Great Gatsby! It's Murder! by Rachel Paul
This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent
This Script is written for a fully staged, theater show ...
The entire Show can also be adapted to a lounge or restaurant “cocktail or dinner
If Act 1 - Scene 1 begins in a lobby/lounge/restaurant setting, upgraded ticket holders/
VIP guests, will arrive last & perform the scripted “staged” opening scene in the lobby/
cocktail room vs stage.
In Act 2 - whether in theater auditorium, cocktail lounge or restaurant setting - Detective
can decide to open up interrogation questions to a fun, engaged audience, with
characters improv’ing their comedic, quick witted responses.
(AM) characters are audience members, referenced by name, throughout the show.
(VIP) characters are premium ticket holders seated onstage at cocktail tables, pre-fed a
few lines and given small roles.
ACT ONE - Scene 1
Setting: Dark Alley. Weathered door down R.
Men (VIP ticket holders) in tuxedos & elegantly dressed 1920s flappers, enter, L.
Laughing & conversing, they cross to the door, R.
One of the males nervously looks over his shoulder then raps on the door - 3 times,
then 1 time, then 4 times. The others queue up behind him.
A peephole in the door slides opens.
The man slips a card through the opening.
The peep hole closes & a voice growls.)
LOUIE: (OFF) What’s shakin’ more than bacon?
MIKE: A blind pig … (Silence) … That’s wrapped in a blanket?
JOE: That’s not it, Mike! (Whispers thru door) 4 Blind Pigs & A Bottle of Swine is
shakin more than bacon.
(The door opens & the muffled sound of Jazz music floats out.
LOUIE appears, looks up and down alley, gives the men a once over,
looks at the cards each give him, then greets & humorously frisks the men.)
LOUIE: Mayor Daley. Senator Davis & his lady friend are at your table as requested.
LOUIE: Chief MacNamara. Nice to see you & the missus again.
LOUIE: Congressman, Trixie will be glad to see you again…& fully dressed this time.
LOUIE: Judge McNeil. Mrs. McNeil.
LOUIE: Aaaah...Mr. Capone, welcome back to Chicago, Sir.
(The Couples disappear through the door.
LOUIE looks up & down alley, then disappears inside.)
ACT 1 - Scene 2
Setting: The opulent Shanghai Club, a private, notorious Chicago Speakeasy.
Time: 10pm - NY Eve 1929
[Level Up Lively 1920’s music, canned laughter & party chatter.]
LOUIE: (OFF) Ladies & Gentlemen. The owner of the Shanghai Club, Miss Trixie Kelley
& our very own Moxie Heart, the most beautifulest girl in Chicago!
[CUE Music - Let’s Be bad.]
(TRIXIE & MOXIE burst onto stage singing & dancing. Number ends.)
TRIXIE: Welcome everybody to the Shanghai Club!
MOXIE: Where the giggle-water’s cold & the music’s hotter than Mr. Rudolf Valentino!
(Points into audience) Hey, Trixie, Bugsy made it! I mean, Mr. Spiegel, sir! I know you
hate being called bugs…umm…that name…Sorry...please don’t shoot me, honeybuns!
TRIXIE: Thanks for joining us tonight to say goodbye to the 20’s & hello to the 30s!
MOXIE: Goodbye twenties & helllloooo... Wait a sec, Trix! I’m only 24!
TRIXIE: The New Year, Moxie. Not your birthday. You’re so pretty.
(LOUIE bursts onstage, L yelling & rubbing his head)
LOUIE: Wowza! Those booze-hating dames outside are outta control, Trix! One just
smacked me over the head with her sign. Old bat had a swing like Babe Ruth.
(Sees Moxie, thrusts his chest forward, stands tall)
LOUIE: It didn’t REALLY hurt though. Shock. It just shocked me.
MOXIE: What’d she do that for? (Accusingly) Whaaaaat did you do, Looouie.
LOUIE: I didn’t do nothin! Why do people always blame me for stuff? Like that old nun
outside! Said I was the problem with society. I told her “No, I ain’t neither” so she hit
me again & said I was the cause of society’s downfall on accounta I give people the
devil’s brew. I don’t do that, huh, Trix? I never even met the devil.
TRIXIE: No, you didn’t do anything, Louie. Booze isn’t the problem with society, it’s the
escape! Those dames are just deaf to the science.
MOXIE: Yeah! Deaf to the science! Ha! And they call ME stupid.
JUDY: That’s right, Moxie! They do. (Looks to rest of audience) We ALL do, right?
LOUIE: Mean old ladies & water. That’s the real problem in society.
TRIXIE: Well, I agree about the water and President Franklin agrees. “In wine there is
wisdom & in beer there’s freedom, but in public drinking water… There’s only feces.”
TRIXIE: So it’s better to be here drinking booze & talking stupid, then to be home
drinking water & being full of Crap!
MOXIE: Ain’t that the truth! I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up
in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day.
LOUIE: “24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case”. Coincidence? I think not. Am I right?
BOB: Right as Einstein! To science & booze!
TRIXIE: Bottoms up everyone! Let’s party!
[CUE CHARLESTON MUSIC]
(TRIXIE sits R - MOXIE sits, L as Charleston dancers enter & perform dance number.
A sleazy, gangster lounge-singer (TONY) enters L, & ahems for attention.
TRIXIE, looking none-too-pleased, motions for LOUIE to cut the music.
Dancers, confused, exit thru curtain as Trixie takes spotlight.)
TRIXIE: I forgot we have a new headliner at the Shanghai Club... Ladies & Gentlemen…
Mr. Tony D. Moron.
TONY: Maroni! It’s MarOni. I’d have been here on time, but SOMEONE locked me in the
cellar & turned off the lights while someone else threw in a venomous snake through
TRIXIE: And yet … here you are, Tony … All warm & breathing ... & complaining.
(TRIXIE heads towards MOXIE)
TRIXIE: No matter now. Room’s all yours... (under her breath) Moron.
MOXIE: (Stands) Hey, Tony! Ain’t ya gonna say “hey honeybunny” to your fiancee?
(Trixie yanks her off L before TONY can reply.)
TRIXIE: Cue his music, Louie.
[CUE TONY MUSIC - Shortened version - All I Need Is Love]
(TONY sings/dances/flirts outrageously with audience.
When number ends, low level recorded background music/party chatter returns.
TONY sits & flirts with female VIP, while motioning to woman in audience
to call him...miming a 1920s phone...)
~AS TONY’s BEING A PIG ONSTAGE….IN AUDIENCE….~
(DETECTIVE & LOUIE enter through auditorium, chatting as they head towards the stage.
DETECTIVE’s badge & holstered gun is visible.)
DETECTIVE: Sure thing, Louie. I get it. But when the club closes tonight, I gonna have
to take ya in. You understand, right buddy? Nothing personal.
LOUIE: Aaawww...but detective, I…
DETECTIVE: Listen. I’m just doin’ my job. Don’t sweat it, kid. I put in a good word to
the judge to consider.
LOUIE: Ah, gee, that’s just swell, detective. I appreciate you talking me up to the judge
like that. Thank him for me, will ya?
DETECTIVE: Tell him yourself, Louie. (Tips his hat to Audience Member) Your honor.
LOUIE: (Furiously shakes man’s hand) What luck! You got it? What the detective here
told ya? It’s just not fair, your honor, sir. It was just 1 guy! That no-one even liked!
(LOUIE to rest of audience)
LOUIE: Really! NO ONE. So, thanks for helping me your highness, cause...well..You
see… I’m way too pretty to go to prison. You see that, right?
(DETECTIVE pulls him away by the collar & continues towards stage)
DETECTIVE: I said I took care of it. Don’t worry. It’s just the way the world works. Some
days ya get the elevator & other days you get the shaft. Today’s that day.
(Detective sits in audience)
DETECTIVE: Tell ya what. I’ve got some time before I have to take ya in. Go get me
some of that giggle water I hear on the streets was delivered today.
LOUIE: Sure thing, boss!
( LOUIE rushes into stage & past, TONY who heads to another table & lady.)
TONY: Well, hello, gorgeous! Listen, my friends (point into audience) Johnny Morris &
Dick Tracey…Bet me 4 bucks I couldn’t start a conversation with the most beautiful
woman in the room tonight. Cah-rayzie, huh?
TONY: So... whatja say? Ya wanna buy some drinks with their money?
GLORIA: But, I don’t even know you, sir!
TONY: Right...right... well let’s fix that babe. Name’s Tony. Remember it cause if you’re
lucky, you’ll be screaming it later, if ya get my drift...wink, wink...& me thinks you do,
(Admires what he sees)
TONY: Whoa, youse a beauty, a real hotsy-totsy, babe! Now ladies, ya might have
heard stories about me...with my pops being a gangster and all...but I personally ain’t
never killed nobody ...no way, no-how.
MAXINE: Well, That’s a relief! I was kinda scared about our date next Tuesday…
TONY: No worries, doll! After our date, you’ll just think you died and went to heaven.
(To her friend) And you can too! Whoa!
GLORIA: Why…. I’m a married woman!
TONY: I don’t know why you’re a married woman, sweetcakes, but know that there’s
nothing I wouldn’t do for you. Why, I’d even fight a bear for you.
GLORIA: Yeah? Truly?
TONY: Well, not a grizzly or polar bear, or a panda or koala bear…(Beat) But, maybe a
Teddy Bear. Sure! I’d fight the crap out of one of them bears for ya!
(MOXIE enters R, sees DETECTIVE in audience & yells to TONY, L.)
MOXIE: Hey, Tony! That copper I told you about is back!
TONY: Copper? Where?
(TONY pulls a gun from his & looks around the room.
The flappers scream, drawing DETECTIVE’s attention.
He stands to see what the problem is & sees TONY’s gun pointed at HIM!
He draws his own gun & takes aim at TONY.)
[CUT Background ambient MUSIC/CHATTER]
DETECTIVE: (Yells) Drop the gun, numb nuts!
TONY: No way! No how! Howzabout you drop the gun, copper!
DETECTIVE: How’d you know I’m a cop?
TONY: Smelled the bacon. Now drop Your gun or ...or ... I’m going to have to shoot this
dame...KAREN? Kate? Kathy! It’s Kathy, right?
(He looks her up & down)
TONY: And believe me, copper...that’d make me very...very sad.
MAXINE: (Angry) It’s Maxine!
(TRIXIE returns, sees what’s going on)
TRIXIE: Oh for the love of...
(She roughly snatches TONY’s gun away from him)
TRIXIE: Don't soil your shorts, big boy. (Heads into audience) Eddie’s one of the good
MOXIE: Yeah, Tony! Sheesh! Eddie’s off duty. He don't see none of us here...
(MOXIE points into Audience)
MOXIE: ..and we don't see him either, see? (Waves) Hi, Eddie, poohbear!
(She sits opposite side of stage from Tony)
MAXINE: (Stands. Hits Tony) If you ever pull a gun on me again ... well, I’ll have to
think twice about going out with you again! I mean it this time, Tony! Ever.
TONY: Come on, babe, I was foolin with ya! Can’t ya take a joke?
(Tony sits down with her & they schmooze whilst in the audience...)
TRIXIE: (Takes Ed’s arm) Wasn’t expecting you back so soon, Ed.
DETECTIVE: Came to nab Louie for killing Scoop. Been a long night. Who’s the moron?
(Trixie looks at the audience guy who was sitting beside Detective.)
TRIXIE: Oh, BARNEY’s not a moron, Ed! He’s just shy. First time in a “Tea-House.
TRIXIE: Ahhh! Ya mean the guy up there with the gun & Frankie Stilleto’s new gal?
Sorry Barney. He’s no one, Ed. New headliner. Listen, I have to go check on the
kitchen. Grab yourself some hootch…I mean giggle-water… tea…sheesh!
(TRIXIE leaves through auditorium. MOXIE holds up her left hand & yells.)
MOXIE: Hey Eddie, look! I got engaged last week! See?
DETECTIVE: No kiddin! Who's the lucky guy?
(Asks men in the audience)
DETECTIVE: You? You? Oh, heck, Moxie…
(He points to two guys)
DETECTIVE: Not one of the Carnemorte or Fontana brothers…
MOXIE: No, silly! I ain’t stupid! His name’s Tony.
(MOXIE points to Tony)
DETECTIVE: The Moron?
TONY: Maroni! The name’s Maroni.
MOXIE: Yeah. He's kind of a big deal but he don’t like to toot his own horn .... on
account of it can make you go blind.
MOXIE: Don’t be a party-pooper, Tony. Come make nice with Eddie cause I gotta go
freshen up for my next number.
TONY: (Yells across stage) Ain't one to engage with gumshoes, doll… & you won't
either once we’re married, Capice?
MOXIE: Capice? Name’s Moxie, ya silly goose!
(MOXIE EXITS laughing AS SAL enters from lobby & scans the room
if they know where Tony is. She recognizes some men & asks them…
“Well, look who it is! So…why ya ain’t never called me back like ya
said ya would? No matter cause I got’s me a real man now!”)
SAL: Ya seen Tony...you know...the owner of this here joint? Funny looking guy? Well, if
I remember correctly ... it was a long night & the gals & I already had a couple of…
SAL: To be fair, he was kinda forgettable...until he said he owned this joint that is! I just
hope he’s real. That hootch at Jubitiz is so ver….
(SAL catches sight of TONY on stage, waves excitedly, & yells out his name.)
SAL: There’s my man! You-hoo! Tony! Loverboy!
(TONY sees her, yelps, drops to his knees, scrambles across the stage & exits, R)
SAL: Hey! Where ya goin, Tony?
(SAL goes to stage, stops for a sec to give the lady he was sitting with,
the side-eye, before harrumphing & rushing out after Tony,
brushing past a returning Moxie)
LOUIE: Ladies and Gentlemen…the REAL headliner of the Shanghai Club, our very
own, Miss Moxie Heart! Give it up for Moxie! She’d give it up for you!
[CUE MOXIE’s SONG/DANCE NUMBER - Roxie]
(MOXIE bounces onstage. When number ends…TRIXIE returns, R.)
TRIXIE: (To Louie) Where’s the moron? He’s supposed to be doing another number.
LOUIE: Dunno, Trixie. But, hey! You promised me that I could finally do a number…
I’ve been practicing every night now for months so how about I …
TRIXIE: Not tonight, Louie...
TRIXIE: No butts. Cue my next number. Moxie, go change for your next number.
Something must have happened to the moron.
[CUE OMINOUS MUSIC - 1 second]
(All look around in confusion at the source of the sound)
MOXIE: Hey, Trix! When Tony & I get married I’ll be MOXIE MORON! Has a nice ring to
it, don’t it, Trix? Mrs. Moxie Moron…
TRIXIE: You’re so pretty.
(MOXIE exits. Dejected, LOUIE, grabs the mic &...)
LOUIE: Ladies & Gentlemen, Miss Trixie Kelley…again.
[CUE MUSIC - TRIXIE Sings]
(Song ends. SAL returns through curtain & bumps into a bowing TRIXIE.)
TRIXIE: Excuse me! This is an invitation only...tea-house... Miss???
SAL: Oh, it's okay...my guy Tony gave me the password. He owns this joint.
TRIXIE: The Moron?
SAL: Well, I never did get his last name, but yeah, sure... sounds like him....Be a dear &
go fetch him for me, willya hon?
TRIXIE: (Amused) I see....&...Whom shall I say is callin?
SAL: His “almost” fiancé, Sal!
TRIXIE: Almost Fiancée? You don't say?
SAL: Oh! But I do! Now, scoot! Get my man, Missy!
TRIXIE: Listen, honey. This is my club & ya ain't welcomed here unless I invited ya...
SAL: (Pokes Trixie) Oh really, Missy, ya delusional little liar? Ya better just clam up & get
Tony, toots… or I'm gonna make him toss your butt out into the street!
(Gives TRIXIE the once over & laughs)
SAL: No loss, I've seen better butts in ashtrays, honey.
TRIXIE: Kid. Take some advice from a broad who knows a thing or two about men.
Listen, learn & then scram! Tony's just messing with ya. Tell her, Louie.
LOUIE: Yeppers. Tony's already engaged ... to my girl, Moxie. We can’t figure out why
cause I’m a much better match for her than that...that...no-good got noth…
TRIXIE: A “yes” would have sufficed, Louie. Anyway, there it is.
LOUIE: Moxie’s gonna blow a gasket if she finds another fiancé cheating on her again.
TRIXIE: Yep...sooooo....Sal, was it? If I was you dear, I'd hightail it outta here before
Moxie gets back & catches wind of you.
LOUIE: Ya don't wanna mess with Moxie when she catches wind, trust me.
TRIXIE: You catching our drift?
SAL: (Becoming worried) No! I ain’t followin ya! Last chance. Where’s my almost
fiancée? No more foolin. He’s got promises to keep! I done things. Bad things.
TRIXIE: Tony ain't available, so vamoose. He don't want ya & his real fiancé, Moxie,
ain’t one to mess with when she’s betrayed.
SAL: I ain't goin nowhere, ya dumb Dora. Tony said he’s gonna make me the star of
this here joint & he ain’t like those other losers. He promised... cause he..he said...
SAL: You’re lying, right? Ain’t ya? Oh, please…not again... Whhaaaaa...
LOUIE (Comforts her) Listen. Ya ain't the first to be duped by the bum & ya ain't gonna
be the last. Tough break, kid. He's just a mutt.
(MOXIE renters, R, giggling & tells a vip table the latest poetry in the john.)
MOXIE: Ya ain’t gonna believe the newest poetry Patsy Douglas & I read in the ladies
room! Here I sit all broken hearted... yaDa yaDa yada...Shakespeare I think...cause it
brought a tear to my eye. At least I think it was the poem that brought a tear to my
LOUIE: (Yells Into Audience) Hey PATSY! Do us all a favor, willya? A little roughage
goes a long way!
[End of Extract]