Rock n' Roll: Abridged


                                   "ROCK 'N' ROLL"
                                         OR
                   "WHAT HAPPENED WHEN TOM STOPPARD WASN'T ALLOWED 
                      TO MAKE 'COAST OF UTOPIA' INTO A QUADRILOGY"
                     From the "Broadway Abridged Shorts" Archives
                                                            By Gil Varod
                                      




            SCENE: A REVOLVING TURNTABLE... BUT A SLOWLY-REVOLVING ONE.


                                   A young girl is sitting and watching a
                                   young man on the wall as he plays a pan
                                   flute.


                                   YOUNG GIRL
            Look, it's a character that may or may not be interpreted as
            former Pink Floyd band member Syd Barrett!   Perhaps we'll
            get to meet Roger Waters, and Bob Dylan, John Lennon--


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
                          (killing the young girl's
                           dream)
            Blah blah blah Communism is great blah blah blah--


                                   MOST OF THE OTHER 
                                   CHARACTERS IN THE PLAY
            No, communism is bad.


                                   YOUNG GIRL
            What are we talking about?


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY'S WIFE
                          (out of nowhere.)
            I lost my boobs to the cancer.  Look!


                                   She pulls her shirt up to reveal a
                                   crappy muscle man Halloween costume.


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
            Ah, that may be, but I myself remember when I became
            communist!  It all started back when...






            SCENE: A BLACK SCREEN...


                                   ...during which we hear the first of
                                   many rock songs that you may not be
                                   familiar with.


                                   PLAYWRIGHT TOM STOPPARD
                          (gloating)
            Who said I couldn't make you feel as guilty about your lack
            of knowledge of Rock and Roll as I did with your lack of
            knowledge of Russian Philosophy?


                                   The screen shows the name of the song,
                                   and the record it was on.


                                   And the band members.


                                   And who recorded it.


                                   And where it was recorded it.


                                   And the album ID.


                                   Boy, this is taking a long time.
                                   There must be a lot of scenery to
                                   move, right?






            SCENE: NO SCENERY HAS BEEN MOVED.  PERHAPS THAT'S WHAT THE
            BEAUTIFUL CONVENIENCE OF A *TURNTABLE* WAS FOR.


                                   We're in a Cambridge dorm room.  It is
                                   probably many years ago, but to be
                                   sure, you'd have to look in the
                                   Playbill where it can remind you what
                                   year the previous scene took place and
                                   OH THAT'S RIGHT THEY DIDN'T LIST SCENES
                                   IN THE PLAYBILL, DID THEY?


                                   UNIMPORTANT CHARACTER
            You have a gajillion records, Czechoslovakian guy.  I'm gonna
            tape some of them if you don't mind.


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
            I only mind if you're planning on making this some commentary
            about internet filesharing.  Because if Tom Stoppard says
            that it's okay to steal music, then that means it's pretty 
            much okay to do.


                                   That old guy enters.


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            You or I or that guy over there should sign this paper to
            show that we support something Communist.


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
                          (in thick heavy Czech accent)
            I don't care about Communism.  I care about the billions of
            money I've spent in records.


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            Whoa whoa whoa... why do you suddenly have a Czech accent?


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
            When I speak in an accent, I'm speaking in English, and without
            an accent is in Czech.  Or maybe it's vice versa...  Remember
            PART ONE of this?


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            Then why am I not speaking in an accent now?


                                   UNIMPORTANT CHARACTER
            Wait, "Part one"?!?  
            COAST OF UTOPIA WAS A DIFFERENT PLAY!!!!


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            Bullshit.


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
            It was!  
            Now let's get onto some historical Rock n' Roll figures.


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
                          (referring to a band you feel like
                           you might vaguely recognize...)
            Like the Plastic People of the Universe!


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
                          (pretending he knows who the
                           hell that is)
            Um... sure, we can start with... them.  So are we going to--


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            In 1968, under rule of Communist Party leader Alexander
            Dubcek, Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops invaded
            Czechoslovakia to overthrow Dubcek and reinstate hard-line
            communist rule.  Less than a month after the invasion,
            Plastic People of the Universe was formed.


                                   YOU
                          (banging head into wall)
            Why do I keep subjecting myself to feeling so intellectually
            inferior?






            SCENE: A BLACK SCREEN...


                                   Where we've decided to add another 3
                                   minutes of time by featuring song
                                   titles via a Pink Floyd laser light show.






            SCENE: SAME COLLEGE


                                   But perhaps a few years later?


                                   Again, you can just check your 
                                   Playbill's IMAGINARY SCENE LISTING.


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
            Oh no, now all of my records are on the floor, and many of
            them are broken!


                                   UNIMPORTANT CHARACTER
            How did they break?


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
                          (walking around the apartment,
                           stepping on the records a bit)
            Communism or something.


                                   UNIMPORTANT CHARACTER
            You should probably stop walking directly on your records. 
            Some of them seem like they're probably in fine conditio--


                                   CZECHOSLOVAKIAN GUY
                          (shaking fists)
            DAMN YOU COMMUNISM!


                                   Enter Jerry Garcia of GREATFUL DEAD
                                   fame.


                                   JERRY GARCIA
            I'm ready for my scene.


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            No, you have nothing to do with communism.  Shoo, you!


                                   JERRY GARCIA
                          (sulks, leaves all pouty)






            SCENE: A BLACK SCREEN...


                                   Beach Boys music plays for whatever
                                   reason.


                                   Oh god will this never end?






            SCENE: BACK WHEREVER THE FIRST SCENE WAS, BUT IN THE LATE
            1980S.


                                   NEW CHARACTER #1
            I hate you!


                                   NEW CHARACTER #2
            Hi, I'm a reporter!


                                   NEW CHARACTER #3
            Mom, I want to go to college!


                                   YOUNG GIRL
                          (now grown up)
            Communism is dead!


                                   OLD COMMUNIST GUY
            I miss communism.  Sigh.


                                   YOUNG GIRL
            Let's all go to a concert and look really stupid onstage like
            we're trying to "rock out"!


                                   EVERYBODY
            Yay!


                                   They DO.


                                   EMPEROR TOM STOPPARD
            Jesus, when will you all realize that I'm naked?


                                        BLACKOUT.

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