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Drama by Sissy Boyd
 
'Vanity' by X-8

'Vanity'  2007 X-8
'Vanity'
 
The Tearing Beauties

 

(Sophie, Charlotte, Joan, 3 women in their 50’s. Having come to Beverly Hills from the East to have face lifts, they are in a “recovery” hotel. Cocktail hour is near. They speak in a distracted manner, falsely light-hearted. They are dressed in moo-moos and gauze. Each has her own straight-backed chair. Joan is glamorous and lonely. Charlotte is tall, horse-faced. There is always a Charlotte. She can save the day, that kind of thing. Sophie is a good egg, or some might call her silly. They are of the ruling class.)

All
We are Charlotte, Sophie and Joan. And we’ve been to the surgeon here, in Beverly Hills. Our charming Dr. Lind. We’ll invite him for drinks. We hope he’ll come. We traveled here from the East. Our lovely Dr. Lind has brought us from out the shadows.

(Pause.)

We’re devoted to Dr. Lind, by all means an artist. Did you see his clogs?

Sophie
Isn’t he odd and divine.

All
Our husbands paid. We bleed our husbands dry. Our fathers failed but we married well.

Sophie
Actually, Joan has her own small fortune. You’re a Dupont, aren’t you dear? The gunpowder business. Isn’t that brilliant of Joan.

Charlotte & Sophie
Our fathers lost their shirts. They drank up every dime. Our poor, sad mothers joined in all of that. I’m sure you are familiar: “I’ll have another if you wouldn’t mind, dear, fix me another, dear.” And they all rattled around like birds in a cage. Oh, we were starved for love.

All (Ecstatic.)
Now we are sprung from out the shadows. Now again we are the tearing beauties that once we were. Hooray! We are the tearing beauties again. It was dreadful, so terribly so, our husbands wandering off with those pretty young things.

(Pause.)

Now we are sprung from out the shadows. We’ll have a martini and we’ll have it dry.

(Pause.)

We ought to call our husbands. Yes, we ought.

(They move to downstage left, form a little line, mime their calls to Stu, Jack and Bill. One after the other.)

Sophie
Stu darling, we are sensational in our gauze. We fly back on friday. Yes, that will be fine.

Joan
Jack, you’re a dear, yes dear, oh dear. You poor dear Jack. First thing in the morning, you poor darling.

Charlotte
Bill. Don’t be a nuisance. Just this once? Couldn’t you postpone?

(They hang up one by one and, when all are finished, they return and sit.)

Joan
With Jack, oh, Jack is attentive. But I was used to my father, man about town, song and dance, and so on. And as luck would have it, rich as hell. Jack doesn’t dance. Well, not his fault.

Charlotte
Bill and his damn hunting. He’s devoted to it. To me it’s so terribly boring. For god’s sake Bill, I say to him, it’s so unattractive, all this hunting.

Sophie
Stu is devoted to me, but his mother is a monster. She should be stored in the deep freeze. She says I’m theatrical. Please Madam. Tend to your own woes.

(Pause.)

All
We were the tearing beauties. And we are again. We’re brought from out the river rushing by. Dear Lind, in those darling clogs, marching into his patients’ rooms. Dear Lind, checking on us all. We couldn’t have lived another day with those old faces of ours. Ghastly, baggy things.

(Pause.)

All
Even if we didn’t have a dime we would have found our way to Dr. Lind. Our darling Lind. Does he have a wife? Well, that poor thing. Imagine being maried to such a naughty, clever boy.

(The 3 sit in silence, facing the audience, drinking their martinis.)

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last update: July 2, 2007