Tuesday, March 13, 2012
TWO THINGS YOU JUST NEVER WOULD EXPECT
Back in 1983, I wrote a musical called "The Invitation". It had come from a short story idea that I had been prompted to write at a local college's creative writing class back in the late 1970's. The teacher's name was Lanore Pearlman and bar none she was one of the best creative writing teachers I ever had. Danny Simon was the very best, but that's another story. The assignment was to actually begin a short story with a honest-to-god invitation. We also had an assignment to begin a short story with an actual radio broadcast. The radio broadcast idea went nowhere but "The Invitation" became a big part of my life. I figured what might be on an invitation sent suddenly to an old hobo whose life was now going nowhere fast. Maybe that hobo was once an important battlefield commander in a great civil war in a country much like England at the very close of the 19th century and maybe the community in which he lived just had never been the same since the end of the great civil war five years ago. What if nobody really believed in Christmas any more in this village. They were too impatient for it to arrive or simply were too selfish to observe it among themselves. Well there was a great story's start. Now if Christmas was in serious trouble in a community what might happen if the "Spirit of Christmas" came to rescue it? And maybe, because it's the very last week in December and the very last days of the 19th century, wouldn't be interesting if the Spirit of Christmas actually was training an ex-mortal teenage boy who had a near fatal accident to become the Spirit of Christmas for the 20th Century? The story became a musical with some of the best songs I have ever written with anyone. That writer is Randy Louis Ames: a brilliant composer. Together for this show, we wrote one of the most beautiful Christmas songs you will ever hear called "Christmas Belongs To You" and "Are You Real Or Make Believe" We added some unique elements to the story. The big conflict is how our protagonist, Mr. Robert Cromwell Carter made a decision to make peace with the enemy on Christmas Day and trade rations. Of course, there was to be a planned rendevoux with other forces and those forces seeing the evidence of a one day peace accord assumed the enemy had just wiped out the other side. And in they went like death on horseback causing an absolute massacre. That caused the poor battlefield commander (Carter) to bury as many men as he could and simply walk away from the rest. That caused Carter to be blamed for the entire tragedy and Carter has been a worthless hobo ever since. We won't give away the surprise ending here, but it is truly unique. We did a radio show of the musical which was broadcast over seventy-five public radio stations. It starred Joey D'Auria later to become Chicago's "Bozo, The Clown!" It was directed by our dear friend David Holmes. So now it's completely revamped and re-written and submitted to my manager Jimmy Chapel. You can sample it at our web site at http://www.showbusinessmusicals.com/ It's a very unique and heart warming story that makes the poster on this page come alive. Read the words: they are very special and should be observed by everybody with a human heart.