Four Queens - No Trump

Four Queens - No Trump

by Ted Lange

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Overview

Four Queens - No Trump by Ted Lange

Ted Lange's comedic play, Four Queens - No Trump invites you to listen in on the bodacious, brazen, and bawdy conversations of four women who meet every week to play cards. These dynamic, vivacious, and "down home" women discuss their lives and loves with outrageous humor as they play the cards they are dealt on the table and in life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490723099
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 02/14/2014
Pages: 190
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)

Read an Excerpt

FOUR QUEENS - NO TRUMP


By TED LANGE

Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2014 Ted Lange
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4907-2309-9


CHAPTER 1

ACT I


SETTING: DEOLA's living room.

AT RISE: The SOUNDS of Donny Hathaway's voice SINGING "Magdalena" fill the room. Lights come up on DEOLA. Bustling around a comfortable living room, she is bringing in a card table and three card table chairs and dancing to the MUSIC. STAGE LEFT is a swinging kitchen door.

UP CENTER is a doorway which leads to the master bedroom and bathroom. STAGE RIGHT is the front door. There is a worn sofa DOWN RIGHT just under the big picture window. A TV console fills up STAGE LEFT as well as a lived-in reclining easy chair. Just to the left of the master bedroom exit is a closet door. DEOLA extracts a Goodwill Industries used card table from the closet. She places the card table STAGE CENTER. Then she moves the three identical card table chairs into place. She EXITS into the kitchen and REAPPEARS with a kitchen chair. She places it at the table. There is a bookcase on the UPSTAGE LEFT wall. She goes to the case and picks up two decks of cards. One deck is red, one deck is blue.

DEOLA is a dog groomer by profession and does psychic work as a hobby. She is flamboyant, sexy, and a natural charmer. She has to be – it's good for business.

She loves wearing hoop earrings, scarves, and lots of bracelets that symbolize all sorts of metaphysical stuff. The dance is playful and comical.

She CROSSES to the front door and opens it just as a female hand is about to knock. DEOLA CROSSES to a TAPE DECK sitting on the bookcase and turns it OFF. The MUSIC STOPS.

The hand at the door belongs to JOCENIA. She ENTERS the living room. She is beautiful, coiffed, elegant, and a walking encyclopedia of the best of what money can buy. She is also very spoiled. She is carrying Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive shopping bags.

JOCENIA

I wish you wouldn't do that.

DEOLA

Do what?

JOCENIA

Open the door before I knock.

DEOLA

But I knew you were coming.

JOCENIA

I don't care. It freaks me out.

DEOLA

The biggest freak in Beverly Hills is afraid of a little psychic energy?

JOCENIA

Being a sexual freak is one thing, but communing with invisible gremlins is not my idea of good wholesome fun.

DEOLA

Gremlins can be fun.

JOCENIA

Yes, but would you want to be screwed by one?

DEOLA

I have been screwed by one; and it was quite a wonderful experience.

JOCENIA

Oh, Deola, stop it.

DEOLA

As a matter of fact, I told him about you and he wants your address.

JOCENIA

That's not funny.

DEOLA

I told him I had to check with you to see if you wanted your number given out.

JOCENIA

Okay you win.

DEOLA

I know you've been screwed a lot of different ways, but believe me when my little gremlin gets a hold of you, you'll be hitting notes higher than Aretha Franklin.

JOCENIA

I give, I give. You win. Let's change the subject. Do you want to see some of the goodies I picked up?

DEOLA

Extending James' credit line again are we?

JOCENIA

He loves me. If it makes me happy, it makes James happy.

(JOCENIA goes into a Saks Fifth Avenue bag and produces a pair of elegant shoes)

DEOLA

Whoa! Those are classy.

(JOCENIA takes off her shoes and puts on the high heels. She stands up and becomes an Ebony Fashion Fair model. She walks around the room modeling the shoes. Clothes are her thing and DEOLA enjoys her antics)

JOCENIA

Can't you just see me in my Victoria's Secret red see-through nightie? Oh, yes! Steam on the windows!

DEOLA

You hussy!

JOCENIA

And loving it.

(DEOLA goes into the kitchen.

JOCENIA smells something peculiar. Then she puts on a pair of fancy sunglasses)

JOCENIA

By the way, who did you get to take Juanita's place tonight?

DEOLA (O.S.)

(From the kitchen)

An old friend of mine from college. Edna Cyrus.

JOCENIA

Have I ever met her?

(DEOLA ENTERS with a plate of carrots. She places the carrots on the table.)

DEOLA

I don't think so. She moved back here from Texas. Her husband divorced her and she's trying to heal her wounds.

JOCENIA

Was it ugly?

DEOLA

Like warts on a witch's behind. Do me a favor, don't bring up ex-husbands unless she does.

JOCENIA

No problem. I know when to keep my mouth shut.

DEOLA

This I got to see.

JOCENIA

So, does she know how to play the game?

DEOLA

She's an excellent player.

JOCENIA

Good, you can have her. I want Maude.

DEOLA

Jocenia, what about rotation?

JOCENIA

Nope, no, no, no. She's your friend, you take her.

DEOLA

If we send you to Boston, you'll be sorry.

JOCENIA

I'll take my chances with Maude. Maude is coming, isn't she?

DEOLA

Maude will be here and I predict she will be on time.

JOCENIA

Oh, please, give me a break.

DEOLA

Do you want to see my sign?

JOCENIA

I know your sign. Scorpio.

DEOLA

No, this is for my dog grooming business. Hold on, be right back.

(DEOLA EXITS UP CENTER to the master bedroom. JOCENIA goes to another shopping bag and pulls out a fancy hat. There is a mirror above the bookcase.

JOCENIA looks at herself.

DEOLA REENTERS the room.

She is carrying a five-foot pink sign with blue lettering. The words say: "MADAME MAGDALENA'S METAPHYSICAL READINGS")

JOCENIA

Very nice. Who did it?

DEOLA

Good, huh? A friend of Harrison's at the studio.

JOCENIA

Not just good, excellent.

DEOLA

You really like it?

JOCENIA

I love it. Just one question ... who's Magdalena?

DEOLA

Me. I'm Magdalena.

JOCENIA

This is going to come as a shock to a lot of your friends, myself included. I've been calling you Deola for as long as I can remember. Now I find out you're really Magdalena?

DEOLA

Not Magdalena ... Madame Magdalena.

JOCENIA

Madame Magdalena?

DEOLA

It's a business decision.

JOCENIA

Let me get this straight. You expect people to get their dogs groomed. Clipped, cut, and manicured, and their palms read?

DEOLA

Not necessarily in that order, but yes. Sure. That's the idea and it's definitely okay with me.

JOCENIA

So, Deola, what am I supposed to call you?

DEOLA

Call me Madame. Look, Jocenia, haven't you been watching TV lately? Psychics are all over the tube. Dionne Warwick is making a fortune and she's just introducing them. I really am psychic.

JOCENIA

So, you turned your shop in to a canine salon with a fortune telling booth?

DEOLA

This is the 'Nineties. A woman has got to find a way to be as enterprising as possible.

JOCENIA

But Deola, why should a person come to you when they can use the phone and call Dionne?

DEOLA

Three reasons: I'm cheaper, I'm better, and I won't sing "Do You Know the Way to San Jose."

JOCENIA

Cool. So, what's tonight's culinary theme? I hope you're not serving just carrots for the game.

DEOLA

No, I got some other stuff.

JOCENIA

Like what?

DEOLA

Celery.

JOCENIA

Yuck!

(DEOLA EXITS into the kitchen.

JOCENIA looks at the carrots and starts to eat one, but thinks better of it. She puts the carrot back, Then she goes over to one of her shopping bags and pulls out a long fancy leopard-print scarf. She wraps it around her neck and CROSSES to the mirror above the bookcase. She inspects her new look)

DEOLA

(Yelling from kitchen door) Jocenia would you do me a favor?

JOCENIA

Yeah, sure. What is it?

DEOLA

Open the front door.

(JOCENIA CROSSES to the front door and opens it just as MAUDE pushes the front doorbell. The DOORBELL GOES OFF)

MAUDE

Goddamnit. Jo, don't do that!!

JOCENIA

It wasn't me.

(MAUDE steps into the room)

MAUDE

It's bad enough, I've got to put up with Dee doing it, now you're doing it.

JOCENIA

Believe me, it wasn't my idea.

(DEOLA can be heard laughing in the kitchen)

MAUDE

Oh, I get it. Madame Zenobia is up to her old tricks.

JOCENIA

You mean Madame Magdalena.

MAUDE

Whatever.

(MAUDE looks at the table)

MAUDE

I hope her highness is serving more than just some goddamn raw ass carrots. What's tonight's theme?

JOCENIA

I don't know. She's in the kitchen fixing something. You're certainly in a lighthearted mood.

MAUDE

That's because I'm mad.

JOCENIA

Mad, what do you have to be mad about? Your man's got a gig, your children are healthy, and you have a thriving business with money in the bank. What could you possibly be mad about?

MAUDE

It's because some poot butt, chicken shit, rinky-dink, son-ofa-bitch, found it necessary to give me a stupid speeding ticket.

JOCENIA

Feel free to express yourself.

MAUDE

So, maybe I might be just a little bit upset.

JOCENIA

I'm glad this is one of your better days. Where'd he catch you?

MAUDE

South on the One-Ten.

JOCENIA

Which car were you driving?

MAUDE

The red Porsche.

JOCENIA

And how fast were you going when L.A.'s finest misread his radar gun?

MAUDE

Ninety-seven.

JOCENIA

Why, that no good, low-down, son-of-a ... .

MAUDE

My feelings exactly.

JOCENIA

Maude!

MAUDE

What?!

JOCENIA

You were doing ninety-seven in your red Porsche on the OneTen freeway. You're lucky they didn't cut off your lead foot and handcuff you.

MAUDE

I'm gonna fight this one in court.

(DEOLA ENTERS with a bowl of trail mix and a bowl of celery)

DEOLA

You'll lose.

MAUDE

Is that a psychic prediction?

DEOLA

Yes!

JOCENIA

No kidding. Hell, even I can predict that one.

MAUDE

Are we just having rabbit food or do we get to eat the rabbit too?

DEOLA

I've got some chitlins in there. If you want to be adventurous.

JOCENIA

That's what I smell. What a relief. I thought you had left the bathroom door open.

DEOLA

Nope, what you smell is dinner.

MAUDE

I pass. Give me the charred flesh of a dead mammal and I'll be happy.

JOCENIA

Me too. No boiled intestines for this little cupcake. I'd rather eat Hungarian again like last week even though I ended up farting all through the night.

DEOLA

I cooked them for our new partner, as kind of a welcome.

MAUDE

And she likes 'em?

DEOLA

Loves 'em!

MAUDE

Good, then she can be your partner. Who is she?

DEOLA

We went to Texas A and M together. She met her husband there, married, and started a family. Now she's getting a divorce and she's trying to rebuild her life.

JOCENIA

It's gonna be hard to rebuild your life with the smell of chitlins on your breath.

DEOLA

I'll have you know chitlins are good for the soul.

MAUDE

Okay, Deola, what kind of metaphor are you drawing now?

DEOLA

I don't mean figuratively. I mean literally.

JOCENIA

You're saying that chitlins are literally good for your soul?

DEOLA

Yep!

MAUDE

How would my soul know?

DEOLA

It can smell them too. The odor of chitlins can reach deep down into your soul.

JOCENIA

Amen to that, sister.

MAUDE

Dee, oh please!

DEOLA

The long-time survival of the chiterling as a food group has fed a nation of black folk. Think back to that magic moment when the master had given us only table scraps and some proud black woman said as she walked through the kitchen, "I'd rather eat the garbage end of a pig, than endure the humiliation of fighting for massa's leftovers." Being a black woman of some ingenuity, imagination and substance, plus a damn good cook, she labored over the entrails of some unfortunate swine.

JOCENIA

Preach, sister!

DEOLA

Having secured the basic element to her southern cuisine, namely a whole lot of pig guts, she took her booty back to the kitchen.

JOCENIA

And she took her black booty back to the kitchen, too.

DEOLA

Precisely. There amongst the solitude of seven herbs and spices, she started to work her magic. She began to conjure and call on the gods of the four natural food groups:

"Come Pillsbury, Nabisco, and Ocean Spray, On Campbell's, Kellogg's, and Good Ol' Del Monte. Now boil away, boil away, boil away all. Into the pot she stirred her delights, Pinching and sifting, and measuring that. Not hog mauls, but chitlins and greasy pig fat. So when you've tasted the sting of defeat, Remember a taste that's harder to beat, It's not from a cow, horse, or a lamb, It's the guts of a pig and all else be damned!"

MAUDE

That was good, Dee. You make me almost want to taste them.

DEOLA

Just almost?

MAUDE

Definitely almost.

DEOLA

Maude, where is your sense of adventure?

MAUDE

I gave it to my ex-husband in the divorce settlement.

DEOLA

Ouch!

JOCENIA

Double ouch!

MAUDE

It's why I'm not getting married again and it's why I love Billy.

Just give me the simple life of a jazz musician.

DEOLA

Do me a favor, my friend, Edna's coming out of a divorce. Let's try and stay off that subject.

MAUDE

Happy to.

JOCENIA

Ditto on my side.

DEOLA

Promise?

JOCENIA

This is my first go-around, so I can't adequately speak about divorce. Far be it from me to bring up the subject. Of course, if she wants to talk about the joys of Kama Sutra, I'm your girl.

MAUDE

How is she at cards?

DEOLA

We played years ago in college. She may need a little refresher course, but I think she'll be all right.

MAUDE

With that much explanation, she's definitely your partner.

DEOLA

I'll remind you of that statement when we send you to Boston.

MAUDE

Fat chance. Seeing is believing.

JOCENIA

Sounds like you ladies are ready to talk some trash.

DEOLA

I'll save mine for the table. So Maude, how are the kids?

MAUDE

Good. Greg got the baseball scholarship, and Jana's doing fine.

DEOLA

Glad to hear it. So, Maude, you're not going to talk any trash 'til the game starts?

MAUDE

That's it. You got it sister, girlfriend.

DEOLA

Okay, then, I want to ask you one more favor.

MAUDE

What's that?

DEOLA

Open the front door.

JOCENIA

Oh, oh.

(MAUDE CROSSES to the front door. Standing at the front door is EDNA. She is holding a bottle of Merlot wine and a pie box)

EDNA

Thank God. I was trying to figure out how to ring the bell or knock on the door with my arms filled.

JOCENIA

This is one place you don't have to worry about when the door is going to open.

DEOLA

Edna, girl, come on in.

(EDNA ENTERS the living room. Hugs DEOLA and passes the pie and wine to her hostess)

EDNA

Here's a little ice-breaker. A bottle of Merlot and sweet potato pie.

MAUDE

Oh, shit, I think we got screwed. Aren't you supposed to

MAUDE

drink Chardonnay with chitlins?

DEOLA

Edna, this is Maude, she's got a mouth like Sarah Vaughn and the heart of a cocker spaniel.

MAUDE

Only on Friday nights. The rest of the time I'm too busy ducking and dodging bullshit to really care whose toes I step on.

EDNA

Nice to meet you. Speaking of toes, mind if I slip out of my shoes? They're new.

DEOLA

Feel free, don't stand on ceremony. And this is Jocenia.

EDNA

Hi, how are you?

JOCENIA

Fine, and I love your dress; is that a Donna Karan?

(JOCENIA looks at the label of Edna's dress)

DEOLA

Edna, you might look at Jocenia and think she is ia high-maintenance, label-conscious, spoiled brat ... and you'd be right. But she is also one very sharp Bid Whist card player.

JOCENIA

Well, thanks a lot Madame Magdalena. Shall I encapsulate you in a sentence?

DEOLA

No need. I'll do it myself. I'm a wise, witty sage of the metaphysical world destined for greatness.

MAUDE

Translation ... a pseudo-psychic broad with delusions of grandeur.

DEOLA

I'm that too!

(They all laugh)

EDNA

Shall I endeavor a self-portrait too?

JOCENIA

Why not, we're all friends here.

EDNA

A recently-divorced Texas teacher come to California to seek her fortune and make new friends.

MAUDE

Translation ... a lonely southern sister, with a broken heart, looking to heal her wounds and make a living out West.

EDNA

Close enough.

(DEOLA takes the wine and pie box into the kitchen)

DEOLA

I'll put these up and we can start the game.

JOCENIA

How long have you been playing Bid Whist?

EDNA

It's been a while since I've played and I'm afraid you're going to have to refresh me on the rules.

MAUDE

Ahhh, my favorite kind of opponent.

JOCENIA

Unless, of course, she's sandbagging.

EDNA

I used to play a lot in college.

MAUDE

In the cafeteria?

EDNA

Of course.

JOCENIA

As you know we play partners. Maude will be my partner.

(JOCENIA sits at the card table. MAUDE sits across from JOCENIA and EDNA also sits down. JOCENIA picks up the red deck of cards)

MAUDE

Show her the jokers. High joker and low joker and please

MAUDE

take off those sunglasses.

JOCENIA

Oh yeah, when a person decides on a trump the high joker has the most value and then comes the low joker. Then the ace.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from FOUR QUEENS - NO TRUMP by TED LANGE. Copyright © 2014 Ted Lange. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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