The Princes of Kings Road by Tom Lazarus


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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author’s PRIOR consent


SCENE ONE - STAGE LIGHTS OFF.  DIONE NEUTRA SINGING AND PLAYING THE
      CELLO FADES UP.  THE AUDIENCE ENTERS.


      LIGHTS UP 1/2.


      1953.  NIGHT.  LOS ANGELES.  THE CEDARS OF LEBANON HOSPITAL.


      A HOSPITAL ROOM.  ONE BED IS EMPTY.  IN THE OTHER: RUDOLPH SCHINDLER,
      HAIR UNKEMPT, GRAY GRIZZLE ON HIS FACE, HEAD ON THE PILLOW, EYES
      CLOSED.


      ABOVE THE HOSPITAL ROOM, A BLACK AND WHITE PROJECTION OF A RENDERING
      OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS PALACE PHOTO V.


      THE DOOR OPENS. THE SOUNDS OF HOSPITAL OFF STAGE.  SCHINDLER STIRS.
      THE IMAGE DISSOLVES TO PHOTO O OUTSIDE THE HOSPITAL WINDOW AND THE
      MUSIC FADES OUT.


      NURSE ROTHSTEIN, IN A STARCHED WHITE UNIFORM, A HAT OVER A TIGHT BUN,
      WHITE STOCKINGS AND SHOES, TIPTOES BACKWARDS IN FROM THE HALLWAY
      CARRYING HIGH HEELS, WITH A DRESS AND A SWEATER OVER HER ARM, CLOSES
      THE DOOR, TURNS, SEES THE SLEEPING SCHINDLER AS EXPECTED, THEN PUTS
      HER CLOTHES DOWN ON THE OTHER BED.


      QUIETLY, SHE UNBUTTONS HER UNIFORM, SLIDES THE UNIFORM OFF HER WHITE
      SHOULDERS.


      SCHINDLER OPENS HIS EYES AND WATCHES.


      SHE TAKES THE DRESS OFF LEAVING HER IN HER SLIP.
      THEN SITS ON THE OTHER BED FACING AWAY FROM THE AUDIENCE AND ROLLS OFF
      HER WHITE STOCKINGS.


                      SCHINDLER

          Your legs…


      MORTIFIED, NURSE ROTHSTEIN QUICKLY COVERS HERSELF.


                      SCHINDLER

          ...beg to be caressed…


      NURSE ROTHSTEIN WHIPS AROUND TO A NOW LEERING SCHINDLER.


                      SCHINDLER

                (continuing)

          ...beg to be kissed…beg to be made to love to….


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (interrupting)

          I thought you were sleeping!


                      SCHINDLER

                (playfully)

          I don’t think so.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (angrily)

          Well, think so ‘cause I did.  Now close your eyes while I change.


      SCHINDLER DOESN’T BLINK.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Go on!
                      SCHINDLER

                (grumbling as he turns)

          You’ve got something I haven’t seen before?


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Shut those eyes.


      SCHINDLER DOES. NURSE ROTHSTEIN, CHECKS ON HIM AGAIN, THEN PULLS HER
      DRESS ON OVER HER SLIP.  BAREFOOT, GOES TO THE DOOR, LISTENS,
      RETURNS.


                      SCHINDLER

          Who is it you hide from?


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (buttoning her dress)

          Dr. Blackman - asking me to work over time.


                      SCHINDLER

          Where do you go all fancied up?


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          You’ve got a lot of questions.


                      SCHINDLER

                (‘innocent’)

          If Dr. Blackman were to ask me where you are…


      PUTTING ON HER SHOES, SHE TURNS, LOOKS AT SCHINDLER.


                      SCHINDLER

                (continuing, at a loss)

          ...vhat do I say?

                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          First you’re a Peeper Tom, now you’re blackmailing me?


                      SCHINDLER

                (‘innocently’)

          A sick old man like me?


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (muttering unhappily)

          A sick old rapscallion is more like it.


      SHE UNDOES HER HAIR, WHICH FALLS TO HER SHOULDERS.


                      SCHINDLER

                (seductively)

          You’re a very beautiful woman.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (after reconsidering)

          I have a job interview.


                      SCHINDLER

          At night?  Pretty suspicious.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (putting on her sweater)

          If anyone asks, you don’t know where I am.


                      SCHINDLER

                (innocently)

          I shouldn’t say ‘a job interview?’
                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          You don’t know where I am!


                      SCHINDLER

                (a good soldier)

          Yes, Ma’am.  I vill do that.


      HE SALUTES, MAKING HER SMILE.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          See you in the morning, Mr. Schindler.  I’m pulling a double.


      SHE HEADS FOR THE DOOR, HESITATES.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Oh, they’ll be bringing a new patient in here tonight or in the
      mor…


                      SCHINDLER

                (interrupting, shouting)

          I vant no one in here with me!


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          The hospital doesn’t have a choice.  There are no more beds.


                      SCHINDLER

                (as an aside)

          Hopefully someone vill die.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Charming.

                (encouraging)

          Maybe you’ll make a new friend.
                      SCHINDLER

                (grumpy)

          I don’t vant a new friend.  This person will come in here, spread
      their germs and kill me.  It happens, don’t tell me it doesn’t.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Good night, Mr. Schindler.


      NURSE ROTHSTEIN EXITS.


      SCHINDLER CLOSES HIS EYES AGAIN.


      AS DIONE SINGING FADES UP, PHOTO V OF THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS PALACE IS
      PROJECTED.


      THE MUSIC FADES AS THE LIGHTS SLOWLY FADE TO BLACK.


      SCHINDLER’S DREAM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                      SCENE TWO

                              NURSE R. PLACES NEUTRA BED.


      MORNING.  L.A. DAY OUT THE WINDOW.  IN THE OTHER BED, RICHARD NEUTRA,
      SILVER HAIR, MUSTACHE, TURNS OVER, SITS UP AND CHECKS OUT THE ROOM,
      SEES SCHINDLER SLEEPING, CONTINUES LOOKING AROUND, SLOWLY TURNS BACK
      TO LOOK MORE CLOSELY.


                      NEUTRA

          Ru…dolph?


      SCHINDLER CONTINUES SLEEPING.


                      NEUTRA

                (leaning closer)

          RUDOLPH!


                      STILL NO REACTION.


                      NEUTRA

          RUDOLPH!!

                (Schindler starts awake, blinks a few times,  turns to Neutra)


                      NEUTRA

          It’s Neutra!  After all this time…

                (Schindler’s eyes widen)


                      SCHINDLER

                (focusing, then)

          Neutra?
                      NEUTRA

          Yes, it is me.


                      SCHINDLER

                (angrily)

          Neutra!


                      NEUTRA

                (dropping his arms, suddenly afraid)

          Ru…Rudolph???


                      SCHINDLER

          Of all the people in the vorld!  You!  That you would inflict
      yourself on me…


                      NEUTRA

          “Inflict?”  I open my eyes and you are shouting at me like a….


                      SCHINDLER

          GONIFF!


                      NEUTRA

                (finishing)

          ...like a crazy person?


                      SCHINDLER

          POSEUR!


                      NEUTRA

          Why…?
                      SCHINDLER

                (shaking his fist at Neutra)

          Finally, you have to answer to me - face to face!


      NEUTRA GRABS THE CALL BUTTON, PRESSES WILDLY. BZZZZ! SCHINDLER PRESSES
      BZZZZ!


      NURSE ROTHSTEIN BURSTS IN AS THEY’RE BZZZZING THEIR BRAINS OUT.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          What?  What is it!


                      SCHINDLER

          The man is a thief…A THIEF!


                      NEUTRA

          This maniac is threatening to kill me!  You must move me!  Please,
      another room!


      NURSE ROTHSTEIN STEPS BETWEEN THE BEDS WAVING HER ARMS.


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

          Wait a minute!  Wait a minute!!  You have to stop yelling.  What’s
      going on?


                      NEUTRA

                (bewildered)

          Twenty-three years we haven’t seen each other and…


                      NURSE ROTHSTEIN

                (interrupting, astounded)

          You know each other?!

[End of Extract]


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