.          all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2016
.             refer to
www.church-skits.com

MY FAIR WEATHER GIRL - written by Tanis Harms

PREMISE:     Evelyn’s accent is the worst ever heard.
.            A professor of linguistics takes up
.            the challenge to improve her speech;
.            and, although he is extremely rude, she
.            rises above to accomplish her dreams.
STYLE:       comedy-musical spoof of “My Fair Lady”
TOPIC:       be in the world, not of the world,
.            and do not show preferential treatment.
SCRIPTURE:   Romans 12:2, James 2-3
NOTES:       
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SCRIPT:                  ACT 1
.                 CENTER STAGE: STREET

SONG 1:  “A GIRL CAN DREAM”

(It’s evening.  CHORUS sings a version of the chorus.)
EVELYN FEHR rushes across the stage toward the café,
but stops short and drops her arms, hopelessly.)

EVELYN   (sings)  Another day,   (Aw-naw-thar dah)
.        Another dollar.         (Aw-naw-thar doe-lar)
.        At a job,               (It aw joe-b)
.        That’s killing me.      (Dots kah-ling may)
.        Another day,            (Aw-naw-thar dah)
.        I just might holler!    (Ay joe-st may-t hoe-lar)
.        I hate my job.          (Ay hat may joe-b.)
.        Where else can I be?    (War owls con Ay bay)
.        (chorus)
.        To stay alive,          (Toe stah aw-layv)
.        A girl can dream.       (Aw ger con draym)
.        But until               (Bought ohn-tail)
.        it all comes true       (At owl cohms troh)
.        I could just scream.    (Ay cohd jost scraym)
.        But until               (Bought ohn-tail)
.        it’s all I can do       (At’s owl ay con doe)
.        This girl will dream.   (Dis ger wall draym)

(EVELYN daydreams.  CHORUS sings a tag, then exits as     2
HENRY FLAY enters and seeing EVELYN, runs to catch up,  
shouting out in his thick accent to get her attention.)

HENRY    Evelyn!  Evelyn!        (AH-vah-lun! AH-vah-lun!)

EVELYN   Henry?  Henry, what     (Hahn-ray? Hahn-ray, woe-t)
.        are you doing here?     (or yo doe-ang hair?)

HENRY    I – I wanted to –       (Ay – ay - wohn-tad toe-)
.        I just – I -            (Ay johst – ay -)
.        saw you walking –       (sow yo wohk-ang -)
.        here – and – ugh!       (hair – ohnd – ugh!)
.        So, how are you?        (Zoh, hoe or yo?)

EVELYN   I’m fine- but-          (Ay-em phone- bought-)

HENRY    Well, but! I was-       (Wail, bought!  Ay woes-)
.        thinking- well,         (thank-ang-  wall,)
.        I worry- and,           (Ay wor-ray- ohnd,)
.        but, what if-           (bought, woe-t ahf-)

EVELYN   Henry!  You need        (Ugh! Hahn-ray! Yo nayd)
.        to learn to             (toe lahrn toe)
.        communicate better.     (coo-moh-nah-cat bat-tar.)
.        Meanwhile, I have       (Main-wall, Ay hove)
.        to go.  I can’t be      (toe goo.  Ay cohnt bay)
.        late for work.          (laht foh-rah wohrk.)
.        I will see you around   (Ay wall say yo aw-rohnd)
.        somewhere.              (sohm-war.)

(HENRY turns, knocks himself in the head with the heel
of his hand, then shuffles away, completely defeated.  
EVELYN exits to café to get ready for work.  Meanwhile...
TED struts in purposefully, then stops to look around
and wait impatiently.  SISSY marches up to TED.)

TED      Sissy!  You are late!  
.        (checks watch)  By – two seconds.

SISSY    (deadpan)  I was feeling a little rebellious.

(DEAN BROWN and his wife DORIS enter arm in arm.)

TED      Well, stop- because, quickly, here comes
.        Dean Brown!  And his wife... ah-

SISSY    Doris.                                            3

TED      (turns with a cheesy smile)  Dean Brown!
.        And the lovely... Doris!  An honor to run into you.

DORIS    Ted Miller!  Handsome as always.

DEAN     (to DORIS)  You remember professor Ted Miller,
.        dear.  Our resident expert in - linguistics.
.        And his ace assistant... ah-

SISSY    Sissy Smith.

DORIS    (to SISSY)  Are you two out on a date?

(SISSY shakes her head sternly.)

TED      A business meal!  To discuss research strategy
.        for my dissertation.

DEAN     Oh yes.  I have been meaning to tell you,
.        you have been put forward as a recipient
.        for the university’s research grant.
.        I am expecting great things from you.

TED      You can count on it.  My thesis position is -

DEAN     Do you know what it should be?!  A solid plan
.        of action to aid the people who struggle with
.        unbearably atrocious accents.  Those people
.        wishing to communicate- but with labor-intensive
.        efforts – by both parties- to no avail.

TED      Interesting, although I have already begun -

DEAN     Although - we need solutions!  Yes?  

DORIS    (laughs to break tension)  That’s my darling.
.        Brilliant ideas never cease. By the way, his latest
.        brainchild is to host a party for his distinguished
.        colleagues, to kick off the scholastic year with
.        a bang. To generate a great excitement of progress-

DEAN     Yes!  Exactly it!  I have it!  A brilliant idea!

TED      (dryly)  Another one.  Fantastic.

DEAN     In order for you to win the financial backing,     4
.        you must find a subject with the most atrocious
.        speech patterns – to bring to the party-

TED      You want me to bring someone to your party
.        who is linguistically-challenged?

DEAN     Yes, but – as the evidence of transformation.
.        The final result revealed.  So I suggest you find
.        this person quickly.  And as soon as you do,
.        set up an opportunity for me to observe them
.        BEFORE their training program commences.

(SISSY tries to hide her nervous guffaw.
DORIS pulls DEAN BROWN off stage as they speak.)

DORIS    Brilliant, dear.  Now come along, or I shall think
.        you are trying to avoid our evening stroll.

DEAN     You are not fooling me, dear.
.        This is exercise, no matter what you call it.
.        Except for academic arenas, you know
.        I detest any venue requiring physical exertion...

TED      (turns to SISSY once they are gone)
.        Disastrous!   Now I must change my thesis?
.        I cannot wait to replace him as academic dean!
.        But for now, he is just one of the stepping stones.

SISSY    Why am I not surprised that you see people
.        as stepping stones.

TED      AND roadblocks.  But you will see,  
.        nothing or NO ONE will change me or my plans.

(As SISSY looks back at TED with a grimace, she notices
CHRIS WILSON entering nonchalantly.  Her heart leaps.)

SISSY    Chris!  You’re here?  Will you be in town for long?

CHRIS    Ted has asked me to be a sounding board
.        as he formulates his thesis.  So I may as well
.        stick around until the end of summer,
.        for the awards ceremony, of course.

TED      Chris is being honored for his article –
.        WHICH my research material contributed to-
.                                                         5
SISSY    Yes.  I remember.  I was there.  Helping.  Congrats.

CHRIS    Acknowledgement is always a nice reward.

SISSY    Indeed.  Um, and where will you be staying?

CHRIS    I thought it only fair that Ted take me in.

SISSY    And he’s not charging you rent?

TED      Must we stand outside talking like idiots?

SISSY    But of course, if we are to talk like idiots,
.        we best do that indoors.

CHRIS    Touché.   So!  My old haunt.
.          (motions grandly to the café)
.        “Square PI Café”!  You found it without any issues?
.        Well no matter, even if you did, it’s well worth it.
.        They have the best food and service around.
.        At least – they did at one point.  Shall we?

.                   STAGE RIGHT: CAFÉ

(CHRIS, TED and SISSY enter and sit at the table.)

CHRIS    And so far, everything still looks the same.

(Cheerily, EVELYN rushes over to hand everyone a menu,
now with an apron.  As she speaks with a very thick accent,
all THREE drop their jaws in astonishment.)

EVELYN   Welcome to              (Wail-cohm toe)
.        Square PI Café!         (Skoh-ar Pah Coh-FAH!)
.        I’m Evelyn, your        (Ay-em AH-vah-lun, yar)
.        waitress.  Today’s      (wah-trows.  Toe-dahs)
.        chef’s special is a     (chaf spah-sh-oil as aw)
.        chicken clubhouse       (chah-con cloh-eb-hose)
.        and fish and chips.     (ohnd fash ohnd chaps.)

CHRIS    (unsure)  I’m sorry.

TED      (horrified)  Was that even English?

CHRIS    What happened to Alice, the maître de’s girlfriend?

EVELYN   Oh, the maître de       (Oo, dah mah-trah day)    6
.        and his girlfriend,     (ohnd has gar-el-frand,)
.        they split up.  After   (day-ah splat op, Off-tar)
.        many, many years,       (mahn-ay, mahn-ay yars,)
.        and then one day,       (ohnd dan ofter ohn dah,)
.        she just decided        (shay johst day-sah-dod)
.        that he wasn’t good     (dot hay wohs-ant go-ed)
.        enough for her-         (ay-nof foh-rah har-)

CHRIS    I’m sorry.

EVELYN   Now, I’d never do       (No, Ay-ed nah-var doe)
.        such.  I’ve been        (sotch.  Ay’v bayn)
.        brought up a nice       (broht op aw noise)
.        girl – with good        (gar-el- whet go-ed)
.        moral standards.        (moor-ol ston-dords.)
.        As my Auntie Tien       (Os may Ohntay Teen)
.        always says-            (owl-wahs sahs)

TED      I cannot understand one word you are saying.
.        And I am sure even if I could –
.        I still would not be interested.

CHRIS    It’s okay.  As long as the FOOD here is still good.

EVELYN   The food here is        (Dah fohd hair as)
.        excellent!  The chef    (ahx-all-ont!  Dah chaf)
.        worked in a French      (wohrk-d ot aw Franch)
.        Restaurant for          (rah-star-ohnt fohrah)
.        fifteen years-          (fahf-tee-an yars -)

TED      I have never heard anything this atrocious
.        in my life.  From which rock did you crawl?
.        Where in the world were you born?!  

EVELYN   The boondocks?          (Dah bone-ducks?)

SISSY    The boondocks?

CHRIS    (to EVELYN)  Sh!  Don’t answer.  
.        (to TED)  Now Ted, you’re the linguist expert.
.        You should be able to place her just by her accent.

TED      How?  I have never heard anything like it!
.        I am beginning to suspect that there might be
.        an isolated pocket of people in this area
.        that has gone undiscovered until now.
.                                                          7
EVELYN   We are on the map.      (Way or ohn dah mip.)  
.        With very, very,        (Whet vah-ry, vah-ry,)
.        very tiny letters.      (vah-ry tay-ny lat-tars.)

TED      I have never heard anyone massacre our language
.        this brutally.

EVELYN   How could you say       (Hoe cohd yo sah)
.        such- such things?      (sotch- sotch tangs?)

SISSY    Ted, she’s standing right here.

CHRIS    I’m sorry.

TED      Well stop being sorry man, and support me on this.

(EVELYN sobs and dabs at her eyes as the rest talk.)

SISSY    Why, Ted, here is the subject for your new thesis,
.        as Dean Brown requested.

TED      Which I refuse to do-

SISSY    And lose the research grant?

TED      I will win it on my own merits!
.        I refuse to change -

SISSY    You are afraid!  You don’t think
.        you could help her speak without an accent!

TED      No matter how talented I am - there are
.        those people who are incapable of change
.        and will never make anything of themselves.

EVELYN   You’re just such        (Yar johst sotch)
.        vicious snobs!          (vash-us snow-bs!)

TED      I do not care how good the food might be,
.        the service here is dreadful.

EVELYN   I was being nice.       (Ah woes bay-ang noise.)
.        But for a language      (Bot foh-rah long-which)
.        expert, you know        (ax-part, yo new)
.        nothing of nice words.  (nah-ting off noise worts.)

TED      We must leave now!  I cannot bear to hear       8
.        this obnoxious noise for one second longer.
.        (to EVELYN)  Your manager will hear about this!

EVELYN   He already knows        (Hay owl-rawdy news )
.        Ay have an accent.      (Ay hove in ox-cent.)

(EVELYN gasps as TED pushes CHRIS and SISSY out.
EVELYN sings from café while the REST sing from CS.)

SONG 2   “WAS HE FOR REAL?”

EVELYN   (vs.1) Was he for real  (Woes hay fohr rayl?)
.        I am not a fan!         (Ay’m note aw fayn!)
SISSY    What kind of bully, is this man?
CHRIS    But this girl, should do everything she can.
TED      Without sense and without poise,
.        everything uttered was just making noise!

EVELYN   (vs.2) With such status (Whet sotch stoh-tas)
.        where were his manners? (War war has mah-nars?)
TED      Every syllable fell like pounding hammers!
SISSY    I’m most sure she’s distraught and shedding tears.
CHRIS    All I hope is that we heal,
.        He needs some silence for his aching ears.

EVELYN   (vs.3) He ran me down,  (Hay rayn may done,)
.        into a ditch.           (een-toe aw dee-ch.)
SISSY    You were too harsh on that poor girl’s speech-
TED      All I discerned was a long, high screech.
CHRIS    Can you not be mused?
TED      Not when I see my language abused.

(EVELYN dries her eyes, as CHRIS and SISSY push TED off SL.
CHORUS has entered to sing a version of verse 1.
EVELYN exits SR.)

.                  STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(It is morning.  TED sits at his desk staring at a laptop.
CHRIS enters.)

CHRIS    Mor-NING!  Started without me?

TED      I need to win that research grant!  Therefore,
.        MY thesis proposal - must - wow - Dean Brown-

CHRIS    (settling onto sofa)  I don’t know.  Sounds       9
.        like the dean will only be wowed by the challenge
.        he presented.  Are you that confident-

(SISSY enters and is about to shyly sit next to CHRIS,
but then gasps and leaves at TED’s command.)

TED      Sissy - coffee!

CHRIS    Man, you are living in the wrong era.
.        How do you get away with treating her like-

TED      Like - my assistant?  Now, my dissertation-
.        will be on the corruption of language-

CHRIS    Based on my award-winning article!

TED      Which is based on my research findings.
.           (doorbell rings)
.        Sissy!  Door!  And tell them we are not interested.
.        (to CHRIS) Your article merely exposes the truth.
.           (doorbell rings again)
.        (to CHRIS)  I will confirm my predictions
.        of the hopeless decline of all languages-
.        due to lazy educational institutions,
.        cultural-melting-pot-situations, as well as
.        the electronically-crazed lingoists.

(CHRIS balks.  Doorbell rings again.  Ted glares at SISSY
as she marches through the room to an off-stage lobby.)

TED      Yes, I am coining a new term.
.        Other people get to do it.  Why not me?
.        Lingoists – those reducing a language
.        to street lingo, slang and acronyms.
.        And with that I can make the claim
.        that it would be impossible to improve
.        the use of English amongst the hoi polloi -

EVELYN   I’m not leaving         (Ay-em note lay-vang)
.        until I see him!        (ohn-tal Ay say ham!)

TED      Sissy, no interruptions!

(EVELYN can be heard offstage, but when she hears TED,
she marches in to face him.  SISSY follows.)

EVELYN   Oh, he’s in here!  You! (Oo, hay’s an hair!  Yo!)  10
.        You lost me my job!     (Yo lohst may mah johb!)

TED      Cost... you “cost” me my job.

EVELYN   Whatever!  I lost       (Woe-t-ah-var! Ay lohst)
.        my job, thanks to you!  (may johb, tunks toe yo.)

CHRIS    We’re sorry?

EVEYLN   And YOU’RE going to     (Ohnd yar goo-ang toe )
.        help me get             (hahlp may gat)
.        another one.            (aw-noh-dar own.)

TED      (candidly)  Impossible, I do not have
.        any connections in the restaurant business.

EVELYN   Not to be a             (Note toe bay aw)
.        waitress.  I want       (wah-trows. Ay wohnt)
.        my dream job.           (may dram johb.)
.        The one I went to       (Dah own ay want toe)
.        university for -        (ohn-ah-var-saty foh-rah -)

TED      YOU went to university?  Words fail me.
.        And just what exactly did you hope to become?

EVELYN   A weather girl.         (Aw WAH-thar ger.)

CHRIS    (quizzically leaning forward)  I’m sorry.

TED      Aw WAH-thar ger?

EVELYN   No, a weather girl!     (No, aw WAH-thar ger!)

TED      That is exactly what I said.  Aw WAH-thar ger.

EVENLYN  No-no-no - Aw – WAH - thar - ger

TED      Whatever that is, it sounds ridiculous.

EVELYN   Aw WAH-thar ger-aw WAH-thar ger-aw WAH-thar ger!
.        You know, studying      (Ya new!  Stow-dee-ang)
.        the weather patterns    (dah WAH-thar pay-terns)
.        with barometric         (whet boh-rue-mah-track)
.        air pressure, wind      (oar prah-shar, wahnd)
.        currents, and cloud     (cah-rants, ohnd clohd)
.        accumulations -         (oh-coh-moh-lah-shuns –)
.                                                        11
TED      Oh, a weather girl... - No!

EVELYN   “No” - I can’t be      (“New” - Ay cohnt bay)
.        a weather girl, or      (aw WAH-thar ger, oohr)
.        “no” – you cannot       (“New” – ya con note)
.        help me?                (hahlp may?)

TED      (mocks her air quotes)  “Noooo” to both.
.        Even if I had connections in the media,
.        producers would never hire you with that accent.

EVELYN   Exactly why             (Ox-ohk-lay way)
.        I need you to make me   (Ay nayd ya toe mahk may)
.        talk better English.    (tuck bah-tar An-geh-lash.)
.        And I refuse to leave   (Ohnd Ay ray-fohz toe layv)
.        until you help me.      (ohn-tall ya hahlp may.)

(EVELYN sits defiantly.  TED motions to SISSY,
who then pretends to pull EVELYN with great exaggeration,
then shrugs and prompts EVELYN to go along with her plan.)

SISSY    It’s - no - use.  She’s not leaving.  You may as well
.        help – I mean – she may as well help you...
.        If you do not do this, word will get around
.        that you were faced with a challenge - and failed.
.        You were too afraid to even attempt to help.

EVELYN   Definitely.  I’d.       (Dah-fan-at-lay Ay’d)
.        go to the press and     (goo toe dah prass ohnd)
.        everything.  And        (ah-var-tang.  Ohnd)
.        I CAN tell a good       (Ay CON tall aw goo-ed)
.        story, but only         (stew-ray, bought oon-lay)
.        when they’re true.      (wan day-ahr troh.)
.        Like about my           (Lake oh-bot may)
.        Auntie Tien- how she    (Ohn-tay Teen- hoe shay)
.        almost died when she    (owl-moost dayd wan shay)
.        fell asleep on the      (full ay-slap in dah)
.        chesterfield and        (chastar-fald, ohn)
.        started snoring.  Her   (stair-tad snoo-rang.  Har)
.        brother, which is my    (broh-dar, watch as may)
.        dad, poured hand        (dohd, poor-d hohd)
.        lotion down her         (loo-shun don har)
.        mouth, so when she      (moth, zoh wan shay)
.        woke up quickly, she    (wook op quackly, shay)
.        hit her head            (hat har had)
.        on the apple press -    (ohn dah oh-pil prass -)
.                                                          12
TED      Stop!  Please!  Just stop!

SISSY    That got you thinking though.
.        You rarely ever use the word “please”.

TED      Ugh!  Okay. The next four months are going to seem
.        far too long.  And four months probably
.        will not be enough.  But - if I am to do this,
.        it will be done on my terms, and without any
.        of your so-called - stories.  We will need to work
.        long, late hours- beginning early tomorrow morning –
.        7 am sharp.

EVELYN   Fine!  I will be here   (Fayn!  Ay’ll bay hair)
.        bright and early        (brat ohnd ahr-ly)
.        with the roosters.      (whet dah roos-tars.)

(EVELYN stomps out.  TED swings around and eyes CHRIS.)

CHRIS    You don’t think she’ll bring roosters with her?

TED      I certainly hope not.
.        Sissy, arrange for Dean Brown to
.        come by first thing tomorrow morning.  
.        And let us be ready for anything.

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(It is morning.  CHORUS enters to sing version of chorus.
Then they mill about as EVELYN enters SR to sing.)

SONG 3   “TO BETTER MYSELF”

EVELYN         (verse)
.        I’m a nice girl.         (Ay’m aw noise ger.)
.        With nice moral          (Wath noise moh-rel)
.           standards.            (stone-derds.)
.        That won’t change.       (Dot woe-n’t chahnge.)
.        Nothing could be truer.  (Notang coed bay trar.)
.        I’m a strong-minded      (Ay’m aw strohn-man-did)
.           girl.                 (ger.)
.        Who will only            (Hoe wall ohn-lay)
.          get better.            (gat battar.)
.        That’s not strange.      (Dots note strahnge.)
.        That’s for sure.         (Dots far shore.)

EVELYN         (chorus)                                  13
.        Off I go to             (Oaf Ay goe toe)
.           better myself        (bah-tar mah-sulf)
.        Off I go to             (Owl Ay goe toe)
.           build my career.     (bald may coh-rayr.)
.        I’ll do whatever        (Ay’ll doe woe-t-ah-var)
.           it takes,            (at tucks,)
.        Without shedding        (Wath-ot shad-dang)
.           a tear.              (aw tare.)
.        I’ll do whatever        (Ay’ll doe woe-t-ah-var)
.           it takes,            (at tucks,)
.        Without changing!       (Wath-ot chahn-jing!)
.        Without any fear!       (Wath-ot ohn-y fare!)

(CHORUS has exited.  EVEYLN walks with determination to TED’S.  
HENRY enters lower stage left and notices her.)

HENRY    Evelyn?  Where are      (AH-vah-lun?  War or)
.        you off to so early?    (ya ouf toe zoh ar-lay?)

EVELYN   I’m going for my        (Ay’m goo-ang for-ah may)
.        English lessons.        (An-geh-lash lah-suns.)

HENRY    But you already know    (Bought ya owl-rawdy new)
.        English.                (An-geh-lash.)

EVELYN   It’s to get rid of      (Ats toe gat rad off)
.        my accent.              (may ox-cent.)

HENRY    What accent?            (Woe-t ox-cent?)     13
.        You sound just fine     (Ya sond johst phone)
.        to me.  I just          (toe may.  Ay johst)
.        worry what’s a          (war-ray woe-t’s aw)
.        nice girl doing in      (noise gar-el doe-ang an)
.        the big city.           (dah bag Sat-ay.)

EVELYN   I can be in the         (Ay cohn bay an dah)
.        city and still be       (sat-ay ohnd stall bay)
.        nice.                   (noise.)

HENRY    But - it can            (Bought – at cohn)
.        change a person.        (chah-nge aw pair-sun.)

EVELYN   Maybe for the           (Mah-bay for-ah dah)
.        better.  What are YOU   (bat-tar.  Woe-t or YA)
.        doing in the city?      (doe-ang an dah sat-ay?)

HENRY    Working as an engineer. (Warkin’os on ahn-jan-air.)14

EVELYN   Good.  For a while      (Go-ed.  For-ah whale)
.        I thought you were      (Ay thoht ya war)
.        following me or         (foh-law-ang may oorh)
.        something.              (sohm-tang.)

HENRY    Or something.  But -    (Oorh sohm-tang – Bought -)
.        I was – I am – well -   (Ay woes – Ay em – wall -)
.        I wonder -              (Ay wahn-dar -)
.        Maybe - if you -        (Mah-bay- ahf ya)
.        have any time -         (hove ohn-y tame -)

EVELYN   Henry, I don’t          (Hahn-ray, Ay doe-n’t)  15
.        have any such time.     (hove ohn-y sotch tame.)
.        My whole life           (May who-l laugh)
.        depends on these        (day-pands ohn days)
.        lessons.                (lah-suns.)

(Henry exits SR.  EVELYN exits ULC.  as CHORUS sings again.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(TED works at his desk ignoring the doorbell.  SISSY marches
through to answer the door and returns with DEAN BROWN.)

TED      Dean Brown.  Coffee?

DEAN     With cream and sugar.

(SISSY marches out to get coffee.)

DEAN     You have her trained rather well.  
.        Now, I’m dying to meet your subject.
.        Your assistant told me something
.        about this woman.  I am most intrigued.

TED      She should be along shortly.  Prepare yourself
.        for an onslaught of indistinguishable verbiage.
.        Please note - this challenge will not be easy,
.        by any stretch of the imagination.
.        I am about to take on the impossible.

(Doorbell rings.  SISSY rushes in, puts down coffee cups
on her way to answer the door.  SISSY leads in EVELYN, who
throws herself into a chair.  Noticing DEAN BROWN,
EVELYN sits up a little straighter.  SISSY lingers to observe.)
.                                                       15
DEAN     How do you do?  I’m Dean Brown.

EVELYN   Evelyn Fair.            (AH-vah-lun Far.)

DEAN     Ah, ahhhh.  How is it that you know Ted Miller?

EVELYN   We only just met.       (Way oon-lay johst mat.)
.        He will be helping      (Hay wall bay hahlp-ang)
.        me to get a job as      (may toe gat aw johb os)
.        a weather girl. It has  (aw WAH-thar gar.  At as)
.        been a childish dream   (bayn aw chayld-ash dram)
.        of mine                 (ohv mane.)

(DEAN BROWN nods his head slowly as he listens.)

DEAN     Interesting.  Most interesting.  Well,
.        I’ve intruded long enough.  I just stopped in
.        to see how my colleague was doing.
.        And I see that he is doing VERY well.
.        Very well, indeed.  Congratulations
.        on receiving the university’s research grant.
.        I look forward to seeing your progress
.        in the near future.  Yes?
.        Good day, all.  Nice to have met you...
.          (not knowing what to call her)

EVELYN   Nice meeting you.       (Noise mat-tang ya.)

DEAN     Lovely!  Such a lovely – woman.
.        (to SISSY)  I’ll see myself out.  Thank you.

(While SISSY gets ready with a notebook and pen,
TED turns to EVELYN, clearing his throat.)

TED      So it begins.  And I prefer you to sit there.

(EVELYN goes to throw herself into the other chair.
TED stands up abruptly.)

TED      No.  If we are going to do this, we are going
.        to do this correctly – and completely.  Stand up.
.        Stand up.  Accents seem to go hand-in-hand
.        with cultural decorum.  Manners and such.

(SISSY balks and rolls her eyes at TED, as EVELYN stands up
awkwardly and waits.)
.                                                        16
TED      Now...  Hello.

EVELYN   Hello?                  (Hah-LOO?)

TED      Hello.

(EVELYN realizes she should play along and answers back
matter-of-factly and confidently while putting on airs.)

EVELYN   HAH-loo.

TED      Heh... low.

EVELYN   That’s- what– I- said.(Dots – woet – Ay – sad.)

TED      You said “Hah-loo.”  Say, heh- heh- heh–low.

EVELYN   Heh-heh–HAH–loo.

TED      (collects himself)  Just sit down.

(EVELYN flops into the chair.  Seeing TED’s expression,
EVELYN stands up again and sits down very slowly.)

TED      Now... (suddenly realizing)  What is your name?

EVELYN   Evelyn Fair.          (AH-vah-lun Far.)

TED      Avalon Far?

EVELYN   No!  Evelyn Fair.     (Now!  AH-vah-lun Far.)

TED      This is what I am hearing - Avalon - Far.

EVELYN   No, here...           (New!  Hair...)

TED      I am repeating it exactly as you said it.

(EVELYN looks around, then grabs the notebook and pen
from SISSY to write it down.  While TED looks at it,
EVELYN throws herself back down into the chair.  
Seeing TED’S balk, she stands up and sits down again,
nicely.  TED now reads the name.)

TED      Ohhhh... Ev-e-lyn.  Evelyn Fair.

EVELYN   That’s what I said.   (Dots woe-t Ay sad.)       17
.        Evelyn Fair.          (AH-vah-lun Far.)

TED      You said AHV-vah- ugh!  (calms himself)
.        Let us continue, shall we?

EVELYN   Let’s.                (Lahts.)

TED      Let’s.  Leeeehts.

EVELYN   Laaahts.

(LIGHTS fade out, and then fade back in again.)

TED      Leeehts.

EVELYN   Laaahts.

TED      Let’s!

EVELYN   Lahts!

TED      As in - “Let’s do lunch”.

EVELYN   Lahts doe launch.

TED      No-no-no-no-no!

EVELYN   Seriously!  Yes!      (Say-ray-os-lay.  Yahs.)
.        Let’s do lunch.       (Lahts doe launch.)
.        I’m starving.         (Ay’m store-vang.)

TED      SISSY!  Could you order in some launch!
.        I mean, lunch!  Dag!

EVELYN   Oh no, you musn’t     (Ew new, ya moose-nt)
.        swear.  That’s not    (swahr.  Dots note)
.        very classy.          (vah-ray cloh-say.)

TED      Well, there is a bright spot.
.        At least we will not have to worry
.        about any gutter language with you.

EVELYN   I told you once,      (Ay tall’d ya ohnce,)
.        I’m a nice girl,      (Ay’m aw noise ger-al,)
.        with standards.       (whet ston-dords.)

TED      A nice girl with standards -                 18
.        who is guilty of murder!

EVELYN   Never!  What are      (Nah-var!  Woe-t or)
.        you talking about?    (ya tuck-ang oh-bot?)

(EVELYN puts her hand over her mouth and starts to cry.)

TED      You have slaughtered the English language.
.        You mutilate it every time you open your mouth–
.        with every word you speak, you commit a crime.
.        And as you do this, you kill any chance of ever
.        finding a dream job, or a respectable man to marry,
.        or - Do not cry.  I cannot stand crying.

SISSY    Ted!  Take a break.

TED      Yes.  Indeed.  I do need a break.

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(HENRY sees EVELYN fly out and collapses onto
the park bench, sobbing uncontrollably.)

EVELYN   That, that man        (Dot, dot main)
.        is such a beast!      (as sotch aw bayst!)

(Angered, HENRY marches up to the office.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(HENRY enters and finds TED at the desk.  TED is stunned,
not sure what is happening.  SISSY had exited at the
same time Evelyn left, and now returns with a tray of food,
but just stands where she is to watch, unsure.)

TED      Do I know you?

HENRY    You!  Did you hurt    (Yo!  Dad yo heart)
.        my Evelyn?            (may AH-vah-lun?)

TED      There are MORE?

HENRY    There’s only one      (Dar’s Oon-lay own)
.        Evelyn, and you       (AH-vah-lun, ohnd ya)
.        dare not lay a        (dar note lah aw)
.        finger on her.        (fan-gar ohn har.)
.                                                       19
TED      Aaaare - you her husband?

HENRY    Future husband.       (Fotch-or hose-bund.)

TED      So you two are engaged?

HENRY    Not yet.              (Note yaht.)

TED      So you are dating.

HENRY    No.  Not yet, but     (New.  Note yaht, bought)
.        you be careful you    (yo bay car-fool yo)
.        don’t get anywhere    (doe note gat ahny-war)
.        near to her.          (nayr toe har.)

TED      You need not worry.  In general, I tend to stay
.        away from all people, as far away as possible.

HENRY    I work just next      (Ay wark johst nahxt)
.        door, so I will       (dew-r, zoh Ay wall)
.        have my eyes on you.  (hove may ays ohn yo.)

(HENRY exits while moving two fingers from eyes to TED,
back and forth.  SISSY remains frozen until he leaves.)

SISSY    (suppressing giggles)  Well - that was weird.

TED      Well, Sissy... if you could just prevent
.        these weird people from entering!

(EVELYN sails back into the room and flops down
onto the sofa with her arms crossed.)

TED      (to EVELYN)  So you came back for more.

(SISSY places sandwich tray and Pierre bottles
onto the coffee table.

EVELYN   Thank you, Sissy.     (Tunk yo, Sassy.)

SISSY    Did you just call me sassy?

EVELYN   Isn’t that your name? (Asn’t dot yar nahm?)

SISSY    It’s - SI-ssy.

EVELYN   SAH-ssy.                                        20

SISSY    Sissy Smith.

EVELYN   Sah-ssy Smath.  

SISSY    Say, Ted Miller.

EVELYN   Tad Mah-lar.

SISSY    Interesting.

EVELYN   An-trah-stang.

SONG 4   “THIS IS HOW IT’S SAID”

TED      (vs.1)  No-no-no-no-no!
.        Get it through your head,
.        Just repeat it now
.        Exactly how it’s said.
SISSY    In-ter-es-ting.
EVELYN   An-trah-stang.

TED      (vs.2)  No – no - no!
.        Get it through your head,
.        Just repeat it now
.        This is how it’s said!
SISSY    In-ter-es-ting.
EVELYN   An-trah-stang.
TED      So frus-tra-ting!
EVELYN   Vah-ray fros-trang!

TED      (chr)  No-no-no-no-
.        No – no – no!  
EVELYN   I said it right.      (Ay sad at rate.)
TED      No – no – no!
SISSY    At least she tried.
TED      No – no – no.

(CHRIS enters casually.)

CHRIS    No success yet?  Hey, why didn’t you tell me
.        it was supper time?

EVELYN   This is lunch.        (Dahs as launch.)

SISSY    Evelyn, say “Chris Wilson”.
.                                                       21
EVELYN   Crass Wall-zen.

(SISSY nods and looks at TED.  TED gets up to pace,
while EVELYN drinks and chows down.)

TED      I see a pattern here.  Wait, let me think...
.        Evelyn, decorum.  Chew with your mouth closed.

(TED studies EVELYN for a moment then sits back down,
perplexed.  EVELYN takes a swig of the Pierrie
and belches while saying the word.)

EVELYN   Belch.  What is this? (Bahlch.  Woet as dees?)
.        Perrier?  There’s     (Pah-ray-air?  Dahrs   )
.        bubbles in there.     (boo-bulls an dahr.)
.           (drinks and belches while saying burp)
.        Burp - again.         (Bahrp – oh gohn.)

TED      Excuse me!  Ladies do not belch or burp.

EVELYN   Of course they do.    (Off cars day doe.)
.        You should hear my    (Yo showed hair may)
.        Auntie Tien.  She     (Ohn-tay Teen.  Shay)
.        can put any man       (cohn pot ohn-y main)
.        to shame.  She has it (toe sham. Shay hahs at)
.        down to a science,    (don toe aw sahns,)
.        a fine art even -     (aw fayn ort ay-van -)

TED      It’s not FINE, and it is certainly not ART–

CHRIS    (smiling)  Careful how you limit
.        the definition of art.

EVELYN   It’s a natural        (Ats aw not-chore-el)
.        body function         (bow-dy phone-shun.)
.        Everybody does it.    (Ah-vary bow-dy dews at.)

TED      Ah-vary bow-dy?

EVELYN   AH-VARY bow-dy!

CHRIS    It’s true.

TED      (to CHRIS)  I think you are enjoying this far
.        too much.  Are you here to help or to hinder?

CHRIS    I am most curious of the potential outcome.   22
.        Her success, and-or your loss of sanity.

TED      Well then, the ultimate test of her success –
.        will be put on display-

CHRIS    I know.  At Dean Brown’s party.

TED      Oh no-no-no, her ultimate test will be...
.        (to CHRIS)  at - YOUR - awards ceremony.
.        This way I am guaranteed your support.

EVELYN   What party?           (Woe-t port-y?)
.        What ceremony?        (Woe-t sar-ah-moo-ny?)

TED      A type of graduation.  But never mind that now.  
.        We need to get to work.  Alright?  Where were we?

CHRIS    Trying to change her into the PERFECT woman
.        so she will not embarrass me at my ceremony!

SISSY    So I’m just curious now, Chris,
.        what do YOU consider the perfect woman to be?

CHRIS    Someone who is professional in every way.
.        Smart, hardworking, as well as refined.
.        And someone who can practically
.        read my mind as to what I want and need-

(SISSY poignantly puts a sandwich into CHRIS’ hand.)

CHRIS    (remains oblivious)  Oh!  Why thank you.

(SISSY grimaces, then refers to her notes.)

SISSY    I have noticed a pattern in Evelyn’s speech...  
.        She uses an “ah” sound for “aye” and “eh,”
.        as well as an “oh” sound for “ah” and “oo” –
.        “oo” for “oh” and “aye” for “e” and “i” -

TED      She has issues with every vowel.
.        I need to find a few good practice phrases
.        which could be used...

(TED watches EVELYN as she pours salt and pepper
onto her vegetables and is just about to eat it.)

EVELYN   What?  Vegetables     (Woe-t?  Vah-jah-te-balls)  23
.        are better with       (or bat-tar whet)
.        salt and pepper.      (solt ohnd pah-par.)

TED      I have it.  “Vegetables are better
.        with salt and pepper.”

EVELYN   And lots of           (Ohnd lohts off)
.        butter!  Do you       (bot-tar!  Doe yo)
.        have any butter?      (hove ohn-y bot-tar?)

TED      Nooo.  Now, now say it, “Vegetables are better
.        with salt and pepper.”

EVELYN   Vegetables            (Vah-jah-te-balls)
.        are better with       (or bat-tar whet)
.        salt and pepper.      (solt ohnd pah-par.)

CHRIS    Kind of rings around in your ears, doesn’t it?

(SISSY nods agreement as she nibbles on her sandwich.)

TED      Simply horrible.  Now try...
.        “Teenagers are known for their tardiness.”

EVELYN   I was never           (Ay woes nah-var)
.        late for anything     (laht far ohn-y tang.)
.        Never.  Not as        (Nah-var.  Note os)
.        a teenager,           (aw Teh-ahn-ah-jar,)
.        not as a child,       (note os aw chayld,)
.        not even as a         (note ay-van os aw)
.        baby.  I was          (bah-bay.  Ay woes)
.        due on September      (doe ohn Sap-tam-bar)
.        twentieth, but        (twan-tay-ath, bought)
.        I came out on the     (Ay come oat ohn dah)
.        fifteenth.            (fahf-tee-ahnth.)

TED      And - what is with the extra syllables?!
.        Evelyn, repeat after me slowly, “Teen –“

EVELYN   Tee-ahn.

TED      Teeee-

EVELYN   Teeee-

TED     “Nnn”
.                                                        24
EVELYN  “Ahnnnn”

TED      No! – not “ahn”, just “n”!!!

SISSY    Why not take a constructive break.  Work on
.        something else just for a while.  Like– dancing!
.        Remember?  Decorum!  Since you are now
.        taking her to the awards ceremony.  
.        (to EVELYN)  Unless, you already know how to dance.

EVELYN   That’s only what      (Dot’s ohn-lay woe-t)
.        terrible loose girls  (tar-ball loss gar-els)
.        do.  Remember,        (doe.  Rah-mahm-bar,)
.        I’m a nice girl -     (Ay’em aw noise gar-el -)

All      ...nice girl - with standards.

EVELYN   Places you dance      (Plah-sus yo donts)
.        are meat markets.     (or mate more-cats.)

(SISSY rushes to Ted’s laptop to find and play a slow waltz.)

SISSY    Meat markets?  Hardly.  Unless you mean that
.        the so-called meat just hangs around curing,
.        cowering, somewhere over in a corner
.        far too afraid to ask a woman anything.
.        Now, you’ll see, it’s not so bad.
.           (glances over TED and eyes rest on CHRIS)
.        Would you mind?

CHRIS    Ahhhhh, no.

(CHRIS gets up and starts waltzing with SISSY.  
TED rolls his eyes dramatically, then puts out his arms
to EVELYN, not wanting to look at her.)

TED      I will hardly touch you.  Trust me!

(EVELYN takes a big sofa cushion and puts it in between  
them, takes TED’S hand with one, and puts the other hand
on his shoulder – just touching him with her fingertips.
TED only touches EVELYN with his fingertips.)

SISSY    See?  It’s just a harmless dance.
.        It only means something when the person
.        you’re dancing with means something to you.
.                                                       25
(SISSY looks back at CHRIS purposefully.  
CHRIS remains oblivious.  SISSY rolls her eyes.)

TED      First to the right, then a step to the left,
.        etcetera.  That is all it is.

EVELYN   I see.  I learned     (Ay sah.  Ay lahrn-d)
.        something.  Maybe     (sohm-tang.  Mah-bay)
.        the meat market is    (dah more-cat as)
.        more of a deli.       (mar off aw dah-lay.)

TED      Well, at least YOU are having fun.

EVELYN   I’m sorry I cause     (Ay-m sur-ray Ay cohs)
.        you such suffering.   (yo sotch so-faring.)

CHRIS    It’s – ah – it is getting late.

(COUPLES break apart.  TED looks at his watch.
CHRIS exits.  SISSY turns off the music, then exits.)

TED      All right.  You can go - find your Henry.

EVELYN   My Henry?  What?      (May Hahn-ray? Woe-t)
.        are you saying?  I    (or yo sah-ang?  Ay)
.        don’t have a Henry.   (dew-n’t hove aw Hahn-ray.)

TED      Yes, the man who claims he will marry you.  

EVELYN   Marry me?  Henry      (Mah-ray may?  Hahn-ray)
.        wants to marry me?    (wohnts toe mah-ray may?)
.        I mean, I’ve known him (Ay main, Ay’v newn ham)
.        for such a long       (fohr-ah sotch aw loan)
.        time.  He never       (tame.  Hay nah-var)
.        said anything.        (sad ohn-y-tang.)

TED      You talk too much.  Perhaps you have never
.        given him a chance to say anything.  Nonetheless,
.        he came by - to make sure that I did not
.        put any moves on you. – If you can imagine that!

EVELYN   I have news for you,  (Ay hove nose fohr yo,)
.        I’m very likeable.    (Ay-m vah-ray lake-eh-ball.)

(EVELYN storms out of the office.  TED sings.)

SONG 5a  “PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE                        26

TED      (singing)  People, people, people,
.        They can drive one insane.
.        Evelyn is my current bane.
.        Her every word simply sounds inane.
.        What to do, when there is something that I want?
.        But there’s a girl in my way!
.        She keeps coming into play!
.        My fear is that she’s here to stay!

(TED stomps out.  SISSY walks out to center stage, while
CHRIS enters DL, almost sees her, then rushes to SR.)

SISSY    (chr)  People are such idiots.
.        I’m talking about
.        Those who stay oblivious.
CHRIS    I don’t understand or care.
.        I’m talking about
.        Relationships are a snare.

(SISSY and CHRIS contemplate.  EVELYN enters ULC to DL,
glancing over her shoulder, then begins singing.)

EVELYN   (vs.2)  People,       (Pay-pol,)
.           people, people,    (pay-pol, pay-pol,)
.        Can drive me          (cohn drave may)
.          up a wall.          (op aw woo-l.)
.        How that Henry        (Hoe dot Han-ray)
.           likes to stall.    (lakes toe stool.)
.        Professor Ted has     (Pru-fahs-ur Tad hose)
.           a lot of gall.     (aw loht off gool.)
.        (speak)  Anyway!      (Oh-nay-wah!)
.        (sing) What to do     (Wot toe doe,)
.        When there’s a        (wan dars aw)
.           career that I want?(coh-rare dot Ay wohnt?)
.        But my accent         (Bought may ox-sant)
.           is in play!        (as an plah!)
.        The one thing         (Dah own tang)
.           in my way!         (ayn may wah!)
.        My fear is that       (May fare as dat)
.        it’s here to stay!    (ats hare toe stah!)

(EVELYN moves to DLC.  SISSY walks SR, CHRIS walks SL.
CHORUS enters to center, some join SISSY, some join CHRIS.
HENRY walks to center to pace and think.
GROUPS sing to each other, motion to appropriate characters.)
.                                                     27
SISSY    (chr)  People are such idiots.
.        I’m talking about those who stay oblivious.
CHRIS    I don’t understand or care.
.        I’m talking about relationships are a snare.

(HENRY steps forward to sing and watch as
EVELYN crosses from DLC to exit SR.)

HENRY    (vs.3)  People,       (Pay-pol,)
.           people, people,    (pay-pol, pay-pol,)
.        Can make me           (cohn mack may)
.          so crazy.           (zoh crah-zay.)
.        My brain ‘round girls (May breen ‘rond gers)
.           goes lazy.         (goos lah-zay.)
.        ‘Round Evelyn         (‘Rond AH-vah-lun)
.           things get so hazy.(tangs gat zoh hah-zay.)
.        What to do            (Wot toe doe,)
.        When there is         (wan dars as)
.           a girl that I want?(aw ger dot Ay wohnt?)
.        But I know not        (Bought ay new note)
.           what to say.       (wot tah sah.)
.        Always get            (Ool-wahs gat)
.           in my own way.     (an may ohn wah.)
.        My only hope          (May oon-lay hoop)
.        is what I pray!       (as wot Ay prah!)

(HENRY shuffles off.)  

SISSY    (chr)  People are such idiots.
.        I’m talking about those who stay oblivious.
CHRIS    I don’t understand or care.
.        I’m talking about relationships are a snare.

(CHRIS shakes his head and exits.
SISSY rolls her eyes with exasperation before exiting.
CHORUS remains to sing the tag.)

CHORUS   (tag)  People are such idiots.
.        We’re talking about
.        They don’t understand or care.
.        Pretend to be oblivious.
.        We’re talking about
.        They think everything’s a snare.

(CHORUS exits.)

.                         ACT 2                         28
.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(It is morning.  CHORUS enters to sing.)

SONG 5b  “PEOPLE ARE”

.        The song is a recap of what happened
.        in the first act.
.        IT IS OPTIONAL:
.        If you don’t have an intermission,
.        just skip over this song
        and continue on.

(CHORUS disperses like pedestrians going to work, etc.
EVELYN storms past HENRY, then stops abruptly.)

EVELYN   Henry!  Are you       (Han-ray, or yoh)
.        following me?         (foh-law-ang may?)

HENRY    Not at all.  My       (Note ate oll.  May)
.        office is just there, (oaf-face as jost dar,)
.        I get coffee there,   (Ay gat coh-fay dar,)
.        and-                  (ohnd-)

EVELYN   Did you go and talk   (Dad yo goo ohnd tuck)
.        to Professor Ted?     (toe Proo-fahs-sar Tad?)

HENRY    I – yes – I was -     (Ay – yahs – Ay woes -)
.        just concerned.       (johst cone-sahrn-d.)
.        Ah, I like –          (Oh, ay lake)
.        to be nice.  Ah,      (toe bay noise.  Oh,)
.        is that a bad thing?  (as dot aw bowd tang?)

EVELYN   No, but it’s a bad    (New, bought ats aw bowd)
.        thing not to say what (tang note toe sah woe-t)
.        you want to say.      (yo wohnt toe sah.)

HENRY    What are you trying   (Woe-t or yo tray-ang)
.        to say, then?         (toe sah, dan?)

EVELYN   Ugh, I’m very busy,   (Ugh, Ay-m vah-ray boo-say)
.        Henry.  I’ve no time  (Hahn-ray.  Ay’v new tame)
.        for playing such      (fur plah-ang soch)
.        guessing games.       (gas-sang gams.)

(After EVELYN storms off, HENRY slowly shuffles off.)
.                                                         29
.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(TED paces the floor and pulls at his hair with
frustration.  Doorbell rings.)

TED      Sissy!  Door!  Sissy!  Ugh!

(TED marches off stage to answer, then marches back in
with an amused DEAN BROWN following close behind.
TED then continues to pace as DEAN BROWN sits to watch.)

DEAN     I have come to check up on your progress.
.        I sense that it is not going well.

TED      (angry)  No-no. Things are well! Just splendid!

DEAN     So she will be ready in time for my party?

TED      Actually, I have upped the ante- a little.
.        Your party will merely be a testing ground.
.        The final examination will take place
.        at the awards ceremony.

DEAN     Giving you another week.

TED      You met the raw material.

DEAN     All right, then.  You have another week.  But
.        I still expect you to bring her to my party
.        in order to see the progress that has been made.

TED      Just... be kind.

DEAN     (curiously)  Have you learned anything yet?

TED      A bit of patience - perhaps.
.        (sees DEAN’S quizzical, dubious glance)
.        Yes-yes, of course, we are extracting
.        massive amounts of knowledge on –
.        the subject matter.  (turns to mutter)
.        If only it were useful.

DEAN     I will leave you to it, then.

(DEAN BROWN exits as EVELYN storms in, spinning him around.
TED puts worried hands up to hold his head in place.)
.                                                       30
EVELYN   Oops.  Sorry there.   (Ups.  Say-ray dar.)

TED      You are late.

EVELYN   It’s only             (Ats ohn-lay)
.        7:13.                 (sa-van thar-tee-ahn.)
.        As my Auntie Tien     (Ohs may Ohn-tay Teen)
.        always says -         (owl-wahs sahs -)

(SISSY enters with a tray of coffee cups and croissants.)

TED      I do not care what your Auntie - TEEN - says-

SISSY    Funny how she can say “teen” when it
.        comes to that auntie of hers.

TED      (claps his hands together)  Say her name,
.        Evelyn.  Say the name of your auntie
.        that you so incessantly speak about.

EVELYN   Yo main may Ohn-tay    (You mean my Auntie)
.        Tien.                  (Teen.)

TED      YES!  That’s it.  Now, just say her name,
.        without the “auntie” part.

EVELYN   Teen?

TED      Yes-YES!  Again?

EVELYN   Teen.

TED      Exactly!  Could you possibly say that
.        whenever you say “teen”ager?

EVELYN   Ats spall-d            (It’s spelled)
.        dah-frant-lay.         (differently.)

(TED and SISSY stare at each other incredulously.)

TED      (snaps out of revere)  Well then- in your head,
.        spell “teenager” differently.  Say her name –

EVELYN   Teen –

TED      -ager!
.                                                        31
EVELYN   -ah-jar.

TED      (gasping)  I see.

EVELYN   Ay-sah.

TED      See.

EVELYN   Sah.

TED      Eeee.

EVELYN   Aaaaah.

TED      Ger.

EVELYN   Gar.

TED      (growling)  Er.

EVELYN   (growling)  Ar.

(SISSY writes something on the notepad and hands it
to TED, who shows it to EVELYN.)

TED      Read the word “teenager” this way.

EVELYN   Teen – a - ger.

TED      Ah-ha!  Yes-yes-yes!  Teen-ager.

EVELYN   Teen-ager.

TED      This is fantastic.  Sissy, now all you have to do
.        for her - is rewrite the entire English dictionary.

(Evelyn takes and eats a croissant with gusto.)

TED      Let us not stop to eat now.  We are finally
.        getting somewhere.  Evelyn said, “Teenager!”

SISSY    I’ve also observed that Evelyn has quite
.        a hearty appetite.

TED      Evelyn, mouth closed when you chew.
.        Your mouth it is always open!  
.                                                      32
SISSY    It’s pretty much how she talks, too.
.        You know, the form of her mouth as she talks -

TED      Why – that may be the key – right – there.

(SISSY nods knowingly.)

TED      Evelyn, say “vegetable.”

EVELYN   Vegetable.            (Vah-jah-te-ball.)

(TED pounces to put a hand underneath Evelyn’s jaw.)

TED      Again?

(When she talks, EVELYN’s jaw stays put, but the
top half of her head lifts.)

EVELYN   Vegetable.            (Vah-jah-te-ball.)

(TED uses his other hand to hold the top part of her
head down – so EVELYN has to talk with a clenched jaw.)

EVELYN   Veg-eh-table?

TED      That’s it!!!  Again!

EVELYN   Veg-eh-table?

TED      Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.

EVELYN   Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.

TED      Amazing!  (music can begin here)

EVELYN   Vegetables ARE better –

TED      With?

EVELYN   Salt and pepper.

TED      Again.

EVELYN   Vegetables are better –

TED      With what?
.                                                          33
EVELYN   With salt and pepper!

TED      That’s it!  I have done it!

(SISSY balks at the oversight.  CHRIS straggles in SL.)

EVELYN   Vegetables are better – with salt and pepper.

(CHRIS is impressed and surprised.)

TED      Again.

(As TED holds onto EVELYN’S head, ALL sing with excitement.)

SONG 6   “VEGETABLES ARE BETTER”

EVELYN   Vegetables - are better –
TED      With what?  
EVELYN   With salt and pepper!
T&C      With what?
EVELYN   With salt and pepper, and lots of butter.
TED      And who usually hates vegetables?
EVELYN   Teenagers?
T&C      Who hates vegetables?
EVELYN   Teenagers!
.        Teenagers hate vegetables.
TED      What do they hate?
EVELYN   Vegetables!
TED      Again?
EVELYN   Vegetables!
TED      But how are they better?
EVELYN   With salt and pepper,
.        and lots and lots and lots of butter.
ALL      With lots and lots and lots of butter.

(TED releases Evelyn’s head and sits back.)

TED      That’s it!  I have done it.  And now...
.        “Teenagers are known for their tardiness.”

EVELYN   Teeeen-agers – are – noh-ehn –

TED      Ugh!

CHRIS    Looks like we celebrated prematurely.

TED      No!  Wait.  “Know-n!” – Ahhh...                34

SISSY    How do you say “none?”

EVELYN   Known.

TED      Okay then.  Teen-agers – are known –

EVELYN   Teen-agers – are – known –

TED      -for their –

EVELYN   For - dar –

TED      Thhhhh- their.

(EVELYN inhales to begin but TED holds up a “stop” hand.)

TED      Stick out your tongue.  All the way.

EVELYN   Thhhh- ar.

TED      Thhhh-

EVELYN   Thhhh-

(TED grabs EVELYN’s cheeks to pull into a smile.)

EVELYN   Th-their.

CHRIS    Except you cannot go around holding her face
.        every time she says something.

(TED reluctantly lets go of EVELYN.

TED      I believe I have figured out the solution.
.        Evelyn, you are simply going to have to keep
.        smiling while constantly clenching your teeth.

(SISSY balks at this advice.)

SISSY    (blandly)  Just in time for the party.

CHRIS    At least there’s a little more time to fine tune
.        before my awards night?  Meanwhile,
.        it will be such fun to see how she does amongst
.        the learned world of deans, professors and-
.                                                         35
TED      Fun for you, perhaps.  It is my reputation
.        on the line.  Evelyn, there is a party that we will
.        all attend.  Business casual to cocktail attire.
.        A little black dress will be fine.

EVELYN   I do not have a       (Ay doe note hove aw)
.        little black dress.   (lah-tall block drahs.)

TED      Sissy – you must take Evelyn shopping.

SISSY    How is that part of my job description?

CHRIS    You should be good for something else,
.        besides just making coffee.

(SISSY’s mouth hangs open, aghast – speechless.)

TED      You ARE my assistant.  Now – go – assist.
.        You do not expect me to do this sort of thing.
.        And God knows she cannot wear what she usually does.

EVELYN   I’d never expect-    (Ay-d nah-var ox-pact-)

(TED grabs EVELYN’s head to clench her teeth down again.)

EVELYN   I’d never expect you to know
.        God’s taste in clothing.

TED      (releasing EVELYN’S head)  Call it a hunch.

EVELYN   A haunch?

TED      Gr.  Remember!  Clenched - teeth.  And smile.

CHRIS    And in your head - spell everything differently.

(EVELYN smiles with a clenched snarl.)

SISSY    (dryly)  And only talk about vegetables.

EVELYN   And teenagers?

TED      No, that would be weird.  Just talk about food.
.        You know enough about food.  

CHRIS    The weather is usually a safe topic.
.                                                        36
EVELYN   (exits with SISSY) I know all about the weather.
.        Auntie Teen always says that weather indicates-

TED      No!  No Auntie Tien stories!  Just stick with food.  

.                   STAGE RIGHT: STORE

(SISSY begins with her professional manner, but as EVELYN
skips excitedly along, SISSY slowly warms up.  At SR,
they dance while trying on hats and wraps while singing,
EVELYN singing with clenched teeth.  
CLERKS enter and exit carrying the hats and wraps.)

SONG 7   “I WANT TO SHOW THEM”

EVELYN   (vs.1)  I want to show them,
.        make a great impression.
SISSY    I am sure you’ll show them-
.        an unforgettable demonstration.
EVELYN   I’m excited - but I’m nervous.
SISSY    Nothing you can’t stifle.
EVELYN   But it’s my life – it’s nothing frivolous-
SISSY    I would never call it trifle.

EVELYN   (vs.2)  I’m getting worried -
.        what if I’m embarrassed?
SISSY    I know you can do it
.        Just use everything you have practiced.
EVELYN   Okay, I will – simply be
.        A trophy on the shelf. (poses stiffly)
SISSY    But that’s not right, you should not have to act,
.        simply relax and be yourself.

(EVELYN stops short.)

EVELYN   Wait a minute.  Be myself?

SISSY    Um...  That’s usually something they just say.
.        But now I’m not so sure.  

(SISSY grabs a few shopping bags and they walk out center.)

EVELYN   That’s just what I was thinking.  If I’m myself,
.        there’s only going to be trouble.  And by trouble –
.        I mean – (stops short to ponder, horrified)
.        stories – which always involve my Auntie Teen.
.                                                       37
(SISSY stifles some laughter, then realizes that
EVELYN is very serious and very concerned.)

SISSY    Well, yeah – no – that cannot happen.

EVELYN   So how do I stop myself from being myself?  You see,
.        I was just never going to let the city change me.
.        Are YOU – always true to yourself?

SISSY    Ha!  Ohhhh.  Well, I’ve always done what I think
.        others expect of me.  You know, trying to fit in
.        as best possible.  Trying not to – rock the boat.

EVELYN   I think it’s more fun to be in a boat
.        when there are a few waves.  Like the time
.        I went fishing with my Auntie Teen – huh!
.        There I go again with my Auntie Teen.

SISSY    Yes, why so many stories about Auntie Teen?

EVELYN   She’s my favorite auntie.  She’s so much fun.

SISSY    Well, there’s the rub.  Some people are
.        not impressed with the concept of fun.  Look,
.        you have to know that the people at this party
.        will be stuffy fuddy-duddies all trying
.        to appear very serious and intellectual.
.        They only love to hear themselves talk.
.        It’s practically a competition.  In fact,
.        it’s nearly impossible to get a word-in-edgewise.
.        So I can say with the utmost confidence,
.        you probably have nothing to worry about.
.        Even if your accent changes, please, I hope,
.        you never change.  I like you!

(SISSY and EVELYN exit upper stage left, just as
HENRY enters SR in time to see her disappear.
HENRY mocks calling after her.)

HENRY    Evelyn!               (AH-vah-lun!)
.          (paces as he practices how he’d speak to her)
.        Evelyn, I need you    (AH-vah-lun, Ay nayd yo)
.        to hear me.           (toe hair may.)
.        Things I try to say.  (Tangs Ay tray toe sah.)
.        But I can’t tell you. (Bought Ay cont tail yo.)

(HENRY paces again, shaking his head.)                    38

HENRY    No, that’s not right. (New, dots note rate.)
.        Evelyn!  There is     (AH-vah-lun!  Dar as)
.        something I want      (sohm-tang Ay wont)
.        to ask you.           (toe oysk yo.)
.        And I should just -   (Ohnd Ay showed johst –)
.        ask it.  Something    (ohsk at.  Sohm-tang)
.        I should just say.    (Ay showed johst sah.)
.        It is – something.    (At as – sohm-tang.)
.        Ugh, I’m so hopeless. (Ugh, Ay-m zoh hoop-lace!)

(HENRY throws up his hands and exits.
It is now evening.  Now wearing sports jackets,
TED and CHRIS enter lower stage left
to wait for the women.  TED looks at his watch.)

TED      They are late.

CHRIS    They still have five minutes.

TED      By my standards, that is already late.

CHRIS    Well, you have to remember – Sissy is getting ready
.        for two.  

TED      Ah yes.  It will not be an easy feat to makeover
.        the country bumpkin.  I do hope Sissy
.        has good taste in style.

CHRIS    I think she does, from what I’ve noticed.
.        I have not - really noticed.  Honestly,
.        most recently, I’ve had my eye set on someone else.

TED      (horrified)  Not Evelyn?  Honestly, if you have had
.        an eye on HER – you need to get your eyes checked.
.        As well as get your head examined.

CHRIS    No!  Not Evelyn.  Kendra McArthur.  And
.        not to pursue as far as all that dramatic stuff goes.
.        I’m considering it more of a business arrangement
.        in order to promote each other’s career.

TED      Oh, Kendra McArthur would be very suitable.

CHRIS    And yourself?

TED      I only have eyes for my career, of course.      39
.        I do not have time to bother with nursing
.        some relationship.  And unlike you,
.        I do not need anyone to help me with my career.
.        People are only roadblocks to conquer, or
.        stepping stones to success-

CHRIS    How astute of you.  So?  The only woman
.        standing in the way of your success- is-

TED       Evelyn.

SONG 8    “EVELYN”

TED      (vs.1)  Evelyn is my roadblock to success.
.        At the same time, she could be a stepping stone,
.        but if only she will not digress.
.        Her success – will place me on a throne.

CHRIS    (chr.)  She might fail you.  She might fall.
.        Tonight’s the first test,
.        I don’t think she’s ready at all.
.        There’s no way she can be at her best.
.        You know – it is Evelyn.

TED      (vs.2)  Evelyn is my roadblock to success.
.        At the same time, she could be a stepping stone,
.        But your talk just adds to my distress.
.        Her success – is all that I condone.

CHRIS    (chr.)  She may surprise.  If she tries.
.        Tonight’s the first test,
.        Her accent just needs a disguise.
.        Let us try to keep her mouth at rest.
.        You know – it is -

(SISSY and EVELYN walk out, each looking stunning.
Both TED and CHRIS are stunned at the transition.)

TED      Evelyn.

CHRIS    Evelyn?

EVELYN   (still clenching teeth)  Good evening.

SISSY    She cleans up rather well, don’t you think?

TED      Ah, yes, sure.  Well, we ah, we should –      40
.        go join the party.

CHRIS    Shall we?  Ladies.

(The FOUR walk to the stage right.)


.                   STAGE RIGHT: HOUSE

(As the FOUR enter the “house,” they are met by DORIS.)

DORIS    Darlings, welcome to the party.  Come in.
.        Let me find my husband.

(DORIS turns around just as DEAN BROWN enters,
and she continues her spin back to the FOUR.)

DORIS    And here he is.

DEAN     Ted Miller, and guests.  Welcome.
.        Will there be introductions?

TED      Dean Brown and the lovely wife-

SISSY    (whispers into TED’s ear)  Doris.

TED      Doris!  You remember my assistant.

DORIS    Sissy Smith!

TED      This is a good colleague of mine, Chris Wilson.

DEAN     You are the one up for an award next week.

CHRIS    Yes, sir.  Pleased to meet you.

TED      And this is Evelyn Fair.  The, ah- my, ah-

(DEAN BROWN and DORIS stare at EVELYN, waiting to see what
she will do or say.  TED clenches his teeth as a reminder.)

EVELYN   His loyal subject.  We have met before.

DEAN     Yes-yes we have.  Although, I don’t think
.        I would have recognized you.  
.        There is something different...
.                                                        41
(EVELYN glances at SISSY, thrown by the fact that they want
her to talk.  SISSY winces out a smile and a tiny shrug.)

EVELYN   I suppose it is the evening dress.

DORIS    (pulls EVELYN aside)  You are kind of young to
.        have dentures.  I’ve heard that Polygrip does
.        wonders to hold your teeth firmly in place.

(EVELYN lets out a laugh-sigh combination as she
grins widely, still clenching.  TED clears his throat
for SISSY to join the ladies and rescue EVELYN.)

SISSY    Oh, Evelyn doesn’t have dentures.  She, ah... ah-

DORIS    Oh, I’ve heard of those who suffer with lock-jaw.
.        You should see someone for that.

EVELYN   Oh, it runs in the family.  My Auntie Teen-
.        got that after running into a cow-
.        Mind you, it was late at night and dark- but
.        she fell forward and hit her face against her rump-
.        We all laugh about now, even though it was-

TED      (rushing over)  Tragic. It is such a tragic story.
.        Really.  Too – tragic to tell.

DORIS    Oh, so protective.  Are you two an item?

TED      No!  She is – a - lovely lady, but - no.

DORIS    Then you’ve brought your lovely assistant,
.        Sissy, as your date, yes?  It’s all right, dear.
.        This is how Dean Brown and I got together.

(DORIS notices SISSY nervously glancing at CHRIS.)

TED      Except that – no - she is NOT.

DORIS    I apologize.  Of course, it’s so obvious.
.        Sissy came with Chris.

CHRIS    Noooooo!  I’m sorry.

DORIS    Oookay!  I don’t quite understand.

SISSY    Me either.  I mean, we are all - JUST –      42
.        colleagues.

DORIS    (to EVELYN)  So what is it that you do-

TED      SHE – is - helping me with my research!
.        She is yet another assistant.  (changing the subject)
.        Evelyn, Dean Brown is the academic dean of the
.        university.  Naturally, it is always pointed out,
.        how ironic it is that he is a dean and that his
.        Christian name is in fact - Dean.
.        He is - dean Dean Brown.

SISSY    That IS ironic, isn’t it!  Although I find it
.        more intriguing that Ted would actually tell
.        such a fun story.

(As CHRIS speaks, SISSY stares at him with admiration.
CHRIS and DEAN’s conversation fades out into miming.)

CHRIS    Fun or not.  I’m assuming when people call you
.        Dean Brown, you would never quite know
.        if they were using your respectful title
.        or just trying to be a little too familiar.

(Meanwhile, DORIS pulls SISSY aside.)

DORIS    Listen dear, I can see how you pine over
.        this man... Chris Wilson, is it?

SISSY    So embarrassing.  Mostly because he is
.        hardly aware of my existence, of course.

DORIS    Take it from me.  You need to let him know -
.        very directly - that you are interested.

SISSY    I cannot do that.

DORIS    Continue pining then, because men cannot
.        read our minds.  And these type of men – are not
.        very astute when it comes to reading body language.

(SISSY and DORIS return to the GROUP.)

DEAN     So, Chris, from what I hear, your acceptance speech
.        will have to include a big “thank you” to our faculty
.        for our part in your article’s research?
.                                                       43
CHRIS    Ah, ha-ha-ha, ah, you are quite right.  
.        I could not have done it without dear old Ted.

(SISSY spreads out her hands wondering about her contribution.
WAITER walks by with a vegetables platter.
EVELYN quickly grabs something and finds that it’s a carrot.  
Taking a bite, TED motions a reminder to EVELYN
to keep her mouth closed and jaw clenched.
DEAN BROWN turns to EVELYN, who holds up her carrot.)

DEAN     So Evelyn, what sort of things do you enjoy?

EVELYN   (with mouth full)  Vegetables!  

DEAN     How so?

EVELYN   (swallows, quickly thinking)  Vegetables - are –
.        better with salt and pepper - and lots of butter.

DEAN     I - quite agree, dear.  Is there something wrong
.        with your jaw?

DORIS    Lock-jaw we think.  But oh, funny thing,
.        I thought at first the poor girl wore dentures-

DEAN     (to DORIS)  Remember your uncle?  He had problems
.        with even the tiniest bits of apples.

EVELYN   That’s nothing.  My Auntie Teen cannot chew
.        ANYTHING with her dentures.  She’d rather
.        gum everything to death.  So for every meal,
.        she always puts the dentures into her purse;
.        as well as the food she tries to sneak way.
.        One day, my uncle Harold noticed her putting
.        a wrapped cabbage roll into her purse.
.        He figured - she may as well – since
.        that’s where she basically keeps her teeth.

(TED laughs very nervously.)

DEAN     Ha!  Brilliant!  O-or, were you serious?  

(TED spreads out his hands in question to EVELYN.)

EVELYN   Vegetables are better with salt and pepper.
.        And lots of butter.
.                                                     44
DORIS    You do keep going on about butter.  You should
.        really avoid butter at all costs.  You could –
.        someday – lose that girlish figure of yours.
.        But– oh- go ahead, I suppose I cannot stop you.

EVELYN   (waving her off with a smile)  Do not worry,
.        you COULD NEVER stop me from eating butter.
.        Why, my family would DIE without butter.
.        In fact, our entire culture is basted in butter.

DEAN     You mean, based in butter-

EVELYN   (very matter-of-factly)  No!  Basted.
.        And besides meat, we use butter in everything.
.        My Auntie Teen even uses it to grease the tractors.
.        And once when she ran out of shaving cream-

TED      My-my-it is getting late.  And – we will need
.        a very early start to our morning because -

CHRIS    THOSE roosters –

TED      Because we have a LOT to do.

(TED grabs EVELYN by the shoulders and swings her around
toward the door.  Everyone’s laughter peters off.)

DEAN     Ted, buddy, please do not spoil our fun.
.        Evelyn is such a hoot.

DORIS    Simple - charming.  SIMPLY charming.
.        I cannot imagine living such a – simple life.

EVELYN   It’s really not that simple.  Especially when
.        you’re trying to plan something like a surprise party,
.        and then you run into my Auntie Teen, who always
.        spills the beans- which is funny because she’s
.        so very clumsy.  I cannot tell you how many times
.        there have been beans all over the floor-

TED      I really must meet this Auntie Teen of yours.
.        In fact, let us go do that right now.

(TED pushes EVELYN out, with CHRIS and SISSY following
and trying to smooth out the awkward exit.)

SISSY    Thank you for the lovely party.                  45

CHRIS    Yes, thank you, and – I’m sorry-

DEAN     Sorry for what?  Thank you for coming.
.        (calls to TED)  The party was - a complete success!

(DEAN and DORIS laugh as they exit stage right.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(While SISSY and CHRIS watch awkwardly, TED puffs
himself up in front of EVELYN.)

TED      How...  How...  HOW?

(TED puts up a “stop” hand to EVELYN and exits upper SL.  
CHRIS and SISSY begin to follow.)

EVELYN   Did I do something wrong?

SISSY    I thought you did – fine.  Yes, it was fine.
.        I guess- we’ll see you - tomorrow morning.

(ALL exit upper SL.  TED has taken off his sports jacket.
CHRIS does the same.  EVELYN and SISSY quickly change
into street clothes.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(It is morning.  TED enters, pacing, rubbing his forehead.
CHRIS enters cautiously.)

TED      How...  How...  HOW?

CHRIS    How what?  Last night went rather well.
.        Evelyn seemed to be the life of the party.

(TED stops to stare down CHRIS.)

TED      I was not amused.

(SISSY enters with a tray of coffee.  EVELYN rushes in,
then slows down and very lady-like sits in her chair.)

TED      How...  How...  HOW?

CHRIS    How do YOU think last night went, Evelyn?    46

(EVELYN doesn’t know how to respond.)

TED      What?  No stories involving Auntie Tien?

EVELYN   Auntie Tien always says to be yourself.

TED      Well, that you were!

EVELYN   I did not realize I had to change myself!
        I was only wanting to change my accent.
.        And I have.  So perhaps we are done here.

TED      No!  Ugh!  Er.  Ah.  UGH!

SISSY    Allow me to interpret.  Evelyn, you have
.        come a long way.  But there still needs
.        to be done – like - just some – fine tuning.

CHRIS    It wasn’t all that bad.  You heard Dean Brown
.        calling out that the party was – and I quote –
.        “a complete success.”  Perhaps we ARE done.

TED      So you feel she’s ready to go to your
.        awards night next week –

CHRIS    But – just - as you just said, she still needs
.        a little bit of some very fine-tuning.

TED      People thought she had lock-jaw, or
.        wore dentures.  This does not equate to
.        success.  Not in my books.  And with the stories -
.        last night was a complete disaster.

SISSY    Now really.  You cannot include “complete”
.        in that assessment.

TED      She went on and on with all those stories.
.        She never shut up.  It was embarrassing.

EVELYN   I kept to the subject of food.

SISSY    She did do that.

TED      But you kept going on and on and-

EVELYN   They kept asking questions – and I was          47
.        having fun - and they were - laughing.

TED      They were laughing AT you, not WITH you.
.        All your folklore stories about this Auntie Tien...
.        they do not make any sense.  And – they lack class.
.        Nobody actually ever wants to hear you talk,
.        let alone hear all your stories.  At all!  Ever!

(Choking up, EVELYN storms out.)

CHRIS    That was very rude of you.  Just because she’s
.        your case study, doesn’t make her less human.

(SISSY stares at TED, fuming.)

TED      What are you looking at?

SISSY    He’s rude to everyone.  

(CHRIS thinks about that for a bit and nods his head.)

TED      I do not pay you to sass me.  Now – do your job!
.        Damage control!

(SISSY swings around and storms out.)

CHRIS    Stepping stone out to deal with the roadblock.
.        But where is that coffee?  Oh!  She remembered.

(CHRIS looks around and finds the coffee.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(SISSY finds EVELYN sitting on the bench sobbing.)

SISSY    Men!

(EVELYN dries her eyes and looks up and looks around for Henry.  
SISSY looks around with her.)

SISSY    Who are you looking for?  Anyone particular?

EVELYN   Ohhhh, (sadly) nooo, doesn’t really matter.

SISSY    I’m sorry.  Ted should not treat you like that.
.        No one deserves that.
.                                                        48
EVELYN   Including you!  Why don’t you just quit?

SISSY    I cannot quit. I need the money. And the experience.

EVELYN   But, is it worth all of THAT?  I mean, you’re smart.
.        You could easily find something better.
.        Seriously, you’re the one who kept coming up
.        with all the ideas of how to actually help me.
.        You – you – could be a speech pathologist...

SISSY    My career path has been steered toward being
.        a professor -

EVELYN   You could help people as a speech pathologist.
.        You helped me-  And - you could help people
.        with REAL problems.

SISSY    Hm.  Something to consider.  But look,
.        you’re the one who has nothing to lose
.        by just walking away from all of this.
.        You don’t HAVE to put up with Ted’s attitude.

EVELYN   Tempting.  To just leave him hanging.
.        But I’m a nice girl with standards.  AND –
.        remember, I still want to be a weather girl.
.        (sighing)  Who am I kidding.  And, Ted was right.
.        They were all laughing at me.

SISSY    Let me give you some advice.
.        When you go to the awards night this week,
.        just ask questions.  We can come up with a few
.        good questions.  People LOVE to hear
.        THEMSELVES talk, so let THEM do all the talking.  

EVELYN   But then, how do they get to know ME?

SISSY    Sadly, most people just don’t care.  Because,
.        after all, they only care about themselves.
.        And when they pretend to kind of care,
.        it’s because they just want something from you.
.        Then, when you put yourself out there like that,
.        you risk – well – you risk being used and humiliated.
.        So asking the questions and letting them do all
.        the talking saves you a lot of effort and heartbreak.
.        And they will LOVE you for it.  You just
.        have to know how to work the system.
.                                                      49
EVELYN   You mean, game-playing and schmoozing?

SISSY    Well, people like to call it networking.

EVELYN   Networking...  Is that how you think
.        you’re going to get Chris’s attention?
.        Just because I’m from the boondocks,
.        doesn’t mean I’m blind.  You like Chris.

SISSY    So embarrassing.  Do you think he likes me?

EVELYN   I guess you’ll never know if he likes YOU -
.        if you are not being yourself.  Because let’s say,
.        if he saw the real you and liked you,
.        then he would want to get to know more about you.
.        And if he does not like the real you,
.        then why would you even want him?

SISSY    (rethinking)  Huh.  It would be great to
.        find someone who liked me– just for who I am.

EVELYN   You’ll find that guy one day.
.        You are very nice - and very patient.

SISSY    Thanks!  So?  Do you think you can bear
.        any more punishment – I mean – lessons –
.        from the great Professor Miller?

EVELYN   Ahhhh, yes, and might you give me private lessons
.        after hours, so I do not have clench or smile.
.        My cheeks are really starting to hurt.

.                   STAGE RIGHT: OFFICE

(As EVELYN and SISSY march back to the office,
TED and CHRIS take note.)

TED      You came back.  Now, what I need from you is-
.        Could you try to sound natural?  Less – clenched?

EVELYN   Natural?  Do you mean, I should sound like you?

TED      If you can.

(EVELYN sighs and shakes herself loose a little,
then begins to imitate the aloof and arrogant TED.)
.                                                       50
EVELYN   If I can?  Is this how I should sound, perhaps?

TED      Yes!

EVELYN   They were laughing AT you, not WITH you.
.        All your folklore stories about this Auntie Tien...
.        they do not make any sense.  And – they lack class.
.        Nobody actually ever wants to hear you talk-

SISSY    Evelyn!

EVELYN   This does not FEEL natural.  I feel as if
.        I am acting.  I really do not wish to sound like Ted.

TED      Is that so bad?  I mean, it sounds - wonderful.

SISSY    Perhaps it would be less weird
.        if you imitated me, instead of Ted.

EVELYN   Sadly, most people just don’t care.  Because,
.        after all, they only care about themselves.
.        And when they pretend to kind of care,
.        it’s because they just want something from you.

SISSY    Better.  But you do not have to quote anyone.
.        I mean, wow, you have an amazing memory.

TED      Evelyn.  You sounded natural there.

EVELYN   But I am only acting.  It feels weird to me.
.        Like I am not being myself.

SISSY    Evelyn, just because you do not speak with your
.        old accent, does not mean you cannot be yourself.

TED      Just avoid telling your stories!

SISSY    Only for Chris’ awards night!  Ted does not have
.        the final authority on what you can or cannot do!

CHRIS    Sissy?  Well, look who suddenly became all...
.        something-something.

SISSY    Chris!  If I have helped you in any way
.        with your research, and I have,
.        you will include me in your thank you speech.
.                                                        51
(SISSY spins around to TED.)

SISSY    JUST as I will expect from you-
.        a special mention in your dissertation.

(EVELYN points a threatening finger at CHRIS then
motions back and forth between him and SISSY.  EVELYN
then taps at her head – like – think about it!
SISSY marches off and drags EVELYN along with her.)

CHRIS    Well, now I’m afraid I’m going to mess up
.        my acceptance speech.  I dare not forget
.        to thank EVERYone.

TED      THAT is why those speeches go on forever.
.        Why can a person not just say “thank you.”

CHRIS    You mean something like, “Thank you everyone
.        for honoring me with this award.  And thank you
.        to all those who helped me.  You know who you are.”

TED      No, I mean, why can you not just go up there,
.        take the award and say - - - “Thank you”...

CHRIS    I guess that would be one way of doing it.
.        So - what has happened with Sissy?

TED      How do you mean?

CHRIS    Did you not just see her?

TED      You just saw me - seeing her.  

CHRIS    But did you hear her?

TED      Is this a game?  What about it?

CHRIS    You are the worst when it comes to
.        reading others.

TED      You know, my focus is rarely - on - others.

CHRIS    Obviously.

(TED and CHRIS exit to put on black-tie-jackets.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET                 52

(HENRY enters and looks around, not seeing Evelyn,
he begins singing.  OPTION: CHORUS can repeat the song.)

SONG 9   “FITTING IN”

HENRY    It’s such a strange   (Ats sotch aw strahnge)
.         world                (warld)
.        so hard to fit in.    (Aoh hoard toe fat en.)
.        I feel like I’m       (Ay fail lake Ay-m)
.         just drifting,       (jost draf-tang,)
.        just floating around. (johst flute-ang oh-rond.)
.        I just keep trying    (Ay johst cape tray-ang)
.         to find someone else (toe fond sohm-own eels)
.        With all things in    (whet owl tangs)
.         in common,           (an coh-mohn,)
.        on similar ground.    (an sam-ah-lore groan-d.)
.        With all things in    (whet owl tangs)
.         in common,           (an coh-mohn,)
.        on similar ground.    (an sam-ah-lore groan-d.)

(HENRY sits down on the bench.)

.                   STAGE LEFT: OFFICE

(TED, EVELYN, CHRIS and SISSY enter all now dressed up.  
CHRIS places his trophy award on the desk to admire.)

SISSY    Wonderful thank-you speech, Chris.  I was
.        pleasantly surprised when you included me.

CHRIS    You deserve some credit.  I realized this as
.        I’ve watched you work with THAT guy over there
.        all summer long.  I don’t know how you do it.

TED      Well, let us not forget the other great success.
.        I did it.  I managed to turn HER (pointing at EVELYN)
.        into something desirable enough that someone actually
.        wants to hire her of all things - to be on television.

EVELYN   Who knew there would be so many producers there?

SISSY    Now just a minute.  YOU did it?!  JUST – YOU?

TED      I did.

EVELYN   Sissy did a lot to help.                        53

TED      Because she is my assistant.

EVELYN   She came up with most of those observations
.        and strategies.

TED      That is quite a bold claim.

EVELYN   And what about all the work I did?

TED      It is my dissertation.  And still lots
.        of work remains.  I will have to calculate
.        the ramifications of these findings into
.        the equation of what it would take to turn
.        around society’s entire use of the English language.
.        I’m sure- millions of years.  So - my prediction
.        of hopelessness has been confirmed.  Sissy,
.        you will get to work on that first thing tomorrow.
.        I want you to start with researching the –

SISSY    Ted, you will actually have to do that research
.        on your own.  I am handing in my resignation.
.        Effective immediately.  

TED      You cannot quit!  You need me-

SISSY    You mean, you need me.  But, I have been
.        interviewing for a position as a speech
.        pathologist in the school system.  I begin
.        next week.  But – I would love to have a week off.

CHRIS    Congratulations!

TED      Not congratulations.  I want you to work for me.

SISSY    I do thank you for the experience that I’ve gleaned.
.        Evelyn, I’m so happy for you.  Let’s stay in touch!

(EVELYN nods.  CHRIS fingers and admires his trophy.)

SISSY    Chris!  Congratulations again.  I hope you
.        and your trophy are very happy together.
.        (SISSY exits swiftly with a smile.)

CHRIS    What was that all about?

EVELYN   If you don’t know.  Then I cannot help you.     54
.        Anyway!  Thank you, Ted, for helping ME...

TED      Are you waiting for something?  
.        You do not need my permission to leave.

CHRIS    Ted, you could thank her.

TED      I helped HER.

EVELYN   It’s all right, Chris.  Some things – cannot change -
.        overnight or maybe ever.

TED      Are you referring to me?

EVELYN   There are many things you still have to learn
.        about speaking, doesn’t matter which language.

TED      YOU are giving ME a lesson in linguists?

EVELYN   It really isn’t how you say something:
.        as in using the proper accent or grammar.
.        But it IS about the words you choose –
.        and about – just being nice.

(EVELYN exits.)

CHRIS    Nice girl.  With good standards.
.        You could do with a few lessons from her.

(TED tosses a wad of paper at CHRIS.)

.                  CENTER STAGE: STREET

(EVELYN sees HENRY who is still sitting on the park bench.)

EVELYN   Hello, Henry.

(HENRY stands up quickly and as tall as he can make himself,
then realizes how gorgeous she looks.)

HENRY    Evelyn.  You look    (AH-vah-lun.  Yo lake-)
.        like such            (luck sotch)
.        a city-person.       (aw sat-y pahr-sohn.)

EVELYN   Is that such a bad thing?  

HENRY    You even talk like   (Yo ah-van tuck lake)    55
.        a city-person.       (aw sat-y pahr-sohn.)

EVELYN   I have to, if I’m going to be a weather girl.

HENRY    Evelyn, are you      (AH-vah-lun, or yo)
.        now finished with    (new fan-ash-d whet)
.        that man?            (dot main?)

EVELYN   What?  Exactly what do you want to know, Henry?

HENRY    Ah, no, ah, I just–  (Oh, new, uh, Ay johst-)

EVELYN   Henry!  You really need to learn how to talk.

HENRY    You mean, FANCY      (Yo main, phone-sy-)
.        SCHMANCY like you?   (schmohn-sy, lake yo?)

EVELYN   Henry, just - talk.  Speak your mind.  Out with it.  
.        Tell me what you’re thinking and feeling.
.        Express yourself.  Please, say what you mean!

(HENRY is shocked into blurting it out.)

HENRY    I – I want – to       (Ay- Ay wont – toe)
.        date you...           (dat yo...)
.             (EVELYN keeps staring at HENRY, waiting...)
.        I– do- llliiike you–  (Ay– doe– lllake yo-)
.        very much,            (vah-ray mooch,)
.        Evelyn!               (AH-vah-lun!)

EVELYN   (melting a little)  Really?  Even after
.        I’ve been so rude to you?

HENRY    Well... you – have –  (Wall... yo- hove-)
.        kind of-              (cane-d off-)

EVELYN   Let the city change me, even though
.        I did not want it to.  Speaking clearly
.        is one thing, but being rude – I have found –
.        is completely unnecessary.  I am sorry.

HENRY    I forgive you.        (Ay foor-gahve yo.)
.        So – you will go out  (Zoh- yo wall goo oat)
.        with me?              (whet may?)

(HENRY gets worried as EVELYN thinks.)
.                                                      56
EVELYN   Well, I first have one very important question.
.        If I started telling one of my crazy stories
.        about my Auntie Tien, would you do me a favor
.        and try to stop me from telling it?...

HENRY    Whhhyyy?  I LOVE      (Woe-aaahh?  Ay LOHVE)
.        your stories.         (yar stoo-rays.)

EVELYN   Oh Henry!  You DO know what to say!

SONG 10  “SO SURPRISING”

.        (vs. 1)
HENRY    So many days spent,   (Zoh mah-nay dahs spant,)
.         hurting and pining.  (har-tang ohnd pan-ang.)
.        When things turn out, (Wan tangs tarn oat,)
.         it’s so surprising.  (ats zoh sar-prays-ang)
EVELYN   Speaking your mind, expressing your heart
.        helps out so immensely, doing your part.

(SISSY and CHRIS enter.)

SISSY    (vs.2) Wisely placed efforts toward the right things.
.        Finding purpose is finding your wings.
CHRIS    Realizing work helps pay every bill.
.        But there’s work and there’s play,
.        and then more still,
(TED, DEAN and DORA enter.)

TED      (vs.3)  Always being rude, ending up lonely.
.        Lessons in life aren’t always easy.
DEAN&D.  True love will last if you’re a good friend.
.        Being nice with standards, more than a trend.
ALL.     Being nice with standards, more than a trend.
.        True love will last if you’re a good friend.
.        Now this story is over.  This is the end.