Play 11, Day 11 – Butterfly’s Make-Over.
BUTTERFLY, a full-blown Tokugawa geisha, with her namesake lepidoptera worked all throughout her elaborate costume and wig/head-dress, and CHO-CHO-SAN, identified by that name tattooed on her forearm in a Gothic font , a cigarette-smoking bar-girl in tank top and jeans, take turns dressing each other.
At first, BUTTERFLY dresses CHO-CHO-SAN. The music is hip-hop.
I met him here. He’s not from here. Navy brought him here. Guy used to moving from port to port. We had a thing. Then he moved on. Anyway, he been away for, like, ten years! Ten years! Our kid is like, all grown and shit. I wanna look good. But I don’t wanna be all, like, “Yo, stripper pants.” On another hand, legs are my best feature.
Do these make my butt look big?
BUTTERFLY shakes her head geisha-like, a submissive’s “no.” They switch. CHO-CHO-ANn dresses BUTTERFLY. The music is, of course, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.
BUTTERFLY, by the way, should not speak labored “geisha” English. She speaks in her own fluent idiom. In other words, it’s the opposite of playing up the non-standard usages. She speaks with a standard British accent. It is only her vocab and grammar that are pidgin.
Pinker-San returning ten years absence. Meiji change to Showa Period. The child grows. Proper Modesty. Nice Appearance.
Does this make my butt look big?
CHO-CHO-SAN nods her head approvingly.
Oh, Ch’es, madam!
They switch. Hip-hop.
I read this article in –oh, I forget which. Rolling Stone, somewhere. An interview with Margaret Cho.
I love her. Did you know she’s a dike?
And she’s all: “I need this shit like a fish needs a bicycle.”
Bi-something. Yeah, anyway, I began to think, “Yo, who is this chump anyway?”
I know. What’s up with that?
He’d better not come back here dragging no American wife, askin’ me for my kid for his white wife to raise.
I fucking cut that bitch.
Fuck that shit.
We hear Puccini again.
Yo, those look good on you.
You too, girl!
The two Asian women stand and admire each other. Puccini crecendoes, with a hip-hop infusion. Tableaux. LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.
END OF PLAY.