Once Upon A Crime Sample

SCENE 1

(The actors mingle with audience members as their characters until it is time to begin. There is a statue set in view of the audience, but covered with a sheet. After a signal, Dee and Billy, two knights, move forward, carrying pieces of armor. Billy is a confident man with a swagger in his step. Dee, by contrast, seems a bit like a puppy, fawning over Billy. They’ve known each other for years.)

BILLY: How long you reckon this thing will last?

DEE: Until Prince Charming gets bored.

BILLY: Shouldn’t be too long then. What do you say we grab a bite to eat after?

DEE: Absolutely! Where’d you have in mind?

BILLY: How about the all-knight diner?

(They both laugh uproariously.)

DEE: Sounds good.

BILLY: I have to get home by ten, though.

DEE: Why?

BILLY: So I can watch my favorite program.

DEE: Ooo! What’s that?

BILLY: The knightly news!

(They both laugh uproariously again.)

BILLY: Oh! Oh! I’ve got a good one!

DEE: Go on!

BILLY: What do you call it when knights of the round table switch seats?

DEE: Dunno.

BILLY: The knight shift!

(They both laugh uproariously again.)

DEE: Give us another one.

BILLY: Got one! Why were the early days of history known as the “dark ages?”

DEE: I don’t know. Why were the early days of history known as the “dark ages?”

BILLY: Because there were so many knights!

(They both laugh uproariously again.)

DEE: Oh, you’re the best, Billy.

BILLY: I know.

LANCELOT: (offstage) Dee! Billy!

DEE: Uh oh! It’s Captain Lancelot! If we don’t get this armor polished, he’ll kill us.

BILLY: At least I know what it’ll say on our tombstones.

DEE: What?

BILLY: (holding a piece of armor) “Rust in peace!”

(They both laugh uproariously again. Lancelot enters, looking perturbed. Billy retains his confidence, but Dee looks a little nervous.)

LANCELOT: Have you two finished with my ceremonial armor yet?

BILLY: Almost, boss.

DEE: Almost.

LANCELOT: Well, hurry it up. It’s an important night.

BILLY: No. You’re an important knight!

LANCELOT: No joking tonight, Billy. It’s Prince Charming’s birthday celebration and I need to make sure that all the guests know the proper protocols.

DEE: I don’t understand why you’re doing that, Captain.

BILLY: Yeah.

DEE: Shouldn’t you be off fighting dragons?

BILLY: Making sure that party guests mind their manners seems beneath you, Captain. Like a bad dream or something. You might say…a…”knight-mare?”

(Billy and Dee laugh uproariously. Lancelot moves forward and knocks their heads together.)

LANCELOT: Duty is duty. And we should all be so lucky to be called to serve.

DEE: Yeah, but-

LANCELOT: Prince Charming wants me here by his side. And I’ll serve him as loyally and as whole-heartedly as ever.

BILLY: If you say so, boss.

LANCELOT: Get back to work.

(Billy and Dee move off to one side, polishing the armor. Lancelot turns to address the audience.)

LANCELOT: Lords and ladies, you do Prince Charming great credit tonight. Welcome to his birthday celebration. As soon as the guest of honor arrives, we’ll commence with the festivities. And I’m pleased to announce that you’re in for a special treat tonight. Tonight, you’ll be the first in all of the kingdom to see the prince’s new likeness!

(Lancelot indicates the statue.)

LANCELOT: They say that when the Italian sculptor revealed his work, all the ladies of the household went blind at the sight of the Prince’s beauty.

BILLY: How do you sleep at night?

LANCELOT: Silence!

(Rapunzel enters, followed by a sleepy Sleeping Beauty.)

BILLY: Oh, look. It’s the Prince’s wives.

DEE: I never can keep them straight. I always think of them as Wife Number One and Wife Number Two.

RAPUNZEL: Lancelot! Lancelot! Oh, there you are!

LANCELOT: Princess Rapunzel.

(Rapunzel rushes over to him, but trips and falls. He catches her in his arms and they hold a look before Lancelot quickly lets go of her.)

RAPUNZEL: So clumsy of me…

LANCELOT: Gentlemen, the Prince’s wives. Show some respect.

(Billy and Dee stand up.)

BILLY: Good evening, Princess Rapunzel.

DEE: Good evening, Princess…er…Wife Number One?

BILLY: Sleeping Beauty.

DEE: Sleeping Beauty!

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Evening…

(Billy and Dee go back to work.)

LANCELOT: (bowing) Princess Sleeping Beauty.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Is everything ready…for the…thing…tonight?

LANCELOT: Yes, my lady.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Oh good. Do you think there will be time for a nap?

LANCELOT: I don’t think so, my-

(Sleeping Beauty collapses on the floor, snoring softly.)

RAPUNZEL: I envy how she does that. (beat, passionately) Oh, my love!

(Rapunzel throws herself at Lancelot and kisses him. Her hair quickly becomes tangled around him.)

RAPUNZEL: I wish we could be anywhere else tonight.

LANCELOT: I know. So do I.

RAPUNZEL: You do?

LANCELOT: Yes.

RAPUNZEL: Somewhere remote?

LANCELOT: Far, far away.

RAPUNZEL: Somewhere…under the stars?

LANCELOT: In the freedom of the meadows.

RAPUNZEL: Somewhere…romantic?

LANCELOT: Romantic? Well, I suppose if you consider slaying dragons romantic.

RAPUNZEL: Slaying dragons?

LANCELOT: That’s where I wish I was tonight!

RAPUNZEL: Oh…

LANCELOT: I feel like I could take down an entire fleet of them myself! That’s what I should be doing now!

BILLY: Hey, Dee?

DEE: Yeah, Billy?

BILLY: Where did Lancelot learn to slay dragons?

DEE: I dunno. Where did Lancelot learn to slay dragons?

BILLY: Knight school.

(They laugh uproariously and wake Sleeping Beauty.)

SLEEPING BEAUTY: I wasn’t sleeping!

(She climbs to her feet, wandering over to examine the statue and sheet.)

LANCELOT: Everything is in perfect order for your husband’s unveiling, Princess Sleeping Beauty. Princess Rapunzel.

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Huh? Oh. Good. That’s…good.

(She yawns enormously.)

LANCELOT: Would you like a pillow, Princess?

SLEEPING BEAUTY: A what? No. No, I’m fine. Just a little…worn out…

LANCELOT: Are you sure?

SLEEPING BEAUTY: Oh yes. I’ll be fine. Perfectly…fine…

(She collapses, fast asleep again.)

RAPUNZEL: I wish she’d stayed awake on her wedding night. Then, perhaps, he wouldn’t have decided to marry me as well.

LANCELOT: It’s an honor to serve the kingdom, in one way or another.

RAPUNZEL: Is that all you ever think about? Honor?

LANCELOT: I suppose so.

RAPUNZEL: What about love, Lancelot?

LANCELOT: Love?

RAPUNZEL: Do you love me?

LANCELOT: More than anything.

(They kiss.)

RAPUNZEL: Except your honor, of course.

LANCELOT: Well…

RAPUNZEL: Oh, Lancelot!

LANCELOT: I can’t help it, my darling. It’s who I am.

RAPUNZEL: Oh, I know. I just wish…

LANCELOT: What?

RAPUNZEL: I wish…

LANCELOT: Tell me.

(There is a fanfare.)

BILLY: Oh, sounds like the Prince is back from the dentist.

DEE: What was he doing at the dentist?

BILLY: Getting his teeth crowned.

(They laugh uproariously. Sleeping Beauty wakes up with a start again.)

SLEEPING BEAUTY: I swear, I wasn’t sleeping!

LANCELOT: On your feet. Both of you! Help the Princess!

(Billy and Dee rush over to Sleeping Beauty and help her climb to her feet again.)

RAPUNZEL: Lancelot, I wish that-

LANCELOT: Not now, my darling.

RAPUNZEL: But I need to tell you what I-

LANCELOT: It’ll have to wait. Prince Charming is on his way.

RAPUNZEL: Right. My husband. Of course.

LANCELOT: Tell me later.

RAPUNZEL: It can wait. I’m sure it’s not important…

(Lancelot moves away from Rapunzel, but her hair is stuck on his clothing and they need to disentangle for a moment or two.)

LANCELOT: Lords and ladies, rise for the heir to our realm, the great Prince Charming.

(Everyone turns in one direction. Prince Charming enters from the opposite direction, with Cinderella on his arm. She carries a large purse.)

SCENE 2

PRINCE CHARMING: Ahem.

CINDERELLA: Like. Show some respect. Or some junk.

LANCELOT: Your majesty!

(Everyone turns around, bowing or curtsying to Prince Charming. Rapunzel trips over the hem of her dress and falls down.)

PRINCE CHARMING: Rapunzel!

RAPUNZEL: Oops.

PRINCE CHARMING: Be careful!

RAPUNZEL: I’m sorry.

PRINCE CHARMING: You nearly touched my hair! (to Cindrella) Mirror!

(Cinderella takes a mirror out of her purse and hands it to him.)

CINDERELLA: Mirror.

PRINCE CHARMING: Comb!

(Cinderella takes a comb out of her purse and hands it to him.)

CINDERELLA: Comb.

(Prince Charming brushes his hair.)

PRINCE CHARMING: Thank heavens. I’m all right! Quickly, Cindy, how do I look?

CINDERELLA: Like…totally cute.

PRINCE CHARMING: That was a close one!

(He offers Cinderella an arm again. She takes it and they start to move forward, but stop short when they get to Rapunzel, who is still on the floor.)

PRINCE CHARMING: Lancelot…kindly pick up my wife.

(Lancelot leans over to help Rapunzel up.)

PRINCE CHARMING: Clumsy, clumsy, clumsy.

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