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Read an excerpt from Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts

By Nekesa Mbadiwe Date: June 19, 2019 Tags: Excerpts

What’s harder, marriage or renovations? In Rick Chafe’s play Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts, both are under the microscope as two couples put themselves to the test of commitment. Boomers Julie and Wayne argue over their kitchen re-do and end up hiring the younger John and Maggie, who aren’t without their own problems. John’s just proposed, and Maggie hasn’t given an answer yet. Through the play, the two couples argue and work out everything from the kitchen tiles to inter-generational differences through this kitchen restoration.  

In this excerpt, tensions between Julie and Wayne start to rise when John gives them a quote on cabinets. 

JULIE: (calling) Hellooo?  

WAYNE: Oh crap.  

JULIE: (calling) Hi Honey.  

WAYNE: (to John, quickly) Remember this: you work for me, not for her, got it?  

JOHN: What?  

JULIE: Helloo?  

WAYNE: Just keep that thought -  

(calling) We're in here.  

JULIE: (entering kitchen, coat still on) Who’s we?  

(to John) Hi!  

JOHN: Hi!  

WAYNE: John, Julie.  

JULIE: Hi John. Uh, what are you doing here?  

WAYNE: John's here to give us a quote on the kitchen.  

JULIE: A quote?  

WAYNE: A quote.  

JULIE: Are you serious?  

WAYNE: Look at my face.  

JULIE: But this is... My God. I can't believe this.  

WAYNE: You said you wanted a kitchen.  

JULIE: I've been saying I wanted a kitchen for... ho ho ho! Looong time.  

WAYNE: And I said I'd start calling contractors.  

JULIE: It's just – Wow! You really did!  

WAYNE: Overreacting, Honey.  

JULIE: So, John - John?  

JOHN: Yup?  

JULIE: What part do you do?  

JOHN: All of it.  

JULIE: You build entire kitchens?  

JOHN: Sure.  

JULIE: Sorry, I'm... I'm kind of in shock here. You look kind of... Well, great! Good for you! Give me two seconds -  

She goes to hang up her coat. 

WAYNE: (quickly and quietly) Whatever she wants, we're not giving it to her, all right?  

JOHN: What?  

WAYNE: The kitchen she wants would cost half a million dollars. If you quote me for half a million, no way – got it?  

JOHN: Right – so how do we –  

JULIE: (returning) Okaaay!  

WAYNE: Here we go.  

JULIE: (entering) John? How much?  

JOHN: How much?  

JULIE: I'm kidding. I just wanted Wayne to know right from the start, Honey, I appreciate you doing this, and I’m thinking about the money.  

WAYNE: Well, that’s ... very impressive.  

JULIE: Thank you. So where have we got to?  

JOHN: (uncertain, checking with Wayne) Uh, we’ve measured the room?  

WAYNE: Yes we have.  

JULIE: Okay then. Cabinets. Just roughly, if we replaced all the cabinets you see here with say, mid-to upper-line, IKEA, what would you say we’re looking at?  

JOHN: Well...  

WAYNE: Maybe you could get back to us with that, John?  

JOHN: Right.  

JULIE: Sweetheart, I’m just asking for a rough idea.  

WAYNE: The range on these things is huge, honey, there's so many variables –  

JULIE: I know there's variables.  

WAYNE: So how can he know off the top of his head?  

JULIE: He must have a rough idea, right John?  

JOHN: Well... The last kitchen I did was a little bigger than this –  

JULIE: Every kitchen is bigger than this.  

JOHN: And they were pretty nice cabinets -  

JULIE: We don't want cheap.  

WAYNE: Economical would be good.  

JULIE: I said mid-to-upper, I didn't say top of the line. So John, just for comparison, how much were they?  

JOHN: They, were...  

John glances at Wayne. Wayne shrugs helplessly.  

...twenty-five thousand dollars. But –  

WAYNE: Twenty-five thousand -?  

JULIE: Not as bad as I thought. That gives us some room. Now, flooring –  

WAYNE: We are not buying twenty-five thousand dollar cabinets, just get out of your head.  

JULIE: Honey, relax. This is going to cost money. 

Intrigued? Need to know how this ends? Order your copy of Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts now! 

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