Palestrina – Monologue (Becky)

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A monologue from the play by Don Nigro

BECKY REEDY (nineteen)

Becky Reedy, a thin, pretty girl, is sitting on the porch step of the Palestrina house feeling sick. Her new boyfriend Johnny Palestrina, a young veteran of World War II has just brought her to his home to meet his large family, who are Italian-Catholic immigrants from Southern Italy.

Becky is a Protestant and a descendant of East Ohio pioneers, and she is out of her element in the Palestrina’s house. She’s not used to drinking Mr. Palestrina’s homemade wine, and she has just been violently throwing up her lasagna in the bushes.

She is speaking to Johnny’s tough Italian mother, Anna Palestrina, who has taken her outside to care for her while she’s being sick. Becky knows Anna doesn’t approve of her.

Oh, God. I want to die. I just want to die. . . . Yes I do. I really do. I’ve never thrown up so much in my life. I thought I was never going to stop. I think I puked up some stuff I ate when I was
twelve. . . .

Oh, no, no, the lasagna was wonderful. That’s why I ate so much. It wasn’t the lasagna, it was the wine. Not that the wine wasn’t great. The wine was super. That’s why I drank so much. . . . I just didn’t realize it was such strong stuff.

Your husband tried to warn me, but it was so good, it tasted like really incredibly good grape juice, like at Communion at the Christian Church. . . . It’s a Protestant thing, I guess.

And I was so nervous when I got here, I mean. I stepped on the cat and knocked over the hat rack and everything, and the wine made me feel so relaxed and happy, and the lasagna was so good, I ate way too much, way too fast,

and then your kitchen started spinning around like carousel horses and the next thing I knew, I was sitting on your sister Lucrezia’s lap. God. Poor Johnny. You must think he brought home the dumbest girl in the state of Ohio. . . .

I’m really sorry. I mean, I’m so sorry. You must really hate me.

Read the play here

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