THE BIG APPLE In the black, we hear the sound of APPLAUSE and CHEERING from inside a theatre. Also, we hear the cries of "Author! Author!" from the unseen audience. Slowly, as each VOICE is heard, we see that we are inside Bob's brain. Each voice is accompanied by a light, sharp or drawn out depending on each speech. BOB is in his mid thirties. He's a reasonably decent looking guy if your requirements aren't lofty. His brain is a kind of clubhouse which stores all the essential stuff of Bob's life. While everything in the brain is neatly-kept, there isn't a great deal of order to the place. There are baseball gloves and movie posters, stacks of paperbacks, photos of various family members and friends. Two or three televisions from preceding eras. Ditto a few VCRs. A full-fledged computer, very new. An old stereo. Lots of baseball caps and a couple of Red Sox souvenir pennants. There are also some specific items mentioned during the course of the play. The only difference between Bob's brain and what his apartment must look like is that, while there are nooks and crannies which allow entrances and exits, still, there seems to be no door into or out of Bob's brain. Oh, by the way, there is a very visible, extraordinary-looking chest situated in a very secure portion of the brain. Bob is in his brain, where he always seems to be, listening intently, and occasionally responding, to the VOICES. 1 VOICE (MAN) Now, that, is what I call a play! 2 VOICE (WOMAN) It's wonderful! My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! 3 VOICE (MAN) Bob wrote that? Our Bob? 4 VOICE (WOMAN) I can't believe it! It's so good! 3 VOICE (MAN) Well, you know what he has to do. 1 VOICE (MAN) All right. I'll say it. That is the funniest play I've ever seen. 3 VOICE (MAN) You know what you have to do. BOB I know what I have to do. 1 VOICE (MAN) And I saw DEATH OF A SALESMAN. Twice. 2 VOICE (WOMAN) Listen to what I'm telling you. You should put this play on Broadway. BOB Good idea. 4 VOICE (WOMAN) And you're so quiet all the time! Why didn't you tell us you could write like this? 2 VOICE (WOMAN) And it's such a great title! AULD LANG SYNE! 1 VOICE (MAN) I'm serious now--that's the best title...for a play...that I've ever heard. 4 VOICE (WOMAN) It's so...cheery! 1 VOICE (MAN) And I've seen DEATH OF A SALESMAN. 3 VOICE (MAN) Way to go, Bob! 1 VOICE (MAN) Twice. 2 VOICE (WOMAN) Bring it to New York. BOB You think? 2-VOICE (WOMAN) You love New York! 1-VOICE (MAN) The Durante quote? Remember? The Jimmy Durante quote? 2-VOICE (WOMAN) Bob loves New York! 3 VOICE (MAN) Get it to The Apple! BOB Jeez, I'd like to, but... 4 VOICE (WOMAN) You're "The Catholic Woody Allen!" It said so in the paper! 1 VOICE (MAN) I read that. BOB Well... 1 VOICE (MAN) Twice. 3 VOICE (MAN) The Apple. 2 VOICE (WOMAN) The Big Apple. 4 VOICE (WOMAN) New York! 2 VOICE (WOMAN) The town so nice, they named it... 1 VOICE (MAN) Twice! BOB (simultaneously) Twice, I know, I know... All the voices now talk at once, each encouraging Bob to bring his play to New York. Finally, Bob stops them. BOB (cont'd) All right! All right! (he is holding his script; he addresses the audience) I'm thinking...of taking my play...to New York. LIGHTS UP FULL. Seemingly out of nowhere appears THE BIG APPLE. He is the human manifestation of New York City. Enough said. APPLE (grabs script) Gimme that! BOB Hey, what are you doing? APPLE Look, right from the start, from the get-go, let's not yank each other's chains, all right sweetheart? You know what I'm doing. If you didn't know what I was doing, I wouldn't be here. BOB Wait a minute...the only way you could be here... APPLE (riffling pages) Yes? BOB Is if I conjured you up. Brought you into my brain. APPLE (feeling weight of script) Correctamente! Good Christ, what is this? BEN-HUR? BOB But I wasn't thinking of...you. APPLE You'll have to cut. 85 minutes, tops, these days a show should run, unless you got kick lines, homosexuals or God Help Us Lloyd Webber. BOB I was thinking of New York. APPLE Listen, you got any Maalox in here? BOB With respect to my play. APPLE First of all, eliminate in this brain of yours the notion of ever again using the words New York, respect, and your play in the same sentence. BOB Who are you? APPLE (gives script back to Bob) Hold this. I got heartburn like a colony of red ants is farting in unison in my gastric tract. Let me introduce myself. I am The Big Apple.