Tim Russell: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.
Garrison Keillor: It was one of those cold days at the end of October, when the dry leaves blow down your street and it's cold. You can't see any body around and you wonder if they know something you ought to know. I was in my office at the Acme Building, working on the crossword puzzle, and I'd gotten One Down, blank blank Maupaussant. Guy de. And then--
Bonnie Raitt: Mr. Noir? Hi. My name is Stephanie. Sorry to interrupt you.
GK: It's nothing. Just working on the crossword. What can I do for you?
BR: Well--A friend of mine said you're a detective and you do good work for reasonable rates.
GK: One look at her and I was prepared to donate my services. She was tall, red-headed, in one of those peasant outfits that make a man feel like going out with a sickle and harvesting some oats -- Have a seat, Stephanie. Can I offer you a cup of coffee?
BR: Coffee irritates my nasal passages and I have to audition for a show tomorrow. That's sort of why I came in.
GK: So you're a singer?
BR: I'm a singer but I want to be an actress, Mr. Noir.
GK: I see.
BR: I want to dress up and say things and use facial expressions and gestures -- And I want to dance. I want to be in musicals.
GK: Well, that's a great ambition to have.
BR: So I'm auditioning for a part that is extremely important to me, Mr. Noir. What I need is a resume.
GK: What's wrong with the resume you have, Stephanie?
BR: I'm auditioning for a Broadway role, Mr. Noir, and my resume is a blues resume. You see, my real name is Lucille. Lucille Potts. I sing in a band, The Blue Blazes. VFW clubs and casinos, one ratty dive after another, driving around in a schoolbus with bunkbeds, eating cheeseburgers for breakfast. But my dream is to sing the part of Eliza Doolittle in "My Fair Lady".
GK: The Julie Andrews part.
GK: You have any experience singing in musicals?
BR: None. I've got experience driving a bus all day across Wyoming while the guys sleep off their hangovers, but I never did a musical.
GK: Miss Potts, producers are going to know that you haven't done this--
BR: I've seen the movies. I've seen "My Fair Lady" twenty or thirty times. I know every song by heart. (SINGS, BLUESY) I have often walked down that street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before......
GK: Well, I can create a resume, the problem is living up to it. (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Excuse me. -- Yeah, come in, the door's unlocked. (FOOTSTEPS)
TR: Hi, baby.
BR: Larry, I told you -- wait in the bus.
TR: What you doing talking to a private detective, Lucille? I ain't been running around on you, baby. What's wrong?
BR: I want more, Larry. Bus travel isn't enough for me. I have a dream.
GK: It's okay, Larry. Why don't you wait downstairs?
TR: What'd I do, baby? Just tell me. (KNOCKS ON DOOR)
GK: Yeah, come in-- (DOOR OPEN)
Sue Scott (DEEP): Hey Lucille-- I just come up to see what you're doing. You okay?
BR: I'm fine, Roxie. (TO NOIR) She's the drummer.
TR: What's going on, babes? Just tell me.
SS: Yeah, tell us. You been acting so strange lately.
TR: We can't keep secrets from each other, Lucille. We're a band. We're family.
SS: Just tell us. Don't torture us this way.
GK: Okay. I'll tell. Just remember: hush hush is the word. Loose lips sink ships. The reason Lucille came in is because she went to see the gypsy woman who put a spell on her and when she woke up she was on a freight train down by the border and her mojo was gone and a hound dog was on her trail and she seen what she done done, and it caused her to weep and it caused her to moan and that's all I know.
TR: So what is it that she done done?
GK: This potion the gypsy woman gave her, it tasted like turpentine. And it was greasepaint.
SS: Greasepaint. We don't wear greasepaint. Just grease.
BR: I got off the train with my suitcase in my hand, and when the train pulled out of the station, it had two lights on behind. And the red light was Richard Rodgers and the blue light was Hammerstein.
TR: Oh baby-- say it ain't true.
TR: Broadway? Oh baby--
SS: There ain't nothing real there, baby-- it's all make-believe. The blues is real. It's life.
BR: I'm tired of blue jeans, Roxie. I want a ball gown. I want my hair done up. I want to waltz--
SS: You want to do Broadway, that means we'd have to move to New York, live in a hotel, we'd have to give up the bus--
TR: We just wouldn't feel like we belonged on Broadway, Lucille--
BR: You're right. You wouldn't. But maybe I would.
TR: You're talking about breaking up the band, Lucille?
SS: We been together for twenty odd years--
BR: Twenty odd years is right.
TR: The Blue Blazes -- we're an institution, darling.
BR: I'm not. I'm just me. Stephanie Stevens.
BR: It's my new name. A new me. You take the bus, I'm going to New York.
TR: What about our fans? Huh? What about them?
BR: Look -- people who attend the broadway shows, by and large, are not blind drunk. They don't yell requests at you or throw up. They listen to you and at the end they give you a standing ovation.
SS: Ain't we had fun though?
BR: And after the ovation, you go to your dressing room, and your valet Bruce helps you out of your costume and into your ostrich feather dressing gown and you sit and look at the flowers sent backstage by tycoons who worship you, and you put on your mink and you walk out the stage door through the throng of fans and you autograph some programs and get into the limo and he takes you to Sardi's for the lobster bisque and then home to the Ritz, your suite on the 44th floor. You put on your silk gown and your sleep mask and you dive in between your satin sheets and you sleep until noon and James brings in breakfast on a tray along with the morning Times in which Ben Brantley calls you "sensational". You take a leisurely bath in the tub, you take the dogs for a walk, Natasha comes in and does your nails, you give a couple interviews, your investment advisor calls to tell you about an opportunity in the Bahamas, and Raoul comes to take you to the theater.
TR: But what about your guitar?
BR: I'll sell it on e-Bay.
SS: What about us? We can't go on without a singer.
BR: You sing, Roxie.
BR: You know all the songs.
SS: (SINGS) Honky-Tonk Women
BR: Beautiful. You got it.
TR: I don't understand, Lucille. What do you hope to get out of this? What do you want?
BR: What do I want?
All I want is a room somewhere, (GK JOINS IN DUET)
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Lots of choc'lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin' lots of 'eat.
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Aow, so loverly sittin' abso-bloomin'-lutely still.
I would never budge 'till spring
Crept over me windowsill.
Someone's 'ead restin' on my knee,
Warm an' tender as 'e can be. Who takes good care of me,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly. (BRIDGE)
GK: You're a brave woman, Stephanie Stevens.
BR: Put in the resume that I was Marian the Librarian, I was Maria -- both Marias, the West Side Story one and the Sound of Music one, and I was Mama in "Gypsy" and I was Auntie Mame and Laurey in "Oklahoma" and -- Guinevere--
GK: And where did you do all this?
BR: Make up something.
GK: Some place that sounds good but they won't bother to check. Someplace your average Broadway producer has heard of but they don't know anybody there.
GK: Perfect. Minnesota.
BR: St. Paul, Minnesota.
GK: What theater? The Paramount, the Pantages, the Lyric, the Orpheum, the State--
BR: The Egyptian.
BR: Sid Hartman's Egyptian Lyric Theater in St. Paul.
GK: Excellent. And we'll need a picture of you. Smile-- look winsome.
BR: Winsome! How about stunning? (CLICK)
GK: Very good. (THEME)
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye.