Finale ©
A One Act Play
by Mark A. Keeton

Setting – A makeup table backstage, “the mirror” being the audience.

Enter Bobby, a mook type; Veronica, a hardened veteran actress; James, an all-American type; Cheryl, a younger actress with a slight southern lilt; and Vincent, a commanding presence with supreme language skills.  They are “chorus” type actors who’ve just finished a performance, all dressed similarly or in matching attire.  They sit down at a makeup table facing the audience & mime the fact there’s a mirror while taking off makeup.

Bobby     Did you see that woman in the front row?  I couldn’t believe it.  Was that Kathleen Turner?

Veronica  You wish.  I think it was an oil baron’s wife or something like that.  

James      Whoever it was, she was hot.

Veronica   If you like peroxide…. (Veronica is actually adding makeup while the rest remove it.)

Cheryl       I think it was Kathleen.  Maybe I should go out and say “hello.”  We worked together.

Bobby       Bull.

Cheryl       I’m serious.  I was in “Serial Mom.”

Vincent      Really?

Cheryl       Yeah!  I was in the last courtroom scene.  She was so brilliant.

James        What was your part?

Cheryl       Extra.

All            Oh.

Bobby      I like Kathy.  Yeah, she used to be kinda cute.

Vincent     Kathy?  It’s Kathleen.  And she’s still quite attractive…

Veronica   Whatever.  I think she’s overrated…

James        Jealous much?

Veronica    Jealous?  Of her?  Please….  I’m twice the actress she is!!!

Vincent      And what have you done lately, Veronica?  

Cheryl       Ouch.

Veronica    For your information, I am doing a spot on “Law and Order” tomorrow.  I play the wife of a man who was murdered.

Veronica exits temporarily.

Bobby      Just like real life….

James       Except I bet it was suicide!

Cheryl      Would you blame him?

Vincent     Did I tell you guys?  I did an indie for two weeks…  It was called..

All            “The Haunting of Howard Fisk.”  We know, we know….

Vincent      Well, don’t be surprised to see it at Sundance.  We’re waiting for the acceptance, but I’m sure it’ll get in…

James         Sure it will, Vincent.  

Cheryl        I just know it’ll be great.  Are you going to get us tickets?

Vincent      Of course, darling.  I’ll always remember the “little people.”

Vincent exits temporarily.

James      “The little people?”  Ha!  I’ve seen some of that film.  It’s like a film noir with no noir.  The scene I saw was terrible…

Bobby       Come on, James.  Be a little supportive to a guy.

James        You’re right.  You’re right.  But that’s nothing compared to my bit on “Guiding Light” – I bet I get an Emmy nomination…

Bobby      They don’t do those for under-5’s….

James        I wasn’t an under-5 and you know it!

Cheryl      Calm down, James.  He was just kidding.  You had a very important role.

James        Damn right I did.  Damn right.  (to Cheryl) Do you need anything, babe?  I’m going to the deli.

Cheryl      No, James.  I’m fine.

James      Well, I’m starvin’ Marvin.  I’ll be back in a minute. (He kisses her goodbye almost too passionately to prove his virility.)
James exits temporarily.

Cheryl     James is always so sweet about getting me things….

Bobby     Is that a crack, Cheryl?

Cheryl      No…

Bobby     When are you going to…

Cheryl       Not now, Bobby.  I’m tired.  And I’m not in the mood to……

Cheryl falls silent as Vincent enters, clothes changed.

Vincent     Why so quiet, kiddies?

Bobby      Nothing to say.

Cheryl     Where’s, uh, you know?

Vincent    Veronica?

Cheryl     Yeah.

Vincent     She’s still changing.

Bobby      You know women….

Cheryl     You’re such a pig, Bobby.  

Cheryl exits temporarily.

Vincent     So…?

Bobby     So what?

Vincent    Did you find out whether or not she…

Bobby    No.  

Vincent    Sorry, man.  Some bad habits are hard to beat.

Veronica enters.

Veronica   Vincent?

Vincent    Yes, Veronica?

Veronica   We going for drinks or not?

Vincent     Don’t know.  Bobby, you up?

Bobby       I…  I don’t think so….

Veronica    Oh, Bobby.  Do come.  It would be, uh, nice, I guess.  Right Vincent?

Bobby     Wellll, if you insssiiisssttt….

Bobby exits temporarily.

Veronica   Vincent, do you think he knows?

Vincent     No.  Not a clue….

Cheryl enters.

Cheryl      What are you two doing?  

Veronica   Nothing.  That was fast.  Just like you….

Cheryl     What’s that supposed to mean?

Veronica   Oh, nothing, darling.  Nothing at all.  

Cheryl      Well, it sounded like something...  (pause, then suddenly excited) Oh!  Did I tell you I have a callback tomorrow?  I’m so scared.

Veronica   What’s it for, honey?

Vincent    A movie?

Cheryl      No.  It’s a cat food commercial.  But the exposure could be wonderful.  

Veronica    Well, considering you’ve got your claws into everything, it seems very appropriate…

Cheryl      What are you getting at?

Veronica    You know very well what I’m talking about.  I have someone waiting for me out front.

Cheryl       I expect an answer!

Veronica exits, ignoring Cheryl.

Vincent     Ignore her, Cheryl.  It’s just….  It’s just Veronica.

Vincent goes to Cheryl and kisses her passionately.

Cheryl     Vincent, we shouldn’t…. not here.  

Vincent    Oh, come on Cher…  I see you so little already….

James enters, finding Cheryl in Vincent’s arms.

James      What’s going on here?

Cheryl      Oh, uh, hi James.  I’m, uh, I wasn’t feeling well.  Vincent caught me.  I thought I was going to faint….

Vincent    Yesss, she wasn’t feeling too well…

James goes to Cheryl and puts an arm around  her other side.  Vincent doesn’t release her other side.

James      Honey, you really should let me get you something to eat.  Let me take you to McDonalds or something.  You can let go, Vincent.  I’ve got her.

Vincent    I’ve got her, James.  Why don’t you let go?

Bobby enters.

Bobby     Jesus Christ, what are you guys doing?

Cheryl     I wasn’t feeling well….

Veronica enters.

Veronica    Well, well, well…  The plot thickens…

Bobby       Shut up, V.  Cheryl, it’s time you made a choice.

James        Choice? What are you talking about?

Vincent      I agree.  You need to pick.

James         Pick?  Pick what?  You can let go now, Vinnie.

Vincent      VINCENT!  And don’t you ever forget it!

Bobby       Why don’t you BOTH get off of her.  She’s my girl.

James        “Your girl?”  “Your girl?”  She’s MY girl.  What do you mean “your girl?”

Cheryl       Oh my God!  Stop it.  All of you!

James       (disgusted) Have you been cheating on me, Cheryl?  With that…that…

Bobby        That what, Jaimie-cakes?  That MAN!?  That REAL man?

James          Forget you, Bobby.  (to Cheryl)  Well?

Cheryl         Uh….  I didn’t want to tell you like this, James.  I…  I wanted to tell you in private.

Veronica    Ha!

All             Shut up, Veronica!

Veronica   Well, I never…

Vincent     And we all know why!

James        You shut up, Vinnnnieee.  Why are you still holding on to her?

Bobby       Yeah!  Why are you holding on to her?  Get off’a her!

Vincent     Because….

James       (in shock) Him, too!?!

Bobby      What?  You?

Cheryl      Well, uh…

Veronica    Oh, Cheryl…you've been practicing your splits again....tsk, tsk, tsk…..

Cheryl       Shut up, Veronica.  This is none of your business.

Veronica    Oh, but it is, darling.  It is…

Bobby       How?

Vincent    She’s my wife.

All          (shocked) What?

Cheryl      You’re married?

Veronica   Yes.  Vincent has decided to wade in the shallow end of the genetic pool of our species...

Vincent      Shut up, Veronica.  You and I have been over for a long time…

James        Wait a second.  What’s the answer, Cher?  You’ve been seeing all of us?

Cheryl       (guilty, in a little girl way) Well…

James        Jesus….  I feel so…  Betrayed.

Bobby       You and me both.

Vincent     The best man won.  Don’t be too upset, boys.  

Bobby    (approaching angrily) Who said you won?

James        (approaching)  Yeah?  Who do you think you are?

Vincent       I’m the one she wants.

Veronica      That makes one of us….

James           She doesn’t want you!  She loves me.  We’ve been together for….

All               6 months and 5 days.  We know, we know…

Bobby          And we’ve been together for three months…  Tells you a lot, don’t it?

Vincent         And we’ve been together for two.  I beat you both.  I won!

Cheryl        (tearing away) Nobody won!  I…  I….  I am NOT a piece of meat!  I’m a person!  I…  I made a mistake here….  I  just…Oh my God!   I don’t want ANY of you!  

All              What?

Cheryl        You’re acting like I’m a prize.  I’m a human being…  Not a… trophy.

Veronica     Well, you’ve sure been mounted.

Cheryl       That’s enough of you, too.  I’ve put up with your “wit” for long enough.  You may view me as some idiot from the south, but I have my degree.  I have an education beyond 7th grade!

James         7th grade?

Veronica     Of course not…  it was… 8th….

Bobby         Really?  Even I got through 10th!

James          What?  I thought you’d gone to Juliard!

Bobby         I thought you’d worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company!

Veronica       I did…  I was….

Vincent       What?  Tell them, dear.  It’s time all of us came clean…

Veronica      A stagehand…

All laugh.

Veronica     Fine.  Laugh.  Laugh away, kiddies.  But at least I’m not the one sleeping with the dim-bulb-bimbo from Georgia!

Laughter stops.  A pause.

Veronica    So who’s it gonna be, Maggie the Cat?  Hmmm?  I’m dying to know…

Cheryl       None.  I don’t want any of you. Bobby, you’re a pawing  creep who can’t keep his hormones bottled.  And James, you’re  as bland as vanilla. And Vincent, you’re... you're a pompous ass!  I don’t want any of you.

James         I can’t believe it…  you loved me.

Bobby        I can’t either!  You told me you loved me, too!

Vincent      (thinking hard)  Pompous ass?  Pompous ass?  Me????

Cheryl         YES!  Goodbye!  Goodbye to ALL of you!

Cheryl starts to exit.

Veronica    See you tomorrow, dear.  The call is at 7.

Cheryl screams and exits.  There is a very long pause as they look at each other.  Suddenly, tension breaks and, as if breaking character….

Veronica   Amateur.

James       Really.  She doesn’t even know how to play the love triangle...  she didn't make a real choice..

Vincent     She’ll neeeever make it in this business.  She’s got no chops.

Bobby      Well, she’s young.  Maybe she’ll get better.  Give a girl some support.

Veronica    Drinks, darlings?

James        Sure!

Bobby      Yeah, where to?

Vincent     How about Sadies?

Veronica   Perfect.  I just love the ambiance there.

James        So, I didn’t know you guys were married!  That’s wonderful…how long?

Vincent     Twelve years now….

All exit happily and excitedly.


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