Theater Close-Up

FULL EPISODE

The Gabriels: What Did You Expect? | Part two

Tony Award-winner Richard Nelson’s three-play cycle follows one year in the life of a family in Rhinebeck, NY, during the 2016 presidential election. "What Did You Expect" is part two. The trilogy, starring Meg Gibson, Lynn Hawley, Roberta Maxwell, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, and Amy Warr, was filmed at The Public Theater in March 2017. THIRTEEN area viewers may steam all three episodes.

AIRED: December 04, 2017 | 1:48:15
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>> You are about to see a play

as it was written

and performed onstage.

Some may find the language

or content objectionable.

Viewer discretion is advised.

Next, on "Theater Close-Up"...

It's two months till the 2016

election...

>> Everyone I know is scared.

>> ...and we're back in the

Gabriels' kitchen.

The family still misses their

late brother, son, husband...

>> He was so competitive.

>> He was a Gabriel.

>> ...even as they face money

trouble...

>> We're trying to sell what we

can.

>> ...and the news.

>> The election.

>> Makes me feel dirty.

>> Yeah.

>> Join us when

The Public Theater production

of Richard Nelson's

"Gabriels Trilogy" continues

with "What Did You Expect?"...

>> Things get better.

>> ...on "Theater Close-Up."

♪♪

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> Support for

"Theater Close-Up"

is provided by...

>> Good evening.

I'm Oskar Eustis, the artistic

director of The Public Theater.

And I'm sitting in the

Public Theater's

Library restaurant,

named for the building's origins

as the Astor Library, one of the

first and largest public

libraries in America.

Built in 1854, an expansion

doubled its size in 1881, adding

a northern side where I now sit.

In the early 20th century, a

greater expansion was proposed,

and the Astor Library combined

with the Lenox Library to form

the basis for the new

New York Public Library

by Bryant Park, closing this

building for the first time

since its opening.

But it did not remain idle for

long.

In 1920, it became the home of

the Hebrew Sheltering and

Immigrant Aid Society

and remained as such for the

next 30-some years.

And so, here, in this space,

breathing this air, instead of

stacks of books, immigrants.

Instead of the quiet rustle of

pages, the bustle of life, of

hopes, of fears, and human

dignity.

The Times, May 8, 1938 --

"As never before, men and women

are besieging the offices of the

Hebrew Sheltering

and Immigrant Aid Society,

425 Lafayette Street,

attempting to find some means of

bringing their relatives from

Austria and Germany into this

country.

Men with long, white beards,

with bent backs stoically wait

for their number to be called

by the others interviewing each

person.

Well-dressed young men

resembling bankers and women in

sports clothes crowd the

reception rooms, anxious for the

help that may save their

relatives from further hardship.

Experts on laws and regulations

concerning immigration problems

are employed, ready to give free

help and counsel to those in

need."

November 27, 1940, The Times --

"The Hebrew Sheltering and

Immigrant Aid Society,

425 Lafayette Street,

gave 63,025 night shelter to

refugee immigrants and served

them 251,816 meals from

January 1st to October 31st,

it was reported yesterday."

They lived here.

They slept here.

They ate here.

And here, April 19, 1943,

The Times -- "The Hebrew

Sheltering and Immigrant Aid

Society will hold Seder services

for refugees temporarily staying

at its dormitories and welcomes

1,000 persons at headquarters,

425 Lafayette Street."

They prayed here...

and they even married here.

August 12, 1946 --

"Rachel Silverberg,

19 years old,

and Ben Zion Birkenwald, 21,

who survived the horrors of four

Nazi slave labor and death

camps, were married yesterday

at the Hebrew Sheltering

and Immigrant Aid Society,

425 Lafayette Street.

A wedding party for 150 persons

followed the ceremony."

As I said to you yesterday, this

is an extraordinary building,

which has lived many lives, had

many uses, but always the same

purpose -- to try and serve the

very best instincts of our

citizens.

Tonight, we return you to our

LuEsther Hall, which served,

we believe, as a dormitory for

many years.

You will be watching the second

play of Richard Nelson's moving

trilogy, "The Gabriels,"

subtitled, "Election Year in the

Life of One Family," performed

by an extraordinary company,

and designed by our finest

designers.

Tonight's play is called

"What Did You Expect?"

And like all three plays, it is

set in the kitchen of the

Gabriel family on South Street

in the village of Rhinebeck,

New York, which is 100 miles due

north of New York City, a place

The New York Times once called

"The Town That Time Forgot."

For those of you who have yet to

see the first play, "Hungry,"

here's a little background.

"Hungry" takes place on

March 6, 2016, four months after

Thomas Gabriel's death and on

the day his ashes are released

into the Hudson River.

Attending are his widow, Mary,

his siblings, George and Joyce,

his mother, Patricia,

George's wife, Hannah,

and Thomas' first wife, whom he

divorced decades earlier, Karin.

Karin is the accidental

participant, having recently

moved to the area for a

temporary teaching job.

Joyce is visiting from her home

in Brooklyn.

The others all live in the small

village of Rhinebeck.

"What Did You Expect?"

takes place on Friday,

September 16, 2016.

We are now in the middle of the

general election.

Hillary Clinton has pneumonia.

The first debate between the

candidates is still 10 days

away.

The weather has cooled some

after a week of scorching heat.

All the country is now anxious.

"Play 2: What Did You Expect?"

[ Indistinct conversations ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Conversations continue ]

[ Introduction to

"Don't Just Sit There" plays ]

♪♪

>> ♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪♪

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪♪

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love

again? ♪

♪♪

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love again?

♪♪

♪♪

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪♪

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪♪

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love

again? ♪

♪♪

♪ Did you find love?

[ Piano playing ]

>> And the windows are lit up,

so you can clearly see through.

>> It's night.

>> It's night.

You can't hear the people

inside, of course -- you can

only see them.

A family's inside -- a child

asleep against a woman, the

mother.

Well, Thomas doesn't tell us

that, but it's obvious -- the

mother.

And a man -- the father,

and an old man -- whole family.

And they seem...at peace.

>> I-Inside the house.

>> Two men have come into the

back garden.

That's what the stage

represents -- the garden.

And they look back at what we,

the audience, see through the

lit-up windows -- the family in

their house.

And someone's drumming his

fingers on the table.

And the mother looks out.

And one of the men in the garden

says to the other, "She's

looking at us," but, no, no --

she can't see.

She's looking out into the dark.

I'm -- I'm just summarizing.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Sure.

♪♪

>> "What are we going to do?"

asks one of the men.

"Should I try and get the

father's attention?

Get him to come outside and tell

him that his young daughter has

just drowned?"

Then, watching the family, he

adds, "I have never seen a

happier household."

The other says, "No.

No, don't go to the window.

It's best to tell them about it

as simply as we can, as if a

commonplace occurrence.

And let's not appear too sad, or

they'll feel their sorrow must

exceed ours, and they'll not

know what to do.

Let's knock on the side door and

go in as if nothing has

happened.

Come with me."

And the other man resists.

"Why do you want me to go, too?

I'm a stranger here.

I was just passing by."

"Because...a misfortune

announced by a single voice

seems more definite and

crushing.

Alone, I'll have to say

something right away, the moment

I come in.

Together, I can...take my time,

say something -- how they found

her.

She was floating in the river,

her hands clasped.

We can blur the pain in

details."

Oh, I don't know why, but that

moves me -- "blur the pain in

details."

>> Yeah, I-I've done that, as a

doctor, with details.

>> The two men -- they --

they continue to talk like this.

What to do?

What can they do?

While all the while, we, the

audience, watch through the

window the family go about their

lives.

Amazing play.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And Thomas -- he's -- he's

made a note to himself in the

margin here -- "Perhaps they

make a meal..."

[ Telephone rings ]

"...have a dinner."

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> "Must feel normal.

Make it normal."

>> Yeah, where's the page where

he circled everything in magic

marker?

>> Had you known this play?

>> [ Chuckles ]

There are so many, Hannah,

that -- Oh, here, right here.

Um, one of the men says,

"They are awaiting the night,

separated from us by only a few

poor panes of glass.

They think they are secure in

their life and do not dream that

so many others know more of it

than they."

And this is underlined --

"And -- And that I, a poor old

man..."

And Thomas writes in the margin,

"That's me. That's me."

[ Chuckles ]

"...a poor old man, am two steps

from their door, and hold all

their little happiness like a

wounded bird in the hollow of my

old hands and dare not open

them."

>> We stayed up most of last

night reading this.

>> Yeah, we did.

>> And one of the men in the

garden who's watching the family

says to the other that he'd seen

their daughter...

>> The dead daughter.

>> ...just this morning, that

she'd told him she was going to

see a friend on the other side

of the river, how -- how

beautiful she was, you know, her

lovely hair.

Here.

"The daughter was just living

this morning.

What she might have become, all

the friends she had.

Love inside their house now --

They're smiling."

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> "Someone is playing the

piano."

>> Playing the piano.

>> "Someone has said something

funny."

[ Chuckles ]

>> So, then, what happens?

>> Uh, before the old men get up

the courage to tell the family,

some people from the town bring

the body to the house,

and so, the family learns,

while, still outside, the two

men...

>> And, of course, we, the

audience.

>> ...they just see this through

the lit window without hearing

anything.

We -- We just watch everything

going on inside.

>> Finally, one of the old men

who's watching all this says --

and this is the last line of the

play -- "Look," he says.

"Look.

Their baby is still asleep."

The title is "Interior."

>> I didn't know Thomas did

translations.

>> Yeah, he did.

>> But he didn't -- didn't know

any languages, did he?

>> Oh, he worked with friends.

I-Is this enough?

>> I don't need more than five.

[ Chuckles ]

>> Oh, God, I peeled too many,

then.

I got carried away.

Uh, we can have these tonight

with the sausages.

We'll cook them together.

>> Can I see? Hmm?

>> From the French.

>> I was never any good at

languages.

>> That was just something he

got really interested in doing

right before getting sick.

I think, uh, he and his friends

both had plans to do a lot more.

>> Translations?

>> Yeah. And, oh, here --

these are his friends --

these two right in the front --

there, those two.

They -- They were the real

translators, he always said.

They'd done novels.

You wanted them cut small,

right?

A potato salad.

>> Oh, whatever.

It doesn't matter.

>> He puts a different picture

on each notebook.

>> Yeah, cut-up postcards.

>> Postcards.

>> What's that one of?

>> Their house -- this is the

house.

>> Once, the three of them --

>> Sorry.

>> Uh, the three of them --

Thomas and his translator

friends -- were sitting in the

friends' kitchen, and they were

working on their first

translation together.

They worked from the kitchen.

>> Mm.

>> I think I told you this.

And they'd been at it for, uh,

a couple of days.

And one of the friends said,

"Thomas, we have been

translating for much of our

lives."

And the friend said, "But you

just keep asking us one question

that we never, ever ask

ourselves when translating

novels."

>> What's the question?

>> Both: "Why?"

[ Laughter ]

>> Why what?

>> No, she -- she has that, too.

And Thomas said he had to

explain to his friends that,

with, um, a play, unlike a

novel, where you're -- you're

really just trying to get the

right words, but with a play,

what you're really trying to

translate are the author's

people.

>> I'm not sure I understand.

>> Well, the characters.

>> Yeah.

>> I understood that.

>> And so, that's why Thomas

said -- he kept asking his

friends, "Why does this

character say what he says" --

or -- or she says --

"and why now?

And why him and not her?" and so

forth, to translate the people.

>> Interesting.

>> Maybe -- Maybe I should start

our dinner.

>> Is that what you tell your

Hotchkiss kids?

>> [ Chuckles ]

God only knows what they hear.

God only knows what I tell

them -- whatever the hell comes

out.

>> Oh, oh, Hannah, I remembered

something else last night with

Karin.

>> What?

>> That actor --

>> Oh!

>> What he said by mistake.

>> This is funny.

>> What?

>> Yeah, it was the first play

of his that Thomas ever took me

to see.

We had just met.

I think it might even have been

the very first performance of

the play.

And, Hannah, there is a scene

where an uncle has to kill his

nephew.

And what was the name?

The nephew had a funny name.

>> Doesn't matter.

>> Okay, doesn't matter, but has

to kill his nephew in order,

he says, to, uh, save face?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Yeah. I-I don't remember why,

but, uh, to save face.

But, anyway, the actor playing

the uncle was -- you know,

Thomas used to play squash with

him.

It's -- I think -- I just

remembered that.

But the actor, the -- the uncle,

he is supposed to say --

uh, I have to get this right --

he's supposed to say, "Come,

nephew.

Sit and let me save your face."

>> That's what he's supposed to

say.

>> Yes.

>> Okay.

>> So, "Come, nephew.

Sit and let me save your face."

But instead of this, the

actor -- the uncle said --

he said it really, really

loud -- said, "Come, nephew,

and let me sit on your face."

>> [ Laughs ]

>> And -- And all the other

actors on the stage -- they turn

their backs to the audience.

You just saw the shoulders go up

and down.

I didn't even notice it.

Thomas told me later.

[ Laughter ]

>> Oh. I've gone through

everything in this one, Mary.

Do you want me to get another?

>> Oh, a couple, if you can

carry them.

>> How late were you two up last

night?

>> Oh, it was her birthday.

>> Not everyone goes to bed at

10:00, Hannah.

>> I don't always go to bed at

10:00.

>> It was my birthday.

[ Piano playing ]

The theater, Hannah.

>> Hm.

>> I don't know the actors learn

their lines.

And it must get really hard as

they get older.

>> Yeah.

Are you okay with her?

>> Here?

She's paying rent.

>> She's going through all of

Thomas' stuff.

>> Well, it's not stuff, and

there's plenty of room.

And, um, I asked her.

S-She wasn't looking to stay.

She was gonna rent the place she

had last time.

She knows theater.

[ Telephone ringing ]

That -- That's a big help.

She's paying rent.

>> George will get it.

>> Well, um, he's giving a

lesson.

>> No, he'll get it.

>> You -- I remembered something

else last night, talking with

Karin.

Once, Thomas...

[ Ringing continues, stops ]

...was so pleased.

He had come across a listing of

titles of lost plays.

It was just the titles.

The plays didn't even exist

anymore.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> By some old, Irish writer

from the 19th century.

And somehow, they knew the

titles.

>> Probably some academic

compiled...

>> Yeah, I suppose.

And so, he reads me one title.

And he says, "Oh, I could make a

play from this."

And you know how he always loved

obscure stuff that no one else

knew about.

>> Yeah.

>> And he was so competitive.

>> He was a Gabriel.

>> So, he even starts to write

the play.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> You want to know what that

title was?

"Shakespeare in Love."

>> Oh, and then the movie comes

out.

>> Yeah, he -- Oh, he's real...

>> Oh, I didn't know this.

>> ...pissed off.

He's like, "That is my fucking

play!"

>> [ Laughs ]

>> And, actually, I tell him,

"It's the dead Irish guy's

play."

He says he's "gonna write it,

anyway!

Who the hell's gonna see the

stupid movie?!"

And so, we go to upstate to see

it.

>> Yeah, that's where George and

I saw it.

>> And it's been playing like

four weeks already.

We could still hardly get in.

>> We loved it.

>> Yeah, we couldn't even sit

together.

[ Chuckles ]

Uh, you said you wanted to see

my Moosewood recipe for potato

salad.

>> Oh, never mind.

I really don't care whether they

like it or not.

>> I doubt if that's true.

You still have your pride.

And, oh, I'm -- I'm gonna need

the mustard, too.

>> Do I still have my pride?

Are we so sure?

[ Chuckles ]

>> Oh, once, we were at

the Book Barn in Hillsdale.

>> You and Thomas?

>> Yeah. And, uh, he had this --

I didn't tell this to Karin --

I just remembered this

this morning.

He has this book open, and he

shows me an inscription written

inside to Helen or someone --

I-I forget -- "You deserve to

have a whole chapter devoted

just to you."

>> Sweet.

>> Guess what the title was --

"Bitch."

>> [ Laughs ]

>> Some novel.

>> Did he buy it -- Thomas?

>> I don't remember.

He didn't buy it for me.

>> Is this all the balsamic you

have?

>> You need more?

>> Oh, that's fine.

Can I have an onion?

>> Yeah, sure.

>> [ Clears throat ]

So, Karin's comfortable...

in the office?

>> Upstairs.

No complaints.

>> She's only been here a couple

of days, Mary.

>> Hannah.

>> I'm not sure I would want my

husband's ex-wife...

>> I didn't know George had an

ex-wife.

>> You know what I mean.

...digging through his old

things.

>> I don't think she's digging.

>> Dragging up.

>> I asked for her help.

It doesn't need to be dragged

up -- it's already there.

And she -- she knows the

theater.

She's an actress.

I'm fine, Hannah.

>> Probably Joyce on the phone.

>> Yeah, probably.

Oh, once, we were visiting

Patricia -- this is about --

I don't know -- almost 20 years

ago.

It was when we first got

married.

And we drive out to that little,

uh, shopping plaza on Route 9.

>> Across from the fairgrounds?

>> To the wine store there.

I don't know why he wants to go

to that wine store.

But there's also a mostly comics

bookshop there, too.

>> Yeah.

>> Well, it's gone now, but --

and they also had a few used

books along with the comics.

Thomas has to go, and so I wait

outside.

[ Chuckles ]

>> What?

>> He comes out with that huge,

stupid grin on his face.

>> Yeah, I remember that grin.

>> And he's got a book under his

arm.

He's like, "Come on.

Let's get in the car.

Let's go. Let's go."

[ Both laugh ]

Then we stop in front of the

fairgrounds, and he shows me the

book.

It's a beautiful jacket, in

perfect condition.

And he then explains to me --

And it was -- "Oh, it's only the

first printing that he allowed

his photo on the jacket."

>> Who?

>> Uh, the author.

"And that's why it was worth so

much."

And, um, you don't know about

this?

>> No.

>> This -- This is way before we

moved here.

But he paid like $4.75 for this

book.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And he said he even felt

guilty cheating the guy in the

store.

And he kept it in a baggie in a

bookcase for about five years.

And then, he sold it to a dealer

in New York.

It paid for our trip to Europe.

"The Catcher in the Rye."

Oh, we could use that money now.

We should've kept it.

>> What should we have kept?

>> The --

>> What the hell...

>> Nothing, George.

>> ...have we thrown away now?

>> Was that your sister on the

phone?

>> Uh, y-yeah.

She picked up Mom.

They'll be here in a minute.

>> How long has Joyce been

there?

>> I don't know.

I didn't ask.

We're -- We're almost done.

>> Did Danny bring a check?

>> He forgot.

>> Uh, will you remind him to

ask his mother?

Do you want me to call her?

It's been over an hour.

He always goes over.

>> Not always.

>> Yeah, and he leaves time

between because he doesn't want

to keep anyone waiting.

I tell him, "No one does that --

no one."

Only George does that.

His lessons are supposed to be

for one hour.

Joyce called.

They'll be here in a minute.

>> There's a full moon.

>> Is there?

>> Yeah, it looks huge.

>> Wow.

>> Oh, must be 20, 30 notebooks

in this one -- and files.

>> How many boxes are left?

>> I don't know.

>> Mary was just telling me,

Karin, what a help you are,

because you know the names.

You know theater.

>> Mm.

>> [ Chuckling ] He didn't want

to be there.

Oh, God, Thomas could always

make that clear.

>> Oh, yes, he could. He could.

>> But this time, I stick to my

guns.

I-I'd taken a course in Greek

art in college, so I thought

it'd be interesting.

And -- And, after all, I had sat

through a 4 1/2-hour fucking

play in German, so I figured he

owed me this.

>> I agree.

>> "Go ahead and mope, Thomas.

Go ahead.

You're coming with me to this

goddamn museum."

>> Yep, fair is fair.

>> When were you in Berlin?

>> Oh, um, uh, 12, 13 years ago?

>> Don't ask me.

>> Thomas never took me

anywhere.

>> So, I am looking into this

glass cabinet at papyrus

fragments.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And you push a button, and a

tray moves, and some of my

college education's coming back.

And then, I see this label --

"Theater."

So, I push this button labeled

"Theater."

"Thomas," I say, "Thomas!"

And he comes grudgingly over to

the glass cabinet, just as this

papyrus fragment moves slowly --

very slowly into view.

And it's got a description in

German and in English.

The only existing fragment of

this play, which is by

Euripides.

And so, "Mary!

It's by Euripides!"

[ Laughter ]

Oh, my God.

I'd actually found something

that -- that interested him.

You have no idea how hard that

was to do.

It was probably easier for you,

being an actress.

>> Obviously, it wasn't.

>> [ Chuckling ] Here.

Read that. Read that.

>> That's funny.

>> There. Read it.

>> "I am a woman, but I have

intelligence."

[ Doorbell ringing ]

They're here.

Wait. "I am a woman, but I have

intelligence"?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> It's the "but."

>> I know.

[ Doorbell ringing ]

>> Joyce.

>> So, um, there was just this

one papyrus fragment.

That -- That was all that was

left of this play, and I

remember Thomas being so excited

and was like, "It's Euripides,

Mary!"

And he was writing everything

down.

And he -- he said he could use

it for something, and I-I don't

know what.

Um.

Oh, yeah.

"In vain, it seems to me, do men

mock women, denigrate and speak

badly of us.

But the truth is, women are

better than men --

women are better than men,

and I shall prove it."

And that is where the papyrus is

ripped off.

Everything else is lost.

"Women are better than men."

>> Joyce is in the bathroom.

>> Did -- Did you hear that,

George?

>> Hear what?

>> Women are better than --

>> Never mind.

What's that?

>> Uh, Joyce -- probably stole

it from her boss' party.

It's nice wine.

>> How's Joyce?

>> It's screw-top.

That used to mean --

>> It used to.

>> Oh. It'll be good to have a

change -- something decent.

>> Is Joyce okay?

>> She had to use the bathroom.

I don't know.

[ Bell rings ]

>> And your mother?

>> Do you need any help?

>> No.

>> It's good Joyce is here.

She should be.

Your cookies.

>> Oh, I know.

>> This is interesting --

the phrase, or whatever it is,

"okay" -- the phrase "okay."

>> Yeah, we know the phrase

"okay."

>> Well, it comes from

"Old Kinderhook," the Van Buren

campaign for president.

Thomas wrote that down for some

reason.

Everyone uses "okay" all around

the world.

>> Kinderhook is just down the

road.

>> It's not that close.

>> Here's something else --

George Frederick Jones.

>> Uh, Joyce is gonna want

coffee.

I should heat that up.

And who's that, Karin?

>> How long has that been

sitting there?

>> I don't know.

>> Jones -- he seems to have had

a house in Rhinebeck near, uh,

Wilderstein.

I think what Thomas is saying --

Oh, this is where the phrase

"keeping up with the Joneses"

comes from.

>> Oh.

>> Rhinebeck -- this whole

notebook seems to be about

Rhinebeck.

>> Here comes Joyce.

>> Rufus Wainwright was born in

Rhinebeck.

>> Yeah.

>> Hey, Joyce. Hi.

>> My -- My hands all --

>> I'll give you a hug.

>> Just let me -- Karin's here.

>> I know.

Nice to see you again, Karin.

>> Back like a bad penny.

>> Don't say that.

>> Well...

>> Hannah, she's joking.

>> Here's Mom's car keys.

Why haven't we sold that car?

>> Well, when the sticker runs

out.

>> It's worth like nothing.

>> Nice top.

>> Thrift store -- I got lucky.

>> Where's Patricia?

>> She's coming. I behaved.

>> It's really good to see you.

>> Karin's rented the guest room

above the office.

>> George told me.

I always found it really spooky

up there at night, Karin.

>> Oh, me, too.

>> Don't tell her that.

>> Why is it spooky?

>> Nothing, Karin.

I-I'll heat up your coffee.

>> Oh, thanks.

Uh, any tea?

I'm drinking mostly tea now.

Any chai?

>> [ Chuckling ] No, no chai.

>> No chai.

>> When have we ever had chai in

this house, Joyce?

How -- How's Lipton?

I think we have some Lipton.

Will you settle for Lipton?

>> Yeah, that's fine.

I brought wine.

George grabbed it from me.

>> It's in the refrigerator.

It's waiting.

>> My boss bought cases and

cases of it, but rich Democrats

now don't drink that much

anymore.

[ Piano playing ]

They seem to be mostly young

guys watching their weight.

>> Mm.

>> Where's your mother?

>> Uh, taking off her jacket

very slowly.

[ Chuckles ]

Just one -- one last practice

piece, Hannah, okay?

>> George.

>> Danny's been working hard.

He's earned it -- listen --

on his own.

>> You tell him to ask his

mother about a check.

Danny's mom owes us a check.

Your brother keeps forgetting to

ask.

>> That sounds like my brother.

>> I'll heat up your water.

>> I can do that.

Mary, let me do that.

It smells good in here.

What is all this?

What are you doing?

>> Hannah is making stuff for a

picnic tomorrow if it doesn't

rain.

>> Picnic?

>> Even if it rains.

>> I can't remember the last

time I went on a picnic.

>> Yeah, the cookies.

>> Watch out for ticks.

>> [ Laughs ]

Any mug?

>> It doesn't matter.

>> Supposed to be nice tomorrow,

not crazy hot like last weekend.

The city was unbearable.

Is there honey?

>> Yeah, on the stove.

We keep it there now so it

doesn't get hard.

I read that.

>> George is almost finished.

Where do you want me to sit?

>> It's your kitchen, Mom.

>> Sit in your chair, Patricia.

This has now become your

mother's favorite chair.

>> Has it, Mom?

>> It has become that.

>> George's student seems to be

a very hard worker.

>> George is a wonderful

teacher, Joyce.

>> I know he is.

He taught me.

>> Mary's making your famous

sausage casserole, Patricia.

How often do we have Joyce to

dinner?

>> Not very often.

>> I come when I can, Mom.

Hey, I left my boss' car at

Mom's, and is it safe there?

>> Why wouldn't it be safe?

>> I don't know.

>> I'm glad you're feeling

better.

>> What?

You weren't feeling well, Mom?

You didn't even say.

>> This morning, your mother

said she had a headache.

>> I did have a headache.

>> Mom, that's Karin.

She's living --

>> I know.

I know who Karin is.

Hello, Karin.

>> Hi, Pat.

>> "Pat"?

>> Yesterday, your mother

remembered -- she said Karin

used to call her "Pat."

>> I just remembered.

>> Dad called you that.

>> Do you want some tea?

We're making tea now.

We're branching out.

[ Laughter ]

>> No, thank you.

>> I don't need tea.

Coffee's fine.

>> Mary, I can go --

>> No, no, no.

Wait for George to come back,

and then you can work in the

living room.

It's comfortable.

>> We all went out last night to

that new Indian in town for

Mary's birthday -- your mother,

too.

>> Sorry I missed your birthday.

>> It was a birthday.

>> There's a new Indian in the

village?

>> Yeah.

>> Not cheap.

>> It's Rhinebeck.

What did you expect?

So, why'd you go to the Indian?

>> It -- It's new.

We hadn't been.

>> Mary wanted to go somewhere

she hadn't been with Thomas.

Just opened in January.

Do you want another pillow,

Patricia?

Let me get you another pillow.

>> I used to make this meal on

Sunday nights, Mary.

>> So did I.

With Thomas.

>> So, what is all this stuff,

Mary?

>> Joyce, dear.

>> It's not stuff.

>> We have been going through

Thomas' old notebooks, seeing

what, if anything, we can sell.

>> Did you get to shake

Bill Clinton's hand?

>> He was there for like five

minutes.

I never even got near him.

>> You've had a very busy week.

>> Yeah, filling in.

Mary, why won't she drink water?

>> I don't know.

I'm not her doctor.

>> Do you want coffee, Patricia?

>> Do you want some, Mom?

They say she's all better now.

>> In one week, from pneumonia.

Mary?

>> [ Chuckling ] I'm not her

doctor.

>> I have a friend, a reporter.

He was at a reception with the

Clintons in D.C., I think.

And he took his wife.

And she told me that, when he

talked to her -- Bill --

you know, it's famous how you're

the only person in the room when

he talks to you.

She found that really creepy.

>> We're not blaming her for

that.

>> What do you need, Patricia?

>> She doesn't need to be waited

on.

>> Joyce is right -- I don't

need anything.

Thank you, Hannah.

>> If I met him, I don't know

what I'd say to him.

>> Met who, Karin?

>> Bill Clinton.

>> Ah. Oh.

>> But he's done a lot of good,

too.

Hasn't he?

Yeah, I-I remember him doing

good.

>> He always sounds so damn

convincing, and I always end up

so damn convinced.

>> What can I do?

Let me do something.

>> Uh, Hannah.

>> Chop up some parsley?

>> Sure. I'll do that.

I can do that.

>> But, Joyce, why do you have

to go back tonight?

>> You have to go back tonight?

>> You know that, Mom.

I told you.

Tomorrow's the millionaires for

brunch.

Last night, it was the

billionaires and their friends.

>> Mm.

>> And we think my boss wants to

be ambassador to something,

somewhere where people dress

really, really well and change

their clothes a lot.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> Gillibrand's coming

tomorrow -- that's the rumor.

>> I bet she's a lot of fun.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> That needs to be washed.

>> Yeah.

>> I need about a cup.

I think he's done.

Patricia, did George tell you?

We already got a nibble on the

piano.

>> Did we?

>> Yeah, someone from Bard,

a singer, so we had it tuned.

[ Chuckles ]

>> You had to.

My boss loaned all his

assistants these amazing

dresses.

>> Oh, what do you mean?

What dresses?

>> Just wanted you to look rich,

to fit in.

>> What was yours like, Joyce?

Was it very nice?

I'd like to see you in a nice

dress.

>> I wear dresses, Mom.

It was a big pattern of flowers,

sort of '50s, summery.

>> Probably something like you

used to wear, Patricia.

>> I'll bet you looked great in

it, too.

>> I think I did.

>> I'm sure you did, Pat.

>> It was a perfect neck for

me -- squared, thick straps --

perfect weight.

It moved, you know, when you

walked.

I felt great.

>> Do you want something to do,

Patricia?

>> Was there any dancing?

>> [ Chuckling ] No.

>> Joyce doesn't dance, Karin.

>> I dance, Mom.

I dance.

Why do you say that?

>> I thought you hated dancing.

>> I hated ballet class, Mom,

when I was like 8 years old.

>> That's what I remember.

>> Jesus. I dance.

>> I didn't know.

>> My boss had sandals for us,

too, waiting in our closets.

I looked mine up online.

Guess how much, Mom.

>> I have no idea, Joyce.

>> Over $1,000.

>> No, right.

>> Yeah, for a couple of thin

pieces of leather sewn together.

>> For shoes.

>> They weren't even

comfortable.

>> Who are these people?

>> Oh, my gosh.

>> There you are. Here he is.

Finished?

>> Danny will ask his mother for

a check.

He's been working so hard.

>> Good for Danny.

>> Joyce has been telling us

about her fundraiser -- her

boss' fundraiser for Hillary in

Hudson.

>> For very, very rich people.

>> Oh, I'm sorry I couldn't make

it.

I hope they understood.

Anyone else want water?

>> No, thanks.

>> No, thanks.

>> Joyce has to go back after

dinner.

She can't stay the night.

>> Yeah, I figured.

>> You sure you can't stay

tonight?

>> No, Mom.

>> She has another fundraiser

tomorrow, and Gillibrand might

be there.

>> What does she need money for?

>> Oh, for Teachout.

>> Mary.

>> No, God, please.

>> Yeah, thank you, Karin.

We shouldn't be too long.

>> Maybe I'll find a treasure.

>> Thank you.

>> Thank you, Karin.

>> Thank you, Karin.

>> She lives here now.

>> I know.

>> Dinner's not for an hour.

>> You look really good, Mom.

>> Doesn't she?

>> What did you think of your

mother's new room?

>> I really liked it, Mom.

It didn't seem as crowded as I

thought it would feel with a

roommate.

It's cozy.

>> Was the roommate there?

>> And you didn't even know her

before, did you, Mom?

Well, I hadn't known that.

So...

Mom...what do you pay now?

How much a month?

Um, I think I need to start

there.

>> Uh, it's $4,500 a month now,

Mom.

>> It would have been more for a

single.

>> It was, and, now, that was a

big help -- her moving herself

into the double room cut off

about $1,000 plus a month.

>> And you did that yourself.

>> Yeah.

>> You lied and told us you

wanted company.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> So, what exactly do you owe

them, Mom?

>> This young guy stopped Mary

the other day when she was

visiting your mother and said,

"Mrs. Gabriel, your

mother-in-law has no more than a

month left," and Mary thought --

>> Well, of course I thought.

>> He was from the business

office.

>> You'd think he'd find a

different way of putting it.

[ Laughter ]

>> He said the exact same thing

to me just now.

Soon as I got into Mom's room,

he came in, and he knew who I

was.

>> Yeah, you sign-- you signed

in, and they call back to the

office when any of us signs in

now.

>> So, Mom, you owe two months,

and now this month -- that's

about $13,000 and change to get

you through the rest of

September.

>> The next two weeks?

>> Yeah.

>> Do they kick people out of

there?

It's a home.

Do they really do that?

>> It's a business, Joyce.

>> Mom, the guy from the office

showed me some of your bills.

Have you seen them?

>> I think we have.

>> Guest meals -- what is that,

Mom?

>> It's mostly us.

You like to have us come to

dinner now and then, don't you?

And, uh, we can stop that.

That's our fault.

>> And breakfast in the room --

he said that's not part of

independent living.

>> You pay extra for that.

>> Your mother got a terrible

cold, Joyce.

Do you remember?

>> Yeah, we called you.

>> Yeah, she didn't want to get

dressed.

Uh, it was not some luxurious

indulgence.

Your mother's not like that.

You're not like that.

>> Mnh-mnh.

>> You know that.

>> Your mother knows what she's

done, and she's facing it.

>> [ Sniffles ]

>> Aren't you?

>> I think so.

I'm trying.

What do you want to say, Joyce?

>> Remember telling me, Mom,

"We women -- we have to be so

damn tough"?

Ever since George called, I've

been hearing you say that to me.

Oh, I remember you sitting me

down at this very table and

telling me to, "Be careful,

Joyce," and, "Watch out for

yourself."

But you never talked like that

to Thomas or George.

>> No, I didn't.

>> "Joyce, we women must be

responsible for ourselves, and

we mustn't let others go around,

cleaning up our messes."

That used to get me so angry.

>> I know.

I'm sorry, Joyce.

>> What are you gonna do, Mom?

>> We told your mother we're

ready to dip into Paulie's

college fund.

>> What?

>> Or some of it.

>> Are you crazy?

>> Some of it, to get through

this.

>> No, you can't do that.

You'd let them do that?

>> She -- She --

>> No, not that. Not that.

>> Well, some of the money was

even from your mother.

She gave it to Paulie for his

college.

>> She said she could afford it.

>> You're not doing that.

>> It's the only savings we

have, Joyce.

>> Mom, Dad's Social Security.

>> She only gets half.

She never really worked.

>> You worked.

>> Hannah checked, and her home

doesn't take Medicaid.

I mean, there are other places,

but even that...

>> Yeah, you should see them,

Joyce.

>> Hannah asked a friend who

knows about this stuff.

>> Well, she'd have to own

nothing, so you plan for it.

There are ways of planning for

it, but too late now, so...

You know, we're trying to sell

what we can.

>> Our first thought was to

mortgage this house.

>> Your house?

You'd agree to that?

>> I would.

>> But we can't, Joyce.

It's already mortgaged.

>> What are you talking about?

>> I don't know.

>> Well, Patricia, you mortgaged

it.

>> Dad paid off this house more

than 20 years ago.

>> But your mother mortgaged it

again.

>> She just hadn't told us.

>> When?

>> I don't know.

>> We don't know yet.

We don't know.

>> It's a different kind.

It pays you in installments,

right?

Isn't that how it works?

>> We thought that money, her

checks, was from investments.

>> But they've let her --

maybe urged her or suckered her

to borrow even more.

So now there's interest, too, to

pay back on that -- whatever

that is, we don't know yet.

>> We don't really know how much

of this house Mom owns anymore.

>> They make it so damn

complicated.

>> I-I learned about this

yesterday.

>> Oh, my God.

Mom, what were you thinking?

>> Joyce.

>> Your mother and George have a

meeting -- right? -- with these

mortgage people, the ones who do

these kinds of mortgages,

next Wednesday in Poughkeepsie.

>> And we'll find out then how

much we'll need to buy it back,

a payback of the -- what she's

been given -- borrowed --

the interest on that.

>> Fees -- the agent on the

phone told George, "Expect

fees."

>> What does that mean?

>> We don't know.

>> We need to talk to a lawyer.

>> Hannah and Mom have.

She signed the contract.

>> He went to high school with

George.

>> He did.

He didn't charge us anything.

>> Oh, Mom, how could this

happen?

>> George...I'm tired.

>> Hey, let me help you.

>> She doesn't need help,

Hannah.

>> Want to have a lie-down?

Gonna watch some TV on the

couch?

>> Joyce is right.

I don't need help.

>> Okay.

It's good to have Joyce here,

isn't it, Mom?

>> It is.

It always is.

[ Footsteps ]

>> George, if she's gonna watch

TV, she needs to remember to use

both channel changers.

>> Hannah, this is hard on her.

>> You know, Karin can help her.

Uh, Joyce, what if Hannah and I

rent out our house?

>> What do you mean?

>> Well, there's still a

mortgage, but it's not that big.

We could even take out another.

>> No, I told you I wouldn't be

comfortable with that.

>> Yeah, we'd start to pay off

Mom's debts with the rent money

from our house and any money

from the things we're trying to

sell -- her car.

>> It's worth almost nothing.

>> Well, we save by stopping the

insurance.

The piano, some -- there's

furniture.

Mom's got some jewelry.

>> Anything Karin and I find

that's worth anything.

>> So, Mom could come live here,

where she's comfortable.

>> She can do steps.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> She's still pretty healthy.

>> Right, and then, Hannah and I

would then live here with Mom

and look after her.

>> And Mary?

>> Well, I'll be moving to

Pittsburgh.

[ Chuckling ] No, not right

away, of course, just, uh, when

things start to feel too

crowded.

And Karin's just month-to-month.

She knows all about this.

>> So, I --

[ Clears throat ]

She doesn't even own her own

house anymore?

How did this happen?

>> At least part of it.

She...

[ Sighs ] We don't know yet,

but she doesn't know.

We'll know more on Wednesday.

>> Fuck!

>> Don't just say that.

Don't just say, "Fuck!"

We'll make it work.

But we hear you.

Hannah -- The last thing we

touch is Paulie's college, okay?

>> [ Chuckling ] Fuck.

How did this happen?

I remember when Paulie was

something like 10 hours old, and

you were holding up this little

booklet, saying, "Look, I'm

opening up Paulie's college

fund."

You were so damn proud.

>> With -- With like $5.

Oh, my God.

That was a great investment --

put the money in the bank, let

the interest just grow and grow.

What the hell ever happened to

interest from a bank?

[ Laughter ]

>> You all know I don't have any

money.

>> Oh, now, that's a surprise.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> "You have to be more

responsible, Joyce."

>> [ Chuckling ] Right.

>> "Grow up, Joyce."

>> Fuck you.

>> Yeah.

Everyone knows that, Joyce.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Everyone.

>> And the two girls I went

around Europe with -- I didn't

tell you this, 'cause I was

embarrassed, and please don't

tell Mom -- they have goddamn

trust funds.

So now I'm in debt to both of

them.

I thought we were gonna be

traveling on the cheap.

>> What do you need, Patricia?

>> She doesn't need to be waited

on.

She's not that old.

>> Pat would like her sherry.

>> Oh, a little sherry.

>> Do we still -- Do we still

have sherry?

>> Think it's that time.

>> Well, maybe just a little.

I haven't been buying it.

>> There it is.

>> And you can come back in now,

Karin.

I-I think we're finished.

Are we finished?

>> Find any treasures, anything

we can sell?

>> Not yet.

[ Footsteps ]

>> Are we finished?

For now?

>> Well, why didn't you tell me

about the house?

>> Joyce, he just found out

about that yesterday.

>> We'll know more on Wednesday.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Joyce, have, uh, have you

been following Paulie on

Facebook?

>> Of course.

>> So have we, every day.

[ Laughter ]

>> Does he know that?

>> No.

>> I cannot believe my nephew's

already in college.

>> You saw him graduate.

>> I know.

[ Laughs ]

>> Here's something that'll make

you laugh, Joyce.

T-Tell your sister about you and

Hannah taking Paulie to

Purchase.

>> Oh, I've heard this.

>> You have?

>> It's very funny.

>> She has?

>> You used to call Mom "Pat"?

>> No.

>> Oh.

>> No, I never did.

>> Tell -- Tell Joyce.

She could use a laugh.

>> Um.

>> You know, it was almost

California.

>> Yeah, I know.

You told me like 10 times.

>> Like, a state school.

Thank you, God.

Thank you.

>> What happened?

>> Well, they bring Paulie to

his dorm, and...

[ Chuckling ] Well, tell Joyce.

>> He didn't even want us to

help.

He wanted to say, "Bye, Mom and

Dad," in the parking lot.

But, fortunately, we had this

little refrigerator, so he

needed Dad to help carry it.

>> Three flights.

>> Oh, God.

>> So, we meet his roommate and

his roommate's parents.

They're sitting on the bed.

They weren't rushed away by

their son.

>> Well, I think they were just

oblivious.

That seemed that sort of...

>> Yeah, they were from some

fancy place in Connecticut.

>> You know? Ohh.

>> Oh, they'd heard of

Rhinebeck.

>> We were the thoughtful

parents.

>> "Oh, friends have weekend

places in Rhinebeck."

>> Yeah, I'm sure you were.

>> "The New Hamptons," they

called Rhinebeck, didn't they?

I didn't just dream that.

>> No, I've heard that.

>> I've heard that, too.

God.

>> I wasn't as bothered as you,

but...

>> I wasn't bothered -- just

what people think of us --

you know, Rhinebeck.

>> I hear the same thing.

It makes me cringe.

>> Mom, do you want to sit?

>> Do you want to sit in your

chair?

>> Are you sure you don't want

to sit right --

>> Patricia was telling Joyce

about taking Paulie to his

college.

>> Oh, that's a good story,

Joyce.

>> She already spilled that,

Patricia.

>> Uh, we quickly said our

goodbyes.

We were the good parents, who

could take a hint.

[ Chuckles ] And we -- we --

we leave his dorm, but before we

head home, Hannah wants to take

a little stroll...

>> No, not just me.

>> ...around the campus, to feel

what it's like, what it's going

to be like for "our little

Paulie."

>> Oh, come on.

That is not fair. You, too.

>> You all right?

>> And we -- And we find a bench

on a little path.

And Hannah and I -- we're

sitting out together, and --

and we just start to cry.

I mean, t-tears gushing out,

just gushing.

>> Oh!

>> Both of us on this bench.

"How we miss our boy!"

[ Laughter ]

I don't know -- all the crazy

things we were saying and saying

them out loud...

>> Yeah.

>> ...when, around the corner

comes a whole gang of college

kids.

And who should be right in the

middle of the gang?

>> No!

What were you two thinking?

It was his first fucking day on

his own.

>> You would understand better

if you had children, Joyce.

>> Mom!

>> I think Joyce...

>> No, Mom.

>> No, Joyce, I-I think what

your mother's trying to say is

that that's how she felt when

you went to college.

>> Uh-huh.

>> No, she told us that just the

other day, that, after you'd

gone, she slept in your bed for

about a week.

>> Did you know?

>> So, what did Paulie do?

>> Walked right past us,

pretended he didn't know who the

hell we were.

>> Joyce, he writes to his

publisher, saying he'll be done

with his new book within a

month.

The book is "Moby-Dick."

>> But he wasn't calling it that

then.

>> No, I think he was, Hannah.

It was "Moby-Dick."

>> It was an entirely different

book.

>> Now, Melville wants to take a

quick vacation up in the

Berkshires.

He's got relatives with a farm

near Pittsfield.

It's still there.

>> Is it?

>> Yeah, part of a golf course,

the clubhouse.

>> When, one day, while a few of

his literary friends from

New York are up visiting --

some writer, an editor --

Melville and his pals get

invited to a picnic.

And it's the route of this

picnic that we're gonna be

following tomorrow.

>> If it doesn't rain.

>> Even if it rains --

It rained then.

>> I don't want to go if it's

raining.

>> It's not gonna rain.

>> We're following the route of

the most famous literary picnic

in the history of American

literature.

>> [ Chuckling ] Well, I don't

know anything about this.

>> Well, he told us.

>> Why are you making that face?

>> The picnic where

Herman Melville first met

Nathaniel Hawthorne.

>> Why don't I know this?

>> Does anyone want...

>> No, thanks.

>> After this day, this picnic,

Joyce, Herman Melville will

throw away his nearly finished

book and start all over again,

and he will spend the next so

many months consumed with

rewriting, rethinking what we

now know as "Moby-Dick."

>> Mm.

>> Something happened that day.

What happened?

>> What about Joyce's wine?

Can we open that?

>> Yeah, I stole it.

Open it.

Mom got to have her sherry.

>> George?

>> So, this guy knows what

actually happened, then?

>> No, no.

>> I thought that's where this

was headed.

>> Of course not, no.

>> Stop making that face.

>> Now, ignore her.

Who knows what happened, Joyce?

No one does.

But something did happen, and,

tomorrow, we're gonna celebrate

that.

>> What's "that"?

What are you celebrating?

>> Before this picnic, Herman is

just a self-taught writer of

exotic sea tales.

After, well, he'll be different.

Something will have set him

free, and American literature

will be changed forever.

>> I've never read "Moby-Dick."

>> Neither have I.

>> I have.

>> Like, all of the characters

are men.

>> Well, it takes place at sea.

Of course there are men.

These all right?

>> Mm.

>> All right, we have no

description of the moment these

two actually met.

>> They should be clean.

>> Yeah, they're fine.

>> Find something, Mom?

>> This is all about Rhinebeck.

>> Mm.

>> Mom, Mom, should I keep

the -- I -- Joyce -- Joyce was

just asking me about the picnic.

Uh, so, Melville very much wants

to meet, uh, Hawthorne, who is

living now near Lenox.

>> Tanglewood.

>> Right. It's -- The house is

still there, on the grounds.

>> It's been rebuilt two or

three times.

>> We used to go to Tanglewood.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Why don't we go anymore?

>> Uh, Mom. Mom!

What are -- What are you doing?

>> I heard all about your picnic

last night, George.

Mary, may I borrow these?

>> Yes, of course.

>> Uh, they're all Thomas'?

>> Yes, they are all his.

>> Where are you going, Mom?

>> You okay?

>> To lie down, Hannah.

She's tired.

>> Go lie down on the couch?

>> Restless, like a ghost

haunting us.

>> Joyce.

>> I can say that.

She's my mother.

>> No, you can't.

>> It's a joke.

>> Joyce, last night, at the

restaurant, Patricia said to me

how very sorry she was, how she

fucked up.

>> Mom actually said

"fucked up" -- those words?

>> It's what she meant.

>> And how scared she was about

seeing you today, Joyce.

>> Scared of me?

>> Didn't you know that?

>> So, George, you were telling

me about this picnic.

So, what happens?

>> They don't know.

>> Well, I don't know anything

about this.

>> Melville and his family

living full-time now near

Lenox...

>> Uh-huh.

>> ...where he is trying to

avoid a woman in town named

Sedgwick -- also a writer,

best seller after best seller.

His sales pale in comparison.

He can't stand her.

>> He likes the gossip.

>> No, it's not gossip.

It's -- It's history.

So, Sedgwick's brother, um,

Hawthorne's Boston publisher,

Fields, and the

Dr. Oliver Holmes --

they're the other picnickers.

>> Mm.

>> And two women.

That's why I have to go.

>> The wife of the publisher.

>> Yeah, that's me.

She wore a blue silk dress.

I don't own a blue silk dress.

>> What are you gonna wear?

>> It's cotton.

It's blue.

>> Well, it sounds kind of fun.

>> Fuck you.

>> Any kind of hat?

>> I don't wear hats.

>> So, they drive together in --

in one carriage a few miles

south to the base of

Monument Mountain.

>> It's still there.

>> They unpack hampers of

food...

>> They're bringing antique

straw hampers -- I'm bringing

Tupperware.

>> ...and champagne.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And then, they begin their

climb.

Listen, it's not that difficult

to walk.

The women are fine.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> They -- They follow a ridge,

right?

Nath-- Nathaniel, we know, was a

very...reserved man.

>> Mm.

>> So, he walks a little ahead

of the group, as the others, in

party mood, make up rhymes, and

puns fly in every direction.

>> Doesn't that sound like so

much fun?

>> Yes.

>> It gets the party going.

And, "So, tell me about life in

Concord," Herman asked his idol.

"Well," Hawthorne says, "with

Thoreau, you -- you just feel

embarrassed talking about

money."

Emerson, on the other hand --

he sued to get his share of his

first wife's inheritance.

He got bank and railroad stock

now.

And -- And Longfellow --

he's making 100 bucks a week

from "Evangeline."

>> So, they just talked money?

>> Well, according to George's

new best friend.

The guy worked on Wall Street.

>> And, somehow, Melville's arm

gets around the older man's

shoulders, and this surprises

everyone -- Nathaniel Hawthorne

did not like to be touched.

But the -- the picnickers

reached the summit, and our two

men sit apart and talk.

>> We don't know what about.

>> No. We know -- We know, from

letters, that Hawthorne tells

Melville that he has stopped

reading newspapers.

>> Was it an election year?

>> [ Laughs ]

>> They -- He -- They talk about

life insurance...

>> Mm-hmm.

>> ...and how America -- how --

how America, uh...

>> Tamed.

>> ...tamed its artists.

>> Oh.

>> Then, Melville suddenly

stands and runs out onto a

jutting rock and pretends to be

on the bowsprit of a ship,

hauling in imaginary ropes,

and shouting orders to --

into the wind, and every -- just

to make his new friend laugh.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> He's drunk.

>> And Nathaniel -- no one can

believe it when Nathaniel

follows his friend onto the

jutting rock and shouts to the

whole world that he's "found

the great carbuncle!"

>> What -- What is that?

>> Who knows?

>> And a thunderstorm sweeps

across the mountaintop.

>> Uh-huh.

>> The group finds, uh,

sanctuary under some protruding

cliff, but our two friends stand

together, soaked.

Lightning flashes, rolls of

thunder, rain whips, as the two

men shout into the dark sky.

>> What do they shout?

>> We don't know.

So, that's what we're doing

tomorrow -- George and me and

George's new rich friend and the

rich friend's rich friends.

Taste this.

Tell me what you think.

Doesn't that sound like a great

time?

>> You know, it could be fun.

>> I think it needs more

mustard.

>> So, you really don't know

what happened?

>> No. No one does.

>> We know...

>> Mm-hmm. That's good.

>> ...that, from that day on,

American literature --

>> I think she's heard enough.

>> How'd you meet this guy?

>> George met him in the

Millerton Diner.

>> He and his wife were sitting

in the next booth.

>> They have a weekend place up

here.

>> That diner -- it's --

it's near Hotchkiss.

I-I go there for lunch

sometimes.

>> That diner's authentic

country, if you're from the

city.

>> Well, it gets crowded.

>> We got to talking, Joyce, and

I said, "I spend my whole life

up here."

And he said how rare that was

these days to find someone

like -- Well, that...

>> Yeah.

>> ...was good to hear.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And then, we got started

talking about the area and its

history, and he said he really

wanted one day to walk in the

steps of the most famous

literary picnic, which, of

course, as you know, happened

only a few miles from here.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> I didn't know.

[ Laughter ]

Did you know?

>> No. [ Laughs ]

So, then, your new friend

invited you on his picnic?

>> Yeah. He's retired.

He's like 40 years old.

>> He's done all this research.

>> No, he has an assistant who

seems to have done most of it.

>> Mind if I do something?

I've just been sitting here.

>> No, you're finding treasure.

That's important.

>> The food they ate that day,

the poems they read.

>> They will eat whatever

tomorrow.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Karin, if you want, you can

help me cut up some vegetables.

Just let me wash some of this

first.

>> Your mother has a hummus mix.

God knows how old it is.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> What the hell?

Who cares how old it is, as long

as it's easy?

He promised them hummus.

>> Did they eat hummus --

Hawthorne and Melville?

>> Did they, George?

>> We're gonna read the poems

tomorrow.

He's -- He has the original

books.

>> Wow.

>> Well, he's got a -- a book

dealer who finds him these

things.

>> Here. There are directions.

You can make it right in the

Tupperware.

I'll get you the Tupperware.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> Oh, uh, last night, he told

me something -- he just learned

of -- listen to this --

when Herman goes to visit

Nathaniel a -- a few weeks

later, in Tanglewood...

>> It must have been off-season,

'cause the traffic gets really

bad.

>> ...Herman regales him with...

>> Regales.

>> ...r-regales him and

Mrs. Hawthorne with stories of

South Sea adventures.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And Mrs. Hawthorne wrote a

letter about this and describes

the sex customs of the natives,

maybe his own experience of sex

with the natives.

And then, exactly nine months

later, Mrs. Hawthorne gives

birth -- nine months later!

>> Tell how you want me to...

>> Uh, it's a marinade.

Just cut 'em up.

>> You're saying that Melville

was the father of Hawthorne's

children?

>> No!

>> That's what I thought he was

saying, too.

>> No, it's the excitement of

his story.

>> That would be interesting,

if, uh...

>> He had sex with Hawthorne's

wife.

>> No, Melville did not have sex

with Mrs. Hawthorne.

>> Oh, good.

>> How --

>> We just know that.

>> How do -- How do we know?

>> We do. Forget it.

And please don't say things like

that tomorrow.

>> Tell your sister about his

weekend house.

>> What about?

>> I know, Hannah.

>> So, George's new best friend

bought this old house in

Stockbridge.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Very historic.

And, um, he's having people work

on it.

We're hoping George will be one

of the people working on it.

>> Okay, so you're networking.

Good for you.

>> Uh, that's not the only

reason.

>> That's why we're going.

George.

So, they buy this old house last

winter.

They've hardly lived in it.

They have some other houses,

too.

And the first thing he does is

hire scene painters --

like, theater people --

to paint each room in a sort of

scene, like a forest and a

castle.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> You told me.

It's funny.

>> You haven't been.

>> So, they work for months, and

then he and his wife arrive in

July from their house in Italy.

>> Uh-huh.

>> And they love it.

They love everything about it --

about it.

They -- They sit there in their

forest.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> They have drinks in the

castle.

He puts on monks-chanting music,

you know?

They love the feel of history.

>> Hannah. Hannah.

>> And then -- Oh, then, two

days later, the wife says,

"These rooms make me dizzy, like

I'm going to throw up."

>> And the painter's still

there?

>> Oh, yeah, my friend was still

there.

>> Yeah.

>> He was living above someone's

garage.

That's where he got put.

>> Yeah, so they then

paint over everything --

the same painters --

over all their work.

>> Oh.

>> Ohh.

>> You know, this time,

light blue, eggshell white.

And now they want bookcases,

floor to ceiling, built-in

cabinets -- you know, all

looking old -- really old,

that literary cabin look,

whatever the hell that means.

But it'll be a big job, you

know, probably take all winter

for a good, high-end carpenter,

so that's why we're going on

this picnic.

Tell her, George.

That's his plan.

Like, that -- he thinks he'll

get enough work for the year.

>> Pay for Mom what she owes.

Maybe she could even stay in

her -- her inn a couple more

months and start to pay off the

mortgage.

>> You're a good carpenter.

>> A job like this.

>> Of course, we can't be sure

what they're gonna pay.

>> Well, they don't just come

along every day.

>> Rich people often don't pay

well.

>> A job like this...

>> We know that from experience.

>> ...would be steady work for

at least the entire winter,

probably longer --

everything custom.

>> If it works out.

>> Tell her what you're really

worried about, Hannah.

>> What?

>> T-That his new friend is

really only interested in George

because George is a big guy...

>> No, I told you --

>> ...and he can help carry a

lot of the stuff for them up the

mountain.

>> I don't think that's true.

I don't think that's fair.

>> He's a strong guy, a local,

so, you know, like, on a

safari, carrying the baskets on

his head.

>> George is their porter?

>> All the other picnickers are

coming from New York City --

Manhattan.

Does he know you have a

pacemaker, George?

>> Does he? Does he, George?

>> No.

>> We're just their guests.

>> Are we?

>> I mean, George tells his new

rich friend that his wife does

catering.

Hannah, too, suddenly gets

invited on this picnic.

>> Yeah, and I get an e-mail

with a list of all the stuff

they want me to cook.

>> Well, are they paying you to

cater it?

>> No. No, of course not, Joyce.

>> What can I do?

>> Oh, uh...

>> I can help.

>> I think we have everything

under control, George.

>> I'm not helpless in the

kitchen.

>> Help your wife with your

picnic.

>> No, I don't want to get in

her way.

>> That's always a good excuse.

>> No, ignore your sister.

Here. Help with this.

>> Okay?

>> Okay, "Old Kinderhook,"

Rhinebeck.

>> Her guacamole.

>> You really gonna trust him

with that?

>> He cooks.

>> Follow that, George.

Ask if you have questions.

>> He cooks, Joyce.

>> It's not like...

>> So, what were you saying

about opera singers, about your

opera in London?

>> Oh, the singers' corsets,

Karin.

I really thought we were gonna

get big resistance to them.

>> Well, because of the...

>> But they took to the corsets,

like, no problem.

>> Well, did they think it

helped their singing?

>> The -- The diaphragm.

>> Yeah, yeah.

I thought maybe that, but, um,

the costume shop head --

she's been at the ENO, like,

forever.

And I'd happened to mention that

I was worried about the corsets.

After all, they must be terribly

uncomfortable.

>> Mm.

>> So, she said, "Joyce, how

comfortable are your high heels

or the hours spent putting on

your makeup?"

It's sexy. It's fun.

It makes you feel different,

like you're ready for something.

>> Yeah, it can make you feel

like that.

She's right, can't it?

>> You keep your vegetables,

Mary, in the...

>> In the mudroom.

>> You want help, ask.

>> He can find what he needs.

>> I mean, it can sometimes make

me feel that way.

>> Mary?

>> [ Chuckling ] What?

I'm sure.

>> She said, "I'll tell you

something that'll surprise you."

Do you know that tight lacing of

corsets -- that's where you

really pull the --

>> Well, I guessed that.

I know that.

>> Do you want to show him what

you want him to use?

>> No, he's fine.

>> She said women who did that

were seen by men as fast girls,

as women wanting to be educated,

asserting themselves --

you know, "meddlers" is what

they were called.

>> Who do they think they are?

>> They were just women wanting

to show off their power.

>> Oh.

Heels do that -- I know that.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> Am I the only one?

>> No.

>> No.

>> So, a lot of the people --

the men who were against

corsets -- they tried to say

that their movement was about

freeing women from these

terrible bonds.

That was bullshit, she said.

They were just a bunch of

conservative men afraid of

women.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> They encouraged women to wear

nice, loose dresses that

wouldn't call attention to

what's underneath.

>> The simple, loose dress.

>> Do you hear that, Hannah?

>> What?

>> She's always looking for that

simple, loose dress that she

can wear to a fancy party and

can also garden in.

>> Oh.

>> And I keep telling her,

"There is no such dress."

>> No. [ Chuckles ]

Here.

>> No, no. I-I like this one.

>> And these men spread rumors

about women and their corsets --

like, how, in order to wear them

so tight, they'd had their ribs

removed.

>> Yeah.

>> There are newspaper articles

that say that.

See, these men tried to turn

women into freaks.

Is this with crudités?

>> I got chips.

>> This is interesting.

Have you heard all this?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Joyce has told us about her

trip...

>> Both: Moment by moment.

>> Okay. I'm boring you.

>> This one woman --

you told us this --

one woman got into

The Guinness Book of Records.

>> She had a 13-inch waist.

>> Oh!

>> That's like this.

This was in the '50s.

>> But that's anorexia.

That's not power.

>> I had patients with anorexia.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> My daughter went through

that.

>> You never talk about your

daughter.

I didn't know that.

>> Well -- Well, thank God she

got over that.

It -- It was awful.

Uh, my ex didn't have any idea

how to deal with her, and, uh,

I think it was maybe one of the

only times that he ever actually

called me for advice.

But, um, years later, someone

very wise had told me that the

anorexic -- she --

>> Is it only girls?

>> W-- No, no, no.

It can be boys.

It's way more girls.

But the anorexic --

she's just -- she's trying to

move some psychological stress

into a physical stress, because

that she thinks she can bear,

b-because it's physical.

>> Mm. [ Chuckles ]

It was -- This woman in the

costume shop gave me this

complicated explanation about

how clothes and sexual desire

are inseparable.

>> I think she was trying to

pick you up.

>> Oh! I agree, Joyce.

>> Maybe.

>> Ooh!

>> She was trying to pick you

up.

>> Sexual desire with a man --

she said there's obviously a

pursuit toward a single-minded

goal of, uh, happy release and

then collapse, and then, from

zero again.

>> Boy, is that true.

>> That sounds about right.

>> But with a woman -- and I can

just see her telling me this,

smoking her third cigarette in a

row.

>> You could smoke in the

theater?

>> We were in an alley alongside

the ENO.

But with a woman, it's all

entwined with what she is

thinking.

It's blended together, so,

potentially, there's always this

desire that is on tap.

>> On tap?

>> [ Chuckles ]

And that desire is what we

clothe.

>> You're doing great.

>> I know.

>> Our little "cookerer,"

helping out the women.

>> Ignore your sister.

>> [ Laughs ]

>> What?

>> She said women instinctively

know this.

>> That the desire is always on

tap.

>> I mean, we see the world

through this lens.

And that is why women make such

damn good costume designers.

>> There you go.

>> She was flattering you.

Did she know you were only the

associate designer?

>> She knew.

>> I-I see what she's saying --

the best costume designers are

women.

I think that has been my

experience.

>> Every piece of clothing can

mean something.

As designers, we try to control

or determine that meaning,

what's trying to be said, or --

or, better, what we're trying to

hide.

>> What the character's trying

to hide -- is that what you

mean?

>> I think so.

>> But I don't think I

understand.

>> Okay, Mary.

Say, um -- Say you're cast in a

play, and I'm costuming you.

>> I'd like to see that.

>> Be quiet.

>> Ohh!

>> I study the character you're

to play, and first, I-I ask,

"What is she hiding?"

'Cause that's a really good

place to begin.

But, then, I look to you, Mary,

the person, and I say the same

thing -- "What are you hiding?"

>> Y-You mean, what -- what

don't I like about myself?

>> That's part of it, of course.

>> You're a fucking costume

associate, not a psychiatrist.

>> Is there really much

difference?

>> Sometimes, there really

isn't.

>> Follow me around for a day,

Hannah.

No, go with my boss to a

fitting.

When she gets going, i-it's

transfixing.

>> The really good ones are like

that, Hannah.

>> The actor is trying to get

her to notice what the actor

wants her to notice and, also,

not notice what the actor is

trying to hide about herself,

what's underneath.

>> Yeah.

>> You know, my boss said the

other day, it's like, you know,

pulling up a mat or a rug that's

been outside for a really long

time, and, suddenly, there's all

this life underneath.

It's so much that we never see.

Instead, we seem to go through

life painting everything in

these broad, obvious brush

strokes.

Everyone is either this or that.

Just a lawyer -- she wears a

suit.

>> Yeah.

>> Right?

The -- The -- The jock --

she's in shorts.

But people are so much more than

that, she said, and so, of

course, much more interesting.

You know she can drive me crazy

sometimes.

>> Why don't you show Joyce what

I was reading to you this

morning?

>> Hm?

>> People are more than they

want us to see.

>> What?

>> Edith.

>> You should get it. Get it.

>> Are you sure?

>> What?

>> Yes.

>> What are you talking about?

>> Well, uh...

>> It's really hidden.

>> I've been working on a

one-woman show, Joyce.

>> Yeah, go. Just get it.

>> I-I left it in the living

room.

>> I think I saw it next to the

TV.

Oh, and check on Patricia.

>> Oh.

>> Edith?

>> You'll see.

It's a surprise.

I agree -- people are more than

what they want us to see.

>> Oh, I saw a show about fans

in Paris -- how there were codes

and hidden meanings -- an entire

language of fans in the

18th century.

>> A language?

>> Yeah, there were fans that

had, on one side, say, an

idyllic rural scene, fauna, and

on the other side, a naked

couple copulating, completely

pornographic.

>> [ Chuckling ] God.

>> And...?

>> So, the woman fanning

herself, if she were interested,

she would simply flip the fan

for an instant, showing the man

the other side.

And then, he would know.

>> George, your mother can't get

the television to work.

>> Oh, okay.

>> You need to use both channel

changers -- first the big, then

the little.

>> I can help.

No, the order doesn't matter.

>> I don't want to watch TV.

>> It doesn't? I thought it did.

>> No.

>> Here.

Mary.

>> Hmm?

>> His handwriting gets harder

to read.

>> Yeah, that happened,

Patricia.

I know. I know.

I got used to it.

I-I can read some of that to

you.

>> What can I do?

>> Um...the casserole's already

in the oven.

I think we're pretty much under

control, Patricia.

Hannah, do you need more help

with the picnic?

>> No, I think I'm fine,

Patricia.

>> Well, come sit with me, Mom.

You can watch me make guacamole.

>> Is this all right for Pat?

>> Is that an interesting thing

to watch?

>> Here. Join us.

Let me clear some space.

>> Here, here, here, here.

>> Joyce has been telling us

more about her trip to Europe.

>> Oh, I'd like to hear more

about that, Joyce.

>> Oh, what's to tell?

And Karin was just about to read

us something.

>> You know, we don't have to do

that.

>> What are you gonna read us?

>> [ Chuckling ] Mary.

>> Something from some Edith.

>> This is all right.

>> You okay, Mom?

>> Who's Edith?

>> Edith Wharton.

>> Oh, Mom, you've read her.

>> I have.

>> She lived in Rhinebeck for a

while.

Did you know her, Mom?

>> Hannah.

>> Uh.

Karin's going to do a play.

She's an actress.

>> I know.

>> It's a little...risqué.

>> Yeah.

>> Ooh, I'm interested.

>> Mary.

Well...

[ Sighs ]

You see photos of Wharton --

fur collar, prim, big hat,

picture of a proper lady.

All emotions, you know, pretty

much kept at a proper distance.

So, that's the woman that I was

planning on portraying.

But, then, I was telling Mary

and Hannah...

>> We found it funny.

>> ...that I came across this...

>> Something she wrote.

>> ...in the back of a

biography, never before

published -- probably, they

think, left unfinished.

Um.

I'll just read a little.

>> [ Chuckling ] What?

>> Oh, where should I start?

"The room was warm and softly

lit.

'Now, my darling,' Mr. Palmato

said.

She let herself sink backward

among the pillows.

Her lips were parted by his

tongue, her nipples as hard as

coral, but sensitive as lips to

his approaching touch.

His hands softly separated her

legs and began to slip up the

old path it had so often

traveled in darkness.

But now it was light.

She was uncovered.

And looking downward, she could

see her own parted knees and

outstretched ankles and feet.

And his hand -- As his hand

stole higher, she felt the bud

swelling and burst into bloom.

His subtle forefinger pressing

it, forcing its petals apart..."

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> "...and laying on their

sensitive edges a circular

touch --"

>> Are you okay with this?

>> Are you?

>> "Letting herself downward

along the divan..."

I just jumped a little.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> "...until her head was in

line with his middle, she began

to caress it with her tongue."

>> Ohh.

>> "She wound her caresses

deeper and deeper into the

thick, firm folds, until,

in a thrice..."

And that's the only thing that

makes it seem old -- "thrice."

"...in a thrice, it was

withdrawn, her knees pressed

apart, and she felt it descend

on her..."

>> Okay. Okay.

>> "...and plunge into the

depths of her thirsting body."

And that is a very good place to

stop.

>> [ Chuckles ]

Hannah.

>> It was funnier this morning.

>> You okay, Mom?

[ Chuckles ]

What?

You think you missed something?

Why are you so interested?

I'm really surprised.

>> Why wouldn't I be, Joyce?

>> There's a photo of her.

It's in the middle of the book.

It was taken the year she wrote

that.

She's nearly 50, and she looks

completely different than in any

of the other photos.

All that stiff stuff around her

neck is gone.

She shows some cleavage.

I mean, what she must have been

hiding inside.

>> Mm-hmm. Oh, Edith.

>> Yeah, when I just left med

school and was doing my first

residency, uh -- I still thought

that I'd end up doing research.

>> What are you --

>> Well, t-this relates to that.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> You never talk about

yourself.

She never talks about herself.

>> I know.

>> That is not true.

I talk about myself all the time

to myself.

I was good at research, and I

like the order of -- of things,

how you start with "X," and you

just keep doing the experiment

over and over again, and it's

hard to get lost.

And I think I was scared of

that -- feeling lost.

>> I understand that.

>> I understand that, too.

>> There is an understanding.

>> This, uh, senior doctor is a

wise man.

And he said to me -- and no one

ever told me this in med school,

but he said, "Above all else,

Mary, besides paying close

attention to your patients,

listen to what is beyond or

behind what he says.

And then, try and enter into his

or her stories, or his or her

predicaments."

>> Mm-hmm.

>> And then, he said, "Try and

be them.

G-Get inside them."

And we were talking about how

you never know what's inside

people.

>> Oh.

>> And when I first met

Thomas -- this is now years

later -- one day, I tell him

about what this doctor had told

me and how what he had said had

changed my life, and it made me

understand the complexity of

being a doctor and -- and the

joy, this whole art of

observing.

And, oh, I told him about this

paper I'd even helped to write,

about how doctors can learn so

much about their patients by

just watching how they walk and

stand and sit, and Thomas said

to me, "Well, Mary, yeah, just

like theater."

[ Laughter ]

>> Well, that's what I was

saying about the...

>> Brother.

>> What about your license,

Mary?

>> I don't think she's done

anything about that.

>> Are you renewing your

doctor's license?

>> After five years, she thinks

they'll make her take all the

tests again.

>> You doing that?

>> Are you gonna do that, Mary?

>> Maybe, Ha-- Maybe, Hannah.

Maybe. I just -- I-I should

never...have let it expire.

It was so stupid of me.

I could be helping now.

>> You were taking care of

Thomas.

>> Yes, I know.

But now...

But, anyway, we were, um, we

were talking about, um,

watching people...

>> Mm-hmm.

>> ...and listening.

And Thomas and I once had the

great good fortune to meet a

very special man.

It was a doctor.

And I-I don't think I ever told

you about this, Hannah.

>> I don't know.

>> A neurologist.

And he -- he died last year,

God bless him.

And, uh, he had seen two of

Thomas' plays, and he, too --

he loved the theater, so he

agreed to see us.

And I thought that Thomas'

condition about being able to

walk to music was fairly unique,

but i-it's not.

Uh, there are plenty of other

examples with Parkinson's.

And -- But, anyway, so, we went

to his office.

It was in the West Village on

Horatio.

And we spent an hour or so

together.

And, God, how that man

watched -- I mean, that was art.

And, oh, when he died, someone

wrote about him that, as with

all the very greatest doctors,

his most essential clinical

instrument was his heart.

And that day with Thomas, this

great man took me aside, and he

told me -- "When you look at

those who suffer," he said, um,

"at those who have taken life's

hardest hits, try not to see

them as, in any way, diminished,

but, rather, as our warriors,

Mary, as our tragic heroes,

struggling across the abyss."

>> This book has your name,

George, in it.

>> That means nothing in this

house.

As a kid, George wrote his name

in everything.

Really nasty habit, wasn't it,

Mom?

>> I was like 6 years old,

Joyce.

>> Thomas got so fed up with

it...

>> You know, I don't think I

know this.

>> I do.

>> Thomas convinced George to

write his name in one of Dad's

Penthouse magazines.

>> Oh.

>> That -- That wasn't funny.

>> Yeah, not to you.

>> No, it really wasn't.

>> And that's why, Patricia, you

started calling it...

>> You still do.

>> "Put your George right

there."

You always say it whenever you

want someone to sign something.

>> I do?

>> Yes.

>> I didn't know that.

That's why.

>> Last night, with Mary's

birthday card -- "Put your

George."

>> Oh, that's what that was.

>> In -- In my family, uh, there

was an uncle who always said

things without thinking.

>> You had only one of those?

>> [ Laughs ]

>> Yeah. I'm maybe 12.

And he's visiting with my

parents.

And he comes out of the

bathroom, and he holds up to

me -- for some reason, to me --

an empty toilet roll.

And he says, "Mary! Mary!"

And I-I guess I'm supposed to go

get him a new roll of toilet

paper.

But all anyone else sees is my

uncle holding up this empty and

shouting, "Mary!"

And, for some reason, that was

funny.

And from that day on, an empty

toilet roll in my family will

forever be called a "Mary."

[ Laughter ]

Thomas loved that story.

You know, he even put it into

one of his plays.

>> [ Gasps ]

>> No, he did not call her

"Mary."

[ Laughter ]

>> Hey, maybe here's something.

Okay, t-this is interesting.

>> Mm.

>> It's an airmail letter from

the painter, Kitaj.

>> Who?

>> Yeah. Isn't he famous?

>> Kita-- Kitaj?

>> Yeah.

>> I know -- I know who that is.

>> Is that to Thomas?

>> No, no, wait.

Sandra -- she's obviously the

wife of this -- this painter.

He -- He blamed her death on his

critics.

>> Mm.

>> His fellow artists.

"I will always believe that her

stroke and death in one weekend,

thank God...

Personal hatreds towards me.

Savages.

I still break down after six

months, and to think she never

saw the Met show..."

>> Oh, yeah, he had a show at

the Met.

>> "...and the Kitaj flag flying

there."

Do you say it "Kitai" or

"Kitaj"?

I've heard both.

>> I don't know, but I-I know

his paintings.

>> I know them, too.

>> "The Met -- who could have

thought such a thing when we

were kids at Cooper?"

Oh, he's writing to old friends.

>> Cooper Union.

>> Sent from London, May 1995.

>> Where was this?

>> It's just in this book, in

this baggie.

>> He kept his valuable things

in these.

>> So, Thomas knew it was

valuable.

>> Ohh.

>> "We sure have our share of

tsuris."

That's a Yiddish word.

"The whole thing is monstrous.

My life has been hellish.

Sandra lit up everyone's life

with her beauty, both inside and

out.

My 10-year-old, Max --"

They had a son.

>> 10 years?

So, Sandra couldn't have been

that old.

>> "When the clouds part, let's

have a good cry together.

Meanwhile, I'd like to be with

Sandra, wherever she is, but Max

needs me, so I've become her,

as well as me.

Love and hugs and kisses, dear,

dear friends, ever, Kitaj."

Kitai -- Kitaj.

>> I think this is a clipping

about him from -- it looks like

The Times.

>> Yeah, that's The Times.

Is he still alive?

Do we know?

>> I think he died a couple of

years ago.

He was a very good painter.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Maybe even a great one.

May I -- May I see?

>> Okay.

>> Oh, this is Thomas'

handwriting.

Um, "A Kitaj..."

>> Kitaj.

>> "...Kitaj letter to good

friends, found inside the

Tate Catalogue of Kitaj's show

in a used bookshop/coffee shop

in New Haven."

>> [ Chuckling ] Oh.

>> What do you think it's worth?

>> Karin?

>> I know theater, but...

>> Well, it must be worth

something.

>> Yeah.

>> Handwritten.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> He's really well known.

>> Yeah.

>> It's like a peek into his

broken heart.

>> Yeah.

>> People collect that.

>> No, wait, wait, wait.

"Try to return to the son."

>> What?

>> Thomas wrote this --

"Try to return to the son.

Too private and too personal to

sell," and in caps,

"Please do not sell."

>> [ Scoffs ]

>> We're not selling that.

>> I don't think so.

[ Telephone ringing ]

>> Phone.

>> Mom.

>> I'll get it.

>> Let me come with you.

>> I'll get it.

>> Mom, let me get past you so

I can get the phone.

>> It's my house.

>> Well, I will -- I'll do some

research.

I'll see if we can find the son.

[ Ringing stops ]

>> I told Thomas he should put

this in a play -- one year,

watching the Tony Awards with

Thomas --

>> Where?

>> Uh, in Brooklyn.

This is, uh, sort of the same

thing as Mary the Toilet Roll.

We had a mouse problem, so

Thomas set a few traps under the

sink.

And we're watching the

Tony Awards, and...

What is the name of that show

where the guy sings

"I Am What I Am"?

>> Oh, um.

>> Anyway, we're at the climax

of the song.

I mean, the guy is singing full

out, "I am what I am!"

[ Piano playing ]

We hear, under the sink -- snap,

then, flop, flop, then, flap.

Whenever I hear the song, that's

what I hear.

>> It's the opera singer from

Bard.

She wants to --

>> Who's playing the piano?

>> What?

>> Who's playing the goddamn

piano, George, if you're not?

[ Music continues ]

Oh, fuck.

>> Mary.

>> No, shit.

>> Mom -- Mom's playing the...

What?

>> She thought it was Thomas.

She's been doing that.

>> Sorry.

He used to play this for me,

and it...

Shit.

[ Clattering lightly ]

Shit.

[ Utensil scraping ]

[ Faucet running ]

>> The, um...

The opera singer from Bard --

she wants to know if she can

come take a look at the piano.

And, uh, she's on her way into

Rhinebeck, anyway.

So, what -- what do I tell her?

I'll tell her --

I'll tell her --

I'll tell her she can come.

She asked if it's really a

Bechstein.

[ Scoffs ]

>> Upright -- Bechstein upright,

big price difference, we

learned, but it'll help.

Singer's eager.

>> Yeah.

>> Our sign's been up at Bard

for like two days.

>> It's just -- It's going

through the boxes, Hannah.

>> I know.

>> You open one box, and...

>> I know. I see that.

>> I should go in there and say,

"Um, Mom, is that how you're

going to play it?

Is that how you're going to play

it?"

>> Mary, I'd -- I'd go and see

one of Thomas' plays, and I'd --

I'd think, "Is that...me up

there, onstage?

Is that character me?"

Did you do that, too?

>> I-I don't know.

>> "So sounds like me."

>> You told me you did.

>> "So sounds like me, like --

like something I'd say."

And, of course, it's in a

completely different context --

in a play, spoken by a

character, but...

>> Well, she'll be here in a

little while.

>> Oh.

>> She wants to see what we've

got.

It's a Bechstein.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> Is your mother coming back?

>> No, let's...let her alone

for a-a while.

[ Piano playing ]

>> We all played this.

We all learned to play this.

>> Yeah.

>> Thomas gave me a copy of this

when I visited last fall.

When Mary so generously...

>> Well...

>> ...invited me up here.

>> ...he asked me to ask you.

>> Thomas hardly could speak.

He had a pile of these on his

desk in his bedroom.

He gave me a copy.

Why did he have so many copies,

Mary?

>> Oh, he was always talking

about, uh, adapting that into

a play.

>> A play? Thomas?

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> He was trying to find someone

to give him money to do that.

>> Oh, I love the title.

"Wandering Star,"

Sholem Aleichem.

>> I don't know it.

>> [ Chuckles ] Oh, I've read it

now, uh, twice.

>> He wanted to make it into a

play?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> What -- What's it about?

Let me see.

>> Uh, two people -- a girl and

a boy.

They live in a shtetl over 100

years ago.

They're Jewish, and their

families have plans for them.

But the kids are in love, and

one day, this theater company

of, uh --

>> Oh, I knew there had to be...

>> Theater!

>> ...a theater company in there

somewhere.

>> Actors and singers come to

town, and then the kids --

they -- they run away with these

actors, but it -- it just so

happens that the -- the theater

company is fighting amongst

itself, and it splits.

One half goes off in one

direction, the other in another.

The boy with one, the girl with

the other.

They're separated right at this

point when they thought they

were gonna be together forever.

And years pass.

One is in Germany, the other

Paris.

Then London.

They write letters.

They never get delivered.

Their paths never cross.

He becomes a star actor, she a

great singer.

More years go by until, at the

peak of their fame, they each

learn that the other is going to

be in New York City, and they

plan to meet.

They meet at the zoo.

[ Chuckles ] A nice touch.

Each now is married.

Each has children.

They have and have had lovers,

and they both know, without

saying anything, that it's too

late for them now.

[ Piano playing ]

The end.

[ Chuckling ]

As I was reading this story --

Well, you can tell me if you

think I'm imagining this.

I-I can imagine things

sometimes, I know.

>> Can I see?

>> But the book is just a...

celebration of their searching

for each other and forgetting

each other, a celebration of

their faithfulness and their

faithlessness.

>> [ Chuckles softly ]

>> It's being human.

>> Was he, uh, able to write

anything in your copy, Karin?

>> Nope.

>> Too bad.

>> Remember when Thomas all of a

sudden decided he was Jewish?

>> Oh, God!

>> "George, I think we're

Jewish.

I've done the research."

>> Don't remind me.

>> You never knew where he was

going next.

>> He was searching.

>> For what?

"Thomas, what the hell are you

talking about?"

>> You got really upset, George.

Why did that upset you?

>> Joyce -- Joyce was upset.

>> He's telling us what we are.

He -- He would just go off

half-cocked.

>> He would just dream things

up.

>> Well, he was a writer.

>> We're not Jewish.

>> Well, I-I think he was just

trying to figure something out.

>> What? Figure out what?

No!

He was just being...

being -- yo-you know -- you know

what I mean.

>> No, I don't. What?

>> Romantic!

>> He's right. You're right.

>> Being Jewish is romantic?

>> No, that's not what I'm

saying.

>> Try telling that to someone

whose family --

>> No, he just wanted -- He

needed to feel different.

That's what I'm saying.

I mean, there's nothing wrong

with being Jewish.

Come on.

>> No, of course not.

>> "What am I? Who am I?"

I mean, that -- I really

disliked that side of him.

>> Me, too, to be honest.

>> Well, the way he explained it

to me was --

>> Oh, God.

Do we have to talk about this?!

>> He -- He said that he just

couldn't understand where all

this, um, importance that your

father and your mother placed on

being cultured -- Now, where did

that come from?

>> So, Jewish people...

>> No, that's what he said.

>> ...want to give their

children culture and education.

I know, Mary, but that is such a

cliché.

>> I don't know about any of

this.

>> It's a cliché.

>> Your relatives were farmers.

>> Well, why can't farmers --

>> Well, isn't there some truth

to that?

>> I have friends who are

farmers.

They read.

>> [ Chuckling ] Thomas was not

putting down farmers.

>> I-I think he was.

I-I live in the country.

>> So do I.

>> Okay, well, that's how --

that's how I tell it.

>> Well, George, I'm just saying

that I think that Thomas was

just trying to figure out why

he felt so different.

Is there something wrong with

that?

>> With feeling that? No.

But -- But how -- what about him

telling us all what we should

feel?

>> Oh, come on.

>> And who -- who we are?

He wasn't just talking about

himself.

>> Unh-unh.

Your grandpa was a mechanic

for rich people's cars.

Did, um, Thomas ever tell you

that?

>> No.

>> Well -- Well, I guess maybe

he just talked about --

>> He was ashamed.

>> What? No.

I don't think so.

>> Yeah.

>> No. Well, all right.

Maybe. Maybe he was.

But then he wasn't, and your

grandmother, she was a maid.

>> For the Astors, just up the

road here.

>> And your father, he was

given piano lessons at something

like --

>> No more than 5 years old.

>> And your grandparents didn't

play.

>> Yeah.

>> And, oh, the fiddle.

Your father played the fiddle.

So, where did that come from?

Tha-That's what Thomas was

asking.

Where the hell did he come from?

>> Mary --

>> Let her talk.

>> And at the Jewish Museum in

Manhattan -- I-I don't think we

told you about this, but Thomas

and I went once, and we came

across a plaque from, I think --

I think it was, um, Austria.

>> That's where our relatives

are from.

>> Yeah, listing the names of

Jewish soldiers from one village

who had died during World War I.

And one name was Gabrielski.

>> Oh, that --

[ All shouting ]

>> Where in Austria?

>> Oh, Thomas dragged Mary to

the ancestral village.

>> No, that was wife number two,

George.

That wasn't me. I wasn't there.

Oh, they made her wear a dirndl,

Karin.

I-I saw a picture.

"Where do I come from?

And, uh, where do I fit in?

And each day, why do I feel more

and more different?"

I don't think that deserves to

be mocked.

>> Well, I don't think George is

mocking the questioning, Mary.

Are you?

>> No.

>> No, it's just --

>> No.

>> It's the being told what the

answers are.

You know, our big brother was

always telling us what to do,

what everyone had to read.

I mean, he'd tell us what to

read and what to watch on TV.

"Quick! Turn on channel --"

>> No, he got excited about

things.

He wanted to share things.

For me, that was a good thing.

>> What hot actor to watch out

for.

>> Who we had to vote for.

>> What?

>> "Obama, George!"

>> What are you talking about?

>> Well, one --

>> We just talked about this on

the phone last week.

>> One time -- I'm telling you,

Mary, one time, when Thomas was

coming home --

>> It was, like, eight years

ago, so it was before he got

sick.

And I don't think you were with

him that time.

>> It was right -- right here in

this kitchen.

And Joyce was up visiting, too.

And Thomas tells all of us how

we had to vote for Hillary.

>> Yeah!

>> "The first woman," blah,

blah, blah.

>> "So exciting!"

>> I remember him saying that.

>> "I've heard her speak in

person."

He gets us all excited.

>> Mom starts shouting, "Get out

the bell.

Where's the bell?"

>> What? I don't understand.

>> Whenever the Gabriels start

talking politics --

>> Mom has a little bell you can

ring.

>> For time out.

>> Where is the bell, Mary?

It was always in the kitchen.

>> It broke.

The clanger broke.

>> During the conventions.

>> What?!

>> We had to throw it out,

Joyce.

>> And then, two months later,

Thomas is on the phone, "Ah,

forget Hillary.

It's Obama!

Oh, my God!

Have you been watching this guy,

his speeches?

Oh, my God!"

And I'd say, "Whoa. Whoa.

What -- What about Hillary?" I'd

say.

He'd say, "No, George.

Don't be stupid.

It's Obama, the first black..."

blah, blah, blah.

"I thought I'd never live to see

the day."

>> Well, I don't see, George,

why it is so wrong to keep

asking who you are.

Can't he ask that?

>> Well, he's not here to ask

anymore.

>> [ Chuckles ] No.

Yeah, no. He isn't.

[ Doorbell rings ]

And, uh, thank you for reminding

us, um, George.

That's -- I think that's the

singer.

>> Oh, that was quick.

>> George, shouldn't you be the

one --

>> No, no. I'll go.

I-I'll get it before Patricia

scares her away.

>> Mary, let George, please.

>> Okay, um, remember, you like

people to like you.

That's not good.

Don't give it away.

He's getting tougher.

He'll do fine.

>> She came right away.

She must be interested.

>> Yeah, she must be.

>> I think she was coming into

the village anyway.

It sounded like that.

Just checking it out.

>> Tricia gonna stay in there?

Where do we fit in?

Where do we belong?

Thomas was just asking that.

Why do I feel like a stranger in

my own country?

>> [ Chuckles ] I remember him

asking that right at this table,

here.

I think I know what he meant.

>> Are you sure you don't want

to be in there with him?

>> No.

He'll -- He'll be fine.

He will do fine.

>> Mary, think of what Thomas

would be feeling now.

>> Oh, no!

I don't want to think of that.

It's probably for the best,

Joyce.

>> Mary, this morning -- I think

Thomas would have liked this.

His warped sense of humor.

>> [ Chuckling ] What?

It wasn't that warped.

>> Well, George was talking to

one of the weekenders that he

does work for, a Democrat.

When did the rich people become

Democrats?

>> [ Chuckles ] I don't know.

>> How did that happen?

>> It just did.

>> And for some reason, he tells

the guy about his mom and his

problems -- the mortgage.

I don't know what he was

expecting, but the guy just

looks at him, looks him up and

down, at his jeans that are

ripped and his dirty hands, and

says, "I hope, George, you're

now not going to vote for him."

>> You're kidding?

>> Trump?

>> Yeah, that's what he said.

>> Oh, my --

>> George is looking for a

little sympathy.

That's what he got instead.

>> People are scared.

Everyone I know is scared.

>> So, what did George say back?

>> The guy hadn't paid him yet,

so nothing.

[ Piano playing ]

>> Oh, she's trying it out.

It sounds good.

>> Yeah, George got it tuned

today.

>> Yeah, Hannah said.

>> I wish I could just talk to

him right now, Mary.

>> Who? Thomas?

>> Yeah.

>> Me, too.

He'd just let me rant.

Thomas just let me rant.

Now it seems like we're all just

ranting along with everyone

else.

No one's listening.

Thomas listened.

There's no news anymore.

What happened to news?

It's all just screaming.

It's just fucked up everything.

Everybody I know seems fucked up

by it.

I would like to talk about that

with Thomas.

>> The election.

>> Yeah.

>> Makes me feel dirty.

>> Yeah, I-I can -- I can

understand that.

>> Filthy, like you just want to

wash it all off.

That's how I feel.

>> Who are we?

I think we all should be asking

that.

Is this really our country?

I mean, Thomas was always asking

that, too.

>> Last night, at the -- the

party with the billionaires --

you know -- you know I was

serving, and that's why my boss

wanted us up here -- just to

serve.

And I'd be standing next to some

rich person with my tray.

They don't look at you.

[ Piano stops ]

>> That's the job, Joyce.

Welcome to my life.

[ Chuckles ]

>> And I overhear this one woman

say -- and this is a quote --

"These days, Tony, I'm only

reading things that I agree

with."

[ Laughter ]

>> I could hear Thomas laughing.

>> Oh, maybe now they're talking

business.

[ Piano resumes ]

No.

>> There's a teacher at my

school.

She's pulled out the cable from

the back of the TV, just yanked

it out, and used pliers to snap

off that little metal pin that's

on the inside.

And she did that, she said, in

case she ever got tempted again.

>> Week after next, they debate.

We should watch that, shouldn't

we?

The debate?

>> Please be human, Hillary.

Please.

>> He won't be.

>> She's not human?

>> Paulie doesn't think so.

>> Well, getting sick is human.

>> Paulie's not alone.

>> Last night, everyone was

talking about how she's back on

the campaign trail.

She's looking great.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Oh, she's gonna be on

"Jimmy Fallon," too, on Monday.

>> "Too?"

>> He was on last night.

>> You think she'll be human on

"Jimmy Fallon?"

>> He wasn't.

>> He let Fallon rub his hair.

>> That's now the criteria for

being human.

>> You watched "Jimmy Fallon?"

>> I woke up. I couldn't sleep.

This friend of mine in

the village, she owns a little

dress shop.

>> Oh, yeah.

I know who you mean.

>> I don't think you know her.

I don't know how she makes a

living, do you?

>> No.

>> Nothing special in her shop.

>> Oh, man.

Why don't they talk business

now?

>> Well, she hasn't left.

>> [ Sighs ]

>> Just very basic human stuff.

You know, nothing fancy for the

rich weekender, like exotic

olive oil.

>> Yeah, no, uh -- uh, $5 pieces

of chocolate that are this big.

You know, $5?!

>> Funny kids T-shirts --

"London, Paris, Rhinebeck."

[ Laughter ]

Just normal, real human stuff.

Anyway, whenever we see each

other now -- I just thought of

this -- she always says the same

thing, always with a smile --

"Hannah," she says, "what about

us?"

Thomas used to say that.

"What about us?"

>> Did he?

>> Just hear his voice, "What

about us?"

>> What I hear is him being

hopeful.

>> What do you mean?

>> Uh, just -- uh, Thomas was

always looking for something

hopeful.

>> Hence Obama.

>> Yeah, for about five minutes,

Joyce.

Anyway, that's one thing I

remember about my husband.

>> It's a gift.

Wish I had it.

>> Oh, me, too.

>> Me, too.

>> Yeah.

>> "Things get better, Mary.

You'll see.

Thing get better."

Some days, when I was tired, I'd

come home after a long day,

and he'd take one look at me and

he'd say, "Mary, things get

better."

I never said back what I was

thinking.

"But, Thomas, can't things

sometimes get worse?"

[ Water running ]

[ Water stops ]

[ Piano playing ]

>> I think that's George,

showing off to the opera singer.

That's not a good sign, is it?

Oh, you think I should go in

there?

>> I do. I really do.

>> Me, too. Go, go, go.

>> He'll want her to know he's a

musician, too.

>> How much are we asking,

anyways?

Did George have it appraised?

>> Uh, well, we -- we looked

online.

[ Clears throat ]

It's an upright, so $5,000.

>> [ Sighs ]

>> Oh, come on. That'll help.

Fingers crossed.

>> Think of all the cans of Coke

we spilled on that piano.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> I almost broke my ankle on

its leg.

Thomas was chasing me.

One time, Mary, Thomas climbed

up and on it and sang

"Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your

Comb."

Then he fell off. [ Laughs ]

Mom and Dad were out somewhere.

They never knew.

Dad used to do the pedals for me

when I started.

And I'd sit on his lap, and I

would do the keys, once I could

reach.

[ Piano stops ]

>> One of the, uh, notebooks

Karin and I were looking through

last night -- a show Thomas was

writing about the piano.

A player piano, set in Russia.

He loved everything Russian.

>> [ Chuckles ] Yeah, he did.

>> I know.

>> There was a party, and the

piano, all on its own, starts to

play tunes that everyone knows.

"How does it do it?

"How does it know?"

And there's such a wave of

comfort.

Everyone at the party feels it,

um, being accompanied, I think.

>> Hmm.

Once, Thomas and I were driving

home from Tanglewood.

I was really young, and he took

me to some piano concert.

>> [ Chuckles ]

>> And, um, we got off the

Taconic, and on a parallel road,

we saw a house on fire.

You could see the frame of the

house through the flames.

Everything else was quiet, but

the -- the house was totally

engulfed.

We stopped and watched for a

while.

I was driving here from Hudson,

I suddenly remembered that.

>> Uh, dinner should be ready.

>> She's gone.

George went down $1,000.

Karin, will you please find

something else to sell?

>> Karin, she's joking.

>> Sorry.

>> Hannah, we're doing our best.

>> She told him there was

another Bechstein upright for

sale in Hudson

>> Mm, she was negotiating.

>> So...George went down $1,000,

and...she wrote a check.

I wonder what it's really worth.

You okay?

[ Alarm rings ]

>> Dinner's ready.

>> We heard you playing, Mom.

Can't remember the last time I

heard you play.

>> Are you all right, Patricia?

>> I was gonna go in there and

say, "Is that how you're going

to play it?

Is that how you're going to play

it?"

>> I don't understand, Joyce.

>> It's a joke, Patricia.

[ Piano playing ]

>> I'll put away the rest of

this picnic stuff, Hannah.

I'll put some of it in the

fridge.

>> She just kept saying, "Look

at that chip on that leg.

Look at that scratch."

>> She was negotiating.

>> We played on it.

We were kids.

What do you expect?

>> No, no, he did -- he did

okay.

Uh, Patricia, dinner's ready.

>> What can I do?

>> Uh, we'll eat in the dining

room?

>> I hope so.

>> Where else?

Here, Mom.

Why don't you put a top on this.

Be really careful.

Don't spill it.

George worked really hard on

that.

>> Sometimes, when Patricia

visits, we eat in the living

room.

>> Watch TV?

>> The TV's there.

>> No, not now. Not now.

Not while I'm eating.

>> I can't get the story about

the house on fire out of my

head.

>> I-I think George did a very

nice job on the guacamole.

Really nice.

>> [ Chuckles ] That doesn't

surprise me.

>> Me, neither.

>> Excuse me, Mom.

[ Piano stops ]

>> He's fine.

>> What's George gonna give his

lessons on, now the piano's

sold?

>> Oh, uh, he can go to his

clients' homes.

Um, most of them have keyboards,

right?

>> We still have our crap piano.

That's what he calls it.

He can use that with the

youngest kids.

They don't know the difference.

Let me help you put a top on it.

[ Piano playing ]

This is pretty much the first

thing any of us ever learned to

play...

[voice breaking] on the piano,

Karin.

Onthat piano, right, Mom?

Dad taught Thomas.

Thomas taught George.

George taught me.

>> Bread and butter?

>> Yeah, um...there's a new loaf

in the pantry.

You know, Thomas once tried to

teach me this?

Yeah, he -- he said he could

teach it to anyone.

Well, he met his match.

Now, you're wearing that scarf

that Joyce bought you in Paris.

I recognize that.

>> I am.

>> Yeah, that's very thoughtful.

I'm sure Joyce appreciates that.

>> Well, I found it at the

bottom of your drawer.

I put it on you.

>> [ Chuckles ] The scarf from

Paris, Patricia.

Nice that you're wearing that,

to have that.

>> Paris.

I'm lucky if I get to Kingston.

Is this Bread Alone?

>> Uh, no. Tops Friendly.

>> What's that, Mary?

>> They ate up the Rhinebeck

Stop & Shop.

>> [ Chuckles ]

Oh, Hannah, I almost forgot.

I was gonna tell George.

When I was in Paris...

>> Paris.

>> ...by Place de la Concorde,

there's a Avenue Gabriel.

>> Oh!

>> It runs right in front of our

ambassador's residence.

I like that it does.

I don't know why.

>> Maybe we'd belong there.

[ Chuckles ]

>> Another thing I saw in

Paris -- an advertisement in the

Metro.

It said, "Learn Wall Street

English."

>> What the hell's that?

>> I don't know.

Wall Street English.

And it just had a picture of a

guy screaming, just screaming

like...

It was really scary.

>> Joyce, last night, at my, uh,

birthday dinner, Patricia told

us about a TV commercial she

saw.

>> What commercial?

>> You said last night, he

actually --

>> A politician who's an actor.

>> Yeah.

>> You said last night he

actually was a senator.

>> Yeah.

>> Oh, you got to go to the

party.

>> [ Chuckles ] It wasn't a

party.

>> And, uh, he even ran for

president.

>> You said he had such an

honest face, Patricia.

>> He did have an honest face.

>> And he was advertising

mortgages on TV.

"Spend down your home."

That's where she said she got

the idea from.

He had a sexy voice.

[ Chuckles ] And an honest face.

>> I can set the table, Mary.

Pat, would you like to help me?

>> He had an honest face.

>> I'm sure.

>> Here, Patricia.

You can carry in the bread and

butter.

[ Chuckles ] You're not gonna

get away with doing nothing.

>> I want to be helpful.

>> She's teasing.

She's trying to be a Gabriel.

>> Pat, you can help me.

Uh, Mary, would you like

tablecloth or place mats?

>> Um, uh, place mats.

Tonight's nothing special.

>> And you're sure that you

can't stay tonight?

>> Mom, I can't. I'm sorry.

I can't.

>> You're staying.

>> I am, Pat. I live here now.

[ Piano stops ]

>> I can take some of this

picnic stuff back to our house.

>> There's also, uh, cold

cucumber soup.

We just had it Wednesday.

We -- We should take that out,

too.

George liked it.

He stopped.

>> Then we need soup bowls and

soup spoons.

I'm gonna go get George.

I don't think he thought it

would sell so fast.

>> I'll get the wine, Mary.

>> What about your nice bottle,

Joyce?

>> Oh, I think we drank all that

up.

[ Chuckles ]

Mary, I never told you what Mom

said to me right in front of her

new roommate.

>> What?

>> She goes, um, uh, she never

imagined she'd end up like this,

in a room that wasn't even her

own, and now they want to kick

her out of that.

And [chuckles] I bit my tongue.

The roommate's right there.

Mom, you're 82 years old.

You went and spent all your

money without telling us.

What the hell did you expect?

>> Pat, would rather we use a

tablecloth, okay?

>> Yeah. Wh-Whatever she wants.

It's her house.

>> What else can I do?

>> Patricia, I think we have

everything under control.

>> Where's George?

>> Um...

>> I'm here.

>> I will bet that, uh, Karin

could use your help with the

tablecloth.

>> I've got the vegetables,

Mary.

>> Did she hear me?

>> Take out the soup bowls,

Joyce.

>> What can I do?

>> Take out the soup.

We had it on Wednesday.

Mary said you liked it.

>> You okay, George?

>> And you?

>> Mm-hmm.

>> Mary said she used to make

this same casserole for Thomas

every Sunday night, too.

It's a Gabriel tradition.

>> But it's Friday.

>> He did good.

He did.

Hannah...

things get better.

I'll be right in.

[ Voice breaking ] Thomas,

dinner's ready.

[ Lucius' "Don't Just Sit There"

plays ]

>> ♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

[ Applause ]

♪ Did you find love again?

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love again?

[ Applause continues ]

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪ Don't just sit there

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

♪ What I wanna know

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love again?

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love again?

♪ In my heart, I know this

♪ In my heart I know this

♪ It's true

♪ True

♪ It's true

♪ It's true

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love again?

♪ Did you find love?

♪ Have you found love?

♪ Did you find love again?

♪ Tell me what I wanna know

>> I hope you enjoyed tonight's

presentation.

You can also watch this and

other plays on

thirteen.org/theatercloseup.

I'm Neal Shapiro.

See you next time.

♪♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> Support for

"Theater Close-Up" is provided

by...

the Howard Gilman Foundation,

Bernard and Irene Schwartz,

the LuEsther T. Mertz

Charitable Trust,

and The Wilson Family.