The 501 Blues

A one-act play

by Bobby Ciolfi

 

The 501 Blues was originally presented at the Hennessy Theater, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH - February 1987. It was directed by Margaret A.Walton as part of the Undergraduate Prize Productions. The assistant director was Cheryl Miller. The "wall" was designed by Michelle Rene Brochu. Original live music was performed by Liam O'Malley (brother of CBS’ "Yes, Dear" star Mike O’Malley). The cast was as follows:

DAVE……………………………………………………………………………....Kerby Thompson

LORI……………………………………………………………………………......Robin Gosselin

ROB………………………………………………………………………………...Tony Carnes

CLERK 1……………………………………………………………………...........Peter Sherwood

CLERK 2……………………………………………………………………...........Clara Zwirble

CUSTOMER(S)………………………………………………………....................Mary McLaughlin

 

 

Place: The Mall.

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

DAVE - A thin, relatively normal college student.

LORI - A nasty bimbo.

ROB - A rather long-winded manager type, not quite as bright as he thinks he is.

CLERK 1 - A fat obnoxious jerk.

CLERK 2 - A whining, skinny, no-mind bitch.

CUSTOMERS may be played by one actor, or as many as there are customer scenes.

(Note: The next to last customer was portrayed as a nun in the original production.)

Author's note: This play has been edited and re-formatted by playwright's memory from a surviving script some 17 years later. The characters in the original production, with the exception of the customers and Dave, were portrayed in ghoulish white-face. The closing music was performed live by a musician walking onto the stage and helping himself to a perfect-fitting pair of blue jeans, coincidentally, the murder weapon. Copyright infringement toward Levi Strauss Co. is the sole responsibility of the producer. Good luck. -R.C.

 

 

Scene: DAVE arrives, dressed nicely for work at the Levi's jeans store - his first day on the job.

 

DAVE: (to Clerk 1) Hello!

CLERK 1: (No response -busy doing some unknown; meaningless task.)

DAVE: (after a pause) Excuse me, My name's Dave Thompson*. I'm supposed to see Rob?

CLERK 1: Rob's in the back.

DAVE: Um…thank you. (DAVE heads toward the back of the store as ROB, looking somewhat similar to Dave in that relatively normal appearance, passes him toward the front. DAVE exits out the back, while ROB joins CLERK 1 at another, or perhaps the same, meaningless task, in silence. DAVE re-enters the store after a long silence.)

DAVE: Rob?

ROB: Yes.

DAVE: I'm Dave. Dave Thompson. I'm supposed to start work at 4:30 today, I think. I know I'm a little early, but I just…

ROB: (cutting Dave off) No, that's good. Look, why don't you come with me and get a name tag.

DAVE: Sure. (They exit. CLERK 2 enters and takes up Rob's task - meaningless - still in silence. Eventually, ROB and DAVE come down to another part of the stage which gives the impression of looking down a rather large store full of clothes, mostly blue jeans. The clerks can still be seen working.)

ROB: Now you'll need to know a few things before you start. From the left to the right, the numbers, shapes, sizes, and colors all correspond in a corresponding fashion. After all, we're a fashion store, and those are just naturally the kinds of items, the kinds of styles, the kind of selection that we as a company correspond with. It's rather easy when you come to think of it. The seven, nine, and five hundreds go in order with regard to color and material, and all other brands - the three's, the sixes, and all sized clothing of course, either go at the end of each size, or within the straight, super-straight, or boot-type jeans. It might seem a little strange right now, but as you go on you'll begin to see how it's the easiest way to do things here. Now, I'm pretty busy, why don't you just get started working on this wall. (ROB exits. DAVE nods his head positive, mumbles "O.K.", and proceeds to take some blue jeans into his hands to look at. The CLERKS, who have been continuing in silence, and a quarter-watching, stop their work and walk over to Dave. They look at him as he holds the jeans.)

CLERK 1: What are you doing?

DAVE: I was just looking at the jeans.

CLERK 1: Oh. (CLERK 1 looks at CLERK 2.) He reminds me of Myrna, that bitchy waitress at that restaurant.

 

* changed to "Anderson" in original production, presumably due to actor's real name.

 

2

CLERK 2: No, I think he looks like that guy who wanted that thing special. (Both CLERKS laugh.)

DAVE: (Still holding the jeans.) Hi, I'm Dave! (The CLERKS sort of sigh to themselves. DAVE puts the pants he has been holding back in their place.) I used to work in that bookstore further down in the mall.

CLERK 1: What happened?

DAVE: Oh, I just,…well,…the people were kind of just,…well, the people there weren't, you know, overly-friendly if you know what I mean. They just sort of sat around and read books and scowled at each other. And me. (The CLERKS come as close as possible to scowling at Dave without actually scowling.) And the hours were all wrong. But, um, I really like it here. I think it's nice.

CLERK 1: Yeah, well just stay out of Lori's way and you'll be all right.

CLERK 2: Yeah, you'll probably be punching the spinners up on the thing. And then clean it.

DAVE: Um, well Rob told me to work on this wall right now.

CLERK 1: Oh, I hate this wall. I hate it so much.

CLERK 2: Everyone hates this wall. And Lori's really a bitch about it.

DAVE: I'm sorry, what were your names?

CLERK 1: Well I'm Roger.

CLERK 2: And I'm Patty.

CLERK 1: But you'll meet Lori. Have you met Max, the big boss?

DAVE: No, I…

CLERK 1: Well, you'll meet him too. You should probably just sort out all the different stitches into piles and straighten and neaten and neaten and straighten them until you're all done and Lori gets here.

DAVE: Who's Lori?

CLERK 1: Who's Lori? Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! (Both CLERKS begin to laugh. The CLERKS begin to leave.)

CLERK 2: Oh, and you'll probably have to clean that "thing", too. (Both CLERKS laugh again, and exit.)

DAVE: (to himself) What "thing"? (DAVE has begun, and continues to straighten clothes. A CUSTOMER enters the store.)

CUSTOMER: Excuse me, could you help me?

DAVE: Um, sure!

 

3

CUSTOMER: It seems that the ones here don't match the ones there when they try to go together! Could you find me one that holds the ends, but really give a good feeling overall?

DAVE: (somewhat confused) Uh…uh…well, they really all go well with that particular pair!

CUSTOMER: Oh, I see! Thank you! Thank you very much! (CUSTOMER exits.)

DAVE: (to himself) Whew! (LORI enters.)

LORI: Who are you?

DAVE: Um, Hi! I'm Dave!

LORI: I'm Lori. I'm management. You may see Rob, or Christy, or Paul, or Max, but they're not really management. I'm your manager. I'm management. You do what I say, everything I tell you, or you'll be out of here damn quick mister! You know what I'm saying? Damn quick! You hear what I'm saying? Damn quick! (DAVE stares at her in silence.) What are you doing right now?

DAVE: Well, I was just…well, Rob said to…

LORI: Rob is…well, Rob is nothing, really. I mean, he may think he's a big deal because he's just a notch above me, technically. I mean the company, the company's got it's eye on him, but we're at the same level, really.

DAVE: Oh, I see.

LORI: Yeah, you'd better. Now, you don't want to do this quite this way. It'd be easier if you scrubbed the shelves first, and then refolded all the clothes.

DAVE: (after a pause) Yes, certainly!

LORI: And stay on your toes! (LORI exits. Another CUSTOMER enters the store.)

CUSTOMER: Hey, what's this, huh?

DAVE: Excuse me, which, um, this were you referring to exactly?

CUSTOMER: This thing. This thing here. What's with you people, anyway? Are you on drugs? How do you expect people to put up with this, huh?

DAVE: Well, I…

CUSTOMER: We never had to put up with this at the old place - never! You should go there - they're much better than you. I can't believe it!

DAVE: (trying to please) Well, you know, it's a competitive market.

CUSTOMER: Yeah. Yeah, right!

 

4

DAVE: Often various factors such as size, availability, and selection come into account when determining, um, factors such as this.

CUSTOMER: Yeah, well, I guess! (The CUSTOMER exits. DAVE shakes his head and looks around, not quite sure what to do. He picks up a pair of jeans again. ROB enters.)

ROB: Are you done with that yet?

DAVE: Well, I'd started, but…

ROB: Well finish up and come over here when you're done. (ROB exits.)

DAVE: (almost trailing off) Yes. (Pause. DAVE just stands there, somewhat confused. ROB enters again.)

ROB: Okay, come over here. (DAVE puts down jeans and follows Rob.) Now, all of this (ROB motions to "this".) has to go over there. (ROB motions to "there".) Now, I want you to grab that, these, and those, but only put those with that, then move the others next to them. You got that?

DAVE: Let's see. Put that stuff over there, and…

ROB: Right. Now, I'm going on break, so if anything goes wrong Lori will probably help you out. (ROB exits. DAVE begins to move piles of clothing in a slow, orderly manner. CLERK 1 enters next to him and begins to finger clothing.)

CLERK 1: So, where you from?

DAVE: Well, I go to the University. (1)

CLERK 1: (real snotty) Oh.

DAVE: Um, where are you from?

CLERK 1: Around.

DAVE: Around here? (Pause. CLERK 1 is silent, as if knowing a secret.) Um, where do you live around here?

CLERK 1: Nowhere. So what do you think about Lori?

DAVE: Well, I don't know, I…

CLERK 1: Don't you want to kill her? Ha-ha, not really, of course.

DAVE: No, I, uh,…

CLERK 1: She's such a riot!

DAVE: Yes, she certainly is a riot.

CLERK 1: Yeah. (Silence.) So, what do you study?


5

DAVE: Chemistry. And some physics.

CLERK 1: Oh. (Pause. CLERK 2 enters.)

CLERK 2: Hi, I'm Patty. (Dave remembers her name.) My husband's in the Air Force. We live on the base. Have you ever been there? It's really weird. I used to work there. I don't know why. I used to live in Mississippi, but then we moved here. I miss Mississippi.

DAVE: I can see how you would.

CLERK 2: Don't you hate Lori?

DAVE: Well, I'm not sure I "hate" her, but…

CLERK 2: She makes me puke! Somebody should just kill her! (Both CLERKS laugh.)

DAVE: Well, I don't know really, I…(Both CLERKS exit.) I,…..I,…..I…(ROB enters.)

ROB: Is this all set? Where's Lori?

DAVE: Well, I…

ROB: God, this place is a mess! Why can't she do anything right? Sometimes I just want to kill her!

DAVE: I kind of get the feeling other people want that, too.

ROB: You know what I mean, don't you? Wouldn't you just like to take a pair of jeans and unnnhhhhhhhh!

(ROB makes a strangling motion.)

DAVE: Well, I admit she's pretty bad, but…

ROB: Finish this up and come over here. There's more to do. (ROB exits. LORI enters.)

LORI: What are you doing?

DAVE: Well, Rob said to move these over here, and…(Dave stops.)

LORI: (Ready to kill.) What did I say about Rob?

DAVE: (Afraid) Uh, well…

LORI: You know, I really don't like you. You just get on the ball, mister! I'll talk to Rob about this! (LORI exits. CUSTOMER enters.)

CUSTOMER: (Terse.) Excuse me, why are the white jeans shorter?

DAVE: Um, which size were you referring to?

CUSTOMER: (Even more terse.) All of them. The white jeans are all shorter. Why?


6

DAVE: Well, I guess they're just made that way. White jeans must run small.

CUSTOMER: (In revelation.) Oh, I see! (CUSTOMER exits. LORI enters again.)

LORI: You're doing that all wrong, aren't you?

DAVE: Huh?

LORI: I can just tell, you're never gonna make it. You really think you're gonna get away with that?

DAVE: What?

LORI: C'mon, you're putting all the wrong sizes in all the wrong places with all the wrong colors in the totally wrong place! And you're making a mess!

DAVE: Oh, I…

LORI: You'd better just hurry up with this and get it right. I've seen a lot of people go through here. I know what's going on. I don't need this. My boyfriend's in the Air Force.(2) He takes care of me. Have you met Russell? He's great. He probably wouldn't like you. As a matter of fact, he'd hate you - don't ever talk to him. He just doesn't like people like you. You're kind of a jerk. Ha-ha. (LORI exits.)

DAVE: (to himself) What's her problem? (A CUSTOMER enters, surprising DAVE as he is talking to himself.)

CUSTOMER: What did you say?

DAVE: Oh! Nothing, I…

CUSTOMER: Why don't you have what I want? And never in the right size?

DAVE: What were you looking for exactly?

CUSTOMER: My clothes. My clothes! My money, my time, my clothes! My family, my house, my car, my wife, my bills, my kids, my clothes!

DAVE: Um, I…I…we have some very nice ones over here, um, um, (DAVE picks up some jeans) these are the regular type of…of…of good 'ole blue jeans - the 501 style! That's the really popular one, so I hear, I….. (CUSTOMER grabs jeans away from Dave.)

CUSTOMER: Fine, thank you. (CUSTOMER exits. LORI ENTERS.)

DAVE: (trailing off)…button down fly…

LORI: Don't do that!

DAVE: What?

LORI: Whatever you're doing!

 

7

DAVE: I was just finishing what Rob said to…to…

LORI: I don't care about that! Come over here! (DAVE follows Lori.) Now, I want you to go underneath every nook and cranny of this store and get all the junk that's been there for the past five years. Do it! (DAVE sinks down to the floor meekishly and begins to look for "junk". LORI exits. ROB enters.)

ROB: Oh, you're done over there? (DAVE stands up.)

DAVE: No, but Lori said…

ROB: Lori?

DAVE: Yes.

ROB: The next time Lori says something to you…well…Oh, just shoot the bitch! (ROB exits. LORI enters.)

LORI: DAVID!

DAVE: Yes!

LORI: Stand here!

DAVE: Well, I wasn't quite done with…

LORI: Never mind! Max is quite upset with the situation right now. I want you to stand here and greet every customer that walks in, and help them find what they need.

DAVE: Well, I was doing that before and…

LORI: Good, then don't screw it up, or you're in big trouble, mister big shot! (LORI exits. DAVE stands bewildered for a moment, looks around, and resigns himself to standing and waiting. A CUSTOMER approaches and walks past Dave without noticing him.)

DAVE: Hello! Er, may I help you find a particular size or style?

CUSTOMER: (Giving Dave a sharp look.) Get the Hell away from me! (CUSTOMER stares at Dave.)

DAVE: Um, well, yes, I…(DAVE starts to straighten clothes. CUSTOMER stands staring at Dave while DAVE fidgets uncomfortably. LORI enters. She stares at the situation for a moment.)

LORI: (To the Customer, in her sweetest voice possible.) Excuse me, may I help you?

CUSTOMER: Yes, I was looking for the 501 blue jeans - size 30, 30.

LORI: Yes, that would be right over there to the left.

CUSTOMER: Right.

LORI: No, left. (The CUSTOMER and LORI both lightly laugh.)

 

8

CUSTOMER: (to Lori.) Thank you very much! (CUSTOMER gives one last glare at Dave and disappears into the store.)

LORI: (to Dave) All right, look, you have got to start doing your job! I specifically told you to greet every customer!

DAVE: I did, but he didn't want to talk to me!

LORI: You had better start learning to deal with customers properly, or this is just going to be pure hell for you!

DAVE: I, I'm sorry, it was the first time it happened, I, I, it won't happen again!

LORI: Well it better not! While you're greeting customers, you can also check all the sizes of all the clothes in the store to make sure they're in the right order! Keep on your toes! (LORI exits. DAVE immediately begins to adjust clothes aimlessly and helplessly. A CUSTOMER enters.)

CUSTOMER: So, what do you have here?

DAVE: Um, excuse me?

CUSTOMER: What, what do you sell here?

DAVE: (Looking around.) Why, blue jeans.

CUSTOMER: Oh! (The CUSTOMER and DAVE peer around at a large store obviously filled with blue jeans.) Well, I'd like a pair of Calvin Klein's.

DAVE: Well, um, we're a LEVI'S store, actually, so I don't think we'd have any of those.

CUSTOMER: Oh. Oh, well. (CUSTOMER exits. ROB enters. DAVE is standing.)

ROB: So what's up? What are you doing?

DAVE: I'm waiting for customers.

ROB: You're done with all your projects?

DAVE: Well, actually, I'm still sort of checking the clothes sizes to make sure they're in the correct order.

ROB: Well you should always be doing that.

DAVE: Um, Lori told me to do it. (ROB stares at Dave.)

ROB: (After a pause) You know, Lori is causing a lot of trouble right now. I'm sure you're aware of the specific rules, regulations, and variations of the store's policy code that…

DAVE: (Attempting to interrupt) Actually, no, I never received any rules or anything, I…

 

9

ROB: …attempt to give the store the kind of image, the kind of sales, the kind of retail values that lead to a well-run, well-managed store. I mean some stores, well you should see some stores, but here we have to be more of a family, more of a cooperative group with each person contributing more than his or her fair share. Do you understand?

DAVE: I think so, I…

ROB: Lori doesn't really go with the kind of retail management we like to practice here. I really wouldn't mind if she weren't in the picture, but right now Max is having some problems, and some things aren't getting done.

DAVE: Well, if there's anything I can do, um, just let me know.

ROB: (Looking directly at Dave.) As a matter of fact, you can stay right here and continue what you're doing. I'll check back in about fifteen minutes to see if you're done. (ROB exits.)

DAVE: Done? (Pause) Done? (A CUSTOMER enters suspiciously, steals an item of clothing, and darts away.) Hey!! Hey! (DAVE looks back toward where ROB exited; looks out to where Customer ran, then gives up and continues to stand. CLERKS 1&2 enter, stare at Dave and giggle.)

CLERK 1: So, how's it goin'?

DAVE: Um, fine. Just fine. (The CLERKS giggle again.)

CLERK 2: Do you know that you…..oh never mind! (The CLERKS giggle again, then calm down.)

CLERK 1: That's a nice shirt. (CLERK 1 giggles. CLERK 2 giggles.)

DAVE: Thanks.

CLERK 2: (Giggly) Why are you, um, why are you like that?

DAVE: Like what?

CLERK 2: Um, oh never mind! (She is laughing so hard she has to leave.)

CLERK 1: (Exiting also.) Well, have a nice life.

DAVE: (Alone) Thanks. (Pause) Jerks. (A CUSTOMER enters.) Hello! Is there anything I can help you find?

CUSTOMER: No! No, thank you. I'm just LOOKING!

DAVE: Oh! Well let me know if you need any help! (CUSTOMER does not reply. CUSTOMER begins to pull out any and all jeans and/or clothing, looking at it and tossing it aside messily. DAVE stares, not knowing what to do. After virtually trashing the store, CUSTOMER finally exits, without taking any clothes. LORI enters. She looks at the scattered clothes.)

LORI: WHAT is going on here!?!

DAVE: Well, well, that customer said he was just looking, but, but, he TOUCHED too!

 

10

LORI: Look, your job is to do this for the customer! How could you be so stupid as to let someone do this? Do you really want to keep your job here?

DAVE: Yes! Yes, I need the money very much! And this job fits perfectly into my schedule!

LORI: Well, it looks to me like you're going to have a lot of free time on your hands, David!

DAVE: I'm sorry! It won't happen again, I…I…(DAVE bends down and begins to fix clothes.)

LORI: Well you just clean this mess up and come get me when you're done. We've got a lot of things to do, and we can't afford to have these kinds of messes! (LORI exits.)

DAVE: (To himself) Oh wow. I can't lose this job. I just can't! (A CUSTOMER enters.)

CUSTOMER: Hey, ugly!

DAVE: Excuse me?

CUSTOMER: Hey, you're a wimp, aren't you?

DAVE: I, I'm sorry, what did you say?

CUSTOMER: I don't like faggots! (CUSTOMER pushes Dave.)

DAVE: Well, well, I don't either, I…

CUSTOMER: Somebody ought to take you out! (CUSTOMER grabs a pair of jeans and leaves without paying. ROB enters.)

ROB: Dick! Dick!

DAVE: Um, Dave!

ROB: Right Dick, I need you to keep a real eye out right now. Patty thinks some guy might have stolen a pair of jeans. Now, it's your responsibility to make sure this never happens. I want you to watch every customer, and if you think they've taken anything, I want you to tackle them and frisk them. We can't tolerate this sort of situation!

DAVE: Well, I realize that, but…

ROB: Good! Then you realize it's your responsibility! (ROB exits.)

DAVE: I…I…(A CUSTOMER enters.)

CUSTOMER: Excuse me, but how much are the 501 blue jeans?

DAVE: Uh, I believe they're $27.99.

 

11

CUSTOMER: $27.99??? That's outrageous! Why you people are crooks trying to get away with these prices! What gives you the right? People should just steal the jeans! (The CUSTOMER begins to exit. DAVE panics; looks around, then runs after the Customer and tackles him. The CUSTOMER begins yelling as DAVE tries to frisk him.) Help! What's going on? Help! Help!! (The CUSTOMER pushes Dave off as LORI enters. Both DAVE and the CUSTOMER rise.) You're crazy! (Customer exits, running out of store.) You people are crazy!!

DAVE: (Obviously confused) No, no, I…

LORI: DAVID! (DAVE turns to her. She is the most frightening thing Dave has ever seen.) What in God's name are you doing? That's it! That is really it!!

DAVE: No, no, I…

LORI: Don't try to weasel your way out of this one! I warned you about messing up! You are the worst, most unreliable employee I have ever seen! You're terrible, you're a fool, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, squawk, squawk, squawk, squeak, squeak, squawk, squawk, blah, blah, blah, blah, (snort, snort), quack, quack, quack, quack, quack, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, QUACK, (She begins to make simply horrifying noises.) BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!!!!! (DAVE suddenly reaches down for a pair of jeans, wraps them around Lori's neck, and throttles her quickly.) Blah!……….blah!…blah, bl… (LORI drops dead to the ground. DAVE stands over her, out of breath, as ROB enters. ROB looks at Lori, but has no reaction at all.)

ROB: Dick! What are you doing with those jeans?

DAVE: I…I…

ROB: (Taking the jeans from Dave's hands.) These are size 42's! They don't go on this side of the store! I told you once - the threes, fives, and sevens go right to left, left to right, right to left according to size and color, and all corresponding numbers and sizes are systematically stacked within each section to make the order even! Can't you understand that?

DAVE: I…I…(DAVE looks at Lori.)…I…

ROB: (ROB looks at Lori only because Dave is doing so, then looks back at Dave.) And you've made a mess! I'm sorry Dick, but I just don't think you're Levi's type of people.

DAVE: This, this is a mistake, I…

ROB: Why don't you just go home?

DAVE: I…I…

ROB: (Exiting) Max! Max! (LORI gives one last gasp - still dead. DAVE looks at her and then begins to pull out jeans and throw them over the body. DAVE starts to slowly stagger toward the exit. The CLERKS enter, and begin meaningless task while Dave is still onstage.)

CLERK 1: I told you he wouldn't make it. I told you. I told you. I told you.

 

12

CLERK 2: My husband says everything's going to hell.

CLERK 1: Don't you remember that waitress? I couldn't stand her! (A CUSTOMER enters and yells toward the exiting Dave.)

CUSTOMER: Excuse me, do you work here? Do you work here, excuse me, do you work here? Excuse me, hey do you work here?

CLERK 2: What a jerk!

CLERK 1: Look, look! Bye Dave, have a good day!

CLERK 2: Yeah, a good day! (The CLERKS look at each other and burst out laughing.)

CUSTOMER: Don't you work here? What's the matter? (DAVE staggers toward the Customer.)

DAVE: I…I…(The CUSTOMER walks away. The CLERKS, who had stopped laughing, start again, and begin to walk away, right over the half-covered body of Lori.)

CLERK 1: I knew this would happen.

CLERK 2: I bet my husband knew, too.

CLERK 1: I'm not cleaning Lori up, either.

CLERK 2: Don't look at me.

CLERK 1: If she starts to smell, I'm going on break.(3)

CLERK 2: No way, no way!

CLERK 1: Yes way, yes way! (The CLERKS exit, arguing their last lines over and over again. DAVE is still in the store, alone now. He staggers out as the theme music to "The 501 Blues" begins to play. Lights dim. End.)

 

 

Script notes:

(1) p.4 - An original author's note asked that no college name be attached to line after "the University", especially not that of the college the show was being performed at (the University of New Hampshire). However, as the playwright recalls, this note caused much consternation and derision amongst the actors, apparently being seen as a somewhat snobby, insulting stage direction, and not simply as an intended Christopher Durang-style stage note. This may, or may not have been due to the fact that the director, who cast the show, was an ex-girlfriend of the playwright, or also due to the dynamics of the University Theater Department's then student body, as the playwright was at that time known to be a prolific, much-cast, perhaps snobby, perhaps envied actor within said body. Who's to say. Hmm? Anyone wishing to perform or produce this play today may do what they damn please as far as the playwright, a now long since washed-up actor, is concerned.

(2) p.6 - "in the Air Force" in this line was changed in the original production, presumably by the director, to "a Marine", presumably, also, because Clerk 2's husband had already stated that her husband was in the Air Force.The playwright does not wish to give the impression that he is second-guessing the director's production choices.He witnessed the original production, and judging by the constant, uproarious laughter of the audience, may conclude that she was successful in her efforts. The playwright, who based this play on an actual job, merely put both of the significant others in the Air Force because at that time an Air Force base was close to the actual mall and that's how things actually were. Every bitch's boyfriend or husband was in the Air Force. In fact, as the playwright recalls, the original director herself was, in her younger day, some form of "military-brat" who spent some of her time at this self-same Air Force base due to her father's service. That military base was later closed down, and much of it has been rebuilt today with retail, and other, establishments. Again, the playwright insists that any further efforts re: The 501 Blues may consider a free reign given (as if theatre folk wouldn't take it anyway).

(3) p.12 - This line was changed in the original production to " She's starting to smell, I'm going on break".Whatever. Whatever you think is funnier. The playwright truly misses the director and all of the actors, and production people, although he's lost his original program, so, further original production credits and/or notes may well be lost to history. The playwright will simply state that, as he recalls, this was one damn funny play at the time. I have never heard an audience laugh like that in all my days. Certainly, the credit for that cannot be claimed by the playwright. Oh, and the original production run time was about 30 minutes. Again, good luck. -B.C.

 

@2004

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