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Prompt Book

A Musical

GYPSY

(Revised)

Book by

Music by

Lyrics by

ARTHUR LAURENTS

JULE STYNE

STEPHEN SONDHEIM

Suggested by the Memoirs of GYPSY ROSE LEE

Produced for the Broadway Stage by


DAVID MERRICK & LELAND HAYWARD
Entire Production Originally Directed and Choreographed by
JEROME ROBBINS

Original Book 1959 Arthur Laurents


Revised Book 2008 Arthur Laurents

New Dialogue, Stage Directions, Revisions


and Corrections by Arthur Laurents, 2008.

Property of:

TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.


560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

CAST OF CHARACTERS
In order of appearance:
Uncle Jocko
Georgie
Vladimir
Balloon Girl
Baby June
Baby Louise
Charlie
Hopalong
Rose
Pop
Driver
Rich Boy
Tap Dancer
Boy Scout
Weber
Herbie
Dainty June
Louise
Yonkers
L.A.
Tulsa

Kansas
Little Rock
East St. Louis
Mr. Goldstone
Waitress
Miss Cratchitt
Agnes
Marjorie May
Geraldine
Edna Mae
Carol Ann
Betsy Ann
Cigar
Pastey
Tessie Tura
Mazeppa
Electra
Rene
Phil
Bougeron-Couchon

MUSICAL NUMBERS
ACT ONE
1.
2.
3.
4.
4A.
5.
6.
6A.
6B.
6C.
6D.
6E.
6F.
7.
8.
8A.
9.
9A.
10.
10A.
11.
12.
12A.
12B.
13.

OVERTURE - Orchestra
ROSES ENTRANCE (Let Me Entertain You) Baby June &
Baby Louise
SOME PEOPLE Rose
SEATTLE TO LOS ANGELES (Some People Reprise) Rose
& Boy Scouts
CHANGE OF SCENE (Some People) - Orchestra
SMALL WORLD Rose & Herbie
BABY JUNE AND HER NEWSBOYS Newsboys
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU (Ragtime version) June
INCIDENTAL (Let Me Entertain You) Orchestra
RECITATION & MILITARY ROUTINE Orchestra
THE SCENE CONTINUES (Let Me Entertain You) Orchestra
MILITARY ROUTINE (Part II) Orchestra
CHANGE OF SCENE - Orchestra
MR. GOLDSTONE Rose w/ Herbie & Kids
LITTLE LAMB Louise
CHANGE OF SCENE Orchestra
YOULL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME Rose & Herbie
CHANGE OF SCENE (Youll Never Get Away From Me) Orchestra
FARM SEQUENCE June, Farm Boys & Cow
BROADWAY June & Boys
IF MAMA WAS MARRIED June & Louise
ALL I NEED IS A GIRL Tulsa
ALL I NEED IS A GIRL (Dance) Orchestra
CHANGE OF SCENE (Montage) - Orchestra
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES Rose

MUSICAL NUMBERS
ACT TWO
14.
14A.
15.
15A.
16.
16A.
16B.
17.
17A.
18.
18A.
19.
19A.
20.
21.
22.
23.

ENTRACTE Orchestra
OPENING ACT TWO Orchestra
TOREADORABLES Girls
STARS AND STRIPES - Orchestra
TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO Rose, Herbie & Louise
TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO (Encore) Rose, Louise &
Herbie
CHANGE OF SCENE (Montage II) - Orchestra
YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK Mazeppa, Electra & Tessie
CHANGE OF SCENE (Youll Never Get Away From Me)
Orchestra
INCIDENTAL (Act Two, Scene 4) Orchestra
INCIDENTAL (The Scene Continues) - Orchestra
GYPSY STRIP ROUTINE Louise & Showgirls
CHANGE OF SCENE (Let Me Entertain You) - Orchestra
INCIDENTAL Orchestra
ROSES TURN Rose & Orchestra Men
CURTAIN CALLS Orchestra
EXIT MUSIC - Orchestra

/1/ - OVERTURE
Orchestra

ACT ONE
On either side of the proscenium,
there are illuminated placards -- as
in the days of vaudeville. After
the overture, these light up to read:
UNCLE JOCKOS KIDDIE SHOW
SEATTLE
The light illuminating the placards
fades slowly as the curtain rises on
Scene 1
SCENE:

The stage of a tacky vaudeville


theatre.
The stage is half-set for the
rehearsal of a kiddie show. UNCLE
JOCKO the pushy master of ceremonies is surrounded by a pack
of babbling KIDS and their tigress
MOTHERS. The KIDS are in bad homemade costumes; the MOTHERS wear
clothes of the very early twenties;
JOCKO wears a tartan cap and fake
horn-rimmed glasses as a concession
to his name.

JOCKO
Everybody SHUT UP! ... All mothers out.
(To his Assistant)
Georgie, I dont want a mother in the wings, I dont want a
mother in the theatre, I want them OUT!
GEORGIE
Its a pleasure. O.K., mothers this way.
(He herds them out as--)

Move it.

JOCKO
All right, kids, now lets get in a straight line along here and
come forward one at a time. See the doors open at seven and
Uncle Jocko doesnt have time to rehearse each of your darlin
acts.
(He takes a simpering LITTLE GIRL
completely covered with balloons
out of line and moves her down,
apart from the others)
You wait right over here, girly-girl.
(Calling out front to the Spot Man)
Oh Gus! Hit this doll with a surprise pink when she does her
turn.
(To the Girl)
Uncle Jocko promised the wee bairn would be a winner and she
will.
(To GEORGIE:)
Chip off her sisters block. And you ought to see them
balloons! O.K. Whos the first wee laddie in Uncle Jockos
Kiddie Show?
(As a LITTLE BOY with a big violin
comes forward, JOCKO speaks to
the actual Conductor in the pit)
Take each of them from the top and then cut to the last eight...
Every Friday night ya ta ta, ya ta ta, Uncle Jocko dinna ken
there were so many talented bairns right here in Seattle and the
rest of the crap VLADIMIR AND HIS VIRTUOSO VIOLIN!
(As VLAD plays -- indicating
the Kids)
George, thats whats gonna kill vaudeville.
The end, kiddo! The end Professor.
/2/

ROSES ENTRANCE

All right, Vlad.

(Let Me Entertain You)

June & Louise


(Signals the CONDUCTOR in the pit
for a sick chord; GEORGIE pushes VLAD off.
JOCKO speaks to TWO LITTLE GIRLS
dressed as a Dutch boy and girl)

JOCKO (Contd)
And who does Uncle Jocko have here:
Who the hell does he
BABY JUNE AND COMPANY?
(LOUISE nods)
... Half of the song, half of the dance and out.
(A small band starts the introduction)
JUNE
(Sings)
May we entertain you?
May we see you smile?
I will do some kicks.
LOUISE
I will do some tricks.
ROSE
(From out front)
Sing out, Louise -- sing out!
JOCKO
Who said that?
JUNE
Ill tell you a story.
LOUISE
Ill dance when shes done.
ROSE
(From front)
Youre behind, Louise!

Catch up, honey, catch up!

JOCKO
Who let in one of them mothers?
JUNE & LOUISE
By the time were through entertaining you -
(Coming down the aisle and onto
the stage, carrying a little dog
and a big handbag is ROSE)

ROSE
Hold it, please, hold it! Save your strength, June.
dear, if you dont count --

Louise,

JOCKO
Madame, do you realize you are absolutely -ROSE
I do, Uncle Jocko, but I want to save your very valuable time
for you.
JOCKO
In that case -ROSE
When I saw your sensitive face at the Odd Fellows Hall -- my
first husband was an Odd Fellow -JOCKO
I am not an Odd Fellow!

I meant a Knight of Pythias.

ROSE
My second husband was -JOCKO

Im not a Knight of Pythias!


ROSE
Then where did you catch our act?
JOCKO
At the Elks.
ROSE
My father is an Elk! I have his tooth in here someplace.
(She dumps the dog into JOCKOs
arms as SHE rummages in her handbag)
If you will just hold Chowsie for me -- thats short for chow
mein.
(Baby talk)
Mommy just loves chow mein, doesnt she, chowsie wowsie? Stop
sucking your thumb, Louise.
(To the Conductor)
Professor, I just marvel how you can make a performer into an
artist.

JOCKO
What is going on here??
ROSE
Now if you could help my little girls by giving them a good loud
la da da de da da da --(To JOCKO)
God helps him who helps himself.
(To the Drummer)
Mr. Zipser -- when the girls do their specialty would you please
ad lick it? Thank you. Show him, girls.
JOCKO
Is this really happening?!
ROSE
Oh, Gus? Gus, would you please slap Baby June with something
pink? Shes the star. Smile, baby dear!
JOCKO
I have seen all kinds of mothers -ROSE
Dont hang on the babys dress, youll rumple it up -- Do you
know of a really good agent who could book a professional act
like ours?
JOCKO
(Laughing)
A professional act! Hey, Georgie! Get a load of this --

Dont you laugh!


to be a star.

ROSE
Dont you dare laugh!

Thats what they all say.

JOCKO
All right -ROSE

But were not finished!


JOCKO
They are as far as Im concerned.
ROSE
Because youre trying to play favorites!

... That child is going

JOCKO
(Stops)
What?
ROSE
How dare you let that rotten, untalented fat balloon block up my
babies? I wont leave this stage till she does!
JOCKO
That child -ROSE
Have you no loyalty to the Elks?
JOCKO
Im not an Elk!
ROSE
Well, the editor of the Gazette is! I happen to know because at
the last meeting he showed my father a letter he got -complaining some contest was fixed... I guess desperate people
do desperate things.
(ROSE looks at Conductor)
La da da de da da!
(Music starts and the GIRLS begin
their act)
Thank you, Professor. Thank you, Uncle Jocko.
(She takes back the dog)
Thank you, Gus! Thank you, Mr. Zipser! Smile, girls, smile!
(She is singing along with her girls
as she dances toward the BALLOON GIRL.
Still singing gaily, ROSE removes her
hatpin. The BALLOON GIRL backs away
as ROSE comes after her, the hatpin
extended like Joan of Arcs sword.
She carefully punctures one or two
and dances off as her dancing daughters
grin, and finish to a blare of music)
BLACK OUT

ACT ONE
The illuminated placards change to
read:
HOME SWEET HOME
SEATTLE
Scene 2
SCENE:

Kitchen of a frame house.

Night.

A hutch with a calendar, a plaque,


a mess. A table with 3 chairs. A
coat rack.
LOUISE, holding Chowsie, and JUNE
enter with their coats over their
costumes as ROSE hangs up her hat
and coat, talking happily a mile a
minute.
ROSE
That rotten little Uncle Jocko! Hes as cheap as your grandpa.
(To JUNE)
Ten bucks for a talent like yours! Well, were through with
Kiddie Shows. And with your grandpas lodge hall. Its time we
moved on anyway! Im gonna get us an agent to book the act on
the Orpheum Circuit. I had a dream last night: I dreamt a
whole new act for you! Baby June and Her Newsboys!
JUNE
How are you going to get the boys, Momma?
ROSE
Louise can be a boy
(LOUISE exits)
-- and Ill find three others.
JUNE
How are you going to pay them?
ROSE
The experiencell be their pay.

JUNE
Ah!
ROSE
Ive got just enough saved up for scenery and costumes. If I
can squeeze a few bucks out of Grandpa, we can head for Los
Angeles and the Orpheum Circuit...
(FATHER enters. He is a mean
old man, holding the Bible. SHE
cuts.)
JUNE
(Tactfully)
Goodnight, Momma. Goodnight, Grandpa.
(Exits)
FATHER
You oughta be ashamed; fooling your kids with those dreams!
ROSE
Theyre real dreams and Im gonna make em come real for my
kids!
FATHER
What are you, Rose, a crazy woman?! God put you down right here
because He meant for you to stay right here!

Gods like me, Pop:

ROSE
we both need outside assistance.

FATHER
Youve squeezed the last penny outa me that youre ever gonna
get!

It aint for me!

ROSE
Its for my girls.

Its too late for me.

FATHER
It aint too late for you to get a husband to support you.
ROSE
After three husbands, I want to enjoy myself. I want my girls
to enjoy themselves and travel like Momma does!
FATHER
And youll leave them just like your mother left you!

ROSE
Never!
(She turns to see LOUISE who has
entered behind her)
Why arent you ready for bed, Louise?
LOUISE
June says you said she can sleep with you tonight.
ROSE
You know how high-strung the baby is after a performance.
LOUISE
I performed.

It aint the same.

ROSE
Now say goodnight and go to bed.
LOUISE

Goodnight, Grandpa.
(Kisses him)

Goodnight, Louise.

FATHER
Youre a good girl.

ROSE
You are a good girl, and I was proud of you tonight.
(LOUISE runs to her and hugs her.
Then:)
LOUISE
Momma, how come I have three fathers?
ROSE
Because youre lucky... You were born with a caul. That means
you got powers to read palms and tell fortunes and wonderful
things are going to happen for you!
(LOUISE goes)
FATHER
Why do you fill her with such bunk?
ROSE
It aint bunk!

FATHER
Nothin wonderful is going to happen to her or June or to you.
ROSE
Maybe not to me, but theyre gonna have a marvelous time! Ill
be damned if Im gonna let them sit away their lives like I did.
Or like you do with only that calendar to tell you one day is
different from the next!
Or that plaque
(Pointing to a gold plaque on the
hutch)
from your rotten railroad company to say Congratulations: for
50 years, youve done the same dull thing every dull day!
FATHER
That plaque is a great tribute! Its solid gold!
ROSE
(Casing it)
How much could you get for it?
FATHER
Rose, if you
ROSE
What goods it doin sittin up there?!
FATHER
That plaque belongs there like you belong home -ROSE
Anybody that stays home is dead!
(Music cue)
If I die, it wont be from sittin!
get up and get out!

Itll be from fightin to

(And she sings charily:)


/3/

SOME PEOPLE Rose


SOME PEOPLE CAN GET A THRILL
KNITTING SWEATERS AND SITTING STILL
THATS OKAY FOR SOME PEOPLE WHO DONT KNOW
THEYRE ALIVE;
SOME PEOPLE CAN THRIVE AND BLOOM,

ROSE (Contd)
LIVING LIFE IN A LIVING ROOM
THATS PERFECT FOR SOME PEOPLE OF ONE HUNDRED
AND FIVE!
BUT I
AT LEAST GOTTA TRY,
WHEN I THINK OF ALL THE SIGHTS THAT I GOTTA SEE YET,
ALL THE PLACES I GOTTA PLAY,
ALL THE THINGS THAT I GOTTA BE YET
COME ON, POPPA, WHADDAYA SAY?
SOME PEOPLE CAN BE CONTENT
PLAYING BINGO AND PAYING RENT
THATS PEACHY FOR SOME PEOPLE
FOR SOME HUMDRUM PEOPLE
TO BE,
BUT SOME PEOPLE AINT ME!
I HAD A DREAM,
A WONDERFUL DREAM, POPPA,
ALL ABOUT JUNE AND THE ORPHEUM CIRCUIT
GIVE ME A CHANCE AND I KNOW I CAN WORK IT!
I HAD A DREAM,
JUST AS REAL AS CAN BE, POPPA
THERE I WAS IN MR. ORPHEUMS OFFICE
AND HE WAS SAYING TO ME,
ROSE!
GET YOURSELF SOME NEW ORCHESTRATIONS,
NEW ROUTINES AND NEW VELVET CURTAINS,
GET A FEATHERED HAT FOR THE BABY,
PHOTOGRAPHS IN FRONT OF THE THEATER,
GET AN AGENT AND IN JIG TIME
YOULL BE BEING BOOKED IN THE BIG TIME!
OH, WHAT A DREAM,
A WONDERFUL DREAM, POPPA,
AND ALL THAT I NEED
IS EIGHTY-EIGHT BUCKS, POPPA!
THATS WHAT HE SAID, POPPA,
ONLY EIGHTY-EIGHT BUCKS...
(Interlude:

dialogue)

FATHER
You aint gettin eighty eight cents from me, Rose!
(He goes)

ROSE
(Shouting after him)
Then Ill get it someplace else but Ill get it and get my
kids out!
(Sings)
GOODBYE
TO BLUEBERRY PIE!
GOOD RIDDANCE TO ALL THE SOCIALS I HAD TO GO TO,
ALL THE LODGES I HAD TO PLAY,
ALL THE SHRINERS I SAID HELLO TO
HEY, L.A., IM COMING YOUR WAY!
SOME PEOPLE SIT ON THEIR BUTTS,
GOT THE DREAM, YEAH, BUT NOT THE GUTS!
THATS LIVING FOR SOME PEOPLE,
FOR SOME HUMDRUM PEOPLE,
I SUPPOSE.
WELL, THEY CAN STAY AND ROT
(She starts out, comes back to take
the plaque from the hutch, dumps it
in her purse, then finishes her song)
BUT NOT ROSE!
(And she strides out)
BLACK OUT

ACT ONE
Scene 3
SCENE:

/4/

A road between Seattle and Los


Angeles.

SEATTLE TO LOS ANGELES ROSE & BOY SCOUTS


(Some People Reprise)
(In front of the curtain, JUNE and
LOUISE wearing their coats and
hats and carrying suitcases stand
trying to thumb a ride. The music
of SOME PEOPLE is continuous underneath. The cut-out of a fancy old
touring car driven by a rich MAN
and his little SON comes on and
stops to pick up the children. But
as they get in, JUNE signals and
ROSE comes running out carrying a
suitcase and Chowsie.)
ROSE
GOODBYE
TO BLUEBERRY PIE!
(She sings as the car drives across.
Behind it, BOYS cross carrying signs
indicating the lessening distance
between Seattle and Roses goal:
Los Angeles.
They pass an URCHIN tap-dancing, his
hat held out for money. ROSE puts
some pennies in his cap, then, impressed by his dancing, she yanks
him into the car and they move on.)
I HAD A DREAM.
A WONDERFUL DREAM...
(A troop of BOY SCOUTS passes singing.)

BOY SCOUTS
HAIL, HAIL,
THE GANGS ALL HERE!
MUSTNT SAY THE NAUGHTY WORD.
BOY SCOUT
HAIL -(ROSE hears the last LITTLE BOY
hold a good high note and yanks
him into the car.)
ROSE
SOME PEOPLE SIT ON THEIR BUTTS,
GOT THE DREAM, YEAH, BUT NOT THE GUTS!
THATS LIVING FOR SOME PEOPLE,
I SUPPOSE...
(At last, they reach a welcome banner:
LOS ANGELES. The car stops. ROSE
gets out with her DAUGHTERS and the
dog and the suitcases and the two
stolen BOYS. The car drives off and
as the little band marches off gaily,
ROSE brings up the rear with the
rich mans tearful LITTLE BOY whom
she has also stolen)
BUT NOT ROSE!
/4A/

CHANGE OF SCENE

(Some People)

Orchestra

ACT ONE
The illuminated placards change to
read:
DONT CALL US
LOS ANGELES
Scene 4
SCENE:

Backstage of a vaudeville house.


Odds and ends of scenery, crates,
trunks, lights, etc.
MR. WEBER, the theatre manager,
rushes on followed by ROSE and her
exhausted BROOD who collapse near
the wings.
MR. WEBER

No, Mme. Rose, no!


(Music fades out)
ROSE
Now listen, Mr. Weber, you dont know how to run your theatre.
Your business is slipping. You need youth, fresh young talent.
WEBER
Mme. Rose, I told you this morning, I told you this afternoon
and I am telling you now: if there is anything I hate worse
than kids, its kids on stage!
ROSE
Ssh! Children, go play in the alley.
(As THEY go:)
Mr. Weber, that was a rotten remark. And if you were a
gentleman, youd apologize and book my act.
WEBER
I am not a gentleman.
(A nice-looking MAN carrying a
suitcase enters. He has a sweetly
sad, tired quality.)

Oh, deep down, you are.

ROSE
And if you-WEBER

Herbie!

(To Man)
I been looking for you to get your opinion of the show.

HERBIE
I doubled your crackerjack order, Ed.
WEBER
That bad?

Except for a coupla acts.

HERBIE
I left a memo on your desk.

ROSE
Mr. Weber, you left me right in the middle of a sentence.
WEBER
Mme. Rose, youre always in the middle of a sentence.
ROSE
But if your show is as rotten as this intelligent gentleman
says, you could certainly try my act for a few nights.
(To HERBIE)
Couldnt he?

Yeah, he could.

HERBIE
You could, Ed.
WEBER

What??
HERBIE
Your theatre gets a family audience.
ROSE
And my kids are great!
HERBIE
They sure are.
(ROSE and WEBER gape)
WEBER
How do you know?

They love kids.

HERBIE
Ive seen em.
WEBER
Where?

In -- Seattle.

HERBIE
Theyd give your show a lift, Ed.
WEBER

Well...
ROSE
Listen
WEBER
Stop pushing. Let me think it over.
(Goes)
ROSE
Its hard for me to say thanks!
HERBIE
You just said it.
ROSE
Whyd he listen to you?
HERBIE
Everybody in show business listens to anybody.
to book acts into this theatre.

Besides, I used

ROSE
Are you an agent?
HERBIE
I was but Im in the candy business now:
houses all over the West.

I sell to vaudeville

ROSE
How could you ever leave show business?
HERBIE
When the acts I handled had too little talent, I got sick to my
stomach. Ulcers.

ROSE
Youre too sympathetic.
HERBIE
Also I went bust. I was always giving them my commission and
telling them they got a raise.
ROSE
The good Lord says charity begins at home.
HERBIE
Well, I dont have a home.
ROSE
(Eyes him)
Youre not married?
HERBIE
I had five sisters, and the ugly one didnt get married until a
year ago.
ROSE
... Whyd you help me just now?
HERBIE
I love kids.
ROSE
Oh.
HERBIE
Also I saw you before.
ROSE
Where?
HERBIE
Waiting outside Webers office. You looked like a pioneer woman
without a frontier.
ROSE
I dont suppose youd consider being an agent again.
HERBIE
Would you consider marrying again?

ROSE
How do you know Im not married now?
HERBIE
I asked your kids about you.
ROSE
Oh. Well, after three husbands, it takes an awful lot of butter
to get you back in the frying pan.
HERBIE
And after twenty years of show business
(Picks up bag)
- you kinda breathe better in the real world.
ROSE
Funny.
(Music starts)
HERBIE
What?
ROSE
Us. I like you but you dont want marriage.
but you dont want show business.

You like me

HERBIE
That -- seems to leave you there -- and me here.
ROSE
Oh, that all depends on how you look at it.
dont have; I look at what we do have.

You look at what we

(ROSE sings:)
/5/

SMALL WORLD Rose & Herbie


ROSE
FUNNY, YOURE A STRANGER WHOS COME HERE,
COME FROM ANOTHER TOWN.
FUNNY, IM A STRANGER MYSELF HERE
SMALL WORLD, ISNT IT?
FUNNY, YOURE A MAN WHO GOES TRAVELING
RATHER THAN SETTLING DOWN.
FUNNY, CAUSE ID LOVE TO GO TRAVELING
SMALL WORLD, ISNT IT?

ROSE (Contd)
WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON,
ITS A PHENOMENON.
WE COULD POOL OUR RESOURCES
BY JOINING FORCES
FROM NOW ON.
LUCKY, YOURE A MAN WHO LIKES CHILDREN
THATS AN IMPORTANT SIGN.
LUCKY, IM A WOMAN WITH CHILDREN
SMALL WORLD, ISNT IT?
FUNNY, ISNT IT?
SMALL, AND FUNNY, AND FINE.
(Music continues as WEBER returns)
WEBER
Well, Im not gonna pay you much money.
ROSE
Oh, youll have to talk about money to Herbie.
WEBER
Are you handling her act?!
HERBIE
No, I cant -- But I cant!
(Looks at her. SHE adjusts her clothes
and HE laughs)
- yeah, I guess I am.
WEBER
(As he goes)
Ill be in the office.
HERBIE
(Sings happily)
WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON,
ITS A PHENOMENON.
WE COULD POOL OUR RESOURCES
BY JOINING FORCES
FROM NOW ON.
(Speaks)
Rose...is this act of yours any good?

Good?
it!

ROSE
Its great and June is sensational!

Wait til you see

ROSE (Contd)
(Singing)
LUCKY, YOURE A MAN WHO LIKES CHILDREN
ROSE & HERBIE
THATS AN IMPORTANT SIGN.
ROSE
LUCKY,
ROSE & HERBIE
IM/YOURE A WOMAN WITH CHILDREN
SMALL WORLD, ISNT IT?
ROSE
FUNNY, ISNT IT?
HERBIE
ISNT IT?
BOTH
SMALL, AND FUNNY, AND FINE.

FADE OUT

ACT ONE
The illuminated placards change to
read:
BABY JUNE AND HER NEWSBOYS
LOS ANGELES
Scene 5
SCENE:

VAUDEVILLE. (Stage of a vaudeville


theatre in Los Angeles)
The curtains part to show a street
drop typical of vaudeville; before
it, a newspaper kiosk. The
ORCHESTRA is a tacky, rickety,
vaudeville combination that tears
into the screeching musical introduction for BABY JUNE AND HER NEWSBOYS. The BOYS, of course, are
LOUISE and the THREE LITTLE KIDS
ROSE stole en route to L.A. Their
costumes are cheap representations
of newsboy outfits, and they wave
papers wildly as they sing:

/6/

BABY JUNE AND HER NEWSBOYS


Newsboys

NEWSBOYS
EXTRA! EXTRA! HEY, LOOK AT THE HEADLINE!
HISTORICAL NEWS IS BEING MADE!
EXTRA! EXTRA! THEYRE DRAWING A REDLINE
AROUND THE GREATEST SCOOP OF THE DECADE!
A BARREL OF CHARM, A FABULOUS THRILL!
THE BIGGEST LITTLE HEADLINE IN VAUD-E-VILLE:
(Spoken to ecstatic drum rolls)
Presenting In Person That three foot three bundle of
dynamite:
BABY JUNE!
(There is the greatest drum roll of
them all, and crashing through the
paper front page plastered across
the kiosk comes JUNE wearing the

gaudiest, fanciest, richest costume


ROSE has been able to whip up. She
whirls madly to the footlights, does
a split and coyly screeches:)

Hello, everybody!
/6A/

JUNE
My name is June.

LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU

Whats yours?

(Ragtime version)

(Sings)
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU,
LET ME MAKE YOU SMILE,
LET ME DO A FEW TRICKS,
SOME OLD AND THEN SOME NEW TRICKS,
IM VERY VERSATILE.
AND IF YOURE REAL GOOD,
ILL MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD,
I WANT YOUR SPIRITS TO CLIMB.
SO, LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
(Scream)
AND WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME, YES SIR!
WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME!
(After that, she toe-tap dances wildly
and does every trick ROSE has been able
to teach, steal and think up. She has
a big finish with the BOYS offstage,
of course. SHE does high kicks for
her bows and then, breathing as though
each gasp were her last, she trips
daintily to the footlights and says:)
/6B/

INCIDENTAL

(Let Me Entertain You)


Orchestra

JUNE
Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.

Youre very kind...

(Music)
/6C/

RECITATION & MILITARY ROUTINE


Orchestra

JUNE
You know, everybody has somebody to thank for their success.
Usually, its their mother; and sometimes, its their father.

JUNE (Contd)
But tonight, I would like you all to join me in giving thanks to
an uncle of mine -- and an uncle of yours. The greatest Uncle
of Them All: OUR UNCLE SAM!
(A crash from the orchestra and as
JUNE darts behind the kiosk to
change her costume, the BOYS and
LOUISE return in military costumes.
Each of the REAL BOYS represents a
wing of our armed forces, LOUISE is
Uncle Sam. Each child does whatever
he can for a specialty; LOUISE does
bells (which she also did in the
opening). The piece de resistance
is, naturally, JUNE. This time she
is dressed like a red-white-and-blue
Statue of Liberty and she is on point,
twirling batons for all she is worth.
Behind her, the American Eagle pops
up over the kiosk; the band plays
The Stars and Stripes. But ROSE
takes no chances. As JUNE twirls
herself into a split, LOUISE and the
BOYS fire the rifles they are carrying and American flags pop up.)
/6D/

THE SCENE CONTINUES (Let Me Entertain You)


Orchestra
(Wild applause, stopped only (?) by:
JUNE, breathing harder than ever)
JUNE

Mr. Conductor, if you please.


/6E/

MILITARY ROUTINE (Part II) Orchestra


(The orchestra strikes up again and
JUNE and her NEWSBOYS start a traveling step. The lights on the performers
begin to flicker faster and faster by
using a lobsterscope and as JUNE and her
BOYS seem to dance faster and faster,
they appear to be flying in space
and growing. Actually, through the

flickering dissolve, they are replaced


by another JUNE, another LOUISE and
other BOYS all in the same costumes
as the originals, but all older and
bigger.
The music ends with a flourish. The
older JUNE does the same high-kick
bow that the baby June did, and
thank heaven we
BLACKOUT)
/6F/

CHANGE OF SCENE Orchestra

ACT ONE
The placards read:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY
AKRON
Scene 6
SCENE:

A plaster-cracked hotel room in


Akron.
AN ALARM CLOCK IS RINGING WILDLY as
the light comes up on the room. It
is festooned with clotheslines:
winter underwear, costumes, etc.
On the bare bed-springs of the one
bed lies LOUISE wrapped up in a
blanket of a very distinct pattern.
The mattress has been put on the
floor and on it, wrapped in another
blanket of the same pattern, are
three of the BOYS in the act.
Asleep on two chairs pushed together is the oldest, best-looking and
brightest boy in the act: TULSA.
He is also wrapped in one of the
blankets. There is one small
window with the shade down.
As THE ALARM KEEPS RINGING, LOUISE
reaches out and shuts it off. A
moment, then she bolts upright and
looks around. Carefully then, she
reaches out, sets the alarm off
again and lies back quickly. From
the floor:
YONKERS

(A wiseguy)
Awright, awright.
L.A.
(Sweet-ass)
Were up, Mme. Rose!

YONKERS
(Looks at clock)
Hey, it aint even ten oclock yet! Turn it off!
L.A.
Louise, Louise!
TULSA
(Quietly)
Ah, turn it off, Louise.
LOUISE
(Sits up and turns off the alarm. Yawns)
I was having the loveliest dream. About a special day -- My
dream book says you dream about a day like that because
L.A.
We wanna sleep!
LOUISE
I just wanted to say -ALL
Sssh!
(LOUISE catches TULSAs eye.
shakes his head)

He

LOUISE
Im sorry.
(Silence. She watches them return
to sleep. Then she gets out of
bed with a great clomping. No
reaction. She goes to the window
and considers the shade, finally
yanking it up quickly. It rolls
up with a tremendous clatter but
not a drop of light comes in: the
window is smack up against a brick
wall. She sticks her head out,
craning her neck like mad to see
the sky:)
How can you all sleep on such a beautiful day!!
JUNE
(Enters)
You woke up Mother.

LOUISE
(Whispering)
I didnt mean to, June.

But today is...well, you know.

JUNE
Today is one day we dont have to travel and one day we dont
have to rehearse.
YONKERS
Which means we could sleep!
LOUISE
Is Momma mad?
JUNE
Shes in the bathroom making coffee.
(To the Boys)
She says as long as shes up, everybody come have breakfast.
LOUISE
June -JUNE
Honest, Louise!
(She goes out as the BOYS groan.
LOUISE groans back at them:)

I said I was sorry!

LOUISE
Momma?...Momma?
ROSE

(Calling)
Happy birthday!
(The bathroom door bursts open and
out comes ROSE in a battered bathrobe, carrying a small birthday cake
with lighted candles. She, JUNE and
the BOYS sing Happy Birthday. For
the final note, ROSE points to JUNE.
She hits a high something.)
Flat.

Make a wish!

Go on make a wish.
LOUISE

I wish...oh Momma, I wish --

ROSE
That rotten monkey ate a piece outa the cake!
(Going inside)
Gigolo! Bad, Gigolo, bad bad!
Oh!

BOYS
One, two, three...make a wish.
ROSE
(Then, looking at the blanket
LOUISE has draped over her
pajamas)
Say, that would make a good coat.
(LOUISE blows out candles)
YONKERS
Hey, theres only ten candles on this cake!

What do you care?

ROSE
You aint gonna eat candles!

YONKERS
But she only had ten candles last year.
L.A.
And the year before that.
YONKERS
Come to think of it, shes had ten candles for the last -ROSE
STOP RIGHT THERE! As long as we have this act, nobody is over
ten and you all know it! Excepting of course me and -- wheres
Herbie? I had a dream -- Tulsa, go across the hall and see
whats keeping Herbie. The rest of you can give Louise her
presents while I go see if the chow mein is warmed up.
YONKERS
Chow mein?
LOUISE
Its my birthday!
YONKERS
But chow mein for breakfast??

ROSE
Theres egg roll, aint there?
(She exits into the bathroom)
YONKERS
If Mme. Rose paid us a salary, we coulda bought you presents,
Louise -(He has picked up a box from under
the bed)
But its more fun to clip from the five and dime anyway.
(Hands her the box proudly)
Its a catchers mitt and a big league baseball.
LOUISE
Thank you, Yonkers.
KANSAS
Heres a real stuffed cat.
LOUISE
Oh, I love it, Kansas.
L.A.
I clipped a bowl of goldfish. But Ill give you the fish for
Lent.

I love it.

LOUISE
Oh, June, what a beautiful package!

JUNE
Its a complete sewing set in a velvet-lined basket.
(THEY embrace. TULSA who has come
back into the room picks up his
present three second-hand books
tied with cord and puts it into
LOUISEs hands from behind JUNE)
TULSA
I should have wrapped them.
LOUISE
(Very touched)
You dont have to wrap books.

TULSA
Well happy birthday, Louise.
LOUISE
Happy birthday, Tulsa.
(Laugh)
I mean, youre welcome.
(Laugh)
I mean thank you.
ROSE
the bathroom carrying
next, OTHERS help:
etc.)
apiece and no more.

(Comes out of
food. During
food, plates,
All right, one egg roll

TULSA
Herbie wasnt in his room, Mme. Rose.
ROSE
(Stops dead)
....He wasnt?
TULSA
No.
ROSE
Where could he be?
LOUISE
Momma, can I see my present from you, please?
ROSE
Its from Herbie and me.

Its not from Herbie.

LOUISE
Hes an agent.

Its from you.

ROSE
Well, I picked it out, but Herbie paid for it -- with his
commission from a whole month.
YONKERS
Old Herby makes the same salary we do!
ROSE
Inside, you, and get the coffee!

ROSE (Contd)
(Serving food)
Here I am, busting to tell Herbie the dream I had -LOUISE
Momma -ROSE
Its really in your honor, coming on the very eve of your
birthday.
(To JUNE)
Oh, Baby! Youll love it. Children, youll all love it -(Looks toward door, then makes
a gesture of dismissal)
-- its a new act!
YONKERS
That aint a dream, its a miracle!
ROSE
(To YONKERS)
No egg roll. In this dream, I saw June singing a song in like a
barnyard. And then -- a cow came on stage.
TULSA
A cow??
YONKERS
Sex at last!
ROSE
Not a real cow. Sort of a dancing cow -- with a great big
smile. And that cow -- that cow leaned right over my bed and
spoke to me!
JUNE
(Faking fascination)
What did the cow say?
(From off, a loud baaaaaah.
Then a little lamb a puppet,
actually runs in)
ROSE
Happy birthday, sweetheart!

LOUISE
Oh, Momma!
(The lamb darts around to escape
LOUISE. The BOYS egg her on, but
the lamb runs off with LOUISE in
hot pursuit. At the same time,
shouting excitedly from offstage,
HERBIE runs on)

Rose!

Rose!

HERBIE
Rose, you wont believe -- wheres Louise?

A fat lot you care.

ROSE
The child has a birthday -HERBIE

Did she like her present?


ROSE
Im surprised you remembered, whereve you been?
want to know.

Thats what I

HERBIE
(Bringing forward a MILD LITTLE MAN)
Rose, this is Mr. Goldstone.
ROSE
I ask you, Mr. Goldstone. The child has a birthday once a year.
We plan a nice little party Im sorry the cake is so small
HERBIE
Mr. Goldstone is from the Orpheum Circuit.
ROSE
Theres only one egg roll apiece and some fried...rice...and...
HERBIE
The act is booked on the Orpheum Circuit, Rose.
(A long pause. SHE stares, numb
with a growing happiness. Mechanically, she picks up an egg roll)

/7/

MR. GOLDSTONE ROSE w/Herbie & Kids


ROSE
(Sings)
HAVE AN EGGROLL, MR. GOLDSTONE,
HAVE A NAPKIN, HAVE A CHOPSTICK, HAVE A CHAIR!
HAVE A SPARE-RIB, MR. GOLDSTONE
ANY SPARE-RIB THAT I CAN SPARE, ILL BE GLAD TO SHARE!
HAVE A DISH, HAVE A FORK,
HAVE A FISH, HAVE A PORK,
PUT YOUR FEET UP, FEEL AT HOME,
HAVE A SMOKE, HAVE A COKE,
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR A JOKE?
ILL HAVE JUNE RECITE A POEM!
HAVE A LICHEE, MR. GOLDSTONE,
TELL ME ANY LITTLE THING THAT I CAN DO.
GINGER-PEACHY, MR. GOLDSTONE,
HAVE A KUMQUAT HAVE TWO!
EVERYBODY GIVE A CHEER
SANTA CLAUS IS SITTIN HERE
MR. GOLDSTONE, I LOVE YOU!
(Hysterical with excitement)
HAVE A GOLDSTONE, MR. EGGROLL,
TELL ME ANY LITTLE THING THAT I CAN DO.
HAVE SOME FRIED RICE, MR. SOY SAUCE,
HAVE A COOKIE, HAVE A FEW!
WHATS THE MATTER, MR. G.
HAVE ANOTHER POT OF TEA!
MR. GOLDSTONE, I LOVE YOU!
THERE ARE GOOD STONES AND BAD STONES
AND CURBSTONES AND GLADSTONES
AND
HERBIE
TOUCHSTONES AND SUCH STONES AS THEM!
THERE ARE BIG STONES AND SMALL STONES
ROSE
AND GRINDSTONES AND GALLSTONES,
BOTH
BUT GOLDSTONE IS A GEM!

ALL (Herbie & Kids & Rose)


THERE ARE MILESTONES, THERE ARE MILLSTONES,
THERES A CHERRY, THERES A YELLOW, THERES A BLUE!
BUT WE DONT WANT ANY OLD STONE,
ONLY GOLDSTONE WILL DO!
MOONSTONE, SUNSTONE WE ALL SCREAM FOR ONE STONE!
MR. GOLDSTONE, WE LOVE YOU!
GOLDSTONE!
(The lights black out in most of the
room, then rise on a small section
where LOUISE sits on a mattress with
the lamb)
/8/

LITTLE LAMB Louise


LOUISE
(Softly, sings:)
LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB,
MY BIRTHDAY IS HERE AT LAST.
LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB,
A BIRTHDAY GOES BY SO FAST.
LITTLE BEAR, LITTLE BEAR,
YOU SIT ON MY RIGHT, RIGHT THERE.
LITTLE HEN, LITTLE HEN,
WHAT GAME SHALL WE PLAY, AND WHEN?
LITTLE CAT, LITTLE CAT,
AH, WHY DO YOU LOOK SO BLUE?
DID SOMEBODY PAINT YOU LIKE THAT,
OR IS IT YOUR BIRTHDAY, TOO?
LITTLE FISH, LITTLE FISH,
DO YOU THINK ILL GET MY WISH?
LITTLE LAMB, LITTLE LAMB,
I WONDER HOW OLD I AM.
I WONDER HOW OLD I AM...
LITTLE LAMB....

DIM OUT

/8A/

CHANGE OF SCENE Orchestra

ACT ONE
The placards change to read:
TABLE FOR TWO
NEW YORK
Scene 7
SCENE:

Section of Chinese restaurant.


HERBIE sits at a table
slightly detached from ROSE
and JUNE. ROSE is scraping
leftovers from the plates.
ROSE

Hand me Junes plate, Louise.


JUNE
(Embarrassed)
Mother -ROSE
Were paying for it, aint we? Youll get an ulcer like Herbie.
HERBIE
Rose, did it ever occur to you there might be somebody in this
world who doesnt like Chinese food?

Dont be silly.

Who?

ROSE
Dont you like it, Herbie?
HERBIE

Sure, Rose.

I love it.

(LOUISE enters wearing a blanketcoat and holding a little dog


also with a blanket-coat)
ROSE
Did she?
LOUISE
Yes.

ROSE
(Baby-talk to dog)
Atsa healthy-wealthy lady-wadie.
HERBIE
Oh, God!
JUNE
Herbies angry.
ROSE
Herbies never angry; its bad for his stomach.
beddie-bye.

Come on, girls,

JUNE
Its so early!
ROSE
But, you have to audition for Mr. T. T. Grantziger at his Palace
Theatre tomorrow and you have to look young.
LOUISE
Can I wear a dress?

Youd look old in a dress.

ROSE
Besides, you havent got one.

(SHE and JUNE have lined up with


LOUISE: 3 blanket-coats in a row)
JUNE
Good night, Uncle Herbie.
(Kisses him)
HERBIE
Good night, June.
(Stands up to kiss LOUISE who
stiff-arms him)
Good night, Louise.
LOUISE
Good night, Herbie.
(Exits with JUNE)
ROSE
Ill cold-cream their faces and be right back.

HERBIE
Rose, the hotel is two doors away! Honestly, you behave as
though those girls Rose!
(This is because SHE is collecting
silverware)
ROSE
We need new silverware.
(Stops)
Herbie, how long is it going to take you to get used to me?
HERBIE
How long did it take me to get used to those coats?
ROSE
Whats the matter with them? Theyre very stylish! Louise is
very handy with a needle.
(Picking up silverware)
Herbie, as the good Lord says: an eye for an eye a tooth for
a tooth
(Dumps the silver into her bag)
And it serves them right for over-charging. -(Starts to go HERBIE hands her
a knife which SHE also takes. But
then she stops and returns)
They can skip the cold cream for one night.
(Automatically, HE gets up too
and helps her off with her coat)
(ROSE, admiringly:)
All this time weve been together and you still stand up for me!
HERBIE
Instead of standing up to you.
ROSE
I wanted to have dinner tonight, just the two of us, but what
was I going to do with the girls? Theyre babies.
HERBIE
Rose, no matter how you dress em, no matter how you smother
em, theyre big girls. Theyre almost young women---

ROSE
Theyre not and they never will be!
HERBIE
Im embarrassed in front of them! When are you going to marry
me, Rose?
ROSE
Dont forget to take our scrapbooks to Mr. Grantzigers
tomorrow.
HERBIE
When are you going to quit stalling?
theres a depression?

Of course I know!

Honey, dont you know

ROSE
I read Variety.

HERBIE
Dont you know what its doing to vaudeville? Dont you know
what the talkies are doing to vaudeville? Dont you know I love
you?
ROSE
You think Id be unfaithful to my husbands if you didnt?
have to think of my girls and their happiness.

But I

HERBIE
Louise is very happy being the rear end of a cow!
ROSE
She loves animals.
HERBIE
She and June should both be in school --ROSE
And be like other girls; cook and clean and sit and die!
(To Waitress, sweetly)
Honey, could I have a spoon to stir my tea?... I promised June
shed be a star and she will be. I promised Id get her on the
Pantages Circuit and I did. I promised Id get her on the
Orpheum Circuit and I did.

I did!

HERBIE
And you promised me that after I did, youd marry me.

ROSE
I promised her shed headline on Broadway and -HERBIE
Didnt you hear what I said?
ROSE
Yes, but Im ignoring it.
(To Waitress)
Thanks, honey.
(Waits til shes gone, then
puts spoon in her bag)
Herbie, it isnt very polite for a gentleman to remind a lady
that she welched. There was no date on that promise -HERBIE
ROSE, STOP HANDING ME THAT BULL.
ROSE
Your stomach!
(Quickly handing him a pill)
(Music starts)
Herbie, why dont you get angry outside, instead of letting it
settle in your stomach?
HERBIE
Im afraid.
ROSE
Of me?
HERBIE
Of me.
ROSE
What do you mean?
HERBIE
If I ever let loose, itll end with me picking up and walking.
ROSE
Only around the block.
HERBIE
No.

ROSE
Dont say that.
/9/

YOULL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME Rose & Herbie


ROSE
(Sings)
YOULL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME.
YOU CAN CLIMB THE TALLEST TREE,
ILL BE THERE SOMEHOW.
TRUE, YOU COULD SAY, HEY, HERES YOUR HAT,
BUT A LITTLE THING LIKE THAT
COULDNT STOP ME NOW.
I COULDNT GET AWAY FROM YOU
EVEN IF YOU TOLD ME TO,
SO GO ON AND TRY!
JUST TRY,
AND YOURE GONNA SEE
HOW YOURE GONNA NOT AT ALL GET AWAY FROM ME!

Rose, what do you want?

HERBIE
There are better agents.
ROSE

Not for me.


HERBIE
Even weaker men.
ROSE
Not for me.
HERBIE
Then what?
ROSE
You. Herbie, just help me like you been helping. Just let me
get Junes name up in lights so big, itll last my whole life.
HERBIE
Rose, what you expect -ROSE
Ill get! And after I get it, I promise Ill marry you.
promise to keep my promise. Please, Herbie.

I even

ROSE (Contd)
I dont want to upset anything before the audition tomorrow.
Including your stomach.
HERBIE
(Sings)
ROSE, I LOVE YOU,
BUT DONT COUNT YOUR CHICKENS.
ROSE
COME DANCE WITH ME.
HERBIE
I WARN YOU
THAT IM NO BOY SCOUT.
ROSE
RELAX A WHILE COME DANCE WITH ME.
HERBIE
SO DONT THINK
THAT IM EASY PICKINS
ROSE
THE MUSICS SO NICE -HERBIE
ROSE!
CAUSE I JUST MAY
SOME DAY
PICK UP AND PACK OUT.
ROSE
OH NO. YOU WONT.
NO, NOT A CHANCE.
NO ARGUMENTS,
SHUT UP AND DANCE.
YOULL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME,
YOU CAN CLIMB THE TALLEST TREE
ILL BE THERE SOMEHOW!
TRUE, YOU COULD SAY, HEY, HERES YOUR HAT,
BUT A LITTLE THING LIKE THAT
COULDNT STOP ME NOW.

BOTH
I COULDNT GET AWAY FROM YOU
EVEN IF I WANTED TO
ROSE
WELL, GO ON AND TRY
JUST TRY
HERBIE
AH, ROSE
ROSE
AND YOURE GONNA SEE -HERBIE
AH, ROSE
ROSE
HOW YOURE GONNA NOT AT ALL
GET AWAY FROM ME!
/9A/

CHANGE OF SCENE

(Youll Never Get Away From Me)


Orchestra

ACT ONE
The placards change to read:
GRANTZIGERS PALACE
NEW YORK
Scene 8
SCENE:

Stage of a good theatre.


A telephone is ringing as the
lights come up on the theatre
curtains. A smartly-groomed
secretary MISS CRATCHITT
hurries on, signals towards
the top of the theatre, pulls
out a telephone attached on a
bracket to the proscenium and
answers:

CRATCHITT
Yes, Mr. Grantziger... Yes I know, but theyre having a little
difficulty with their scenery. Well, wait till you see it...
(ROSE appears)
ROSE
(To the conductor:)
Now keep the tempo up. Keep it bright.
CRATCHITT
(On phone)
Thats the mother... No, I have told her!
ROSE
(Peering out front)
Hello, Mr. Grantziger. Where is he?
CRATCHITT
(Pointing)
In his office at the top of the theatre.
ROSE
(Waving neighborly)
Hi!

HERBIE
(Runs on to try to get ROSE off)
Its a privilege to audition for you, Mr. Grantziger!
ROSE
(Just before HERBIE drags her off)
Youre going to love us!

Thats the agent.

CRATCHITT
Hes nice.
HERBIE

(Returning)
Were ready now.
CRATCHITT
Oh, theyre ready now, Mr. Grantziger.
(To HERBIE)
Good luck.
HERBIE
Thank you.
/10/

FARM SEQUENCE June, Farm Boys, & Cow


(THEY both go off, the lights dim
and the curtains part to reveal a
corny set of a vaudeville barnyard,
complete with haystack. ROSEs
NEWSBOYS are now FARMBOYS, and they
stand with rakes, hoes, etc. in a
picturesque tableau (!) as birds
and music twitter the approach of
dawn which comes up violently.
The music crashes into the introduction for that same newsboys
song sung, this time by the FARMBOYS and on cue, the haystack
parts for DAINTY JUNE to whirl out
and down front where she ends in
that same split. This time, she
sings and dances with a cow, however. During the dance, the rear
end of the cow does bells:
LOUISE is still doing her big
specialty)

FARM BOYS
(Sing)
EXTRA! EXTRA! HEY, LOOK AT THE HEADLINE!
HISTORICAL NEWS IS BEING MADE!
EXTRA! EXTRA! THEYRE DRAWING A RED LINE
AROUND THE BIGGEST SCOOP OF THE DECADE!
A BARREL OF CHARM!
A FABULOUS THRILL!
THE BIGGEST LITTLE HEADLINE IN VAUDEVILLE!
(Spoken)
Presenting in person that five foot two bundle of dynamite:
Dainty June!
JUNE
My name is June. Whats yours?

Hello everybody!
(Sings)
I HAVE A MOO COW, A NEW COW, A TRUE COW
NAMED CAROLINE.
COW
MOO MOO MOO
JUNE
SHES AN EXTRA SPECIAL FRIEND OF MINE.
COW
MOO MOO MOO
JUNE
I LIKE EVERYTHING ABOUT HER FINE.
COW
MOO MOO MOO

JUNE
SHE LIKES TO MOO IN THE MOONLIGHT
WHEN THE MOODY MOON APPEARS.
AND WHEN SHE MOOS IN THE MOONLIGHT,
GOSH, ITS MOOSIC TO MY EARS!
SHES SO MOOSICAL...
SHE LOVES A MAN COW, A TAN COW WHO CAN COW
HER WITH A GLANCE.
WHEN HE WINKS AT HER, SHE STARTS TO DANCE,
ITS WHAT WE GROWN-UPS CALL A REAL ROMANCE,
BUT IF WE MOVED TO THE CITY
OR WE SETTLED BY THE SHORE,
SHED MAKE THE MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE,

JUNE (Contd)
CAUSE SHE LOVES ME MORE!
(JUNE and COW continue dance to
end and exit)
(Phone rings)
CRATCHITT
(Comes on to answer)
Yes, Mr. Grantziger. Dainty June, will you come out for a
minute? Face front dear. Profile.
(ROSE appears in the other wing)
Thank you very much.

Thats all.

ROSE
But we have a great dramatic finish!

Im sure.

CRATCHITT
But Mr. Grantziger --ROSE

(To Conductor)
Ah, hit it!
CRATCHITT
But -/10A/

BROADWAY June & Boys


(The music crashes in and the FARM
BOYS directed by ROSE dance on
in Eton suits with high hats and
canes. They launch into the song
and tap dance that always built up
to the entrance of the blonde star.
And it does this time, for JUNE
comes on, dazzling, glamorous, and
singing and dancing for all she
and ROSE are worth.
During the BOYS number, one of the
high hats falls off, and ROSE dashes
out from the wings to retrieve and
replace it. At the end of JUNEs
song-and-dance with the BOYS, ROSE

helps the STAGEHANDS get the haystack offstage. Behind it is the


front of a train which puffs smoke)
BOYS
(Sing)
BROADWAY, BROADWAY! WEVE MISSED IT SO!
WERE HEADING THERE AND TAKING JUNE
TO STAR HER IN A SHOW!
BRIGHT LIGHTS! WHITE LIGHTS!
RHYTHM AND ROMANCE!
THE TRAIN IS LATE SO WHILE WE WAIT
WERE GONNA DO A LITTLE DANCE!
(And they do as prelude to JUNEs
singing entrance:)
JUNE
(Sings)
BROADWAY! BROADWAY! HOW GREAT YOU ARE!
ILL LEAVE THE FARM WITH ALL ITS CHARM
TO BE A BROADWAY STAR!
BRIGHT LIGHTS! WHITE LIGHTS!
WHERE THE NEONS GLOW!
MY BAG IS PACKED, IVE GOT MY ACT.
SO ALL ABOARD, COMON, LETS GO!
YONKERS
ALL ABOARD!

Woo woo...watch this!

ROSE
Its a train.
BOYS

Lets go!
JUNE
(To the Cow)
Goodbye, goodbye, Caroline -- take care. Dont forget to
write!... Wait! Stop the train!
(CHORD)
Stop the music! Stop everything! I cant go to Broadway with
you!
LITTLE ROCK
Why not, Dainty June?

JUNE
(To soupy music)
Because everything in life that really matters is right here!
What care I for tinsel or glamour when I have friendship and
true love? Im staying here with Caroline!
(ENSEMBLE shouts HOORAY.)
(She runs off the platform of the
train and embraces the COW to
general cheering. A chord from
the orchestra which launches
once again into STARS AND STRIPES;
this time the American Eagle pops
up over the train; JUNE grabs batons
from the platform and twirls them
madly as she marches downstage to
end in a triumphant split while the
BOYS fire American flags from their
canes. ROSE has done it again)
(The phone is ringing loudly.
CRATCHITT comes out to answer it.
ROSE and HERBIE come out from the
opposite wing to hear the verdict)
CRATCHITT
Yes, Mr. Grantziger...What??
(To ROSE and HERBIE, in astonishment)
He liked it!
(On the phone again)
Yes, sir, if thats what you want.
(Hangs up and turns to ROSE)
If you and your tribe follow me up to the office Ill make out
the contracts.
ROSE
Me and my what?
HERBIE
(Holding her back)
Rose...
(CRATCHITT shoots a peculiar look up
to MR. GRANTZIGER and exits as ROSE
shouts up:)

ROSE
You wont be sorry, Mr. Grantziger!
(HERBIE yanks her off, but SHE is
right back to add)
This is gonna make ya!

BLACKOUT

ACT ONE
Scene 9
SCENE:

An ornately Gothic office.


LOUISE and JUNE sit on a bench,
CRATCHITT at a desk. The phone
is ringing.

CRATCHITT
Mr. Grantzigers busy. Hes gone down to the stage.
(Hangs up)
Your mother and your agent are still reading over the contracts.
They wont be much longer. Shes gotta eat sometime... Say,
woman to woman, how old are you?
Yes?...No.

JUNE
Nine.
CRATCHITT
Nine what?
JUNE
Nine going on ten.
CRATCHITT
How long has that been going on?
(HERBIE comes in carrying a contract,
followed by ROSE)
HERBIE
Miss Cratchitt, I think Mr. Grantziger made a mistake in this
contract.
CRATCHITT
(Gaily)
So do I.
(Phone)
Yes?
ROSE
You happy, girls?
LOUISE
Yes, Momma.

CRATCHITT
No.
(Hangs up)
HERBIE
We auditioned for Grantzigers Palace.
Variety.

This is for Grantzigers

CRATCHITT
Thats right.
HERBIE
But the Variety is way down on 14th Street.
CRATCHITT
Hell give you a visa to get there.
(Phone)
Yes?
HERBIE
Id like to talk to Mr. Grantziger.
CRATCHITT
No.

(Hangs up quickly)
You cant disturb him when hes holding auditions.
HERBIE

Then Ill wait.


CRATCHITT
Listen, friend. Strictly between us, if I were you Id sign
that contract. Theres only one item in that act of yours that
the Boss likes: Dainty Little June. He thinks she can be an
actress.
ROSE
Hes right.
CRATCHITT
Can be if.
HERBIE
If what?

CRATCHITT
If she goes to school for a solid year and takes acting lessons.
Hes ready to pay for everything -- on one condition.
(To ROSE)
You stay away.
ROSE
Stay away?

Im her mother!
CRATCHITT

You said it, I didnt.


HERBIE
What about the act?
CRATCHITT
(Shrugs)
One week at the Variety.

But June is the act!

ROSE
How is it supposed to go on without her?
HERBIE

Rose, we could -ROSE


(To CRATCHITT)
How are Louise and I supposed to live?
CRATCHITT
Well, you might get a job, dear.
ROSE
I have a job, dear, and I do it damn well!
job and I got two of them!
LOUISE
Momma, if June

June is my baby!

ROSE
Im her mother!

(Phone rings)
CRATCHITT
(Answering)
Yes

My daughters are my

ROSE
(Taking the receiver and slamming it
down on the table)
Dont you dare answer the phone when Im yelling at you! Nobody
knows June like I do and nobody can do for her what I can!
JUNE
Momma, this is my chance to be an actress.
make me a star!

Mr. Grantziger can

ROSE
You are a star! And I made you one! Whos got clippings like
she has? Look! Books full of em! She dont need lessons any
more than she needs Mr. T. T. Grantziger!
CRATCHITT
There isnt a person in show business that doesnt need Mr.
Grantziger!
ROSE
Then, take a good look at this person!
HERBIE
Rose
ROSE
Oh, theyre so smart in New York!
CRATCHITT
New York is the center of everything.
ROSE
New York is the center of New York! Theres a whole country
full of people who know people! -- who know what a mother means
to her daughter! Its hicks like you who dont know! And you
want to know something else? Grantzigers a hick! Hell get no
place!
HERBIE
Rose
ROSE
Hes trying to take my baby away from me, thats what hes
trying to do! Well, over my dead body, he will!
(And she storms out the door to the
stage with HERBIE and CRATCHITT

calling and running out after her.


A pause, then LOUISE picks up the
phone left off the hook:)
LOUISE
No!
(Hangs up)
Mommas just talking big, June.

She wont really --

JUNE
Yes, she will.
LOUISE
Maybe Mr. Grantziger will
JUNE
No, he wont... Well, thats show business.
LOUISE
Arent you happy someone like Mr. T. T. Grantziger thinks you
can be a star?
JUNE
Youre funny.
LOUISE
Why?
JUNE
Well, youre never jealous.
LOUISE
Oh. Well, I dont have any talent. I dont mind really
except Momma would like it better if I did.
JUNE
I guess thats what she likes about me.
not a star.

Mommas no fool.

LOUISE
You are.

Im not!

JUNE
Mr. Grantziger could make me one if --

LOUISE
Momma can make you a star, too.

Im

JUNE
Momma can do one thing: she can make herself believe anything
she makes up. Like with that rhinestone finale dress you sewed
for me. Momma wants publicity so she makes up a story that
three nuns went blind sewing it! Now she believes it. She even
believes the act is good.
LOUISE
Isnt it?
JUNE
Its a terrible act and I hate it! Ive hated it from the
beginning and I hate it more now! I hate pretending Im two
years old. I hate singing those same awful songs, doing those
same awful dances, wearing those same awful costumes -- I didnt
mean it about the costumes.

No.

LOUISE
You just meant youre too big for them now.

JUNE
Do you ever feel like you didnt have a sister?
LOUISE
... Sometimes.
JUNE
Its Mommas fault.
LOUISE
You cant blame everything on Momma.

You cant maybe.

JUNE
I wish shed marry Herbie and let me alone.

LOUISE
Herbie doesnt want to marry her. All he cares about is the
act.
JUNE
Oh, honest.

Louise.
LOUISE

Well, hes an agent!

HERBIE
(Enters and tosses the contract
back on desk)
Your mother isnt feeling well. Ill take her back to the
hotel... Dont worry, June, Ill get you a good booking.
(He exits)
(Music starts)
LOUISE
I wish Momma would marry a plain man...so we could all be
together.
JUNE
If Momma was married...
/11/

IF MAMA WAS MARRIED June & Louise


LOUISE
(Sings)
IF MOMMA WAS MARRIED WED LIVE IN A HOUSE,
AS PRIVATE AS PRIVATE CAN BE:
JUST MOMMA, THREE DUCKS, FIVE CANARIES, A MOUSE,
TWO MONKEYS, ONE FATHER, SIX TURTLES AND ME...
IF MOMMA WAS MARRIED.
JUNE
IF MOMMA WAS MARRIED, ID JUMP IN THE AIR
AND GIVE ALL MY TOESHOES TO YOU.
ID GET ALL THOSE HAIR-RIBBONS OUT OF MY HAIR,
AND ONCE AND FOR ALL, ID GET MOMMA OUT, TOO...
IF MOMMA WAS MARRIED.
LOUISE
MOMMA, GET OUT THE WHITE DRESS!
YOUVE DONE IT BEFORE
JUNE
WITHOUT MUCH SUCCESS
BOTH
MOMMA, GOD SPEED AND GOD BLESS,
WERE NOT KEEPING SCORE
WHATS ONE MORE OR LESS?
OH, MOMMA, SAY YES
AND WALTZ DOWN THE AISLE WHILE YOU MAY.

LOUISE
ILL GLADLY SUPPORT YOU,
ILL EVEN ESCORT YOU
JUNE
AND ILL GLADLY GIVE YOU AWAY!
BOTH
OH, MOMMA, GET MARRIED TODAY!
JUNE
IF MOMMA WAS MARRIED THERE WOULDNT BE ANY MORE
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU,
LET ME MAKE YOU SMILE.
I WILL DO SOME KICKS.
LOUISE
I WILL DO SOME TRICKS.
JUNE
SING OUT, LOUISE!
LOUISE
SMILE, BABY!
MOMMA, PLEASE TAKE OUR ADVICE:
WE ARENT THE LUNTS.
JUNE
IM NOT FANNY BRICE.
MOMMA, WELL BUY YOU THE RICE,
IF ONLY THIS ONCE
BOTH
YOU WOULDNT THINK TWICE!
IT COULD BE SO NICE
IF MOMMA GOT MARRIED TO STAY.
LOUISE
BUT MOMMA GETS MARRIED
JUNE
AND
LOUISE
MARRIED

JUNE
AND
LOUISE
MARRIED

AND
OH,
OH,
OH,

BOTH
NEVER GETS CARRIED AWAY.
MOMMA,
MOMMA,
MOMMA, GET MARRIED TODAY!

DIMOUT

ACT ONE
The placards change to read:
DREAMS OF GLORY
BUFFALO
Scene 10
SCENE:

A theatre alley. With steps leading up to the stage door.


Without music, TULSA is dancing,
rehearsing a routine. HERBIE
comes out the stage door and
watches until TULSA sees him
and stops in embarrassment.

HERBIE
Thats pretty fancy footwork, Tulsa.
Mme. Rose?

Im not that good, Herbie.

Why dont you show it to

TULSA
Its just foolin around.

HERBIE
(As unseen by him, LOUISE enters)
Tulsa, you started foolin around about three months ago.
Right after Mr. Grantziger cancelled our booking.
TULSA
Well ...
HERBIE
Why, Tulsa?
LOUISE
Hes just had more time, thats all.
in Albany.
TULSA
And the layoff in Rochester.
LOUISE
And the layoff in Niagara Falls.

Like that two-week layoff

TULSA
Its O.K., Herbie...
HERBIE
I thought you were maybe worried about the act.
TULSA
Oh, no, Herbie.
HERBIE
Because the way things are pickin up why, I wouldnt be
surprised if you kids got paid!
(To LOUISE)
Matter of fact, theyre good enough right now for me to treat
you to an ice cream soda.
LOUISE
No, thank you.
HERBIE
Chow mein?
LOUISE
Momma doesnt like us to eat just before a show.
HERBIE
(After a beat, gently)
Theres one thing your momma knows I wish you did:
(Starts in)

I like her.

LOUISE
Herbie...
(HE returns. A moment, then SHE
shakes her head)
Nothing.
HERBIE
Tulsa, if you or the boys have any problems, you bring em to
me. Will you?
TULSA
Sure, Herbie.
(HERBIE exits)

LOUISE
You didnt tell him anything, did you?
rehearsing a dance team act?

I mean that youre

TULSA
Howd you know I was working on an act?
LOUISE
I saw you practicing Monday after the matinee, with your broom
for a partner. I was up in the flies.
TULSA
Louise please

Oh, I wont tell


you.
(Takes
Thats what this
make up dreams

LOUISE
anybody, Tulsa! Im very secretive.
his hand)
means here in your palm.
like me.

Just like

And this means you

TULSA
(Moves away)
What do you make up dreams about?
LOUISE
...People.
TULSA
Oh, I do that too.
LOUISE
Yes, but yours are about a partner for your act.
TULSA
Shes gonna be more than a partner, I hope.
dream...that one day well, you know ...
(Starts to dance around)
LOUISE
What would she have to be like, Tulsa?
dancer, I guess.

I mean I

A wonderful singer and

TULSA
Oh, no. Im going to do most of that. I dont mean Im going
to hog it all but they always look at the girl...in a dance
team. Especially if shes pretty.

Makeup can help.

LOUISE
And costumes.

TULSA
Ive got the costumes all figured out.

A blue satin tux for me

LOUISE
With rhinestone lapels -TULSA
You think?
LOUISE
Ill sew them on.
(Music)
TULSA
O.K.

(As music starts)


Secret?
LOUISE

Secret.
TULSA
I pretend Im home getting dressed for a date. I comb my hair.
I take a flower...Put it in my lapel. Then I spot the audience.
(Sings:)
/12/

ALL I NEED IS A GIRL Tulsa


(Vocal)
ONCE MY CLOTHES WERE SHABBY,
TAILORS CALLED ME CABBIE,
SO I TOOK A VOW,
SAID THIS BUMLL
BE BEAU BRUMMEL.
NOW IM SMOOTH AND SNAPPY,
NOW MY TAILORS HAPPY.
IM THE CATS MEOW,
MY WARDROBE IS A WOW;
PARIS SILK, HARRIS TWEED,
THERES ONLY ONE THING I NEED.
GOT MY TWEED PRESSED,
GOT MY BEST VEST,

TULSA (Contd)
ALL I NEED NOW IS THE GIRL!
GOT MY STRIPED TIE,
GOT MY HOPES HIGH,
GOT THE TIME AND THE PLACE, AND I GOT RHYTHM
NOW ALL I NEEDS THE GIRL TO GO WITH EM!
IF SHELL
JUST APPEAR, WELL
TAKE THIS BIG TOWN FOR A WHIRL,
AND IF SHELL SAY, MY
DARLING, IM YOURS, ILL THROW AWAY MY
STRIPED TIE AND MY BEST-PRESSED TWEED
ALL I REALLY NEED
IS THE GIRL!
(LOUISE has been watching with
yearning and now, as TULSA begins
to dance the yearning increases.
He explains his dance to her as
he goes along:)
/12A/

ALL I NEED IS A GIRL

(Dance)

Orchestra
I start easy...Now Im more debonair...Break! And I sell it
here...I start this step, see -- I build it and double it -- and
she appears! All in white!
(He reaches out his hand to the
invisible partner, tentatively.
HE is unaware of her, unaware
of her hopes, unaware SHE is
following him about, visualizing
herself as the partner for him)
I take her hand kiss it and lead her on the floor...
(SHE holds her hand out)
This step is good for the costumes...Astaire bit. Now we waltz.
(She follows him out on
the floor)
Strings come in. And I lift her!
(She mimes being lifted)
...Again!...Once more!...Now the tempo changes; and all the
lights come up; and I build!
(At last, he starts a step that
LOUISE knows and clumsily, she
starts to do it with him. At
last, HE notices and shouts:)

TULSA (Contd)
Louise, thats it! Come over here! Follow me! Faster!
Charleston! Again! Do it again! One more. Give me your hand!
(SHE is dancing joyously, her
happiness making up for her awkwardness. THEY end together
in triumph as
THE LIGHTS DIM)
/12B/

CHANGE OF SCENE

(Montage)

Orchestra

ACT ONE
The placards change to read:
TERMINAL
OMAHA
Scene 11
SCENE:

LONELY RAILROAD PLATFORM.


Night misty lights. Baggage
on a cart near ROSE and
HERBIE. YONKERS, L.A. and
KANSAS are there.

ROSE
Dont lower yourself to argue, Herbie. If them rats want to
quit, then let them quit. If they want their train tickets
back, give them their bus tickets back.
(Crossing)
Whats keeping those girls?
HERBIE
Theres plenty of time, Rose.
ROSE
(Going to the end of the platform,
peering out)
And you say theyre old enough to take care of themselves.
HERBIE
Look, fellas, I know weve had a couple of lay-offs in the-YONKERS
It aint that, Herbie.
HERBIE
Then what is it?
YONKERS
Were -- too old.
HERBIE
(Sotto voce)
Would you be too old if Mme. Rose and I could see our way clear
to increasing your salary?

ROSE
(A bellow from clear across the
stage)
Increase what salary?!
L.A.
Herbies been paying us -YONKERS
(Kicks him)
Moron!
ROSE
(Coming back)
Herbie...
HERBIE
How long is it going to take you to get used to me, Rose?
ROSE
(Gently)
Button your coat.
(To the Boys)
Ingrates! You take the bread out of that mans mouth and spit
it in his face! Well, as the good Lord says, Good riddance to
bad rubbish. Give em their tickets, Herbie. They were rotten
in the act anyway.
HERBIE
O.K.
(Takes out tickets as SHE peers out
for the girls)

Thanks, Herbie.

YONKERS
Only wed like tickets for all the fellows.
HERBIE

...All the fellows?


YONKERS
Well, they asked us.
HERBIE
Youre all leaving?

L.A.
Yes, sir, Herbie.
ROSE
Somethings very funny here.

Somethings funny.

HERBIE
Why, Yonkers?
(Silence)
ROSE
Whats this all about?
(Silence)

O.K.

HERBIE
If youre all going, youre all going.

But why --

(LOUISE runs on, a note in her


hand)
ROSE
Whereve you been? Wheres June?
(Silence)
Louise, wheres June?
(LOUISE holds out the note)
Dont give me any of your poems to read now.
LOUISE
June wrote this.

What for?

To you.

ROSE
Whats she writing me for?
LOUISE

Momma, read it!


(ROSE looks at her, then takes the
letter. She looks for a station
light, sits under it and reads
the letter)
L.A.
(To HERBIE)
She eloped.

Answer me!

She didnt elope, stupid.

YONKERS
They got married three weeks ago.
HERBIE

Who got married?


YONKERS
June and Tulsa.
HERBIE
June!
YONKERS
Only they hadda wait till their act was ready before they took
off.

Its a keen act.

L.A.
Aint it, Louise?
LOUISE

Ive never seen it.

We aint rats, Herbie.

YONKERS
We just knew that without June
HERBIE

Whered they go?


L.A.
Well, first they got a club date in Kansas City...
YONKERS
Big mouth! Could we have the tickets now, please, Herbie? We
gotta get moving. See, we fixed up an act of our own and-HERBIE
(Suddenly, looking at ROSE)
Here, get moving!
L.A.
Dont be sore, Herbie. Geez, it aint our fault the acts all
washed up.
(The BOYS start off)
HERBIE
Hey, fellas.

Good luck!

Thanks.

YONKERS
(Brightens)
Herbie, good luck to you.
L.A.

Good luck, Louise.


LOUISE
Good luck.
YONKERS
Good luck, Mme. Rose.
(Silence)
Come on, L.A.
(THEY go off. LOUISE stands a good
distance from ROSE, who has not moved.
HERBIE goes to ROSE)
HERBIE
Rose...Honey, even if we... Honey, listen. I can go back in the
candy business. Its steady: 52 weeks all year every year,
Ill work my fingers to the bone; Ill do twice what I did
before and that was pretty fair. See, I could be a district
manager and we could stay put in one place. Louise could go to
school. Rose? Rose, honey, you still got Herbie. You can
marry me and I promise you, you wont have one single worry the
rest of your life. Dont you want that?

Oh, yes!

LOUISE
(A burst)
Momma, say yes!
(HERBIE turns and looks at her. A
moment, then SHE runs across the
platform into his arms. HE holds
her tight and rocks her)

Herbie...
HERBIE
You read palms, I read minds. O.K.
(Going back to ROSE, brighter:)
Honey, honey, its going to be fine. Everything happens for the
best. O.K., the acts finished. But you and me and our
daughter, were going to have a home say, we even got a cow
for the back yard! Why, we are going to be the best damn
family that ever --

(A pause.

Then ROSE begins)

ROSE
(Cold anger)
Im used to people walking out. When my own mother did
cried for a week. Your father did it, and then the man
married after him did it, and now Well this time, Im
crying. This time, Im apologizing.
(To LOUISE)
To you. I pushed you aside for her. I made everything
her.

it, I
I
not

just for

LOUISE
No, Momma.
ROSE
But she says I cant make her an actress like she wants to be.
The boys walked because they think the acts finished. They
think were nothing without her.
(Now beginning to build in volume
and strength and passion)
Shes nothing without me! Im her mother and I made her! And I
can make you now! Im going to make it up to you for all the
years I pushed you in the back. And I will, my baby, I swear I
will! Im going to make you a star!
(She is carried away now by her own
determination and emotion that she
does not see the look that has come
over LOUISEs face. With enthusiasm:)
Im going to build a whole new act all around you! Its going
to be better than anything we ever did before! Better than
anything we even dreamed!
HERBIE
Rose!

Listen!

ROSE
(Like an express train)
Youre right, Herbie! It is for the best! The old act was
getting stale and tired! But the new one!? Look at the new
star, Herbie! Shes going to be beautiful! She is beautiful!
Finished?! Were just beginning and theres no stopping us this
time!
(She roars violently into:)

/13/

EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES


ROSE
I HAD A DREAM
A DREAM ABOUT YOU, BABY!
ITS GONNA COME TRUE, BABY!
THEY THINK THAT WERE THROUGH,
BUT,
BABY,
YOULL BE SWELL, YOULL BE GREAT,
GONNA HAVE THE WHOLE WORLD ON A PLATE!
STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW,
HONEY, EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES!
CLEAR THE DECKS, CLEAR THE TRACKS,
YOU GOT NOTHING TO DO BUT RELAX!
BLOW A KISS, TAKE A BOW
HONEY, EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES!
NOWS YOUR INNING -STAND THE WORLD ON ITS EAR!
SET IT SPINNING,
THATLL BE JUST THE BEGINNING!
CURTAIN UP, LIGHT THE LIGHTS,
YOU GOT NOTHING TO HIT BUT THE HEIGHTS!
YOULL BE SWELL,
YOULL BE GREAT,
I CAN TELL
JUST YOU WAIT!
THAT LUCKY STAR I TALK ABOUT IS DUE!
HONEY, EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES FOR ME AND FOR YOU!
YOU CAN DO IT,
ALL YOU NEED IS A HAND.
WE CAN DO IT,
MOMMA IS GONNA SEE TO IT!
CURTAIN UP, LIGHT THE LIGHTS,
WE GOT NOTHING TO HIT BUT THE HEIGHTS!
I CAN TELL,
WAIT AND SEE!
THERES THE BELL,
FOLLOW ME,
AND NOTHINGS GONNA STOP US TILL WERE THROUGH!
HONEY, EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES AND DAFFODILS,
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP SUNSHINE AND SANTA CLAUS,
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP BRIGHT LIGHTS AND LOLLIPOPS
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES FOR ME AND FOR YOU!

(HERBIE and LOUISE stand silent,


numb as SHE is singing triumphantly
as: )

THE CURTAIN FALLS


END OF ACT ONE

/14/
-

ENTRACTE
Orchestra
ACT TWO
Before the curtain, the illuminated
placards read:
MME. ROSES TOREADORABLES
TEXAS

/14A/

OPENING ACT TWO


Orchestra
Scene 1

SCENE:

Desert country. Late afternoon.


Blankets hang with underwear on
a clothesline between cacti. A
picnic table.
ROSE calls offstage:
ROSE

Are you ready, Louise?


LOUISE
(Off)
Yes, Momma.
ROSE
Ready, girls?
GIRLS
(Off)
Yes, Mme. Rose.
ROSE
Now dont let the past discourage you.
artistes of the theatre!
(Imitates a trumpet call)
Mme. Roses Toreadorables!
/15/

Remember:

TOREADORABLES
Girls
(A crash of Spanish-type music and an

Youre

assortment of GIRLS lurches on in


homemade senorita costumes.
What they lack in talent everything
they make up for in enthusiasm. And
what do they sing? The same opening
as the Newsboys and Farmboys, their
predecessors:)
GIRLS
(As ROSE yells for them to Sing out!)
EXTRA! EXTRA! HEY, LOOK AT THE HEADLINE!
HISTORICAL NEWS IS BEING MADE!
EXTRA! EXTRA! THEYRE DRAWING A REDLINE
AROUND THE GREATEST SCOOP OF THE DECADE!
A BARREL OF CHARM, A FABULOUS THRILL:
THE BIGGEST LITTLE HEADLINE IN VAUD-E-VILLE!
ROSE
Now sell it!

Sell it!

GIRLS
Presenting in Person That five foot four bundle of dynamite:
SENORITA LOUISE!
ROSE
Come on, Louise, come on.
(LOUISE comes on in a glittering,
gaudy toreador costume and a
blonde wig. She makes a pathetic
attempt to twirl and do a split like
June before saying:)
LOUISE
Ole, everybody! My names Louise. Whats yours?
(She looks up at ROSE in appeal.
A pause. Then:)
ROSE
Well its coming along.
LOUISE
Momma, Im just no good at it.

ROSE
Dont be silly. Lets try the finale. If you have a good
strong finish, theyll forgive you for anything!
(The COW runs on)
Youre late...Come on now, girls, make it stirring!
/15A/

STARS AND STRIPES


Orchestra
(Use #6E Military Routine (Part II) )

(The music launches into surprise


STARS AND STRIPES. LOUISE tries
vainly to twirl that same baton as:)
Pick your feet up, Louise, pick em up!
(HERBIE strolls on wearily in time
for the finale: the GIRLS remove
their Spanish shawls and turn them
around to form an American flag.
But the stars are on bottom, there
is much switching and when the last
note is ended, the stars are in
place but some of the stripes go the
wrong way. ROSE looks at HERBIEs
face:)
Theyre tired.
ready for bed.

ROSE (Contd)
Youd better go up to the tent, girls and get
AGNES

(One of the girls)


Good night, Mme. Rose.
ROSE
Good night, Louise.
(Takes the blonde wig from her and
kisses her good night. Then calls
to the others:)
Dont forget to write your mothers. For money!
(To HERBIE)
Howd you make out in town?
HERBIE
Not even a lodge hall.

ROSE
Theyre too damn un-American down there, thats the trouble.
(Starts to brush wig)
We better talk about heading up north after I tell them their
bedtime story.
HERBIE
Once upon a time, there was a prince called Ziegfeld -ROSE
It could happen! ...Anyway, everybody needs something
impossible to hope for.
HERBIE
Rose... Why do you make Louise wear that wig in the act?
ROSE
It makes her look more like -- it makes her look more like a
star.
HERBIE
And why do we keep this cow?
ROSE
Herbie, if that cow goes, I go!
(As LOUISE enters behind them in
pajamas)
The act can be fixed.
set.

If I was doing it for June, itd be all

LOUISE
But youre not, and Im not June.
HERBIE
Now Louise, nobody expects you to -LOUISE
(Quietly)
Momma, Ive tried as hard as I could.
rotten in it.
How do you like that?

The act is rotten and Im

ROSE
Typical of a kid!

LOUISE
Ive wanted to say this -ROSE
Always impatient!
LOUISE
Momma -ROSE
A few break-in dates dont go too hot so she -LOUISE
(Grabs the wig out of ROSEs hand
and throws it away)
Momma, I am not June! I am not a blonde! I cant do what she
did!
HERBIE
She isnt asking you to.
LOUISE
Maybe you want to stay in show business -ROSE
Maybe??
LOUISE
Well, I thought -ROSE
Thats our whole life! Whatve we been working for ever since
you were a baby?...Thats a foolish remark from a foolish girl.
I promised my girl shed be a star and she will be... Maybe Ive
been on the wrong track with you and the material, but as the
Good Lord says, you gotta take the rough with the smooth, baby.
And like I always say, youre lucky -- because you dont have to
take it alone. Right, Herbie?
HERBIE
Right.
ROSE
You got Herbie for brains; we got you for talent; and you both
got me -- to yell at.

/16/

TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO
Rose, Herbie & Louise
ROSE
(Sings)
WHEREVER WE GO,
WHATEVER WE DO,
WERE GONNA GO THROUGH IT TOGETHER.
WE MAY NOT GO FAR,
BUT SURE AS A STAR,
WHEREVER WE ARE, ITS TOGETHER!
WHEREVER I GO, I KNOW HE GOES.
WHEREVER I GO I KNOW SHE GOES.
NO FITS, NO FIGHTS, NO FEUDS AND NO EGOS -AMIGOS, TOGETHER!
ALL
THROUGH THICK AND THROUGH THIN.
ALL OUT OR ALL IN
ROSE
AND WHETHER ITS WIN,
HERBIE
PLACE
LOUISE
OR SHOW,
ROSE
WITH YOU FOR ME AND ME FOR YOU
ALL
WELL MUDDLE THROUGH WHATEVER WE DO
TOGETHER, WHEREVER WE GO!
WHEREVER WE GO,
WHATEVER WE DO,
WERE GONNA GO THROUGH IT TOGETHER.
ROSE
WHEREVER WE SLEEP.
LOUISE
IF PRICES ARE STEEP,

HERBIE
WELL ALWAYS SLEEP CHEAPER TOGETHER.
ROSE
WHATEVER THE BOAT I ROW, YOU ROW -HERBIE
A DUO!
ROSE
WHATEVER THE ROW I HOE, YOU HOE -LOUISE
A TRIO!
ROSE
AND ANY IOU I OWE, YOU OWE -HERBIE
WHO, ME? OH,
NO, YOU OWE!
LOUISE
NO, WE OWE,
ALL
TOGETHER!
WE ALL TAKE THE BOW,
HERBIE & LOUISE
(Indicating ROSE)
INCLUDING THE COW,
ROSE
THOUGH BUSINESS IS LOUSY AND SLOW.
WITH HERBIES VIM, LOUISES VERVE -ALL
NOW ALL WE NEED IS SOMEONE WITH NERVE -TOGETHER -HERBIE & LOUISE
TOGETHER -ROSE
WHEREVER

HERBIE & LOUISE


WHEREVER -ALL
TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO!
ROSE
IF I START TO DANCE,
HERBIE
WE BOTH START TO DANCE,
ROSE & HERBIE
AND SOMETIMES BY CHANCE WERE TOGETHER.
ROSE
IF I SING B FLAT, OH...
LOUISE
WE BOTH SING B FLAT -- OH....
HERBIE
WE ALL CAN BE FLAT OH....
ALL
TOGETHER!
ROSE
WHATEVER THE TRICK, WE CAN DO IT!
WITH TEAMWORK WERE BOUND TO GET THROUGH IT!
THERE REALLY ISNT ANYTHING TO IT -YOU DO IT.
I KNEW IT -WE BLEW IT -ALL
TOGETHER!
HERBIE
WHEN THE AUDIENCE BOOS,
LOUISE
WE DONT MISS OUR CUES!
ROSE
WE ALWAYS CAN USE WHAT THEY THROW!
THE FRUIT MAY FLY

ROSE (Contd)
BUT WHY COMPLAIN?
HERBIE & LOUISE
TOMATO SAUCE
GOES GREAT WITH CHOW MEIN
ROSE
TOGETHER -HERBIE & LOUISE
TOGETHER -ROSE
WHEREVER
HERBIE & LOUISE
WHEREVER -ALL
TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO!
(AGNES enters with letters)
AGNES
Here are the letters, Mme. Rose.
Thats a good girl.

ROSE
Now go to bed, Agnes.

AGNES
Now that Im an actress its Amanda.
ROSE
Whoever you are, go to bed.
AGNES
Could I ask Herbie a question first?
HERBIE
Sure.
AGNES
Herbie...do you think well ever work again?
ROSE
Of course we will!

HERBIE
Ill get us a booking, Amanda.
AGNES
Thank you, Herbert.
(Turns to go, then sees wig)
Louise, your hair!
LOUISE
Its yours if you want it.
AGNES
Gee, I always wanted to be a blonde!
ROSE
(Taking the wig from her)
Then get some peroxide and a toothbrush.
(AGNES goes off.

Wigs are expensive.

ROSE looks at wig)

Say, we could get a good refund for this if wed ever paid for
it.
HERBIE
How about getting a gallon of peroxide and a carton of
toothbrushes?
ROSE
What for?
HERBIE
Make em all blondes!
ROSE
I was only joking, Herbie.
LOUISE
Yes, but why not do it?
ROSE
Theyre children, Louise!
Theyre young girls, Momma.
pretty young girls.

LOUISE
With blonde hair, they could be

HERBIE
Itd sure jazz up the act and make it easier to sell.
call it, Mme. Rose and Her Blonde Babies.

We could

ROSE
Baby Blondes!
LOUISE
Nothing with babies.
HERBIE
Hollywood Blondes.
LOUISE
Yes!
ROSE
All blondes except you cause youre the star!
LOUISE
If Im the star, it should be: Louise and Her Hollywood
Blondes.
ROSE
(Looks at her then:)
Rose-Louise and Her Hollywood Blondes.
LOUISE
O.K.
/16A/

TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO
Rose, Louise & Herbie

(Encore)
ALL

(Sing)
WE GO IN A GROUP,
WE TOUR IN A TROUPE,
WE LAND IN THE SOUP,
BUT WE KNOW:
THE THINGS WE DO, WE DO BY THREES,
A PERFECT TEAM -ROSE
NO, THIS WAY LOUISE!
TOGETHER --

HERBIE & LOUISE


TOGETHER -ROSE
WHEREVER
HERBIE & LOUISE
WHEREVER
ALL
TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO!
DIM OUT
THE PLACARDS CHANGE TO READ:
THE BOTTOM
WICHITA
/16B/

CHANGE OF SCENE
- Orchestra
(Montage II)

ACT TWO
Scene 2
SCENE:

Backstage of a burlesque house,


Wichita. At one side, a large
theatre dressing room; upstage,
a curtain for the stage of the
theatre.
AGNES and other GIRLS in the act
come in. Each is awed; and each
has hair of the same, exact
hideous shade of white blonde.
AGNES

(In happy awe)


Its a real live theatre!
CIGAR
(Off)
Let in the traveler!
MARJORIE MAY
(Looking off)
With a real live stage!
AGNES
Oh Marjorie May, weve arrived at last!
(THEY squeal and hug each other as
LOUISE in slacks enters from
the alley, also carrying bags, props
and the cows head)
GERALDINE
Louise, look!
AGNES
A real live theatre!
LOUISE
(Happily)
Its just like opening day rehearsals used to be!
going to love it!

Oh, Mommas

PASTEY
(Off)
Will you kill them floods?
CIGAR
(Off)
Will you shut your hole?
AGNES
(Shocked)
She isnt going to love that!
MARJORIE MAY
(Pointing to the Stage)
Or that!
(ELECTRA, a drunken stripper,
crosses with effrontery.)
AGNES
What kind of an act is that?
PASTEY
(Off)
O.K., jailbait!
(He enters; young snot; with clipboard and pencil)
You the Hollywood Blondes?
LOUISE
Yes.

Im -PASTEY

Youre late.
LOUISE
Well, our car broke down and -PASTEY
Skip it. Some of you dogs can use the first dressing room, and
the rest of you the one past it. The first one you share with
Tessie Tura, the Texas Twirler -LOUISE
My mother doesnt --

PASTEY
The second with Mazeppa, Revolution in Dance. Shake it up.
(Starts to go, then turns back)
So youre the act thats supposed to keep cops out. Boy, you
must be lousy!
(Exits)
AGNES
He reminds me of my brother.
LOUISE
Dont start sniveling -- Amanda. You take the cow and anything
else you can carry in there. Marjorie May, you take the other
girls into the second room and start unpacking.
(She starts with props and bags for
the big dressing room. THE OTHERS
pick up their stuff and start for
the second room)
(In the dressing room, LOUISE and
AGNES start to hang up costumes,
etc.)
AGNES
Oooh, look at this!
(She is holding up a jeweled Gstring)
That Tessie Tura must be a very fancy lady!
(Puts the G-string on as a necklace)
LOUISE
(Trying to clean a messy dressing
table)
She must also be a pig!
(ROSE enters carrying more bags
and props)
ROSE
Louise?
LOUISE
In here, Momma.
(Goes to door)
Let me help you.

ROSE
(Looking around)
Baby, were back in a theatre!

Were back in a real theatre!

LOUISE
Momma, wheres Herbie?
ROSE
He went around front to check our billing.
(To PASTEY)
Good morning!
PASTEY
Oh, Jesus.
(As she turns back, SHE stops dead
and her mouth drops open. LOUISE
turns and she gapes too. Throwing
wild bumps savagely is TESSIE TURA,
a blowsy stripper wearing dainty
nothing and a G-string which does
not bump with her. She looks up,
during her exercises:)
TESSIE
It aint weighted right, goddammit. It scratches hell outa me
and it just dont bump when I do.
MAZEPPA
(A stripper crossing behind
TESSIE)
Maybe theres something wrong with your bumper.
(Exits)
TESSIE
Big joke. Im out there bumpin my brains off with no action
and shes bein witty! Hey you with the neck! I paid 6 bucks
for that G-string. Now, back where you found it!
AGNES
Yes, maam.
(She curtseys and takes off the Gstring as TESSIE goes off. ROSE looks at
LOUISE:)

Get the bags.

Get the cow.

ROSE
Get the props.
LOUISE

Now Momma -ROSE


You dont know what kind of people are out there on that stage.
You dont know what kind of a theatre this is.
Yes I do.

LOUISE
Its a house of burlesque.

ROSE
A house of burlesque. Do you know what that is? Filth, thats
what! I tell you, when your friend Herbie shows his face -LOUISE
Momma, Im sure Herbie didnt know -Not much, he didnt know!

ROSE
Agnes!

LOUISE
He got the booking over the telephone -ROSE
Agnes!
LOUISE
We were all so happy -ROSE
(Storming the dressing-room door)
AGNES, DAMMIT!
ROSE
Mme. Rose, you know my name is -ROSE
Your name is Agnes and I want you and the other girls out of
this hell hole in two seconds flat.
AGNES
But Madame Rose --

ROSE
March!
AGNES
Yes, maam.
(Goes)
(ROSE inside, starting to
pack up what has been
unpacked)
ROSE
Ill take the front end of the cow, you take the rear and what
bags we cant carry, your friend Herbie can damn well pick up
and carry himself.
(It is at this point that the door
is shut. ROSE turns and looks at
LOUISE leaning against it)
Now you listen to me, Louise. Just because you think your
friend Herbie can do no wrong -LOUISE
This has nothing to do with Herbie.
ROSE
You dont know what burlesque is.
LOUISE
Yes I do.
ROSE
NO YOU DONT. No daughter of mine is going to work in
burlesque. And no daughter of any woman I know -LOUISE
Then where are we going to work? Momma, how much money do we
have? Including whats left of their allowances, how much money
do we have?
ROSE
Somethingll turn up.

LOUISE
Well, it has turned up and this is it! Momma, were flat broke.
Weve got to take this job... Even if you wanted to quit and go
home, wed have to take it.
(ROSE stops in the act of taking a
costume off a hook. A pause. Then
abruptly, heavily, she sits)
ROSE
I had a dream.....
LOUISE
(Not another)
Oh, Momma....
ROSE
Youll like this one. I had it over a week ago, only I didnt
want to tell. I was home in Seattle, and the cow came into my
room. Only this time she wasnt dancing and smiling. She was
wheezing and sad-like. She came right over to my bed and looked
at me and she said: Rose, move over.
LOUISE
Im sorry, Momma.
Why?

ROSE
She didnt ask you to move over.

LOUISE
I mean Im sorry Im not good enough.

In the act.

ROSE
Oh, its the act that aint good enough, baby.
(HERBIE hurries in through the
alley door)
HERBIE
Rose?
LOUISE
(Opens the door)
In here, Herbie.

Or something.

HERBIE
(Runs in)
Rose, I didnt know, believe me.
ROSE
I do, honey. What the hell! The moneys good, its only two
weeks, and maybe by that time, somethingll turn up. Right?
LOUISE
Right.
HERBIE
Thank you.

Youre a nice girl, Rose.

ROSE
Thats show business.
(She starts to unpack again)
One good thing:

LOUISE
Ill bet we got top billing.
HERBIE

No, were featured though.


LOUISE
Second?
HERBIE
Actually, they had us lost in the middle. I thought last was
better, so it says: AND Rose-Louise and Her Hollywood
Blondes. And Im making them put a box around it. Theyll use
a lot of pictures.
Forget the box, Herbie.

ROSE
Forget the pictures.
LOUISE

But Momma if -ROSE


You dont know what they say in the business. But Herbie does.
They say when a vaudeville act plays in burlesque, that means
its all washed up.
(Pause)
Herbie... nothins gonna turn up for us, is it?

HERBIE
.....No.
ROSE
I guess it is a pretty rotten act.
It aint the act, honey.
dead.... stone cold dead.

HERBIE
I been telling you, vaudevilles
ROSE

Well -- we sure as hell tried!


HERBIE
We sure as hell did.
ROSE
Nobody can say we didnt last right up to the very end.
HERBIE
Sure as hell cant.
ROSE
Right?
LOUISE
Right.
Right.

HERBIE
Well, I better get the cues ready.
(Goes to door)

ROSE
Herbie -- how about marrying me?
(Turns around.
casually)

HERBIE
A moment. Then,

Sure!
ROSE
I love you, you know.
HERBIE
I know.

LOUISE
Do it today!
ROSE
Not while were in burlesque!
HERBIE
The day we close.
ROSE
Its a deal.
(THEY shake hands and suddenly
kiss)
Oh, I do, Herbie, I do.
HERBIE
So do I, Rose.
(PASTEY barges in. During the
next, TESSIE appears in the
corridor)
PASTEY
Hey Rose Louise, where the hells your music and light cues?
HERBIE
Ill be right with you.
PASTEY
(Snotty)
You Rose Louise?
HERBIE
Yeah, Im Rose Louise.
Thingsre looking up.
so move your ass.

PASTEY
Well, I got a show to open, Rose Louise,

(Before PASTEY can get out, HERBIE


has grabbed him, whirled him around
and holds him by the back of his collar)

HERBIE
Listen, you little punk. For the next two weeks, youre gonna
speak like a Sunday school teacher. You have something in this
theatre youve never seen before. A lady.
(Points him toward ROSE)
That is a lady.
(Points him toward LOUISE)
That is also a lady. Every girl in this damn act is a lady, you
understand?
PASTEY
Yes, sir.
HERBIE
Now get on stage and Ill give you those cues when Im ready.
PASTEY
Yes, sir.

Excuse me, maam.


(He goes out and off. ROSE kisses
HERBIE, who hikes his pants up.
He goes out but is stopped in the
corridor by TESSIE:)

TESSIE
Wont you give me your protection? Im a lady, too!
(On the last, a vivacious grind and
bump. The bumper flips)
The goddam thing worked!

Oh, sir?
Hey!

(She goes into the dressing room as


HERBIE goes off to the stage)
HERBIE
Oh, no, no, no...
TESSIE
Well, if you ladies will excuse me
ROSE
Were very busy.
TESSIE
In my dressing room.
ROSE
In your dress--

LOUISE
(Overlapping)
Momma -TESSIE
Youre damn right. And I dont like sharing it any more than
you do. Particularly with a troupe of professional virgins.
ROSE
We are not
TESSIE
All right, so youre acrobats.
ROSE
We happen to be headliners from the Orpheum Circuit.
booked into this theatre by mistake.

We were

TESSIE
Werent we all!
(Reaching for a costume ROSE has
unpacked)
Say! Who made that?
I did.

LOUISE
I make all our costumes.

TESSIE
My! Look at them lady-like little stitches! That miserable
broad thats been makin my gowns must be usin a fish hook!
LOUISE
What do you pay her?
TESSIE
25 bucks a gown and I provide the material.
ROSE
30.
TESSIE
Shes new in the business!
ROSE
30.

TESSIE
Whore you?

Her mother?
ROSE

Yes.
30.

TESSIE
Ill get the material after the matinee.
ROSE

Its a deal.
(To LOUISE)
Wheres your toreador costume?
LOUISE
The girls must have it in the dressing room with them.
ROSE
God knows what else they have in the dressing room with them.
(Exits)
TESSIE
Shes your mother?
LOUISE
Yes, shes my mother.
(A burly man, the MANAGER enters)
CIGAR
Tessie, Im short a talking woman.
TESSIE
Tough titty.
CIGAR
Tessie, the new comic wont use a chorus girl.
TESSIE
Then let him use Mazeppa.
(To LOUISE)
Everyone else has.
(Laughs at her joke)
CIGAR
Now you know Mazeppas got her Revolution Ballet just before his
spot.

Cut the ballet.

TESSIE
It stinks anyway.

Ah, be a sport.

CIGAR
Im in a bind.

TESSIE
Youre always in a bind in the flea-bitten trap. Im a strip
woman, slob. I dont do no scenes. Now screw!
(To LOUISE)
Have you ever heard of a first class strip woman playing scenes?
Well, you play stock in a dump like this; you gotta expect to be
insulted.
CIGAR
The work is steady, aint it?
TESSIE
But you bring in a new star for each show, dont you?
CIGAR
Tessie, its just a few lines -TESSIE
Fat boy, save your bad breath.
CIGAR
Ill give you ten bucks extra.
TESSIE
(Considering, then:)
Nah.
LOUISE
(As ROSE returns)
Excuse me. I can read lines.
CIGAR
Whore you?
Rose Louise.
Wait a minute.

LOUISE
Of Rose Louise and Her Hollywood Blondes.
ROSE
What kind of lines?

CIGAR
You in her act?
ROSE
Not exactly.
CIGAR
Shut up.
(To LOUISE)
How are your legs?
Great!

TESSIE
And Ill learn her the scenes.
CIGAR

O.K.

Ten bucks.
(Goes)
LOUISE

Its money, Momma.


ROSE
(Going to TESSIE)
What is she going to be saying out there on that stage?
TESSIE
The same burlesque junk thats been said since the Year One.
Say, where you been all your life?
ROSE
(Proudly)
Playing vaudeville.
TESSIE
Where?

In the Vatican?

ROSE
You name a big city and weve played it!
LOUISE
My grandpa says weve covered the country like gypsies!
TESSIE
Yeah? Well, you may be a gypsy, Rose Louise say, that aint a
bad name if you ever take up stripping

ROSE
She wont!
TESSIE
No! But youll let her feed lines to a bum comic for a lousy
ten bucks!
ROSE
Thats training: shes going to be an actress! This is only
temporary! As soon as we finish here, she goes right back to
vaudeville!
(She turns away and sees LOUISEs
look. Embarrassed, she goes with
a costume for the other room)
TESSIE
(Quietly)
Back to vaudeville, my eye.
except burlesque.

There aint any vaudeville left


LOUISE

We know.
You know.

TESSIE
You better wise her up.
LOUISE

(Sudden burst)
Shes wise! Shes a damn sight wiser than any of you!
TESSIE
(Shrugs)
Like mother, like daughter.
hurt? Yours or hers?

O.K.

Say, whose feelings did I

LOUISE
Neither.

(Smiles)
Well both be fine.

TESSIE
Gee, I hope so because sharing a dressing room is like sleeping
together. And if you dont get along with
(MAZEPPA comes storming in with
ELECTRA, another stripper almost
comatose from booze)

MAZEPPA
Miss Tura, Ill thank you not to give the boss any notion that I
would ever play scenes. And one more disparaging remark about
my ballet will find this bugle right up your
Please:

TESSIE
theres a lady present!
MAZEPPA

Where?
TESSIE
Open your eyes instead of your mouth.
And Miss Electra.

Gypsy, meet Miss Mazeppa

ELECTRA
Say, youre even younger than I was when I began stripping.
LOUISE
Oh, Im not going to strip.
ELECTRA
(Frightened)
Something wrong with stripping?
Oh, no.

Oh, no.

LOUISE
I just meant I dont have any talent.

TESSIE
You think they have? I myself of course was a ballerina. But
take it from me, to be a stripper all you need to have is no
talent.
MAZEPPA
Youll pardon me, but to have no talent is not enough.
need to have is an idea that makes your strip special.
(During the following number,
each of the THREE STRIPPERS demonstrates the gimmick that has made
her a star)
/17/

YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK Mazeppa, Electra &


Tessie
MAZEPPA
YOU CAN PULL ALL THE STOPS OUT

What you

MAZEPPA (Contd)
TILL THEY CALL THE COPS OUT,
GRIND YOUR BEHIND TILL YOURE BANNED,
BUT YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK
IF YOU WANNA GET A HAND.
YOU CAN SACRIFICE YOUR SACRO
WORKIN IN THE BACK ROW,
BUMP IN A DUMP TILL YOURE DEAD.
KID, YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK
IF YOU WANNA GET AHEAD.
YOU CAN -- !, YOU CAN -- !, YOU CAN -- !!!
THATS HOW BURLESQUE WAS BORN.
SO I -- !, AND I -- !, AND I -- !!!
BUT I DO IT WITH A HORN!
(Trumpet strip: MAZEPPA blows a
bugle as she bumps and grinds)
ONCE I WAS A SCHLEPPER,
NOW IM MISS MAZEPPA
WITH MY REVOLUTION IN DANCE.
YOU GOTTA HAVE A GIMMICK
IF YOU WANNA HAVE A CHANCE!!
ELECTRA
(Barely moving)
SHE CAN -- !, SHE CAN -- !, SHE CAN -- !!!
THEYLL NEVER MAKE HER RICH.
ME, I -- ! AND I -- ! AND I -- !!!
BUT I DO IT WITH A SWITCH!
(Bulb strip: ELECTRA has batteries
on her costume which make strategic
bulbs light up as she does her
bumps and grinds)
IM ELECTRIFYING, AND IM NOT EVEN TRYING.
I NEVER HAVE TO SWEAT TO GET PAID.
CAUSE IF YOU GOT A GIMMICK,
GYPSY GIRL YOUVE GOT IT MADE.
TESSIE
ALL THEM --!S AND THEM --!S AND THEM -- !!!S
AINT GONNA SPELL SUCCESS
ME, I -- ! AND I -- ! AND I -- !

-- !!!

-- !!!

TESSIE (Contd)
BUT I DO IT WITH FINESSE!
(Ballet strip: TESSIE does a pseudoballetic variation, punctuating
each classic step with a classic
bump)
DRESSY TESSIE TURA
IS SO MUCH MORE DEMURER
THAN ALL THEM OTHER LADIES BECAUSE!
YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK
IF YOU WANNA GET APPLAUSE
ALL
DO SOMETHIN SPECIAL;
ANYTHING THATS FRESHLL
EARN YOU A BIG FAT CIGAR.
YOURE MORE THAN JUST A MIMIC
WHEN YOU GOT A GIMMICK
TAKE A LOOK HOW DIFFERENT WE ARE!
(Bumps)
ELECTRA
IF YOU WANNA MAKE IT
TWINKLE WHILE YOU SHAKE IT.
TESSIE
IF YOU WANNA GRIND IT,
WAIT TILL YOUVE REFINED IT.
MAZEPPA
IF YOU WANNA BUMP IT,
BUMP IT WITH A TRUMPET!
ALL
GET YOURSELF A GIMMICK
AND YOU TOO
CAN BE A STAR!

ACT TWO
Scene 3
BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR
CIGAR is crossing as from off:
PASTEY
Kill the floods and bring in number four!
CIGAR
I tole ya we aint usin number four this show, ya pinhead!
HERBIE
(Runs on with a little bouquet)
Hey, you seen Amanda?
She must be packin.

PASTEY
Aint your act through today?
HERBIE

(Joyously)
You bet it is! Through finished over!
(AGNES comes on with suitcase.
HERBIE crosses to her as PASTEY
exits)
Hey, Ive been hunting all over for you.
(Gives her the bouquet)

Here.

AGNES
Oh, Herbie, its like for a funeral!
Its for the wedding!
bridesmaid, Amanda.

HERBIE
Mme. Rose and I want you to be
AGNES

No, its Agnes again.


HERBIE
Youll be happier as Agnes, Amanda.

TESSIE
(Runs on)
Oh youre leaving!
AGNES
I have to go home and let my hair grow out.
TESSIE
Ya poor kid.
PASTEY
(Off)
Tessie!
TESSIE
Well for the last time:
(Doing a grind, AGNES joins in)
Meet ya round the corner. In a half hour.
(AGNES breaks down on TESSIEs
bosom)
PASTEY
TESSIE!
TESSIE!

TESSIE
Im coming, ya creep!
(She hurries to the wings leading
to the stage. A farewell wave
to AGNES, a lift to her sagging
bosoms and she floats off like
a ballerina)

BLACKOUT
/17A/

CHANGE OF SCENE (Youll Never Get Away From Me)


Orchestra

ACT TWO
Scene 4
The dressing room looks emptier.
Most of ROSEs costumes, etc. have
been packed.
The lights are different. The
corridor is darker but streaked
with colored light coming from
the stage where the show is on
continuous under the scene.
HERBIE (in a different suit), ROSE
and LOUISE (in quiet centers) are
finishing packing. ROSE is
subdued; HERBIE is very up; LOUISE
keeps watching ROSE.
HERBIE
(To ROSE)
Arent you nervous?
life!

Ive never been so nervous in my whole

LOUISE
Youve never been married before.
HERBIE
Well, your mothers never been married before like shes going
to be this time. For keeps and forever to me! Honey, aint
you a little bit nervous!
ROSE
Sure.
(Steals TESSIEs shoes and
packs them)
HERBIE
(Admiring the marriage license)
Say, does the minister keep this, does he? I want to have it
framed. Framed and hanging in our living room.
LOUISE
(Holding the cow head)
What about this, Momma?

ROSE
Take it.
LOUISE
(Hastily)
We can hang her up in the living room, too, Herbie.
mantelpiece.

Over the

HERBIE
Rose honey, it aint that I dont know what youre feeling.
that I dont know I oughta keep my mouth shut. But Im so
goddam happy, I cant!

Or

(CIGAR and PASTEY enter the corridor from the stage. Their
dialogue and HERBIEs are simultaneous. ROSE listens to HERBIE)
HERBIE
Im finally getting everything I wanted! Even a
fancy ceremony with bridesmaids. Of course, what
the ministers going to say
when he gets a load of all
that hair, I dont know.
But the hell with him!
(ROSEs attention
shifts to the hall)

CIGAR
I dont know why the hell I
stay in this business. If it
aint one damn headache, its
another!
PASTEY
Ssh! Theyll hear you out
front.
CIGAR
Its my theatre, aint it?
Let em! Last show, no talking woman. Show before that,
no second banana. If that
crazy broad wasnt here, why
did you start the performance?

PASTEY
She dont go on till next to closing, and she said she was only
goin next door to the drugstore.
(HERBIE and then LOUISE become
aware that ROSE is standing dead
still, listening. THEY stand,
watching her, tense)
Whatd they arrest her for?

CIGAR
Shoplifting?

PASTEY
No, soliciting.
She always was greedy.

CIGAR
Cut the spot.

HERBIE
Honey, do you think we should invite the minister out for a
drink after?
PASTEY
Its the star strip.
CIGAR
Cut it.
PASTEY
Theyll yell murder if its only the same bags theyve been
seeing the past eight weeks. The stars the novelty!
Whaddya want me to do?

CIGAR
Let you strip?

(ROSE walks swiftly out of the


dressing room into the corridor)
My daughter can do it.

ROSE
Rose Louise.
PASTEY

Since when?
ROSE
Ever since shes been here to see how little there is to it.
CIGAR
(A moment)
She didnt look bad in them scenes.
ROSE
Shell look great in her own gowns.
PASTEY
Whats the gimmick?

Shes young.

CIGAR
And you got any better ideas?
PASTEY

(Exiting up R)
Well, she better get ready right damn now.
ROSE
Its the star spot.
CIGAR
You telling me?
ROSE
That means the star salary.
CIGAR
If we keep her.
You will.

ROSE
Shes going to be wonderful!
(The MEN go off as SHE runs excitedly into the dressing room and
begins opening a suitcase. HERBIE
and LOUISE stand dead still,
watching)

I knew something would turn up! Wheres that dress you were
making for Tessie? Itll work perfect for you!
(Gets dress out)
Well, come on get your make-up on, there aint much time! Oh,
silly, youre not really gonna strip! All youll do is walk
around the stage in time to the music and drop a shoulder strap
at the end. Youre a lady like Herbie says you are! You just
parade so grand theyll think its a big favor if you even show
them your knee -(HERBIE leaves the room)
Louise, its the star spot! I always promised my daughter wed
be a star!
(Still, LOUISE just stands)
(Quieter:)
Baby, its all right to walk out when they want you. But we
cant walk out now when after all these rotten years, were
still a flop. Thats quitting.

ROSE (Contd)
We cant quit because were a flop.
(A beat)
Louise...dont be like June. Just do this, so we can walk away
proud because we made it! Maybe only in burlesque, maybe only
in second-rate burlesque at that but lets walk away a star!
/18/

INCIDENTAL

(Act Two, Scene 4)


Orchestra

(LOUISE unbuttons her coat and turns


as music starts. ROSE hugs her, helps
her; then rummages for the dress as
LOUISE begins quickly to get ready)
I guess there aint enough time to finish the dress, but we can
pin it. Hey, heres some material for extra panels! Didnt I
tell you you were born lucky? You can unpin em and drop em
every once in a while so theyll think youre taking something
off. Not too much make-up, baby. Young and girlish. Pure.
Dont smear that junk all over your face like they do. You just
keep your mouth the way the Lord made it... No rouge. No beauty
marks. You be a lady: grand; elegant...with a classy, ladylike walk. Shoes. My God! Shoes!... Well, we can use these
old silver ones we borrowed from Tessie.
(She takes them from her own suitcase)
Theyll do for this performance... Come on. Get into em.
(As LOUISE does)
Oh no your hairs wrong. You cant let it just hang like
spaghetti. Its got to have class! Fluff it out in front.
Thank God, the Lord gave us good color -- and that you washed it
this morning... Say do you think we should put in a couple of
feathers?
(Tries some)
No, thats what they all do.
(Tosses them aside)
Jewelry? No jewelry. Let Tessie and the others wear all the
vulgar junk they want.
PASTEY
(Rushes in)
She almost ready She goes on in 5 minutes.

ROSE
(Pushing him out)
Shell be there. Shell be there! Come on, get into the dress.
(LOUISE exits to change into
the strip dress)
What are these? Oh my wedding present from Tessie. Good for
a lady. Wear em... Now lets see what else?... Music!
(Flips through sheet music in
suitcase)
Military? No. Spanish? No. Cow?
(Considers)
No. Say, you can do Junes Let Me Entertain You number! Ill
mark it for the conductor to repeat two choruses slow -- no, two
and a half choruses, and sing out, Louise. You just walk and
dip...My girls a lady; you make em beg for more and then dont
give it to them!... Now -- lets see. Anything else?
(On this last, HERBIE enters the
dressing room. He is almost shaking with anger and his effort to
control it)
Where you been?

Out front?

HERBIE
No, I got sick to my stomach, and threw up.
ROSE
But you feel better now.
HERBIE
No.
ROSE
Herbie I just had to.
HERBIE
Thats why Im leaving.
ROSE
I apologize.
(Incidental music fades out)

HERBIE
No, let me. For my resemblance to a mouse. No: to a worm -the way Ive crawled after you. No more, Rose. I wont. I was
even going to crawl away from you because my stomach started
to turn over at the idea of coming back and telling you were
finished.
ROSE
Tell me tomorrow after were married.
HERBIE
Were never getting married, Rose.
We certainly are!

ROSE
First thing in the morning, well --

HERBIE
Never. Not if you got down on your knees and begged. Oh, I
still love you -- but all the vows from here to doomsday... they
couldnt make you a wife. I want a wife. Im going to be a man
if it kills me.
ROSE
(Angrily)
So youre killing me!
HERBIE
Nobody can kill you.
ROSE
Youre jealous. Just like every man Ive ever known! Jealous
because my girls come first. Well, they always did and they
always will!
HERBIE
Then why did June leave?
ROSE
I dont wanna hear her name!
HERBIE
She didnt want the act any more than Louise wants this!
ROSE
Louise does!

HERBIE
Shell leave like June did!
ROSE
Never!

Shes gonna be a star.

HERBIE
Shes gonna be a star! If it kills you and her, shes gonna be
a star someplace! Where are you gonna be when she gets married?
ROSE
She wont be getting married for years shes a baby!
HERBIE
Sure!
ROSE
Anyway, her career will always come first.
(She sits, looks over the music
defiantly)
HERBIE
Thats right. That-is-right.
(Picks up his suitcase, and starts out)
ROSE
Herbie...why does everybody walk out?
HERBIE
Maybe Louise wont.
(Starts out)
ROSE
Dont leave, Herbie...I need you.
HERBIE
...What for?
ROSE
A million things.
HERBIE
Just one would be better. Goodbye, honey.
(Quietly, he goes out the door.
Music starts)

Be a good girl.

ROSE
You go to hell!
(He stops, then continues out
and PASTEY runs in)
PASTEY
Come on, get her music to the conductor and you better stand by
me for the light cues. I just hope you know what youre doing.
(Races out)
(ROSE walks to the white gloves.
She has them in her hand, and is
glaring at them as LOUISE comes
out and takes the gloves from her.
ROSE picks up the music)
ROSE
Ill take this to the conductor. Just remember youre a lady!
(With anguished determination)
And you-are-going-to-be-a-star!
/18A/

INCIDENTAL
Orchestra

(The scene continues)

(Music in hand, she walks out


leaving LOUISE along before a long
mirror in the dressing room. As
she draws on the white gloves, the
music continues and the light in the
corridor goes dark. There is a soft
glow on the mirror as FIGURES scurry
through the corridor outside saying:
Lets watch from the wings.
No, Im going out front.
Whats she gonna do?
She aint the type.
Shell quit halfway through.
How do you know?
Shell never make it.
Come on, lets get a good place.
During this, the dressing room has
been rolling off, leaving only the
mirror. The only light on the stage
is the glow of the mirror bulbs; the
only figure is LOUISE. She looks
at herself, goes close to the mirror

to check her make-up, then suddenly


stops. She touches her body lightly,
moves back, straightens up and stares
at her reflection. Very softly:)
LOUISE
Momma...Im pretty...Im a pretty girl, Momma!
(She turns from the mirror and
begins to walk away from it, as though
she were going in the direction of the
stage. The mirror moves off, the
lights come up and we are on the
stage. The curtain is upstage; strip
music can be heard, a dim stripper can
be seen through the curtain. ROSE,
who is peering through, turns around
and sees LOUISE)
ROSE
(Softly)
You look beautiful!
TESSIE
(Runs on with an old boa which
she wraps around LOUISE)
For luck, honey!
ROSE
Are you nervous?
LOUISE
...What?
ROSE
I said are you nervous, Baby?
LOUISE
No, Mother.
(ROSE goes. The offstage (incidental)
music ends; there is applause as the
weary stripper comes on from behind the
curtain, looks at LOUISE and goes off.
PASTEY grabs a microphone:)
PASTEY
Wichitas one and only Burlesque Theatre presents

LOUISE
(Nervous after all)
Momma
PASTEY
Miss Gypsy Rose Lee!
/19/

GYPSY STRIP ROUTINE Louise & Showgirls


TESSIE

Louise!
(Everyone exits but LOUISE who stands
before the curtain. A roll of the drum,
the curtains part and LOUISE steps forward.
Another drum roll: and blinding lights
shine directly into the eyes of the audience.
A total blackout. When the lights go on again,
LOUISE is down-stage, in a bright spot, facing
the audience before a curtain)
LOUISE
(Barely singing)
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
LET ME MAKE YOU SMILE
ROSE
(From the wings)
Sing out, Louise!
(LOUISE sings a little louder. She
ventures to look around at the male
audience)
LOUISE
LET ME DO A FEW TRICKS, SOME OLD AND THEN SOME
NEW TRICKS,
IM VERY VERSATILE,
AND IF YOURE REAL GOOD
ILL MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
I WANT YOUR SPIRITS TO CLIMB
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU AND WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD
TIME, YES SIR!
WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME.
CIGAR
Do something!

(LOUISE shoots a panicky look to


ROSE)
ROSE
Dip!

Dip!
(LOUISE does, but not too well)
CIGAR

(In disgust)
Take something off!
LOUISE
Momma!
ROSE
A glove.

Give em a glove!
(LOUISE hurriedly takes one off.
Now what?)
Say something!
LOUISE
Hello
(Hears a response, sees a MAN
smiling at her, begins to relax)
Everybody. My name is Gypsy Rose
(What? Then she remembers and
discovers who she is)
Lee.
(She likes this new self. A
sexual look to the man out front)
Whats yours -- sir?
(Smiles)
Mr. Conductor, if you please.
(She may not walk well yet, but
its clear shes going to. Shes
enjoying herself. A dropped shoulder
strap just before she exits confirms
it. Sings:)
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
AND WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME, YES SIR!
WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME!
(Exits)
(LIGHT CHANGE on curtain, and --)

ANNOUNCERS VOICE
The Alhambra Theatre of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly
Love, brings all you brothers a Liberty Bell youll want to ring
and ring and ring!
(Music builds and out she comes in
a glittering, tight dress. Shes
poised now and shes beginning to
use humor:)
LOUISE
(Sings)
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
LET ME MAKE YOU SMILE
(To drum accents)
Im beginning to like this...I like that. I think Ill do that
again. My mother
[bam]
- who got me into this business
[wriggle]
- always told me
[pulling up dress]
- make em beg for more
[drops dress]
- and then dont give it to them!
[Drum. Walk, walk]
But Im not my muthah!
[a paroxysm of pelvic writhing and wiggling]
So if you beg for more
[bam, bam]
- Ill give it to you.
(Sings)
AND WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD -(Starts dropping the top of
her dress, wraps the curtain
around her and says:)
Beg!
(Shes off. LIGHTS CHANGE
and an ANNOUNCERs voice)
ANNOUNCERS VOICE
The Hope Diamond Burlesque of Detroit presents a new jewel in
our glittering crown, that shimmering, shattering young star -Miss Gypsy Rose Lee!

LOUISE
(Wearing a strapless gown
and huge hat)
Sorry Im late, fellers. I had to have dinner with the Henry
Fords. God, I couldnt wait to get home and take my clothes
off. Well Im home!
(Shimmies out of the dress, just
covering herself with the hat
before it drops to the floor)
What am I going to do when big hats go out?
(BLACKOUT.
LIGHT CHANGE on the curtain and
another ANNOUNCERs voice)
ANNOUNCERS VOICE
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Minskys World Famous Burlesque
takes great pride and pleasure in presenting in her personal
flesh the undisputed queen of the Strip Tease the one and
only the now and forever the incomparable Miss Gypsy
Rose Lee in our salute to the Garden of Eden.
(Thousands of Angel Voices and
a few tawdry SHOWGIRLS in tacky
leaves and apples who parade
around before the entrance of
the star and toss apples to the
audience. She is a knockout in
a glamorous, sophisticated gown
designed to come off in pieces.
As she chants to her audience,
she walks around the stage to
a sexy drum beat. A MAID comes
on with a silver tray to collect
her earrings and gloves)
LOUISE
Pack up your apples, girls, and back to the trees.
(THEY go)
Bon soir, messieurs et messieurs. Je mappelle Gypsy Rose Lee
et je suis dans le jardin de ma mere Eve Minsky. And that
concludes my entire performance -- in French. Ive been too
busy learning
(Grabs her behind)

LOUISE (Contd)
Greek. Where were you last night? Some men accused me of being
an ecdysiast. Do you know what that means? He does. Hes
embarrassed. Dont be embarrassed. I like men without hair.
(To upper balcony)
Dont worry fellas. I know youre up there. Up there, you know
what ecdysiast means...An ecdysiast is one who -- or that which
-- sheds its skin. In vulgar parlance, a stripper. But Im not
a stripper. At these prices, Im an ecdysiast.
(Sings)
AND IF YOURE REAL GOOD,
ILL MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD,
I WANT YOUR SPIRITS TO CLIMB.
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU
AND WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME,
YES SIR!
WELL HAVE A REAL GOOD TIME!
(The curtains have been closing in,
framing her. She now has only one
article of clothing left to take off.
She grabs the curtain to cover herself
and drags it across the stage as she sings
the last eight of Let Me Entertain You.
The lights iris down so that on the
last note, only a spot is on her and it
goes out at the crucial moment)
/19A/

CHANGE OF SCENE (Let Me Entertain You)


Orchestra

ACT TWO
Scene 5
LOUISES DRESSING ROOM.
The basic crumminess of the room is
all but hidden by the trappings its
occupant has installed: gleaming
bottles; a nude statue festooned
with feathers and a rhinestone Gstring; souvenirs; a tree of big
hats.
ROSE holds the cows head as she
talks to RENE, LOUISEs maid.
ROSE
Sure I saw that sign! If I can read the fine print in our
contracts, I can certainly read letters two feet high: THE
MOTHER OF MISS GYPSY ROSE LEE IS NOT ALLOWED BACKSTAGE AT THIS
THEATRE. You know what I did with that sign? I tore it off
the wall, spread it on the floor, and set Chowsie III down on
it. That dogs a trouper: she knew what to do!... Itll take
more than signs to keep me out of a theatre!
(The door opens and LOUISE enters
in an elegant dressing gown. She
is singing until she sees ROSE.
And the cow head on her dressing table)
LOUISE
(Pointing at the cow)
That goes now.
(Sits at the dressing table and
swiftly sets about repairing her
make-up)
ROSE
You need something to remind you that your goal was to be a
great actress, not a cheap stripper.
LOUISE
Junes the actress, Mother. And Im not a cheap stripper. Im
the highest paid in the business. Bring my press agent in as
soon as he gets here.

RENE
Yes, madam.
(Goes out with the furs and the cow
head)
ROSE
Arent you going to take your bath?
LOUISE
Yes, Mother.
ROSE
Then why are you fixing your face?
LOUISE
A photographers coming.
ROSE
Wheres he going to photograph you?

In the tub?

LOUISE
Eventually.
ROSE
(Shocked)
Louise!!
LOUISE
Its for Vogue.
ROSE
Louise!!

(Elated)
Well I better get out our scrapbooks.

LOUISE
Phils taken care of all that.
ROSE
Phil! Hes a rotten press agent. He never tells em we
headlined the Orpheum Circuit.
(Phone rings)
LOUISE
(Beating her to it)
Hello?...

Hello.

LOUISE (Contd)
(Intimately)
No, its difficult right now.
ROSE

Im not leaving.
LOUISE
Ill see you at the party... Yes, I promise.
(Hangs up)

bientt.

ROSE
bien what?
LOUISE
I guess Im being a little much but Momma, I love it.
ROSE
All right so...whos giving the party?
LOUISE
Some friends.
ROSE
In the old days, I was always invited first.
(Very grandly)
I wouldnt go even if I did have something to wear. I got more
important things to do like thinking up an idea for a new
strip for us.
LOUISE
Mother, were still stuck with that wind machine you bought to
blow my clothes off... Actually Im putting in a new number on
Saturday.
ROSE
...What is it?
LOUISE
Youll see.
ROSE
Ill see.
LOUISE
Let me surprise you.

ROSE
These days, youre just one big surprise after another...we have
to go shopping tomorrow for the material for the gown.
LOUISE
Ive got a French lesson tomorrow.
Oh. Well, Ill go alone.
mind?

ROSE
Any particular color you have in

LOUISE
Mother Ive already started to make the gown.
ROSE
Oh... Well, I better run your bath.
LOUISE
Thats what Ive got a maid for.

You dont have to.

ROSE
LET ME DO SOMETHING, DAMMIT!
LOUISE
What, Mother?
A million things.

ROSE
Im not a baby.
LOUISE

Neither am I.
ROSE
Dont you take that tone to me. Your sister used to get that
edge to her voice
LOUISE
I am not June!
ROSE
Youre not Louise, either!
LOUISE
And neither are you!

ROSE
Oh yes I am! More than you, Miss Gypsy Rose Lee -- with your
dirty pictures for Vogue!
LOUISE
Mother
ROSE
And your maids and your press agents and your fancy friends and
their fancy parties!
LOUISE
They happen -ROSE
Your loud-mouth mother aint invited to those goddam parties.
They laugh at her!
LOUISE
They dont -ROSE
They DO! And dont think I dont know thats one reason why you
dont want me backstage: so I wont hear em laugh. Well, its
them you oughta keep out, not me! Because theyre laughing at
you, too! You, the burlesque queen who speaks lousy French and
reads book reviews like they was books!
LOUISE
Turn it off, Mother.
ROSE
Do you know what you are to them? A circus freak.
novelty act! And when the bill is changed

This years

LOUISE
I SAID TURN IT OFF! Nobody laughs at me because I laugh
first! At me! ME from Seattle; me with no education; me
with no talent as youve kept reminding me my whole life.
Well, look at me now: a star! Look how I live. Look at my
friends! Look where Im going! Im not staying in burlesque.
Im moving maybe up, maybe down -- but wherever it is, Im
enjoying it! Mama, Im having the time of my life because for
the first time, it is my life! And I love it! I love every
second of it and Ill be damned if youre going to take it away
from me! I AM Gypsy Rose Lee! I love her and if you dont,
you can clear out right now!

(A moment: ROSE stares at her,


stunned. Then a knocking on the
door and RENE enters)
RENE
Your Press Agent is here with the photographer.
LOUISE
Tell him Ill be ready in a minute.
(Quieter)
Momma, we cant go shouting seven performances of this a week.
The whole family shouts:
railroad tracks.

ROSE
it comes from our living so near the
LOUISE

Im getting an ulcer.
ROSE
You think Im not?
LOUISE
Yes, I think youre not. And if you want an ulcer, Momma, get
one of your own. You cant have mine.
ROSE
(Frustrated)
Everybody has stomach trouble but me.
LOUISE
Mother, you fought your whole life. I wish you could relax now

ROSE
You need more mascara on your left eye.
LOUISE
Momma, you have got to let go of me!
ROSE
Let go?
LOUISE
Ill give you anything you want

ROSE
You need me!
LOUISE
A house, a farm, a school -- a dramatic school for kids?
were always great with kids!

You

ROSE
(Cutting in)
Im a pro! Not an old work horse you can turn out to pasture
just because you think youre riding high on your own!
LOUISE
Momma, no kid does it all on his own but I am not a kid any
more! From now on, even if I flop, I flop on my own!
(Knock on door)
PHIL
(Off)
Hey, Gyps, what do you say?
ROSE
So long, Rose, thats what she says.
your way out.

Dont slam the door on

(Starts to go, but is pushed aside


by the PRESS AGENT and PHOTOGRAPHERS)
PHIL
(As he enters)
Hi, Rose. Gyps, baby, may I present, Monsieur Bougeron-Cochon.
LOUISE
Enchant, Monsieur.
BOUGERON-COCHON
Enchant.
PHIL
Lets make with the oiseau, kiddies.
plunge. All set...

One before you take the

(LOUISE takes a cheesecake pose)


Fine!

ROSE
All right, Miss. But just one thing I want to know. All the
working and pushing and finagling... All the scheming and
scrimping -- all the lying awake nights figuring: how we gonna
get from one town to the next? How do we all eat on a buck?
How do I make an act out of nothing? Whatd I do it for? You
say I fought my whole life. I fought your whole life. So now
tell me: whatd I do it for?
LOUISE
(After a moment)
I thought you did it for me...Momma.
(ROSE stares, then turns
and goes out)
Come on, smile, Gyps.
/20/

PHIL
Show us your talent!

INCIDENTAL Orchestra
(She poses)
PHIL

Thats it!
(Flashbulb explodes)

BLACKOUT

ACT TWO
Scene 6
The empty stage with
a ghost light.
ROSE
I thought you did it for me, Momma. I thought you did it for
me, Momma... I thought you made a no-talent ox into a star
because you like doing things the hard way, Momma.
(Louder)
And you havent any talent! not what I call talent! Talent
for the deaf dumb and blind maybe. Not an ounce of it, Miss
Gypsy Rose Lee. I made you! and you wanna know why? You
wanna know why I did it? Because I was born too soon and
started too late, thats why! With what I have in me, I
couldve been better than ANY OF YOU! What I got in me what I
been holding down inside of me -- oh, if I ever let it out,
there wouldnt be signs big enough! There wouldnt be lights
bright enough! HERE SHE IS BOYS!
(Chord)
HERE SHE IS, WORLD!
(Chord)
HERES ROSE!!
/21/

ROSES TURN Rose (Orchestra men)


ROSE

(Sung)
CURTAIN UP!!!
LIGHT THE LIGHTS.
(Spoken)
Play it, boys.
(Sung)
YOU EITHER GOT IT,
OR YOU AINT -AND BOYS I GOT IT!
YOU LIKE IT?
ORCHESTRA MEMBERS
(Shout)
Yeah!
ROSE
WELL, I GOT IT.
SOME PEOPLE GOT IT

ROSE (Contd)
AND MAKE IT PAY.
SOME PEOPLE CANT EVEN
GIVE IT AWAY.
THIS PEOPLES GOT IT
AND THIS PEOPLES SPREADING IT AROUND.
YOU EITHER HAVE IT
OR YOUVE HAD IT.
(Spoken)
Hello everybody! My name is Rose.
them eggrolls, Mr. Goldstone?

Whats yours?

(Sung)
HOLD YOUR HATS
AND HALLELUJAH,
MOMMAS GONNA SHOW IT TO YA.
(Spoken)
Ready or not, here comes Momma!
(Sung)
MOMMAS SINGIN OUT,
MOMMAS DOIN FINE,
MOMMAS GETTIN HOT,
MOMMAS GOIN STRONG,
MOMMAS MOVIN ON,
MOMMAS ALL ALONE,
MOMMA DOESNT CARE,
MOMMAS LETTIN LOOSE,
MOMMAS GOT THE STUFF,
MOMMAS LETTIN GO,
MOMMA -MOMMAS -MOMMAS GOT THE STUFF,
MOMMAS GOT TO MOVE,
MOMMAS GOT TO GO,
MOMMA -MOMMAS -MOMMAS GOTTA LET GO -WHY DID I DO IT?
WHAT DID IT GET ME?
SCRAP BOOKS FULL OF ME -IN THE BACKGROUND.
GIVE EM LOVE AND WHAT DOES IT GET YOU?

How dya like

ROSE (Contd)
WHAT DOES IT GET YOU?
ONE QUICK LOOK AS EACH OF EM LEAVES YOU.
ALL YOUR LIFE AND WHAT DOES IT GET YOU?
THANKS A LOT AND OUT WITH THE GARBAGE.
THEY TAKE THE BOWS
AND YOURE BATTIN ZERO.
I HAD A DREAM -I DREAMED IT FOR YOU,
JUNE,
IT WASNT FOR ME,
HERBIE.
AND IF IT WASNT FOR ME
THEN WHERE WOULD YOU BE,
MISS GYPSY ROSE LEE!
WELL, SOMEONE TELL ME
WHEN IS IT MY TURN?
DONT I GET A DREAM FOR MYSELF?
STARTIN NOW ITS GOIN TO BE MY TURN!
GANGWAY, WORLD,
GET OFFA MY RUNWAY!
STARTIN NOW I BAT A THOUSAND.
THIS TIME, BOYS, IM TAKIN THE BOWS
AND EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSE
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES
EVERYTHINGS COMING UP ROSES
THIS TIME FOR ME!
FOR ME FOR ME FOR ME FOR ME FOR ME!
(During the number, a sign with
ROSE in electric lights has come
down. At the end it is still
blazing as is the whole stage.
A bright spotlight is on ROSE as
she bows to the applause. And
bows again and again.
The spot goes with her as she moves
to one side while the ROSE lights
begin to drop out. She bows again.
Now the ROSE lights are gone and
the stage light is diminishing.

Still, she bows again.


Only her spot is left now. The
applause is dying out. Her spot
is reduced; she is on a dim glow.
Applause peters out, then ends,
but not for ROSE. She still hears
it. She takes a slow, deep bow
to a total silence. Then slowly
LOUISE walks on applauding. She
looks elegant in an evening gown
with a mink coat over her shoulders.
ROSE straightens up with an embarrassed
smile and says:)
ROSE
I was just trying out a few new ideas you might want to use...
LOUISE
You really would have been something, Mother.
ROSE
Think so?
LOUISE
If you had had someone to push you like I had...
ROSE
If I couldve been, I wouldve been. And thats show
business... I guess I did do it for me.
LOUISE
Why, Mother?
ROSE
Just wanted to be noticed.
LOUISE
Like I wanted you to notice me.
(ROSE looks at her and starts
to cry. LOUISE stands for a
moment, then:)
O.K., Momma...
(Walks to ROSE and puts her
arms around her)
Its O.K., Rose.

(A moment, then ROSE backs


away)
ROSE
Say, you look like you should speak French!
LOUISE
Youre coming to that party with me.
ROSE
No.
LOUISE
Come on.
ROSE
Like this?
You can wear my stole.

LOUISE
I have another one in the box office.

ROSE
Well just for an hour or two. Say, this looks better on me
than you!... Funny how can we both wear the same size.
LOUISE
Especially in mink.
ROSE
You know, I had a dream last night.
(LOUISE laughs)
It was a big poster of a mother and daughter -- like the cover
of that ladies magazine.
LOUISE
Yes, Mother?
ROSE
(Stops moving)
Only it was you and me, wearing exactly the same gown.
an ad for Minsky and the headline said:
(She traces the name in the air)
MADAME ROSE -(LOUISE gives her a look; ROSE
catches it and, moving her hand
up to give LOUISE top billing,

It was

says:)
ROSE (Contd)
And HER DAUGHTER, GYPSY!
(LOUISE laughs and walks upstage
and off. ROSE lets LOUISE precede
her and starts to follow. The
ROSE lights come on again. She
moves toward them, looking up at
them -- and they start to go out.
She is still reaching up hoping
as --)
THE CURTAIN FALLS
/22/

CURTAIN CALLS
Orchestra
(After final curtain)

/23/

EXIT MUSIC
Orchestra