Thoroughly Modern Millie: Abridged

                             THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE:
                            A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod


            SCENE: THE MARQUIS THEATRE, ONE MINUTE BEFORE CURTAIN.

                                   There is no audience.

                                   MARQUIS CREW
            Is this show doing that badly?

                                   MARQUIS USHERS
            No, we've actually still been hitting an average of about
            2/3rds capacity a full two and a half years later.

                                   STAGE MANAGER
            That's odd.  We'd better start without them.

                                   Curtain rises.  Enter SUTTON FOSTER
                                   with overly shiny wig.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I'm Millie Dillmount, and I...

                                   AUDIENCE
                          (finally entering)
            Who the hell's idea was it to put this theatre on the third
            floor of a hotel without putting up signs how to find it?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Uh... I'm Millie Dillmount, a small girl from Kansas who is
            trying to make it big in the Big Apple and seek the American
            Dream!

                                   AUDIENCE
            You mean like in Wonderful Town?

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Hi Sutton, I'm Jimmy and I just want to tell you, while
            you're in the Big Apple you'd better be careful.  You should
            go to Delta Burke's hotel for cheap reservations.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Wow, what an asshole.  I will continue to hate you for the
            majority of Act One.





            SCENE: A HOTEL OWNED BY DELTA BURKE.

                                   DELTA BURKE
                          (With poor Asian-like makeup)
            Mirrie, I'm Misses Meers, a hoter owrer, and ay would ruv it
            if you rould shtay her in meh hoter.  

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I... I can't understand you, Delta.

                                   DELTA BURKE
            I said, ay would ruv it if you rould shtay her in me hoter.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            ????

                                   DELTA BURKE
            It's a stereotypical asian accent.  I'm Asian.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            That's supposed to be an Asian accent?

                                   DELTA BURKE
            Werr, you non't hab a Kansas accent.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Touche.  Then I would love to stay in a room in your hotel. 
            See, I'm a small girl from Kansas who is trying to make it
            big in the Big Apple and seek the American Dream...

                                   DELTA BURKE
            You mean rike in 42nd Street?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            ...and I'm going to do it by marrying somebody rich!

                                   AUDIENCE
            You're... uh... gonna do it by marrying somebody rich...
            well, I guess that's... *kinda* new...

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            Hi, I'm an ORPHAN from California!  How do I get to my room? 
            The elevator doesn't work.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Oh, well the elevator only works if you tap-dance on it!

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            ...you're kidding right?

                                   They tap dance and the elevator works,
                                   with no decent explanation as to the
                                   mechanics of such things.  

                                   AUDIENCE double-checks the price on
                                   their tickets.

                                   DELTA BURKE
            Well well, it seems we have an ORPHAN.  And it seems I have
            suddenly switched from my absolutely unbelievable faux-Asian
            accent to my normal voice.  This sudden change probably would
            have been funnier had it been more believable and played by
            an Asian woman whose accent you didn't doubt for the first
            ten minutes.

                                   STOCK ASIAN CHARACTERS
                          (In subtitles projected onto
                           stage)
            Oh, Delta Burke, what a dishonor to our family it is that
            we're working for you by doing... what are we doing?

                                   DELTA BURKE
            We're selling off ORPHANS to become prostitutes.

                                   STOCK ASIAN CHARACTERS
                          (subtitles)
            Seriously, what are we doing?

                                   DELTA BURKE
            Really.  My master plan is that every ORPHAN who comes in
            here gets sold off to become a prostitute in Hong Kong.

                                   STOCK ASIAN CHARACTERS
                          (subtitles)
            THIS IS ACTUALLY THE PLOT?!?!?!??!

                                   DELTA BURKE
            Side plot.  And you'd better keep working for me, Stock Asian
            Characters, or your mother in Hong Kong will never come to
            America, the land of opportunity!
                          (To AUDIENCE)
            See?  I won't let their mother come to America.  So you HAVE
            to hate me!  Isn't that a genius plot device?

                                   STOCK ASIAN CHARACTERS
                          (subtitles)
            Not as genius as the joke that we speak only in subtitles. 
            Shame we ran it into the ground in the first two minutes...





            SCENE: STEREOTYPICAL OFFICE SCENE, WITH TYPEWRITERS AND WATER
            COOLERS AND OTHER LEFTOVER PROPS FROM THE "HOW TO SUCCEED IN
            BUSINESS" REVIVAL.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Eligible Company President Bachelor, I'm a small girl from
            Kansas who is trying to make it big in the Big Apple and seek
            the American Dream.

                                   ELIGIBLE COMPANY PRESIDENT
                                   BACHELOR
            You mean like in The Life?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Well... sorta.  And I want a job.

                                   ELIGIBLE COMPANY PRESIDENT
                                   BACHELOR
            I'll give you a five minute test which will somehow see how
            capable you are of being the stenographer for the president
            of the company.  You won't have to show me any references or
            experience, nor will you be required to move up the ladder by
            being a secretary for a lesser person first.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Fair enough.

                                   ELIGIBLE COMPANY PRESIDENT
                                   BACHELOR
            Right then.  So I'm going to sing a whole bunch of words in
            fast rhyming couplets so that they appear humorous even
            though they're actually not.  Then, you take them down and
            sing them back to me at a pointlessly faster speed.

                                   He DOES, and she DOES.

                                   OFFICE BOSS
            Well, regardless of the fact that you were entirely unable to
            pronounce half the consonants in the entire song, you have
            the job.  Now go to work.

                                   SUTTON and the FEMALE CHORUS do a tap
                                   dance with typewriter-desks that would
                                   have been clever had THE PRODUCERS not
                                   done the same exact thing with old
                                   women and walkers the year before this
                                   show opened.

                                   OFFICE BOSS
            That's a great job, Sutton.  From now on, for a reason that
            makes no sense in this play even as an attempted joke, I will
            call you John.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            You'll what what now?





            SCENE: HOTEL WITH THE GIRLS.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I'm bored and we need to make the audience wake up.  I know,
            let's go drinking in this weary time of prohibition.

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            Yes, let's go drinking in this weary time of prohibition!





            SCENE: A BAR OR A LOUNGE OR A PUB OR SOMETHING, DURING THE
            WEARY TIME OF PROHIBITION.

                                   Typical Romantic Male Lead is there.

                                   VARIOUS HOTEL GIRLS WITH
                                   SAME EXACT PERSONALITIES
            Come on Sutton Foster, drink this unspecified beverage with
            us!

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Allright, I'll take just one sip.
                          (She does, only one sip.  This
                           affects her greatly somehow)
            Wow, suddenly I'm a terrific dancer, and very intoxicated!

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            I'm quite the plastered bastard myself, and I only had one
            sip too!  what the hell is this stuff, ABSINTHE?

                                   A single flask (badly lit by a
                                   spotlight) is passed along a huge line
                                   of people.  This takes a year and a
                                   day.

                                   SPOTLIGHT GUY
            I'm not following the flask decently because I had only one
            sip of what they were having... 

                                   They all get caught for drinking and
                                   another drunken revelry ends in jail.

                                   BOOKWRITERS RICHARD MORRIS
                                   AND DICK SCANLAN
            See?  Drinking is bad.  You can't drink without dealing with
            the consequences!

                                   AUDIENCE
            You mean like in Guys n' Dolls?





            SCENE: A JAILCELL, ODDLY VERY CLEAN.

                                   Curtain rises on SUTTON FOSTER, TYPICAL
                                   ROMANTIC MALE LEAD and BORED CHORUS.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            I have a hairpin, so I can escape from my jailcell!

                                   He does.

                                   ALL THE MALES IN HIS CELL
            Hmm, interesting how we don't try to get out at all now that
            he's escaped.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
                          (to self)
            Wait, if I escape, I may never see Sutton again!  I'd better
            stay right here, locked in jail.

                                   He re-locks himself in his jailcell.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            You know, you COULD just use that hairpin to just help me
            escape.  I might find even it romantic.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            ....yesiree, better stay right here.





            SCENE: STREETS OF NEW YORK, BUT WORSE LIGHTING.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I'm glad we got out of jail within the same night.  Because,
            of course, the repercussions for a drunken revelry are much
            less severe here during the weary days of prohibition.  Or
            something.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Yes, well, will you join me for a party tomorrow night?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Okay, but it's not a date.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            How convenient that we can go on these non-dates, because
            single males and females always go out together for platonic
            only outings during the 1920s.  And why can't we date?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Well you see, I'm going to marry my boss, who calls me John.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            He calls you John?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            So where are we going tomorrow night?

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Well John, I know this woman who has these--

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Did you just call me John?

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Sure.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            What the...





            SCENE: THE EMPTY STAGE.

                                   Enter FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SINGER.

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
                          (Sings, mugging at the audience
                           like it's running out of
                           style, with lots of male
                           dancers very gayly-dressed in
                           background.  Five minutes pass
                           by and she hasn't stopped
                           singing.  We still don't know
                           who the hell this character
                           is.)

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Shady singer who I am friends with, I want you to meet John.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Actually, my name's not--

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            Well, John, for no apparent reason I'm going to take an
            immense liking to you.  Hold on, I have to say hi to other
            people.  Hey George Gershwin, how's it going?

                                   GEORGE GERSHWIN
            Not well.  I have composer's block.

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            That's a shame.  Hey, that girl looks like a rhapsody in
            blue!

                                   GEORGE GERSHWIN
            Wow, you just said a single phrase and I got an entire
            symphony in my head!

                                   He runs off, inspired.

                                   F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
            Ooh, do me next!  Work the words "Great" and "Gatsby" into a
            sentence together!





            SCENE: A TERRACE.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            I want to be with you.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Me too, but I can't!  I need to live out the American dream
            and marry for money.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Well damn.





            SCENE: HOTEL.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I've changed my mind.  I want to marry for love!

                                   She finds TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
                                   leaving room of REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            They kissed!  I've changed my mind.  I want to marry for
            money!

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Damn, you're right, we did kiss.  Gee, wait till Act Two when
            you find out our relationship to each other.





            SCENE: OFFICE AGAIN.

                                   ELIGIBLE COMPANY PRESIDENT
                                   BACHELOR
            I won't marry you John.  I want to marry your redhead best
            friend.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            I've changed my mind once more.  I want to marry for love!





            SCENE: DANGEROUS LEDGE OF WINDOW, FOR NO GOD DAMNED GOOD
            REASON BECAUSE HONESTLY, THEY COULD GO THE HELL INSIDE.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Barring any explanation of how the hell I got onto the ledge
            of a skyscraper from the *outside*, I wanted to say I'm
            sorry.  I only needed to talk to her about my confused life. 
            Nothing happened.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Ok, I forgive you.

                                   They do some dancing on the ledge.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Oh no, I'm gonna fall!

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            No, don't!

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Help meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
                          (He slips)
            Oh wait, it's okay, I'm only like a foot off of the stage.





            SCENE: KITCHEN OF CAFE SOCIETY.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            No wait, I've changed my mind.  I want to marry for money
            again!

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
                          (Slaps SUTTON FOSTER)
            You stupid girl.  This musical is a cheap attempt at the
            shows of days of yore.  Which means, formulaically, you HAVE
            to marry for love.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            You're right!  I've changed my mind.  I want to marry for
            love again!

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            You done changing your mind?  We still have to stop Delta
            Burke.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Right, she's in this play.





            SCENE: HOTEL.

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            Delta Burke, what are you doing?

                                   DELTA BURKE
            I'm sending you off to Hong Kong!

                                   A big plan is deployed and some
                                   uninteresting stuff happens, eventually
                                   Delta Burke is caught.

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            Well, we caught Delta Burke.

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            Good thing too, former Designing Women stars are dangerous if
            let loose in the wild.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            And I got to marry for love, but unfortunately not money.

                                   TYPICAL ROMANTIC MALE LEAD
            Well, not really.  See, I'm rich!

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            I'm his mother!

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            I'm his sister!

                                   BOOKWRITERS RICHARD MORRIS
                                   AND DICK SCANLAN
            It's funny that both of those white people are the son and
            daughter of the FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN SINGER!

                                   AUDIENCE
            Ah.

                                   BOOKWRITERS RICHARD MORRIS
                                   AND DICK SCANLAN
            Get it?  It's humor.

                                   AUDIENCE
            Yeah, we get it...
                          (sigh)

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            How can she be your mother?  You guys both said you were
            poor.

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            No, see, I sent them out into the world without money or life
            skills so they could find decent mates who didn't care about
            money.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            You sent them off into the world without money or life
            skills?  What the hell kind of mothering is that?

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            Beats out my original idea.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Which was?

                                   FEMALE AFRICAN-AMERICAN
                                   SINGER
            Put them in cardboard boxes and see if they evolve.

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Ah....
                          (awkward silence)
            So I should be mad that Typical Romantic Male Lead lied to me
            about being poor, but I guess it was for my own good.
                          (To audience:)
            Which just shows to show you, it's okay to lie to women in
            musical theatre, because men know what's good for them.  And
            I got my American Dream, to marry for money and love.  How
            wonderfully convenient that at the end, the guy I fell in
            love with had both!

                                   REDHEAD BEST FRIEND
                                   CHARACTER
            Hey, what about all the other ORPHANS who were already
            shipped to Hong Kong?

                                   SUTTON FOSTER
            Other what what now?
                                   CURTAIN.

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