Hurstwood has been talking up the play to a bunch of his businessmen buds, convincing them to get tickets—he's even taken out an ad in the newspaper. This thing is going to be more packed than a Madonna concert.
Carrie is jittery as the big night approaches, even though she has prepared thoroughly. A member of the cast has been axed for his lackluster performance and replaced by "a loafing professional," and Mrs. Morgan is still green with envy over Carrie's favored status.
The lodge sends a carriage to pick up Carrie and Drouet and bring them to the theater. Carrie gets her makeup done and is soon transformed into "The Belle of Society." She adores the whole process and atmosphere.
The theater lobby is jammed with well-dressed, well-to-do businessmen and their families. Hurstwood and Drouet run into each other in the lobby and greet one another. Hurstwood chats with his pals, and when one asks where his wife is, Hurstwood (liar, liar) says she's sick.