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Interview with the "Wonderful ice cream suit" cast

BROADCAST: Jan. 20, 1976 | DURATION: 00:35:23

Synopsis

An interview with the cast of "Wonderful Ice Cream Suit." Also includes several scenes from the play, read in-studio by the cast.

Transcript

Tap within the transcript to jump to that part of the audio.

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Studs Terkel It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike,

Mike Saad yeah? Yeah,

Studs Terkel And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community?

Joe Mantegna It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people.

Studs Terkel Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago?

Joe Mantegna That was in '69 I think. It was about six years

Studs Terkel And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago?

Joe Mantegna Put my clothes on and now I--

Studs Terkel A member of the--

Joe Mantegna I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years.

Studs Terkel Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater

Meshach Taylor Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that.

Studs Terkel All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it?

Joe Mantegna It is a repertory--

Studs Terkel Mike Saad, you've been in a--

Mike Saad I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer".

Studs Terkel And Dennis, Dennis Franz.

Dennis Franz Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit".

Studs Terkel And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right?

Dennis Franz No.

Joe Mantegna No.

Brian Hickey No.

Mike Saad No.

Joe Mantegna For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority.

Dennis Franz Yeah, Meshach is from--

Meshach Taylor New Orleans, Louisiana.

Studs Terkel But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it?

Meshach Taylor Yes it

Studs Terkel Active, all of you?

Mike Saad I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]--

Studs Terkel You're a Viking?--

Dennis Franz And I can't get any security jobs--

Studs Terkel One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago?

Joe Mantegna Well, I think you can make, you know--

Mike Saad What do you mean by make

Joe Mantegna Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and--

Dennis Franz I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time.

Studs Terkel There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it?

Joe Mantegna Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know.

Brian Hickey It's the very opening of the show.

Studs Terkel Okay.

Brian Hickey It's a swell night, huh?

Mike Saad Sure.

Dennis Franz Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream.

Brian Hickey Huh?

Mike Saad Sure.

Dennis Franz In weather such as this revolutions occur.

Brian Hickey Nights like this you wish lots of things.

Dennis Franz Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed.

Mike Saad Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs!

Brian Hickey So, we got no money, no friends.

Dennis Franz You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship.

Brian Hickey Yeah,

Dennis Franz Oooh,

Brian Hickey How does he rate two friends?

Dennis Franz Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre.

Mike Saad He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh?

Dennis Franz Mm-hmm.

Brian Hickey Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens?

Mike Saad Nothing.

Brian Hickey And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay.

Dennis Franz I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone

Joe Mantegna Someone calls my name?

Dennis Franz Gomez!

Brian Hickey Gomez!

Mike Saad Gomez!

Joe Mantegna That's me! How ya doin'?

Dennis Franz Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket.

Joe Mantegna You mean this?

Brian Hickey Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure?

Joe Mantegna Measuring people's skeletons.

Brian Hickey Skeletons?

Joe Mantegna Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands!

Brian Hickey What have I done?

Joe Mantegna You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks?

Mike Saad Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure

Joe Mantegna Ándale, ándale!

Brian Hickey I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why?

Joe Mantegna Because you got the right skeleton.

Brian Hickey But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you.

Joe Mantegna Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go!

Dennis Franz Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing]

Mike Saad You were

Studs Terkel That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right?

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel Because you can't alone buy it.

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel It costs about 50 bucks.

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit?

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it?

Joe Mantegna Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is--

Studs Terkel No,

Joe Mantegna It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we--

Meshach Taylor When we meet

Joe Mantegna We get to meet Dominguez and uh--

Meshach Taylor He's earning his ten dollars.

Joe Mantegna Yeah, playing pool.

Studs Terkel Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark.

Studs Terkel And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves.

Studs Terkel That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh--

Joe Mantegna It's everything.

Studs Terkel Everything: status, girls, acceptance--

Joe Mantegna For each person it's their own personal

Studs Terkel And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it?

Joe Mantegna Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is--

Studs Terkel Buying--

Joe Mantegna You know, buying the suit.

Studs Terkel So, we pick it up where now? Now

Joe Mantegna We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit.

Studs Terkel And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it.

Joe Mantegna Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first.

Studs Terkel Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit".

Dennis Franz Gomez, the suit is ready!

Brian Hickey Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah?

Joe Mantegna My lightbulb [unintelligible]--

Dennis Franz Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this.

Joe Mantegna Ready?

Dennis Franz Almost!

Joe Mantegna Is it on the dummy?

Meshach Taylor Almost!

Joe Mantegna Just the one light, overhead?

Meshach Taylor Just the one light.

Dennis Franz There.

Meshach Taylor OK. You can look now.

Dennis Franz Gomez?

Joe Mantegna Madre mia!

Brian Hickey It's even better!

Meshach Taylor White as a cloud on a summer night.

Brian Hickey White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job.

Dennis Franz White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady.

Brian Hickey Say that again, please.

Dennis Franz [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain--

Mike Saad Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me!

Joe Mantegna It's too late, ten o'clock!

Mike Saad Late?!

Brian Hickey Late?!

Meshach Taylor Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet

Dennis Franz Aww.

Joe Mantegna Aww.

Brian Hickey Aww.

Mike Saad Aww.

Dennis Franz Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight!

Mike Saad Hey why me last, huh?

Brian Hickey After midnight is the best time of all.

Mike Saad Sure! That's right. Okay!

Joe Mantegna From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then.

Mike Saad Me, every time! I'm lucky!

Meshach Taylor Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah?

Joe Mantegna I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee!

Meshach Taylor Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that.

Joe Mantegna Now, now at last, the coat if you please.

Dennis Franz Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on.

Joe Mantegna Oh!

Meshach Taylor

Mike Saad

Brian Hickey It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! There The The The The The [grunts] The Maniacs! Maniacs! Maniacs!

Joe Mantegna We've got no mirror!

Dennis Franz Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close.

Meshach Taylor Man, look at

Joe Mantegna I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out!

Dennis Franz Out, Gomez, out.

Joe Mantegna Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays]

Studs Terkel And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one--

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so?

Joe Mantegna Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal--

Studs Terkel Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like.

Meshach Taylor Right.

Studs Terkel And they're afraid about his wearing

Joe Mantegna He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty

Studs Terkel Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have?

Brian Hickey Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true.

Studs Terkel Dennis Franz as Villanazul.

Dennis Franz Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and happy he is about wearing the suit.

Studs Terkel The white suit. So Mike Saad, Vamenos.

Mike Saad Alright, it's not so much of a fantasy as the rest of the dreams are. What I do, my part of the show is, but what happens is, is that he acquires some friends which he never had before and he has the love of his friends and the people who he's been hanging around with.

Studs Terkel Because he looks so--

Mike Saad Yes.

Studs Terkel Respectable--

Mike Saad Yeah. He's finally clean.

Studs Terkel Yeah, and Meshach Taylor, Dominguez.

Meshach Taylor Well, Dominguez wants to be a ladies man and a great singer, and his fantasy is to be able to sing in a big nightclub and have lots of ladies falling all over him all the time, so he gets to act out this fantasy.

Studs Terkel And so I come to Gomez, Joe Mantegna.

Joe Mantegna I think Gomez just wants to become the John Wayne and Robert Redford of [unintelligible]--

Studs Terkel Gomez, he's also the operator.

Joe Mantegna Yeah, he's kind of like what one person described as, like a Mexican Sergeant Bilko. You know--

Studs Terkel Yeah--

Joe Mantegna That type of thing.

Studs Terkel But, this is the two scenes we've heard thus far from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" at the Victory Gardens Theater tonight. And every week, it's weeks--from Wednesday through Sunday nights with two more very moving scenes. The music is there. And, by the way, it's in the seeing it too. So you're hearing it but you can envision and--

Joe Mantegna Yeah, so much of it is visual, and it's just, it's a colorful show and it's very--

Studs Terkel Let's take a slight pause right now, a slight pause for a mes--we'll return with the members of the cast of "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Joe Montegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, Villanazul?

Dennis Franz Yeah. Villanazul.

Studs Terkel Villanazul. And Brian Hickey as Martinez. Un momento. I wonder what it'd be in Spanish, "un momento"?

Joe Mantegna "Un momento."

Studs Terkel Okay, okay. [pause in recording]

Studs Terkel Resuming the conversation, the roundtable readings from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". It's playing, by the way, the Victory Gardens Theater is at 3730 North Clark Street and it's weekdays 8:30, the show is, but on Saturdays at 7:30 and at 9:30, two performances and on Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock. And so, where we left you last, said [unintelligible] of soap operas, you've now got the suit. Now, you're sharing--Each one takes a turn at sharing the ice cream suit. Each of you put up about ten bucks roughly. And so now where are we? Martinez has gone to see his friend, Celia.

Brian Hickey Right.

Studs Terkel Is that right?

Brian Hickey Mm-hmm.

Studs Terkel And you, you're very excited.

Brian Hickey I've just come back from meeting Celia.

Mike Saad [sighs]

Dennis Franz [sighs]

Joe Mantegna [sighs]

Meshach Taylor [sighs]

Brian Hickey I've just met [mumbling]--

Meshach Taylor Here comes someone!

Joe Mantegna It's Martinez!

Dennis Franz He's singing.

Mike Saad He's dancing, too!

Meshach Taylor He's drunk! [loud knocking]

Brian Hickey I am looking for José Martinez.

Dennis Franz You are Martinez!

Brian Hickey No, no, no, no, no! Martinez is gone. In his place, who knows!

Meshach Taylor I told you you're

Brian Hickey With this suit, with life, us all together. The store and here and laughing, eh, and feeling more drunk, eh? And without drinking and everyone in and out of the coat and the pants and the grabbing hold and falling and one walking out, and coming back and then another and another, and now me. Here I am, huh? So tall, so pure. Like one who gives orders and the world grows quiet and moves aside. Martinez, who is he? Who am I?

Meshach Taylor Look, we borrowed this while you were out.

Joe Mantegna Three mirrors, count them!

Brian Hickey Oh look, three men, who are

Dennis Franz

Brian Hickey It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! We've got no mirror! Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close. Man, look at this I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out! Out, Gomez, out. Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays] And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one-- Right. A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so? Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal-- Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like. Right. And they're afraid about his wearing the He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty guy. Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have? Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true. Dennis Franz as Villanazul. Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and happy he is about wearing the suit. The white suit. So Mike Saad, Vamenos. Alright, it's not so much of a fantasy as the rest of the dreams are. What I do, my part of the show is, but what happens is, is that he acquires some friends which he never had before and he has the love of his friends and the people who he's been hanging around with. Because he looks so-- Yes. Respectable-- Yeah. He's finally clean. Yeah, and Meshach Taylor, Dominguez. Well, Dominguez wants to be a ladies man and a great singer, and his fantasy is to be able to sing in a big nightclub and have lots of ladies falling all over him all the time, so he gets to act out this fantasy. And so I come to Gomez, Joe Mantegna. I think Gomez just wants to become the John Wayne and Robert Redford of [unintelligible]-- Gomez, he's also the operator. Yeah, he's kind of like what one person described as, like a Mexican Sergeant Bilko. You know-- Yeah-- That type of thing. But, this is the two scenes we've heard thus far from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" at the Victory Gardens Theater tonight. And every week, it's weeks--from Wednesday through Sunday nights with two more very moving scenes. The music is there. And, by the way, it's in the seeing it too. So you're hearing it but you can envision and-- Yeah, so much of it is visual, and it's just, it's a colorful show and it's very-- Let's take a slight pause right now, a slight pause for a mes--we'll return with the members of the cast of "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Joe Montegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, Villanazul? Yeah. Villanazul. Villanazul. And Brian Hickey as Martinez. Un momento. I wonder what it'd be in Spanish, "un momento"? "Un momento." Okay, okay. [pause in recording] Resuming the conversation, the roundtable readings from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". It's playing, by the way, the Victory Gardens Theater is at 3730 North Clark Street and it's weekdays 8:30, the show is, but on Saturdays at 7:30 and at 9:30, two performances and on Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock. And so, where we left you last, said [unintelligible] of soap operas, you've now got the suit. Now, you're sharing--Each one takes a turn at sharing the ice cream suit. Each of you put up about ten bucks roughly. And so now where are we? Martinez has gone to see his friend, Celia. Right. Is that right? Mm-hmm. And you, you're very excited. I've just come back from meeting Celia. [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] I've just met [mumbling]-- Here comes someone! It's Martinez! He's singing. He's dancing, too! He's drunk! [loud knocking] I am looking for José Martinez. You are Martinez! No, no, no, no, no! Martinez is gone. In his place, who knows! I told you you're drunk, With this suit, with life, us all together. The store and here and laughing, eh, and feeling more drunk, eh? And without drinking and everyone in and out of the coat and the pants and the grabbing hold and falling and one walking out, and coming back and then another and another, and now me. Here I am, huh? So tall, so pure. Like one who gives orders and the world grows quiet and moves aside. Martinez, who is he? Who am I? Look, we borrowed this while you were out. Three mirrors, count them! Oh look, three men, who are There The The The The The [grunts] The Maniacs! Maniacs! Maniacs!

Dennis Franz they? Villanazul Don't we look good, huh? Oh, touch the mirrors huh, yes, this way, that. Yes, yes, you see? In the glass a thousand, a million Gomezes, Domginguezes, Martinezes march off in white armor away, way down the line, reflected, re-reflected again and again, indomitable forever.

Meshach Taylor Oh, don't he speak pretty? Hey, Villanazul, you speak pretty.

Joe Mantegna Vamenos!

Mike Saad What did I do,

Joe Mantegna Fire-eater! Pig! You didn't wash or even shave!

Mike Saad This ain't Russia.

Joe Mantegna The bath.

Dennis Franz The bath.

Meshach Taylor The bath.

Mike Saad I don't need a bath.

Brian Hickey The bath!

Joe Mantegna

Dennis Franz It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! We've got no mirror! Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close. Man, look at this I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out! Out, Gomez, out. Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays] And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one-- Right. A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so? Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal-- Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like. Right. And they're afraid about his wearing the He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty guy. Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have? Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true. Dennis Franz as Villanazul. Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and happy he is about wearing the suit. The white suit. So Mike Saad, Vamenos. Alright, it's not so much of a fantasy as the rest of the dreams are. What I do, my part of the show is, but what happens is, is that he acquires some friends which he never had before and he has the love of his friends and the people who he's been hanging around with. Because he looks so-- Yes. Respectable-- Yeah. He's finally clean. Yeah, and Meshach Taylor, Dominguez. Well, Dominguez wants to be a ladies man and a great singer, and his fantasy is to be able to sing in a big nightclub and have lots of ladies falling all over him all the time, so he gets to act out this fantasy. And so I come to Gomez, Joe Mantegna. I think Gomez just wants to become the John Wayne and Robert Redford of [unintelligible]-- Gomez, he's also the operator. Yeah, he's kind of like what one person described as, like a Mexican Sergeant Bilko. You know-- Yeah-- That type of thing. But, this is the two scenes we've heard thus far from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" at the Victory Gardens Theater tonight. And every week, it's weeks--from Wednesday through Sunday nights with two more very moving scenes. The music is there. And, by the way, it's in the seeing it too. So you're hearing it but you can envision and-- Yeah, so much of it is visual, and it's just, it's a colorful show and it's very-- Let's take a slight pause right now, a slight pause for a mes--we'll return with the members of the cast of "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Joe Montegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, Villanazul? Yeah. Villanazul. Villanazul. And Brian Hickey as Martinez. Un momento. I wonder what it'd be in Spanish, "un momento"? "Un momento." Okay, okay. [pause in recording] Resuming the conversation, the roundtable readings from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". It's playing, by the way, the Victory Gardens Theater is at 3730 North Clark Street and it's weekdays 8:30, the show is, but on Saturdays at 7:30 and at 9:30, two performances and on Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock. And so, where we left you last, said [unintelligible] of soap operas, you've now got the suit. Now, you're sharing--Each one takes a turn at sharing the ice cream suit. Each of you put up about ten bucks roughly. And so now where are we? Martinez has gone to see his friend, Celia. Right. Is that right? Mm-hmm. And you, you're very excited. I've just come back from meeting Celia. [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] I've just met [mumbling]-- Here comes someone! It's Martinez! He's singing. He's dancing, too! He's drunk! [loud knocking] I am looking for José Martinez. You are Martinez! No, no, no, no, no! Martinez is gone. In his place, who knows! I told you you're drunk, With this suit, with life, us all together. The store and here and laughing, eh, and feeling more drunk, eh? And without drinking and everyone in and out of the coat and the pants and the grabbing hold and falling and one walking out, and coming back and then another and another, and now me. Here I am, huh? So tall, so pure. Like one who gives orders and the world grows quiet and moves aside. Martinez, who is he? Who am I? Look, we borrowed this while you were out. Three mirrors, count them! Oh look, three men, who are they? Villanazul There Don't we look good, huh? Oh, touch the mirrors huh, yes, this way, that. Yes, yes, you see? In the glass a thousand, a million Gomezes, Domginguezes, Martinezes march off in white armor away, way down the line, reflected, re-reflected again and again, indomitable forever. Oh, don't he speak pretty? Hey, Villanazul, you speak pretty. Vamenos! What did I do, huh? Fire-eater! Pig! You didn't wash or even shave! This ain't Russia. The bath. The bath. The bath. I don't need a bath. The bath! The The The The The The [grunts] The Maniacs! Maniacs! Maniacs!

Meshach Taylor The

Mike Saad Vamenos is clean.

Brian Hickey

Joe Mantegna

Dennis Franz It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! We've got no mirror! Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close. Man, look at this I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out! Out, Gomez, out. Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays] And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one-- Right. A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so? Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal-- Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like. Right. And they're afraid about his wearing the He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty guy. Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have? Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true. Dennis Franz as Villanazul. Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and happy he is about wearing the suit. The white suit. So Mike Saad, Vamenos. Alright, it's not so much of a fantasy as the rest of the dreams are. What I do, my part of the show is, but what happens is, is that he acquires some friends which he never had before and he has the love of his friends and the people who he's been hanging around with. Because he looks so-- Yes. Respectable-- Yeah. He's finally clean. Yeah, and Meshach Taylor, Dominguez. Well, Dominguez wants to be a ladies man and a great singer, and his fantasy is to be able to sing in a big nightclub and have lots of ladies falling all over him all the time, so he gets to act out this fantasy. And so I come to Gomez, Joe Mantegna. I think Gomez just wants to become the John Wayne and Robert Redford of [unintelligible]-- Gomez, he's also the operator. Yeah, he's kind of like what one person described as, like a Mexican Sergeant Bilko. You know-- Yeah-- That type of thing. But, this is the two scenes we've heard thus far from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" at the Victory Gardens Theater tonight. And every week, it's weeks--from Wednesday through Sunday nights with two more very moving scenes. The music is there. And, by the way, it's in the seeing it too. So you're hearing it but you can envision and-- Yeah, so much of it is visual, and it's just, it's a colorful show and it's very-- Let's take a slight pause right now, a slight pause for a mes--we'll return with the members of the cast of "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Joe Montegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, Villanazul? Yeah. Villanazul. Villanazul. And Brian Hickey as Martinez. Un momento. I wonder what it'd be in Spanish, "un momento"? "Un momento." Okay, okay. [pause in recording] Resuming the conversation, the roundtable readings from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". It's playing, by the way, the Victory Gardens Theater is at 3730 North Clark Street and it's weekdays 8:30, the show is, but on Saturdays at 7:30 and at 9:30, two performances and on Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock. And so, where we left you last, said [unintelligible] of soap operas, you've now got the suit. Now, you're sharing--Each one takes a turn at sharing the ice cream suit. Each of you put up about ten bucks roughly. And so now where are we? Martinez has gone to see his friend, Celia. Right. Is that right? Mm-hmm. And you, you're very excited. I've just come back from meeting Celia. [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] I've just met [mumbling]-- Here comes someone! It's Martinez! He's singing. He's dancing, too! He's drunk! [loud knocking] I am looking for José Martinez. You are Martinez! No, no, no, no, no! Martinez is gone. In his place, who knows! I told you you're drunk, With this suit, with life, us all together. The store and here and laughing, eh, and feeling more drunk, eh? And without drinking and everyone in and out of the coat and the pants and the grabbing hold and falling and one walking out, and coming back and then another and another, and now me. Here I am, huh? So tall, so pure. Like one who gives orders and the world grows quiet and moves aside. Martinez, who is he? Who am I? Look, we borrowed this while you were out. Three mirrors, count them! Oh look, three men, who are they? Villanazul There Don't we look good, huh? Oh, touch the mirrors huh, yes, this way, that. Yes, yes, you see? In the glass a thousand, a million Gomezes, Domginguezes, Martinezes march off in white armor away, way down the line, reflected, re-reflected again and again, indomitable forever. Oh, don't he speak pretty? Hey, Villanazul, you speak pretty. Vamenos! What did I do, huh? Fire-eater! Pig! You didn't wash or even shave! This ain't Russia. The bath. The bath. The bath. I don't need a bath. The bath! The The The Vamenos is clean. The The The The The [grunts] The Maniacs! Maniacs! Maniacs!

Meshach Taylor The bath!

Mike Saad My death and burial!

Brian Hickey The

Joe Mantegna The

Dennis Franz The bath!

Meshach Taylor The bath!

Mike Saad I'll catch cold! I'll die!

Brian Hickey

Joe Mantegna

Dennis Franz It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! We've got no mirror! Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close. Man, look at this I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out! Out, Gomez, out. Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays] And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one-- Right. A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so? Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal-- Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like. Right. And they're afraid about his wearing the He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty guy. Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have? Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true. Dennis Franz as Villanazul. Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and happy he is about wearing the suit. The white suit. So Mike Saad, Vamenos. Alright, it's not so much of a fantasy as the rest of the dreams are. What I do, my part of the show is, but what happens is, is that he acquires some friends which he never had before and he has the love of his friends and the people who he's been hanging around with. Because he looks so-- Yes. Respectable-- Yeah. He's finally clean. Yeah, and Meshach Taylor, Dominguez. Well, Dominguez wants to be a ladies man and a great singer, and his fantasy is to be able to sing in a big nightclub and have lots of ladies falling all over him all the time, so he gets to act out this fantasy. And so I come to Gomez, Joe Mantegna. I think Gomez just wants to become the John Wayne and Robert Redford of [unintelligible]-- Gomez, he's also the operator. Yeah, he's kind of like what one person described as, like a Mexican Sergeant Bilko. You know-- Yeah-- That type of thing. But, this is the two scenes we've heard thus far from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" at the Victory Gardens Theater tonight. And every week, it's weeks--from Wednesday through Sunday nights with two more very moving scenes. The music is there. And, by the way, it's in the seeing it too. So you're hearing it but you can envision and-- Yeah, so much of it is visual, and it's just, it's a colorful show and it's very-- Let's take a slight pause right now, a slight pause for a mes--we'll return with the members of the cast of "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Joe Montegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, Villanazul? Yeah. Villanazul. Villanazul. And Brian Hickey as Martinez. Un momento. I wonder what it'd be in Spanish, "un momento"? "Un momento." Okay, okay. [pause in recording] Resuming the conversation, the roundtable readings from "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". It's playing, by the way, the Victory Gardens Theater is at 3730 North Clark Street and it's weekdays 8:30, the show is, but on Saturdays at 7:30 and at 9:30, two performances and on Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon and at 8 o'clock. And so, where we left you last, said [unintelligible] of soap operas, you've now got the suit. Now, you're sharing--Each one takes a turn at sharing the ice cream suit. Each of you put up about ten bucks roughly. And so now where are we? Martinez has gone to see his friend, Celia. Right. Is that right? Mm-hmm. And you, you're very excited. I've just come back from meeting Celia. [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] [sighs] I've just met [mumbling]-- Here comes someone! It's Martinez! He's singing. He's dancing, too! He's drunk! [loud knocking] I am looking for José Martinez. You are Martinez! No, no, no, no, no! Martinez is gone. In his place, who knows! I told you you're drunk, With this suit, with life, us all together. The store and here and laughing, eh, and feeling more drunk, eh? And without drinking and everyone in and out of the coat and the pants and the grabbing hold and falling and one walking out, and coming back and then another and another, and now me. Here I am, huh? So tall, so pure. Like one who gives orders and the world grows quiet and moves aside. Martinez, who is he? Who am I? Look, we borrowed this while you were out. Three mirrors, count them! Oh look, three men, who are they? Villanazul There Don't we look good, huh? Oh, touch the mirrors huh, yes, this way, that. Yes, yes, you see? In the glass a thousand, a million Gomezes, Domginguezes, Martinezes march off in white armor away, way down the line, reflected, re-reflected again and again, indomitable forever. Oh, don't he speak pretty? Hey, Villanazul, you speak pretty. Vamenos! What did I do, huh? Fire-eater! Pig! You didn't wash or even shave! This ain't Russia. The bath. The bath. The bath. I don't need a bath. The bath! The The The Vamenos is clean. The The The The bath! My death and burial! The The The bath! The bath! I'll catch cold! I'll die! The The The [grunts] The Maniacs! Maniacs! Maniacs!

Meshach Taylor The bath!

Mike Saad I'm drowned!

Joe Mantegna No, just clean.

Meshach Taylor Hey, where's the razor?

Dennis Franz Here!

Mike Saad Cut my throat, it's quicker!

Brian Hickey We'll cut your throat--

Meshach Taylor Look at this guy.

Brian Hickey I don't believe it.

Meshach Taylor It's him alright.

Joe Mantegna Vamenos!

Mike Saad Ta-da! It's beautiful, ah? Is that me?

Dennis Franz That's Vamenos all right. Of whom it is said that when Vamenos walks by, avalanches itch on the mountain tops, flea-maddened dogs dance about on their muddy paws, and locomotives belch forth their blackest soots to be lifted in flags to salute him. Oh Vamenos, Vamenos. Suddenly, the world sizzles with flies and there you are, a huge, fresh, frosted cake.

Mike Saad Thanks.

Meshach Taylor You sure look sharp in that suit, Vamenos.

Mike Saad Thanks. It's nice, huh. Can I go now?

Joe Mantegna Villanazul, a pencil, paper!

Dennis Franz Okay!

Joe Mantegna Copy down these rules for Vamenos.

Dennis Franz Ready!

Joe Mantegna Rule number one.

Mike Saad One, yes.

Joe Mantegna Don't fall down in that suit!

Mike Saad Oh no, I won't fall

Joe Mantegna Two, don't lean against buildings in that suit.

Mike Saad No buildings!

Joe Mantegna Don't walk under trees with birds in them, in that

Mike Saad No birds. No trees, trees, trees.

Brian Hickey No smokes! No drinks!

Mike Saad Please! Can I sit down in the suit?

Dennis Franz When in doubt take the pants off. Fold them over a chair.

Mike Saad Well, wish me luck.

Joe Mantegna Go with God, Vamenos.

Mike Saad Good bye,

Dennis Franz good Adios.

Studs Terkel A ripping sound there. So here now comes the suspense, isn't it? Now Vamenos, who is the slovenly one, the one you're most scared of, it's his turn to have the suit,

Mike Saad right? Yes.

Studs Terkel And he's going out and now you wonder 'cause here's--this suit is everything, isn't it?

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel And so he might get in trouble, which of course he does. So he goes to--

Dennis Franz Just a little bit.

Studs Terkel A certain tavern.

Mike Saad Mm-hmm.

Studs Terkel Mickey Murillo's.

Meshach Taylor Mickey Murillo's Red Rooster Cafe.

Studs Terkel Somebody,

Mike Saad We're all

Studs Terkel You're all gonna follow him and now he's had a few drinks.

Dennis Franz He does everything he's not supposed to

Joe Mantegna do. He

Studs Terkel Oh and the tacos, so he might drip on the suit--

Brian Hickey He's got everything going wrong for

Studs Terkel And then [my?] mustard, too. So now he's going to dance with the big girl--

Joe Mantegna Mm-hmm. Ruby Escuadrillo.

Studs Terkel But, she's got this friend who was very jealous and very strong.

Mike Saad Toro Ruiz.

Joe Mantegna Big Toro.

Studs Terkel So that's something that happens here right.

Brian Hickey Well, it turns out that, you know, all hell breaks loose in the bar and he almost gets in a fight, but we all--it's really something you have to see--

Studs Terkel Yeah--

Brian Hickey It's really choreographed--

Studs Terkel By the way, we should point out that the direction is by, is by Stuart Gordon.

Brian Hickey Right.

Studs Terkel It's very imaginative, the Organic Theater director. And you other guys who share this are watching him, because nothing is going to happen to him, it happens to the suit.

Brian Hickey Right.

Joe Mantegna Right.

Studs Terkel 'Cause basically all your dreams are in this and this is about dreams, isn't it?

Joe Mantegna Fantasies fulfilled.

Studs Terkel Yeah, and the dreams are in this wonderful ice cream suit. And so finally the big guy is pushing him around and squeezing the suit, too.

Joe Mantegna Right.

Mike Saad Crushing

Studs Terkel What happens? Now we come toward the last part.

Joe Mantegna Yeah, well, what has happened, now we've saved the suit pretty much and we rescued him out of the bar. We've dragged Vamenos out of the bar. We're back on the streets again and that's about where we pick it up.

Mike Saad Put me down! Okay! Coyote, my time ain't up.

Joe Mantegna What?

Mike Saad I still got two minutes and ten seconds.

Joe Mantegna You still got, you got two minutes? You dance with a Guadalajara rat! You smoke, you drink, you eat juicy tacos, you pick fights, and you got the nerve to tell me you got two minutes and ten seconds?

Mike Saad It's two minutes flat, now.

Joe Mantegna Hey, who is that over there?

Mike Saad It's Ramona. Oh you know, Ramona. Hey, Ramona wait! I'm going to see you!

Dennis Franz Vamenos, come back! The street!

Meshach Taylor And what can you do in one minute and 40 seconds?

Mike Saad Watch.

Joe Mantegna Vamenos, watch out!

Brian Hickey A truck!

Meshach Taylor Vamenos! [sound of

Joe Mantegna Fiends, fools, murderers. Come back, come back!

Brian Hickey Oh, I don't want to live. Kill me, someone.

Mike Saad [groans]

Joe Mantegna

Mike Saad It's a very endearing play, a very moving one, and a beautiful one, I think, by Ray Bradbury, called "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", and it's the Organic Theater Company, a very talented company, you know, playing at Victory Gardens Wednesdays, that's tonight. Wednesdays through Sundays and the cast is around, most of the cast around, the guys who, who share this "Ice Cream Suit". We will hear scenes from it with Joe Mantegna as Gomez and Meshach Taylor as Dominguez and Mike Saad as Vamenos, Vamenos, yeah. Isn't that right, Mike, yeah? Yeah, And Dennis Franz as Villanazul. I get that and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and they'll talk a little about themselves but most of the hour will be scenes from Ray Bradbury's "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Un momento, after this message. The play itself, asking Joe Montegna no less, the play itself, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" deals with what, certain young guys in the Latino community? It specifically deals with five Latinos who pitch in to buy this one suit because each of them can't afford to buy it themself. But I suppose in general it just deals with, with sharing, you know, it makes it kind of a universal play. We play it as five Latinos but we can be five anything, just five people. Yeah, well, perhaps [unintelligible] each of you and then we go into the play. Joe, I first met you when you were here in the Chicago company of "Hair" and you were on the program at--that was how many years ago? That was in '69 I think. It was about six years ago. And since then you've been a member of the, of the--six years ago? Put my clothes on and now I-- A member of the-- I've been with the Organic Theater now for a little over two years. Stuart Gordon, of course, directing it, and Meshach Taylor, we know you best as Jim in the remarkable production of Huck Finn The Organic Theater did. Yes, yes, it is a very enjoyable role. I got a lot of play out of that. All of you, by the way, are members of--it's almost a repertory company, isn't it? It is a repertory-- Mike Saad, you've been in a-- I did--I first started out working for the Organic and I did this, "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" and then we did "Bloody Bess". And I worked for Stuart again at the Goodman, did "Chemin de Fer". And Dennis, Dennis Franz. Yeah, same route as Mike. I did "Ice Cream Suit", "Bloody Bess", and then "Chemin de Fer" at Goodman with Stuart and then back here to do "The Ice Cream Suit". And Brian Hickey, we know you best as Huck, Huck Finn. All five of you are from Chicago, right? No. No. No. No. For the most part I guess we are, or at least maybe the majority. Yeah, Meshach is from-- New Orleans, Louisiana. But suppose before we go into the scenes, of course you guys represent something good, a company that's rich in its repertoire and travelled to different parts of the world, too. Was it acting, is acting--this is not your livelihood is it, or is it? Yes it is. Active, all of you? I'm a Viking on my [unintelligible]-- You're a Viking?-- And I can't get any security jobs-- One question, can you make it? Can you make it as actors in Chicago? Well, I think you can make, you know-- What do you mean by make it? Yeah, I think you can make a living. I mean, Chicago is not set up like New York or Los Angeles where there's a lot of millionaires and actors running around living in Beverly Hills or something like that. But sure, you can make a living and-- I think that's one of the benefits and I think we're fortunate to be in a company, a repertory company like The Organic and the fact that we can count on having a secure job for an indefinite amount of time. There's also something else there isn't there? You're play--playing together a lot. You guys know each other pretty well, your timing. It's also, wait, so here you are the five guys: Mantegna as Gomez, Joe Mantegna as Gomez, Meshach Taylor as Dominguez, Mike Saad as Vamenos, Dennis Franz as Villanazul, and Brian Hickey as Martinez, and do we have to set the scene or does the sound of music do it? Well, I guess we can just say that the scene opens, this first scene that we'll be doing opens, it's just the, three of the guys are just hanging out on the doorstep on a hot summer night and that's all we need to know. It's the very opening of the show. Okay. It's a swell night, huh? Sure. Oh, feel the silence. Hmm, ain't that a fine silence? A man can think now, a man can dream. Huh? Sure. In weather such as this revolutions occur. Nights like this you wish lots of things. Ah, thinking, I approve. Wishing, however, is the useless pastime of the unemployed. Unemployed, listen to him! We got no jobs! So, we got no money, no friends. You, Martinez have us. The friendship of the poor is real friendship. Yeah, Oooh, How does he rate two friends? Aww, such friendships are easily come by. Economics, compadre. He means the guy's got a nice brand new summer suit. Looks sharp, huh? Mm-hmm. Sure. And how am I dressed, huh? Who looks at me? There, in the tenement, you see her? The first floor window. The beautiful girl leaning out? Long dark hair. She's been there forever. That is to say, six weeks. I have nodded, I have smiled, I have blinked rapidly, I have even bowed to her, on the street, in the hall while visiting friends, in the park, downtown. Even now, look, I raise my hand, I wiggle my fingers, I wave to her. And what happens? Nothing. And more than nothing. Madre mia! If I only just had one suit, one. I wouldn't need money if I look okay. I hesitate to suggest that you see Gomez. But, well, he's been talking some crazy talk for a month now about clothes. I keep saying I would be in on it to make him go away. Oh, that Gomez. Someone calls my name? Gomez! Gomez! Gomez! That's me! How ya doin'? Gomez, show Martinez what you got in your pocket. You mean this? Hey, what are you doing with a tape measure? Measuring people's skeletons. Skeletons? Carumba! Where have you been all my life? Let's try you--hold still! Chest, perfect. Arm length, perfectamente. The waist, now the height. Turn around, hold still. Okay 5 foot 9, you're in. Shake hands! What have I done? You fit the measurements. You got ten bucks? Hey, I got ten bucks. I want a suit! Gomez, measure me! Ándale, ándale! I only got nine dollars and 92 cents, but that'll buy a new suit? How come? Why? Because you got the right skeleton. But Mr. Gomez, I don't hardly know you. Know me? You're going to live with me! This way, let's go! Oooh, Gomez! [Mariachi music playing] You were great! That's the opening scene. So, now we come to the scene, here the guys all have dreams and that some are outside in the community, the street there and Gomez comes along and the idea is that you're all now going to chip in to buy this beautiful suit, right? Right. Because you can't alone buy it. Right. It costs about 50 bucks. Right. Ten bucks a piece, and you share the suit? Right. So, really, this play is about sharing. Now, the next scene is in the store, isn't it? Well, it's actually, it's right after the store, the next scene is-- No, It's in order. Oh, I'm sorry. The next scene takes place--well, actually, no, the next scene we go into a pool room and that's where we-- When we meet Dominguez-- We get to meet Dominguez and uh-- He's earning his ten dollars. Yeah, playing pool. Oh, he's gotta make the ten and he's making his money as what, a pool shark. And this is where we discover we're all the same size and the same weight. We all weigh ourselves. That makes it right. And, so, the idea is, of course, that suit means, oh-- It's everything. Everything: status, girls, acceptance-- For each person it's their own personal [dream?]. And, so, now in the store there's Shumway the tailor and he's what, he's talking about--people are outside looking at the suit, is that it? Well, pretty much the scene there, is it just shows how like, his first reaction is he sees these five crazy guys pulling in and now he thinks they're going to rob him and then he finds out that all they are interested in is-- Buying-- You know, buying the suit. So, we pick it up where now? Now where We pick it up now where they bought the suit and now they're taking it to Gomez's apartment, where they're all like, staying now. And so this is the first time that they're putting the suit on the suit dummy that they have in the middle of the apartment. You know, the first time they're going to look at the suit. And each is gonna take a turn at fitting in it. Right. We're gonna, we're gonna--this is where we establish who is going to wear the suit first. Okay. "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit". Gomez, the suit is ready! Hey Gomez, let's go see if it looks as good in your apartment with your light bulb, ah? My lightbulb [unintelligible]-- Let's go, let's go! Gomez is gonna love this. Ready? Almost! Is it on the dummy? Almost! Just the one light, overhead? Just the one light. There. OK. You can look now. Gomez? Madre mia! It's even better! White as a cloud on a summer night. White as Chico Hernandez's Earl Schieb paint job. White. White as the snow on the mountain near our town in Mexico called the Sleeping Lady. Say that again, please. [clears throat] White, white as the snow on the mountain-- Hey, I'm back, ah? And the wine, the party, ah? Boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, chicka boom, ah! Who gets to wear the suit tonight first, ah? Me! It's too late, ten o'clock! Late?! Late?! Late! Huh, It is a fine Saturday night in a summer month. [guitar music plays] The air is sweet. Listen to the music play, ah? While women drift through the warm darkness like flowers on a quiet stream. Aww. Aww. Aww. Aww. Gomez, I ask you a favor. You wear the suit tonight from 10:00 to 10:30. Dominguez, you till 11:00, myself till 11:30. Martinez, you till midnight! Hey why me last, huh? After midnight is the best time of all. Sure! That's right. Okay! From tonight on, we each wear the suit one night a week and on the weekends we draw straws to see who wears the suit then. Me, every time! I'm lucky! Okay, Gomez, you thought of this. You wear the suit first, ah? I'll wear the suit first. Aye-hah! Aye-yeeeeeeee! Gomez, you look like a saint. Forgive me God for saying that. Now, now at last, the coat if you please. It Oh, how clean it sounds, listen. Oh, how easily it whispers going on. Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! We've got no mirror! Sure, you got a mirror! Here, all of us! Here, Dominguez, Martinez, Vamenos. Stand close. Man, look at this I can see myself in your eyes, in your faces. Put me in a store window. I don't deserve to go out! Out, Gomez, out. Listen to all of those women out there--waiting! [music plays] And of course the scene there, and of course in the trying out, Gomez looks like a matador. Each one-- Right. A bon vivant, each you see that, isn't that so? Each one's got his own specific views. Gomez wants to appeal to the girls, Dominguez wants to be the best singer in the world, Villanazul wants to be able to speak in front of, you know, a huge crowd, each guy has his own personal-- Each one. Now Vamenos, he's kind of sloppy, like. Right. And they're afraid about his wearing the He's the one, right, that they're reluctant about. He's the dirty guy. Yeah, but each of you, I wanna ask what are the dreams each of you has. Start with Martinez. Okay, Brian Hickey. What sort of dream do you have? Well, there's the girl. The show opens with and establishes the girl in the window that I can't reach, however hard I try, and once I put that suit on that brings out that inner nobility. It brings out the inner nobility in each of us. But the way it manifests in Martinez is that he's able to make contact with a girl and sets up a date, and that's his dream come true. Dennis Franz as Villanazul. Villanazul. Well, when I put on the suit my dream is to--he imagines himself to be a great orator and a speaker in front of all these people and he loves to play with words and he--so his dream is when he puts the suit on, he imagines himself in the midst of a great crowd of people and he gets a soapbox in which a hush falls over the whole crowd and he gets to, to expound on his thoughts, which turn out to be how excited he is and