Promises, Promises: Abridged

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While everybody was off watching the live production of South Pacific last Wednesday night, I Tivo'd it and went to see Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth in what was apparently a musical that was revived for the following excellent reasons:

1) Mad Men is popular.

So.
                             PROMISES, PROMISES ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                    BORING PEOPLE DOING BORING THINGS THE MUSICAL
                            A "Broadway Abridged" Script
                                                            By Gil Varod






            SCENE: UNNECESSARY DANCING DURING OVERTURE.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Hi, I'm Sean Hayes, from Will and Grace.  Go ahead, say it. 
            Argue it.  Disagree about whether or not I'm convincing at
            acting a straight character.  Continue to debate how straight
            I am, because it successfully pulls attention away from
            whether or not I'm doing a decent job acting this role and--
                          (pauses, looks up from desk
                           confused)
            Sorry, did the overture just segue into "Say a Little
            Prayer"?


                                   UNSEEN OFFSTAGE FEMALE
                                   CHORUS
                          (harmonizes for the first of
                           ~40 times this play)


                                   SEAN HAYES
            No matter.  Let me explain.  I'm playing a character who is
            constantly "looked over".  I'm not playing it nebbishy, or
            making use of many humorous quirks or bits or
            characterizations, like you would think I'm capable of doing
            because, well, I *am* Sean Hayes.  No, you'll find it out
            because people will say it about me, and I'll say it about
            me, and that's what makes Quality Theatre.


                                   FOUR EXECUTIVE MEN WHERE
                                   SEAN HAYES WORKS
            Sean Hayes, we would like to borrow your apartment now and
            then so we can fuck women who aren't our wives back home.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Ah, musical comedy!


                                   Twenty minutes of this.


                                   THAT HILARIOUS SCENE FROM SOURCE FILM 
                                   "THE APARTMENT" WHERE HE HAS TO 
                                   RESCHEDULE HIS ENTIRE SOCIAL CALENDAR 
                                   TO FIT IN ALL THE APPOINTMENTS PEOPLE 
                                   HAVE MADE TO USE HIS APARTMENT
                          (doesn't exist in the musical)


                                   THE BOSS
            Sean, I'd also like to borrow your apartment.  
            Also for fucking.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            HILARIOUS!


                                   THE BOSS
            Let's sing about this being our little secret.


                                   SEAN HAYES AND THE BOSS
                          (singing)
            OUR LITTLE SECRET
            OUR LITTLE SECRET
            THIS WILL BE OUR LITTLE SECRET
            OUR LITTLE SECRET IS WHAT THIS WILL BE
            THIS WILL BE OUR LITTLE SECRET
            THIS WILL BE OUR LITTLE
            THIS WILL BE
            THIS WILL
            THIS
            SECRET
            THIS SECRET BE OUR WILL
            SECRET
            SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET
            SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET SECRET 


                                   AUDIENCE'S EYES
                          (glaze over)


                                   THE PLOT
            Wake me if I need to move.






            SCENE: HALFWAY THROUGH ACT 1...


                                   ...which is exactly the point in the
                                   show when you want your ROMANTIC FEMALE
                                   LEAD to enter.


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Hi everybody, I'm Kristin Chenoweth.


                                   AUDIENCE
            We know you!  From every Broadway show ever, where you were
            fantastic in every role you ever played, particularly the
            comedic roles!  What do you play in this one?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            I play a poor, beautiful and fragile girl who is sympathetic
            for her fragileness regardless of the fact that she's making
            stupid decisions.  You know, the kind of girl who would have
            sang "I'm Still Hurting" if Jason Robert Brown had written
            this musical.  My character is incredibly young, very very
            impressionable, and intensely vulnerable to be able to fall
            for the crap that my character falls for while still being
            relateable.  
            Just like any 19 year old girl.


                                   AUDIENCE
            Uh... same Kristin Chenoweth?  As in, modern day Kristin
            Chenoweth, not one that time travelled here from fifteen
            years ago?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Now to sing a song that's not originally from this show, I'm
            going to blatantly switch my voice to suddenly sound like
            it's also not from this show.
                          (singing)
            I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER FOR YOU
            FOREVER, AND EVER,
            THIS SONG SEEMS OUT OF CONTEXT
            AND I LOVE YOU
            FOREVER, AND EVER,
            BUT NOT MORE THAN MOST OTHER SONGS IN THIS SHOW
            AND I LOVE YOU


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Oh Kristin Chenoweth, I'm a dork and a loser and everything
            else that falls under nerdy characters.  
            Or so at least I and everybody else keep saying, instead of 
            me having to "act" it.  Or even being the type to always carry 
            around a thermometer and nose spray (like JACK LEMMON in the
            film, who could have used the props less than I).
            So, obviously it goes to reason that I LOVE BASKETBALL.


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            I also love basketball!


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Do you also like to sing songs where 75% of the lyrics are
            just "I love basketball" and "She loves basketball"?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Um.  No.


                                   SEAN HAYES
                          (sung in shaky, shaky
                           vibrato)
            WELL I DO!


                                   This happens.


                                   It is an actual song in an actual show.  


                                   Making up such a thing would be a
                                   cruel, horrible trick.


                                   DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER    
                                   ROB ASHFORD
            Male chorus, now's where you sing and dance in suits! 
            Although creating a basketball-playing dream fantasy in
            basketball *uniforms* might actually be fun, WE ARE NOT DOING
            IT BECAUSE THERE ARE NO BASKETBALL UNIFORMS IN MAD MEN,
            AND THAT WAS OUR ONLY DRAMATURGICAL RESEARCH.






            SCENE: SEAN HAYES WAITS.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Here I am, waiting outside what looks like a very modern
            looking Madison Square Garden set regardless of the line of
            dialogue about the new one not being built yet.  I wonder
            what's going on in a Chinese restaurant on the other side of
            a stage.






            SCENE: A CHINESE RESTAURANT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STAGE.


                                   THE BOSS
            Come on, Kristin Chenoweth, even though I keep telling you
            that I'm going to leave my wife for you, and not coming 
            through on that promise, I want to fuck you in Sean Hayes's 
            apartment right now.  


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Well, even though I just sang a jubilant song about how much
            I'm deeply deeply in love with you, I'm going to act very
            very blase and indifferent to you.


                                   DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER    
                                   ROB ASHFORD
            And boring!


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            And...
                          (sigh)
            And boring.


                                   THE BOSS
                          (to Ashford)
            Wow, you actually made Kristin Chenoweth suck.  That takes a
            certain kind of talent.






            SCENE: THE BOSS'S OFFICE.


                                   THE BOSS 
                          (singing)
            WHY DO I WANT THE THINGS I CAN'T HAVE
            THINGS I CAN'T HAVE
            LIKE FUCKING WOMEN
            WHO AREN'T MY WIFE
            WHILE SINGING ABOUT IT
            LIKE IT'S A SWEET BALLAD!


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Boss, here is Kristin Chenoweth's mirror, in pieces, that I
            am returning to you.  I have it neatly and OCD-ly placed in a
            plastic bag.  


                                   THE BOSS
            That can be funny... are you going to take them out neatly
            one at a time, like the sort of character who would be
            obsessed with Purell if this were a modern play?


                                   SEAN HAYES
            No, Imma just gonna dump it on your desk.  Then I'll say a
            funny line to end the scene for the dozenth time, and we'll
            cut it with music so the audience wouldn't even laugh if the
            joke was funny.


                                   THE BOSS
            Jesus Sean.  I saw you in Damn Yankees at Encores.  You were
            good in that.  Great even!  How the hell are you missing 4
            out of 5 jokes like this?


                                   DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER    
                                   ROB ASHFORD
            Sorry, did somebody just call for a choreographer who thinks
            he's a director?


                                   THE BOSS
            Ah.


                                   AUDIENCE
            PLEASE DEAR GOD MAKE SOMETHING *HAPPEN*.






            SCENE: AN OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY THAT TAKES PLACE ENTIRELY ON
            THE STAIRS, JUST LIKE THE ONES YOUR OFFICE THROWS.


                                   THE BOSS 
            It's the 1960s, which means this is a musical where, as part
            of the plot, some characters have to put on a musical number
            within a musical.


                                   TURKEY LURKEY TIME
                          (is sung)
                          (exists)
                          (too much turkey, not enough
                           lurkey)






            SCENE: THE ONE WITH KATIE FINNERAN


                                   SEAN HAYES
            I'm drinking my troubles away.  I'm kind of okay at being
            drunk.  BUT LOOK HOW GOOD I CAN BE AT BEING STRAIGHT!


                                   KATIE FINNERAN
            I'm the girl you meet while drunk at the bar.  My jokes are
            rendered funny.  My character is entertaining.  My lines come
            off better than they're written.  I'm doing this little thing
            called MY JOB.






            SCENE: IS THIS SERIOUSLY THE FIRST TIME WE'RE SEEING SEAN
            HAYES' APARTMENT (INSIDE WHICH EVERYBODY IN THE MUSICAL KEEPS
            GETTING THEIR JOLLIES)?


                                   THE BOSS
            Kristin?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Yes, sorry, I was just busy having a nice post-sex cry.


                                   THE BOSS
            I enjoyed watching you cry during this night together, but
            I'm going to have to leave you alone for tomorrow.


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            What?  But tomorrow's Christmas Day!


                                   THE BOSS
            I have to spend it with my wife and family.


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            But you just spent Christmas *Eve* with m--


                                   THE BOSS
                          (exiting)
            Shh.  Since I didn't give you a Christmas Gift but still had
            sex with you, here, here's $100.00 cash.


                                   SASSY BLACK WOMEN THAT
                                   BOOKWRITER NEIL SIMON
                                   APPARENTLY ASSUMED WOULD BE
                                   IN THE AUDIENCE OR ELSE HE
                                   WOULDN'T HAVE WRITTEN A LINE
                                   LIKE THAT
            Oh no she di-n't!


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Now I'm conflicted.  Not in the way where I'm weighing
            choices, more in the way that when I sing I love you, but
            when I talk I sound like a terribly grumpy unhappy downer of
            a person that you'd figure nobody would want to date.


                                   She sings "Say A Little Prayer For You"
                                   over and over.


                                   This drives her crazy, so she takes
                                   enough sleeping pills to kill herself.


                                   SEAN HAYES
                          (entering)
            Oh no, Kristin Chenoweth is in my bed!  It's a good thing that
            I'm suddenly entirely uninterested in her, not in the slightest,
            and so this turn of events doesn't hurt my feelings at all.


                                   KATIE FINNERAN
            It's because you're drunk.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Oh, did I forget to continue to act drunk from the last scene
            into this one?


                                   Katie Finneran exits, and gets her
                                   damned applause, thank you very much.


                                   The Jewishly-toned-down Doctor from 
                                   next door enters.


                                   OLD DOCTOR GUY
            Sean Hayes, I think you should stop having sex with so many
            women.  I will say this in thirty configurations over the
            course of act two.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            And I will do my duty to not make any attempts to defend
            myself nor correct your opinion of me.  Not even by 
            unsuccessfully stammering. That would be dorky/nebbishy/
            nerdy/pathetic!


                                   Doctor and Sean Hayes nurse Kristin
                                   Chenoweth back to health from her
                                   SUICIDE ATTEMPT.


                                   SUICIDE AND          
                                   ROMANTIC MUSICAL COMEDY
                          (go great together!)


                                   SEAN HAYES
                          (sings)
            A CHAIR IS STILL A CHAIR
            EVEN WHEN THERE'S NO ONE SITTING THERE
            A HOUSE IS NOT A HOME
            WHEN THERE'S NO ONE THERE TO HOLD YOU TIGHT
            A PLOT IS NOT A PLOT
            WHEN IT DOESN'T MOVE BECAUSE WE'RE JUST HANGING OUT ON THE
            COUCH FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES.


                                   More time passes.


                                   OLD DOCTOR GUY
            Hey, can I sing a song?


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Sure!  Choose from anything Burt Bacharach wrote--


                                   OLD DOCTOR GUY
            That's great!  He has written LOTS of good songs over the--


                                   SEAN HAYES
            --that's already in this play, that isn't one of the ~2 
            good ones.  We can't interpolate anything new for you. 


                                   OLD DOCTOR GUY
            Man do I miss being in Hairspray.






            SCENE: CHINESE RESTAURANT.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Boss, I've come to tell you a statement I worked very hard at
            over and over on the way here, which is this: you don't have
            to worry about Kristin Chenoweth interfering with your
            marriage, she'll date me now.


                                   THE BOSS
            Nah, Imma gonna date her now.


                                   SEAN HAYES
            In that case, I would like to casually mention that I quit.


                                   ACTUALLY TRUE: A pause for audience to
                                   clap because everybody loves a good
                                   quitting story!


                                   AUDIENCE
                          (ACTUALLY TRUE: doesn't clap!)


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Oh man, that's not a good sign.


                                   Scene soon ends.


                                   AUDIENCE
                          (ACTUALLY TRUE: claps)


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Jesus.






            SCENE: BACK IN THE APARTMENT.


                                   SEAN HAYES
                          (to audience)
            Our story is winding down.  You've been very patient.
                          (pauses)
            Shit, is that a real line in the play?  "You've been very
            patient"?  Do I actually say that to the audience in the
            actual play?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Oh Sean Hayes, whom I will defend to the death about being
            very, very straight when acting, I left The Boss character,
            and decided to come to you instead!


                                   SEAN HAYES
            Hooray, I have no job but I got the girl and we'll be happy
            forever after!


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Well, until you realize that I just got out of a horrible
            four-year I-was-the-mistress relationship which made me
            suicidal.  


                                   SEAN HAYES
            What?


                                   KRISTIN CHENOWETH
            Come on, if anybody thinks you're anything but a rebound
            relationship for me, they must be a tourist.


                                   TOURISTS THAT WERE HAPPILY
                                   CATERED TO TONIGHT
            YAY!  Now somebody produce M. Butterfly with Tim Allen and
            Frankie Muniz!  Theater is amazing!


                                        BLACKOUT.

Classic Broadway Abridged Scripts

1 Comment

KRISTIN - Don't worry Sean. I get to sing "A House is not a home" on Glee playing a character with more personality than anything in this show.

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