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A Dash of Bitters

Reginald Denham and Conrad Sutton Smith, adapted from The Perfectionist by Margaret St Clair
Full length, Melodrama
2 men, 2 women
Total Cast: 4, Interior
ISBN-13: 990253

MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $105 per performance. MS.
THE STORY: Muriel Whitlock, a middle-aged English spinster, is a perfectionist. Small wonder that Virginia Whitlock, an attractive young girl, hopes to get away. Virginia is a sculptress and she has just finished a statute which she is convinced will win her a scholarship to an art school in Rome. Muriel is not pleased, when she realizes that Virginia’s mind is made up, she agrees, and even offers to help finance the trip. All seems well, but when they leave for church one day Muriel slips back and smashes Virginia’s statue. But Muriel’s act was witnessed by Ricky Vidal, a young Latin-American, who has slipped into the house, unknown to Muriel. Ricky presents himself to Muriel as her long-lost nephew, and she suspects of ulterior motives; but she is also intrigued by his charm. He flatters her, gets money from her, encourages her in her artistic endeavors, which consists of drawing the same still life over and over. Ricky diverts her to other models, among them some goldfish which he gives her as a gift; but the fish keep moving around, and Muriel can’t get them to stay still until she puts them in the refrigerator, freezing them into position. Now Ricky realizes he is dealing with an unbalanced mind, and from this point on it’s a tug-of-war between his lack of principles and Muriel’s single mindedness.