Curtains Script

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Script for the Musical Curtains

TRANSCRIPT

WHITE Revision

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3/2/06 ACT 1 SCENE 1

1.

SCENE: The stage of the Colonial Theatre in Boston. TIME: 1959 (CURTAIN RISES a prairie town schoolhouse. A CHARACTERS are on the Old Wild West, outside a white CROWD of WESTERN SINGING and DANCING.)

COMPANY WIDE OPEN SPACES! EVERYWHERE I LOOK I SEE THOSE WIDE OPEN SPACES! WHERE THE FUTURE WAITS FOR YOU AND ME. IT'S KANSAS FOREVER AND WHEREVER I MAY ROAM, I SEE THOSE WIDE OPEN SPACES AND KNOW THAT KANSAS IS HOME! WIDE OPEN SPACES ... HMMMMM ... RANDY (as Parson Tuck) Well, it's almost high noon and there don't seem to be no more challengers for the sharpshootin' contest! NIKI (as Schoolmarm) Oh, Parson Tuck, I was sure that masked gunslinger called "The Hood" was going to save our schoolhouse. RANDY (as Parson Tuck) No, they put Rob Hood in jail for robbin' from the rich Cattle Barons and givin' the money back to the farmers. (Beat.) RANDY (as Parson Tuck) (Continued) What do you say to that, Madam Marian? (Beat.) NIKI (as Schoolmarm) Madam Marian, would you like us to Hold our Horses one second? JESSICA CRANSHAW (as Madam Marian) Hold your horses one second! I see someone takin' aim at this here target. RANDY (as Parson Tuck) He can't win. There's already a bullet smack dab in the middle of the bull`s-eye!

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3/2/06

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JESSICA CRANSHAW (as Madam Marian) Why he shot that other bullet in half! NIKI (as Schoolmarm) No, not quite yet. (A GUNSHOT RINGS OUT.) JESSICA CRANSHAW (as Madam Marian) Why he shot that other bullet in half! NIKI (as Schoolmarm) He saved the schoolhouse! And here he comes now! Why, it's Rob Hood! COMPANY That's Rob Hood! / It's that man they call The Hood. / He must have broke out of jail! / Consternation! (ROB HOOD enters wearing a green cowboy hat and hood.) JESSICA CRANSHAW (as Madam Marian) I wonder what face belongs to those lips I longed to kiss? (ROB HOOD pulls off his hood, revealing:) BOBBY (as Rob Hood) This face! NIKI (as Schoolmarm) Why it's that friendly lawman from the east I was so crazy about! I thought you were all done with us! BOBBY (as Rob Hood) Not when this place is where I want to be, where I belong, keepin' company with the people I care the most about. Will you be my lawful wedded wife, Miss Nancy? NIKI (as Schoolmarm) Oh Hood, yes! (CHEERS from the CROWD.) CROWD DING-DONG, DING-DONG! RANDY (as Parson Tuck) I SAID IT FROM THE PULPIT: WE THOUGHT HE WAS A CULPRIT. BUT HE DONE HIS LEVEL BEST TO DO SOME GOOD.

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3/2/06

3.

NIKI (as Schoolmarm) HE LEFT THE BAD GUYS SOBBIN', THEY CURSED HIM, VOICES THROBBIN': JESSICA (as Madam Marian) "DAMN THAT SCHEMIN', STEALIN', THIEVIN', ROBBIN' HOOD." BOBBY (as Rob Hood) I ONLY GAVE YOU BACK WHAT ONCE WAS YOURS! COMPANY THE HOME AND STATE WE CALL THE GREAT OUTDOORS! WIDE OPEN SPACES! EVERYWHERE I LOOK I SEE THOSE WIDE OPEN SPACES! WHERE THE FUTURE WAITS FOR YOU AND ME. JESSICA IT'S KANSAS FOREVER, ALL AND WHEREVER I MAY ROAM, COMPANY I'LL SEE THOSE WIDE OPEN SPACES AND KNOW THAT KANSAS IS MY HOME! K - A - N - S - A - S - U - S - A! (CURTAIN.)

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3/2/06 SCENE 2

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(CURTAIN UP for the COMPANY BOWS.) Brisk, over-striving BOWS MUSIC. Cast Members take their bows in that hurried manner as when a troupe is afraid there may not be enough applause out there to cover them through the final curtain. "Schoolmarm" NIKI HARRIS takes her quick bow and relinquishes her place to male lead BOBBY PEPPER, who again removes his green "Hood" mask with a flourish. Down the theatre's aisles come TWO MEN in tuxedos, each holding a bouquet of flowers which they toss onto the stage as JESSICA CRANSHAW arrives at the edge of the proscenium. She extends her arms to the audience and then, as cymbals crash, she sings a last line and impulsively brings both hands to her mouth as if to blow a kiss. FOUR MALE DANCERS begin a kick line with JESSICA in the center, the COMPANY joining the line as they SING ONE LAST CHORUS ... we suddenly notice that JESSICA is being held up only by the linked arms of the alarmed dancers on either side of her. Her feet drag and flail on the stage as if she were a rag doll. She drops to the floor. (All gasp.) BOBBY She's fainted. Curtain! (looks about) For God's sake, drop the curtain! THE CURTAIN FALLS as we segue ... TRANSITION TO:

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3/2/06 SCENE 3

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... to THE STAGE OF THE COLONIAL THEATRE. (Just before midnight that same night. AARON FOX, GEORGIA HENDRICKS, and CARMEN BERNSTEIN, each hidden behind an opened newspaper. They are joined by OSCAR SHAPIRO.) GEORGIA Oh my god. AARON Holy Mother in heaven. CARMEN Holy Shit. OSCAR The reviews aren't good? What don't they like? GEORGIA That we put on a show. AARON The Boston Globe says: "If you loved Oklahoma, stay there as long as Robbin' Hood is running in Boston." CARMEN How about: "Calls to mind Walt Disney's Pinocchio -- because its star is wooden, oughtta be hung by piano wire, and swallowed by the first whale that enters Boston Harbor." OSCAR Who said that? CARMEN The Christian Science Monitor. OSCAR You're the producer, Carmen, I sank the profits from my sweetest sweatshop into this show. There's got to be something we can use. CARMEN Let me consult with the writing team. Georgia, Aaron: does "execrable" have two meanings? GEORGIA No. CARMEN Well that's a shame. Critics! Who'd make a living by killing other people's hope? [I mean,]

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6.

CARMEN (Continued) WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD TAKE A JOB LIKE THAT? OSCAR WHAT KIND OF SLOB WOULD TAKE A JOB LIKE THAT? CARMEN & OSCAR WHO COULD BE MEAN ENOUGH, BASE AND OBSCENE ENOUGH, TO TAKE A JOB LIKE THAT? GEORGIA Hey, maybe there's something good about us in The Globe after all: "Formerly married, formerly hit songwriters Aaron Fox and Georgia Hendricks, here manage to cast a few sparks -- " CARMEN " -- but sadly don't start a fire big enough to transform exfilm star Jessica Cranshaw into a silent, smoking cinder of charred human flesh ..." No, I guess not. AARON WHAT KIND OF MOM WOULD RAISE HER BOY LIKE THAT? GEORGIA WHO'D WANT HER BABY TO DESTROY LIKE THAT? ALL WHO COULD BE JERK ENOUGH. HARD UP FOR WORK ENOUGH TO WANT A JOB LIKE THAT? OH! WHAT KIND OF LOW-DOWN DIRTY BUM? OH! WHAT KIND OF SWINISH, SCURVY SCUM LOATHSOME AS THEY COME? I WONDER ... OSCAR WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD WANT A JOB LIKE THAT? CARMEN WHAT KIND OF PUTZ WOULD SQUEEZE YOUR NUTS LIKE THAT? WHO COULD BE PRICK ENOUGH. CARMEN & OSCAR MENTALLY SICK ENOUGH CARMEN, OSCAR, & GEORGIA WHO'D WANT TO GROW TO BE EVERYONE'S ENEMY? ALL CRITICS ARE HATED AND SO EXCORIATED TELL ME WHAT KIND OF MAN WOULD WANT A JOB LIKE --

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7.

OSCAR Stop the presses! The Cambridge Patriot says: "Given the talent and experience of the veterans involved, "Robbin' Hood is sure to be a solid gold Broadway smash." (Beat.) ALL WHAT KIND OF GENIUS HAS A MIND LIKE THAT? SO PERSPICACIOUS, WISE AND KIND LIKE THAT FAR FROM HIS MOTHER'S KNEE SHE MUST BE THRILLED TO SEE HOW HE GREW UP TO BE SUCH LOVELY COMPANY THOUGH MOST CRITICS ARE STINKERS THERE ARE FEW HEAVY THINKERS SO IT LIFTS UP YOUR HEART TO MEET A MAN LIKE THAT! AARON Yeah, but the Cambridge Patriot isn't the Boston Globe. That's the paper we needed. OSCAR Funny nobody mentions that Jessica fainted. GEORGIA That happened during the bows, Oscar, after the critics have already dashed out of the theatre to dash off their postmortems. Face it: we've gotten our notices and we've been given notice. AARON I'm afraid you're right. CARMEN No, no, you two are just oversensitive because you wrote the show. This is just Round One. The first show my husband and I produced was savaged in New Haven like a luau for starving cannibals. But we rolled up our sleeves, did a major rewrite, and brought it to Broadway. And that musical, my friends, was "Kiss ... Me ... I'm Irish." (Beat.) AARON Never heard of it. CARMEN Closed before we asked the audience not to unwrap candy. But the point is: this is a Sidney and Carmen Bernstein production, we decide if it goes to Broadway ... not Daryl Grady of the Boston Globe.

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GEORGIA Where was your husband tonight, Carmen? CARMEN Sidney's in New York, nailing a theatre for us and, knowing my husband, also nailing a soprano who doesn't dance but knows how to move. OSCAR So we're still going to Broadway? CARMEN Aaron and Georgia keep writing tunes that bounce, you keep writing checks that don't. AARON Very nice, but until our leading lady gets out of the hospital, who knows what happens next? GEORGIA They just have her under observation, I'm sure she'll be out by the morning -BELLING (O.S.) (bellowing from a distance) Is there no limit!? GEORGIA Sounds like our director. BELLING (O.S.) Is there no limit?! GEORGIA We may have to do that English thing: you know, leave him alone in the study with a loaded revolver. (CHRISTOPHER BELLING Enters) BELLING Is there no limit, I ask you, to the brilliance of my brainstorms? CARMEN I assume you haven't seen the reviews. BELLING Never read reviews. OSCAR Chris, where the hell were you tonight? I've put a lot of money into this show. As our director, you owed all of us --

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3/2/06

9.

BELLING Oh, be still your foolish mouth. Nothing to be gleaned by watching one's show with the fraudulent audience of an opening night. Went for a walk. Passed the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Went in. Wildly spiritual -- I tell you those fucking Catholics really know how to put on a show. And right there in the middle of the Eucharist ... I had an Epiphany. At this stage in the life of any musical, one should no longer be trying to invent anything brilliant... one should simply be trying to