MainStreet Musicals Directors Choice Award Winner

 

 

MainStreet Award Winner

| script | synopsis | cast breakdown | score for singers | rhythm score |

Under Fire

 

Musical Selections

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Music

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Music Note:

Under Fire mp3s: These demos were recorded over a number of years and a few things have been re--‐written since the recordings were made. In those places where the recording does not match the script, the script is correct.

Script

Download or open The Full Script in Adobe Reader.

Synopsis

What is the proper role of journalists in time of war? Must they remain uninvolved and objective, no matter what injustices and atrocities they witness? Does being a reporter remove the onus of doing the right thing?

UNDER FIRE is a new musical based on the political thriller of the same name which starred Nick Nolte, Gene Hackman and Joanna Cassidy. Taking place in the late 1970's in Central America, it is about the difficult choices journalists of integrity face when covering the insanities of wartime.

Set in the country of El Mirador (a thinly disguised Nicaragua), UNDER FIRE chronicles two parallel stories which eventually merge.

The first is the progress of the rebels, peasants who fight the brutal injustices of the dictator Tacho. Through narration by Pedro - , a young teen who joined the rebel forces after his parents were murdered by La Guardia (Tacho’s soldiers) - we learn the rebels are led by a shadowy figure named Rafael, a man who has never been photographed. The spirit of the rebels is mirrored in their music - which echoes groups like The Buena Vista Social Club and The Gipsy Kings

The second storyline concerns three American reporters who come to El Mirador to cover the conflict. First is Russell Price, a hotshot photojournalist who will do anything to get a good picture, and who determines to find and photograph rebel leader Rafael. He is joined by his mentor and best friend, Alex Grazier, an older, respected journalist who is torn between pursuing an offer to become a network TV anchor and his love for reporter Claire Strider Claire is determined to remain working in the field, rather than accompany Alex to live in New York.

Eventually, the fates of the rebels and the reporters become intertwined. As the rebels advance, the Americans grow sympathetic to their cause, determining that Tacho is an unapologetically corrupt leader. Complicating matters is a growing attraction between Claire and Price. Sensing he is losing Claire, Alex decides to leave El Mirador and take the anchor job in NY.

This leaves Claire and Price on their own when they are approached by the rebels to meet Rafael, the elusive rebel leader. When they do, they face a difficult choice. Rafael has been killed in battle, and his comrades want Price to fake a picture to make it seem as if the rebel leader is still alive, to help their cause.

Though it goes against journalistic ethics to fabricate a story, Price and Claire have become sickened by the crimes of Tacho's regime. Act One ends as Price takes the picture, and he and Claire begin an affair.

The second act deals with the ramifications of Price and Claire's decision. The picture of Rafael, “proof” that the rebel leader is still alive, encourages the rebel forces and the tide begins to turn in their favor. At first, Price and Claire rejoice in finally taking action after years of merely reporting from the sidelines.

But then Price's pictures taken at the rebel camp are stolen, used by Tacho's spies to target the rebel leaders for execution. To make matters worse, Alex returns to El Mirador, intent on doing a TV interview with the rebel leader, expecting Price to lead him to Rafael.

Eventually, Price and Claire reveal to Alex that the picture of Rafael is a phony, and that the rebel leader is dead. Alex is furious at their forsaking journalistic integrity in place of partisan politics. But when faced with ruining the careers of the two people he cares for most, he too opts to keep the cover-up going.

Having reached an understanding, Alex gives his blessing to Claire and Price as they begin their new relationship. He accompanies Price out into the field, to find a story with which he can return to New York. The capital city has become a war-torn no man's land, and the men become lost. Alex approaches La Guardia soldiers to ask for directions, as Price watches from afar, taping the scene with his video camera. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Alex is forced to his knees and shot through the head by Tacho’s soldiers!

A horrified Price escapes, with proof of Alex's gisly execution in his camera. At first, Tacho tries to claim the rebels killed the American correspondent, but Price manages to get his video to the local TV station, and the truth becomes known. Ironically, it sounds the final death knell for Tacho's regime, since the American government can no longer support him. Tacho flees to Miami, and the victorious rebels ascend to power.

A sober Price and Claire weigh the outcome. They did the worst thing reporters can do, they knowingly perpetrated a lie. Clearly, that was wrong.

"Now ask me if I'd do it again..." The question hangs in the air, as a new day and a new chapter begins for the liberated country of El Mirador

CAST BREAKDOWN

9 Principal Roles, one of which is non-singing..

THE AMERICANS

RUSSELL PRICE - A young, hotshot, dedicated war photographer. Late twenties to mid thirties.   Pop tenor voice.   Price is best friends with...

ALEX GRAZIER - A mature respected  journalist, recently hired to become a TV network anchor.    Baritone.    ALEX is in love and in a relationship with...

CLAIRE  STRYDER - A war correspondent, torn between her love for her mentor and fellow journalist Alex Grazier, and his best friend, photographer Russell Price.   Pop mezzo voice.

OATES - A blonde mercenary soldier, late 20's.  Has a dumb, affable exterior, but is a deadly killer underneath.  Pop tenor voice.

HUB KITTLE - An American public relations rep, working for the president of El Mirador.  Mid forties.  A non-singing role.

IN EL MIRADOR

PEDRO - (NARRATOR) A teen-aged rebel who loves American baseball.   Excellent singer, pop and Latin music, tenor.   

TACHO - the president/dictator of El Mirador.   Mid-50's   Baritone.

MARCEL JAZY - A government agent, silky and not to be trusted.   French by birth.   Mid-40's.  Baritone.

ISELA CRUZ - A beautiful translator, who has an agenda of her own.   Late 20's.   Strong big belt.

ENSEMBLE - A chorus of at least 10, men and women, all of whom play several roles, including:
MISS PANAMA - Tacho's bimbo paramour
REGIS - An older British reporter
TWO YOUNG WOMEN (Pedro's Sisters)
FATHER TOMAS - A priest who sides with the rebels
COMANDANTE CINCO - A rebel general
REBELS
NATIVES OF THE CITY OF LA ENCANTADA
REPORTERS
VARIOUS GUESTS, WAITERS & BARTENDERS AT A NIGHTCLUB
LA GUARDIA (Government soldiers)
TV NEWS ANNOUNCERS

 

Score for Singers in Adobe pdf

1 - ONE PICTURE

2 - SAY GOODBYE TO AFRICA [no demo]

3 - ONE PICTURE (REPRISE) [no demo]

4 - OATES (PART 1)

5 - GUAVA AND MANGO

6 - THE OLD GUARD [no demo]

7 - FEEL THE FIRE

8 - A TERRIBLE SPY

9 - OATES (PART 2) [no demo]

10 - BOOM BOOM BOOM

11 - PRICE’S SONG

12 - LA CULBRA [no demo]

13 - THE OLD GUARD (REPRISE) [no demo]

14 - UNCHARTED WATERS

15 - FOLLOW ME

16 - ADELANTE!

17 - ONE PICTURE (REPRISE) [no demo]

18 - CORAZON

19 - TRIO [no demo]

20 - A BETTER WORLD

21 - A BETTER WORLD (REPRISE) [no demo]

22 - LOVE AND WAR

23 - WHEN AMERICANS DIE

24 - ADELANTE! (FINALE)

 

Rhythm Score

1 - ONE PICTURE

2 - SAY GOODBYE TO AFRICA [no demo]

3 - ONE PICTURE (REPRISE) [no demo]

4 - OATES (PART 1)

5 - GUAVA AND MANGO

6 - THE OLD GUARD [no demo]

7 - FEEL THE FIRE

8 - A TERRIBLE SPY

9 - OATES (PART 2) [no demo]

10 - BOOM BOOM BOOM

11 - PRICE’S SONG

12 - LA CULBRA [no demo]

13 - THE OLD GUARD (REPRISE) [no demo]

14 - UNCHARTED WATERS

15 - FOLLOW ME

16 - ADELANTE!

17 - ONE PICTURE (REPRISE) [no demo]

18 - CORAZON

19 - TRIO [no demo]

20 - A BETTER WORLD

21 - A BETTER WORLD (REPRISE) [no demo]

22 - LOVE AND WAR

23 - WHEN AMERICANS DIE

24 - ADELANTE! (FINALE)

 

Notes

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