The Caftan Club

(Play version)

Staged reading with Village Playwrights Group, NY in 2007

It’s a dark and stormy night in Palm Springs, California. Three men, draped in robes — well, caftans actually — sit around a candle deep in the midst a séance to raise the spirit of their patron saint, Paul Lynde. Just then, there’s a knock at the door. Could it be the spirit of Paul Lynde come to help the Caftan Club because the actor playing the part of Mr. MacAfee in Christopher’s benefit production of Bye Bye Birdie had to drop out and now Christopher, who hasn’t performed in years, must go on in his place? No, it’s Mohammed from Dubai, dressed in a white caftan, looking for Paul. Paul Lynde? How did Mohammed know? He didn’t. He’s looking for Paul Roberts, the other caftan member, who got high and is now missing. Madcap mayhem ensues as they spread out to Palm Desert and Cathedral City to search the back rooms and sex clubs and baths. Oh my.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch — well, ranch-style suburban home — the ghost of Paul Lynde appears wondering who called. Apparently the séance worked. Things get more complicated when Christopher’s lover, Charles, shows up with his twink of an assistant, Jason. And Mohammed dumps Paul who befriends Paul Lynde — if you think your confused now, just wait. Throw in the benefit’s guest star, Jennifer Lopez, who stumbles over her biggest fan, Alberto, one of the Caftan Club, and breaks her leg, creating yet another role for Christopher to cast. But wait, there’s more. Richard, another caftan member, sells his house to Tom Chase, the closeted movie star who stole Alberto’s former lover Brandon. When Alberto finds out, all hell breaks loose.

Will Alberto forgive Richard? Who will play J. Lo’s role? Is Charles having an affair? Will Paul — Roberts, not Lynde — go to rehab and get sober? And finally, will Paul Lynde get his wings? Wings, you say? Yes. Sit back, relax and all your answers will be questioned. I mean – oh, you know what I mean.

See film script version