Synopsis: Three inter-connected one acts. In FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND plans are made to mate the husband of a recently deceased friend. In A NIGHT ON THE MOON a hired male escort comes between some ladies during a night on the town. THE LADIES AT A LATE LUNCH are the two “old friends” speaking their innermost thoughts while never speaking to each other. 2 women, 1 man, simple sets.
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(quiet organ music; lights up; ELEANOR and LIDDY are seated in a church pew)
ELEANOR: Don’t you think Henry looks good?
LIDDY: Oh no. Not today. He looks rather pale.
ELEANOR: Well sure. He’s in mourning. But even so, he is still a striking man.
LIDDY: Henry has kept his looks, yes.
ELEANOR: Yes. Even with that sad face. So handsome.
LIDDY: Eleanor, I think it’s really bad form to ask the husband out at his wife’s funeral.
ELEANOR: I wasn’t going to do that. Certainly not!
LIDDY: Sssshh. Then please, curb your enthusiasm for the bereaved.
ELEANOR: Don’t sssshh me. I have never asked a man out in my life. They do the asking. I’m very old school that way.
ELEANOR: I wouldn’t even know where to start. Ask a man out.
ELEANOR: I’m here to pay my respects.
LIDDY” We should think about Joselle today.
ELEANOR: I am.
LIDDY: And only good thoughts.
(pause; ELEANOR has to consider this for a few moments, then…)
ELEANOR: She was a beautiful woman.
LIDDY: Yes she was.
ELEANOR: Of all our friends, she was the most beautiful.
LIDDY: Without question.
ELEANOR: Wonderful taste in clothes.
LIDDY: Impeccable taste in clothes. The best. Always knew how to dress. Set the standard.
ELEANOR: I wonder who she left all those clothes to?
LIDDY: No idea.
ELEANOR: She only has the one daughter. Monica.
LIDDY: Monica doesn’t even like dresses.
ELEANOR: All these years, I’ve never seen her in one. Oh, how Joselle used to complain about that.
LIDDY: That’s true. It wouldn’t surprise me if Monica showed up today, wearing pants.
ELEANOR: So Monica doesn’t want the dresses. (pauses) Did she have any nieces?
LIDDY: I think I met a couple of them once.
ELEANOR: Are they her size?
LIDDY: I don’t remember.
ELEANOR: Mmm. All those closets. Full of those exquisite clothes.
LIDDY: When it came to clothes, she spent like the Queen of France.
ELEANOR: Now all those dresses are just hanging there. Going to waste.
LIDDY: Maybe Henry will give them away.
ELEANOR: To who? A thrift shop?
ELEANOR: Oh! If those clothes don’t go to someone who appreciates them, it’s like…
ELEANOR: It would be like she died in vain.
LIDDY: I didn’t think she died for anybody’s sins, Eleanor.
ELEANOR: All I’m saying is, it wouldn’t be right.
LIDDY: Well. You are about her size.
ELEANOR: It’s true. I mean, I would need to lose a couple of pounds, sure. But…
LIDDY: It would seem something of a waste.
ELEANOR: Exactly. I mean, it wasn’t something I could bring up while she was on her deathbed.
ELEANOR: “Could I have that black Versace after you’re gone?”
LIDDY: A horrid thing to ask.
ELEANOR: Terrible manners. Wouldn’t have dreamed of it.
ELEANOR: But we were awfully close, she and I.
LIDDY: You two had made up? After the big tiff?
ELEANOR: The bridge game? Oh, certainly. We patched things up a long time ago. You know that.
LIDDY: In that situation, you should never bid no trump.
ELEANOR: Oh fiddle. It was just cards.
LIDDY: She took her cards seriously.
ELEANOR: Too seriously. It’s probably what gave her the…oh, that’s a terrible thing to say. I’m sorry.
LIDDY: Only think good thoughts about Joselle today.
LIDDY: And Henry.
ELEANOR: I always have good thoughts about Henry. (pauses) What if we took some food over to him afterwards?
LIDDY: I don’t think he’s doing that.
ELEANOR: It’s traditional.
LIDDY: On the Upper East Side?
ELEANOR: Of course.
LIDDY: Taking over food after a funeral seems so…Grand Rapids.
ELEANOR: I know people who have done it.
LIDDY: In our neighborhood?
ELEANOR: Yes, in our neighborhood.
LIDDY: You mean to tell me, at Fifth Avenue and 86th, after a funeral, people bring over little Tupperware dishes
filled with meatloaf?
ELEANOR: I didn’t say anything about meatloaf. We’ll order something from Dean and DeLuca’s. Haven’t you done this
LIDDY: I’ve been very lucky. Very few deaths in my family. A few who should have gone, but they just keep
hanging around. (pauses) If there’s a get together after, I’m sure Henry will have it catered.
ELEANOR: Of course he will. (pauses) Is there a get together? After?
LIDDY: I haven’t heard.
ELEANOR: Were we invited?
LIDDY: We’ll ask around.
ELEANOR: We weren’t invited?
LIDDY: I don’t know, Eleanor.
ELEANOR: That’s some nerve. Not to invite us.
LIDDY: I don’t know if we weren’t invited.
ELEANOR: We’re among her oldest friends.
LIDDY: It wouldn’t seem right if we were left out of a gathering, no.
ELEANOR: No, no, no. If there is a “do” after, I will see to it that Henry invites us. End of story.
ELEANOR: It will give me a good reason to speak to him. Like I need a good reason. He should be comforted.
LIDDY: And you’re just the girl for the job?
LIDDY: He won’t be alone long. Not with all those millions.
ELEANOR: You’re so cynical sometimes.
LIDDY: I’m cynical all the time.
ELEANOR: It’s not Henry’s money that makes him attractive.
LIDDY: It doesn’t hurt.
ELEANOR: No, it doesn’t hurt. But it’s the way he carries himself. He has such an air of distinction. And I know Henry.
He’s got far too much class to…
LIDDY: To what?
ELEANOR: To take up with someone unsuitable.
LIDDY: Who would you consider unsuitable?
ELEANOR: Any woman under fifty.
LIDDY: That would narrow down the field a bit.
ELEANOR: Yes, it would.
LIDDY: And to certain people’s advantage.
ELEANOR: One can only hope. He’s got far too much class to take up with some trollop. Some tart. Some twinkie
in a tight blouse. That’s just not him.
LIDDY: I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high about Henry, dear.
ELEANOR: You know something?
LIDDY: I know he’s a man. And he’s going to be very popular. Look around the room. Over there is Bonnie. In a red
dress. Who wears red to a funeral?
ELEANOR: Did she have to dress like a slut today? It’s not even noon yet.
LIDDY: She has no breeding.
ELEANOR: She just puts herself out there like a common street walker. Ever since the breast surgery. Nothing but low cut dresses.
LIDDY: She’s trying much too hard.
ELEANOR: It’s pathetic really. It is, and I don’t use this word lightly, it is tacky.
ELEANOR: Like she is the only woman who ever had breast enhancement.
LIDDY: On the Upper East Side?
ELEANOR: Who is she kidding? Henry would never go for someone like her.
ELEANOR: Don’t ssshhhh me. When does this thing start?