Play in the Drawer: Rinne Groff
We begin with one of the loveliest, playwright, performer, and new mother Rinne Groff. Ms. Groff’s work Her work has been produced by the Public Theater, Trinity Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Women’s Project, PS122, Clubbed Thumb, Target Margin, and Andy’s Summer Playhouse, among others. Rinne is a recipient of an Obie Award grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and Whiting Writers Award, and a NYSCA Individual Artist grant. She was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Australian National Playwrights Conference, the Perry Mansfield New Noises Festival, and The Chautauqua Theater Company. She is currently working on two musicals and an adaptation of a novel for the stage.
She offers a few scenes from scenes from a musical called IN THE BUBBLE (book by Rinne Groff; lyrics by Michael Friedman, Rinne Groff, and Joe Popp; music by Michael Friedman and Joe Popp).
JOEY ...You know what really bugs me? When they discovered the tumor, I was too young for girls. Now that I’m old enough, I can’t do anything about it. TODD What do you mean "about it"? JOEY I mean how the first thing I’m gonna do when I get out of here is get myself a prostitute. TODD You are not. JOEY I am. What are you gonna do? TODD Who says I even want to get out of here? JOEY Come on, if you could snap your fingers and be free, what would you do? TODD I wouldn't get a prostitute. JOEY Why not? TODD I'd be scared of all the germs. Aren't you? JOEY No way. I want germs. I want to flip the bird to all those nurses trying to keep me antiseptic all the time. TODD Would you really flip the bird to a medical professional? JOEY Maybe one day. When I'm walking down the street with my hair all long and greasy and my very own moustache. Then I'll be flipping the bird at whoever I want any time I want. And I won't care either, because I'll be making it with every chick that walks. I'm gonna...
SONG: I Want Germs JOEY Swap spit with Farrah Fawcett Her cooties on my skin Nibble on her earlobes Get dribble on my chin No one lives forever Life's got temporary terms I want sickness, I want germs TODD You do not. JOEY I'll ride my motorcycle naked Watch commuters cringe Buy drugs from a sleazy dealer Shoot with a used syringe Book a tour for adventure And the travel agent squirms I want infections, I want germs TODD But you're not serious. JOEY Serious as Strep Throat.
Tattoo my entire body Pen ink and a razor blade Screw a heroin junkie Get a job in the sex trade When life expectancy is shortened You douse the wick that burns I want germs, I want germs
Come on, Todd, give it a try. TODD Fine.
I'll go to a discotheque In a leper colony Dance around 'til my legs drop off Right below the knee Wanting life, seeking death No contradiction in terms I want disease, I want germs
I want Botulism, Tuberculosis JOEY Chicken Pox, and Mononucleosis TODD Shingles, Rabies, Meningitis JOEY Crotch rot, and Vaginitis! TODD Vaginitis? JOEY You get the idea. All of a sudden Todd looks serious. TODD Joey. JOEY Yeah? TODD Do you ever um...? Do you ever... You know, when no one's around? JOEY (knowing exactly what Todd's talking about) All the time. TODD So it's not just me? JOEY It is not just you. TODD Thank God. (and then) Keep going. JOEY No, you go. TODD You start. Joey tries to come up with the dirtiest, germiest thing he can think of, and then Todd tries to top it. JOEY Dry-hump a dirty blow-up doll 'Til the cows come home TODD Then get it on with those horny cows With no spermacidal foam JOEY We'll taste life to the fullest TODD We'll feel the heat that burns JOEY & TODD We want sickness, we want germs We want infections, we want germs We want germs, we want germs!
SCENE SEVEN The Jenners' House. Gina is drying herself off. Hank calls to her from the pool. HANK Hey, come back in here. GINA I told you I gotta go. HANK Where's the fire? GINA You gotta go, too, Hank. HANK I will. But jump back in for a sec. GINA I'm already dry. HANK I'll get you wet again. GINA My mom can hear you. HANK Your mom can't hear anything; she's been drinking since noon. Ricky's not coming over after me, is he? GINA Not that it's any of your business. HANK So what's up? GINA Todd's been in the hospital a whole month tomorrow. HANK So? GINA I want to make a card and everything. HANK So just a quickie. Then you can make a whole Rose Bowl float for the geek. GINA Get out of the pool, Hank. HANK I said I'll be fast. GINA And I said no. HANK Don't be a bitch. (beat, Gina glaring at him) I didn't mean that. You're not a bitch. GINA Thanks. Hank gets out of the pool. HANK Fine, be that way. GINA Fine, you be that way. HANK I'll see you tomorrow. GINA If I'm lucky. HANK (under his breath, as he exits) Bitch. Hank exits.
SCENE EIGHT The Fielding House. Vicki is alone.
SONG: Then You Fail VICKI A child is born into this world That's a happy joyful day You have dreams of what he'll do Favorite food, where he likes to play
Images of who he'll be Doctor, scholar dressed in tweeds You try to give him what he wants You try to satisfy his needs
And then you fail You fail to be You fail to do You fail to see Then you fail fail fail You fail
It's hard to raise a kid these days There's no manual to read All these competing theories How do you find the one you need?
Either smother him with attention Or he’s wild with unkempt hair Either force-feed him with pressure Or be so lax he doubts you care Brady enters with the mail. VICKI Still you fail You fail to be You fail to do You fail to see Still you fail fail fail You fail Vicki notices Brady. She pulls it together. VICKI Oh, hello. What do you have there? BRADY Gina Jenner made him a card. VICKI What does it say? BRADY I didn't read it. VICKI Let me see. BRADY We've got to give it to him. VICKI No, we don't. BRADY It's his mail. VICKI That girl tried to kill him. BRADY She didn't try to kill him. Maybe she's writing to apologize. VICKI And maybe she wants to twist the knife a little deeper. We are the adults here. We decide what's best for Todd. BRADY That's what being an adult is: lying? Then I don't want to be an adult. VICKI That's been obvious for some time. Brady hands her the card. BRADY Here, grown-up. You decide what's best. Vicki takes the card. Brady leaves. VICKI I always wanted to have a boy A longing deep down in my heart I thought I could be a good mother I got off to a good start
But now my son's a stranger I can never get it right I feel myself getting hard and cold And all we do is fight
That’s how you fail You fail to be You fail to do You fail to see That’s how you fail fail fail You fail Vicki rips up the card from Gina and hides it away. VICKI You fail fail fail You fail
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