LoveMusik: Abridged

                     LOVEMUSIK ABRIDGED (BUT STILL WAY TOO LONG)
                            A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod






            SCENE: MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB OFFICES.


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            I want to direct Threepenny Opera.


                                   HEADS OF MTC
            Sorry, Roundabout just did it.


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            But it sucked.  Come on, let me.


                                   HEADS OF MTC
            Sorry, you'd have to wait seven years.


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            Then I'll just do my favorite songs from Threepenny in a new
            musical.


                                   HEADS OF MTC
            What will you do for the rest of the musical?


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            Get Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris to vamp for two hours. 
            That OK?


                                   HEADS OF MTC
            You're Harold Price.  Direct Encyclopedia Britannica and
            people will pay for it.


                                        ONE YEAR AND ZERO OUT-OF-TOWN 
                                        TRYOUTS LATER:






            SCENE: THE BILTMORE THEATRE, INSTEAD OF THE SMALL BLACKBOX
            THAT THIS MUSICAL REALLY OUGHTA BE PERFORMED IN.


                                   Curtain up.  Overture plays, a mix of
                                   Kurt Weill tunes.


                                   Do you like listening to Overtures?  Or
                                   do you prefer talking quietly during
                                   them?


                                   You don't have a choice.  Orchestra
                                   members will be SPOT-LIT during the
                                   overture.  


                                   Talking during THIS overture would be
                                   like TALKING DURING THE MIDDLE OF A
                                   PLAY!  Only assholes talk during the
                                   middle of a play.  


                                   And you're not an asshole, are you?


                                   Enter a stage.


                                   STAGE
            Hello there!  I'm a stage!  I am on top of the regular stage. 
            I'm a stage on top of a stage!  I, the stage, represent the
            fact that you're watching a presentation of a story as
            opposed to a regular story.  This is terribly CLEVER, isn't
            it?  
                          (pause)
            Wait... Did I say CLEVER?  Sorry, I meant BRECHTIAN.  So easy
            to accidentally use one when you're intending the other.


                                   Dark music plays, ensuring us we are to
                                   see a brooding and intense musical. 


                                   Enter MICHAEL CERVERIS and DONNA MURPHY
                                   in a rowboat that slides onstage very
                                   slowly.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (as LENYA)
            Kum.  Eh take yu to ze place verr you go.  I em ze maid.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (as KURT WEILL, in awesome wig)
            Eh em Kurt Veill.  


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Ness teh met yu Kurt Veill.


                                   They are just getting to know each
                                   other when suddenly, a woman appears on
                                   the stairs!


                                   RANDOM WOMAN ON STAIRS
                          (singing)
            NANA'S LIED
            NANA'S LIED...


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (to Random Woman)
            Vet err you doing?


                                   RANDOM WOMAN ON STAIRS
            I'm singing a song.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Vet song?


                                   RANDOM WOMAN ON STAIRS
            A Weill/Brecht song.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Vhy?


                                   RANDOM WOMAN ON STAIRS
            Because musicals should have songs.
                          (continues singing for a short
                           while)


                                   We forget what was going on. 
                                   Eventually, we get to pick up the scene
                                   from where we were.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (back in character)
            So yu arr net Jewish, eh?  My femily would not approve.  You
            see they--


                                   RANDOM FAMILY OF WEILL
                                   APPEARING IN BACKGROUND
                          (singing)
            WE ARE JEWISH!  WE ARE JEWISH!
            JEWISH JEWISH JEWISH!
            ISN'T IT FUNNY, OR SOMETHING,
            THAT WE ARE JEWISH!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Yeh?  Vell my femily--


                                   RANDOM FAMILY OF LENYA
                                   APPEARING IN BACKGROUND
            WE ARE CHRISTIAN!
            WE ARE SINGING A SONG!
            IT IS A MUSICAL ABOUT WEILL!
            LET'S SING A SONG THAT--


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            God dammit let us finish a scene!
                          (to Michael Cerveris, as LENYA
                           again)
            Su perheps you ant I ken--


                                   The scene blacks out suddenly, almost
                                   as if nobody could figure out how one
                                   ends scenes in musicals.






            SCENE: A COLD PLACE WHERE COLD GERMANS GET MARRIED, COLDLY.


                                   A setpiece rolls in.  Very slowly.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (still in a German accent, 
                           but no longer typed as such to
                           save your sanity)
            Let's get married.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            If we get married, will you stop sleeping with other people?


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            No.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            I'll deal now, and complain later.


                                   GERMAN COURT MAGISTRATE
            I now pronounce you husband and wife!


                                   POOR ACTRESS PLAYING A COURT
                                   SECRETARY, SOLELY FOR THE
                                   PURPOSE OF ROUNDING OUT THE
                                   VOICES
            Yay!


                                   A *song* is sung.  Because that's what
                                   musicals have, *songs*.


                                   Some *special* musicals even have
                                   American songs from 1943 SHOEHORNED
                                   into depicting German events in 1926!






            SCENE: A SETPIECE THAT SLIDES IN, VERY SLOWLY.


                                   Enter Bertolt Brecht.


                                   BRECHT
                          (in a long joke with no payoff)
            I HAVE LOTS OF WOMEN
            I HAVE LOTS OF WOMEN
            THIS COULD BE FUNNY, 
            BUT REALLY IT'S NOT!
                          (speaking)
            Now women, whom I have lots of, I will attempt to do not
            necessarily-comedic-relief--


                                   The scene ends suddenly, as if nobody
                                   could figure out how to write dialogue
                                   that finishes a thought.






            SCENE: AUDITIONS FOR "THREEPENNY OPERA".  
            OR SO ONE WOULD ASSUME, IF YOU'RE ALREADY WELL VERSED IN
            WEILL AND BRECHT AND DON'T BELIEVE MUSICALS SHOULD EXPLAIN
            THE BACKGROUND OF WHAT'S GOING ON.


                                   An opera house setpiece rolls in, very
                                   slowly.  In silence.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (auditioning)
            WELL SHOW ME THE WAY
            TO THE NEXT WHISKY BAR
            OH, DON'T ASK WHY
            OH, DON'T ASK WHY.


                                   MISINFORMED AUDIENCE MEMBERS
            Kurt Weill was in The Doors?  Wow, I am learning so much
            about Kurt Weill!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (still singing)
            OH MOON OF ALABAMA...
                          (stops)
            Brecht, what does "Alabama" mean in this song?


                                   BRECHT
            I chose it randomly off of a map.


                                   BOOKWRITER ALFRED UHRY
                          (entering)
            I chose it randomly off of a songlist.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            What?


                                   BOOKWRITER ALFRED UHRY
            Huh?  Wait, what did you say?


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            I asked what Alabama meant.


                                   BOOKWRITER ALFRED UHRY
            Oh... Sorry, I thought you were asking me what a specific
            song was doing at a specific point in the show.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Which song?


                                   BOOKWRITER ALFRED UHRY
            Huh?  Oh... Um... 
                          (points)
            LOOK A BRECHTIAN DEVICE!
                          (runs off stage left)






            SCENE: OPENING NIGHT FOR "THREEPENNY OPERA".


                                   A setpiece rolls in, very slowly, as we
                                   will become accustomed to.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Lenya, your name isn't on this program!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            It's not?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            This makes me very angry.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Don't let it.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (suddenly perfectly fine)
            OKAY!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Time for me to get onstage in THREEPENNY OPERA.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Yes, DONNA MURPHY, doing an AMAZING JOB portraying LENYA, go
            onstage in THREEPENNY, the show with PIRATE JENNY, which everybody
            would love to see you do a rendition of!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Okay, I'm about to go onstage.  In the show that has
            PIRATE JENNY.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Okay!


                                   She goes onstage.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (with a little bit of PIRATE JENNY)
            Look!  There goes Mack the Knife!


                                   Blackout.


                                   For real.






            SCENE: PARTY AT WEILL'S HOUSE.


                                   MANY CHORUS MEMBERS WHO
                                   COULD HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM
                                   THIS PRODUCTION WITHOUT
                                   ANYBODY NOTICING
            Brecht, we didn't get to see ANY of Threepenny portrayed just
            now.  Since it's such an important stepping stone in Weill's
            life that wasn't really explored at all, why don't you make
            up for it by pointlessly singing Mack the Knife to the
            audience at this party?


                                   BRECHT
            Okay!
                          (serenades the audience, 
                           looks damn silly)


                                   AUDIENCE
            Wow, it must be really hard to take characters from 1930s
            Berlin and make them INTERESTING.






            SCENE: SHOCKHEADED PETER RIP-OFF.


                                   Enter MICHAEL CERVERIS and BRECHT.


                                   Shadow puppets of Swastikas and whatnot
                                   onstage.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS 
                                   AND BRECHT
                          (blatant, out-of-nowhere
                           offensiveness)
            OH HITLER HITLER HITLER,
            WE MADE YOU OUT OF CLAY
            AND WHEN WE'RE DRY AND READY,
            OH HILTER WE SHALL PLAY.


                                   Half of the audience imitates the
                                   "Springtime for Hitler" audience in the
                                   original PRODUCERS movie.


                                   The other half imitates the "Springtime
                                   for Hitler" audience during the
                                   Producers Musical. (During the first
                                   year of its run, of course.)


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS 
            Please, please, laugh!  We've run out of other ways to
            entertain you!


                                   BRECHT
            Hell, I'm even singing a song that the real Brecht didn't
            write!  
            Hey Weill, who wrote the lyrics?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            It's a funny story how I began to write that song.  See, the
            lyrics were written by--


                                   Scene cuts off, almost as if nobody
                                   knows how to properly give background
                                   information in a musical.






            SCENE: GERMANY.


                                   We see a scene that shows how difficult
                                   it was as a Jew in Germany back in--


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            No we don't.


                                   But surely we do.  


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            No.


                                   How else do we paint a picture of why
                                   Brecht moved to America if not to show
                                   the life he was forced to leave be--


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            No "life was bad in Germany" stuff.  I don't want to repeat
            what I had already done in Cabaret.


                                   And what was that?


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            Cohesive storytelling.






            SCENE: PARIS.


                                   CHORUS
                          (sings a happy perky song,
                           entirely ruining the dark
                           nature of this musical)
            WE'RE IN PARIS!
            WE'RE IN PARIS!
            THIS IS ANOTHER SONG
            KURT WEILL WROTE!


                                   AUDIENCE
                          (doesn't care)


                                   PLOT
                          (doesn't move forward)


                                   Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris are
                                   laying in bed with ANOTHER WOMAN.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            I hope you enjoyed your threesome with me and OTHER WOMAN.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Yes, apparently I've gone from quiet and reserved to the kind
            of guy who has threesomes.


                                   OTHER WOMAN suddenly exits scene. 


                                   Donna Murphy and Michael Cerveris
                                   ignore this entirely, as if nobody
                                   could figure out how to give a
                                   character an exit line.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (exposition-ing)
            So, since the last scene, you fled Germany and signed all
            your money to me and I hitched up with some other man and
            signed all our money to him and he ran off with the money and
            I'm stuck here with you.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            That sounds interesting!  Can we SEE some of that re-enacted
            onstage?


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            No.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Then join me in New York!
                          (singing yet another "Broadway"
                           number in this "dark" musical)
            WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO BE ON BROADWAY
            BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH--


                                   DIRECTOR HAROLD PRINCE
            Tapdance!  Sell it more!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Oh fuck you.






            SCENE: A BOAT SETPIECE THAT SLIDES IN VERY SLOWLY.


                                   We're on a boat.  To America.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (singing)
            I WANT TO BE A LADY'S MAID
            LADY'S MAID IN AMERICA
            IN AMERICA THE STREETS ARE PAVED...


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Kurt Weill didn't write that.  


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Well then what SHOULD I sing?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Check this out.


                                   He pulls out a roulette wheel.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            What's that?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            This is the Kurt Weill song roulette wheel.  It's a simple
            three step process.  


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (examining wheel)
            But "I'm a Stranger here Myself" and "My Ship" aren't even on
            there!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (ignoring)
            Step number one, spin the wheel.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (spins wheel)
            Oh, this doesn't work... We already did Moon Over Alabama!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Don't sweat it.  Step two, have the pointlessly-hired chorus
            sing.


                                   CHORUS, BECAUSE IT'S
                                   IMPORTANT TO USE A CHORUS IF
                                   YOU ALREADY HIRED THEM.
            OH MOON OF ALABAMA
            WE NOW MUST SAY GOODBYE.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            But the song makes no sense--


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Step three!
                          (pulls out slow-moving moon,
                           sticks onto slow-moving set)
            There we go!  Now the song makes sense... BECAUSE THERE'S A
            MOON IN THE BACKGROUND!


                                   CHORUS (CONT'D)
            WE'VE LOST OUR GOOD OLD MAMA
            AND MUST HAVE WHISKEY, YOU KNOW WHY.


                                   The curtain closes.


                                   Then the outer curtain closes.


                                   Then the lights come up


                                   Then the audience's eyes re-open.






            SCENE: INTERMISSION, BILTMORE THEATRE BAR.


                                   AUDIENCE MEMBERS
            Bartender!  Whisky, please!


                                   BARTENDER
                          (jovial)
            It's funny how when you hear about a beverage, you just kinda
            get into the mood to have some, right?


                                   AUDIENCE MEMBERS
            Huh?


                                   BARTENDER
            They ended the act 1 finale with a lyric about whiskey.
                          (pause)
            Isn't that why you want whiskey?






            SCENE: TEN MINUTES LATER.


                                   DRUNK AUDIENCE
                          (screaming)
            I THINK I CAN NOW BEAR THE REST OF THIS PLAY.


                                   OTHER DRUNK PEOPLE IN
                                   AUDIENCE
                          (sloshed)
            IT'S A MUSICAL.


                                   DRUNK AUDIENCE
                          (plastered)
            TELL THAT TO THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE IT!






            SCENE: HOBOKEN, FOR SOME GOD AWFUL REASON.


                                   Scenery slides onstage fast at first,
                                   then slowly again.


                                   Enter a milkman, a hooker, a cop and a
                                   longshoreman.  Because a Kurt Weill
                                   musical is always the perfect show to
                                   have some weird bizarro-Village People
                                   thing.


                                   COMMUNITY THEATRE-ESQUE
                                   CHORUS
                          (singing like they're in
                           "Wonderful Town")
            SONG ABOUT AMERICA
            SONG ABOUT AMERICA
            MIGHT BE WITTY
            IF YOU COULD UNDERSTAND THE LYRICS
            BY THE WAY
            KURT WEILL WROTE THIS!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Excuse me, poorly-costumed longshoreman who keeps picking up
            and putting down various crates so I can conveniently sit on
            them, can you tell us where so and so theatre is?


                                   LONGSHOREMAN
            You're in Hoboken.  You want HARLEM!


                                   BOOKWRITER ALFRED UHRY
            AH HA HA HA HA HA HA!  Hoboken Harlem Hoboken Harlem Hoboken! 
            AH HA HA HA HA!


                                   AUDIENCE
            Why does Alfed Uhry keep laughing to himself?






            SCENE: SLOW-MOVING AMERICAN IMMIGRATION SET.


                                   AMERICAN JUDGE
            Donna Murphy, you can't stay in America unless you're
            married.  Why don't you both get married again!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS AND 
                                   DONNA MURPHY
            O-KAY!


                                   They all sing a song about how happy it
                                   is to get married.  It's FUN and PERKY
                                   just like the 1940s were!


                                   GUY WHO TOOK THE DARK
                                   "ARTISTIC" BLACK AND WHITE
                                   PHOTO FOR THE PLAYBILL COVER
            Why do I even bother?


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Oh no, the audience is getting restless!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Quick, spin the wheel!


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            But what if I end up with a song that wasn't written till
            thirty years later again?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (spins for her)
            SURABAYA JOHNNY!


                                   She sings.  It's a moment so well
                                   performed, so touching, that you almost
                                   forget that you've wasted $100 and >2
                                   hours of your life.






            SCENE: LUNCH.


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
                          (the most character development
                           we'll get for him:)
            It's good to have lunch with you guys.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Donna, you keep cheating on me over and over, which I'm
            unhappy about but have chosen to live with.  So while I'm
            gone, why don't you screw this guy?


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Because he's gay.  Silly!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Wow... Maybe you stopped screwing other people.  Maybe you do
            love me! 


                                   ACTOR IN A 
                                   KURT WEILL MUSICAL
                          (entering)
            Thanks for writing such great music!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Thank you for performing it.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
                          (to ACTOR)
            Wanna fuck?


                                   ACTOR AND DONNA MURPHY
                          (go off to copulate)


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Again I am sad.  Also, a doormat.






            SCENE: MORE BERTOLT BRECHT.


                                   BRECHT
                          (singing)
            I HAVE ANOTHER SONG
            IT'S STAGED LIKE IT SHOULD BE FUNNY
            EXCEPT FOR THAT
            IT'S NOT!
                          (pause)
            ALSO, KURT WEILL WROTE THIS!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            In this scene I'm not a doormat now.
            So I don't want to work with you on a new project, or even
            restage Threepenny in America.  


                                   BRECHT
            You jerk!  


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            BRECHT, we have a BAD RELATIONSHIP!


                                   BRECHT
            Yes KURT WEILL, we have a bad relationship because--


                                   Oh no, the plot started getting
                                   interesting!  No matter, let's CUT
                                   to...






            SCENE: THE ILLUSION WEDDING SHOW.


                                   ...something much less so!


                                   We watch a ten minute number which is
                                   either some Greek Chorus thingy or a
                                   recreation of a Weill show that existed
                                   or maybe...


                                   It doesn't matter.  What matters is
                                   that it would stop the plot cold if
                                   there was one.


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
            I AM SINGING!
            I AM DANCING!
            REMEMBER WHEN THIS MUSICAL BEGAN?
            IT WAS DARK AND BROODING
            NOW IT'S BRIGHT AND CHEERY!
            LA DEE DA DEE DA!
            KURT WEILL WROTE THIS!






            SCENE: WEILL AND LENYA'S HOUSE.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            So the entire time I've been in California, I've been
            cheating on you.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            I am angry about this.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            But you cheat on me all the time.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            But I'm a bitch.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            But you're really good as LENYA.  Your Surbaya Johnny was
            almost worth a Student-Rush or TDF ticket price alone.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            So why don't you sing a song that's worthwhile?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (sings "It Never Was You")


                                   AUDIENCE
                          (is reminded the promise of
                           what this show could have
                           been)


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (dies)


                                   AUDIENCE
            How convenient.






            SCENE: SOME NEW YORK THEATRE.


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
            Ever since your husband has died, we have decided to have the
            first staging of Threepenny Opera on Broadway.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Wow, what's the story about how that came about?


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
            No time.  Show's already 55 minutes too long.  Just get
            onstage as the role that sings PIRATE JENNY in THREEPENNY.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Okay.


                                   She spends two real-time full minutes
                                   putting on makeup.


                                   The audience is forced to sit watching
                                   Donna Murphy put on makeup for two
                                   minutes of silence.


                                   First eyes.


                                   Then face powder.


                                   Then another face powder.


                                   Then some more eyes.


                                   Then some other eye thing.


                                   More of that.


                                   A pause to reflect.


                                   Some lipstick.


                                   Some fine-tuning of the lipstick.


                                   A bit more eyes.


                                   Then more face powder.


                                   A look into the mirror.


                                   More fixing of the eyes.


                                   She is now done.


                                   You now have a notion of what two of
                                   the final three minutes of the show
                                   are.


                                   In real time.


                                   As


                                   slow


                                   and


                                   boring


                                   as


                                   this


                                   is.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            Time for me to get onstage in THREEPENNY OPERA again.


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
            Yes, better get onstage to have a final moment and do a
            reprise of PIRATE JENNY!


                                   Music of "Pirate Jenny" underscores.


                                   DONNA MURPHY
            I can't do a reprise of Pirate Jenny.  I didn't sing it a
            first time.


                                   SEMI-IMPORTANT 
                                   MALE CHARACTER
            Ah, right, so inst--


                                   Musical ends suddenly, as if nobody
                                   could figure out how to end a musical.

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