*We open at Louie's. Slip, Sach, Butch, and Whitey sit at a table, all with different varieties of food and drink in front of them. All paid for by IOU, of course.*
Slip: I hope Chuck gets here before ya eat all the food, Sach.
Sach: (He stuffs a burger in his mouth) I'll save him a burger.
Slip: *Sarcastically* Sure ya will.
Sach: Are you gonna eat those fries?
Louie: (He comes out) And when are you gonna pay for all of these delicacies?
Slip: I already gave ya the IOU, Louie. You gettin' fergetful in yer reclining years?
Louie: You're always giving me IOUs! I could wallpaper the store with them! Man can't live on IOUs alone.
Slip: *Shrugs* Ya seem ta be doin' well with it, Louie.
Chuck: *Comes running in* Guys! Guys! Look! (in his haste, he slips behind the table; we see his hand pop up, holding an envelope which Slip snatches from him.*
Louie: Is that your paycheck?
Sach: Is it food?
Slip: What's this? *opens the envelope*
Butch: Are you all right, Chuck?
Chuck: *Gets up* I'm okay.
Slip: Better than okay. This is an invitation to a ball on Saturday night! How'd you get this?
Sach: A ball? Baseball, football, or basketball?
Butch: What ball?
Chuck: *Grins* I finally heard back from Vivianne. It's a society ball that's supposed to have all sorts of people in high standing! Including newspaper editors!
Louie: Really? And all the fancy restaurant critics?
Sach: Will there be food?
Slip: *Whacks Sach with the envelope* Shudup. *to the others* An' this ain't just for Chuckie. It's fer all of us AN' the girls! How'd you swing this?
Butch: The girls too?
Chuck: I called her office the other day. *shrugs* I got tired of waiting and called, thinking I'd end up leaving a message, but she was in &... well, in the end, I got this. I just came back from her office.
Slip: *Taps the invitation* Says we can bring dates. *smiles at Chuck* Good fer you, Chuckie. 'Bout time ya took some initiation. *Nods at the table* Have a seat. We're just havin' lunch.
Rachel: (She comes out) Do you guys want anything else, or are you moving in?
Chuck: Rachel, we've been invited to the society ball Saturday night! *pulls the envelope from Slip's hand and gives it to Rachel; Slip glares at him briefly, but shrugs, then goes back to eating*
Rachel: Really? A real society ball? Does that mean I get to wear an evening gown? Does that mean I get to buy an evening gown?
Chuck: *Nods, grinning widely* Yeah!
Rachel: That's wonderful news! How did we get this honor?
Chuck: I finally contacted that writer Vivianne I told you about.
Rachel: And she called you back?
Chuck: I actually got her right when I called. She'd just come back from lunch.
Rachel: That's great!
Louie: This is wonderful!
Sach: See, Chuckie? We told you she'd call back.
Chuck: Yeah, you guys did tell me. I should've listened, but... Anyway, we're going to a society ball!
Sach: We're gonna see what rich people eat!
Louie: I'll meet the biggest critics in the city!
Butch: I'll get to chat-up the upscale musicians.
Rachel: (Sighs) I'll get to wear a knockout dress and dance with the handsomest guy in town.
Chuck: *Grins at Rachel* I thought I was going with you.
Rachel: You are. (She kisses him) I'll have the best-looking man there.
Sach: But I'm not your date!
*Slip whacks Sach with his hat.*
(Cut to the girls' apartment. We find ourselves in a very small bedroom. It's just large enough for two old wrought-iron beds with faded quilts, a slightly scratched roll-top desk, and two dressers. There's a cracked mirror on the door. Jane primps in the mirror, fluffing her blond hair. She wears a simple deep-blue gown with a long skirt and a nipped-in waist.)
(Rachel pulls on a shoe. She wears a sleeveless red gown with a long skirt covered in black netting. Her dark hair is swept into a fancy French roll.)
Rachel: This is so exciting!
Jane: (Nods) I can't believe we're going to a real, live society ball! We'll be dancing with the cream of the crop!
Rachel: It's unbelievable! *pauses* I feel nervous, too, but I'm not really sure why. *stands* How do I look?
Jane: You look incredible! Like Liz Taylor!
Rachel: Really? *looks herself over*
Jane: Chuck's gonna be crazy about you. (Turns around) How do I look?
Rachel: *smiles* You look wonderful! *pauses* You really think so? *smooths her skirt*
Jane: I know so! You're going to knock Chuck off his shoes, never mind his socks!
Rachel: *Sighs* Jane, why am I so nervous?
Jane: Because we're going to a big fancy ball with a lot of influential people and we've never done that before?
Rachel: I'm okay with that, though.
Jane: Because this is the first really big date you've gone on with Chuck?
Rachel: *Nods* Yes.
Jane: I'm sure it'll be fine. This is the first really big date I've gone on with Butch, too. He'll probably just talk to the musicians all night.
Rachel: I'm sure it'll be fine, too, but I'm still nervous.
Jane: (Shrugs) I'm nervous, too, but I know I'll have fun.
Marsha: (Knock on the door) Are you two decent? I need an opinion.
Rachel: Yeah, we're decent.
Marsha: How does this look? (Marsha comes in sporting a very tight strapless pink gown with sequins in the center emphasizing her not inconsiderable decolage. Her blond curls fall softly to her bare shoulders) Too much?
Jane: Um...very interesting.
Marsha: I really want to make a good impression tonight. There might be radio people there, or even Hollywood!
Rachel: You look...wonderful.
Rachel: *Frowns a little* How do I look?
Marsha: Really nice! The boys are gonna love you.
Marsha: Yeah! Who needs socialites when they have us?
Rachel: I'm just nervous.
Marsha: Why? I'm not nervous at all!
Jane: Marsha, you've never been nervous in your life.
Rachel: Yeah. *Shrugs* Maybe I'll feel better once we get there.
Sally: (She pops her head in) Are you guys ready? We're going with Uncle Louie. The boys are taking Lucy, god help us. (She wears a simple yellow gown with lace trim and a knee-length skirt)
Marsha: At least we'll know when they've arrived. You can hear Lucy in Staten Island.
Rachel: I guess so.
Jane: *Puts an arm around Rachel* We're ready. Letís go!
*We switch over to the boys' apartment. Behind one calico print sheet, we find Chuck and Butch getting ready. Butch is pulling on his shoes while Chuck adjust his tie in front of a cracked mirror. Chuck looks worried.*
Butch: Chuck, you look great! You'll knock Rachel right out of her high heels.
Chuck: You think so?
Butch: You bet! You look just like Robert Taylor.
Chuck: *Turns around to Butch* I'm worried about tonight.
Butch: (Nods) I can understand that. We've never been to a big fancy ball before.
Chuck: It isn't really that I'm worried about.
Butch: Are you worried about talking to Vivianne and all of her friends?
Chuck: No. Me and Rachel.
Butch: Why? Everyone in the Bowery is talking about how cute you two are!
Chuck: Not that. *sighs* I'm worried that something might...happen...between us.
Butch: What do you mean?
Chuck: Lets just say that big events and someone whoís horny are not a good combination.
Butch: Oh, come on. I'm sure they catch people necking in closets at all these big society balls.
Chuck: Not that! Butch, Rachel and I both agreed to wait. I'm afraid I'm gonna push the topic.
Butch: Then hang around with Sach at the buffet and eat a lot.
Chuck: *Rolls his eyes* I don't wanna gain fifty pounds, either.
Butch: Join Jane and me with the musicians, then.
Chuck: While I appreciate the offer, I want to spend a nice evening with Rachel. I just don't wanna forget myself and ask her to sleep with me.
Butch: You won't. For one thing, she's probably worried about doing the same thing.
Chuck: And if she forgets herself, too?
Butch: You go find a closet and get some necking in.
Chuck: Butch, come on...
Sach: (He pokes his head in) Well, how do I look? (He wears a tux that's a little too big with his usual baseball hat with the upturned brim)
Chuck: *Folds his arms* You look fine, Sach.
Butch: You look...interesting.
Sach: We're gonna wow those fancy people with blue in their blood tonight! I can't wait to taste what fancy people eat!
*Chuck rolls his eyes and sits on his bed, propping his chin in his hands.*
Butch: (He puts an arm around Chuck) It'll be ok. You'll see.
Sach: What's wrong with Chuckie? He should be excited! Think of all the people he's gonna meet!
Slip: *Comes in next* What's takin' so long? Whitey's bouncin' off the walls out there.
Butch: Chuck's a little nervous, that's all.
Sach: He's worried about all those fancy people.
Butch: Actually, he's worried about Rachel.
Slip: So get over it, an' letís go. I wanna dance with Sal already.
Butch: He's worried that she...that they'll, um, do something with each other that they'll regret.
Sach: Eating too much?
Slip: Sach, go peel Whitey off the wall.
Sach: Oh, all right. (He walks off; mutters as he does) I never get to hear the good stuff.
Butch: (Nods as soon as Sach is gone) It's true.
Slip: *Sits on the other side of Chuck* Chuckie, yer gonna be just fine. Yer a good guy. Yer not gonna do anythin' worse than neckin' wit' Rachel. Now, letís go party.
Chuck: *Looks at Slip* You make it sound a lot simpler than it is.
Butch: It is simple. You're making a mountain out of a molehill.
Chuck: All right. I'm being ridiculous. *stands* Lets go.
Slip: Now yer talkin'. C'mon. *heads out*
Chuck: *Shakes his head; to Butch* Did you at least pick up that I was being sarcastic?
Butch: Yes...but I'm not. You are being silly. This is natural. Do you think I don't have those kind of thoughts about Jane?
Chuck: I didn't say that. *sighs* I'm just afraid of losing control.
Butch: You won't lose control. If I can control myself, you can. I'm younger than you are. (Puts an arm around him) Let's go help Sach get Whitey off the wall and get out of here.
(We fade out as the two leave, their arms around each other.)