DREAMQUEST • A NEW MUSICAL
With a cast of four, music by award-winning New York composer James Behr, minimalist sets and a tiny virtual pit orchestra utilizing extraordinary digital technology, Wall Street DreamQuest is a low-cost production with high artistic standards, humor, dance, a profound story, and first-class music. Theaters with small budgets may access fantastic virtual 35-piece orchestra tracks by a top New York arranger and not hire a single musician, keeping costs to a minimum. The show is timely, dealing with aspects of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the means by which greed and corporate business corrupt the performing arts. Dreamquest integrates dance, drama, humor and music ranging from Vaudeville to breathtaking ballads to upbeat songs while making a powerful statement about how Wall Street greed and corruption dominate the modern-day arts.
1. THE GHOST SPEAKS In a sensitive scene, David, a gifted actor, discusses his being unjustly fired from his job with his father, an onstage ghost who died when David was in college. He is a loving mentor in times of trouble. Such aspects of Hamlet occur throughout the show.
2. GIVE ME A BREAK David auditions for a major New York production. Politics are in his favor. His father, the apparition, watches onstage, even offering tips while David tap dances.
3 THE AUDITION (orchestra) The stage is set up for an audition, depicting the enery and anticipation of theater from the audition buzz as stage crew briskly move sets and an spinet piano. One is drawn into their world.
4. AUDITION PATTER David and two other actors nervously await an audition. They chat about the grind of auditions, money problems and rehearsing, offering a witty yet realistic appraisal of an actor's life: love for the arts, intense competition, and (all too rare) the joy of being onstage.
5. SLEEP David learns on the same day that his wife, Sandra, is pregnant and his children's TV show (he played a dog) has been cancelled due to a corporate takeover. He's overwhelmed. She calms him down.
6. BAR SCENE Despite a great audition, executives overrule David's being hiring in favor of a less talented but famous actor. With no job and a baby on the way, he blows off steam in a bar. Dreaded decisions loom.
7. STAY WITH ME David's wife has left him. He reveals love and regret by his choices in dealing with career setbacks and how it has harmed Sandra.
8. UP IN THE CLOUDS Facing career and marital turmoil, David ponders his future with an emerging sense that a righteous cause is his destiny.
9. DREAM BALLET (orchestra) David digests problems during a dream, from his disappointed father (the spirit) to a wife who has left him to a career in flux. He comes to a revelation on a new path to repair his life.
9. PROLOGUE (orchestra) Music plays as David Morgan rehearses Shakespeare lines for his audition at Juilliard. His father coaches him firmly, insightfully, then abuptly has a heart attack and dies as horrified David helplessly tries to help to no avail. Lights dim, music turns contemplative. We see a funeral; people hug David. They filter out, he sadly stands alone. Lights up, we see a TV studio with booms, microphones and bulky camaras. Crew run about yelling out orders and moving sets. Actors in animal costumes roam. A cute brown dog draws attention, clearly the "star." Blackout. We see the dog alone in a dressing room taking the dog headpiece off. It is David. He somberly places the props down, paces. Clearly he is preoccupied by problems. Spot of a picture of his father on a table with a mirror. David sadly picks it up, stares at it. A knock on the door, music stop and someone announces, "David, we're at places." David grabs the dog headpiece, rushes out. The plot continues.
David Morgan, a gifted actor, faces a crisis after career setbacks due to a money-obsessed business executives. His wife becomes pregnant, launching a struggle by the artist conflicted between idealism and supporting a family. He considers a new career. David's mentor is his father, who died while David was in college. Ever appearing as a spirit, the apparition urges idealism. Aspects of Shakespeare's Hamlet lurk throughout. A nervous David's uncle Mort (his father's brother) offers a job at a shady Wall Street brokerage. David faces a galling choice. Money wins, darkness looms. He soon learns the painful truth how money controls – for many, show biz is just another cynical Wall-Street-dominated business driven by stocks and bankers. His father the apparition urges fighting the system. Woven into the story are a gripping love story, Hamlet, and a Quixotic quest with a twist ending.
© Wall Street DreamQuest by James Behr.
All Rights Reserved.
Recorded at Gem Studio, New York.