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.


GK: It was November and Thanksgiving, thank goodness, was over and I was grateful to be in New York: Grateful for people who honestly don't care what you do so long as you don't expect them to participate. I was there to help a young woman who'd run away from home to become a Broadway star.

TR: She's my daughter Yvonne Yonson. And I'm Yon Yonson.

GK: From Wisconsin.

TR: I work in the lumbermill there.

GK: You know someone named John Schmidt.

TR: John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt?

GK: Right.

TR: Never heard of him. (BRIDGE)

GK: I found Yvonne Yonson in a coffeeshop on the Lower East Side. She wore a Chicago Cubs T-shirt and she made the logo look like a Picasso. Not his Cubist period, but the one after that. ---- What yould you like, Miss Yonson?

HM: Capuccino. Free trade beans, extra shot, and goat's milk whipped to a fine froth, and no growth hormones and the the froth lightly sprinkled with Ritalin.


GK: Her dad had invested 2.3 million dollars in a new musical called "Prufrock" ----- so Yvonne got the female lead, playing a mermaid.


FN: It's a fantastic concept, Mr. Noir. A guy named Prufrock who's in love with a mermaid who is in love with Michelangelo. A love triangle. Millions of people read the poem in high school English and now they can see it onstage. Songs. Dancing. Fabulous set.

SS: And Mr. Yonson wants you to come in as dramaturge.

GK: As what?

FN: Dramaturge.

GK: What does that mean?

FN: Tell him what it means, Joyce.

SS: It means you're a consultant.

GK: Then why not just say Consultant.

FN: Dramaturge sounds better.

GK: Dramaturge.

FN: Right.

GK: You want me to be the dramaturge.

SS: We think you'd be a fine dramaturge.


GK: Prufrock was just starting rehearsals at the (CREW SHOUTS, FORK LIFT, CLATTER OF TOOLS) Shubert Theater and there was a crowd of stagehands and a guy who seemed to be the director.

TR: Bring in the lampposts. Where's Prufrock??

SS: He's on his way.

TR: Get Prufrock on stage. Now. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)

FN: Here, sir.

TR: Okay. This is your big opening number, okay? You're walking along past this hotel, feeling lost, and you sing your song and then the big dance number. Okay? Fog machine! Music! (MUSIC)

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening's spread
out against the sky
Like a patient on a bed
In other words, let us go
In other words, I'm not sure.
Do I dare to eat a peach
Or wear my trousers rolled?
Women come and go and talk
Of Michelangelo
In other words, maybe not.
In other words, I love you.

TR: Great. Terrific. Beautiful. All right---- next number. Scene 2!!!
The mermaid comes looking for Prufrock in the woods.

HM: Here I am, sir.

TR: Okay. This is the scene where you stand in the snow and it's cold and you think of how far you have to go to get to the sea. Okay? What's your name?

HM: Yvonne.

TR: Let's go, Yvonne. Horse! (WHINNY) Start the snowfall. (FN REPEAT, OFF) And music.


Stopping by the woods
To watch them filling up with snow
Between the woods and frozen lake
The woods I think I know
In other words, I'm so cold
In other words, baby kiss me.

TR: More snow! I want to see more snow! (FN REPEATS)

The woods are very lovely
Lovely, dark, and deep
But I have many promises
To keep before I sleep
In other words, I must go
In other words, I love you.

TR: Okay, you trees!!! Here's where you start to dance. Cue the dancing trees!!!

Standing by the woods
And hoping you are here,
Or are you in the village
With someone else, my dear.
In other words-----

GK: Excuse me. Sorry. Could I ask a question?

TR: Who are you?

GK: The dramaturge.

TR: Who?

GK: The dramaturge.

TR: What do you do?

GK: Well, I have to point out that the words she sang are not words from the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

TR: So what?

GK: Well the piece is called "Prufrock".

TR: What's your point?

GK: The words she sang are Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" -----

TR: I don't care if they're from the 31st chapter of Leviticus. They're perfect for this show. Okay----- let's bring in the icebox now. Icebox scene. (STAGEHANDS CHATTER & CLATTER) And I need plums. Okay?

GK: I'm not getting a strong sense of story here, are you?

SS: The dance numbers are good though. And the sets are fantastic.

GK: Okay, but I just don't feel any character development.

SS: It's only scene 3.

TR: Okay. The icebox scene. Prufrock, you're there, holding the empty plate and behind you are fifty dancers dressed up as iceboxes and you're going to come all the way downstage and sing your song---- okay? Music! (MUSIC)

This is just to say I've eaten
All the plums that were
In the icebox which you were
Probably saving for breakfast.
In other words, Forgive me-----
In other words, they were so good.
They were so sweet
And they were so cold------

GK: Excuse me. Could I just say something?

TR: What is it?

GK: In his first song, he's asking if he dares to eat a peach, and now here he is and he's eaten all the plums.

TR: What's your point?

GK: The audience is going to wonder what's going on-----

TR: What's going on is Entertainment, Mr. Dramaturge. Okay? Entertainment. This isn't a seminar. It's a show! Take a break, everybody. Come back in five. (CROWD HUBBUB, FEET, STAGEHANDS)

GK: You're looking good up there, Yvonne.

HM: Thanks. I feel terrible though.

GK: What's wrong?

HM: It's Josh. He left and went back to Wisconsin.

GK: Your boyfriend Josh?

HM: He just got up and he was like, I'm out of here, and I was like, Why? And he's like, Because. And I'm like, Because why? And he's like, If you really understood me, you'd know why. And I'm like, give me some help. And he's like, I really miss Wisconsin and I miss my dog. And I'm like, you can have a dog in New York. And he's like, no way. And I'm like, Way. And he's like, Whatever. And then he was like, gone. I don't know what to do. I'm so sad.

TR (OFF): Okay. We're back. Scene 4. Come on, people. Work with me. We've got five weeks to get this show in shape, people!

GK: Yvonne, a broken heart is only going to make you a better artist. Happy normal people don't go into the arts, Yvonne. Every wound you suffer is an asset.

HM: I don't know. I just feel so bad.

GK: It'll be okay.

TR: Okay. Let's do it. Horses. (SFX) Bring up the carriage. (SFX) And you-----

HM: Yvonne.

TR: Right. You're in the carriage now. And the stage is revolving and you're riding through grain fields and the sun is setting and you come to a school and there are fifty dancers dressed as children and they do their big number, okay? Lights up! (FN REPEATS) And music----- (MUSIC)

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
In other words, I'm in heaven.
In other words, I love you.

TR: Okay. Stage revolves! (WHINNY, CLIP CLOPS)

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.
In other words, I'm in heaven.
In other words, I love you.


TR: Beautiful! I love it!

GK: What a mess.

SS: The dance numbers are great.

GK: The book makes no sense. We're in a city, then the woods, then a kitchen, then a carriage......

SS: Maybe the audience won't notice.

GK: But, if they don't care what they're saying up there, what do they need a dramaturge for?

SS: You're the dramaturge?

GK: Yeah.

SS: They told me I was the dramaturge.

GK: I guess there are two of us then. Sir?? Could I say something?

TR: Make it quick.

GK: The carriage ride ----- with Death? ----- is she still a mermaid in that carriage? Because mermaids are immortal. Okay?

TR: I don't have time to quibble over minor details. Next scene with the Raven. Where's the Raven? (RAVEN) Okay.
The scene is Baltimore. Midnight. The poet is in his study. Ghost dancers in the shadows. Music! (MUSIC)

Once upon a midnight dreary,
While I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume
Of forgotten lore.
In other words, I am weird.
In other words, it is dark.

TR: And in come the dancers. (CHORUS LINE) (BRIDGE)

GK: It was too much for me. I left "Prufrock" and so did Yvonne.

HM: I'm giving up the theater and going back to Eau Claire and find Josh. I don't want to be loved by thousands of people. Just one. Him.

GK: And the moment I quit as dramaturge, they completely rewrote the show and retitled it "Howl" with Debra Deacon in the role of Allen Ginsberg, and she knocked them dead.


I saw the best minds of
My generation destroyed
by madness, starving naked,
dragging themselves through the streets
In other words, what a drag
In other words, what the hey
Angelheaded hipsters
burning for the starry sky
who bared their brains to heaven
hollow-eyed and high
In other words, I'm okay
In other words, I love you.

GK: It got rave reviews and its sold out through next summer.

TR (YON): Thanks, Mr. Noir. I got my daughter back AND I earned five million bucks on the investment.

GK: That's fine for you. What about me? Your dramaturge.

TR (YON): My what?

GK: The guy who made all this happen.

TR (YON): You want a job in the lumbermill? (STING)

GK: The lesson, young people, is, yes, life is a gift, but get the money up front, get the deal in writing so you'll have something to be grateful for.


SS: 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.