Flag Counter

On Angels and Messengers

Friday, June 18, 2010

Complete Script with Stage Directions

The Attention Deficit Production Compan
A 'Long-Running' (12 minutes) Musical by Dr Speedbump
With apologies to D. Wasserman, J. Darien, M. Lee and Cervantes

LAS VEGAS, sometime in the 1970s

  • Don Coyote (Peter's Brother) -- our narrator, as explained vaguely below.
  • Donaldo Bonano, aka Don Banana -- a devote pacifist born into a Crime Family.
  • Pancho Sanza -- Don Banana’s “special friend”.
  • Annette Funicello -- a Las Vegas showgirl, formerly a perky Mouseketeer and beach-party bikini babe who danced like a surfboard.
  • (just) Donovan -- a prisoner, formerly a singer (more or less), whose only remaining name was all but forgotten by the 1970s. Aging hippies have reported recent sightings, probably flashback hallucinations.
  • Peter and Gordon -- petty thieves, formerly nerdy recording artists like Chad and Jeremy, but that was yesterday, and ... well, you know.
  • The entire Bonano and Gamblino Families -- hard-working, highly motivated refugees from New Jersey; neighbors who now run competitive family businesses in Las Vegas.
[Note from the Playwright: This is a play within a play: a theatrical gimmick that must be as old as Euripedes. Just you wait! 'Death of a Cellphone', a work in progress by The Attention Deficit Production Compan, will have 9 or 10 levels. It's a story about a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play within a play. Don't miss it; or I'll have to write a sequel that recaps the story.]

The stage is bare. The narrator, thankfully, is not.
[This is a soliloquy by some guy who we think is Peter Coyote's brother, Don. He looks inexplicably like our hero, Don Bonano, and sounds just like Peter Coyote impersonating Rod Serling.]


May I set the stage? I shall impersonate a man. Come into my website and see him! His name, Rod Serling ... er, I mean Donaldo Bonano … a meek and gentle man who by some cruel quirk of fate was born into the Mafia (which doesn’t really exist, you know). As he comes of age, the impossible mission of this devote pacifist and certified Conscientious Objector is to sally forth into the world of organized crime and avoid conflict at all costs. Sadly, everyone in both Families, including Don Bonano himself, mistakes his peace-loving demeanor for cowardice.
[Orchestra now plays something heroic and Italian, like 'Fratelli d'Italia' (the wrong name for the Italian National Anthem, 'Inno di Mameli') -- or 'The Theme From Rocky' (the wrong name for 'Gonna Fly Now').]
No one recognizes the true courage needed for Don to deny his birthright and live a life of non-violence within the Bonano Crime Family. Uniamoci, amiamoci. Siam pronti alla morte. (Look it up; or ask your grandmother.) He has been dubbed ‘Don Yellow a la Banana’. We shall call him simply ‘Don Banana'. Observe what happens as he drives his black 1961 Cadillac 'station wagon' down the Strip in Las Vegas -- as he enters ... the ‘Nightlife Zone’.
[doo do doo do, doo do doo do.]


SCENE 1 -- THE STRIP IN LAS VEGAS [Weren't you paying attention?]
[Note to Set Designer: a stupid, neon, animated 30-foot cowboy is mandatory -- or the audience might think we’re still in Atlantic City.]

DON BANANA: (singing to the tune of ‘I, Don Quixote’)
Hear me now, oh thou bleak
and most criminal world,
Thou art dark and as scary can be.
One young man,
with his blonde hair all prettily curled,
now hurls down his luncheon on thee.
[Cymbal crash and music suddenly gets louder and faster]
I’m no Don Corleone, though spawned by a mobster,
if danger should call I will hide.
[Unnecessary Note: Orchestra crescendo to fortissimo, which really goes without saying because they can’t help themselves anyway.]
The woodwinds and trombones
will blow me right over.
My liver is lilied inside.
Liver is lilied inside.
All through this story, I hide!
PANCHO (joining in song):
I’m Pancho.
No, I’m not macho.
My life’s a disaster, end to end.
I’m scared of … my own shadow.
I’m a coward! So's my friend!
[Don and Pancho get into the black Cadillac station wagon and speed away as if being chased.]
[Note to Prop Department: This is an opportunity to go overboard with a totally superfluous full-size vehicle appearing on stage for all of 3 seconds, like in
Grease and Miss Saigon.]


The Boomer Room, a nostalgic nightclub at Mickey's Palace, one of the Gamblino's casinos (or is it 'casini' ?).

The room is full of mobsters with their girlfriends (while their wives are filming a reality-TV show, which later flops like Grandma's what's-its -- oh yeah, 'pancakes' -- because this is the '70s and the TV audience isn't yet sophisticated enough to appreciate reality shows.)

The entertainers in the Boomer Room are dressed as Mouseketeers.
[Yes, 'Mouseketeers', not 'Musketeers'. You're thinking of a suspiciously similar Broadway musical that appears to be a rip-off of this one. Those producers have an impossible dream, alright. Their show will surely fold in a week. Then I'll promptly sue the proverbial pantaloons off that pathetic, penny-pinching pair of pompous, pea-brained, purloining poachers to pilfer whatever paltry pecuniary proceeds their pitifully plagiarized play has perchance produced. Probably a pile of pennies! Please pray for this perennial pauper -- I'm a perpetually, painfully poor playwright and I'm profoundly peeved! Pfooee! ... ... ... But I digress.]

[enters the room and spots one showgirl who looks oddly familiar]

Sweet Lady ... fair virgin ... [He averts his eyes worshipfully]
I dare not gaze full on your freckled countenance, lest I be blinded by beauty ... so I'll stare at your boobs instead. But I implore you -- say your name, just once. I know it's not 'Doreen', although she had heaps of talent, too.

[with a bouncy voice and a snappy salute]

My Lady! I will sing about you to the tune of 'Dulcinea', from a musical that's suspiciously similar to the one we're performing now. Maestro, please ...
I have seen you on TV
You are Annette Funicello
and for you I have lust in my heart.
As you out-grew your tee-
shirt, the breath of Don Yellow
would stop and this gasping would start.
Gulping air! Gulping Air!
I've got asthma and I'm always gulping air!
[He points at her tee-shirt.]
At your name I always stare
through fogged-up glasses.
Gulping air! Gulping air!
ANNETTE [sings slowly in response to Don B's poignant love song.]
Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company ...[She turns her back on Don and exits poco a poco, still singing the Rickey Rat ... er, I mean, the Mickey Mouse Club Farewell Theme.]

Everybody wants to get out of here as soon as possible.
Sorry, Ladies ... no time to stand in line.
(see "At The Theatre" for some sympathy)


A 5-star federal prison resort in Scottsdale, AZ, where the guests ... &nbspI mean, inmates ... are trying to impress one another with their crime stories.

DON COYOTE impersonating ROD SERLING portraying DON BANANA

I'm not guilty, you know. I'm no criminal -- I don't even rip the tags off new pillows. I won a free cheeseburger at Burger Whop, and I reported it on my income tax! I was framed by an imposter. No, not the narrator -- although he is a phony. Wait! I'm the narrator, impersonating ... oh, you know. Gordon framed me ... I feel like a knight in rusty armor in a world without love. I don't want to see him again. He then begins this song, which is suspiciously reminiscent of 'Golden Helmet of Mambrino'.
Gordon held up a casino
Up in Reno, not LV.
For his crime now,
I'm doing time, now,
in this penitentiary
DONOVAN [who was convicted of drug charges -- Surprise! -- back in the '60s. Now singing, more or less, to the tune of 'I can hear the cuckoo singing in the cuckooberry tree'.]
Oh, they call this fellow yellow
and they do so quite rightly
Quite rightly!


[No, not Don Coyote's brother. Rather, Gordon's former partner.]
If that's really what got held up,
it pissed off The Family.
DON BANANA [woefully, in the original tune]
Gordon held up that casino
but Gamblino's after me...

-- Back at Mickey's Palace

[Now wearing not much more than her sequined mouse-ears and holding a peacock feather.]
[Note to Costume Dept: For the matinee, a bikini is recommended, preferably with two monograms: 'Ann' and 'ette' -- or, if necessary, 'A' and 'F', depending on how much talent the actress has.]
Why do you do these stupid things?
What things?
These cowardly ... the things you do.
I hope to add some measure of grace to the world of organized crime.
You're going to take such a beating.
Whether I'm respected or not doesn't matter.
[awkward silence]
You're hot, Annette, but no one ever accused you of being bright.
You're supposed to say "What does?" so that I can respond,
"Only that I follow the quest
and avoid conflicts at all costs."
[spits loudly, into her microphone, or over the orchestra pit into the audience]
That for your quest!
[turns, marches away, stops, turns back -- while the music plays:
BUMP! Bump, Bump, Bump!]

Come along and sing a song and join The Family ...


What does that mean ... 'quest'?

[Note: If you don't know the tune of this one, I'm surprised you made it this far. Don't you have something better to do?]
It is the mission of each true Conscientious Objector... No, his privilege! ...
To scream, the awesomest scream,
To hide, from the smallest of foes,
To leave, with the ten grand I 'borrowed',
To run, like the other C-Os.

I might - have the most awful song
to sing, as I'm chased long and far.
And my friend has his head out the window,
to retch on my beautiful car.

This is my quest,

to flee like Johnny Guitar,
no matter how hopeless --
We'll be feathered and tarred.

Too frightened to fight,
I bet there are laws
for protecting the timid and meek,
who keep shitting their drawers.

And I know, if I'll only be true
To this glorious Quest,
That my heart, will be spotless and pure,
[slower, pulsed]
when it's torn from my chest.
[He reaches in his shirt and pretends to throw his heart to the floor]
[Note to Prop Dept: Save the turkey giblets for the Epilogue -- to hold off the PETA-people until the end of the play. They are already complaining about Annette's peacock feather and phony mouse ears. If they rush the stage, lure them away with bananas.]

[Pancho is still retching -- and now Annette and some of the musicians are, too. God help what's left of the audience. When the retching subsides, Don Banana finishes his song with this anti-climactic verse.]
The mob world -- will not ever forgive
that I ran, and then jumped in my car
And drove, not as fast as the others,
who I stuck with the tab at the bar.

Yada yada yada ...
[ I forgot to write a Coda. Make something up, as long as it ends with:]
To scream, the awesomest scream!
[Don nervously looks over his shoulder and runs off the stage, screaming.] Aiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...


[Don Banana is lying motionless on the bare stage. It is assumed that he has been caught and killed, but we don't yet know by whom. Annette is kneeling over our fallen, heart-wrenched hero like Maria in West Side Story, except that we won't let her sing. In the unlikely event that Casting found a hottie who actually can act, Annette will show mixed emotions.
She'll be in tears, as phony as those mouse-ears and who-know-what-else, while she calmly places her bloody peacock feather over Don's gentle, peaceful, courageous, non-violent, dead face. In her other hand, Annette clutches some really messy turkey giblets, assuming that none of the stage hands had them for lunch, again -- and she reveals a sly grin to the audience.]

AUDIENCE [ideally, a collective gasp; but a collective gag will do.]

PANCHO [Silhouetted against the curtain to magnify the shadow of his mouse ears]
Una bella ragazza italiana con le lentiggini?

I never did trust that bitch!
An Italian girl with freckles!


[as orchestra with several concertinas (or is it concertine) play 'Funiculì, funiculà' like a funeral dirge, largo con fuego (a slow burn).]
Note to Director:
It's doubtful that there will be any applause during the curtain 'calls'.
You can expect the remnants of the audience will likely sit silently aghast,
mouths ajar -- unless they're still retching, of course.

Order of Curtain Calls:
  • Mobsters & Mouseketeers/Showgirls
  • Donovan & Peter (They motion as if Gordon is coming out, but he didn't actually appear in the play, you know. The three of them romp together hand-in-hand-in-hand around the stage . No, sorry, that was yesterday ... with those nerdy understudies.)
  • Annette (misshaping one of her monogrammed souvenir tee-shirts, which will be available in the lobby for $39.95. Size small, only. Prostheses sold separately.)
  • Pancho (who stole the show, of course), carrying an armful of souvenir mouse-ears (also $39.95, $59.95 for the ones with sequins).
  • Don Bonano (with a bunch of autographed bananas, also for sale.)
  • Last, exuberantly running to center stage, crying with joy, arms spread wide and phony bouquet in hand, Don Coyote, the narrator who inexplicably looks like Don Banana (who, to the surprise of the other cast members, is still on stage) and sounds like Peter Coyote impersonating Rod Serling for no apparent reason.

PHOTO CREDITS: " The Strip", by V. J. Lucid 1991; all others on loan, courtesy of somebody or other.

No comments:

Post a Comment