Merrily We Roll Along script

Merrily We Roll Along Script - Broadway musical

ACT ONE

PROLOGUE

#1 Overture (Orchestra)

(The stage is in darkness, covered in front by a scrim. The ORCHESTRA starts to play the overture. When “Good Thing Going” begins, a LIGHT comes up on FRANKLIN SHEPARD, seated at a piano behind the scrim, DOWNSTAGE LEFT. HE is a handsome, self-possessed man of about forty, dressed in an elegant tuxedo. He plays along with the ORCHESTRA, but it is clear that he is playing for himself. It is also clear that he is an extremely accomplished and deeply expressive player.
The ORCHESTRA segues into the vamp of “Merrily We Roll Along", and as the COMPANY ENTERS, FRANKLIN stops playing, looks at his hands, then stares ruminatively into the middle distance.
As the number (“Merrily We Roll Along”) progresses, we see slides projected onto the scrim, slides which tell us the story we are about to see: photos of FRANKLIN SHEPARD, MARY FLYNN and CHARLEY KRINGAS each at the age of eight, then at their individual high schools and colleges, followed by a variety of things such as: the three of them posing for humorous pictures in amusement-palace booths; their initial successes as writers; FRANKLIN’S marriage and divorce; reviews, Variety articles, gossip columns, the newspaper accounts of the breakup of FRANKLIN’S and CHARLEY’S partnership; FRANKLIN’S movie career; CHARLEY’S Pulitzer Prize; etc., leading finally to a huge slide of a formal invitation which coincides with the end of the number and which reads:

YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED
TO A PARTY AT THE HOME OF
FRANKLIN SHEPARD
TO CELEBRATE THE PREMIERE
OF HIS LATEST MOTION PICTURE
“DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN”
1740 BELLAGIO DRIVE
BEL AIR, CALIFORNIA
OCTOBER 4, 1976

During the course of the show, we will see these slides again, projected during the transitions between scenes, matching and illustrating each appropriate time and event. MUSIC continues underneath)

#2 Merrily We Roll Along (Company)

COMPANY (EXCEPT FRANK)
(Variously)
YESTERDAY IS DONE.
SEE THE PRETTY COUNTRYSIDE.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG,
ROLL ALONG,
BURSTING WITH DREAMS.
TRAVELLING’S THE FUN,
FLASHING BY THE COUNTRYSIDE,
EVERYBODY MERRILY, MERRILY
CATCHING AT DREAMS,
ROLLING ALONG…
ROLLING ALONG…
ROLLING ALONG…

GROUP I
DREAMS DON’T DIE,
SO KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR DREAM,

GROUP II
AND BEFORE YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE,
THERE YOU ARE.

GROUP I
TIME GOES BY
AND HOPES GO DRY,
BUT YOU STILL CAN TRY FOR YOUR DREAM.

GROUP I
TEND YOUR DREAM…

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

GROUP I
DREAMS TAKE TIME…

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
ONCE IT WAS ALL SO CLEAR.

GROUP I
TIME GOES BY…

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
HOW CAN YOU GET SO FAR OFF THE TRACK?
WHY DON'T YOU TURN AROUND AND GO BACK?

GROUP I
BEND YOUR DREAM…

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
WHERE IS THE MOMENT?

GROUP I
WITH THE ROAD…

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
HOW CAN YOU MISS IT?
ISN'T IT CLEAR?
HOW CAN YOU LET IT SLIP OUT OF GEAR?
ALL
HOW DID YOU EVER GET THERE FROM HERE?

GROUP I
YOU ROLL.

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?

GROUP III
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
GROUP I
YOU JUST ROLL.

GROUP II
(Overlapping)
ONCE IT WAS ALL SO CLEAR.

GROUP III
(Overlapping)
ISN’T IT ALWAYS CLEAR?

GROUP I
EVERYBODY ROLL,

GROUP II
HOW DOES IT START TO GO?

GROUPS II, III
DOES IT SLIP AWAY SLOW

ALL
SO YOU NEVER EVEN NOTICE IT’S HAPPENING?

CHARLEY
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?

ALL EXCEPT CHARLEY
WHAT WAS THE MOMENT?

MARY
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?

MARY, CHARLEY
PICK YOURSELF A ROAD.
GET TO KNOW THE COUNTRYSIDE.
SOON ENOUGH YOU’RE MERRILY,

ALL
MERRILY
PRACTICING DREAMS.
DREAMS THAT WILL EXPLODE,
WAKING UP THE COUNTRYSIDE,
MAKING YOU FEEL MERRILY,
MERRILY,
WHAT CAN GO WRONG
ROLLING ALONG?
SOME ROADS ARE SOFT
AND SOME ARE BUMPY.
SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY.
SOME RIDES ARE ROUGH
AND LEAVE YOU JUMPY.
WHY MAKE IT TOUGH
BY GETTING GRUMPY?
PLENTY OF ROADS TO TRY.

GROUP I GROUP II
ONE TRIP. SOME ROADS ARE SOFT
ALL YOU GET AND SOME ARE BUMPY.
IS ONE QUICK RIDE. SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY.
LOOK AROUND A BIT — SOME RIDES ARE ROUGH
ONE QUICK RIDE AND LEAVE YOU JUMPY.
THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE. WHY MAKE IT TOUGH
STAY ON THE TRACK. BY GETTING GRUMPY?
PLENTY OF ROADS TO TRY.
NEVER LOOK BACK. SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY.
NEVER LOOK BACK.
NEVER LOOK BACK.
NEVER LOOK BACK.
NEVER LOOK BACK.
NEVER LOOK —

ALL
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?
WHAT WAS THE MOMENT?
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?
BENDING WITH THE ROAD,
GLIDING THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE.
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG,
ROLL ALONG,
CATCHING AT DREAMS.
DREAMS THAT WILL EXPLODE,
WAKING UP THE COUNTRYSIDE,
EVERYBODY MERRILY, MERRILY,
SING ’EM YOUR SONG,
ROLLING ALONG!
ROLLING ALONG!
ROLLING ALONG!
ROLLING A —

END OF PROLOGUE


SCENE ONE
(The MUSIC becomes loud and lively.
FRANKLIN, shaken out of his reverie, rises and climbs a staircase to a landing where he stands in the shadows and watches, while simultaneously the members of the COMPANY turn to each other and begin chatting animatedly — THEY are now FRIENDS and GUESTS at a party in FRANK’S BEL AIR HOME.
DOWNSTAGE is a patio with bar and, just OFFSTAGE, a swimming pool. UPSTAGE under the balcony are French doors leading to the inside of the house, through which we can see some of the GUESTS drinking and dancing. The rest are DOWNSTAGE on the patio. THEY are all in their thirties and forties, rich, successful and happy.
MARY FLYNN, a fat, disheveled, once-pretty 40-year old woman sits at the bar, drunk and getting drunker.
During the course of the play SHE will become ten pounds thinner in each successive scene. A slide over the proscenium reads: “BEL AIR, CALIFORNIA 1976”)

#3 That Frank (Company)

GUEST (TYLER)
(To another GUEST)
I SAID, “FRANK, THIS PICTURE IS A WATERSHED…”

GUEST (TERRY)
(To another GUEST)
I SAID, “FRANK, ONE DAY YOU’LL RUN MY STUDIO…”

GUEST (SCOTTY)
(To DORY)
I SAID, “FRANK, WILL YOU LISTEN TO THAT RESPONSE?”

GUEST (DORY)
I SAID, “FRANK REALLY KNOWS WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS.”

TYLER
(To a different GUEST)
I SAID, “FRANK, THIS PICTURE IS A WATERSHED…”

MARY
(At the bar, indicating her glass as she raises it to RU, a handsome young man) Know what I’m having?

RU
What?

MARY
Not much fun.

FRANK
(Stepping out of the shadows on the balcony, raising a glass, calling down to EVERYONE with exaggerated cheerfulness)
PARTY!

GROUP I
THAT FRANK —

JEROME
THE GUY IS TOO MUCH —

FRANK
Hey, the party’s inside!

GROUP II
THAT FRANK —

FRANK
You like the picture?

TERRY
THE PLATINUM TOUCH.

FRANK
How about more Champagne?
(EXITS to get Champagne)
SCOTTY
HE HAS TASTE, HE HAS TALENT —

TERRY
IS HE THE BEST?

TYLER
PLUS A FINE HEAD FOR BUSINESS.

K.T.
THE MAN IS BLESSED.

ALL
THAT FRANK!
(FRANK RE-ENTERS, pouring Champagne. MUSIC continues under)

RU
(To MARY)
I wrote the screenplay for Frank’s movie.

MARY
Your secret’s safe with me.
(FRANK sees MEG hurrying toward him. Avoiding being alone with her, HE turns to pour for TYLER’S group as she joins him)

FRANK
Oh Tyler, I want you to meet Meg, the star of my movie. My old friend Tyler here is the man who invented the telephone answering machine.

TYLER
And people are living in fear I’ll invent something else.
(THEY shake hands; FRANK moves on to pour for the next group, leaving MEG talking to TYLER)

GROUP I
THAT FRANK —

RU
(To MARY)
So what do you do?

JEROME
HE’S FULL OF ADVICE.

MARY
I drink.

GROUP II
THAT FRANK —

RU
No, what do you really do?

ALL
AND GOD, IS HE NICE!

MARY
I really drink.

K.T.
WHAT A FRIEND —

MEG
WHAT A HOST —

BUNKER
AND HIS WORK IS GREAT!

TERRY
HAS A WIFE WHO IS GORGEOUS —

MEN
A SON WHO’S STRAIGHT.

ALL
HE’S THE TYPE YOU COULD EASILY LEARN TO HATE,
THAT FRANK!

FRANK
(To the GUESTS)
WHO SAYS, “LONELY AT THE TOP?”
(BABBLE up, then down)
I SAY, “LET IT NEVER STOP!”
(BABBLE again, up then down)
IT’S OUR TIME COMING THROUGH,
ALL OUR DREAMS
COMING TRUE.
WORKING HARD,
GETTING RICH,
BEING HAPPY —
THERE’S A SWITCH!

GROUP I
THAT SMILE —

BUNKER
Don’t you miss writing music?

GROUP I
HE’S HOT BUT HE’S COOL.

FRANK
That was the old Frank Shepard.

GROUP II
WHAT STYLE —

JEROME
This guy’s the American dream!

MEG
(Looking OFFSTAGE)
AND WHAT A GREAT POOL!

GROUP I
IF YOU HAD NO IDEA WHAT
CHARISMA MEANT —

GROUP II
AND YOU JUST CAN’T BE JEALOUS,
HE’S SUCH A GENT —

ALL
HE’S THE KIND OF A MAN THAT
YOU CAN’T RESENT,
THAT FRANK!

(MUSIC out. Under the following, snatches of LOW BABBLE and background MUSIC or PIANO emanate from the slightly visible OFFSTAGE party room, from and into which GUESTS continue to ENTER and EXIT)

MEG
(Approaching FRANK)
Franklin?

FRANK
(Nervous; to avoid her, HE changes direction and crosses to MARY)
Oh, Meg, this is Mary Flynn.
(Sincerely)
Mary is my deepest, closest, best friend in all the world. We go way back.

MARY
But seldom forward.

MEG
Actually, Franklin gave me the novel you wrote and I read it over and over.

MARY
Didn’t you get it the first time?

FRANK
(Loudly, to the GUESTS)
Hey, gang, we got this orchestra and dancing inside.
(MUSIC resumes, as FRANK EXITS)

TYLER
I SAID “FRANK, YOU’RE COMING DOWN TO MEXICO…”

JEROME
I THINK FRANK IS MOVING BACK TO PARAMOUNT…

MARY
(To the AUDIENCE)
THESE ARE THE MOVERS,
THESE ARE THE SHAPERS,
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE
THAT FILL THE PAPERS.

GROUP I
… MEXICO…

MARY
THESE ARE THE FRIENDS OF FRANK.

GROUP II
… MOVING BACK TO PARAMOUNT…

MARY
EACH ONE A PERFECT BLANK.

ALL
WHEN YOU SEE A MOVIE THAT SUCCESSFUL,
WHAT CAN YOU SAY?
(To FRANK)
Congratulations!

FRANK
THANK YOU!
(FRANK joins a group and, with his back to us, has them all laughing
with an animated and hilarious story)

MARY
THESE ARE THE MOVERS,
THESE ARE THE SHAPERS,
THESE ARE THE PEOPLE
THAT GIVE YOU VAPORS…

FRANK
(Crossing, to MARY)
TWENTY YEARS AGO, WHO’D HAVE GUESSED,
WHO’D HAVE GUESSED
WE’D BE STANDING HERE?
GOD, WE WOULD HAVE BEEN SO IMPRESSED!
NOW WE’RE HERE WITH THE MOST —

GROUP I
… MEXICO…

FRANK
— BRILLIANT MINDS ON THE COAST.

GROUP II
… MOVING BACK TO PARAMOUNT…

FRANK
AND NOTICE WHO IS THEIR HOST.

GROUP I
… MEXICO…

GROUP II
BEAUTIFUL, FRANK!

GROUP I
… ACAPULCO, MEXICO…

GROUP II
BEAUTIFUL, FRANK!

ALL
WHEN YOU’VE MADE A MOVIE THAT SUCCESSFUL,
WHERE DO YOU GO?

FRANK
Uhhh — Paramount!
(MUSIC continues under.

FRANK, turning and crossing, holds up his pinkie to MARY)
“Here’s to us.”

MARY
(Holds up her pinkie)
“Who’s like us?”

FRANK, MARY
(Clasping pinkies)
“Damn few.”

FRANK
Thanks pal, for flying out.

MARY
Thanks pal, for the ticket. I got a letter from Frankie.

FRANK
Well, at least my son writes to you.

MARY
To thank me for coming to his graduation.

FRANK
He didn’t invite me.

MARY
He didn’t invite me either.

FRANK
How is Frankie?

MARY
He asked the same thing about you. Oh, Frank, why don’t the two of you —

K.T.
(Interrupting as she crosses to FRANK)
Frank, I am beginning my broadcast, “Where Franklin Shepard goes I go, becausethat is where the ‘A’ list goes.”
(Smiles, moves away)

MARY
I just figured out what the ‘A’ stands for…
(FRANK, smiling, leaves her)

JEROME
(Stopping FRANK)
Now I heard a reliable rumor that you’re selling the Malibu house?

FRANK
You don’t want it. The place doesn’t even have a pool.

MARY
(Too loudly)
No pool!?!
(MUSIC stops.EVERYONE stares)
In my rat’s hole in New York the john is terminally busted and the kitchen should be
condemned. But no pool!?!
(Shouts)
TRASH IT!!

(Flings out her arms, spilling liquid from her drink; FRANK crosses back to her)

FRANK
Let’s have some coffee, Mary.
(Takes her arm and moves STAGE RIGHT)

ALL
POOR FRANK —

MARY
I never drink coffee.

ALL
HE HANDLED THAT WELL.

MARY
Caffeine isn’t good for you.

GROUP II
THAT FRANK —

FRANK
Look, I’m aware this was just a formula movie.

JEROME
HE’S LOYAL AS HELL.

FRANK
But my next picture. You wait.
(FRANK crosses D.L.)

MARY
I gave up waiting.

ALL
HE’S POLITE AND CONSIDERATE, RAIN OR SHINE —

MARY
(Brightly, lifting her glass, to TERRY at the bar)
IT BEGAN WHEN I TASTED COMMUNION WINE —

ALL
THAT FRANK

FRANK
(To GUESTS)
WHO SAYS, “MUSTN’T GO TOO FAR”?
(BABBLE up, then down)
I SAY, “LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE!”
(BABBLE up, then down)
IT’S OUR TIME, COMING THROUGH —
I SAY, “GOOD,
ME AND YOU!”
I SAY, “ROLL!”
I SAY, “RIDE!”
(Gesture toward inside house)
I SAY, “HEY, THERE’S FOOD INSIDE!”

ALL
THAT FRANK —

TERRY
Frank’s movie was fun!

ALL
YOU’D THINK HE’D RELAX.

TYLER
Frank knows what the public wants!

ALL
NOT FRANK —

BUNKER
Frank understands commercial!

ALL
HE’S LAYING NEW TRACKS.

K.T.
(Indicating MEG, who blushes)
And Frank made a star!

ALL
IF YOU HAD NO IDEA WHAT
CHARISMA MEANT —
AND YOU JUST CAN’T BE JEALOUS,
HE’S SUCH A GENT —
HE’S THE KIND OF A MAN
COULD BE PRESIDENT,
THAT FRANK!
THAT FRANK!
THAT FRANK!

#3A Incidental (Onstage Piano)

(MUSIC stops)

MEG
(Crossing to FRANK)
Oh, Frank —
(FRANK, noticing GUSSIE ENTERING U.S.L. DOOR and watching them, moves quickly away. MEG, sensing something’s wrong stops, remaining at a distance) — tonight I saw a falling star. I was running across the lawn and right there in front of me…

FRANK
(Loudly, for all to hear)
And what do we see in front of us? A rising star. Because no matter what the critics say about this picture, they’re certain to love you.

GUSSIE
They’re certain to. No matter what they say about the picture.
(Rich, haughty, a Broadway star, used to an attention denied her on this coast, SHE comes DOWNSTAGE)

MARY
(To no one)
The plot thins.

FRANK
Meg, you know my wife, Gussie.

MEG
Everybody who has ever been to a Broadway show knows Gussie Carnegie.

GUSSIE
The hem of your garment.

SCOTTY
(To MEG, indicating all the LIGHTS below them from FAR L to FAR R)
I say by tomorrow all of that is going to be at your feet.

GUSSIE
Scotty. That’s the Valley.

FRANK
(To GUSSIE, after a brief awkward pause)
Have you been inside all this time?

GUSSIE
It’s customary when you give a party to attend it.

FRANK
Did you sing?

GUSSIE
No one asked.
(GUSSIE EXITS U.R. DOOR. FRANK crosses away to avoid MEG again, but SHE follows close behind him)

MEG
Franklin —

FRANK
(Quietly, warning her)
Later.

MEG
(Lowering her voice)
You’re ignoring me.

FRANK
Yes, I am.

MEG
I’ve got feelings.

FRANK
And I’ve got a wife.

MEG
I love you so much.

FRANK
And I love you.
(He crosses UPSTAGE, away from her)

TYLER
(Loudly)
Anyway, I’m off. Tomorrow I fly to New York.

BUNKER
Oh, while you’re there do not miss that new Charles Kringas play.
(MUSIC stops. FRANK stops. Noisy ad lib. conversation stops)
That is the only show in years that actually deserves its Pulitzer Prize. I say, in every generation there is one playwright who —
(The silence and the stares indicate that obviously he has said something wrong)
Oh, my God. What did I say?

MARY
Don’t you know that in this joint you must never, ever mention the name —
(Shouts)
CHARLES KRINGAS!

FRANK
(Crossing to her)
Mary.

MARY
(Ignoring him, loudly)
See, Charley, Frank and I once were these devoted, inseparable friends.

GUSSIE
Would anyone care to come inside?

MARY
Up until that famous television interview when Charley, in front of —

FRANK
Mary, goddamn it, that’s enough.

GUSSIE
Mary, I’ve warned you.

JEROME
(ENTERS, carrying pages)
Hey, the house numbers are in from the East coast!

SCOTTY
(ENTERING with JEROME, shoots a fist high in the air)
And it went through the roof!
(Excitement, BABBLE throughout the room)

FRANK
So we don’t have to save the bottles for deposits.

SCOTTY
(To MEG)
And you, listen.
(Reading)
“The surprise of ‘Darkness Before Dawn’, is Meg Kincaid, a starry-eyed find.”

TYLER
(Raising his glass; loud, to get everyone’s attention)
To Franklin Shepard, who I’ve known ever since we started out together back in a crummy little Greenwich Village saloon.

JEROME
(Also raising his glass)
To Frank Shepard. Congratulations to the client every lawyer dreams of. Forty years old, a hit in New York, now a hit in Hollywood, married to this Broadway legend, surrounded by the people who work for him, by his money…
(ALL laugh)

MARY
Oh, are we making speeches?
(Raises her glass)
To Franklin Shepard, the producer. The man who has everything. And fat, drunk and finished, I would rather be me any day.
(There is an awful SILENCE)

TERRY
Look at the time. I’ve got to get to bed.

MARY
(Bitchily, implyinghe’s gay)
He’ll wait.

GUSSIE
Get out of here, drunk.

FRANK
Gussie!

GUSSIE
(To FRANK)
Get that fat sot out of here.

FRANK
(Having crossed to MARY; very quietly)
Mary, may I take your glass?

MARY
(Very loudly)
No, big shot. You may not take my glass!
(Pulling away, SHE falls down hard, knocking over the entire bar with a loud and awful CRASH. As the guests gasp, she struggles up from the floor, then falls again)
Oh no. Now I won’t be invited back.
(RU helps HER up and walks her UPSTAGE)
Listen, please — now don’t all feel you have to leave just because I’m leaving.
(SHE trips and RU grabs her. She squirms away from him, and turns to face the room on the stair landing)
But first, attention. I said,
(Shouting)
ATTENTION!!
(The guests, shocked, stop and listen)
I have something I must say. You listening? You are all junk.
(SHE turns to FRANK, pointing)
And you — you deserve them.
(SHE turns, falls down once more, and EXITS crawling. RU follows her)

TYLER
(After a brief pause)
Damn sad.

TERRY
Isn’t she somebody?

DORY
No, she’s a critic.

#3B Incidental (On-stage piano)

JEROME
She wrote a best-seller once.

GUSSIE
I would never have believed it. She’s finally out of Frank’s life.

FRANK
And the loss is unbearable.
(As MEG, TYLER and SCOTTY have been helping clean up at the bar, MEG lets out a sudden scream, clutching her hand, which is bleeding)

SCOTTY
What happened?

DORY
She cut her hand on a piece of glass.

MEG
It’s nothing. It’ll stop.

FRANK
(To the others)
Meg’s cut her hand rather badly.
(GUSSIE moves away, next to TERRY)

MEG
Honestly, it’s nothing

FRANK
Ru, somebody, go get something. Get some iodine.
(RU EXITS)

TERRY
(To GUSSIE)
See, when you’re young and the star, how the slightest thing and you’re everybody’s focus.

GUSSIE
Bitch.
(Crossing away)

MEG
It’s stopping. I’m just going to let it air.
(MEG runs out. FRANK has an impulse to follow her, but sees GUSSIE and doesn’t. GUSSIE has caught the moment however, and her eyes connect with FRANK’S for a second before HE moves away)

SCOTTY
(Too brightly, to FRANK and GUSSIE)
You two certainly do know how to bring down a curtain.

RU
(ENTERING with the iodine)
I’ve got the iodine. Where’s the patient?

FRANK
She’s down at the foot of the lawn.

GUSSIE
Doing her fawn imitation.

RU
(Starts to EXIT, but turns back to FRANK)
Mr. Shepard?

FRANK
(Distracted)
Frank.

RU
Before I go, I just want to know —
(Smiling)
how do I get to be you?

FRANK
The worst vice in the world is “advice,” so I don’t give any.
(RU starts to EXIT)
Hey…
(RU stops, turns back)
don’t just write what you know.
(Points to his head)
Write what you know.
(Points to his heart)
Now get out of here.
(RU EXITS. FRANK and GUSSIE stand alone. PIANO MUSIC continues underneath. GUESTS are visible inside, dancing and enjoying the party. FRANK turns to leave)

GUSSIE
‘The worst vice is ‘advice’?’ Did you get that off a tee-shirt, Frank?

FRANK
I’m sorry, what’s wrong?

GUSSIE
You and that little punchboard are what’s wrong.

FRANK
Please, please don’t do this. We’ve got a party going on in there.

GUSSIE
You may have betrayed me but you’re not going to humiliate me.

FRANK
Gussie, when are you going to let it go? I never said you were too old for the part. The studio said you were too old for the part.

GUSSIE
To think I divorced a husband who worshipped the ground I walked on to marry a pitiful excuse for a man like you.

FRANK
(Sighs)
I’ve made only one mistake in my life. But I made it over and over and over. That was saying ‘yes’ when I meant ‘no’. Forgive me.
(HE turns U.S.)

GUSSIE
Don’t you dare walk away from me, mister.

FRANK
All right. You want to know if it’s true? It’s true. But what you’d never understand is she is sensitive, she cares, she’s an inspiration. She is the raft that keeps me from drowning.

(MUSIC ends and the GUESTS inside applaud. New MUSIC begins)

#3C Incidental (“Good Thing Going”) (On-stage piano)

GUSSIE
Pathetic.
(SHE crosses D.R.)
After all these years I have to hand it to Charley Kringas. That driven little runt was always the one smart enough to read your label.

FRANK
And I envy Charley Kringas every day of my life.

GUSSIE
Oh, hilarious, this coming from a man whose work isn’t remembered by the time audiences reach the parking lot.

FRANK
I swear, if I could go back to the beginning, if I could somehow be starting over with Charley, writing shows, trying to change the world, I’d give all this up like that.

GUSSIE
You’ve lied to yourself so long you probably believe that.

FRANK
Do you really not see that I’m ashamed of all this? That I am as sick of myself as you are? That I just try to keep acting like it all matters. To not let people see how much I hate my life, how much I wish the God damn thing was over —

RU
(ENTERING with a reluctant MEG)
I found her running along the lawn, singing.

FRANK
(Recovering, handing RU the iodine)
Oh sorry. Here.

RU
(To MEG)
Now stand still and let me put some iodine on that hand.

JEROME
(Entering U.C. with DORY)
My significant other and I want to say good-night.

MEG
(Having the iodine applied by RU)
Ow, ow!

GUSSIE
(Crossing down to RU and MEG)
Meg, my husband was just telling me that you’re the starry-eyed slut who keeps him from drowning.

FRANK
Gussie, stop it!

GUSSIE
Absolutely, Frank, I will stop it. But maybe she won’t be so starry-eyed now!
(GUSSIE grabs the iodine from RU and throws it directly into MEG’S eyes. MEG screams, covering her face with her hands. The others rush to surround her; all of the following dialogue is simultaneous)
There’s my toast to you, Frank!

MEG
(Overlapping)
My eyes! My eyes!

GUSSIE
(Overlapping)
And may you always get all that you deserve!

JEROME
(Overlapping)
Frank, call the hospital! Call the hospital and tell them there’s been a terrible accident!

MEG
(Overlapping)
Oh, my God!

DORY
(Overlapping)
Tell them to send an ambulance here fast!

GUSSIE
(Overlapping)
He was sleeping with her, Dory!

TYLER
(Overlapping)
We can’t wait for an ambulance, Frank. Put her in my car.

RU
(Overlapping)
We need water, Mr. Shepard! Water and cloths!

MEG
(Overlapping)
Oh, please! Somebody help!

JEROME
(Frantically, leading MEG out)
Frank, the police must be notified at once!

TYLER
(Overlapping)
There’s a phone in the car, Frank.

JEROME
Frank, Frank, hurry! We have to move!

GUSSIE
(Following the exiting GUESTS, screaming at FRANK who stands there frozen)
You said we were finished, Frank? Well, now we’re finished. You and her and me and every God damn thing is finished!
(EXITS)

FRANK
(Alone, turns, screams)
WHYYYY??!!

#4 Transition 1 (Company)

COMPANY
(Variously)
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?
WHAT WAS THE MOMENT?
HOW DID YOU GET TO BE HERE?

GROUP I
DREAMS DON’T DIE,
SO KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR DREAM,
OR BEFORE YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE,
THERE YOU ARE,
ROADS MAY WIND
AND YOU MAY FIND
WHAT YOU’VE LEFT BEHIND IS YOUR DREAM.
TEND YOUR DREAM…

GROUP II
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?…

GROUP I
DREAMS TAKE TIME…

GROUP II
ONCE IT WAS ALL SO CLEAR.

GROUP I
TIME GOES BY…

GROUP II
HOW CAN YOU GET SO FAR OFF THE TRACK?
WHY DON’T YOU TURN AROUND AND GO BACK?
BEND YOUR DREAM…
HOW DOES IT HAPPEN?
WHERE IS THE MOMENT?
WITH THE ROAD…
WHEN DID THE ROAD BEHIND DISAPPEAR?
WHERE DID YOU LET THINGS SLIP OUT OF GEAR?

ALL
HOW DID YOU EVER GET TO BE HERE?…

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY-FIVE…

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY-FOUR…

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY-THREE...

END OF SCENE ONE

SCENE TWO
(The slide reads: NBC STUDIO 1973. We are backstage at a TV news broadcast in progress. Far UPSTAGE a TV NEWSMAN and TV NEWSWOMAN sit behind a desk, reporting the evening news. A makeup area is DOWNSTAGE LEFT and an interview area is being set up on a platform STAGE RIGHT

We get a sense of the general frantic floor activity of a live TV broadcast as a MAKE-UP ARTIST, FLOOR MONITOR (RU), and STAGE MANAGER and others are all bustling about.

Gradually we hear the sound of Frank Sinatra singing “Good Thing Going” playing in the background and soon fading out)

TV NEWSWOMAN
And that was Frank Sinatra singing “Good Thing Going” from the Broadway and film hit “Musical Husbands.” The composers of that show, Franklin Shepard and Charles Kringas, are here in our studio tonight and we’ll be meeting and talking with them. But first the news. Hal?

TV NEWSMAN
The lead-in story from tonight’s edition of “News From New York.” Today our nation is at long last celebrating the cease-fire in Vietnam. The tragic death toll there now having cost nearly forty-six thousand American lives. Judy?

TV NEWSWOMAN
On the local front — Mayor Abe Beame… (Lights down and sound fades out as RU turns to direct the ENTERING MARY to the make–up area. This MARY is very happy, very excited)

MAKE-UP ARTIST
(Holding up a hand mirror to CHARLEY KRINGAS, a bespectacled, easily agitated man seated in the make-up chair)
Well, Mr. Kringas, what do you think?

CHARLEY
(Lowering mirror)
I think my worst nightmare has come true. I look like Richard Nixon.

MARY
Charley, Charley.
(MARY hugs him)

CHARLEY
Mary, do not speak to me.
(MARY removes her hands)
This whole goddamn thing is your fault. I don’t know why in Christ’s name I ever let you talk me into this humiliation.

RU
(ENTERING with beverage tray, handing MARY a drink)
Here’s the drink you ordered, Miss Flynn.

CHARLEY
(Taking the drink from MARY)
Mary, how thoughtful.

MARY
Charley, c’mon, I need a drink.

CHARLEY
One drink. What would you like?

MARY
A bottle of vodka and a straw.
(CHARLEY hands MARY the drink. RU EXITS)
Where’s Frank?
(Drinks)

CHARLEY
Oh, Frank. Probably off signing to score another movie. Or closing a record deal… I can only tell you where Frank never is…that’s with me, working on our show.

MARY
Well, when I called K.T. to set up this interview, I made it very clear that all you two guys were here to talk about was your next show and how long you both have been working on it.

CHARLEY
Grow up, Mary. Since Frank married Gussie, the only ‘working’ he knows is ‘working the room.

MARY
And just where did he learn that, Charley? Off on that goddamn yacht is where. And who was it who sent him off on that goddamn yacht, huh?

CHARLEY
I say to hell with Frank. I’ve started a play all on my own. And if Frank doesn’t show up in the next thirty seconds, me, I am walking right out that door.
(Looks at watch)

MARY
Charley, I know Frank. If you connect with him again, if you commit the guy today publicly, I promise you, by tomorrow you two are going to be back together working again. You gotta help save him, Charley.

#5 Old Friends –– Like It Was (Mary, Charley)

(CHARLEY looks at watch: time’s up; HE gets up and starts to EXIT. MARY stops him with her hand as well as with the song’s first line, as MUSIC begins)
HEY, OLD FRIEND,
WHAT DO YOU SAY, OLD FRIEND?
MAKE IT OKAY, OLD FRIEND.
GIVE THE OLD FRIENDSHIP A BREAK.
WHY SO GRIM?
WE’RE GOING ON FOREVER.
YOU, ME, HIM,
TOO MANY LIVES ARE AT STAKE.
FRIENDS THIS LONG
HAS TO MEAN SOMETHING’S STRONG,
SO IF OUR OLD FRIEND’S WRONG,
SHOULDN’T AN OLD FRIEND COME THROUGH?
IT’S US, OLD FRIEND —
WHAT’S TO DISCUSS, OLD FRIEND?
HERE’S TO US,
WHO’S LIKE US?

(She puts her pinkie finger up. After a beat, Charley links his pinkie to hers)

CHARLEY
DAMN FEW.


MARY
CHARLEY,
WHY CAN’T IT BE LIKE IT WAS?
I LIKED IT THE WAY THAT IT WAS,
CHARLEY —
YOU AND ME, WE WERE NICER THEN.
WE WERE NICE,
KIDS AND CITIES AND TREES WERE NICE,
EVERYTHING…
I DON’T KNOW WHO WE ARE ANY MORE,
AND I’M STARTING NOT TO CARE.
LOOK AT US, CHARLEY,
NOTHING’S THE WAY THAT IT WAS.
I WANT IT THE WAY THAT IT WAS —
HELP ME STOP REMEMBERING THEN.
DON’T YOU REMEMBER?
IT WAS GOOD, IT WAS REALLY GOOD.
HELP ME OUT, CHARLEY,
MAKE IT LIKE IT WAS.

Come on. It was so much better, Charley. The three of us.

CHARLEY
And you come on — we’re not the three of us any more, Mary. Now we’re one and one and one.

MARY
CHARLEY,
NOTHING’S THE WAY THAT IT WAS.
I WANT IT THE WAY THAT IT WAS.
GOD KNOWS, THINGS WERE EASIER THEN.
TROUBLE IS, CHARLEY,
THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE DOES:
BLAMES THE WAY IT IS
ON THE WAY IT WAS —
ON THE WAY IT NEVER EVER WAS.
(MARY downs the drink)

CHARLEY
Jesus, Mary. After all these years. You’re still in love with the guy.

MARY
(Shrugs)
You gotta help save me then, Charley.

K.T.
(ENTERING D.R.)
Charley? Frank? We’re on a commercial break, then it’s us. Follow me.

CHARLEY
Frank isn’t here.

K.T.
(Panicked)
He isn’t here? Where the hell is Frank?
(FRANK, GUSSIE, JEROME, TERRY are all hurried in by RU and the MAKE-UP ARTIST. ALL hug. RU EXITS. TERRY and JEROME move U.S. and confer, whispering)

FRANK
Frank is here. And Frank is sorry. But ever since Gussie and I got married, life is this series of meetings, meetings, meetings.
(Crosses to CHARLEY, hugs him)
Hey, pal.

CHARLEY
Hey, pal. Long time, no see.

FRANK
Oh, and I’ve missed you, buddy. And Mary. Oh, God, Mary.
(Hugs MARY. Stands back to look)
You look wonderful. Lost a little weight?

MARY
A hundred eighty pounds. He still calls, though.

K.T.
Please, Frank, Frank — in the chair. And Charley, you come with me.
(As K.T. and CHARLEY cross to the interview area, FRANK sits in the make-up chair, and is made up)

GUSSIE
(Stopping K.T.)
K.T., I think I saw my ex-husband hovering around outside. Could you see to it that
nobody is allowed in? He’s become the eternal sponge.

K.T.
Got it. Charley, move, please — we gotta go…
(CHARLEY and K.T. continue to interview platform; MAKE-UP EXITS with cart)

RU
Excuse me, Mrs. Shepard. I know this is inappropriate. But I wrote a filmscript, “Darkness Before Dawn,” that is so perfect for you.

GUSSIE
It is inappropriate, give it to me.
(RU gives it to GUSSIE and crosses around platform to CHARLEY, hooking up his microphone)
I’ve accepted that if I don’t want people handing me scripts then I can never go out. Frank, did you tell Mary about closing the three–picture deal?

MARY
Oh, no.

FRANK
But, please let me be the one to tell Charley. I’m waiting to choose the exact moment.

MARY
Oh, God.

GUSSIE
I’ve explained to Frank, you compose a Broadway show you’re something in New York. But you produce a movie, you’re something all over the world.
(K.T. scurries back to the make-up area)

K.T.
Frank, we’re up. We got to move.

MARY
Oh, hell.

(They head for the interview area. GUSSIE turns to follow them when JOE JOSEPHSON, a seedy-looking man in his late 50’s, ENTERS D.L. During the following, we can see RU cross to K.T. and whisper in her ear)

JOE
Gussie?
(SHE turns)
Hi, Gussie.

GUSSIE
Oh, Joe.

JOE
You look great.

GUSSIE
You caught me in the middle, Joe.

JOE
I was just hoping maybe you could spare a hundred or so.

GUSSIE
Joe, Joe. I —
(Surrenders. Into purse. Hands him money)
You can’t keep doing this to me, Joe. Now this is the last time.

JOE
I’m lining up backers for my next play —

GUSSIE
(Backing away)
Excuse me, Joe. They’re waiting for me. I’m sorry.
(SHE turns and EXITS into the control room OFFSTAGE. JOE, after a beat shuffles off in another direction)

TV NEWSMAN
And now our evening’s top news story: Today the Supreme Court made its final ruling legalizing abortion. The court stated, “Abortion should be a decision between a woman and her physician.” A longtime controversy now ended. Judy?
(We hear a few bars of Sinatra singing “Good Thing Going”; RU has been attaching Frank’s microphone)

TV NEWSMAN
For those who have tuned in late, we are hearing Frank Sinatra singing the hit song by Franklin Shepard and Charles Kringas, our next guests, live from New York.
(Lights up on the interview platform where FRANK, CHARLEY and K.T. have been chatting, laughing, having a reunion)

K.T.
Oh, and Frank, I cannot thank you enough for this favor.

FRANK
Favor? After what you did for me during my divorce — !

CHARLEY
That’s why we’re here.

K.T.
Oh, and how’s your son?

FRANK
(Taking out wallet)
Want to see a picture?

K.T.
No. But do that on the air and I’ll coo and I’ll tear and I’ll carry on like a mad thing. People love cheap sentiment. And I understand congratulations are in order. I hear you’ve signed a three-picture deal to produce movies.
(Mimes applauding FRANK)

FRANK
(Uncomfortable)
Where’d you hear that?

K.T.
Oh, I have my spies. Now, don’t worry. I understand that I’m not supposed to bring it up on the air.

CHARLEY
(Containing rage)
I think you weren’t supposed to bring it up in front of me.

K.T.
Oh? Oh.

FRANK
Charley, I was waiting for the exact moment to tell you. But see, it doesn’t change our plan. It’s only two or three months at a time.

CHARLEY
(Overlapping)
Frank, it’s always two or three months at a time.

FRANK
I haven’t even signed the contract yet.

CHARLEY
(Overlapping)
Do you know how long I’ve sat and waited for you to finish this project?

K.T.
(Overlapping)
Guys, hold it for one second, can ya?
(Looking at watch)
We’re just about on —

FRANK
Charley, I have a son to support. I have an ex-wife draining me. What happens if we finish this show, we get it on, and they say it’s no good?

CHARLEY
Frank, I have four kids to support. And I don’t give a rat’s ass what “they” say. If I say it’s good. If you say it’s good. That’s what’s important. That’s all that’s important.

K.T.
(Overlapping)
Okay, fellows, we’re just about to start.

CHARLEY
He only knows it’s good if it makes a fucking fortune!

K.T.
(The “On The Air” sign lights up. Quickly smiling into the camera)
Hi. We’re back. And welcome to “Today in New York’s” Celebrity Spot. And here next to me we have two brilliantly talented people. The gentleman on my right is —

(A delay as FRANK, sitting smiling into the camera, is suddenly shocked to find K.T. is waiting for him)

FRANK
Oh. Uh — Franklin Shepard. I almost forgot.

K.T.
(Looking at, then pointing to Charley)
And — ?

CHARLEY
(Also frozen by the camera)
And he is. Why should he lie. And I have no idea who I am.

FRANK
This is my great friend and even greater collaborator, Charley Kringas.
K.T.
They are the songwriters for “Musical Husbands,” both the show and the movie. They also wrote —
(Hand over heart)
“Sweet Sorrow”…and their newest collaboration will be called “Take A Left,” but more about that later.

CHARLEY
Apparently much later.

K.T.
(Throughout, K.T. directs all her questions to FRANK)
And you recently married the star of those shows, Gussie Carnegie, did you not?

FRANK
Yes, that’s correct.

CHARLEY
(Feeling left out)
And I’m married to Evelyn.

K.T.
Now all of Broadway says you two are the next Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe —

CHARLEY
— Irving and Berlin.

K.T.
Let’s start at the beginning. You’re both from Chicago and you both went to the same school and the same college.

CHARLEY
No. Me, Columbia. Him, Julliard.

K.T.
So your entire life you’ve been very, very close friends?

CHARLEY
Until today.

FRANK
Like all partners we have had fights and other commitments, but the magic is only there when it’s me and Charley. Charley and me.

K.T.
(To camera)
I love it.
(To FRANK)
Now, how do you two work together?

#6 Franklin Shepard, Inc. (Charley)


CHARLEY
Oh, may I answer that?

K.T.
Please.

CHARLEY
How do we work together? Sure.
HE GOES —
(HE mimes an arpeggio on an imaginary piano)
ANDIGO—
(Mimics typing, the clicking keys sounding in the orchestra)
AND SOON WE’RE HUMMING ALONG —
HMMM-HMMM-HMMM —
AND THAT’S CALLED WRITING A SONG —
HMMM-HMMM-HMMM —
THEN HE GOES —
(On the “piano”)
ANDIGO—
(On the “typewriter”)
AND THE PHONE GOES DRRRRRING!
AND HE GOES —
(Mimicking FRANK’S intense business calls into an imaginary phone) “MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER, YES, JEROME, MUTTER NO, JEROME,
MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER”— (To K.T.)
THAT’S HIS LAWYER, JEROME —
(Back into the “phone”)
“MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER DO IT,
JEROME…”
(Hangs up “phone”)
— CLICK —
“SORRY, CHARLEY —”
(Arpeggio on “piano”)
SOIGO—
(On the “typewriter”)
AND SOON WE’RE TAPPING AWAY —
HMMM-HMMM-HMMM —
(Mimicking an intercom)
BZZZ!
“SORRY, CHARLEY.”
BZZZ!
(To K.T.)
IT’S THE SECRETARY —
BZZZ!
ON THE INTERCOM…
(As FRANK)
“YES, MISS BZZZ…”
(Nasal, as the Secretary)
“IT’S A MESSENGER.”
(As FRANK)
“THANKS, MISS BZZZ,
WILL YOU TELL HIM TO WAIT?
WILL YOU ORDER THE CAR?
WILL YOU CALL UP THE BANK?
WILL YOU WIRE THE COAST?
WILL YOU —”
DRRRRING!
“SORRY, CHARLEY…”
(Into “phone” again)
MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER SELL THE STOCK MUTTER BUY THE RIGHTS
MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER —” BZZZ!
(Into “phone”)
“LET ME PUT YOU ON ‘HOLD’…”
BZZZ!
“YES, MISS BZZZ…”
“IT’S THE INTERVIEW…”
“THANKS, MISS BZZZ,
WILL YOU TELL HIM TO WAIT?
WILL YOU WIRE THE CAR?
WILL YOU ORDER THE COAST?
WILL YOU SEND UP THE BANK?…”
AND THE TELEPHONES BLINK
AND THE STOCKS GET SOLD
AND THE REST OF US HE KEEPS ON “HOLD”.
AND HE’S INTO MAKING MOVIES.
AND HE’S NOW A CORPORATION.
RIGHT?
SO I PLAY AT HOME
WITH MY WIFE AND KIDS
AND I WAIT TO HEAR THE MOVIE BIDS.
AND I’VE GOT A LITTLE SAILBOAT.
AND I’M INTO MEDITATION.
RIGHT?
HE FLIES OFF TO CALIFORNIA.
I DISCUSS HIM WITH MY SHRINK.
THAT’S THE STORY OF THE WAY WE WORK,
ME AND FRANKLIN SHEPARD, INC.
(HE laughs)
I’m surprised at how much I like this. I promise to be honest. If you promise to handle the lawsuit.

K.T.
(Uncomfortable, turns quickly to FRANK)
Now, when you do work together, I’ve always been curious, which generally comes first — the words or the music?

CHARLEY
(Glancing at FRANK)
Generally, the contract.

K.T.
(To CHARLEY)
Oh, that sounds like you think making money is a bad thing for an artist.

CHARLEY
MONEY?
(Arpeggio in orchestra)
DID I SAY MONEY?
(Arpeggio again; music resumes)
NO, I LIKE MONEY A LOT —
HMMM-HMMM-HMMM —
I MEAN IT’S BETTER THAN NOT —
HMMM-HMMM-HMMM —
BUT WHEN IT’S —
(Grunts like a pig and starts grabbing imaginary money)
MONEY —
(Grunt, grunt)
MONEY —
(Snorts, gathering money like a manic, drooling octopus)
WHEN YOU’RE INTO —
(Snort)
MONEY —
(Lightly)
AND YOU SHOULD BE…
(Plays an imaginary arpeggio, then gestures to FRANK; MUSIC continues under)

Listen, Frank does the money thing very well. But you know what? There are other people who do it better. And Frank does the music thing very well. And you know what? No one does it better.

STILL THE TELEPHONES BLINK
AND THE BUZZERS BUZZ
AND I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT HE DOES,
BUT HE MAKES A TON OF MONEY,
AND A LOT OF IT FOR ME.
RIGHT?
SO I THINK “OKAY”
AND I START A PLAY
AND HE SOMEHOW KNOWS,
’CAUSE RIGHT AWAY
IT’S DRRRRING!
(Into “phone” again, as FRANK)
“HIYA, BUDDY,
WANNA WRITE A SHOW?
GOT A GREAT IDEA,
WE’LL OWN ALL THE RIGHTS
WITH A TWO-WEEK OUT
AND A TURNAROUND
ON THE GUARANTEE
PLUS A GROSS PERCENT
OF THE BILLING CLAUSE —”
AND THERE I AM IN CALIFORNIA,
TALKING DEALS AND TURNING PINK,
BACK IN BUSINESS,
AND I MEAN JUST THAT,
BACK WITH FRANKLIN SHEPARD, INC.
VERY SNEAKY HOW IT HAPPENS,
MUCH MORE SNEAKY THAN YOU THINK.
START WITH NOTHING BUT A SONG TO SING,
NEXT YOU’RE FRANKLIN SHEPARD —
(MUSIC suddenly stops)
Wait, one second, wait. I’m getting in too deep here.

K.T.
(Very anxious to change the subject)
Franklin, let me ask you —

CHARLEY
(Interrupting, stopping her)
See, Frank and I are not that kind of close. The way we used to be.

K.T.
Now, Frank —

CHARLEY
(Interrupting her again)
And friendship is like a… garden. You have to water it and tend it and care about it. And you know what? I miss it and I want it back. Look —
(MUSIC resumes quietly)
NOTHING PERMANENT HAS HAPPENED,
JUST A TEMPORARY KINK.
FRIENDSHIP’S SOMETHING YOU DON’T REALLY LOSE…
(MUSIC stops again; to camera)

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t let me lose the greatest composer any lyricist ever had. Phone him, write him, stop him on the street. You’ll recognize him. He’s the one going through his checkbook —
(FRANK gets up to leave, but is stopped both by K.T. and his attached microphone)
— and tell that man to get back to his piano.
(MUSIC resumes quietly again, but growing gradually louder and more frantic)

VERY SNEAKY HOW IT HAPPENS,
EVERY DAY YOU’RE ON THE BRINK.
FIRST THE PRIZES, THEN THE INTERVIEWS…
(Looking around, realizing where HE is; in mock astonishment to cover his embarrassment)

OH MY GOD, I THINK IT’S HAPPENED!
STOP ME QUICK BEFORE I SINK.
ONE MORE TRIUMPH THAT I CAN’T REFUSE — (To camera again)
In case you didn’t notice, this is my first time on TV. And my last!

NO, HERE’S THE POINT,
WHATEVER HAPPENS, THEN WE’LL ALL GO HAVE A DRINK —
(Gestures in FRANK'S direction)

THAT’S THE GUY I LOVE, THE FELLA WHO’S INSIDE
(Into “phone”)
“MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER MUTTER QUICK, JEROME, GET THE PRESIDENT,
THERE’S A CRAZY MAN
ON MY TV SCREEN…”
INSIDE —
BZZZ! BZZZ! DRRRING! —
INSIDE
FRANKLIN SHEPARD —
(To camera)
Just write him care of Any Bank, U.S.A.
— INC.!

K.T.
Now let’s take a commercial break.
(“On The Air” sign goes out)
Oh thanks, guys. Jesus Christ.
(SHE EXITS)

FRANK
That was a real slaughter, Charley. Congratulations.

CHARLEY
Frank —

FRANK
Oh, I think you said enough. I know for years you’ve been attacking me and constantly putting me in the position of having to defend myself. But that — see, I don’t know why anyone would want to so humiliate and betray the guy who is his oldest friend in the world like that. But I do know you’re never going to have the opportunity to do it again. You’re goddamn out of my life, Charley.

CHARLEY
I’m sorry —

FRANK
You’re sorry! After you publicly mock and ridicule and belittle me when, man, I swear I would lay down my life for you.

CHARLEY
If you’d just let me —

FRANK
Shut up! Charley, all these years I have loved you no matter what you did, but I guess because I don’t live my life like you or the way you’d like me to, you had to shoot me down and watch me bleed. Well, I like my life, so please you just get the hell out of it.
(Starts to leave)

MARY
(ENTERING quickly, stopping FRANK)
Guys, hey. What do you say the three of us go out for a humongous drink and talk? We need to talk.

GUSSIE
(ENTERING with JEROME and TERRY)
Oh, Frank, Frank. Are you all right?

CHARLEY
Frank, can we go talk?

FRANK
(To the others, ignoring CHARLEY, fighting for control, really hurt)
You know, there is this tribe in Africa that when one of its members does something cruel or evil, or betrays them, they never see him again. They simply — just never see him. They never talk to him, or look at him, or acknowledge him in any way. For them, he is dead. Absolutely and irrevocably dead.
(Starts to walk away)

CHARLEY
(A hand on FRANK’S shoulder, to stop him)
Frank? Let me explain what —
(FRANK stops and shrugs the hand off, then without turning around continues to walk away. CHARLEY talks as he grabs FRANK’S arm)
Can I explain what all that came out of?
(FRANK swings around, shoving CHARLEY, sending him sprawling to the floor. CHARLEY gets up and lunges at FRANK)

MARY
(As the TWO MEN go at each other, until finally separated and backed OFFSTAGE by the OTHERS)
Frank! Charley! Stop it! Charley, Frank! No!! No!! No!!
(FRANK EXITS first, after which CHARLEY is let go. HE stands brushing his clothes, finally turns and bows to MARY with arms outstretched, indicating ‘satisfied?’ then turns and EXITS opposite side of stage. After a despairing pause, MARY EXITS)

#6A Transition 2 (Company)

COMPANY
(Variously)
SOME ROADS ARE SOFT
AND SOME ARE BUMPY,
SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY.
SOME RIDES ARE ROUGH
AND LEAVE YOU JUMPY,
WHY MAKE IT TOUGH
BY GETTING GRUMPY?
PLENTY OF ROADS TO TRY.

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY-TWO…

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY-ONE…
GROUP I GROUP II
ONE TRIP. SOME ROADS ARE SOFT
ALL YOU GET IS AND SOME ARE BUMPY.
ONE QUICK RIDE. SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY.
LOOK AROUND A BIT — SOME ROADS ARE ROUGH
ONE QUICK RIDE AND LEAVE YOU JUMPY.
THROUGH THE WHY MAKE IT TOUGH
COUNTRYSIDE. BY GETTING GRUMPY?
STAY ON THE TRACK. PLENTY OF ROADS TO TRY…

SOLO
NINETEEN SEVENTY…

GROUP
SOME ROADS YOU REALLY FLY…

SOLO
NINETEEN SIXTY-NINE…

ALL
HOW DOES IT START TO GO,
DOES IT SLIP AWAY SLOW
SO YOU NEVER EVEN NOTICE
IT’S HAPPENING?
NINETEEN SIXTY-EIGHT…


END OF SCENE TWO


SCENE THREE
(Slide: 1968.
(A gorgeous, ultra-modern, split-level apartment on Central Park West with a fabulous New York view in the background. One UPSTAGE door leads to the front hall, another to the bedroom hallway. A door STAGE LEFT leads to the kitchen.
FRANK is talking on the phone, open suitcases and trunks, souvenirs, crates on the floor next to him. As the LIGHTS come up, we see that he is dressed in a shirt and shorts)

FRANK
(Into phone hurriedly)
You say ‘she is not there’? Is she expected back?
(Doorbell rings)
You don’t expect — I’m sorry, my front doorbell is ringing.
(Covers the phone and calls)
The door is open.
(Into phone)
One more time, please. You don’t expect her back until — ?
(Listening)
— until after the theatre?
(A nine-year old FRANK JR. ENTERS from the front hall)
No. No message. Wait, yes, would you tell her —

FRANK JR.
(Doing vaudeville pose)
Ta-da!
(FRANK now sees his son, immediately hangs up, runs to him, gets down on his knees, hugging and kissing him. As HE talks, he lifts him up, with FRANK JR. wrapping his arms and legs around his father; throughout the following scene, FRANK holds, touches and strokes his son lovingly whenever possible)
Frankie, oh my Frankie! My God! I don’t believe my eyes. Oh, did your daddy miss you! And look at how big you got! Give Daddy a love. Bigger. Bigger. Bigger.

FRANK JR.
(As FRANK hugs him)
Daddy, we saw your boat. But we didn’t see you.
(MARY and CHARLEY ENTER, posing like a vaudeville team)
MARY, CHARLEY
Ta-da!
(THEY run over to FRANK. All three scream, kiss, laugh and lock in a three-way hug, huddling and jumping up and down together)

CHARLEY
What’s amazing is that we’re not all still waiting at that dock to surprise you. ‘Was our face red.’

FRANK
First class doesn’t get off at the dock. We had this big ramp at the prow and a Captain who leads you right into your limousine.

CHARLEY
Oh, of course. Silly us. Now you should have known that, Mary.
(Both are staring at FRANK’S pantless legs)

FRANK
(To FRANK JR.)
Why didn’t you tell me I have no pants on?
(Starts a search for his pants)

CHARLEY
We got Beth to send Frankie from Houston.

FRANK JR.
Daddy, I have the thirty-two postcards all over my wall. My favorites are the alligator and the Panama Canal.

CHARLEY
(Opens one of the trunks and looks deep into it, the lid concealing him from both FRANK JR. and us)
Oh look, he brought Frankie an alligator back. What a nice little —
(HE begins to scream and resist an imaginary alligator which attacks him repeatedly, each time pulling him deeper and deeper into the trunk. The others laugh as he finally disappears completely into the trunk)

FRANK
(As CHARLEY flings FRANK’S pants out of the trunk)
Oh thanks, Uncle Charley.
(Putting on pants)
That’s bound to give someone here real nice dreams.

MARY
Start with the trip, and then I want a Sherpa guide to show me this gargantuan apartment.

FRANK
Well, I owe it all to you guys for making me go. I didn’t do anything that wasn’t rich. Rich living, rich food, rich people.

CHARLEY
Well, poor Evelyn, my poor wife, who never comes in from our poor house in the poor country, poor thing, is dropping off our four poor children at her poor mother’s…

FRANK
Got it, Charley.

CHARLEY
… where they’re expecting Frankie, and then… then Evelyn is meeting the three of us at —

MARY
(To CHARLEY)
Wait, wait, wait!
(To FRANK)
Where? Where? You’ll never guess where?

FRANK
The Downtown Club.

MARY
(Disappointed)
Charley!
(CHARLEY points to himself; he’s innocent)

FRANK
Let me think. A smoky, dingy Greenwich Village dive or the homecoming party at the Colony Club? Hmm. What a choice!

CHARLEY
Oh Frank, sorry. You must give me a list of what’s ‘in’ and what’s ‘out.’ You know how important all of that is to me.

FRANK
Oh, wait. Wait, wait, wait.
(FRANK takes out wrapped book and manila envelope from trunk)
Presents. I forgot presents.
(To FRANK JR. — handing him gifts)
This is for Aunt Mary and that’s for Uncle Charley.
(As FRANK JR. distributes them)
Oh. son, about forty of yours are right now up in the air between Gibraltar and Texas. But, trust me, they are absolutely worth the wait.

MARY
(Having unwrapped her gift)
It’s my book. In Spanish.

FRANK
I bought it in Valparaiso, Chile, where there it was in all these store windows.

CHARLEY
(Taking his gift from FRANK JR. and opening it)
Oh, Mary, tell Frank the story of how success has affected you. Okay, I’ll start. Mary has joined the enemy.

MARY
Charley!

CHARLEY
(To FRANK JR.)
Frankie, tell Aunt Mary how many kids in your class say, “When I grow up I want to be a drama critic.”

MARY
Charley, shut your mouth and open your present.

CHARLEY
I did.

MARY
What is it?

CHARLEY
(To FRANK)
What is it?

FRANK
It’s an option agreement. We have been offered a small fortune to do a movie version of “Musical Husbands.”

CHARLEY
(Sits on the trunk)
Frankie, take this over to Daddy and say very clearly, “There isn’t enough money in the universe…”
(FRANK JR. crosses to CHARLEY who hands him the envelope)

FRANK
You’re welcome, Charley. I appreciate the gratitude. Thanks very much.

FRANK JR.
(Arriving at FRANK, handing him the envelope)
‘There isn’t enough money in the universe…’

FRANK
(Interrupting)
Sweetheart, you want to put that on the bed for Uncle Charley?
(FRANK JR. EXITS towards the bedroom with the envelope)

MARY
(Following FRANK JR. with the flight bag)
And you gotta brush your teeth, wash your face, get out your pajamas… whatever the hell kids do.
(EXITS)

FRANK
(Loud)
Charley, I am thirty-one years old. Beth wiped me out with the divorce. I’ve got a son to consider. So forgive me, Charley, if I happen to need money.

CHARLEY
(Louder)
Then let’s us do the work and the money will come. Frank, we cannot keep making our stuff the other thing we do!

MARY
(Appearing at the bedroom door, holding the boy’s pajamas, quieting them, indicating FRANK JR. OFFSTAGE)
Shhhh. Guys! Not now!
(She disappears into the bedroom hallway)

FRANK
Charley, I am telling you we can make a statement with this movie.

CHARLEY
Nurse! Doctor! Guard! Attendant! Matron! Anybody! Help!

FRANK
Trust me!

CHARLEY
No, you trust me!

FRANK
Charley, listen —

CHARLEY
Frank, Frank, you listen. You listening? No, no, no! Never, ever, no!!

#7 Old Friends (Mary, Frank, Charley)

MARY
(RE-ENTERS to the shouting, loudly calls out)
HEY!!
(MUSIC; THEY turn to MARY as she quietly, charmingly, pointedly, lifts her pinky finger)
HERE’S TO US —

FRANK
(After a beat, raising his pinky)
WHO’S LIKE US?

CHARLEY
(Grudging pause, then raises his pinky)
DAMN FEW.

FRANK
(Intimate and warm, to CHARLEY)
HEY, OLD FRIEND
ARE YOU OKAY, OLD FRIEND?
WHAT DO YOU SAY, OLD FRIEND,
ARE WE OR ARE WE UNIQUE?
TIME GOES BY,
EVERYTHING ELSE KEEPS CHANGING.
YOU AND I,
WE GET CONTINUED NEXT WEEK.
MOST FRIENDS FADE
OR THEY DON’T MAKE THE GRADE.
NEW ONES ARE QUICKLY MADE
AND IN A PINCH, SURE, THEY’LL DO.
BUT US, OLD FRIEND,
WHAT’S TO DISCUSS, OLD FRIEND?
HERE’S TO US —
WHO’S LIKE US?
DAMN FEW!

CHARLEY
(Softening)
SO, OLD FRIEND,
FILL ME IN SLOW, OLD FRIEND.
START FROM HELLO, OLD FRIEND —
I WANT THE WHEN, WHERE AND HOW.
(Including MARY)
OLD FRIENDS DO
TEND TO BECOME OLD HABIT —
NEVER KNEW
HOW MUCH I MISSED YOU TILL NOW.

ALL THREE
MOST FRIENDS FADE
OR THEY DON’T MAKE THE GRADE,
NEW ONES ARE QUICKLY MADE,
SOME OF THEM WORTH SOMETHING, TOO.
BUT US, OLD FRIENDS —
WHAT’S TO DISCUSS, OLD FRIENDS?

FRANK
TELL YOU SOMETHING:
GOOD FRIENDS POINT OUT YOUR LIES,
WHEREAS OLD FRIENDS LIVE AND LET LIVE.

MARY
GOOD FRIENDS LIKE AND ADVISE,
WHEREAS OLD FRIENDS LOVE AND FORGIVE.

FRANK
AND OLD FRIENDS LET YOU GO YOUR OWN WAY —

CHARLEY
(Pointedly, but pleasantly)
HELP YOU FIND YOUR OWN WAY —

MARY
(To CHARLEY)
LET YOU OFF WHEN YOU’RE WRONG —

FRANK
IF YOU’RE WRONG —

CHARLEY
WHEN YOU’RE WRONG —

MARY
(Hastily)
RIGHT OR WRONG, THE POINT IS:
OLD FRIENDS
SHOULDN’T CARE IF YOU’RE WRONG —

FRANK
SHOULD, BUT NOT FOR TOO LONG —

CHARLEY
(Edgily)
WHAT’S TOO LONG?

FRANK
IF YOU’RE WRONG —

CHARLEY
WHEN YOU’RE WRONG —

MARY
(Quickly)
THE THING IS:
OLD FRIENDS DO LEAVE THEIR BRANDS ON YOU,
BUT OLD FRIENDS SHOULDN’T COMPETE.

FRANK
OLD FRIENDS DON’T MAKE DEMANDS ON YOU —

CHARLEY
SHOULD MAKE DEMANDS ON YOU —

FRANK
WELL, DON’T MAKE DEMANDS YOU CAN’T MEET.

CHARLEY
WELL, WHAT’S THE
POINT OF DEMANDS YOU CAN MEET?

MARY
WELL, THERE’S A TIME FOR DEMANDS,
WHETHER YOU MEET THEM OR NOT…
(These next lines are delivered loudly and simultaneously as music continues under)

MARY
Guys, fellas, boys, buddies, c’mon. You gotta talk to each other, not over, not around, not through each other. To each other, understand?

CHARLEY
You are never wrong. Never. The last time you admitted you were wrong was one cold Tuesday back in Chicago in December 1954…

FRANK
If you were right, I would be the first to admit it. But with you, there is no other side. There’s only your way and the wrong way.

ALL THREE
HEY, OLD FRIENDS,
HOW DO WE STAY OLD FRIENDS?
WHO IS TO SAY, OLD FRIENDS,
HOW AN OLD FRIENDSHIP SURVIVES?
ONE DAY CHUMS
HAVING A LAUGH A MINUTE,
ONE DAY COMES
AND THEY’RE A PART OF YOUR LIVES.
NEW FRIENDS POUR
THROUGH THE REVOLVING DOOR —
MAYBE THERE’S ONE THAT’S MORE,
IF YOU FIND ONE, THAT’LL DO.
BUT US, OLD FRIENDS —
WHAT’S TO DISCUSS, OLD FRIENDS? —
HERE’S TO US!
WHO’S LIKE US?…
TWO OLD FRIENDS,
FEWER WON’T DO, OLD FRIENDS —
GOTTA HAVE TWO OLD FRIENDS
HELPING YOU BALANCE ALONG:

FRANK
ONE UPBRAIDS YOU
FOR YOUR FAULTS AND FANCIES,

MARY
ONE PERSUADES YOU

CHARLEY
THAT THE OTHER ONE’S

ALL THREE
WRONG.
MOST FRIENDS FADE
OR THEY DON’T MAKE THE GRADE,
NEW ONES ARE QUICKLY MADE,
PERFECT AS LONG AS THEY’RE NEW.
BUT US, OLD FRIENDS —
WHAT’S TO DISCUSS, OLD FRIENDS? —
HERE’S TO US!
WHO’S LIKE US?
(In elaborate harmony obviously practiced over the years)
DAMN FEW!

GUSSIE
(ENTERING with JOE)
Oh, anguish, I hate it when I’ve missed everything.

JOE
The wife here, she misses nothing.

GUSSIE
I had no idea the gang would be dropping in. My understudy’s been going on the last few weeks and Joe insisted, as a courtesy, I must see her. But first I insisted that Joe must see Frank’s new apartment. Have you ever seen that disaster he was living in?

MARY
I decorated it.

GUSSIE
I am calling the Surgeon General tomorrow to have him cut out my tongue.
MARY
(To herself, as she turns crossing away)
Promises.

GUSSIE
(Going brightly to CHARLEY)
Look, Joe. It’s Charles. Now we can call the night a success.

CHARLEY
Hi, Gussie. I didn’t hear a doorbell.

GUSSIE
I bet that’s because I didn’t ring one. I never do when I have keys. I’m decorating this pad. The price was right. Free. Here.
(SHE moves to each one, giving them each a different color swatch from her large bag)
I picture all the furniture in here the hues of anemones. See… (Crosses to CHARLEY and gives swatch)
a chair,
(Crosses to FRANK and gives swatch)
a chair,
(Crosses to JOE and gives swatch)
a footstool,
(Crosses to MARY and gives swatch)
and a sofa.
(MARY frowns)
Oh, I should have a brain transplant. I forgot we bought this teeny, tiny, house-warming nothing. Some awesomely expensive Champagne. I’ll open it.
(Slight pause)
“Do.”
(Slighter pause)
All right, I will.

MARY
Let me go check inside.

CHARLEY
Always nice to see you, Joe. And your wife.
(MARY and CHARLEY EXIT to the bedroom hallway)

GUSSIE
Joe, precious, there are glasses in the kitchen. And it’s Frank’s house, so he can do the honors.
(Hands FRANK the Champagne)
Mushi-mushi, darling. We have a curtain to make!

JOE
Home one day and already she’s ordering me around.
(JOE EXITS into the kitchen)

GUSSIE
How nice to see the old gang.
(THEY stand far apart, both facing front. GUSSIE lowers her voice, takes out her compact and repairs her make-up; FRANK begins to open the Champagne as they talk)
Can they see us?

FRANK
Yes.

GUSSIE
I didn’t even unpack. I made up my mind. I’m leaving Joe.

FRANK
(Stops opening the Champagne)
He’ll be destroyed.

GUSSIE
Or I will be. I’ll call you when I arrive at the theatre.

FRANK
I’m supposed to go out.

GUSSIE
Oh, please, please, you’ve got to wait for my call.

FRANK
Gussie —

GUSSIE
I’m desperate.

FRANK
(A pause. Then)
I’ll wait for your call.

GUSSIE
Consider yourself kissed.
(MARY, CHARLEY, and JOE RE-ENTER)

JOE
You got this guy everything anyone could ever want in a kitchen except for glasses.

FRANK
Here, I’ll get them. They’re still packed.
(HE EXITS, handing the Champagne bottle to JOE)

GUSSIE
(Still looking in her compact)
Oh, eek, look at me. That means ‘don’t.’ I’m going to the little boy’s room to repair.
(GUSSIE EXITS)

JOE
It’s real first-class Champagne.

MARY
I don’t drink.

JOE
What, never?

MARY
Well, hardly ever. I am a very excessive personality. Too much coffee, too much cigarettes, too much food…

CHARLEY
Too much Frank.
(MARY turns away)

JOE
Is Frank the only person in the world who doesn’t know you’re in love with him?
(MARY raises a hand for him to stop. JOE then points in the direction of FRANK and GUSSIE)
And how many people know about those two?

CHARLEY
(After exchanging a shocked glance with MARY)
Oh, there must be one or two — who don’t.

JOE
I decided not to know. She’s now Broadway’s hottest star and the guy he’s hot, too… obviously in more than one sense. I say let ’em get it out of their systems. As long as, please God, she don’t leave me.

MARY
I think Frank’s being gone the last eight months put an end to it.

JOE
(Opens Champagne bottle)
Gussie flew over and joined the cruise, you know.

CHARLEY
What?

MARY
We had no idea Gussie was on the cruise.

GUSSIE
(RE-ENTERING)
It will never cease to amaze me how everyone in this town knows everything I do. It was only for the last two weeks.

FRANK
(ENTERS with tray of glasses, hands it to GUSSIE)
Okay. Pretend these are Champagne glasses.
(JOE fills the glasses)

GUSSIE
(Passing the tray)
You’ve got yours. Now, Charley. Just one, Joe. Mary?

MARY
No, thank you.

GUSSIE
Oh, that’s right, you never do. Well, more for us.
(Raises her glass in a toast to FRANK)
To our genius.

JOE
(Steps forward)
Thank you. It’s always nice to be appreciated.
(THEY drink)
Okay, Gus, curtain, curtain, we got a curtain.

GUSSIE
Oh, pooh. But one minute late, God, every column.

JOE
So, Frank? We see you after?

MARY
Frank’s coming with us.

GUSSIE
Oh?

FRANK
Actually what I should do is stay here and get organized.

MARY
You’re kidding, aren’t you?

GUSSIE
Oh, Mary, now let’s all let Franklin get himself settled in. Goodnight, Mr. All-Work-And-No-Play. And everybody’s favorite, Charley.

JOE
Don’t you guys stay strangers now.
(GUSSIE and JOE EXIT to the front hallway)

CHARLEY
Goodnight.
(Goes OFF to the bedroom)

MARY
You’re really not coming?

FRANK
Mary, I can’t leave. Not right now. Just accept that, will you?

MARY
Please, Frank. Please.
(FRANK shakes his head ‘no.’ A moment, then MARY picks up the Champagne bottle)
Here’s to us.
(MARRY drinks from the bottle)

FRANK
Mary!

MARY
(Calls to CHARLEY)
Okay, Charley, let’s drop Frankie off and go have ourselves one hell of a time.
(MARY carrying the Champagne bottle, EXITS. CHARLEY ENTERS, carrying an overnight bag over his shoulder, a little boy’s coat and the sleeping FRANK JR.)

CHARLEY
I’ll be down in a minute.
(Putting FRANK JR. on piano)
Get rid of Gussie, Frank.

FRANK
(Putting the coat on the sleeping FRANK JR.)
Gussie’s none of your business, Charley.

CHARLEY
But you are. Get rid of this pathetic life.

FRANK
Charley, I love success. I love having two out of two shows hit. Moving up in the world.
(A pause. Then)
I need some time to think.

CHARLEY
Then begin by thinking about joining Mary and me tonight. Frank, there’s something going on with Mary. She hasn’t written one word since her book took off. Frank, she needs us. She needs both of us.

FRANK
(Laying his head on his son’s head, being close)
I made a promise I’d wait for a phone call. I have to. I promised.

CHARLEY
Wait for her phone call and get out of it once and for all. Then meet us.

FRANK
I’ll be there.

CHARLEY
You know, I love you.

FRANK
I love you.

CHARLEY
I missed you.

FRANK
I missed you.

CHARLEY
And I want us to get back working together.

FRANK
Get out of here before the both of us start wailing.

CHARLEY
(CHARLEY raises FRANK JR.’S arm, operating it up and down like a puppet and doing a ventriloquist’s voice)
“Goodnight, pop. And listen to Uncle Charley because he’s never wrong.” (CHARLEY hits a bass note on the piano and EXITS, carrying FRANK JR.)

FRANK
(Crosses to the piano and answers CHARLEY’S notes, then goes up to the front hallway)
I’ll see you in just a little bit.
(Shouting to the departing CHARLEY)
I miss him already.

#7A Growing Up –– Part 1 (Frank)

(FRANK returns DOWNSTAGE, passing the piano and stops to close the lid, idly noodling an arpeggio on it. HE pauses, sits on the bench and continues noodling. Soon the noodling becomes the vamp for “Good Thing Going”)

FRANK
THANKS, OLD FRIENDS…
KEEP REMINDING ME…
FRANK’S OLD FRIENDS
ALWAYS SEEM TO COME THROUGH.
FRANK WILL, TOO...
(Orchestra enters)
SO, OLD FRIENDS,
NOW IT’S TIME TO START GROWING UP,
TAKING CHARGE,
SEEING THINGS AS THEY ARE.
FACING FACTS,
NOT ESCAPING THEM,
STILL WITH DREAMS,
JUST RESHAPING THEM.
GROWING UP.
(Hits a dissonance with both hands. Fondly)
CHARLEY IS A HOTHEAD,
CHARLEY WON’T BUDGE.
CHARLEY IS A FRIEND.
CHARLEY IS A SCREAMER,
CHARLEY WON’T BEND.
CHARLEY’S IN YOUR CORNER.
MARY IS A DREAMER,
MARY’S A FRIEND.
MARY IS A NUDGE.
MARY IS A PURIST,
CHARLEY’S A JUDGE.
CHARLEY IS A DROPOUT,
EVERYTHING’S A “COP-OUT.”
WHY IS IT OLD FRIENDS
DON’T WANT OLD FRIENDS TO CHANGE?
EVERY ROAD HAS A TURNING,
THAT’S THE WAY YOU KEEP LEARNING:
(Noodles with one hand)
SO, OLD FRIENDS,
DON’T YOU SEE WE CAN HAVE IT ALL,
MOVING ON,
GETTING OUT OF THE PAST?
SOLVING DREAMS,
NOT JUST TRUSTING THEM,
TAKING DREAMS,
READJUSTING THEM,
GROWING UP,
GROWING UP.
TRYING THINGS,
BEING FLEXIBLE,
BENDING WITH THE ROAD,
ADDING DREAMS
WHEN THE OTHERS DON’T LAST.
GROWING UP,
UNDERSTANDING THAT GROWING NEVER ENDS.
LIKE OLD DREAMS —
SOME OLD DREAMS —
LIKE OLD FRIENDS.
(HE continues to play for a moment, then becomes aware of GUSSIE standing at the doorway. He stops playing)

#7B Growing Up –– Part 2 (Gussie)

GUSSIE
Your friends will be there for you tomorrow. I need you tonight.
(MUSIC under)
LIFE IS KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT, DARLING.
THAT’S THE ONLY THING TO KNOW.
AS I TOLD YOU MOONS AGO, DARLING,
NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING.
NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING ME,
DARLING, ALSO NOTHING WRONG WITH NOT,
THOUGH IT’S ONLY FAIR THAT
YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT
I WANT YOU A LOT.

(Moving slowly towards him)
GROWING UP
MEANS ADMITTING THE THINGS
YOU WANT THE MOST.
CAN’T PURSUE
EVERY POSSIBLE LINE.
FOLDING TENTS,
MAKING CHOICES,
IGNORING ALL
OTHER VOICES,
INCLUDING MINE…
YOU’RE DIVINE…
(FRANK moves away a bit)
YOU DECIDE ON WHAT YOU WANT, DARLING,
NOT ON WHAT YOU THINK YOU SHOULD.
NOT ON W
Last Update:June, 28th 2024

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