Ernie:Some of those junkies and winos from Broadway, they try to bed down in the lobby overnight.
Alex:Encourage them, Ernie. The theater was meant for the common man.
David:Wonderful! Broadway's favorite actor gets pneumonia! Oh, well, after those notices, I suppose I could use a cold shower.
[runs out with jacket over his head]
David:Don't be depressed then, Alex! You've got worse things coming! Like marriage!
Alex:It's essential they stay here, all of them. If even one of them walks out, it won't work.
Frank Heller:It may not work anyway.
Alex:You still think this is a mistake, don't you?
Frank Heller:Like I said before, Mr. Dennison; this is your show. I'm just here to watch.
Walter:Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Bumped into each other outside.
Lloyd:The difference is that Walter came in a limo and I had to take a bus.
Walter:[referring to Alex]Ah, he's being mysterious. Well, it's the playwright's prerogative... and it's the producer's prerogative to have a sweet roll.
Karen:You're being obsequious, Leo.
Leo:Okay, I'll stop if you tell me what it means.
Alex:Oh and by the way, it's something new for me; a mystery.
Walter:Good. They do well.
Alex:Unusual form, a mystery. You take the audience by the hand, and you lead them... in the wrong direction. They trust you, and you betray them! All in the name of surprise.
David:[Referring to the format of a mystery]All those characters are cardboard. I like... I like roles with flesh and blood!
Alex:I don't know about the flesh, David. But I can guarantee you the blood.
Lloyd:What are you going for? What's the point of the scene?
Alex:Well, the point, Lloyd, is that in a mystery, everyone must have a motive.
Walter:Alex, we've known each other for a long time, so I'm entitled to be blunt. Why are we here?
Alex:You know why, Walter. To read my new play.
Walter:It's not a play. It's just a bunch of unrelated scenes, all of them uncomfortably close to the truth.
David:The hell they are!
Alex:Might as well get to the point. Well, it's really very simple. When we finish here, we'll know something we didn't know before.
David:And what's that?
Alex:Which one of you killed Monica Welles.
Walter:The woman killed herself! Do you understand? Whether you want to believe it or not, she was depressed, and she jumped out of her bedroom window!
Alex:How can you be so certain, Walter? Were you there?
Alex:[to Lloyd]Permit me my element of surprise, Lloyd. In a mystery, the audience should never know what's coming next.
Lloyd:He certainly raked you over the coals.
Walter:Well, that makes two of us.
Leo:Great. Marvelous. Wonderful.
Alex:[to the group]Surely you don't want to miss the ending.
Lloyd:Now I get it. Don't you see what he's doing?
Leo:Now that you mention it... no.
Lloyd:Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, a play within a play to catch his father's killer: "I have heard that guilty creatures sitting at a play, have by the very cunning of the scene, been struck so to the soul that presently they have proclaimed their malefactions."
Karen:"The play's the thing wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king." Right?
Walter:Well, now what?
Walter:I was wondering when you would get around to that.
Alex:I've established that you all had motives...
David:Like hell we had.
Alex:But motives are nullified by a legitimate alibi.
Walter:[to Frank]We all said a lot of things. None of them were true.
Walter:What are you talking about? Monica wasn't murdered. She committed suicide. And to suggest that one of us is involved...
Alex:It isn't a suggestion; it's a statement of fact.
Karen:They investigated, the police...
Alex:The police were wrong.
Walter:Alex! We all know you suffered a terrible loss. We understand your grief. But what you're doing here, it won't change anything. It won't bring her back.
Alex:Then you've nothing to lose by indulging me.
Ernie:Who's there? Who's out there? Is that you Mr. Dennison?
Alex:Hello, Ernie, how you been?
Karen:Alex, are you coming?
Alex:Save me a place.