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It’s all about a necklace!
After thirteen years of marriage William W. Worthington III (Billy) and his wife Ashley, wealthy New England socialites, are contemplating divorce. Their Massachusetts’ estate consists of a 200-acre compound, with a sixteen-bedroom mansion, and a smaller beach cottage. Thanks to a pre-nuptial agreement, both know precisely what to expect from a divorce settlement. There is one item however, that both parties want… and that is the famous Worthington necklace. Since both want to keep the necklace for themselves, both Billy and Ashley devise separate plans to steal the necklace.
Billy tells Ashley he will be away for the weekend shooting ducks in Delaware with the DuPonts. Ashley tells Billy she is visiting her mother in Boston that same weekend. Both, however, have planned weekend trysts in the beach house. Billy with his lover, Buffy, and Ashley with her lover, Teddy.
Teddy and Ashley arrive at the beach house first. Ashley is determined to divorce Billy. According to the pre-nuptial agreement, the only way for Ashley to share the assets, and therefore have a chance to keep the necklace, is for her to divorce Billy for adultery. They devise a plan to simulate a seduction and replace the necklace with a fake.
ASHLEY. Where do you hire a woman like that? I mean we can’t just look in the yellow pages under
seductress. You don’t know anyone like that, do you Teddy?
TEDDY. No. I’m afraid not, though I could probably hazard a guess there’s a few women at the country club
who are probably quite experienced at it.
ASHLEY. That’s it! Marianne Van Kleef.
TEDDY. Who’s she?
ASHLEY. A friend of mine, we play tennis together. She’s broken almost as many marriages as [INSERT A
LOCAL OR NATIONAL POLITICIAN’S NAME] has campaign promises. I’ve known her for years. We
were in high school together. She was voted the girl most likely to.
TEDDY. The girl most likely to what?
ASHLEY. Nothing, just the girl most likely to.
TEDDY. Oh, I see! Oh dear! Do you think she could pull it off?
ASHLEY. Let’s put it this way, at the tennis club she’s known as the U.S. Open!
To ensure the success of the plan, they also hire a private detective to take compromising photographs, a MR. WILLIAM DAVIS from the William Davis Detective Agency. He might be called the 'defective detective' with his bumbling ways and malapropisms which steal the show.
“I’ve had all sorts of trials and tributaries tonight. I won’t let you down again.”
“I’m prepared to make you a solemn declination that I’ll get that photograph tonight come water or high hell.”
“Are you casting nasturtiums on my abilities?”
“I am in fact an extremely culpable private investigator.”
“Did you ever get the feeling that this just wasn’t your day? You know I’m not usually like this, I’m usually very
“I must have lost my sense of equilateral.”
“I used to be married, but my wife and I are deranged.”
Billy and Buffy also arrive at the beach house that same evening. Billy tells her that he is contemplating a divorce, and shows Buffy the necklace. She immediately decides that, no matter what, she must own it. They devise a plan to simulate a burglary. Buffy, enlists the help of her sister Deborah to play the role of the burglar.
Sure enough, both simulated burglaries are scheduled to take place on the same night, and the resulting confusion, involves mistaken identities, (Marianne manages to get the wrong guy in bed twice). Davis turns out to be a hopeless incompetent, who can’t stay conscious for more than five minutes at a time. How do both Billy and Teddy manage to drink from a glass containing Davis’s knockout drops? And where did two scantily clad nuns sharing one skirt come from?
This is a Michael Parker play, and you know there’s a twist. Does Billy end up with Buffy? Does Ashley end up with Teddy? Who ends up with Davis? Does the voluptuous Marianne Van Kleef end up with anyone? And finally…who ends up with the necklace?
ASHLEY WORTHINGTON (Age 35-40) The wife of William W. Worthington III is the typical New England 'aristocrat.' Well educated and articulate, she can be counted on to always create the right impression. She knows what is expected of her as a member of one of America's best-known families. While passionate and gentle with her lover Teddy, she shows determination and guile in her relentless quest to own The Worthington Necklace. (Scheming, cold and calculating, yet with a tender side)
EDWARD P. BROOKSTONE (Teddy: Age 40-50) Ashley's lover, and a man who would never allow himself to fall in love with someone who wasn't extremely wealthy. A rather shallow person who is caught up in the glamorous lifestyle of New England 'high society.' Not showing much character at all, he vacillates between greed and morality as he allows himself to be manipulated by Ashley into participating in the plot to steal the necklace. (Weak and shallow, but nevertheless quite cunning)
WILLIAM W. WORTHINGTON III (Billy: age 40-60) As the grandson of one of America's great industrialists, Billy is always conscious of his station in life. While he is caught up in his affair with the glamorous Lorraine, he nevertheless maintains his composure when confronted with difficult situations arising from the plot to steal the necklance. He finally reveals a sharp mind and strength of character. (Kind and gentle, yet clever and manipulative)
LORRAINE DuVAL (Buffy: age 25-30) Billy's young and glamorous lover. For her, money, position and pwer seem all-important. Personal relationships are secondary. She plots and schemes, and as we see later, is not beyond stealing the necklace herself. In all things for Buffy, Buffy comes first.(Gorgeous and seductive, self-centered and determined)
WILLIAM DAVIS (Any age, but agile) How he succeeded in becoming a licensed private investigator is a mystery to all who know him. He is one of life's total incompetents. If there is a wrong way to do something he'll find it. He is, of course, aware of his shortcomings and therefore spends a great deal of time trying to impress those around him. He is a pivotal character in most of the comic visual sequences, and the fact that he clearly studied under Mrs. Malaprop endears him to everyone. (Brash and overbearing, so totally incompetent he becomes likable)
DEBORAH DuVAL (Age 25-35) Co-opted by her sister, Buffy, to simulate the burglary and steal the necklace, she manages to do everything wrong. WIlling and cheerful, she displays a tender compassionate side. After causing chaos time after time, her good nature is rewarded, and justice is served, when she finally comes to the rescue of the hapless Mr. Davis. (Pretty and personable, but not a rocket scientist)
MARIANNE VAN KLEEF (Age 25-40) A New England socialite, she delights in playing the role of the seductress, probably because it's natural for her, and one she has almost certainly played many times in real life. Sexy and voluptuous, she would be hard for any man to resist, and as we see, none of them do. (Beautiful, sophisticated and sensuous, but not cheap in any way)
THERE’S A BURGLAR IN MY BED…IN THE NEWS
“The laughs come fast and furious. The only burglars at the Delray Beach Playhouse are a bunch of scene stealers. There are seven to be exact in this first rate production.”
The Boca Rotan News/ Boca Rotan, Florida
“Plenty of slapstick plot twists. Davis’s malapropisms steal the show.”
"A hilarious lampoon."
The Naples Daily News/ Naples, Florida
“Parker’s best script yet.”
Delray Beach Times/ Delray Beach, Florida
"The laughs come thick and furious."
“This is a funny and fast-paced comedy”
The Swamp Fox Players/ Georgetown, South Carolina
"Just how good is the script when the actors never seemed aware of the
hilarity of their lines."
"The audience loved it. I've never heard such sustained laughter and experienced such audience buy-in in the theatre at the Kirkwood Community Center in the decades I've been seeing Guild performances there."
Radio review KDHX - Kirkwood
"A perfect production. Each scene accentuates the innuendoes and ignites infectious laughter."
Stage and Theatre, Tampa Bay