Rudy Gunter sat alone in the Manhattan theater as the cast went through the entire play for the fourth time. His investor’s liaison, Deliah Atwater, came down from behind the curtain, made her way down the stairs from the stage to the floor, and sat down next to him.
“Can I talk to you?” she asked.
“You already are,” he said.
“The investors are nervous,” she said, “and I’m getting less and less confident in my assurances to them.”
“Rudy looked at her. “I’m getting tired of this conversation,” he said, “‘Cats’ paid for itself in less than a month. All the market research says our subjects are even more beloved than the protagonists of that work. The math is simple.”
Delilah sighed. “There have been leaks to the press. Whatever you’re making, it isn’t ‘Cats’,” she said.
“Of course ‘Dogs’ is different than ‘Cats’. Are you suggesting perhaps that Dogs are no different than Cats?” he asked, in his best director’s hauteur.
“I’m suggesting that perhaps using the 90’s rendition of ‘Jingle Bells’ made of dog barking samples as your overture places you at an artistic removed from ‘Magical Mister Mistoffelees’”, she said.
Rudy placed a finger to his lips. “Hush your doubts,” he said, “here comes the denouement. Listen, and let your doubts be smothered.”
Onstage, the lead actress began to bark. The other actors began to bark in time with her. They barked melodically, and after a minute, Deliah recognized the tune. It was ‘The Entertainer’ by Scott Joplin. She put her head in her hand and despaired.
Written on 10/9/15 and mailed to a theater buff in Denmark.
026 DOGS! The Musical (Downloadable mp3 – right click the link and choose “Save Link As…”)
Barking Sample provided by Rudy.
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