The Town Hall
New York City, NY«archive page
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions ….Guy Noir, Private Eye.
(THEME UP AND OUT)
GK: It was December and the weather was turning cold in Minnesota. You saw people with hot bricks in their pockets (GINGERLY HOLDING HOT OBJECTS) and people standing on manholes for the warmth of the steam (SFX) and people snuggling with dogs (PANTING)----- You saw people who didn’t even like each other hooking up just to stay warm. (SS: Whaddaya say?)
TR: (SS: Why not?) I was looking for some excuse to get out of town and it came in a phone call from a 212 number ---- New York City. Wowser.
TR (NYER): Is this Guy Noir, the noted investigator?
GK: Yes, sir.
TR (NYER): My name is Bloomberg. Bob Bloomberg.
GK: I see. Any relation to----
TR (NYER): No. I never met the man. I’m a producer of charity galas, Mr. Noir ----I do the Ballet Gala, the L.A. Gay Gals Gala, the Save The Himalayan Azalea Gala, the Kamehameha Ukelele Gala----- you know what I’m talking about, right? The big dinner and silent auction with celebrity hosts in a hotel ballroom for people with too much money who like to dress up?
TR (NYER): Now I’m putting on the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Gala and I’ve got big problems. Would it be possible for you to come out here? Today?
GK: Let me think about it.
TR (NYER): I’m putting on the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Gala. Could you come right away?
GK: Let me get back to you on that.
TR (NYER): It’s called the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Gala.
GK: I’ll move some things around and be there.
TR (NYER): A.S.A.P. Please. (STING)
GK: Simple as that. You’re needed somewhere and you go. I found a reasonable last-minute one-way fare on Canadian Air. (JET INTERIOR)
SS: Okay. In the event of an emergency, we’ve got these Newfoundland retrievers here. (BIG WOOFS) They’ll lead you to the exits and you can use em for a flotation device. They’re good swimmers. And they’ll come around with snacks in a minute. (STING)
FN (ON P.A.): This is your pilot Buzz up here in the cockpit. Co-pilot Frank is a little hung-over today but no prob ---- got Jackie, one the flight attendants up here ---- she’s flown this plane plenty of times ---- haven’t you, sweetheart----- we’ll be flying into a major storm on the eastern seaboard and we’ll be bouncing around like a pair of jeans in a dryer, so I recommend that if you have bridgework or a partial plate, that you remove those now-- (BRIDGE)
GK: We landed at LaGuardia (PLANE BOUNCING) and it was rough but we landed within the runway (SFX) and an hour later I was in the office of Bob Bloomberg on lower Park Avenue.
TR (NYER): Good to see you, Mr. Noir. Your pants look sort of damp.
GK: It was an exciting landing. What can I do for you?
TR (NYER): I’m doing the Obsessive-Compulsive Gala this week and we’ve got problems.
GK: Yes, I’m aware of that.
TR (NYER): Good. The problem is celebrities. The big ones are very very difficult to nail down. Like Sandy Sinatra. Or Penny Pizzarelli.
GK: Sandy Sinatra?
TR (NYER): Right.
GK: She’s not related to----
TR (NYER): No. No relation. I’ve been trying for weeks to sign up Tammy Jo Obama and we got word today that she can’t come.
TR (NYER): No relation. So the Obsessive-Compulsive Gala is turning out to be a tough sell. Our theme this year is Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells. Big room with strobe lights and we’ve hired twenty-six drummers but nobody’s buying the ten-thousand dollar tables. So we need to find a draw. And if we can’t get celebrities, we’re going to get a naked woman.
GK: I see.
TR: Some things change in show business, Mr. Noir, and some things don’t change. This is one of the unchangeables.
TR: So I need you to get me Julie Giuliani.
GK: She isn’t related to ----
TR: Naw. No relation. Julie’s the star of the Broadway hit, “Skin”. Written by the same people who gave us “Hair”.
GK: I’ve heard of it.
TR: I want you to call her up and ask her to appear at the Gala. ---- I’ve got her number right here.
GK: Okay. And I had to come to New York to make a phone call?
TR: Listen---- you ever hear of caller ID? She sees a Minnesota area code on her phone ---- she’s gonna hang up. Wham. Boo hoo. No thank you. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I picked up a phone and called Julie Giuliani. (DIALS. PHONE RINGS FOUR TIMES)
SS (ON PHONE): Hello,? ---- Mitch? Is that you?
SS: Mitch? ----- Is something wrong?
GK: I’m thinking.
SS: This doesn’t sound like Mitch.
GK: It’s Guy, Julie. From Mitch’s office. He asked me to call.
SS: Mitch never mentioned you.
GK: Mitch is very possessive when it comes to you, Julie.
SS: Have I ever met you, Guy?
GK: At a gala. Years ago.
SS: Which gala?
GK: The one for the ---- you know ---- where they had all the ---- oh gosh, now I can’t think of the word ---- you know the one ---- there were those----
GK: Right. The Episcopalian gala. I was there. The guy with the brown hair. In the suit.
SS: Oh right.
GK: Anyway, I’m calling about a show that’s coming up----
SS: Wait a minute. Is this about “Othello”?
GK: Othello who? -----
SS: The play, “Othello”. Shakespeare.
GK: Actually, I was calling about a different show.
SS (ON PHONE): What about "Chicago"?
GK: What about it? It’s still there.
SS (ON PHONE): Mitch promised me “Chicago”----
GK: You want to fly or take the train?
SS (ON PHONE): Listen. I’ve been in “Skin” for three years and I’ve had it up to here. I’m an actor. I went to Yale Drama School. I did Strindberg and Ibsen, Shakespeare, Edward Albee ---- and here I am on Broadway walking around naked eight shows a week. What’s the deal?
GK: Well, you’re bringing a lot of happiness to a lot of people.
SS: I want some happiness for myself for once----
GK: Listen. Julie. I'll do everything I can to get you “Othello” or “Chicago” or anything you want, believe me, but you got to do us a little favor first.
SS (ON PHONE): I do nothing BUT favors for people. That’s my life, favor after favor.
GK: We need you to do a benefit for the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Foundation. It’s Monday night at the Marriott. It’ll take you twenty minutes. We’ll send a limo.
SS (ON PHONE): Do I have to take my clothes off?
GK: Julie, this is for OCD. It’s a great cause. You know any obsessive-compulsive people?
SS: I’m in theater. I know nothing BUT obsessive-compulsive people.
GK: Listen--- Julie ---- I wasn’t going to tell you this and I don’t want to make you nervous, but the producers of “Othello” are going to be at the OCD Gala.
GK: Right there. Table No. 1. Front and center.
SS: Then I should come in costume. I don’t want them to think I’m trashy.
GK: I think that nudity just shows you’re willing to take big chances. Very important in theater. Please, darling. It’d mean so much. Please.
SS (ON PHONE): Okay, but tell Mitch this is the last time. Okay? (BRIDGE)
GK: On the basis of a naked woman making an appearance, the Obsessive-Compulsive Gala quickly sold out. She arrived at the Marriott a few minutes early while the main speaker was still talking ----
FN (ON MIC): Testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3, testing 1-2-3) and I ushered Julie into a holding area. ---- This way, ma’am.
SS: Thanks. (FOOTSTEPS, HIGH HEELS)
GK: Big crowd here, thanks to you. The OCD people are very grateful. (DOOR CLOSE) She was beautiful, a tall woman so it took a long time to look at her and it was worth the effort. I looked at her twice, just to make sure I didn't miss anything.
SS: I’d feel a lot better if Mitch were here.
GK: So would I, but Mitch is recovering from his amnesia, Julie. He had a minor stroke and he walked into a wall and hit his head and now he can’t remember who he is or why, and so we had to put him into a convalescent home and he’s very well taken care of and he’s getting chicken bouillion and crepes and starting to remember some things...
SS: Well, I suppose I may as well get ready.
SS: Is this my dressing room?
GK: It looks that way.
SS: Could you unzip my dress, please?
GK: Okay. (ZIPPER) There.
SS: Could you hang the dress up on the back of that chair?
GK: Yes, of course. ---- Nice underwear.
SS: Thanks. Here----
GK: And very light----
SS: Could you hang the underwear on that chair there?
GK: Of course. ----- No garter belt, I see.
GK: You want to take off your shoes too?
SS: No. ---- You wouldn’t happen to have a sheet I could drape around me?
GK: I’ve got a clean handkerchief. Here.
SS: Thanks. (PAUSE) This room is nice.
SS: I like that painting on the wall.
GK: I do too.
SS: That’s a print, right?
GK: I think so, yes.
SS: It looks so familiar. I’m sure I’ve seen it.
GK: It’s a self-portrait by Vincent Van Gogh.
SS: Oh. Van Gogh. Was he obsessive-compulsive?
GK: I suppose.
SS: He looks obsessive-compulsive. Is there a dimmer on that light switch?
GK: Let me see. (FOOTSTEPS) Yes, there is.
SS: Would you mind?
GK: You want me to dim the lights?
SS: I just don’t want to be able to see Vincent Van Gogh staring at me.
GK: Okay. How’s that?
GK: And that?
GK: The lights are off. It’s all dark.
SS: Thank you. (HICCUP) Oh, darn. I was afraid of that. (HICCUP) Sometimes when I take my clothes off, I get a terrible case of (HICCUP). I may not be able to sing my song if I can’t (HICCUP) get rid of these.
GK: Well, I don’t know that the song is absolutely crucial. (HICCUP)
SS: Could you pour me a glass of water, Guy? (HICCUP)
GK: Of course. (POURING, OVERPOURING) Oh. Whoops. Spilled. Here's your water, Julie.
SS: Thanks. (SHE DRINKS. PAUSE. HICCUP)
GK: You know, sometimes it helps if you stand on your head.
SS: I can’t stand on my head but I can do a handstand. (HICCUP)
GK: That might help.
SS: Okay, here goes. (SHE DOES HANDSTAND, HOLDS IT. HICCUP)
GK: Just an idea. How about you drink from the back of the glass?
SS: Okay. (HICCUP) (DRINKS) (PAUSE)
GK: Hey, it worked. (HICCUP) Try holding your breath.
SS: Okay. (SHE INHALES) (PAUSE) It worked. They're gone.
GK: Yeah, that's what works for me. (HICCUP)
SS: What worked for me once was when my brother yelled at me and scared me.
GK: Scaring you, huh?
SS: Yeah. (PAUSE) (GK YELLS AT HER) (HICCUP)
SS: Sorry. Do something scarier.
GK: (SINGS) If ever I would leave you
It wouldn't be in summer.
SS: It worked they’re all gone-----
GK (CONTINUES): Seeing you in summer I never would go.
Your hair streaked with sun-light,
Your lips red as flame------
SS: They’re gone----
(KNOCKS ON DOOR, DOOR OPEN)
TR (CAPOTE): Knock, knock, knock. Hello. Just me. I’m your host, I’ll be introducing you. Which one of you is the celebrity?
GK: She is.
TR (CAPOTE): Oh. Didn’t recognize you with your clothes off. How d’ya do? I’m Jody Capote.
GK: This is Julie Giuliani.
TR (CAPOTE): Oh. Cool.
GK: So---- I know I should know this, but----- who are you, Mr. Capote?
TR (CAPOTE): I’m the host of the Jody Capote Show. It’s the biggest late-night podcast in the New York area. I’m surprised you’re unaware.
GK: No, I’ve heard of it----- Julie is the star of the Broadway revue, “Skin”.
TR: (CAPOTE): Yes. I see that. Lovely. Whatever you’re moisturizing with, you just keep right on with it.
GK: You----- forgive me for asking ---- but you’re not related to the late Truman Capote, are you?
TR (CAPOTE): Who was he?
GK: He was a writer. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” ---- “In Cold Blood”?
TR (CAPOTE): Never heard of him. Sorry. Well---- let’s go, sweetheart.
GK: And out she went and of course she was the hit of the evening.
There were bells on the hill
And there were police and sirens
But I never heard them at all
Till I was nude.
There were guys in the trees
People leaning out of windows
But I never saw them at all
Till I was nude.
GK: Backstage she was nervous and covered with goosebumps but she went out there and she was the star of the evening.
And there was sunshine,”
And there were big crowds of people
They liked me,
They followed me smiling right down to the lake.
There was love all around
There were people taking pictures
And I never got that at all
Till I was nude!
GK: And that very night the Metropolitan Opera signed her to a three-year contract.
TR (OPERA GUY): Ticket sales have been slow, Miss Giuliani. We got this Janacek opera, “House of the Dead” ----- lousy title, and the whole thing is set in a prison camp ---- very dark ----- no romance ----- I can see adding a fantasy dance sequence in Act II. Just what you’re doing now. Fantastic.
SS: I wouldn’t have to take off my clothes, would I?
TR (OPERA GUY): We’ll talk about it.
FN: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is trying to find the answers to life’s persistent questions…..Guy Noir, Private Eye.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).