Between Riverside and Crazy (TCG Edition)
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Between Riverside and Crazy (TCG Edition)

Stephen Adly Guirgis

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eBook - ePub

Between Riverside and Crazy (TCG Edition)

Stephen Adly Guirgis

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About This Book

"Guirgis, like other storytellers who explore the sacred and profane, is most interested in how grace transforms us."— The New Yorker

Written with humor, tenderness, grit, and wonderment by acclaimed playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, Between Riverside and Crazy is an extraordinary new play: a dark comedy about a man trying to maintain control as the world unravels around him.

City Hall is demanding more than his signature, the Landlord wants him out, the liquor store is closed, and the Church won't leave him alone. As ex-cop and recent widower Walter "Pops" Washington struggles to hold on to one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments on Riverside Drive, he must also contend with old wounds, new houseguests, and a final ultimatum. It seems the old days are dead and gone — after a lifetime living between Riverside and Crazy.

Stephen Adly Guirgis ' other plays include The Motherfucker with the Hat, Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train, Our Lady of 121st Street, In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, The Little Flower of East Orange, Den of Thieves, Race Religion Politics, and Dominica: The Fat Ugly Ho. His play Between Riverside and Crazy won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2015. He is a former co-artistic director of LABryinth Theater Company. He received the Yale Wyndham-Campbell Prize, a PEN/Laura Pels Award, a Whiting Award and a fellowship from TCG in 2004.

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Kitchen Table. Saturday Morning.
Pops eats pie, sips whiskey and drinks tea. He sits in his deceased wife’s old wheelchair. The small kitchen table is beat up, but the fork is polished silver and his plate and teacup are fine china. Pops tries very hard to ignore Oswaldo, who loudly chews almonds throughout—
OSWALDO: How’s your pie? Good?
POPS: Fine.
OSWALDO: Yeah but—wanna try some of these fresh organic raw almonds from Whole Foods instead? Because my caseworker over at the place, he a real ball breaker like how I told you, but ever since I took his suggestion and switched my breakfast to almonds and health water instead of, you know—Ring Dings with bologna and Fanta Grape—
POPS: Oswaldo—
OSWALDO: See: the Ring Dings and bologna and Fanta Grape, it turns out, that’s what doctors and People magazine call “emotional eating” on my part—on account of I only ate that shit because those foods made me feel “safe and taken care of” back when I was a kid who was never “safe or taken care of.” But now, I’m a adult, right? So I don’t gotta eat like that no more, and I can take care of myself by getting all fit and diesel like how I’m doing from eating these almonds and making other healthful choices like I been making. And so, I’m not trying to get all up in your business, but maybe that’s also the reason you always be eating pie—because of, like, you got emotionalisms—ya know?
POPS: Emotionalisms.
OSWALDO: I know—it sounded funny at first to me too—but emotionalisms is real, and pie—don’t take this wrong—but they say pie is like poison.
POPS: Pie ain’t like poison, Oswaldo—pie is like pie!
OSWALDO: I know, but they said—
POPS: Oh yeah, “They said”! “They” always saying something. Then later, they’ll go and say something else that’s inevitably completely ass-backwards from what they originally said! Happens all the time. For example, them almonds. Don’t be surprised if we learn in the future that almonds cause cancer.
OSWALDO: Nah, they’re good for you—
POPS: Yeah, “they” say that now—wait a while, see what “they” gonna say then. Now grab me that Cool Whip from out the fridge—Nestor didn’t finish all my Cool Whip, did he?
OSWALDO: I’ll check.
POPS: Motherfucker thinks I’m here to keep him in Cool Whip.
(Lulu enters. She’s wearing very little.)
LULU: Morning, Dad.
(Lulu kisses Pops’s cheek, her body rubs up on him a little.)
POPS: Morning, Lulu.
LULU: Morning, Oswaldo . . . You got something on your face.
OSWALDO: What, where?
(Lulu rubs it off Oswaldo’s face.)
LULU: There. It’s off.
POPS: Lulu, you don’t get cold, dressed like that?
LULU: Oh I’m very warm-blooded—I can’t even sleep with a sheet.
POPS: How about a little robe then, something?
LULU: In the summertime?!
OSWALDO: Cool Whip’s gone—
LULU: Oh, was that yours, Dad?!
(Lulu bends over the fridge exposing herself further as she searches—)
POPS: Oh good Lord, “Full moon rising!” Lulu, mind your hindquarters—please!
(Lulu retrieves some pudding.)
LULU: Butterscotch swirl! Did you say something, Dad?
POPS: Nah, never mind. You walk the dog, Oswaldo?
LULU: Oh—I can go walk him right now, Dad!
POPS: Good. Thank you. Put some pants on though.
LULU: Oh I wouldn’t go out like this, Dad! You want something from the store?
POPS: Just some cookies and juice for when that damn church lady come. Why she don’t get the hint nobody wants her around here?
LULU: Dad! . . . Oh, wait—Dad? I just realized I can’t actually go to the store right now—when’s the church lady coming?
POPS: Ah, don’t worry about it. Just be home on time for supper. We having shrimps and my special veal you like.
LULU: Oh my God for real, Dad?!
POPS: Yes, now please, go walk the damn dog.
LULU: Oh—I’ll walk him right now! Shrimps and veal!
(Lulu kisses Pops on the cheek, rubs up against him a little, and exits.)
POPS: . . . Oswaldo?
OSWALDO: Yeah, Dad?
POPS: Why she call me “Dad” all the time? I ain’t her dad.
OSWALDO: It’s like, you know, she very fond of you. Like a term of respect. You ain’t my dad either, but I still call you Dad.
POPS: She ain’t right that girl.
OSWALDO: She a nice girl, Dad.
POPS: She may be nice, and she look good, but I fear the girl is retarded.
OSWALDO: . . . Oh snap, hold up. This guy in the Post, I know him!
POPS: Let me see that . . . Umm-hmm, just what I thought!
POPS: Oswaldo, three mornings out of five, you start up with, “Oh I know this dude in the paper”—
OSWALDO: But I know a lot of peoples—
POPS: Yeah, but do you know any people who ain’t criminals, Oswaldo?! Cuz it’s never the guy who rescued the puppy that you know. Or the brother saved a baby from a burnin’ building. But any motherfucker perpetrates a felony and ends up in the New York Post—that’s always the motherfucker you know!
OSWALDO: I’m trying to meet new peoples, Dad. I joined the Facebook . . .—you heard of them? From the computer?
POPS: Just don’t bring none of your old compadres around here is all’s I’m saying.
OSWALDO: You’re right, no doubt. And, I mean—thank you—because I really appreciate you let me stay here, Dad. And I’m gonna start paying rent real soon—
POPS: You my son’s friend and a guest in my home. Guests don’t pay no rent.
OSWALDO: I just wanna help—
POPS: I don’t need no help! Guests don’t pay no rent—ya hear?! You a guest. Period.
OSWALDO: Yeah, I feel you on that, and thank you—but also, um, I mean, I been feeling someth...

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