by Silverstein, Shel

  • DPS yellow New

Genre: Comedy

Length Short

Set Interior

Licence UK & Ireland only


Welcome to the darkly comic world of Shel Silverstein, a world where nothing is as it seems and where the most innocent conversation can turn menacing in an instant. The ten imaginative plays in this collection range widely in content, but the style is unmistakable. ONE TENNIS SHOE. Harvey needs to broach a delicate subject with his wife. He claims Sylvia is becoming a bag lady, but she protests that her Bloomingdales’ shopping bag doesn’t make her a bag lady. No, says Harvey, but the picture frame, couch cushion and single tennis shoe retrieved from the garbage do. Not to mention the cold cooked oatmeal in her purse. (1 man, 1 woman.) BUS STOP. Irwin stands on a street corner with a sign reading “bust stop.” When Celia passes, he stops her and proceeds to run through the entire list of slang for her breasts, but Celia turns the tables on him with a lengthy and demeaning list of her own. (1 man, 1 woman.) GOING ONCE. In a simultaneously comic and chilling monologue an auctioneer shows off a woman, who is putting herself up for auction to the highest bidder. (1 man, 1 woman.) THE BEST DADDY. Lisa’s got the best daddy in the world. After all, he bought her a pony for her birthday. Too bad he shot it dead. Or did he? Maybe it was Lisa’s older sister. (1 man, 1 woman.) THE LIFEBOAT IS SINKING. Jen and Sherwin sit safely on their bed, but Jen forces her husband to imagine they are on a sinking boat in the middle of a terrible storm. Waves fill the boat with water; there are no life jackets; and Sherwin must decide whether he should throw his mother overboard or condemn them all to die. (1 man, 1 woman.) SMILE. Bender and his henchmen drag Gibby into a room and throw him to the ground. Gibby protests that he hasn’t done anything wrong, but Bender and the others know better. They have found the man responsible for the ‘70s smiley face and the phrase “Have a nice day,” and they’re going to make him pay. (4 men.) WASH AND DRY. Marianne stops by the laundromat, but she’s horrified to discover that her laundry hasn’t been cleaned. George counters he never agreed to wash it. “George’s Watch and Dry,” he says. “You gotta pay attention.” (2 men, 1 woman.) THINKING UP A NEW NAME FOR THE ACT. Pete hits on the phrase “Meat and Potatoes” as the perfect name for their vaudeville act, but Lucy doesn’t like it. They get into a terrible fight, and Lucy kills Pete. A police investigation, trial and execution quickly follow. And the only words in this farcical sketch are “Meat and Potatoes.” (1 man, 1 woman, 9 men or women.) BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. Merrilee and Sherilee are offering the deal of the century. “Buy one, get one free,” the hookers sing to a tempted Lee. It’s a golden opportunity. And it all rhymes. (1 man, 2 women.) BLIND WILLIE AND THE TALKING DOG. Blind Willie sings the blues and asks passersby if they can spare a nickel or dime to help him and his hungry dog. But his dog can’t understand why Willie refuses to use the fact that he owns a talking dog to make some real money. (2 men.)


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