“The later in life you come out,
the weirder it’s gonna be.”
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It’s the Year of our Lord 1999. Retired gay men flock to the Sunshine QUEST Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL for dancing, companionship, flirtation, and nonstop fun. But not everyone is waiting for them with open arms.
Full script available at the National New Play Network's New Play Exchange (NPX). Click here.
Or see EXCERPT below.
LENGTH: 1 hour 35 minutes (plus intermission)
CAST: 4M, 1F
The Sunshine QUEST Club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida—a social club for senior gay men.
Al Getz. Male. 60s. Handsome, successful realtor. Former movie star, Todd Hammond.
Brad Hall. Male. 30. Assistant manager at Sunshine QUEST.
Robby Smirnoff. Male. 70s. Retired agent.
John Strathmore. Male. 60s. Retired company man.
Mary King. Female. 50s. Ballroom dance instructor.
2014. The Fresh Fruit Festival, The Wild Project, New York City, JULY 11-13.
2013. Excerpts (under the title THE LAST NIGHTS OF SUNSHINE QUEST) presented at the Pulse Ensemble Theatre Company Playwrights' Lab's Festival (Change!), The Playroom, New York City, March.
2021. Ronnie Larsen Presents at The Foundry, Wilton Manors, FL, July 21.
2014. "Fruitie" Award for Best Supporting Player (Camille Mazurek), Fresh Fruit Festival.
SUNSHINE QUEST had its first production at the Fresh Fruit Festival at the Wild Project in New York City, JULY 11-13, 2014.
Tony Neil*, James Meneses, George Boras, Steve Shoup*,
*Appearing by courtesy of Actors Equity Association
Directed by William Fowkes
Assistant Director – Wendy Peace
Choreographer/Movement Director – Heidi Miller
Stage Manager – Sondra Hunt
Pictured below (left to right): Camille Mazurek, George Boras, James Meneses, Steve Shoup, Tony Neil
SCENE 1: Late one afternoon, December 1999.
The stage is in blackout.
Projection or voiceover: “Fort Lauderdale, Florida in the year of our Lord 1999.”
Massage music starts to play.
Oh . . . ! Oh . . . !
(loudly—the sound of an orgasm)
After a few moments, the lights come up to reveal AL GETZ lying on his back as BRAD HALL covers him with a towel. Barely conscious, AL is purring and sighing. BRAD turns off the music and starts to pack things up.
Mmmm . . . ! Mmmm . . . ! I’ve never felt so good! . . . I could lie here like this . . .
BRAD clears his throat.
I’m afraid I’ve gotta go set up the tables for bingo night.
AL gets up and starts to get dressed.
I didn’t mean—
(trying to control his excitement)
I’m a big fan, by the way. I’ve seen all your movies.
You’re confusing me with someone else.
C’mon! I recognize you. You’re Todd Hammond.
My name is Albert Getz.
You put out a book! You were on all the talk shows!
That was five years ago. No one read it. And I haven’t acted in fifteen years.
But everyone around here knows who you are.
Big deal. Five minutes of telling me how much they love Miami Sunrise and then we’re back to real estate—that’s my passion now.
My mother loved all your movies.
Like that new condo on Las Olas—what a beaut!
She still watches them whenever they’re on TV.
Hey, are you in the market?
I can’t afford a condo!
How about your mother?
She lives in North Carolina.
Any siblings down here?
I’m an only child.
(forcing his business card on Brad)
I could help you get a mortgage.
Do you have any idea what the Spaulding Brothers pay us?
Oh, well. Just a thought.
By the way, do you do that for all your clients? That little something extra—that unexpected “release.”
(flustered and embarrassed)
Oh—yeah…about that. I…uh…I’ve never done that before.
And at a respectable place like the Sunshine Quest Club.
Please don’t tell anyone! I don’t know why I did it. I’m so sorry. I swear it won’t ever happen again! //
// No, no—I’m not complaining. I was just a little surprised, that’s all.
Okay. It can be our little secret.
BRAD wipes down the massage table as AL continues getting dressed.
You see, the thing is—I guess I feel safe with you, because I know you—from all your movies.
If you’re expecting me to be Todd Hammond, you’re in for a big disappointment.
I don’t understand.
People put on facades—or in my case, let others do it for them. Maybe you do, too—maybe we know nothing about the real Brad Hall.
Me? No—what you see is what you get.
So, you’re just a masseur?
I’m not a masseur.
Oh, that’s right—you’re called massage therapists now.
No, I mean givin’ massages isn’t all I do.
Well, I think we’ve established that!
Please don’t make fun of me!
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to.
It’s okay. I’m a little too sensitive sometimes. I guess it’s ’cause I was teased a lot when I was a kid.
BRAD starts to fold up the massage table.
You remind me of someone…someone I was in love with for many years.
I remind you of a woman?
No, a man—a young man. I miss him.
I’m not that way, Mr. Getz.
If you say so. I hope I didn’t offend you. And I hope you don’t think I was hitting on you. I bet a lot of the guys around here do that.
I can handle myself.
You mind my asking how you ended up working at a gay men’s club?
This isn’t so bad. I’ll say one thing for you guys—you’re very generous with the tips.
AL quickly pulls out his wallet and hands BRAD some money.
We appreciate people who understand our special needs.
Well…I better start working on those Bingo tables before the Spaulding Brothers unleash their dogs on me. The last time I fell behind, they docked my pay.
Let me go talk to them, Brad; I’ll get them to back off.
You don’t have to do that.
But I want to help.
Please don’t. They’re very touchy. I think they’re havin’ financial problems.
(pointing to his watch)
And you really have to go now.
Oh, sure. Hey, can you book me for Friday—same time?
No problem. Oh, and Mr. Getz!
Thanks for tryin’ to help me out, Al.
AL and BRAD exit. The lights dim.
N as in “Nelly”…37.
B as in “Big Biceps”…14.
O as in “Orgasm”…75.
END OF SCENE
A Play in Two Acts
by William Ivor Fowkes
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