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ACT 1

 

It is August of 1976. The era is apparent by the hairstyles, fashion, and furnishings. These become a visual touchstone of the show. We meet Neal Parker. A writer and a survivor of the free love generation who turns tricks for a living. He's our bartender.

TENDING BAR

We learn of Neal's apathetic perspective and his promiscuous past as he introduces us to a few of the bar's regulars. Individuals who comprise a distinctive family all searching for some common ground:

Tucker, a married advertising executive, laments his closeted life while Hustler duets his savvy street sense.

MARRIED MAN / HUSTLER

Russell, an affected antique shop owner and close friend of Neal's, grieves the loss of elegance and pontificates the demise of culture in the presence of the modern day mid-70’s.

PISSELEGANCE

And when Sonny, a cherubic and beautiful 21 year old young man, enters into this world - all attention lands on him.

COME-ONS / COME-ON

Neal welcomes Sonny with watchful arms and once his shift is over at the bar, Neal takes Sonny out for a night on the town.

The bar closes and the Patrons and Stephen face the end of the night.

WHO NEEDS IT

Later that night at Neal’s apartment, Neal and Sonny are in bed (FOREPLAY). Neal interrupts their sexual encounter and excuses himself to turn off the most current technological advancement of the era - his answering machine. In his absence, Sonny has a fully realized daydream of his days in school (RECESS), his inadvertent and misunderstood crushes,

DIFFERENT

and his courageous move to come out to his religous father and mother.

WONDERS

Neal’s reel to reel answering machine is now introduced as a story telling device as the characters learn to navigate their way through this new technology of the 70's. Sonny leaves a message for Neal articulating his joy from their night together and saying he left his watch at Neal's apartment.

Back at the bar, a few days later, Russell sings of his new love.

MATCHBOOK NUMBER

Neal leaves Sonny's watch for him at the bar and arranges to get off of work so he won't be there when Sonny comes in to pick it up.

A month later, in Neal’s apartment, Vince, one of the bar patrons, interupts his sexual encounter with Neal and sings about his inability to forget his ex- lover, Charlie.

CHARLIE’S BLUES

Sonny leaves yet another message for Neal. Letting him know he now has his own place and his own phone number.

Early December has come, as Russell enters the bar en route to the opening art show of a new young artist, Robert Brewer. Neal doesn't realize that Robert and Sonny are one in the same. Neal and Russell begin to bicker and contemplate where their lives have brought them as Sonny enters and joins in their discussion.

TIME

Neal apologizes to Sonny for not calling. They share a moment. Russell and Sonny head out to Sonny's opening. Neal soon after goes to the payphone and leaves an abrupt message for Sonny. This spurs his mimic of the vapid gay dating scene. The Patrons join in and egg Neal on.

PERFECTION

Neal ultimately crumbles and calls Sonny, once again. However this time he musters the courage to  ask the much younger Sonny out on a date (PERFECTION REPRISE).

 

END OF ACT 1

 

GO TO ACT 2

 

vocal credits: Gerald McCullouch, Jay Rogers, Randall Willis, Ritchie Crownfield, Dik Holland, David Mimms, Lemuel Pitts, Mark Wood, Alan Altizer