The Deception Bar & Grill


  A somewhat surreal, troubled stage-play parody in bar room social exchange. The "Deception Bar & Grill" explores the art & fallacy in shared spiritual failure.


  For preparation: Cast members may wish to review episodes from the Television series, "Cheers".

  Setting: downtown bar, with a few tables & chairs. Clearly visible chalkboard "SPECIALS" menu as follows:



OPENING CAST:

          for Evan & Duely : TABLE 1
          for Bud & Selphie : TABLE 2
          for Frank, and one for Mariette : BARSTOOL
          Barkeep

ADDITIONAL CAST:
          Stranger


  Lighting & Sound: Dim, direct & amber lighting. Both tables may utilize center microphones (hidden by a table piece). For Mariette, a microphone may be positioned (hidden) on the bar prop near-to her Barstool. Frank, Selphie, and Barkeep (depending upon vocal ability) may each benefit from cordless microphone assist. Stranger should intend strong vocal projection.




BARKEEP: [walking over to Duely & Evan] What'll it be?

DUELY: [with raised voice] Yeah. I'll have that Bowl of Sin. And, bring me a glass of Peace!

FRANK: [with a chuckle; drink in hand] That'll give you soul-burn.

EVAN: [glancing at Frank, then to Barkeep] Just the Peace for me. [Barkeep walks back to get their orders]

MARIETTE: Yo! Frank, have you hung that rebel kid of yours yet?

FRANK: [under his breath] "rebel kid..." [then turning to answer Mariette, with sarcasm] Is that what I should do.(?)

MARIETTE: [with fane impatience] Frank, he's dyed blue the hair under his arms! [laughter]

FRANK: Toby is seeing a psychologee-ist. If HE doesn't work, I can send him off to school somewhere. [Looking at Mariette] Anyway, what do you care? None of your own even lives with you.

MARIETTE: ...And, I am enjoying it. [with confidence] You're just sensitive that I could even care about someone... someone like myself.

BARKEEP: [sauntering close to toss-in a jab] Do you care about yourself, Frank?

FRANK: Mariette, I thought we were friends.(?)

MARIETTE: [dismissingly, without looking at Frank] We are.

EVAN: [to Duely, as Barkeep returns with their orders] Your usual fare?

DUELY: [nodding in the affirmative, as Barkeep serves to Duely a wicker basket; and for each a translucent, empty glass]

EVAN: [spotting the empty glass; to Barkeep] Hey! Couldn't that glass be more full?

BARKEEP: [with dispassion, answering Evan] Empty Peace is all we serve here.

BUD: [with a touch of new-age styled sarcasm] Frank... Frank, I saw your car in my driveway this afternoon.

FRANK: It's not my car... I mean, it wasn't... I'm gonna come and get it! I told you I'd be out there to...

DUELY: [interrupting] How long has that been, Frank?

FRANK: How long is what?

DUELY: How long since you told him?

BARKEEP: Frank, you know you ain't never gonna retrieve that broken-down excuse for two axels and a rear-end.

FRANK: [now obviously drunk, standing up] What? Look! I'm taking over this... this... [adding intensity to anger] Who is this place, anyway?

DUELY: [with resignation] "Deception Bar & Grill"

FRANK: Yeah! Neglect-in Burn and...

DUELY: You're drunk, Frank.

FRANK: [struggling to complete his interrupted outburst]...and Pill! Oh... Uhh... [looking down, with his hand on his head as if now in some pain] I need another pill.

BARKEEP: [pointing toward the street] Pharmacy is 6 blocks down, on the left.

FRANK: [sitting down, looking up briefly] Thanks, brother. Already been there.

SELPHIE: [walking up to the bar before Frank completes his gratitude] You know, this place is like a church to me.

BARKEEP: ...With an angel like you, Selphie.

SELPHIE: Pour me a tall one of Faithfulness?

BARKEEP: Come again?

SELPHIE: [in momentary reflection] Maybe Another Day.

BARKEEP: Don't have that, either. Sorry, girl.

SELPHIE: [walking away from the bar; sitting with Bud in friendly style] How are you, Bud?

BUD: Feeling good. [slowly] Just feeling...

SELPHIE: You've always been my hero, Bud. You know that? How's the wife?

BUD: I've been with her twenty years. She's never left me. I must be doin' something right.

FRANK: [having overheard Bud's boast] Hah! Mine's been thirty-three years, and I never do anything right!

DUELY: [in anger] Frank, would you just quit!

BARKEEP: [crisply] Yeah, Frank. Leave that perfect wife of your’s... [laughter interrupts Barkeep]

SELPHIE: [to Bud, after the laughter dies] They don't understand how tough it's been for you.

BUD: Yeah.

STRANGER: [after confidently entering the bar-scene, with obvious sobriety] Well, if it ain't for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God!

BARKEEP: Hey, stranger... Yeah, we serve 'em all, “short” and tall.

STRANGER: [walking over to Frank] Frank, I know you... What are you doing here? [Frank just looks back, as Stranger spots the "Specials Menu", gets up and walks over... speaking to all] Jealousy?! Fear?! Froth?! [Stranger then removes his jacket, and reaches to hang it over the "Special Menu"]

BARKEEP: [with irritated confusion] Somethin' you'd like to order?

STRANGER: Yeah. I'm ordering you all on over to Joshua's place. This pub's a death trap!

DUELY: “Death trap”?

STRANGER: Come on, guys... The grace of God. Everyone out. It's on my house!

   [everyone except Barkeep gets up and leaves, with Frank struggling a bit just to walk]

BARKEEP: [after a short pause, with anger & astonishment] That guy just emptied out my place!

   [lights down | applause]

-- END