ROMANCE.COM

If ever their was a subject for musical comedy it's internet dating, When Alan Fisher meets Katie Bass on an internet dating service, the notes of love are found, keystroke by keystroke. Throw in Alan's pessimistic best friend Bill, his black-sheep father Steve, and Pam's skeptical mother Katie and you have a romantic mix that is sure to entertain. Eleven original songs.


                   ROMANCE.COM AS PERFORMED AT RICHMOND SHEPARD THEATRE- NEW YORK CITY


 

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:

"Romance.com, with words, book and lyrics by Joe Simonelli, is a promising new work...the musical scenes are witty, funny and poignant."
Hi Drama Manhattan cable Theatre review program


"...the audience at the performance I attended certainly couldn't get enough of it."
  Mitch Montgomery- Off-Off Online


         "On-line dating was never so hilarious!"

               Joe Franklin, Bloomberg Radio



Excerpts

Romance.com

ACT I
Scene I
SETTING: The respective apartments of Alan Fisher and
Pam Bass. The stage is divided in half with an
imaginary wall separating stage left and right.
Different wallpaper on each side of stage can
be used to signify the different apartments;
although both will share the same respective
bath, bedroom and kitchen areas which will be an
archway back(up) center. Both apartments will have
separate front entry doors stage left and right.
The usual furniture found in the apartments of a single man and woman should be present. Both apartments
should have a small desk with a P.C. or laptop on top.
There is one scene change in act one when the action switches to a small café. This can be achieved with something as simple as a small table, two chairs and
appropriate lighting or as extensive as a moving center wall.
AT RISE Lights up full as Bill Wright enters and starts singing
The title song.
(Music starts, “Romance.com")
BILL
(singing)
Romance dot com, it’s kind of funny that you can’t find someone, who isn’t hooked up or who isn’t online, romance dot com.
Romance dot com, it’s got a certain kind of gentle aplomb, that only people would assume can’t be done, romance dot com.
I know a guy, to find the right one he would fly to the sky, to find his soul mate he would probably try, to take his chances run a marathon, decathlon keep running till he can’t go on.
And when he’s caught, a twenty carat diamond ring he has bought, then it’s home to meet her dad and her mom. Romance.com.
(Alan Fisher enters through his apartment door carrying mail)
BILL
(to audience-spoken over music)
2
That’s the guy, my buddy Alan Fisher. Mid-forties, divorced, a couple of teenage kids who live with their mother on the West Coast.
(to Alan)
Hi Alan.
ALAN
Hi Bill. How’d you get in here?
BILL
The extra key you keep under the fake potted plant in the lobby. Your ex-girlfriend told me about it. You know, the tall redhead. What was her name again?
ALAN
Kama Sutra Suzie?
BILL
That’s the one.
(ALAN sits at desk and checks mail as Pam Bass enters from her apartment, she is also carrying mail)
BILL
And that’s Pam Bass, she lives across town. The year is two thousand, the new millennium, and through the magic of something we affectionately refer to as the World Wide Web, internet or information superhighway, they are about to become acquainted. In about two stanzas, you’re going to meet her best friend Linda, her mother Katie and his father Steve…they have to help finish the opening number!
(Sings)
Romance dot com
ALAN and PAM
(sing counterpoint to Bill)
(referring to mail they are holding) Bills, bills, bills.
BILL
You think you’ve had enough and then you find love, just as if it’s sent from Heaven above, Romance dot com.
(Steve and Katie enter from children’s respective apartments, Linda enters from center)
Pam and Al
STEVE
3
You better watch it or she’ll hook you good pal
KATIE
Although she’s just my charming sweet little gal.
BILL
You better watch it buddy, a few months, romantic dating, bells go off
(retard tempo)
The preachers waiting….
(Tempo change)
ALL WOMEN
(Three part Harmony)
The internet, the internet, let’s go surfing on the internet
The internet, the internet, we’ll find someone on the internet
ALAN & PAM
We don’t have time, to find the right one so we’ll just go online
STEVE & KATIE
Until we find someone we’re biding our time, with mere distractions
BILL & LINDA
We’ll go camping, we’ll go cycling, we’ll do anything until we find them…
BILL
Romance dot com, it’s getting much too late to stay at the prom. We’ve got to finally decide or move on, Romance dot com.
ALAN
Romance dot com, I’ve been alone so long I think I’ll become, a Buddhist monk or just a recluse who’s done, with Romance dot com.
PAM
It never fails, a meet a real nice guy he winds up in jail, for drunken driving and I’m paying his bail, it never fails.
LINDA
When will it end, could it be me or is it just that all men...
KATIE
4
Are only selfish jerks who roll you and then…
All WOMEN
They run away to play some golf or tennis, never call you, you can bet that they’ll annoy you…
ENTIRE ENSEMBLE
(Slow tempo - Kick line style)
Romance dot com, won’t someone finally deliver us from, a bad relationship, the time has now come-
(Trill)
ALAN & PAM
Romance,
STEVE & KATE
Romance
BILL & LINDA
Romance
ALL
Romance Dot commmmmm!
(End Song)
(All exit except Alan who sits at his desk looking at his computer as the lights come up)
(Phone rings)
ALAN
(into phone)
Hello, Alan Fischer speaking. ..Oh, hi Stan….Yes, I’m working on it….I know I’m facing a deadline Stan, I’m perusing dating sites as we speak….here, Elite dating.com, Over fifty dating.com, under forty dating.com, between forty and fifty dating.com …wait, here’s one I never saw before, triple dating .com..what’s that all about…I should of guessed, it’s for threesomes, I think I’ll just add that to my favorites. See what I’m saying Stan…I belong to eight different dating sites just to write this stupid article…. What do you mean how come I never take them out? Who’s got the money? All these sites charge a fee you know…maybe if you gave me an expense account or an advance or something…alright alright, I’ll actually take some out, get off my back.
(Knock at door)
I gotta go Stan, someone’s at the door…sure, bye Stan.
(to door)
Come in.
5
BILL
(enters)
Hi Alan. What’s shakin?
ALAN
Los Angeles after an eight point-O on the Richter scale.
BILL
Got any beer?
ALAN
(sits at computer)
I think so.
BILL
Where?
ALAN
Where do you think the beer is? Try my sock drawer.
BILL
The refrigerator.
(exits to kitchen)
ALAN
Very astute, Kreskin.
BILL
(off stage)
You want one?
ALAN
Sure.
BILL
(re-enters carrying two beers. Hands one to Alan.)
You on-line again?
ALAN
You bet, Billy boy.
6
BILL
For your consideration I give you Alan Fisher, a monument to the single man. Mid - forties, professional, and can’t maintain a relationship for more than…how long did the last one make it?
ALAN
Nine months.
BILL
That’s an ominous number.
ALAN
Like you should talk. How many times have you been married?
BILL
Let’s see, first there was Cheryl.
ALAN
Uno.
BILL
Then Donna. (lasciviously reminiscing) Oh boy, was there ever Donna.
ALAN
Twice!
BILL
And Lucille. (Grimacing)
ALAN
(sings)Three strikes your out at the old, love game!
BILL
And that is precisely why I don’t date anymore.
ALAN
Learned your lesson huh? If I ever see you with another woman again I’m having you committed…by the way, how long has it been for you?
BILL
What do you mean?
ALAN
You know, since you had a little action?
7
BILL
(Looks at his right hand) You mean with someone else?
ALAN
Yes, I mean with someone else.
BILL
A year and a half. After my last divorce, my therapist said I shouldn’t date for at least two years.
ALAN
I’d get a new therapist.
BILL
She’s right you know.
ALAN
You have a female therapist? Well, I guess you gotta fight fire with fire.
BILL
Exactly. How else am I gonna figure out what I’ve been doing wrong with women all these years. Fortunately for me, I have learned that I can survive just fine without the company of a woman. I’ve adopted the ‘Country Gentleman’ lifestyle. Just like Cary Grant, or better yet, Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady.”
ALAN
You’re swearing off women?
BILL
No, I’m still interested in women. I just choose not to be controlled by them.
ALAN
What makes you so special…don’t you know it’s every woman’s right to try to control the relationship?
BILL
And if I refuse to let them?
ALAN
That’s why God invented alimony…And what’s with all this Country Gentleman stuff?
BILL
If you’ll remain silent and not interrupt, I’ll explain it to you. Now I’m forty-five years old, I’m older and wiser. Therefore I am not ruled by the base elements that govern so many of my common brethren. From now on mine is a more intellectual pursuit. I will enjoy the finer things in life in quiet solitude. I am self-contained, I need no one but me.
8
ALAN
What are you saying, you’re giving up sex?
BILL
Oh perish the thought at its inception old boy. If the opportunity presents itself, I will partake. However, unlike most others, I will not become emotionally attached.
ALAN
Famous last words. And what’s with all this ‘perish the thought ‘ crap. We both grew up in Jersey and no one ever said ‘old boy’ in Newark. I think you’re taking this country gentleman stuff a little too far.
BILL
Am I? All right, you’re on the internet searching for a relationship. Let’s examine your motives. Why are you so desperate to find someone?
ALAN
“A” I’m doing research for a magazine article and ‘B’ I’d just like some female companionship, That’s all. I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone.
BILL
Companionship is one thing, but I’m sensing a bit of desperation on your part. Why such a herculean effort?
ALAN
It’s either this or online gambling and I’m out of money. Besides, it beats sitting here talking to you.
BILL
Sure. Evade the issue.
ALAN
Billy, Billy, Billy… I know you’re trying to make some convoluted point so why don’t you just make it?
BILL
Okay, I will. What are people looking for in a relationship?
ALAN
I just told you. Companionship.
BILL
Which leads to?
ALAN
Let’s hope lot’s of sex.
9
BILL
No doubt, but besides the sex it could lead to…begins with an L, rhymes with Dove.
ALAN
Does it have four letters and end in an E?
BILL
Bingo. The answer is love. So now you’re in love, and as we all know love brings….
ALAN
Love brings…love brings…more sex?
BILL
Yeah, right up until you get married. But love also brings happiness doesn’t it?
ALAN
I guess so.
BILL
Well there it is, you just broke the code Alan.
ALAN
I did huh, and what code could that be?
BILL
The eternal conundrum, the yin and yang, the dilemma that’s been falsely vexing people for years!
ALAN
English please.
BILL
Love brings happiness. Ergo, most people enter into a relationship to find happiness.
ALAN
Sounds plausible.
BILL
Plausible? Love brings happiness? Don’t you see the obvious fault in that logic?
ALAN
No, care to enlighten me?
BILL
10
Isn’t it obvious. Why would anyone want to make their happiness depend on someone else. Do you realize how much you empower another person when you make your happiness contingent on their approval? You have to worry about if they’re lying to you, cheating on you, stealing from you…
ALAN
What ever happened to trust?
BILL
It went out the window with the third ex-wife. You see that computer you’re using, that internet dating service. That is a testament to the co-dependency problem we are experiencing in this country.
ALAN
Co-dependency? What the hell are you talking about?
BILL
Right back to my original point. Why do you need someone else to make you happy? Why can’t you be happy by yourself?
ALAN
I am happy by myself.
BILL
Then why are you on that dating site?
ALAN
I don’t know, why don’t you ask your shrink, she seems to have all the answers.
BILL
Look, I did my part, I said my piece.
ALAN
(rises and crosses to Bill)
So what you’re saying is no one should cohabitate. Nobody gets married, nobody procreates and the human race ceases to exist.
BILL
Young people should procreate. People in their twenties. They’ve got the stamina. I’m referring to people our age.
ALAN
Oh, just middle aged people shouldn’t date.
11
BILL
They shouldn’t form attachments.
ALAN
It’s the same thing.
BILL
Isn’t
ALAN
Is.
BILL
Isn’t
ALAN
It is!
BILL
Fine. Date your head off. But don’t come crying to me when some woman sends you mixed signals or dumps you.
ALAN
You are a big talker Mr. "I’ve been married three times." I know you better than you know yourself. You will never survive without a woman. I bet you’ll even get married again.
BILL
Won’t
ALAN
Will.
BILL
I won’t!
ALAN
You will!
BILL
Won’t, never ever, ain’t gonna happen!
(Music starts, “I’ll Never Marry”)
12
ALAN
(ad-lib over music) I’ll be pulling rice from my lapel sooner than I think if I know you my friend.
BILL
(spoken) I mean it Alan. I’d rather have triple bypass surgery than take the plunge again.
ALAN
What else would you rather do, act in community theatre?
BILL
I can think of lots of things.
(sings)
Verse:
I’d…rather walk a tight rope over sharks
Or I’d…run stark naked right through central park.
I’d…tame a lion with a whip and chair
Even…a long prison sentence is more fair.
Chorus:
I’ll never marry again. I’ll never marry again.
VERSE:
I’ll…volunteer to be a guinea pig…for some…extreme experiment where they…
May even stick some needles in my toes…before again I’ll ever want to be betrothed.
I’ll never marry again, no I’ll never marry again
Bridge: (the women enter through Pam’s doorway and sing back up harmonies –ohh’s etc['.)
And if sometimes I get lonely, I’ll know it’s only, in my head
ALAN
And if some sweet girl comes calling, and you start falling.
BILL
I’m better comatose or dead!
ALAN
(spoken ad –lib) Come on dead?
13
VERSE:
And when you finally pass?
BILL
In heaven you don’t cut the grass.
ALAN
Or put out the cat or the trash.
BILL
They don’t even have Sunday Mass.
ALAN
(ad-lib) What are you telling me
You’d…rather be alone without a girl…To hold you when you dance…who are you gonna swirl around the floor and take home to be cozy?
BILL
You… should mind your business and not be so nosy…
I’ll never marry again
ALAN
(singing counter behind)
You will get married again!
BILL
I’ll never marry again.
ALAN
You will get married…
ALAN & BILL
(Bridge)
And if someday we get lonely, we hope if only, we can find,
A special someone not a phony, but the girl, who’ll stop all time…
ALAN
Then he might finally say.
BILL
(counter to Alan)
I’ll never finally say.
14
ALAN
That he may get married someday.
BILL
(counter)
I’ll never wed!
ALAN & BILL
Then we might finally say
GIRLS
Then you will finally say!!
ALAN & Bill
That we may get married someday!
GIRLS
You will get married!
ALAN & BILL
Yes we may get married someday!
GIRLS
You will get married!
ALL
That we may get married someday!
(End Song)
BILL
Nah, it ain’t gonna happen!
(Alan and Bill Katie exit as lights up on Pam’s apartment)
PAM
(sitting at computer)
I cannot believe you convinced me to do this Linda.
LINDA
Wake up Pam, it’s the millennium. Everyone’s dating on line nowadays.
PAM
I know they are, I just can’t understand why.
15
LINDA
Ohh, he’s cute!
PAM
Who, the used car salesman?
LINDA
No, you passed him, scroll back.
PAM
Stud Muffin?
LINDA
No, you scrolled too far, scroll forward again…There ‘Tennisguy,’ He’s hot.
PAM
He does look awfully cute in those little white shorts.
LINDA
Quick, go to his profile, let’s check out the basics…he has a job, that’s good, doesn’t smoke…
PAM
Naturally, he’s an athlete.
LINDA
No tattoos or piercings, he has a job.
PAM
You said that already.
LINDA
Yeah, but after the last deadbeat I dated I love hearing it. Look, he’s got everything I’d want in a man, no kids, no baggage…
PAM
Why don’t you date him?
LINDA
I’m kind of still seeing Harold, although if he doesn’t start towing the line, I might consider it. Now come on, let’s go for broke, check the income. Way over six figures, beautiful…likes to travel, cook, and go out on the town! You struck gold, e-mail him, he’s perfect.
PAM
16
There’s only one problem, I don’t play tennis.
LINDA
Don’t worry, just express an interest, he’ll teach you.
PAM
You think so?
LINDA
Of course, men love to think they’re in charge. Come on, let's see the rest. College Graduate, B.A. in theatre? Oh boy, not good.
PAM
Why not good?
LINDA
Keep scrolling down.
PAM
To where?
LINDA
Sexual preference.
PAM
Let’s see, sexual preference, BI – SEXUAL!
LINDA
I knew it was too good to be true. Theatre major, dead giveaway.
PAM
Well he is bi-sexual, maybe with the right woman guiding him..
LINDA
Forget it, once they cross that river they seldom swim all the back. Oh, I almost forgot, I told Harold I’d meet him at the coffee shop at 7:30. Do you want to join us?
PAM
We can’t leave now, I’m just getting the hang of this. Look at all these available men!
LINDA
Ah, but are they emotionally available?
PAM
17
How can I tell until I’ve met them…all of them!
LINDA
I’ve created an internet monster!
PAM
And to think, all the time I’ve wasted at those lame single's dances meeting buck toothed car salesmen.
(Pam’s cell phone rings – she rises and Linda sits at computer)
Hello mother… nothing, Linda’s visiting. We’re going out for coffee.
LINDA
Ask her to come.
PAM
(to Linda)
You sure?
LINDA
Certainly.
PAM
(To phone)
Mother, would you like to join us? … Me, Linda and Harold… Harold’s her new boyfriend… You’ll meet us here? Okay don't be long.
KATIE
(Enters with cell phone to her ear)
Is this fast enough? Hello Linda.
LINDA
Hi Katie.
(looking at screen) Ohh, I think I’ve got a live one!
KATIE
A live what?
PAM
She’s looking for men on the internet.
KATIE
How undignified. Besides, I thought she already had a boyfriend.
18
PAM
She’s scouting for me. So what have you got?
LINDA
“Commitment Phobic”
PAM
Who is?
LINDA
That’s this guy's user name.
KATIE
Who’d use a name like that on a dating website?
LINDA
A guy who isn’t getting many dates I bet.
PAM
At least he’s honest. Go ahead, let’s see what it says. Scroll down. Scroll down!
LINDA
Okay. “Commitment Phobic, is one thing I’m not. Just wanted to see if I’d pique your interest. If you’re looking for a genuinely nice guy, yes, there are a few of us left, keep reading.”…What do you think?
PAM
What the hell, let’s see what he’s got.
LINDA
Alright… Forty- five years old. Two kids.
KATIE
Baggage!
LINDA
(to Katie) Glass houses! ...Occupation. Free lance writer. Let’s check the income. Income, doesn’t disclose. That’s code for he’s broke!
PAM
So who isn’t? Maybe he has potential…here, let me at that damned computer.
(They switch places again)
KATIE
19
Pam really, in my day we’d never resort to something like this.
PAM
Really mother, how did you meet men?
KATIE
Dances, parties, the Laundromat.
PAM
Can I get back to business here? Okay "commitment phobic", tell me more…Good conversationalist, likes pets and is a lot of fun when he’s on his medication.
Sounds perfect.
LINDA
You’re going to e-mail him?
PAM
Why not?
LINDA
What about the medication?
PAM
Maybe he’ll split it with me…It’s probably a joke, I hope it was a joke. And that shows a quirky sense of humor, which I love. And what the hell, my dance card is pretty empty right now. And he is kind of cute.
KATIE
He sounds like a nut!
PAM
Well at least he’s not boring. I can’t stand boring.
LINDA
Wow, when you jump into something.
PAM
Maybe you’d like to come to the next single's dance with me.
KATIE
I still think the whole idea is idiotic.
PAM
What, you like being alone mother?
20
KATIE
It’s been twelve years since your father and I split up Pamela. I’ve gotten along just fine without a man. Don’t need em’, don’t want em’, not interested. They’re nothing but trouble, just like Bruno!
LINDA
Who’s Bruno?
PAM
Her ex-boyfriend.
LINDA
I thought she’s been alone for twelve years?
KATIE
Believe me, being with Bruno was like being alone. The best years of my life I devoted to him. We did everything together. Vacations, bridge club, I even re-upholstered his couch for him, and what happens. He meets that red-headed putana on a gig one night.
LINDA
What’s a putana?
PAM
It’s Sicilian for whore.
LINDA
But you’re not Italian.
PAM
She watches a lot of HBO.
KATIE
I should have seen it coming.
PAM
Serves you right for dating a musician.
KATIE
I can’t help it. Musicians just do something to me.
PAM
And every other woman they meet.
KATIE
Exactly, do