Angels We Have Heard on High
Joy to the World
Hark How the Bells
O Holy Night
Jingle Tingle (Sleigh Ride)
Deck the Halls
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
(ROCHES: QUIET LIGHT JAZZY MOUTH-INSTRUMENT VERSION OF JOY TO THE WORLD, AND UNDER----)
GK: A quiet tasteful Christmas is what I want. A civilized Christmas, what I think of as a New York Christmas.
(LIGHT CLINKING OF SILVERWARE ON CHINA. 10 SEC.)
TR: More wine?
SS: Thank you. (POURING WINE)
TR: It goes well with the Szechuan turkey, don't you think?
SS: It does.
TR: What a lovely Christmas. I love the bonsai tree. And the two tiny origami ornaments.
SS: Thank you. And thank you for the haiku.
TR: Did you like it?
SS: It was perfect. Exactly 17 syllables.
TR: Thank you for the paper clip.
SS: Do you like it?
TR: It's beautiful.
GK: That's how I imagine Christmas in New York.
SS: Let's go to a movie.
SS: I'll just clean up first. Throw away the little white containers. (LIGHT SFX) And the plastic forks and the paper plates. (SFX) There. Done.
GK: Christmas in Minnesota is different. Your home is overrun with Goths and Visigoths (BARBARIC HORDES ARRIVING) and they hunker down at the table and eat like wild swine (BARBARIC EATING, BELCHING) and afterward they camp in your living room and the Christmas presents are brought out and there's a lot of pillaging and plundering (BARBARIC DESTRUCTION, AND GLEEFUL CRIES) and then they ride away (HORSES, BARBARIANS LEAVING) and your home is in ruins (SS SOBBING) and it takes you until April to recover. (QUIET TRAGIC PIANO CHORDS) So that's why I went to see the psychiatrist.
SS: (FLEXNER): So ---- tell me what's going on in your life ----
GK: What's going on? Christmas.
SS: All right ----- the Kleenex is right there ---- I've got extra in the closet.
GK: I'm trying to make a nice Christmas for everybody.
GK: I want my momma to have a nice Christmas. And my sister who's blind. And my young brother Tim who's crippled and ---- well, there's a lot of people.
SS: You can't be responsible for other people's ha-ha-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h----
GK: Not so easy to say is it. (BRIDGE) Christmas can be tough. And it comes on you suddenly. The doorbell rings and you go, thinking it's Jehovah's Witnesses and you're all set to show them your Lutheran ID, and instead---- (DOOR OPEN) it's Christmas.
(ROCHES, ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH, ONE VERSE)
GK: It's a group of angels in Spandex running pants and ski masks and their wings folded into backpacks, standing there on your porch which is a mess with all the recycling and boxes of cans and bottles and bicycles and a hammock, but here they are, angels.
(ROCHES, ANGELS, SECOND VERSE) (PIANO BRIDGE)
GK: And you feel inspired and filled with light and mercy. You only want to be a good person and bring happiness and joy into the world and then your sister calls. (PHONE RING) You can tell it's her. The phone has an accusatory sound to it. (PHONE RING) (PICK UP) Hello Joyce, merry Christmas, good to hear from you.
SS: Right. Listen. You know the poinsettia plant that you sent Mama for Christmas? Listen. A leaf from the poinsettia fell into her tossed salad and she ate it and she's in the hospital.
GK: What? Oh my gosh. That's terrible. I feel so bad.
SS: Right. They may have to operate.
GK: Oh no. My little mama. In the hospital for Christmas. It's all my fault.
SS: Right. Anyway---- I'm calling to see if you mailed those letters I gave you to mail two weeks ago.
GK: What letters? Oh no---- they're in the car. I put them up above the visor----- I'm sorry. I'll mail them today. I promise.
SS: So you didn't mail them, right?
GK: I'm sorry.
SS: One of them was the check to pay the premium for Mama's medical insurance.
GK: Oh no. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
GK: I mean it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
SS: And the other letter was a birthday card. It's Mama's birthday today. Did you forget?
GK: I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. (BRIDGE) And I sat there in the dark, thinking about Mama. Thinking about how she'd always wanted to go on a cruise. (BOAT HORN) A cruise to the sunny Caribbean. (GULLS) Get Mama out of the frozen tundra and get her a cabin on a luxury cruise ship (BOAT HORN) to Antigua and Barbados and the French Indies (TR FRENCH) and she'd go to beach parties and dance (CARIBBEAN STEEL GUITAR, DRUMS) ----- my little Mama in her grass skirt and her muu-muu having a wonderful time ----- I knew that's what she wanted, I knew it because she told me she didn't want it----- I had called her up that morning.
SS (MAMA): Hi Buddy.
GK: Mama, I called to tell you about a wonderful idea I had.
SS (MAMA): That's wonderful, Buddy ---- listen, I'm on the other line with the hospital ---- let me put you on Hold.
GK: Okay, Mama. ---- So she put me on Hold.
(ROCHES, ON PHONE. SLEIGH RIDE, ONE VERSE)
SS (MAMA): Okay, I'm back----
GK: Oh mama---- how are you?
SS (MAMA): You don't want to know.
GK: So I told her all about the Caribbean cruise that was leaving Miami on Christmas Eve.
SS (MAMA): It's too expensive, Buddy.
GK: I want to give it to you.
SS (MAMA): It costs too much money.
GK: I'll find the money.
SS (MAMA): You can't afford that, Buddy.
GK: I can.
SS (MAMA): You should save up your money.
GK: I want to make you happy, Mama.
SS (MAMA): It's too late for me to be happy, Buddy.
GK: Don't say that, Mama.
SS (MAMA): I've got to have an eye operation, Buddy.
SS (MAMA): They're going to replace my left eye.
SS (MAMA): It got eaten away by the salt in my tears.
GK: Oh, Mama----
SS (MAMA): They warned me that might happen.
SS (MAMA): They gave me pills to make me stop crying.
GK: Oh, Mama----
SS (MAMA): But I couldn't take the pills----
GK: Why not?
SS (MAMA): I didn't want my children to think that I didn't care about them.
GK: Oh, Mama----
SS (MAMA): So I just went ahead and I cried.
SS (MAMA): The salt ate these big holes in my eyeballs. It looks like somebody's been poking needles in it.
GK: Oh, Mama---- does it hurt?
SS (MAMA): Listen to him. "Does it hurt?"
GK: It hurts, doesn't it.
SS (MAMA): Big potholes in my eyeball and he asks, Does it hurt?
GK: Oh, Mama----
SS (MAMA): Yes, it hurts. It hurts a lot, Buddy.
SS (MAMA): But don't you worry about me, you go and have yourself a nice quiet Christmas in New York, just order take-out and go to a movie or whatever you want to do, don't think about me. (DARK GUILT PIANO)
GK: So that's why I robbed the bank. It was so I could give Mama a Christmas present. A cruise to Barbados. I made a fake gun out of aluminum foil and I went to Woolworth's (FAST FOOTSTEPS) and I pulled my gun on the clerk. ---- Hands in the air.
TR: What's that? A piece of trash?
GK: It's a gun. Don't make any funny moves and nobody gets hurt.
TR: What do you ,mean, "funny moves"? Like this---- (TR CLOWN G-DING G-DING G-DING) Or a funny move like this? (TR BEEBOOP)
GK: Don't make me do something I might regret, mister.
TR: It looks like a gum wrapper or something, some piece of trash you picked up on the floor.
GK: Don't press your luck, mister. It's a gun.
TR: What do you want? I don't have much cash in the drawer----
GK: I don't want cash. I want a ski mask.
TR: Ski masks are in sporting goods. This is women's hosiery. How about a nylon stocking? You want it for a bank robbery, right? A nylon stocking would work pretty good. You want to try one on? What's your face size? You look like a medium to me. You prefer beige or black or mocha?
GK: I want a ski mask.
TR: Downstairs. Sporting goods. Straight ahead off the escalator, past the parakeets, and turn left at stationery, and it's right there. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I got a ski mask and put it on and went to the bank. (TRAFFIC PASSING) I was feeling quite a bit of stress. With bank robbery, if you've never done it before, there's performance anxiety. Will I be able to write the note so the teller can read it? Will I get the gun out of my pocket at the right time? Will my hand shake? ----- And there in front of the bank was a bunch of Christmas carolers, standing around a pot on a tripod that said, Give to the needy.
(ROCHES, THE FIRST NOEL. ONE VERSE)
GK: Look, I know it's a good cause---- I'm just on my way in to rob the bank, and when I come out, I'll have some bundles of twenties and fifties for you, okay? (PIANO. FOOTSTEPS. REVOLVING DOOR OF BANK. VOICES IN LOBBY. FOOTSTEPS) I went into the bank, which actually was a credit union. The Equity Actors Credit Union. And I got into a long line of unemployed actors who were withdrawing savings so they could have a little Christmas.
FN: You been working at all?
SS: A little.
TR: We were in A Christmas Carol.
FN: Oh? Me too.
SS: I was the charwoman this year.
TR: I was one of the solicitors.
FN: I tried out for Scrooge but I didn't get it.
SS: I was Mrs. Cratchit last year. And he was Bob Cratchit.
TR: This year they said we were too old.
FN: They said I wasn't right for Scrooge.
SS: So I was the charwoman.
TR: I tried out for Marley's Ghost but I didn't get it. Not old enough.
GK: I had my tinfoil pistol in my hand and my ski mask on. I was thinking, It can't be armed robbery if it's tinfoil. Can it? Probably just a misdemeanor. Public nuisance, or something like that. But I felt horrible. Stealing money from actors.
TR: I almost got a commercial the other day.
TR: Oscar Mayer.
SS: That's nice.
TR: I tried out for the weiner.
SS: Speaking part?
TR: I danced a little.
SS: Nice. Did you get it?
TR: They said I wasn't tubular enough.
GK: And behind me is a little kid waiting to withdraw his savings---
TR (KID): Boy, Dad is sure going to be surprised when I hand him that bottle of cologne. Boy O boy.
GK: And there's Christmas music playing.
(ROCHES. O HOLY NIGHT)
GK: By the time I got to the bank teller's window and handed her the note, my hands were shaking.
SS: Hi. Merry Christmas. Nice ski mask. --- What's this? A note? ---- "Empty your drawers and don't press your button." --- What is that supposed to mean? You some kind of pervert?
GK: Gimme your cash and step on it.
SS: You want me to step on my cash?
GK: Just give me the money----- And I grabbed some cash (SS YELP) and I made a dash for the door. (RUNNING FEET) (BURGLAR ALARM) ---- (CRIES OF ALARM) (REVOLVING DOOR) I got out on the street. (TRAFFIC PASSING, HORNS) And suddenly I couldn't remember where I had parked the car. (RUNNING FEET) I took off for the parking ramp and went up the stairs (RUNNING UP STAIRS) and I couldn't remember what level I was on. (RUNNING DOWN STAIRS) Where was my parking ticket? Oh boy. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) That was what I'd written the robbery note on----- the back of the parking ticket----- Oh for dumb! (RUNNING INTO BANK) I dashed back into the bank. ----- Could I have my parking ticket back, please?
SS: The one with the note?
GK: Yes. Thanks. Merry Christmas. (RUNNING FEET, REVOLVING DOOR) And back out on the street I went and ---- there was the bunch of carolers around the pot on the tripod and Help The Needy----- look----- I'm in a rush------ here------ (THUD) (ROCHES. JOY TO THE WORLD, FADING. RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) I dashed into the parking ramp and----- oh gosh----- that wasn't the bundle of twenties I threw in the pot, that was a bundle of hundreds----- oh no---- (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) (ROCHES, FADING IN, JOY TO THE WORLD) Would you guys mind if I stuck my hand in your pot? Oh never mind. (BRIDGE)
GK: I went straight to the hospital to see Mama.
SS (MAMA): Not much snow for skiing, is there.
GK: I don't ski, Mom. I put on the mask so I could rob a bank.
SS (MAMA): Oh. But what's the ski pole for-----
GK: It's not a ski pole. It's a gun, just made of tinfoil.
SS (MAMA): Well, with my eye all wrecked from salt corrosion, I couldn't tell. (BRIDGE)
GK: I did the best I could for Mama. All I got from the bank was $158. Not much in today's world. I lit some candles and had some pine boughs----
SS (MAMA): What did you say about a house?
GK: Boughs, Mama. Pine boughs. I brought you a turkey dinner, Mama.
SS (MAMA): Oh, you shouldn't have done it, Buddy.
GK: I wanted to give you a Caribbean cruise, Mama, but all I could afford was this T-shirt.
SS (MAMA): "Greetings from Antigua." It's lovely. I'd like to be buried in this t-shirt, Buddy.
GK: Mama, don't talk like that.
SS (MAMA): I want to be buried in it.
GK: I wanted to hire the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Mama, but all I could afford was the Mormon Carbuncle Quartet.
SS (MAMA): Oh Buddy. I hope you didn't go to too much trouble.
GK: It's Christmas, okay?
SS (MAMA): Boy, a vocal quartet ---- that musta set you back fifty, sixty bucks.
GK: Never mind. I wanted to do it.
SS (MAMA): I just don't want you to go to any trouble for me, Buddy. I don't want to be a burden.
GK: It's okay, Mama, don't worry.
SS (MAMA): I know how busy you are. Probably have calls to make and things to do. So I've got a book here. Don't feel you have to entertain me. You just do whatever you were going to do.
GK: What book are you reading, Mama?
SS (MAMA): The Book of Job.
SS (MAMA): It's a good book. I sort of got into it ---- you know, where his body is covered with boils and he's lying in the ashes ----- I could identify with that.
GK: Mama, I just want you to be happy.
SS (MAMA): I know how busy you are, Buddy. So I'll just read my book. I'm blind, what with the corrosion of the eyeballs, but I have the Book of Job pretty well memorized by now, so don't worry about me. I'm all right.
GK: I'm going to have the Quartet sing for you now, Mama.
SS (MAMA): All right, but nothing sad, all right?
GK: They'll sing something happy, Mama.
SS (MAMA): If I cry, it really hurts a lot-----
GK: They'll sing a happy song----
SS (MAMA): Someday you may have holes in your eyeballs---- you'll know----
(ROCHES. DECK THE HALLS)
GK: Is that a CD?
GK: It's real singers, Mama.
SS (MAMA): Oh, that's so expensive----
GK: It's all right-----
(ROCHES. DECK THE HALLS, CONT'D)
GK: So this guy goes to a psychiatrist on Christmas Eve and he has cranberry down the front of his shirt and eggnog in his hair and a Christmas cookie in his ear. And the doctor says, "I think the problem is that you're not eating right."
(ROCHES, DECK THE HALLS)
Angels We Have Heard on High