A RAINBOW HOLIDAY - by Lori Sigrist and Joe SimonelliDramedy (5m, 3f) Actor ages 25 to 60
This play of acceptance and inclusiveness is set at Thanksgiving at the home of Maggie Anderson and Jerry Collins. Maggie is expecting her gay son Adam and his new boyfriend (also named Adam) for the Holiday. What she is not expecting is a surprise visit from her fundamentalist daughter and her new husband. Maggie must walk an hilarious tightrope in order not to offend either of her children, who seldom see eye to eye on any issues. Add to the mix Jerry's married daughter and her husband, who are going through a crisis of their own, and the table is set for both laughter and tears.
SETTING: :Present day. The living/dining room of Maggie Anderson and Jerry Collins. Exit to kitchen and other rooms stage left. Dining room table down left set for Thanksgiving dinner. Front door stage right. Middle of stage is living room. Desk and chair down right. An area outside the front door right serves as a small porch with a bench. In one scene an attic is improvised down center or down left depending on the size of the stage.(Front porch area could also double as the attic) Stairs leading to bedrooms back center.
AT RISE: Maggie Anderson enters with dishware and silverware and starts setting table. Jerry enters with napkins and decorative items and helps set table. The radio is playing and they both sort of dance to whatever is on.
JERRY. (turns down radio) It’s really starting to smell great in that kitchen! I love the aroma of Thanksgiving cooking..
MAGGIE: Isn’t it wonderful? Reminds me of my childhood Thanksgivings. It’s going to be a very traditional holiday this year. Adam tells me that the other Adam will eat anything. So, no gluten free. Dairy is OK. Everybody eats meat. No issues with sugar. (happy sigh) It’s a pleasure to cook for people who don’t eat healthy.
JERRY. Yeah. No Tofurkey this year. No kale. Thank God. Mashed potatoes...gravy...pie. It’s going to be a wonderful Thanksgiving. I think I like Adam’s boyfriend already. Any millennial willing to eat meat and pie with whipped cream is OK in my book! You know what is going to get confusing though?
MAGGIE. No, what?
JERRY. Adam and Adam’s boyfriend are both named Adam. How are we going to differentiate?
MAGGIE. Well, we could use my Adam’s middle name I guess. No...he’d never answer. Or Adam 1 and Adam 2? Adam A…Adam B? No that’s no good...
JERRY. I’ve got it! We could refer to Adam’s boyfriend as Adam squared…
MAGGIE. Oh I’m sure he’d love that but it might work! With all his world traveling, I can’t believe my Adam will finally be here this year for Thanksgiving. We’ve missed so many holidays with him. It’s been three Thanksgivings that he’s been abroad and now he’s coming home and bringing his boyfriend for us to meet. I’m nervous and excited all at the same time.
(Maggie looks out window)
I hope their flight wasn’t delayed because of this rain. Imagine...thunderstorms in November. Crazy weather.
JERRY. Just be glad it isn’t snow and don’t be nervous, it will all be fine. I’m sure Adam squared is a great kid. Your Adam is a great kid so I’m sure he picked a partner who is as terrific as he is. I’m just relieved that….
MAGGIE. That what?
JERRY. That your daughter and her new husband aren’t visiting until after Adam and his boyfriend have gone home. I won’t have to watch my curse words and we won’t have to referee a theological debate between Daniel, Allison and Adam. There won’t be any awkward moments and I won’t have to see you get all stressed out trying to keep the peace. I like my fireworks on the fourth of July, not Thanksgiving.
MAGGIE. I know. I love them all, but if they were all here for the holiday, I don’t know what I’d do. I think I’d have to hide in the attic until everyone left. Or you’d find me under this dining room table with a glass and a bottle of Chablis. You know for the life of me, I don’t know how this happened.
JERRY. How what happened?
MAGGIE. How did I have two children, from the same gene pool, grow up to be so totally different? How did I end up with a gay son and a Fundamentalist Christian daughter? I raised them the same, taught them the same. I don’t get it. Maybe because they didn’t have a dad in their early years. Their dad died so young they don’t even remember him. It was just the three of us for a long time, before you came along. They used to be so similar, but now, they are polar opposites. There must have been something I could have done to make them accept each other’s choices.
JERRY. Nonsense! You did a great job raising both of them by yourself. They are both terrific people. They’re just very different and believe very different things. That could have happened even if their dad was alive. It could have happened no matter their upbringing. Look at my two boys, I was around for them even after Jane and I divorced, and one is a lawyer and the other is an ex- convict! It happens. You have two great kids, they just don’t see eye to eye on religion or lifestyle, that’s not your fault.
MAGGIE. Your boys are very different that’s true, but your Julie, what a lovely girl. And she and I have always gotten along really well. That’s not always the case with daughters and their dad’s significant other. It’s nice she and Mark will be able to join us this year.
JERRY. Julie adores you. She always has and I think she and Mark wanted to go someplace this Thanksgiving where everyone isn’t going to nag them about having kids. We won’t even mention it to them. I think Julie is feeling very pressured by her mother to have children. When I talked to her yesterday, she seemed distracted,I don’t know. A little off. I don’t think she’s ready for kids yet and she’s afraid to say so. I’m not ready to be a grandfather yet! Besides I’m still paying off my baby girl’s wedding.
MAGGIE. Oh come on...that was five years ago!
JERRY. Hey! It was expensive!
MAGGIE. You just never got used to her actually growing up and getting married.
(Knock on door)
MAGGIE. Oh that’s them!
(Maggie opens door. Her son Adam and his boyfriend Adam step in. Both young men are well dressed and are carrying an umbrella, flowers and a box of cake/cookies. There are hugs between Maggie’s son Adam and herself and Adam Anderson and Jerry.)
ADAM ANDERSON. Mom, Jerry this is Adam. (introduces Adam Kent to Maggie and Jerry) And this is my mom Maggie and her boyfriend Jerry.
Handshakes, hugs and greetings all around.
MAGGIE. I’m so glad you could be with us for Thanksgiving Adam, and I’m so glad you could finally come home for the holiday. (indicating her son).
ADAM ANDERSON. Well I’m glad you guys decided to skip Florida this year and have a traditional Thanksgiving at home. But this rain is something! We were afraid we were going to have to circle around Kennedy all afternoon.
ADAM KENT. We’re so happy to be able to be with you this year. Otherwise, I would have had to cook dinner and believe me, no one wants that. Adam has told me you always made the holidays special when he and Allison were kids.
MAGGIE. Yes, well I tried to. We didn’t always have a lot of money, but we always did what we could to make it festive.
JERRY. Come on in and have a seat. What can I get you guys to drink? White wine, juice, water, something harder?
ADAM ANDERSON and ADAM KENT: (in unison)
JERRY. Coming right up! Do you want any wine hon?
MAGGIE. No. No wine. There is no need for it this year. This is going to be a stress free Thanksgiving. (LOUD THUNDERCLAP) Maybe a little juice though.
JERRY. You got it!
(Jerry exits stage left)
Both Adams sit on couch, Maggie on chair stage right.
MAGGIE. Did you have a bumpy flight in?
ADAM ANDERSON. It was fine. We were a little delayed in Dallas and there were warnings about the weather here. We had to wait to land, but it wasn’t that bad.
ADAM KENT. I told Adam we should have stopped in to visit Allison while we were there in Texas so I could meet her and her husband but he said they probably weren’t home. Are they flying in later?
(Maggie and Adam Anderson exchange an uncomfortable glance).
MAGGIE. No, um, Allison and her husband will be visiting after Thanksgiving
ADAM ANDERSON. Yeah, I told you they usually spend Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family.
ADAM KENT. Oh, I thought you said they go out of their way to go wherever your mom and Jerry are for the holidays and (to Maggie) that they’ve flown to Florida the last few years to be with you. You know, because Adam is always abroad and can’t come for the holidays and…
ADAM ANDERSON. Um, you know, I told you how she and Daniel are. They are very religious and I’m not sure if, I don’t know if… I didn’t want you to feel uncomfortable! I mean Allison is still bothered by the fact that Mom and Jerry live together without being married.
ADAM KENT. (To Maggie) They wouldn’t come because Adam and I would be here?
MAGGIE. NO! No, not at all...they... don’t know you are here.
ADAM ANDERSON. Mom and I just thought it might be easier for everyone if we came for the holidays at different times, so she encouraged them to spend Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family and come here ...after, after we had gone back home.
ADAM KENT. Oh. I see.
ADAM ANDERSON. Mom, did you get the video link I sent you of the new house?
MAGGIE. Yes, I did...it’s lovely.
ADAM ANDERSON. We were so lucky to find it and in such a great neighborhood. California is so expensive but you can’t beat the weather and it’s close to our jobs.
MAGGIE. I can’t wait to see it in person one of these days. You’ve been abroad for so long, I’m just glad to have you stateside again even if it is 3,000 miles away.
ADAM KENT. Just a short flight away. Did Adam show you pictures of the back yard?
MAGGIE. Yes he did. Are you going to plant a garden? Organic vegetables?
ADAM KENT and ADAM ANDERSON.
Oh God no!
ADAM KENT. That’s what Whole Foods is for. Besides we don’t really eat organic all the time although we have friends who are adamant about their produce. No, we might throw some flowers in but mostly it will be a place for Bradley to run around.
MAGGIE. Oh my Grand puppy! He is the cutest thing!
(Jerry returns with a tray of wine glasses and a bottle of wine and a glass of juice)
JERRY. Here we are everyone! You sure you don’t want some wine honey? (he distributes the wine and juice to everyone)
MAGGIE. No juice is fine Jer. The boys were just telling me about their new house. You were wrong, they aren’t planting a garden in the back. It’s just for Bradley to play in.
JERRY. No garden? But I was sure you’d be planting stuff...I mean…I just assumed...you know...
ADAM ANDERSON. (jokingly) Just because we are gay Jerry, doesn’t mean we automatically like digging in the dirt and planting things.
ADAM KENT. Absolutely not! We’ll pay someone to do it.
JERRY. You know, it’s a shame you guys are only staying over one night. If you were here longer, we could have gone and seen a play in the city...maybe even a musical!
ADAM KENT and ADAM ANDERSON.
(looking at each other before replying with humor)
Nah...we really don’t like theatre. We hate theatre actually.
JERRY. (to Maggie in surprise)
They don’t like theatre?!
MAGGIE. Well, it’s not just for gays anymore you know…
(Laughter from both Adams and Maggie)
JERRY. (a little embarrassed) Sorry...I guess I’m stereotyping a little bit. But I’ve never met a gay guy who didn’t love theatre!! I apologize…
ADAM ANDERSON. No! I understand. It’s like Adam and I assuming because you are a baby boomer you aren’t up on the latest technology!
MAGGIE. Well you’d be correct there Adam, he isn’t!
JERRY. Hey that’s not true! I just got my first smart phone didn’t I?
ADAM ANDERSON. You did? I am impressed! Good for you!
JERRY. I’m not. The damn thing terrifies me. You think you can help me with it later?
ADAM KENT. Of course we can.
ADAM ANDERSON. Don’t offer Adam...you’ll be sorry….Jerry, we’re just kidding with you. We like theatre, but we also like football!
JERRY. (clearly relieved)...You do! Well that’s great to hear!
(a knock on the door, Jerry gets up to answer it)
That must be Julie and Mark.
(Jerry opens door to find Maggie’s daughter Allison and her husband Daniel standing there with umbrellas and holding bags with groceries)
JERRY. Hey Jul….Allison and Daniel?!
ALLISON AND DANIEL: (in unison)
Surprise! Happy Thanksgiving!
MAGGIE. Allison! Daniel!
ALLISON. We couldn’t break from tradition!! We always spend Thanksgiving with you!
(Adam and Adam exchanged looks. )
MAGGIE. Um, well… come on in...look Jerry, look who’s here!
(Allison sees her brother Adam and rushes over to hug him when she sees Adam Kent.)
ALLISON. I didn’t know you were going to be here...Oh...hello...
ADAM ANDERSON. Oh, this is my sister Allison. Allison, this is Adam Kent.
ALLISON. Nice to meet you Adam. This is my husband Daniel.
ADAM KENT. So nice to meet you both.
JERRY. Allison! Daniel! What a surprise!! Look honey! It’s Allison and Daniel!
MAGGIE. I know Jerry! Isn’t that something? Well, come on in...let me take your coats...have a seat… Wow! This is quite a surprise! Isn’t it Jerry? Such a surprise!! Do you want some juice? I’ll get you some juice.
JERRY. I’ll get it..
MAGGIE. Oh no you won’t…(rather forcefully sits Jerry down in the nearest chair) you just sit down there with the kids. What a surprise, huh Jerry? I’ll get the juice...Julie and Mark should be here any minute.
(As an aside to Jerry)
Is there another bottle of wine back there?
JERRY. Yeah, you know there’s two more but…
MAGGIE. Oh thank God!
JERRY. (dejected) Are we back to tofu turkey now?
(Maggie waves him off as she exits to kitchen. The others find seats as conversation ensues.)
ALLISON. Can you believe this weather? I’ve never seen thunderstorms roll in and out like this. One minute the sun is out, the next there’s thunder and lightning and it’s pouring.
JERRY. (to Allison) You do realize your mom thought you were having Thanksgiving with Daniel’s family so she made this huge, real turkey with stuffing and gravy and sugared yams...and pie
ADAM ANDERSON. Allison and Daniel are on very special diets, no meat, no dairy, no gluten, no sugar…
ADAM KENT. No fun.
ALLISON. We are just very careful about what we put in our bodies. Only things the good Lord has put on this earth that grow from the ground.
DANIEL. Or the trees. We eat only the things our Lord has created. Nothing artificial. The animals are a gift from God so we don’t eat them either.
ADAM KENT. So no turkey? No stuffing? No cranberry sauce that’s shaped like the can?
JERRY. (distraught) and no...pie.
ALLISON. Oh don’t worry Jerry, we brought our own food. You guys eat whatever mom has made. I might partake of a roll or two myself.
DANIEL. White flour and gluten, honey…
ALLISON. Oh yeah that’s right….no rolls then. It’s fine though because we brought sprouted bread for Daniel and I.
JERRY. I don’t even want to know what that is.
DANIEL. (Addressing Adam Kent)
So Adam...hey that’s funny, you’re both Adam! Do you live in California too? Do you guys work together or something?
(Adam Kent starts to answer but Adam Anderson interrupts)
ADAM ANDERSON. Oh Adam and I live in the same neighborhood.
ADAM KENT. What?
ALLISON. Oh that’s nice Adam (directed to her brother) that you brought your neighbor here for Thanksgiving.
ADAM KENT. Neighbor?
ADAM ANDERSON. Uh...Hey Adam, let’s see if my mom needs any help in the kitchen…
(Adam pulls Adam to his feet and both Adams exit toward the kitchen. Adam Anderson is followed closely by Adam Kent)
ADAM KENT. Okay...sure….neighbor!
JERRY. Well hey, you two, you both look great! This is such a surprise! How have you both been?
DANIEL. We are doing well. God has been good to us.
JERRY. He has? Well, yeah...that’s great.
(knock on door - Jerry goes to answer door. Enter Julie, Jerry’s daughter and her husband Mark)
Hey! It’s my baby girl!
(Hugs all around as they greet Allison and Daniel who they already know. It is apparent from their entrance that something is amiss. Julie looks distraught although she tries to hide it and Mark looks distracted. Periodically throughout the scene, Mark checks his cell phone and Julie watches him as he does so.)
Enter Maggie and both Adams re enter room with glasses. All but two are filled with wine. Maggie greets Julie and Mark and starts handing out the glasses. The two filled with orange juice are handed to Allison and Daniel.
JERRY. (To Julie, a bit concerned) Hey baby girl everything Ok?
JULIE. (putting on a brave face) Oh sure dad, everything is fine, just fine. Thanks for having me, I mean us, over today.
JERRY. Well, your mom always seems to get you for the big holidays. I’m glad you decided to give old dad a turn this year.
MAGGIE. Well this is just wonderful! Wonderful having you all here! Jerry will you do the honors?
JERRY. Certainly! Certainly!
(Raises glass to perform a toast. The others follow although Julie and Adam Kent are the last to raise their glasses)
Here’s to our wonderful families and to us all being here together in love and celebration of this Thanksgiving Day!
( Adam Anderson, Daniel, Allison, Mark, Jerry and Maggie touch glasses while toasting and freeze in place. Julie and Adam Kent are on opposites ends of the stage. At the same time they turn to face the audience. Julie takes out tissue from her bag and starts sobbing. Adam Kent looks unhappy and exasperated and takes a huge gulp of his wine)
AT RISE: Both Adams are standing outside the house under an umbrella or in hoodies. Adam Kent is smoking a cigarette. Both are holding their wine glasses. This can be staged off to the side of the stage with a spot while the rest of the stage containing the inside of the home is dimly lit or it can be staged in front of the actual stage itself with curtain closed.
ADAM KENT. I can’t believe you! I really can’t.
ADAM ANDERSON. I’m sorry! I really am sorry! But you don’t know my sister and her husband.
ADAM KENT. They seem OK to me. What were you thinking saying I’m your neighbor? Are you ashamed of me? Of us?
ADAM ANDERSON. No! Of course not! I’m not ashamed of anything it’s just…
ADAM KENT. Just what? What? We live in the same neighborhood? Yeah, please meet my neighbor Adam. We live in the same neighborhood and I brought him all the way from California for Thanksgiving. Because that’s the kind of neighbor I am! Really Adam? Does your sister not know you’re gay?
ADAM ANDERSON. Yes, of course she does. She just tires to ignore it and she doesn’t want to hear anything about my life and she certainly doesn’t want to know anything about my sex life! She likes to pretend that I just have friends. You know…
ADAM KENT. What? Like a roommate?
ADAM ANDERSON. Well, yeah. Like a roommate. Then she doesn’t have to acknowledge that anything sexual is going on.
ADAM KENT. What? Oh I see. The platonic roommate. You didn’t even make me the roommate. I’m a neighbor, across the road, around the corner, two streets over! You didn’t even put me in the house! As I recall my name is on the deed of that house we just bought together. I’m not even in the house. And our dog...our dog! I don’t even have the dog, across the road, around the corner, two streets over! (takes a long drag of a cigarette)
ADAM ANDERSON. I didn’t say you lived around the corner or two streets over. You know I wish you wouldn’t smoke. You only smoke when you’re upset.
ADAM KENT. I’m sorry, that’s not very neighborly is it. (blows smoke at Adam) Too bad.
ADAM ANDERSON. I’m sorry, I really am. It was the first thing that popped in my head. I’ll fix it, I promise. It’s just she’s my baby sister and she and I were very close our entire childhood. Then we got to be teens and I fell in love with boys and she fell in love with… Jesus.
ADAM KENT. I know. You told me. But maybe if you gave her half a chance. Maybe she and Daniel are more accepting than you think.
ADAM ANDERSON. Oh no. They are hard core Fundamentalist Christians. I am a sinner and so are you. We are doomed to eternity in hell.
ADAM KENT. I don’t believe in eternity or hell. And you don’t either.