Sunday, February 01, 2004

Surpise Party

“Surprise Party”
First Draft
August 25, 2007


CAST
Rebecca: Early 30s
Michael: Early 30s
Bill: Early 30s
George: Early 60s


(A solemn Rebecca is sitting in a dimly lit room drinking, waiting for her husband Michael to return home. Michael enters, expecting to find a surprise birthday for himself and instead is faced with an inquisition.)


REBECCA
(softly, with no emotion)

Happy Birthday Michael.

MICHAEL
(confused)

Uh, thanks?

REBECCA
(furious)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

(She throws her glass at him. It misses and crashes against the wall)

YOU SOULESS SCUMBAG!

MICHAEL
Is something wrong?

REBECCA
(stifling sobs)

I know. I know everything.

MICHAEL

You know? You know what?


REBECCA

Don’t play dumb with me. I have proof. It’s all over the place. The credit card statement, the cell phone bill—

MICHAEL

Oh baby, what are you talking about? I’d never have an affair.


REBECCA

No, not an affair. God, I can’t believe this!

MICHAEL

Then what in the hell are you talking about? Fuck, I walked in here expecting a surprise party!

REBECCA

(exhales loudly)

I cancelled the Evite.

MICHAEL

Why?

REBECCA

Because you are a liar. All this time, I thought I knew the man I married. But I don’t.

(she sobs again)

You’re a Republican, Michael, aren’t you?

AREN’T YOU?


MICHAEL
(stammers)

I. . .I don’t know what you’re talking about.


REBECCA

Come on, Michael. The signs have always been there.

(door bell rings)

MICHAEL
Apparently someone didn’t get the cancellation.

(Michael walks to the door and opens it.)

You know I’m not a Republican. I’m a sometimes left-leaning independent--

REBECCA

With Libertarian tendencies, yeah I know.

LIAR!

(Michael’s friend Bill enters.)

MICHAEL
(aggravated)

You have lost your mind woman.

(looks at Bill)

Party’s cancelled Bill.

REBECCA

(She picks up a stack of bills
And begins to read them aloud.)

$250 for annual NRA dues--


MICHAEL
It’s not that NRA, it’s the National Rugby Association. I love that game.

REBECCA
You never played it a day in your life and I called, Michael. I also called and got your IPASS activity report. 15 trips last month alone to DuPage County. You work downtown and your mom lives in Wilmette. Why in the world would YOU need to go to DuPage County?

MICHAEL
That has to be a mistake.


REBECCA
And your email, Iheartrummy@gmail.com? You don’t even play cards. I’m such a fool!

BILL

And I’ll be going now. Happy Birthday, Mike. I’ll just leave the wine over here.

(he starts toward the door)

REBECCA
I bet you’re one too.

BILL
One what?

MICHAEL

Rebecca is accusing me of being a Republican.

BILL
(Clearly knows that Michael is indeed what Rebecca says he is.)

Republicans? Us? That’s preposterous. We’re actually big fans of Hilary Clinton. We spent most of lunch today singing her praises, didn’t we, Mike?

(he starts to laugh)

Some gal, that Hilary.

MICHAEL

You’re not helping.

(He walks over to her and kneels next to her chair.)

Rebecca, so what if I am? I’m still the same Michael.

REBECCA

You probably think this war is a good idea?


MICHAEL

Of course, they hate us for our freedom. We must annihilate them.

(looks to Bill for approval)

REBECCA

I want a divorce.


BILL
(starts drinking directly from the wine bottle)

Oh, that’s great. Cut and run. Just like a liberal.

MICHAEL

Bill, please shut up.

(Michael continues to plead with Rebecca.)

No, baby. Look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. Or Mary Matalin and James Carville? We can make this work!

REBECCA

NEVER! I can’t even look at you.

(door bell rings)

That’s my dad.

MICHAEL

Your dad, why?

(Bill answers the door)

REBECCA

I’m leaving. I’m packed.

(George, Rebecca’s dad enters and rushes to where Michael is kneeling. He pulls Michael to his feet and begins to choke him.)

GEORGE

HOW DARE YOU CHEAT ON MY LITTLE GIRL! I’LL KILL YOU!


(Michael gasps and groans, and gestures to Bill for help who just stands there drinking and watching the action)


REBECCA

Dad, he didn’t cheat on me.

GEORGE

But you called me all upset, saying he betrayed you?

(He lets Michael go, who falls to the floor trying to recover.)

REBECCA

He did. I found out he’s Republican. He admitted it.

GEORGE

Oh, honey you’re so na├»ve sometimes.

REBECCA
What?

GEORGE

You married an investment banker who grew up on the North Shore.

REBECCA
I know, what was I thinking? I guess I wanted to believe he was enlightened.

MICHAEL
Hey!

GEORGE
Why don’t you two talk this out. We’ll leave. You can find some common ground.

BILL

Yeah, you two just cancel each other out anyway.


Black out.