Comedy (2015)

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Michael, newly divorced, broke and depressed, has taken up residence at the apartment of his best friend, Alice. Prompted by Alice, Michael begins to rework a discarded film noir novel. He soon runs into trouble when his femme fatale, Maxie Malone, comes to life with an agenda of her own – one that does not include Alice. Blithe Spirit meets The Maltese Falcon.

MICHAEL ALEXANDER, 30’s or 40’s, a recently divorced writer.
ALICE MARTIN, 30’s or 40’s, Michael’s platonic best friend for over 20 years.
MAXIE MALONE, 20’s, Michael’s creation, a film noir movie siren.
DELIVERY PERSON, Chinese, offstage voice
PUPPY, a dog, or a person with a dog puppet

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Alice’s New York City apartment, a walkup in Queens. Obviously this is a woman who loves movies. Her shelves are stocked with books and DVDs, and movie posters are the main décor. There are many tchotchkes. It is a cluttered but not messy apartment – or at least it was before Michael came to stay.

Chinese delivery person is just a voice, could be male or female. Same for the person using the dog puppet at the end. Quick costume changes are needed for Maxie at the beginning of Scene 2. A wig and layered clothing may be helpful.

It helps to have some knowledge of film noir style. The dialogue is stylized in places and should be delivered in classic “hard boiled” style.

The other important note is the relationship between Michael and Alice is clearly affectionate, yet platonic. Michael’s journey is about self-acceptance without a romantic relationship to validate it.

Full-length Play / 60 minutes
Cast: 1M, 2F