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Julius Galacki

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All Things Chicken
by Julius Galacki   

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Books by Julius Galacki
· The Master and the Magician
· A Shadowed Cross
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Category: 

Drama



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"ÖChicken" is a comic vaudeville in which two guys talk about profound
things in profoundly foolish ways. It is my version of "Waiting for Godot" but set in a wasteland of
fast food restaurants and diners.

All Things Chicken the movie trailer

             In ALL THINGS CHICKEN, two guys talk about profound things in profoundly foolish ways. They obsess. They spar. They ask the big metaphysical questions: should they eat barbeque or fried chicken? 

            Why does one say “oh, god” during sex?
            Do extra-terrestrials notice the light we generate on earth? 
 
            Structurally, I label the play a vaudeville because it has a circular structure, like "Waiting for Godot" and also like Godot is made up of "routines" that the boys create to pass the time, however, in my play their patter is done even more so in order to make a fairly meaningless moment into something significant.  Also, unlike the aforementioned role model, hope is not obliquely embodied by a single leaf on a bare tree, but rather is more overtly light, and the plot more clearly clear moves forward in time even while it circles back.  
 
          For “…Chicken” is both a comedy about how not to live one’s life, and a paean to the saving grace of friendship - no matter how dysfunctional.

                               CAST (in Order of Appearance)

 
 Raymond Chardas:  in his early thirties; slightly overweight, a bit gawky; overbearing in his own way: full of energy, laughter and depression; takes himself far too seriously.
 
Dave Shipman:  in his mid-twenties; smaller in size compared to Ray;  overbearing in every way but charming nonetheless, a manipulative angel; a nudge;  Ray’s equal and opposite.
 
The Veteran (a.k.a. Thomas O’Leary:  in his late forties to early fifties; a large, physically powerful man.
 
 (Note that a monologue from this play was adapted and published in Smith & Kraus "Audition Arsenal" series.)


Excerpt

SCENE 1:

(All is darkness. A recording of Raymond's voice is heard.)
RAYMOND (v.o.)
A comet is a lonely thing...

(...then silhuetting Ray and Dave are projections of the primordial cosmos: swirling nebulae and spiral galaxies with the last image being Comet Hale-Bopp, then blackness again before the end of Ray's speech.)
RAYMOND (v.o.)
In the chaos of the beginning, when what was hot and everywhere, became cold enough to be round and planetary, there were still left over balls of icy dust. The gravity of the planets expelled their frozen brethren into deep space. A cloud of primordial snowballs are still out there, surrounding us in their loneliness.

(In the darkness, a phone is ringing. The answering machine beeps. Raymond's answering voice:)
RAYMOND (v.o.)
Hi, I can't come to the phone right now, so please leave a message.
DAVE (on the phone)
Ray pick up. I know you're there. She's taking off her shirt. I've been waiting in the dark for an hour. Oh, my God, she just took off her Ė

(The answering machine beeps. The phone rings again. Lights up. While Dave and Ray are each in their respective homes, the set is a single abstract unit set.)
DAVE (on the phone)
I'm going to keep calling till you answer.

(Ray picks up the phone. Though Dave sounds like the hyper one, Ray is the one who paces while he talks Ė Dave, though on a cell phone, reclines at any opportunity.)
RAYMOND (on the phone)
I don't care, Dave.
DAVE (on the phone)
C'mon man. I'm trying to share with you.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
Why do you waste your time like this?

DAVE (on the phone)
Damn it!
RAYMOND (on the phone)
What?
DAVE (on the phone)
She got dressedÖ. Hey, want to go to Dinos?
RAYMOND (on the phone)
Ahnt-ah.
DAVE (on the phone)
Hmmm. Chicken and fries.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
No!
DAVE (on the phone)
Címon! Flame grilled chicken. I got a craving.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
My stomach hasnít been right since I got food poisoning....
DAVE (on the phone)
Okay.... Iím calling you back in 10 minutes.
(Black out. The phone rings. Ray goes to pick it up but drops the receiver on the floor. Lights up.)
RAYMOND (on the phone)
Hello.
DAVE (on the phone)
You just drop the phone?
RAYMOND (on the phone)
No.
DAVE (on the phone)
Iíll keep calling you till you say yes.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
You canít eat alone.
DAVE (on the phone)
How can you say that?
RAYMOND (on the phone)
Because itís true.
DAVE (on the phone)
Iím hurt.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
No, youíre not.
DAVE (on the phone)
Okay, Iím not.
RAYMOND (on the phone)
Look, Iím depressed. I DONíT - WANT - TO GO OUT. Okay?

(Black out.)

SCENE 2:

(They are sitting in a booth at generic fast food chicken place. This change of location can be achieved by unrolling a poster, or small drops unfurling, or projections, etc. If need be, the actors should act as their own stage hands, speaking while they retrieve and put away food, etc.)
RAYMOND
(Between bites.) I want to see Hale-Bopp for my birthday. That Comet wonít be back for hundreds of years. This is it. The one and only chance in my lifetime. And I want to see it right. We gotta drive to some place where there are no lights.

DAVE
Does it move?
RAYMOND
Of course, itís moving. Itís a comet.

DAVE
Fast?
RAYMOND
Sure...but you canít tell...because itís so far away.
DAVE
Thatís stupid.
RAYMOND
Itís not stupid. Itís a once in a lifetime experience. Nobodyís seen this thing for like, 4,000 years.
DAVE
So what. Itís stupid.
RAYMOND
Itís beautiful.
DAVE
Itís Nature.
RAYMOND
Yes.
DAVE
Nature is just trees, bushes and things that want to eat you.
RAYMOND
I want to see it.

(A beat.)
DAVE
(All of a sudden.) Okay.
RAYMOND
Okay?
DAVE
I said ďokay.Ē
RAYMOND
You mean it?
DAVE
Yes.
RAYMOND
Itís important to me. You know I canít take my car on the highway.
DAVE
Donít worry.
RAYMOND
Youíll remember? I wasnít kidding when I said I was depressed.
DAVE
Itís been a long time since Nikola left you. Donít you think...?
RAYMOND
Yeah. But, if I donít think about her, itís the same problem.
DAVE
You gotta go to the Bar with me. Iíll set you up.
RAYMOND
I donít need to get fucked. I need to get fucked by the same personÖ A lot.
DAVE
I still say you...
RAYMOND
No.
DAVE
Okay. (An immediate beat.) So what was your sex life like?
RAYMOND
Where do you come up with this? Just asking me like that.
DAVE
Why not? Youíve got to let it out. So tell me.
RAYMOND
Iím not going to tell you.
DAVE
Why not?
RAYMOND
Because youíll tell everyone.
DAVE
I will not.
RAYMOND
Yes, you will.
DAVE
Iíll tell you about my sex life.
RAYMOND
I donít want to know.
DAVE
Sure you do.
RAYMOND
No, I donít.
DAVE
Youíve got dirty pictures of her, donít you? I can tell. Show me.
RAYMOND
No!
DAVE
I knew you had them.
RAYMOND
Oh, Jesus.
DAVE
You just need to jerk off more when you get depressed. I canít go to sleep without doing it.
RAYMOND
Well, I only jerk-off when I feel good. Well, no Ė I can be mildly depressed.
DAVE
Do you think suicidal people jerk-off?
RAYMOND
I doubt it.
DAVE
I always do.
RAYMOND
Always?
DAVE
Sometimes three times a day.
RAYMOND
How Ďbout when youíre having an anxiety attack?
DAVE
No, Iím busy throwing up.
RAYMOND
Well, I donít get anxious, I get depressed. Thatís my thing.
DAVE
(A realization.) Oh! So, thatís what weíre talking about?
RAYMOND
Yes! Itís been two years now! My life has fallen apart.
DAVE
Want to get some more chicken?

(Blackout.)

SCENE 3:

(The boys are sitting on the stoop of Daveís apartment building.)
DAVE
From now on, call me Dome.
RAYMOND
Why??
DAVE
Mysterious. Itíll interest the women.
RAYMOND
Dome? Instead of Dave, youíre going to be Dome Shipman.
DAVE
No. Just Dome. One word.
RAYMOND
God, that is pretentious.
DAVE
Donít swear.
RAYMOND
I didnít swear.

DAVE
You used Godís name.
RAYMOND
I - what!? Thatís not swearing. ďGod-damn itĒ is swearing. Just saying ďGodĒ is an expression.
DAVE
An expression of anger.
RAYMOND
You are so strange about this. You fuck around. You steal library books....
DAVE
I do not steal library books.
RAYMOND
Last year.
DAVE
I forgot about that....
RAYMOND
Uh, huh.
DAVE
Well, anyway it wasnít for me. It was a gift.
RAYMOND
Itís still wrong.
DAVE
But thatís a sin against man. Weíre talking about God here.
RAYMOND
I donít need god to be moral.
DAVE
Youíve got to have a tradition.
RAYMOND
Tradition is fine. That doesnít mean that thereís a god.
DAVE
Youíll see. Youíre going to get to heaven. And God is going to say, sit down, Raymond Chardas. Sit down, because you do not believe.
RAYMOND
And whatís he going to say to you?
DAVE
Thatís not the point. Weíre talking about you calling me Dome.
RAYMOND
I wonít do it.
DAVE
Fine, Iíll remember this.
RAYMOND
No, you wonít. Tomorrow, youíll want me to call youÖDoom.
DAVE
Doom. Doom. Hey, I like that better. Thanks Chardas.
RAYMOND
Auuck!
(He smacks his head as a dramatic gesture, but does so much harder than intended.)
Owww!
DAVE
Karma. We build up our deeds and get what we deserve.
RAYMOND
I donít hurt anybody. And where are my rewards? Huh? Do I hurt people?
DAVE
No.
RAYMOND
So?
DAVE
Itíll happen. Just wait.
RAYMOND
Iím tired of waiting.
DAVE
Youíre getting fat.
RAYMOND
What?
DAVE
Iím just looking at the way your gut is hanging out. Maybe thatís your problem.
RAYMOND
Chocolate ice cream has kept me alive.
DAVE
Eat all you want. But you gotta burn it off.
RAYMOND
Youíre just saying this because you want someone to work out with.
DAVE
Sure I am! Itís more fun. Iím very co-dependent.
RAYMOND
Why canít you do things alone?
DAVE
I donít know.
(Flexes his biceps.)
Look at these muscles.
RAYMOND
Thatís not much.
DAVE
What? This is a great muscle.
RAYMOND
(Pulls up his pantís leg.)
Look at this calf muscle. See. Now, thatís a muscle.
DAVE
Women donít look at legs.
(End of sample)




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