The Kissing Booth

By Liffey

CHARACTERS

LIFFEY   CELIA   RAYMOND   LAURA

COPYRIGHT © By Liffey (thedodgy.com)

 

(At rise we see LIFFEY, who is sitting in a chair in the back of a small theater. He is looking around curiously, as CELIA enters)

CELIA
Are you here for the audition?

LIFFEY
I was. Apparently now it’s a wake.

CELIA
Yes it is. That’s Ginny. She’s been part of this theater for 40 years. Co-founded it. Her wish was to die on stage or least be waked on one.

LIFFEY
This has to be a first. I’ve been to a few Irish wakes. Drinking and music. Those are fun. When I got my first apartment there was a second small bedroom. My friend, whose family is in the funeral business, said it was a wake room where people used to go and view the body of the family member who lived there. So that’s weird. So is having a wake at a theater.

CELIA
Have you been up to see her? She’s dressed as Grape Daisy, a character she played from her favorite show, The Dust Birds. A musical tale about a traveling carnival in the 1930s.

LIFFEY
Is that why everyone is in costume?

CELIA
Yep. Everyone is wearing something from a show they did with her. Except the guy in the clown outfit. That’s Rip Tickles. He’s a real clown.

LIFFEY

So why aren’t you in costume?

CELIA
I am. I was Hedy LaRue in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. But really I just got off work and this is what I was wearing.

LIFFEY
Well I haven’t been up there. I don’t know her and I don’t like viewing bodies at wakes. Especially ones dressed in costumes.

CELIA
You know, you sorta look familiar. Have we met before?

LIFFEY
You can say that. This past Christmas. The theater fundraiser you guys had. I was there. It was a carnival theme and you were in a kissing booth. I was wondering if you’d remember.

CELIA
Ohhhhh yea. I think I had repeat business with you.

LIFFEY
Every ticket I bought was either for your booth or for that cheap beer you sold. Hey, why a kissing booth? Why not say, a tickle my pants or grab-ass booth?

CELIA
That’s gross.

LIFFEY
But kissing strangers on the mouth isn’t? I mean, hookers will do just about anything but that.

CELIA
Well I didn’t kiss any strangers on the mouth.

LIFFEY
Umm. You did me.

CELIA
I made some exceptions. Big deal. So what? That experience made you want to do a show? Is that why you’re here?

LIFFEY
What can I say? Your kiss made me want to perform. I actually did a little dance on the way home that night and I never dance. Your kiss brought me to this audition. I haven’t been kissed like that since my freshmen year in college from Ms. Walden, my philosophy professor.

CELIA
Who are you supposed to be auditioning for anyway? Have you talked to anyone except me so far?

LIFFEY
I’m supposed to meet a Genevieve. I think she’s the director.

CELIA
That might be a problem.

LIFFEY
How so?

CELIA
With her being up there in that casket and all.

LIFFEY
Wait. Whoa. That’s her in there? Ginny is Genevieve?

CELIA
It happened during our final rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast – I play Belle by the way – cast members were blaming each other for screwing up a scene. Said they were told by someone to do it that way – someone other than Ginny. She was pissed. A vein in her neck exploded or something. The last thing she said was something about never listen to a ten cent nobody. You would have liked her.

(RAYMOND enters, dressed like Oliver Twist).

RAYMOND
Hey Celia – or should I say Hedy LaRue.

CELIA
Raymond, meet Liffey. He was supposed to audition for the new play tonight.

RAYMOND
First of all, great news. The pallbearers for the funeral will indeed be dressed as winged monkeys. And yours truly is one of them. And Liffey, well you can still audition tonight ‘cause I’m taking over the play. The Dirty Boys of Salem lives on. It’s a modern tale about redneck brothers, their mother, and a rogue clan of witches who enter their lives. I see you as one of the boys, Liffey. When this wraps up in about an hour and we move the casket, the stage is yours.

LIFFEY
Wonderful.

CELIA
I’m playing one of the witches. Which one am I again, Ray? The evil one?

RAYMOND
They’re all bad, girl. But you’re the one with the shoe fetish who has an affair with one of the brothers. And who knows? It could be your friend Liffey here. They have an erotic kissing scene inside a cauldron.

LIFFEY
Well it kind of feels like we’ve already starting rehearsing then. Minus the cauldron.

RAYMOND
You know Liffey, I thought you looked familiar. The benefit. I was there that night, in the guy’s kissing booth right next to Celia. And I remember you and her going at it. You were her best customer. Based on what I saw I think you might have the part.

CELIA
Why were you there anyway? I mean, how did you end up at our benefit in the first place?

LIFFEY
Clive Javanski.

CELIA
Who?

LIFFEY
You don’t know who Clive Javanski is? The Chicago reclusive author? He lives above the bar on the corner from your theater.  He only goes out to two places. The bar and the theater.

CELIA
Did he –

LIFFEY
No, he didn’t visit your booth. He enjoyed watching us, however. He even brought half of my tickets.

RAYMOND
I know Clive. He autographed for me a copy of Banjo Pants, his book of essays. Great stuff. So Liffey, what experience in theater do you have other than making out with our attractive ensemble member here at a fundraiser?

LIFFEY
I had theater stage craft class in high school. We built sets for the plays. Didn’t really act on stage – until this one time. We were given an assignment in which we were divided into groups and had to create a lighting design for a musical number. My group chose the old song Live and Let Die from the James Bond movie.

RAYMOND
I love that Guns N’ Roses song.

LIFFEY
What? No, we used the original version by Paul McCartney because our design was made to look like the opening of that Bond film. We even used the spotlights to re-create that pre-credits scene. None of the groups used performers – just music and the lights. Except us. We had this idea where I would lip sync the words to the song on stage while behind the curtains other members of the group were fake fighting and lit so only their shadows were seen. It was pretty cool. We got an A. Then it was changed to a B.

CELIA
Why?

LIFFEY
Because of Nick Menkovich.

RAYMOND
Who’s Nick Menkovich?

LIFFEY
Nick Menkovich was the one kid who was an actor in our class. The rest of us were either taking it as a blow-off course or were troublemakers they felt a need to put together in there, like detention. Nick was the popular dream boy all the girls loved. Anyway he was absent the day we did our project. Our teacher had us do it again so Nick could see it and afterwards changed our grade to a B because it didn’t seem as technically difficult the second time. Can you believe that? Why should we have had to do it over anyway because he missed it?

CELIA

I’ve got something you won’t believe.

LIFFEY

What’s that?

CELIA
I know Nick. I dated Nick. He’s done shows here.

LIFFEY
What?!

RAYMOND
Wait, are we talking about Nick Monk?

CELIA
Yea, he changed his name after high school when he moved to the city.

LIFFEY
Oh Christ.

CELIA
Speaking of names, what kind of name is Liffey?

LIFFEY
I was born during a boat tour on the River Liffey in Dublin.

CELIA
That doesn’t surprise me. You’re Irish? You don’t seem to have an accent.

LIFFEY
My dad was a university guest lecturer in Ireland and met my mom, who is Irish and was teaching at Trinity College. She moved here with him but insisted after becoming pregnant that I be born in her hometown. It just happened to be on the river instead of a hospital. But I can whip it out if I need to. I mean the accent.

RAYMOND
Something tells me you’ll fit in just fine here. I’ll leave the two of you alone for now. Liffey, don’t forget. In about 20 minutes you’re on stage. Casket off, you on.
(RAYMOND exits).

LIFFEY
Got it.

CELIA
I’d better go up there and pay my respects. God, do people actually say that? And why did I?

LIFFEY
Wait. There’s more to my river birthing story.

CELIA
I bet there is.

LIFFEY
Well, just to let you know, the River Liffey flows under the famous Ha’Penny Bridge. You’ve heard of it?

CELIA
Yea. I don’t know. Maybe. It was in that movie Love Actually, wasn’t it?

LIFFEY
What? No. That movie is English. I don’t even think there was a bridge in it. Anyway, the Ha’Penny Bridge is also known as the kissing bridge. Couples go on there and you know, kiss.

CELIA
And?

LIFFEY
I just thought it tied into this whole kissing thing.

CELIA
You know what else ties into this whole kissing thing? Nick Monk. Because I kissed him too. And guess what?

LIFFEY
What?

CELIA
He just walked in the door.

LIFFEY
Well it’s good he’s here. Otherwise you might have had to do this wake over so he could see it.

CELIA
I’ll think I’ll sit here for a little while longer.

LIFFEY
Oh, things not so good with you and actor boy? Well, let me tell you about kissing. My history. There was Angela, who I called my little Polish Mexican princess. Hers tasted like strawberry. Once I kissed my friend’s ex-girlfriend but that was awkward and sloppy. Then there was Katarina, she played violin for a goth band. It was hot. I mean literally. Like she warmed her lips up or something. Heated lip balm.

CELIA
Why am I listening to this?

LIFFEY
Wait, I’ll want to hear about your kisses in a minute – except the Nick ones.

CELIA
Nick’s kisses always felt like we were doing a scene. I mean, they probably looked passionate to someone but it was…too mechanical.
(LAURA enters, in costume)

LAURA
What was mechanical?

CELIA
Nick’s kisses. Liffey, meet Laura. My roommate and fellow thespian.

LAURA
That’s an interesting name.

LIFFEY
That’s an interesting costume. Let me guess? Oliver?

LAURA
A Christmas Carol.

LIFFEY
Close enough. I knew it was Dickensian.

CELIA
Laura is starring in a new show downtown at the Abbey. What’s it about again?

LAURA
It’s called Going Back To See Natasha. It’s about a guy who goes back in time to a day he spent with a girl who adored him, yet he felt nothing. He regrets it now. She has a family, and is very happy. It’s kind of tragic because he can’t change anything but just tell her in the past that she’s going to be OK.

LIFFEY
Jesus, I guess I don’t have to see it now.

LAURA
There’s a lot more to it, trust me. He gets a chance to kiss her passionately, something he didn’t do the first time. The question is will he do it?

LIFFEY
Well we just can’t get away from that topic, huh Celia?

LAURA
What? What’s that? Kissing?

CELIA
He was at the benefit. A regular at my booth.

LAURA
Oh, so you’re the one? You know you were the only one to visit her booth she didn’t know.

LIFFEY
I didn’t know.

LAURA
She timed things around only when our theater friends were there, or their friends she knew. Didn’t you notice those boring kisses? She closed it down when more of the general public arrived later. Raymond didn’t close his down though, he was smooching everyone all night.

LIFFEY
I didn’t notice. I didn’t watch when I wasn’t there myself because it would have seemed like she was cheating on me.

LAURA
Well, it was nice meeting you, Liffey. I’m gonna go pay my respects – ugh, I hate saying that. When this wraps up you two should meet us at the bar next door for some alcohol. Rivers of alcohol.
(LAURA exits)

CELIA
She’s awesome.

(RAYMOND enters)

RAYMOND
We’re on Liffey, ten more minutes. Hey can you help us move the casket off stage?

LIFFEY
Yea, sure.

RAYMOND
You’re awesome.
(RAYMOND exits)

CELIA
Well…I guess I better get up there. I think Nick left when Laura walked in. He never liked her.

LIFFEY
Wait.
(He reaches into his pocket.)
I still have one more ticket from the fundraiser.

CELIA
You know, I thought Laura would mention this, but the reason Nick and I broke up is because he saw the act you and I put on at the fundraiser. And he didn’t say anything, but maybe he recognized you.

LIFFEY
Then I’ll call it even. My B grade for your breakup. So what about it. My extra ticket?

CELIA
Ah, what the hell.

CELIA cont.
(She sits on his lap, takes the ticket, and they proceed to kiss.)

(lights)

END OF PLAY

 

COPYRIGHT © Liffey 2013      thedodgy.com

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Kissing Booth is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under The copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the PanAmerican Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at liffey@zoho.com

 

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