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There Goes The Neighborhood Musical – Act One

August 14, 2014
WARNING – STRONG LANGUAGE AND SUBJECT MATTER

ACT ONE – SCENE ONE

SETTING: OPENS IN ROACH INFESTED STUDIO APARTMENT DOWNTOWN GARY, INDIANA WITH A KITCHEN TABLE SET UP WITH A CANDLE, SPOON, MATCHES AND SYRINGE IN PREPARATION OF COOKING HEROIN.

AT RISE: JOHNNY IS SITTING AT TABLE WITH RUBBER TUBE WRAPPED AROUND HIS ARM SHOOTING HEROIN. JOHNNY BEGINS TO READ EXCERPT FROM PLAY HE IS WRITING TO THE OPENING SONG WITH A RASPY VOICE OF TOO MANY CIGARETTES AND TOO MUCH ON HIS MIND.

JOHNNY: (CIGARETTE IN MOUTH) THE NEON LIGHT OF THE STATE TAP BAR AND GRILLE FLICKERED ON AND OFF AS QUICK AS THE LIVES DEPENDENT ON LOW LIGHT AND A SOFT CHAIR. TEMPORARY HOME FOR THE SO MANY THAT BUILT THIS CITY ON A SHOT AND A BEER AND THE DREAMS OF THE PROMISED LAND. THEY QUENCHED THEIR THIRST FOR LIFE OVER A TALL CANADIAN MIST AND STORIES OF THEIR PASSAGE TO THE LAND OF PLENTY. PROUD AND BOLD, THEY WALKED THE STREETS AS THE SMOKE STACKS BILLOWED THEIR LABOR INTO DARKENED SKIES ABOVE. A HARD DAYS WORK WAS A HARD DAYS PAY, SPENT ON CHEAP WHISKEY, EXPENSIVE WHORES AND THE SOUNDS OF POCKETS THAT WENT TOO DEEP. THE GAMBLERS AND THE HUSTLERS THREW DOWN THEIR WARES AND ROBBED THE COMMON MAN OF HIS GUILT FOR LEAVING HIS HOMELAND BEHIND. ONE WEEKS PAY, WAS THREE MONTHS WAGES IN A LAND THAT STIFF BOOZE HELPED FORGET. THE BOILING POT OF FLESH AND SOUL SPLATTERED THEIR LOINS ACROSS THIS CITY FASTER THEN GREASE SLIDING OFF A CHILI DOG ON 25TH AND BROADWAY. SPOUTING OUT A NEW GENERATION OF WORKER BEES USED TO A HEFTY ALLOWANCE AND A DAY AT THE BEACH.„„, YEAH, I WAS ONE OF THEM,…..SO WAS HALF THIS FUCKING TOWN! GARY, INDIANA. HOME OF US STEEL AND JANITOR IN A DRUM. TWELVE BUCKS AN HOUR FOR PUSHIN’ A FUCKIN’ BROOM AND SLEEPING ON THE MIDNIGHT SHIFT.

(PUTS OUT SMOKE AND GETS UP AND GRABS A BEER AND WALKS TO APARTMENT WINDOW)

TOASTS OUT WINDOW: I SALUTE ALL YOU PEOPLE WHO BOUGHT THE PLAN OF THE GREAT INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. TWO CARS IN EVERY GARAGE AND FINE CORINTHIAN LEATHER TO FIT THE FAT ASS OF THE SO CALLED WORKING MAN,… CHEERS!

JOHNNY: LIFE WAS GOOD BEFORE THIS PLACE SHIT THE BED.
(JOHNNY GRABS CHAIR AND SITS FACING AUDIENCE)

JOHNNY: PICTURE THIS,…YOU’RE GROWING UP IN A MIDDLE CLASS TOWN WITH HIGH HOPES OF DOIN’ AS WELL AS YOUR OLD MAN DID, OR WITH ANY LUCK A TAD BIT BETTER. THE PROMSE OF AMERICA IS PLASTERED ACROSS THE TUBE IN THE FORM OF A TIDE BOX OF CLEAN LAUNDERED HOPES AND A RALPH CRAMDEN LIFESTYLE. WORK HARD, PLAY HARD, LAUGH HARD AND MOST OF ALL RESPECT THE BLIND STRENGTH OF THE PEOPLE WHO BUILT THIS CITY…..SURE AINT’ WHAT IT USED TO BE. HALF THE FUCKIN’ TOWN MOVED OUT FIRST SITE OF A BLACK MAN!

(SIPS BEER) YEAH, SOME BIG CHANGES WENT ON IN THIS CITY. THE 50’S AND 60’S SAW CAPONE RUNNIN’ THESE STREETS. THERE WAS MORE SPAGHETTI JOINTS DOWNTOWN CALUMET CITY THEN IN SICILY ITSELF! MY OLD MAN MADE A SMALL FORTUNE RUNNIN’ BOOZE FOR THE MAN DURING PROHIBITION. SAVED UP ENOUGH DOUGH TO OPEN HIS OWN JOINT AND A HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY. I CAN REMEMBER HANGIN’ OUT AT HIS CLUB LISTENING TO THE JAZZ CATS BLOW SOME MEAN HORN.

(PAUSES AND SIPS BEER) THERE WERE SOME GREAT PLAYERS MAN. LIKE SHORTY WALKER AND CHARLES BATES RUNNIN’ THIS TOWN. THEN THE GIGS ALL DRIED UP AND SENT EM’ OFF TO CHICAGO. I WAS WRITING FOR THE UNDERGROUND PRESS DOING REVIEWS ON THE CATS COMING TO BLOW DOWNTOWN AND SELLING A LITTLE DOPE ON THE SIDE. JOE, THE OLD SOPRANO MAN INTRODUCED ME TO THE POWDER THAT DOESN’T HOLD A PREJUDICE TO THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN. I’VE BEEN RIDING THE LADY EVER SINCE.

(JOHNNY WIPES RUNNY NOSE)

JOHNNY: (GETS UP AND SCOOTS CHAIR AGAINST THE TABLE) WHAT AM I DOING HERE. NOBODY GIVES A DAMN ABOUT A FOOL GOING OFF ON THE GOOD OLD DAYS OF THE CITY! EVERYONES MOVED OUT.

I’VE BEEN SITTING AT THIS TYPEWRITER FOR THE LAST THREE DAYS CONTEMPLATING JUMPIN’ OUT THIS WINDOW FOR LACK OF NOTHING BETTER TO DO. BUT THEN AGAIN, WHAT’S ANOTHER TRAGIC EVENT WITH HALF THE MURDERS ON THIS BLOCK ALONE. (LIGHTS SMOKE)

(JOHNNY WIPES BROW WITH SLEEVE.)

JOHNNY: MAN, IT’S HOT IN HERE, HOW CAN ANYONE THINK STRAIGHT IN THIS DAMN HEAT! (THROWS BEER AT COCKROACH ON WALL AND YELLS OUT) GOT YOU, YOU LITTLE BASTARD!

(JOHNY WALKS OVER AND SITS AT KITCHEN TABLE)

JOHNNY: I GOTTA QUIT THE JUNK MAN, (HOLDS UP BAG OF HEROIN AND SHOOTS UP LAST BIT OF BAG) (MUMBLES) I GOT THE DEVIL ON MY SHOULDER AND A WOMAN WHO WORKS FOR HIM. (BEGINS TO NOD OUT.)

(KNOCK AT DOOR)

JOHNNY: WHO IS IT? (NO ANSWER, IRRITATED)

TANYA: IT’S ME, TANYA, LET ME IN.

JOHNNY: (MUMBLES TO HIMSELF) SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.

TANYA: COME ON, LET ME IN JOHNNY! (BANGING ON DOOR)

(JOHNNY OPENS DOOR)

TANYA: YOU GONNA’ MAKE ME STAND OUT HERE ALL DAY. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? (PUSHES THE DOOR OPEN AND JOHNNY AT THE SAME TIME)

JOHNNY: I THOUGHT YOU WERE WORKING.

TANYA: I’M TAKIN’ A BREAK. I SAW JAZZMAN TODAY.

JOHNNY: JAZZMAN? YOU KNOW HE CUT ME LAST TIME I SAW HIM (POINTS TO SCAR ON STOMACH)

TANYA: YOU STILL GOIN’ ON ABOUT JAZZ MAN? (POINTS TO CUT) THAT DIDN’T TAKE NOTHIN’ BUT A BAND AID TO HEAL! (LAUGHS AND PUSHES HIM OUT OF DOORWAY)

JOHNNY: HE SHOULDN’T HAVE PULLED A KIFE OUT ON ME. THAT’S WHY I KNOCKED HIS TOOTH OUT. HE COUDN’T BLOW HIS HORN FOR TWO WEEKS AFTER THAT. (LAUGHS,SHADOW BOXING IN AIR)

TANYA: YEAH, WELL, IF YOU WOULDN’T HAVE STEPPED ON THAT SMACK LIKE YOU DID, YOU WOULDN’T HAVE GOT CUT!

JOHNNY: I DIDN’T STEP ON THE JUNK, I DID MY REGULAR CUT SO HAD OUR TAKE.

TANYA: OH, SO NOW YOUR’E GOING TO BLAME ME. (GRABS JOHNNY’S  WORK FROM TYPEWRITER) I SEE YOU’RE FINALLY WORKING! (READS SCRIPT) WHAT IS THIS ABOUT YOU AND JOE  CHASIN’ ALL THE SUGAR?

JOHNNY: HEY, GIMME’ THAT!

TANYA: (SHAKING FINGER AT JOHNNY) I BEST NOT BE CATCHING YOU CHASING ANY SUGAR WHEN I’M AROUND!

JOHNNY: IT’S A PLAY, COME ON, I WOULDN’T DO THAT TO YOU.

TANYA: YEAH, WELL I AIN’T PLAYING! I SWEAR YOU’RE GONNA’ BE ONE SORRY BOY IF I CATCH YOU EVEN LOOKIN AT ANOTHER WOMEN!

JOHNNY: OK, OK, STOP WOULD YA. YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY,

TANYA: (HOLDS UP MANUSCRIPT) SO WHEN THIS PLAY OF YOURS GOING TO GET PRODUCED SO WE CAN GET OUT OF HERE, MR. GENIUS? (HOLDS UP HIS MANUSCRIPT) YOU KEEP SAYING THIS OUR TICKET OUT THIS HELL HOLE. (ROLLS EYES) THAT GOIN’G ON TWO YEARS NOW! (EYES COCKROACH ON TABLE AND SMACKS IT WITH MANUSCRIPT) AND WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO CLEAN UPTHIS PLACE, ALL THESE DAMN ROACHES!

JOHNNY:  (GRABS MANUSCRIPT AND CLEANS OFF ROACH GUTS)

TANYA: YOU CLEAN UP THIS MESS AROUND HERE AND MAYBE WE CAN FIND THE BED! GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO WORK FOR! (SHAKES HER ASS)

JOHNNY: I TOLD YOU I AM WORKING. GOT A CASE OF WRITERS BLOCK AT THE MOMENT THAT YOU’RE NOT HELPING.

TANYA: LETS GET OUT OF HERE JOHNNY, GO DO SOMETHING FUN.

JOHNNY: GO OUT? WITH WHAT? MY GOOD LOOKS?

TANYA: I KNOW YOU HAVE MONEY, YOU JUST FIXED BY THE LOOKS OF THAT NEEDLE. YOU SAVE ME SOME?

JOHNNY: I RAN OUT.(SEES COCKROACH RUNNING ACROSS THE FLOOR) WHERE YOU THINK YOU’RE GOING? (CRUSHES COCKROACH UNDER HIS FOOT, PICKS UP ROACH, STARING AT IT I INTENSELY)

TANYA: WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THAT COCKROACH?

JOHNNY: I CUT MY HEROIN WITH THEIR BLOOD! I FIGURE ANYTHING THAT CAN REPRODUCE AND ADAPT TO THE WORLD AS FAST AS THESE LITTLE BASTARDS WILL RENDER MY SOUL IMMORTAL.

TANYA: YOU’RE SHOOTING UP COCKROACH GUTS? NOW I KNOW YOU’RE CRAZY!

JOHNNY: YOU SHOULD TRY IT SOME TIME, TAKE YOU WAY OUT!

TANYA: THEY’RE GONNA TAKE YOU WAY “OUT” TO THAT CLINIC WITH ALL THE NUTS! THEY GIVES ME THE CREEPS.

JOHNNY: THEY’RE REALLY BEAUTIFUL, LOOK AT THEIR WINGS.

TANYA: WHER’E THE RAID! (LOOKS UNDER KITCHEN SINK) COME ON JOHNNY, WHERE’S YOUR STASH, I NEED A FIX BAD. 

JOHNNY: I TOLD YOU I DON’T HVE ANY SMACK TANYA. HOW COME YOU DIDN’T SCORE ANY FROM BOBBY T? I KNOW YOU SEE HIM ON THE BLOCK.

TANYA: DON’T YOU START WITH THAT AGAIN. HE AND I BEEN OVER A LONG TIME.

JOHNNY: IS THAT WHY YOU TALK ABOUT HIM ALL THE TIME.

TANYA: I DON’T TALK ABOUT HIM UNLESS IT’S ABOUT SCORING SOME SMACK WHICH I NEED REALLY BAD RIGHT NOW. I DON’T LIKE BEING AROUND HIM AFTER HE HIT ME.

JOHNNY: I THINK YOU LIKE BEING SLAPPED AROUND BY HIM! IT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR FATHER.

TANYA: DON’T START, THATS NOT FAIR.

JOHNNY: I DON’T LIKE IT WHEN A MAN TRIES TO STEAL MY GIRL! I KNOW HE STILL HAS THE HOTS FOR YOU.

TANYA: (IRRITATED) HE DOESN’T HAVE THE HOTS FOR ME!  GIVE ME SOME MONEY SO I CAN GET HIGH!

JOHNNY: (HANDS HER A TWENTY) GO COP US A DIME BAG AND A HALF PINT OF BACARDI AND DON’T FORGET TO BRING ME BACK THE CHANGE.

TANYA: (HOLDS UP TWENTY) THAT’S ALL THE MONEY YOU HAVE?

JOHNNY: I’M BROKE, SPENT MY LAST DIME ON THE RENT FOR THIS DUMP.

TANYA: I’LL BE BACK IN AN HOUR, SO DON’T BE TAKING YOUR COCKROACH ASS ANYWHERE. (STARTS TO WALK OUT DOOR)

JOHNNY: MAKE SURE YOU GET A CLEAN BAG FROM BOBBY.  YOU KNOW HOW HE LIKES TO CUT HIS PRODUCT!

TANYA: OH, SO YOU DO WANT ME TO SCORE FROM BOBBY? I THOUGHT YOU WAS WORRIED ABOUT HIM MAKING MOVES ON ME. YOU DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HIM, I BELIEVE IN YOU JOHNNY. I LIKE THE PLAY SO FAR, KEEP IT UP. 

JOHNNY: (SHUTS DOOR AND TURNS TO TYPEWRITER MUMBLING) THAT GIRLS THE REASON I CAN’T GET ANYTHING DONE! (SITS AT TYPEWRITER AND LIGHTS UP SMOKE, DRINKING A BEER, HE READS FROM HIS JOURNAL THAT HE IS USING TO BUILD HIS SCRIPT FROM)

JOHNNY: BEING A PRODUCT OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION HAS GIVEN ME TREMENDOUS INSIGHT INTO THE WORKING MANS MIND, OR WHAT’S LEFT OF IT ANYWAY! HANGIN’ ON THE CORNER OF LIFE I TAUGHT MYSELF HOW TO PLAY THE PART OF A BLIND MAN TO PREJUDICE AND THE DESPERATELY POOR.

BEGGIN’ A PAYCHECK FROM THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS, I TOOK UP WITH MADAM WONG, WHO PAYS ME IN DREAMS OF A FUTURE BEYOND THIS GHETTO. SHE’S A NEW BREED OF HUSTLER WHERE AN EIGHT BALL NEVER SINKS  THE CORNER POCKET, BUT COURSES THE VEINS OF A BREED OF MACHINERY FUELED BY SEGREGATION AND RACISM. (SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, (SMASHES HAND ON TABLE KILLING ROACH, PICKS IT UP AND STARES AT IT CONTINUING CONVERSATION) GALAPOGO’S INDIANA, DARWINS’ LOST THEORY OF EVOLUTION. THE CHAIN GOT MESSED UP ALONG THE WAY CHARLES AND I GOT STUCK IN IT!

(PUTS COCKROACH IN JAR WITH OTHERS FROM BEHIND COUNTER) NOW, THESE LOVELY LITTLE CREATURES (HOLDS UP BOTTLE OF DEAD ROACHES) HOLD THE KEY TO LIFE. SHELLS IMPENETRABLE TO RADIATION AND NO THICKER THEN THE SKIN ON MY SKULL. GOD LOVE EM! THEY’LL ALL BE WHAT’S LEFT ONE OF THESE DAYS …. (GRABS MORTAR AND PESTLE AND EMPTIES ROACHES INTO BOWL CRUSHING THEM AS HE DIPS FINGER INTO BOWL AND BEGINS JUNKY MAN SONG)

 

(SOUNDTRACK) JUNKY MAN

LIVES PERPETRATED BY GHOSTS OF THE PAST

I FILL MY VEINS WITH A CAUTIOUS GLANCE

AT THE PAIN AND DESPAIR HANGIN’ OUT IN THE WORLD

TURN IN TUNE OUT IT’S A MIND SET AFFAIR

JUNKY MAN, JUNKY MAN

MONKEY BRAIN IN THE WAY

SHOOTING UP TOMORROW

WITH THE PAIN OF TODAY

JUNKY MAN JUNKY MAN

I’M JUST A JUNKY MAN LIVING OFF THAT FIFTIES PROSPERITY AND ALL THAT

BULLSHIT THEY FED DEEP DOWN INSIDE ME

CLOSE QUARTER ACTION AWAY FROM THE SCENE

OUTSIDE THIS WINDOW LIES A PURPOSELESS REGIME

EYES BLINDFOLDED AS THEY WALK IN THE DARK

THE OLD SCHOOL OF THINKING IS WHERE THEY PARK

JUNKY MAN, JUNKY MAN

MONKEY BRAIN IN THE WAY

SHOOTING UP TOMORROW

WITH THE PAIN OF TODAY

I’M JUST A JUNKY MAN WHO GOES DOWN DEEP INTO THE BOWELS OF MANKIND AS IT lIES ON THE SIDEWALK LIKE A CHALKED OUT DEAD MAN

SO SWEET IN VISION I REST MY MIND AT EASE

THE DREAMS OF THE PROMISED LAND BRING ME DOWN ON MY KNEES

LAYIN’ DOWN GENTLY ON THAT CARPET OF LIFE

SLITTIN’ MY WRISTS WITH A DULL BUTTER KNIFE

I’M JUST A JUNKY MAN, JUNKY MAN

JOHNNY WALKS OFF STAGE TO END SCENE ONE

END OF SCENE ONE – FOR UPDATES PLEASE LIKE AND FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK: WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/THEREGOESTHEHOOD

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