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The Granada Ghost
The Granada Ghost
Scene starts in an old, downtown theatre, the Granada, during auditions for a children's musical. The name of the show, Cinderella and The Magical Slipper will be on a sandwich board next to the directors. The theatre has seen better days and is quite shabby with peeling paint, rusty old chairs etc. Three chairs are set up DSL with a table in front of them and the directors will be seated ready for the next auditioner.
Borris, the Granada Ghost walks in to DSR and takes his place in a narrating position, spot on him. He is dressed like one of the ghosts in the cemetery scene from Fiddler on the Roof.
Borris: “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Winners and Losers, Stars and those who never will be a Star, I bring you a tale that is sure to tug at your heart strings, to haunt you every time you merrily drive down 5th street on your way to the library and to make you think twice about hanging out backstage at the Granada on a dark and stormy night.”
Stage left light comes up on directors and a young boy, Boy Borris is standing DSC in front with a piece of sheet music. He is wearing a small sign that says "Auditioner 13". He begins to perform the number "I Just Can't Wait to be King". He starts singing and is off key and terribly flat.
Director #1: (Cutting him off before he is even half way through) “Thank you Borris, but... that will be quite enough. NEXT!”
Boy Borris: (walks dejectedly off stage and into the audience, exiting down an aisle. Spot goes down and comes up again on the identical setup, same directors, and a little older Teen Borris. This time the sign says "Auditions for Grease".
Director #2: “We will play the song "You're the One That I Want" and we want to see you freestyle dance.”
Borris tries this but he is off beat and keeps tripping over himself.
Director #3: "that was.... Uh, very nice.... Have you ever considered tech, Borris?" (And then as an aside to his fellow director) “Not exactly Fred Astaire, is he?” (They laugh; Teen Borris hears this as he exits once again down the aisle.)
Spot goes down and comes up on stage left, with same set, same directors and a sandwich board that says Fiddler on the Roof. Adult Borris walks into the spot light slightly stage right from the directors’ table, shedding his ghost robe, revealing regular street dress underneath.
Director #1: (hands Borris a piece of sheet music) "Please sing this excerpt from "If I Were a Rich Man".
Borris comes downstage and farther right to audition, performing it terribly off key and flat. The directors show signs of annoyance; one buries her head in her arms, another sprawls back in his chair and stares at the ceiling and the third runs his hand through his hair. The spot goes down. The current Borris puts his ghost robe back on.
All lights come up, and the three directors are seated at their table, frozen with the two young Borrises also frozen in their former audition stances slightly stage right in front of table.
Borris: (looking over at his childhood auditioners, then back at the audience.) Neither of those two fine actors got the roles they were hoping for. (Walking over to them) “This unfortunate kid auditioned for the role of the Prince in Cinderella, or at least Gus Gus. Instead, he was privileged to be Mouse Number 13. Poor kid. (Motioning toward the teen Borris) This young man... well.... he took their advice and did tech. Oh! Wait! I forgot to introduce myself! My name is Borris, Mouse Number 13, Stage Right Tech Crew and this last time around I broke tradition and actually got an ensemble role; as ghost number 13 in Fruma Sarah’s graveyard. It was while playing this part that I finally realized it; I was made for this role. It felt good being a ghost. They wanted a ghost!? I'll show em ghost! And it will be a legendary performance that they will never forget!! And so I began. I set up shop in the dusty old attic where nobody ever ventures except to fix roof leaks and turn on fog machines! I told myself that I would dedicate my work to all those poor ensemble members who ended up as mice, and all those cameo forest creatures; this was my Shout Out to them. But at the same time, I would plan my revenge against every diva lead, and every actor or actress who thought they were all that while the ensemble members watched from the wings. I took action.”
Stephanie Star: (storming onto stage from upstage right, looking for the stage manager. Stage Manager enters from downstage left and they meet in center stage) “Why isn't my wireless mike working? I have three solos in the first act alone. I need it working by then.”
Stage Manager: “Don't blame me! These things happen, especially here! It must be the Granada Ghost! Haha."
Stephanie Star: "Don't treat this like a joke. I'm on in 15 minutes!" (Just before exiting upstage left, she adds) “And, there’s no such thing as the Granada Ghost!”
Eddie Ensemble: (Enters upstage right, talking to the costumer). "Thank you for fixing the rip in my dinner jacket. I thought it wasn't gonna be ready! (To the audience) And it doesn’t matter much anyway; I’m only in one scene."
Costumer: "Oh! I hadn't gotten to that yet. I was still working on Stephanie Star’s parasol."
Eddie: "Well then, who fixed it? I must thank them. And there were fresh water bottles and cookies in the ensemble dressing room today. Who do we have to thank for that?”
Costumer: (laughing, as they walk out together downstage left) “It wasn’t me. It must be the Granada Ghost.
Spot back DSR on Borris, the Granada Ghost: “Well now the summer show was coming up and I decided to sabotage every lead on opening night. I damaged microphones, costumes, props, anything that was necessary to the lead roles! The plan was to make the ensemble look good. But what really happened was …
Eddie and Ellie Ensemble come out from upstage left. They are carrying their costumes and look defeated.
Ellie: “That was our worst performance ever. Everything went wrong.”
Eddie: “I know, no one could hear any of the solos and since I couldn’t hear my cue, I didn’t even come on stage for my one little scene.”
Ellie: My grandmother left early. She said when Stephanie Star tripped over her skirt and tumbled off the stage right onto the drum set, she had had enough.”
Eddie: “What a disaster! Our show is ruined!”
Granada Ghost: "Well, I felt wretched. It seemed that if one group of actors sucked they all sucked. Then it hit me. The leads needed the ensemble and the ensemble needed them! And all the actors needed the tech crew. I mean, those kids were proud of their show! I wish I could have seen it that way before.. And so I had a different point of view. Why did I have to be a bad ghost?”
Stephanie, Ellie and Eddie all come out upstage right. Each has a newspaper and are standing back to back while they read..
Eddie: “Contrary to the reports heard earlier in the week, the teen performance at the Granada last night was a delightful success”.
Ellie: “There is speculation that cast and crew were up all night fixing the problems that so plagued the past few performances. Costumes and sets were creative and functional.”
Stephanie: “There was a perfect balance between the orchestra and the soloists. Audience members were thrilled to be able to hear every word of last night’s performance. This show truly has experienced a metamorphosis.”
Eddie: “And by the faces on the actors at their curtain call, you could tell all is well again at the Granada Theater.”
The Granada Ghost: “Well, that was my full reward and the best role I ever played. Who knows if they’ll ever know who I am or ever even see me? For now, I’m still a ghost, so let’s just keep my story a little secret between us, k? And if anybody asks you what the Granada Ghost is like, just tell them that he isn’t ALL bad. On a cold, grey morning, if you listen very carefully, you can still hear my footsteps echo through the attic of that old dusty theatre.”