Three Hundred, A Musical

Act I


Scene 5

(The HOTEL LOBBY. The DESK CLERK is standing behind the desk, and MCDONALD is standing in front of the desk.)

CLERK

So what do you think of my idea, sir?

MCDONALD

I know business is slow. But I really donít think the answer is turning this place into an adult hotel!

CLERK

But all it would take would be a few mirrors on the ceilings, an X-rated movie channel, hourly rates . . .

MCDONALD

I really donít think so.

CLERK

Topless waitresses in the dining room . . .

MCDONALD

That will be quite enough, thank you very much. (HE turns away in disgust, as BILLY and MARIE enter through the front door.) Hello, sweetheart. Good evening, Billy.

BILLY

Hi, Mr. McDonald.

MARIE

Daddy, I brought Billy here so you could talk to him about you know what.

MCDONALD

(HE glances at the DESK CLERK, who busies himself with other duties.)
Youíve come at an excellent time, as it happens. We may have an immediate opening.

BILLY

Sir?

MCDONALD

(Putting HIS arm around BILLY and walking him to CENTER STAGE.)
Son, have you given any thought to what youíre going to do after bowling?

BILLY

Well, I usually just have a couple of beers and . . .

MCDONALD

No, no. I mean after your bowling days are over.

BILLY

Excuse me?

MCDONALD

I realize that bowling is a wonderful sport. Why I, myself, have been known to pick up a ball now and then and toss it at the old needles.

BILLY

Pins.

MCDONALD

Of course. The point is that soon youíll want to begin charting the course your life will take after bowling is no longer the thrill it once was. Youíll want to get a real job, settle down, marry a nice girl.

BILLY

I had one in mind, but sheís not speaking to me at the moment.

MCDONALD

Pay no mind to that. Itís just something they do now and then. My wife once refused to speak to me for two weeks because I forgot to buy her a card on Sweetest Day.

BILLY

(Glancing at MARIE.)
I canít imagine anybody doing something like that.

MCDONALD

The truth, I swear it. In any case, I happen to be in a position to solve all your problems.

BILLY

You can keep me from dropping my shoulder?

MCDONALD

(After a slight pause.)
Almost all your problems. Billy, how would you like to come to work for me?

BILLY

You mean here? (He glances around.) At the hotel?

MCDONALD

That would be the general idea. I would make you the assistant manager. Iíd teach you all about the business. And some day, when I retire, this could all be yours. I never had a son, you know.

BILLY

Gee, I donít know what to say, sir.

MCDONALD

This would also be a very nice place for a wedding reception, if you know what I mean.

BILLY

(Glancing at MARIE.)
This is a package deal, am I right?

MCDONALD

Think of it as the opportunity of a lifetime: A wife, a job, a future, all tied up in a neat package, as you so aptly put it.

BILLY

But I donít know if Iíd like working in a hotel. I donít know anything about it.

MCDONALD

You could learn. Iíll teach you everything you need to know.
THE HOTEL BUSINESS IS A SWELL BUSINESS.
THEREíS NOTHING NOT TO LIKE.
YOUíRE GIVING PEOPLE SHELTER.
YOU MAKE THEM FEEL AT HOME.
THEYíLL ALWAYS HAVE A PLACE TO STAY
FROM NEW ORLEANS TO NOME.

BILLY

Nome?

MCDONALD

AND IN OUR FAIR CITY, SUCH A SWELL CITY,
IíM THE MAN TO SEE.
OUR RATES OUR INEXPENSIVE.
OUR BEDS ARE VERY NICE.
WE ALWAYS HAVE HOT WATER
AND BUCKETS FULL OF ICE.

AND I CAN TELL, BILLY, YOUíD BE SWELL, BILLY,
AT RUNNING THIS HOTEL.
YOUíRE INTELLIGENT AND FORTHRIGHT.
PEOPLE LIKE YOUR LOOKS.
AND THE WAY YOU FIGURE BOWLING SCORES,
YOU COULD EVEN KEEP THE BOOKS!

BILLY

Gee!

MCDONALD

SO WONíT YOU JOIN OUR FAMILY, ITíS A SWELL FAMILY.
WEíRE CULTURED AND REFINED.
MY DAUGHTERíS NOT TOO CRAZY,
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE.
MY WIFE WOULD LIKE A GRANDCHILD, BOY,
AND I COULD USE A SON.

BILLY

Dad!

MCDONALD

THEREíS ONLY ONE CONDITION. YOU NEED MY PERMISSION,
AND I REALLY HOPE YOU SEE:
YOUíVE GOT TO GIVE UP THIS THING ABOUT BOWLING,
BEFORE YOUíLL MARRY MY MARIE.

(Short dance number.)

YOUíVE GOT TO GIVE UP THIS THING ABOUT BOWLING,
BEFORE YOUíLL MARRY MY MARIE.

MARIE

(CROSSES to BILLY, puts HER arms around HIM.)
Oh, Billy, please say yes!

BILLY

(Pulling away from HER.)
I donít know, Marie. Itís an awful lot to think about all of a sudden

MARIE

Why do you have to think about it? Donít you love me?

BILLY

Of course I love you, but . . .

MARIE

But what?

BILLY

I canít give up my dream.

MARIE

Your dream! But what about my dream? (CROSSES DOWNSTAGE, as LIGHTS DIM.) Iíve always known weíd get married, Billy, ever since we were little kids and you used to chase me around the playground. Remember?

BILLY

I remember. But that was a long time ago. We were just children.

MARIE

Youíre still a child, Billy Jones! You just want to play games. Well, itís time to grow up.

BILLY

Why? I like things the way they are. I . . . Iím not ready for all this!

MARIE

You have to choose, right now! I wonít wait for you any longer.

BILLY

(Backing away, beyond the narrowing circle of light.)
Itís not fair. I canít decide. I canít!

MARIE

All right for you, Billy. If you wonít decide, I will.
I CANíT LOVE YOU ANY MORE.
YOU DONíT KNOW WHAT LOVE IS FOR.
IíM A GIRL WHO NEEDS A MAN WHO NEEDS ME.
AND YOU DONíT NEED ME ANY MORE.

ALL THOSE THINGS WE USED TO DO
DONíT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU.
YOU DONíT EVER SAY YOUíLL NEVER LEAVE ME,
THE WAY YOU DID WHEN OUR ROMANCE WAS NEW.

DONíT SAY YOU CARE. IT ISNíT FAIR.
I DONíT BELIEVE YOU DO.
YOU SAY HELLO, AND THEN YOU GO,
AND IíM ALONE AND BLUE.

IíLL FIND SOMEONE WHOíLL BE TRUE,
KIND AND STRONG AND GENTLE, TOO.
HEíLL BE SOMEONE NICE WHO MAKES ME HAPPY.
SOUNDS JUST LIKE A BOY THAT I ONCE KNEW.

DONíT SAY YOU CARE. IT ISNíT FAIR.
I DONíT BELIEVE YOU DO.
YOU SAY HELLO, AND THEN YOU GO,
IíM ALONE AND BLUE.

WE DONíT SHARE A SINGLE DREAM;
THEREíS NOTHING LEFT TO SAY.
BUT I CAN'T LOVE YOU,
I REALLY SHOULDNíT LOVE YOU,
DARLING, I DONíT LOVE YOU ANY MORE.

(MARIE stands alone on the stage as the CURTAIN falls.)

END OF ACT I

GO TO ACT II, SCENE 1