Best known for the Off-Broadway musicals, "The Last Session," "The Big Voice: God or Merman?" and "New World Waking," a song cycle for peace and justice.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

TALES FROM THE BONUS ROUND: The Sad Story of Cabaret Boy

TALES FROM THE BONUS ROUND: The Sad Story of Cabaret Boy
(The Story of the Birth of The Last Session & The Rebirth of Steve)
LOS ANGELES
JUNE 1996*

*(Edit: I accidentally wrote 2013 earlier. Fixed now to 1996)

13 pounds up
(Almost a stone)
He stood naked and dry
Looking down at the number

Sure, the 10 pound mark
Was when he made the big announcement
That he would live
But these next three pounds
They came so fast
Evidence was piling up

Dare he actually believe it?
Is Songwriter Guy actually going to live?
He'd been telling everyone he would
But he ALWAYS told everyone he would
Never, in his diary did he ever say
"Well, I'm dying now"
He never even thought that way

He had learned to be a patient

Learned to use every strong moment
To accomplish something
Learned to use every weak moment
By giving himself permission
To sleep
Perchance, even, to dream

Dream that the songs that saved his life
Might actually make it to Broadway!
A place he didn't know much about
Songwriter Boy was more rock and roll
Than theater, but
Jim had been teaching him

And back at the Songwriter Academy
A few years earlier
When he was in charge of programs
He had organized a seminar on writing musicals
With the Lehman Engel Workshop

And now he had The Last Session
But were they cheering for the musical?
Or were they cheering for the
AIDS Guy singing the
Last Songs Of His Life?

He thought back to an incident
Back at the Academy
Just a couple years earlier
When a TV producer named Sandy Sprung
Married With Children!
Hired him to musical direct
A "one and only" dream
That her friend
Cabaret Boy had:
Cabaret Boy was dying of AIDS

To, just one time,
Once before he dies
Sing and perform his own cabaret act
At the Manhattan club in Silver Lake

Cabaret Boy had never sung anywhere before
Except in his own living room
But he had every Liza album
Every Judy record

So, Sandy and Songwriter Guy
Helped Cabaret Boy
Choose the songs
Eating Pollo Loco in his living room

The day of the big show
Cabaret Boy got deathly ill
"Would you go on for me?"
Cabaret Boy begged

How could he say no?

The night of the big show
Our hero sang the songs
And
In the back of the room
Covered in a blanket
Looking like a monk
Shaking like a leaf
Sat Cabaret Boy watching

Watching someone else sing his show

And now, Songwriter Guy turned AIDS Boy turned
Lazarus Child had his own dream

The Songs The Saved His Life
The musical called The Last Session
On Broadway

The difference, though, is WANTS someone else singing his show
He wants the whole world
Singing His Show

But he had one little hurdle to overcome

How the hell do you get a show to Broadway?

And how the hell do you do it while being
Hooked up to a feeding bag?


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