Road Show: Abridged


                                 ROAD SHOW ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                                   BOUNCE ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                                    GOLD ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                                 WISE GUYS ABRIDGED
                                         OR
                   WHEN YOU'VE GONE THROUGH THIS MANY TITLE CHANGES
             IT MIGHT BE A SIGN THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE DOING,
                   EVEN IF YOU'RE STEPHEN SONDHEIM AND JOHN WEIDMAN
                  An exercise in catharsis from "Broadway Abridged"
                                                            By Gil Varod






            SCENE: LET'S FIND EVERYBODY'S OLD COLLEGE DORMROOM DRESSERS,
            AND PILE THEM UP UPON EACH OTHER LIKE IT'S LES MIS.  THAT CAN
            BE CONSIDERED A SET, RIGHT?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            AAAAGH!  Here I am, in bed, and I'm being haunted by all the
            people throughout my life--all four of them!  This must be a
            prologue!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (scanning over his "FRINGE"
                           paychecks)
            It must!  Let's flashback to when we were maybe children,
            maybe not.  Standing on our knees will confuse this, won't it
            father?


                                   FATHER
            Yes, sons.  Now listen to me: I'm dying.  And in giving you
            both my final words, Bookwriter John Weidman is hoping to take
            the theme and plot of this musical and put it up at the top
            of the show so you know what we're setting up.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            We'd best pay attention to what your final wish is!


                                   FATHER
            Both of you, you must...
                          (dying)
            Make sure you...
                          (dying more)
            FIND YOUR PATH IN LIFE!
                          (dies)


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            That was... vague...


                                   MOTHER
            Well now we're poor.  Why don't you two go chase the gold
            rush?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Aren't we a little young for that?


                                   MOTHER
            Stand up.


                                   They DO.


                                   MOTHER
            Now you're not.


                                   The lighting changes from HEAVY
                                   EMPHASIS ON THE BORING WOOD COLORS to
                                   OH SO SLIGHTLY LESS EMPHASIS ON BORING
                                   WOOD COLORS.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            We want money, but oh it is cold!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Yes, let's discuss it being cold some!  Also, regarding
            money,
                          (he throws some Money up in the
                           air, just in case you don't
                           know what Money is)
            I took your plot for the land you found gold in, and traded
            it in for a lesser amount of cash.  
            Which apparently bought me this very silly wig as well.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Then YOU must be the evil brother and I must be the good
            brother!  I'm going to take that money and tour the world so
            I can invest it in something so MOTHER has money!


                                   He goes to CHINA, throws money up in
                                   the air, and there's a joke about him
                                   buying Chinese Souvenirs. 


                                   He goes to JAPAN, throws money up in
                                   the air, and there's a joke about him
                                   buying Japanese Souvenirs.


                                   He goes to GREECE, throws money up in
                                   the air, and there's a joke about him
                                   buying Greek Souvenirs.


                                   He goes to ARABIA, throws money up in
                                   the air, and there's a joke about him
                                   buying Arabian Souvenirs.


                                   He goes to MEXICO, throws money up in
                                   the air, and there's 
                                   BASICALLY THE SAME STUPID JOKE.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Holy crap Stephen Sondheim, how the hell did you forget basic
            rules of comedy?


                                   MOTHER
            Alexander, howcome you don't visit me anymore while Michael
            takes care of me?  That's sort of evil-ish of you.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            I thought *I* was the bad brother.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Oh.  Then am I also bad?  Or are you more bad?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            You seem like a really, really nice guy.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            I do.  I wonder where the disconnect is.  It could be lazy
            acting?  Definitely some lazy playwriting, of course.


                                   DIRECTOR JOHN DOYLE
                          (armed with flutes and
                           piccolos and whatnot)
            Or lazy directing!  


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            John, why are you volunteering this?


                                   DIRECTOR JOHN DOYLE
            If it'll give me a reputation for being able to do something
            other than my "actors also playing musical instruments" shtick, 
            then I'll take credit for anything!


                                   MOTHER
            Oh no Michael Cerveris, you're going CRAZZZYYY!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (just generally not making any
                           sense)
            Why don't I sing yet another song that sounds like an
            overextended vamp version of "Everybody's Got The Right To Be
            Happy" from Assassins.  
            This one is about how I become really successful in New York.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Doing what?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Being generally awesome?  And apparently I write a play or
            something?  Boy, this will become really confusing when I
            later insist that I have zero talent or abilities.
                          (snorts cocaine)
            I AM SNORTING COCAINE!  I MUST BE THE EVIL BROTHER!


                                   MOTHER
            A parent hasn't died in almost a half an hour.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            So?


                                   MOTHER
                          (dies)


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            I'm home from being a negligent son all these days or months
            or years!


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Mother's asleep.  Give her a kiss good morning.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Okay.


                                   He does, and also HUMPS HER?!?!?!?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            HA HA I GOT YOU SHE'S DEAD!  But still I'm the nicer brother.
            Again, possibly lazy acting.


                                   DIRECTOR JOHN DOYLE
            Or directing!  PLEASE pay attention to me!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            I thought she's laying in bed onstage as a representational
            thing.  


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            No, apparently she LITERALLY died a minute before you walked
            into the door.  Convenient, eh?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            So then who're all these people who are sitting on those
            wardrobes and wooden boxes all over the stage, watching us?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            They're the chorus.  They're sort of Greek, but they just sit
            onstage.  
            Almost as if they aren't holding musical instruments that they 
            ought to be playing.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Is their lack of musical instruments why they look so incredibly
            BORED?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            No, they look painfully bored because they're watching
            Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Road Show.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Hold on, I need to rearrange the drawers on this boring and
            depressing set for some reason.


                                   He does.  It's awfully confusing and
                                   unnecessary.


                                   Oh, has it been mentioned yet that the 
                                   set is absolutely terrible?  Just...
                                   dreadful.  You become mildly suicidal
                                   just looking at it.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            While you do that, I'm going to Florida.  Maybe there I'll
            figure out what the hell this musical is about.


                                   FATHER
                          (as a ghost)
            But ALEXANDER--


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
                          (unnecessarily angry)
            I AM TIRED OF YOU HAUNTING ME, FATHER!  EVEN THOUGH THIS IS
            THE FIRST AND ONLY TIME YOU DID IT!


                                   He gets on a train.


                                   YOUNG BOY
            Hi there.  I'm here to bring a sorely-needed plot point.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            An intermission?


                                   YOUNG BOY
            Ha ha... NO.  I'm here to help you find rich people whose
            houses you can design.  Also, something something I want to
            create an artist community.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Then I shall design houses!


                                   He DOES.


                                   And also, he throws money in the air
                                   for the bajillionth time, just in case
                                   you weren't tired of this stupid device
                                   yet.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
                          (snorts cocaine)


                                   YOUNG BOY
            Wait, you're snorting cocaine, doesn't that make you evil?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Am I?  But I'm kind of a nice guy.  Also, you've CHANGED MY
            LIFE.


                                   YOUNG BOY
            And you have CHANGED MY LIFE.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            And you have CHANGED MY LIFE.


                                   YOUNG BOY
            Are we gay?


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Well...


                                   DIRECTOR JOHN DOYLE
                          (interrupting)
            DON'T make that clear.  Let's awkwardly hint at it forever.


                                   BOOKWRITER JOHN WEIDMAN
            Can we hint at it via unforgettable song?


                                   COMPOSER/LYRICIST STEPHEN SONDHEIM
                          (sigh)
            Unfortunately.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
                          (snorting evil cocaine again)
            ALEXANDER!  I want to help you and the young boy build BOCA
            RATON!


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            No.  Having you help is a terrible idea.  You snort EVIL
            COCAINE!
                          (snorts cocaine)


                                   YOUNG BOY
            No, I think we should let your brother help us build BOCA
            RATON, Alexander.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Fine, but don't say I didn't warn you.


                                   They BUILD BOCA RATON.


                                   And THROW MONEY.


                                   Up in the AIR, even.


                                   Then they lose money because Michael
                                   Cerveris lied to people about... buried
                                   treasure being on the land??  Or something
                                   else so absurd, one has to hopefully
                                   assume this must've been taken from
                                   real life.


                                   YOUNG BOY
            Alexander, your brother screwed everything up!  YOU SHOULD
            HAVE WARNED ME!
                          (leaves)


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            But I... 
                          (to Michael)
            Get out!


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            You don't want me to go.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
                          (this line of dialogue
                           basically happened in the real
                           play, and confused me to no
                           end:)
            You're right, I don't want you to go!  So get out!


                                   Alexander Gemignani dies here.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Now I'm apparently going to Hollywood to write scripts or who
            knows what.  Sounds interesting, right?  Well:


                                   And this is where Michael Cerveris
                                   dies.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
                          (again, basically a lift on a
                           real line from the musical:)
            Well Michael, we're dead now.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            And it's the end of the play.  This might be a good place for
            us to finally have it out.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            No, no need to fight when it's obvious that there wasn't
            really anything for us to fight about.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            You'd sort of need a story or plot in order to fight about
            something.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Weren't we supposed to have a female love interest or
            something in this show?  We could fight about her.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            No, they cut that out from the last version.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Oh.


                                   Awkward silence.


                                   The chorus sits onstage, looking like
                                   they need a nap.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            Hey, it's a good thing that Stephen Sondheim is working on a
            musical version of Groundhog day.  Wouldn't want this to
            really be the last musical he worked on, would we.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Actually, as Stephen Sondheim himself said to Broadway Abridged
            author Gil Varod in a chatroom on Tuesday, May 5, 2008,
            "Groundhog Day is, in my opinion, a first-rate movie and it
            lends itself so clearly to musical treatment. I'm not the
            first person who's thought of it. Many have. But, I feel to
            make a musical of Groundhog Day would be to gild the lily. It
            cannot be improved; it's perfect the way it is. I don't want
            to touch it, because it's perfect. Pretentious as that
            sounds."


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            So... this is really it.


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Yeah.


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            That's sad.  


                                   ALEXANDER GEMIGNANI
            Wanna go rent Sweeney Todd?


                                   MICHAEL CERVERIS
            DO I?????


                                   BOTH OF THEM
            YAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                        BLACKOUT.

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