Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

The Grateful Dead Broadway Musical: Scene 2

LIVING ROOM – 710 ASHBURY

(GARCIA, BOBBY, BILLY (played by Alec Baldwin for two weeks until he called the director a homo, and now played by Carol Channing), and PIGPEN (played by the chandelier from Phantom of the Opera) are present.

The mood is downcast. Garcia fiddles with a guitar. Billy does jazz hands.)

SONG: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

(Phil, played by Tommy Tune, bursts in the door holding a vinyl record.)

PHIL
Whatever you doing, guys, put it aside
My news just might blow off your socks!
I was down at the record shop–

PIG
Binky’s?

PHIL
That’s right
And guys, we’re not the only Warlocks!

(Phil shows them the record cover. There is falling about and gnashing of teeth.)

GARCIA
How can they do this?

BILLY
I think it’s a plot!

BOBBY
We are the Warlocks
They’re certainly not!

BILLY
I say we slice ’em up, dice ’em up fine
Rip off their flesh and then coat them in brine
And stick great big guns in their dirty assholes
Then feed their families to muskrats and moles
Set fire to everything they’ve ever loved
Their houses and hair and their first-baseman’s gloves
So all that they have now is covered in flame
And then maybe next time they won’t steal our name.

(The music stops and everyone stares at Billy.)

BILLY
Or we could just pick a new one, I guess.

(A spotlight illuminates Garcia.)

GARCIA
What’s in a name?
Who am I, Gertrude Stein?
What’s in a name?
It should sparkle and shine.

Something with a bit of mystery
Something from the depths of history
Something with some blood and also dirt

(The other four stand up and assemble into a barbershop quartet.)

BAND
Something that looks bitchin’ on a tee-ee-shirt!

GARCIA
The Mythical Ethical Icicle Tricycle!
That is a name that’s as good as they come!

PIG
It’s too tough to say.

BOBBY
And it’s too hard to spell.

BILLY
And I can’t fit it on my bass drum.

GARCIA
Let’s hear your ideas, then
I bet that they’re great.

BOBBY
How about Ratdog?

PHIL
I like Doctor Fate.

BILLY
I got it!

(Billy crosses to CENTER STAGE.)

BILLY
Let’s call ourselves Billy & The Billys!

(Billy tap dances for an uncomfortably long time.)

ALL
No!

(THE DEVIL DRESSED AS A DICTIONARY enters, played by Bea Arthur.)

THE DEVIL
So you need a name?
Well, that’s my game.
You can find fame
With a really boss name

Your lives won’t be the same
No, this isn’t a game
Boys, don’t be so lame
Come and find your new name

(The BEARS enter and dance with THE DEVIL, who is played by Bea Arthur.

A DICTIONARY BATHED IN A GOLDEN SHAFT OF LIGHT descends from the ceiling. The band gathers around it.)

ALL
The Grateful DEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAD!

(BLACK OUT.)

3 Comments

  1. Luther Von Baconson

    June 7, 2017 at 9:26 am

    whew! that’s damn good. 50 corned beefs & 50 roast beefs from Stage.

  2. hugh.c.mcbride

    June 7, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    “(BLACK OUT.)”

    Never in musical history has this stage direction been more appropriate.

  3. Luther Von Baconson

    June 7, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    some Newley maybe?

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