This past weekend I had the fantastic experience of playing drumset in a musical put together in only 24 hours. My friend Tim, along with his friend Adam, wrote the entirety of the show. We showed up at Friday on 7pm, with nobody having seen the script or music except the writers. We then performed the musical — lines memorized, music rehearsed, choreography and blocking complete — at 7pm (and 9pm) Saturday evening.
I had an extremely good time. The music was engaging and written with some interpretation allowable, as all the members of the pit were experienced in this musical scenario. We had a lot of fun putting things together quickly, and were quite successful in performing our parts within a few hours.
The show was broadly a satirical take on the characters from Scooby-Doo. In addition to the normal gang (whose names are never explicitly stated at any point in the show), there is the scapegoat Brian, who is Daphne’s current boyfriend. He is verbally abused throughout the show, with some light slapping. In addition, Scooby-Doo is just a man in a Scooby-Doo outfit (naturally), although an old Hermit we meet at the beginning addresses this fact:
Velma: Oh, that’s our anthropomorphic dog. He loves food, and hates ghosts. So, we keep him on a leash and force him to solve crimes!
Hermit (Cooper): That’s not a dog! That is clearly a man in constant pain!
Fred: (Firmly, maintaining eye contact.) It’s a dog.
The fact that the gang keeps a man in a suit on a leash, and is either indifferent to this fact or somehow unaware of its humanity, is repeated throughout the show. Every time a character (normally Brian) goes to take his leash, Scooby screams in terror. At one point, a completely silent scene opens with Scooby alone on stage. Scared by the audience, he slowly stands on both legs, moves forward, and proceeds to intently say Help me! to various members of the audience.
What I hope to show with these descriptions, as well as the plot description to follow, is the creativity and fun that Tim and Adam bring to the shows they write, as well as some interest in watching their other shows online.
Now for the plot. The aforementioned hermit opens the show, describing to Fred and Velma how he was abducted and probed by aliens. Once all the characters were quickly introduced, they were subsequently abducted. During the musical sequence, a small creature, reminiscent of the chest-bursting alien from Alien, kills Fred during the “probing” procedure. We then meet the head of the ship, Marvin.
Shaggy accuses him of working too hard, so he takes Marvin away to “relax”. We later learn their natural high is Captain Crunch.
Daphne falls into a motherly love, with a bit of sexual tension, with the alien in Fred’s chest, much to Brian’s dismay. Velma proceeds to look for clues, until she meets another female alien with the exact same disposition and actions. Some innuendos occur.
Brian sings his heart out to the audience, beautifully I may add.
We finally learn the Hermit is on the ship. His plan was to run everybody out of town with talk about aliens, so he could have the oil deposit he discovered entirely to himself. Of course, he is now abducted by aliens so there is not much to do. Brian and Scooby were within earshot, and attempt to tell the rest of the gang.
Daphne appears, crazed, yielding a gun, rounding up the aliens and, as Marvin put it, “Yelling lines from Alien 3.” Of course, the alien in Fred’s chest talks her down, at which point another chest-bursting alien emerges from Daphne. Those two aliens go to town.
Brian explains to Velma that he solved the crime, and attempts to remove the mask (as is customary). Of course, being Brian, he takes some other alien and nearly chokes it. At this point, Scooby goes up to the Hermit, who is wearing a very obvious mask, and removes it. It is revealed the culprit is none other than D.B. Cooper.
At this point, we have “A case with no loose ends”, as Shaggy puts it. Of course we then realize the characters are still on an alien spaceship. Brian asks Marvin if they can be dropped off on Earth. Marvin declines, but makes an allowance that they can stay another day, until they are eaten.
Due to the inevitability of their demise, Brian removes Scooby’s collar. Scooby rises to his foot, removes the dog head from his head, and embraces Brian. The show ends on this scene.
It was an incredible show. Things weren’t perfect, but they were as imperfect as the musicals I did pit for that had weeks of rehearsal. It was a great experience, and while Tim and Adam have just graduated college, making another musical unlikely in the near future, I am excited to hear about whatever creative endeavors they have moving forward.