"Check Please" showcases a series of first dates gone wrong. Guy and Girl sit several tables away from each other and date one lunatic after another until they finally bump into each other at the end of the play.
The script's format is similar to the plays "13 Ways to Screw Up Your College Interview" and "The Audition." There's an ensemble cast of strong, extreme characters interacts with the normal characters to generate conflict and comedy.
About the Play
This one-act play is light on technical needs. The production notes only specify that two dinner tables are needed for the set. Each scene should end with a blackout for a better reveal of the next absurd character. Beyond that, the costumes, props, and any other set needs are up to the creativity of the production crew. The main focus is on the actors who must drive the story and deliver the comedy.
- Setting: A restaurant with two dinner tables
- Time: Now
- Cast Size: This play can accommodate 4-26 actors.*
- Male Characters: 7
- Female Characters: 7
- Characters that could be played by either males or females: 0
*Playwright Jonathan Rand indicates that he wrote the play with the intention that Girl and Guy are played by the same actors throughout the duration of the play while the rest of the roles are played by 12 other actors. He does say that it would be interesting to see a cast of four where two actors play Girl and Guy and the other two actors play all of the other roles. He also allows for every scene to be cast with a different pair of actors, which would suit a larger cast of 26, but he believes that this is the least effective means of production.
- Guy is just trying to find a reasonable person to date.
- Girl is just hoping there is someone normal out there for her.
- Louis is not a good listener. He has his own idea of where the conversation should go.
- Melanie is a big Chicago Bears fan. In fact, she's just going to check the score of the game real quick. Okay, just one more time. “Come on! Just pass the frigging ball!”
- Ken is a bit too into the romance and a bit too oblivious to personal boundaries.
- Mary has brought a few wedding dresses for Guy to choose between. She also knows where they are going to honeymoon and has picked out the names of their children.
- Mark is wearing a burlap sack, which is absolutely fine because it's a Versace.
- Pearl is a raging kleptomaniac.
- Tod is a little young for Girl. His favorite animal is an elephant, he has a scar he got from kickball, but at least he is going to pay for dinner.
- Sophie is a very old woman.
- Brandon is perfect. He is considerate and funny and charming. He is an actor who is up for a role in "A Streetcar Named Desire." He is a shoo-in for the role of Stanley… as long as he can pass for being straight.
- Linda has a great personality. In fact, she has a great many personalities - some great, some not so great. One of her personalities is a monkey.
- Manny has a few dietary issues, some commitment issues, a couple dozen phobias, and some allergies.
- Mimi is a mime.
Where to Find 'Check Please'
"Check Please" is available to purchase for production from Playscripts, Inc. It is also part of the collection in the book Random Acts of Comedy: 15 Hit One Act Plays for Student Actors.
Jonathan Rand has written two sequels to "Check Please:" "Check Please: Take 2" and "Check Please: Take 3." Directors who want a longer play frequently combine the scripts to create a two-act production.
Here is a video of some scenes from "Check Please."