Act 1, Scene 1 - He's Dead, Jim

- Stage: The dorm
- Setting: Lionel's Birthday party decoration
- Section: A, B
- Puppets: Lori, Lionel wears a tie, Mika, Poke, Guest 1 (Xan), Guest 2 (o'wolf), Friends (all Stagehands)
- Props: Party decoration, glasses, party hats, telephone (Fin), bunch of flowers (Fin), party horn (Fin), MICROPHONE FOR GUESTS (Tigerseye)
- Music: "Happy Birthday"
- SFX: . . .


No Ambience

Main Light out

Lori, Lionel, Mika and the guests are already on stage in the dark

light fog

Some effects, blue moving heads cruise over the audience

0101 - Heather: "Lonely ... I feel so lonely. Days ... Years ... Centuries ... I have been waiting for so long that time has become indifferent to me. All that still warms my heart are the memories of days that have long passed ... the days when I used to bring joy and happiness to the world. Why do they no longer call me? Do they no longer need me? Do they no longer want me? What cold and cruel place the world must have become. What new age is dawning, now that the age of song seems to have ended? Is this my end? Lonely ... I feel so lonely. I want to sing, I want to dance! I want - no, I must be free! Oh mortals! Unlock the gate and let me free! Please!"
0101 (cont.) - Heather (whispering): "Don't let me be forgotten!"


Light out

0102 - Rustling Noises / Mumbling (HOLD)

Mika (whispering): "Is everyone ready? Does everybody have a drink?"

Guest 1: "Yes!"

Guest 2: "Sure!"

Lori (whispering): "Switch the lights off, switch the lights off!"

0103 - Light Switch Click!

Guest 2: "Wait! Is the CD in the player?"

Guest 1: "Way ahead of you!"

0104 - CD Tray closing

Lori (whispering): "Quick! Quick! He could be here any minute!"

Guests murmur in the background

Guest 1: "Where is the Mountain Dew?"

Lori (annoyed): "It's in the fridge!"

0105 - Fridge door / bottle hiss

Mika (whispering): "Shh! I think he's coming!"

Guest 2: "How old is he getting, anyway?"

Mika: "Shhhh! Quiet!"

0106 - Door opens

Lionel: "Hello? Hello? Is anybody home? Why are the lights out?"

0107 - Crash! Tumble!

Lionel: "Ouch! What the ... who left the-"

0108 - Light Switch Click!

Light on

Lori and Mika are standing around Lionel, wearing party hats, some more friends are there in section A

Mika, Lori, Friends (singing): "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear Lionel! Happy Birthday to you!"

0109 - Cheering + Party Music "Happy Birthday"

Guest 1 is constantly chewing potato chips

Lionel: "Wow, you guys are throwing a surprise party ... just for me? Aww, you shouldn't have! I don't know, what to say! I ... I ..."

Lori hugs Lionel

Lori: "Congratulations Lionel!"

Mika: "Congratulations!"

Mika gives Lionel a kiss

Lionel: "Thank you, thank you, thank you! Who arranged all this?"

Mika: "It was Lori's idea."

Lori: "I hope you like it!"

Lionel: "Yes, Lori! It's wonderful! But, where is Poke? Did he forget my birthday again?"

Lori: "Hey, this is a party. Of course he's going to come. He said, he's going to be a little late, though."

Lionel: "Ah, okay. So, who wants to have fun tonight?"

All: "Yeeeah!"

They party and dance

0110 - phone rings repeatedly

Lionel: "Hey! Turn the music down, please, I got a phone call!"

Nobody listens

Lionel: "Hey, guys! It could be important!"

Lionel picks up the phone

0111 - Pick Up Phone

Stagehand (Fin Farenath) operates the phone

Lionel: "Hello? Yes?"

Lionel: "Yes, that's me."

0112 - Fade to distorted music

music gets softer

Light fades to blue

Spotlight on Lionel

music and singing distorting

Lionel (dumbfounded): "What? - You - I - But ... Oh, shit. Yes, yes I understand. Where? The museum of what? I'm sorry, I'm still a bit ... Can I call you back? Thank you. Yes, I'll see into it. Goodbye."

Lionel hangs up.

0113 - Phone Hang Up

music off

Light changes slowly back to normal

spot out

Mika, Lori and the Guests look at Lionel

Mika: "Lionel ... What's up with you?"

Lori: "Yes, you sound like there's something wrong."

Lionel (deep breath): "Yes Lori, actually there is. I have just been informed that ... my Father has passed away last night."

Lori and Mika gasp in shock.

Lori: "Oh, Lionel! I'm so sorry!"

Lori goes to Lionel and comforts him.

Mika goes to Lionel and Lori leaves them alone

Mika: "If there's anything I can do ..."

Lionel: "No, thank you. It's all right. It just took me a bit by surprise. Don't worry."

Lori: "Lionel, I ... I don't know what to say. I'm so sorry ... I-"

Stagehand with flowers and party horn supports Poke

Poke enters from section B, bearing a bunch of flowers and tootes his party horn

0114 - Door Blasts Open / Happy Birthday Music (instrumental)

Mika, Lori and the Guests look at Poke with their mouth open

Poke (singing Stevie Wonder): "Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Biiiiiirthday!"

Poke runs over to Lionel and hits him on the shoulder.

0115 - SMACK!

Poke: "Li-o-nel! You da man! One year more and you still look beau-ty-ful! Look, I just stole these flowers for you!"

Lori and Mika look at Poke in astonishment.

Lori: "Poke! SHUT UP!"

Poke stops and looks at Lori

Poke: "Oh Lori! What's up with you? This is his Birthday Party! Not a funeral, you know! Par-ty! I know this whole concept is new to you but-"

Mika: "CUT IT OUT!"

Poke sits down

Poke: "All right ... what's wrong?"

Mika: "Lionel's Father is dead."

Guests (astonished): "Huh?"

Poke (hesitating): "What do you mean, dead? When did that happen? And how?"

Lionel: "I just got a phone call. He passed away in his sleep last night."

Mika turns to the other guests.

Mika: "I'm sorry folks, the party's over. Thank you all for coming, but I think Lionel wants to be alone now."

Guests: "Awww ..."

The guests leave to section A

Guest 1: "Bye."

Guest 2: "See you, guys."

0116 - Door Slam

- 1 Second Pause

Lionel: "So the ...

0117 - Door Open

Everyone turns their heads

Guest 1 comes back to grab the potatoe chips

0118 - Door Slam

Mika walks back to Lionel

Lionel: "So the old fart has finally hit the bucket."

Lori, Poke and Mika stare at Lionel while he is speaking

Lionel: "But life goes on. It's still my birthday, and I'd really like to celebrate with you... guys... and I..."

Lionel looks around

Lionel: "Oh dear ... I should've kept my mouth shut, shouldn't I?"

Lori: "Lionel! I'm shocked! Why are you talking about him like that?"

Mika: "Yes, you almost sound like you don't care he's dead!"

Lionel: "No, It's not that. It's just ... frankly, I don't miss him that much. I haven't heard anything from him since he left more than ten years ago."

Lori: "But he's family! What's been going on between you and him?"

Lionel: "Nothing. That's exactly the problem. Nothing has been going on. He decided to leave me behind and chase his stupid phantasies instead, and I had to find a place to live for myself. And believe me, that wasn't easy since he didn't leave me any money! And everything else he owned, he sold."

Mika: "That's hard to believe..."

Lori: "Yes, why did he go?"

Lionel: "I don't know. He told me, I would understand some day. But that day hasn't come yet. And now that he's dead, it's probably too late. I could have been the son of a famous musician, but nooo, he preferred digging in the dirt instead."

Lori (disgusted): "In the dirt?"

Poke (disgusted): "A musician?"

Mika: "What was your Father's job?"

Lionel: "He was a singer and songwriter. And he was doing really well. I swear, he was that close to his breakthrough! His songs were playing on all stations. He was just about to sign the big contract ... and then he quit! He decided to become - an archaeologist. Got that? An archaeologist! That must have been the single most stupid decision ever made on earth. He threw away a perfect career, out of pure selfishness. He didn't care the slightest bit about the consequences I had to face!"

Lori: "And ... what are you supposed to do now?"

Lionel: "They want me to come to Cairo to accept my inheritage. For some reason my Father insisted that I have to go and pick it up in person. But I'm not sure I really want to ... I mean, what could a guy like him leave me, anyway? A bucket of sand and a shovel? Besides, it's a long way to Egypt."

Mika: "Why Cairo?"

Lionel: "Because obviously that was the place where he used to live. He was working for the 'Museum of Forgotten Arts' - whatever that might be. I've never heard about this institution before... but it sure sounds like Dad."

Mika: "No matter what you think of him, you've got to pay your last respect to him. You can't just dismiss him like that. This wouldn't make you any better than him. And maybe it is worth the effort. I mean - they wouldn't make you show up personally if it wasn't important. Don't you think?"

Poke (dancing): "Yes! We're going to Cairo! We're going to walk like an Egyptian! Walk like an Egyptian!"

Lionel: "Hey, wait a minute. Who said, 'we'?"

Poke: "*I* said 'we'. I mean, we ought to stick together, right? And I can't wait to meet the bitch... see the lovely.. err... beaches. You know, sand, the like?"

Lionel: "Poke, there is no beach in Cairo!"

Lori: "I always wanted to see the Museum of Forgotten Arts..."

Lionel: "Oh Lori, five minutes ago you didn't even know this museum existed!"

Mika: "Don't you get it, we're your friends and we just want to be with you!"

Lionel: "Oh Mika, that's sweet! Alright, I guess I don't have another choice then. But please keep in mind that this is not a vacation. We've got serious business to do. Let's get packing!"

Poke leaves the stage moonwalking

Poke: "Walk like an Egyptian, walk like an Egyptian, ..." (fade out)

Fade out