Directed by Jon Wai-keung Lowe

With Heren Patel & Nima Slone

EDNA – Female – 30s – a troubled dame JIMMY – Male – 20s – a waiter a Phillie’s diner

The kitchen of a corner diner below 14th St in a major American city

mid-20th century

JIMMY and EDNA are bound, seated back-to-back.

JIMMY I suppose introductions–


JIMMY [Whispering:] I suppose we should introduce–


JIMMY [Quietly:] I was just trying// to be poli–

EDNA [Whispering:] Kid, when a man with a gun says to sit down and be quiet, you make like Libby’s and can it.

JIMMY [Whispering:] Well, you don’t have to be mean.

EDNA Sorry. Edna. My name is Edna.

JIMMY Pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss Edna. My nametag says Jimmy, but my friends call me Harry. [pause] So, do you get kidnapped a lot?

EDNA [Sarcastic:] Only on Tuesdays. You?

JIMMY This is my first time! I just moved to the City to pursue a career in show business. I’m working at this diner while I polish my act. So, what do we do in a kidnapping? We need a plan, right?

EDNA The “plan” is to cool it until these mooks get their cash and scram. They’ll want to be gone before another customer comes in, so–

JIMMY Oh, they’re not robbing the diner. They’re waiting. For a guy.

EDNA [Tries to face him but is bound:] Whaddaya talk? Who’re they waiting for?

JIMMY While the gentleman with the oddly-hawklike nose was chatting with you,–

EDNA That masher!

JIMMY I was taking the other gentleman’s order. He said he wanted the chicken croquettes, black coffee, and do I know a guy named Ollie.

Edna gasps.

“Sorry, sir,” I said, “We don’t have the chicken croquettes until after Cook comes in for the dinner service, but I can make you a ham sandwich. Or perhaps you’d like some scrambled eggs.”

EDNA Ollie, you dumb bastard. // Didn’t I tell ya?

JIMMY [Not hearing:] He seemed to have his heart set on those chicken croquettes, but the menu clearly states which items are for dinner, which starts at 5:30 on the dot, and which items are available all day. Oh, hey, are you–

Edna sniffles loudly.

JIMMY (cont’d) [Whisper:] Oh, hey, are you crying?

Edna sobs in frustration.

JIMMY (cont’d) Please don’t cry, miss. Gosh, I can’t stand a lady crying. Even at the movies, if it looks like a lady’s gonna cry, I go out to the lobby to have myself a snack til that part is over. You can usually tell from the violin music.

EDNA Oh, my god.

JIMMY That’s why I like war movies. What with all the artillery and explosions and what not, you can tell there are no crying ladies, even from the lobby.

EDNA Listen, Jimmy–

JIMMY Please call me Harry. I feel we’re going to be good friends despite having met only recently.

EDNA Okay, Harry, we need to figure out how to get out of here.

JIMMY I thought the plan was to wait until another customer comes to untie us. We can use the time to get to know one another.

EDNA The next customer to walk through that door is going to be the man they’re waiting for–

JIMMY Oh, good! Then perhaps the kidnappers themselves would be willing to–

EDNA –so’s they can kill him.

JIMMY Kill him? But that would be murder! Say, how do you know the next customer will be this Ollie fellow?

EDNA Ollie is my boyfriend! He’s meeting me here tonight.

JIMMY Meaning no offense, but this isn’t a very romantic place to meet a lady friend.

EDNA No, I asked him to come, so’s I could break up with him.

JIMMY Whoa, rough night for Ollie.

EDNA I begged him to stop with the gambling. I told him it was gonna catch up with him some day. We can’t just sit here! I don’t want to see Ollie get hurt!

JIMMY Weren’t you planning to break up him?

EDNA Well, not if he’s going to die! What kind of Delilah would that make me, breaking up with a guy about to get whacked? And I don’t plan on bein’ his widow, so we gotta stop them!

JIMMY We need a plan!

EDNA We need a weapon! Look around!

They try to turn in the same direction.

EDNA No, clockwise! Clockwise! [As the rotate:] It’s a kitchen. There’s gotta be a knife!

JIMMY They’ve got a gun. What are we going to do with a knife?

EDNA How ya goin’ fire a gun tied up in a chair?

JIMMY Funny you should ask. [Standing:] Ta-daa! My nana said I was throwing $4.95 down the drain, but I told to her, “This book has Mr Harry Houdini’s picture on the cover. This is going to be the start of my career.” And here I am, in New York// City–

EDNA You been holdin’ out all this time? What kind of deus ex monkeyshines–

JIMMY No time for explanations! Or to untie you. I’ve got to act fast! And when I say “act,” I mean exit this kitchen, locate a policeman, and return with said officer to this very loca–

EDNA Hold on; what if Ollie gets here before you can find a cop? Get something heavy and hide behind the door.

He finds a frying pan and hides at the doorway.

EDNA Not that door! Now, when the guy with the nose comes in to check on us, you clock him! You ready for this?

[Practicing his swing:] Oh, boy, oh boy! I feel good. I feel really good.


JIMMY [Whispering:] You just told me–

EDNA [Whispering:] He’s coming! SHH!

Footsteps. JIMMY prepares to swing.