by Ferenc Molnár
a translation by James Brock
directed by Barry Cavin
Ghostbird Theatre Company
Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center
Jake Eveker as The Actor / Guardsman
Katelyn Gravel as Helene
Jim Brock as Meigs
Dana Lynn Raulerson as Isa
(to the Critic)
Well, Meigs, what do you think of my little conquest?
Done with your natural flair.
Let me say it more emphatically, I would give anything
to be in Madame’s favor.
And Meigs, he puts it so beautifully, don’t you think?
But I have spoken candidly. And before this witness, I
tell you that there is no other woman I would give up
my life for, when you are . . . when you are . . .
I believe you know what I mean.
I know, I know. But I need to hear you say it. Now I
want to hear you say it. Before, when it was just the
two of us, I didn’t want to hear it. But now, I do not
regret anything, I do not care about anything, I want
to hear it!
What do you want to hear?
The end of that long sentence . . . "there is no woman
in the world, who I would . . ." Surely you know how to
finish it. I want to hear you say that you love me.
But . . . my dear . . .
Do not be so frightened to speak before an old friend.
(to the Critic)
Meigs, you love me, is it not so?
Of course, always.
(kisses the Critic and holds his hand.)
This man is my best friend, my only friend, my oldest
friend. My father, my mother, my brother . . . I never
have kept secrets from him, and I will not have secrets
Tut, tut, my friend. Let me finish.
(to the Guardsman)
Even if I had made plans to seduce you, and you know
that I have no such plans . . .
I would still tell Meigs everything, every sordid
detail, even if he objected to hearing, I would tell
this man everything, as I have always done.
Ahem! It’s not necessary . . .
(to the Critic)
I don’t mind, you see? And Meigs, you may believe
whatever you like. This man I met for the first time
at six o’clock this afternoon . . . it’s just . . .
it’s just . . . he dares to believe that I’m jealous
where he deliberately misconstrued one word I
spoke! He believes I’m jealous, and that’s what annoys
me, humiliates me! I want to . . . I want!
What do you think, Meigs? I’m behaving so clumsily? I
don’t mind. I don’t care what he thinks, but I must
confess to you, Meigs . . .
(covers her eyes)
Dear Meigs, this man, this man . . .
For God’s sake, Madame!
How dare you interrupt Madame when she is confiding to
Meigs, he doesn’t understand. Look at him. He’s no
classic beauty, to be sure, but he’s broken the
mold. Finally a man, thank God, who is neither smart
nor clever, neither cynical nor sentimental, a man
without art. Meigs, at last a man who is a true
Bohemian, someone who is simple, honest, adorable,
childish, young, healthy. A soldier fresh from the
barracks, and he has no idea how to behave. My friend,
isn’t it a marvel, that after all these years, at last,
Such a rarity. Congratulations.
Meigs, Meigs, old dear rascal!
(she embraces the Critic)
This soldier has made me restless.
(desperate, preparing to throw off his
I will now . . .
You will now do nothing!
(Firmly and loudly, until the Actress
You will behave as befits a soldier and a
gentleman. This woman cannot be measured by
conventional values, whose brilliant sincerity
outshines us dull citizens. You don’t want to lose
your head, here, just because I happened to be here.
(Actress rises to leave to the box.)
After all you are a gentleman! And if you wish to take
advice from one more experienced than you . . .
(Actress exits to the box.)
(Critic lowers his voice)
Dear boy, you must realize it’s all gone down the
crapper for you. Might as well forget that little
champagne dinner you promised.
(assumes Actor’s voice)
I pray to God. Leave.
She’s fallen in love with you.