Disclaimer: I'd love it if I owned RENT, but like Mark and Roger, I'm not gonna pay rent.
Notes: Well, I'm back! I almost feel bad doing two Roger songs in a row, but I knew I wanted to do "One Song Glory," and it fit the plot perfectly. There are also snippets of the Tune Ups. (#3 is the lead in to One Song Glory in this.) So… hopefully you like Roger! But don't worry, almost everyone contributes to the chapter.
Scene Six: One Long Story
(In front of the Nederlander Theatre, six friends stand in a line, staring solemnly ahead and wondering which season it is- sunsets, coffee, diapers, or love.)
Joanne: Tell me again, why are we standing in line when we're trying to break in?
Mark: 'Cause Maureen's late with the chips.
Maureen (offstage- AKA, elsewhere): Humph. Why don't you just look on Joanne's shoulder?
Roger (sulkily): Then why we can't erect a tent city? *gestures towards Collins and Angel, who have broken formation and appear either to be having a catfight or madly making out*
Mark: We don't want to tip Benny off, do we?
Roger: *points to Mimi* She might.
Mimi: *hands on hips* Did you see me standing at his dog house door?
Roger: Oh, so that's why we have a dead akita on our hands? *gestures to dead dog at his feet*
Mark, Collins, and Angel: Evita!
Mimi: Want me to get tickets?
Joanne: At this rate, the only ticket we're getting is going to be for loitering.
(They all stare at the door, as if waiting for it to spontaneously combust.)
Mark: Well, technically, it has a "For Rent" sign on it…
(They all charge at it, pounding on it, slamming each other against it, likely doing some sexually explicit things, and saying some of those same things too.)
Roger: Ouch! Angel, how'd you blow this thing up every day in front of an audience?
Angel: Easy. I was a brownie.
Roger: Is that why Collins is always trying to eat you?
Mark: The door's padlocked!
Roger: Dude, I think we covered that last chapter.
Mark: Shut up, I'm narrating. *points to his camera* This is Roger everyone. Say hi!
Roger: *threatens to moon the camera*
Joanne: Damn it, Collins, can't you just hack into the damn lock like you did with the ATM at the Food Emporium?
Collins: I can't figure out the password.
Mark: Er… try 543…
Angel (exhilarated): Open Sesame!
(Upon hearing the password, the door spontaneously combusts. They stare at the burning remnants.)
Roger: Clearly, Benny was the last one to change the locks.
Mimi: That's funny, he never locked his door when…
Roger: *eyes bulge*
Mimi (hastily): … I stole stuff from him. Like, uh, his heart.
Collins (seeing the rising tension): Now, let's go open up a restaurant on center stage!
(They create a riot racing to the stage, which Mark captures on his camera and later sells to Alexi Darling in exchange for his soul.)
Mimi: Oh my god! That's the table I died on 5,124 times!
Angel: No, no, no, I'm fairly certain that's my table.
Mark: You're both wrong. That's the table I… Wait a second, what exactly I was doing under those sheets?
Roger: Not me!
Roger: *turns away uncomfortably*
Mimi: …so, who's for telling each other how much we love each other?
(Angel and Collins comply. Mark and Joanne fight over Mark's old footage of Maureen and end up in a Tango: Maureen. Mimi tries to stuff herself into Roger's baggage, but it turns out, the airlines have some pretty strict rules about that since 9/11. Someone decides it would be a good idea to start up the band and blows a party horn.)
Benny: *is riding piggy back on Mimi* Happy nude year?
Mark: How did you know we'd be here?
Benny: I had a hunch. *a beat* You're not mad?
Roger: Nah, just a bit horny.
Everyone: *more stares*
Roger ("that came out wrong"): Crap. There's a reason I only talked to my guitar for a year, you know?
Mimi (seductively): That's okay, "I Should Tell You" is really only speaking metaphorically…
Mark and Joanne: WHERE'S MAUREEN?
Benny: Still in Oz.
Mark: What the hell is she doing in Australia?
Benny: I don't know. She said she was going to fly here, but apparently Chistery was being uncooperative. So, did you get my peace offering?
Roger: *glances at Mimi, who is now on Benny's back*
Benny: You know, the dead akita?
Roger: Oh. In that case, no, I don't think anyone gets that part.
Mimi: Yeah! If you didn't want a pet, why'd you keep me for all those performances?
Benny: Damn. That was my akita? I thought it was that Dodo puppy that Maureen's been going after for years. Oh well.
Roger: Hey, since Benny the Bulldog's so fond of killing dogs, can he commit suicide instead of April?
Benny: Relax, dude. I kept approaching Mimi on our original run because I only wanted to hire her for Maureen's bachelorette party.
Roger: What? How come I wasn't invited?
(Everyone freezes and stares at him/her.)
Angel (cont'd): Is this any way to start the show? As I recall, the audience didn't find out about the intimate relations between Benny and Mimi until late Act I.
Roger (scoffing): What audience?
(Mark and Joanne's eyes widen as they upgrade their relationship to the "chum" level.)
Mark: I think I smell the whiff of a scheme…
Benny (raising hand): No, that was just me. The meatless balls didn't agree with me.
Roger (muttered): Does anyone?
Joanne (ignoring them): You know, all Broadway shows nowadays let a bootlegger or two get away for publicity…
Mark: And I don't know about boots, but I've got a camera!
Joanne: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Mark: *does mental checklist* Lights, camera…
Mark: Roger, Roger!
Mark: No, literally, Roger, come here!
Joanne: We need one great song to convince people it's worth two hundred bucks, a long line, and living broke for a month to come to our show!
Roger: But why me?
Joanne: You've seen American Idol, you should know why.
Joanne: Exactly! The only requirement to win is a Y chromosome. People will flock to RENT when they see how good of cute badboy you are! You know, after we autotune all the genuine talent out of your vocals.
Roger: But why not Angel?
Mark: *gives him a Gibb's slap* Stop being homophobic!
(He is whisked off to a table in center stage and has his guitar shoved at him. Mark powers up his camera while Joanne shouts stage directions. Mimi watches admiringly while Benny watches her admiringly. God knows where Collins and Angel are. Could be that new Shanty Town near the river or a suite at the Plaza.)
Mark: Alright, everyone, tune up!
(Mark flips his camera on and starts filming the commercial.)
Tell the folks at home,
What you're doin' Roger!
I'm righting one great wrong…
Mark: Wait, wait, wait….
(Everyone listens intently for a moment before hearing a lone cell phone ringing in the audience.)
Benny (sheepishly): My bad. *flips it open* Muffy, go back to Arthur! *snaps it shut*
Mark: It's okay, I had no juice in my battery.
Tell the folks at home,
What you're doin' Roger!
Reciting all night long,
Mark: *rolls eyes* Now, something that doesn't remind us of Musetta's waltz.
(He flips the camera around and films himself for the introduction.)
Closed on Broadway,
The Boheme playbill said, I quote,
"You'll watch RENT and rave
Before slitting your wrists in the bathroom…"
(The lights dim as angsty riffs start playing. Close in on Roger, playing the fender guitar he hasn't played in a year…)
Three hour show.
The songs aren't worth the time…
One cast in vain,
With a pity-struck dumb man
Who wastes away in misery,
By this one girl on the street,
From the guys in the front row
And one dope.
Sung in some cheap colored lights,
So they can change sets.
Is another empty plight.
All craze is corny!
Because we're horny!
Is a song that goes "Moo!"
Choosing herds of buyers
Over art and fame.
My one song
Is not about love
It's the goal of a young man
I'm the one song,
A door to every man's soul.
I will forget.
Live a dream no one can find?
Took a whole year to belt out to a corpse!
(Like this song did. Long ago.)
Mark: … Roger, that wasn't about RENT's glory, that was all about you! Now everyone's gonna think RENT's about a crazy people who give up on glory for life!
Mimi: Well, I could always do my famous lawn chair handcuff dance to the sound of ice tea being stirred. Assuming Roger's the chair.
Joanne: Seriously, whose brilliant idea was it to have him advertise? No one's going to phone in for tickets now.
(The phone rings.)
Mark (narrating): The phone rings! We screen!
Voice: Mark, it's the Wicked Witch of the West…
Mark, Joanne, and Benny: MAUREEN! *wrestle for the phone*
Voice: …Your mother.
Hopefully, this isn't turning out to be just one long story. But I needed a transition chapter, and the Bohemians needed an audience. (Not that they don't have an awesome one here- they LOVE fanmail, AKA reviews.) Anyone else think that "One Song Glory" was Roger's song of glory and that many of the songs that get the glory aren't really the glorific ones?