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Chanteuse

"CHANTEUSE"
a musical comedy about
friendship, fame and folk music
by
Louise Richardson

1985, 2000, 2012 by Louise Richardson

"Chanteuse" is basically a three-character musical comedy. The title character, Johanna Clarke, and her best friend, Darcy Bailey leave their native Texas to become folk singers in New York's Greenwich Village in 1959. In the "Colloquy Coffee House" they meet the proprietor, Sid Feldman, who will become their agent and father figure. There are three flashback scenes in which the actor portraying "Sid" plays Johanna's father and the actress playing "Darcy" plays Johanna's mother.

A version of Act I, scene i of "Chanteuse" was done in the FronteraFest ShortFringe in January 2007 at Hyde Park Theatre in Austin, Texas. There are YouTube videos of Part One and Part Two of that performance. The world premiere of "Chanteuse" was presented in Salado, Texas in February and March 2011 at the Silver Spur Theater (SS), starring Rose Mitchell as "Johanna", Chloe Vance as "Darcy" and Robert L. Schneider as "Sid". In January 2012 "Chanteuse" was presented at The City Theatre (CT) and Dougherty Arts Center (DAC) in Austin, and starred Kelly Connaughton as "Johanna", Danica McKinney as "Darcy" and Timothy McKinney as "Sid". Representative YouTube videos from each venue are linked throughout this "Chanteuse" web page.

"Chanteuse"

by

Louise Richardson



Act I

Act I, scene i

YouTube Video SS-IiDCNM      YouTube Video CT-IiDCNM
(scene to "Davey Carey" and "No More")

The year is 1959. The Colloquy Coffee House in Greenwich Village, New York City, is the main set. To one side upstage there is a bar. On the wall behind the bar is a calendar. The month is February. Downstage right a few steps we see the Colloquy's front door, and, through it, we see that it is night time. A few more steps downstage center is a small platform which serves as the house stage. Before the platform is a microphone and stand. SIDNEY FELDMAN, a former stand up comic and the owner of the Colloquy, steps up to the microphone to greet the coffee house audience.

SID
(tapping the microphone)

Testing...Testing...Can you hear me? (taps again) How's that? (reads from a scrap of paper) "Will the owner of a red 1959 Volkswagen"--Hey, don't everybody leave. Listen. "New Jersey license plate number VO-672305984702155368...Please move your car; the license plate is blocking traffic." Mort Sahl, eat your heart out, right? You know, Mort played here at the Colloquy when he started out. We practically discovered him and the Kingston Trio, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Stephen Foster, Benedict Arnold--all the greats...But seriously folks, I predict tonight that these girls you're about to see will someday be up there with the greatest. Ladies and gentlemen, The Colloquy Coffee House presents...Joanna and Darcy!

DARCY
(whispering, from one side of the stage)

"Jo-Hanna".

SID

Pardon?

DARCY

Her name is Jo-Hanna.

SID
(leaving the platform)

Whatever.

SID goes about his work behind the bar as JOHANNA CLARKE and DARCY BAILEY enter and ascend the platform. They tune their guitars and sing the ballad "Davey Carey" with a kind of Irish lilt.

"Davey Carey"

Davey Carey took a wife as easy as you please,
And by the pond he took her life, and lay her 'neath the trees.
Oh Davey, why'd ya do this deed, your lovely bride to slay,
And bring to end her sixteen years upon her wedding day?
The law will be upon ya now, you'll hang for what you've done,
Your body twisting in the breeze and drying in the sun.
"I know not why I took her life; she was my treasury,
But one so pure upon this earth was never meant to be."
The father of Davey's bride, he found her where she lay.
In sorrow he vowed to ride 'til Davey was at bay.
Said he,"She was my pride and joy; I warned her not to wed,
Nor take up with that Carey Boy, and now she lyin' dead."
The father ran our Davey down a clearing in the trees.
A noose made he of the wedding gown, hanged Davey in the breeze.
So Davey Carey met his end, his hasty crime to pay.
He wed and killed, was caught and hanged, all on his wedding day!

With a bit more tuning JOHANNA and DARCY ease into another song.

"No More"

No more I'll see my own true love, nor will he pass again.
No more, no more my bonnie lad will tread upon the glen.
Lies he 'neath the heather now, nor will he pass again.
No more, no more my bonnie lad will tread upon the glen.
Never will he marry me, nor will he pass again.
No more, no more my bonnie lad will tread upon the glen.
Never will I love another, nor will he pass again.
No more, no more my bonnie lad will tread upon the glen.
Poison take me to my own true love, nor will we pass again.
No more shall I and my bonnie lad tread upon the glen.

JOHANNA and DARCY sing the chorus of a third song as we hear SID's comments from the bar.

"Flowers of Springtime"

YouTube Video SS-IiFCF      YouTube Video CT-IiFCF
(scene with "Flowers of Springtime" and "Cossacks")

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

Now wither the flowers of springtime...That once had glistened with dew...

SID
(speaking over the first two lines of the song)

These kids these days, always the sad songs. Again they sing about death. What do they know about death?

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

Now come autumn and winter...Without you oh what will I do?

SID
(speaking over third and fourth lines)

What do they know about life? They're so young. But the customers seem satisfied.

JOHANNA and DARCY sing the song again. SID speaks, then sings his lyrics over theirs.

SID
(speaks)

("Now wither...") So attentive they are.
(sings over "That once...") Look at their nodding content...
(then over "Now come...") With everything downbeat and hopeless...
(then over "Without you...") They should only be short on the rent.
(SID sings the bridge solo.) These are new times. These are fat times.
These are smug times, much ado times.

As JOHANNA and DARCY's song fades away, we here the vamp for another song under SID's dialogue.

SID
(speaking)

How soon we forget, but my grandmother could have told these kids a thing or two about life and death and hardship. So often she said to me, "Beware the next pogrom!" (sings)

"Cossacks"

SID
(singing)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

(chorus, vamp under dialogue)

SID
(over vamp)

To tell the truth, I didn't know what she was talking about. There weren't any Cossacks in Brooklyn, at least not by the time I was born. "This is America," I would tell her, "we don't have pogroms here." When she died I was thirteen and recently bar-mitzvahed. I knew it all...I went to school. I worked odd jobs. The pogrom never came. I dropped out of school. I worked odd jobs. The pogrom never came. After Pearl Harbor I joined Special Services. The pogrom never came. I got through the war. I was discharged. I got married to my Shirley. I worked the mountains as a comic. I did a couple of Sullivan shows on television. And then my pogrom came. (sings)

SID
(singing)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

(chorus, vamp under dialogue)

SID
(speaking over vamp)

The congressman asked my name. "Sidney Farmer," I told him. (imitates the congressman's voice) "Also know as 'Sidney Feldman'," he asked me. "Yes, Congressman." "Are you a member of the Communist Party?" "Me?" "Yes, you." Then I got cute; I said, "Listen, Congressman, I'm a comic, not a commie. The only Marx I know is Groucho." Some people laughed, but not the congressman. "This is very serious, Mr. Feldman," he warned me. I looked at my lawyer who was covering his face. I pleaded the Fifth. "Too late, Mr. Feldman." "What do you mean, 'too late?'" "You've already begun answering; it's too late to plead the Fifth." My lawyer nodded. (disparingly) "But I was only joking!"

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifefetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

SID
(speaking over vamp)

The congressman asked me to read a list. "Do you know any of these people, Mr. Feldman?" "Sure, a couple of them." "Did you attend a meeting of the Russo-American Friends Committee with the people on that list?" "Is that why I'm here?" "Were you there, Mr. Feldman?" "Yes. Once. The war was on. Russia was an ally. A friend invited me." "Which friend invited you?" "I don't remember." "Is your friend's name on that list?" I didn't answer right away. "Just confirm your friend's name and you're free to go." "Just like that?" "Just like that." (sings)

SID
(singing)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

SID
(speaking over vamp)

"We're waiting, Mr. Feldman." "I can't remember." "You can't remember." "Yes, congressman, I can't remember." "You can't remember who invited you?" "That's right." "You said it was a friend." "Yes. A friend at the time." "Read the list, Mr. Feldman. Which friend--or should I say 'comrade'--invited you to a meeting of that communist front organization?" (pause) "I don't recall." "Are you perjuring yourself to this committee, Mr. Feldman?" "No. I just don't recall." "Besides yourself, who else on that list was at that meeting?" "I don't know." "The truth, Mr. Feldman!" "I don't know!" "Mr. Feldman!" "I don't know!!" (sings)

(chorus, vamp under dialogue)

SID
(singing)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

SID
(speaking)

It was none of his business who was there. We were just a bunch of entertainers in Special Services. We played for some Russian soldiers and diplomats in New York and they invited us to the meeting. I didn't even want to go, but Bernie Rose said, (in another voice) "It'll be fun, Sid." "I don't know, Bernie," I said. "Those slinky Russian broads will be there." "Well, maybe for a while." So we all went. (pause) It was political and it was dull--and there were no broads, so we left. Bernie Rose talked to the same committee and the same congressman. That's how they got my name. Bernie talked and I didn't. Neither one of us ever got work in show business again. I was lucky. I'd saved my money. I bought this place. (pause) Poor Bernie blew his brains out. (sings)

SID
(singing)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

SID
(speaking)

Grandmother was right; there are always pogroms: Jewish pogroms in Russia, holocaust in Germany, negro pogroms in the South, political pogroms in Washington...

JOHANNA and DARCY are singing "Flowers of Springtime", their song fading in as though they had been singing all this time.

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

Now wither the flowers of springtime
That once had glistened with dew.
Now come autumn and winter.
Without you oh what will I do? Without you oh what will I do?

JOHANNA and DARCY sing the chorus once more while SID continues speaking his thoughts. When they get to the last line of the chorus JOHANNA and DARCY repeat it until SID is finished with his brief monologue.

SID
(speaking)

Let them sing their sad songs. As long as they stay out of politics, they can sing here anytime. Too bad I let Mort Sahl go after his first appearance here. Who knew he'd be a big hit? But it's best to be safe. Right, Bernie? Right, Grandmother?

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

Without you oh what will I do?

SID
(singing)

Beware the next pogrom!

The music ends and SID addresses the coffee house audience.

SID
(speaking)

What did I tell you, folks? Are they great? Thanks, girls! (aside to JOHANNA and DARCY) What do you say we put you two on Monday nights?

JOHANNA
(enthusiastically)

Thank you!

SID

Get some happier songs into your act and maybe we can get you a less depressing night of the week.

SID goes about his business behind the bar.

JOHANNA
(to DARCY)

Do we have any "happier" songs?

DARCY

We'll come up with something.

SID steps up to the platform again to close the show.

SID

"Well, that's it for 'New Talent Night' this week. (over-emphasizing) Jo-HANNA Clarke (looks at a slip of paper) and Darcy Bailey, the girls you just heard, will be back on Monday nights on a regular basis. (reacting to a smattering of applause turns to the duo) What did you do, bring relatives? (to the audience) So eat, drink and run up whatever tab you want! My name is Sidney Feldman. I love ya. Good night!

JOHANNA
(to DARCY)

We've finally got a gag.

DARCY

I think you mean a "gig." What did he say he was going to pay us?

JOHANNA

I don't think he said.

DARCY

I think that's an important thing to know, Johanna.

JOHANNA

Right. (approaching SID) Mr. Feldman?

SID

Yes?

JOHANNA

Are you going to pay us something?

SID

For tonight?

JOHANNA

No, when we start on Monday.

SID

Sure. What do you think, I'm a deadbeat?

JOHANNA and DARCY

No. No.

DARCY

It's just that some coffee houses only pay in food.

SID

Not to worry, girlie. I'm a performer myself. I'll see you two get paid.

JOHANNA

Thank you.

DARCY

Thanks.

SID exits.

DARCY

He's already telling us what to sing.

JOHANNA

No he isn't. He's just trying us out on an off night.

DARCY

Well, he's right in a way: we need to expand our repertoir.

JOHANNA

You're talking about politics again.

DARCY

Sure. Why not?

JOHANNA

I keep trying to tell you I don't know anything about politics.

DARCY

But you do, Johanna. You're concerned about civil rights, aren't you? About banning the bomb?

JOHANNA

Yes, but...

DARCY

But you're spineless.

JOHANNA

Darcy. Look. Singing is what we do to make a living.

DARCY

Starting Monday.

JOHANNA

Yes, starting Monday. Do we really want to mix business with politics?

DARCY

I don't see that we have any choice.

JOHANNA

Are you saying we should sing political songs because that is what's popular? We spurned fads and fashions when we rejected pop music, didn't we?

DARCY

Johanna, we'll sing our songs because we believe in them and people will listen to us. This is not back home. We're appreciated here. Our families in Houston said we wouldn't make it. Our so-called friends at college in San Marcos said we wouldn't make it, but we're making it.

YouTube Video SS-HHH/11      YouTube Video CT-HHH
("Home Home Home")

"Home, Home, Home"

DARCY
(turning to audience, singing)

San Marcos, Texas, you were wrong!

JOHANNA
(facing audience, singing)

Houston, Texas, you were wrong!

DARCY

All of my life you've been holding me down.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Pulling me back. Pulling me back.

DARCY

Now here I stand with my feet on the ground.

JOHANNA and DARCY

On the right track. On the right track.

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY
(harmonizing)

Home...

JOHANNA
(harmonizing with DARCY's note)

Home...

JOHANNA

Home town folks can kill you with kindness.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Running your life. Running your life.

DARCY

Homespun advice is tedious and mindless.

JOHANNA and DARCY

You must be a wife. You must be a wife.

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY

Home...

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY

Home town man doesn't want competition.

JOHANNA and DARCY

My wife won't work. My wife won't work.

JOHANNA

He wants to keep your place in the kitchen.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Oh God, what a jerk. Oh God, what a jerk.

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY

Home...

JOHANNA

Home...

JOHANNA

Home style Mom is constantly cooking.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Never a break. Never a break.

DARCY

Says, "Why aren't you married, and why aren't you looking?

JOHANNA and DARCY

Mom, for Christ's sake! Mom, for Christ's sake!

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY
(harmonizing)

Home...

JOHANNA
(harmonizing with DARCY's note)

Home...

DARCY

Home grown Dad is fishing and hunting.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Always away. Always away.

JOHANNA

"Power for whites," he's always grunting.

JOHANNA and DARCY

He's yesterday. He's yesterday.

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY

Home...

JOHANNA

Home...

DARCY

San Marcos, Texas, you were wrong!

JOHANNA

Houston, Texas, you were wrong!

JOHANNA and DARCY

We're not going home...!

ACT I, scene ii.

Colloquy Coffee House. The year is 1959, two months later. JOHANNA and DARCY are singing a traditional whaling song.

"When We Have Caught The Whale"

YouTube Video CT-W
("When We Have Caught the Whale")

JOHANNA and DARCY

O never fear, my Maggie fair,
Be it ever so mighty a gale,
I'll soon be returnin' to Grianan
When we have caught the whale.

While they are singing, a spotlight comes up to reveal SID at the bar. He comments to himself.

SID

Two months and the jolliest thing they can do is butcher a poor whale? What the Hell. They've made Monday my best night of the week--also Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday...

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

When we did cast off from Liverpool
We soberly set sail
To leave sweethearts and wives behind,
And do battle with the whale.

O never fear, my Maggie fair,
Be it ever so mighty a gale,
I'll soon be returnin' to Grianan
When we have caught the whale.

The great fish we'll heave to our side
And slice from nose to tail.
We'll harvest ambergris and scrimshaw
When we have caught the Whale!

O never fear, my Maggie fair,
Be it ever so mighty a gale,
I'll soon be returnin' to Grianan
When we have caught the whale.

JOHANNA and DARCY accept the applause of the coffee house audience. They tune their guitars as DARCY steps forward to the microphone to speak.

DARCY
(speaking while the two tune guitars)

We've written a few songs lately--Johanna mostly.

SID

What's this?

DARCY

We hope you enjoy them.

SID

Experimenting? This had better be good. It's not enough they should sing, they should write too?

JOHANNA sings solo on "Sugar and Spice". DARCY steps out of the spotlight. SID's spotlight fades to black.

"Sugar and Spice/Neat and Tidy"

YouTube Video SS-S&S/N&T      YouTube Video CT-S&S/N&T
("Sugar and Spice/Neat and Tidy")

JOHANNA
(singing)

Sugar and spice, snips and snails,
Everything nice, puppy dog tails,
Ring 'round the rosey, man in the moon,
Dance me a jig and whistle a tune.

Dad, pick me up. Mom, brush my hair.
Tell me a story. It's scary out there.
One drink of water. One more piece of pie.
Tuck me in bed and sing lullabye.

Sugar and spice, snips and snails,
Everything nice, puppy dog tails,
Ring 'round the rosey, man in the moon,
Dance me a jig and whistle a tune.

Punish my brother. Doctor my knee.
Tie my shoelaces. Play catch with me.
Fix my poor dolly. Help fly my kite.
Give me a hug and kiss me "good night".

To one side a spotlight comes up to reveal DARCY. As JOHANNA continues to play the music, DARCY comments on the song.

DARCY
(speaking over the guitar music)

How did she come up with this? Whose life is like that? Not hers. Not mine. (sings second theme: "Neat and Tidy")

DARCY
(singing)

Father never drinks and
Mother always cares.
The children rarely fight, you know.
Everything is bliss and
Life is always fair
On the American T.V. show.

Neat and tidy and tied up with a bow,
Whose life was ever like that?
If you find such a family,
Please let me know:
Father, Mother,
Sister, Brother,
Goldfish, dog and cat.

JOHANNA

Help me with homework. Drive me to school.
Let's go to the movies. Let's go to the pool.
Lend me the car. Be kind to my date.
I'm off to the prom. I may be home late.

DARCY

Mom is always warm and
Brother's always honest.
Sister is a beauty queen.
And Father is a paragon of wisdom:
Never wrong, never cross or mean.

JOHANNA

Sugar and spice, snips and snails,
Everything nice, puppy dog tails,
Ring 'round the rosey, man in the moon,
Dance me a jig and whistle a tune.

DARCY

Sis is still a virgin.
Brother excells in school.
Dad would never hurt his child.
Mom would never dream of having an affair,
Never coarse, never vile or wild.

Neat and tidy and tied up with a bow,
Whose life was ever like that?
If you find such a family,
Please let me know:
Father, Mother,
Sister, Brother,
Goldfish, dog and cat.

You won't hear Mother scream.
You won't see Sister cry.
Father wouldn't strike you and Mother.
There won't be stolen goods in your brother's room,
And the police won't arrest your brother.

JOHANNA

It's time I start thinking about a career.
I'll be a freshman in college this year.
Daddy, I love him with all of my might.
Kids, kiss grandma and grandpa "good night".

DARCY

Father won't get stinking drunk.
He won't punch Mother's eye.
Mom wouldn't ever stray.
Dad would never bruise his daughter,
And I wouldn't run away.

Neat and tidy and tied up with a bow,
Whose life was ever like that?
If you find such a family,
Please let me know:
Father, Mother,
Sister, Brother, (then with mock reverence)
Goldfish, dog and cat.

DARCY joins JOHANNA, physically on the platform and spiritually in the hopeful fantasy, for the last chorus.

JOHANNA and DARCY

Sugar and spice, snips and snails,
Everything nice, puppy dog tails,
Ring 'round the rosey, man in the moon,
(then slower, extending the last note)
Dance me a jig and whistle a tune.

A spot light comes up on SID.

SID
(to himself)

Very nice indeed. And Johanna wrote that. Not bad. Now that's happy. That's light. I like that. And there's more?

DARCY
(speaking into the microphone while tuning)

We're both from Texas and if you will bear with us for a while, we'd like to sing you our adventures in the big city the way folks might do it back home.

"Taxi In The Rain"

YouTube Video SS-T      YouTube Video CT-T
("Taxi in the Rain")

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

You can never get a taxi in the rain,
And it just ain't no use to complain
As you watch your mascara
Flow lightly down the drain.
No, you'll never get a taxi in the rain.

JOHANNA

Well, I left my car back in Texas.
They said it's no use in New Yark.
{DARCY (speaking): "New Yark?"}
That someone will strip it
Or steal it, or rip it,
Or tow it away when I park.
{DARCY (speaking): Oh.}

DARCY

Manhattan is just a small island.
You can walk it in one afternoon.
But I wouldn't do it;
You might not live through it,
And find yourself mugged by some goon.

JOHANNA and DARCY

And you'll never get a taxi in the rain,
And it just ain't no use to complain
As you watch your mascara
Flow lightly down the drain.
No, you'll never get a taxi in the rain.

JOHANNA

And you just can't depend on the buses.
They're rarely, if ever, on time.
And don't take the subway,
That jostle and rubway
{DARCY (speaking): "Rubway?"}
Or you might be attacked by some slime...
(holds last note while DARCY harmonizes)

DARCY
(harmonizing)

By some slime...

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

And...you'll..never get a taxi in the rain,
And it just ain't no use to complain
As you watch your mascara
Flow lightly down the drain.
No, you'll never get a taxi in the rain.

SID
(speaking from the bar)

Cute!

DARCY steps back to let JOHANNA solo.

JOHANNA
(speaking into the microphone)

And now I'd like to sing something we wrote in a more serious vein. This is one of Darcy's.

SID
Again with the serious. I knew it couldn't last.

The lights dim but stay up enough for us to see SID on the sidelines.

"Sword of Damocles"

JOHANNA
(singing)

There's a "Sword of Damocles"
And it's poised above us all,
But no one ever sees
In an instant it could fall.
There's a rumor on the breeze.
There's a whisper through the trees
That soon it may be much too late
To stop the "Sword of Damocles."

We hear SID commenting over and between lines of the coming verse.

JOHANNA
(continuing to sing)

It won't only fall on soldiers
{SID(speaking): What is she doing?}
As weapons used to do.
{SID:This is a "Ban the Bomb" song.}
It won't only crumble buildings;
It will do in me and you.
Let us drop down to our knees
And pray to the Good Lord, "Please
Help us find a way in which we may
Remove the 'Sword of Damocles.'"

There's a "Sword of Damocles"
And it's poised above us all,
But no one ever sees
In an instant it could fall.
There's a rumor on the breeze.
There's a whisper through the trees
That soon it may be much too late
To stop the "Sword of Damocles."

SID rushes to the platform during the applause, cutting the audience acknowledgement short.

SID
(cutting in at the microphone)

Well, that's all for tonight, folks. The girls have another engagement to go to. Eat drink and enjoy. Good night!

There is some applause, then the bewildered audience members talk among themselves.

DARCY
(to SID)

What's the matter?

SID
(covering the microphone)

What's the matter? I'll tell you what's the matter. You sneaked in a political song, that's what's the matter!

DARCY

So...

JOHANNA

We weren't trying to sneak--

SID

Are you trying to get me in some kind of trouble?

JOHANNA

Of course not.

DARCY

I thought this was a free country.

SID

Well, think again because it isn't.

DARCY

You'd think this was Nazi Germany.

SID

Nazi Germany? What do you know about Nazi Germany?

DARCY

Well, there are other clubs and coffee houses in the Village. We'll bring in customers for somebody else.

SID

Fine by me. Who needs you? You were good when you were singing about little children and whales and suicidal lovers even. But I don't need troublemakers in my place. So go.

SID steps down from the platform and crosses to work behind the bar. JOHANNA follows DARCY from the platform, aside and downstage.

JOHANNA

Darcy, maybe we don't have to sing those songs.

DARCY

Don't you cave in on me, Johanna. This is a matter of principle. There are plenty of places that won't censor us, clubs that appreciate the need for artistic freedom.

SID
(from the bar)

So go already.

JOHANNA approaches SID at the bar.

JOHANNA

Mr. Feldman, I'm sorry. I have to agree with Darcy, but you have a right to run your coffee house any way you want to. Thank you for all you've done for us.

SID

Don't mention it.

JOHANNA

Good-bye.

SID

Good-bye already.

DARCY
(from her side of the stage)

Come on, Johanna. Let's get out of here.

JOHANNA crosses to DARCY and they begin to exit.

SID
(hesitantly)

Wait, I'll write your final paychecks. I don't want you coming in here tomorrow screaming that I robbed you.

SID takes a ledger book from behind the bar and begins to write checks. He sings areprise of "Cossacks", beginning with the vamp under his monologue.

SID
(speaking over the vamp)

A wise decision, letting them go. I like Johanna, but that other one is such a loudmouth. Who needs the aggrevation? I could just see myself before another government committee. (speaking as the congressman) Now, Mr. Feldman, in addition to your meeting with known Communists in 1942, did you not, in 1959 have in your employ two radical Greenwich Village folksingers? (sheepishly, as himself) Well...(as the congressman) Did you know that such a situation is now a treasonable offense punishable bydeath--retroactively? (sings chorus of "Cossacks")

"Cossacks"
(reprise)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
Beware the next pogrom!"

SID realizes he is letting his imagination carry him away.

SID
(speaking over vamp)

A little ridiculous, maybe. Perhaps a little music won't bring in the FBI...and I think people can stand up and be counted to stop the Nazis and the Cossacks before they get too strong. These are different times from eight years ago. There is a new freedom in the air--maybe even for negroes in the South. Who am I to stand in the way of progress? (pours himself a cup of coffee) Besides, the kids are bringing in business. They don't need me, but I need them. (raises his cup in a toast) La cHaim! (sings)

"The Cossacks will always come," she said,
"They'll come for you by night and drag you from your bed.
Maybe once a week they'll come, maybe once a year they'll come,
Maybe once a lifetime, but they'll come.
(toasts) Here's to the last pogrom!"

SID
(speaking as he crosses downstage to JOHANNA and DARCY)

Tell you what, girls. I don't want to be a bad guy. I've decided to give you another chance--that is, if you want to stay.

JOHANNA

Thank you!

DARCY

Not so fast. Maybe we don't trust you. Maybe you'll fire us again on some other whim.

SID
(under his breath)

And maybe I changed my mind again.

DARCY

We need insurance.

SID

Insurance?

DARCY

A contract.

SID

A contract. A contract I can give--but insurance? I'm not the "good hands people." Fair enough. It's a deal.

DARCY

And a raise in pay to be renegociated at the end of the term of the contract.

JOHANNA

Darcy...

SID

Are you sure you wouldn't rather be a lawyer? The pay is better than singing in clubs.

DARCY

We're only asking a modest amount to nurse our wounds from being fired.

SID

If I agree to draw up this legal milestone after closing, would you two feel like finishing the set now?

DARCY

I don't know. What do you say, Johanna?

JOHANNA

I say, "Let's do it."

DARCY
(to SID)

No censorship?

SID

No censorship.

DARCY
(after a thoughtful pause)

Alright. Let's sing.

SID runs up on the platform stage and announces into the microphone.

SID

Ladies and gentlemen, Johanna and Darcy have informed me that their other engagement has been cancelled. So here again are Johanna and Darcy!

SID steps off the platform and returns to the bar to work. To SID's discomfort JOHANNA and DARCY again sing "Sword of Damocles". We hear SID's comments as they sing.

"Sword of Damocles"
(reprise)

JOHANNA and DARCY

There's a "Sword of Damocles"
And it's poised above us all,
But no one ever sees
That in an instant it could fall.
There's a rumor on the breeze.
There's a whisper through the trees
That soon it may be much too late
To stop the "Sword of Damocles".

SID
(speaking during the song)

What, again?...I guess I'd better get used to it. It couldn't hurt to paint up a disclaimer sign, though: "The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the management." (shrugs) They are not necessarily not those of the management either.

ACT I, scene iii

The Colloquy Coffee House. April 1960. The music fades with the lights. The lights come up again on SID. He is sorting through his mail at the bar.

SID

A bill...Johanna and Darcy...another bill...Johanna, Johanna...bill, bill...(sings chorus of "Bills")

"Bills"

YouTube Video CT-B
("Bills" scene)

SID
(singing)

Bill, bill, piece of junk, bill, bill, bill.
Bill and political junk and bill, junk, bill.
Jury summons, piece of junk, bill, bill, bill.
Bill, more political junk and bill--

The song is interrupted by an offstage voice.

VOICE

Telegram!

SID exits briefly.

VOICE

Please sign.

SID returns.

SID

Telegrams are always bad news. (reads envelope) "Johanna." For her maybe it's good news. Those kids have good luck and they bring good luck. In little more than a year they've helped me pay off most of my debts and my coffee house is almost famous.

The telephone rings and SID crosses to the bar to answer it.

SID

Hello, Sid Feldman here. That's right: "The Colloquy." ...Johanna Clarke? Yes, she sings here tonight with her partner...You have. Of course they're great. They have to be great to sing h--Johanna? They're under contract here...She's under contract...Oh, a recording contract. What about Darcy?...Her partner, Darcy. You don't. But they're a team, a set. I don't think...I've heard of that label...Her agent? Me?...I understand that you need to talk to her agent...which is me. Yes, I'm her agent...That much...I'll talk to her...That's right...Thank you very much. Good-bye. (hangs up)

More good news for Johanna. What else could it be but good news? Everything she touches turns to gold. And Darcy: a kvetch, a pain in the neck...and in some other places I could mention...but basically a good kid. What about Darcy? And Johanna: she has a heart. Darcy is her best friend from college, the closest thing to family she has in New York. What a spot this record company puts her in.

The telephone rings again, and SID crosses to answer it.

SID

Sid Feldman here...I won something? What?...I'm sorry. I don't dance...No, I don't want free lessons...I don't care. I'm sorry...No...I won't dance, don't ask me! Good-bye! (hangs up)

Sometimes even good news is bad news. Any news you have to get over the telephone or from a letter or a telegram is likely to be bad.

SID sorts through the mail again, and continues singing "Bills."

"Bills"

SID
(singing)

Telegrams and telephones and bills, bills, bills.
I wish they would leave me alone. Bills, bills, bills.
Subscription ads for magazines and bills, bills, bills.
I should tear them all to smithereens and bills, bills, bills.

Dancing lessons they say I've won. Bills, bills, bills.
I'll dance to the poor house before I'm done with bills, bills, bills.
My phone bill that came a week ago. Bills, bills, bills.
Says I made eight calls to Tokyo. Bills, bills, bills.

Symington for President and bills, bills, bills.
But Kennedy got my last cent. Bills, bills, bills.
Stassen, Nixon--Throw away. Bills, bills, bills.
(throws letter away over his shoulder)
Rockefeller, Humphrey, L.B.J. and bills, bills, bills.

Book clubs, record clubs, charities and bills, bills, bills.
I've got junk mail piled up to my knees and bills, bills, bills.
Letter glaciers each day advance with bills, bills, bills.
I'll die in a paper avalanche of bills, bills, bills.

Bill, bill, piece of junk, bill, bill, bill.
Bill and political junk and bill, junk, bill.
Bill, more political junk and bill, bill, bill.
(speaks)
I'm sick of bills, bills, bills!
(throws letters in the air)

DARCY enters the Colloquy through the front door, alone, her guitar slung over her shoulder.

DARCY

Hi, Sid. Johanna's on her way.

SID
(gathering bills and letters from the floor)

Oh. Hello, Darcy.

DARCY

It's gorgeous out there. We were just practicing in Washington Square. You know what? We made a dollar eighty-five.

SID

Sure, give it away. The squirrels won't have to pay a cover.

DARCY

Well, there's no overhead in the park...Letters, huh? Any for us?

SID

Are you kidding? Except for bills you get more than I do.

SID sorts the mail and hands some to DARCY.

DARCY
(indicating something in SID's stack)

What's that?

SID

A telegram for Johanna.

DARCY
(picking out of SID's grip)

Let me see.

SID

Hey! That's for Johanna.

DARCY
(opening the telegram)

We read each other's mail all the time. We don't have any secrets...(reads to herself) Oh no.

SID

What?

DARCY
(handing the telegram to SID)

Johanna's father drowned in a fishing accident.

SID

Poor kid. Just when everything was going right for her. Why is there always bad news with the good news?

DARCY

What 'good news'?"

SID
(evasively)

You know, you two getting so popular, making a little money, like that.

DARCY

Yeah...She's not going to feel like going on tonight.

SID

Certainly. Certainly.

DARCY

You're not going to argue?

SID

Please, the kid's father just passed away. What am I, heartless? So you're off one night.

DARCY

I think it may be longer than just one night, Sid.

SID

Of course, take a week. It's not like I don't have other acts.

DARCY

Do you want me to tell Johanna?

SID

I think you'd better. You have a way with bad news.

DARCY

Right.

The telephone rings. SID piles the letters on the bar and answers the phone. DARCY searches the pile for other mail.

SID

Sid Feldman, here...She's not here yet. I don't think she'll feel like talking this afternoon. Her father just--

DARCY
(interrupting)

Let me have it, Sid.

SID

Her father passed away just this morning...

DARCY

I'll take care of it.

SID

I'll tell her to call you next week...

DARCY
(yanking the receiver from SID's hand)

Sid! (then into the receiver) Hello, this is Darcy Bailey...That's right, Johanna's partner...What label? I've heard of you...That's great. We'd love to!...What?...Just Johanna...I understand...Sure...Like you told Mr. Feldman...I understand...I'll tell her. Good-bye. (hangs up)

SID

Darcy, I'm sorry. I was waiting for--

DARCY

For what, Sid? What?...To sign the big contract and get your ten percent? Since when have you been an agent--Johanna's or anybody elses?

DARCY unslings the guitar to use as a club.

SID
(backing away)

Calm down, okay?

DARCY

Did you expect Johanna to go along with this?

SID

I was going to tell you first, Darcy. I just didn't think now was the time for--

DARCY
(threatening with the guitar)

You never did like me, did you?

SID

We've had our differences, but...

DARCY
(edging closer)

So you've been making deals behind my back!

DARCY swings at SID with the guitar. SID jumps backward.

SID

No. I swear.

DARCY

Trying to get rid of me, huh? (swings again, SID ducks) Trying to dump the trouble maker, right?

SID

You've got me wrong. This guy just calls today about Johanna. I tell him you two are a set.

DARCY pokes SID with the neck of the guitar. SID backs toward the counter.

DARCY

And what about your ten percent?

SID

What 'ten percent'?"

DARCY

Your ten percent, Mr. Agent!

DARCY pokes SID again. SID grabs a wooden barstool and holds it up to defend himself, as though against a circus lion.

SID

I just said I was her agent because he needed to talk to her agent. She didn't have one, did she? Did you? I would have done the same for you.

DARCY

You'd make me dump Johanna?

SID

No. No. Nobody's dumping anybody. Johanna would never go for it.

DARCY

No, she wouldn't. (sets down the guitar) You're right.

SID, sensing he is safe, sets down the stool, as it happens, downstage center.

SID
(approaching her cautiously)

Of course I'm right. She's your best friend. She loves you.

DARCY

She's like that. She'd sacrifice her career to keep from hurting me.

SID

That's Johanna: a good kid.

DARCY
(determinedly)

I can't let her do it!

SID

But you know she won't.

DARCY

You don't understand, Sid. I can't let her give up this opportunity.

SID

But there'll be other offers--for both of you.

DARCY

Maybe.

SID

Sure there will.

JOHANNA enters the coffee house with a paper bag.

JOHANNA

Who wants bagels?

SID

Hi, Johanna.

DARCY is uncharacteristically silent.

JOHANNA
(crossing to the bar)

I've got cream cheese to go on them. (begins to unload the bag) Also peach preserves and grape jelly.

SID

Jelly? Please. These are bagels, not doughnuts.

JOHANNA

And a surprise for Darcy. (removes two bottles from the bag) Ta da! Dr. Pepper!

DARCY
(forgetting herself for a second)

Dr. Pepper? Where'd you get that?

JOHANNA

I found a little mom and pop store. I think the owner's from Texas or Arkansas.

DARCY

So it's imported.

SID

Soda you drink with bagels and jelly?

DARCY
(getting serious)

Johanna, I have to tell you something.

SID

There's good news and bad news.

JOHANNA

Is this a new one?

DARCY

It's not a joke.

JOHANNA

Well, what is it?

DARCY and SID answer simultaneously.

DARCY
(with SID)

There's a telegram for you...

SID
(with DARCY)

I got this call.

JOHANNA

What?

DARCY
(with SID)

Sid took a call...

SID
(with DARCY)

You have a telegram...

JOHANNA

Somebody go first.

DARCY

Sid got a phone call about a record contract--

JOHANNA

That's great. That's what we've wanted.

DARCY

A contract for you, not me. (then quickly) But it's all right.

JOHANNA

But it's not all right. I just won't sign it. Is that--

DARCY

What are you talking about? Of course you will. You have to.

JOHANNA

Not without you. There's something else, right? (sees the concern on the others' faces) What's wrong?

DARCY

I read your telegram. I'm sorry. (hands it to her)

JOHANNA

That's okay...(reads as she speaks) We don't have secrets...oh.

SID

Of course, you can take off as long as you need to: a week, two weeks...

DARCY

Johanna, I'll go back home with you, if you like.

SID

You want to be alone for a few minutes. We'll take the bagels and the Dr. Perkins to Washington Square. We'll be fine.

DARCY

Will you be all right, Johanna?

JOHANNA

What?...Yes that will be fine.

SID

We'll be back in an hour. Don't even worry about the phone. Whoever calls will call back. Okay?

JOHANNA

Yes. I'll be all right.

DARCY and SID exit. JOHANNA sits on the downstage center barstool as the lights slowly dim.

JOHANNA

Good-bye. (long pause) I never expected this. He was indestructible, I thought. He had the constitution of a mule...and he was as stubborn. I spent half my time loving the man and the other half hating him...and now...I don't know. Am I sad? Or am I just in shock? Why don't the tears come? Why can't I cry for him?...Did he die because I wished him dead? That's childish. What did he do to anger me so much?...He always showed me love. He always did what a father should do to provide for his family...I used to love his humor, his...outgoingness. Everybody always liked him. I never met anyone who didn't like Dad...But I didn't...Yes I did...I do...But he won't know that now.

The lights fade down as a spotlight comes up on JOHANNA. She sings the song "Dad".

"Dad"

YouTube Video SS-D      YouTube Video CT-D
("Dad" scenes)

Why can't I cry for him?
Why can't I say good-bye to him?
Why can't I show that I love him too?
Would it have cost so much
To give him a daughter's touch?
Is forgiving him so hard to do?
I was his "Pearl" to him,
His precious little girl to him.
Such a dad you never knew.

JOHANNA'S MOTHER appears in a spotlight upstage of JOHANNA who continues to face the audience. Her MOTHER is played by the actress who plays DARCY.

MOTHER

Just wait until your father comes home, Johanna Pearl Clark!

JOHANNA

No, Mommy, please! Don't tell him.

MOTHER

You have to learn to respect other people's property, Josie. I swear, you always get into mischief when your father's away fishing all weekend.

JOHANNA

I just put the fish in the water.

MOTHER

You should be old enough to know a stuffed bass doesn't belong in the washing machine.

JOHANNA'S DAD, played by the actor playing SID, is seen in another spotlight.

DAD

Dorothy, Josie, I'm home. (to MOTHER) Has my little pearl been good?

MOTHER

I don't know how to tell you this.

DAD

Wait. Something's missing...Now what could it...Where's the fish? Where's old Tobey?

JOHANNA

He was dirty, Daddy.

DAD

He was dirty?

JOHANNA

So I washed him. I'm sorry.

DAD

You washed Ol' Tobey?

MOTHER

With your best shirts.

DAD

In the clothes washer?

JOHANNA

I'm sorry, Daddy.

DAD

You washed a prize-winning, nine pound, largemouth black bass with my shirts?

JOHANNA
(cries)

I didn't mean to crumble him.

DAD

I can't believe it.

JOHANNA

Are you going to spank me, Daddy?

DAD

What? I don't know...(almost whimpering) Ol' Tobey is crumbled?

JOHANNA
(crying and nodding)

Uh-huh...(sees package behind DAD's back) What's in the sack, Daddy?

DAD

The sack?...Oh. A surprise.

JOHANNA

For me?

MOTHER

No surprises for you today, young lady.

DAD
(takes doll from sack)

It's a doll.

JOHANNA

Oh boy! (becomes solemn again) Daddy, that's all right. I don't need a new doll...Daddy?

DAD

Yes.

JOHANNA

If you want to give me the doll, you can break it and we'll be even.

DAD
(laughing)

That's okay, Josie. I'll catch another one.

JOHANNA

Another Ol' Tobey?

DAD

I'll catch his granddaddy and he's even bigger. Here.

DAD mimes handing the doll to JOHANNA. JOHANNA mimes taking it.

JOHANNA

Can Sally and me help you?

DAD

Sally?

JOHANNA
(hugging doll)

She's Sally, my dolly.

DAD

Sure. We'll all go fishing sometime.

JOHANNA

I love you, Daddy...(sings as DAD's and MOTHER's spotlights go out)

"Dad"

JOHANNA
(singing)

Why can't I cry for him?
Why can't I say "good-bye" to him?
Why can't I show that I love him too?

JOHANNA's spotlight fades out as a spotlight comes up to show DAD in a chair and MOTHER standing.

MOTHER

What would you like for supper tonight?

DAD

I'm dog tired. I don't even know if I want supper tonight. Maybe just a bottle of beer while I'm watching Milton Berle on the television.

MOTHER

What's wrong.

DAD

The job. The contractor's on my back to get the house finished. I work like a nigra in the hot sun. I don't get any help from the crew. The meskin and the nigra's no help and the white kids aren't much better.

MOTHER

Not so loud. You know how it disturbs Johanna when you talk like that.

DAD

I said "nigra", didn't I? Where is Johanna anyway?

MOTHER
(haltingly)

She's in her room with a friend. They're listening to those sad french records of hers.

DAD

Well, get her in here. And let's have something fast like tunafish.

MOTHER
(calling out)

Johanna!

JOHANNA's spotlight comes up downstage.

JOHANNA

Mother, can Millie have supper with us?

MOTHER
(anxiously)

I'm sure her mother has supper ready for her already.

JOHANNA
(whining)

Please.

MOTHER

You're thirteen now. You are too old for such whining.

JOHANNA

Well, can she?

MOTHER

No. Not tonight. Your father's tired and I'm tired.

JOHANNA

Please? If her mother says it's all right and...

MOTHER

No. Not tonight, Johanna.

JOHANNA

Please.

MOTHER

I said, "no".

JOHANNA

Please...

DAD
(standing)

Let the kid stay, Dorothy. What's the big deal? Johanna, cut out the whining.

JOHANNA

Yes, Daddy. Then Millie can stay?

DAD

Yes, if it's okay with her folks.

JOHANNA

Really?

DAD

Didn't I say so? Here. (exits spotlight, then offstage) Millie, you can stay for supper if it's alright with...Just a minute. (returns to spotlight) Who's that?

JOHANNA

Millie.

DAD

I thought Millie was the little blonde girl with the ponytail.

JOHANNA

No Daddy, that's Jessie.

DAD

Well, Millie can't stay. I'm sorry.

JOHANNA

Why not?

DAD

Because I said so.

JOHANNA

But why?

DAD

Because she's...colored. That's why.

JOHANNA

So?

DAD

Don't you "so" me. Just ask her to leave this house.

JOHANNA

Why, Daddy?

DAD

It's too hot and I'm too tired for your whining tonight.

JOHANNA

I don't understand, Daddy.

DAD

Get her out!

JOHANNA

But Daddy...

DAD

Get that little nigger girl out of my house! And don't ever ask her back!

JOHANNA
(in tears)

How can you say that?

DAD

Don't argue with me. Get her out!

MOTHER

Do as he says, Johanna.

JOHANNA

It's no fair. I can't have any friends!

DAD

That's enough! Now tell her to get out.

JOHANNA

I can't Daddy.

DAD

I'll tell her myself.

DAD exits his spotlight.

JOHANNA

Don't Daddy! Please!

DAD
(re-entering spotlight)

Good. She's already left. She's a smart one. She knows when she's not wanted.

JOHANNA

I thought you were a good man.

DAD

I am a good man--a good white man. I work all day in the hot sun. I build houses and shingle roofs so you can have a roof over your head...and food in your belly. And I don't want to come home and find some little nig--

JOHANNA

You say that word one more time and I'll...hate you forever!

MOTHER

Johanna, you don't mean that.

JOHANNA

Yes I do.

The lights fade on DAD and MOTHER. JOHANNA sings the next part of the song.

"Dad"

Would it have cost so much
To give him a daughter's touch?
Is forgiving him so hard to do?

JOHANNA finds a suitcase just outside her spotlight. She places it on the stool, opens it, takes out and folds some of the clothes inside. When an article of clothing is folded, she places it back in the suitcase. A spotlight comes up on DAD.

DAD

And just where do you think you're going?

JOHANNA

I told you: New York.

DAD

You and that Bailey girl.

JOHANNA

That's right.

DAD

And do what?

JOHANNA

Sing.

DAD

Sing. What about college?

JOHANNA

Three years of college is enough for anyone.

DAD

You decided that all by yourself, did you? Well, what about the hard-earned money I spent on your education?

JOHANNA

I'll pay you back.

DAD

How? By singing in the streets?

JOHANNA

In clubs.

DAD

In clubs. And what if you two aren't stars overnight? Have you considered that possibility?

JOHANNA

We'll get waitress jobs or something.

DAD

You've got it all figured out, don't you? You think it's all a great adventure. Well, you'll learn soon enough. It's life or death out there, dog eat dog. Don't think you're going to send for money when you're broke, either.

JOHANNA

Don't worry.

DAD

You'll be back. You won't last a month.

JOHANNA

Then you have nothing to worry about, do you?

DAD

It's that Bailey girl, isn't it? She's filled you head with all kinds of--

JOHANNA

That's right, Dad. You're right. It was all Darcy's idea. Being your daughter I couldn't possibly come up with ideas of my own.

DAD

You're getting a smart mouth on you. You didn't used to be like this. You sure didn't get it from me or your mother. That girl's got some kind of hold over you that's not natural.

JOHANNA

And what's that supposed to mean?

DAD

She's got you traipsing off to starve in the gutter in New York when you should be in school where you can find a future husband or study for a decent job where you can work until you get married.

JOHANNA

What if I happen to find a husband in New York?

DAD

Is that it? You looking to find yourself some rich New York jew? We won't have that in this family!

JOHANNA

Where do you stop, Dad? I swear, you hate everyone who's not made in your image. You hate jews and negroes and Mexicans. you hate Darcy's family because they're catholic. You've got the whole world pigeon-holed. You say things like "Nigras are the children of Cain," "Wetbacks are greasy," and "Jews don't go fishing..."

DAD
(matter-of-factly)

Well, they don't.

JOHANNA

You've got so much garbage in your head it's no wonder you can't keep an open mind.

DAD

Now you watch your sharp tongue!

MOTHER's spotlight comes up.

MOTHER

Why can't y'all call a truce just this once? You hardly see each other all year and when you do, you're at each other's throats.

JOHANNA

Who's fault is it we don't see each other? He's never here when I come home from San Marcos.

DAD

Do you know where she's running off to?

MOTHER

To New York. I know.

DAD

You knew and you kept it from me?

MOTHER

She wanted to tell you herself.

DAD

Nineteen years old and she's running away from home. Aren't you at all worried about her?

MOTHER

It's just a phase. She has to see the world before she gets married and settles down. I was two years younger than she is now when I went to New York with friends. I survived it.

DAD

There were six of y'all and you went for the World's Fair, not to stay.

MOTHER

She's not going to stay long. She'll change her mind soon enough.

DAD
(turning to JOHANNA)

You never were happy being with your own kind, were you? Go on up there to New York. Marry a yankee jew. You'll like it up there. They got all the niggers and I-talians and jews and beatniks you want! Go on. Get out!

JOHANNA
(fastening her suitcase)

That's fine with me!

JOHANNA storms out of the spotlight and disappears into the darkness. Her spotlight fades out.

MOTHER

Johanna! Johanna!

The spotlights on MOTHER and DAD fade to black. The lights come up dimly on JOHANNA on the barstool. She sings "Dad" with a reprise of "Home".

"Dad"

JOHANNA
(singing)

Why can't I cry for him?
Why can't I say good-bye to him?
Why can't I show that I love him too?
Would it have cost so much
To give him a daughter's touch?
Is forgiving him so hard to do?
I was his "Pearl" to him,
His precious little girl to him.
Such a dad you never knew.

Sorry, Mom, but I just can't mourn him.
I don't know why. I don't know why.
I won't pretend sorrow while flowers adorn him.
I can't say good-bye. I can't say good-bye.
Home, home, home...
Daddy, Daddy, you were wrong.
Mother, I know I am wrong,
But I'm not going home!

The lights fade to black.

ACT II, scene i

The lights come up on SID standing behind the microphone on the platform stage. It is June 1961.

SID

I'm Sid Feldman, the owner of this establishment. I only ask you on thing: Have a little compassion; don't complain too much about the coffee here. You may be old and weak yourself someday. Barumbum! I gotta hire a drummer. Anyway, welcome to the Colloquy Coffee House. I know everybody was hoping to see Johanna and Darcy, but unfortunately they are away down south in Dixie on a freedom tour. We wish them well and hope they will be back safe and sound as soon as possible. However, we do have entertainment for you. Another talented young lady who you may have seen appearing with the Smother's Brothers, Miss Judy Collins, will be with you in a few minutes. Meanwhile, eat drink and run up a sizeable tab...I'm Sid Feldman and I thank you.

Lights on the platform fade to black as spotlights come up on JOHANNA and DARCY on the far side of the stage. We hear the murmurs of an enormous crowd in the background.

"Stand Up/Take Care"

YouTube Video CT-SU/TC      YouTube Video DAC-SU/TC_1      YouTube Video DAC-SU/TC_2
("Stand Up" and "Take Care" scenes)

JOHANNA and DARCY

Now's the time, stand up for your brother's freedom.
Now's the time to take your brother's hand.
Now's the time to tell mankind so all will understand
That justice is the law of the land.

Tell them we are done with segregation.
Tell them we are ready to be free.
Show them how we'll overcome all inequality
And show it for--

They are interrupted by a VOICE of a southern sheriff calling out through a bullhorn. The actor who plays SID supplies the VOICE.

VOICE

All right now!

JOHANNA and DARCY bravely continue singing.

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

And show it for the whole wide world to see.
Shout it loud from the highest roof tops--

VOICE

All right now. You all are goin' to have to disperse now or we'll have to bring out the dogs and the fire hoses! Come along peaceable now!

DARCY
(to the crowd)

Remember what Dr. King has taught us! Don't fight back. Just sit down and let the police carry you to jail. If you don't want to go to jail, please leave now. It's no disgrace. If you stay, you'll have lots of friends in jail with you. We'll fill it so full, they won't keep us long. Just be non-violent and we'll be alright!

VOICE

This is your last chance! We wouldn't want our fine colored folk to get hurt on account of these outside aggitators! They just Communists anyhow!

DARCY
(to the crowd)

Let's sing! Let's sing Johanna's song! (calls out lyrics) "Now's the time, stand up for your brother's freedom!"

JOHANNA and DARCY and CROWD
(singing)

"Now's the time, stand up for your brother's freedom!"

DARCY
(shouting)

"Now's the time to take your brother's hand!"

JOHANNA, DARCY and CROWD
(singing)

"Now's the time to take your brother's hand!"

The lights on the rally fade as the spotlight comes up on SID alome at the Colloquy's bar.

SID
(talking to himself)

Why did I let them go down there? Who knows what could happen?...How could I stop them? I'm not their father. I have such nightmares every night...They're fine. I have to tell myself they're fine. They're in a large group. There's strength in numbers. Anyway, all they're doing is singing. What's so dangerous about singing?

JOHANN, DARCY and CROWD
(singing)

Tell them we are done with segregation.
(sound of sirens)
Tell them we are ready to be free.
(sound of dogs barking)
Show them how we'll overcome all inequality--

VOICE

All right then, attack! (sounds of dogs, people screaming, etc.)

The rally lights fade to black. The spotlight comes up on SID.

SID

I'm getting to be such a...father. That's it. My Shirley and I, I'm sorry to say, have not been able to have children, but if we did...I know they'd be like those two: one an angel and the other...okay, a pain in the tuchas...I'm already like their father; they never listen to me. (sings)

SID
(singing)

Take care when you go out in the traffic.
Take care when you go out in the rain.
Take care when you go out in the riot...
It's worry that drive a parent insane.

Take care that you dress warm for the blizzard.
Take care that you dress bright for the night.
Take care that you don't dress on the subway...
Worry makes me cross the street against the light.

SID
(speaking)

"Dress on the subway?" I'm getting carried away as usual. (sings)

SID
(singing)

Take care of yourselves because I need you.
Take care of yourselves because I care.
Take care of yourselves because I love you both.
I'll never find better daughters anywhere!

"Stand Up/Take Care"

SID's spotlight stays on as JOHANNA's and DARCY's spotlight comes up full. Amid the sounds of screaming crowds, barking dogs and sirens they sing. Simultaneously, SID sings his song, and the two blend and harmonize.

JOHANNA and DARCY
(singing)

Now's the time, stand up for your brother's freedom.
Now's the time to take your brother's hand.
Now's the time to tell mankind so all will understand
That freedom is the law of the land!

SID
(singing simultaneously)

Take care of yourselves because I need you.
Take care of yourselves because I care.
Take care of yourselves because I love you both.
I'll never find better daughter's anywhere.
(SID by him self)
Whatever you do, promise me you will take care!

The lights fade to dark on JOHANNA and DARCY. The lights on SID dim as he falls asleep. DARCY enters the Colloquy followed by JOHANNA. They are bandaged and bruised.

DARCY
(speaking)

Sid, wake up. Sid.

SID
(waking)

What?

JOHANNA

We're back.

SID

You're back.

DARCY

We flew back this morning. We called you, but Shirley said you didn't come home last night.

SID

Last night? What time is it?

JOHANNA

It's ten in the morning.

SID

I guess I fell asleep closing up. (noticing their bandages) What happened?

JOHANNA

The Mississippi state troopers didn't like our show.

DARCY

Everybody's a critic.

SID

You can joke? (to JOHANNA) Why are you hugging yourself?

JOHANNA

I fractured a couple of ribs on a rifle butt. Pretty clumsy, huh?

DARCY

Don't worry, Sid. The doctor at the hospital said JOHANNA can still sing. Just quiet ballads for a while.

SID

Sure, ballads.

JOHANNA

You were worried, weren't you?

SID

Worried? Why should I be worried? My best act goes off to play "catch me" with southern fascists. What's to be worried about?

DARCY

You old curmudgeon, I think you really care.

SID

Of course I care. I never said I didn't care.

DARCY

Well, we're back.

SID

Terrific. Do me a favor and take it easy for a few days. And please, no more riots for a while. All right?

SID
(singing)

Take care of yourselves because I need you.
Take care of yourselves because I care.
Take care of yourselves because I love you both.
I'll never find better daughter's anywhere.
Whatever you do, promise me you will take care!

JOHANNA

We will.

SID

Good. Now go away. I have to open this place in a couple of hours...Maybe a little nap first. Tell Shirley I'm all right. So go!

Lights fade to black.

ACT II, scene ii.

The Colloquy Coffee House. In the dark there is enough of a set and costume change to show the passage of time. By the calendar it is 1963. The month is November. We hear JOHANNA and DARCY packing away their guitars as the lights come up slowly.

JOHANNA

What do you mean it's you? That's ridiculous.

DARCY

Your solo album did much better

JOHANNA

Just slightly better. How do you know I didn't blow it for both of us? I'm the common denominator here.

DARCY

Maybe our chemistry isn't there anymore.

JOHANNA

It's just the record business. We're a bigger hit than ever here at the Colloquy. The cabaret crowd loves us.

DARCY

They love you. You're the one people come to see here every night.

JOHANNA

You don't know that. We're a team. They come to see us both.

DARCY

Johanna, it's your music that brings them in. I'm just your harmony.

JOHANNA

Then let me sing harmony. I don't care. And they like your songs too. You wrote "Sword of Damocles".

DARCY
(turning away)

Okay, so maybe I need to try it on my own. It's been on my mind ever since you got that first record contract that maybe I should do a single act.

JOHANNA

But what would I do without you?

DARCY
(turning back)

How should I know? Get married, have a life! You'll survive; we'll both survive. We've had offers to work individually. Let's take advantage of them.

JOHANNA

Is that the way you want it?

DARCY

Yes. I think it's for the best. We're together all the time. We work together, we share an apartment, we go to rallies together. We're in our mid- twenties now. I think we should have lives of our own.

JOHANNA

What brought this on all of a sudden?

DARCY

It hasn't been all of a sudden.

JOHANNA

Is there anything I can say to change your mind?

DARCY

Johanna, look at my eyes.

JOHANNA
(looking in DARCY's eyes)

I guess not.

DARCY
I'll tell Sid.

SID
(entering from upstage)

You'll tell Sid what? Why do I get the feeling it's bad news? Is it because every time you're the one who tells me it's bad news?

DARCY

Johanna and I are splitting up.

SID
(mocking a heart attack)

What? (staggers to a cabaret table, sits in a chair) Don't joke with me like that. A forty-five year old heart can't take such a shock.

DARCY

No joke, Sid...Look, you can still have us both if you want. We're just going to do two singles.

SID

What about our contract we just renewed a few weeks ago?

DARCY

I checked it. There's nothing that says we can't split up.

SID

Of course you checked it. Always the legal eagle.

JOHANNA

Darcy wants to try new things.

SID

And you, Johanna, you let her talk you into this?

DARCY

Johanna will be able to try new things too. She's been wanting to do some torch songs. Edit Piaf stuff...

JOHANNA

That's right. And Darcy would be free to do songs that are more political.

SID

More political? (turning to DARCY) How could you possibly be more-

DARCY

What do you say, Sid? We can start after Thanksgiving.

SID

There's nothing I can do about it?

DARCY

Absolutely nothing.

SID

Then it's done.

DARCY

It's done. Well, I'm off to see friends.

JOHANNA

Friends? At this hour? Who?

DARCY

Sid, you will walk Johanna home, won't you?

SID
(a bit confused)

Sure, but I'll be another hour closing up.

JOHANNA

Darcy, how will you get home?

DARCY

Didn't I tell you? I'm spending the night with a friend. I told you about her, Johanna. She's from Dallas. She invited me to spend Thanksgiving at her folks house.

Lights fade to black as a spotlight comes up on SID. The music plays under his monologue and he sings the alternating stanza.

"Trio"

SID

What's happening here? You get used to things being a certain way. You get comfortable with the arrangement. And somebody has to change it...There's something else. I'm not just afraid of losing business because my best act is splitting in two. It came over me when I knew I would be alone with Johanna tonight...And what about all those nights to come when she's the only act?...My God, I love her. My God, I'm a married man in love with a younger woman! Me, Sidney Feldman. This sort of thing only happens in the movies...(sings)

SID
(singing)

My God, I love her.
How odd, I love her.
Strange to discover
How I've loved her all along
This is not the sort of thing
I had intended.
It should be ended
Before it grows too strong.
But I love her.
My God, I love her.
To love her secretly
Can't be so wrong.

SID's light fades to black and a spotlight comes up over DARCY. The music continues under her monologue and she sings the next stanza.

DARCY
(speaking)

This is going to work out. Johanna will be free to be the star she should be. Sid will do well by her. And I'll be free to go my own way. Only...Johanna's my only true love...It's best for her career that I keep my distance. I will because I love her. (sings)

DARCY
(singing)

And now I love her.
Oh how I love her.
The more I think of her
Just makes me love her more.
When I'm with her it's so hard
To be pretending
A happy ending
Could never be in store.
But I love her.
Oh how I love her.
I'll love her as a friend
Just as before.

DARCY's light fades to black and a spotlight comes up over JOHANNA. The music continues under her monologue and she sings the final stanza and tag lines.

JOHANNA
(speaking)

I don't understand what's gotten into Darcy lately. Who are these friends? This friend from Dallas? It's always been just the two of us. What's she up to? I know her. She acts the most selfish when she's doing something totally unselfish...She wants to go it alone...so that means she thinks I need to be on my own. For what? She thinks she's cramping my style. "Get married," she said. I'm not looking to get married. I'm not even dating. I don't have time for love right now. Besides, on stage: that's where I love, that's where I get love. (sings)

JOHANNA
(singing)

So I love no one.
Strange to love no one.
Strange to find no fun
In a world which turns on love.
This is not the way
I would have planned my life,
But to be a wife
Is not what I dream of.
And I love no one.
I can love no one
But I can love everyone,
Everyone, everyone.
Then everyone's my love...

As the music ends, the lights come up full. JOHANNA speaks to DARCY.

JOHANNA
(speaking)

You're going to Dallas for Thanksgiving?

DARCY

That's right. We're leaving a week early. Friday we see the parade. Miriam's parents are so excited about getting a peak at President Kennedy...Hey, Johanna, it's going to work out. You'll see. (picks up her guitar case) Good night! (exits through the door)

JOHANNA
(bewildered)

Good night, Darcy...Miriam?

The lights fade to black.

ACT II, scene iii.

Carnegie Hall. A spotlight comes up to reveal JOHANNA performing alone at one end of the stage, without a guitar. Her hair is up and she wears a long, spangled dress. The year is 1968.

JOHANNA
(speaking)

It's so exciting to be here in Carnegie Hall. Thank you for buying my records and making it possible for me to be here tonight. I love you all...If you're wondering about all the equipment around the stage, we're cutting a live album tonight, so all of us will make this one together...When I was a little girl I wanted to be a singer. Not just any singer, a torch singer. I wanted to be a french chanteuse. I wanted to be Edith Piaf, "The Little Sparrow". I didn't want to be like Edith Piaf, I wanted to be Edith Piaf..Oh how I loved those sad songs. She's gone now. This song is in my style, not hers, but it's dedicated to "The Little Sparrow". (sings)

"Little Sparrow"

YouTube Video CT-LS      YouTube Video DAC-LS
("Little Sparrow")

JOHANNA
(singing)

Who knows, Little Sparrow,
Why your song is sad? Who knows?
Who sees, Little Sparrow
The lonely times you had?
Wind blows me down the lane.
I sing your sad refrain.
Your song will ease the pain awhile...

Who knows, Little Sparrow
Why your song is sad? I know.
Who knows, Little Sparrow,
The lonely times you had?
I know...Je sais...I know...

The crowd cheering in the street,
You had them at your feet.
Somehow your life was incomplete
And now...you're gone...

Instrumental Passage

JOHANNA
(singing)

Who knows, Little Sparrow
Why your song is sad? I know.
Who knows, Little Sparrow,
The lonely times you had?
I know...Je sais...I know...Je sais.

While JOHANNA is in Carnegie Hall, SID and DARCY are continuing at the Colloquy. JOHANNA's lights fade out as the coffee house lights come up on SID at the microphone.

SID

And now the Colloquy Coffee House proudly presents your friend and mine, the talented, the dedicated, the very political---That's what you like, right?---Darcy Bailey!

YouTube Video SS-W?      YouTube Video DAC-W?
("Why Are We There?")

"Why Are We There?"

DARCY
(singing)

A young man in the jungle
Cleaning his rifle
Hears a fearsome tiger in the night.
But he doesn't heed it.
For fear he doesn't need it.
His fellow man's the object of his fright.
Why is he there? Please tell me why he's there.

A young man, even younger,
A child on the verge of hunger
Squats and waits for hours in his place.
He dares not move a muscle
When the leaves begin to rustle.
A child's lifetime of war shows on his face.
Why is he there? Please tell me why he's there.

Our young men face each other
And each must kill his brother
For someone far away has so decreed.
The jungle floor is muddy
And soon it will turn bloody
Just to satisfy a nation's greed.
Why are they there? Please tell me why they're there.

In the mud one boy is dying.
Soon his mother will be crying
When some official stranger bares the news.
But is he theirs or ours?
Whose mother lays the flowers?
In the sight of God does it really matter whose?
Why are we there? Please tell me why we're there.
Why are we there? Please tell me why we're there.

The Colloquy lights fade to black as the Carnegie Hall lights come up. JOHANNA introduces her next song, "Take your troubles to Broadway", tongue-in-cheek.

"Take Your Troubles To Broadway"

YouTube Video SS-BW
("Take Your Troubles to Broadway")

JOHANNA

Here's another sad one. (speaking the introductory verse):

When the market crashed and all seemed despair
My brave Dadda' didn't pull his hair.
Depression's not so bad, if you're still a millionaire.
And he told me what to do if I should ever have a care...(sings)

He said take your troubles to Broadway
And leave them in the second row.
Take your troubles to Broadway.
It's the surest quick release I know.
Now, you can sit down front row center
If there you want to sit.
Just don't drop your beaded handbag
In the orchestra pit.

Take your troubles to Broadway
And leave them in the second row.
Take your troubles to Broadway
And lose them in a Ziegfeld show.
But there's a spot a socialite
Should never be seen.
One wouldn't be caught dead
In the mezzanine.

Just take your troubles to Broadway
And leave them in the second row.
Take your troubles to Broadway.
You know my Dada told me so.
He said, "If you must go slumming
In the balcony,
Please don't bring your riff-raff friends
Back to the house for tea."

But you can take you troubles to Broadway
And leave them in the second row.
Yes take your troubles to old Broadway
And leave them in the second...
The "Great White Way" has beckoned.
And leave them in the second row!

During the applause which follows she speaks

JOHANNA

Thank you!

JOHANNA's spotlight fades to black with her applause and immediately the lights come up on the Colloquy Coffee House set. DARCY has finished her last set. SID is closing up.

DARCY

She's selling out I tell you.

SID

Aw, you're making a big deal over nothing. Johanna hasn't changed.

DARCY

She's sold out.

SID

What are you talking about?

DARCY

You heard what she was singing.

SID

Sounded the same to me.

DARCY

Some of it was the same. Then halfway through she changed.

SID

So what's a little change. Some variety is healthy.

DARCY sings "Sold Out".

YouTube Video SS-SO  ("Sold Out")

"Sold Out"

DARCY
(singing)

I watched her last night in Carnegie Hall
And I couldn't believe the scene.
She was singing and dancing to Broadway songs.
Can you tell me "What does that mean?'

SID starts to answer, but DARCY cuts him off.

DARCY
(speaking)

I'll tell you what it means. (sings)

DARCY
(singing)

She's turning her back on all we've believed
And on all we've been fighting for.
Things such as world peace and civil rights
Mean nothing to her anymore.

So at last she gives in to the popular scene
To be a big star; I have no doubt.
But when she makes millions will she recall
The ideals that she sold out?

Sold out, sold out.
There's no politics today,
But we've got "June" and "spoon" and "silvery moon",
Tin Pan Al1ey and old Broadway

Sold out, sold out.
Truth seekers, be on your way.
If you want social conscience,
Then you're out of luck.
'Cause there's no politics today.

SID
(breaking in)

I too saw her there in Carnegie Hall
And by me she was simply great.
So she's dancing and singing some popular tunes:
A little "Show Boat" and "Kiss Me, Kate".

So what's so terrible about having some fun
And to prosper from what you do?
She should only sing sad songs in smokey clubs?
She should check her repertoire with you?

DARCY
(breaking in)

Sold out, sold out.
There's no politics today,
But we've got "June" and "spoon"
And "silvery moon,"
Tin Pan Alley and old Broadway.

Sold out, sold out.
Truthseekers, be on your way!
If you want social conscience,
Then you're out of luck
'Cause there's no politics today

SID
(speaking)

It's all in your head, Darcy.

DARCY
(speaking)

Well, if she wants to be a pop singer, that leaves the protest field open for me.

SID

And I'm sure you're welcome to it.

DARCY

I'll show Johanna the meaning of integrity, of commitment.. And I'll be popular too. I'll be singing in Carnegie and selling out the hall, not my convictions. (sings)

DARCY
(singing)

Sold out, sold out.
Truthseekers, I'll show the way.
If you want social conscience,
Then come unto me
'Cause Darcy is here to stay!

ACT II, scene iv.

Lights black out just long enough for minor set adjustments and a slight costume andmake-up change for SID. DARCY exits in the darkness. As the lights come up full we see SID, looking a bit older, doing paperwork at the bar. The year is 1972.

SID
(calling out to someone offstage)

So you're going over there? Just like that? What about your career? You're a big star. So what do you have to prove?.. Are you listening? And what will I do without you? Since my Shirley passed away you're practically all I've got.

DARCY
(entering, a make-up bag in hand)

You've got Johanna.

SID

What Johanna? Who sees her anymore? You've scared her away, picking at her the way you do. And she's always touring the country, the world.

DARCY

The world? This European tour is her first time overseas.

SID

So already they've asked her back. And, of all places, to Japan, yet, she's going next.

DARCY

How can you talk like that?

SID

Talk like what?

DARCY

How do you twist your sentences in knots like that?

SID

It comes from generations of suffering, believe me.

DARCY
(looking through the bag)

I think that's everything.

SID

You're going to sing over there?

DARCY

That's part of the deal.

SID

In Vietnamese?

DARCY

In English...and French. Many of the people know French. Besides, music is the universal language.

SID

And bombs. What language will you sing to the bombs in?

DARCY

Don't worry. Danger is my middle name.

SID

Really? I thought it was "May", Darcy May, like in "Little Abner".

DARCY

I survived Mississippi and those protests at the U.N.

SID

So you're going halfway around and world so your own people can drop bombs on you? And Miriam, you would subject her to this also?

DARCY

It's her choice.

SID

You're all crazy. You two and Joan Baez. This is her idea, right?

DARCY

Jane Fonda, actually.

SID

Who, "Barbarella?" I'm your agent. If you like the far east I'll book you into Japan like I did with Johanna...(takes DARCY's bag away) I can't let you go.

DARCY
(stares him in the eye)

Think you can stop me?

SID

Can I stop you when you've made up your mind? Can I stop a freight train? (gives her the bag) I think I'm going to miss you. (sniffles)

DARCY
(reassuringly)

I'm coming back.

SID

Of course. (takes out his handkerchief, blows his nose.)

DARCY

Don't get all misty now. I...

SID

It's just a cold. Can't I have a cold?

DARCY
(tenderly)

Sure.

SID

You know, I had a crazy thought the other night. If you weren't...well, like you are.

DARCY
(like a child playing a monster)

You mean...a lesbian?.

SID

Yeah, like that. I've actually grown quite fond of you and...

DARCY

Oh no...Sid, your wife died just a few months ago. You're just lonely.

SID
(approaching her)

I mean it. If you weren't that way, I could go for you.

DARCY
(backing away)

No, Sid. You're confusing me with Johanna.

SID

Johanna? No.

DARCY

I know, Sid. I've seen how you look at her, how you looked at her even when your wife was alive.

SID

No, I swear...

DARCY

It's okay, Sid. it's human to look. I know you were faithful to Shirley.

SID

You're right. I do have love for Johanna. . but you're pretty cute yourself. I know I shouldn't say it. You're a women's libber and a les...You know...It showed, did it? How I felt about Johanna.

DARCY

It takes one to know one.

SID

You mean you and Johanna? Ahhh. I always wondered.

DARCY

No, it was just me. I don't think she ever knew how I felt and I suspect she likes men...

SID

You know, sometimes I think the world turns on unrequited love.

DARCY

You may be right. (sings reprise of "Trio")

"Trio"
(reprise)

DARCY
(singing)

You know I love her.
It's so; I love her.
Just to think of her
Just makes me love her more.
But in this world of ours
There is no use pretending
A happy ending
Could ever be in store.
But I love her.
I'll always love her,
But to love her secretly...(speaking)
Is such a bore!

SID
(singing)

And I too love her.
Like you I love her.
We will recover
Somehow as the years go by.
Oh we may pine for her now
When she's not near to us
She will be dear to us
Until we each will die.
But we'll recover
You will discover.
We'll get over her.

DARCY
(singing)

Get over her.

SID
(singing)

Get over her.

DARCY
(singing)

Get over her...

DARCY and SID
(singing)

We'll try...

DARCY
(speaking)

Sid, I may be poison for her career, but you wouldn't be...Marry her.

SID

No...I'm too much older.

DARCY

What's twenty years?

SID

True, what's twenty years?...Nah. She wants a Bob Dylan, a Leonard Cohen--someone young and poetic and idealistic...

DARCY

Did you ever ask her?

SID

Never...

DARCY

Then give it a shot.

SID

You really think I have a chance?

DARCY

Who has a better chance?

SID
(mostly to himself)

What's the worst that could happen? She'd say "no", laugh at me, never speak to me again...say "yes"... I'll do it! Next week when she comes home from Europe.

DARCY

You won't chicken out.

There is a knock at the back door.

SID

Who's that at this hour? I won't chicken out. (exits upstage)

DARCY
(to herself)

Ask her, Sid. If she turns you down, maybe she could love me. We could be discreet, like me and Miriam.. Oh God, Miriam. I--

JOHANNA enters. There is a long silence while DARCY and JOHANNA look at each other. SID re-enters..

JOHANNA

It's been a long time.

DARCY

Yeah.

SID

You're back early.

JOHANNA

I decided not to extend the tour after all.

SID

You decided?

DARCY

You look...well.

JOHANNA

You look well too.

SID

You should have called me. I'm your agent.

JOHANNA

I know, but...

DARCY

The Europeans really like you. Don't they?

JOHANNA
(nodding)

Especially the french. Why, I don't know.

DARCY

You and Jerry Lewis.

SID

I'm glad to see you back, but as your agent and manager...

JOHANNA

Actually, Sid, you only have a formal contract as my agent.

DARCY

So it's Japan next.

JOHANNA

And Hong Kong, The Philippines, Australia...

SID

I'm not complaining. I'm not trying to charge...

JOHANNA

I know, Sid. I need to talk to you about...

DARCY

I'm headed for Asia myself.

JOHANNA

Japan? We could...

DARCY

Not Japan, North Viet Nam.

JOHANNA

Can you do that?

SID

So are you saying you want another agent?

DARCY

I'm doing it.

JOHANNA

No I don't want another agent. But I do have a new manager.

SID

And again you don't tell me. I thought we...

JOHANNA

His name is Jean-Claude. He's my husband.

DARCY

Husband?

SID

Husband?

JOHANNA

We met in Paris. (shows her wedding ring finger) He's not just a manager; he's about to direct his first movie...and I'm going to sing the title song. Isn't it great?!

SID

Yes, great. (managing a smile) I'm happy for you.

DARCY
(with even less enthusiasm)

Just great.

SID

I suppose he'll have you acting next.

JOHANNA

Stranger things have happened.

DARCY

Johanna Clarke, the movie star.

JOHANNA
(beaming)

Why not?

DARCY

Sure, why not: You've conquered Broadway, Paris, and soon you will no doubt throw Tokyo into ecstacy. So why not Hollywood?

JOHANNA

What's the matter?

DARCY

Is money and fame all you care about?

JOHANNA
(trying to be calm)

Are you going to tell me again how I should have been with you at Woodstock? (pauses, then loses her temper) What is it? Do I have to die in a bombing raid in Hanoi just to prove I'm committed to peace? Do I have to always go to the "correct" hot spots, sing the "correct" songs, make the "correct" sacrifices to keep your friendship? Is that what you want to tell me? Well, forget it, Darcy. I have my own life with my own priorities. I don't have to prove myself to anyone, least of all to you.

DARCY

That's right. You don't have to prove a thing. You've got yours. Let the rest of the world go to Hell!

SID

Girls. Girls. I have to close up here. It's getting late.

JOHANNA

I was just leaving. I have a taxi waiting.

DARCY

I'm shocked. Hasn't Jean-Claude bought you that stretch limousine you've always wanted?

SID

I'll see you to the taxi.

SID and JOHANNA exit. All lights fade to black except for a spotlight over DARCY.

DARCY

Ms. Johanna Clarke, international star of stage, screen and probably television!...Damn! Movies...She has no shame. And so the little girl from Houston becomes a moviestar and lives happily ever after with her devoted husband, Jean-Claude...Just like in the movies. But where's the movie about me? There isn't any. (sings)

"In the Movies"

YouTube Video DAC-M
("In the Movies")

DARCY
(singing)

In the movies love is bedrock,
Whether in or out of wedlock.
Watch the lovers kissing;
Hear the music swirl,
But before the picture's closing
I know that I'll be dozing
Because the girl never gets the girl.

In the surf couples are strolling
While the soundtrack's rock and rolling,
And I don't really care
To see the plot unfurl.
When you see only one-of-eaches
Making whoopy on the beaches
You know the girl never gets the girl.

I have always so resented
Being never represented.
I should take aim
And give my popcorn box a hurl.
Many times I have regretted
Not getting the screen all Raisonnetted!
Because the girl never gets the girl!

ACT II, scene v.

DARCY's spotlight fades to black and elsewhere on stage a spotlight comes up on JOHANNA who is dressed in the same sequined gown she wore in the prologue. Over a few bars of American disco music we hear a smattering of French-accented voices in hushed conversation. There may be an occasional tinkling of glass. The cabaret audience is snail and polite, not overly demonstrative. As we will see later, the year is l977.

VOICE OFFSTAGE

Madame et Monsieur, Johanna Clarke!

JOHANNA

Merci beaucoup! Thank you! This is the English translation of my hit "Le Tour Eiffel", "The Eiffel Tower" (sings)

YouTube Video SS-TE      YouTube Video CT-TE
("La Tour Eiffel")

"La Tour Eiffel"
("The Eiffel Tower")

JOHANNA
(singing)

Our love was too brief,
But I can recall
The touch of your hand,
The light in your eyes
And the smile on your lips
Which could never disguise
Your nonchalant air,
Your flirtation with your own demise...

Now I see the silhouette
Of that wretched edifice,
That tower so aloof, so tall,
Like a woman who came in between us,
Like a lover who made you fall...!

(Chorus of "la la's")

With a daredevil wink
You'd scale Notre Dame
Or the Arc du Triomphe so well
But you dropped when you tripped on a pigeon
From the top of La Tour Eiffel...!

(Chorus of "la la's")

Even though you are gone,
I can still see you there
As I remember you on that day:
A young man in all of his glory
Bounce clear to the Champs-Elysees.

(Chorus of "la la's")

Chorus of "la la's" ends strongly and dramatically. The spotlight over JOHANNA fades with the sound of polite applause as lights come up on a Colloquy Coffee House which is almost bare. SID and DARCY are packing away things from the bar into pasteboard boxes, tearing fliers from the wall and throwing them away in a trash can, and finally, SID takes down the calendar which reads "1977".

SID

I don't want to leave a scrap for them.

DARCY

Are you having second thoughts?

SID

No, it's the best thing to do, selling this joint. It's the only thing to do. Who can afford it anymore?

DARCY

You got a good price, didn't you?

SID

Sure, I got a good price, but maybe I could have held Out for more...Nah. If only I knew what they had planned for it...What the Hell. Let them make a disco out of it. I should just count my money and not look back.

DARCY

We had some good times here.

SID

I suppose.

DARCY

You know what? I've spent almost half my life here.

SID

Not so much in recent years.

DARCY

But I came back two or three times a year to try out new songs.

SID

True. You'll have to audition in the shower now, if you excuse the expression. . Folk music is dead; disco lives. Who can figure it?

DARCY

So what are your plans?

SID

Semi-retirement appeals to me. I can do well enough on ten percent of you. My home is office enough.

DARCY

Have you heard from Johanna lately?

SID

The "Toast of Paree"? No. She's booked in another left bank cabaret. They get sleazier with every booking--or I imagine they do. Each one pays less than the one before.

DARCY

Why doesn't she come home?

SID

Too much pride, if you ask me. Before she divorced Jean-Claude she used to appear in films and headline the Lido, but now.

DARCY

She hasn't been away long; she could pick up where she left off.

SID

Maybe, but you know how the business has changed: most of the folk clubs are gone. Folkies can't make a living anymore.

DARCY

I'm doing okay.

SID

Okay? You're a phenomenon. You have a cult following. Who can explain you?--no offence. But these days if a singer doesn't do rock or disco, there's no place for them anymore. Remember, I tried to represent other singers. You're the only survivor, kid. And then there's Johanna's drinking...

DARCY

I know. And the pills and the cocaine--Damn that Jean-Claude! He ruined her and when she didn't suit him anymore, he threw her away.

SID

Well, technically, she divorced him.

DARCY

Because he left her for his mistress.

SID

So he married his mistress and probably has a new mistress.

DARCY

Who would have ever believed when we started out that I would be the one to settle down with one person all these years and Johanna would be the one to live out the sad songs she sings.

SID

Speaking of your one person, Miriam is probably waiting up for you. Gohome. 1'll finish up here.

DARCY

For the last time. Good-bye, Colloquy! Good-bye old home!

SID

Would you get out of here? You're going to get me all sentimental and that's not a pretty sight, believe me. So go!

DARCY exits. SID looks around a bit and picks up the boxes.

SID
(looking about, to the coffee house)

Good-bye, old friend.

SID flips the light switch and; as the lights go out on the Colloquy set, JOHANNA's spotlight comes up again. She sings "Chanteuse".

YouTube Video CT-C
("Chanteuse")

"Chanteuse"

JOHANNA
(singing)

The song of the sparrow
Cried to me through the night.
One day I knew I'd follow.
Was I right? Did I do right?

Shall I tell of tragic love,
Unrequited of torn asunder?
Shall I coo it like a dove
Or let it crack like thunder?

Would you hear of carousels
And all the joy there is
Or come with me, now as I dwell
On the sad life, on the real life,
As I sing about.
The poor people of Paris?

I am your chanteuse,
Yours to use within your heart,
But I've never been in love
And I don't know how to start.

Shall I sing of secret hopes
Lovers everywhere can share,
Of perfumed letters sealed in envelopes
Telling someone how they care?

Or do you like your anthems bold,
Proclaiming passions to the stars
Or weeping sighs of love grown cold,
The sharing gone, the battle done,
In the aftermath...
With nothing left but the scars?

I am your chanteuse
And I lose myself in song,
But beyond this cabaret,
Tell me where do I belong?

I just exist in cabarets;
I only live in my songs!

ACT II, scene vi.

JOHANNA'S spotlight fades to black as a spotlight comes up on DARCY' on another part of the stage. She is older and there is some grey in her hair.

DARCY

Before I go on, I just want to say that Texas was not originally part of the tour because, being a native Texan I'm proud to say, this enlightened state has already ratified the Equal Rights Amendment. (loud cheers from a crowd) However, after rallies in those less enlightened regions which have not yet done that intelligent thing, I am here to say "Thank you, Texas!" (more cheers) You know, when my former partner, Johanna Clarke, and I were students here, this was known as Southwest Texas State Teachers College, and we both intended to become music teachers. Well, things turned out differently, and time and events took us far away, but it's great tobe back...And it's wonderful to see there is such a following for women's music--and the odd folk song of yesteryear--here at Southwest Texas State University...Now, as a surprise, I'd like to introduce a great singer and my best friend for twenty-five years. (looking offstage) Twenty-five years? Wow...Please welcome Ms. Johanna Clarke!

There is polite applause as JOHANNA enters. She is surprisingly ill-at-ease before the crowd. JOHANNA is greying and seems older and weaker than she should be. She is deeply touched by the enthusiasm of the audience.

JOHANNA

Thank you very much! Thank you! Do you remember me? (crowd cheers) that's very gratifying. Well, if you do remember me, then you may be wondering whatever became of me...I had some problems with alcohol and other substances...and with my self-esteem, problems which I have relatively under control thanks largely to a certain rehab clinic...In more than one sense, I'm making a comeback. I will be touring with Darcy for the first half of 1982, as her opening act...

Here's a song we sang together when we first started out.

"Flowers of Springtime"

YouTube Video CT-TitT/F
("Flowers of Springtime" and "This is the Time" scene)

JOHANNA and DARCY

Now wither the flowers of springtime
That once had glistened with dew.
Now come autumn and winter.
Without you oh what will I do? Without you oh what will I do?

Now wither the flowers of springtime
That once had glistened with dew.
Now come autumn and winter.
Without you oh what will I do? Without you oh what will I do?

Thank you!...At this time I would like to introduce a man who has been like a father to me for the past twenty years or so, and he is with us on this tour to see this part of country for the first time. I'd like him to come out here and sing this final song with us. He's a comic, a feminist--in spite of himself--and the best agent we ever had, Mr. Sidney Feldman! Sid!

There is more polite applause as SID enters reluctantly, but finally takes his place between JOHANNA and DARCY at the microphone.

SID
(to audience)

How are you? Hey, it's getting kind of serious around here. It must be the heat. I've never felt such heat, in October yet, as you have here Texas. It's hot enough to steam clams. By the way, do you know how to steam a clam? (pause) Make fun of his religion.

DARCY

Sing, Sid.

"This Is The Time"

JOHANNA, DARCY and SID
(singing)

This is the time of beginning and of ending,
The time for healing and for mending
The time to bid old times "adieu",
The time to greet the world anew,
The time for breathing and for living,
The time of loving and forgiving.
This is the time to do what we must do
To meet the test of time
For all the rest of time.
Make this the best of time
For me and you.

Lights blackout. There is an instrumental repetition of "This Is The Time" during the curtain call.

****THE END****