Peter Rose
Diamond Fever

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Scene One: Here we are

Riccardo: Hello.

Leo: I'm Leo Klein and this is Mr. Riccardo Agostini.

Riccardo: We're responsible for all of this. Leo:

That's right. We are those two young lawyers who met between their junior and senior years in law school.

Riccardo: We became friends for life during and improvisational acting class we took together one summer preparing for our senior year.

Leo: What a class!

Riccardo: Acting! We often did scenes together from the Classics of American Modern Drama: Classics of American Modern Drama

(insert scene)

 

Biff: Will you let me go for Christ's sake! Will you take that phoney dream and burn it before something happens. I'll go in the morning. Put him, put him to bed!

Willy: Isn't that remarkable?

Biff, he likes me!

Linda: He loves you, Willy!

Happy: Always did, Pop.

Willy: Oh, Biff! He cried. Cried to me. That boy that boy is going to be magnificent!

Ben: Yes, outstanding with twenty thousand behind him.

Linda: Now come to bed, Willy. It's all settled now.

Willy: Yes, we'll sleep. Come on. Go to sleep, Hap.

Ben: And it takes a great kind of man to crack the jungle.

(Music)

Happy: I'm getting married, Pop! Don't forget it. I'm changing everything. I'm gonna run that department before the year is up. You'll see mom.

Ben: The jungle is dark, but full of diamonds, Willy.

Linda: Be good, you're both good boys, just act that way. That's all.

Happy: Night, Pop. Linda (to Willy): Come, dear.

Ben: One must go in to fetch a diamond out.

Leo: That class changed my life. Those scenes were truly inspirational to "Klein and Agostini". We were provoked to initiate activities far beyond our original postgraduate expectations.

Riccardo: You see we had viewed one another as men imbued with the spirit of altruism and plain goodness. I wanted to work for The American Civil Liberties Union and do prison reform.

Leo: I planned to be a National Health Care activist and litigate Dental Insurance for all!

Riccardo: God, I remember that Leo. Soon after receiving our degrees we began planning and acting differently.

Leo: I told Riccardo it was possible to touch the souls of more people by opening an ice-cream parlor and marketing our original late night creation, "White Chocolate Diamond Mint Chip". We scored big in the market.

Riccardo: So big we franchised out of our native Boston and opened another store in New York City. To spread our home-made goodness we bought several buildings in the transitional neighbourhood one of which included a fledging experimental dance and performing arts hall.

Leo: We kicked out all of the previous tenants except the dancers and one administrator and struck a deal with them. We sold retail on the ground floor.

Riccardo: And rented living space exclusively to hypoglycemics.

Leo: At every dance concert our ice-cream concession was required situated beside the ticket-taker. We sold single scoops...

Riccardo: Which we called "solos".

Leo: Double scoops...

Riccardo: "Duets".

Leo: And triple scoops...

Leo and Riccardo: "Major collaborative work!"

Riccardo: After the franchising expanded from top quality home-made to the equally wholesome factory made ice-cream, one of the more morally pure Klein and Agostini employees confronted Leo as to how he could justify calling his ice-cream home-made when he knew it was factory made.

Leo stared down the employee and said:

Leo: My home is two blocks from the factory. It's home-made!

Riccardo: We turned retail profits into new financial inroads.

Leo: Show business!

Riccardo: We developed an original script entitled "Yuppie-Bum".

Leo: "The Musical". It was rythmically akin to "Keuni-Leumi" a Broadway smash and based on a true story. After all of our hypoglycemic tenants were living comfortably in our buildings, we wanted to do something to show our appreciation to the community. With rent reduction incentives...

Riccardo: And ice-cream rebates... we enlisted our tenants, dancers and administrator to rally round and sweep the New York City streets clean of all the filth, homeless bums and assorted street life.

Leo: You see we wanted to run tours through this refurbished area. The administrator was our tour guide, the dancers performed and our hypoglycemic tenants scoured the streets for dirt.

Riccardo: After the tours began through the sterile streets, nobody was happy. We were impored to bring the indigenous street life back. The tours were hollow without the local color. We conceded. Agreeing to bring the bums back...

Leo: We hadn't realized they were the life the tourists wanted desperately to see. We put the bums under contract, simply to be themselves and not change. Lie around, fight, drink, sleep, eat and be natural. They were paid twice monthly plus per diem amd were contracted as an ensemble: "The Diamond Street Life".

Riccardo: Due to rising property taxes and numerous enormous private donations to dancers it wasn't long before we found our investments deepening and our need for capital increasing. We were introduced to the Diamond trade throughout International Diamond Importers, Inc.

Leo: They had offices in New York, Tel Aviv, Bombay...

Riccardo: Caracas, Johannesburg, Antwerp, Moscow...

Leo: And the newly established office in Los Angeles prepared to open any day. We wanted to trade for the real thing!

Song: Jack 'O Diamonds Jack 'O Diamonds When you play the game of life You've got trouble you've got strife Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find You've got luck and you've got wealth But you may not have your health Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find Chorus Heh, heh, heh, Jack 'O Diamonds Jack 'O Diamonds Diamonds is a hard card to find Met a girl I lost my heart Lack of money made us part Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find She said life is just a bet But I have not won it yet Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find Repeat chorus Some will tell you ace is high But I know that it's a lie Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find Queen of hearts is way above But the highest card is love Jack 'O Diamonds is a hard card to find Repeat chorus two times

"Diamond Fever", International Marketing Cafe and Lounge

Scene One of Two: Welcome

Leo: Welcome, ladies and gentleman to The Diamond Fever International Marketing Cafe and Lounge at Edgemar. This is your mobile marketing entertainment. An island of investment possibilities in recessional seas.

Riccardo: Right, Leo! We are your bridges. To purchasing power and the unique cultural and commercial strategies of this environment. Edgemar! Home of The Santa Monica Museum of Art where you can see art in. Harriet Dorn, the place to buy for the child and the child in you. And The Gallery of Functional Art where all contemporary dysfunction is dispelled by the ingenous practice of artistic form and expression serving function.

Leo and Riccardo: WOW!

Leo: Sit back and relax. KikiLeuwebaby across the way supplies ladies with accessories necessties; Buffalo on Main Street will be a ladies and menswear Mecca and perhaps closest to our unusual hearts, Monsoon, which houses choice East Indian and African artifacts and contemporary pieces. Charms of power, hand-crafted works of high and holy art.

Riccardo: Leo and I recently returned form a special "global selling entertainment" in South Africa. We were in The Transvaal for a benefit performance for miners living and working by the banks of The Limpopo River. We exchanged worthless diamond chips for ice-cream supplied by the finest in the world. And right here at Edgemar: Ben and Jerry's (ice-cream samples supplied).

Leo: As they say in beautiful South Africa: "Nachtmahl and Skolie". As the tunes of our very own band fill the courtyard air, we say, "Salut!" Visit each and every one of these buy for life outlets. You will find what you need. Absolutely.

Riccardo: You have a right to buy for life. Yes you do. Tonight along with my partner and the band, we offer our great monthly special event. The great diamond chip give away sweepstakes. This month our business associates who love to support us all over the world have donated gifts for you. From our corporate business associates in the United States of America we have received twenty cases of pint-sized White Chocolate Diamond Mint Chip Gourmet Ice-Cream. And our new and gallant business comrades in The Soviet Union working at The Moscow Experimental Diamond and Freedom Factory we have this month's number one grand prize: Dancer arrives with Display A diamond ring with thirty-six baguettes and round sparkling diamonds crowned with one three quarter round center stone set in eighteen carat yellow gold. Approximate retail value: Twelve thousand dollars. Plus! One complete set of the Vintage Diamond Jubilee Video Cassette Collection.

Leo: Thank-you Moscow Experimental Diamond and Freedom Factory!

Riccardo: The fifty-three third prizes are the hard bound book published by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer...

Leo and Riccardo: "Diamonds, Myth, Magic and Reality!"

Riccardo: Light and scintillating reading after a hard days work.

Percussion intro to dance. Leo and Riccardo join for dance's finale Musical intro for Co-hosts return

Diamonds in the Rough While strolling out one evening not knowing where to go Just to pass the time away before we did our show, I heard a little mission band playing with all their might I gave my heart to Jesus and left the show that night. The day will be soon be over the digging will be done. No more gems to gather so let us all press on. When Jesus comes to claim us and says it is, "Enough!" The diamonds will be shiny no longer in the rough.

Scene: MEDF.

Leo and Riccardo enter toting valises. World weary.

Leo: Riccardo, I was awakened from the slumber of my vain and worldly thoughts...

Riccardo: What, Leo?

Leo: ...to the knowledge that nothing endures in eternity like knowledge of the rock of the world!

Riccardo: ...Awakened from your vain and worldly thoughts.

Leo: I'm back on the right path. Contemplation. Investment.

Riccardo: What is the right path?

Leo: Investing your stone and chiseling your being into the rock of the world.

Riccardo: Hell of a promotional pilgrimmage! Truth!

Leo: I have news of an incredible find. MEDF. Or the Moscow Experimental Diamond Factory.

Riccardo: The Moscow Experimental Diamond Factory...

Leo: ...is the largest supplier of gold, diamonds, platinum, precious and semi-precious stones in the world. The variety and quantity of diamonds available for export to you and me is increasing every year.

Riccardo: Let it increase tonight. Chisel your being into the rock of the world.

Leo: Brooches, bracelets, rings, pendants are all available through MEDF, priced below any available diamond market here or abroad. One-half the price and even less. We can get these diamonds at one-half the price of any market in Bombay, Tel Aviv, Caracas or New York City. All of this jewelry is designed in the classic style and set off by an encirclement of sparkling diamonds. Contemplation...

Riccardo: Contemplation...

Leo: ...Of this reality leads me back to myself and onto the right path. Being here tonight and choosing the right path. Investing!

Riccardo: Investing...

Leo: Pouncing on the opportunity to seize these precious and semi-precious stones at bargain prices because you deserve them. Possess them. We have brochures and order forms here! Mail your completed form to MEDF in care of Leo Klein.

Riccardo: And Riccardo Agostini, Hicksville Road, Hicksville Long Island.

Leo and Riccardo: 11520!

Leo: It truly is a special day. It is five years since Riccardo and I began hosting these mobile marketing cafes. Our entertainments have included journeys around the globe expanding the activities of Klein and Agostini, International. I'm in a sentimental mood. It's fifteen years since my partner and I began working together. Twenty years of friendship. It brings up lots of memories. As we were getting dressed before coming on today I was reminded of the first time Riccardo and I were in a cafe, lounge, casino. Where we got the bug.

Riccardo: You see my ex-wife and Leo's ex, Helen, were all the best of friends. Helen was an art history scholar and a hairdresser.

Leo: Helen used to give free haircuts and show slides of her favorite paintings to Riccardo and Marcia, pronounced, Mar-see-her.

Riccardo: I got a "Broadway Boogie Woogie" cut, shaggy, rythmnic, but stylish. Remember the rides on the boat with Marcia teaching us to floss and care properly for our gums.

Leo: Yeh! Marcia was one fine dental technician who worked in a casino in Atlantic City.

Riccardo: As a waitress.

Leo: A cocktail waitress.

Riccardo: Remember the first time we visited the casino together. Leo was very excited. The neon lights and action everywhere. It was wild and so was Leo.

Leo: We all were going to spend the week-end. I loaded up with a bunch of quarters and began playing the slot machine. I got more and more into it.

Riccardo: Suddenly my wife announced she was going to pick up the complimentary breakfast passes for the four of us.

Leo: I remember that. Helen and she took a stroll. And then, I can see it again. Almost as if it were yesterday. My hand was on the level of that slot machine. The quarter was in. I can see it. The arm of the machine came down and then it happened. The lights started to flash and intense sound began happening. I couldn't believe it. I can see it as if it were yesterday. I had won three-hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars!

Riccardo: It was so exciting.

Leo: So exciting.

Riccardo: None of us had ever won anything before.

Leo: The administrators of the casino came over and brought their camera with them along with this over-sized check made out to me: LEO KLEIN, for three-hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars! The four of us posed together with the check made out for three-hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars! And then Helen and I posed together for a picture with the over-sized check. And then as everyone began celebrating I figured I might as well pose by myself with the check, since I had won the money!

Riccardo: As we were driving home Sunday night, Leo turned to me and said you'll never have to worry about paying rent again.

Leo: I remember that.

Riccardo: We all tried to be polite and ask him, "What's going to be here, how are we going to divvy up the winnings." It seemed like a fun problem. We decided the phrase we'd use was, "Did he intend to include us in a portion of the winnings?"

Leo: They said, "How much of the money is ours?" That's exactly what they said!

Riccardo: But it was with my wife's quarter that you won!

Leo: Friends, my partner seems to distort the memory of that week-end.

Riccardo: The judge remembered it the way Helen, Marcia and I did! The judge said that on the basis of twelve years friendship we should split the pot.

Leo: We didn't split the pot and would never split the pot!

Riccardo: He refused to give us less than half.

Leo: That's right Riccardo. I don't want to be the heavy here in front of our guests.

Riccardo: When we visited him during the trial to discuss an amicable solution, he locked himself in the bathroom and wouldn't come out. That's heavy!

Leo: I'm not going to be the heavy here, but have you all know, I kept the money as a matter of principle because I am a man of principle! Musical theme enters. Mournful, cynical horn. We hardly spoke to each other after this. My wife played the casino every week-end. She lost two-hundred thousand dollars.

Riccardo: I couldn't pay the mortgage on the house Marcia and I purchased. Legals fees left me broke. Back taxes destroyed me.

Leo: Helen joined Gamblers Anonymous and we were divorced.

Riccardo: My salary was garnished by the IRS and Marcia left me.

Leo: I tried to start my own business and lost five-hundred thousand dollars. I took out a one-hundred thousand dollar bank loan.

Riccardo: Which you ran out on.

 

 

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