A Mouthfulla Sacco and Vanzetti by Michael Smith

This Play is the copyright of the Author and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author’s prior consent

The Cast

      Nicola Sacco
      Bartolomeo Vanzetti
      Clarisse L. Moore
      Judge Thayer
      Claude, the Maitre deí
      E. Perry Thompson
      Newsboy/Newsgirl
      Kitty OíShea
      Chief of Police
      Mr. Kanten, the factory owner
      Earle Graves, the driver of the payroll truck
      Benjamin Bowles, the security guard
      Robbers 1, 2 and 3
      Mister Parmentier, the payroll clerk
      Mister Berardelli, the security guard
      Police Officer
      Prosecutor
       
      Scene 1   Late Summer 1919   Boston area     Sacco meets
      Vanzetti
     
      The stage should be split into two distinct regions through design or
      lighting.  In this scene the larger, main area is a busy neighborhood
      restaurantĖa moderately nice place trying to be more upscale than it
      is.  As a neighborhood restaurant, a broad spectrum of people can be
      found there from working class to local officials (as will be seen).
      The smaller area of the stage is the business office which opens into
      the restaurant proper.  In the main area, dimly lit are Judge Thayer
      and the Chief of Police (seated together) and Clarisse Moore and Perry
      Thompson (at another table).  Vanzetti and Claude the maitre dí are
      speaking in the office (fully illuminated).
     
      VANZETTI: You see Iím a good worker.  (poses)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  YesĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  I have work in restaurants all my life.  I love food.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  O.K.,  yesĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Food is good.  I will show you, O.K.  You sit here.  You
      be the customer.  Iím the waiter.  Hello, Iíll be your waiter.
      Now, thisĖbookĖsheís a serving tray.  No, hey, you sit on
      serving tray.  (makes Maitre dí stand)  This serving tray, itís a
      book.  Please, sir, in this restaurant every customer sits.  (Vanzetti
      makes him sit and maniacally accumulates items.)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Mr.—ah—Vanzetti?  I have customers, real
      customers.
     
      VANZETTI:  These pens, theyíre food.  You see this is a glass.
      This glass, itís a glass.  I clean it for you.  Nice hat.  (Takes
      hat)  Pretend itís a uniform.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  My hat?
     
      VANZETTI:  O.K.  Whatíll you have?
     
      MAITRE Dí:  My hat.
     
      VANZETTI:  Iím so sorry.  Hats are not on the menu today.  Perhaps,
      you would like something else.  Everythingís good.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  But Iím not really hungry.
     
      VANZETTI:  Of course you hungry.  This is a restaurant.  Why else you
      come here except you hungry?  Besides, we have such delicious food.
      (presents pens)  SuchĖyouíve never seen such a pile of straight,
      juicy (gets ink on hand), ah… food.  Now, whatíll you have?
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Iíll have a pen.  Now look, Mr. VanzettiĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Excellent choice!  And not just one pen.  Here, you get
      plenty.  (breaks ďcharacterĒ)  You see, as a waiterĖthis Iím
      good at.  I can even write with food.  (resumes ďwaiter characterĒ
      and uses ink on hand to write order on other hand)  Thatís one order
      of pens.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Mr. Vanzetti, reallyĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Fried?  Oh, oui, you must try them fried.  They are so
      succulent.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Succulent.  (Grabs Vanzettiís hand and gets ink on
      his hand)  Mr. Vanzetti.
     
      VANZETTI:  Of course, sir.  An appetizer?  How about a delicious leg
      ofĖleg of (looks about)Ėleg of shoe.  (Vanzetti tries to present
      the maitre dís own foot to him.  To keep their balance, both circle
      each other, hopping, in an odd kind of dance.) You gonna love… We
      catch these fresh every day from their nature. 
      Oh, they may seem tough now, but we slow marinate them and cook them
      so rapidly on a spit.  They turn out so succulent!  Almost melt in
      your mouth.  Here, try this one.  (When Vanzetti tries to stuff the
      maitre dís foot into his mouth, they both fall down.)  Iím a poor
      man; I used to live entirely on shoes.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Mister Vanzetti!  (Wipes hand across forehand and hair,
      getting ink on his face.)  The owner has already hired someone!
     
      VANZETTI:  Hired someone?  Then, I must cancel your order.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Thank you so much for coming.  Iím sorry.  The new
      man is coming any minute.  A cousin of the owner, Mr. Versacci.  Very
      experienced.  And competent.  Good day to you, sir.  (Maitre dí
      exits.)
     
      VANZETTI:  Very bad day to you.  (Vanzetti sits, adjust the maitre
      dís hat and talks to himself, imitating the maitre dí .)  I hire
      people.  (moves pens in play) Right into deep fryerĖhot and ready to
      eat.  Yum.  (Sacco enters.)
     
      SACCO:  So sorry to disturb you.  The food, she smell so good.  Iím
      a poor man.  And hungry.
     
      VANZETTI:  (distracted)  You come to the right place.  Very good food
      hereĖpens and shoes.
     
      SACCO:  Could you give a poor manĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Of course, I give you a job.
     
      SACCO:  Job?  I never work in restaurant.
     
      VANZETTI:  Oh, itís so easy.  You like food donít you?
     
      SACCO:  I so hungryĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  You can write things down?  Itís settled; youíre the
      new waiter.  You start immediately.  Hereís a pen (gives Sacco a pen
      and order pad); theyíre delicious.  Youíre nameís Versacci.  My
      nameís Versacci too.
     
      SACCO:  Thank you?  Iím sure I do a good job. IĖ (maitre dí
      reenters)
     
      VANZETTI:  Yes, very good.  (imperiously, to maitre dí)  I am now
      ready for my table.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  (to Vanzetti)  Your table?  (to Sacco)  Who are you?
     
      SACCO:  The new waiter, Niccolo SaccoĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Versacci.
     
      SACCO:  Versacci.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Mr. Versacci.  A pleasure to meet you.  The owner
      speaks highly of you.  Right this way.  (motions Sacco to precede him
      into the restaurant proper.  Vanzetti butts in front, and as he walks
      past, the maitre dí retrieves his hat.  Lighting drops in office and
      comes up mainstage.)  Itís a busy day today.
     
      JUDGE:  Maitre D’!
     
      MAITRE D’:  Coming sir!
     
      VANZETTI:  Ask me where Iíd like to sit.
     
      SACCO:  WhereĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Iíll take this table.  Say, ďVery good, sir.Ē
     
      SACCO:  Very goodĖ
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Versacci!
     
      VANZETTI:  (To Sacco)  Thatís you.
     
      SACCO:  Yes, sir.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Judge Thayer is ready to order.
     
      SACCO:  Very good, sir.
     
      VANZETTI:  Not to him.  To the customers.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Quickly.  The Judge is one of our best customers.
      (pulling Sacco to Judgeís table)  Judge, our new waiter, Versacci.
     
      SACCO:  Sacco.
     
      MAITRE Dí/VANZETTI:  Versacci.
     
      JUDGE:  Yes, yes.  Are you Italian?
     
      SACCO:  Yes.
     
      MAITRE Dí/VANZETTI:  No.
     
      SACCO:  No.
     
      VANZETTI:  Take his order.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Why are you still here?
     
      JUDGE:  Whatís the special today?
     
      SACCO:  Pens and shoes.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Minestrone and linguine.
     
      JUDGE:  (to Chief of Police)  What country am I in?  (to Sacco)
      Listen carefully:  Bring me a steak, medium, no more, no less.
     
      VANZETTI/SACCO/MAITRE Dí:  Very good, sir.  (all three turn, hit
      each other and fall down.  There follows an extended sequence of falls
      as Sacco first tries respectfully to help Vanzetti, while the maitre
      dí tries to push him out of the way.  They all fall and rise again
      several times.  Finally, Vanzetti has ended up with the Maitre dís
      wallet.  He opens it and finds nothing.)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  (to Sacco)  The kitchenís that way!
     
      SACCO:  Where?
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Over.  There.  (Vanzetti replaces Maitre d’s wallet.)
     
      VANZETTI:  Shout it from here.
     
      SACCO:  ONE STEAK,  MEDIUM, NO MORE, NO LESS!
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Go into the kitchen!  (Sacco exits)  (to Vanzetti)  Why
      are you still here?
     
      VANZETTI:  Thatís my table. (sits)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Well, sit at it.
     
      VANZETTI:  Arenít you going to take my order?
     
      MAITRE Dí:  No!  (angrily leaves, smashing into Sacco on his
      re-entrance, which causes Sacco to bump into Clarisse Mooreís table.
      Sacco and Clarisse share a meaningful look, and the lights change
      signifying a moment of frozen time.  All of the characters freeze
      except for Clarisse and Sacco who break out Into a short romantic
      dance accompanied by appropriate music.  They come out of the dance
      Into their previous positions.  The lights change back to normal, the
      other characters unfreeze and the scene continues as before.)
     
      SACCO:  Iím so… Please to you?  I so to trouble you.
     
      CLARISSE:  Itís no bother, really.
     
      THOMPSON:  What are you doing?
     
      CLARISSE:  Quiet.
     
      VANZETTI:  Tell her your name.
     
      SACCO:  Nicola Sacco.
     
      CLARISSE:  A pleasure to meetĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Versacci.  (takes Mooreís food.)
     
      CLARISSE:  Versacci?
     
      THOMPSON:  (pompously)  And my name is—
     
      VANZETTI:  (to Sacco)  Don’t listen to him.
     
      SACCO:  I can’t listen to you.
     
      THOMPSON:  Now listen, my good fellow—
     
      JUDGE:  Waiter, my bread!  Waiter!  Versacci!
     
      VANZETTI:  Thatís you.
     
      SACCO:  Very good, sir.  Here, you hold this.  (Sacco hands his order
      pad and pen to Thompson and wipes his hands as he crosses to the
      Judge’s table.)
     
      THOMPSON:  (Now with ink on his hands.)  What?  Clarisse, what kind
      of restaurant is this?  Are you sure this place is even clean?  You
      know I hate these kinds of places.
     
      CLARISSE:  Well, I like them.
     
      JUDGE:  Waiter, I should have bread.
     
      SACCO:  “Everyone, every last one, should have daily bread.”
     
      JUDGE:  What’s that!
     
      SACCO:  Bread.
     
      JUDGE:  Yes, GET the Bread!
     
      VANZETTI:  From the kitchen.
     
      SACCO:  Yes.
     
      VANZETTI:  That way.
     
      SACCO:  O.K.,  yes.  (exits and bumps maitre dí on his
      re-entrance.)
     
      CLARISSE:  Claude, my linguine seems to be missing.  (Sacco re-enters
      with bread.)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  (to Sacco)  She needs more linguine.  (As he moves to
      exit, Vanzetti swipes his handkerchief on the way past.)
     
      VANZETTI:  (to Thompson)  Hey, you got black on you hands.  What do
      you think this is?  This is a restaurant.  You should go wash your
      hands.
     
      THOMPSON:  Is this a restaurant?  But I will go wash my hands.  If
      you’ll excuse me.  (Exits.)
     
      VANZETTI:  You very excused.
     
      SACCO:  (smitten, to Clarisse)  Still hungry after one plate?
      (Vanzetti steals bread from Sacco’s breadbasket.)
     
      CLARISSE:  I seem to have misplaced my first.  (Vanzetti places bread
      in Saccoís pocket.)
     
      SACCO:  Very good.  (to kitchen)  ONE PLATE OF LINGUINE, NOT ZERO,
      NOT TWO!  (moves to Judge)  Your bread, sir.  (gives him an empty
      basket)
     
      VANZETTI:  His steakís probably ready.  Go to the kitchen.  (Sacco
      moves rapidly toward the kitchen and collides with the maitre dí on
      his re-entrance.)
     
      JUDGE:  Thereís no!  Whereís the BREAD!  (to Chief of Police)
      Stupid wop bastards!
     
      MAITRE Dí:  (Vanzetti unties and takes his apron.)  Iím terribly
      sorry, sir.  Iíll be right back with your bread.  (moves toward
      kitchen.  Sacco re-enters and nimbly and triumphantly avoids a
      collision.)
     
      SACCO:  Your steak sir, very good sir.  (two inches from Judge)
      MEDIUM, NO MORE, NO LESS!  (maitre dí re-enters.)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Your bread, sir.
     
      JUDGE:  The BREAD should have been here before the meal.  (Vanzetti
      snags the steak with a fishing rod and reels it over to his table.)
      Bread last!  Damn Italians!  A simple lunch.  All I ask is a simple
      lunch.  (roars)  WHEREíS THE STEAK? 
     
      CLARISSE:  (politely)  My linguine?
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Your steak, sirĖIíll get it.  And your linguine.
      (grabs Sacco)  You… are… fired.  (exits)
     
      SACCO:  Iím fired.  (Then with strange sincerity)  I loved this
      job.  (pause)  Iím still hungry.
     
      VANZETTI:  Hey, donít feel bad.  The restaurant, sheís a tough
      business.
     
      SACCO:  Thank youĖ
     
      VANZETTI:  Donít mention it.  (Sacco slowly exits.  Maitre dí
      returns.)
     
      MAITRE Dí:  (to Moore)  Your linguine.  (to Judge)  Your steak,
      sir.  I apologize most wholeheartedly.  Please, itís on the house.
     
      JUDGE:  I should think so.  (grumbling)
     
      CLARISSE:  Everything’s fine, Claude.  Really.
     
      MAITRE Dí:  Youíre really good at this?
     
      VANZETTI:  The absolute best!
     
      MAITRE Dí:  O.K., you start immediately.  (lights out main stage.
      Sacco outside, dejected, discovers bread in his pocket.)
     
     
      Transition One
     
      A newsboy/newsgirl enters during the scene change, wearily drops a
      sack of papers, pauses, reshuffles a large stack of newspapers and
      tries to look enthusiastic.
     
      NEWS:  (softly)  Extra.  Extra.  (Then with more volume.)  Extra!
      It’s an Extra!  Noted anarchist Emma Goldman deported.  (notices Sacco
      and approaches him)  Everyone should have daily bread.  (Sacco
      considers this and reluctantly turns over the slice of bread.  He
      exits.  Newsboy/newsgirl returns to selling papers.)  Extra!  Extra!
      Hey, you can read yourself about it right here.  Extra!  Extra!  Red
      Emma deported!

(Exits opposite side of stage.)

[end of extract]

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