Writers: Maurine Dallas Watkins


Editor's Note: This text is taken directly from the original manuscript, and therefore contains some minor text errors throughout.

Six fifty-eight P. M., April the third.

SCENE: Bedroom of Amos Hart and others. A corner room, first floor, in one of those cheap modern flats on Chicago's South Side. There's an entrance with fountain and flowers, but pine and beaver-board within. Mission finish to the heavily pretentious woodwork---solid doors, beams, and molding. Furniture red and glistening like a courtesans polished nails. Flowered paper, gaudy rugs on the wide-board floor. Everything new and tawdry, everything cheap and shiny.

Two windows [center rear] look out on the court, a door [left] opens into an adjoining room, and an- other [right] into a narrow hall, with living-room straight ahead and outside door ]unseen]. Another door [left] opens into a small closet, filled ninety- eight per cent with feminine garments; two pairs of trousers and a coat are accorded one hook in the corner.

Between the two windows, with foot-board to the front, as a large brass bed, with covers thrown back im con- fusion and pillows tossed together. At its head is a night-table, with telephone, a stoutish bottle and a couple of glasses---empty but not unsoiled---an ash- tray, and a box of cigarettes.

At the right is a large vanity-dresser, equipped with all the known weapons of offense and instruments of



preservation: bottles and atomizers, jars of cream, powder, rouge, perfumes---especially perfumes, that fill the air with their heavy cloying odors!---silver embossed brushes and comb filled with hair; mani- cure set of imitation ivory; eyebrow pencils, and lipstick. And over it all a heavy film of pinkish powder. Half-closed drawers reveal shoes, intimate garments---peach and pink crepe de chine with deep Val lace---soiled hose, hats, and gloves, in endless confusion. To the left of the center window---between it and the door to the hall---ts a victrola. There are records on the floor, sorted to the player's choice. It is playing now: heavy, rhythmic jazz, with the sinful insistence of the tom-tom and the saxophone's wailing plea. The man, a man perhaps of thirty, stands in the door- way, pulling on his coat and turned to go. The woman, a girl of twenty-three or so, stands by the foot of the bed watching him, and she steadies her- self with one hand on the rail. Steadies herself from emotion perhaps, perhaps from the drink that left empty bottle. She is slender, beautifully slender; as you can see,

'through the diaphanous, flashy négligée of blue georgette with its flounce of witation lace and ac- cordion-plaited ruffles. And the face is beautiful, too, with short upper lip, pouting mouth, tiptilted nose, wide dark eyes, skin of the finest texture, and har the color of flame. Turned now in profile there's a hint of a Raphael angel---with a touch of Medusa.

Roxie [a shrill, hysterical voice that is vile nm anger ]: You damned tightwad! ] Her voice is lowered with hatred. ]

PROLOGUE 5 Like fell you're through! ]

[One white arm flings around to the dresser, one white hand searches the drawer and brings forth the latest necessity of milady's boudoir: a pearl-handled .32 revolver. Her voice stabs with virulent rage. ]

You God-damned /ouse---!

[She pulls the trigger, then stands fixed: he sways, crumples, falls---a soft, thuddy fall. Out- side the window children are singing and playing under the swaying arc-light; but within there is a silence. Except for the tom-tom's sensuous beat and the saxophone's last sad wail. From the next room comes the cheerful, idiotic call of the cuckoo: "Cuckoo ... cuckoo... cuckoo .. ." It's seven o'clock.

[The curtain falls for an instant to denote the passage of three and one-half hours and it rises again on the same room, with the dead man re- moved. The table has been drawn out, and behind it sits PoticE SERGEANT Murpock, a heavy, bluff fellow of fifty or so, with ruddy face and heavy jowls. In the middle of the floor sits Amos, an awkward creature of thirty-five or six, with a low forehead, snub nose, and a weak chin. He wears a noble, melancholy air, and enjoys the procedure thoroughly. His clothes bear the odor of the "shop," and /ns hands are marked with grease and grime.

[A NEwspaPpERMAN---a rough and ready chap in the middle twenties, with keen eyes and cynical smile---leans over the foot of the bed, listening as the SERGEANT dictates to AMos, who writes labori- ously. ]


SERGEANT [dictating]: "Voluntarily and of my own free will id

Amos: Freely and gladly!

Jaxe: Ain't he the cheerful murderer though!

Amos [quickly]: That ain't murder---shootin' a bur- elar. Why, only last week the jury thanked a man!

JAKE ] scoffing]: Burglar, huh!

Amos [ excitedly ]: Well, he was! Climbin' right in that there window!

SERGEANT [impatiently]: Come on---sign.

Amos: I ain't signin' nothin' 'ness he says it's a burglar.

SERGEANT: Say, he ain't tryin' the case---sign.

[Amos signs; OFFICER takes and reads with satisfaction. ] And mind yuh don't say we beat yuh up or showed yuh the goldfish or nothin'? when yuh get on the wit- ness-stand.

Amos [with injured dignity]: Vl not. I gave myself up, you know. [Dramatically.] Surrendered myself to the law!

SERGEANT ] turns to REporTER, who has taken the tele- phone]: That wipes that off the books---God, how I hate to have 'em hangin' over "unsolved"! How's that for quick work, Gazette? [He looks at his watch.] The call come at :30, and in less than an hour we've made the arrest and got a signed confes- sion!

Jake [at phone]: Dearborn O-five hundred... right... . [To the Serceant.]] Slick enough, all right! [Az the phone.] City desk. . . .

SERGEANT: Put that in your story and don't forget who done it: Sergeant Charles E. Murdock---and don't forget the E.

Jake: You know me!


SERGEANT [with a grunt]: I know your whole damn tribe!

Jake ]at phone]: Hello, Tommy, is the Boss there? . . . Well, gimme a rewrite man. .. . Callahan talking. [J an easy, drawling monotone.] Still on the Hart case . . . yeah, Coroner's just gone with the body---sure, he's dead, all right . . . Caseley's the name: C-A-S-E-L-Y. Found a card in his pocket ---auto salesman for Waverly, 161 South Michi- gan

Amos [starts up]: What's that? Didn't show me no card!

SERGEANT: Shut up.

Jake [im the phone]: Might check on that---maybe there's a story there. Pretty tame here if he's tellin' the truth, but it sounds kinda' fishy to me... . Hart works at night, yuh see, mechanic at Phillips' Garage, 601 Cottage Grove. . - . O, a queer cuss with an Andy Gump head on an Abe Lincoln chassis. .. . Well, he gets home a little after nine, finds his wife asleep, gets a snack to eat, comes back to the bedroom and finds this guy climbin' in the window, grabs his gun and lets him have it. . . . Yeah, they got a confession all right---came right across with it. . . . Sure, either crazy or knows his Chicago!

Amos ]complacently]: I ain't as dumb as I look.

SERGEANT: Hey, WHO got a confession?

JAKE: O yeah, Dicky, get this right now: the call was answered by Sergeant Charles E. Murdock--- D-O-C-K---and Policeman--- What's his name, Ser- geant?---the gink outside?

SERGEANT: Patterson---Michael Patterson.

Jake: ---Patterson of the Hyde Park station, who made the arrest and obtained a signed confession in less

' CHICAGO than an hour. . . . And Martin S. Harrison is here from the State's Attorney's office---he's talkin' to the wife. And O baby, she's a red-hot mama with an angel face! We'll run her in the picture. . . .

Amos: Picture?

Jake: You've got the idee, but yuh better run it as straight news till I get more,dope; tame if true, and cheap any way yuh take it. . . . Sure, [Il ring yuh back when 'Babe. 'gets 'here: . .«.< Kiehth> 2. Slong. . . . [Hangs up receiver and turns to Mur- pock.] Say, Big Boy, the photographer's on his way ---be here any minute now---for a couple of flashes. We can stick around till he gets here, huh?

SERGEANT: You newspaper fellahs think the whole po- lice department is a show run for your benefit.

JAKE [ grinning]: Well, ain't it?

SERGEANT: No, it ait. I'm clearin' up this here case because it's in my line uh duty

Jake: Sure---it means your bread and butter. [Slaps officer's knee.] But don't forget where the jam comes from, Old Timer. You're one of our men, ain't yuh? Well, yuh've got to play ball.

SERGEANT: I am, ain't I? What do you want? See any- one here from the other papers? [Chuckling.] They're holdin' the bag at the station!

[ AssistANT STATE's ATTORNEY HARRISON comes in from the next room. He 1s a tall young man of the student type, with eager, nervous manner--- now almost bursting with suppressed excitement; a little near-sighted, with tortoise-shell glasses; aquiline nose, thin lips. ]

Well---well: I've got him for you, Mr. Assistant State's Attorney! And here's your confession, all sewed up!


Harrison: Good!

SercEant [cheerfully]: Not that it amounts to a damn, for he'll deny every word of it when he comes to trial.

Amos [with dignity]: I won't. I shot him, and I'm pre- pared

Jake: To wear a hero's medal!

Harrison [takes a seat facing AMos and nods en- couragingly]: That's the way to talk now, and if you stick to it, Pll help you. Provided you make a clean breast of it.

SERGEANT: What's the matter? Tryin' to shoot holes in that confession? It's all there, ain't it, in black and white, and he tells just how he done it.

Harrison: That clears your books, but J want to know the motive. [Smiles pleasantly at Amos.] For you don't Jook like a man, Mr. Hart, who'd shoot a fellow-being down in cold blood.

Amos: I didn't---I was defendin' my home, just like I told you: found him climbin' in the window

Harrison: A total stranger?

Amos [emphatically]: Never saw him before in my life!

SERGEANT: My God, Harrison, J covered all that!

Harrison [ignoring SERGEANT]: And your wife---are you willing to swear that he was a total stranger to her, too?

Amos: Yes, sir.

Harrison: All right; suppose you add that. [] Dictates, and Amos scrawls in the stenographer's notebook. ] "To the best of my knowledge the deceased was also totally unknown to my wife, Roxie Hart."

Amos [signs statement]: Say, what's the big idea?

Harrison: I trust you, Mr. Hart, but not the attorney

_ CHiICAG® youll see tomorrow. [He turns to others with sat- isfaction.] They can't spring the "unwritten law" nOW.

Amos: Say, there's no unwritten law in this!

Harrison: [Il say there isn't! You've sworn it away right here! ] He opens the door and shoves Amos in- to the charge of the PoLicEMAN in the next room. ] Patterson! [To the Serceant.] Stranger, hell! Why, she's been carrying on with that guy for months! And admits it here []e taps paper in his pocket ] in the nastiest little statements any jury ever read! [He calls at door at left.] Mrs. Hart! [To the SERGEANT] She's talking now, all right! [Goes to room at right, with AMos, and Roxik enters: di- shevelled, excited, with a look of furtive cunning in her eyes, red from weeping. ]

Roxie: Where's my husband?

SERGEANT [with a glance at her filmy costume]: Say, you'd better get into some clothes, sister.

Roxie: What for? He promised I'd go free---/ ain't done nothin'.

SERGEANT [shakes his head]: Shake a leg, kid: clothes.

] She goes to the closet and begins dressing; no one minds, especially Roxik. ]

Well, well, so yuh been cheatin'! Ain't yuh 'shamed now, your sweetie dead and your husband held for murder? So you was right here all the time! And what did you do while he filled him full of lead, huh?

Roxie [with a little gasp of fear]: Begged 'em to stop ---fightin'? they was; threw myself between 'em

Jake: The story picks up!

SERGEANT: Fightin'?

Roxie [gaining confidence]:


Sure---jealous! You should uh seen ?em---mad about me, both of 'em, perfectly mad... .

SERGEANT: Where d'yuh meet him?

Roxie: At the office---where I work.

SERGEANT [to Jake]: See? That's what happens when a woman leaves the home. [Zo Roxir.] What do yuh do?

Roxie: I'm a secretary.

SERGEANT: So youre a stenographer . . . humph. . . . [Looking at statement.] How long has this been goin' on? [Pause.] All right---speak up.

Roxie: The first time---really---was Christmas.

SERGEANT: That's a nice way for a married woman to be carryin' on, now ain't it! . . . Plannin' to run off and marry him?

Roxie ] genuinely surprised]: Marry him? Hell, no!

Jaxke: Just a good time on the side, with Goofy in there for a meal-ticket.

Roxie: Meal-ticket! Say, he couldn't buy my liquor!

SERGEANT: Did this guy know you was married or was you foolin' him, too?

Roxie [comes out of closet in a poppy-colored dress and goes to dresser for make-up ]: So was he---a wife and kid!

] Door at right opens: Amos flings in, wild- eyed, with Harrison following him. ]

Harrison ] exz/tant]: All right, here we are; we've got st at last, Mrs. Hart!

Roxie ] flings herself about]: W hat?

Amos [in a thick voice]: So yuh been stringin? me!

Harrison ] grabs Roxte's arm]: Why did you kill him?

Roxie ] gives a frightened glance around, considers


a dash]: It's a lie! I didn't! Damn you, let go!

[She sinks her teeth in his wrist---he flings her

off with an oath, and she sinks into a chair in hys- terical rage. ]

You said you'd stick, you said you'd

Amos: Sure, if he's a burglar! What d'yuh lie to me for?

Roxie [ grinds out through her teeth]: God damn you!

SERGEANT: So it was you.

Roxie [vises, hysterical]: Yes, it was me! I shot him and I'm damned glad I did! I'd do it again

JAKE: Once is enough, dearie!

Roxie ] grinds her teeth in rage]: "Through!" "Done with me!" I showed him, all right. If I don't have him, nobody does! [Crumples, sobbing. ]

Jaxe: I'm sure glad I met you tonight, sweetheart; to- morrow you'll sing another tune.

SERGEANT: Here's my confession---and the whole damn

. thing to do over again! [Shakes Roxit.] Here, you, get your rags together! ['o Harrison.] We'll get her at the station, but let's finish him [#mdicating Amos] now.

] He takes Amos to adjoining room; Harrison starts to follow, but Roxie grasps his arm as he passes her. ]

Roxie [chattering]: O God... God... Don't let em hang me---don't.... Why, Id... de! You promised---if I signed that . . . Can't---can't we---fix this up, you and me... fix it up... you know... .

Harrison [coldly, with virtuous glance toward JAKE]: You don't frame anything with me!

] He shakes her off and goes into the next room. ] Jake [looks down for a moment at RoxiE, who has

PROLOGUE 13 burst into hysterical sobs, then speaks in pretended surprise ]: Well, for cryin' out loud, did I ever! And what's the matter with you!

Roxie: Matter? [Half-shrieking.] Matter? Are yuh crazy? [Starts pacing up and down madly.] O God, God, can't yuh do somethin'? Can't I get away, can't

Jaxe [takes her by shoulders and forces her back into chair ]: Keep your clothes on, kid.

RoxiE [weeping]: They will hang me, I know they will. I killed him and

Jake: What if yuh did? Ain't this Chicago? And gal- lant old Cook County never hung a woman yet! As a matter of fact---cold, hard statistics---it's 4 to I youll go free.

Roxie [ eagerly, as she starts packing her clothes in a suitcase]: Free? How?

Jake: Sure. Why, you're not even booked yet. But sup- pose they do, and the coroner's jury holds you, and you're sent to jail

Roxie [shrieking]: Jail! Jail! O God!

JAKE: Save them bedewzlin' tears for the jury, sister: for jail's the best beauty treatment in town. You take the rest cure for a couple uh months at the County's expense; you lay off men and booze till when you come to trial yuh look like Miss America. And that's when the big show starts! With you for leading lady! It's a hundred to one they clear you---that's straight goods. But suppose an off-chance does hap- pen: your lawyer will appeal and Springfield, ] gnashing his teeth] dear old Springfield! will re- verse the decision like that! [snaps his fingers.] And if they don't, there's always a pardon---and you know our Governor!---God bless him![He tilts his chair

14 'i CHICAGO back and smiles at her.] There you are: a thousand to one---want to bet?

Roxie ] fearfully]: And yowll ... help me?

Jake: Sure! [Pll phone Billy Flynn in the morning. He's the best criminal lawyer in town---next to Hal- liday. Specializes in women: freed Minnie Kahlstedt, the hammer murderess, Marcelle Wayne, who fed her children arsenic

Roxie: O yes, I read all about them!

JAKE: O he's a wonder, and will make it a real fight, for Harrison is an ace on the prosecutor's staff, and believe me, that boy won't leave a stone unturned to put you back of the bars! [He smiles in satisfaction. ]

Roxie: Well, you needn't be so pleased, if you really want me to go free.

JAKE [stares at her]: Want you to go free! How d'yuh get that way! Say, I'd give my last dollar---all three of ?em---and ever' night when I kneel down by my little bed Vl] ask God to put a hemp rope around your nice white neck!

[She shrinks back and he goes on in rapture. ] O baby, that would mean headlines six inches high--- the story of the year! . . . But don't let my prayers worry you, kid, for God's not on the jury. . . . And with a face like yours---for Justice ain't so blind, in Chicaeo . « .

Roxie [pleased]: O do you really think 'm---well ] Hesitates with coy modesty. ]

Jake: Sure! I'm callin' you "the most beautiful mur- deress."

Roxie: "Murderess!"

Jake: Of course! What do you think I'd say? Prima donna?

Roxie: But you needn't say it.


Jake: Well, what the hell put you on front page? [Jm-

pressively.] Here youre gettin? somethin' money can't buy: front-page advertisin'. Why, a three-line want ad would cost you two eighty-five, and you'll get line after line, column after column, for nothin'. Who knows you now? Nobody. But this time tomor- row your face will be known from coast to coast. Who cares today whether you live or die? But tomorrow they'll be crazy to know your breakfast food and how did yuh rest last night. They'll fight to see you, come by the hundred just for a glimpse of your house Remember Wanda Stopa? Well, we had twenty thousand at her funeral.

Roxie: I'm not interested in funerals.

Jake [grinning]: Why, you may even end in wax works! Lord, girl, you're gettin' free publicity a movie queen would die for! Why, you'll be famous!

[The Serceant and Harrison come to the door. The former motions to Roxtr and she goes with him to the adjoining room. Harrison en- ters. ]

O baby, ain't we in luck though! A sweet story, a sweet story!

[Harrison takes a flask from his pocket and pours two drinks. Solemnly they lift their glasses ---the glasses of Roxtr and the dead man---in toast. ]

Harrison: Here's to Roxie!

Jake [ grinning ]: Hang her!

[They drink and he gives Harrison an ecstatic

shake. ] Here I've just been prayin' for a nice, juicy murder ---for two weeks now we haven't had nothin",

machine guns and hijackers.

16 ii CHICAGO ] They dump out dresser drawers, searching rap- idly for letters, pictures, etc. ] And this one's got the makin's: wine, woman, jazz, a lover.

Harrison [tosses over diary]: And plenty of dirt! Read 'em and blush.

Jake ] flicks through it]: O Roxie, Roxie . . . no mud on her shoes! ... He must have been Number Four Sixty-eight!

Harrison: And I can't bring it out in the trial.

Jake: Ain't it hell. And me on a decent paper---God, what a waste! But gee, what a chance for you!

Harrison: Just what I need; something big---sensa- tional---to make me known.

Jake: You've got it here. Scott will promote you on this.

Harrison: Promote me---hell! It'll mean I can get out! For five years I've slaved like a dog for "jus- tice and society" at three thousand a year. But now I've got my experience and this time next year ['ll be rakin' in the shekels for "humanity and mercy"'! That's where the money is: defense.

Jake [admiringly, taking notebook]: Why, you old son-of-a-gun! ... All right, let's have a quote from the rising young attorney.

Harrison ][oratorically, kneeling before the debris from dresser]: You may say: "It's a cold-blooded dastardly crime, for which Assistant State's Attorney Martin S. Harrison will ask the death penalty. . . ." A hanging case and I'm ready to go to the jury to- morrow!

Jake: Atta boy! But Scott won't let you---not with elec- tion this fall! Apnl he'll hold it till September---say, if he could get a conviction, an

PROLOGUE 1 honest-to-God conviction, on a woman, why, he'd sweep the city clean!

[ There's a ring at the door. JAKE answers while Harrison replaces dresser-drawers. It's the PHuo- TOGRAPHER with his flashlight outfit: another rough and ready young man, with imgratiating smile and steady flow of words. ]

Base: Hello, Jake. What's it all about?

Jake [opens door for SERGEANT and Roxie]: Hot stuff: she kills him rather than lose him.

Base [backs off and blinks his eyes in exaggerated ap- preciation of RoxtE]: O my, my! Ohi, oi! Ain't she the prize-winner though! [Jn pretended severity. ] Keep them r. s. v. p. eyes off of me, sister; I'm a married man. [0 JAKE]. Where's the stiff?

Jake: Outside---you don't want him.

SERGEANT: Hurry up, boys, we've got to get along.

Base: Righto. This will make "the home" if we hurry. [Sets up his camera, takes flashlight powder, etc.} Any of the other boys been here? . . . Let's see, what'll we have? One of you [to Harrison ] and the girl---

SERGEANT: Say, she's my prisoner.

BaBeE [] fixes chairs]: Both of you, and her in the center.

[ Harrison and the SERGEANT both try for the chair closest the camera. ]

Jake: What about the husband?

Base: Is there a husband? Sure, let's have the hus- band!

[Harrison steps to the door to call Amos, and the SERGEANT slips into the preferred chair. ]

Better give me the names, Jake.

[He jots them in a notebook. Harrison re-

turns with Amos. ]


Amos: No, we don't. I?ll bust his camera for him!

Base: O you will, will you?

Amos: This don't go in no papers!

Base: O it don't, don't it!

Amos: No, it don't. I won't let you use my name; this is to be kept quiet.

Base: Say, shut up! '[ To the others.] Snap into it now: I gotta make a deadline.

Amos: I won't have My Wife dragged into

Jake: Here, you, get this: We're not draggin' your wife---she dragged herself, see? You don't want pub- licity, but youw're goin' to get it anyway. The ques- tion is: what kind? Do you want the papers for you or against you? Well, you gotta play ball!

Base ]¢o Roxie]: You're willin', ain't yuh? [She hesi- tates, and he looks astounded.] Got Mary Pickford skinned a mile and don't want her pitcher in the paper! My God, can yuh beat it! You'll be right along with President Coolidge and Harold McCor- mick---there ain't a society dame in town but what would jump at the chance! [He briskly guides her to the center chair.] Right here now.

Amos: Don't you do it, Roxie!

Roxie: O shut up! I guess I will if I want to!

Base [at camera]: That's the time---never let 'em boss you. And brush your hair back. It hides your eyes, and, believe me, you don't want to hide them eyes, does she, Jake?

Roxie: I really need a marcel.

Base: They're wearin' 'em straight. Now, Harrison, you and the Lieutenant look at her... that's right. And you [to Roxir]---what's her name? Roxie?---look at the camera.

[He holds the powder high: the SERGEANT

PROLOGUE 1 sprawls his hands and Harrison frowns judt- ciously. ]

A little smile now, Roxie---just a little more. . . My, my, ain't that perfect, Jake? Ill bet she's the girl on the toothpaste ad!

[ Flash! Bang! Roxie gives a little scream, JAKE opens the window to let out the smoke, and the men reluctantly give up their chairs. ]

All right, let's have another: her and the husband.

Amos: Not me! I ain't goin' to have folks sayin'

Jake: Want 'em to think you're a yellah' dawg and run out on her? Come on here now and show the world yow're goin' to stand by her---it'll help her, won't it, Babe?

Base: Sure! When they see a man like Aiz.------

Amos ][yielding]: Well, uh course anything I can ae

Base [arranges them holding hands stiffly]: That's right. . . . You're askin' his forgiveness, and you [to Amos] smile down at her. . . . [Back at the camera.] All right, let's go!

] Flash! Bang! Roxie goes to the mirror and adds a bit more color all around. ]

Now Id like one with the stiff

SERGEANT: Say, Gazette, you've got enough!

Base: One more, Captain, and I'm through! Yow're here, makin' the arrest, and she's kneelin' by the body. ] With a punch at Jakr.] Down, Fido, play dead!

JAKE ] flops on floor as suggested]: Atta boy! Vl use that for my lead!

Roxie [takes position as indicated]: What do I do?

Base: Cry---no, it's a shame to hide that face.

Roxie: What about a profile?

20 ae CHICAGO Base: Great!---But only half as good as a front; so yuh'd better look at the camera... that's right . and smile---just a little more---dig! [] Flash! Bang!] Done! [Tosses things together and hurls goodbye.] See yuh later, Jake! SERGEANT ] takes Roxie by the arm and turns to JaKE]: Comin' with us? Jaxe: [Il drive over with Mart---gotta phone the office. [ The SerGEANT and Roxie, followed by Amos, go on out. ] Harrison ] stares after them]: God, if I can only hang that woman! Jake: Well, you ain't got the chance of a snowball in hell! Dumb---but beautiful. [He takes up phone. ] Dearborn O-five hundred. .. .



Sunday afternoon---two days later. Women's Ward of the Cook County Jail, Chicago.

While the curtain is still down there is heard in heav- ily accented tones the Salvation Army:

Be not disszayed what e'er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wond'rous Jove abide, God will take care of you.

The curtain rises slowly on a large room, flanked on each side ]left and right] with tiny white bunk rooms, equipped with cot, wash-stand, and chair. T he rear wall is a huge, double iron-screen, at which the prisoners receive their friends and relatives on visit- ing days; im it ]at the extreme left] is a double locked door that opens into the hall around the ele- vator shaft. There's a small stand-table and a few straight chairs at the right of this door, a long white enamelled table with chairs on either side down the center of the room. A stairway ]invisible] at the right ]rear] leads up to the women's recreation and lounging room.

Roxie sits at the center table. She wears a jade green satin dress, sleeveless; nude hose, decorated with turquoise ribbon garters, and black velvet pumps. She 1s pale---minus rouge, powder, and lipstick. T here is a box of cigarettes by her side and she smokes like mad---straightforward, honest smoking, with appre-


24 - CHICAGO Act I ciative inhalation now and then. The table is stacked with newspapers, and the floor strewn with discarded sheets.

Mrs. Morton ]the matron, in dark dress with large white apron] sits across from her with scissors, ready to clip any bit Roxit designates. She's a stalwart woman of fifty or so, with iron-gray hair, dark eyes with flabby lids, ruddy complexion, and weak mouth.

Another woman lounges in a low rocker---a dark, quiet woman in the late thirties, with smooth sallowed features, large dreamy eyes, and full lips that have a dtpsomaniacal droop. She moves with studied lan- guor and her voice is soft and low. She wears a heavy dull crepe dress and topaz earrings that match a certain tawny gleam in her smouldering eyes. She is engrossed in the Society sheet while Roxie pores over the News sections.

The voices of the singers ]several rooms away] ring out fresh and clear, with a syncopation jazz can't touch:

God will take ca-are of you Through all the day

O'er all the way,

He will take ca-are of you God will take ca-are of you!

Roxie [casually, as she hands Mrs. Morton another paper to clip]: Then yesterday must have been His day off.

Matron ] puzzled]: What?

Roxie: I just said God wasn't on the job at the inquest or I wouldn't have landed here.

[The music starts up again. ] Say, does that keep up all day?


Marron: Just an hour or so. It's the Salvation Army--- the men likes to hear 'em. I'll have 'em close the doors. [Gets up and goes to the door. ]

Roxie: With them squawkin', and the radio upstairs tunin' in to Y.M. meetin's, health talks and ser- mons. .. . [As Matron is out of earshot.] This 1s a helluva joint: Sunday here and not a drop uh liquor in the house!

Velma [looks up in ready sympathy]: That's the hardest thing to get used to. [Gives a little shiver and takes another cigarette.] Smoking helps some.

Roxie [as Matron returns]: Look---look! [Gives a squeal of delight and points to page.] A whole page of pictures! [Awed.] Why, it's just like I was Presi- dent or somethin': "Beautiful Roxie Hart, the Jazz- Slayer"; "Roxie and Her Attorney"; "Roxie and Her Husband" ---] Gives a gasp of surprise.] For the love uh---! My Diary! "The Little Book to Which She Told Her Secrets"---can yuh beat it! ... "Only you and I, Diary, know how much we love him. . . ." Say, who do you s'pose wrote that stuff? You oughta see the real one!

Velma [darkly]: They've got it all right. No sense of ---honor, reporters. Broke into my apartment the night I---left, and stole a whole suit-case of letters--- valuable letters---letters from men who have loved me. ... [She is overcome with emotion. ]

Roxie: Anda "Diagram of the Apartment"---my God! See the spot marked X. [Points with satisfaction. ] That's where he fell---the dirty piker!

Matron [reprovingly.]: Ssh, dearie! Mustn't talk like that. [To Vewtma.] She ain't seen her lawyer yet.

26 " CHICAG.© Act I

Roxie: Well, he was. ] Scornfully.] One uh these wise guys that wants to be a Daddy on sixty a week and keep up a family on the side! But I called him all right!

Matron: I know. . . . [Virtuously.] I never hear of a man's bein' killed but I know he got just what was comin' to him. . . . But you mustn't say it.

Ve_ma: What's your defense?

Roxie [shrilly]: Defense? D'yuh think I'd let a guy hold out on me like that?

Marron: But yuh can't tell the jury that!

RoxiE: O cawv't I!

Velma: It's just like divorce: the reason don't count--- it's the grounds.

Roxie: Well, if that ain't grounds

Marron: But it's got to be accordin' to law, dearie: like he threatened or attackted you or somethin'.

Roxie [to VELMA]: What's yours?

Velma: Mine? Why, I didn't do it.

Roxie: Then who did? There was just you and him in the room!

Veima: [I'm sure I don't know. I was drunk, my dear, dead drunk. Passed out completely and remember nothing from the time we left the café till the ofh- cers found me washing the blood from my hands. But I'm sure I didn't doit. . . . Why, I've the ten- derest heart in the world, Aaven't I, Mrs. Morton?

Marron: O she has indeed!

Vevma: And wouldn't hurt a worm. . Not even a worm. .. .

Roxie: Is bein' drunk "grounds"?

Matron: Now don't you worry, dearie, Billy Flynn will take care of all that.

Roxie: He's comin' this afternoon.

. . [Tremolo. ]

Ace I CHICAGO 2 Matron [wisely]: He'll fix you up all right---they don't make 'em any smarter than Billy. What he don't know about juries and women ! [A roll of her eyes intimates that the Britannica is a tyro. ] He's the best in the city.

Veta: Except Mr. Hessler.

Marron ] hastily]: Criminal lawyers, I mean.

Roxie [ guickly, to VELmMa]: Ain't yours criminal?

Velma: O dear, no---he's doing this just for me. Divorce is his line. He's handled a// of my cases---my family attorney. [Lifts brows languidly.] Very exclusive.

Roxie [to Marron]: Is mine exclusive?

VELMA [laughs scornfully]: Billy?

Matron [hastily]: Yes---in his way---yes. And he'll give you a pretty trial.

Roxie: Well, he ought to---for five thousand dollars.

Matron: My, that's a lot of money---but it's worth it. A cheap one could do it all right---why, with your looks you don't need a lawyer at all! But it's a sat- isfaction to know it'll be done right! That's what I said when I buried my husband.

Roxie [expectantly]: Did you kill your P

Matron: Suicide it was. ... I went in debt, but I had all the trimmin's. . . . Never skimp on a fu- neral or a trial---especially a murder trial. Do it right. ] Finishes clipping and counts the columns. ] auerc' Five... eight... twelve .'. . seven- teen columns and twenty-three pictures---besides all them they got this mornin'!

Roxie [takes one and reads with pleasure]: "Roxie Hart, the prettiest woman ever charged with murder in Cook County, was held to the Grand Jury... ." Ummm... [runs on down column] ... "smiled

23 ~ CHICAGO Act I and cast coquettish glances from pansy eyes half hid by her purple turban"--- ] Breaks off in anger.] Can yuh beat it! I never wore a turban in my life! [To Veitma.] Why, Id look as old as you!

Velma ][affably]: Yes; you gotta have chick for a turban.

[Roxie glares but has no answer. ]

Matron: They're awful dumb, reporters. Never get anything right.

RoxiE [continues reading]: . .. "beige hose topped with turquoise garters"----say, they don't miss a trick!

Matron: Garters! What next!

Roxie: . . . "and rouged knees that warned Ann Pen- nington to look to her laurels."

Velma: Well, it's the last rouge they'll see for some time.

Roxie: Thank heavens, can stand it, but it must be hard on people who're old or sallow. What's the big idea, anyway, shuttin'? down on make-up?

Matron [apologetically]: It's the rules, dearie, I don't know why. But yow'll get it for the trial, all right. . . . O my, it's goin' to be a real pleasure to do you!

Roxie [takes up another clipping]: "The wife of the dead man sat with bowed head during the in- quest.'. ..." Say, you oughta see her! Agdgae clothes she wore! They'd oughta run our pictures to- gether and call it ""Why Men Leave Home." She must be all of forty, and fat. Men like 'em round but not fat. No pep, no life, while I'm always rarin' to go!

[Continues reading.] "But the jazz slayer showed neither grief nor remorse; powdered her nose and registered calm amusement


Veta [ditterly ]: You oughta cried and took on a lot. They razzed me the same way.

Matron: Well, it's only the papers, and the jury's all you care about.

Velma: And thank God they're men!

Roxie [flings down the clippings and springs up m rage]: The nasty little cat on the Ledger! Calls me knock-kneed! Dll scratch her eyes out!

Matron [in alarm]: O dearie, you mustn't get 'em down on you. Treat 'em nice and

Roxie: Well, they can't print lies about me!

Veta: O can't they! If you think yowve had a raw deal---tell her, Mrs. Morton.

Matron: It's terrible, the things they wrote.

Velma: Made fun of my jewels, yes, they did! Said my diamonds sparkled like real. Like real! An honest-to-God three-carat from my second husband ---Mr. Phaley, you know him, the clothes manufac- turer. And my emerald and platinum bracelet---a divorce present from my first. And my pearls---my real Japanese pearls .. .

Matron: And your coat---don't forget your coat, Velma.

Velma: A genuine Eastern mink, mind you, and they called it weasel! It was his---Mr. Clapp's---last gift to me before he---er---passed away.

Roxie ] dewildered]: Your husband?

VeLMa: Such a generous man! Wonderful to me--- more like a friend than a husband. That very night, just before he---went to his reward, he offered me two hundred a week alimony. I had just started my divorce, you know--- O my dear, didn't you see that? All the papers had it, with pictures of me and every- thing. ... And I said to him, "No, Clarence,

30 y CHICAGO Act I youw're too generous---I won't take it.' Quite firmly I said it. "A hundred, yes, or maybe a hundred fifty; and not over one seventy-five at the most." [Ti- umphantly.] Now in the face of that, is it likely Id ---do what they said I did? Would I trade an offer like that for a measly ten thousand insurance?--- Cigarette?

] Roxie holds up an empty box and VELMA goes to the stairs. ]

Matron ] indignantly ]: Which the company won't pay. Think of them holdin' out on her like that! O what women suffers from men!

Roxie: But she must have killed him, for the papers all said

Marron ] severely ]: Now listen, dearie, if youw're goin' to believe what the papers say, you'll be suspicious of ever'body here---includin' yourself. You'll get along better 1f you just forget all that and take each one as they come---that's my motto. . . . And as for Velma, she's a pleasure to have around. No fightin', no ugly language, refined and genteel---a real lady if I ever saw one. And classy---all the papers say she's the dressiest one we've ever had.

Roxie: She don't look like a sheba to me. She must be forty, and dark and skinny. Men like 'em slim but not skinny.

Matron [with quick diplomacy]: Well, of course she ain't got your looks--- O my, no! But she zs a lady: uses black narcissus perfume and never makes her bed.

Roxie [with a regretful glance at her bunk]: I thought you had to!

Marron: She hires Lucia

Roxie: Who's Lucia?

Act I CHT CAG © 31 [VELMa returns with cigarettes. ]

Matron: That Eyetalian woman

Roxie: ---who chopped her husband's head off while the star boarder held him down?

Velma: And she wasn't even drunk, my dear---not a drop!

Matron [reproachfully ]: Now, dearie, you mustn't be narrow-minded! [Jz explanation to Roxtsr.] She's waitin'? a new trial. They gave her fourteen years, but there's somethin'? wrong with the indictment or other . . . Anyhow, here she is, and she does Velma's laundry

Roxie: Pl get her, too. And I won't make my bed, either. 'm just as good as

Matron [astily]: Sure you are---both of you.

Veima [Jlanguidly]: I've always had everything done ferme: .. .

Roxie [recklessly]: So have I! Ever'thing! A maid to bring in my breakfast

VELMA: Really .. .

Roxie: O yes, breakfast in bed every morning.

Matron: Well, yuh gotta get up for your breakfast--- that's rules---but yuh cam have it brought in, from Wooster's just around the corner. Anything yuh want, only twenty dollars a week. And we'I] all three eat together!

] Song is heard again as the Army conducts its lively questionnaire:

"Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"

] There appears at the end of the corridor, with scrubbing-brush and bucket, a small wiry woman

32 CHICAGO Act I of hares or so, with a straggly mop of hair that is the weird color left by many peroxides. Her eyes are a washed-out blue, with now and then a wild, fanatic gleam. Her mouth is broad, filled with a fascinating mixture of natural and artificial teeth. There are deep wrinkles---almost cuts--- around her mouth and eyes. She puts down her bucket and stands surveying the women. Suddenly she bursts into wild shrieks of mirthless, uncon- tagious laughter. Shriek!---she bends double; shriek!---she advances toward them. ]

Liz [ gasp]: O it's so funny! So funny!

Matron: She's off again. Now, Liz

Liz ] gives Matron a reassuring little pat: O no, 'm not, don't you worry now. ] To others.] But it's just so funny. [Starts again on a wild spasm of laughter. ]

Marron: Hush! or I'! tell God on you.

Liz [subsides instantly]: Aw, you wouldn't do that, would you, Mrs. Morton? 'Cause it zs funny.

Roxie: What's funny?

Liz: The three of us: you, her [she points a skinny, eczemaed hand toward VELMA] and me all here to- gether. They call you the prettiest, her the stylish- est, and me the queer one---we all got our tags, so folks will know us. We've come different roads: mine's a long and hard one---it might have been dif- ferent once---just once---but I went into a Far Country. . . . [Goes on in the sing-song call of the revivalist.] O God, O God, O God! ... [To Velma.] Yours might have, too. Several times you could have turned off, but dancing feet find sorrow. [Zo Roxre.] But you just took a short cut, that's all.

Roxie: What are yuh talkin' about?

Marron: She's off, don't mind her. Go on away, Liz.


Liz: She thinks I'm crazy. I am sometimes, but when I ain't [her eyes flash triumphantly] 1 got more sense 'an any of you. And right now, I amt. ?m God's Messenger, that's what I am.

Matron: O my---she's awful when she starts on that.

Liz [gaily]: An' here we are now, the three of us! [Zo Velma.] You killed your husband for his in- surance, [fo Roxie] and you put a bullet in your lover when he got tired of you

Roxie: That's a lie, you dirty

Matron: Don't argue---it just makes her worse.

Liz: And I shot Jim . . . because he---] her voice sinks to a hoarse whisper ]---laughed.

Veta: Because he wouldn't marry you.

Liz [decidedly, alert again]: Nope. 1d asked him lots of times---we'd been livin' in sin for seven years

. years of the locust... but this ome. he

laughed. ]Quietly.] And I shot him. There was a candle sittin' on the floor---you know the Good Book says not to hide your light under a bushel---and he fell right by it. And I knelt beside him and

braved... .

Marron: Look out for them that's allus readin' the Bible and prayin'. Somethin's wrong some place.

Liz [back in the revivalist character again]: And here we are, stained with the blood that only the Lamb of God can cleanse: murderesses . . . murderesses!

Velma: Shut up, you fool! You're not---+thar, unless you're convicted.

Liz: O yes, you are! It don't take no trial. I was a mur- deress the minute Jim fell. God judged me then, right then. I can see Him now ... . [fer eyes grow glassy, and her voice is shrill in horror] sittiw

34 CHICAGO Act I there on His throne . . . [Gives a wild shriek.]

Matron ]rises and takes her by the arm]: Come on, now, that's enough out of you. Upstairs now---go "long! ] Takes her shrieking to the stairs. ]

Roxie: Well, that's a cheerful little playmate. What's her defense?

VELMA: Insanity.

Roxie: Is bein' crazy "grounds"?

VeLMA ]zods]: But it may mean the asylum . . besides, it's so embarrassing

Matron ]returns with pack of cards from table];: Thank God, there ain't many like her! . . . Well, girls, what about a hand? ['o Roxtg.] Are you good at bridge?

Roxre: Better at poker.

Matron: O no, dearie, bridge is all we play---penny a point.

] The bell rings, and she goes to answer. ]

VELMA: She always wins.

Roxie: From you, maybe; but watch little Roxie, the girl gambler.

Verma: All right; but I warned you.

Roxie: Warned me? . . . Oh! You mean [ve got to let her win? :

VELMA: Suit yourself.

Roxie: Well, Pll be damned.

Matron [calls from door]: It's your husband, Mrs. Hart.

Roxie ] springs up]: Did he bring my clothes? ] Reaches for the battered suit-case the Matron holds. ]

Marron: I have to look at 'em first, to be sure there's nothin' concealed. [Returns to table, followed by Roxie.] Ain't yuh goin' to talk to him? [RoxtE looks blank.] There at the screen.

. and


VeLma ][ditterly, to Roxie]: That's your reception room: you play peek-a-boo through the bars.

Roxie [fo Marron, who's inspecting the clothes): Leave out the purple bengaline if---I] goes to screen. ] Amos, did you bring the purple bengaline?

[Evidently he answers, but the words are un- distinguishable. ]

My God! Can't you do nothin' right? ... Ter- rible! . . . Locked up all night in one of them sar- dine boxes. . . . And I have to wash in cold water! . . . What the hell are you walkin' the floor about? You got it easy, while I'm locked up here with God's Messenger!

[Theres a flash and explosion outside: the CAMERAMEN have their picture of AMos at the screen. ]

Matron [urries to the door ]: It's them blame photog- raphers!

] Roxre and VELMA ?preen for pictures. ]

Now, boys, none uh that!

Base [ outside]: Hello, Mrs. Morton! I got my ticket, all right!

Matron ][xods toward Amos]: But not him. It's against the rules---you know that, Mr. Maloney: relatives is never allowed inside.

Base: But just for a little pitcher? Have a heart, Mrs. Morton! Just this once---the first day, you know--- with you here beside 'em

[] Matron opens the door, and BaBE enters, fol- lowed by Amos. ]

Come on, Obadiah! Amos.

] VELMA goes upstairs at a nod from Matron;

Base blows Roxie a kiss and starts to set up

What---Amos? All right,

36 ; CHICAGO Act I camera; Amos makes a dash for Roxte, who starts to match his ardor but sees the camera is not quite ready. ]

Amos: Roxie! My wife!

Base: Wait a minute, wait a minute!

Amos: How do they treat you? By God, just remember this: [strides up and down, glaring fiercely] 1 ain't gonna have my wife

Marron ]dangles keys]: Looky here, young man, out you go!

Base: Don't mind him---they dropped him when he's a baby. [Zo Amos.] Keep your clothes on, Habba- kuk. She's sittin'? pretty and havin' the time of her young life, all for nothin'.

Roxie: For nothin'! Say, boy, you've been readin' the wrong ticker!

Base: Now: hold 'em again, Hart! As you were!

] Amos and Roxit resume stiff embrace. ] That's right. Face the camera, and smile, just a little SINE (sin

] Flash! Bang! ] Now you here at the table. [Clears it of papers. ] Ain't you the lucky girl, though, with all these pitchers! And you can thank your stars you're 1n Chi- cago where the poor workin' girl's got a chance. In New York now, yuh gotta be a millionaire to make front page. You could shoot up the whole town and nobody gives a damn unless yow're in the Social Register!

[Roxie flounces down on top of the table, cross-

ing her feet. ]

That's right: we want them million-dollar knees! More

[She lifts skirt.]


Just a little more!

'] Flash! Bang! ] Done! [Gathers up equipment.] And I won't see you no more, sister, till the Judgment Day! S'long!

[] Matron Jets him out. ]

Roxie [at table with Amos]: All right then, DPIl eat with the wops and niggers!

Amos [thundering]: No, you don't! My wife'll have the best there is! Twenty a week---hell, what's that! I got a raise---fifty-five now.

Roxie: My God!

Amos: Sure, the boss has been swell to me: offered me a week's vacation, and when I got back from the in- quest the whole office crowded around, and shook hands with me, and wished me luck.

Roxie: Well, it's just because yow're my husband. You'd be nobody if it wasn't for me!

Amos ] indignantly]: It's because I'm sticking dy you. I guess there's not many guys would do it.

Roxie: Well, whatever it is, you got a raise out of it, didn't you? And I?ve got to have money, for laundry and makin' beds, and cigarettes,---and you know how a penny a point counts up!

Amos: Say, looky here!

Roxie [shrilly]: Do you want me to look like a cheap skate before all these people? All right, all right. There's plenty of money in the world, you know, and you ain't got no corner on it. God, why did I ever marry you!

Amos [takes out wallet and begins counting bills]: Will ten do?

Roxie: Yes---twenty! [Gives a generous grab for the money. ]

Amos [in alarm]: Yeah, but what about me?

3 bi CHICAGO Act I Roxie: My God, can't yuh think uh nothin' but your- self?

[The bell rings and there is heard outside a

rich voice, hypnotic in its suggestive power, with a

minor undertone that's Gaelic: "Well, well, Mrs. Morton!" ]

] He enters---our hero, counsel for the defense,

Bitty Frynn. He's a little man, like Napoleon,

and he carries himself with the Corporal's air. A

magnificent tron-gray mane, with a forelock he --- tugs at to convey the impression of thought, or --- tosses back now and then to reveal the Cesarian --- brow. The eyes are deep-set and keen; the nose ---

starts out to be Semitic, but ends with an Irish tilt;

the mouth is broad without being generous, and ---

the jaw is pugilistic.

] He is dressed with careful carelessness: tweed topcoat and fedora, pepper and salt sack-suit, blue shirt with soft collar, and striped necktie with golden horseshoe. He buys on Michigan Boule- vard, but follows the style of West Chicago. A millionaire would know his tailor, but a bricklayer would feel comfortably that his Sunday clothes beat Billy's. ]

Matron [in note of tragedy]: Oh, Mr. Flynn, the photographer's just gone!

Frynn: That's all right: he got me downstairs.

Matron: The husband's here, too.

Fiynn: Good! Just the man I want to see!

[She goes down the corridor at the left, and he stalks by Roxie without a word or look, straight to her husband. ]

Well, Hart? [Amos turns.] And what about me? Amos ] grandly]: Have a chair.


Fiynn [ignores invitation and repeats]: What about me? ]

Amos: I---I didn't do quite as well as I hoped.

Frynn: No?

Amos: But I will, all right, I will. [Takes certificates, books, etc., from pocket.] Here's five hundred on my insurance.

Roxie [ shrilly]: Cashin' your insurance? Not much you don't! That's mine!

[FLynwn's hand reaches it first. ]

Fiynn: That makes a thousand.

Amos: Yes, sir. And three hundred that I borrowed--- [ gives it to FLynNNn] and seven hundred out of the building and loan

Frynn: Two thousand.

Amos: And---and that's all I've got---so far.

Friynn [watching him keenly]: What about her father?

Amos: I phoned him yesterday---long distance---and--- hell probably raise some later.

Friywn ] bites his cigar and snaps out his words with an "ugly"? look]: You damned liar! I phoned him, too, last night . . . And he told me just what he told you: that she went to hell six years ago and she could stay there forever before he'd spend one cent to get her out!

Roxie [to Amos]: I told yuh not to try him.

Frynn: Now I don't give a damn where you get the money---that's your problem. Beg it, borrow it--- any way....

Amos: Il pay you twenty a week

Roxie: And where do J come in, you big stiff? What about me?

Fiynn: Shut up, you !

[Roxie subsides. ]


Amos: [ll give you notes with interest---double---till ever' cent

Fiynn: No, you don't. None uh that installment stuff. I wouldn't be dothered with your chicken-feed. I play square, Hart, dead square. When you came to me yesterday I didn't say, "Is she innocent, is she guilty, will it be an easy case or a hard one?" Noth- ing like that, now did I! No. I said: "Have you got five thousand dollars?" And you said, "Yes." [Eyes him in contempt.] You dirty liar! . . . And I took your case---and [Il keep it. But she'll rot in jail be- fore I bring it to trial!

Roxie ] angrily, to AMos]: See what you've done, you big

Amos ]trying to be nonchalant]: You needn't worry about your money---you'll get it all right.

Frynn ]i well-simulated rage]: Get out! Get out! And don't come near me again till you've got three thousand in your fist!

Amos: Well---so long, Roxie. [Starts to kiss her but she pushes him away. ]

Roxie: Can the soft stuff.

Amos: See you Thursday.

Roxie: And don't forget my dinner now---from Woosters' p.d.q.!

[Amos goes slowly, and she softens her tone as she turns to the lawyer. ] Listen: you didn't mean what you said about de- layin'? my case, did yuh? [Lynn takes a cigar and doeswt answer. ] Couldn't---/---pay you?

Fiynn [unconcerned ]: That depends on your bank ac-



RoxiE [softly, laying her hand on his arm]: 1 mean--- couldn't we be---friends?

Fiynn [vigorously]: Good! Youve got that out of your system. Now listen: I'm not interested in your looks, your age, your sex---nothing except as it af- fects the case. You mean just one thing to me: five thousand dollars. Get that.

Roxie [takes the slap philosophically, lights a ciga- rette, reseats herself on the table]: Suit yourself. But if you change your mind...

Fiynn: Forget it. [Draws up chair and goes on in business-like tone.] Now: that sob sister from the Evening Star is coming.

Roxie: Mary Sunshine?

Frynn: And the woman from the Ledger.

Roxie: I won't see her.

Fiynn: You've talked so much, you can't stop now. ] Grimly.] If you tell enough lies they're bound to forget a few!

Roxie: But not Aer---I'll be damned if I do!

Frynn ] pleasantly]: Youll be hanged if you don't. . . . And by the way, pipe down on that swearing. What we've got to do now is go out for sympathy through the press. The story of your life starts to- morrow in the Star: "From Convent to Jail."

Roxie: What?

Frynn: My secretary's writing it this afternoon--- signed with your name, of course.

Roxie: Gee, an authoress!

Frywn: Beautiful Southern home, every luxury and re- finement, [she listens with interest] parents dead, educated at the Sacred Heart, fortune swept away, runaway marriage . . . [Severely.] You're a lovely,

42 v CHIiCGAGY Act I innocent child bewildered by what has happened. Young, full of life, lonely, you were caught up by the mad whirl of a great city---she gives a red-hot picture of cabaret life---that jazz stuff is always good. . . . And you were drawn inevitably like a moth to the flame! [Roxie drinks it in open- mouthed.] And now the mad whirl has ceased: a butterfly crushed on the wheel. . . . And you sob with remorse for the life you have taken

Roxie: O God!

FLynn: Cut out "God"---stay where you're better ac- quainted. . . . And don't overdo it. Go as far as you like with Mary Sunshine---she'll swallow hook, line, and sinker, for it's what she wants, but easy with the Ledger woman. The important thing is re- gret. Yowre sorry---sorry: youd give your life gladly to bring him back.

Roxie [drops pose]: Say, why did I do it? What's my defense? Was I drunk or crazy?

Frynn [shakes head]: Nobody cares about a lunatic unless they've got money. Whenever they ask "why," all you remember is a fearful quarrel, he threat- ened to kill you. You can see him coming toward you with that awful look in his eyes---that wild look! And---get this now: you Joth grabbed for the gun. See? Self-defense. Whatever else we weave in afterwards, that's there from the start. . . . You've spent a sleepless night---tossing about

Roxie: Walking the floor

[ The bell rings and Fiynn looks down the cor- ridor. ]

F Lynn: Here's Sunshine now. [ With look of dismay at Roxie's brilliant garb.] O my God, that dress!

Roxie [vesentfully ]: What's the matter with it?


Fiynn: You ought to have something simple---plain--- dark.

Roxie: Wait a minute! [Dashes to suit-case and waves a black dress at him.] How's this?

Fiynwn [ods]: And slick down your hair. [] As she starts off.] And don't forget: regret, remorse

Roxie: I got you! "And we both grabbed for the gun!"

[She runs lightly upstairs with the dress clasped in her arms, as the Matron admits Mary Sun- SHINE, who is really Pollyanna's older sister. She is a soulful semi-blonde with protruding front teeth and adenoids, who talks with a slightly af- fected lisp and boundless enthusiasm. ]

Friywnn ] holds out a hand but doesn't rise]: Well, here she is: Sunshine herself. Nice little story you had last night.

SUNSHINE: Isn't this wonderful! You're just the person I want to see! How "s she today?

Frynn [shakes his head gravely]: Terrible strain, ter- rible; but she's a brave little woman.

SunsHINE: O I feel so sorry for her when I think of all she must have gone through to be driven to a step like that.

Fiynn: Only a woman can understand.

SUNSHINE: But she has everyone's sympathy---that will help her in this awful hour. [Fumbles in bag and brings out a handful of telegrams and letters.] We're paying ten dollars a day for the best letter, you know, and some of these are just too lovely. I cried and cried over this one. [Hands him letter on pink paper with purple ink. ]

Frynn ][veads gravely, quoting line now and then]: me ene) old heart-breakine story .....2% 2). Ptherevout for the grace of God igo 1.) 6. 4.0).

440 CHICAGO Act T ace J i) OTAGO "and the woman always pays." ... True. True. SUNSHINE: And here's one that's just darling: from five

45 at Maldoon's! Furniture, books, clothes, everything

at triple prices. And he was nothin' but a get-rich- college boys, and they clubbed together and sent her quick fake---another Ponzi, while this girl is Chi-

a huge box of roses and lilies. Isn't that sweet? It's cago's latest slayer---or was the last time I phoned

too bad they won't let her have flowers---there are the office.

eight boxes downstair Ss now ! Frynn ] thoughtfully ]: That's not a bad idea. Matron ]comes in from corr idor followed by JaKE] 'Jake ] indignantly ]: It's the best little idea on La Salle

Just run on up, Miss Sunshine. Street! JF' her stuff's paid for. Call her down. SUNSHINE: O may I?+[Goes on upstairs. ] _ Frynn [dellows at foot of stair): Mrs. Hart! Roxie! JAKE [waves friendly salute to Wynn, and smiles} axe: Why, they'll go wild at the chance to own a tea-

cynically after SUNSHINE ]: Little Sunshine gathering cup drank out of by a real live murderess---and of

CERTSE 1 " ] course if she dies by due process of law, the value is Frynn: Nice little story this morning, Jake. ] enhanced! We could use a carload of underwear! JAKE ] pulls up chair]: Used your name six times! And victrola records---IT'Il kill a chicken over 'em--- Fiynwn [takes flask and pours drink]: Yeah---nice little think of owning the record she played while the Boy

Story. --- Friend lay dying! [Slaps Frynn on the back.] JAKE [drinks]: Anything new? Great stuff, Billy, great stuff!

Frynn [shakes head]: Indictment tomorrow, ofp, yxn- Go to it. kid. if you can raise my three thou- course. ] Drinks. ] sand. ine

Jake: Bail? ] Roxre enters. She wears a black dress b Bail? , yes, but Fiynwn: Bail? Hell, no! They ain't even got money for sleeveless with huge scarlet flower on one shoulder

me! A fine case you got me! ae ] he and hula-hula skirt of red fringe. Her hair, glis- Jaxe [grins]: Well, charge it up to publicity---you'll tening from a wet brush, lies smooth like a medi-

get enough. ; eval saint's, and she turns sad eyes from FLYNN to Frynn: O no, Henry. I like to see my name in print Jaxe. ]

dollar: cash in advance, And so far this guy hasnQe®® [eacitedly]: Say, is it paid for---your furniture d but tw th d Buy RoxikE [drops the sad pose and flops into a chair]: My se) PATH: ; ry God, are they comin' here! Tell 'em they got the Legacy 2H ny er ca wrong party, that I'm out, that---that--- ] Gives up. ] Can you beat it! No respect for grief at all. Jake: Sure---an auction. They got four rooms of junk. i: a hell! P s

r - aos 1 ) , 5 Frynn: Second-hand furniture don't bring enough ]: I used to hang crepe on the door, but it never

' wis worked more'n once Jake: But look whose it is! You should have seen 'em ' : Jake [rallies, to Frynn]]: O well---what's a few

ae CHICAGO © Act iced CHICAGO 4 hundred! [To Roxte.] Listen, kid: we're goin' to jewels: An honest-to-God three carat, and a dia- have an auction and sell off your things. mond and platinum bracelet and pearls---real Jap-

Roxie [sits up]: Like hell you are! anese pearls

Lied Sage ne ag ee hesies f 'i an ke Friywnn [alert, to JAKE]: We'd better keep them out.

, there's not enough to pay you, even 1f--- ta. aH i ] astily.] My things are grand, perfectly grand, but ope ham rua ecsiten Monahan tiehraiee is ; eee you'd never get what I paid for 'em. Roxie [ firmly]: Wait. If I sell my clothes

JAKE [solemnly]: Five times as much! Frynn: And yowre going to.

[She stares; he takes auctioneers stand and Roxie: The first five hundred dollars goes to buy more. holds up imaginary articles. ] Fiynn: After my fee.

oie Nie : eA if oe greet tat ae Na- Jake: After the furniture people. nF ih ee trannies q pray a+ + + Roxie: After nothin'. It's my clothes and it's 'cause I Pe ER area wencctes ay, ] Camron ' wore 'em that they're museum pieces. The first five

Roxie [squirms with delight]: Museum pieces, O gee! heen: sin petee se ep Why, er ME Ubi hundred. My God, do you think I'm a Kewpie? _ busses are already cryin': "Half a block to your left eee Oe need 2 PERESGOE get) 6) Saar Seine GE Rosie Ear. the belie Roxie: There's a winter coat with caracul fur ana ; J JaxeE: To hell with your winter coat: how much under-

wear have you got?

ee Kite ase Mae Mie Pl ae Roxie ] deams ]: Oh, there's a closet full of them! Rose te And theyre baru wo the shrubbery, <eeaam with fur all around it, and a green georgette, and the blue---you know: the one I wore the night [with

venirs. hy Roxie [with animation]: There's a lot uh poker chips triumphant look at Fiynn] "we both grabbed for

) * the gun!" wap ovtenipesrd- atric that. And hile Jake ][regretfully]: Unfortunately the blue is State's ue Exhibit B.

Jake ']~odding]: His last ashes.

Roxie [gives a little cry]: Oh! And all my dresser things!

Jake: O Lord, yes! There's a fortune there!

Roxie: The crystal bottles and atomizer

Jake [holds aloft]: "The mystic perfume that lured young Casely from his home---what am I offered? Twenty---thirty---the magic scent" ]

Roxie: I always use black narcissus. ... And my

Roxie: And dozens and dozens of--- [Scurries to the suit-case.] Here, take these, too! [Lays a few gar- ments aside, then tosses rest back in case.] Take 'em all and bring me some new ones guick! [ Pauses, gives herself a reflective wriggle, then stoops and swiftly removes her garters. ]

JAKE [waves them aloft]: Bravo! "You've read about em, boys, here they are: what am I offered for the Famous Turquoise Garters?" [Breaks off in alarm as

eee CHICAGO Act J she seems bent on further disapparelment.] Stop! This is not strip poker!

Roxie ] straightens with dignity ]: 1 was only rollin? my stockin's. [They drop to her ankles and Jake re- treats. ]

Firynn ] with look toward stair]: Sunshine's coming!

Jake ] hastily grabs suit-case]: Remember, kid: this 1s my story!

RoxtE [ods]: The first five hundred!

[She sits at table rolling hose as they leave and SUNSHINE comes down the stairs. ]

Act I CHICAGO 4 pen 'to... just why did you... shoot... . Roxie [grows dramatic]: ] was mad---crazy---insane!


Roxie [] Aastily ]: Not enough for the asylum, you know ---over with right away.

SUNSHINE [zods]: Temporary insanity.

Roxie: For I really have the tenderest heart in the world---wouldn't hurt a worm . . . not even [with VELMa's tremolo] aworm. . .

-Sunsuine [sympathetically]: And what brought it on?

SUNSHINE ] flutters in, pauses a moment at sight of the curiously bent figure---rolling hose---then goes to

her]: My dear, O my dear, what is it?

Roxie [lifts sweet tragic face]: VPve given all---all that a woman can give...

SUNSHINE ] grabs notebook]: Yes---yes: you've given Pour au an

Roxie: And now the mad whirl is over---a butterfly crushed on the wheel---yow know: a butterfly .. . moth and the flame . . . [with that lovely wistful smile. ]

SUNSHINE ]scribbles]: And what caused you to

RoxiE ]sadly, with Liz mystic intonation]: It might have been different once . . . but dancing feet find sorrow...

SUNSHINE: "Dancing." Er---jazz? The Charleston? Shall we say the Charleston, Mrs. Hart? And er--- drink---you had been drinking?

Roxie [with VELMa's ease]: O yes, I was drunk, my dear, dead drunk!

SUNSHINE: O lovely, lovely---my paper's dry, you know! . . . So you would advise girls to avoid jazz and drink. What else, Mrs. Hart? How did you hap-

Roxie ] er eyes grow dark and her emotion rises]: He ---he threatened my life... .

SUNSHINE: What a terrible man!

Roxie: O he was! Very terrible!

Matron [enters with two monstrous baskets, one tied with pink ribbon, which she places on the table and examines ]: It's your supper---two of 'em.

Roxie [looks blank]: Two?

Marron: One from Woosters' and a fancy chicken din-

ner from someplace, with a note.

Roxie [opens and reads ]:

"My heart and hand are at your feet, With you my life would be complete. Yours, with pleasure--- An Unknown Admirer."

Poetry! Ain't that romantic! SUNSHINE ] takes note]: Pll thank him for you through

the paper. Roxie [arranges food]: You might tell him, too, that I like Russian dressing. . . . Shortcake---say, he's

a regular guy! [Matron disappears with other basket, Roxtr

$6 hi 1 CHICAGO Act I falls to eating heartily, and SUNSHINE watches fas- cinated. ]

SUNSHINE: They'll all be so glad to know you can eat.

Roxie [stops short and resumes "character? ]: It's chok- ing me, every mouthful ... but I feel it's my GUE 5 s/s

SUNSHINE: O it is! You must keep your strength!

Roxie [forces herself to a more languid pace]: The first bite I've tasted since . . . he went to his re- ward .. . [Presses handkerchief to her eyes. ]

SUNSHINE [pats her hand]: Dear Mrs. Hart!

Roxie: O, if I could only bring him back! How gladly .. . how gladly I'd give my own life! [Chokes with emotion, takes a few healthy bites.] And sleep--- I can't sleep either. . . . All night I walked about ---tossing the floor... .

SUNSHINE: O my dear.

Roxie [inv hollow tone]: Always his face coming to- ward me... [her emotion rises as she lives through it all] with that terrible look---that wild look---in his eyes ... We both grabbed for the gun! [She reaches forth her hand and clasps a roll of bread.]---And I shot ] dramatic pause]---to save my honor!

[ The Salvation Army starts up again: ]

"In the sweet bye-and-bye, We shall meet on that beautiful shore; In the sweet bye-and-bye. .. ."

Ain't it grand---the Salvation Army! I love to hear *em: I'm awful refined. . . . You see, I was born

in a convent... . [Continues talking and eating, ---



Same scene, one month later---early afternoon of May the third.

A stolid figure in blue calico sits sewing by the great end windows; Liz, with bucket and brush, 1s busy scouring the floor; through the half-opened bunk- door can be seen a reclining figure that looks very much like our friend Roxtr. The center of the stage, however, both physically and emotionally, is held by VELMA, who stands on top of one of the white tables and turns slowly while the Matron turns up the hem of her dress, making it now a good twenty inches instead of sixteen from the floor.

It is anew VELMA---ten years at least have gone from her age. Smooth, lithe, clear-eyed, and well-groomed. Her shingle bob fairly glistens with something or other, and there is a touch of tangerine rouge (from the huge make-up box on the table) on each soft cheek, and her lips are arched in a scarlet bow that matches her dress of lipstick red, which certainly catches the eye. At present she is in the agony of sup- pressed hysterics. Tears would spoil her make-up and uncontrolled rage distort her face, so she keeps a calm mask and rolls out a continuous flow of bit- ter invective in a gentle monotone.

VeLma: Damn Marshall Field! Matron ] punches dress so VELMA can feel where it

stops]: Is that short enough? 53

pty a CHICAGO Act II

Liz ] pauses for a glance and giggles]: O my, thar' ll bring the jury to your feet all right!

Roxir [comes out from her bunk and leans against door-sill, eying VELMA with venom]: My God, what house have they raided now! [VELMA wheels and Liz giggles.] So loud it woke me up. Lord, Dll bet ever' bull in the stockyards hears it and is gnashin' his teeth!

VeuMa [ tearfully, to Matron]: It's true. . . . Think of it; their last picture of me in this! Damn Marshall Field [points trembling to empty suit-box on table ] ---to send an empty box!

Matron ] peers in box again while Roxtt looks like the kitty that's gulped a canary]: Queerest thing I ever heard of---just a bunch of tissue paper, not even the bill. But you can get your money back

Velma: Money! What the hell do I care for money! It goes to the jury this afternoon and---I can't stand it!

Matron: Now, dearie---it's certainly got style.

[Roxie sorts. ]

Velma: But what's that? The other had meaning. Mr. Hessler picked it himself: a beautiful soft green that would stand out in the crowded courtroom---you never saw such a crowd!

Liz: I had a crowd, too.

VetmMa: But not like mine.

Liz [shrilly]: I did, too---didn't I, Mrs. Morton!

VELMA [ignoring her]: Every seat taken, the hallway jammed

Roxre: A lot you know about crowds! Now at my auc- tion

Liz [screams ]: Shut up about your old auction!

Act II CHICAGO 55 Roxie: There were thousands and thousands Liz: How do you know?

Roxie: The papers all said so, didn't they, Mrs. Mor- ton?

Liz: Yeah---and they're a bunch uh durned liars. [ Com- placently, to VeumMa.] We see our crowds, don't we.

Roxie: A handful in a courtroom!

Matron: There's hundreds of 'em

Velma: Thousands!


Roxie [iz impotent rage]: You God-damned bunch of four-flushers! ]

Matron [bangs her hand down on table]: Now, Roxie.

Roxie ] goes in cell]: Aw, tie it outside!

Matron: If you've got a headache, sleep it off; if you ain't, go on upstairs where you belong. Pve had enough raggin' out uh you today.

Roxie [turns for a last shot]: Anyway they paid for my auction and that's the rancid test. While yow're just a free show---that's all! [ Bangs the door. ]

Liz [chants in sing-song]: "Roxie's mad and I'm 5 i

Matron: Shut up.

Liz [returns to scrubbing ]: Jealous, that's what she is--- jealous.

Roxie ]re-opens the door, with dignity]: When My Lawyer comes

Matron [looks up from hemming process]: Now get that out of your head. Mr. Flynn ain't got time to be runnin' over here whenever you take a notion

Roxie [/oftily]: This ain't a notion---it's something very important.


Liz: Wants in the papers, that's what it 1s.

Roxie: And he s coming; I sent word by Mary Sun- shine. ] S/ams the door after her. ]

Velma: The next time she butts in on an interview the way she did this morning---my God, can't you hurry!

Liz: Maggie an' me never dolled up this way, did we, Maggie?

] The figure in the rocking-chair doeswt answer. ]

Matron: Yeah, an' look what yuh got, too: the rest of your life in Joliet.

Liz [shrilly]: 1 don't care, I told 'em what I thought, didn't I---the Judge an' jury, ever'body. ] Flings her arms out in dramatization. ] "Hang me," I said, that's what I said, "Build a platform right down at State and Madison and invite the whole town---reserved seats for ever'body, so they can all come, and have a good time." That's what I said, right to the Judge! ['o VeLma.] And that's more'n youve done, for all your clothes! You ain't said a word now, have you, not a word!

Velma: My lawyer won't let me.

Liz: Yeah---he knows once you opened your mouth they'd hang you.

Veta: That's a lie! They can tell just by looking at me I'm a lady. That's why it's so important what I] wear ... something quiet and refined .. . the green would have been just right. . . . [ Suddenly. ] This won't do---it simply won't do! ] Ready to cry, she jumps down from the table.] Oh, I could kill Marshall Field! [Szalks upstairs in rage. ]

]The bell rings, Matron answers and RoxiE peeps out from cell. ]

Roxie: Is that Mr. Flynn?

Liz: Say, what're you gonna do: make a will?

Act II CHICAGO 5 Roxie [darkly]: It's all right what I'm goin' to do---I want him. Keessumph ]... .\ "Roxie's'mad'and Iam elad .'. Matron ]cails from door]: Maggie---you. At the screen. ] Figure at window starts up bewildered. She's a rough peasant type, thirty-five or so, with strag- gly black hair and large plain features. ] Liz ]nods toward screen]: Go on---it's your husband and kid. ] Maccie gives a guttural cry, drops her sewing in the chair, and scurries heavily to the screen. Liz trails after her. The Marron is still at the door and no one is looking: RoxtE comes out from her cell with the green dress she has stolen, runs quickly and puts it back in the Marshall Field box; then extracts lipstick from make-up box and hurls it through the bars as JAKE and the MaTRon enter. She then melts away to her cell. ] Matron: Velma's dressing---do you want to see her? JAKE [throws admission card on table]: No, thanks, I'm waiting for this one. Matron [reads card]: My land, are they sendin' her?


Jaxe [grins]: Due this afternoon from the Desplaines

station. And she's a hell-cat for sure! That's what they call her: "Go-to-hell Kitty!"

Matron [¢ragically]: On top of ever'thing else!

JAKE [tosses hat on table and takes chair]: What else?

Matron: Two convictions this week---ain't it turrible? That allus gives ever'body the blues.

Jake: Well, Velma will cheer 'em up: she's gettin' away with murder all right. Why, the Judge himself says she's the classiest one he's ever had!

Matron: Well, I hope so! Another day of this dressin'

5 ns CHBLOAG? Act II and Dll be goin' crazy! ... [Goes on down the corridor.] What a life, what a life!

Liz ] unconsciously imitating the matron]: An?' on top uh all that Roxie sulkin' like the devil!

JAKE: Roxie?

Liz ]lowers voice with warning look toward Roxte's bunk]: Shhh! She'll hear you and---pounce!

JAKE [amused ]: What's the matter with her?

Liz: Says she's got a headache, but it ain't. No, siree. A broken nose, that's what it is---out of joint because Velma's /¢t now instead uh her. No more presents or letters---except from that durned fool Admirer

Jaxe: A slick guy for free advertisin'!

Liz: Papers, Mrs. Morton, ever'body makin' over Velma, and she won't even help her dress or wish her good luck. Mean, that's what she is---just like my jury. 'Cause I wanted 'em to hang me, they wouldn't. Spite work, that's what it was.

Jake: Never mind, you can appeal.

Liz [straightens up]: And go through another trial? Not much I don't! I didn't mind goin' over once--- the lawyers and judge has got to have somethin' to do and I don't mind helpin' ?em once, but I ain't got time for such foolishness again. The folks likes their fun and I done my part, [smiles in pleased recollec- tion] didn't I?

JAKE ] also smiles]: You certainly did!

Liz: My lawyer had me talk to show 'em I was crazy, but I fooled him, all right, didn't I? [Begins rocking and sobbing and wailing. ]

Roxie [sharply, opening door]: Shut up, Liz, you're makin' my head worse.

Liz: Glad of it. Hope it busts.

Ace il CHICAGO 5 [A shoe sails by, Roxie limps out to retrieve tt, and becomes angelic at the sight of JaKe.]

RoxiE: Why, Mr. Callahan!

Jake: Hello, Carrots!

Liz: Go 'way, he's mine! He's havin' an interview with me---]to JAKE] ain't you. [Tries to push Roxie back with her soapy hands; Roxie administers a good sharp slap, and Liz cries. ]

Roxie: Hush! or [Il tell God on you!

Liz [muttering]: Go on and tell! You're such an old liar He won't believe you. ] Returns to scrubbing. ]

Roxie [sweetly to JAKE]: O Mr. Callahan, I'm so glad it's you! You've been so kind to me---so---so---mag- nanimous

Liz: Says that to all of 'em---don't you believe her.

Roxie [soulfully, to Jake]: And now I'm goin' to do somethin' for you; it's a story.

Jaxe: All right, spill it.

Roxie [wwearily]: I can't sleep---my head hurts! [ve had a terrible night! Tossed and wept, sobbed re- morse

JAKE [ gets up in disgust]: O my God, don't start that again! Nobody gives a damn how yow're sleeping.

Roxie ][shrilly]: They do too! Don't you remem- ber . . . [Follows him.]

JAKE: Sure, omce---when the story was new, but it's dead now. You'll have to pull a better line than that.

Roxie [with sudden inspiration]: I've got it: a scoop for you---a front-page story!

JAKE [skeptically]: Yeah?

Roxie: It's a dress---you can raffle it off---sell chances on it... [takes VELMaA's green dress from the box; he shakes his head in rejection and she goes on

60 we CHICAGO Act IT with inspiration] . .. The dress I wore the first time I ever went wrong!

Jake: O my God! ] Backs away from her. ]

Roxie: It's a museum piece. ] Follows him. ]

Jake: Then put it back in the case.

Roxie ]dangerously]: Pll give it to another paper.

JAKE: Just try it, you little publicity hound! You've sure got it bad. Now listen: You'll have another fling at front page when your trial starts, but until then there's not a chance in the world! For they've caught Kitty Baxter!

Roxie: O my God, another one!

Jaxe: And she's got you faded, Roxie. She's a Tiger Cat and yow're just a little white kitten. But I will do this: use you in a picture with her: "The Jazz- Slayer Meets the Bandit Queen."

Roxie: Nothing doing!

Jaxe: Whole cheese or none, huh? Well, suit yourself. But if you can't play ball, you'd better curl up [xods toward cell] and go to sleep for the next four months.

Roxie ] genuinely startled]: Four months! It ain't goin' to take that long!

Jaxe: Sure! The September calendar---maybe October. Billy goes abroad for July and August.

Roxie: What! Hoofs it to Europe on my money---the clothes I sold off of my back to pay him? And I stay cooped up here! [ Her eyes flash.] Do you think ?m goin' to stand for that?

Jake [calmly]: Sure. What can you do about it?

Roxie ] determinedly]: I don't know, but . . . [Taps foot, thinking.] God damn it, and I got my clothes all planned for a summer trial!

[The bell rings. Moans and wails are heard

Act II CHICAGO 61 from Macate at the end of the screen, and out of sympathy Liz starts up also. ]

SUNSHINE ]comes in and stops in chagrin at sight of JAKE ]: O dear!

Jake [grins]: I beat you---but we're both early.

Roxie [goes to her, confidentially ]: O Miss Sunshine, I've something very important to tell you, some- thing

SuNSHINE [slips out of her grasp with a sweet smile]: Later, my dear. I've a message for Velma first. ] Goes on upstairs. ]

[In the meantime Matron has herded Maccir and her visitors, dimly seen through the screen, down toward the elevator. ]

Maccie [weeping---great sobs and wails ]: Mine baby! Mine baby! Gif her to me!

Marron [grasps her arm and tries to draw her away ]: Shut up, you!

Maccie [clings to screen with both hands]: Let me see her---chust let me see her---wvonce .. .

Marron: Shut up! You can't see her---do you heart [ To man outside.] Go on away---your time's up. ] T'o elevator man.] Take 'em on down, Tom.

Maccie: Vonce---let me hold her. . . . [Runs along the screen like an animal and gives a final piercing wail as the elevator clicks. ]

Matron: That's enough out of you now. Your baby's gone, do you understand, gone.

Jaxe: What's the row? Who's she?

Matron: Moonshine Maggie.

Jaxe: Oh, the hunyak they nabbed for sellin' booze.

Marron: Get her to tell you about it---she's a scream. Maggie, come here. . . . [Woman comes slowly. ]

' CH ICAGS Act II What's the matter, Maggie? Why don't you go with your baby?

Maccie ] simply, looking up through her tears: They won't let me.

Matron: Who won't let you?

Maccie: Uncle Sam. [Crying again. ] O missus, please, missus

Matron: Here, wait a minute. Why won't he let you? You killed a man, that's why. You're a bad girl. [To JAKE, im enjoyment.] She always cries at that. ] To Maccier, encouragingly.] Come on tell us about it. ] Pointing to JAKE, with a burst of imspiration.] Here's your Uncle Sam now!

Maccie ] peers through fingers at JakE]: You my Uncle Sam?

Matron ] pleased with her genius]: Sure. And he can help you if you just

MaccieE ] flings herself on knees before JAKE in wild earnestness ]: O mister, mister, Uncle Sam, let me go! My baby zeed me---Maggie not bad

Matron: Wait a minute; why did you kill him, Mag-



] Roxre, perched on the table, smoking, watches thoughtfully the scene that follows. ] MaccieE ] clasps her hands on JAKE's knees and her eyes search his]: Me not kill him, mister. ] Pulls the words out, one by one, and gestures.] He come to our house ---mine husband, me, mine baby---two months old she was---a little baby . . . [Sobs.] Matron: Forget the kid---go on. Jake [ gently]: Who came, Maggie? MaccieE: Johann---/im. Christmas Eve JAKE ][to Matron]: This Christmas? Matron: A year ago---been waitin' trial.


Jaxe [To Roxte]: See? And you a-growlin' over four months!

[She tosses her head. ]

Maccie: An' he say, "Gimme drink, Maggie." And I give him. An' he drink, I drink, mine husband---all, ] grows distressed] an? next day . . . men come--- men come for me, an? say J kill him---wme! ] Beats her breast and sobs again. ]

Matron: Found him dead in a ditch---too much moon- shine.

Jake [soberly]: Gotta know your bootlegger these days!

Maccie: An' they took me away---an' I not see mine baby chust there . . . [Points to screen.] O Uncle Sam, mine baby need me!

Matron: Funny, ain't it, the way she takes on over that kid!

Jake: Did they use it at the trial? [Marrow shakes her head.] Lord, what rotten management!

Maccie: O mister, please, give me mine baby! [Szarts sobbing and wailing. ]

Matron [takes her arm]: That's enough now. You can't have your baby. You're a bad girl. [Starts her to the stairs. ]

Maccie [shrieks]: But mine baby!

Matron: Shut up! Nobody cares about you or your baby! [Follows her up the stairs. ]

Jake [soberly]: Yep: nobody cares!

Liz ] bursts into shrill laughter ]: It's 'cause we ain't got bobbed hair and wear cotton stockin's, Maggie, that's what it is!

] Bell rings and MATRON answers. ] Roxie: What do you reckon a jury thinks about? _

Liz: Juries don't think---they acts. J\\ rh / +o ---= wi

64 ~ CHC AG Act Il

Roxie: But what counts most?

Jake: Just being a woman!

Roxie: Yeah---look at Maggie.

Jake: That wasn't the jury's fault; she had a bum lawyer. . . . D'yuh remember the Harland case? She fed lysol to her two stepchildren and the baby died; then the last day of the trial they had the other one run down the aisle cryin' "Mama! Mama!" and the jury sent her home to her husband and the dear little one who needed her! . . . And now this hun- yak--- a decent lawyer with a sob like that would had the jury wipin' its eyes and givin' her a medal. Gee, it gets me: wastin' a kid that way! [Shakes his head regretfully as he saunters down the corridor. ]

Voices [upstairs]: Good luck, Velma! Happy days! By-by, Old Timer!

VELMA ][enters, followed by SUNSHINE, in beige coat- dress, with slip-on gloves, scarlet gardenia, carrying a blue dress]: . . . and we sail the sixteenth, if--- everything comes out all right . . . [Zo Marron, holding up blue dress.] 1m taking the blue, so if he don't like this I can change! [Goes to make-up box. ] Just a little more color: beige is so trying. [ Carefully adds rouge. ]

Marron: You better hurry---the bailiff's waitin'.

VELMA [with genuine tragedy ]: My God, the lipstick's gone! [The Matron dashes to her---they search frantically.] Yes, it 1s---gone!

SUNSHINE: Here, take mine!

Veta [reaches for it eagerly, then sinks in despair ]: But it's rose and I need tangerine!

Velma [Clasps her hand to her head in frenzy ]: God, I can never face the jury now! [Staggers to the door. ]

Matron: Well, yuh gotta go anyway.

Act II CHICAGO 65 Roxie ] grabs SUNSHINE as she tries to follow VELMA]: O Miss Sunshine, I've got a scoop for you: it's a letter from the guy who bought my garters and he's goin' on a hunger strike until I'm freed. [SUNSHINE fries to pull away. RoxiE lowers her tone mysteriously. ] And I've got a package---a dress---and I want you to send it back and tell him it ain't refined to take clothes from men! ] There's a noise in the hall---the sound of scuf- fling, muffled oaths, and a husky voice snarls: "You God-damned bums!"? ] [SUNSHINE rushes away, leaving Roxit alone in the middle of the floor. She stamps her foot and once more retires to her cell in rage. ] Matron [at door]: No, you needn't. And if she tries any bitin'? here, Pll have 'em pull ever' tooth in her head! ] Enter the BAXTER GIRL, a wiry young tough with insolent eyes set deep in a thin white face, square hard jaw, and straight scarlet mouth now drawn tight. She wears a rough topcoat over sweater and skirt, and a velvet tam over a matted curly bob. ] There's a moment's silence as she saunters to the middle of the floor and takes in the room: the white walls, the bunks, Liz kneeling like a statue, SUNSHINE quivering with excitement, JAKE slouched against the wall, the Matron watchful and waiting. ] Kirry: Humph. [She swings herself up on the table, takes off her hat and runs grimy hand through grimier head. ]

SUNSHINE ] ¢remulously]:O Miss Baxter . . . [Kitty

66 CHICAGO Act II turns. ] I---I'm from the Evening Star---Mary Sunshine from the Evening Star... [Falters under Kirry's gaze.] . . . and we'd like fot you to ---everyone is so imterested---I wonder if yow'd mind saying just a word or two?

Kitty ]@greeably]: Sure: Tl say three: go to hell.

SUNSHINE: O dear! O dear!

Matron ][severely]: Now, look here, Kitty, that's no way to talk. The young lady

Kitty ][#patiently, to JAKE]: Get into this. I can't fight with old women, and I eat children like her--- [~ods toward SUNSHINE] for breakfast. What's on your chest? Spit it out.

Jaxe: Do you remember me?

Kitty [shakes head, flippantly]: ve seen so many handsome faces in the last two GAYS!

Jake [quietly]: I was at the show-up when Mickey pointed you out.

Kitty ][eagerly]: You were? What did he say when I'd gone---tell me! [Goes into a rage.] Damn him! If it wasn't for him---the dirty squealer!---I wouldn't be here!

SUNSHINE ][tremulously]: O Miss Baxter, are you--- are you---sorry?

Kirry: You little fool! Of course I'm sorry. Who wants to get caught? And I'd made my getaway if

JAKE: Pretty slick.

Kirry: Wasn't it though! Passed three cops! And if I hadn't waited for him... [Turns her back and when she faces them again her face is wet with tears of rage.] O women are fools!

Matron [sympathetically]: 1 never knew a killin' yet that a man wasn't back of it.


JAKE ][easily]: And this other guy

Kitty [swiftly]: What other guy?

Jake [with a knowing look]: Say, don't you think we know?

Kirtry: I know damn well you don't.

Jake: Don't you think Mickey told me?

Kirry: Mickey don't 4vow. God and me are the only ones: and we don't tell.

Jake: It would help your case.

SUNSHINE: Yes, indeed, Miss Baxter.

Kitty: [ve heard that line for two days, now, and get this: I don't squeal. They'll send me up, I guess--- maybe, I?ll swing---but I'1] die like a lady!

Jake [Aeartily]: Atta boy, Kitty!

SUNSHINE [furriedly]: O you won't---er---swing. Women never---swing.

Kitty: Say, I wear skirts but I got guts, and I don't yell "King's X" when I'm caught. And PI get mine, all right! Yuh see, I didn't just £i// a man---what's a little murder! But this was a stick-up---would yuh believe it: an Ingersoll watch and four dollars! And the man---accidental-like---got bumped off. O yes, theyll get me! You can poison your husband or shoot your lover, but the pocket-book hits ?em where they live. Even a juryman has four dollars and an Ingersoll, and that makes me a "dangerous woman"

. Think of it---me, Kitty---I[slumps in dejec- tion] caught on a job like that!

SunsHINE: How long have you---er---been bandit- ing?

Kirry: Say, for the last ten years I've carried a gun where most girls carry a powder-puff. [F'lippantly. ] A direct descendant of Captain Kipp.

[Roxre opens the door, Kitty turns, and the

6 CHICAGO two stare at each other in instant and thorough hatred. ]

What about you, Angel Face, don't you want in on this?

Jaxe: That's Roxie Hart, Kitty.

Kitty: And who the hell is she?

Matron ] proudly]: The prettiest one we've ever had!

Kitty: My God, what is this: a deauy contest?

Jake: You've read about her.

Kirty [coolly]: 1 don't read news---I make it.

Roxie ] flares]: So do I! A damn sigi more than you ever will!

Kitty: O is that so!

Roxie: Yes, that's so. Thirty-five columns and twenty- two pictures.

Kitty: Hell, what's that? If I told all know, it would make a dictionary, ] to reporters] wouldn't it!

SUNSHINE ] afraid to breathe]: O yes, Miss Baxter! It's so---so significant of this age---youth and jazz and the quest for

Kitty: Shut up!! anyway?

Roxie ]on verge of raging tears]: You know what I did!

SUNSHINE [trembling]: A man---another man

Kirry: O yes---your sweetie: "Killed him rather than lose him" . . . J remember. Say that's old stuff. [Zo Roxte.] Move on, sister, you're dead and don't know it.

Roxie [Screaming]: I am not dead---lI'll show you! [She grabs Kirty's hair, all ready for a grand fem- inine fight, but the TicER Gir tosses her off; she starts back for more, but the Matron interferes. ]

..2 » [Lo Jake.] What's her facker

Act Il

Act II Why oe: ME ee Bers. 6

Matron: Now, Roxie! [Gives her a push that sends her spinning toward her cell; Roxie spits like a kit- ten at her enemy, who triumphantly seats herself on the table. ]

Kirry: What's her record anyway? Watch me bust it.

JaxeE [Zo Kirr.]: Shoot the works, kid.

] Roxie paces up and down in thought and rage as SUNSHINE and JAKE cluster around Kitty. ]

SUNSHINE: Tell us just how you happened to start! What were the factors in your life that caused you to---er---tal 'tt up? Was it jazz? The thirst for ex- citement? The quest for adventure? Are you a thrill- slayer?

] Unable to endure it any longer Roxie gives a sudden shriek and crumbles in a faint. The Ma- TRON, SUNSHINE and JAKE wheel from KitTTy; Liz stops scrubbing and sits up like a squirrel; Kitty, from the table, watches in disgust. ]

Jake: Good Lord!

SUNSHINE: O what is it! She's fainted!

Matron: My God, on top of everything else! [They all rush and kneel beside her.] Water!

Liz: Water! Water! [She rushes over with her bucket of suds and is intensely disappointed when JAKE pre- vents the administration of her aid. ]

SUNSHINE: Has she been sick?

Jake [to Matron]: Shall I get the doctor?

Kitty ][contemptuously from her perch]: Ain't that just like a woman?

Roxie [moans with eyes still closed]: O dear. . . . O eee valte COLE sss

Matron ] bathes her head briskly]: There, there!

] Roxie opens her eyes and smiles wanly.]


Roxie [weakly and sweetly---little Eva en route to heaven ]: 2m ahi nehte. s« Don't) worry eee about---me. .. .

Marron: She's comin' around all right now. . . . [To RoxiE, who tries to sit wp.] Aren't you ashamed to

Roxie [simks back gasping]: I can't breathe... .

Matron: Here, help me with her.

JAKE [nods toward the cell]: In there?

Matron [shakes her head]: No! On the table---air...

[SuNsHINE gets a pillow from the cell and brushes Kitty aside to make room for the impro- vised cot. ]

Look out! [Jake lifts the drooped body.]\ There! [To Kirry, impatiently.] Clear on out---upstairs--- show her, Liz.

[Kitty follows Liz in swaggering silence, and the Matron disappears for camphor and am- monia; SUNSHINE and JAKE stand looking down

at Roxie. ] Roxie [revives a little, crying]: O dear ... dear .. « I can't dear it! ] Her slender frame shakes with sobs. ]

SUNSHINE: Bear what, darling---+tell me!

Roxie: Go 'way---let me alone! [Sobbing more heart- ily.] Here in jail--- O dear, my... baby...

[The Matron returns on this word and there's grand astonishment all around. ]


Roxie [ faintly, wanly]: . . DOEE «aa

JAKE [in genuine alarm]: Good God! Say, I must get the doctor!

Matron [applies smelling salts, ammonia, etc.]: I

. when my child . oa as

Act IT CHICAGO 1 knew she wasn't well, but I never dreamt this... .

SUNSHINE [in hushed ecstasy]: Isn't it too divine! "Stork Hovers over County Jail." [To Jaxe.] Could you ask for anything better?

Jake [dubiously]: No-o ... just so it don't light right zow.

SUNSHINE [Superiorly]: Don't be silly . .

Jake: How do you know?

SUNSHINE: No such luck.

Matron [with sudden inspiration]: Thats why she wanted her lawyer!

JAKE [revives ]: Gosh---it's a whale of a story! Think what it will do to her case! "Young Mother Awaits Pal"

SUNSHINE [corrects]: "Girl Mother Awaits Trial"--- isn't 1t oo wonderful! [0 Matron.]] Was one ever born here before?

Matron [shakes head]: Not in my day.

] The bell rings and she goes to answer; RoxtE tries to sit up. ]

SUNSHINE [tenderly]: No, no, darling, lie still! [Ad- justs her pillow. ]

, At won't.

Roxie [faintly and sweetly]: I don't . .. want to mer eOrher YOu: >. . . SUNSHINE [purrs]: Dear Mrs. Hart .. . tell Sun-

shine---tell Sunshine a//! JAKE [awkwardly]: Feeling better? Roxie [in hollow voice]: O yes. ... J'm all right. . [Sinks back exhausted to disprove words. ] ] Matron admits Mr. Fiynn, who tries to con- ceal his perturbation over what the Matron has evidently told him. ] SUNSHINE [skips to meet him]: O Mr. Flynn, isn't it too marvelous!


Jake: It's a knockout, isn't it!

Fiynn: What's this, young lady? Why didn't you let me know?

Roxie [looks up sweetly]: I did try to, but you wouldn't come.

Frynn: Umm, yes... right now.

Roxie [with sweet bitterness]: "Al right?"

SUNSHINE [hops up and down]: Isn't it gorgeous? Aren't you glad?

Roxie: "Glad?" Oh! [Gives a moan.] To have your baby born---fere? ]They all look at each other startled. ]

SUNSHINE: Wonderful! [Tl phone all the women's clubs, the Parent-Teachers, the Civic League! We'll ask for letters: "Shall an Innocent Child Bear the Stigma of Jail?"

Jake: They'll eat it alive!

Frynn [to SunsHinE]: Good! And then a peti- tion

SUNSHINE: O yes, miles and miles of names!

FLynn: ---asking that bail be granted so that an inno- cent babe can be born in God's great outdoors! ] His arm sweeps the Western hemisphere. ]

Jake: But Aan won't wait for that, will you? When

SUNSHINE: When i is it to be?

Roxie: Oh---! [Closes her eyes a moment.] Not till fall---September.

Frynn: Umm .. . then I'd better crowd it in before I sail---yes, ll rush it to the jury in June.

[A look of triwmph flashes over Roxie's face as she sinks back on the pillow. ]

SUNSHINE: What jury would condemn a mother-to-be!

I was busy. Well, well, it's all


Jake: And, Billy, could a jury condemn her to seach or would it be passing judgment on two lives instead of one? And if they did, could the sentence be ex- ecuted, or

Fiynw: See the State's Attorney on that. [Chuckles. ] It's a solar plexus for him, all right!

Roxie [sits up dramatically]: My own life doesn't matter, but that of my child! ... [Gives a little tremolo as she sinks back] child...

Frynn: Don't worry, my dear: the American public will fight to the death for your innocent unborn babe!

SUNSHINE: And every true woman! Why, Motherhood itself is at stake, zsw'¢ it, Mr. Flynn? O wouldn't it be wonderful if the trial could come just before Mother's Day!

Roxie [soulfully]: You've been so kind to me, Miss Sunshine . . . If it's a girl, I'm goin' to name it after you!

SUNSHINE [4isses her]: You darling . . too sweet...

Roxie ] takes Jake's hand and looks up fondly at him]: And if it's a boy, after you.

Jake [beams fatuously, holds her hand a moment, then drops it like a hot cake]: Hell, no! Y'm married, happily married, and aim to stay that way. Thanks--- thanks---but . . . [Backs off.] Slip it to Billy here.

Fiynn [also in alarm as she looks up at him]: O no--- no. I appreciate the honor, but

Jaxe: A first son should always be named for his father. [ Slowly, slowly his expression changes.] Say ---who s papa?

Fiynn [simulating indignation]: What! I'm ashamed of you, Jake! Ashamed!

. that's just


JAKE ] slaps him on back]: Take it easy! I mean Casely or Hart!

Frynn: To think you'd insult this brave little woman!

Jake: Insult or not, it's what they're all going to be askin'.

FLYNN [steps toward him in pretended rage]: Calla- han, get out! I don't want to talk to you! Get out!

Marron ]simgs out at door]: Your husband, Mrs. Hart!

JAKE ] grins and goes]: That's the bird J want to see!

[Mary SuNSHINE and JAKE scurry to the door. ]

Frynn ] fiercely to Roxtt, who half rises from her couch]: You little fool! Who is the father anyway?

Roxie ]shrugs her shoulders wisely]: Don't worry: he'll stick.

Frynn: I don't want him to! [Bztterly.] It'll make you look as black as hell! All the sympathy for him!

Roxie: I can handle him all right!

Frynn: Shut up! You've done enough! I've got to make him divorce you!

Roxie [sits up alert]: Alimony! [Falls back as Amos enters, with hat on back of his head and fatuous grin. JAKE saunters on one side, SUNSHINE skips on the other, and the Matron trails after them. ]

Amos ] genially to FLYNN, who comes to meet him];: Well, I guess the cigars are on me!

Fiynn [slaps him on the back]: That's the way to take it, Hart---be a sport; what do you care if people laugh!

Amos [ blankly, losing a little hilarity]: "Laugh?"

Fiynn: After all, people's jokes .. .

JAKE [suddenly]: By God, it zs funny!

[They've reached the couch: Amos tiptoes m

Act II CHICAGO 5 awe and looks down at the heaving figure, face hidden by her arm. ]

Amos ]in awed whisper]: Will she---know me?

JAKE ] gives a howl of merriment]: O my God! She ain't havin' it now!

SUNSHINE: O Mr. Hart, not till fall---September .. .

[There is a pause; Amos stands, eyes cast to- ward ceiling, lost in calculation. JAKE lifts his hand with a knowing look toward FLYNN. SuN- SHINE gives a gasp. ]

O Mr. Hart, you don't mean ]

Amos ] holds up hand to stop her]: Waita minute... . [Finishes calculation.] Say, you don't put nothin' over on me!

SUNSHINE [ ecstasy over possible new turn]: Lovely, POVELY, 2s «

Frynn [in melancholy tone]: My client needs your support, Mr. Hart.

Amos ] ditterly]: Yeah---"Meal Ticket"---that's all I've ever been! Say, you can't make a fool out of me!

Jake: What are you goin' to do---divorce her?

Amos [Jofzily]: I ain't sayin'? what Pll do! [Starts off but stops as BaBE 1s admitted with camera. ]

Jaxe: O Babe, a couple uh flashes here!

Base [ dacks off from Roxit and makes for the stairs]: Not that lens-louse---I'm after the Tiger Girl!

JAKE: It's a scoop, kid, come on! [With a grand ges- ture toward Roxie.] Waitin' the stork: a baby!

BaBe [to Amos, as he sets up camera]: Well, Court- Plaster, you in on this?

Frynn [doeswt give him a chance to answer]: No! He's cast her off, forsaken her!

Amos: Wait till I see my lawyer. I ain't as dumb as

"6 CHICAGO Act II I look! September---hell! [Goes off grandly.] Roxie: Amos! My husband! ]'hrough tears, with out- stretched arms to AMos---when she's sure he's gone. ] Deserted in my hour of need! Baze: Look at the camera, sweetheart! Roxie: Wait a minute. ] '0 SunsuinE.] My sewing. [SuNsHINE hands her the baby dress left by Maccit i the rocking-chair. She bends over the dress in sewing posture, then turns Madonna face to the camera. ] I'm making every stitch myself. Frynn [takes pose by her side]: Deserted wife and mother! Jake: Hot stuff! Base: Hold it! ] Flash, bang, curtain! ]



Seven weeks later, a morning in June. The prisoner's room before Court opens.

A small room, dingy and bare, with great high brown walls that are beginning to scale off. A door at the right leads to the Bridge of Sighs, a window at the left looks upon air shaft and gray brick wall, and a center door opens into a small vestibule through which may be seen two other doors: one directly op- posite, leading to the jury room, and one at the right, to the courtroom.

A long bare table, half a dozen straight chairs, and a bleary mirror constitute the furnishings. Flowers are stacked on the table, dresses thrown over a chair in

] the corner, the make-up box is open---it looks like the dressing-room of a star.

The prisoners bailiff sits by the door, sleeping in tilted chair. Now and then it drops to the floor with a thud, but he quickly rights it and resumes his dream.

Roxie sits in a chair at left of table---turned relatively as it will be the witness-stand in the following scene. She wears a dress with meaning: heavy white crepe with surplice collar and bishop sleeves---a nun would envy its chastity; white shoes and hose of perplexing nudity. Her feet are crossed carelessly and one lily hand dangles a cigarette. Her eyes, wide and inno-

So - CHICAGO the jury.

FLyNnn paces up and down at the right, coaching from the sidelines.

Roxie: . . . "my innocent unborn babe. . . ."

Ftynn: Throw your head back---vodly! [She does. ]

That's right!---wait! Don't look at the jury on that ©

---you forget them---seek the eyes of your husband. He'll be over here. .-.

Act III ] cent, stare soulfully at the blank wall that represents °

Roxie: "He's divorced me, cast me off,"---I got that all ]

right!---"but still the father of my child!"

F'tynn [with deep emotion]: And the man you really _ Frynn [laughs coarsely]: That?ll come later. Beautiful

love! . . . Once the jury get that and the fact he wants you back, why, they'll fall all over themselves to play Cupid and restore you to his arms!

Roxté [studies vanity-case and adjusts make-up]: All right; where do we go from here: . "my inno- cent unborn babe ... °?"

Fiynn: That's all---you've finished your story: the plain, unvarnished statement of a simple, God- fearing working-girl. Sure you've got it?

Roxie: Got it? I could say it in my sleep!

F'itynn: Then the cross-examination

Roxie: He'd better watch his step, that Harrison! If he calls me names---like he did yesterday

F'tynn: You cry.

Roxie: Pl crown him!

Frynn: No, you wow't. God, if that jury ever saw you in action---! Remember: no matter what he says or how mad he gets, you shrink---and cower---]d//us- trates, she imitates ]---and cry, till the jury are ready to knock him down! [Grins.] They always lose when they bulldoze a woman! And if he says they didn't


use physical violence to get those confessions

Roxie [with alacrity]: Vl hold out my arm for you to see the marks! [Does so. ]

Friynn: Right. And when you answer him: "I don't Seow. "1 con't remember.)\4 .)).? [Acts part for her.] Weak, faint, frightened---always to the jury---with a little flutter---I[dlinks his eyes appeal- ingly, she imitates]---especially that twenty-minute ege in the corner.

~ Roxie [rises, saunters to large mirror]: Say, you don't

have to tell me how to handle them babies! I ain't watched them three days for nothin'! [ Darkly.] Pve done ever'thing but give 'em my phone number!


_ Roxie [with languid complacence]: Technique: I got it.

] There's a quick knock at the door: SUNSHINE with an armful of flowers; JAKE lounges on the threshold; through the open door a glimpse of the courtroom noise and confusion. FLYNN joins JAKE, SUNSHINE crosses to Roxie. ]

_ SunsHinE: Good-morning! And how is she today?


] Gives her the flcowers.] From the Parent-Teachers! Roxie [tremulous voice]: Lovely ... it's kind friends like these . . . [Overcome with emotion. ] SUNSHINE [ ¢riumphantly]: And another baby carriage, dear! That's five! [Roxie imvoluntarily shudders; places flowers with others. ] Jake [i doorway, to Frynn]: Biggest crowd since Loeb and Leopold! Get ready to strut your stuff, Billy! Voice of Base [ outside ]: Come on, Billy, if you want in on this picture!

2 a CHICAGO Act II [Itynn goes; Roxie gives a slide across the room, but JAKE bars her. ]

Jake: That ain't your cue: men only this time, sweet- heart, V'1l call you when the stage is set. [Closes door after him. ]

SUNSHINE ]who's been fluttering over letters and wires on table]: Any more proposals?

Roxie: O yes. . . . A beautiful one from a New York millionaire who wants to adopt me . .. and one from a widower in Colorado. . . . [Hands her the letter. ]

SUNSHINE: "A chance to forget . . . and a name for your fatherless child. . . ." Do you think you could ever P

Roxie [leans back, wan and pale]: It's hard .. . all

alone . . . but [shakes her head sadly] 1 can only love once. . . . ] Her lip trembles, on the verge of tears. ]

SUNSHINE [pats her hand]: Dear Mrs. Hart! [To Fiynn, who returns.] Isn't 1t wonderful the way she

bears up? Frynn ] gravely]: We must let her rest now---a ter- rible strain! You understand. . . . [SUNSHINE nods

and goes, Roxie revives, and FLYNN takes papers from brief case and runs through them.] Better go on with my plea before Judge gets here . . . Let's see, Where were We, «'s «

Roxie [resumes seat that represents the witness-stand ---F Lynn sits at the table, across from her]: Youwd told how they rushed in that night and found me in my kimona.).... ..

Frynn: Ummm. . today.

Roxie: Today?

. got to cut this some if we finish

Act III CHICAGO 3 Friynn: To the jury by eight and a verdict by ten--- that?ll catch "the home." Roxie: But maybe Harrison Frynn: We've just agreed: three hours for him and

imece for me... .

Roxie: But me !

Fiywn: O it won't take long for you!

Roxie [softly, as her eyes narrow---F Lynn, writing, does not see]: I hope not. [Sigh; pause; burst of confidence.] But I'm so worried.

Fiynn: Nonsense! When they hear my speech...

Mose But, Mr. Flynn . ... this dress. ... .

Fiynwn [looks up startled]: Dress?

Roxie: If you finish tonight---I can't walk out of here all in white!

Fiynn: Nonsense!

Roxie: If I only had a coat . . . You've been so par- ticular about my clothes. ...

Frynn: I don't give a damn if you wear gunny-sack after the verdict.

Roxie: I wish J could feel that way. O dear, I hope I can keep my mind on his questions.

Friynn: You will. All right now, snap into this: He will ask

Roxie: And I do hope I don't get tangled up and for- get---there's so much to remember! That would be awful, wouldn't it?---all on account of a silly old coat---or a cape, maybe---that wouldn't cost over a

hundred dollars!

_ Frynw [Stares in exasperation, then dawning compre-

hension: reaches for his purse and counts out the money ]: You've learned a great deal in three months, my dear.

  • Roxie [puts money in envelope with note]: Thank

4 ' CHICAGO Net, IT you, dear Mr. Flynn! [Gives envelope to bailiff. ] Miss Sunshine, please. ] He goes; she drops the lan- guid pose and turns to YLYNN with a hearty grin. ] Atta boy, let's go!

Fiywn [returns to brief ]: He ll ask you why you didn't tell them the story you told this morning. . . .

Roxre: Yeah, I've wondered about that, too.

Frynn: You droop your head. ... "Let us think: when and to whom did she finally reveal the dear- est secret of a woman's heart? Only after long gray days in jail when her soul cried out for sympa- thy...) Then Pi point to: Mary Sunshime ia "to a woman. And the State's Attorney wonders why she didn't confide in him!" And you look modest.

Roxie: Still droopin'?

Frynn ][vods]: "They threatened and tortured and were successful in tearing from her the confession of her weakness

Roxie: What do I do?

Frynn [waves for silence]: ---"the frailty that 1s woman in loving too well, but she kept locked within the sanctuary of her heart" ] Rox1e, on her own initiative, tries to follow with effective pantomime ] ---"the sacred secret of her coming motherhood." [Looks up and catches her in ludicrous pose.] What the hell

Roxie [with dignity]: Ym only trying to do what you say.

Frynn [ grimly]: We're not playing charades. Droop, that's all you do: droop. . . . Then I turn toward you: "I'm thankful! I'm glad! 'm proud that you did, Roxie Hart!"

Roxie [lifts head expectantly]: Then what do J do?


Frynn [glares at her]: What do you want to do---turn a cart-wheel?

Roxie [rebvelliously]: Looks kinda dumb just to sz there.

Frywwn: [ll take care of that. You droop and that's all. [She tosses her head unconvinced as he skims on down the page.] Ummm... "sorry"... "Sorry" ... ummm... here we are! "If sorrow could avail, Fred Casely would be here now, for she'd give her life and gladly, to bring the dead man back." You nod. [She does, raptly.] "But we can't do that, gentlemen. You may take her life as the State asks, but it won't bring Casely back. .. ." That's always news to 'em. ... Now... Now . . - Here's where you start to cry. [Covers his face completely with his hands in demonstration. ]

Roxie [sarcastically]: Why don't you get me a mask?

Frywnn: Softly, very softly. . . . [Orchestral gesture. ] "And for what purpose? To protect society? Do you fear that weeping girl?" [Meets Roxit's glare of cold suspicion.] Weep, you fool! Can't you see how damned silly

Roxie ] hastily takes handkerchief ]: O yes, I was so 1n- terested I forgot.

Frynn: Weep! "For her reformation?" Long speech ending: "We can't give her happiness---" you lift your head and listen through a mist of tears---[ she does]---"no, it is too late for that. Betrayed, crushed, we can let her pick up the broken fragments of life, the tangled threads---" quiver your lip! ... "We can give her another chance!" And that's all for you.

Roxie: All for me? What's the rest of it about?

Fiynn [with satisfaction]: Harrison.

6 '- CHICAG © Act III

Roxie: What's 4e got to do with it?

Fiynn: I show it ain't justice he wants, but conviction. lor zhat means promotion.

Roxie: And how long will that take?

Fiynn [carelessly ]: Oh, an hour or so.

Roxie [aghast]: An hour or so---talkin' about him? What's the big idea?

Fiynn: Why, it gets their minds off of you.

Roxie: O it does, does it!

Fitynn: And gets them thinkin' what a dirty crook he is!

Roxie: Say, whose trial is this: mine or Harrison's?

Friynn [chuckles as he takes a cigar: His, before I get through! And don't I crucify him!

Roxie [drums her fingers ominously on the table, seeth- ing]: And where do J come in? What do I do? Frynn [roaring]: My God, is this a circus? Sit still, that's what you do, and look downcast and sad---far off, not at the jury---or bury your head in your arms on the table

Roxie [bangs her hand down on the table]: Like hell I do. It's me they want to see! Not you, hoppin' around like a little fat monkey!

Frynn [purple]: It's my speech that brings *em--- good God, they've had enough of your damned face! And it's my speech that?ll save your neck--- [ stgnificantly] if it's saved. ]They stand glaring at each other, and Roxie yields sulkily. ]

Roxie: Aw right, go ahead and ¢a/k then. But not about Harrison.

Fiynn: Say, I'm runnin' this!

Roxie: And I'm payin' for it!

Frynn: And in advance---remember that! So don't get

Act III CHICAGO cute or Il] throw the whole damn thing over---walk out on you

Roxie [throws chair to one side and starts after him]: You God-damned old crook!

Fiynn: Shut up, you dirty little

] The door opens to admit SUNSHINE and JAKE and the BaiirrF. ]

JAKE: His Honor's here, Billy. ['o Roxiz.]] Come on, Cinderella, the stage is set.

]There's an instant transformation. FLYNN gathers up his brief-case and hands Roxit a bunch of lilies of the valley from the table, and she ad- qusts her expression to wistful innocence, as she goes slowly to the door. ]

Fiywnn [in admiration and solemn tribute]: A brave lt- tle woman!

]He follows immediately after her, then the BaILirF, then SUNSHINE and JAKE, making a regular procession as CURTAIN FALLS and lights dim out to denote the passage of an hour or so.]


Afternoon same day.

Judge Canton's Court, Criminal Court Building, Chi- cago.

The "bench" with its high pulpit-stand is at the center [rear]; the witness-box and jury seats at the left; the clerk's desk, with phone and records, in the in- closure at the right. There is a long table, left of center, with chairs for the accused and bailiff, counsel

mi CALUC AG Act III for the defense, attorney and runner for the State. A high rail, with center passageway, shuts off the common herd of listeners and furnishes a comfort- able back for the pews of the privileged few: the semi-circle at the right for relatives of the exhibiting attorneys, visiting lawyers, politicians,---and O yes, relatives of the deceased; that on the left, with its narrow slanting table, for the representatives of the press.

Windows on the right look out toward Clark Street; a door at the left ]extreme front] leads to the jury room and "bull-pen" for the accused; another ]rear, extreme right] to the Judge's chamber.

Court is in session: his Honor, 4 closely shaven gentle- man in the interesting forties, is on the Bench, and fis BaiLirF, a grizzled old chap, stands, gavel in hand, just inside the rail of the inner sanctum, where the CLERK hugs the Bible, well-worn---on the out- side, at least. The Jury, a dozen of assorted sizes with a preponderance of the middle-aged fatherly type, are in the box; the Court REPORTER, @ near- sighted dormouse, scribbles on and on. Mr. Har- RISON, resplendent in a new suit; Mr. FLYNN, com- fortable in an old one; the accused and a sleepy BattirF---all around the table.

A half dozen reporters in press seats; cameramen in the

sanctum at his Honor's right, so théy can have full shot at jury, witness, and accused. Cameramen just back of his Honor for full shot at the auditors, coun- sel, and accused. Cameramen just inside the outer rail for a close-up of witness and questioning attorney. And then, just beyond the rail---in the wide passage- way between general auditors and court proper--- movie men from a news weekly; real movie cameras


Act IIL CHICAGO that grind and grind, and Klieg lights with their eerie glare.

At present, however, they are not in action, and the court is slightly relaxed. Amos is on the stand, and the AssisTANT STATE's ATTORNEY is reading to him from a long typewritten paper. There's a fatuous smile on his face, his eyes wander over the audience, and he speaks slowly, eager to prolong the occasion.

Mr. Fiynn, whose chair faces Jury and Press but is carefully out of the JuvGE's vision, is working hard. He listens with care to each word of his worthy op- ponent, ready to register broadly the proper emotion: amazement at his audacity, anger---anger barely re- strained from physical violence---at the knavery of the fellow, disgust at his chicanery, amusement at his stupidity; and through them all a jolly camaraderie with the Jury---a knowing look, a shake of the head, a smile---they're not to be taken in, he knows that! Ready also to spring up in objection.

The JupcE and Jury may be listening to Mr. Har- RIsoN---they certainly hear his thundering tones---but they rest their eyes---maybe feast their eyes---on a fairer object than a dapper STATE's ATTORNEY or the gangling young man in green. You have guessed it, gentle reader: RoxiE. And who can blame them? For the courtroom is hot and crowded and she wears that dress with meaning. Her hair, soft and shining, 1s an aureole in the sunlight. Her cheeks are a petal pink, her parted lips a rose. Shes working hard, too---

] tilted forward on the edge of her chair, white hands

] clasped to her breast.


] Harrison [reads from typewritten paper ]: "Question by Sergeant Murdock: 'What happened next?'

0 CHICAGO Act: Tit Answer by Roxie Hart: 'He---' [Casely ] 'started for his hat and coat but didn't get that far.? Question by Sergeant Murdock: 'Why not?' Answer by Roxie Hart: ] Rings out brutally.] 'Because, by God, I shot him! )

] There is a startled silence and Harrison pauses. The Jury sits up sharply and looks shocked. Roxik is astounded and turns to FLYNN, who half-rises in involuntary anger, then sinks back and pats her arm comfortably. Perfect team- work. Harrison reads: ] "Signed, April the third: Roxie Hart." [Hands paper to AMos.] Do you recognize the signature?

Amos ]Studies it carefully]: I guess so. [Beams at crowd. ]

Harrison: Tell the jury.

Amos ]/eans back and tweaks suspenders]: The lady who used to be My Wife.

Harrison: Exactly! And weren't you at the police station when your wife---] smiles pleasantly] your ex-wife---made this confession?

Amos ] drawls ]: Well, now, I don't know as I'd want to go so far as to say

Harrison [paces nervously]: Yes or no. . . . Didn't you hear her say those very words in answer to Ser- geant Murdock's questions?

Amos: Some of them---yes. .. .

Harrison ] flings paper down in exasperation ]: What's your purpose in testifying? What are you

Frynn [springs up]: Your Honor, I object! The State's trying to discredit its own witness!

Harrison [hurls at AMos]: Why did you come to me and

Fiynn [excitedly]: Your Honor, the sole purpose of

Act III CHICAGO 1 this questioning is to cast reflection upon the wit- ness! ]

Junce [im @ bored tone]: Sustained.

Harrison ] stands a moment nonplussed, then turns on his heel in disgust]: Take the witness.

Fiynn [xods pleasantly to AMos]: You are at present divorced from the defendant?

Amos: Yes, sir.

Frynn: Who obtained this divorce?

Amos: J did.

Frynn: When did you file suit?

Amos: May the fourth.

Fiynwn: Was there any particular reason, Mr. Hart, for your filing suit on this exact day?

Amos: Well, sir, the papers came out the day before with the story of---I] flounders] the statement that she was---that there was goin' to be a little stran- re

Frynn [smiles broadly]: Now, Mr. Hart, is that grounds for divorce!

Amos [wisely]: Little too much of a stranger! [ Like- wise gets a smile. ]

FLynn: You mean by that you doubted the paternity of your child? [Swziles again.] ] mean the child.

Amos: Yes, sir. ] Warms up.] And you can see how that made me look---like I was easy.

Fiynn [smiling]: And they can't put anything over on you, can they?

Amos: J'// say they can't!

Frynn: Had your wife apprised you of her condition prior to said announcement?

Amos: How's that?

Fiynn: Had your wife told you about this "stranger"?

Amos [] promptly]: No, sir---neither one of 'em.

2 f CHICAGO Act III Harrison: If counsel is going to pursue this line of in- quiry further, your Honor, don't you think it would be advisable to exclude women from the room? [REPORTERS sit up animatedly and take down every word. ]

JupceE [with slow smile]: If any lady wishes to leave, she may do so now. ] Roxie starts up with alacrity and he adds, with another smile:] Except the de- fendant.

Fiynn [looks around at the crowd and calls out geni- ally]: That's right: stick to me, girls! [Zo Amos. ] Did you question her after you read it---talk it over with her?

Amos: No-o

Friynn [suddenly flames]: Just took the word of a re- porter---believed a vile story you read in some yel- low paper

Harrison: Your Honor, I object: irrelevant and im- material. Paternity and divorce have nothing to do with the murder of Fred Casely by Roxie Hart.

Frynn [wheels toward him]: Paternity and divorce were introduced by you to besmirch the name of that defenseless girl! [Roxir drops her head modestly. ] Your Honor, I'm merely cross-examining on direct.

JupceE [very bored]: Proceed.

Fiynn [in lighter tone]: Now, Mr. Hart, do you ex- pect the jury to believe that---with all due respect to the press---] Wave and bow toward them---JAKE gives a grin and salute in response] our courts would grant you a divorce merely on a newspaper story?

Amos: No, sir, I had a statement, that she'd made and signed herself, all about how she and this

Fiynn: And where did you get this "statement''?


Amos [looks blandly toward Harrison who frowns ]: From the State's Attorney's office.

Firynn [nods comprehendingly]: Oh---so the State's Attorney's office gave you a statement that enabled you to get a divorce, did it . . . that enabled you to cast aside the woman you had sworn to love and cherish---for better or worse. . . . [RoxIE wipes her eyes carefully.] And what, Mr. Hart, did you give the State's Attorney?

Harrison [springs up, hotly]: Your Honor, this 1s too much! ]o Frynn]. Withdraw that, withdraw that, you !

Jupce: Gentlemen, gentlemen. . . . [With reproach- ful glance toward FLtynn.] Counsel should be more discreet.

Frynwn: All right, your Honor, I withdraw the ques- tion [pause] as unnecessary. [0 Amos.] You ob- tained your divorce then because you doubted the legitimacy of this offspring?

Amos: Yes, sir. I'm nobody's fool, I'm not.

Fiynn: And if you became convinced you were wrong ---had been hasty, you'd be man enough to admit it, wouldwt you?

Amos: Yes, sir.

Fiynwn: You'd be willing, in fact, to take her back?

Amos ] his eyes meet Roxie£'s]: Yes, I'd take her back--- provided, of course

Fiynn: Excused! ] Halts Amos as he starts to leave. ] One word more---just answer where you are: Can you swear you are vot the father of this child?

Amos: We-ell---vo---not exactly. ...

Frynn: Come here. ] They go to JuDGE; REPORTERS spring up and cluster about bench; hushed

4 CHICAGO Act III conferénce while Amos shakes his head first "Yes," then "No," then "Yes," to JupGE's questions. ] T hat's---all!

Amos ] swings off ]: I ain't as dumb as I look,

Harrison ][curtly]: The State rests.

] The CLERK calls in loud voice: "Roxie Hart!" A Movie Man converses with the JupcE hur- riedly while cameras are adjusted. She takes the stand. Klieg lights flood the room with uncanny glares; the JuvceE straightens and looks judicial; the Lawyers turn careful profiles to the camera, and the Jury---for this moment---look their sa- cred responsibility. ]

Crerk [holds up Bible]: Blahblahblahblahblahblah- Blah os «si thE le. be CEUER. 2. Oth hee yuh God.

Roxie [So bravely for all her fright]: 1 do.

] She is excited, she is thrilled: the crowds, the lights, the noise---all for her! She takes to it like a duck to water. ]

Frynn [takes his stand at her right---he doeswt want to cheat the camera: they must have at least a profile, preferably three-quarters]: What is your name? ] He is looking at the Jury, but it is intent on the camera and does not answer. ]

Roxie [lifts eyes heavenward]: Roxie Hart.

Frynn [flings his arm out with a magnificence that 1s alarming---the camera can't hear words]: Where do you live, Mrs. Hart?

Roxie [closes her eyes with vampire passion and clasps one hand to her heart: Cook County Jail.

Fiynn [a terrific impact of fist in palm and the famous Billy Flynn scowl]: How old are you?

Roxie: Twenty-three. [Chokes the "three" so lip read-


ers will not see, and wipes a tear from her eyes.]

[The camera has all it wants for a while; lights

are gone, the grinding stops and there's general re- laxation from the terrific strain. ]

Frynn: Let's see---where were we? O yes: were you acquainted with Fred M. Casely, the deceased?

ROXIE: Yes, sir.

[ Note: From now on she's very much the plain, simple, honest and God-fearing working-girl. ]

Friynn: When did you first meet him?

Roxie: Ten minutes after five, September the eighth. ] Like all good witnesses she has mastered the mne- monic system recommended by Mr. A. of Seattle. ]

Frynn: Where did this meeting transpire?

Roxie: In the vestibule of the Waverly Company, 161 South Michigan Boulevard, Chicago, Illinois.

Friynn: Relate to the jury what conversation, if any, took place between you on this date.

Roxie: It was rainin' and I was standin' there with my girl friend lookin' out, for we didn't have any um- brella. And Mr. Casely came by and said, "It's a fine day for ducks," and we both said yes.

Frynn: Both of you?

Roxie [after conscientious thought]: Yes, sir, both of us. And he said he had an umbrella and would we care to walk to the car

Fiynn: Car?

Roxie: Street-car. And we said yes---T[ forestalling his question] she said yes, and we started out and be- fore we got to the corner he said his auto was there and he'd take us home. Well . . . you know how crowded a Cottage Grove car is at five-thirty qty ] rainy day when it gets to Eighteenth Street Jana Gay said yes. And he did---her first, then me. /»~


Fitynn: How did Mr. Casely conduct himself during this drive? [Roxie looks puzzled.] Unusually--- friendly in any way?

Roxie: No, sir.

I'Lynn: When was the next time you saw him?

Roxie: The following Tuesday---it rained again and he took us home.

Frynn: Both of you?

Roxie: Yes, sir, both of us.

FLynn: And the next time?

Roxie: Thursday.

Frynn: And then?

Roxie: Friday. ] Apologetically.] We had a kinda wet spell along then, you remember.

Fiynn: And was your friend with you each time?

Roxie: O yes, sir.

Fiynn: Did you ever see Mr. Casely on any other oc- casions?

Roxie: Yes, sir.

Firynn: Where?

Roxie [innocently]: Why, at the office.

Frynn [impatient at her dullness]: Socially, I mean. Did he ever take you places?

Roxie ] falters slightly]: Yes, sir.

Frynn: Do you recall the first place you went with him?

Roxie: Yes, sir: the Policemen's Benefit Ball. [She looks reproachfully at OrFicERs Murpock and Pat- TERSON, who are trying to hang her; they twist, un- comfortable. ]

Fitynn: When was that?

Roxie: Christmas Eve.

Fiynn: Relate to the jury what conversation, if any, you had in regard to this ball.

Act III CHICAGO Roxie: Well, one evening Harrison: I object, your Honor; time and place. Fiywnn: Can you fix the time and place?

Roxie [promptly]: Five eighteen Tuesday, October the seventh, going south on Michigan Boulevard. And he said he had a couple of tickets to the ball, which was to be at the Coliseum and a very swell affair and he had been aimin' to take his sister and she couldn't go and would I care to and if I did and had nobody to go with, why he'd take me.

Frynn [leans forward]: Did you know at this time, Mrs. Hart, that he was married?

Roxie [shocked]: O no, sir! O no, Mr. Flynn!

Frynn [with sad reproach]: But you were married, Roxie.

Roxie [drops her head]: Yes, sir.

Fiynn: You believe in the sacredness of the marriage tie, don't you?

Harrison: Your Honor, I object: what the witness be- lieves is immaterial.

Fiynn: You know the marriage tie 1s sacred, don't you?

Roxie [reverently]: Yes, sir. . . . That's what I told mim all along. . . .

Fiynn [in feigned surprise ]: Oh---so he had asked you before?

Roxie: O yes, sir---from the very start!

Frynn: Will you tell us, then, just why you made an exception for the Policeman's Ball?

Roxie [i low tone]: J dunno .. . so many things happen---and you don't know why... . [Looks far-away and gives a long sigh.] But I wouldn't have, I'm sure I wouldn't have, if my---if Amos--- [lips tremble and delicate pause] Mr. Hart---and me hadn't quarrelled that mornin'.


FLYNN [again surprised ]: Oh, did you and your---Mr. Hart---dquarrel?

Roxie [drops her head---life crushed within her, hope beaten out]: Yes, sir.

F'tynn: And who was to blame?

Roxie ] flat, weary tone]: I was, I guess . . . seems like I couldn't stop pesterin' him... .

Fiynn: "Pestering him"---what about?

Roxie ] flings her head back and a rich tone breaks through]: Because I wanted a home! I didn't want to work---he was makin' his forty a week and I wanted a

..real home---with children. . . . [Her head droops again. The Jury wipes its eyes. ]

Frynwn ] decides to forgive her and his tone is gentle]: I see. So conditions in your home caused you to------

Harrison: Your Honor, I object to Counsel's drawing conclusions as to

Friynwn ] 4landly]: Strike it out. And so you drifted on and on in this relation, unhappy

Roxie: O most unhappy!

Frynn: Why were you unhappy? Roxie: Because I was deceiving my husband, and be- cause I---] fainter] was doing ... wrong... .

Fiynn: Why didn't you stop?

Roxie: I did want to---I tried to---but he'd plead---Mr. Casely---and say he couldn't live without me... .

Frynn [to Court Reporter]: State's Exhibit D. ] Hands paper to Roxit and pauses a moment; then his tone 1s cold: the subject 1s distasteful to him and he has disgust for a man who would drag such mat- ters into a courtroom.] In this you admit illicit rela- tions with the deceased. [She is in an agony of shame.] Is this statement true or false?


Roxie [in low tone]: It's---true. [She will not lie---you can feel that!---she will not lie! ]

Fiynn: You have heard other statements read to the jury, alleged to be made by you to Officer Murdock ---I hand you State's Exhibits E and F. Are these true or false?

Roxie [energetically]: False!

Fiywnn: Do you accuse the State of changing

Harrison: Now, your Honor

Jupce: Rephrase your question.

Friynn: Describe your state of mind at the time of the confession.

Roxir: O I was all upset---frightened---worried--- cryin'---laughin'

Friynn: Do you think it might be called hysterical?

Roxie: Yes, sir, that's it: hysterical.

FLynn [pauses a@ moment, then speaks in deep, sol- emn tone]: Roxie Hart, the State charges you with the murder of Fred Casely ... guilty or not guilty?

Roxie [speaks first to JupcE---then to Jury]: Not euilty---O not guilty! I---I 4i/led him, yes---but not ---not the other!

Fiywnn [quietly]: Do you remember Friday, April the third?

Roxie [low, steady tone]: 1 do.

Frynn: Tell the jury now, in your own way, the hap- penings of that day from five o'clock on. Take your time and speak clearly.

Roxie [turns to face the Jury directly---they perk up with interest]: I left work as usual at five, took the Cottage Grove car, stopped at the A. & P. for some baking-powder for biscuits for breakfast next

0 CHICAIGO Act EEE morning. . . . He was always so fond of my bis- 2 ae

PUYHN CPEs eA time was this?

Roxie: About twenty uh six. . . . And I was just get- ting into a housedress when the doorbell rang. I thought it was Irma---my girl friend, and so I slipped on a sorto' kimona and went to the door.

Fiynn: Yes, and who was there?

Roxie: It was Mr. Casely.

Fitynn: Who spoke first?

Roxie: He did.

Frynn: Do you remember what he said?

Roxie: Yes, sir: "Hello, Roxie, I had to see you just once more!"

Fiynn: What did he mean by that?

Roxte: I had written him a note telling him it was all over, that we must quit, for it could never end in happiness.

Fiynn: What brought you to this decision?

Roxie: I had learned he was married, and . . . I re- alized I loved my husband . .. and perhaps we could be happy... .

Fiynn: And did he go away as you asked him to?

Harrison [shouting ]: I object to Counsel's feeding the witness!

Frynn: I beg your pardon. . . say?

Roxie: I begged him to go away and tried to close the door, but he forced his way in! Then I told him to wait in the living-room while I dressed.

[Ze's hard for her to go on] ... but he followed me into the bedroom. .. .-

] Sympathetically.] And what

. And what did you


Frynn: Yes? And then? [Asks each question with an air of triumph. ]

Roxie: I begged him to go, told him the neighbors would see him, that my husband would soon be MOME. 6 is

Firynn: And what did he say?

Roxte: He'd been drinking and wouldn't listen. Finally he said if I'd take just ove drink with him, he'd go. And I did.

Fiynn: What was the liquor? What kind was it?

Roxie [imgenuously]: I don't know. It was in a bottle and tasted very bad.

Friywnn [sziles]: Bad liquor, or just tasted bad to you?

Roxie [seriously]: Yes, sir.

Fiynn ][xods triumphantly]: Why didn't you scream?

Roxre: I was ashamed for the neighbors to know. . . you know how you'd feel. . . . [Her eyes meet the butcher's and he nods.] ... And I'd kept tellin' him what I'd said in the letter---that no good would come of it, that I loved my husband

Frynn: Oh---you ¢o/d him that you loved your hus- band? And what did he say to that?

Roxie: It made him mad, and he said it didn't matter: I was his. And he kept trying to take me in his arms ... [Looks appealingly at Fiynn and hesi- tates. ]

Frynn: Yes, Roxie: you must tell the jury everything. ]The Reporters sit up alert.] They have a right to know. ] The Jury looks as if it's not only a duty but a pleasure. ]

Roxie [] faimt]: And finally ...Itold him... my delicate condition. . ]The moment for which they have waited. ]

Frynn: And what did he say to that?


Roxie: He swore---I][looks shocked] and said that he'd kill me before he'd see another man's child .. . ] The Reporters lick it up. ]

F'tynn: Where were you at this time?

Roxie: By the victrola.

F'tynn: Show the jury. [She scrambles to the diagram hanging on the wall.] And Casely?

Roxie: Here. [/ndicates bed. ]

FLynn [impressively as he hands her back to the wit- ness chair with all the tenderness due a mother- to-be]: Now, Roxie, tell the jury just what happened next.

Roxie: The pillows were thrown back, and Mr. Hart's revolver was layin' there. He grabbed---I knocked it from his hand. It fell to the floor and he whirled me aside---back by the dresser now---and we both grabbed for the gun. I reached it first, then he started toward me. ... I can see him now with that awful look in his eyes

Frynn: What kind of look? Describe it to the jury.

Roxie: I can't describe it; but a terrible look---angry--- wild

Frynn [purrs]: Were you afraid? Did you think he meant to kill you?

Roxie [shudders]: O yes, sir! I knew if he once reached the pur. . +,

Firynn [purrs more deeply]: It was his life then or yours?

Roxie: Yes, sir. [ Famtly, as she lifts her eyes.] And not ... justmine .. . ] pause, then continues dramatic narrative] .. . coming right toward me, with that awful look---that wild look . . . I closed my eyes

. and... [barely whispers!) .. . snOts ces

Friywnn: In defense of your life?


Roxie [lifts her head nobly]: ... to save my hus- band's innocent unborn child!

Fiynn [with wave of hand to Harrison]: Take the witness.

[Black for an instant to denote the passage of several hours. It is late that afternoon and FLYNN is making his closing plea. He stands before the Jury---this is the hour he earns the five thousand. And Billy Sunday himself never worked harder, with muscle as well as brain, minus coat and collar, with perspiration standing m great beads on his forehead. He's fighting, gentlemen, fighting, with every drop of his blood, for the life of that brave little woman. The Jury, hypnotized, enthralled, hangs on each word and follows every gesture. The Press watch benignly; they know his whole bag of tricks, but BiLuy's always worth watching. Even the Jupce listens.

And Roxtr---? This scene is really the close of an hours duel between Roxie and Frynn. When the curtain goes up, honors are even and she 1s faithfully registering the emotions outlined for her in rehearsal. Gradually, however, she extends her field; deeper emotion, gesture, writhing. She works for her audience---the Jury; and they, fas- cinated, are torn between her contortions and the fervid orator. Fiynn, who feels them slipping, turns---when his speech permits---and tries to stop her with furtive gesture. Of course she is oblivious, and he is forced to redouble his own efforts--- louder tone, wilder manner---to drown her out. Until toward the end you have them both play- ing in grand crescendo... .]

4 . CHIC AG® Act III

Fiynwn [in low dramatic tone]: Can't you see her that night? Alone! Alone! With only God and that--- body. . . . [Pause.] You and I have never killed, gentlemen; we do not know the agony of that hour; we can only guess the mad regret, the bitter reproach, the torture, the hell ]he grinds it out like a minis- ter] she lived through then. The soul's Gethsem- ane. Alone. [] RoxtE droops in the approved manner ---the Jury gives her a glance of sympathy, then is back with Fitynn.] And into this sacred room rush the police. ] He snarls an imitation of Murvock and krasps an imaginary arm---Roxie studies her wrist. ] "Why did you kill him? Come on now, yuh'd better tell!" Threats. Physical violence. ... And the worthy State's Attorney! [Sarcasm.] With his kind- ness, his promises: ] Zmitates Harrison with a husky whisper ] "Come clean and ll help you! Come clean and Ill get you off!" [Roxie follows, nodding eagerly, with a look of reproach at Harrison. ] Frightened, hysterical, the girl breaks down. She does confess. Dazed and bewildered she says "'yes" to whatever they ask her... . [Jakes statement from Court STENOGRAPHER.] Do you believe, gen- tlemen, that's a word-for-word confession he read your Of course not! No human being could have made such a deliberate, coherent statement---cer- tainly not this delicate, frightened girl. . . . No, there was careful selection; a bit here [Jifts out morsels from the air]---a bit there---an addition, deletions---anything to build up his case! [He's hoarsely confidential.] He's got to bring home a conviction or LOsE HIs JOB! ] A// eyes are turned in scorn toward Harrison, who slinks down with eyes downcast.] And then he read it to you: malicious


twist of meaning. . . . [Reads as Harrison read in former scene: ] aos but. he didn't ect that far...) .4. "Question: 'Why not?' " "Answer: 'Because, by God, I shot him.' " That's the way he read it to you, ain't it! [Jury looks grieved---it's true; he flings the paper on table. ] He would have you believe, gentlemen, that child sitting there ]Roxte lifts her head---the picture of girlish innocence] swore. ]He is shocked---as the Jury was that morning.] Those were her words, yes, but Ah! what a different meaning! This beast, this drunken brute, who had forced his way into her home---and remember, gentlemen, if she had shot him down then, the law would have upheld her!--- was coming toward her, threatening her life... . ] Breaks off and resumes in melancholy tone.] What was the future to her? Crushed, betrayed, broken- hearted. . . . Nothing---/ess than nothing. But the little life that fluttered beneath her heart---I zaps his fountain-pen pocket]---ah! mother-love stirred within her . . . and those words were a tribute to her Omnipotent Maker who stood by in her hour of need: ] He brings it out with ministerial reverence--- Roxie's gaze is directed heavenward and her hands clasped to her heart in prayer.] "By cop 1 shot him." [Jury looks relieved---effective pause while little Eva does her stuff. He goes on quietly. ] I'm sorry she loved as she did. I'm sorry this mon- ster preyed upon her innocence---I wish he had never entered that happy little home. If sorrow could avail [he warms up] Fred Casely would be here now, for she'd give her life and gladly to bring

6 4 CHICAGO Act III the dead man back! ] Roxie nods in ecstatic confirma- tion and begins enthusiastic pantomime.] But we can't do that, gentlemen. '[Melancholy.] You may take her life as the State asks, but it won't bring Casely back. ] Gives Roxik a fixed look. She recalls her cue and starts moaning and sobbing.] And for what purpose? To protect society? [His voice rings out.] Do you fear that weeping girl? [Finger darts to the tailor.] Do you? ]To the hard-boiled egg in the corner.] Do you? ]They dow t---he continues. ] For her reformation? She learned her lesson, gentle- men, in that dark hour alone. For punishment? My God, she's punished enough! No---none of these! But to satisfy the greedy ambition of the prosecution! Prosecution? No, persecution! You are asked for a life, gentlemen---]he turns in exasperation at the loudness of Roxt's wails, and gives her a signal for quiet, which she sublimely ignores; he raises his voice to a shriek in the effort to drown her] by one who would climb to fame on dead bodies! [] Pause, filled with her sobs, almost howls.] We can't give her happiness---[ the Jury is with her] no, it is too late for that. Betrayed, crushed, we can only let her pick up the broken fragments of life, the tangled threads---] she's supposed to quiver her lip, but in- stead she rises, staggers toward the Jury with out- stretched hands.]---we can give her another chance! [She totters, gives a wild shriek, and falls in a dead faint by his side. Grand confusion, and she's carried out. He turns to JupcE.] We rest, your honor; you may give the case to the Jury.

[Black for an instant to denote the passage of three or four hours. ]

Act III CHICAGO [Courtroom, ten o'clock that night. Gloomy and dull, with doors closed, and the Press awaiting verdict. AMos strides in passageway; JAKE stands at vestibule door---half ajar, disclosing BAILIFF with ear to keyhole of jury-room; MEN and Women Reporters lounge in press seats. A poker game has just finished among CAMERAMEN 4@t CLERK's desk, and BaBE is giving imitation of Frynn for PHoroGRAPHERs and the lawyer him- self, who watches from JUDGE's doorway. ]

BaBeE [stretches forth hands and exaggerates FLYNN's manner]: . . . And then kerflop! The purtiest faint I ever saw---and my camera not even set! And they carried her out just like a stiff! Or hypnotized---yuh could a stuck pins in her.

First PHoroGRAPHER: God, what a pitcher that would uh made! And this dirty bum--- [Gives FLYNN a shove. ]

Frynn: That was a real faint, boys, an honest-to- God

SECOND PHoToGRAPHER: Tell it to Sweeney! Right at the end uh your speech!

Fiywn: It ended my speech, all right!

Tuirp PHoroGRAPHER: And her in there---dancin' the Charleston! ]_Wzth sudden inspiration.] Make her do it again now---we could get her pitcher

Base: Naw, all they want now's the verdict . . . Good Lord, I wish--- [Suddenly.] Pve got it!

[They fall to discussion; FLYNN joins the RE- PORTERS. ]

JAKE [returns from vestibule]: Well, they're through with the Klan and Prohibition, so there ought to be one before long.

  1. anh CHICAGO

FLynn: What is it now?

Jake: Ten to two. The drummer says he knew a jane like her once, and the third guy from the end---just pure cussedness!

] Flash, bang! Flash, bang! Flash, bang! Every- one stares in amazement---there's nothing to take pictures of ; the cameras are not set, just the flash- light rods. ]

Hey there, what's the big idea?

Base: Smokin' 'em out. If that don't bring 'em, it's Gabriel's cue!

[The Jupce appears at the door from his chambers, and from the prisoner's room ]left] RoxieE---minus her dress---peeps out. ]

Listen, Judge, can't we get a few pitchers now?

First PHoTroGRAPHER: It's gettin' /ate, and if you want this with your oatmeal...

Base [yells to RoxtE]: Come on, Red, we're shootin' 'em now! [Zo Jupce.] You and her and coun- sd Oo a

Amos: And me here with the ring and license.

Bazse: Now if we just had the jury---couldn't yuh call em out for a minute?

First PHoroGRaAPHER: Sure! Then we'd be through!

Jupce [iz alarm]: NO! That would be grounds for reversal... « Pim sorry, bats).

First PHoroGraPHER: Aw right, one uh her in her lawyer's arms.

Baitirr [rushes in, loud whisper]: They're comin'! They're comin'!

[FLynn hurries to prisoners room to get his fair charge. ]

Base [ grins]: I knew that'd bring 'em!



] AlZ scramble to appointed places. The Jury files in; Roxts, in exquisite orchid evening gown, enters on FLYNN's arm; FOREMAN gives JUDGE envelope. There is an expectant hush---after all you never know, you know! ]

JupceE [reads]: "We, the jury, find the defendant not


'] Flash, bang! Flash, bang! A shriek from Roxik, cheers, confusion, and general bedlam all around. She kisses the JUDGE, the STENOGRAPHER, anybody else within reach: the Jury climbs over the rail. Pressed by her public she mounts the counsel table, flings her arms out in a carefully set speech delivered in her best artificial manner, while the CAMERAMEN go on with their pictures and the Klieg lights take up their glare. ]

Roxie: Dear friends, kind friends, who have stood by me in the dark hours of the past: His Honor---Mr. Flynn---Mr. Callahan---[ Jake, by the outer door, gives a look of disgust] Mary Sunshine---and all you guys on the jury: you've been so kind to me--- so------so encouragin'---that I'm goin' to do somethin' for you

] Bang, bang, bang! Three pistol shots from the corridor vi:stside, then a woman's shriek. All stand poised a moment in tense silence. ]

Jake: What the hell!

SUNSHINE [avidly]: Another murder!

[A police whistle outside. As one man the crowd flings around from Roxie and breaks for the door. ]

Roxie: Hey, you! Come back here! [They go steadily on.] Wait a minute, I want to tell you something!

1 & CHLC AG Act III ] No one even gives her a look---she bursts into old- time rage.] You God-damn bums walkin' out on me

when I want to make a speech! [Climbs down angrily .

and starts after them.] It's important---it's news!

Frynn [only he and Amos are left now]: Forget it: you're all washed up!

Roxie [hopping around like a hornet]: 1 am not washed up! I'm goin' in vaudeville---I'm famous!

Amos: What!

Roxtre: Sure: booked solid for ten weeks!

Amos: But the wedding

Roxie: No wedding! It would ruin my career!

Amos: But the ring---]takes from pocket and shows her] platinum and diamonds this time!

Roxie [grabs it]: Pll keep it to remember you by!

Amos: But the baby, Roxie, the baby!

Roxie: Baby! My God, do I look like an amachure!

Base [dashes in to his camera all set for action]: An- other case for you, Billy! [Over his shoulder.] It won't take a minute now, Captain: just a little pitcher of the two slayers with you here between 'em.

[They enter: a Poutice Senceant and @ weep- ing, defiant GIRl! ] CAMERAMEN and REporTERS, who cluster about like fires . Mosquitoes ... buzzards. ]

JAKE [to Bitty]: Another jane out tor trigger-practice ---bumped off the boy friend, also his wife: gee, ain't God good to the papers!

Roxie [in spasm of jealousy and envy]: Two of 'em ---O my God! ]

Jake: Come on, Carrots: a picture of you with Machine-Gun Rosie. [Roxie slides into position as she sees the cameras are set.] "The Jazz-Slayer

Act III CHIC AGO III Meets the Cicero Kid!" Shake hands! [ Poses them. ] Rosie: No! [Jerks her hand away and flings arm up to cover her face.] I don't want in the papers! JAKE [serks it down again]: Come on, sister, yuh gotta play ball: this is Chicago! [The lights go on, the cameras grind; flash, bang, CURTAIN! ]