FOOLS AND HEROS

A musical comedy

LIBRETTO

Words and music by Phil Shaw



Contact:

Phil Shaw: phil@philshaw.com





Copyright © 2011, 2014 by Phil Shaw - All Rights Reserved



FOOLS AND HEROS

1. Overture

(MAVIS and MARTIN enter stage left and DAVID and DONNA enter stage right.)

2. Song - Dinner with Friends - MAVIS and MARTIN and DAVID and DONNA


MARTIN

Dinner with friends. Spending the evening with people we know. Getting together again. Dinner is no time to dine. It's time to talk, and time for wine. A clever riposte with a wimsical toast.

MAVIS

Dinner with friends. Learning the latest about this and that. Getting updated again. Dinner is no time for food. It's time to chat, to set the mood. A witty retort with a wink for the sport.

DAVID

Dinner with friends. Telling the juiciest rumours we've heard. Getting familiar again. Dinner is no time to eat. It's time to tell, be indiscrete. A reasoned response with a sly nonchalance.

DONNA

Dinner with friends. Leaving a moment of silence or two. Getting acquainted again. Dinner is no time to sup. It time to schmooze, to raise a cup. A quiet reply with a gleam in your eye.

ALL

Dinner with friends. Winking and nodding, exchanging a grin. Getting connected again. Dinner with friends and making friends all again.

(DAVID and DONNA exit stage right.)


SCENE 1: MAVIS and MARTIN

3. Dialogue - "MAVIS, my sweet"

(MAVIS and MARTIN's living room. A small table with a drawer. MAVIS and MARTIN are preparing for DAVID's arrival.)

MARTIN

MAVIS, my sweet?

MAVIS

Yes, MARTIN? My dearest?

MARTIN

This evening, for dinner, you've invited...

MAVIS

I invited DAVID and DONNA.

MARTIN

DAVID and DONNA?

MAVIS

Yes, DAVID and DONNA.

MARTIN

Now I know DAVID.

MAVIS

Of course you do. We've known him for years.

But DONNA. Who exactly is DONNA?

MARTIN

I told you. DONNA is the woman I met yesterday. I met DONNA yesterday.

MARTIN

You met DONNA yesterday.

MAVIS

Yesterday.

MARTIN

But DAVID? DAVID doesn't know DONNA?

MAVIS

DAVID doesn't know DONNA.

MARTIN

A blind date. A blind date.

MAVIS

I think they should meet.

MARTIN

You think they should meet.

MAVIS

Of course they should meet. They're perfect for each other.

MARTIN

You think that DAVID and DONNA will discover a certain chemistry, a certain spark...

MAVIS

Just like we did.

MARTIN

On our first blind date.

MAVIS

Our only blind date.

MARTIN

When we realized

MAVIS

we had found

MARTIN

what we didn't even know

MAVIS and MARTIN

that we were looking for.

MAVIS

DAVID and DONNA deserve the same chance we had.

MARTIN

And they'll name their first baby 'MAVIS'.

MAVIS

Or MARTIN. I'll go check the dinner.

{MAVIS exits stage left.)


SCENE 2: MAVIS, MARTIN, and DAVID

4. Dialogue - "Martin, dear"

(MAVIS calls out from off stage.)

MAVIS

MARTIN, dear, shouldn't DAVID be here by now?

MARTIN

Not quite yet, my sweet. One minute from now. DAVID's always very prompt. Very prompt.

MAVIS

Did you open some wine?

MARTIN

DAVID always brings a bottle. Not the best, but drinkable.

(The doorbell rings again.)

MAVIS

The door? MARTIN?

MARTIN

Getting it, my pet.

(MARTIN opens the door)

DAVID! Good to see you! Come in!

(DAVID enters stage right.)

DAVID

Hello, MARTIN. Here's some wine. (Hands MARTIN a bottle.)

MARTIN

(Reads the label) Thank you. A Chardonnay, Marais Croupissant. I haven't tried that. I'll open it later. (Sets the wine bottle on the table.) Glad you could make it.

DAVID

Thanks for inviting me.

MARTIN

I hope you'll still thank me when it's over.

DAVID

Over?

MARTIN

MAVIS. She has a little surprise.

DAVID

Surprise?

And here's MAVIS now.

(MAVIS enters stage left.)

MAVIS

DAVID, darling. So glad you could make it. DONNA should be here soon.

DAVID

DONNA?

MARTIN

(To DAVID) DONNA is the surprise.

MAVIS

We'll be four for dinner.

DAVID

Ah yes! A surprise blind-date. Who is she?

MAVIS

A friend of mine.

MARTIN

A friend? You just met her.

MAVIS

DONNA's very nice. They should at least meet, DAVID and DONNA.

DAVID

DONNA? That's odd. DONNA is the name of my...

(The doorbell rings.)

MAVIS

That will be DONNA. I'll get the door.


SCENE 3: MAVIS and MARTIN, DONNA and DAVID

(MAVIS opens the door and DONNA enters stage right.)

MAVIS

DONNA! So glad you could come.

DONNA

Hi, MAVIS. Thanks for inviting me, (Looking quizzically at DAVID) I guess.

MAVIS

And this is DAVID, MARTIN's friend.

DAVID

(To DONNA) Hi, DONNA. Interesting dress. What dumpster did you get it from?

DONNA

(To DAVID) Hi, DAVID. You're still straining to be clever, I see. Is that a new haircut? From a blind chimpanzee?

DAVID

(To MARTIN) MARTIN, let me introduce DONNA. My obnoxious ex-wife DONNA.

DONNA

Hello, MARTIN. So nice of you and MAVIS to invite me for a surprise blind date with an odious fool I thought I was done with.


5. Song - Bliss


(This song is Performed straight, not tongue-in-cheek. No smiles, no grins, no winks. No sad or yearning expressions. Straight. Strictly straight.)

DAVID

Bliss is a day I don't see you.

DONNA

Joy is knowing that you've gone.

DAVID

Happiness is when you moved to some far off address.

DONNA

Ecstasy is when the judge proclaimed the end of you and me.

DONNA

Yes, I'm averse to your presence.

DAVID

No, I have no second thoughts

DONNA

Possibly my loathing for your memory will fade.

DAVID

Possibly I'll someday wipe the thought of you

DAVID and DONNA

completely from my mind.

DAVID

Flowers bloom in early spring,

DONNA

and flowers wilt by June.

DAVID

Days begin with sunny skies,

DONNA

then rain all day and rain all night,

DONNA and DAVID

and wash away the moon. Wash away the moon.

DONNA

Bliss is a day you are elsewhere.

DAVID

Joy is when you're far away.

DONNA

Happiness is when you're gone with all your strain and stress.

DAVID

Ecstasy is our divorce,

DONNA and DAVID

a happy day, for you and me.


6. Dialogue - "David, dear"

DONNA

(To DAVID) David, dear, isn't this a little late for you to be up?

DAVID

(To MARTIN) Let me explain, MARTIN. DONNA goes to bed sometime around dawn.

DONNA

(To MAVIS & MARTIN) DAVID wouldn't know. DAVID conks out just after sundown.

DAVID

(To MAVIS & MARTIN) DONNA also gets up as late as possible.

DONNA

DAVID gets up some time before sunrise.

DAVID

That always gave me a couple of hours to pick up the stuff that DONNA left laying around. Her shoes here, a magazine there, a coffee cup who knows where.

DONNA

DAVID has a place for everything. This goes here, that goes there. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no. Over there. Over there.

DAVID

For DONNA, the place for anything is wherever she drops it---for me to pick up.

DONNA

(To DAVID) You didn't have to pick up anything. We could have hired someone.

DAVID

(To DONNA) Hired someone? And paid them with what? Another credit card? (To MARTIN) DONNA's credit cards could cover that wall. Mostly maxed out.

MARTIN

The wine! (MARTIN picks up the bottle) Let's try DAVID's wine! Where is that corkscrew. Ah, here it is, hiding in the drawer. (To DONNA) This is a wine I haven't tried before. DAVID brought it. (MARTIN begins opening the bottle.)

DONNA

Not Marais Croupissant, I hope. That was DAVID's favorite mouthwash.

MARTIN

I'm sure it will be just fine. If this corkscrew will do its job. There, it's open. (Removes the cork and sets the corkscrew on the table.)

MAVIS

(To MARTIN) Martin, dear! Would you please not leave the corkscrew on the table. The corkscrew belongs in the drawer!

MARTIN

(To MAVIS) MAVIS, dear. The corkscrew will find its way back to the drawer.


7. Song - Life can be a corkscrew

(This song is performed straight, not tongue-in-cheek. No smiles, no grins, no winks. Matter-of-fact, no anger.)


(MAVIS and MARTIN address either DAVID and DONNA or the audience.))

MARTIN

Life can be a corkscrew,

MAVIS

that makes you the cork.

MARTIN

it twists and tweaks,

MAVIS

you squawk, you squeak,

MARTIN

and pop,

MAVIS

you blow your top.

MAVIS

Life can be a corkscrew,

MARTIN

spinning you around.

MAVIS

It wheels and whirls,

MARTIN

you twine, you twirl,

MAVIS

and pop,

MARTIN

you blow your top.

MAVIS

I try and try to be reasonable, moderate and fair. I only ask a little help, but I don't have a prayer. Somebody doesn't seem to care.

MARTIN

I do my best to cooperate, keep an open door. I do my share, I lift my load, I might as well just snore. Somebody's always asking more.

MARTIN

Life can be a corkscrew,

MAVIS

twisting in your head.

MARTIN

It grates and grinds,

MAVIS

you weave, you wind,

MARTIN

and pop,

MAVIS

you blow your top.


8. Dialogue - "I'll put the corkscrew away"

DAVID

MAVIS?

MAVIS

Yes, DAVID?

DAVID

I'll put the corkscrew away. Is this the drawer where it belongs?

MAVIS

DAVID, please, don't put the corkscrew away. The corkscrew should be put away by the person who put it where it doesn't belong.

MARTIN

MAVIS, darling, the corkscrew is fine where it is. That's the corkscrew's new proper place. The corkscrew is in its new proper place.

(The following dialogues are interleaved as indicated in the score. MAVIS and MARTIN address each other and DAVID and DONNA address each other.)

MAVIS

MARTIN that is not the corkscrew's proper place. The corkscrew belongs in the drawer.

MARTIN

MAVIS I'm sure you don't simply want the corkscrew in the drawer. I'm sure you really want the corkscrew on the left side of the drawer.

DONNA

DAVID, this sounds a little familiar. You, DAVID, always putting things away.

DAVID

And you, DONNA, always leaving things lying around.

MAVIS

MARTIN I never said the corkscrew belongs on the left. The corkscrew simply belongs in the drawer.

MARTIN

MAVIS if I put the corkscrew on the right, you'll move it to the left.

DONNA

DAVID, you think I leave things lying around? I don't much do that any more. There's no one to pick them up.

DAVID

The corkscrew? You wouldn't leave the corkscrew lying on the table?

MAVIS

MARtIN then put it on the left!

MARTIN

Today the left, tomorrow the right.

DONNA

Would I leave the corkscrew lying on the table? No, I'd probably put it in the drawer, just like you.

DAVID

Not like me, not like me. I don't much do that any more. There's no one to set an example for. I'd more likely leave the corkscrew just lying around.

MAVIS

MARTIN someone has to put the corkscrew where the corkscrew belongs. You certainly won't.

MARTIN

MAVIS suppose I put the corkscrew in the drawer, right where the corkscrew belongs. Then I nail the drawer shut. Nail it shut. BAM! BAM! BAM! So the corkscrew will always be right where the corkscrew belongs. Always and forever.

DONNA

David, shouldn't the corkscrew go in the drawer? In the corkscrew's proper place?

DAVID

DONNA, I suppose, but sometimes I get a little wild, and leave the corkscrew on the table, or on the sofa, or on the floor! Here or there, now and then.

MAVIS

MARTIN, after you nailed the drawer shut you would buy three more corkscrews and leave them laying around. A corkscrew on the table, a corkscrew on the sofa, a corkscrew on the floor.

MARTIN

MAVIS that's right. A corkscrew on the table, a corkscrew on the sofa, a corkscrew on the floor. Now you're learning to relax.

DONNA

DAVID maybe I should leave my corkscrew here or there. Now and then.

DAVID

DONNA even your shoes. Leave them here or there, now and then. Perhaps on the living room floor.

MAVIS

Relax, MARTIN? Who can relax in a home with corkscrews on the table, corkscrews on the sofa, corkscrews on the floor!

MARTIN

MAVIS, if there was a corkscrew on the table and a corkscrew on the sofa and a corkscrew on the floor, then it would feel like a home, and not like a picture in a Ladies La-De-Da magazine.

DONNA

DAVID I only left my shoes on the living room floor when someone, someone, you know who was chasing me.

DAVID

And now, DONNA? Is anyone chasing you now?

MAVIS

MARTIN, it would be a picture in the Men's Piggy Pig Sties magazine!

MARTIN

Better a pig-sty than a prison.

DONNA

DAVID, no one is chasing me now. And you? Are you chasing? Are there anyone's shoes on your living room floor?

DAVID

There's probably shoes on my living room floor, DONNA, but they're mine.

MAVIS

A prison, MARTIN? You think this is a prison?

MARTIN

Yes I think this is a prison!

MAVIS

Well if this is a prison,

MARTIN

Yes, this is a prison!

MAVIS

Then perhaps you should escape.

MARTIN

Escape?

MAVIS

Escape!

MARTIN

Escape! Yes, and leave you the corkscrew drawer.

DONNA

David?

DAVID

Donna?

DONNA

Perhaps you and I...

DAVID

Should have lunch?

DONNA

Yes. Let's have lunch.

DAVID

Differences don't seem...

DONNA

so different any more.

MAVIS

And you can prance around in your pigsty, MARTIN.

MARTIN

MAVIS, perhaps we should finish this discussion after dinner.

MAVIS

Ah, yes, dinner. Shall we dine?

MAVIS and MARTIN

Marriage is for fools!

DAVID and DONNA

And heros!


9. Song - Fools and Heros


(Verse 1)

Marriage is for fools and heros, dunces, dimwits, dopes. Feuds and furies, gripes and groans, OK, then, why do we keep coming back again for more?

(Verse 2)

Marriage is for fools and heros, boneheads, birdbrains, bums. Poke and punch and bash and bruise, OK, then why do we still want to get back in the ring?

(Bridge)

From time to time a day or two, is like a honeymoon. But then it's back to growls and groans. You don't know what has changed the tune, you haven't got a clue. You think of lovely days gone by, who really turned the page? But then you're back to where you are, you grumble, growl, you bitch, you rage. You never know just why.

(Verse 3)

Marriage is for fools and heros, creeps and crumbs and cranks. Tears and troubles, problems, pains, OK, then, why do we still want to try it all again?

(Interlude)

MARTIN

What is this corkscrew doing here? I'll put it in the drawer.

MAVIS

Oh, leave it on the table. It's not hurting anything.

DONNA

David, where shall we meet for lunch?

DAVID

Chez Pascal? It has nice atmosphere.

DONNA

Too too too expensive. Let's do that little place on Flamingo.

(Tag)

No need for explanation, no need to say who's wrong or right. It's time for celebration, the fun is in the fight. The fun is in the fight.

(Verse 4)

Marriage is for fools and heros, bastards, bitches, brats. Whine and whimper, cry and curse, OK, then, why do we still want to try it all again? Try it all again?


10. Exit Music