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SCRIPT:  AFTER HOURS LIVE

(example script to show the interaction of visuals, host, and audience)

 

 

HOST/PRODUCER: 

JOE WILLIAMS (DIRTY BLUES/JAZZ SINGER)

 

THEME:

30íS AND 40íS SWING AND BLUES (Chicago)

            Audience is invited by Joe Williams

The audience is dressed appropriately, according to theme

 

CAST:

Koko Taylor (Chicago Blues Singer)

Manhattan Transfer and Jon Hendricks

Diane Schurr (blind woman who sings like Billy Holiday) or (Ingrid Lucia)

Bobby McFerrin (Singer, scatter, dancer) or Robert Henry Johnson (hip-hop, dance)

Count Basieís Band or (Flying Neutrinos; Mr. Zoot Suit--swing band popular now)

Woman Dancer (African-American cartoon doll - Gypsy)

Chicago decadent club dancers and red headed woman

 

VISUALS:

Black and white film clips from the 30ís and 40ís: Cab Calloway jitterbugging, the lindy hop old Fats Waller, etc.  Nightclub scenes from that period will have zoot-suited dancers from the audience placed in the scenes.    The nightclub of today and the nightclub of the 30ís blend together.

 

OPENING SCENE   (three minutes)

Koko Taylor singing solo, the  rest of the group joining her.  All are seen in the nightclub on the huge curved screen.  Koko sings the blues song,  Let The Good Times Roll.  The audience is seated in cabaret style, tables around the dance floor.  The titles roll, the Count Basie band is in the orchestra pit, and the stars come on stage to sing with Koko, the group placed on the big screen in the 30ís club.    The camera pans in and we see close up shots of the group.  As the camera pulls out for a long shot that includes the stage, the performers and the backset (huge curved screen which is rear laser projected).  We see the invited audience participating; also singing Let the good times roll.

 

SONG SEQUENCES: Everybody, letís have some fun.  Let the good times roll.  Doesnít matter if youíre young or old.  Get in the groove.  Donít sit there moping, talking trash, if youíre going to have a blast, you have to spend some cash.  Iíve got a dollar and a quarter, Donít play the clown.  Koko Taylors in town.

 

Joe Williams is on left stage.  He greets the audience, telling them that he hopes they enjoy the evening.

 

SCENE TWO   (three  minutes)

Joe sings a medley of his great songs in the nightclub on the screen. 

 

Itís All right, itís Okay

One Oíclock Jump

Sent for you yesterday, here you come today

 

Interspersed as Joe sings are film clips of him singing in former times. Pulled out of those clips are dancers dancing the dance of that time period.  Dancers from the audience are placed in the deco 30ís night club on the big screen..  Joe is singing in the club.  The 30ís club has been computer massaged, given color, made more real, so the live audience and television audience feel they are part of the nightclub on the curved big screen.

 

SCENE THREE   (six minutes)

McFerrin scats on into the night, singing part of his Chanís Song.  He peers through the window of the nightclub.  We see the Manhattan Transfer with singer Jon Hendricks scatting the lines of Cloud Bursts as the club audience enjoys the entertainment. Some of the audience is standing at the nightclubís deco bar singing along.

 

Clouds of course, have silver linings, unless when theyíre in reverse first. The television audience and the nightclub audience will see strong visualizations of the song.  Clouds with silver lining, dimensional colors with a touch of the surreal as if the group is looking out into the night skies. 

 

McFerrin seems in another reality, smiling as the group starts singing Paper Doll. An animated paper doll appears in the club.  She slowly becomes life like.  Gypsy is sung as this beautiful life sized black woman of the 30ís sways toward McFerrin.  Vargas stylized; she moves through the dance steps to Who is his love, with her flirty eyes.  She moves out of the cloud setting, through the nightclub door and dances down the street with him (McFerrin in a computer generated street, with his computer-generated woman, all on the big screen).

 

SCENE FOUR   (three minutes)

Joe Williams sings the Billy Holiday tune;  Love is Here to Stay, as he stands beside the piano as Diane Schurr plays.  We see the couple (Gypsy and McFerrin) in a 30ís living room.  They are in love.

 

Love is here to stay.  It Ďs very clear, our love is here to stay, not for a year, but forever and a day.  The radios and the telephone and the movies we watch, might be passing fancies and in time they all go. The Rockies may crumble, Gibraltar may tumble. Theyíre only made of clay, but our love is here to stay. 

 

(We see very stylized deco art type scenes, but full dimensional screen image of rain

storms destroying land and property.  A hand turning a radio off, moon through window, pull back bringing us back to the love nest).

 

 

SCENE FIVE   (six minutes)

McFerrin leaves the sleeping Gypsy and scats to his 1937 Red Ford Roadster (computer generated), enjoying the Chicago evening in a surrealistic street scene.  We see a glimpse of the Deco nightclub, where Diane Schurr is singing Damn That Dream.  Our animated woman, Gypsy, is in bed sleeping.  She has an ethereal erotic dream sequence with her imagined McFerrin  (this is a dance sequence, floating through the ethers, very visual and beautiful choreography).

 

Damn that dream.  I dream each night, you say you love me, and hold me tight, but when I awake, youíre out of sight. Damn your lips, damn your eyes. They lift me high above the moonlit sky, then I tumble out of paradise. Oh, damn that dream, damn that one track.  I didnít understand that you didnít care.

 

Gypsy wakes up, missing McFerrin as she is looking out the window at the moon.

Diane sings, It was just one of those things, one of those crazy things.  A trip to the moon on gossamer wings. (visuals)

 

SCENE SIX   (seven minutes)

Joe Williams singing three or four dirty blues tunes.  We focus mostly on Joe, with visuals of McFerrin in a decadent 30ís Chicago club.  Women are performing an erotic stage dance. McFerrin is having a reunion with a beautiful red headed ex-lover who is a dancer there (this women is not a cartoon).  He tries to persuade her to leave with him in his fancy 30ís car, but she refuses.  He is crushed as he drives away in his roadster.

 

SCENE SEVEN   (two minutes)

Manhattan Transfer sing Goody, Goody as Gypsy dressed in stylish hat and gloves prances down the sunny Chicago street.  As she struts we see McFerrin lying on a grassy riverbank, apparently very despondent.

 

So you met someone who broke your heart too. So you lie awake, so you think love is a barrel of dynamite.  Well I hope youíre satisfied, you rascal you, goody goody---.

 

SCENE EIGHT   (three minutes)

It is evening and Gypsy is still walking on the streets of Chicago. Unlike the McFerrin fun scat down the street earlier, this is a somber poor neighborhood.  Men are leaning against the wall, despondent.  There is an altercation between a poshy white couple with a vendor who has sold them corn on the cob.  They are rude and uppity and degrading to the vendor and his son. Gypsy sees this from a distance and goes on walking.  She walks among gnarled trees.  Dianeís song whiffs through Gypsyís world.

 

Trees bear strange fruit.  Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, strange fruit hanging from popular trees.  The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth.  Magnolias sweet and fresh, then the sudden smell of burning flesh.  Here is a fruit, for the curious to flock, for the rain to gather, for the wind to share, for the sun to rot, for the tree to die.  Here is a strange and bitter fruit.

 

This song is very upsetting to people.  We will be very careful about the visuals.  Trees gnarled, magnolia flowers, brilliant colors, super imposed with rain and wind and sun.  The world created is very grotesque animated nature, with faces almost peering through the gnarled wood and flowers.

 

SCENE NINE   (three minutes)

Jon Hendricks and Manhattan Transfer sing,  We Three: My Echo, My Shadow, and Me.  The visualization of Gypsy, shadow and moonlight against city walls can be very dramatic and stark.

 

We three, weíre all alone, living in a memory, my echo, my shadow and me.  We three, weíre not a crowd, weíre not even company.  What good is the moonlight, the silvery moonlight that shines above?  I walk with my shadow, talk with my echo, but where is the one I love?  We three, weíll wait for you, even Ďtill eternity, my echo, my shadow, and meÖ.

 

SCENE TEN   (three minutes)

Koko Taylor singing:  I am Woman.  This song sung by Koko and visualized by Gypsy is raw and inspiring.  The song is the epitome of the strength of the Chicago Blues.

 

Iím a woman. Everything is going to be all right.  I can sing the blues.  Iím a ball of fire. Iím a woman. I could make love to a crocodile.  Iím a woman. Iím a rush of wind.  Iím a love maker.  I know my stuff.  I ainít never had enough.  Iím going down yonder behind the sun.  Iím a woman.  Shake hands with the devil.  Make him crawl in the sandÖ. A woman.

 

Fireballs, crocodile, rushing wind in the trees, devil sun.  Gnarled trees become beautiful Weeping Willow trees and Gypsy.

 

SCENE ELEVEN   (six minutes)

The stars sing a variation of the Ink Spots,  Whispering Grass, Donít Tell the Trees.  Joe Williams sings in the deco nightclub. McFarrin is singing with the chorus.

 

Why do you whisper, green grass?  Why tell the trees what ainít so? Whispering grass, the trees donít need to know.  Why tell them all your secrets?  Who kissed you long ago?  Whispering grass, donít tell it to the breeze, because sheíll tell it to the birds and bees, and everyone will know because you told the blabbering trees.

 

The images are lush.  Nature footage is used which  is stylized in the computer, an artistís dream. The soothing vivid greens with the birds and blowing grass is a nice finale.  McFerrin moves out of the club into the street and is swept into the lushness as he finds his muse, Gypsy, again.  They happily swirl together into the greenness.

 

 

Final Titles:  We pull back to see the audience in the real night club.