How To Make The Mrs. Happy

$40.00

Description:

This is a comedy about marriage. (or musical comedy if you wish) Perfect for a Christian dinner theater or Valentine banquet. The play centers around two best friends who live next door to each other and spend a lot of time together talking about their marriages and trying to think of ways to make them better.

Description

The play turns into a slapstick comedy several times with falls, gags and surprises and even a pie in the face. It might remind you of some of the old sitcoms of the 50’s. There are plenty of husband and wife squabbles that you may find hilarious, especially if it reminds you of yourself. There is a tiny message at the end about love and feelings and what the difference is, as one of them expresses how love is from God and it involves a commitment. But overall, there is not a strong spiritual message. The play is mostly done for laughs and the two male leads have the largest parts by far. There are places where songs could be added to make it a musical. Some song suggestions have been made, but the songs are not included in the script.

5 major roles (2 males, 3 females) A few males and females in very small roles and as extras. (only 3-5 with lines)
Should take a little over an hour, or 90 minutes if 4 or 5 songs are added.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

WES BAKER: Speaks 2650 words. Self employed and struggling in his marriage. He spends a lot of time with his friend and neighbor, Arthur. He’s also a bit of a hypochondriac.

ARTHUR ALLEN: Speaks 2601 words. A novelist and Wes’ best friend. He tries to be on top of things and in control, but in reality, he can be quite fearful and also frustrated with relationships.

VICKY ALLEN: Speaks 1450 words. Arthur’s wife, who is a bit bossy, to him and to her sister.

LINDA BAKER: Speaks 1078 words. Wes’ wife, who has grown a bit tired of Wes, too. Most of the time she just ignores him.

CLAIRE: Speaks 564 words. Vicky’s younger sister who lives with them while attending college. This part becomes much larger if she sings a song or two.

MRS. O’HARE: 111 words. A very proper lady from church.

PETE: 30 words. Claire’s friend.

JENNIFER: Claire’s friend.

EXTRAS: Usher, Opera Lady, and more of Claire’s friends.

The set can be made to look like a living room in the Allen home. The only set change is the one for the opera scene. If you have a backdrop for the living room, perhaps you can just remove it and have the opera seats just there behind it, and then quickly remove the couch and chair. Another option would be to bring the opera seats out to the front of the stage.
Costumes can be kept simple with a quick change for the opera scene.

Excerpt:

LINDA
I can’t believe you guys shot down our idea so fast.
WES
Did you really think that we would want to go to the opera?
LINDA
I admit…it was a long shot. But you could have tried. So, how long are you planning on staying over here?
WES
What do you mean? I don’t know.
LINDA
Don’t you have work to do at home?
WES
Yeah…I’ll get it done. The web site pretty much runs itself.
LINDA
The last time I looked you had a lot of customers to answer. You need to stay on top of that, or you could lose business.
WES
Don’t start telling me how to run my business.
LINDA
Well, you act like we are independently wealthy…and we’re not!
WES
That’s not true. I don’t act like that.
LINDA
Just because Arthur is rolling in the dough, doesn’t mean that you are in the same boat.
WES
How do you know that he is rolling in the dough?
LINDA
Oh come on! He could probably live for years off of the residuals from his last ‘Arthur Allen’ novel! I don’t think Vicky even has to work. She’s just keeping busy.
WES
It takes time for a new business to get off the ground. Word of mouth will bring them to my site.
LINDA
And then your product will be out of date! Have you finished the upgrade yet?
WES
Look! I don’t tell you how to do your job!
LINDA
You couldn’t do my job!
WES
And I suppose you could do mine?
LINDA
Practically with my eyes closed!
WES
Yeah…right.
LINDA
Okay…lets try it.
WES
Try what?
LINDA
Doing each other’s jobs.
WES
What are you talking about?
LINDA
For one day. I’ll do your job and you’ll do mine.
WES
(Laughs)
What? Answer phones at your brother’s office?
LINDA
And then come home and cook dinner… do the laundry and clean the house and clean up the dishes.
WES
You don’t do all of that in one day!
LINDA
Sometimes I do. That’s what I have planned for tomorrow. You only have to work at the office for 4 hours.
WES
And what are you going to be doing while I’m doing all of that?
LINDA
I’ll answer all your e-mails, and I’ll finish the upgrade on your software.
WES
You can’t do that!
LINDA
You showed me how to do it once…it can’t be that hard.
WES
What if you screw it up?
LINDA
Well, I’ll test it before I’m done!
WES
I’m going to have a big mess, I just know it.
LINDA
You’re going to MAKE a big mess…is more like it! I don’t even think you know how to use the washing machine!
She starts to exit
WES
You’re on!
She exits as Arthur re-enters.
ARTHUR
What was that all about?
WES
Linda was accusing me of being a bum. She’s mad because I’m hanging out over here with you instead of working.
ARTHUR
Do you have work to do?
WES
I could be creating new software. If I had more products to sell, we might be making more money.
ARTHUR
Are you guys having financial problems? I can help you out…
WES
Oh no! We’re fine. Don’t even think about doing that! We just had a little argument about who does more work. So, we are switching roles tomorrow.
ARTHUR
Really? Can she do your job?
WES
Not in a million years.
ARTHUR
Hey…you know…I don’t want to be a problem in your marriage.
WES
What are you talking about?
ARTHUR
We’re good friends and we spend a lot of time together, which could become a problem for Linda. Vicky, too, for that matter.
WES
I wouldn’t worry about it.
ARTHUR
No…I’ve been thinking. Maybe we should take them to the opera?
WES
What? Have you popped your cork?
ARTHUR
No! It would make them happy! It’s only for one night!
WES
But…the opera??
ARTHUR
Hey…I’m willing if you are. Just think…we will be making a bunch of points with our wives! That can’t be a bad thing.
WES
I can’t believe I’m doing this…but I am going to agree with you. That’s probably a really good idea. We could get a lot of mileage on just this one night alone!

(From a later scene) :

Arthur is on the sofa sipping on a cup of coffee and brooding. Wes enters.
WES
Hey you… can I join you?
ARTHUR
It’s a free country.
WES
What?
ARTHUR
Nothing.
WES
Hey, Bro…you okay?
ARTHUR
Yeah…why?
WES
You just seem out of sorts. You sure you’re okay?
ARTHUR
Oh… I guess I was thinking about something. It’s nothing, really.
WES
It’s something… but its nothing… hmmm…. Wanna talk about it?
ARTHUR
I don’t know. It’s…..it’s dumb.
WES
Those are the best ones!
ARTHUR
You’ll laugh at me.
WES
So… when did that ever make any difference? We laugh at each other all the time. Come on… spit it out! I’m your best friend! You can tell me anything! (Pause) I am your best friend, aren’t I?
ARTHUR
There’s no one else.
WES
Well, that’s what I thought, but then I thought maybe I spoke too quick. You never know…
ARTHUR
My sister is getting married. That’s not the problem.
WES
You don’t like weddings.
ARTHUR
No… I like them just fine. The problem isn’t the wedding. Like I said… It’s dumb.
WES
You’re going to miss a game?
ARTHUR
No…
WES
You hate wearing suits.
ARTHUR
Who wears suits anymore??
WES
I do!
ARTHUR
Oh. No, that’s not it either.
WES
You hate wedding cake!
ARTHUR
Nobody hates wedding cake!
WES
Right. Let’s see, what else could it be?
ARTHUR
Stop guessing already! (Pause) There’s going to be dancing at the wedding.
WES
You don’t like dancing? What are you… Baptist?
ARTHUR
I don’t know how.
WES
So don’t dance. Nobody’s forcing you. (Pause) Are they?
ARTHUR
Vicky likes to dance, and I just can’t. But she’ll feel compelled and she will drag me out on the dance floor and I will look like a fool. It happens every time.
WES
Is that all? Look! Nowadays, you don’t have to know how to do anything. You just stand there and sway back and forth to the beat. Just move your feet from side to side like this.
He shows him.
WES
Now if they start doing rap and hip hop and start break dancing…then you lay down on your back and you spin around…just kidding…just go and sit down. Vicky won’t know how to do that anyway.
ARTHUR
No… it won’t be like that. Those guys don’t listen to that stuff. They are into ballroom dancing. They’ll be playing big band stuff. Those two are really good dancers, and they will be doing all that fancy stuff.
WES
When’s the wedding?
ARTHUR
In two weeks.
WES
Not really enough time to take dance lessons. Look… all you have to do is just wait and dance on the slow dances. So…you just hold each other.
He sort of demonstrates to the air with no one there as the woman.
ARTHUR
No…it’s more than that. They will be moving across the floor and doing the real thing. You know…
He starts dancing around badly like he has someone in his arms.
WES
OH! Like waltzing? That’s not that hard.
(Demonstrates)
It’s just one two three one two three one two three….like this.
ARTHUR
You make it look easy.
WES
It is easy! Here… let me show you!
He approaches Arthur like he’s going to dance with him.
ARTHUR
What are you doing?
WES
I’m going to show you how to do it.
ARTHUR
I’m not dancing with you!
WES
Nobody’s gonna see us! We’re in your living room for Pete’s sake! Come on!
ARTHUR
No way!
WES
Hey! It don’t mean anything! You want to learn how to dance, don’t you? This will be a nice surprise for Vicky. Now I’ll be you and you be her.
ARTHUR
What?
WES
You watch me and see what I do and then you can try it. Now I put my hand on your waist and we hold hands. Put your other hand on my shoulder.
ARTHUR
Are you sure this is right? It doesn’t seem right to me.
WES
That’s because you’re not you! I’m you! You’re her! Okay… ready? One two three one two three.
They start dancing together.
WES
That’s it. You’re getting it. Now… let’s switch.
ARTHUR
Now what do I do?
WES
Everything the opposite. Now you’re you and I’m her. I was leading before…now you need to lead. One two three one two three….
They dance around together some more getting better as they go.
ARTHUR
This is easier than I thought. If I can just keep from stepping on your feet.
WES
You’ll need to stop looking at your feet, though. Vicky is going to want you to look her in the eyes. It’s far more romantic than you looking at your feet.
Arthur is still looking at his feet and Wes takes his free hand and grabs Art’s face.
WES
Up here! Eyes up here! Look me in the eye! That’s it! See?
Arthur over does it and really stares at Wes to be funny.
ARTHUR
Okay….I’m getting it. Slowly.
They keep dancing.
ARTHUR
Hey, let’s start again…
They get into position and as they dance around, the wives walk on stage and stop to watch. They are trying to keep from laughing. They could even be hiding behind the couch.
ARTHUR
Hey…do you know how to dip?
Just then they turn and suddenly they both see the girls at the same time. An optional idea is Art tries to dip Wes and he sees the girls as he’s dipping and he drops Wes on the floor or onto the couch.
BOTH
AAAAHHHH!
The women burst out laughing as the men suddenly realize the situation and split apart quickly, looking most embarrassed and horrified.
ARTHUR
It’s not what you think!
VICKY
I think you’re practicing for the wedding?
ARTHUR
Okay… so it is what you think.
VICKY
Keep up the good work, Wes. He needs it. He’s always stepping on my toes.
WES
Well, this lesson is over. Now that she knows…then why doesn’t she teach you?

“A 4 star favorite! Warren has proven his ability again to custom write and to create a comedy that can be used anywhere and become a crowd pleaser. This comedy is superb and was supremely received by our audience. There has been nothing but positive and raving comments about it.”

Bill Rodebaugh, Pastor, Landmark Baptist, Greenville, NC

2 reviews for How To Make The Mrs. Happy

  1. “A 4 star favorite!  Warren has proven his ability again to custom write and to create a comedy that can be used anywhere and become a crowd pleaser.   Our church performed this with the very author of it as a fellow guest cast member.   Everybody that came to the play thought it was great.  The way Warren has written this story allows for various options for music or musical numbers to be inserted as well as creative physical comedy routines with the written lines.   The story ends with a serious dose of what love really is and a spiritual message that cannot be forgotten.   Furthermore, various ages are included in this drama allowing teenagers to be part of the cast which always brings more attendance and a certain audience appeal.   This play is definitely a modern day comedy but truly family friendly and a throw back to “I Love Lucy” or “Dick Van Dyke.”  Warren’s diversity in writing various types of plays is endless and this comedy is ideal for any season.   A play which will leave the audience laughing and enjoying themselves immensely.”

    

Bill Rodebaugh, Pastor, Landmark Baptist, Greenville, NC

  2. We used this play in our 7th Annual Dinner Theater.  We had a lot of fun putting this play together and presenting it.  The audience loved it.  We received many comments about it being the funniest play we’ve done.  Thank you for sharing your talent with us.  We are looking to do another one of your plays this year.

    M.W., Prospect United Methodist Church, Covington, GA 30016

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