a throwback musical romance about finding a great love, finding another, and the angst of choosing between them.
a throwback musical romance about finding a great love, finding another, and the angst of choosing between them.
Act One - Scenes Summary (Love Found and Lost)
(NOTE: You can listen to a demo of any song title, that is in BOLD below, by clicking on that song title. The song player will open in a new window).
1. On an empty stage is JIMMY O'DOUL (30's), a songwriter and touring musician, at Madam's, a nightclub where he leads the house band - the Jammers. He has an audience of one: the mysterious "Madam" - owner of the club and mentor to Jimmy. He sits alone on stage pondering how he has come to this point in his life. He has lots of questions, but no answers, as he sings a lamenting ballad ("WHY"). How has he arrived at this crisis in his life? Why is his reputation at risk? How has he lost not one, but two loves? Who is the "thief" that keeps the answers from him? He seeks Madam's advice, comfort, and wisdom. This time she is silent, as Jimmy recounts his saga of the last few months.
2. Flashback to Jimmy as he sits in his San Francisco loft/studio, with CHARLY CORRIGAN (30's), a beautiful airline captain. He's composing a song ("LOST") as Charly half-listens. She likes the song and teases him, then they reminisce about their meeting in the park, months earlier.
3. Flashback to Charly in a park, "running" into Jimmy. Sparks fly between them. In ending the meet-cute, Jimmy hopes they will "run" into each other again. Charly hopes so too.
4. On a red-eye flight to Los Angeles, Charly is alerted by her flight attendant, GINNY (50's), of a suspicious passenger. Charly investigates and is pleasantly surprised to discover that the edgy passenger is Jimmy - a very nervous flyer. Jimmy asks Charly out for a drink, but she suggests they meet in the morning for coffee at "Charlie's Hanger". Charly goes back to flying the plane and Jimmy "white-knuckles" the remainder of the flight, but scores a favor from Ginny.
5. Jimmy meets Charly at "the Hanger" and discovers that it's owned by her father, a former ace pilot and war hero from the Viet Nam War era. Her father, CHARLIE CORRIGAN (70's), is very suspicious of any suitor for Charly's affection and is not afraid to show it! Charly reveals the arduous path for her to become an airline captain, as Jimmy soaks in Charly, all under the watchful eye of her father. They agree to have dinner in two weeks when Charly returns to San Francisco. With Jimmy back in San Francisco, and Charly out of his sight, she is out of his mind!
6. Flashforward a few days later, as Jimmy plays a gig with some of his band at a college faculty party. Jimmy being Jimmy, he immediately falls for a plain looking girl that is wildly "cutting the rug" to his instrumental jazz tune ("JERSEY JAZZ"). At the break, he goes over to chat her up. He walks up behind her and says hello, but she ignores him. Confused, he slinks back over to the band. He shares his failed encounter with his bandmate, BOBBY C. (late 20's), who jokingly informs him that his usual repartee didn't work because she is deaf. If she wasn't reading his lips, she didn't even know he was there! He also tells Jimmy that her name is SARA (20's) and she is often at Madam's.
7. Jimmy is onstage with the Jammers at Madam's, where he charms the audience with his song setups, including his recent trip to Memphis and his falling in love with a girl he hasn't even met! He performs his blues/rockabilly/soul trilogy ("FROM THE DELTA TO THE HOOD") - a homage to the music of the Memphis area - and then solos on a satirical recounting of his first encounter with Sara ("HELLO"). He then spots Sara in the crowd and goes over to talk to her. Sara holds her own with Jimmy in snappy repartee, as we hear that she can speak, though with a very strong speech impediment. Another meet-cute ends with a date set for afterwards. Jimmy returns to the stage to do another set, with more stage patter, including a "done me wrong" country song ("DRINK'N, LYIN', CHEAT'N), that might suggest Jimmy has had some trying times.
8. Weeks later, after many dates with Sara, Jimmy and Sara are at her apartment. Sara is angry about how Deaf culture issues are portrayed on the news. She challenges Jimmy to write a song that expresses the clash of cultures and he takes up her challenge. We discover that when she sings (in her mind), her voice is beautiful ("HEAR ME"). Love blossoms.
9. Charlie shows up unannounced at Jimmy's loft, and finding the door open, is impressed by Jimmy's guitar playing on a country/pop song ("THE DEVIL IN YOUR LOOK"). Charlie steps up behind Jimmy (who is unaware of Charlie's presence), and reads the song chart over Jimmy's shoulder. He starts to sing the next verse, to Jimmy's surprise, then Jimmy nods to finish the song as a duet. Charlie informs Jimmy that he is very "connected" and has heard some disturbing rumors about Jimmy's past. He warns Jimmy that he needs to protect his daughter from Jimmy's sordid reputation, and gives Jimmy a choice: leave Charly now or bear the consequences from Charlie if his daughter gets hurt.
10. A few day's later, Jimmy takes Charly to dinner at "Chez Jacques". Expecting a fancy restaurant, she discovers that its just dinner at his loft, though Jimmy creates a romantic atmosphere with candles, wall hangings, and opaque silk curtains. They talk, they drink, they laugh, and he serenades her with his songs (including bits of "AFTERGLOW" and "SO WRONG"). They make love and then drift off to sleep. Jimmy awakens and comes down from the loft bed and writes a song about his growing affection for Charly ("I COULD DIE IN YOUR ARMS"). Up in the loft bed, Charly joins in the song, reminiscing about this night and adoring Jimmy. Going forward, Charly "moves in" with Jimmy.
11. Weeks later, Jimmy and Sara are at the park, enjoying the rhythms of a drum circle and enjoying each other. Sara wonders aloud about how fast their relationship is progressing and Jimmy teases her. Jimmy drifts off to sleep in her lap, as the drumming triggers a daydream.
12. A fantasy scene of Jimmy's daydream has him strolling down a darkened street, where he falls down and is momentarily dazed, then bedazzled, by the sight of a gorgeous, seductive woman in the upstairs window of a darkened house. Jimmy sings about the experience, in a jazzy Cole Porter-inspired version of one of his songs ("THE DEVIL IN YOUR LOOK"), with Sara as the devil-woman in the window. Back at the park, he awakens in Sara's lap, startled by his daydream. She reassures him, he relaxes again, and almost falls asleep again in her lap, only to be startled by her surprising response!
13. Days later, back at Madam's (and unbeknownst to Jimmy), Sara is in the audience at the back of the club. Charly has brought her dad to the club to see Jimmy in performance. Jimmy reveals in song his dark family history in a tour de force Irish power ballard ("TOMBSTONE"). On the break, Jimmy spots Charly in the audience and joins Charly and her dad at their table. Sara notices Jimmy at Charly's table and is confused by why he is with them and not her. Charlie expresses his regret to Jimmy about Jimmy's storied past and how he may have misjudged Jimmy. Jimmy proclaims his love for Charly and kisses her deeply, then excuses himself to use the restroom. A stressful event in the restroom spins his mind into a fugue state. He goes back into the club, totally ignores Charly and her dad - as if he doesn't know them - and then, when confronted by Sara about what just happened, he denies to her his encounter with Charly from only minutes earlier! Sara leaves in a huff and Jimmy follows, while Charly and her dad are flabbergasted by his ignoring them and running out after another woman!
14. Distressed by the sudden events, Jimmy "remembers" he has a psychistrist and goes to the doctor's office. He reviews his situation with DR. CHAN (60's). Dr. Chan explains - as he has done before - that Jimmy suffers from dissociative memory loss (a fugue state) where he forgets his significant relationships with some people, while he is with other significant people. His personality is stable and consistent, but his memory of certain relationships is transient. Dr. Chan also suggests how Jimmy might be able to help himself. Jimmy leaves a little more assured, knowing he can now explain his strange behavior to others, if only he can remember Dr. Chan's advice! Once out the door, he has already forgotten Dr. Chan and Sara!
15. Jimmy goes home to his loft to find Charly is leaving him. He is confused and stressed by her wild accusations about another woman. He tries to explain to Charly what he has learned about his illness, but the more stressed he becomes, the more he sinks into another fugue state. He just can't handle it and leaves his loft for the park across the street. As the drum circle plays, he is again lulled into another daydream - a nightmare about losing Sara and Charly!
16. Act One ends with a rousing gospel number ("TESTIFY"), a fantasy nightmare of Jimmy on trial for his crimes of abandonment. The chief witnesses against him are Charly and Sara, the judge is Charly's dad, and the jury is led by Charly's friend/flight attendant - Ginny. The witnesses testify, Jimmy offers his defense, a verdict is rendered, and the courthouse goes crazy!
Act Two - Scenes Summary (Choosing Love That's True)
1. We find Charlie at "the Hanger" on the phone with one of his "connections". When the "connection" queries Charlie about delivering Jimmy to him: "dead or alive", Charlie responds with a rousing country rock soliloquy ("DEAD OR ALIVE")!
2. A few weeks have passed and Jimmy is alone in his loft, with instruments scattered around the loft from a recent band practice: horns, drum kit, upright bass, guitars, conga, etc. He checks his voice messages and hears a disturbing call that spins him into another fugue daydream. He starts to write a 40's ballad ("MENAGE A TROIS") that captures his tortured situation, but it turns into a big band arrangement. We see the creative process (that Jimmy goes through in his mind), played out magically with all the instruments.
3. Jimmy goes to the park and finds Sara there, lying on a blanket with what looks to be her new boyfriend, as her other friends are enjoying a picnic. Jimmy speaks to Sara alone and expresses his confusion for his past behaviors, and that he loves her. Though clearly excited to see him, she tells him that she can't live a life with him, where his actions go unexplained and so troubling. As he leaves her, he is heckled by her friends, and she sings of her confusion and loss ("NEVERMORE") as Jimmy leaves the park.
4. In performance at Madam's, Jimmy channels his loss, and then his resolve, in a set of songs. He starts with a jazzy "done me wrong" torch song ("SO WRONG"), then ends his set with a pulsating EDM soul rap of getting his love back ("GOTTAFINDAWAY"). Charlie shows up in the audience, ready to take Jimmy down. As always, the crowd is wowed by Jimmy's performance, as Charlie and Jimmy have a final showdown.
5. At his loft, Jimmy calls Charly and says he called to tell her he needs her...to help finish a song. Before she can object, Jimmy starts singing a love song he had started when he serenaded her at their first night at "Chez Jacques". Jimmy starts the duet ("AFTERGLOW") and Charly joins in, but she is overcome with grief and hangs up, with Jimmy left to contemplate his own redemption.
6. On a split stage, we see Jimmy alone at Madam's, setting up his stage equipment for the show, while Sara and Charly both enter opposite ends of the park, as the rhythm of the drum circle permeates the air. Charly, Sara, and Jimmy sing the 11 o'clock number ("LOST AGAIN"), a poignant power ballad about the mystery of the impermanence of cherished memories and lost love.
7. Jimmy is at his studio playing some music ("LOST" reprise), as he looks at pictures of Charly and himself on his computer screens. A glitch in the photo library then projects pictures of Sara and himself. At first, Jimmy is startled by what he is seeing, then flooded with memories of his relationships with both Charly and Sara! The song he is playing -LOST - now segues into another ("LOST AGAIN" reprise) and then becomes a medley of both songs ("LOST/LOST AGAIN"). He is filled with unbearable angst, realizing that he has lost not just one, but two, great loves. He is torn, but then remembers Dr. Chan's words: "in moments of great distress, one can make a choice of what to believe and act on that". He commits to his resolve in the finale number ("THREE HEARTS") which starts out in his studio, as he works through his decision, then segues to Jimmy dancing with Sara, and then with Charly, and ends up with Jimmy on stage with the Jammers at Madam's, as he sings to the audience at the club and the full ensemble.
8. As the song ends at Madam's, the stage goes black.... and then..... a scream! The lights come up on Jimmy sitting straight up, shaking and sweating, in his bed at his loft. A familiar female voice from off stage cries out to Jimmy: "what's the matter"? He answers: "nothing...it was just a bad dream". As the rhythms of the drum circle from the park, waft in through the windows, he recounts that he had dreamed that he had two loves, and then lost both of them, and it was terrifying. He had to make a choice, but he didn't know what choice to make. Suddenly, another familiar female voice off stage, says (with a speech impediment): "sounds horrible, what a nightmare". Now, Jimmy's look of disbelief heightens more as a third familiar voice from off stage chimes in - a voice he can't believe! It's all too much, as Jimmy's eyes widen, and he falls back, pulls the covers over himself, and screams: "Oh, Nooooo" - LIGHTS OUT!
During the curtain calls, the cast reprise THREE HEARTS, as Jimmy plays windmill guitar riffs, and everyone sings along.