turns around to glare at DALE.)

DALE   I’m still thinking of another word.  But I used
.      the word “betrayal” twice for emotional impact –
.      AND – I misplaced my Thesaurus.

(GLEN really doesn’t hear the words and begins to fret.)
.                                                      14
GLEN   WHAT are we going to do?-What are we going to do?

DALE   It’s really a very simple fix.  As I just said,
.      I’m thinking.  And I could rush out
.      to buy another Thesaurus, but –

(GLEN grabs DALE’S shoulders dramatically with
a little shake.)

GLEN   But how are we going to get around this?-
.      The fact that our star cannot sing.  Can you?  
.      (suddenly calm)  Oh, and by the way,
.      you’ve got to change that word.

DALE   (dryly)  On it!

GLEN   Okay, so – WHAT are we going to do?
.      Can you write around this new issue?

DALE   What?!  Oh, you mean, WHAT - have her NOT sing?
.      This story takes place on BROADWAY!  
.      She HAS to sing!  If she doesn’t, it will change
.      EVERYTHING. It would change EVERYTHING.
.      I-I can’t-I can’t, I can’t breathe-

(DALE clutches her throat while she begins to pace.)

GLEN    (rolling his eyes)  Okay-okay.  But what?  Why?
.       First we had a girl who could sing but not act.
.       Now we’ve got a girl who can act but not sing!

DALE    Why don’t you just combine the two?

GLEN    Combine the two?  Like Siamese twins?  Are YOU mad?
.       I mean, talk about changing the story line!

DALE    No-no-no, other filmmakers have done this.
.       Another person sings.  The actor simply
.       mouths along.

(GLEN tilts his head thinking, still not getting it.)

DALE    You don’t show the person singing, of course.
.       But then everyone will BELIEVE that the actor
.       is singing and has a wonderful voice.

GLEN    Hm... That’s so crazy, it just might work.   15

(GLEN thinks for a few more seconds then nods.
He leaves with DALE following behind.  
GLEN pauses and points back to the desk.)

GLEN    Change-that-word!

(DALE turns around immediately and paces,
Straining to think of another word.)

.                       CENTER STAGE

(GLEN looks at MAKEUP rush by.)

GLEN    Where’s Marie?

(MAKEUP shrugs and rushes to DIANE to powder, who strikes
a pose.  SCOTT motions for her to do his face also.)

GLEN    What good are you?

(DIANE waves GLEN to go away.  GLEN balks,
then continues his search for Marie.)

GLEN    Marie!  MARIE!  We need you again!

(GLEN rushes out STAGE RIGHT and disappears.)
As DIANE notices BETTIE’s slump, she waves her over.
BETTIE approaches.  DIANE speaks while MAKEUP works.)

DIANE   Listen dear, don’t let that get you down.
.       Always be the star you intend to be.  In fact –
.      (disgusted)  WHAT - are you WEARING?

BETTIE  The best clothes I own right now.

DIANE   REALLY?!  Well, that just will not do, will it?
.       You must also always dress in a way
.       that keeps your hopes and dreams alive.  Always!

BETTIE  But this is the best I have.

DIANE   My makeup girl will take you to the back and
.       get you a dress from one of my personal closets.
.       (to balking MAKEUP)  Yes, you heard me.  And,
.       you also know from which closet to choose.
.                                                      16
(MAKEUP marches off SL with BETTIE dancing after her.)

BETTIE  Oh thank-you-thank-you-thank-you.  
.       I shall NEVER forget this.

DIANE   (muttering)  You better not, dear.

SCOTT   That was oddly nice of you.

DIANE   It’s one nice way to get rid of the ugly dresses
.       that designers give me;  all the while
.       maintaining my best-dressed-status.

.             E. LOWER STAGE RIGHT - STREET

(GLEN drags MARIE back on at SR while she still
dabs at her eyes.  They stop to talk.)

GLEN    Marie.  We NEED you.

MARIE   You NEED me?  You just said you DID NOT need me.

GLEN    Well, we need you again.

MARIE   You said I could not act.

GLEN    But you can SING!  We need you to SING.

MARIE   (confused)  So I have my part back?

GLEN    No! Well, yes! But – you are only the singing voice.
.       Do you have a problem with that?

MARIE   What choice do I have?  I cannot act –
.       and I need the money.

GLEN    Good.  Now let’s go.  Time is money.
.       We’re just now running through scene two.

.                      CENTER STAGE

(MARIE follows GLEN to CENTER STAGE.  DALE runs in with
the rewrite and distributes the pages.  GLEN points to
a spot at SR where MARIE is to hide behind, but is still
visible to the audience.  GLEN turns to look for BETTIE.)

GLEN    BETTIE-ugh-noooo... Gloria! Gina! Gretta!      17
.       Where is she?  Where is our new girl-wonder?

DIANE   Wardrobe change.  Did you want me to stand in
.       for her?

GLEN    No! - But thank you.

TODD    Oh, or I could say something like,
.       “I thought she had left me for good,
.       but I could still hear her sweet pure voice –“

GLEN    Noooooo.  And please stop trying to help.
.       (looking around)  BETTIE! Marsha! Marsha?...
.       No!  Lena!?

(BETTIE rushes out, now in an over-the-top evening gown.
She stopsO with a striking pose.  ALL freeze in a stare.)

SCOTT   (to DIANE)  If that’s an ugly dress,
.       she’s really making it work.

DIANE   Just because your character knows fashion,
.       does not mean that you do.

GLEN    Patricia! No.  Whatever! You are holding us up!

BETTIE  I’m – sorry – so sorry.

GLEN    (getting very dramatic)  Time is money!  
.       And just remember, as fast as I made you –
.       I can unmake you – just like that.  Do you
.       understand who controls the STARS up in the sky?

BETTIE  God?

GLEN    Well, in the literal universe I suppose that’s true.
.       (back to being dramatic)  But no - all the STARS
.       up in that big Hollywood sky – are controlled
.       by people like ME.  Directors and producers!
.       You would be NO WHERE and NO ONE – without me.

DIANE   (to SCOTT and TODD)  Let’s let them believe that,
.       shall we?

TODD    Right, because they would not be anywhere
.       without US.
.                                                       18
(DIANE and SCOTT nod in firm agreement.  DALE overhears.)

DALE    And all of YOU would be NOTHING without WRITERS!

GLEN    Cut!-I mean-stop!  And by that I mean-
.       quiet on the set.  Sure, you are ALL
.       very special and important.  
.       But do you understand - YOU, that ah – um –
.       what was my point again?

BETTIE  Time is money – I understand -
.       and it will never happen again – sir!

GLEN    Good.  Now, Marie will be singing for you.
.       YOU just mouth the words to the song, but
.       believe that you are actually singing them.
.       (to ALL)  Places everyone, aaaaaand –
.       action!

(DIANE and SCOTT settle back on their bench.)

DIANE   Our relationship wasn’t always a bed of roses.

SCOTT   It certainly wasn’t, darling. I never thought –
.       you would forgive me after my - indiscretions.

(DIANE flicks her hair, thinking seriously.)

SCOTT   Are you all right, darling?

(BETTIE crosses her arms in anger and stares out with
hurt in her eyes.  TODD approaches her beseechingly.)

TODD    Darling, speak to me.  Are you all right?

BETTIE  My – heart – hurts so much.  This betrayal
.       is SUCH a- (looks at script closer then back out)
.       –stab to the heart.  And I don’t quite believe
.       you are able to reach down that deep and mend it.

(DALE clutches at her heart with these last words.
GLEN glances over to DALE and nods with surprise.
DALE shyly shrugs and smiles with relief.)

GLEN    Wow! Nice!  (to ACTORS)  Continue.

TODD    With my whole heart, with my entire being,      19
.       I swear that I will do everything in my power
.       to mend my broken ways – and mend your broken
.       heart.  I beg you to forgive me.

Song #2b: “WHAT SHALL I DO?” (again)

TODD    Please give me a chance. A new circumstance.
.       For me, for you, for love so true.

(MARIE sings from beside/behind the backdrop.  
BARRY enters SL and stops to listen.)

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE singing)
.       But can I ever trust you again?
.       Where are all the truthful men?
.       So many days I have spent
.       Struggling without relent
.       There is so much pain and anguish–
.       Where is love that’s heaven sent?

TODD    I beg for another chance. A new circumstance.
.       For me, for you, for love so true.

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE singing)
.        Where is love that’s heaven sent?
TODD                   That’s heaven sent?

(BARRY is clearly touched by the woman singing. When the
song ends he approaches BETTIE and takes her hand to kiss.)

BARRY   Magnificent.  I am truly in the presence
.       of a great star.

BETTIE  Oh, no sir, you are–

BARRY   Barry.  My name is Barry.

(MARIE sneaks out from hiding and shyly smiles and waves
at BARRY who does not even notice her.)

BETTIE  Barry.  But it was not me, it’s –

BARRY   The song writer, the accompaniment, the –
.       whatever!  You’re not only magnificent,
.       but you are humble.  How refreshing!
.       I’m – smitten.  Truly smitten.
.                                                      20
(MARIE starts dabbing her eyes while BETTIE shyly
accepts the shower of compliments and attention.)

BETTIE  (starry-eyed)  A NEW kind of magic.

(DIANE watches closely with terror in her eyes.)

GLEN    Ah – cut?  Excuse me, Barry, what are you doing?

BARRY   What?  Oh, sorry.  Am I here too early?
.       I’m scheduled to practice.

DALE    Except you don’t come in until scene three.

GLEN    Scene two - is good.  We’re good.  
.       That was brilliant, people.  Let’s move it
.       along then.  Okay?  Places for scene three.
.       And Bettie, that’s just not right!
.       Audrey-no, Marlyce-nnnnoo,
.       okay just Bettie for now, over there.

(BETTIE smiles at BARRY and then stands on her mark.
Gaining some courage, MARIE waves and calls out to BARRY.
It is obvious that MARIE likes BARRY, but BARRY doesn’t
really know that she exists.)

MARIE   Hi – Barry.

(BARRY gives her a quick glance.)

BARRY  (cheerfully) Ahhh, oh, hi – whoever you are.

(MARIE sadly goes back to her hiding place.  BARRY goes
to stand beside TODD.  BARRY and TODD shake hands
and then mentally get into their characters.)

GLEN    Aaaand – action.

(SCOTT tries to cozy up to DIANE on the bench, but DIANE
breaks out of character and glares at GLEN and DALE.)

DIANE   Don’t you think this bench-thing is getting
.       rather old?

GLEN    (confused)  What?  Is that the line?

(GLEN looks at DALE.  Feeling insulted,                21
DALE shakes her head and goes into an explanation.)

DALE    Look, you both JUST have cameo roles.
.       But you are the catalyst which sends each
.       scene on route.  The bench represents “comfort”-

SCOTT   This bench is anything but comfortable!

DALE    Its significance is the happy ending –
.       the final outcome.

DIANE   (flaring)  Wait, did she just say?
.       We are – JUST - CAMEOS?

GLEN    No-no, no-no, no!  Not “JUST.”  
.       These are very - IMPORTANT - cameo roles.

(GLEN glares at DALE who shrugs.)

DALE    It just makes for interesting film.  It would be
.       easy enough to write the both of you out.

SCOTT   (gasping)  WE - HAVE - a contract.

GLEN    Yes-yes, yes-yes, you are BOTH –
.       secure and VERY important.

(GLEN glares at DALE again.  DALE shrugs sarcastically.)

DIANE   (flashing her eyes)  Because WE are the REAL stars,
.       after all.  I mean, WE are the actors that
.       everyone knows and loves.  It’s because WE are
.       in the film that the theater seats will be filled.

GLEN    Most certainly!  And could we just keep this
.       moving along?  Now, what comes next?

DALE    The song.

DIANE   Now you are skipping our lines?

GLEN    Please, say your lines.  Quickly – go - now.

DIANE   Ahhh,  (frantically getting into her role)
.       You were very convincing, to say the least,
.       and I fell right back into love again.
.                                                      22
SCOTT  And the love I felt for you - just kept growing.
.      Especially - whenever - I had the pleasure
.      of hearing your angel-like singing.

BARRY  YES! Fantastic! Wow!  NOW, let’s hear the song.

(The music begins.  MARIE sings a love song, while BETTIE
lip-syncs and lightly sways.  TODD looks longingly at her,
as does BARRY.)

Song 3a: “IT’S LOVE AGAIN”

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE)
.       It’s love again.  New found love again.
.       Over and over.  So many times over.
.       We fall in love, new found love again.
.       It is out of control, we keep falling
.       over and over again.

(The music continues, and MARIE “ahs”. BETTIE pretends
to “ah” along.  BARRY is still lost in the song.
GLEN cues BARRY, but BARRY is oblivious.)

GLEN    Barry, your line.

BARRY   Oh, right, ahhhh... (requesting)  Line?

DALE    “I think love is in the air.”

BARRY   (agreeing)  Indeed!  Is it that obvious?

DALE    No! That is your line.

BARRY   Right! Ahhh... I think love is in the air.

TODD    It is.  And that love is GWENDOLYN.
.       And I intend to propose to her TONIGHT.

(As BETTIE “ahs”, she only looks at BARRY, who has     
fallen into his smitten-ness again.  TODD nudges him.)

TODD    Barry?  It’s your line again.

(BARRY continues staring at BETTIE. BETTIE smiles shyly
and continues to “ah”.  TODD acts out both roles.)

TODD    (mocking BARRY)  Why, she’s a knock-out, Max.   23
.       (doing his character)  Isn’t she?
.       (BARRY’S character)  You’re one lucky man.
.       (doing his character)  Why, thank you.

GLEN    Cut!

TODD    Look, if we’re supposed to be in love,
.       should she not be looking at ME – and not at HIM!

GLEN    Yes! But... - Dale!-Idea!-Come!

(GLEN marches to SL.  DALE does a double-take
before following.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE catches up to GLEN, out of breath.)

DALE    What?

GLEN    I want a rewrite?
.          (DALE wilts an “are you kidding me”)
.       Do you not sense a potential twist to our plot?

DALE    But you wanted a classic screenplay!
.       What are you talking about?

GLEN    Don’t you see?  This idea would be – groundbreaking.
.       Someone falls in love with someone
.       not realizing that it’s really someone ELSE
.       who is singing FOR them –

DALE    (dryly)  You mean like - Cyrano de Bergerac?

GLEN    Did Cyrano sing?  Ummm, no!  I don’t think so.
.       But this is fresh!  New!  This is different.
.         (at DALE’s gasp, GLEN corrects himself)
.       I mean – it IS exactly that!  But NOT exactly!
.       We are just reinventing the wheel.  You see,
.       everything has been done before, every story
.       has been done – we are just always looking
.       for a fresh, new way to reinvent-

DALE    Yes-yes-yes, I know all about stories and wheels.
.       I DID study literature, you know.

GLEN    Good, then I will leave this in your           24
.       capable hands to come up with something
.       standard without plagiarizing, but something
.       new without becoming TOO original –
.       HA!-what would people think?

DALE    (dryly)  Sure, we may just confuse them.

(DALE rolls her eyes.  As GLEN leaves, he comments.)

GLEN    So time is money.  You’ll be ready in five?

DALE    Five hours?

GLEN    Minutes, babe.

DALE    Are you delirious!!!  I’m rewriting the entire
.       screenplay!  Seriously, I really need maybe –
.       5 weeks, or months!

.                      CENTER STAGE

(GLEN nods with decision, and walks out to center stage.)

GLEN    Let’s take a coffee break, everyone.  It seems
.       5 minutes is not enough time for our screenwriter.
.       Please be back in your places in 15 minutes.

DALE    15 MINUTES?!!!

(DALE exits while pulling her hair.  ALL exit.)

INTERMISSION  - OR  -
IF A DINNER THEATER WITH THE ACTORS SERVING THE FOOD...

(DALE MIMES WRITING AND PACING AND TEARING OF HAIR...
WHILE ACTORS STAY IN CHARACTER AND SERVE THE AUDIENCE.)

BETTIE  Wait!  Where are you all going?

BARRY   Did you really think actors can survive with
.       just acting jobs?  Most of us have REAL jobs? –
.       waiting tables.

BETTIE  Oh!  Well then wait for me.

(BETTIE joins everyone serving tables.)
.                                                       25
.                  PART 2 - CENTER STAGE.

(After INTERMISSION and/or the serving of refreshments,
DALE runs out to center stage with papers in her hands.)

DALE    Done!  It’s done!  I’ve done it.  I’ve actually
.       done it.  It’s great.  You’ll love it...

(GLEN runs up to grab the papers and scans the pages.)

GLEN    Okay people, let’s get back to our run-through.
.       We’re picking it up from scene three.
.       Everyone!  Back to your places.  Come on –
.       time is money!  Time is money.  Let’s go...
.       (to BETTIE)  And Bettie, ah, Fanny!  No, Darlene!
.       Susan!  Whatever!  I just need you to keep
.       going with your feelings on this.

(ACTORS come back onto the stage.  MAKEUP quickly douses
DIANE with powder and leaves.  DIANE and SCOTT sit back
on the bench. DIANE coughs slightly, waving at the dust.
MARIE goes to her hiding spot at SR.)

SCOTT   You’re beginning to look a little – like a pancake.

DIANE   What?

SCOTT   I’m beginning to crave pancakes.

GLEN    Whenever you’re ready.

(DIANE and SCOTT both take their time getting into
their zone, then begin.)

DIANE   (studying the script)  Oh, the lines are
.       COMPLETELY different.

GLEN    Aaaanytime.

SCOTT   (in role)  But, need I remind you, dear,
.       you DID have your OWN indiscretions.

DIANE   I prefer to think of THOSE as – biding my time...
.       (looks to DALE)  Oh, very gritty, darling!

SCOTT   BIDING your time?  Is THAT what you called it?
.                                                      26
DIANE   Well, after all, you DID drag your feet.
.
SCOTT   Drag my feet?  I proposed after only two weeks.

DIANE   In Broadway time! – THAT’S considered a drag!
.       I was looking for the New York minute.

SCOTT   The ONLY reason why one has to propose so QUICKLY
.       in Broadway - is to clinch the DEAL before
.       the OTHER person changes their MIND!

DALE    (to GLEN)  Will you tell them to stop improvising!

SCOTT   Sorry!  Just bringing in a bit of HISTORY.

DIANE   I PREFER to call it - REALITY!

SCOTT   (lightly)  Sorry, we’re done.  You can carry on now.

(GLEN throws a questioning look their way, then nods for
the music to begin.)

Song 3b, “IT’S LOVE AGAIN” (again)

(MARIE sings the first part of the love song,
while BETTIE lip syncs and lightly dances.
TODD looks longingly at her, as does BARRY.)

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE)
.       It’s love again.  New found love again.
.       Over and over.  So many times over.
.       We fall in love, new found love again.
.       It is out of control, we keep falling
.       over and over again.
.       (“ah” the song again)

BARRY   I believe – a fly – is – in the air –

(BARRY starts shooing and swatting a fly away.)

BARRY   (out of character)  Sorry, there’s a fly buzzing
.       my head.  Okay,  (back in character)
.       I believe – LOVE is in the air.

(TODD now shoos at the fly.)

TODD    It is.  And that fly – I mean – that love is    27
.       GWENDOLYN.  I intend to propose to her TONIGHT.

(As BETTIE pretends to “ah”, she looks longingly back
at BARRY.  BETTIE now takes a few spastic swings
at the fly, then continues her “humming.”)

BARRY   Why, she’s a knock-out, Max.

TODD    Isn’t she?

BARRY   You’re one lucky man.

(TODD stops to study BARRY and becomes angry.)

TODD    (threatening)  And she’s all mine by the way.

BARRY   Really?  Has she made any commitment to you yet?

TODD    No, but she will.

(MARIE, who is still “hiding” in the background,
now starts swinging at the fly while singing.)

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE)
.       It’s love again.  New found love again.
.       Over and over.  So many times over.
.       We fall in love, new found love again.

(TODD holds his hand out to BETTIE, but BARRY steps
in front of him to hold out his hand to her
and BARRY and TODD begin to sing.)

BARRY   (singing)  She loves me so!

TODD    (singing)  Hey, what about me?

BARRY   (singing)  He’s a big loser,
.       I’ll speak the truth.

TODD    (singing)  Except he is singing.

BARRY   (singing)  But he makes no sense.
.       Choose me!

TODD    (singing)  Hey, what about me?

(BETTIE finally chooses and takes BARRY’S hand.      28
MARIE swings AGAIN at the fly as she sings
the last part of the song.)

BETTIE  (lip-syncs to MARIE, singing bottom melody line)
.       It is out of control,
.       (deep breath, fly goes into mouth)  We keep -

(MARIE starts coughing loudly.
BETTIE is still mouthing along for a few seconds before
she realizes her “voice is gone.”  Hearing the coughing,
BETTIE then tries to “cough” along.)

BARRY   Please, don’t stop.  Keep singing.

MARIE   (from behind screen)  Sorry, I swallowed a fly.

(MARIE coughs and BETTIE echoes the problem.)

BETTIE  (also coughing)  I swallowed - a fly.

BARRY   Hey, wait a minute.  You weren’t the one singing?

BETTIE  (weakly)  Nooo?

BARRY   (angrily)  YOU were not the one SINGING???

BETTIE  I tried to tell you before.
.       (BARRY throws BETTIE’S hand from his)
.       You mean, you don’t like me anymore because
.       I cannot SING?  Where has the magic gone?

DALE    (interjecting)  They’re going off script again!

GLEN    (not wanting it to stop)  Close enough.

DALE    It’s not anything like it!

GLEN    Okay, cut!  (looks at DALE)  I like the direction
.       this is taking.  This is exactly how the great
.       Charlie Chaplin would direct.  The story would
.       unfold as he filmed.  Improvising can really
.       bring about - a sense of reality.

DALE    Then WHY did I just spend all that time
.       doing a harried rewrite?

GLEN    That’s what you’re paid to do.  Now!        29
.       What is scene four going to look like?

(DALE gasps big and continues to glare at GLEN.)

BARRY   (to BETTIE)  So if you’re not singing, who is?

(BETTIE rushes around the set and drags out MARIE.)

BETTIE  Marie is the voice behind the song.
.       It was ALWAYS Marie.

BARRY   (re-smitten)  Marie!?  Marie!... I’m in love!

(Disenchanted, BETTIE steps away to be by herself.
She looks at TODD who primps and preens with his hair.)

GLEN    (excited) And there it is! The twist now becomes
.       the side-story!  Fantastic!  That is always
.       the classic distraction to lend comic relief.
.       Go – write - scene four.

BETTIE  Except that my heart has been broken here.

(DALE turns to march off to STAGE LEFT, but GLEN grabs
her shoulders and spins her around to face STAGE RIGHT.
As DALE marches to doom, DIANE floats up to DALE.)

DIANE   Oh, darling, could you maybe give my character
.       a little MORE edge?  Something a little more
.       realistic.  Perhaps I could have a tiny episode
.       of momentary insanity.  I haven’t won an Oscar
.       in a while.  I just need – something – that
.       I can really sink my teeth into.

SCOTT   (to DIANE)  As long as your dentures don’t
.       get stuck and stay there.

(DIANE balks big, then quickly and discreetly
checks her dentures.)

SCOTT   (to DALE)  And while you’re at it,
.       maybe if my character could be a little more –
.       whimsical.  I keep getting stuck with parts
.       that are more – musing.  One is never too old
.       to step out of their type-casting.

(SCOTT looks at DIANE when he says “old” and           30
expects her to be in agreement.  DIANE snaps.)

DIANE   SPEAK for yourself please!  And please,
.       just STOP SPEAKING!  You are NOT a comedian.
.       You’re barely an actor.  

(SCOTT mimes getting stabbed, staggers, and
splays himself back across the bench.)

DIANE   Here, let me help you.

(DIANE mimes pulling out the “knife” and holds it,
wondering.  She changes her mind, puts down the “knife”
and “gets out defibrillators”.)

DIANE   Clear!

(SCOTT mimes along with the revival process.
Shaking her head, DALE quickly leaves the older actors
for the solitude of the office.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE sits staring at typewriter, then puts head in hands.)

.                     CENTER STAGE

BETTIE  (approaches DIANE)  I don’t understand.

DIANE   Darling, I’m miming – reviving this old sod here.

BETTIE  No, I mean, Hollywood, and Broadway.  Whatever!
.       There’s supposed to be magic.  Where’s the magic?

DIANE   It’s all right up - in here!
.       (points to BETTIE’S head)

BETTIE  What are you saying? That it doesn’t exist at all?

DIANE   This is a business of SELLING the magic.
.       To make people believe that there IS magic.
.       We do our very best to present that illusion.
.       It’s all up to the people to imagine it.
.       It is whatever one makes of it.
.       Hopes and dreams... most often it is love.

BETTIE  But what IS that?                             31

DIANE   (shrugs) I really don’t know.  And I really don’t
.       care, as long as the people keep LOVING ME, then
.       I will keep getting the roles and more money!

BETTIE  That’s it?

DIANE   There’s also a whole lot of tedious waiting around.

(MAKEUP rushes in and pushes BETTIE aside to powder
DIANE’S face.  SCOTT checks his watch, then kicks back.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(DALE suddenly jumps up to act out her frustrations.
Meanwhile, TODD approaches and eavesdrops just outside.)

DALE    YOU want a REWRITE, I’ll give you a REWRITE!
.       (mocking DIANE)  Ooo, now really darling, you DO
.       realize I’m a star.  (mocking BETTIE)  I should
.       simply glitter ALL the time. (mocking SCOTT)
.       Really, for a star, you are rather dull, I think.
.       (mocking GLEN)  Who cares what you think, kid.
.       (mocking whiny TODD)  Will someone shine
.       the spotlight on me for a change or I’ll throw
.       a hissy-fit – (now with a deeper voice)
.       I mean, a MACHO hissy-fit –

(TODD steps inside, and DALE is caught off guard.)

TODD    Psst.  Dale?  Arrrrre – you okay?

DALE    Oh! Yes, I – um – I – ah - you see... what I do –
.       when I write – is - I become each person.

TODD    So you act it out?

DALE    No–well-perhaps... but, it usually stays in my head.
.       Until I type, then it all falls out onto paper.

TODD    And which voice was my character?

DALE    Oh, ah, well- ah –

TODD    You do realize, you keep giving me the same kind
.       of lines.
.                                                      32
DALE    I tend to write according to everyone’s
.       personality.  Especially if someone
.       is not that good of an actor.

TODD    Should I take that as an insult?

DALE    Only if you want.

TODD    (shrugging)  So, which is MY character?

DALE    You are – the selfish, arrogant one.

TODD    But I’m not.  Not really.

DALE    Seriously?

TODD    That’s just me – ACTING like me.  See?  So
.       I am really - actually a great actor.  Because –
.       I’m actually – really – well... very insecure.
.       NOT that I want to have a role where I would
.       be insecure.  After all, I’m so obviously the
.       hero-type.  But – underneath all of THIS –
.       deep down inside, I’m -
.       just a little – boy.  A very shy, little boy.

DALE    (suspiciously)  And this is now
.       where I’m supposed to flatter you?

TODD    I’m not asking for that.  I do a good enough job
.       flattering myself.  I guess I’m just looking
.       for some DEPTH to my character.

(DALE tries to think through his request.)

DALE    Wait!  Your character – or your actual
.       personality?

TODD    Is there a difference?

DALE    Yesssss?  Anyway, you’ll only ever get what
.       the producers and director want.  Even though,
.       more than anything, I would LOVE
.       to add more depth to this entire story.

TODD    Depth to a Hollywood movie about a story on
.       Broadway?  What WOULD that even look like anyway?
.                                                      33
DALE    I’m not sure yet – (getting an idea)
.       but I have an idea.

(DALE suddenly types with frenzy.)

TODD    Do you still need my help?

DALE    You’ve – done enough.  Thank you.

.                       CENTER STAGE

(TODD struts out of the room.)

TODD    (proudly)  She has an idea, and I helped.

GLEN    Should I be concerned?  What’s the idea?

TODD    I have NO idea.

GLEN    Well, while we wait, let’s have the extras
.       work on the next number.  EXTRAS!

(SHEREE limps out, along with the EXTRAS.  SHEREE motions
with a commanding arm motion for GLEN to step aside.
He obligingly does so to the greatly renowned ex-dancer
may take control.)

SHEREE  Position five... Straighten up, dear.
.       Aaaand after four...

(SHEREE snaps her fingers and the EXTRAS start dancing
some jazzy swing steps after four counts without music.
These are the steps that go with SONG 4.  They all
come forward, then backward, then outward, then inward –
and all bump and stumble into each other.)

SHEREE  Ugh.  STOP!  Everybody, watch me.

(SHEREE does a few horribly awkward steps then stops
to pant.)

SHEREE  Like that, see?  Just, do that – but better.

(DALE rushes out with pages to hand out.)

GLEN    Looking fantastic, Sheree.  Now go to the wings.
.                                                      34
(SHEREE and EXTRAS leave stage confused and insulted.
GLEN grabs the first page from DALE to scan.)

GLEN    All right, we have a scene four.
.       Places everyone.  Extras, be ready to come in
.       on point.  And – action.

(DIANE and SCOTT settle onto the bench and get into role.
TODD & BETTIE stand aside while BARRY & MARIE hold hands.)

DIANE   (very crazy-like)  I cannot say that I was happy,
.       but at least SOME-ONE’S relationship worked out
.       during that - horrid beastly time!  Where I just
.       wanted to tear out my hair.  But it was –
.       for them - love – at first – sound!

GLEN    What is she doing? (to DALE) What is she doing?

DALE    I think it’s a – dramatic but tiny episode -
.       of momentary insanity.  She wants another Oscar.

(GLEN wonders at this quietly while the scene continues.)

SCOTT   (carrying on dramatically to match DIANE’s energy)
.       Yes, the shallowness of love at first sound.
.       But not quite as shallow as our – love at first
.       sight.  (to DALE)  See – this is still “musing”.
.       I really wanted to go whimsical on this.

(DALE makes a motion to speak, but realizes GLEN is
watching her.  She shrinks back to let him be director.)

SCOTT   Wait-wait-wait, I think I’ve got it now.
.       (back in character but going whimsical)  Yes,
.       the shallowness of love at first sound.  But not
.       quite as shallow as our – love at first sight.

(SCOTT makes google-eyes at DIANE then smiles
questioningly at GLEN.)

GLEN    Whatever.  You’re the star-you’re BOTH
.       the stars.  (to OTHERS)  Carry on.

(MARIE & BARRY hold hands, staring into each other’s eyes.)

TODD    (to BETTIE)  See how happy they are, dear?
.                                                       35
BETTIE  Yes I do.  Why can’t WE be that happy?
.       What heavenly secret eludes us?

TODD    I think – our love should be based on truth.
.       (cryptically)  Don’t you think?

BETTIE  (resigning)  Okay-okay – I cannot sing.
.       (perking up)  But - I can DANCE!

TODD    This is wonderful!  So can Iiii!!!

Song #4: “WHO-AAH” or some other swing music.

(EXTRAS in the background do their steps,
this time they do the crossover successfully,
then dance to the sides.  MARIE and BARRY separate
and join the dancers but stay in front of the two lines.  
They all dance on spot with the music and sing.)

ALL     (singing)  Who-aah!  What’s love?
.       Cry if you don’t know!
.       Who-aah!  Let’s dance for love.

(BETTIE and TODD gear up to dance with arms outstretched
to each other.  They both dramatically look in opposite
directions from each other for the starting pose and
pause.  Unbeknownst to BETTIE, TODD searches the area.)

TODD     Ah, stunt-double!  Where’s my stunt-double?

(DOUBLE wearing a cap quickly exchanges place and dances
with BETTIE without her realizing it’s another man.  
Right at the end they stop with the final pose – looking
into each other’s eyes.  TODD quickly jumps back in place.)

ALL     (singing)  Who-aah, what’s love!

BETTIE  Hey! Wait a minute!  That wasn’t you dancing!

TODD    Yes it was.

BETTIE  It was not.  You just switched places.

TODD    Okay, it was a stunt-double.  But the show
.       MUST go on.  It would be devastating
.       if I - injured myself.  I - cannot be replaced.
.                                                      36
(BETTIE continues to stare until TODD finally admits...)

TODD    Okaaaay, I cannot dance.

BETTIE  I thought we were basing this relationship
.       on truth?  (angrily paces behind the bench)

GLEN    Cut!  (to DALE)  Brilliant!

DALE    I didn’t exactly write that – entirely.

GLEN    Well, let’s go with that, shall we.

DALE    Don’t tell me.  Re-write.
.          (slowly plods to SL but turns to rant)
.       I can’t believe you people.  You keep
.       asking me for something REAL – to reflect
.       real life – real love - and yet it is all based
.       on everything Hollywood – everything Broadway –
.       and it is ALLLLL – FAKE.

(DALE storms off to STAGE LEFT and mimes out banging her
head in frustration.  DIANE swings around to GLEN.)

DIANE   I certainly hope SHE is not vying to get the
.       starring role in this film?  (loudly)
.       Where is my makeup?

GLEN    Diane, we’re not filming right now,
.       you do NOT NEED makeup.

DIANE   A woman must always have her mask–I mean makeup.
.       Actors need to learn never to show or admit one’s
.       flaws.  ALWAYS be picture-perfect-ready.

(BETTIE overhears.  MAKEUP rushes out and does
DIANE’s face and is ready to leave when BETTIE
clears her throat.)

BETTIE  Makeup for me too, then please?

(MAKEUP eyes DIANE carefully and slowly goes to BETTIE
to do a few strokes to her face, then rushes out.)

DIANE   Sure.  Go ahead.  You more than me - will
.       probably need to learn the – art of illusions.
.                                                      37
(BETTIE smiles broadly.)

DIANE   Just – don’t get any smart ideas.

(BETTIE now looks concerned and confused.)

DIANE   I’ve been around a LONG time...  I mean,
.       by THAT I mean, I have seen it all.  And by THAT,
.       I mean, I know exactly what you’re trying to do.

BETTIE  (innocently)  What am I trying to do?

DIANE   You are trying to replace ME.  You want to learn
.       everything I know, and then BE – ME.

BETTIE  I – I – but - I just want to be myself.

DIANE   ACTING is always being someone ELSE.
.       I have been someone ELSE for so long,
.       I can no longer remember who I was.
.       And friends and family are never sure
.       who I AM from one moment to the next.
.       So with that, the very definition of love
.       must continually change.  
.       But one thing always remains the same –

(BETTIE leans forward, curious.)

DIANE   I - am a star.

(BETTIE wonders at this.  Saddened, she slips over
to STAGE LEFT.)

.             E. LOWER STAGE LEFT – OFFICE

(BETTIE tentatively enters the room.)

BETTIE  Excuse me, Miss Dale?

(DALE looks back over her shoulder then forward again.)

DALE    Why, it is the once-oh-so-humble-Kansas girl
.       turned Miss-all-of-that Hollywood Starlet.

(BETTIE gets into a dramatic role and steps forward.)

BETTIE  You were right.  In all our attempts          38
.       to search for and portray reality,
.       what I have discovered is -
.       THIS - IS - all fake.  Hollywood, and
.       Broadway are not what they appear to be.
.          (starts to slowly fight back the emotions)
.       It is all makeup, lights and glitz.
.       And I’ve also come to realize that –
.       there is no place like home.

DALE    (rolling her eyes)  Ugh, give me a break!

BETTIE  (snaps out of her role-playing)  Too much?

DALE    You’re definitely a better actor than a writer.
.       So what are YOU after?

BETTIE  So how are you going to end this story?
.       It’s supposed to be a LOVE story – but, well –
.       because I’m dying to find out, myself – (sighing)
.       do YOU even know the REAL definition of love?

(DALE sits up straight, thinking.)

DALE    You mean, what is REAL LOVE?
.       I know what it is NOT.  
.       It’s not rude, shallow,
.       self-centered, or selfish.

BETTIE  Hmph.  So then – real love would be
.       the opposite of that.

DALE    My dear, you may actually be on to something.

(DALE begins to type furiously.  BETTIE leaves wondering.)

.                       CENTER STAGE

(BETTIE walks up to GLEN.)

GLEN    Let me guess, Bettie – I just can’t see you
.       as a Bettie!  Darlene?  Brandy?  Collette?
.       (sighing)  Whatever.  So, let me guess,
.       you too have given the writer an idea.

BETTIE  (cryptically)  I may have.

(DIANE gives a worried and curious glance at GLEN.)    39

DIANE   In THAT case - I worry.  And I wonder –
.       how WILL the story end?  What WILL my grand
.       last scene be like?

GLEN    Well, at least she’s writing.  (changing subject)
.       Okay, while we’re waiting,
.       let’s see the next number.

(SHEREE and the EXTRAS come back out.)

SONG 5: “THE FLUFF SONG”.

(The EXTRAS do a classic Hollywood synchronized dance
routine while singing.  There is a lot of spinning,
and circles with arm movements.)

EXTRAS  (singing) Ah-ah-ah-, ah-ah-ah-,
.       Glitzy-glamorous-glorious- Broadway love!
.       It’s flirty, fabulous, frivolous-
.       Hollywood lah-oo-ove!
.       It’s marvelous, murky, magnificent–
.       crazy with crushes and puppy love.
.       It’s topsy-turvy–twisty-
.       and-terrific-terrifying fluffy love.

GLEN    Cut! Cut! Sheree!  What’s this?-What’s this?

(GLEN waves his arms around a bit, then continues.)

GLEN    It just seems like too muccchhh... fluff.
.       Even for me.  And that means there’s a lot of it.
.       There are words, many words, but they lack –
.       meaning.  What does that all mean?-
.       What does it mean?

SHEREE  You no like?

GLEN    No like!

(SHEREE limps off the stage in aloof frustration.
EXTRAS follow with the same attitude.  
BETTIE approaches GLEN.)

BETTIE  You know, if you don’t mind me saying,
.       you can be so – very – rude.

GLEN    Listen Bettie.  Audrey.  Charise.  Charline.   40
.       Geraldine.  Whatever!  Time is money!

BETTIE  You keep saying that, but time can be
.       so much more.  It’s not JUST money.

(GLEN turns BETTIE by her shoulders and waves
an arm around the entire studio and then out across
the congregation as if that’s part of the studio too.)

GLEN    In Hollywood – it is.  You see all of this:
.       the big studio, the lights, the cameras?
.       These all cost money.  As well – these cannot
.       operate on their own.  We have to also pay
.       for all the people to be here:  cameramen,
.       makeup artists, costume designers, editors,
.       gaffers, gophers...  It all costs big money.
.       And this little conversation right here,
.       has just cost us over a thousand dollars.

BETTIE  (bravely)  Well, you could STILL
.       say things in a nicer way.
.       It would take the same amount of time!

GLEN    Hm.  Perhaps.

BETTIE  And my name is Bettie.  It works for me and
.       for most of the people I know.

GLEN    All right, Bettie-then.

(BETTIE nods, and decides to just walk away.
DALE rushes out with the new pages and hands them out
to EVERYONE, who quickly study it.)

GLEN    Script!  Places!  Let’s go everyone!
.       (and quickly adds, groaning)  Pleeease.
.       And if everyone doesn’t miiinnd – aaaaction.

(DIANE and SCOTT sit on the bench arm in arm.)

DIANE   I knew I wanted a true love that would last,
.       but I didn’t know exactly HOW that should look.

SCOTT   Then, when your gaze fell on MEEE, you knew right
.       THEN and THERE that LOVE should LOOK like MEEE!
.                                                      41
DIANE   Seriously, darling.  Maybe I’VE kept my looks,
.       but YOUR looks have certainly changed since then.
.       So how would a love based on THAT - be real and
.       long lasting?  And - right THEN and THERE???!
.       Really?  It did not take me very long
.       to figure out that you were NOT perfect.  And -
.       (choking it out)  neither was I.

SCOTT   (musing and reflective)  I cannot disagree.
.       I – really needed a reality check.

(BETTIE and TODD approach each other slowly.
BARRY and MARIE enter holding hands.  BARRY motions
toward BETTIE and TODD.)

BARRY   Love must be in the air - AGAIN.

(TODD looks at BETTIE sheepishly.)

TODD    Do you not FEEL the LOVE in the AIR?

BETTIE  LOVE?  In the AIR?  Where? I do not see it.
.       Is it here?  (grabs at the air)  No. Maybe it is–
.       here?!  (grabs another area of air)  Oh wait,
.       I cannot seem to grab on to it.  Even if I could–
.       how sturdy would that love be?  Perhaps – maybe –
.       because love isn’t found – in the oh so thin air.

GLEN    (gasping to DALE)  How - Shakespearean!

TODD    (continuing)  Perhaps if you search your HEART?

BETTIE  Nooooo!  It’s not there either.

(TODD becomes very insecure in his guesses.)

TODD    Your FEELINGS?  Have you ANY feelings?

BETTIE  Oh!  I have FEELINGS.  But the feelings are
.       definitely NOT of love.  They come – they go-

TODD    Me thinks you are angry with me.

BETTIE  (sarcastically)  Hark!  Did I just hear
.       someone speaketh?  Or was it just air?

TODD    (sincerely)  Truly my dear, I DO care.         42
.       And not just about myself.  I don’t care if
.       you cannot sing.  What is singing?

BETTIE  And I do not care if you cannot dance.
.       What – is dancing?  (fishing)  Buuuuut-???

TODD    Well, what about some CRAZY love where I put
.       YOU first instead of myself?  What about some
.       CRAZY love where I CHOOSE to love you
.       instead of waiting to FEEL like loving you?

BETTIE  That’s so crazy – it might just work.
.       Yes!  It definitely WILL work.  
.       I’m so happy, I just want to dance!

BARRY   (to MARIE)  Hey, maybe we should try out
.       that CRAZY love?

MARIE   For sure.  This airy sing-song-type of love
.       just isn’t working for me anymore.

Song #6: “I CHOOSE”.

(EXTRAS dance back onto stage, all excited to watch
BETTIE.  BETTIE holds out her hand to TODD.)

TODD    Ah, YOU dance, I’ll just watch – and sing.
.       (sings)  I choose to be only with- you,
.       No one else will ever do.
.          (MARIE and BARRY join in singing.)
T&M&B   (sing)  It is not just something that you feel,
.       It’s something you choose to make it real.
.       Once you have a healthy start,
.       then enjoy it with your heart.

(ALL watch BETTIE tap dance.  As she goes on and on,
BARRY and MARIE mime a conversation with each other.  
SCOTT yawns and fidgets.  DIANE falls asleep with head back.
EXTRAS yawn and stretch.  GLEN looks at his watch.  
Only TODD is still interested and keenly watches.
As the pianist gets bored, he throws in a bar of
“Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star”.)

GLEN    Aaaand wrapping it up now!
.       (lower voice)  Pleeease.

(BETTIE looks around and suddenly makes her solo come   43
to an end.  The pianist ends with “Pop-Goes the Weasel.”
DIANE and SCOTT look at each other, awake now.
DIANE wipes the drool from her mouth.)

DIANE   Wh-That’s it?-Oh, sorry, I mean...
.       (back in character)  THAT was it!  As soon as we
.       figured out what true love was, our relationship
.       developed into something very special.

SCOTT   And even though we still squabble now and then,
.       we will always keep CHOOSING to love one another...

(DIANE and SCOTT hold their pose until...)

GLEN    Aaaand CUT!  That’s a wrap everyone!  Brilliant!
.       Excellent!  Well done!  Thank you!
.       (addresses the audience with great appreciation)
.       And thank you for coming.  What would we be
.       without an audience.

Song #7, “THANK YOU”.

ALL     (singing) Thank you for coming today.

GLEN    Actually, there are no more songs.  We’re done.

ALL     (singing) and enjoying our play.

GLEN    Or, not...  

ALL     (singing)  While we over here,
.       learned, thought and fought
.       You over there got to laugh a lot.
.       So wherever you go,
.       Try keeping that glow
.       Just know in our hearts you belong
.       And for now we say so long.
.       (speaking)  See you again!

(EVERYONE walks off waving.)