Fresh!

A new musical about creativity, love, healing, and the weirdness of college

We are thrilled to announce that the Kickstarter campaign for the staged reading of Fresh! was a huge success! With more donations still coming in, we’ve reached 110% of our $10,000 goal. Still want to donate? For a limited time, all additional PayPal donors will receive the same gifts as Kickstarter donors! Watch this video to learn more about this show and campaign!

Any additional donations can help us to secure a larger performance venue, or to get a headstart on future productions – plus you’ll get some fantastic gifts!

 

Sponsors ($100+)

Debbi & Michael Bass
Esther Bates
Wendy & Dave Bates
Anita & Ron Bihovsky
Lisa, Richard, & Natalie Chapkis
Neil & Lori Cooper
The Dagenais Family
Perry Dane & Cynthia Saltzman
Matthew Dorsch
Jay Dorsch
Ray & Ann Dow
Mark & Chava Finkel
Scott, Marcia, Hannah, Sarah,
Tali & Noah Glickman
Gretchen Hansen
Bruce Kerin
Ariele & Steven Klausner
Jeff Klein
Meredith Klein Web Design
Ellen Koplowitz
Phil Landsberg, FilesByPhil
Izzy & Gloria Lieberman
Vicki & Phil Levy

Roslyn L. Maguire
Sue & Richard Misher, DDS
Eric Mohrman & Sandra Ketcham
Patrick & Paula Neustatter
Souren Novshadian
Natasha Reatig
Henry & Tehilla Rieser
Jane & Lawrence Schofer
Janet & Steve Schwartz
Jessie Seeherman
Roberta & Avi Shaked
Vicky Shanley
Wendie Sittenfield (Head Librarian,
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy)
Wendy & Peter Spitzer
Steve & Luci Stroiman
Susie & Michael Taichman-Robins
The Turk Tolub Family
Jonathan Turner
Rona Weisberger
Lorraine Weisberger
Don White

Synopsis

Fresh! tells the story of Michael, a quirky yet endearing incoming freshman at New York University, as he is confronted with a world that is quite unlike the suburban life he left behind. Though initially overwhelmed, Michael gradually becomes accustomed to his new surroundings, embracing new friendships, discovering exciting opportunities, and overall having a hell of a time figuring out just what it means to be a college student in New York City.

As the year progresses, Michael struggles to overcome the ties and relationships that bind him to his old life, including trust issues inherited from an ex-girlfriend (Jamie), artistic frustrations, and a painful connective tissue disorder that makes a normal college life increasingly difficult. With the help of his friends (including Matthew, Michael’s thinks-he’s-Slim-Shady roommate, and Melanie, a kind but secretive aspiring actress engaged in her own battle with anorexia), Michael learns that it is the most challenging struggles in life that define us, and that carry within them the possibility for unimaginable transformations.

Also, college is pretty freaking weird.

Why This Show is Important

The goal of this show is to speak to and for everyone. Over the years, people of all ages, races, genders, and orientations have begun their praise of Fresh! with almost the same words: “That reminds me exactly of the time I…”

Among Fresh‘s diverse array of characters are people with “invisible” brokenness, because so many youth today who seem healthy and whole are actually struggling with some very serious physical and or emotional problems – conditions that may or may not be life-threatening, but which are always life-changing. In a culture where illness of any kind seems almost taboo, Fresh! seeks to tell these stories as they have never been told before: through the lens of healing.

The characters in Fresh! each have their own struggles to overcome. But the question for each of them is the same: “How do I take these very scary things, and use them to make me stronger?”

Production History

In 2010, two scenes from Fresh! (“Living in NYC” and “Run Away lover”) were selected as finalists in the “Scene It: New York” competition, and were presented Off-Broadway at the Jerry Orbach Theater. Additional selections have been performed in concerts throughout New York and Pennsylvania, including Broadway Rocks!, Broadway: Evolutions, Harmonies for Hunger Relief, Broadway in Buffalo, and many more. The complete studio cast album was recorded in 2010.

Fresh! is currently in preparation for its first staged reading in NYC, which will take place in 2013. To help us bring this new show to life, please click the “Sponsors/Donate” tab above!

Michael Bihovsky (Michael + Music, Lyrics, and Book) has appeared in countless theatrical productions, including RENT (Mark), Tick, Tick…Boom! (Jon), 42nd Street (Billy Lawlor), Songs for a New World (Man #2), and The Who’s Tommy (Uncle Ernie). Michael began writing Fresh! as a student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and recently originated the role of himself (Michael) in the Off-Broadway presentation of Fresh! (then called The New Musical) as part of “Scene It: New York.” Michael has also written the music, lyrics, and book to two other musicals: Eclipse, a pop/classical fusion taking place in Ancient Greece, and Safe in Sound, a gothic-rock play about an emotionally crippled rock star.

Dana Gitlin (Remy/Mysterious Girl) is a recent graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Music degree. Dana recently starred as Lindsay in the national tour of Virtually Me. Other favorite roles include Mame (Mame), Children of Eden (Yonah), Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend), and alongside Michael Bihovsky in the third-ever mounted production of Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick…Boom! (Susan/Karessa). Dana is also an accomplished dancer, having studied ballet, jazz, hip hop, and modern. Dana has enjoyed collaborating with Michael on several projects over the past several years (including originating the role of Remy Off-Broadway as part of “Scene It: New York) and is exclusively featured on the upcoming soundtrack to Michael’s gothic-rock musical Safe in Sound.

Ross Goldstein (Fatty McFee) is a graduate of Duke University. He currently works as the Production Coordinator at DoubleBounce Media. Ross has had a passion for musical theater from a very young age and has appeared in many productions, including Carousel (Billy Bigelow), Tick, Tick…Boom! (Michael), Seussical the Musical (Horton the Elephant), The Pajama Game (Sid Sorokin), The Rocky Horror Show (Brad Majors), Grease and Sweeney Todd. Ross is thrilled to be a part of the original recording of Fresh! He would like to thank Michael for this opportunity and his friends and family for a lifetime of support and encouragement.

Sara Goldstein (Kate/Ensemble) is a graduate of Drexel University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communications. Favorite roles include Oklahoma (Laurie), Mame (Pegeen, Tango Soloist) and Ragtime (Silhouette Dancer). Sara studied ballet, tap and jazz for seventeen years and has choreographed multiple performances and musicals including High School Musical, Grease, Newsies and Little Shop of Horrors. Sara’s performance experience also includes multiple vocal featured soloist performances including Barrack’s Annual Cabaret and benefit concerts for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and The Mitzvah Food Project. Sara currently lives in Philadelphia, PA and looks forward to continue studying and pursuing both vocal performance and dance.

Shoba Narayan (Dance Club Soloist/Ensemble) is a New York City-based actor, singer, and dancer. She was the understudy for Natasha in the Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and has appeared on such TV shows as “Gossip Girl,” “Halal in the Family,” and “The Good Wife.” Shoba also had supporting roles in the films Growing Up Smiths, Coin Heist, and Mistress America. Shoba studied musical theater at Boston Conservatory, and is also a professional Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical) dancer. She has performed in both group and solo performances in the U.S and India, and has given lecture demonstrations at many colleges, universities, schools, fundraisers, and community outreach events.

Jeremy Schonzeit (Evan) was born and raised in Manhattan, where he had an intense and in-depth exposure to music from a very young age. After taking classes in his childhood at Mannes School of Music, Jeremy began performing in the internationally recognized ensemble, the Miami Boys Choir. After graduating from the Ramaz Upper School with several awards for the performing arts, Jeremy went on to New York University, where he studied Psychology and Music Education. An active performer in the A Cappella world, Jeremy has had the opportunity to perform all over the world as well as for several Heads-of-State, most notably Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as well as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Jeremy is deeply honored to have been cast in The Musical, and would like to thank Michael, whose true and unyielding talent is only compounded by his kindness and selflessness. Love and thanks to my family, who have always pushed me to follow my love of music.

Aaron Stall (Simon) studied theater at Temple University in Philadelphia. For the past few years, Aaron has been steadily gaining strength and acknowledgment in the Philadelphia theater community, where he has appeared in several professional productions, including West Side Story (Tony), Michael Tomasetti’s Media Addicts (Andrew), Birdy (Young Birdy), The Matchmaker (Barnaby Tucker), and Rabbit Hole (Jason) at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia. Aaron is classically trained in vocal performance by Lisa Willson DeNolfo, to whom he owes much of his professional success, and through which he was introduced to Michael Bihovsky. Aaron would like to thank Michael for giving him this incredible opportunity to record Fresh!

Chelsea Stotter (Professor Lane/Ensemble) studies musical theater at Temple University. Recent credits include Rent (Mimi), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), Aida (Aida), Cats (Grizabella), Seussical (Mayzie), and Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel). Chelsea is thrilled to be a part of the original studio cast of Fresh!, which she first joined Off-Broadway as part of “Scene It: New York.” In addition to her work on Fresh!, Chelsea has also played the role of Melody in Michael Bihovsky’s Eclipse. Chelsea has been studying voice over the years with her two amazing teachers, Lisa Willson Denolfo in Pennslyvania, and Matt Farnsworth in New York City. So much love to Michael for his friendship and support. And of course love to friends and family, especially Charlie, Leetal, and Jessie.

Doreen Strauss (Melanie) is a graduate of Penn State University, and has had a passion for music and the performing arts since the earliest years of her life. Over the years, Doreen has lit up the stage in such productions as Once on this Island (Ti Moune), Carousel (Julie Jordan), Titanic (Kate Mullins), 42nd Street (Anytime Annie), Bye Bye Birdie (Gloria Rasputin), BARE and The Music Man. Doreen has also been featured as a soloist in Michael Bihovsky’s Broadway-based benefit concert series for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. Doreen is thrilled to have been chosen to be a part of the incredibly talented cast of Fresh!, with which she has been involved since its earliest inceptions (the character of Melanie having been written specifically for her voice), and originated the role of Melanie Off-Broadway as part of “Scene It: New York.” She would especially like to thank Michael, whose work is a continuous source of joy and inspiration.

Jonathan Turner (Mathew) is a graduate of Princeton University, and is currently a Masters/Ph.D. candidate in molecular biology at Stanford University. Jon has appeared in a wide array of musical productions, including Ragtime (Colehouse Walker), Carousel (Enoch Snow), and Grease (Teen Angel). He has performed with the Triangle Club, Princeton’s musical comedy troupe, in their show Heist Almighty. Jon has also performed with the Tigertones, Princeton’s signature a cappella group, in a variety of venues – from the Zankel hall at Carnegie to the beaches of Bermuda. Jon has also appeared as a featured soloist in several of Michael Bihovsky’s benefit concerts, most notably “Broadway Rocks” in 2006, and “Broadway: Evolutions” in 2007.

Natalie West (Jamie) is a graduate of Muhlenberg College with a BA in Theatre and Communications. In the spring of 2009, Natalie received an Irene Ryan nomination for the American College Theater Festival for her performance in Howard Barker’s The Possibilities. While living in New York City she appeared in the finale of the Roundabout Theater’s 2011 benefit gala, Aporia Theater Company’s production of Office Hours, their reading of Art of Attack, the Scene It! competition, and can be seen in an online commercial for Folate. Natalie currently resides in Los Angeles, and can be seen in the web-series “DisEnchanted.” Natalie has also worked and studied as a dancer, specializing in jazz and tap, and is a dancer with MaDonna Grimes’ hip-hop team. She has worked with Michael in countless productions over the last several years, including the Off-Broadway cast of Fresh! as part of “Scene It: New York.” She can also be heard performing “A Love Song” from Michael’s first musical, Eclipse.

*Click any song title to view the lyrics and context for any song in the player*

Living in NYC
In this opening number, Michael, an incoming freshman at NYU, is standing on line with “hundreds” of other new arrivals who are waiting to be let into their dorm on move-in day.

MICHAEL
Finally here
Finally free
Finally my life can begin
Finally at “South Tower”
But I’ve been waiting here for an hour
Forty-eight thousand’s a sin
And now I can’t even get in
First day of college
How can it be?
First day of madness
Living in NYC
I got a feeling
There’s gotta be something for me
First day of college
First step to finding me!

(Energy explodes onstage as the curtain rises, revealing “hundreds” of other NEW STUDENTS onstage, luggage and all. Some lucky STUDENTS are preceded by large plastic carts, to which they are holding on for dear life. Manning the doors are a small group of RESIDENCE ASSISTANTS, vainly attempting to keep order, and growing more irritable by the millisecond.)

NEW STUDENTS
Maybe the doors will open soon
It’s ninety degrees in afternoon
And is the elevator here yet?
RESIDENCE ASSISTANTS
NO!!

NEW STUDENTS
Everything that I hold at heart
Is piled inside this plastic cart
A hideous box on wheels
That I waited four hours
And traded my soul to get

(The doors are opened, and the New Students parade inside.)

NEW STUDENTS (cont’d)
First day of college
Throw down the key
Give me a new life
Finally NYC
I got a picture
Of everything I can be
First day of college
First step to finding me!
SIMONThird floor residents, please come to the lounge immediately for a floor meeting!

Everyone here? Good.
How you guys doing today?
My name is Simon,
And I am your R.A.
“Residence Assistant,” or something like that. Now I’m sure you’ve all come here with your preconceptions about R.A.’s, that we’re the party-busting narc losers of University Life. Well, I’m not, and I don’t wanna be. So here’s the deal: if I don’t see it, hear it, or smell it, and nobody dies – I don’t care. Just make sure I’m invited.

Now I know what you’re thinkin’
“It’s got to be some trick”
When in sight, stay in line
And we’ll all get on just fine
Please don’t turn me into some anal-retentive prick
Okay. Now raise your hand if you’ve been to the city before. All right, good. So most of you probably know that anything you’re looking for – and I mean anything you could ever possibly want – will almost always be right next to you, if you know where to look.

Uptown in the city
Are the theaters and the malls
But what we know as “real New York”
Is right beyond these walls
Right outside there, on the corner
Are the things that matter most
So make sure you pay attention
Get your maps and listen close
North are hookah bars for clubbers
West are strippers – love to tease
East are drugs, and easy liquor
South are flawless fake IDs

Guys, it’s time to go to the Presidential Address.

So keep your highs down low!
MICHAELIs it mandatory?

SIMON
It’s optional.

But you still have to go!
(The New Students begin their walk to the Presidential Address.)

NEW STUDENTS
First day of college
So much to see
So much to do here
Everything NYC
I got places to go
And people to see
First day of college
First step to finding me!
FACULTY MEMBERPlease welcome the President of New York University!

(The PRESIDENT ascends to the podium as the New Students applaud.)

PRESIDENT
Thank you, thank you… On behalf of all of us here, let me be the first to welcome you all to NYU! It is our sincere hope that you will all make the very most out of the time you spend with us here, and we will be doing all that is in our power to make sure you have every opportunity to do just that.

The main criticism that the public gives us here at NYU is that we don’t have a structure. I am here to tell you that we do have a structure. A unique structure – but a structure nonetheless. And within that structure, if you will, is another structure, structured after the structural structure that befits a structure such as ours. Structure. Structure. Structure. Thank you very much.

(The music builds up again, as everyone turns out to the audience and sings.)

EVERYONE
First day of college
One guarantee
Anything happens
Living in NYC
I got towers to climb
In time I will see
First day of college
And anyone
Anything
Everything
I can be!

© 2005 Michael Bihovsky

I’ve Got a Crush on You
After catching Mathew conducting suspicious behavior on Michael’s Facebook page, Michael is approached online by a mysterious girl who reveals deep feelings for him.

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
Hey… is this Michael?

MICHAEL
Yeah – who is this?

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
I can’t tell you.

MICHAEL
O…kay. Why not?

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
I’m embarrassed. I have something I’ve been wanting to tell you.

MICHAEL
(obviously weirded out)
Go for it.

(A long pause as the music begins.)

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
I’m just not really sure what to say, you know?

MICHAEL
(kindly)
Just start talking. The words’ll come.

(The Mysterious Girl takes a deep breath to compose herself.)

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
(resolutely)
Okay.

(Michael leans back in his chair and watches the screen with interest.)

MYSTERIOUS GIRL (cont’d)
I’ve a little something to tell you
But I’m not quite sure how to start
How can I begin to express
What’s near to my mind
And dear to my heart?
Maybe there’s an easier way
But I don’t know
What I’m trying to say-
Well, here I go, saying
I’ve got a crush on you
The quiet charm that steals me
The smile that reveals me
‘Said that I’ve got a crush on you
There’s a fire burning deep below
And I thought you ought to know

(Michael laughs to himself, surprised but obviously delighted. The Mysterious Girl takes a few steps toward him, but remains in silhouette.)

MYSTERIOUS GIRL (cont’d)
I’ve been waiting so long to tell you
And I’ve tried to conquer my doubt
People say it’s best to speak up
Well maybe it’s true
I guess we’ll find out
Sorry for the mind games
I guess that’s how this goes
But I’ve come this far
And heaven knows that
I’ve got a crush on you
And why should I be broken
By words that remain unspoken?
Because I’ve got a crush on you
And I’m sure that I could speak my name
If I knew you felt the same

And oh, you’re so young at heart
But so wise
I can’t quite resist
I know when I’m looking there in your eyes
Why I’m meant to exist!
I exist!

I’ve got a crush on you
And still anticipating
The day that you see me waiting for you
I’ve got a crush on you

Sorry for this blatant confession
I was never known for my stealth
Now that I have spoken my feelings
Maybe I can live with myself
Though of course, I’d rather be with you
Everything I‘ve told you here is true
Now I’m through
What a rush
This crush on you

MICHAELWell, I’m glad you wrote to me. You’re right, honesty is always the best way to go. And to be totally honest… I think I might already know who you are.

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
(hopefully)
Yeah?

MICHAEL
But I think you should tell me.

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
(exhaling)
Okay…

MICHAEL
I should probably check though, you know, since we’re at NYU… are you male or female?

MYSTERIOUS GIRL
Male.

(The music stops abruptly.)

MICHAEL
(hesitantly)
What?

(Lights go up on the Mysterious Girl, who has been switched out with Fatty McGee, from the dance club. He grooves in place as the music reenters.)

FATTTY MCGEE
I’ve got a crush on you
And now that you know of me
I’m sure that you’ll learn to-
MICHAELWait, wait wait! Hold on a minute.

FATTY MCGEE
What?

MICHAEL
I think we may have a problem.

FATTY MCGEE
You are gay, aren’t you?

MICHAEL
(wide-eyed)
No…

FATTY MCGEE
(monotonously)
Oh crap.

MICHAEL
(recovering)

No! It’s okay! Really! I’m a musical theater major, even I’m surprised I’m not gay!

(responding to himself)
What the fuck?

FATTY MCGEE
But… but your Facebook profile!

MICHAEL
What about it?

FATTY MCGEE
Under “interested in,” it says you’re interested in men! And under interests, it says “sex with guys.”

MICHAEL
(concerned)
No it doesn’t…

FATTY MCGEE
Yes it does! Look!

(Michael looks suspicious for a moment, then does some quick typing. His mouth drops open in horror – then, a moment of dawning realization.)

MICHAEL
MATHEW!!!!

(Blackout.)

© 2009 Michael Bihovsky

Are We Worth That?
While trying to write a song in his room, Michael is approached by the memory of his ex-best-friend, Jamie, who teases him for working too hard. Reluctantly, Michael allows himself to slip into the memory of when he and Jamie first considered the question of whether or not to be more than just friends.

MICHAEL
When I’m standing beside you
All the world’s in my hand
When I look in the mirror
And I see my reflection
I know who I am
Have I told you I love you?
Can I tell you again?
But I know there’s a question
And I don’t know the answer
So I ask my best friend

Are we worth that?
Are we worth all the pain?
Are we worth that?
Is there nothing to gain?
Are we fools to ignore all we have here today?
Do we take one step further
And risk what we’d find on the way?

JAMIE
When the world overwhelms me
When I feel so unsure
When I search for a meaning
But I can’t find the answers
I’m left wanting more
Then I see you beside me

MICHAEL
I’m right beside you

JAMIE
And my fears drift away

MICHAEL
Here’s where I’ll stay.

JAMIE
If we can’t trust our feelings

MICHAEL AND JAMIE
If we wait for tomorrow
What’s the point of today?

So many kinds of love are there for us to go explore
And who are we to say which one means more?

Are we worth that?
Do we chase what we feel?
Are we worth that?
For the one thing that’s real?
In a life where temptation’s so hard to resist
On a night when the stars hold
So only this moment exists
Are we worth that?
Would it fade? Would we grow?
I don’t know…

I have seen all my life that the strongest of love
Can turn to despair
But I look in your eyes
And I promise you now
I will always be there

Are we worth that?
Would we stay far from harm?
Are we worth that?
When you’re here in my arms?
In a world where beginnings can lead to the end
In a place where there’s nothing that’s harder to find than a friend

Are we worth that?
Are we worth falling far?
We are…

© 2007 Michael Bihovsky

Thanksgiving Night
Lights up on a long dining-room table. Michael joins an empty seat at the table, which is filled with RELATIVES. Everybody has their hands clasped in prayer, with the exception of Michael, who looks off into the distance, clearly bored.

RELATIVES
On this day of pure Thanksgiving
Peace and joy for all those living
Guide us from within
Keep us safe from sin
As we eat and drink our fill
With family we love and want to kill
And ideally, very soon we will
God, in all Your might
Shield us with Your sight
Save us from this hell
Thanksgiving night
(The music turns to hard rock as everyone in the family immediately lifts from their contemplative positions, and begins arguing with one another. As the music quiets down, the arguments continues, though hushed. Michael continues to look off, bored.)

GRANDMA 1
Murray, pass the gravy!
Murray, pass the gravy!
Murray, pass the gravy!

GRANDPA
WHAT?

GRANDMA
Murray, pass the gravy!

GRANDPA
WHAT?

UNCLE
(in an old Jewish voice)
Has anyone seen my hemorrhoid medication? It was right here on the table…

RELATIVES
What a fucking joy reliving
One more night – deploy thanksgiving!
Every single soul affronted
“Family Feud” at round two-hundred
Pour some vodka in my bottle of Sprite
‘Cause I’d rather be unconscious tonight
Rough words, stuffed birds
Seconds with room for thirds
Breadcrumbs, pilgrims, It’s all a delight
Serving turkey to vegetarians
Mayflowers, days, hours
Never an ending in sight
Thanksgiving night

(Everyone is seated, staring suspiciously at one another. Individual Relatives address the family at large.)

DAD
Well, I’m completely against a law on bestiality. I say we should keep the government out of our barns!

GRANDMA 1
…and when we were in Canada that one time, in 1972, we had some good pretty good pastrami. But then we went to Florida, it was 1989, and we had even better pastrami. Isn’t that right, Murray?

GRANDPA
WHAT?

AUNT 1
(to the kids)
…so I’m shaving off all my hair, and I’m moving to a convent with The Leader who provides us with food, shelter, and a place to dance to the Northern Wind Goddess of the Moon. And if you are all really good, after dinner, I will show you my magic bone.

GRANDMA 2
(standing suddenly)
YEAH!
YEAH YEAH! YEAH YEAH! YEAH YEAH!
YEAH YEAH! YEAH YEAH!
(Everybody, even Michael, stops to stare at Grandma, who after a moment sits back down and casually resumes eating.)

MICHAEL
Um…?

RELATIVES
Turkey stuffing, sure to fill you
That if undercooked, will kill you!
So much food, you could, with patience
Feed entire third-world nations

MOM
Michael!
Sit up straight!

AUNT 2
And don’t take so big a bite!

ALL
And be grateful that it’s only one night!

RELATIVES AND MICHAEL
Grilled cheese, canned peas
Gelatin cranberries
Loathsome, wholesome
Just give it a try!Wasteful, tasteful
Gimme a faceful of
Mudlike soup 

COUSINS
My plate of yams
Fell on the floor
Gimme some moreGRANDMA 2
YEAH YEAH! YEAH YEAH!COUSINS
This tastes like shit 

 

ALL
That should’ve been pumpkin pie
And now that I am fully fed
I just wanna go to bed
‘Cause speaking realistically
I’d bet, statistically
Millions have been murdered on Thanksgiving
Out of anger, grief, or spite

COUSIN
I’m still hungry!

ALL
Stuff it, and move on
Thanksgiving night!
(As the final note is held out, there is utter chaos as all Relatives except for Michael strangle each other, have tug-of-wars with turkey legs, etc. Blackout.)

© 2010 Michael Bihovsky

When I Looked Into the Mirror
Michael and Mathew are sitting together in their room sharing stories after their first day of classes. Though complete opposites in almost every respect, the two begin to realize that they are both haunted by similar memories. They are soon joined by Melanie, who tells adds her own story to the mix.

MICHAEL
Jamie was the kind of girl whose laugh
Could leave you in a spell
But in the end
We knew each other far too well
We tried to make things work
To care and carry on
But then one night
I looked around, and she was gone

And by her side
I learned to feel
And live in hope
That fantasies could still be real
The mind could grow
The heart could stir
But when I looked into the mirror
I saw her

I search for someone else
But it’s hard when you can’t even love yourself…

MATHEW
Eva was the highlight of my life
So driven and sincere
My life began
The moment that we met last year
Then one night, on the phone
The time came to confess
I asked her, “Do you like me, Eva?”
She said… “no.”
“Oh.”
“Just kidding, Mathew — yes!”

And in her eyes
My life had worth
And in her smile
A light to shine for all the earth
And looking back
It seems so strange
But when I looked into the mirror
I was changed

But fantasies unwind
You don’t know what you’re missing
‘Till you’ve left it all behind…

MELANIE
Jason was a very special boy
He used to drive me mad
But still, he was
The greatest friend I ever had
I dreamed of him for years
And searched for truths unknown
A distant dreamer
So in love, but so alone

I ran so far
And flew so high
And dreamed of passion
Underneath a starlit sky
And then one night
The world was ours
The only presence missing were the stars…

He didn’t love me
He couldn’t love me
He wouldn’t even try
His hands were fearsome
His lips were frozen
He looked right through the tear within my eye
Who’d have guessed
The special boy was just like all the rest

I went to his apartment
Underneath that starless sky
I told him it was over
And I said my last goodbye
Escaped into the subway station
Longing to be free
But coming up from underground
I prayed he’d be there waiting for me
Waiting in the rain

I guess he missed the train…

And I thought, what I’d give just not to be
To look into the mirror, and see anyone but me

MICHAEL, MATHEW and MELANIE
I can’t return
I can’t resist
I can’t stop dreaming
Of a world I know cannot exist
Lead me far
And set me free
So one day, when I look into the mirror
I’ll see the way I know my life is meant to be…

© 2005 Michael Bihovsky

Run Away Lover
After months of Michael being abandoned by Melanie at critical moments in their relationship, with Melanie only giving vague excuses as to her whereabouts, Michael loses his temper, convinced that this is a repeat of the deterioration of his relationship with Jamie.

MICHAEL
Don’t lie to me!!

No more scenes and no more stories
Look into my eyes
I don’t care why you ignore me
I don’t need your lies
It’s okay, lover
Run away – lover!
I’ve been alone so long, but I’ve made it through
You know I don’t need you
If you think you understand me
Let me make this clear
You don’t know the life I’ve gone through
You have no idea
Every time I think I find the circle’s end
I’m proven wrong again
It’s cliché
Run away!

MELANIE
I’ve been left before like you have
Do you think I’d do the same?
And I know
You’ve been hurting for some time
You’ve been burned before
But I’m not trying to run
Don’t want to deceive
What will it take to make you believe?
I’m not going anywhere…

MICHAEL
You always tell me you’ll never leave my side
But then you run for cover!
You had me fooled that you were unique
But no –
You’re just like all the others!
What’d I say, lover?
Run away – lover!
Out of my life just like you were never there
Go ahead – I don’t care!

MELANIE
Can’t you see there’s more at play here?
Let us stop before we say things we don’t mean
There’s no answer that you’ll find
Till you get it through your mind

MICHAEL
Look at you there
Maybe it’s true
Maybe you care
Maybe you do
Maybe you care far more
Than you ever wanted to!How’d I think
That you’d transform me
When I always knew
You could never be there for me
Till you’re there for you!
So it seems, lover
I got dreams, lover!
Maybe it’s in my mind,
But it’s all I have 

MELANIE
That I care for youAnd I’m there for youAnd if I hurt you, Michael
I never wanted to…That’s not true, I swear
That’s not fair!
Don’t judge me!
I get by, I only try
To live the life I know… 

 

 

MELANIE
Fine!
Go and dream
If that’s what makes you glad
“Dare to Dream”
Of the life you wish you had!

(Michael storms off in a silent rage. MELANIE watches him leave, then turns inward, reprimanding herself.)

MELANIE (cont’d)
Never stray
Run away…

© 2007 Michael Bihovsky

Drugs, Drugs, Drugs
Michael returns to school for second semester to find his suite-mate Evan hosting an illegal substance party in their common room. Uninterested, Michael goes out for the night, leaving the various stoners to their own devices.

EVAN
All right, losers, get in line
Nickels, just a half-priced dime
Have your cash and orders ready
Cram your lungs with grams of heady
(Remy walks into the room. Evan notices her.)

EVAN (cont’d)
Remy! It’s your first time here, dude!
Look at that – you brought Chinese food!
What’s your fortune, Asian rookie?
REMY
(reading from card)
“You will eat a fortune cookie.”

EVAN
Moo Shu – I can’t wait to taste it!

REMY
(looking at Gothic Punk Emo Stoner Girl)
What’s with her?

STONED GUY #1
Already wasted.

EVAN
Remy needs no introduction
Let’s give her the group induction
You ever kiss another girl?

REMY
Sure!
(Everyone looks shocked.)

REMY (cont’d)
God, you guys are highly strung
STONED GUY #2
Did you kiss with tongue?

REMY
Yes, but we were young
Besides, with girls these days,
There’s fewer ways of getting what you want

STONED GIRL #1
And what do you want, Remy?

REMY
Evan knows.

STONED GUY #2
Oh, Evan blows.

EVAN
I heard that!

REMY
All right, Evan, what’s your fee?

EVAN
(indicating the Goth Punk Emo Stoner Girl)
Free if you tongue Emily.

(Remy kisses the shell-shocked looking Goth Punk Emo Stoner Girl. Some enthusiastic cheering on the part of the guys in the room.)

STONED GUY #2
That’s hot.

(As Remy pulls away, the Goth Punk Emo Stoner Girl looks vaguely confused.)

GOTH PUNK EMO STONER GIRL
Dad?

(Everyone looks around uncomfortably. Remy turns to Evan, who is staring at Remy in shock.)

REMY
What?
EVAN
(tossing her a bag of pot)
You’re such a slut!

REMY
You call me a slut ‘cause I make people happy?

EVAN
No need to get yappy – just make me happy too!

REMY
You think I’d get with you? What are you smoking?!

ALL (except Remy)
What do you think?!

EVAN
When the whole world seems to hate you
Evan’s shit rejuvenates you
He that makes the cages rattle
Always wins the losing battle!

STONED GUY #1
Dude… That totally rhymed.

EVAN
Last night
I had the most amazing conversation
With an imaginary squirrel

STONERS
It’s a squirrel!

EVAN
He told me if I climbed the stairs I’d
Reach a state of “high awareness”
I reached the trough
And I jumped off!
Then I started rising up above the skyline
And it was really goddam cold

STONERS
Fucking cold!

EVAN
‘Till I reached my one desire
Who could hope to get much higher?
I saw the world
Thanks to that squirrel!

STONERS
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
Working out life’s little bugs, with
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
They make me so happy!
Evan, you know you’re the man
Deal me out a better hand
Don’t you know
I can’t say no to drugs

REMYIs that all you got? A squirrel? I can beat that.

Just now
I got the most perceptive introspection
From a piece of pecan pie
STONERS
Were you high?!

REMY
Uh…yeah!
It told me that if I was cunning
I wouldn’t chase what won’t stop running
And then I’d thrive
And feel alive
Now you might guess this wasn’t just your average pastry
So he tried to make a deal

STONERS
An appeal!

REMY
That if I spared him from the knife
He’d pass the secret key to life

STONERS
Tell us all!

REMY
(holding up an empty plate)
Fuck!
I can’t recall…

STONERS
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
Homeless people fill their jugs for
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
Suddenly, they’re happy!
Won’t you give me just one last fix?
So I don’t need psychiatrics
There’s no doubt
Can’t live without my drugs

(Instrumental break, during which the Stoners writhe on the floor in unison.)

EVAN AND REMY
We’ve got to reexamine all the “maybes”
Talk to squirrels, and not get rabies
And be alert
To our desert
STONERS
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
Hidden underneath my rugs are
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
When I’m feeling crappy!

STONERS
Drugs, drugs, drugs!
Always will be,
Always was for
Drugs, drugs, drugs! 

EVAN AND REMY
You want it
And you need it
I’ve/He’s got it all
You want it
Come get it! 

ALL
Who could be unhappy?
When you get that special buzz
The world doesn’t suck like it usually does
Heaven may you light my way on…
(Everyone inhales.)

ALL
Drugs!
(On this last word, everyone loses their energy and collapses onto the floor in a heap.)

© 2008 Michael Bihovsky

The Dance Club
At the end of the first act, Michael’s suitemates convince him to join them at a trendy New York dance club. Unable to let go and enjoy himself, Michael sits at the bar with a Shirley Temple, watching while everyone else seems to have the time of their lives.

SOLOIST
Wanna feel the light
Wanna dance tonight
Wanna reach so high
That I reach the sky
CLUBBERS
Aah…
Forget the future’s cry
And let the darkness die…

(A Slutty Girl approaches Michael at the bar.)

SLUTTY GIRL
Hey there, Hottie – Spare a dollar?
MICHAEL
I’m a penny short-

MATHEW
(cutting in)
I’m taller!

(Mathew leads the girl away, then looks back over his shoulder at Michael.)

MATHEW (cont’d)
Coming?
MICHAEL
No thanks.
It isn’t hard to see
There’s nothing here for me…

(The Clubbers continue to dance with increasing stamina and agility. Mathew returns to appeal to Michael once more.)

MATHEW

Come on, man… Just one time.

(Michael looks back out at the crowd, and rolls his eyes, smiling.)

MICHAEL
Oh, why the hell not?
(Michael joins Mathew and leads the crowd in song and dance, and is revealed to just as good a dancer as anyone else there… he only had to decide to join in.)

ALL
Wanna touch the stars
Wanna seize the day
Wanna laugh at tomorrow
And dance tonight away
All I dream
All I dare
For one night
I won’t care
I’ll ignite
Tonight!

© 2006, Michael Bihovsky

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