Looking for a Home, from Leading Lady (Day 134)

The final moments of Leading Lady in a duet that I wrote for the 2013 workshop. The idea is that Mae and Frank have taken a bad loss at the Metropolitan, and that Mae blames Frank. She’s found a tumbledown place, a wreck of a theater in Kensington, and proposes moving the Mae Desmond Players there. He is initially skeptical about the prospects for the building but eager to show contrition to his wife. After their duet, they embrace affectionately and are reconciled. The company appears and the theater is magically “renovated” before our very eyes for the final moments of the song.

This a crappy composer’s demo of a beautiful duet. Gosh, I’m trying to remember if it ever even got performed for an audience. (Clare and Bryan, was it you two in the band room at Drexel?) Maybe this should go in the program for my birthday concert on July 13 so there can be a proper recording of it. My singing may make you cringe a little at the climactic points, but give a poor composer a break!

MAE: See, it has character!
FRANK: No, it’s just old!
MAE: Look at these moldings —
FRANK: And look at that mold!
BOTH: (after a pause.) It has… potential.

FRANK: Kind of old-fashioned.
MAE: No, I’d call it “quaint.”
All that it needs is a good coat of paint.
A new place,
A home.

Lately, I’ve been looking for a home.
Looking for a place to put my heart.
Seems the place I had before
Was not so sure
And so, once more I start
Looking for a place where I belong.
Looking for a “fixer-upper!”
This place will do fine.
Best of all, it’s mine.
Look, I put my name up on the sign.

(spoken) Except it’s not my name, is it? I’m just plain Mary Callahan from Southwark.

FRANK: And a Callahan can do anything she sets her mind to do!

MAE: Once, I thought I’d found a home in you.
Thought we’d made a life together, too.
Was it all a mad charade?
Now I’m afraid
The life we made is lost forever!

Make something new,
That’s what I’ll do,
Just like I did before,
Hoping to make a home once more.

FRANK: Isn’t it close to the tracks of the “El?”
MAE: That means it’s close to our old clientele.
BOTH: (after a pause.) It has… potential.

FRANK: Looks as though you found your fixer-upper,
But it’s a lot to manage on your own.
Another pair of hands could come in handy
To do the things that you can’t do alone.

MARY: Frank, you can’t just waltz back in and take over!

FRANK: Who’s waltzin’? I’m on my knees, Mary. Can you forgive me?

I was sure I’d found a home in you.
We can make a life together, too
If we keep our fingers crossed
And mind the cost,
Our dream will not be lost forever!

BOTH: Make something new,
That’s what we’ll do,
Just like we did before.
Maybe we’ll make a home once more.

[They kiss. Their son, Francis, spies his parents being mushy and romantic and reacts.]

FRANCIS: They seldom go their separate ways
They’re far too busy doing plays!
Oh, no! It’s great to be together.

MAE AND FRANK: We make a perfect married team
Tho’ sometimes we’re a harried team
What ho!
It’s great to be together
I’m his leading lady,
He’s my leading man
Following and leading, we do the best we can

ALL [next five lines as stretto/round]
My love’s a flag I/they wave with pride
Our dressing rooms are side by side
Our loving looks proclaim our vows
We share our books, we share our bows!
We/they see the world with eager eyes,
And oh, how well we harmonize!
It’s plain to see, we pull our weight
We never get to sleep too late

FRANK & MAE: And when we’re busy, sex must wait

ALL: But as long as we’re together, together, together, together –
It’s great!

Leave a Reply

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