ALL ABOUT ME ABRIDGED OR SHE FLEW ALL THE WAY FROM AUSTRALIA FOR THIS? From the "Broadway Abridged Shorts" Archive By Gil Varod
SCENE: ROUNDABOUT-OWNED BROADWAY THEATER #3. Audience enters into the brand new underground Henry Miller theater, soon to-be-christened the STEPHEN SONDHEIM THEATER. It is under-attended, more modern than you're comfortable with, and requires you to travel deeper down than you think you ought to. Good job with the naming, Roundabout. OVERTURE plays using dozens of recognizable songs, or as many measures as you can play of each one before having to pay royalties. This is WITTY, just as you'd expect from a comedy... Enter Michael Feinstein. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Hi everyone, I'm Michael Feinstein, singer of the Great American Songbook, and I'm here to namedrop Liza Minnelli as many times as possible. AUDIENCE We don't know who the heck you are because you haven't been on Broadway since 1990 but no matter, bring on Dame Edna so you can bicker with her/him! MICHAEL FEINSTEIN I'd like to sing a song... AUDIENCE Opposing Dame Edna! MICHAEL FEINSTEIN ...from the Great American Songbook, all by myself! He does. AUDIENCE Oh. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Now I'm going to sing another song... AUDIENCE Introducing Dame Edna? MICHAEL FEINSTEIN ...from the Great American Songbook! AUDIENCE ... MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Let's pause for a moment so I can share a piece of my inner self. AUDIENCE Wasn't this supposed to be a comed-- MICHAEL FEINSTEIN When I was a little boy I was lonely, and not in a funny way. But you know what made me feel better? AUDIENCE I'm guessing it wasn't Dame Edna. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN The Great American Songbook! AUDIENCE Shocker. He sings another song. We are now more than fifteen minutes in. Yes, 1/6th of the way through a musical comedy, and have made no jokes nor have we set up our tone or premise. THAT STORY ABOUT HOW PUTTING "COMEDY TONIGHT" INTO FORUM'S OPENING SAVED THE SHOW How has nobody in this show heard of me? Durang, don't you know musicals? "BOOKWRITER" CHRISTOPHER DURANG Who is this? How did you get my phone number? DAME EDNA (finally arriving) Hello, possums! Who wants to hear me riff off the audience? AUDIENCE Oh me! DAME EDNA Who wants to hear me sing songs I no longer even have the voice to not have the voice for? AUDIENCE I... I guess I'm willing to sit through that! MICHAEL FEINSTEIN (the worlds worst straight man?) (no, straight as in COMEDY DUO, not...) No no no, Great American Songbook! Great Amer... bwahahahah. DAME EDNA What, yu're finally realizing what a stereotype of an old fart you sound like sometiimes? MICHAEL FEINSTEIN No, its just that you keep improvising, and I apparently have zero ability to keep a straight face for more than twelve seconds, dammit. AUDIENCE Much to our intense confusion! MICHAEL FEINSTEIN Ha ha ha ha chuckle guffaw! AUDIENCE Seriously, am I missing something? STAGE MANAGER CHARACTER Apparently you guys both booked the theater at the same time, wink wink nudge nudge wink nudge wink wink wink. I'll have to find out what's going on from the house's management company to set the situation straight, but will then never again mention this in Christopher Durang's poor excuse for a book. "BOOKWRITER" CHRISTOPHER DURANG Who are you people and why do I keep hearing my name? STAGE MANAGER CHARACTER In the meanwhile, you guys have to share the stage. And by "share the stage", I mean you'll do a two-man show! And by "do a two-man show", I mean you'll have to each do a one-man show for half the time. MICHAEL FEINSTEIN I'm sure that our ridiculously differing styles will go great together, just like the Muppets doing a variety show with Glen Beck! (talks more about his childhood) DAME EDNA Yes, my riffing-styled comedy will match your serious crooning quite well, and not clash horribly at all! (says mean things about Michael Feinstein that are frighteningly on-target) DIRECTOR CASEY NICHOLAW I'm sure I'll be able to direct real well at a moment's notice now that Jerry Zaks has left! (pretends to direct) PREVIOUS DIRECTOR JERRY ZAKS I'm sure that Addams Family will turn out great as I join it at the last moment! (deludes self) MICHAEL FEINSTEIN AND DAME EDNA And then we can learn a very important lesson about teaming up or whatever! All we need is a well-written book and it'll turn out great! Take it away, Christopher Durang! "BOOKWRITER" CHRISTOPHER DURANG What? I thought you guys just bought the rights to use my name. BLACKOUT.