Chez Gisèle

chez-gisele-2Play Excerpt

 

ACT I SCENE 1 (GIGI IS IN THE BAR WITH THE DRAG QUEENS AT CLOSING.)

GIGI
The show was fantastic mes belles, the crowd loved you!

MISS MARIE
Gigi, we can’t keep performing without a stage. We have no room to do our routines.

GIGI
I know, I know, I wish I had a bigger bar.

MISS DOO
When I went down to pound the floor in “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” somebody stepped on my hand.

MISS FANCY
They probably thought they were stomping a cockroach. I’m a professional, and I need my own private dressing room.

MISS DOO
Miss Fancy, laying on your back with your legs up in the air doesn’t qualify you as being—a professional!

MISS FANCY
Bitch! (Miss Fancy turns around and starts pouting.)

GIGI
I never dreamed Chez Gisele would be such a success. We couldn’t make room for a flea.

MISS DOO
Poor Martin was busting his chops bartending tonight.

GIGI
A guy should be here any minute to be interviewed for the bartending position.

MISS MARIE
Is Martin leaving?

GIGI
No, Martin’s been a sweetheart to help me out. He’s been driving every day from Lake Charles but only wants to work part-time.

MISS DOO
We love Martin Le Mayle.

MISS FANCY
He’s so cute.

MISS MARIE
We always ask him, “Martin, when are you going to turn gay?”

GIGI
He always responds, “You’ll have to wait, it’s not time yet.” (Clarence appears rather shyly and introduces himself.) 

CLARENCE
I’m Clarence Dupuis, I’m here about the bartending position.

GIGI
Bonjour Clarence, I’m Gisele Carriton, owner of Chez Gisele. You can call me Gigi, everybody calls me Gigi. Although, one of my customers always calls me Chez. “How you doing Chez?” “What’s happening Chez?” (Said in unison with the drags.)

CLARENCE
Nice to meet you, Miss Gigi.

GIGI
These are my regular entertainers, Miss Doo, Miss Marie, and Miss Fancy Fontenot. (Miss Doo and Miss Marie kiss Clarence on the cheeks while Miss Fancy remains on the bar stool and waves indifferently.)

GIGI (CONT’D)
French people love to kiss.

MISS DOO
Gigi, what a handsome man. (Miss Doo caresses Clarence’s chest. Miss Marie bumps Miss Doo out of the way and looks closely into his eyes.)

MISS MARIE
I just want you to know you’re going to be my next husband.

MISS DOO
Your last husband kept you busy changing his adult diapers.

MISS MARIE
At least he was breathing.

MISS DOO
Barely, I needed a mirror to prove it. (Miss Fancy shoves Miss Doo and Marie out of the way)

MISS FANCY
Beauty is skin deep, but ugly is to the bone.

MISS MARIE
Listen up Dollychops! You wouldn’t have a pot to pee in or a window to throw it out of if you didn’t come from a rich family.

MISS FANCY
At least I don’t go husband hunting in the parish jail.

MISS MARIE
That was twice!

GIGI
My sons are better than all the husbands in the world. (Miss Doo and Miss Marie surround Clarence closely to say goodbye.)

MISS DOO
Clarence, come visit us sometime, we live together like sisters.

MISS MARIE
We promise not to bite.

MISS DOO
Well, at least not much. Purrr,,,meow! (The three drag queens exit. Miss Marie turns to Clarence before leaving.)

MISS MARIE
Honey,,,you’re positively eye candy . . . I could lick you like an all-day sucker. (She slaps Clarence on the butt, then exits.)

MISS DOO
Come on girls, move those booties full of cooties!

GIGI
Bonne soiree, mes belles. (The three drag queens leave, Gigi and Clarence seat themselves at a table to talk.)

GIGI (CONT’D)
How about a little drinkie poo? I’m sure you need it after all that. (Clarence jumps up to get them drinks.)

CLARENCE
Allow me, what are you having?

GIGI
A glass of pinot noir blanc, s’il vous plait. (Clarence returns with a bottle of white wine, 2 glasses and napkins.)

CLARENCE
May I pour?

GIGI
Mai oui. (Clarence places the napkin down and pours Gigi a small amount in her glass to taste. Gisele sips a taste.)

CLARENCE
Ca va?

GIGI
Ca va tres bien. I can see you have excellent training. (Clarence pours a full glass for Gigi and then for himself and then sits down.)

CLARENCE
I have been bartending and waiting tables at Chez Pierre’s restaurant in Abbeville for the past 3 years.

GIGI
I must say you don’t look gay at all.

CLARENCE
If you looked gay in Abbeville you got beaten up. So I became strong, trying to fit into he straight world.

GIGI
How did you know you were gay?

CLARENCE
For a long time I wasn’t sure. I was always curious about other guys in the locker room., but I never did anything until I met Robert, the manager of Chez Pierre.

GIGI
Are you still together?

CLARENCE
No, he’s the jealous, controlling type. A part of me still loves him, but it would never work out. When I told him it was over it ended rather badly.

GIGI
What happened?

CLARENCE
I tried to keep my job after our relationship ended. What a disaster! One night, I was just talking to this handsome straight customer and he went crazy, saying “I’m not having a queer working in my restaurant”, in front of everyone, even though everybody knew about us. He fired me.

GIGI
He sounds very insecure.

CLARENCE
That’s not the worst. Robert called my family and told them I was gay as revenge. My family has since kicked me out of the house. My dad told me I was dead to him.

GIGI
Where are you living now Clarence?

CLARENCE
I’m living with my Tante Yolande. She never married so I have my suspicions about her. She’s old and eccentric, but I’m grateful she took me in.

GIGI
Poor Clarence, you have suffered much in your young life. (Clarence stands up and starts to leave, appearing dejected.)

CLARENCE
Thanks for the drink, Miss Gigi.

GIGI
Where are you going?

CLARENCE
I understand if you don’t want to hire someone like me with so many problems.

GIGI
Who said you wouldn’t be working here? I think you’ll be fantastic for Chez Gisele, you’re hired. (Clarence rushes to Gigi and hugs her.)

CLARENCE
Thanks so much for giving me this job Gigi, I promise to never let you down. JAMAIS! (Clarence stands by Gigi giving her a hug.)

GIGI
Clarence, there’s something big about you, and it isn’t your nose. (They laugh.)

 

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