“Show” part one (2004)

“Show” was the first stage show I wrote and directed completely on my own. It was a semi-musical about 45 minutes long. The concept was a reality show where the contestants have to make a reality show parody. Man, I haven’t thought about this in a long time. This is part one of six or so.

[I feel obliged to mention that these characters are intentionally cliched for a reason. It should be obvious, but you never know, and I get nervous that people are thinking this is what I actually think is funny or a good character. Anyway. All will become clear in later parts.]

– – – – – – –

OPENING SONG

The HOST strides to center stage.

HOST
Good evening! Is there anything
more exciting than live satire?
Without satire, how would you know
what to like, what to hate, or what
to think? You wouldn’t. That’s why
we’re here.

RYAN stands up from the audience.

EXTRA #1 (RYAN)
(confused)
Um… Excuse me? I Have a question?
Last night, I was watching one of
those newfangled reality shows.
Somehow I feel as if it was
somewhat silly, and could be made a
target of biting social satire-
thus restoring us, upper-middle
class college educated white
people, to our God-given position
as arbiters of good taste to the
unwashed masses! But who could
possibly accomplish such a thing?

The SIX MAIN CHARACTERS suddenly appear-

From RIGHT: Frank and Jenna.
From CENTER: Liz and Mikey B.
From LEFT: Sara and Johnnie.

MAIN CHARACTERS
We can do it!

EXTRA #1 (RYAN)
But how? Who are you that can
create such wonders from thin air?

MAIN CHARACTERS
We’re sketch comics!

JAY and LIZ step forward to sing a duet while the others snap their fingers or tap their feet. SARA and JOHNNIE vault over
the couch, FRANK and JENNA lean on the back of the chairs.

BACKGROUND SNAPPERS
(rhythmic chanting)
Parody… Parody… Parody…

They start singing a big emotional, piano Broadway number.

JAY
(singing)
They’re really asking for it/
And it’s never been done before/

LIZ
(singing)
We need to take them down a notch/
and tell everyone the score/

JAY
(singing)
It’ll make us rich and famous/
that’s one thing that I know

LIZ AND JAY
(singing)
We’ll surely conquer Hollywood/
If we just parody a reality show!

The music swells on “reality show,” then picks up pace.

Liz throws down a quick drink and some pills at the side of the stage.

LIZ
(singing)
Ever since I was a young girl/
I dreamed of the Great White Way/
I’ll get there or I’ll kill myself/
I could go either way

JAY
(singing)
I started out in New York/
paying tribute to The Bard/
Now I’m doing sketch, but on
weekends/
I still wear the leotard

FRANK pushes his way to center stage.

DONALD
(singing)
I’m the typical Hollywood prick/
I’ll screw anyone in my way/
Mercedes, cell phone, tiny dick/
I’m just a walking clii-che!

SARA pushes her way in front of FRANK.

SARA
(singing)
The typical model-actress/
You’ve seen my type before/

SARA stands and poses until JOHNNY tells her to sit down, which she does.

JOHNNY
(singing)
Stand up comic, loves to offend
(to Sara, spoken)
Sit down you brain-dead whore!

JENNA takes center stage, JOHNNY retreats to make fun of Sara in the background.

Melissa is dressed like a prim 50s Mrs. Cleaver type.

MELISSA
(singing)
Feminists today, think they’ve got
the master plan/
But I’m just a nice old fashioned
girl, here to find a man!
(to male cast)
Can I cook you boys a nice
meatloaf?

EVERYONE
(singing)
All our dreams can come true/
that’s one thing that we know/
if we can only make a parody/
of a re-all-it-y shoooooowwwwwwww!

Everyone does “jazz hands.”

EVERYONE
(spoken)
Satire!

BLACKOUT

INTERVIEWS

Standing in line- each steps forward to speak in turn.

LIZ
When they asked me, did I want to
be on reality show where six
careful chosen writers, actors and
comics had to be locked in a
theatre and create a a parody of a
reality show I thought “Great!”
Then five seconds later I thought
it was the stupidest idea I’ve ever
heard. Then I took some pills and
drank half a bottle of champagne.
Then I ran naked down Gower street
singing “I Feel Pretty” at the top
of my lungs.

JAY
I’m from New York.

He stares defiantly at the audience for several beats of silence before moving back in line.

DONALD
(moving head and hands
around in annoying,
Tarantino-esque fashion)
Like what I’m trying to say with
this reality show parody, is like,
phoniness is everywhere in our
society. I’m going to be writing,
directing, and executive producing
this whole project
(re: rest of cast)
But it’s the little people who are
the real stars!

MELISSA
The man I love will be big, and
strong, and he’ll be able to
satirize the sheer banality of
“Fear Factor” or “The Amazing Race”
like nobody’s business!

She looks dreamily at the available men.

JOHNNY
It’s like, these two homos are
trying to board a flight to
Baghdad, right? So the guy pulls
’em out of line and starts strip
searching ’em…

Sara jumps in front of Johnny and cuts him off.

SARA
I think this could really be my big
break. One day, when I’m world
famous, I’ll look back on this
experience and remember the people
that helped launch my career. I
won’t remember their names of
course, or what they looked like.
Actually, I probably won’t remember
this experience at all. But I’m
sure it will be clear to everyone
how much it meant to me anyway.

BLACKOUT

Part two will be posted Monday morning.

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