Menage a Sartre—Notes

  • (A lavish hotel room.)
  • Three people stuck at an existential orgy which never ends.
  • It’s looking past the point. OPP is other people!
  • “I say the last P…hmmm …stands for property” So according to the Mr. OPP-man, Won’t Only See Me Man, OPP stands for “Other People’s Property.” But Garcin distills this to the people themselves.
  • Attended to by Southern Californian Valet, stocking them with lubricants and other petroleum products?
    • Joe = Garcin – shirtless cowboy?
    • Chanel = Estelle – wears a cheerleader’s uniform?
    • Liz = Inez – Wears a strawberry shortcake cut-off top and a strap-on?
  • They can see their past sex lives. Boring, but better than this endlessness. But they come to realize that they deserve this fate.
  • They can’t leave each other; Liz will tell Joe’s wife, etc….
  • Instead of Napoleon, a bust of Reverend Moon? Ron Jeremy? Or freeze-framed pornography, the lust-filled eyes of a woman staring back. But she gets to clean herself up and go home. We cannot.
  • Nothing gets me hotter than talky ethical quandaries.
  • You don’t need a weatherman to tell Mariah Wind blows. (I suppose she will be the person on screen.)
  • This needs a turkey baster. Just because. And a garlic press!!!
  • They’ve been watching awful films: Nausea, Peeing and Nothingness, etc.
  • The Valet is ditching this for the aforementioned “six women” orgy, which he mentions will be “like a golf course!”
  • Should he also make the comment about the large shower stall? “You can fit a man, a woman, another woman, and the cameraman in there!”
  • He drops off some vibrating device which Chanel wants to use, but would rather see Liz use it first.
  • CHANEL: It’s just like Albert Camus said, “We all have a face that we hide away forever, and we take them out and show ourselves when everyone has gone.”
    (MORE: 7/14/04) JOE: “The Stranger?”
    CHANEL: (Gently correcting his French:) “L’Étranger”….
  • Why does it always have to be hotel rooms? For once, Chanel wants to make love to people somewhere lived in, like summer home on the lake NO like a library office NO like a bed and breakfast YES. But the owners also sleep in this bed and breakfast, and they will see the people arriving and hear what’s going on. Will it work? OR SKI LODGE!
  • About this opening position, Liz should be able to sit up, propped by her elbows, when talking to Joe. Only after she gets up should we see the strap-on. But how can her upper body be free when taken into context with the opening tangle? !!!! If we want to be really sick, we could have Liz, when she gets up, carefully slide the strap-on out of Chanel’s mouth. Oh my, that’s foul. What are the Equity rules about casting that?
  • We should have at least one moment where they try to avoid doing sexual things to each other, or stop talking to each other, etc. When Joe asks Liz a question, Liz defers to Chanel, who attempts to stick Liz’s head in her crotch.
  • So, what is everyone’s horrible secret? Why won’t they leave this orgy of the self-damned?
    • Joe, as in the Sartre play, has a wife whom he is cheating on. He talks a good talk about his free love lifestyle, but he is secretly terrified of losing her, though he pretends not to care about her. (Show don’t tell!)
    • Chanel is (I guess) some sort of porn star, but um, she’s turned 25. And you don’t want to stay alive. When you’re 25. Who will want to look at her now? How can she satisfy her pornographic desires if she can’t make porn? “She can’t lick his head if she was 25.” (NOTE TO SELF: If you can’t make the All The Young Dudes reference work, just change the age. Geez.) Chanel will also be limited by being blindfolded and/or tied up in the beginning. Joe will also attempt to undercut the ridiculousness of Chanel’s argument. At her age, she has to stop doing teen porn. It’s not like there aren’t other kinds. An additional reason Chanel wants to stay is so the producers don’t see her wrinkles.
    • Liz is the controlling master of ceremonies, of course, but she’s found a power trip that she enjoys that is also sexually pleasing. She knows she can stay in control of this situation forever. Somehow Chanel will have to realize that Liz needs to lose control, and the way to do that is through an orgasm (ain’t that always the way?). But the end of our play reveals that Liz can bluff her way Meg Ryan-style through that one.
  • Liz: Come on, Joe; show and tell!
    Joe: Oh show and tell.
    Liz: It’s just a game I play.
    Joe: When you want to say, “screw you.”
  • And for a spit take, Joe needs a glass of water. He picks up a bottle of lubricant and swigs it. Bleah. “But it’s water-based.”
  • But don’t stop now. Rummaging for food, he finds a banana. But he probably shouldn’t eat it. “Remember Chanel’s Carmen Miranda impression?”
  • At least the lube will help the banana go down easier.
  • Chanel makes an initial attack on herself with a sex toy, but it has no battery power. Cody later shows up with batteries, and after Chanel refreshes her toy, she is able to assault Liz.
  • Chanel pulls out an electric toothbrush and uses it — as a toothbrush. Maybe this can prompt the spit-swapping with Liz?
  • Cody reminds them to change their anal lube every three months, or 3,000 miles.
  • Cody will also beat the audience over the head with the crestfallen revelation that his three friends are depressed with the orgiastic paradise they have created. Moralizing over your own existence can wait. It’s fuck time!
  • Use the word “carnal” some time in the play. But don’t confuse it with Karnov from the Nintendo game.
  • Back on the subject of Mariah Wind, it may be worth it to contact her. Make the video a recreation of Subterranean Homesick Blues, with Wind topless behind Bob Dylan’s “cue cards,” making the song a striptease as the cards drop. That might cost money, but when/if Menage a Sartre is produced, we might have it.
  • It’s interesting that searches for Mariah Wind (purely for research, of course) also pop up “They Call the Wind Mariah,” a song from Paint Your Wagon, a *Lerner and Loewe musical* with Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood sharing the same woman (or maybe just dependent on the same woman). (“Paint Your Wagon, with BLOOD, I bet….” – Homer Simpson) Ms. Wind may have taken her name from that film. Or it could be a coincidence, like Traci Lords and Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story. (As detailed in reviews for her biography, Traci named herself after Jack Lord from Hawaii 5-0.”)
  • Continuing to bury the subtext of this play in bad puns, Chanel will call her vibrator Ruth Buzzi.
  • Trannie Grannies dot com. (Remember kids, there really is an
  • Let’s bust out some more broad, wheezy humor: maybe Chanel should complain about Liz’s strap-on, it’s too fleshy, etc. To remedy this, Liz unscrews the strap-on and replaces it with one that’s “cut.” “Mazel tov.” FOLLOWUP: Thanks to the pictures in the Adam and Eve catalog (research!), I see that some strap-ons will work with multiple dildos. They are belt-like, and a dildo is slid through a hole from the inside outward. So conceivably, Liz will be able to stick her hand into the strap-on, pull out one dildo, replace it with another, and recite her line. I feel better about this than having to take the entire strap-on off.
  • Cody should upset Chanel by guessing that she looks twenty, twenty-five. Now this can’t be original, but he can let her cry on his shoulder and try and push her head down to his crotch.
  • Liz will make some sort of comment about not wanting to wax nostalgia about some issue. Chanel, in true vaudeville fashion, will ask, “Who’s Nostalgia?” Is she hairy? Is she stubbly?
    “Morts sans sepulture (usually translated as The Victors), which shocked the sensibilities of many theatergoers because it dealt with torture during the Occupation, indicates how extreme the Sartrean view of freedom could be. The play offers the view that even under torture and threat of death, one is free to choose; that this choice cannot be evaded, nor can it be made other than in utter loneliness; and that one is responsible for all its consequences.”
    Did you say torture? Sounds like we can fit in an S&M reference.
  • Chanel: “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Once again getting her philosophy from the classic rock station. (I’m thinking we shouldn’t use this line.)
  • Cody, in reference to some sexual regret: “That’s why dildos come with erasers.”
  • UPDATE: (6/9/04) “That’s a pencil, Cody?” “Is it? Anything shaped like that that says “Number Two” on it I can figure out what it’s used for.”
  • Chanel used the nom de porn “Conway Titty”? Does she even know who Conway Twitty is?
  • If any cucumbers or zucchini are present or mentioned, use the line: “Just close your eyes and think of the Incredible Hulk.”
  • What the hell? Bang the Drum Slowly is a book about BASEBALL?!
  • I still want to use this exchange, but probably not here. (Wrong context and I want to avoid profanity.)
    “Sorry I’m late; people have been up my ass at work all day.”
    “Oh, what do you do?”
    “I’m a porn star.”
  • Can there be a sex shop called “Kenny Floggin’s”? I’m All Right!
  • This may be a bit extreme, but could Joe or Chanel wear feet pajamas — with the rear flap down, completely exposing his or her rear end?
  • 4/19/04: I just “googled” for “Three’s Company” and “No Exit” and found no comparisons of the existential Sartre play to the hellish sitcom, so I may be able to make a comparison of my own. (Though I suppose we can’t forget about the film “Stay Tuned,” in which John Ritter experiences Satan’s version of his television series.)
  • 4/21/04: When the trio decline Cody’s offer to attend the other orgy, Cody says, “I respect the Three’s Company thing you have going on here.”
  • Cody: “Well I found my ben wa balls, but I can’t find my keys.” “And every time I sit down the trunk pops open.”
  • In reference to Chanel’s dead batteries from a few months ago, Liz should pull out some jumper cables and offer to give them a try. “Why do we have jumper cables?” “Ask Joe’s nipples.”
  • “Cody, I’m horny. Do you have any batteries?”
    “Why would you want to masturbate with a battery?
    (She holds up the vibrator.)
    “Oh! Yeah, yeah; I’ve got them.”
  • During the moratorium on sex, Liz occupies herself with a magazine that isn’t sexual at all, but should be: Martha Stewart Living?
  • Cody will use “excitement” as a synonym for “ejaculate”
  • As mentioned in my text message, give Chanel (or Liz or Joe) the line: “I shaved my pubes for this?” (The actual album is “Did I Shave My Legs For This?, but it doesn’t sound right. The stresses are equally on SHAVE LEGS and THIS instead of rising stresses on PUBES and THIS.)
  • Cody tosses a vibrator to Chanel: “Your own personal Jesus.”
    “Reach out and touch faith.”
    “I already have touched her. Where is Faith today?”
    “Ah, she’s working; they’re riding her ass all day.”
    6/22/04: As long as we’re using funny names for sexual apparatuses, throw in “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand” for Liz.
  • Mention porn fairy tale with Dick Charming???
  • (Let’s not use this. From 6/22/04:)
    Using a vibrator that doesn’t vibrate is like starring in a lactation film when you can’t lactate. Joe’s right.
    (She discards the vibrator.)
    Thank you. Now if you don’t mind, I’m going to eat a traditional breakfast of edible underwear.
    (JOE begins to nibble on a pair of edible panties.)
    Oh, just go ahead and waste it like that. After I had it dry-cleaned for this occasion.
    Making it all the more toxic; thank you.
  • 6/30/04: More slapstick: have Cody bang his head against Liz’s phallus when he gets up. Isn’t there some term for being bruised by a penis?
  • 7/14/04: Another toy courtesy of Santa Cody: “The Oral Hershiser”
  • 7/14/04: Can we do a ring toss on Liz’s strap-on?
  • 7/23/04: “Need a hand, Job?” Is there a place for this cautionary tale about Biblical names and comma placement in this play?
  • 7/23/04: “Eddie Money never wrote a song called ‘Three Tickets to Paradise’.”
  • 8/10/04: Another one for Cody: “My nectar nozzle!”