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