SUNSET FREEWAY

Sunset Freeway was first produced at the Manhattan Theatre Club with Bag Lady and Final Orders (under the collective title Early Warnings). It is a twenty minute monologue for a young actress driving on the Los Angeles freeways, written for and first performed by Rosemary Quinn.

EXCERPT

RADIO: (feature talk show): — we could, for instance, clone former presidents —

   (Judy pokes the dial again. Radio plays exacerbating music.)

JUDY (to a driver): Hey, "America, Love It or Leave It," I’m American too. Nut!

   (She has negotiated the turnoff.)

Whew.

   (She realizes she has food in her mouth.)

Oh, hell.

(She spits out what’s left into a tissue, puts the tissue into a plastic disposal bag hanging from the dash.)

Never mind. Don’t put yourself down, Judy. Sometimes people lose it completely at these decision points.

   (She quotes from "Confidence Training.")

"You’re doing fine. You’re a wonderful person."You’ll make it by six thirty easy. Was it six or six-thirty?

   (She panics again.)

Where’s my appointment book?

(With one hand she searches frantically for her book.)

Where is it? Glove compartment.

   (finding it)

Ah ha! Six-thirty, not six. Whew!

(She pokes the dial to get rid of exacerbating music. Radio plays "easy listening" music. She looks at her book.)

Look at all your appointments. Convention, interview, demo, the toy fair, audition, taping.

   (She speaks to herself in her friend Carmen’s accent.)

"Thousands of girls would give their eyeteeth. Their eye teeeeth. Come on. Charm Girl number One on "Million Dollar Door?" Come on.

How did I get on "Million Dollar Door?" Well, it’s really a very funny story. It was my third week in L.A. and I wanted to be a contestant on a quiz show so I went to an audition. Only I got on the call-back line for charm girls by mistake, you see. And because I wasn’t nervous, I got it, and I remember my friend Carmen and I sat up all night drinking red wine to celebrate. I suppose that’s how you could say the Judy Jensen story began. Just lucky, I guess...

   (Another intersection coming up)

All right, Jude. Concentrate. Get over to the right. The right. Now!

   (She negotiates that.)

Good. Avoid Olympic, but don’t get on the Santa Ana. Stay right. Good, but avoid Adams. Avoid Adams!

(She swerves, cutting off someone. She smiles to that person apologetically.)

Published by Dramatists Play Service in Early Warnings.