We’re Never Gonna Make It, from Realities (Day 21)

Alex and Anna are in her car, on their way to The Cutting Edge, the venue where Miles is appearing. It’s expressway traffic, fast and thick. Alex is freaked out by the prospect of seeing Miles (for reasons we learn during the song) and by Anna’s driving. This epic musical scene from Realities is a really interesting example of acting in tempo, and Matt Cloran and Deirdre Finnegan navigate its hairpin turns adroitly.

Day 2 of the Your Turn challenge prompts me, “Tell us about something you think should be improved.” Maybe this will sound trivial, but I think the musical arrangements on this demo should be improved. These are dynamic, rocking songs that really need some instrumental energy and studio sheen to have impact. This, in turn, makes me wish that I spent more time playing my music with other instrumentalists. I find myself wondering what it would be like to have a regular set of mates to help me work out musical ideas, or an ensemble like the crew Dave Molloy’s been working with. I love the idea of a musical-as-performed-by-a-band (though it may already be getting shopworn), but Realities needs immersive visuals as well as immersive music. Concert with projections? IMAX movie? Digital delivery via Oculus Rift or Jaunt VR? I’m a visionary megalomaniac!

ALEX
We’re never gonna make it, I know it.
This whole idea was insane.
(Consulting his watch.) Quarter past eight,
That means we’re gonna be late to arrive.

We’re never gonna make it, I know it.
(Admonishing ANNA for her driving.)
Hey, would you stay in one lane?
Watch the Corvette!
You’re gonna get us killed yet.
I’d rather miss the first set
And maybe get there alive.

We’re never gonna make it, I know it.
Watch for that guy over there!
How’d be get stuck
Behind this schmuck in a truck anyhow? (Leans across ANNA and honks.)

We’re never gonna make it, I know it.
We missed an exit somewhere.
I don’t recall this construction at all.
If you had just thought to call,
We wouldn’t be so lost now.

I don’t think I can take it.
We’ve got miles to go.
Maybe it was dumb to try to come to see this show.
We’re never gonna make it,
We won’t last the night, I fear.

ANNA
Quit your complaining,
Or you’re gonna walk from here!

[The subject turns to Miles.]

ALEX
I never thought he’d make it, believe me.
The man’s an absolute fraud.
Thumbing his nose
Is the one thing he knows how to do.

ANNA
Alex, that’s just not true!

ALEX
He must have learned to fake it, I take it,
‘Cause now they stand and applaud.
He plays on their fears
And he taunts and he jeers
And the audience cheers…
I just don’t get it, do you?

[Remembering Miles, Alex slips into a reverie…]

Where is he now?
Miles the performer,
Media darling
Star for a day.
Hard to believe…
So much attention!
How did it all work out this way?

It’s not that he knew how to play,
But play the game,
Man, did he ever!
The brother was clever, I have to say.
It doesn’t seem fair.
It’s such a cliche:
Looks and charisma, they always pay
For him, anyway.
How well I remember.

Where were we then?
Roommates in college
I was a freshman, fresh as they get
Miles was a gas, a real education
Nobody like him that I’d ever met…

Want to get laid? Want to get wasted?
Miles was the master! Nightly, he scored.
He had it made.
Practicing bored him, ladies adored him.
(Me they ignored.)
How clearly I remember it!

The drugs, the bugs, the crazy apartment…
He told me that “art” meant
You lived by your wit.
I thought I was smart.
It didn’t mean shit.
See, I was an oddball and he was a hit.
I just didn’t fit,
Not even one bit…
It hurts to remember…

[ANNA in a separate reverie.]

ANNA
Approaching the city.
Alex, don’t you love to see it shine?
Plant me in the suburbs and I pine
But get me to the city and i’m fine.
I think it’s so pretty.
Seeing all those diners and refineries,
It couldn’t please me more.
When I’m in the city,
I’m back to humanity once more.

(Breathing deeply.) Smell it?

ALEX
The stink of civilization.
It’s a tangled, muddled mess,
Too much noise, too much stress.

ANNA
I call it human interaction.

ALEX
Modem, fax and telephone
Hook me up when i’m alone.
That’s how I get my satisfaction!

ANNA
Maybe, then, you might explain
How your electronic brain
Could ever be a suitable companion?
That contraption may be smart,
But we both know it’s got no heart.
It doesn’t care for you,
Or not the way i do…

Alex, where are we going?
Alex, I need to see a sign!

ALEX
(Taking her question literally.) I think that’s our turn, up ahead.

ANNA
Alex, I need direction
Alex, make a connection
Alex, show some affection, please!
(Increasingly desperate.) Alex, a girl could freeze!
How can you be so cold?
Has your machine got these? (Puts Alex’s hands on her breasts.)
Something that you can hold?
Does it know how to kiss… like this?

Anna puts her hand on Alex’s face and kisses him passionately.

ALEX
Anna!

ALEX
(Frustrated) We’re never gonna make it together,
Unless you learn to connect.

ALEX
What are you talking about?

ANNA
You could begin by just letting me in now and then.

ALEX
Come on, not that again.

ANNA
I don’t know why I take it, and take it…
I get so little respect.
It isn’t fair!
You can’t expect me to care
When, half the time, you’re not there.

ALEX
I don’t know what I expect.

BOTH
I don’t think I can take it.
Which way do we go?
Maybe it was dumb to try to come to see this show.
We’re never gonna make it.
We won’t last the night, I fear… (Honking.)

ALEX
Watch out for that car!

ALEX
Do you know where we are?

ALEX
Make a left at the light!

ALEX
Hold on tight!

ALEX
What a night!

BOTH
we’re never gonna make it…..

SFX: Brakes screeching. Crashing and clanging of hitting trash cans.

i think we’re here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *