A romantic, destination wedding...or is it?
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Audrina Brown has recently inherited the Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel in a southern state on the Gulf of Mexico from her recently deceased father. The hotel, which has become a popular wedding destination, has been promoted over the years as “The home of Sandy Toes and Salty Kisses” and, as a result, seems to have acquired some kind of mystique. Her Uncle Bubba, who has worked his whole life at the hotel, seems to be a “Jack of all trades” who in addition to his maintenance duties, has developed a variety of extra-curricular activities. Audrina quickly discovers that these activities, without exception appear to be illegal. They run the gamut from cash prize bingo, to a rum distillery, to off track betting. You name it, Bubba is doing it.
The Wedding Plans
Beatrice Rutherford-Smythe, the epitome of the “New England blue bloods,” arrives with her daughter Traci to check the place out for Traci’s wedding. She immediately tries to talk Traci, not only out of the Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel, but the marriage itself. Traci, however is adamant. They have an appointment with Madame Coco, the hotel’s wedding planner, who unfortunately has eloped. The only staff member who knows anything about weddings is Uncle Bubba, who coerced by Audrina, now has to spend the rest of the play, alternating between himself and Madame Coco.
Two other guests are checking in today. Traci’s finance, Peter Mudd, and a mysterious Douglas DuPont. Through a mix up of room numbers, a series of mistaken identities ensues. Candy, the hotel receptionist is bribed by Beatrice to flirt with Peter, but ends up with Douglas. Douglas, who is actually an innocent travel writer for a destination wedding publication, is mistaken for a federal agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Candy’s report to Beatrice introduces a roller coaster of events creating an on again-off again wedding.
In the midst of all this mayhem, Bubba and Beatrice appear to be in falling in love. Peter and Traci are reconciled (several times), and Audrina and Douglas find they have a strong attraction for each other. Throughout the play though, one question remains unanswered. Is is true love or is it the mystique of "Sandy Toes & Salty Kisses" at the Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel?
MEET THE CHARACTERS
CANDY (Age 25+) A local gal, who is working so she can put herself through college. She is vivacious, and personable, all of which make her eminently suitable for her job as the hotel receptionist. She enjoys her job, and although she appears to be a bit of a “flake,” her innocent, good-natured and quirky personality always shines through to cover her inadequacies. Candy’s innate, innocent ability to make a mess of things causes many comedic visual sequences, which involve her, and therefore she needs to be reasonably agile and athletic.
(Enter BUBBA from up left. He is wearing a swim trunks, t-shirt and full scuba diving gear. He has swim
fins on his feet, an air tank on his back, his mask is perched on top of his head and he holds the regulator mouthpiece in one hand. He takes a few very awkward steps right then stops.)
CANDY. Mr. Brown is that you?
BUBBA. No, it's a Portuguese sumo wrestler.
CANDY. (Moving out from behind the counter.) Why are you dressed...(She stops suddenly and then holds her nose.) Whoa, whoa, back off. What is that horrible smell? (Begins to back away.)
BUBBA. The septic tank got clogged up again and I had to fix it.
CANDY. You went scuba diving in the septic tank?
BUBBA. Yeah, well the valve to the drain field got stuck. (He takes a step towards her.)
CANDY. Ugh, that's gross. (She takes one step back, reaches under the counter to grab a spray can of air freshener. Holding it at arm’s length, she sprays BUBBA, who backs away.) Does this happen often?
BUBBA. It’s not that bad, I’ve already hosed myself off, and anyway, it’s all over now.
CANDY. It’s all over everywhere! (She continues to spray the air as BUBBA backs away left.)
WILLBERFORCE “BUBBA” BROWN (Age 50+) Bubba is the younger brother of Archibald Brown, the former “recently deceased” owner of the hotel. He is rough around the edges, ingenious, and has a heart of gold. He has been the maintenance and operations manager of the hotel for many years. We learn, as the play progresses that most of these operations are unconnected with the daily running of the hotel, and are highly illegal. Bubba, however, seems to have found a way around the illegalities (At least in his own mind). When Madame Coco, the wedding planner suddenly elopes, he is coerced by his niece into playing her role. A series of quick changes have the Rutherford-Smythe’s believing that there really is a very “eccentric” Madame Coco.
(AUDRINA enters from down left holding “MADAME COCO” by the hand and almost pulling her into the room. CANDY covers her mouth with her hand to suppress a laugh. BUBBA is now totally
transformed. He is wearing an ankle length, summer flowered dress, a blonde long curly haired wig, a very large straw sun-hat, and a large pair of flamboyant sunglasses. He is barefoot and has ample “bosoms.” AUDRINA and MADAME COCO cross towards the counter.)
BEATRICE. Traci and I are delighted to meet you. We’ve read the brochure you sent us and loved the wonderful ideas you had to make my daughter’s wedding day so special. How ever did you come up with rose petals floating down from the ceiling of the wedding chapel?
BUBBA. Well, I just imagine the scene. It takes the genius of Mr. Brown to actually make it happen. Without him and his technical ability it would be just another wedding.
BEATRICE. He must be an amazing man.
BUBBA. Well, I'm not sure amazing is quite the right word, but - - on second thought, maybe it is the right word.
AUDRINA. Perhaps we should move on from the Mr. Brown admiration society. I believe you said you had some questions.
BEATRICE. Just one or two minor things. First, how does the wedding party get from the hotel to the chapel?
BUBBA. They walk.
TRACI. What mother means is will there be a runner?
BUBBA. Who’s running where?
AUDRINA. What Madame Coco means is that because this is the home of sandy toes and salty kisses, the bridal party and their guests go barefoot to the wedding. It creates the feeling of oneness with nature.
BEATRICE. But I was planning on wearing my Prada shoes. Rutherford-Smythes do not go barefoot.
BUBBA. Why not? Is there something wrong with your feet?
AUDRINA BROWN (Age 30+) The late Archibald's daughter and Bubba's niece, grew up in the hotel, but has not been there very much since graduating high school. She inherited the property a few weeks ago and has very recently taken over the business end of running the hotel. She is efficient, resourceful, smart and practical. She quickly learns that this hotel does not run like any other businesses with which she has been involved. As a loving and doting niece, she is faced with the problem of Uncle Bubba. Is he a “Good ol’ Southern boy”, or a crafty criminal?
AUDRINA. Good morning Uncle Bubba, nice shirt.
BUBBA. You like it huh? I thought it would show off my muscles. (Does a muscle pose.)
AUDRINA. And how was your morning swim?
BUBBA. Well, I reckon it was better than dancing naked through a barnyard full of hungry chickens.
AUDRINA. Speaking of chickens Uncle Bubba, what’s with the turkeys?
BUBBA. Ah, so you found them huh? Oh dear.
AUDRINA. Oh dear?
BUBBA. I think I know what's coming?
AUDRINA. Well, I see on the books that we buy twenty turkeys every week, yet we have
nothing on our dining room menu made out of turkey. Why are we buying them and what do we do with them?
BUBBA.Okay, you know the huge barn like building at the back of the property.
AUDRINA. Of course, It’s the original old Lovers’ Landing, I used to play in it all the time
when I was a little girl. Are you avoiding answering my question?
BUBBA. I always did think you asked too many questions. Give me a second and
I'll explain. You see, I've always been in charge of the entertainment in the hotel. As you
know, for years every Tuesday evening we hold a bingo game for our guests and the
locals. It’s become very popular, so now I hold it in that old building. What you might not
know, is that it's illegal to have cash prizes for bingo games in this state. So, I use turkeys.
AUDRINA. That's very creative Uncle Bubba. However, the money from the bingo games, other than the cost of the turkeys, doesn’t seem to appear anywhere in the books. Why?
BUBBA. Because it’s too profitable, that's why.
AUDRINA. Profitable? But that's a good thing.
BUBBA. Yes and no. On average about two-hundred people show up for bingo. We ask for a ten dollar donation per card, per game. There are twenty games, which means we take in roughly forty- thousand dollars.
AUDRINA. Forty-thousand dollars? (Frowning.) Wait a minute, why in heaven's name would anyone in their right mind pay ten dollars for a one in two hundred chance to win a turkey?
BUBBA. Well, it's not so much the turkey as it is the stuffing.
AUDRINA. I'm not following you.
BUBBA. The stuffing is actually ten one-hundred dollar bills.
AUDRINA. But you just said that's illegal.
BUBBA. Maybe, maybe not. As far as the local sheriff is concerned, he doesn't care what the turkeys are stuffed with as long as we keep giving away turkeys.
AUDRINA. The sheriff knows about this?
BUBBA. You betcha, his mother won three times last year.
AUDRINA. And this “donation” does not appear on the profit and loss statements?
BUBBA. Why would it? It's a…
BEATRICE RUTHERFORD-SMYTHE (Age 50+). She belongs to what the authors call “The American Aristocracy,” the so called blue bloods of New England. She is more concerned with her perspective son-in-law’s family history and background than anything else about him. She has a superior attitude, which tends to annoy people with whom she comes into contact. She is very used to dominating those around her and likes things done her way. As the play progresses, she adapts to the casual lifestyle of Lovers’ Landing, and ironically finds herself attracted to Bubba, a man who is the total antithesis of everything in her life.
TRACI RUTHERFORD-SMYTHE (Age 25+) Beatrice's daughter, has selected the Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel for her destination wedding, probably to avoid the socialite trappings upon which her mother would otherwise insist. She is marrying Peter, whom she has known for only a short time, despite the fact that her mother considers him totally unsuitable. At first we see her as a self-centered, pampered, rich girl. But, as she discovers what she thinks is her fiancé’s apparent infidelity, she becomes a strong-minded woman, determined to discover the truth.
BEATRICE. Traci, I really can’t understand why you want to have your wedding in this God forsaken shambles of a hotel. There isn't even a doorman.
TRACI. Mom, we've been all through this. I've told you that Peter’s family would feel out of place at your country club, besides this place has a lot of charm.
BEATRICE. If shabby is your idea of charm, it certainly has an abundance of it.
TRACI. Mother, you always said I could have my wedding anywhere I wanted, and this is where I decided to have it, and anyway, Peter likes this place.
BEATRICE. Well he would, wouldn't he.
TRACI. And what's that suppose to mean?
BEATRICE. You know exactly what I mean. Now, let's check in. (She steps towards the counter and taps the bell lightly. No one appears so she rings it again. No one appears.) Traci, they don't even have anyone working the front desk. (She starts to bang the bell loudly, and nonstop.)
CANDY. (Enters from the office and grabs the bell off the counter.) Good morning, welcome to Lovers’ Landing Beach Hotel. You must be the Smythes.
BEATRICE. (Rolls her eyes.) Absolutely not. I am Beatrice Rutherford-Smythe, (Emphasis on Rutherford.) and this is my daughter Traci.
CANDY. (Puts the bell back on the counter.) Gee, I've never met anyone who had two last names before.
BEATRICE. No, I don’t suppose in a place like this you would. We wish to check in and I
would like to know which room I’m in.
CANDY. You’re in the reception room.
DOUGLAS DUPONT (Age 30+) Checks into the hotel and arouses Bubba’s suspicions when he is found taking detailed photographs of the hotel and asking questions of the locals in town. Bubba believes him to be a government agent from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Audrina, agrees to help her Uncle discover who he is, but in doing so, begins to fall for Douglas. Candy innocently mistakes him for Peter Mudd causing Douglas a great deal of trouble. While investigating the hotel, he becomes convinced that there is some truth to the mystique of Lovers’ Landing, the home of sandy toes and salty kisses, especially after Candy, Traci, Audrina, Beatrice, and yes even Madame Coco “come on to him.” It isn’t till the end of the play that it is revealed he is a writer for a destination wedding magazine. (This role can be doubled with the actor also playing Peter Mudd) [SEE AUTHORS’ NOTES]
DOUGLAS. Ah, the fair and beautiful Audrina Brown.
AUDRINA. Do you always say things like that?
DOUGLAS. Why are you laughing? I’m sure you get compliments like that all the time. I find you extremely personable and attractive.
AUDRINA. Mr. DuPont, flattery will get you everywhere. (Pauses.) Well, not everywhere.
DOUGLAS. A guy can hope. Well, I’m off to the pool. Before I go I wanted to ask if I could get a couple more towels.
AUDRINA. Of course, but if you’ve got a minute, would you mind if I asked you a question.
DOUGLAS. If it keeps me here with you, ask away.
AUDRINA. I’m curious, are you here on business or pleasure?
DOUGLAS. A little bit of business, and now that I’ve met you, a great deal of pleasure.
PETER MUDD (Age 30+). Traci’s fiancé arrives at Lovers’ Landing, and despite his rocky relationship with his future mother-in-law, the dragon lady, he is looking forward to spending time with his lovely bride to be. Alas, poor Peter never gets that chance. One event after another, created accidentally by Candy, leaves Peter in compromising positions, with Beatrice and Traci, believing he has “strayed,” purposely rendering him unconscious. Despite the on again-off again wedding, Peter continues to try to convince Traci of his love.
PETER. Hi, I’m Peter Mudd. I believe I have a reservation.
AUDRINA. You’re the Rutherford-Smythe fiancé. Congratulations, you must be very
excited about the big day.
PETER. Thank you. I’m a little nervous as well. Is Traci here?
AUDRINA. Yes, she checked in with her mother a little while ago.
PETER. Right, the dragon lady.
AUDRINA. That’s what you call your future mother-in-law?
PETER. Not to her face, I value my life.
AUDRINA. Well, I must admit that Mrs. Rutherford-Smythe appears to be a bit daunting at times, but I’m sure she must like you. After all, you are marrying her daughter.
PETER. Do you know she actually tried to bribe me not to marry Traci?
AUDRINA. Oh dear, I can see why you’d be a little nervous then. Well, I’m sure everything is going to be just fine. If you want, I can get you a barracuda.
PETER. That would be great, but how would I get it into her bathtub?
AUDRINA. No, no, a barracuda is our rum punch drink. We call them that because
they’ve got quite a bite.
PETER. So does she.
"Once again Michael and Susan Parker's wit and wonderful sense of humor came into sharp focus at the world premiere of their newest comedy, SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES."
"Audiences howled with laughter throughout the premiere as unlikely pairings of guests and staff cavorted barefoot on the beach, dodged flying fish, a mop wielding receptionist and a jealous fiancé with one oar out of the water"
"With fast paced action, inventive physical comedy and crackling dialogue, SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES is an audience hit from start to finish. A joy to produce and a blast to perform."
"SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES is one show you will definitely want to add to your schedule."
Sandy Gabrielson, DIrector Ritz Company Players Hawley, PA
"Three SOLD OUT shows in September already and it's only the beginning of June. If the first read through is any indication, we think you'll find that this show is a hoot!"
Elgin Theatre Guild, Canada
"SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES was one of the most well-received shows we have done in a long time. SOLD OUT all performances. Audiences loved it, but even more importantly, the director, actors, and technicians all had a great fun time producing it!"
Duncanville Community Theatre, TX
"It was a lot of fun and the audience really enjoyed it. Madame Coco stole the show and the actor who doubled left the audience swearing he was two different actors."
Indiana Players, Inc., PA
"The cast had a wonderful time with their characters in SANDY TOES & SALTY KISSES. There were plenty of laughs to go around."
Swamp Fox Players, SC