MainStreet Award

Directors' Choice Award Winner

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Book, Music and Lyrics by Bob Ost

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Beaumont's, that fabulous Fifth Avenue landmark fashion store, has hit upon hard times. Enter Allison Edwards: wealthy, unfulfilled and longing for the triumphant feeling of accomplishment, the excitement of making it to the "grand finale" of a dream-come-true achievement: to turn beloved Beaumont’s into a success again. Allison worked for Beaumont's fifteen years before, but left a promising career to marry prominent architect Paul Edwards. Now she returns, bored with her life as a rich lady, and brimming with ideas to put the store back on its feet using her social connections and her fashion savvy. Ah, but stodgy store president Wilbur Shulman has never forgiven her for jumping ship way back when, and is resistant to hiring her back. She forces his hand by pulling a power play involving a designer friend of hers — she will spearhead a major fall promotion for fashion darling Adolfo Feminicci.

Allison doesn't count on how disruptive Shulman's hostility, and that of creative director Cosmo Delaney, can be. In addition, the southern corporation that owns Beaumont's proves too conservative for her ideas. Her only ally seems to be young Craig Lawrence, the ambitious display director with a crush on her. Even her husband Paul has let her down — his work has once again kept him away from her at a time when she needs him. Blocked in every direction, she is fired at the height of what is actually a triumphant Feminicci promotional event, as Act One ends.

When Act Two opens, Allison is still stinging from her dismissal. We discover Craig in her boudoir, and so, unfortunately, does Paul who returns unexpectedly from a project in Kentucky. The Edwards are terribly civilized, however, and Allison redirects her attention to promoting her ideas at Beaumont's through Craig.

Craig miscalculates in his dealings with Shulman and winds up getting fired. Allison realizes that the old regime has a stranglehold on the store, and that Beaumont's is doomed to extinction. To recoup her sense of accomplishment, she changes course. Paul's partner, tycoon Dorian Reynolds, is in the market for prime Fifth Avenue real estate to build an office tower. Allison envisions it as a monument to the future, as well as an important project that will keep Paul close to home and perhaps save their marriage.

She arranges a cocktail party meeting between Dorian and the owners of Beaumont's, shrewdly manipulates the situation and becomes responsible for Beaumont's ultimately being sold in one of the major deals of the decade. Paul is impressed by his wife's achievement, and there are signs of reconciliation.

From then on, we watch the store wind down and finally close. It is truly the end of an era, and the end of a store that Allison in fact loves. She is shaken by the realization that, in order to have a grand finale, something must end; but she is bolstered by Paul's support, and the understanding that nothing lasts forever, life is change, a continuous series of endings and new beginnings. She turns her attention to the office tower that Paul will now design: a towering monument to the future.

Bob Orst

BOB OST (adaptation/music) wrote book, music and lyrics for Finale!, Grand Prize winner in the American Musical Theater Festival Competition and the New American Musical Writers Competition, and a finalist at the O’Neill Music Conference. Everybody's Gettin’ into the Act played off-Broadway at the Actor's Playhouse, was part of the York Theater Developmental Reading Series and an all-star cast recording has been released on Varese/Saraband label with Bob Cuccioli, Nancy Opel, Mark Kudisch, Rebecca Luker and other Broadway stars. The Body Shop (directed by Doug DeVita) came in second in the Turnip Festival 15-minute Play Competition, and a musical version of the play (written with Gary Hughes and Claudia Perry) was the Christmas presentation at Westside Repertory Theatre, on a double bill with Bob’s comic Not on Christmas Eve. His adaptation of Machiavelli's La Mandragola, with an original score by Bob, was commissioned by Westside Repertory. The Necessary Disposal has been a finalist in three national competitions and was part of the Shotgun Productions New Play Reading Series in NYC; Breeders was a finalist in two national competitions, as well as the TRU Voices New Plays Reading Series; his one-act A Glass of Water was part of the Lovecreek Festival; and other one-acts have been showcased at Synchronicity, Golden Fleece, Murray Hill Players and Inner Space. Musical revues: Love and Laughter at Judy's, Steppin' Out o' Line (directed by Barry Moss) at Sam's and The Triad, Who Says Love Is Easy? (written with Eben Keyes) at Don't Tell Mama's, and Not Quite What You Expected! (directed by Barry Moss) at The Duplex, Triad and Sam’s. Bob's CD A Special Place: Songs from the Heart features Broadway stars Alice Ripley, KT Sullivan, Lillias White, Rebecca Luker (Original Cast Records, available at His Xmas songs are published by Shawnee Press and Lawson/Gould. He is president of Theater Resources Unlimited, and a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and ASCAP.


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