That’s Life

By Samantha Cartwright and Emma Houldershaw

A Rat Pack style musical, set in the 1920’s at the Domino club in New York. An original show featuring the club band and singers, some shady operations from a mafia boss, a group of crazy Charleston dancers and of course more than its fair share of life, love and hurt.

Cast Frank Donati (M), Maria Giovanni (F), Loretta (F), Dean Davis (M), Don Giovanni (M), Mama (F), Grace (F), Teresa Donati (F), Marti Russo (M), Freddie the Fox (M), Lucky (M), Dionne Day (F), Ava Divine (F), Betty (F), Ginger (F), Nora (F), Chorus

6 Male, 10 Female

Scenes In the Domino Club

An excerpt from That’s Life



Curtains open onto the Domino club, band stage left, tables stage left, stage is dark, fixed light on centre for compare. Far down stage right is a table, chairs and a telephone, which acts as Dons house and Teresa’s house at points.

Compare enters through audience

Marty  Don’t cha just hate those shows that use a narrator, yeah to introduce characters, update you on the story, change scenes etc, Me too. Oh wait, hang on (he is on the stage now, turns to the audience and very cheesily says) I am that narrator. Hiya folks, the name’s Marty Russo, welcome to the Domino Rooms, home of New York’s own Frank Donati, but more about him later. I’m here for the night, I’m gonna walk you through the ups and downs, lives and loves of some of the locals in these parts. Let’s start with Mama (spotlight goes to Mama, who is counting money and putting it in her bra). Mama, she owns this joint, anything that goes down here, Mama, she knows about it, she’s been in the business a long, long time, worked her way up from a dancer, at least that’s how she tells it. Rumour has it, she’s involved with some pretty influential people round here, know what I’m sayin’?  But she runs this place well, she looks after her girls, that’s them over there (spotlight goes to group of dancers including Grace, who is slightly apart from the others). Cute chicks right, too much hassle though, you understand what I’m sayin’, ooh, she’s new (seeing Grace and straightening his tie) I’ll chat to her later. Then we have our five main acts at the Domino Rooms, (spotlight goes to acts without Frank, standing lightly flirting)The Sapphires, Dionne Day, Ava Divine, Dean Davis and our headline act Frank Donati (spotlight goes to empty space on stage). But like I said, more on him later, he’s running late as usual. (Don, Lucky and Freddie enter, lights come up, all cast react, waitress rushes to get a table for them, pulls out a chair, Mama goes straight over to greet them). This here is Don Giovanni, he owns half of Manhattan and everyone in it. He’s the boss, he’s numero uno, he’s the Don. The two guys with him, that’s Freddie the Fox, slyest guy I know and Lucky Lucianno, never loses. Not the sharpest tools in the box, but trust me, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of them. That’s all you need to know for now folks, let’s get the evening started with our very own smooth crooner, Dean Davis


After song, dancers are gathered around Dean, everyone applauds, he moves to the side, a waitress appears

with a drink for him, she stands drinking it and watching the dancers

Ginger  First night on the job and you’re already outshining us.

Grace  Thank you, I tried my best, but gee, I was so nervous.

Ginger  So you agree? You think you outshine us?

Grace  Um, no, um, that’s not what I meant

Ginger  Did you hear that girls? Grace here, thinks she’s a bit special

Nora  I knew it, that’s why you’re wearing that necklace, wanted to make sure you got noticed.

Betty  That necklace don’t go with the costume, we don’t use it til act 3

Grace  Oh right, sorry, I thought something wasn’t right.

Ginger  Whatever. You did that on purpose, we’ve met girls like you before, you won’t last, they never do.

Nora  Yeah and you didn’t even get the steps right (Nora and Ginger exit)

Betty  Hey, don’t take it to heart, you did good. (Betty exits)

Dean approaches Grace who is looking a bit down hearted.

Dean  You must be the new girl, I’m Dean Davis.

Grace  I know who you are (she is slightly star struck).

Dean  I couldn’t help overhearing you and the other girls

Grace  Are they always like that?

Dean  Yeah, pretty much, you’ll get used to it. They get a bit territorial when a new broad comes along, especially a sweet patootie like you.

Grace  (looking shy) I bet you say that to all the girls

Dean  Only the ones I wanna get to know better

Grace  I should go, there’s not long until the next act

Dean  Hey, don’t let those broads get to you, you’re gonna do just fine here

Grace  Thanks (goes to leave)

Dean  Hey Sweetcheeks! I didn’t catch your name

Grace  (turning back to him) Grace, my name’s Grace (she exits)

He watches her leave, checking her out, makes it quite obvious that he likes her, Mama approaches

Mama  I see you met my new girl, sweet thing, head full of dreams, come all the way from South Detroit.  Frank’s still not shown his face, you may have to cover for him again.

Dean  Ab-so-lute-ly, anything for you Mama.

Mama  I knew I could count on you, you wouldn’t let me down, wish I could say the same about Frank.

Dean  I’ve stood in for him three times this week already, don’t know why you let him get away with it.

Mama  The crowd love him, he’s my star

Conversation switches to Don, Loretta, Lucky and Freddie, Mama goes to them. Dean exits

Freddie  I kid you not, four aces in a row.

Lucky  What can I say, lucky by name

Don  Ya Know, I’ve only seen that happen once before, back in the day, me and Mama were down at the railway arches, yeah, we were this close to losin’ everything, then bam, Mama shows her hand, four aces, you think you’re lucky Lucianno, That Broad’s the lucky one

Mama  You telling tales on me again Giovanni

He stands up, double kisses her

Don  Always Mama, always. How’s tricks?

Mama  So so, picks up at weekends, bit quiet during the week lately

Don  Have you had any more trouble with that crowd from 42nd street?

Mama  No, not since you asked your boys to have a quiet word with them for me, not seen them since

Lucky  I’ve seen them, one of them walks with a limp now

Lucky and Freddy look at each other and laugh

Loretta  I’ll have a bloody mary when you’re ready.

Mama  Oh will you? Do I look like a waitress?

Loretta  This is a bar ain’t it?

Don  Loretta, play nice.

Loretta  Honey, I just wanna get a drink

Mama  (summoning a waitress) Get Don’s plaything a drink

Loretta  Excuse me?

Mama  Oh I’m sorry, are you not a plaything, did he marry you? Oh no. he’s got a wife

Loretta  Who do you think you’re…

Don  Ladies, enough

Mama  Sorry Don, but if you’re going to have a pet, keep it on a leesh

Loretta  You’re just a jealous bitch

Mama  And you’re just a tramp


Freddie  I thought Frank was your opening act tonight?

Mama  He is, Dean had to stand in, that’s the 3rd time this week, trust me I’ll be having words with him

Don  Funny you mention having words with Frank, that’s why I’m here tonight

Mama  Oh really, problems?

Don  Never problems mama, just need, you know, a quiet chat

To Top