Miracle Mile by Josepha Gutelius

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

CHARACTERS

Eva Lee Grand: early 20s, genius scientist, daughter of Alphie. Eva is ghostly white, like an irradiated lab rat, definitely a creature of the high-tech future, and perhaps the subject of her own scientific experiments. Walks with a cane and a limp like a pirate. She's hunched-over and squint-eyed from having spent her entire life in a laboratory (but she is not anatomically "humpbacked")

ALPHIE: 50-60, Alfred Rio Grand, President of the United States

PEG Le Pre ("pre" is pronounced like "prey"): 35-50,

ALPHIE's girlfriend, Southern belle, peroxide blonde, wears a short sequined dress, high heels

Lieutenant: late 20s or older, in uniform

Nuke: early 20s, Eva's invention, a humanoid, the supreme specimen of a well-built "male," with spiked hair that looks like it's been electrocuted; his skin has a waxy sheen

RAIN: early 20s, Eva's invention, a humanoid, the supreme specimen of a "female"

Mad Monk: [doubled by Nuke] dressed in a black cape and hood

TIME The scary future

SETTING

Scene One: The Oval Office (stripped bare)

Scenes Two and Three: Miracle Mile, a tiny island in balmy seas, comprised of fake boulders that disguise Eva's secret lab.

SCENE ONE The Oval Office, stripped bare.

ALPHIE [called RIO by Peg] and

PEG are seated, plates on laps, gamely trying to enjoy an inedible meal.

ALPHIE sits on a "throne" with miniature American flags attached.

PEG is seated on a crummy fold-up chair.

ALPHIE and

PEG pick at their food.

ALPHIE Peggy?...

PEG Dear?

ALPHIE Where's the furniture?

PEG Furniture? Oh, I told the staff to take it all away. I wanted it to be just us tonight no furniture. What are you doing?

ALPHIE (standing) I want to look out the window?

PEG Why, whatever for?

ALPHIE I I

(lights flicker wildly)

ALPHIE Why are the lights blinking?

PEG Why honey, it's Christmas. The lights always blink on Christmas.

(ground shakes)

ALPHIE What is that?

PEG Hmm?

ALPHIE You don't feel anything?

PEG (clutching her chair to keep her balance) No.

ALPHIE Peggy, I I want to go to the window and see

PEG See what, dear? SIT!

ALPHIE But

PEG SIT! EAT!

(Alphie sits. Everything to returns to normal. Alphie tries to eat. Gives up.)

ALPHIE I'm lonely.

PEG Oh, honey. You have me. And and Eva. I've sent for Eva. Aren't I nice? You remember Eva, your daughter?...

(scary noises)

ALPHIE

What's that?! (noises cease) EVA You know what?—I'll go get Eva myself.

ALPHIE DON'T LEAVE ME ALONE! (LIEUTENANT enters in a gas mask)

LIEUTENANT (snaps to attention) Mister President.

PEG ("cheerful") Merry Christmas, Lieutenant.

LIEUTENANT Merry Christmas, Ms. Le Pre. (removes gas mask) Phew, I didn't think I'd survive that last attack.

ALPHIE What? (scary noises)

ALPHIE Do you hear that, Peggy?

PEG Hear what, sweetie? (sounds cease)

ALPHIE Lieutenant, what's the sky like?

PEG Oh silly, what kind of question is that? A sky is a sky.

ALPHIE I ordered a blue sky.

PEG It is blue, sweetie.

ALPHIE Lieutenant?

LIEUTENANT Sir.

ALPHIE It was a promise. I keep my election promises. I said we'd give the farmers a blue sky and our enemies a twister.

(Alphie laughs, the others join in)

PEG Blue, blue, we love blue!

LIEUTENANT Sir, perhaps you should know that

PEG Lieutenant, you didn't see the President's daughter wandering around the halls, did you?

LIEUTENANT His daughter, ma'am?

ALPHIE My daughter's not allowed outside her laboratory.

PEG It's Christmas, honey. She's allowed out once a year for Christmas.

ALPHIE Lieutenant.

LIEUTENANT Sir.

ALPHIE My daughter What's-her-name-

PEG Eva.

ALPHIE Eva. Eva Lee Grand: she's been a great weapons engineer from the time she was four years old.

LIEUTENANT Really?

ALPHIE I knew she was destined for something big. That's why I keep her locked up in a laboratory. She's a genius. It'd be a waste to raise her like an average child, wouldn't you say, Lieutenant?

LIEUTENANT Yes sir. I'm opposed to government waste.

(Sound of Mad Monk, off, intoning mumbo-jumbo)

LIEUTENANT (confidentially, to Peg) Ma'am, I saw someone wandering around the White House.

(MAD MONK passes through, swinging an incense burner. Deftly swipes food off Alphie's plate. Everyone is too intimidated to object)

LIEUTENANT Is that her?

PEG Goodness, no. That's not Eva. Eva is hunchbacked, with a clubfoot. That's the President's advisor. He always has such good advice. MAD MONK REPENT!

LIEUTENANT Yes sir.

PEG (waving goodbye) Merry Christmas!

(MAD MONK exits, still intoning)

ALPHIE He stole my food. PEG (cheerfully dumps her food on

ALPHIE's plate) Have mine, honey.

LIEUTENANT I brought something for the festivities, sir.

(takes out a wrapped package, Peg grabs it hungrily)

PEG Oh aren't you a darling. What a cute wrapper. I knew you'd come through, Lieutenant.

LIEUTENANT I'm sorry it's not much. It's the only food I could find.

PEG (unwraps package) Dog food

LIEUTENANT I stole it from a Doberman.

PEG How brave of you!

LIEUTENANT I was lucky to get it. That dog was vicious. I figured Rover could use some food. (glances around) Your dog, Rover? Is he here? (Alphie and Peg look at their plates guiltily: they're eating Rover)

LIEUTENANT (shocked) Oh.

PEG Did you bring the Christmas decorations, Lieutenant?

LIEUTENANT Oh yes ma'am. I found some balloons in the war room.

PEG (squealing) Divine. Oooh what fun. Isn't this fun, honey? Put a balloon in front of the President, Lieutenant. (takes

ALPHIE's head and swivels it forward) Let's not strain his neck.

(Peg and Lieutenant begin blowing balloons. The ground shakes. All stumble around)

ALPHIE (stands, plate crashes to the floor) Something's not right-Lieutenant

LIEUTENANT (at attention, accidentally lets air out of the balloon) Sir.

ALPHIE You think

PEG No, Lieutenants don't think, sweetie.

ALPHIE What will happen if I go to the window? Will they cheer me?

PEG Cheer, darling, yes. This is a great moment in history, Rio.

ALPHIE They love me, don't they?

PEG Honey, even your opponents love you.

ALPHIE Have you seen the recent polls?

PEG You're still ahead of Jesus Christ.

ALPHIE I want to see-

PEG SIT! (Objects fall from above, crashing noises)

PEG (jumps on

ALPHIE's lap, sings) "I'm dreaming of a white" (talks) Sing it with me, honey.

PEG and

ALPHIE (sing) "Christmas. "Just like the ones I used to know." (Peg spots Lieutenant crawling out the door)

PEG Sing, Lieutenant!

PEG, ALPHIE, LIEUTENANT "Where the treetops glisten "and children listen "to hear sleigh bells in—

(EVA stumbles in.

Silence.

Eva is ghostly white, like an irradiated lab rat, definitely a creature of the high-tech future, and perhaps the subject of her own scientific experiments. She's squint-eyed, hunched over, limps ponderously with a cane. She wears bright orange pants, a lab coat)

EVA (gloomily) Merry Christmas.

PEG and

LIEUTENANT Merry Christmas.

PEG (breaks out into nervous giggles, sings) Jingle-bells, Eva's here!

EVA Who can sing at a time like this?

PEG Fine. You can't hold a tune. I can.

EVA Look at them out there.

ALPHIE How come she can go to the window and I can't?

PEG Eva, get away from the window.

(a chair leg is thrown, narrowly misses Eva)

EVA Those poor people.

ALPHIE What?

EVA They're cutting up all the White House furniture, Daddy.

PEG They're supposed to. They're budget cuts.

EVA There's a crazy monk out there on the lawn, telling everyone to storm the White House. (PEG croons "Jingle Bells" in

ALPHIE's ear)

ALPHIE What is she saying? What crazy monk?

EVA I suppose you're used to these screaming masses.

PEG (croons into

ALPHIE's ear) "Jingle-bells"

PEG and

LIEUTENANT (singing) "Jingle-bells, jingle all the way"

EVA Even the Secret Service is getting sloppy. I got in without anyone checking my I.D. Probably they hope I'm an assassin.

ALPHIE What is she saying?

EVA The WEATHER WAR, Daddy.

ALPHIE War???

[end of extract]

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