A scribbling woman with much to say

An Excerpt from the Teatime Farce: Tea-A-Ria

image4

Setting: New York City, sometime in the late 1940's
Cast: 5 women, 2 men
Length: 1-hour


Play Synopsis:
It’s the opening day of Leonie Palazotto’s  tearoom, Tea-A-Ria. Leonie's very Italian family doesn’t quite grasp the concept of "teatime" but is willing to do anything to help her. As if a distraught aunt, a formidable grandmother, and a young Italian man  mooning over her don't provide enough challenge, an English couple new to America put in an appearance, as does a most unwanted guest. Friends and family must pull together to overcome the obstacle that is Enza Malandra.


 

LEONIE
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. I am Leonie Palazatto and I  want to welcome all of you to Tea-A Ria, a tearoom where you can relax with a fine cup of tea and enjoy a bit of old world ambience...
 

NONA LENA
          (enters from kitchen brandishing a large kitchen knife)

Leonie Palazatto! I’ma not a cuttin the crusts offa the bread!

          (looks at a guest)

Whoever hearda such a thing! It don’ta maka no sense!
 

LEONIE
Give me just a moment please…

          (to NONA LENA)

Nona Lena, we’ve already discussed this. You-cut-the-crusts-off-the-bread-at-teatime! It’s just the way it’s done!
 

NONA LENA

First everything has to be “bite sized”! Now this! I don’ta see how you’re gonna fill these people up!
 

LEONIE
Nona Lena, please. Just cut the crusts off the bread.
 

NONA LENA
          (to a guest)

Does this maka any sense to you. It’s pazzo!
 

NONA LENA exits to kitchen.
 

LEONIE
Thank you Nona Lena! Pardon me, ladies and gentlemen. Italians….they don’t quite understand teatime. My Nona Lena wants to put garlic in everything. I told her, over and over, you can’t have that much garlic at teatime! And oh, the battle we had over the  vincisgrassi! I say, “Nona Lena, nobody eats cinnamon scented chicken gizzards at teatime. It don’t matter if they’re in béchamel sauce!


That woman! But what are you are going to do when your Nona Lena loves you so much that she’ll do anything – anything – to  help…do you hear water running? I do not hear water running. Do you know what that means? It means Nona Lena is not warming the teapots! I told her, over and over, “Nona Lena, we’ve got to warm the teapots!” If you’ll excuse me, I must go into the kitchen.

          (begins exiting to kitchen and stops at kitchen entrance)

Nona Lena, why are the teapots not warming!?
 

LEONIE exits to kitchen. SABINA enters from front, dramatically.
 

SABINA
Leonie! Leonie Palazatto, where are you?

          (to a guest)

Darling, tell me, where’s my little Leonie? She is an easy one to recognize for she is a very beautiful.

          (speaks confidentially)

Our beauty, it has sometimes been the curse of the Palazatto women. 

          (sterner now)

But, Leonie should be greeting her guests! I knew she would need me today.

          (LEONIE enters with a teapot.)
 

LEONIE
         (with alarm)

Aunt Sabina! What are you doing here?
 

SABINA
Ah…salve, Cara Mia. Look at you! So beautiful on your opening day. 

          (to a guest)

Isn’t she beautiful on her opening day?  Beauty such as yours…

          (puts her hands on LEONIE’S face, shaking it from side to side)

…would make Michael Angelo cry!

          (turns away from LEONIE and speaks to a guest)

Why she has no husband – it is one of life’s great mysteries.
 

LEONIE
          (hands teapot to any guest)

Aunt Sabina, please, do not start with the “Why  doesn’t Leonie have a husband!” Look at me! Time is passing. I might end up a zitella. But, at least I’ll be an old maid with a career. I’ll have Tea-A-Ria.
 

SABINA
A career! Cara Mia, are you so sure that is what you want? Trust me child, when you’re an old woman a lookin back on your life, it won’t be a career that brings the light to your face – it will be your life as a wife…and a mother. But never mind, I like to mind my own business.

          (removes her coat and hands it to LEONIE)

By the way, your uncle Raphaele? He gives me this beautiful necklace last night. It is gorgeous, no? But then…

          (becomes emotional, pulling a handkerchief from her sleeve)

…out the door he walks and he doesn’t come back home – not all night!
 

LEONIE
          (taking SABINA’S coat)

Oh, Aunt Sabina, not again! I’m so sorry. But, the necklace…

          (gestures for the house to agree)

…it is really quite beautiful.
 

SABINA
Yes, it is very unusual, perhaps a one of a kind – but it would have been nice to have the necklace and your uncle Raphaele at home.

          (to a guest while shaking her head)

Some men, they need a long leash. He’s having a…what do you call it? Ah…a midlife crisis. Me, I should be a saint, with all I put up with, but Raphaele is mine and I do whatever is necessary to keep him. Of course, I’ve been up all night wearing my beautiful necklace. I was so distraught; I did the only thing I could think of that would give me any comfort.
 

LEONIE
You cleaned, didn’t you?


SABINA
As if the Madonna herself was coming to breakfast...or tea. Although I doubt she would do such a thing - come for tea. Cara Mia, I can’t think of anyone who would come for tea - perhaps espresso, but...
 

LEONIE
Aunt Sabina, I’ve told you! People adore teatime! It’s gracious and lovely, and brims with people just sitting quietly – sipping their tea…without barrels of drama crashing about them day after day after day.
 

SABINA

Cara Mia, it just sounds so foreign....

Would You Like to Purchase This Script?

$25.00

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

 The script fee does not include the Royalty License necessary for a performance run or a public reading. You will be emailed one script and a Request for Royalty License once payment has been received. You are allowed to make as many copies as you need to produce the show or reading. Call 239-463-1079 to pay by check or if you have questions.

The Royalty License for this play is $50 for the entire run - which means any number of consecutive performances or readings.  
A Royalty License must be received at least one month before the show or reading.

You may wish to also download my free ebook: Teatime Theatre: In Your Tearoom

Copyright: Laurie Nienhaus, 2006 All Rights Reserved
My plays are protected by copyright law and may not be performed or produced without my written permission.
Please note I vigorously enforce my copyright.