Supernova: The Stardust Diner

Supernova: The Stardust Diner

A Stage Play by Eric Richard
"

A ten minute play. The diner becomes the setting of a 1950s gang rumble.

"

Cast of Characters

 

STANLEY:  The owner, in his early 30s.

 

JESSE:    A busboy, in his teens.

 

PEGGY:    A customer, in her late 20s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene

 

A New York City diner in Chelsea.

 

 

Time

Early 1950s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIGHTS UP:    A 1950s diner, complete with counter at CENTER and a wall telephone behind it, a jukebox on RIGHT, and booths on LEFT. The New York City skyline shows in the glass windows, the name Stardust Diner over the glass in mirror image. STANLEY is behind the counter restocking. JESSE is cleaning tables.

 

STANLEY

I guess we are ready to close down the shop there, Jesse.

 

JESSE

Yes sir.

 

STANLEY

Do you have plans for tonight?

 

JESSE

I am taking Mary out for some back seat bingo. I’m on cloud nine.

 

              STANLEY

Cool it, Jesse. You been on cloud nine all day. Your cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

 

(The door chimes. PEGGY enters covering one eye and takes a seat at the counter.)

 

              STANLEY

What can I get for you?

 

              PEGGY

          (Sarcastically)

Anything to heal a broken heart, sugar?

 

              JESSE

          (Teasing)

Why you being a wet rag?

 

              STANLEY

Jesse, cut the gas. Well, what seems to be the problem, lady?

 

              PEGGY

Why you see it is my husband.

 

              STANLEY

How about a malted milkshake?

 

(STANLEY brings out a malt cup and makes a malted milkshake and gives it to PEGGY. STANLEY tries to see PEGGY’S covered eye, but she turns her head.)

 

              PEGGY

          (Taking out wallet)

Thank you. How much would that be?

 

              STANLEY

On the house. So, what is your tale, nightingale?

 

              PEGGY

Are you writing a book?

 

              (PEGGY takes a sip from her glass.)

 

SFX: GUN SHOTS

 

              STANLEY

What the ruckus?

 

              PEGGY

          (Diving under stool)

The mafia has attacked.

 

(STANLEY ducks underneath the counter. JESSE races across the stage and out the front door. PEGGY gets up revealing her covered eye, which is bruised.)

 

              STANLEY

What going on out there, Jesse?

 

              JESSE

A gang rumble. Looks like we are stuck here tonight.

 

              PEGGY

Oh no. Alvin will be worried sick.

 

              JESSE

Put an egg in your shoe and beat it.

 

              (PEGGY crosses to the jukebox.)

PEGGY

          (Caressing cheek)

Oh Alvin

 

              JESSE

I guess I should call Mary and let her know I won’t be coming.

 

(JESSE crosses behind the counter to use the telephone.)

 

              PEGGY

Alvin, I can still see that look in your eyes that rotten look. They ain’t glimmer like the day we said our I dos. Now the glimmer has faded.

 

              JESSE

          (On phone)

I’m sorry, Mary. I’m stuck at work there is a gang rumble…

 

              (JESSE hangs up the phone)

 

              STANLEY

Got shot down? No need to go ape.

 

              JESSE

She hung up on me. I was cranked now I am frosted.

 

              PEGGY

How are we going to get out of here?

 

              JESSE
We we’re supposed to go down to the passion pit

 

              STANLEY

Wait until the fuzz arrives.

 

              PEGGY

I hope they get here soon.

 

              JESSE

Mary was a Dolly. She was the queen.

 

              PEGGY
Stop bringing bad news

 

              JESSE

Get Bent

 

              PEGGY

Drop dead twice

 

              JESSE

What and look like you?

 

              PEGGY

          (Shakes fist)

Why I oughtta…

 

SFX: ROUND OF GUN SHOTS

 

              STANLEY
Jesse, ice it and go cast an eyeball. Hey bean!

 

              JESSE

Fine big daddy. I’ll clue you.

 

(JESSE crosses to the door giving PEGGY a look of disgust and exits.)

 

              STANLEY

He’s having a fake out. Sorry about him, Mrs…

 

              PEGGY

Robinson, Peggy Robinson. He is just an ankle-biter, darling.

 

              (JESSE enters.)

 

              JESSE

I was hoping tonight would be Fat City not Nowheresville. I was writing Mary a ballad.

 

              STANLEY

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.

 

              JESSE

One of the gang members is out cold. There is blood all over the sidewalk.

 

              PEGGY

Raunchy.

 

              STANLEY

That’s it. I’m calling the heat over the horn. The nerve on these kids today.

 

              PEGGY

Oh Alvin. I should have never left. Hopefully he’s not mad. For god sake’s I hope he’s not mad.

 

              STANLEY

          (On phone)

We’re here at the Stardust Café located on 26th Street West between Seventh and Eighth Avenues…Thank You.

          (Hangs up phone)

They’re on their way.

 

              PEGGY

Thank heavens

 

              JESSE

          (Looking at watch)

Maybe I can still make the flick

 

              STANLEY

          (Firm)

She’s a closet case. A germ. Get with it.

 

              JESSE

She just made a goof. You’re not hip.

 

(JESSE Sshrugs, crosses LEFT to wipe tables.)

 

              STANLEY

Oh, you’re an intelligent imbecile

 

              JESSE

          (Grabbing dispenser)

Think fast.

 

SFX: CONTINUOUS GUN SHOTS

 

(JESSE ducks under the table. STANLEY and PEGGY take cover on opposite sides of the counter.)

 

             

 

STANLEY

          (Getting up)

Lay dead

 

              (STANLEY steps toward the door.)

             

PEGGY

I have the zorros

 

JESSE

          (Getting out from under table)

Now what?

 

              STANLEY

          (Leaning out of door)

Move that Jukebox there, Jesse.

 

(JESSE crosses to the jukebox. STANLEY follows to help him. They drag the jukebox to block the doorway. PEGGY crosses to the door blocking their way.)

 

              PEGGY

I need to get home before Alvin returns.

 

              JESSE

Hey, nosebleed. Did you smog in the noggin?

 

              STANLEY

You’re safer here until the man shows up.

 

              JESSE

          (To himself)

Ain’t that a bite?

 

              PEGGY

Make that jukebox fade out and tune out.

 

              JESSE

You’re kookie.

 

               PEGGY

          (Shaking fist)

I’ll give you a knuckle sandwich.

 

(STANLEY intervenes between PEGGY and JESSE.)

STANLEY

Why you trying to split Mrs. Robinson?

 

(STANLEY attempts to restrain PEGGY who is fighting with all her strength to pull through.) 

 

              PEGGY

Mind your own beeswax.

 

              JESSE

You bug me. Go flat out to your bash and have a blast.

 

              STANLEY

Jesse, that’s now way to talk to a baby.

 

              JESSE

She’s no baby.

 

              (The gunshots stop abruptly.)

 

              STANLEY

Is it over?

 

(STANLEY lowers his guard and crosses to the door.)

 

              PEGGY

If that grody bit is done out there step out of my way.

 

(JESSE starts to move the jukebox out of the way when suddenly STANLEY runs back in to stop him.)

 

              STANLEY

Better block that door, Jesse. Things going to get real nasty pretty soon.

 

(JESSE moves the jukebox to barricade the door.)

 

              STANLEY

          (To PEGGY)

Let’s bash ears for a second.

 

SFX: POLICE SIRENS

 

              JESSE

The fuzz finally here.

 

              PEGGY

I need to get home.

 

              STANLEY

Has your husband Alvin was it? Has he ever laid his paws on you?

 

              PEGGY

          (Defensively)

No.

 

SFX: CONTINUOUS GUN SHOTS

 

              JESSE

Oh no. Not again.

 

              STANLEY

          (Pointing at PEGGY)

How you get that mark on your eye there?

 

              PEGGY

I…I don’t remember I must have bumped it on the mirror this morning or somethin’

 

              STANLEY

          (Walks towards PEGGY)

Do you honestly expect me to believe that?

 

              PEGGY

Mind your own beeswax, darling.

 

              STANLEY

You can tell me.

 

              PEGGY

Just why is it so important to you?

 

(PEGGY cowers hiding that she almost about to cry.)

 

              STANLEY

He has hasn’t he?

 

(PEGGY stands quiet for a beat holding her cheek.)

 

              STANLEY

You’ll be safer here, Peggy.

 

              PEGGY

I don’t know where everything went sour?

 

              STANLEY

Well, it about time you got yourself a fresh new start.

 

              PEGGY

I already got a new fresh start.

 

(The gunshots stop abruptly. PEGGY and STANLEY embrace and share a kiss. JESSE turns away in disgust and disbelief.)

 

              STANLEY

Jesse, why don’t you cast an eyeball and give us some privacy?

 

              JESSE

With pleasure.

 

(JESSE shoves the jukebox out of the frame of the door just enough so there room to get by. JESSE exits. STANLEY and PEGGY make out.)

 

SFX: SIRENS

 

              (JESSE enters.)

 

              JESSE

The coast is clear.

 

              STANLEY

Okay, Jesse.

 

              JESSE

Do you need me to help clean up and get ready for tomorrow?

 

             

 

STANLEY

No you can run off. Maybe you can patch things up with Mary.

 

              JESSE

          (Checking watch)

Do you think there is still time?

 

              STANLEY

Ya’ never know. It could be worth a shot.

 

              JESSE

Stanley, whatever were your plans for tonight?

 

              STANLEY

          (Chuckling)

Just sleep I guess. Sorry for what I said earlier.

 

              JESSE

No sweat. Peggy, sorry for all the trouble I gave you. You two look good together.

 

              STANLEY

Good luck to you as well.

 

              PEGGY

          (Mimicking JESSE)

No sweat.

              (JESSE exits. PEGGY notices her watch.)

 

              PEGGY

Oh, I better get going?

 

              STANLEY

Do you know what your doing?

 

              PEGGY

I guess I need to find me a new gig and a new nest.

 

              STANLEY

That would be good.

 

              PEGGY

It no negative perspiration.

 

              STANLEY

Guess we ready to close the shop, now.

              PEGGY

You just going to leave everything goopy?

 

              STANLEY

Nah, I’ll come in an hour before we open. Give me a bell.

 

              (STANLEY and PEGGY exit.)

 

              (BLACKOUT)

 

              (CURTAIN)

 

© 2013 Eric Richard


Author's Note

Eric Richard
All comments welcome

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Featured Review

I like the setting—especially the time period—since I think it's a pretty rarely used one, and a time that can really be fun to write about. Even though the name of the diner may not fit the time period too well, I actually like it. Interestingly enough, there is a Stardust Diner in NYC that is themed around the 1950s. Don't know if you knew about it or drew inspiration from it, but I guess the idea that a diner in the 50s would go by the Stardust Diner probably isn't too strange then.

One more thing before I go into the actually writing/stageplay, I'm curious why you chose the title Supernova: The Stardust Diner. As opposed to just, The Stardust Diner or something else.

So first, the 50s style language. The majority of the time, I thought you nailed it. It was fast, punchy, old-timey, most of it sounded right. There were a few 50s style expressions that just didn't sound right to me though. One being "negative perspiration," which I took to be some really long way of saying "no sweat," but I'm just not sure I can imagine hearing someone saying that in any time period. I also thought there may have been too much use of 50s type lingo and dialogue. I think during the sort of snappy moments, definitely keep it in, but having every or most of the dialogue being kind of 50s stylish takes away from the times when it really hits and sounds its best, in my opinion.

It's also probably my unfamiliarity with 50s style language and expression in general, but there were times some seemed like just sort of empty exclamations, like how we might say "Oh my God," "Yikes," "Far out," (in the 70s) and stuff like that with no real meaning behind them. That might be the point though, I'm not sure, but there were a few times when I couldn't tell if the dialogue was supposed to be sort of a generic exclamation or if it actually had a more specific meaning.

My last suggestion is that the Stanley/Peggy relationship be moved up sooner in the story a bit. Or at least hinted at earlier. I think the best way to do that is have the dialogue between them where Stanley asks about her eye and if it was Alvin happen sooner, so the reader can kind of see the relationship grow before everything happens all of a sudden at the end. I think it also makes sense that a lady that comes in to the diner covering her eye would be asked about what happened sooner rather than later, even if they were trying to kind of mind their own business. As soon as she mentions hoping Alvin isn't angry, I think that's when we should start seeing Stanley care or question Peggy's injury and if the relationship is healthy for her.

I think you did a really great job with the 50s tone and pace of talking though. Sounded just right to me. I also really like the overall plot in that these three are pretty much trapped inside a diner because of gang violence outside. It's a nice, unique way to do the sort of strangers stranded together and learn about each other kind of thing. I'm sure the assignment for this was that it was supposed to only be about 10 minutes of stage time, but if you ever expand on this, the set up you have could really let you go into more depth with each of the characters' relationships outside of the diner, Jesse with Mary, Peggy with Alvin, and also develop the characters' relationships with one another more. Sort of the antagonistic feel between Jesse and Peggy eventually having them both come to respect each other more or something like that.

Really cool idea and setting though. And that's what I like most about it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Fun! I would like to write a stage play sometime. I have an idea, but just don't know how to do it. Great job!

Posted 8 Years Ago


this was excellent. you researched well on your work. hope to watch it one day. your script is amazing. keep up the good work.

Posted 8 Years Ago


this is excellent stuff. hope to watch it one day

Posted 8 Years Ago


I like the setting—especially the time period—since I think it's a pretty rarely used one, and a time that can really be fun to write about. Even though the name of the diner may not fit the time period too well, I actually like it. Interestingly enough, there is a Stardust Diner in NYC that is themed around the 1950s. Don't know if you knew about it or drew inspiration from it, but I guess the idea that a diner in the 50s would go by the Stardust Diner probably isn't too strange then.

One more thing before I go into the actually writing/stageplay, I'm curious why you chose the title Supernova: The Stardust Diner. As opposed to just, The Stardust Diner or something else.

So first, the 50s style language. The majority of the time, I thought you nailed it. It was fast, punchy, old-timey, most of it sounded right. There were a few 50s style expressions that just didn't sound right to me though. One being "negative perspiration," which I took to be some really long way of saying "no sweat," but I'm just not sure I can imagine hearing someone saying that in any time period. I also thought there may have been too much use of 50s type lingo and dialogue. I think during the sort of snappy moments, definitely keep it in, but having every or most of the dialogue being kind of 50s stylish takes away from the times when it really hits and sounds its best, in my opinion.

It's also probably my unfamiliarity with 50s style language and expression in general, but there were times some seemed like just sort of empty exclamations, like how we might say "Oh my God," "Yikes," "Far out," (in the 70s) and stuff like that with no real meaning behind them. That might be the point though, I'm not sure, but there were a few times when I couldn't tell if the dialogue was supposed to be sort of a generic exclamation or if it actually had a more specific meaning.

My last suggestion is that the Stanley/Peggy relationship be moved up sooner in the story a bit. Or at least hinted at earlier. I think the best way to do that is have the dialogue between them where Stanley asks about her eye and if it was Alvin happen sooner, so the reader can kind of see the relationship grow before everything happens all of a sudden at the end. I think it also makes sense that a lady that comes in to the diner covering her eye would be asked about what happened sooner rather than later, even if they were trying to kind of mind their own business. As soon as she mentions hoping Alvin isn't angry, I think that's when we should start seeing Stanley care or question Peggy's injury and if the relationship is healthy for her.

I think you did a really great job with the 50s tone and pace of talking though. Sounded just right to me. I also really like the overall plot in that these three are pretty much trapped inside a diner because of gang violence outside. It's a nice, unique way to do the sort of strangers stranded together and learn about each other kind of thing. I'm sure the assignment for this was that it was supposed to only be about 10 minutes of stage time, but if you ever expand on this, the set up you have could really let you go into more depth with each of the characters' relationships outside of the diner, Jesse with Mary, Peggy with Alvin, and also develop the characters' relationships with one another more. Sort of the antagonistic feel between Jesse and Peggy eventually having them both come to respect each other more or something like that.

Really cool idea and setting though. And that's what I like most about it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 4, 2013
Last Updated on April 4, 2013
Tags: Diners, 1950s, New York City

Author

Eric Richard
Eric Richard

Palm Coast, FL



About
Been interested in writing since as long as I can remember. I hold my Bachelor's degree in creative writing and my associate's degree in General Business. I took a creative writing course which .. more..

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