The Ballet

A short script for the TV show Seinfeld.

By David Mar, with some help from Lachlan Patrick and Pascal Hoayek.

Characters used without permission.
Script itself Copyright 1994 David Mar.


[Opening nightclub sequence, with JERRY doing a stand-up comedy routine.]

JERRY: Have you ever wondered why people dress up for job interviews? If you get dressed up, you look like you already got a job. Imagine if they didn't want people to dress up for interviews. You'd roll along wearing your favourite T-shirt, a baseball cap, three days worth of stubble. And all these other guys would be there waiting for their interview, showing off their sun-tans, with their running shoes and shorts on. And you'd go in for your interview, and try your best to look relaxed and casual, and the guy behind the desk would say, "You! You look like you're having too much fun being unemployed! You got the job!"


[Scene: GEORGE's bedroom. GEORGE and ELAINE are standing by GEORGE's wardrobe. They are both holding some coathangers with shirts on them.]

GEORGE: [holding a shirt up] How about this one?

ELAINE: Nah... too conservative.

GEORGE: You think so? It's nice and formal.

ELAINE: Too formal. It makes you look insecure.

GEORGE: I am insecure. That's why I asked you to come over and help me pick out what I should wear. I have absolutely no fashion sense. And I really want this job. A big accounting firm - I could start earning a decent wage again. I need to impress this Robertson guy.

ELAINE: [looking in the wardrobe] Well, you should wear something which makes a bold statement. Grabs his attention and says, "Hey, I can do this job." [spots something in wardrobe and reaches in] Hey, what about this?

[Camera change: shot from over GEORGE'S shoulder. GEORGE's body obscures the shirt ELAINE takes out of the wardrobe. She holds it up to his chest, still out of camera shot.]

GEORGE: This? You really think so?

ELAINE: [nodding enthusiastically] Oh yah!


[Scene: The diner. Side view: GEORGE and ELAINE are sitting at a table. GEORGE is wearing a conservative business suit and has his back to the door.]

GEORGE: [emphatically] I can't believe I took your advice.

ELAINE: Hey, you asked for it. You decided to take it.

[Enter JERRY. He walks over to the others.]

JERRY: Hi Elaine, hi George. Hey, how'd the interview...

[Camera change: over the shoulder shot from JERRY's POV, front view of GEORGE. GEORGE's shirt is revealed for the first time. It is a bright, almost fluorescent, lime green colour.]

JERRY: ... gaaaaah!

GEORGE: [exasperated, flinging hands out] Exactly.

JERRY: [sitting down next to ELAINE] What on earth possessed you to wear a shirt like that to a job interview?

GEORGE: [pointing at ELAINE] It was her idea.

ELAINE: You asked. You took.

JERRY: What?!

GEORGE: I was nervous about the interview. I didn't know what I should wear. So I asked Elaine to come over and pick something out of my wardrobe.

JERRY: [incredulous] That was in your wardrobe?

GEORGE: [mumbling] My mother bought it for me.

ELAINE: [enthusiastic] I thought it looked good. Broke up the formality of the suit. Lent a casual air of self-confidence.

GEORGE: Hey, your sort of self-confidence I don't need.

JERRY: So, what'd they say?

GEORGE: They're making a decision at the end of the week. But I could tell he didn't like the shirt.

JERRY: You could tell?

GEORGE: I could tell. When you've been to as many interviews as I have, you can tell, believe me.

ELAINE: [backing up GEORGE] He could tell!

GEORGE: [to ELAINE] You stay out of this.

JERRY: [thinking, with hand on chin] You know... I think that shirt is worse than the puffy shirt.

ELAINE: [screwing face up in disgust] Uuhgh. At least that wasn't my fault.

JERRY: Yeah, we all know whose fault that was.

GEORGE: [miserably] How come none of my friends have any fashion sense?!

[Enter KRAMER. He walks over.]

KRAMER: Hey guys. You'll never guess what I just... [sees GEORGE's shirt, does typical KRAMER double-take] ... whoah!

GEORGE: [waving a hand in the air] Tell me about it.

JERRY: Y'know Kramer, I never thought I'd say this, but I forgive you for the puffy shirt.

ELAINE: [to GEORGE] I'm sorry.

KRAMER: Well no... I like it.

[together]
ELAINE: You like it?
JERRY: You what?
GEORGE: That'd be right.

JERRY: [gesturing at GEORGE's shirt] How can you like that?

KRAMER: It breaks up the formality of the suit, lends a certain air of self-confidence which, [lowering voice] frankly George, you could use.

GEORGE: I don't believe this.

KRAMER: Well anyway, I gotta run. That shirt reminded me of something I gotta do. [exits]

JERRY: The shirt reminded him?

GEORGE: Look, can we just forget about the shirt? What about tomorrow? [to JERRY] Did you get the tickets?

JERRY: [holding up an envelope] I got the tickets.

ELAINE: I can't believe you got tickets to the Bolshoi Ballet one day before the first performance.

JERRY: What can I say? My uncle Leo has connections.

GEORGE: He has connections with the Russian Ballet?

JERRY: [shrugging] Don't ask me. They're his connections.

ELAINE: [squirming in her seat] Ooooh, I'm so excited! I wonder what I should wear?

GEORGE: [under his breath] I'll choose something for you.


[Scene: GEORGE's parents' place. GEORGE, MOM and DAD are eating dinner.]

MOM: So where are you going tomorrow night?

GEORGE: [exasperated already] The Bolshoi Ballet.

MOM: The what ballet?

GEORGE: Bolshoi. It's Russian.

MOM: What does that mean?

DAD: How's he supposed to know what it means? He doesn't speak Russian.

GEORGE: It means 'big'.

DAD: How do you know that? You don't speak Russian.

MOM: The big ballet, huh? Why are you going to see a big ballet? You're not gay, are you George?

GEORGE: [more exasperated] No, mom. Just because someone goes to the ballet, it doesn't mean he's gay. Jerry's going.

MOM: Jerry's gay, isn't he?

GEORGE: No, Jerry is not gay.

MOM: When was the last time he had a steady girlfriend?

GEORGE: [stymied for a second, changes his tack] Kramer likes ballet. He's going. He's not gay either.

MOM: Kramer, huh? Are you sure he's not gay?

GEORGE: Believe me, mom, Kramer is not gay.

MOM: Okay, okay already. I was just asking. And you said he likes ballet.

GEORGE: I like ballet, mom!

MOM: Are you sure you're not gay?

GEORGE: [through gritted teeth] I am not gay.

MOM: Okay, okay. [changes subject] So what makes you think you're not going to get this job? You're a fine boy, anybody'd be glad to give you a job.

GEORGE: [painfully] I went to the interview wearing a lime green shirt. It was Elaine's idea.

MOM: And you think they're not going to give you the job because of that?

GEORGE: It was an accounting firm, mom.

MOM: So? I think accountants should lighten up a little. Always going around in stuffy suits and ties. I gave you a green shirt once, didn't I?

DAD: I wouldn't give a job to anyone wearing a lime green shirt.

MOM: Why not?

DAD: If he's wearing a shirt like the one you gave him, he's probably gay.


[Scene: JERRY's apartment. JERRY and GEORGE are standing, wearing tuxedos.]

JERRY: [agitated] C'mon people, we gotta be there in half an hour.

GEORGE: Can you believe my mother?

JERRY: [facing GEORGE] Frankly, no.

GEORGE: Just because I'm going to the ballet, she thinks I'm gay.

JERRY: [reasonably] I'm going. Kramer's going. If he gets here in time.

GEORGE: She thinks you're gay too. And Kramer.

JERRY: Kramer? Gay? Kramer must be the least gay person I know!

GEORGE: I know.

JERRY: He's so non-gay, he's positively miserable!

GEORGE: I know. And yet...

JERRY: And yet what?

GEORGE: You don't think it could all be an act?

JERRY: An act? An act? What act? I see no act.

GEORGE: You know, all those women in his apartment all the time. It could be an act. To convince us he's not gay.

JERRY: Oh c'mon. If Kramer was gay, why would he use an act? What does he have to gain from an act? It's not an act.

[Doorbell buzzes. JERRY walks over to the intercom.]

GEORGE: [under his breath] It could be an act.

JERRY: [into intercom] Yeah.

ELAINE: [over intercom] It's me.

JERRY: C'mon up. [opens door, leaving it ajar, and walks back to GEORGE] [derisively] An act.

GEORGE: [throwing arms out to his sides] I was just saying.

[Door bursts open. KRAMER enters, staggering slightly in typical KRAMER fashion. He is wearing a suit, all an identical lime green colour to GEORGE's shirt from the diner scene. JERRY and GEORGE stare dumbfounded.]

KRAMER: Am I late?

JERRY: [walking over and gesticulating wildly] Kramer! You can't go to the ballet like that!

KRAMER: [jerks head back] W.. why not?

JERRY: It's opening night! The Bolshoi! You look like a stick of asparagus!

KRAMER: What, you don't think I look casual and self-confident?

JERRY: It's the ballet! You're not supposed to look casual and self-confident! You're supposed to look formal and insecure, like George here! [gesturing at GEORGE]

[ELAINE hops through the door, reaching down to adjust a shoe. She is wearing an elegant, long black dress.]

ELAINE: Am I... [looks up, sees KRAMER] ... Oh my god!

KRAMER: Don't tell me you don't like it either?

ELAINE: Kramer! You have to go change!

KRAMER: [taken aback] Well... I can't. My other suits are at the cleaners.

JERRY: [checking watch] We don't have time anyway! C'mon, we gotta hurry! [hustles KRAMER out the door, GEORGE and ELAINE follow]

GEORGE: [to ELAINE] Sure, tell him not to wear the lime green...


[Scene: A theatre foyer. JERRY, ELAINE, GEORGE and KRAMER are standing, surrounded by people in formal evening wear. KRAMER's green suit sticks out like a sore thumb, and many people are surreptitiously staring.]

ELAINE: I don't believe how rude these people are. Staring at us like we're a pack of animals.

[KRAMER quickly tosses back a glass full of some alcoholic beverage.]

KRAMER: Yow! [people turn to look at him]

JERRY: [quietly] I'm going to the bathroom. [walks away]

ELAINE: Me too. [walks away]

KRAMER: So, George, what'd you think of the first act?

GEORGE: Act? [shakes head] Oh, uh, I thought it was very good.

KRAMER: Yeah. I loved the way that guy moved across the stage. [throws arms out in a pseudo-ballet pose]

GEORGE: [furrowing brow] You didn't like the ballerinas? The women?

KRAMER: Well yeah. But that leading man, he was something special.

GEORGE: So... you really like male ballet performers?

KRAMER: Oh, the grace, the poise. It's... [gestures with hands in front of him, pulling them back and spreading the fingers rapidly, while jerking head slightly at the same time] ... exquisite. [glass which was in his hand flies behind him, smashing against a wall, people turn to stare again]

GEORGE: [waiting until people return to their own conversations, then in a low voice] Can you tell me something, honestly, Kramer? Something personal?

KRAMER: Well, yeah. What?

GEORGE: [leans forward and whispers] Are you gay?

KRAMER: [leans forward conspiratorially and raises an eyebrow] Why? Are you interested?

[Curtain warning bell sounds. People start moving from the foyer into the theatre. JERRY and ELAINE return.]

JERRY: C'mon people, back inside. We want to see the act, don't we?


[Scene: Empty foyer. Doors to the theatre area open and people stream out through the foyer. JERRY, ELAINE, GEORGE and KRAMER emerge.]

GEORGE: Hey guys, can you just wait here in the foyer? I gotta use the bathroom. [walks away]

ELAINE: [face scrunched up with excitement] Oooh, that was so wonderful!

JERRY: [nodding] They were good.

ELAINE: And the leading man... he was so sexy!

JERRY: You think so?

ELAINE: Of course I think so. You're a man, what would you know?

KRAMER: I thought he was sexy.

ELAINE: [to JERRY] See?

JERRY: He's a man too! If my opinion doesn't count, neither does Kramer's.

ELAINE: Then it's still one-nil in my favour.

JERRY: The ballerinas, now they were sexy.

KRAMER: Ooh yeah. Not as technically good as the men, but they were hot.

[Camera shift: Two beautiful BALLERINAS, wearing cloaks over their ballet costumes, peek out from a side door, unseen by the others. One points at KRAMER, and both giggle. The other pulls herself up to full height, and walks out into the foyer.]

[Camera shift: back to JERRY, ELAINE and KRAMER. BALLERINA approaches.]

BALLERINA: [to KRAMER, in Russian accent] Excuse me.

KRAMER: Ooh, yes? What can I do for you, fair visitor to this country? [JERRY and ELAINE look on incredulously]

BALLERINA: I couldn't help noticing you from the stage. Your clothes... [gestures at KRAMER's lime green suit] ... they are quite wonderful.

KRAMER: Why, thank you.

BALLERINA: You know... [slinks up to KRAMER] ... we get very little opportunity to sample true American culture when we are here.

JERRY: [muttering] I don't believe this...

KRAMER: Well, do you want to grab some of your ballerina friends and I'll show you how we Americans have a night out on the town?

[BALLERINA smiles, then turns and motions for her friend to come over. They each take one of KRAMER's arms.]

BALLERINA: Please... show us as much as you can.

KRAMER: Okay! [begins walking out of foyer] We'll hit some nightclubs, and maybe afterwards we can go back to my place for... coffee?

[BALLERINAS smile as they disappear from camera shot with KRAMER.]

ELAINE: I told George lime green is a good colour.

JERRY: [watching KRAMER leave with the two BALLERINAS] Yeah... he looks so casual... and self-confident...


[Scene: Just outside men's bathroom door. GEORGE comes out through the door and almost bumps into a man waiting nearby in the foyer.]

GEORGE: [sudden recognition] Mr Robertson!

ROBERTSON: [puzzled] Hello?

GEORGE: George Kostanza, you interviewed me for a job yesterday. [shakes hands with ROBERTSON]

ROBERTSON: Oh, yes. [pauses a fraction of a second] Yes, I remember you.

GEORGE: [suddenly nervous] I, uh... [chuckles nervously] I hope I made a good impression yesterday.

ROBERTSON: [distracted] Oh? Mmm, yes.

GEORGE: You see, I'm really keen about this job, and I feel that I can do all the work up to your firm's high standards.

ROBERTSON: [neutral voice] Uh huh.

GEORGE: I know you're not making a decision until the end of the week, and I just wanted to assure you that I'm a good accountant.

ROBERTSON: [finally looking at GEORGE directly] Yes, well I can tell you Mr Kostanza, we were actually very impressed by your resumé.

GEORGE: [relieved] You were? You were impressed? [ROBERTSON nods] Oh, well, uh... that's great! Oh, thank you, Mr Robertson. [lowers enthusiasm] You know, I was a little bit worried after the interview.

ROBERTSON: Well... that's only natural.

GEORGE: I mean... I thought that shirt I was wearing might have been a little too... casual?

ROBERTSON: [shrugs] The shirt? No...

GEORGE: I know it was a bit brash and might not fit the kind of image you want for your firm, Mr Robertson.

ROBERTSON: Don't worry about it.

GEORGE: [chuckles] Lime green? It really was a mistake of me to wear that shirt. I just want you to know I realise that.

ROBERTSON: It's okay, Mr Kostanza.

GEORGE: I'm so glad that didn't distract you from my resumé, which... [gaining confidence] ... in all honesty I know is reasonably impressive. I was just afraid with that shirt... well... lime green... [conspiratorially] ... it's a bit... you know...

ROBERTSON: Know what?

GEORGE: Well... I know it's a stupid idea, but I thought it could possibly give the impression that I was... you know...

ROBERTSON: [puzzled] What?

GEORGE: [quietly] I thought you might have thought I was gay. [ROBERTSON raises his eyebrows] I know, I know, it was stupid of me, but... there you have it. I'm glad we sorted this out. I was lucky to run into you here at the ballet... [pauses a second] Oh, but there's nothing wrong with the ballet, of course. Heterosexual men go to the ballet all the time. [faster and more frantic] I'm just here with some friends anyway, they dragged me along, you know how it is. [forcing himself to calm down again] Anyway, I just didn't want you thinking I was gay because of that stupid shirt!

ROBERTSON: [slowly] Do you have something against gay people?

GEORGE: [wide eyes] Oh no... [getting flustered] ... I just... what I meant was...

[Bathroom door opens and another man walks out.]

MAN: [to ROBERTSON] I'm done John, let's go.

ROBERTSON: [icily, to GEORGE] Good bye, Mr Kostanza. [leaves theatre with MAN]

GEORGE: [gapes, hits head with palm of hand]

[Camera pans across as GEORGE walks back to JERRY and ELAINE. GEORGE has an extremely pained expression on his face.]

ELAINE: George? Are you okay?

GEORGE: [miserably] I'm such an idiot.

JERRY: What happened?

GEORGE: I don't want to talk about it. [pauses] You know, I think gay people have a higher chance of living a successful life in today's society.

[JERRY and ELAINE look at each other questioningly, trying to figure out what GEORGE is talking about. They give small shrugs at each other, with ELAINE doing one of her great facial expressions.]

GEORGE: [looks around] Where's Kramer?

ELAINE: He just went off with two of the ballet stars.

GEORGE: [shocked] He what?

JERRY: Yeah. Two of them came out from backstage, said they liked his green suit, and then they went off, arm in arm.

GEORGE: [wide-eyed] Oh no.

JERRY: [shaking head] I don't know how he gets away with an act like that.


[Scene: JERRY's apartment, next day. JERRY, GEORGE and ELAINE are standing. JERRY is looking incredulously at GEORGE. ELAINE is cracking up with laughter and more great facial expressions.]

GEORGE: How was I to know he was gay?! Who figures their employer is gay?

JERRY: How do you do it? I want to know how you do it. The job with the brassiere company, and now this. Ruined by clothes. [walks over to kitchen area to get a drink]

GEORGE: [peeved] Hey! I could use some sympathy here, you know. [to ELAINE] I don't know why you're laughing, this is all your fault.

ELAINE: [throws a hand up in GEORGE's direction and speaks through her giggling] Oh, I'm sorry George. It's just so ironic.

[Door flies open. KRAMER bursts in, in his usual way.]

KRAMER: Hey!

ELAINE: Hey Kramer. How'd last night go?

KRAMER: Last night? Ohh... Those Russian women... Woah!! [another classic KRAMER shake of the head and hands]

GEORGE: [dumbfounded] What? You went out with women?

KRAMER: Well yeah. What d'you think I am? Gay, or something?

GEORGE: Oh my god. How can I be so stupid? First I think you're gay [gesturing at KRAMER], then I think my prospective boss is not gay. [throwing arms up in despair] This is all too hard for me!

JERRY: Well look at it this way, at least you know what you are.

END.


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