Spring, April 7, 2012

The Town Hall

New York, NY


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Spring

Listen (MP3)

GK: It's spring in New York and people were eating lunch outdoors, on the sunny side of the street. I was having early lunch the other day on the west side of 9th Avenue, an Italian cafe called Tony Antonio's (TRAFFIC PASSING, CARS, BUS), and after winter's over and gone, nothing is so wonderful as to sit in the sun and have lunch ---- it just feels like a great privilege and a luxury even with all the traffic and the bike messengers going by (BIKE RACING PAST)

GK: And the old lady playing her concertina and leading her little monkey----- (SYNTH)

SS (SINGS):

Love, your magic spell is everywhere
Love, I know you well and found you fair
Then you left me and my life's at fate
Now I ask is it too late?

GK: Here. Thank you. Thanks. (SS OLD LADY MURMURS) -----

GK: And the dogwalker with sixteen dogs in a pack. (SFX, PASSING) I was having lunch with the new executive producer of the show, Sarah Bellum----

SS: Maybe we should sit inside.

GK: I like it outside.

SS: But we need to talk.

GK: We do?

SS: Yes, we need to talk.

GK: But we have talked. A lot.

SS: We need to talk more. Now. Let me get right to the point. The show is sinking like a rock. Our market share of men age 17 to 25 is down from 15 to 6.

GK: Six percent isn't bad.

SS: It's not six percent. It's six men.

GK: Six???

SS: Six individual men between 17 and 25 in the entire country.

TR: (ITALIAN) Buon giorno, can I bring you something from the bar.

SS: Nothing for me, thank you.

GK: What you got at the bar?

TR (ITALIAN): Anything you want. We can make a Flirtini, a Black Cossack, a Ricky, a Danny, Maltese Passport, a Mudslide, a Cosmopolitan-----

GK: I don't know what those are.

SS: Those are the popular drinks of today.

GK: How about a Long Island?

TR: A what?

SS: A Long Island was over a long time ago. Long time.

GK: Oh.

TR: How about I tell you about the specials, signore, signora.....

GK: Tell us about the specials.

TR: Okay. We got the fennel salad, we got the ravioli with meatballs, we got the seafood linguini.......we got the (ITALIAN NAME), we got the (ITALIAN NAME)......

(PD APPROACHES, STRUMMING GUITAR)

PD (SINGS):
Down the street the dogs are barkin'
And the day is a-gettin' dark
As the night comes in a-fallin'
The dogs'll lose their bark
An' the silent night will shatter
From the sounds inside my mind
For I'm one too many mornings
And a thousand miles behind.

GK: Hey would you mind setting up shop somewhere else? We're trying to have a conversation.

PD: You're in a public place, man. This is New York.

GK: I know. Here. A gift. Try another corner. Thanks. (STRUMMING, WALKS AWAY) ---- So what do you want to do about the show?

SS: Well, that's what I want to talk to you about. You need youth on the show. You're stuck in musical styles that nobody cares about anymore.

GK: What you got on the CD?

SS: This isn't a CD. Okay? This is an mp3. Nobody listens to CDs anymore. MP3. Listen.

(CLICK)

(MUSIC, SYNTH, GUITAR)

FN (TEEN):
Hey, what about me?
Hey, what about me?
Everyone
Is having fun.
But hey, what about me?

Hey, what about me?
Hey, what about me?
The rest of the crowd
They get to go out,
But hey, what about me?

SS: You've got to open your mind to new things.

GK: I'm trying, believe me.

(RUNNING FOOTSTEPS, SHOUTS, GUNSHOTS. SIREN PASSING)

GK: Interesting. Anyone you know?

SS: No—Anyway, the show-----

GK: Right.

SS: I'm afraid it's gone flat. There's not the excitement that there used to be.

PD: It's all over now, Baby Blue.

GK: No?

SS: No. You spend too much time on the show brooding.

GK: Me? Brooding?

SS: You do. People want stories, they want action, they don't want an old guy meditating on time and mutability and change.

GK: I thought people were interested in mutability.

SS: Not so much, actually.

GK: Who is this?

SS: Who?

GK: I know this woman from somewhere.

SS: Her?

(FOOTSTEPS)

ED:
Hai spezzato il cuore in due.
Tu mi hai tradito!
Disgraziato!
Perché ti amo? Sono stato un idiota.

SS: Who is she?

GK: I forget her name.

SS: Where do you know her from?

GK: I think she's in opera.

ED (SINGS, WAGNER): Hojotoho!! Hojotoho!!! Hojotoho!!!

GK: She's in opera. She wanted to get on the show.

SS: She's good. Why didn't you book her?

GK: Too dramatic.

ED: Too dramatic!!! Ignorante! Illiterato!!! You think this is too dramatic??? I'll show you drama. (WHIP CRACK) You------ destroyer! (WHIP, GLASS BREAKAGE) Tyrant! (WHIP) You jerk! (WHIP) (SINGS) Miserabile! Tiranno! Bugiardo! Spazzatura!

GK: Okay, okay. We'll audtion you again. Call me. (ED: Hojotoho!! Hojotoho!!! Hojotoho!!!
----- FADING-----FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

SS: You turned her down for the show because she was too dramatic????? That's the exact thing the show needs more than anything else!!!!

GK: Drama???

SS: YES! Anyway, we've decided it's time to take the show in a different direction.

GK: A different direction?

SS: We're going to go in a different direction.

GK: So that means----

SS: Right.

GK: So I won't be-----

SS: No.

GK: But I think that people would be-----

SS: Not any more. No. We've done research on this.

PD: It's all over now, Baby Blue.

GK: The stories about the small town-----

SS: It was good in its time and now time is passing.

GK: What's that CD? Or mp3? Is that the----

SS: It is.

GK: Oh.

SS: You want to hear it?

GK: I don't know.

SS: His name is Sandy. Sandy Botticelli. He's a singing chef.

GK: Uh huh.

SS: He sings and he cooks. It's very exciting. Very now.

GK: I see.

(PIANO)

FN (SINGS): (MY WAY)
And now I'll heat the pan and whip these eggs for a frittata (WHIR OF BLENDER)
And put some onions in and chunks of cheese but not a lotta
And pour in lots of gin, a Tanqueray or maybe Bombay
And now I light the match and make it flambee. (WHOOSH)

GK: Sandy Botticelli.

SS: Right.

GK: When?

SS: He's available next week.

GK: Okay.

PD: It's all over now, Baby Blue.

(APPROACHING FOOTSTEPS)

TR: Here, signora, signore, we have your mussels in the (ITALIAN NAME) and we have the fettucine (ITALIAN) and the insalata (ITALIAN) and we have the Chianti (ITALIAN) ----- let me pour you some. (POURING)

SS: But we didn't order any of this.

GK: It's okay. It's New York. It's a city of surprises. (BRIDGE UNDER) That's what you come here for. Eat outdoors in the sunshine and all around you other people are eating their lunch and one out of three persons are saying, "I think we need to take it in a new direction." One out of three. "I've decided we're going to go in a different direction." That's what makes it a deductible business expense. The words "different direction". But it's the same sunshine, it's the same traffic, it's basically the same linguini, and it's opera.

(PIANO)

ED & GK:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.

GK: (w ED VOCAL FLOURISHES)
I heard you singing from a window
An open window as I passed by
And I forgot where I was going
What I was looking for and why

ED & GK & AUD:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

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).

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