Monthly Archives: June 2018

Donuts of Mass Destruction – Scenes 1 & 2

Dramatis Dinosaurae

Bert, our hero  -  hadrosaur
Betty, our heroine  -  unaysaurus
Poppa Tops, ruthless tycoon  -  torosaurus
Premier Rex Hoodwink, corrupt politician  -  tyrannosaurus
Spinner, VP Communications  -  TBA
Betty’s Mom  -  mature unaysaurus
Tarsands Gang:
   Bron the Bruiser  -  brontosaurus
   Rip the Pterror  -  pterrible pterodactyl
   Ugh the Thug  -  carnotaurus tough guy
   Steg the Slasher  -  stegosaurian moll
The Stonettes (Betty’s friends & backup vocalists):
   Madge  -  TBA
   Ruth  -  TBA
   Claire  -  TBA
   Freda  -  TBA
Gravel Pit Workers:
   Boris  -  pachycephalosaur
   Frank  -  pachycephalosaur
   Cyril  -  pachycephalosaur
   Louie  -  pachycephalosaur
Bert & Betty’s Offspring:
   Archie  -  archaeopteryx
   Trixie  -  archaeopteryx
   Obie  -  archaeopteryx
Chow Down Executives:
   Scalar, VP Market Research  -  TBA
   Adder, VP Finance  -  TBA
   DR, VP Dino Resources  -  TBA
The Denizens  -  assorted dinosaurs

Note: the type of dinosaur for many characters is marked TBA, so that the costume director has free rein in this area. See addendum for suggestions.

Scene 1
At the Dawn of Time – a display of stones containing fossils

Lights fade up on various rock formations with fossilized shapes. One by one, the fossil shapes transform into living creatures who come out of the various rocks. After transforming, each dinosaur sings: At the dawn of time, long before before began. The number of transformations increases, until all the fossils have been transformed, forming a chorus.

At the Dawn of Time

At the dawn of time
Long before before began
At the dawn of time
Before any trace of man
At the dawn of time
There’s a story that the silent rocks remember

Let your sense of time just slip away
Many million years can vanish in a day
Let the breezes blow
Let dying embers grow to a flame.

At the dawn of time
Long before before began
At the dawn of time
Long before before began

[many overlapping voices enter]

Many million years can vanish in a day
Vanish in a day…

*     *     *

The creatures leave the stage, except for Bert who looks up at the sky.

Bert: Strange. There’s a new star in the sky. Very bright. Hmm.

Bert shakes his head and exits.

Scene 2
Stony landscape in Yucatan – 65 million years ago

Up-tempo salsa music. It is party time in Yucatan. A smoking volcano is in the background. All of the creatures seem to get along well. Some are munching on veggies; others have a barbecued rodent-on-a-stick; others are just moving around or hanging out.


Only the old is new in Yucatan
Each day so like the last in Yucatan
Knowing that all we need to do
Is live like in the past
We live, die and live again
In Yucatan

Radiant is the dawn in Yucatan
Shimmering are the stars in Yucatan
And always hearing a song play on and on
Of Venus and of Mars
We live, die and live again
In Yucatan

This is our story:
Time immemorial
Without beginning
Always with time to tell
With time to tell

Only the old is new in Yucatan
Each day so like the last in Yucatan
Knowing that all we need to do
Is live like in the past
We live, die and live again
We live, die and live again
We live, die and live again
In Yucatan

In Yucatan
In Yucatan

*     *     *

The various dinosaurs, in the ensemble, relax and begin to doze off. From the back of the stage, a fierce-looking T-Rex peers over a rock and then sneaks up them. It appears to be certain doom for some, but the T-Rex is none other than Premier Hoodwink. He is wearing a Vote for Premier Hoodwink button. Just when you think he is going to slaughter an herbivore, he flips on a flat straw hat, raises a megaphone and rouses everyone. His entourage follows.

Hoodwink: Denizens of Yucatan!!!
Dinos: [various shocked reactions:] What? Uh! What is it? Oh. It’s him. I wish he wouldn’t do that. What is it? Etc.
Hoodwink: [oblivious] We have enjoyed millions of years of prosperity in Yucatan. Under the leadership of Premier Hoodwink, – that’s me! – our land has flourished.
Dino_1: Has anything changed?
Hoodwink: Dinosaurs have lots to eat. Herbivores may safely graze – except for the odd one we theropods consume – and the surrounding woodlands and mountain caves continue to afford us comfortable habitats.
Dino_2: [To the Premier:] Have you already eaten today?
Dino_3: Yeah, what are you up to?
Hoodwink: Denizens of Yucatan, and scrumptious herbivores, I have come – not to feed upon you – but to feed your minds. In the forthcoming election, we all must do our civic duty. Each of us must decide who is best to lead Yucatan into the future eons.
Dino_1: Is someone else running this time?
Hoodwink: I ask you for your vote. I want to work with you all, together, as a team. I pledge to end all corruption and nepotism.
Dino_2: Nepo-what?
Dino_3: Yeah, right!
Hoodwink: No more favoritism. It won’t be who you know but what you’re made of that counts!
Dino_1: I knew it! He wants to eat us!
Hoodwink: A clean responsive government is the benchmark of Team Hoodwink.
Dino_4: Sounds like the same speech from the last ten elections.

While the Premier goes on and on, Bert enters. He has a club/pestle on his shoulder and is dragging a bag. He sets these down and then drags on a large stone mortar. He puts some grain from the bag into the mortar and begins to pound away.

Hoodwink: And so, good denizens of Yucatan, I humbly ask for your support. Election day is decision day, a day when all creatures speak. We all must do our civic duty and cast our ballot. Remember, a vote for me is a vote for you!
And now, I am pleased to be joined by the other members of the Premier Hoodwink Re-Election Team. Let me introduce Ugh and Rip.

During this last bout of baffle-gab, two nasty looking characters enter. Ugh and Rip, thugs from the Tarsands Boys, flank the Premier. The denizens take notice and begin to be more responsive to Premier Hoodwink’s speech. Their sarcasm has been replaced by coerced enthusiasm.

Dino_3: Yeah.
Dino_2: Vote for Premier Hoodwink!
Dino_1: Is anyone else to vote for?
Hoodwink: I regret that my competitor, Herb Ivor, has dropped out of the race. Herb was such an outstanding, – and delectable – citizen. He will be sorely missed in public life.
My dear Denizens, please don’t think of it as me seeking re-election. Think of it as you, the Yucatanians, expressing your will. It is all of you who must choose the best leader, a leader who will take you boldly into the future.

Betty and some of her friends enter. They notice Bert. They join the crowd, appearing only marginally interested in politics. Bert, however, is totally absorbed in his work and is oblivious to all else around him. The Tarsands Boys work the crowd and nudge any disinterested creatures until they become enthusiastic.

Hoodwink: Do want to enter a future of chaos and uncertainty?
Dinos: No!
Hoodwink: Do you want a future of continued prosperity?
Dinos: Yes!
Hoodwink: Do you want a future you can trust?
Dinos: Yes!
Hoodwink: Then vote for a leader you can trust!
Dinos: Yes!
Hoodwink: And who is that leader?
Dinos: Hoodwink!
Hoodwink: Who is that leader?
Dinos: Hoodwink!
Hoodwink: Who is the one who deserves your vote?
Dinos: Hoodwink! Hoodwink! Hoodwink!
Hoodwink: Yes, my friends, the leader you need, the leader who has given you stability and responsible government, the leader who has tirelessly served you in the past and will lead you triumphantly into the future, stands humbly before you. On election day, “Re-elect Premier Hoodwink!”
Dinos: Hoodwink! Hoodwink! Re-Elect Premier Hoodwink!
Hoodwink! Hoodwink! Re-Elect Premier Hoodwink!
Hoodwink: Thank you, thank you for this overwhelming and touching show of support. Remember folks, “A vote for Hoodwink is a vote for nothing new under the sun”  just lots more of that good old prosperity and success!
Dinos: Hooray! Hip, hip, hooray!
Hoodwink: And now, friends, you’re all invited back to my office for a reception. Munchies are on me! And, my dear and yummy herbivores, fear not! You are all invited to have a snack, not to be a snack.

All exit except Betty, her friends (aka The Stonettes) and Bert.

Betty: What are you up to Bert?
Bert: What? Oh, hi Betty.
Betty: What are you doing?
Bert: It’s an experiment.
Betty: What’s that?
Bert: I’m going to see what happens when I mix these things together.
Betty: Sounds awesome. When are you going to be done?
Bert: I can’t really say. It’s when something interesting happens – or when I run out things to try.
Betty: You did promise to go out with me today.
Bert: Oh, was that today? I forgot.
Betty: Again. Why don’t you take a break and come with us?
Others: Yeah!
Freda: We’re going to the dance.
Bert: That sounds like fun, but I really want to finish this first. Tomorrow for sure, I’ll go dancing. [music starts]
Betty: You said that yesterday!
Freda: And the day before!
Claire: And the day before that!
Betty: You should come now.
Others: Yeah! C’mon Bert!
Madge: I bet you look cute when you shake that tail of yours! [Betty scowls.]
Bert: I’m sorry girls; I need to work a little longer.
Betty: Bert, you need to have a little real fun now and then. You’re all work and no play!
Betty sings with her friends doing backup vocals. Each Stonette pops up and down like a whack-a-mole when they sing their words.

Betty: a unaysaurus

Oh Bertie!
Betty & the Stonettes

Oh Bertie (Bert, Bert, Bert, Bert)
Won’t you come out and play (Play, play, play, come and play)
Oh Bertie
Won’t you come out today?

Every time I ask you out (shoop, shoop)
You got too much to do (Too much to do)
Why are you always such a lout? (shoop, shoop)
I’m such a fool to wait for you! (Fool to wait for you)

Oh Bertie (sim. back vocals)
Won’t you come out and play
Oh Bertie
Won’t you come out today?

Betty and friends exit. Bert continues to experiment. He tosses various things into the bowl, such as a beehive and an egg he pilfers from a nearby nest. (The mother dinosaur scratches her head as she counts her eggs.)

In the background the volcano, Mount Lava-Lamp, is glowing redder and redder. There is a rumbling noise. Other dinosaurs run by in panic, yelling to take cover. Bert though is absorbed and continues mixing his goop. Finally there is an eruption and the shaking knocks Bert off his feet. A red-hot rock is spewed from the volcano and lands in his mortar. The volcano calms down while the music begins as a low drone.

Also Sprach Shave and a Haircut

Bert goes to the cauldron and when the smoke has cleared. Other dinos creep out from the sides of the stage to see what happened. Bert reaches in and pulls out a perfectly baked, very large donut at a triumphant chord.

The denizens all sing: All hail the mmm mmm!, mumbling the name because they don’t know what to call it. During the singing, Spinner ducks out. Towards the end of the song, he returns with Poppa Tops. PT, as he is known to his associates is an imposing figure. He puffs on a stogy and inspires dread in the various denizens.

All hail the mmm mmm?
(company – SATB choir – no demo yet)

All hail the mmm mmm?
This thing that smells so sweet
All hail the mmm mmm?
Tell us what can it be?

PT: What’s all the commotion here?
Dinos: “It’s Poppa Tops!” “Oh, oh!” “Careful!” “It’s the Gravel Don himself!” Etc.
Spin: This is the thing I was telling you about, PT.
PT: Very interesting. Who’s responsible for this?

Poppa Tops: a torosaurus

Bert: I am.
PT: So what is it?
Bert: I don’t have a name for it yet. It’s made from dough and it’s sweet, and round. And it’s got a hole in the middle.
PT: Let me see that thing. Hmm. Smells OK. Let’s see what it tastes like. Hmm. Not bad. Try some spinner.
Spin: Very yummy boss.
PT: I think you might have something here, uh- What did you say your name was?
Bert: I didn’t say. It’s Bert.
PT: I think you might have something here, Bert. Let╒s see what the other creatures think of it. Come and get it you dodos!

Poppa Tops tears off hunks and throws it to the throngs. They go wild for the samples, much to PT’s delight.

PT: Lovely, just lovely. Great response, wouldn’t you say, Spinner?
Spin: Fabulous PT. Fabulous. They’re going nuts for the dough.
PT: “Nuts for the dough.” I like that Spinner.
Spin: Yeah, they’re a bunch of ‘dough nuts’, PT.
PT: ‘Dough nuts’! Perfect! We’ll call this thing a doughnut. Hunks of dough that drive you nuts! I love it!
Spin: Great idea, PT.
PT: Glad I thought of it. Bert, you seem pretty smart for a hadrosaur. In fact, you╒re so smart that I know, that you’ll know, that I am going to offer you the deal of a lifetime.
Bert: You are?
PT: You bet I am. Nature knows I could use some brains in my operation. Here’s the deal: You like to experiment, don’t you? You like to make things up, right?
Bert: Well, yeah.
PT: You give us the recipe for the ‘dough nut’ and we’ll make you our Head of Research & Development.
Bert: What’s that?
PT: You get to spend all your time experimenting – goofing around with stuff really – and you get paid to do it! Cushy, eh? We’ll start production of the donut right away. Before you know it, we’ll be making millions and millions of donuts!
Bert: I’m not so sure if it’s a good idea to make so many.
PT: Bert, if I wanted your opinion, I’d give it to you. Leave the big picture stuff to me. Just get me the damn recipe and I’ll figure out how to manufacture these suckers. And you, Bert: you get to go on making up new things until your scales fall off – and all on company time!
Bert: Well, I…
PT: It’s a deal. And when Poppa Tops says it’s a deal, it’s a deal. Come on Spinner. We got work to do. We’ll be back for the recipe later.

Poppa Tops and Spinner exit. The creatures are celebrating, imagining a future with millions and millions of yummy donuts! Betty is caught up in the excitement and runs up to Bert to give him a big hug.

Betty: Bert! My hero!
Bert: But I really didn’t do that mu-
Betty: Let’s hear it for Bert everyone!
All: Hooray! Hip! Hip! Hooray!
Betty: Wait till I tell my mom. She won’t think you’re a loser now!
Bert: She thinks I’m a–
Betty: My sweety!
All: Hooray for Bert! Hip! Hip! Hooray!

The company sings the chorus, but now with the words “All hail the donut!” They hoist up the hapless Bert up and carry him off stage.

All hail the Donut!
(SATB choir – written by not recorded yet)

All hail the donut!
So round and oh so sweet
All hail the donut!
That we cannot wait to eat

So light?
Oh such a yummy treat!
So right?
Oh we can’t wait to eat:
This dough!
This dough!
This dough! So, so
In the shape of an ‘O’
And so:

All hail the donut!
So round and oh so sweet
All hail the donut!
Let us eat, eat and eat!
All hail the donut!
Let us eat, eat and eat!

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Fastlane to Paradise Synopsis

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Fastlane to Paradise, Doug Jamieson’s new musical theatre work, will premiere on October 31, 2019, at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson, BC Canada. Thanks to grants from the BC Arts Council and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, the writing of Fastlane to Paradise was finished, demos were recorded, and the show was workshopped. Directors of the Kootenay Musical Theatre Society now are working hard to raise the final funds needed to bring this exciting show to the stage.

Shortcut to Fastlane, a special event  in Nelson BC on 9-June-2019, provided guests with a sneak preview of the show and raised over $2,500 to help with production costs.

This just in!: Make a tax deductible donation to the show thanks to the sponsorship of  Nelson History Theatre Society, a local registered charity. Click on the following link to go to Canada Helps – a registered charity | BN 896568417RR0001 – and make a secure contribution:

Donate via Canada Helps

The show has been cast! The principal performers are:

  • Stelio Calagias as Morris Phist
  • Michael Calladine as Edward Darnell
  • Lindsay Clague as Gretchen Wilder
  • Bessie Wapp as Peg Kofferdam and Wally & Ethel Darnell
  • Aryn Sheriff as Michaela Archer

The Chorus Members are:

  • Shawna Cummings
  • Gavin Deane
  • Amie Fries
  • Bryce Harrison
  • Emily Jamieson
  • Angela Lacroix
  • Vaughn Preninger
  • Marot Sammartino
  • Cindy Spratt
  • Alethia Stafford

Fastlane to Paradise Band:

  • Clinton Swanson                               Flute & Saxophone
  • Michael Perkins                                 Trumpet
  • David Restivo                                     Piano
  • Darren Mahe                                      Guitar
  • Jesse Lee                                             Bass
  • Stephen Brockley                               Drums 

The Production Team Members are:

  • Stage Director:                                   Avi Phillips
  • Music Director:                                  Doug Jamieson
  • Choreographer:                                  Stelio Calagias
  • Stage Manager:                                  Janet Cook
  • Assistant Music Director:                Mike Perkins
  • Producer:                                             Richard Rowberry
  • Set Designer:                                       Murray Kimber
  • Lighting Designer:                              Dave Ingraham
  • Communications Director:               Eden DuPont
  • Dance Captain:                                   Lindsay Clague
  • Costume Designer:                             Leona LeBel
  • Make-Up:                                             Sherry Perry

Watch this 4-1/2 minute video introduction to Fastlane to Paradise:

The following Synopsis features several illustrations by our Set Designer Murray Kimber. Several images are from his work The Highwayman adorn this post. Murray also designed the header on this page.  Visit to see more!

Various other soloists perform on the demos: Noémi Kiss, Emma Chart, Shadell Permanand, Eva McKimm, Doug Jamieson and Marshall Warkentin.

Synopsis – Act 1

Stelio Calagias as Mister Phist

Morris Phist, aka the Devil, slides down the side of a gigantic clock. He gives the pendulum a swing and explains that – for him – music does not require melody or lyrics; a tick and a tock are sufficient. In Time Passing, Phist tells us he adores the inexorable passage of time, because it provides him with countless opportunities to capture souls!

Dancers mechanically present Phist’s vision of the futility of life. Michaela Archer, a paramedic and part-time guardian angel, watches briefly; with an ironic smile, she shakes her head and exits.

Phist invites the audience to visit his rock club, The Devil’s Club, to witness the tragedy of Edward Darnell, his next client.

Outside the Devil’s Club, the company performs Out of Here, during which Edward busks a song called Knife-Edge about always living a hair’s breadth away from death.

An ambulance arrives and Michaela and her team take a stretcher into the Club.

Gretchen Wilder, an attractive journalist, is on assignment, at the Devil’s Club, to review Fastlane, a band she finds crude and untalented. Gretchen and Edward are taken aback when Michaela’s team brings out the stretcher. On it is a girl who overdosed. The ambulance departs and Edward resumes busking his song. Gretchen tells him she likes it and reluctantly goes into the Club and do her review. Edward sings the last two lines of his song:

A split second overdue or a heartbeat in advance
And you’ll be kicking up your heels to join the Devil’s dance.

Edward packs up his guitar and follows Gretchen into the Club.

Illustration from The Highwayman by Set Designer Murray Kimber

Illustration from The Highwayman by Set Designer Murray Kimber

Inside the Club, it is loud! The place is scary and there are some nasty-looking people circulating around the room. Freddie Hyde, lead singer of Fastlane, is a shadow of his former self. He tries to perform Let’s go down to Hell Now Baby, but messes up badly. Peg, Freddie’s backup singer and girlfriend, tries to help him with the words, but to no avail.:


Morris Phist, Freddie’s manager, is fed up with his client. There are few things sacred to Phist, but the market is a little piece of heaven even the Devil understands, and Phist cannot abide what Freddie is doing to the Fastlane brand. Before Freddie leaves the stage, Phist places a curse upon Freddie, imparting self-destructive thoughts into poor Freddie’s brain. Phist resolves to replace Freddie as soon as possible. He circulates around the room, searching for his next client.  Edward enters and Phist knows he has found the one he wants.

Edward sets his guitar down and hesitantly moves toward Gretchen’s table. Before he gets there, though, she starts an animated conversation with a male visitor. Edward returns to his table to wait for a better opportunity, but finds that a couple of drunks have taken his guitar. He gets in a fight to get it back. Meanwhile, Gretchen has heard enough of the band. She leaves to go outside and listen to the busker, not realizing that Edward has come inside looking for her.

The bouncer takes the side of the drunks and shows Edward the door. Phist wants to get to work on Edward right away. He closes the Club and sends everyone away.

Edward goes to the Strickland Bridge. He sits on a railing and sings None of the Above.:

Edward wanders off the bridge as Peg and Freddie arrive amidst a shouting match. When Peg tries to help the stumbling singer, he pushes her away and hurls abuse. She goes to get help.

Freddie climbs onto the railing of the bridge, holding his aching head. He is about to leap to his death, but stumbles backwards onto the bridge. Phist arrives and again imparts a subliminal command to Freddie. Freddie climbs back onto the railing. Edward returns and realizes that Freddie is about to leap. Before he can intervene, Phist tells him to save his breath and freezes Freddie in mid-lunge.

Mister Phist with Oscar and Bessie Wapp as Wally and Ethel Darnell

Phist gets right to work on Edward. First, he calls up a vision of Bob Guttman, Edward’s boss,  who boasts about his plans to ‘trim the fat’ and fire Edward.

Next Phist presents Edward’s parents. Perched upon Ethel Darnell’s, lap, like a ventriloquist’s dummy, is Edward’s late father, Wally, now a skeleton in a fedora. They rant about Edward being Such a Disappointment.



Phist offers Edward the Deal of a Lifetime! In exchange for his soul, he can take over Freddie’s life, and become a rock star and an instant celebrity. Edward turns down the Deal. Then Phist adds a 15-minute soul-back guarantee. When Edward asks for an escape clause, Phist tells him that the day he, Morris Phist, sings with a country gospel band, the Deal is null and void. Edward still won’t bite. Then, Phist slyly tells him journalists will be clamoring to interview him, including the one he just met outside the Club. Edward thinks of Gretchen, and agrees to try the Deal but just for 15 minutes!

Phist’s team converges from out of a portal. They do an extreme makeover on Edward, at blazing speed, until he looks just like Freddie. Phist approves their work, snaps his fingers, and Freddie completes his leap. Edward is shocked, but Phist explains that there was nothing anyone could do to stop him.

Rosa Celeste by Gustave Doré with Red Gibson

Rosa Celeste by Gustave Doré with Red Gibson

Phist quickly diverts Edward and captures his attention with the appearance of a Mystical Electric Guitar. It rises majestically from out of a portal. “This is a Hell-Caster! It’s got VOLTAGE!” he shouts.


Phist sings Two and a Half Billion Heartbeats and gets Edward to play some killer solos.

Edward quickly gets sucked into the power of the Hell-Caster. When the fifteen-minute soul-back guarantee is up, the intoxicated Edward throws all caution to the wind and takes the Deal. The fine print doesn’t faze him. He now must answer only to the name ‘Freddie’ and keep the Deal secret or go straight to Hell! Edward sings the last verse, while Phist and his crew exit. After a brilliant cadenza, Edward collapses in a heap.

When Peg and Rick arrive, they help the disoriented Edward (now inhabiting Freddie’s body) to find his way home.

Peg and Freddie drift farther and farther apart. One evening, as Peg watches Edward learning  – of all things! – a Chopin prelude on the piano. She wonders Who is This Stranger That I Love?

Later, Fastlane is rehearsing an intricate arrangement of Knife-Edge (only a portion will be used for the scene).

Phist is annoyed that Freddie invited a journalist to a rehearsal without first consulting him. Freddie is intransigent and the band continues to rehearse while Gretchen listens.

During the interview, Edward is evasive when Gretchen asks why details of his past are so contradictory. Then she suddenly remembers that she heard Knife-Edge played by a street musician outside the Devil’s Club. Freddie is thunderstruck to learn that more than once she went back hoping to hear him. “Oh God! She fell for a busker!… Me!” he laments, stunned to realize that he didn’t need to sell his soul to get to her.

Edward and Gretchen begin to fall in love. We see a series of wordless Vignettes. They meet for lunch; talk at a reception; walk down a street. We also see Gretchen interviewing Peg and Freddie rehearsing with his bass player.

Later, both Edward and Gretchen make simultaneous phone calls to respective friends. They tell them about their new romances. They end their concurrent calls, concurring that they must be in love.

Edward and Gretchen sing Like This (adapted from a poem by Rumi). They lie together. Fade to black.

Phist makes a cynical comment about the blossoming love affair and assures the audience that things will change… right after Intermission.

Synopsis – ACT 2

Edward writes a note and slips away from Gretchen’s apartment. Soon, Gretchen wakes and reads the note. She sings Cloud Nine and Seventh Heaven and joyfully dances around her apartment.

Illustration from The Highwayman by Set Designer Murray Kimber

Illustration from The Highwayman by Set Designer Murray Kimber

Unexpectedly, Peg arrives to set the record straight about Freddie. Gretchen tries to postpone the discussion, but Peg hands her three disturbing photos of Freddie. Peg found them after Freddie moved out, and thought that Gretchen should see them.

As Peg leaves, Edward returns with a bag of groceries. He can’t explain the photos, and, the more he tries, the more he obfuscates the situation. He denies that ever did such depraved things, yet admits that it is him in the photos. Gretchen tells him to get out.

Edward rehearses a melancholy jazz ballad called Slightly Fatal Bliss.

Phist tells him his fans won’t like it because they want something upbeat.

The relationship with his manager has become strained. Edward repeatedly cancels shows and Phist threatens to find a new front man. Edward says he wants to tell Gretchen everything. Phist sings Secrets, warning Edward to keep his mouth shut or he will crash and burn.

Gretchen completes the song, wondering who Freddie really is. She sends two of his notes to a handwriting analyst.

Freddie continues to deteriorate. Phist goads him for his drunkenness and cajoles him to perform that night.

Linsay Clague, Bessie Wapp, Stelio Calagias and Doug Jamieson at Workshop – May 2017

While he is getting ready, Phist resolves to end the Deal. He intercepts a message from Gretchen who now knows that Freddie’s signatures don’t match. Phist considers his move. He chuckles and rapidly edits the voicemail, making it appear that Gretchen is about to kill herself at the Stickland Bridge. He puts Plan “D” in action. When Freddie hears the edited message, he makes a Mad Dash to the Bridge:

From The Highwayman by Set Designer Murray Kimber

At the bridge, Edward tries to push Gretchen out of the path of an erratically-driven vehicle, but is struck himself. Michaela and her paramedics take Edward away in the ambulance.


At the hospital, Phist makes some empty statements to the press. Edward is attached to monitors that flash and beep. As Phist leaves, he bumps into Michaela and smirks.

Michaela freezes time in Edward’s room. The monitors and lights no longer beep and flash. Edward sits up, climbs out of bed, and experiences a nightmarish near-death experience. He is surrounded by Dust-Eaters, souls in limbo.

Phist informs Edward that he will join them soon. After Phist leaves, Michaela she tells Edward not to lose hope and to begin his recovery. He leaves and Michaela sings Scattered Grace:

Michaela dons a Stetson and exits the realm of the Dust-Eaters.

Activity resumes in the hospital room. Once again, nurses move and monitors beep and flash. Michaela gives Gretchen some encouragement, and then she asks Peg to sing at an event she is planning.

Questionable taste in the new art at Fastlane Productions

Phist arrives at work to see the sign being changed. ‘Fastlane! Raise a Little Hell Dude!’ is now ‘Hop on the Fastlane to Paradise… Friend’. Phist is outraged to find that he no longer controls the company, due to a hostile takeover. The Fastlane band members now wear suits and impervious smiles and his office has been redecorated with items of questionable taste. Michaela invites Morris to hear Peg, now in full country regalia, sing the title track from the band’s new CD.  The band launches into Fastlane to Paradise.

Phist hates the song and tries to get the band to do some of their past hits. He sings other tunes overtop, but soon gets drawn into the melody of the country tune. Phist performs the last line with a great gospel/blues style and everyone cheers. He basks in the glow for a split second, but snaps out of it. When Michaela thanks him for performing with the band, Phist is aghast to realize he has been duped and Edward has been freed from The Deal.

The band strikes up Happy Diabolic Trails,  as a large hand basket is wheeled in.

Phist reluctantly climbs into the hand basket and leaves in a huff and a puff of smoke, a sulfurous explosion! The band members congratulate each other for a great performance, toss their cowboy hats into a prop trunk, and exit.

Later, Edward and Gretchen are walking on the Stickland Bridge. Edward is hobbling with a crutch and one leg in a cast. They greet Michaela and Peg who walk arm-in-arm. Gretchen learns that ‘Freddie’ was just his stage name. She is worried about Edward being able to play again. He tells her that crutches should never hold you back and sings Stay Alive. Edward does an energetic, athletic dance, spinning on his crutch. Gretchen, Michaela and Peg join in.

Phist advises the audience that he’s returned to a profession where he wrote many of the details. He meets an earnest young man articling at his firm, to whom Phist is about to offer the Deal of a Lifetime.

Edward, Gretchen, Phist, Michaela, and Peg sing Life Can Go On.

The Chorus joins in as day-to-day activity returns to the Strickland Bridge. Life does go on.


Copyright Doug Jamieson © 2018

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