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Country Love

by Gary Swartz


     

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... the cheatin', lyin', hurtin, cryin' musical ...

     

Synopsis

Vern is in a bar with live Karaoke talking to the bartender (not seen) about "his Tammy Lea" (his ex) and getting up on stage and singing songs either about how wonderful he is, or how useless she was and getting drunker as the evening progresses. Despite his hurting he also claims to want Tammy back because he still loves her.

Tammy Lee has gone on from her time with Vern to find fame and fortune as a C&W singer songwriter. She is in a studio taping one of those shows where artists sing and talk about the background of their music. Her songs are about how wonderful she is and what a jerk he was. She apparently wants nothing more to do with men.

The story twists at the end as Vern in his cups confesses, he really doesn't want Tammy back, but that they aren't legally divorced and he wants half her money. Tammy, once the cameras are no longer running, cuddles with her guitar player, with whom she was cheating (the crime she accuses Vern of) long before she left Vern. In other words we see a soft stage persona and a hard bitten schemer in reality.

In other words we have the typical dialogue that occurs after the break down of a marriage only it takes place in both song and words. The set is simple. Vern and a bar to one side, a sit and talk area for for Tammy to the other. The centre is for the band who change costumes, etc. to be either the TV show band or the bar band. The songs are staged appropriately. Overall there is a lot of humour in the play, it is dark but definitely humorous, yet a couple of the songs invariably (even in rehearsal) bring tears. In essence it takes the 'logic' of the lyrics of Country and Western songs to a valid, if somewhat unusual, place.


Characters

Principals
  Tammy Lea A female Country and Western singer known as The Cryin' Cowgirl. She is in her mid-to-late 20's, dressed in gloriously overdone Country and Western glitz. Essentially, through a combination of talent and circumstances, she is a woman who at long last is content, if not happy, with the circumstances of her life and will do whatever it takes to maintain and improve upon the fame, fortune and success she is enjoying - even if it means lying outrageously. Some of this happiness and deceit should shine through the aura of bitterness she projects.
  Vern A customer in a C&W Karaoke bar in his late 20's or early 30's showing early signs of dissipation. He is slightly overweight and unsuitably dressed in tight western gear. During the play he gradually grows more inebriated, and speaks and acts accordingly. His singing skills are semi-professional and he awkwardly mimics the presentation of a more polished singer.
  Supporting Cast
  The Band

Tammy's band. (Also doubles via the magic of theatre as the Karaoke bar house band. One member is also the Club Announcer.) This could be a keyboard player with suitable bed tapes, or, ideally, 4 or more musicians.Tammy Lea should ideally sing with back up singers/dancers but could do with none. Her numbers should be staged with showy routines, etc. The musician(s) should change hats -- cowboy to baseball - put on jackets, or do something to indicate they are a different band playing in a different venue as appropriate. There should be a concert like feeling to Tammy' s performance, whilst Vern's is looser, occasionally bad.

Support  
  TV Show Announcer An off-stage voice heard at the opening of the play (possibly pre-recorded).

Songs

  1) Shoulda Tammy
  2) Broken Heart Attack Vern
  3) A Heart Can't Be Fixed With A Kiss Tammy
  4) Mr Right? Vern
  5) Country Love (Chorus only x 3) House Band Singer (Female)
  6) It Works For You And Me Tammy
  7) If I Knew Then What I Know Now Tammy
  8) Dawg Vern
  9) Hang Me Out To Dry Tammy
~~ Interval ~~
 10) Country Love (All Verses) House Band Singer (Female)
 11) Tried And True Tammy
 12) I Can't Resist Vern
 13) Devil Got His Due House Band Singer (Male)
 14) What's A Poor Boy To Do Vern
 15) Did We Really Try Our Best? Tammy
 16) Over Again Vern / House Band Singer (Male)

     

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