The Butleress / No Smoking

ButleressTwo black comedies
9-12 February 2004

The Butleress (by Nick Stoller)

Four women meet at Concord Community Theater. The histrionic duo made up of aging drama queen Tamara and would-be famous actress Charlotte are complemented by inexperienced Katharine and quiet Marjorie. The four plan to rehearse a play called The Butler. Or rather The Butleress, as Tamara, the director (directress?) has renamed it in a flash of feministically inspired genius. (Or so she thinks.) This “obscure murder mystery” is set in rural 19th century England, starring a noblewoman, her daughter, a (female) inspector in search of a madman and the obligatory butler, respectively butleress. As we all know, in such plays the murderer is always the butler. But here? The blood on the corpse turns out to be real and all rules are forgotten.

No Smoking (by David W. Eddy)

Four gansters (3 male, 1 female) meet in a flat to plan a coup. Matters are complicated by the fact that three are young and one is old, three talk and one doesn’t, three smoke and one doesn’t – while all four are all too ready to make use of their guns. Moreover, their boss is absent and they have to pull it off by themselves.
Far from comitting the perfect crime they end up with the police right in front of their door, a bald methodist pursuing them for the loss of his cigarette lighter and in possession of a hostage – who has mail to deliver.