Excerpt from The Beebo Brinker Chronicles

(Beebo enters in her elevator uniform. She sees Laura writing in her diary. Laura sees Beebo and hides the diary in a locked strong box.)

BEEBO
Hello.

LAURA
Hello.

BEEBO
Guess who rode up in my elevator today? Ed Sullivan. Here I am riding up with the stars and they think I’m an 18 year old boy.  I’m the world’s oldest adolescent.  (She changes into a riding outfit.)

Let’s see the ice is being delivered at 6. And Jack will be here soon. He can help me set up the bar.

LAURA
You’re wearing that getup for the party?

BEEBO
Yeah, why?

LAURA
You look like a freak!

BEEBO
I’m no man. I’m sure as hell no woman either. I don’t look good in anything. Just saw Lili and invited her.

LAURA
Lili? Why did you invite her? How many people does that make now?

BEEBO
Jesus, honey. How many people stick it out for this long? We have something to be proud of, for God’s sake. Let’s advertise it.

LAURA
What have we got to be proud of? We’re just a couple of suckers for punishment. We just happen to enjoy beating each other’s head’s in.

(Beebo grabs her roughly. The doorbell rings.)

Get the door Beebo, your party’s about to begin.

(Beebo opens the door and Jack walks in carrying two  bottles.)

JACK
Thought with the crowd you’re having, I’d better bring my own.

LAURA
Jack, you’re not going to drink two-fifths by yourself.

JACK
I’m going to try. You’re looking swell tonight mother.

BEEBO

Hands off. She’s still mine. And it’s been two whole years. (She slaps Laura’s ass.)

We’re going to have a good time tonight.

JACK

That’s right everyone drink up and laugh. Laugh, damn you all if you can.

(Lights dim, noise heightens. Time passes. Lili a tart in a peasant shirt wanders over to Jack and Laura.)

Lili, what can I do you for?

LILI
Gloom chaser on the rocks. That’s what I always drink at wakes. Evening Laura. Imagine my surprise to be invited to such an awe-spicious event. (Pulls out a cigarette and waits for someone to light it.)

Well do I have to find my own flint and rock?

(Jack lights her cigarette. She sees Beebo and wanders over to her.)

So Beebo, you avoiding me?

BEEBO
Lili, I don’t want any trouble from you tonight.

LILI
Then why’d you invite me? I don’t see you for months and then you invite me to this charade? How come you don’t see me anymore Beebo?  You’re enough to drive a girl frantic.

BEEBO
You know why Lily.

LILI
It’s because of that bitchy little Laura, isn’t it? I can’t imagine why you wanted to give this party in the first place. You do nothing, but fight. Everyone knows you’re all washed up.

BEEBO
You say that once more and I’ll kick you out on your can.

LILI
Okay, lie to yourself, I don’t give a damn. Only it’s perfectly clear —

BEEBO
Damn you, Lili don’t you understand English?

LILI
I understand you prefer a button breasted bad tempered little prude to a real woman.

(Beebo grabs her.)

Hey, what’s with the mitts Beebo?

(Exposes her breasts.)

All right, you fool suffer! But I know a little something about your Laura you might be interested in. I’ll be in the kitchen getting some chips.

(Lili exits.)

Contributors

Kate M. Ryan

Linda S. Chapman

Chapman has been the Associate Artistic Director of New York Theatre Workshop since 1995.

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