Robert Anthony Playwright
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A Full-Length Play Consisting of 2 Acts with a Cast of 6

Full Synopsis

Jersey City, New Jersey, the year 2000, is the setting for this tale of four unlikely roommates who live together in a second-floor apartment with one bedroom. They share this space, a volatile environment that pulsates with doubt and disappointment as they attempt to sort out lives that are caught in an unrelenting cycle of drinking, gambling, mistrust, and hostility. Although together they generate enough money to pay the rent there is never enough to support any major life-changing decisions.

There is Dave, a frustrated actor working nine to five but is looking for a different way of life. Herbie, the most desperate of the four, works part time with a street fruit peddler, his dream of living in Las Vegas long gone. He doesn't drink and spends as little time as possible being sociable. He has developed a habit of stealing food from the local grocer and avoids going shopping with the other guys. He does have a girlfriend, another man's wife, that he sometimes brings to the apartment, causing Dave or Frank to sleep on the sofa. Mick has the bedroom. He works odd jobs but considers himself an artist, a poet, and a musician. The oldest, Frank, has spent a lot of his years homeless, and although he still checks himself into detox units, he is happy to have a permanent address for the time being. He no longer has to hustle and is content with his beer and cigars and occasionally still sells pretzels with his old friend Larry. When not in the apartment he spends most of his time alone on a bench near the river or taking subway rides to Staten Island. He refers to these trips as the "scenic route."

There is constant friction and predictable behavior as the four come and go. When Mick decides to move out he is soon replaced by Happy, a waiter everyone knows. He likes to gamble and does his best to fit in, but there is little change in the dynamics of the household other than Frank being hospitalized with bleeding ulcers.

Miraculously Herbie makes a considerable hit with the horses, or so it is believed, and is now planning to leave for Vegas with Wild Bill, his gambling buddy. Near the end of the play Dave and Wild Bill arrive at the apartment, having left Herbie behind to bet the remaining races of the day. They've brought in a bag of pork chops that were bought by Herbie. In the meantime Mick has stopped in to say hello and learns of Herbie's good fortune. He says Herbie owes him money so he'll stick around and wait for him. They proceed to have a few drinks while waiting. When he doesn't show there is a phone call that explains why. At this moment Frank returns from the hospital and wants to celebrate.

Cast of Characters for Demons

DAVE A strong personality in his fifties; frustrated actor given to dramatic outbursts; spouts philosophy; very likeable; tolerant; has wit and charm.
HERBIE A compulsive gambler, 40-50; petty thief; anti-social; dreamer; low self-esteem; works part time for street vendors; looking for the big score.
FRANK A tall, rigid man, about 70; a loner; secretive; spent many years on the streets; sometimes uses words inappropriately.
MICK A good-natured guy in his forties; supports himself with odd jobs; woman chaser; likes to play the drums; has sloppy habits; bit of a braggart.
HAPPY A skinny, fidgety man, 50-60; works as a waiter; is prone to fits of laughter and talking nonsense, especially when drinking.
WILD BILL A large, red-faced man in his fifties; unemployed; social misfit; heavy drinker; gambler; has rapport with Herbie.