The Veranda by Art Walsh
This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent
(Carl is seated at table. This scene replicates the scene as blocked in Act II Scene 9)
So you can sit up here and enjoy the view or blow
your fucking brains out I no longer give a shit. (She exits.)
CARL Well I guess she told me.
FATHER (V.O.) Maybe you should take her advice.
BLACKOUT END SCENE 1
BEFORE THE BEGINING
(Carl and his mother [Sophie] are present. Sophie seated and Carl pacing.)
What was the matter with the other house? It
wasn’t good enough for you? Nothing was ever good enough for you. Nothing I done for you or that worthless father of yours. You was always after something better. So now you got it and what are you gonna do live here all by yourself, without me. And what am I supposed to do? Tell me that will ---
I’m getting married Ma, remember? Remember Evelyn?
Oh yeah. What is she wife number four? You sure
know how to pick em’.
Number two. She’s my second wife and I know you
hate her but I don’t care.
Good. She’s your second wife. Then who were those
other broads in between?
(Handing her an envelope.) Here, take this.
What is it?
The keys to a house and directions.
SOPHIE So you are kicking me out.
You can’t live here. Not the way you and Evelyn
get along. I won’t put up with that crap. Not here and not any more.
You want me to just come by and clean the place for
you is that it? Like some kind of slave because you gave me a house?
I’m not giving you a house. I’m renting a house
for you and I don’t need you to clean my house. You were never any good at it any way.
What am I supposed to do in return for such a
Nothing. Just go and live at that address and
leave me alone.
Don’t you even want me to come and clean the pool?
I don’t want any thing from you and as for the
pool, my father will be taking care of that.
Your father! Where the hell did he come from?
He contacted me a while back. He’s in bad shape,
so I told him he could live in that shack at the bottom of the hill in return for taking care of the pool.
That bastard is gonna live here and so your kicking
me out is that it?
I am not kicking you out. You never lived here.
So your kicking me out of the other house. Your
turning out just like your father.
I sold the other house. I tried to toss you into
the deal but the new owners wouldn’t go for it.
END SCENE 2
(Carl stands UL with George. A young woman (Linda) stands D.R.)
GEORGE (He is tap dancing but not well.)
CARL What the hell are you doing?
Come on, don’t tell me you don’t recognize tap
Tap dancing I recognize. What you are doing is
something else all together. Don’t tell me your taking lessons to impress some new starlet.
Not a starlet.
Moving up in the Hollywood world?
Yes I am. What’s the next rung above starlet?
Don’t remember. But I do remember the skiing
lessons, you broke your leg.
And I needed TLC for two months. (Imitating a
female voice.) “My hero, I can’t believe you did this just for me. I must take care of you.” Two months of tender loving care.
How about we start a pool? We’ll try to guess
which part you’ll break or strain this time.
You can’t break anything tap dancing. I checked.
I’ll bet you can if you keep doing it on my deck.
Veranda. It’s not a deck it’s a veranda and I
ought to know, I designed it.
You designed it and now you want to ruin it.
Not at all it’s the view, I find that it relaxes me
and helps my concentration.
You know something? For an architect you’re a hell
of a flake.
For a flake I’m a hell of an architect. Isn’t that
what you mean?
I will grant you that. You really saw my dream for
this spot and made it a reality.
I still can’t imagine this lot had been sitting
here for so many years until you found it. Of course there are a lot of spots like it but none with an existing road. You never did tell me how you manage to find it?
I was in a wild mood that night. Every once in a
while a guy has to cut loose.
The Veranda Any way I drove up what looked like an abandoned
road with, (Pause.) With someone who shall remain nameless. To protect the innocent.
That’s you in a nutshell. Protector of the
innocent. I wonder how many innocent’s identities you have protected over the years. I’m betting they were more likely someone with stars in their eyes and only one talent.
Don’t be unkind.
Just calling them like I see them. Did you ever
think of how many ...
No, George it never occurred to me. I just look at
it this way. What’s the sense in being a movie star if you can’t put it to use. Any way, back to how I discovered this spot. At the end of the road I came upon this field which someone had cleared.
I couldn’t stop thinking how anybody could own this and not build on it? When I found out who the owner was and that he had no plans to build on it, he just liked the view, well I persuaded him to sell it to me. He had two conditions. The deck ---
Veranda. He made me agree to the Veranda and
allowing him to visit on occasion. I agreed to both conditions, figured out what I wanted to do with the land, then looked for an architect. And that’s how I found and hired you.
Maybe you should get one of those dance pads. Any
way, I thought the veranda was your idea.
I did too. That is until I just remembered the old
guy. He was a bit of a dreamer.
He bought the property built the road then ran out
of money. He would drive up here and imagine a deck and enjoy the view. Then I happened along. A good deal for both of us I think.
I do too, a good deal for all three of us. I’ve
designed a lot of houses since this one, but it’s still my favorite spot. Especially the view from the veranda.
CARL Everyone calls it a deck.
It’s not. It’s a veranda. Did I ever thank you
for letting me build this edifice?
Only when you've had one too many. Did I ever
You don’t have too. My career took off after this.
Not to mention all the enjoyment this place has provided over the years.
Especially when I’m off on location. What’s the
big attraction? I’m just saying, what’s wrong with that castle you built for yourself?
This veranda is in a dream location. Not to
mention that this a movie star’s house.
What are friends for? Me casa su casa, me veranda
Somebody should write a book about this place. A
load of memories, Carl, a load of memories.
There were memories here before there was a veranda
here. When the veranda existed only as a deck in my mind. (Gives George a knowing smile.) Our little secret? (Rises and crosses down to the woman at the lip of the stage. This is the only area lit. As George taps off. ) After I bought the land and before I ever told you about my dream. (Speaking to the girl. As George exits.) The house will be set back. Only the second floor and veranda will have a view of the valley. All the other vistas will be of the surrounding hills and the sky.
That’s real beautiful. I bet it’s going to cost a bathtub full of money.
The veranda will end right here. The bathtub will
be located right out there at the edge of it. After I empty the money out of it.
LINDA What bathtub? What money?
I don’t actually have the bathtub yet. It’s on
order. A claw footed one. The money came from Universal.
Say are you somebody real famous? Cause if you are
you better give me your autograph.
I’ll do better than that I'll have it tattooed on
Do you mean like a brand or label? Because I don’t
want to be branded or labeled.
Never. You are the free spirit aren’t you? I’ll
just get a blanket from the car. And maybe a little wine.
Hey wait a minute. You’re Carl Bell, I recognize
you now. And an autograph would do just fine thanks.
How else do I get a look at what I’m sure is a
LINDA Well. You are kinda cute in
sort of a way.
CARL That’s what they say.
a grown up little boy
Why are you standing there? Go and get that
blanket. If you think we’ll
CARL Maybe we won’t. (He crosses
to her and takes her
in his arms.)
I don’t think we will.
Let me show you where the bedrooms will be located.
LINDA Just one will do for now.
(Lights down as they exit.)
END SCENE 3