The three surviving Holloway brothers are facing a dilemma! Their string of casual eateries are losing money and in order to save the family business oldest brother Sam wants to sell the only remaining joint property, a valuable waterfront house in Rockaway Beach, N.Y. The problem is youngest, 'black sheep', brother Rollie has his own plans for the proceeds, namely to pay off the lone sharks he owes money to. Middle brother and business accountant Kevin has an overbearing wife who also wants her share. And let's not forget their deceased brother's widow Martha, who also has a quarter share and needs the money due to a pending divorce! And if all that is not bad enough, said deceased brother Fred is haunting the house and doesn't want anyone else living there!
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WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:"Simonelli really know his characters and writes in a way that really connects with his audience. The play is very amusing as well as very touching."Asbury Park Press PRODUCTION HISTORY First Ave. Playhouse NJ 2002 (Premiere) Shrewsbury Players NJ 2004 First Ave. Playhouse NJ 2006 Ware Community Theatre Can. 2008 Lakewood Playhouse Maine 2011 Community Theatre Leauge PA 2011 Cumberland Arts Center Tn 2013 Russell Community Theatre Ks 2014 Little Victory Theatre NYC 2016 Spotlight Players MI 2017 Marco Players FL 2017 Hanover Players PA 2018
SAMPLE DIALOGUE: CHARACTERS
Rollie Holloway – late 30’s
Rita Romano –Mid 30’s – Rollie’s latest flame
Kevin Holloway – early forties – accountant, middle brother
Sam Holloway – late forties – oldest surviving brother
Fred Holloway – 40 (deceased ten years) formerly the oldest brother
Martha Holloway – late 40’s – Fred’s widow.
SETTING: The living room of a small beach cottage in Rockaway Point, New York. A dining table isdown left. A sofa is down center. Bar is back center with the picture of a beach house hanging above it. AT RISE: It is late afternoon in May, 2002. Stage is empty as we hear the sound of waves breaking and seagulls, Rollie enters carrying a small shaving bag. He is the youngest of the three surviving Holloway brothers. ROLLIE, along with KEVIN and SAM, run a chain of casual restaurants called the Luscious Onion. He is a ladies man and cad, whose only interest in the family business is dating the waitresses he’s in charge of hiring. He crosses to the picture window stage right and stares at the ocean as waves sound fade and Rita enters front door carrying two large suitcases. She is a pretty woman in her mid-thirties whose lack of higher education is well masked by her urban street smarts and sweet demeanor.
RITA (As she drops suitcases in middle of room.)Gee Rollie, the least you could’ve done was help me with the suitcases. (She glances past audience through imaginary window that fronts the ocean.) Wow, what a magnificent view. The ocean sure is beautiful, isn’t it Rollie?
ROLLIE (thinking of his deceased brother) Yeah, except when it isn’t.
RITASure seems cozy. It’s a shame your family is going to sell the place.
ROLLIEWhat can I tell you babe. No one uses the place anymore since my brother Fred died. My two other brothers have places of their own out on Long Island.
RITAI prefer the Jersey shore myself. Remember, that’s where we met Rollie. ROLLIE (Sarcasm apparent)That’s right, you were reading palms on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. Make any money in that racquet?
RITAIt had its moments. (She strokes his lapel playfully.)I like working for you in the restaurant better though.
ROLLIE(flirtatious) I recognize talent when I see it babe. That’s why my brothers made me Vice President of Personnel and Forms. RITAForms?
ROLLIEYeah forms. You know. Checks, business cards, inventory sheets. After all, you can’t trust just anyone with important stuff like that. (He moves to kiss her and she pulls away.) RITAWe better get settled in. Oh, it’s so exciting, our first trip away together… I mean besides the Holiday Inn at Kennedy airport.
ROLLIEThe best three hours of my life! (She crosses down left and enters kitchen.)
RIAIs this the kitchen?
ROLLIEYeah. (He pulls cell phone and small piece of paper from his pocket.) RITA (Returning to living room.)It’s tiny, and dusty. Doesn’t anyone cook?
ROLLIEMartha used to. That’s Fred’s widow. You’ll meet her later. She’s coming up to sign the closing papers. (Reminiscing) Good old Martha. She could whip up a soufflé to feedan army in forty minutes. (He starts searching through his overnight bag.)
RITAHow long has it been since you’ve seen her?
ROLLIENot since Fred’s funeral. (He looks up from luggage.) God, that’s ten years ago.This was my parents place originally. My brothers and I spent every summer here growing up. When my Father died he left it to the four boys, but Fred and Martha were the only ones who used it. Now, since he’s gone, we just decided it’s time to sell.
(RITA crosses down right to observe painting hanging on wall. It is a painting of a beach house.)
RITAOh, I like this painting.
ROLLIE (Glances up.)Oh yeah, nice isn’t it? Fred bought that for my mother when we were kids. He said it reminded him of this beach house. It’s very serene.
RITA You think so? To me it just seems peaceful.
RITA (Crosses back to ROLLIE who is crouched over bag and starts to massage his shoulders.)I’d love to go to a nice little beach house like that with you Rollie.
ROLLIEYou’re in one.
RITAI mean alone. Without all your brothers around. (a beat) Why don’t we go away togetherRollie? Maybe a vacation to the Bahamas or someplace. Wouldn’t that be romantic?
ROLLIEI’d love to babe, but it’s our busy season. I’m swamped with work.
RITA (Playing it up.)But Rollie, you know how I get when I’m near the ocean. The smell of the salt water justdoes something to me. Remember Atlantic City?
ROLLIE (Reminiscing)Best four hours of my life!
RITAWe can play the helpless drowning victim and the hero lifeguard again… And you can be the lifeguard this time.
ROLLIEI’m the lifeguard! (He notices a call from his bookie on his cell phone. Snapping back to reality, he continues his search.)Nah, we couldn’t. Vacations are expensive. I still haven’t gotten my bonus.
RITAThe story of your life. I just don’t understand it. You’re a single man with no expenseswho makes a decent living. What do you do with all your money?
ROLLIEYou know what a soft touch I am babe. I’m a sucker for a sob story. I keep giving my money to different charities… the Police Athletic League, the Boy Scouts…
ROLLIEThey’re not anonymous. I know them all! They’re nice guys. A bit misunderstood maybe. RITAUnlike you Rollie, I realize the value of a dollar. I’ve been saving up. I’ll pay for the weekend.
ROLLIEAbsolutely not, a Holloway never allows a woman to pay. (beat) We’ll split it.
RITAYou mean we’re really going!
ROLLIEI get to be the lifeguard this time?
RITA (She hugs him.)Oh Rollie, you really do care.
ROLLIE Right now, Rita my dear, all I care about is finding my shaving kit. Now, where can it be?
RITA Maybe you left it in the car?
ROLLIE Yeah maybe. Would you mind looking babe? I’ve got to make a quick call.
RITA (Suspiciously)To whom? ROLLIE (Momentarily at a loss)Ah, my accountant.
RITAAlright. I’ll be right back. (They motion baby kisses at each other as she exits. ROLLIE dials number as door closes.)
ROLLIE (He crosses to table and looks at paper. There’s a deep sense of urgency as he speaks.)Hello… hi Al, it’s Rollie Holloway, can I speak to Charlie Stein please. I know he’s been waiting for my call Al. I know he’s angry, he’s always angry, just put him on, will you? Hello, Charlie… yeah Charlie, you’re right Charlie, I should have called yesterday. So I’m calling today. I know, I know… I’m with my family today. I told you, we’re selling the beach house, you’ll get your money. My end has got to be worth a hundred-and-fifty G’s. That’s right, a hundred-and-fifty thou. It’s a done deal. Of course, you’ve been patient… I know Charlie, it’s my last chance, or it’s out of your hands. You’re a real sweetheart…. Don’t threaten me Charlie, with the money I give you, I’m worth more to you alive than dead. You could milk a compulsive gambler like me at least twenty more years. Listen Charlie, third race at Belmont, number three horse. Put a hundred on the nose will you, thanks. No, I’m not just betting number three again… the horse’s name is Tarot Card Reader… that’s right Tarot Card Re… (Door opens suddenly, RITA is holding shaving kit.) RITA… my love… (to phone) Yes, Mr. Stein, I promise I’ll have my W-2 form to youby Tuesday, we’ll show that IRS, yes goodbye. (to RITA) Accountants, they’re so anal.
RITA (With a hint of skepticism.)Here’s your shaving kit. Now remember, you promised you’re going to talk to yourbrother Sam about transferring me to the corporate office in New York. ROLLIEBut babe, you’re doing such a great job in the Paramus store. You’re already head cocktail waitress and I think you’d make a great assistant manager.
RITAListen Rollie, I didn’t go through six years of secretarial school just to be a cocktail waitress. I gave up a promising career in Atlantic City because you told me your business offered advancement opportunities.
ROLLIEYou consider reading palms a promising career?
RITAYou forgot I was studying to be a croupier? Besides, I could be a big help at the corporate office. I’m pretty creative you know. I could design new placemats. Maybeeven come up with some new items for the menu. You love my cooking Rollie. (He picks up overnight bag and shaving kit.)Or at least that’s what you always say. You’re crazy about my rigatoni. You always say that Rollie. Hey wait, that’s a great idea for the menu. (She motions with hand as if writing on invisible billboard.)Rita’s Rigatoni Royale…
ROLLIERigatoni Royale? I don’t know, it doesn’t sound right. Royale is English, you need something Italian. Maybe Rigatoni Regalé Who knows, it’s been a long time since I looked at my Italian grammar. RITAI had an Italian Grammar in Sicily, she died last year.
ROLLIEWell, I walked right into that one.
RITAWhat do you think Rollie? Rita’s Rigatoni Regalé. It’s catchy isn’t it? Isn’t it catchy, Rollie?
ROLLIEI’m still not sure. I’ll have to run it by Fred. He was always in charge of the menu.
RITAI thought you told me he was dead. (She picks up the two large suitcases.)
ROLLIE (He catches himself.)Oh yeah, that’s right… he’s a… dead.
RITA (A beat, as she gives him a quizzical look.)Come on Sir Galahad, lets get this luggage unpacked.
(They exit to bedroom as KEVIN enters front door. He is holding a cell old middle brother whose demeanor is the exact opposite of Rollie. As the company accountant he is all business and bottom line. He is also married to an overbearing wife to whom he is speaking when he enters Kevin can be given anal retentive characteristics such as always cleaning and using hand sanitizer).)
KEVINBut Susan, it’s only for tonight. (He straighten out Fred’s Beach house picture) I’ll be back first thing in the morning. I can’t come home tonight, we don’t know when Martha is going to arrive. Yes dear… yes dear, I know we have a wedding reception to go to tomorrow, I’ll be home in plenty oftime. What? No, we are not going out carousing tonight, we’re going to sit in the cottage and play Monopoly like we do every year. I can’t help it, it’s a tradition.
(RITA and ROLLIE reenter the room.)
RITAI told you I heard a voice in here.
KEVINI’ve got to go Susan. Rollie and...? (Gives ROLLIE a quizzical look.)
KEVIN (With hint of disapproval.)His friend just came in.
ROLLIE (Sarcastically in phone’s direction.)Hi Susan, I won’t keep him out too late tonight.
KEVIN (to phone)He’s teasing Susan. Yes, I’ll call you in the morning. Bye. (to ROLLIE)What’s the matter with you. You know how she is.
ROLLIEYes I know. (spells out) B-I-T-C-H.
KEVINDon’t start with me again.
ROLLIEDivorce is still legal in this state you know. KEVINSure, then she gets half of everything. ROLLIE (Obviously opening old wounds.)Great reason to stay in a bad marriage Kev.
RITA (Sensing need to diffuse the situation.)Hi, I’m Rita Romano. Didn’t Rollie tell you about me?
KEVIN(sarcasm) He might have. It’s hard for me to keep track.
ROLLIEHe means keep track of all the new personnel in payroll. Kevin is our accountant.
RITAOh, weren’t you just on the phone with him?
ROLLIENo… no… Kevin’s our corporate accountant, for the restaurants. I was on the phonewith my “personal” accountant.
KEVINSince when do you have a personal accountant, I’ve been doing your taxes for years.
ROLLIE (to KEVIN with shake of head towards RITA.)You know Kevin, my other accountant, “Mr. Stein”.
KEVINOh, you mean the accountant who handles all your tax loses.
ROLLIEThat’s the one.
RITARollie’s going to talk to your brother Sam about me working in corporate headquarters,I went through six years of school you know.
KEVIN(Sarcasm) Really? Where, Vassar, Bryn Mawr? RITAKatherine Gibbs secretarial if you don’t mind.
ROLLIEWe could use some extra help at headquarters Kev. Rita’s very creative.
RITAShould I tell him about my Rigatoni idea? KEVINI’d love to hear it, but I really should start unpacking.
ROLLIEWhy don’t Rita and I run to the store and do a little grocery shopping.
KEVINGood idea. I don’t imagine there’s much to eat in the kitchen.
ROLLIEJust a can of tuna fish so old that ‘Charlie the tuna” has a white beard and a cane.
RITA I’ll tell you what, I’ll run to the store for groceries and you two boys can discuss whatever business you have together. I gather you don’t get to see much of your brother without his family around. (She holds out her hand for money and ROLLIE kisses it.)
ROLLIEWhat a girl. One in a million.
RITAVery gallant, but I need some money.
ROLLIE (Searching his empty pockets.)Now, let me see. I know I brought some cash (To KEVIN)Hey Kev, can you help me out I think I…
KEVIN (Finishing for him again.)“…left my cash in the other jacket.” You’re unbelievable. (Pulls money from his pocket and hands it to RITA.)I hope you know what you’re getting yourself into Miss Romano.
RITAOh, I know exactly. (She kisses ROLLIE on the cheek and exits.)
KEVIN You sure can pick ’em Rollie.
ROLLIEDon’t start with me.
KEVIN (Starts to pace as ROLLIE opens a newspaper and starts to handicap horse races.)
Do you realize what dire straights our company is in right now. (Sees that ROLLIE is oblivious.)No, you don’t do you. We’ve been bleeding red ink for seven years and all you can think about is women and gambling. What’s that your reading?
ROLLIEThe racing form.
KEVIN (exasperated)The racing form? Playboy Rollie. He fiddles while Rome burns.
ROLLIE (unconcerned) I-1-11Relax will you. The restaurants will survive. We’ve been in trouble before and alwayspulled out of it.
KEVINNo thanks to you Rollie.
ROLLIEDon’t start blaming me Kev, you and Sammy run the show, I’m merely window dressing.
KEVINOh yeah Mr. “Vice President of Personnel and Forms
KEVIN (Pulling a report from his briefcase.)Here, look at this. The profit and loss for the Luscious Onion chain of restaurants.New York State, out of twelve stores, only five are making money. Connecticut, eight stores, three are profitable and Jersey…
ROLLIE (still disinterested) What about Jersey? KEVIN In Jersey out of six stores only one is making money!
ROLLIE (Finally, looking up as his interest is piqued.)Really, which one?
ROLLIE (proud of himself)I knew it. That’s because I hired Rita for that store. What a gal.
KEVINI seem to recall that you hire waitresses for all the stores. And most of them are losing money. What’s your excuse for that?
ROLLIE (Now up and walking around.)I’m working on it. You think girls like Rita grow on trees. It takes months of painstakinginterviews before I find women with the (lasciviously motioning with his hands)“right qualifications.”
KEVIN (exasperated)Right qualifications! You’re the only personnel director I know who hires on looks. This isn’t a modeling agency or an escort service.
ROLLIEThe waitresses have to look nice for the customers.
KEVINThey also have to know how to read the menus and write the orders down.
ROLLIEListen Kev, the problem with the restaurants is not the staff and you know it. If Fred were still alive…
KEVINWell he’s not.
ROLLIEYeah, he’s not. Except for every May 15th. KEVINDon’t start with that. (Walks to bar and starts to examine liquor bottles.)
ROLLIEYou think he’ll show up tonight? KEVIN (Pouring a drink)I don’t want to talk about it.
ROLLIEWhy not, he’s shown up the last ten years, only stands to reason…
KEVIN (Sips drink and gags as he examines the bottle.)Yuck, I thought scotch didn’t go bad…
That was Fred’s scotch. You think he’d take a sip once in awhile seeing that he keeps hanging around.
KEVINHe is not hanging around! Listen, I’m still not convinced of what happened the last ten years or what I’ve seen. It seems like a bad dream. And don’t go bringing it up to Sam either. You know he thinks we’re crazy.
ROLLIESam’s in denial. Always has been. First when Mom and Pop died, and now Fred. (He pours drink from same bottle and downs it without incident as KEVIN watches.)
KEVINThat didn’t taste funny to you?
ROLLIEDelicious. You just don’t appreciate aged scotch. (He pours another glass.)
KEVINIn any case, don’t go bringing up Fred to Sam. He’s under enough pressure.
ROLLIE (He sips drink and sits back down with racing form.)We’re all under pressure.
KEVINYeah, but Sam especially. You know how he feels about being the oldest. He’ll doanything to save the restaurants. He’s sentimental about the family. The only reason heagreed to sell this house is because he’s putting his share of the money back into the business. He even blames himself for Fred.
ROLLIE Fred’s death was not his fault.
KEVINI know Rollie. But Sam gave him the night off ten years ago and he feels responsible.But how would you remember. You were away living the high life in Las Vegas, whilethe rest of us were working our butts off in the restaurants.
ROLLIEI flew right back from Vegas when I heard about Fred. Besides, I’ve been here ever since haven’t I?
KEVINThat doesn’t make up for Fred. Or for the way Sam feels.
ROLLIEWell, then Sam better begin to let go.
KEVINOf what? ROLLIEOf his guilty conscience. That’s what. Fred’s death, this beach house, even the restaurants.
KEVINHe’ll never give up the business. Even if it kills him.
ROLLIEAnd it probably will.
KEVINDon’t make light of it. Sam is losing it. Haven’t you noticed that he’s been acting a little strange lately.
ROLLIENot really, he seems perfectly fine to me.
KEVIN What do you know. You’re never in the office. And when you are you’re just takingthe secretaries to lunch.
ROLLIEPeople have to eat.
KEVINLook Rollie, I’m being serious here. I work closely with Sam every day, and I’m telling you the pressure’s getting to him. He’s cracking up.
ROLLIEYou’re imagining things. (Door opens suddenly and SAM enters wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt and sombrero, carrying a ukulele and a Monopoly game.) SAMI’ve got the Monopoly set. Let’s get cracking boys. BLACKOUT
Scene 2 (Ten minutes later. The three men are playing Monopoly. A song like Sinatra’s “witchcraft” is playing on the radio.) KEVIN(Rolling dice) Look Sam, maybe we should skip Monopoly and just talk business this year.
SAMNever. Monopoly’s been a tradition in this house since the game was invented. Your grandfather Holloway used to play it at this very table before any of us were born. ROLLIEHe’s right Kev. We have to play the game.
KEVINAlright, but we’re not playing with real money this year.
ROLLIEYou take the fun out of everything. SAM What’s with the ancient music?
KEVINI had the movers pack up all the valuable stuff. I just left that old radio. They’ll comefor the furniture tomorrow. ROLLIEThe problem is the radio only gets one station. Nostalgia.
(As they play the game SAM looks up and notices the picture of the beach house. )
SAM(to KEVIN) I thought you said you packed away all the valuables.
SAMWhat about the picture?
(KEVIN looks to ROLLIE)
ROLLIEWell Sam, we kind of thought the picture should stay with the house. You know, for him.
SAM(terse) He’s dead. He doesn’t need it.
KEVINStill and all Sam, it has no monetary value. Let it stay with the house.
SAMAlright, let it stay already. (Getting ready to roll dice.)Would somebody turn that music down, I can’t hear myself think.
ROLLIE It’s Sinatra Sammy, you love Sinatra.
SAMI know, but not so loud. I have to concentrate on a seven to hit Boardwalk. Seven, seven,seven, seven. (He rolls.)
KEVINSix, Luxury Tax. Seventy-five bucks. Hand it over.
SAMDamn. I told you the music’s too loud.
ROLLIE (Gets up to turn down music.) Seventy-five bucks Sammy! Put it in the middle.
KEVINIt goes to the bank, not in the middle.
SAMKevin’s right, it goes to the bank.
ROLLIEIt does not. It goes in the middle and whoever lands on Free Parking gets the dough.
KEVINThat’s not what the rules say.
ROLLIEScrew the rules. (to KEVIN) And how come you’re always the banker. SAMHe’s good with numbers, he’s the banker. ROLLIESays who.
KEVINI’ve always been the banker, since we were kids.
ROLLIEAnd since we’ve been kids, we’ve always put the money in the middle for Free Parking.
KEVINIt ruins the integrity of the game. The whole game is based on the struggle to build fromnothing and see who survives. Just like real life. In the real world no one just handsout money.
ROLLIEYeah, what about hitting the lottery?
SAM(sarcastically) Or a trifecta.
ROLLIEDon’t you start with me Sam.
SAMYou gamble too much Roland. The loan sharks are always chasing you. Remember when they beat you up and you spent three months in the hospital?
SAMSo, it’s not right. Mom and Pop raised you better than that.
ROLLIEGet off my back Sam. Who died and left you boss anyway?
SAMPop did. That’s who.
ROLLIE (sarcastically imitating him)Pop did, that’s who.
KEVINWould you two cut it out! You’re acting like children for Pete’s sake! Now, act like adults! (beat) and play Monopoly.
SAMIt’s his fault, he never listens. I try to give him good sound advice but he never listens.
ROLLIEAnd I still don’t see why Kevin always gets to be banker. Give me one good reason why he should always be banker?
SAMHe’s an accountant and I can’t trust you with money.
ROLLIEI only asked for one good reason. KEVIN (exasperated)I get to be banker because ever since you came along you got to be the racing car. SAM(to KEVIN) He’s the youngest, he gets his choice.
KEVIN (Standing up.)There you see, just like when Pop was alive. “He’s the baby, let him have his way.”
ROLLIE (Calmly imitating a Viennese therapist.)Aha, zee middle child syndrome, I must consult with Dr. Freud about this case.
SAMKeep quiet Roland, your brother’s right, it’s time you were more responsible.
KEVINYeah, no more coddling. If you don’t start pulling your weight around the office we can kiss the restaurants goodbye. We’re barely hanging on by a thread now. You can’t expectSam and I to keep carrying the load forever.
SAMListen Kevin, we are not going to lose the business. Not after all Pop did to start those restaurants.
KEVINI brought the figures with me. I’ll be glad to show them to you.
SAMNever mind the figures. I’ll think of something. I always do. (to ROLLIE) And Kevin’sright Roland. It’s time you started to pull your own weight.
KEVINI told you Rollie, it’s time to face the music… SAM (Stands, suddenly excited.)That’s it. Music!
ROLLIE What are you talking about?
SAM Quiet, I’m having a creative jag.