The Outlaws of Candy Kitchen
Bonney the Kid Rides Again
Cast of Characters
BONNEY: Candy Kitchen manager Bonney H. Williams.
JOHN: Drunk patron who is actually John Miller, Texas Ranger.
FLO and BERTHA: Patrons and friends of BONNEY.
ALLY: Ally Capone is the owner of Candy Kitchen who makes life difficult for BONNEY.
REPORTER: Meets the old John Miller
JO: Arm wrestler
SALLY: Jo's friend
PEGGY and POLLY: Looking for candy
SHERI: Sheriff's daughter who is trying to keep the peace in town while her daddy is away.
CITIZEN 1 and 2: Sheri's posse
CHARLIE: Quiet piano player.
The play can be done as a melodrama or a light-hearted comedy. The audience can be encouraged to "boo" at Ally Capone, "sigh" for Bonney, and cheer for "John." When they hear the secret knock, everyone can yell, "It's the secret knock!" Basically this play is meant for theatre groups who wish to ham it up and have a little fun.
As a warm up with the audience, do a mini-melodrama. Have audience members volunteer to come up on stage and pretend to be a damsel in distress, a villain and a hero. The rest of the audience practices cheering for the hero, booing at the villain and saying "ahh" for the damsel in distress. You can even have them act out a super short melodrama.
Before the play begins, each of the major characters can introduce themselves. JOHN, FLO, BERTHA, BONNEY, and ALLY
(JOHN is in grey hair and has a cane. REPORTER approaches)
JOHN: So you've caught me. I thought for sure I was safe here in Candy Kitchen. Lucky for you I'm an old man or you'd be dead where you stand. (Has to be sit) Can't even pull the trigger, my old hands crippled by arthritis.
REPORTER: I'm not the law, Mr. Miller. I'm a reporter.
JOHN: A reporter?
REPORTER: I've been searching for you everywhere. I wanted to interview John Miller, the real Billy the Kid.
JOHN: Billy the Kid? So you've heard that I'm Billy the Kid. Hate to disappoint you, but I'm not the Kid. Everyone thinks that because I was in many of the same places and showed up with a bullet wound after his supposed death, but I ain't him. (REPORTER looks disappointed and starts to go) But I did know the Kid. (REPORTER stops and returns) You want me tell you about the Kid? (REPORTER nods) Most people say The Kid died but she survived and I helped save her. See, we set up old Pat Garret. He thought he had the Kid but she worked up a plan to fool him. Pat thought he had The Kid cornered in my lady's house but she hid The Kid and I took the bullet for her.
REPORTER: Wait, you keep saying her. Was Billy the Kid a woman?
JOHN: That she was. See, that's how she got the name The Kid. Many woman became cowboys and even outlaws in the old west. And when they dressed like men, they often appeared boy-like because they were clean shaven and didn't have rough skin. Bonney's ma asked me to watch out for her when she died and I have done that. Even through her toughest times... And one of those times was right here in Candy Kitchen.
(MUSIC starts and Lights fade)
(Lights come up and various people are gathered in a club talking, drinking, and enjoying themselves. Everyone is dressed casually in western or 20's type clothes except for BONNEY who wears a nice outfit that stands out. PIANO PLAYER plays some intro music and then the center of attention is on JO and FLO who are arm wrestling. BERTHA tells AUDIENCE - this side for JO and this side for FLO)
JO: (Straining) You give up yet?
FLO: (Relaxed) What's the matter, Jo? Tired?
JO: No way.
BERTHA: Any more bets? Flo's looking tired. (FLO starts to weaken)
JO: I've got you now.
BERTHA: (Collects money from someone) Twenty more dollars on Jo to win!
FLO: How much we got, Bertha?
BERTHA: That makes two hundred dollars for the winner.
FLO: (Slams down JO's arm) That's enough.
BERTHA: (Kisses money) Come to mommy!
JO: You cheated us!
SALLY: That ain't fair. We want our money back.
BERTHA: A bet's a bet.
JO: (Pulls a gun) And a gun's a gun.
AUDIENCE thing here? "Look out!" (whenever they see a gun)
BONNEY: (Hits JO over the head. He falls)
You know the rules.
You know the rules.
(Picks up gun like it's a dirty diaper)
SALLY: (Slaps his face) Jo? Jo? Speak to me.
BONNEY: Get that loser out of here. (FLO and SALLY drag JO out or others in the ranch help)
FLO: Consider this one lost.
BONNEY: We're so sick of seeing guns. Ain't we John?
JOHN: (Raises head off table) Yeap... (and passes out again)
BERTHA: John? Is that John Miller? Isn't he...
BONNEY: Shhh, he doesn't like to people to know? (Goes to bar)
FLO: (Pulls BERTHA aside) Know what?
BERTHA: That John Miller used to be... (BONNEY shushes her)
FLO: Used to be who?
BERTHA: No, Bonney made me promise not to tell.
FLO gets audience to help AUDIENCE – Tell us!
BERTHA: No, I can't.
FLO gets audience to help... AUDIENCE – Tell us!
BERTHA: Okay, okay. John Miller is... Billy the Kid.
FLO: Billy the Kid. THE Billy the Kid. I thought he was dead.
BERTHA: Nope, he's alive and hiding out right here at the Candy Kitchen Ranch.
FLO: I thought for sure he'd be... more... alert.
BERTHA: I guess he took the death of his old self to heart. He's sure come a long way from his days as a Regulator.
FLO: The Regulators? They go around handing out prunes to keep everyone regular?
BERTHA: Nope. They were one of the toughest posses in the west. But the law didn't approve of their methods. That's when Billy turned outlaw.
FLO: I heard he killed 100 men.
BERTHA: He never hurt anybody who didn't deserve it. He believes in right and wrong. He wants justice like any law man. But he believes in swift justice. The law moves a little too slow for him.
FLO: Looks like he's slowed down a bit himself.
BERTHA: He's just enjoyed a bit of Bonney's candy.
FLO: A bit? Looks like he's had a whole bunch today.
BERTHA: Actually, he has too much everyday.
FLO: What do we do with him?
BERTHA: Throw a blanket over him and call him a chair.
(FLO shrugs and tosses a blanket over him)
(There's a knock at the door: shave and a haircut. Everyone freezes)
FLO gets AUDIENCE to call: the secret knock!
BONNEY: It's the secret knock. Open the door. (BERTHA opens the door and kids PEGGY and POLLY walk in)
BERTHA: Who are you?
(Everyone looks curiously at POLLY and PEGGY)
PEGGY: I'm Peggy.
POLLY: I'm Polly.
BONNEY: How can I help you?
PEGGY: The sign outside said, "Pinon Candy." Can we buy some?
BONNEY: Well, not exactly.
POLLY: You closed?
BONNEY: Well.... sort of.
PEGGY: Sort of?
POLLY: What's everybody drinking? (Goes to drink from JOHN's cup)
BONNEY: (Grabs cup from POLLY) Uh...
PEGGY: You selling hooch?
BONNEY: Please, kids. You've got to go.
POLLY: As young loyal citizens of this wonderful nation, it is our duty to tell the local authorities...
(JOHN pulls out gun)
That we didn't see a thing.
BERTHA: Good choice.
JOHN: Yeap. (passes out again)
PEGGY: Can I ask one thing?
BONNEY: Shoot. (JOHN sits up)
BONNEY: Sorry. Bad choice of words. (Waves JOHN off)
PEGGY: I see you around town. You seem like such a nice lady. Why is such a good person like you running a bad place like this?
BONNEY: It's a long story. It all starts will my poor old grandmother...
POLLY: She's ill?
BONNEY: No, she's dead. And she left me my poor, sick grandpappy here to care for...
POLLY: Alone? Without any help?
BONNEY: My mother helped for a time. But then they both got sick and died and left my father to care for all us kids.
POLLY: So you're helping your father?
BONNEY: Well, he died too.
PEGGY: I'm so sorry.
BONNEY: (Now she's in tears) And now I'm left alone to care for my poor brothers and sisters. All twenty-seven of them...
BONNEY: Some are adopted.
PEGGY: Of course.
BONNEY: (Sobbing) There's Ricky and Jimmy and Sandy and...
POLLY: Okay, well we must be running.
BONNEY: (Still crying) And Cindy and Timmy and Billy...
POLLY: Perhaps you can introduce us some time. Gotta go. Bye.
FLO: You okay, Bonney?
BONNEY: (Sobs) Are they gone yet?
BONNEY: (Stops crying) Then I'm fine.
FLO: Do you really have twenty-seven brothers and sisters?
BONNEY: Give or take a few. I've lost count. It's so hard to keep track of them. If only I didn't have to work all the time.
(Knock at door: shave and a haircut)
AUDIENCE: It's the secret knock.
BERTHA: It's the secret knock. I'll get it.
KID: You got pinon candy? (BERTHA shuts door on kid)
BERTHA: You've got to change that password.
FLO: So what's on the schedule tonight?
BERTHA: Yeah, we want some entertainment.
BONNEY: I was hoping you wouldn't ask.
FLO: Where's the band?
BERTHA: Where's the singer?
AUDIENCE: Music, music
BONNEY: Quiet! I have something special planned tonight.
JOHN: Drinks on the house?
BERTHA: Yeap, they're up on the roof, John.
JOHN: Boy, howdy! (Runs out)
BERTHA: He'd jump off a bridge if I told him.
FLO: As long as there was a drink at the bottom.
BONNEY: You're all in for a special treat. Charlie's learned a new song. (To piano player) Hit it Charlie. (Charlie plays something very similar to what he's been playing)
BERTHA: That sounds exactly the same to me.
BONNEY: Charlie assured me an extra note. (Extra note heard by itself) Ah, there it is.
Read the entire play at http://www.freedrama.net/CandyKitchen.htm