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On Angels and Messengers

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PLAYS Coming Soon

Besides "My State Fair Lady",
I have two more musical parodies in the pipe:
"The Man of La Mafia" and "The Sound of Mortars".

"The Man of La Mafia", set in Nevada and California in the 1970s,
is the pathetic story of Don Banana, a slightly unstable
but compassionate and gentle pacifist, with curly blond hair,
born (unfortunately) into a crime family. Songs include:
The Man of La Mafia, Gordon Held Up a Casino and The Awesomest Scream. In a tender song called Gulping Air, Don professes his love
for a glitzy, ditzy Las Vegas showgirl, who he remembers from his youth when she was a nubile Mouseketeer named Annette.
To Don Banana, she will always be his childhood dreamgirl,
a 16-year-old hottie with an Italian last name
and a really nice pair of ...
Tootsie-Pop eyes.

"The Sound of Mortars" is set in war-time Afghanistan.
Is there any other time in Afghanistan?
It's about a beautiful double-agent, who calls herself "Madeeja"
(played by Christiana Amanpour) and a lovable but bungling band
of seven dwarf terrorists, who follow her everywhere.
Songs include: The Sound of Mortars (Madeeja),
How Do You Solve a Problem like Korea and
Climb Every Mountain (both sung by Mother Hillary).
Also, My Least Favorite Things (Madeeja and the dwarves),
which has some of my all-time most favorite rhymes,
and Invaded Twice (Ain't it nice), sung by Captain Von Laden,
joined by Madeeja and the boys, just before they escape
the military occupation of their beloved, pulverized homeland
by hiking up and over the mountains into Pakistan.

The story is fiction, of course, based on fact that is reminiscent of earlier fiction based on earlier fact. The name of the war may be different, but the story's the same. Who knows? The fiction/fact cycle may even go back, war by war, to the Peloponnesian War, and the futile attempt by Sisyphus to escape over the mountains
with his very large pet rock. Now, there's a promising research topic for a Theater major lacking talent.

I can't decide which of these two plays to finish first,
so I think I'll get going on the script for yet another one
that's been stuck in the pipe for years. It's a really deep play.
Here's a synopsis:
It's the story of a struggling NYC salesman who has resorted to acting
on weekends to support his family. He goes to see a play
about three or four struggling actors who have resorted to sales
to pay their rent. In one potentially confusing-as-hell scene
of the play within our play, the salesmen are rehearsing possible roles in The Drowsy Chaperone, The Producers, Hamlet,
A Midsummer Night's Dream
, Taming of the Shrew, and perhaps a stage adaptation of Back to the Future -- each of which has a play within the play that's within the play within our play.
I warned you that this is really deep.
Meanwhile, back in the fictional theater of the Level I play
(the one with the title that's on the ticket you paid $90 for),
there's feisty dialogue going on between our struggling salesman
(who is obnoxious, hard-of-hearing, and from Texas)
and the guy in the next seat. This guy happens to be
the sleep-deprived author of the play they're watching ...
and other plays that get critiqued forthwith by the Texas salesman,
who obstinately refuses to turn off his cell-phone, ever.
Like all lyricists (myself included, I think), the artsy writer
is a bit manic, wound up like a clock-work detonation mechanism.
In the dramatic final scene, the meaning of our play's title
(yeah, you got it, the one on your $90 ticket) becomes apparent:
"The Death of a Cellphone".
It's a tragedy -- in more ways than one.
Deep, eh?

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