JAC Publishing & Promotions

There's An Angel in Las Vegas by Sean O'Connor

ISBN #1-60513-150-4
JAC #2012-0006



Dean, half visionary poet/half lost Elvis fanatic, abandoned his wife and son fifteen years before in search of some neon-lit promise of riches and glory only to be found inside the casinos of the great, false Mecca itself, Las Vegas. Fifteen years later, his dream now reduced to a tattered bust of Elvis, an empty bank account and a broken down motel room, his son Chip— whom he hasn't seen since he was a year old, shows up unannounced. In a wild, almost surreal night of drinking, dancing and philosophizing with the likes of his buddy Eddie Trombone (Mr. Ed) and their partners in crime, Betty and Wilma, father and son go the distance. With Elvis' ghost like an angel at their shoulders, they hash out all the broken residue of the past and finally, when Chip's mom and her strait-laced husband show up the next morning, they've arrived at some strange yet very real and loving union— a union that will bind them together as father and son… forever.  Winner of Washington D.C's Source Theatre's "Best New Dramatist" Prize

Cast of Characters

  • DEAN: mid-40s, weary but still handsome, half visionary-angel, half-outcast, too many beers, too many broken dreams, but still dreaming, still unreeling poetic visions, still drinking. Elvis is his Jesus, Vegas his Mecca. He's dressed in a v-neck tee shirt and dark blue polyester pants which flare out at the bottom, socks— no shoes. A graying, longish and un-kempt Elvis pomp sweeps back over his head and curls into ducktails on the back of his neck. He has the type of bell-bottom sideburns that began to look somewhat ridiculous in the 1970's. He hasn't shaved for a day or two. It is obvious that in the past Dean was quite a good looking man. But the years and the beers and the cigarettes and the chase have faded a lot of that. Still, despite his rather "different" behavior from time to time, there remains in his eyes a glint of something unique and intriguing. Something that, at one time, in the past, for a while at least, might have suggested a vision that was just compelling enough.
  • GLENDA: mid-40s, attractive, bright, successful, strong and earthy. She is outwardly confident and dresses casually, but fashionably. In some ways she's the type of woman you might see behind sun-glasses, lounging back on the deck of the ferry to Nantucket, late one lazy Sunday summer morning, reading the New York Times. But there is something else about her, a quality that suggests something a little more wild, a little more off-beat, that from time to time plays across her face.
  • CHIP: 16, smart, quick-witted, big heart, wise soul. Fresh faced. Beardless. There is an air of honesty and intelligence about him. Dressed in blue jeans. A light blue, buttoned down shirt. And sneakers.

  • EDDIE: Anywhere between 36-45. Dean’s sidekick, Barney to his Fred, Norton to his Ralph. Obsessed with Mr. Ed, the horse. He is dressed in a cheap dark polyester blue jacket with some tacky, fake gold insignia on the breast pocket. He has on a bright pink shirt, with large airplane wing collars. His shirt is unbuttoned half-way down. A large, gold medallion rests on his open chest. His fingers are covered with large, awkward rings. At least three on each hand. Light blue polyester pants flare out at the bottom. He is wearing white shoes. His crazy hair looks fake. It is strangely styled in a manner that Eddie believes looks irresistibly fashionable and charismatic.

  • BETTY: Approaching her mid-thirties. No longer innocent. Betty has blonde hair. Curls, some streaked lighter than others, dance and fall from her head. Large earrings flop about with every turn of her neck. The colors of her clothes are bright. They seem to be having an argument with each other. Gum snaps away at her teeth. She's quick with her tongue. A little bit hardened. And kind of sexy. Doesn't trust a man in the world anymore. But still, a smooth style, a nice set of clothes, a thick wallet, and a car that glows beneath the moonlight can make her forget. Can make her remember just what it was that brought her to Vegas in the first place.

  • WILMA: Vegas showgirl, mid-thirties, pretty, sassy but innocent. Wilma is Betty's comrade in arms. Maybe a year or two younger. Brownish hair is done up a bit above her head. Streaked here and there with platinum lines. Gum crackles away in her teeth also. Lipstick and make-up find their way into her hands. Easily and often. A mini-skirt clings to her thighs and hips. Jewelry, lots of it, mostly fake, catches the light from all angles. Like Betty, she moves through life behind a shield. But Wilma's is not as thick and organic. It falls at times. Often and unexpectedly. And when it does, the sweetness and innocence of a small town girl a little bewildered by a strange city, can be seen peeking through.

  • DALE: Early 40s. Glenda’s husband, decent man, boringly handsome, the antithesis of Dean. Dale is dressed in an ultra clean, white squash outfit. He carries a squash racquet in his right hand. Sunglasses are worn, covering his eyes. He has light brown hair and a fairly athletic build despite a little thickness that has begun to accumulate around his midsection. He's an attractive guy. It is obvious, though, that Dean and he wouldn't have hung out in the same crowd had they grown up together.

About this Playwright

A recipient of Grants/Fellowships from the Puffin and Ludwig Vogelstein Foundations, the Pilgrim Project and Blue Mountain center, Sean O'Connor received his B.A. from Columbia University. He was a member of NYC’s Circle Rep as a playwright, and teaches a seminar in Dramatic Writing/Performing at NYU every summer. He has acted in dozens of plays in New York and regional theater, portraying leading roles in television's “All My Children” and “Another World,” as well as features in the films “Copy Shop,” “All Fall Down” and “Trust Us.” O'Connor spent two years as head-writer and performer for the cable TV show “3BTV,” and has written and performed several radio commercials. Visit Sean online at writersean.com.

There's An Angel in Las Vegas by Sean O'Connor

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Have you read O'Connor's World of Sinatras, or his one-act
The Knitting Club?


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