TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions -- Guy Noir, Private Eye.
(THEME UP AND OUT)
GK: It was June, glorious summer, and by all rights I should have been in the Hamptons, playing tennis and hobnobbing, but due to a loss of velocity in my cash flow, I was forced to take work in the Berkshires at the Tanglewood Music Center. They put me to work on the grounds crew (BIG MOWER PASSING) and my job was to pick up candy wrappers with a stick with a nail at the end of it. But I got to hear a lot of people practicing music (CELLO) in all the little practice cabins around the grounds (SITAR, TABLA) -- all the young people coming to Tanglewood to experience music (SAXOPHONE) and to develop their skills and meet other musicians -- a place where a banjo player could meet a bagpiper (DUELING BANJO ROUTINE.....BANJO, THEN BAGPIPE, BANJO, BAGPIPE) .....and where music is everywhere, in the trees, in the meadows, even the dogs are musical (BIG DOG WOOFING --ODE TO JOY--) and if you go off into the woods, you'll hear the bees humming Chopin (SFX).
FN: Excuse me, sir.
FN: I'm looking for a lost object here. Have you seen a baton lying in the grass?
GK: A baton?
FN: The maestro got upset last night and he threw his baton and now he wants it back. (TR OFF, SHOUTING IN GERMAN) That's him. He's very unhappy.
GK: I'll keep an eye out for it. Who is he?
FN: He's a young up-and-comer named Otto von Volkwagen. From Berlin. Thanks.
MS: Psssssst. Sir?
GK: Who are you?
MS: The name's Wasciewiczkevitz. Tadeusz Wasciewiczkevitz. I need you to do me a big favor.
GK: What are you crouched down behind the seats for?
MS: I don't want the Maestro to see me.
GK: What's wrong?
MS: I did an audition for him last night.
GK: Was that when he threw his baton?
MS: He tried to stick it in my chest.
GK: What happened?
MS: Long story. Can you help me get backstage to the dressing room? My clothes are there.
GK: Sure. (BRIDGE) The guy was young, good-looking, long hair, tuxedo, looked like a musician alright but there was the conductor (TR OFF, FUMING IN GERMAN), stalking around backstage, so me and Tadeusz had to climb in through a window (FOOTSTEPS, QUICK, ON TIPTOE) and sneak back to the dressing room. (DOOR CLOSE, LOCK)
MS: Whew. That was close. I tell you, the man has a temper. He wanted to kill me.
GK: All because of a bad audition?
MS: I played beautifully. I thought it was perfect. It was for the Chopin concert tonight. (CHOPIN EXCERPT INTO --DANNY BOY--)
GK: Very nice.
MS: So what's the big problem?
GK: Well, it sounded like you were maybe wandering off the beam there.
MS: It's how me mother taught it to me back home in Tipperary.
GK: I thought your name was Tadeusz Wasciewiczkevitz.
MS: Mr. Noir, my real name is Jimmy Finnegan and you know they're never going to accept Chopin played by a Finnegan. And I love Chopin. I adore Chopin-- (KNOCKS ON DOOR)
MS (IRISH): Oh for mercy sake, god help us. I'm going to hide in the closet, okay? You take care of it. (DOOR CLOSE)
GK: Who is it?
SS (OUTSIDE): It's Cynthia. Open up. (DOOR OPEN) Hi-- who are you?
GK: I was just helping one of the musicians.....
SS: Oh. Okay. Are you with the symphony?
SS: Good. Neither am I. Listen, maybe you can help. My brother Earl is auditioning to be the piano soloist tonight and he's got a problem. Earl-- get in here.
FN: Hi. Pleasure to meet you.
GK: Good to meet you.
SS: Earl, sit down. -- Here's the problem. Earl is a world-class pianist, but he has a nervous habit. He sings while he plays. He can't help it. Play for him, Earl.
(CHOPIN, AS BEFORE, AND A FEW BARS INTO IT, FN BEGINS TO HUM AND THEN SING: I'm playing Chopin and it sounds so good, I hope I get the job -- so knock on wood. I am a very handsome gifted man. I play Chopin, I play Chopin.
GK: I see the problem.
SS: The solution is simple: if you blow in his ear, Earl stops singing.
GK: I see.
SS: So I'd like you to sit next to him during the audition as his page-turner and when you hear him start to sing, you just blow in his ear.
GK: I see. Is there any sort of payment attached to this-- (KNOCKS ON DOOR)
SS: Oh no. It's him. The Maestro. Hide, Earl.
GK: Not in there. Not in the closet. Try that door there.
SS: Hurry, Earl. (FOOTSTEPS, DOOR OPEN, CLOSE)
GK: Come in! (DOOR OPEN)
TR (GERMAN): Achwohl-- who are you?
GK: The name is Noir. Guy Noir.
TR (GERMAN): You a musician?
TR (GERMAN): Thank God. (JOYOUS GERMAN) I am so sick of musicians, I want to (ANGRY GERMAN) --
GK: I'm sorry you feel that way.
TR (GERMAN): (SHOUTS THREE GERMAN INSULTS) Okay, okay. Take a deep breath and settle down. Easy does it. Easy.
GK: So where in Deutschland you come from?
TR (GERMAN): Can you keep a secret?
GK: Of course.
TR (GERMAN): You're not with the symphony?
GK: No, sir.
TR (GERMAN): Because if you tell anybody, I'll have to kill you.
GK: I won't.
TR (MIDWESTERN): Not from Germany. From western Minnesota.
TR (MIDWESTERN): Yup. Moorhead. Red River Valley. Concordia College.
GK: You're not Otto von Volkswagen?
TR (MIDWESTERN): Brian Christiansen.
GK: Huh. Interesting.
TR (MIDWESTERN): But in order to get a job here, I had to be from Europe. They don't hire Minnesotans to conduct Chopin. We're too low-key, I guess. If you can't throw temper tantrums, they think you're not serious about your art.
GK: Well, good luck on that-- (KNOCKS ON DOOR)
TR (MIDWESTERN): Okay. Wish me luck. Bye now. (DOOR OPENS, HE LAUNCHES INTO A TIRADE IN GERMAN, SLAMS DOOR)
GK: Okay, Mr. Finnegan The coast is clear. (DOOR OPEN)
MS: Is he gone?
MS: Would you ask him if I can take the audition again? I really need this, Mr. Noir. I've worked so hard. I can do it. I know I can. (CHOPIN, INTO --DANNY BOY-- THEN STOPS) Am I doing something wrong?
GK: Mr. Finnegan, sometimes we have to learn when to give up.
MS: No. Don't say that.
GK: I don't think your talents lie in that direction.
MS: I want to do this for my mother.
GK: You may have some sort of musical attention deficit where you get done with a tune before it's over and you want to move on to the next.
MS: Please. Help me. (KNOCKS) Oh for mercy sake, god help us. Back into the closet I go. (DOOR OPEN, CLOSED)
GK: Yes? Who is it? (DOOR OPEN)
FN: Hi. It's just me. Earl. My audition is in fifteen minutes and I am terrified. This is so big for me, Mr. Noir. I can't tell you. And I've got this problem.....
GK: Singing while you play.....
FN: Yes. Would you mind blowing into my ear--
GK: Which ear should I blow into?
FN: My left ear.
FN: Blow in my ear, blow in my ear.....
GK: I'm blowing.
When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
GK: Let me try the other ear.
FN (SINGS): Volare.....oh oh. Cantare...oh oh oh oh.
GK: This isn't working, Earl. (KNOCKS) Uh oh-- better hide in there. (DOOR OPEN, CLOSE) Come in-- (DOOR OPEN)
TR: It's me. The conductor.
GK: What's wrong?
TR: The mother is chasing me.
GK: What does she want?
SS: AHA! I'll tell you what I want! I want my son to play with your orchestra tonight. And if he doesn't get to play, I am going to reveal your secret to the world--
SS: Don't talk that gobbledygook with me, you're about as German as a Toyota.
SS: Stop it or I'll slap you so hard your head'll spin.
TR (GERMAN, SOFTLY) (SLAP) (SOFTER GERMAN) (SLAP)
GK: I think she's got you dead to rights, Brian. (DOOR OPEN)
MS: Okay, but what about me?
SS: What about you?
MS: I can play Chopin too. (CHOPIN, WITH A SLIGHT TOUCH OF DANNY BOY)
FN: I can play it a whole lot better than you can. Listen. (CHOPIN, AND FRED SINGS: Maria.....there once was a girl named Maria...)
(RAPPING OF STICK)
GK: Okay, everybody -- let me tell you something you've heard a hundred times before.
MS: Oh boy, here it comes. The old Art-is-bigger-than-the-individual speech.....
GK: Art is bigger than the individual. This is not about you, or you, or you, it's about music.
TR: Oh boy.
GK: Ambition is fine but in the end we must be ambitious for music itself, not for our own careers. We are a flock of swallows and what's important is not the fate of one swallow, but the survival of the species.
TR: That's not easy to swallow.
GK: So let's all work together to help each other and let's be happy for each other's success because the tide lifts all ships and it's one for all and all for one here at Tanglewood.
FN (SINGS): Bor'ing.
GK: Brian, Earl, Mr. Finnegan -- let's just join together and make music the best we can , okay? (GRUDGING AGREEMENT)
And that's how the Tangled Grass Music Center came into being out on the prairie of western Minnesota. (CHOPIN ETUDE MADE INTO POLKA) No trees, but there's a big shed and we just get together and play and it is what it is. It is what it is. (THEME)
TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets...but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...