Love is a Many Splintered Thing
Love is a Many Splintered Thing
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Love is a Many Splintered Thing is a fast-paced, zippy musical about—what else?—relationships, looked at through nostalgic Top-40 hits: be careful, you might get “Hooked on a Feeling” and wonder “Should I Do It?” with friends saying “Don’t Fall in Love With a Dreamer” because he’s a “Wanderer,” all the way through “Wedding Bell Blues.”  When love dies, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” to renewal “You Make My Dreams come True.” You get the idea.


SYNOPSIS


Act I: From high school prom night to several years later. 

Bill is the consummate player. When he is pursued by Desiree (“The Look of Love”), he is initially attracted, but loses interest and she sings “Does he love me, I wanna know…” (“The Shoop Shoop Song”)  His reply: “Baby, baby don’t get hooked on me.”

Meanwhile, geeky Yale is secretly in love with the unattainable Hope and he sings “I Think I Love You.” Bill starts paying attention to Hope, but she dismisses him with “You and I travel to the beat of a different drum.” Rebuffed by Hope, Bill sees Desiree and says “I Don’t want to be lonely tonight,” and “Lady Willpower, it’s now or never, give your love to me,” to which she sings, “Should I do it should I fall?”  They do it. He dumps her, and her friends warn her about the “Sweet Talkin’ Guy”. 

Sean and Roberta, true lovers, sing “Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing, Baby,” while Bill tries again for Hope until they both find they are “Hooked On A Feeling” and “Dizzy.”  When Sean tells his friend his Mama told him to “Shop Around” and Roberta is not happy, calling him “Mr. Big Stuff.”

Bill still can’t commit and asks his friends “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?” And he talks about being “The Wanderer,” to which the girls sing “That’s the Way Boys Are.” Sean and Roberta get married and sing “At Last.” Hope realizes Bill won’t marry her and sings “Don’t Fall in Love with a Dreamer.” Yale seizes the opportunity and tells Hope “There is someone walking behind you, turn around, look at me.” As preparations for their wedding happen, Bill laments “Girl, I heard you’re getting married… maybe it’s the best thing for you, but it’s the worse that could happen to me.” Sometime after the wedding, Bill and Hope run in to each other and realize they both have feelings but won’t act on them and sing, “I Should Have Never Let You Go.” Yale joins Hope, takes her away and they all sing “Happy Together” in a minor key. 

Act II: Ten years later

Yale is an internet mogul and has little time for Hope, who has let herself go, as they both sing “Love Will Keep Us Together.” Sean and Roberta found out marriage does not guarantee happiness and complain “We got married in a fever…We’ve been talking about Jackson, ever since the fire went out.” 

Cut to Yale’s office and we discover he’s having an affair with Desiree, who sings “A few stolen moments is all that we share.” Yale goes home to Hope, but they both realize the love is gone as they tell each other “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”. But why has Yale left the Golden Girl for someone so needy?  He explains with “Upside, inside-out”, she’s “Livin’ the Vida Loca.” 

On the other side of the stage, Sean regrets losing Roberta and begs her, “Baby Come Back,” to which she replies “Promises, Promises.” Yale also regrets hurting Hope and tells her “You Were Always on My Mind,” while both of them explain how “I’m Workin’ My Way Back to You.” 

Finally, Yale knows he can’t right this wrong and laments, “She’s Out of My Life.” Bill re-appears, wanting to win Hope back with ‘Isn’t She Lovely?” And he sings “I love you in a place where there’s no space or time… and I’m singing A Song for You.” Sean pleads with Roberta and tells her he loves her “More Than You’ll Ever Know.”

Hope and Roberta enter, having heard the apologies and sing “It Takes Two.”  In the end, Hope takes back Bill and Roberta welcomes Sean as they all sing, “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

QUOTE


...a look at how brilliantly popular culture has been documented through the songs we made into hits.

–Michael Freeman, The Ledger


SONG LIST

  1. Love is in the Air
  2. The Look of Love Medley
  3. I Think I Love You
  4. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
  5. The Look of Love/Different Drum
  6. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight Medley
  7. Only The Lonely/If I Could reach You
  8. Sweet Talkin' Guy/ Just My Imagination
  9. Walk Like A Man Medley
  10. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood/Try A Little Tenderness
  11. Just One Look Medley
  12. Johnny Angel/Devil in Disguise
  13. Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind
  14. Lipstick on Your Collar
  15. Lightning Strikes
  16. That's the Way Boys Are
  17. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
  18. Born To Be Wild Medley
  19. Mr. Big Stuff/Being With You
  20. Only Love Can Break a Heart/Wedding Bell Blues
  21. Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer
  22. Turn Around Look at Me
  23. At Last
  24. Lay Lady Lay
  25. You Got It All Over Him/Bridge Over Troubled Water
  26. Worst That Could Happen/The Way of Love
  27. Happy Together/ Should've Never Let You Go
  28. Love Will Keep Us Together Medley
  29. Promises, Promises Medley
  30. I'd Really Love to See You Tonight
  31. She's Out of My Life Medley
  32. Love is in the Air - Reprise

Characters:

Bill: Classic narcissist, with an over-riding desire to get his way. Attractive, well-groomed, and preppy.  He is a charming, sweet-talkin’ guy, who is good with people, but he is a “commitment- phobe;” the eternal “wanderer.”   Until he goes through a shift in Act II, other people are only there to fill Bill’s playboy needs. Tenor

Hope: She sees herself as the good girl, who always does the right thing. Pure and virginal; attractive, but modest in appearance.  Hope demands a lot of her men.  Mature and put-together, she is always in control...until, that is, emotion gets in the way. Soprano

Yale: Shy, gentle, and geeky.  Very alone. He is fearful of the world and people, especially girls. He wishes he could fit in.  In Act I, Yale is a good student, but a social outcast.  As Act II opens, we discover a changed man- a financially successful business man in the tech field, though his social skills are still lacking. Baritone

Roberta: African American.  A dedicated friend and lover, Roberta is full of life, but she’s very matter-of-fact, and never afraid to speak her mind. She loves Sean, but doesn’t let him get away with any nonsense. Alto

Sean:  African-American.  A good man, a lover-of-life, and a dedicated friend. Sean is funny, full of energy, and always the life of the party.  Sean’s very much in love with his high-school sweetheart, Roberta, and the two eventually are married.  Slowly, Sean begins to take his beloved for granted and is forced to face the consequences. Bass

Desiree Sue: Being loved is the central focus of her life.  She dresses seductively.  She knows she is attractive and uses that as power with men, though her neurotic and aggressive approach turns many off, including Bill.   Desiree, naïve and desperate, gives her love away too easily in Act I, has an affair with a married man (Yale) in Act II, until self-awareness sets in and she begins to take control of her life. Mezzo Soprano

Setting: Act I takes place in the near distant pasts, when characters are in high school and a few years hence.  Act II is 10 years later.

Dorothy Marcic (writer) is a playwright, whose productions have played in over 50 cities, including four years of her Off-Broadway musical, SISTAS, which has also aired in BET-TV.  She is adjunct professor at Columbia University, and a former professor at Vanderbilt University. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Prague, has two masters and a doctorate, and is the author of 15 books, including the best-selling Understanding Management and Respect: Women And Popular Music. In 2003, Dorothy left full-time academia for playwriting. She turned her Respect book into a musical, tracing women’s development through Top-40 music with content-analysis research of how women are depicted in popular music lyrics. Dorothy has also been working on several plays. Dorothy started her career in the arts as a production assistant on the TV program, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", while in graduate school. She has appeared on C-SPAN, CMT, and Bravo Network.

Hinton Battle (co-writer and music arranger) is a 3-time Tony winner who is a director, choreographer, performer whose Broadway credits include The Wiz, Dreamgirls, Bob Fosse’s Dancin’, Sophisticated Ladies, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, The Tap Dance Kid, and Chicago. He is the winner of numerous awards, including NAACP, Fred Astaire and the 2014 Rosie Award for Lifetime Achievement.  He choreographed and starred in Child Star: The Shirley Temple Story for ABC and was choreographer for the 65th and 66th Academy Awards, Outkast The Musical film, as well as idlewild and many others.  He has directed Off-Broadway shows including Respect: A Musical, The Marvelous Wonderettes and produces SISTAS: The Musical, now in its 5th year Off-Broadway in New York City.

Performance Royalties are based on theater particulars. Please fill out an application for a personalized quote.

Billing responsibilities, pertinent copyright information, and playwrights' biographies are available in the show rider that comes with your license agreement. To download the show rider for Love is a Many Splintered Thing, click here.

. . .a look at how brilliantly popular culture has been documented through the songs we made into hits. This is an energetic and lively production, with a good cast of talented singers and actors. . . the wave of romantic nostalgia that 'What We Do For Love' evokes is an even better reason to attend and enjoy the show. —Michael Freeman, The Ledger

Writer Dorothy Marcic creates a well structured mash up of the genre, capturing the sound and feel of a time when we were all younger, and perhaps not even born yet. . .  fluid and dynamic show. . .  nostalgic romance coupled with a 21st century attention span. —Carl Gauze, Ink 19 Archikulture

Materials: your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production and can be ordered in Printed or Digital format. Printed Materials are provided on unbound three-hole punched loose-leaf paper while Digital Materials are provided via email as downloadable PDF files for you to print in-house. All materials are yours to keep! No deposits, no returns.

The required materials for Love is a Many Splintered Thing include: 

Production Scripts, Piano/Vocal Scores

Orchestrations: Piano, Bass, Drums 

Available Products:

Director's Script – Single-sided script with space for director’s notes. 

Logo/PR Pack – Includes high-resolution artwork, ready-designed posters, reviews and pull quotes, and reference photos