I’m Gonna Jump, from Gemini the Musical (Day 182)

She's gonna jump!

Albert mentioned once that Leonard Bernstein came to see Gemini during its Broadway run and remarked that it was like a comic opera. Here’s the spot where we really seized that idea and ran with it. The hysterical emotionalism of South Philly life seemed to translate perfectly into this bit of comic opera pastiche. The opening of Act II was unchanged from 2004 to 2007; the photo above is from NYMF in 2004, but the track is from the Prince in 2004. It’s clearly Linda Hart leading the insanity.

Bunny: I’m gonna jump!
I’ll tell you why:
My life is shit ,
I want to die!
I’m going to take a flying leap.
My uncle Jerry’s a mortician
And he’ll bury me for cheap.
I’m gonna jump!
Look out below!
One tiny step and down I go.
And once I fall,
You’ll have to haul
My carcass to the dump!
Don’t try to stop me!
I’m going to jump!

[Dialog: Bunny and her son Herschel.]

Bunny: I’m gonna jump!
No, look away!
To see me fall would wreck your day!
I’m old and fat, too big to fly.
I guarantee it won’t be pretty
It’s a shitty way to die
Try not to scream,
Try not to cry,
Just blow a kiss and say goodbye.
It’s suicide,
So go inside,
Don’t stand there like a lump!
Sweet fucking Jesus,
I’m going to jump!

[Dialog.]

Herschel: I’ll be good, I promise, mom
I’ll brush my teeth and change my sweater.
I’ll remember my inhaler
So my asthma will get better.
No more grass! I won’t pass gas
Or pick my ass, I swear!
I’ll even burn my subway transfers
If you just come down from there!

Bunny: Jesus Christ in heaven,
Can’t I die in peace?

Others: Jesus Christ in heaven,
Call for the police!

Herschel: Another couple minutes and my mother will be dead!

Others: Call for the police…

Francis: No, wait! Call Lucille instead! DE 6-1567.

Judith: DE 6-1567.

Bunny: It’s all for attention!
Choke and cough, throw a fit
Listen, everybody, it is all for attention
I read them books by all the shrinks
I know what everybody thinks.
I got no attention when I was a kid,
And look at me! Am I weird?
Not a bit!
Jesus Christ, turn it off! Leave him be!

[Herschel and Bunny sing their themes in counterpoint, as Judith and Francis sing simultaneously:]

Judith (phone in hand): I get a busy signal.

Francis: Busy? This time of day?
Did you get the number right?

Judith: DE 6-1567.

Francis: Jesus! That’s our number! DE 6-1568.

Judith (dialing): DE 6-1568.

Francis: Never mind, they’re here.

Fran: Yo, Bun!

Bunny: Yo, Fran!

Fran: What the hell is going on here?
Bunny (singing): I’m gonna jump!

Others (echoing): She’s gonna jump! (etc.)

Bunny: I’ll tell you why
My life is shit
I want to die
It’s time to drain the bitter cup.

Lucille: Che disgraziat’!
Who’s gonna clean it up?

Bunny: I’m gonna jump
Look out below
One tiny step and down I go.
This ain’t a trick,
I’m really sick!
I’ve had it up to here!

Randy: This crazy chick’s a lunatic,
We’d better not go near!

Bunny: That arsenic will kill me quick,
Don’t try to interfere!
No more goodbyes!
Time for my demise!
Herschel, hide your eyes!

Others (voices building to choral climax): She’s gonna jump, she’s gonna jump.

Fran (interrupting the music): Come on, Bun, it’s Francis’s twenty-first birthday today.

Bunny: You mean there’s gonna be a party?

Fran: A big one!

Bunny: Why didn’t you say so, hanh? Get that friggin’ ladder, I’m coming down!

All (jubilantly): She’s (I’m) coming down, she’s coming down,
She’s coming down!

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