Redheads unite! At a clandestine meeting of auburn haired rebels, a secret organization is taking matters into their own hands, fighting back against their imminent extinction and standing up for the rights of redheads everywhere. The members of the Real Redheaded Revolutionary Evolutionary Defiance (The R.R.R.E.D.) aim to empower and educate their fellow redheads to wake up and mobilize through fundraising, raw emotion, procreation, and song.
The show opens with an announcement welcoming everyone to a gardening meeting. GJ Crocket and Victoria O’Hara, in wigs and outdoor garb, sing what appears to be the beginning of a meeting about gardening— not redheads (“GJ’s Seed SacK”). A voice announces, “The facility is now secure,” and Victoria and GJ strip off their soft pastel smocks to reveal black shirts and camouflage pants. They proudly welcome members to another meeting of the Real Redheaded Revolutionary Evolutionary Defiance— R.R.R.E.D.— and sing the anthem of their organization (“R.R.R.E.D.”) GJ reads the manifesto and unveils a slide show, as Victoria outlines their mission: to ensure the survival of the endangered redhead, predicted to be extinct by the year 2100. In order to accomplish this, they present the first of many Instructional Tutorial Musical Lessons, or I.T.M.L.s, providing rules for Redheads to follow in order to successfully make more redheads (“The Rules”). “But you don’t have to take our word for it.” GJ presents the first of three Testimonials, stories from everyday redheads in the real world, trying to advance the cause (Testimonial #1 – “I’m Not Pregnant, I’m Just Fat”). Stephanie Hicks tells her story, the opposite of a pregnancy scare. Victoria bristles a little at the tenuous connection Stephanie Hicks’s story had to her Redheaded Cause and gets on her soapbox, urging the audience to get out there and procreate. Finally, frustrated by GJ’s well meaning but constant interruptions and attempts to start the “Procreation” march song, she sends him on “time out.” The pair’s banter continues as they tackle the difference between love and sex, and the importance of the latter. Victoria gives in to GJ and lets him sing the show-stopping, pew-pounding sex song, the message of which is to let go of the idea that you might love or even like a person, just follow the red hair and get to it (“As Long as It’s RED”). Victoria points out the GJ’s problem is fear, because of him being bullied for being a redhead. She takes everyone through “common” redheaded slurs that accumulates to outrage, and leading us into the next lesson: “Revenge." Upon finishing the song, Victoria suddenly thinks she hears something outside. After getting no response on her walkie, or help from GJ, she rushes off with her spikey bat to investigate. GJ is left alone, apologizing for her crazy behavior. He tries to defend her, being careful not to say too much. He reveals that Victoria is the only one allowed to write the I.T.M.L.’s for the meeting, but he has written one that demonstrates how much he loves her, and only wishes to be… “Her Assistant.”
Victoria returns with an “all clear,” startling GJ. She pushes the meeting forward, attacking the all-time greatest enemy of redheads (“What Good’s a Blonde, Anyway…”). Victoria tries to push the meeting forward but is hit with yet another Testimonial slide, and she bristles as Craig, the guy that does their online sales, volunteers to testify. He appears to be singing a love song to someone in the nerdiest of ways (Testimonial #3 – “I Like You”). Toward the end of the song, Craig is singing directly to GJ, who is jumpy and uncomfortable. Victoria turns this off-message personal story into a learning experience. “Being a redhead means you get to be exactly, unapologetically: Who. You. Are.” They welcome the L.G.B.T.Q.I.A. in the R.R.R.E.D., and when Craig disagrees with the notion that you can have sex with someone you don’t love, she forces him to be a volunteer in the fund-raising portion of the evening. Stephanie Hicks predictably joins and as they prepare, Victoria and GJ present the benefits of membership in R.R.R.E.D. and unveil their “Many-Level Marketing Campaign,” a diamond-shaped non-pyramid scheme that, when the pair finish outlining the membership scheme, looks suspiciously like a double-pyramid. Launching them into the redhead version of an ASPCA commercial (“Dead Before We Know It”).
After showing redheads of all ages, genders, and races needing help, we ask for money for the Cause. We take advice from Victoria’s Irish grandmother as we launch into the big finish where the fund-raising thermometer doesn’t seem to go up, and yet the production tricks keep coming. As the last “Help us help you, help us let you live!” is sung, Stephanie Hicks and Craig have made their way on the stage, much to Victoria’s disgust. Barely missing a beat, she moves forward, as GJ scuttles everyone and everything offstage. Victoria and GJ explain what to do if the people in your life “disagree with you having casual, reckless sex with only a pigmentational part of the population…” well they’re all sheep (“The Same”). Now that they have presented the facts, the tools, and the money, Victoria moves on to goals, but is interrupted by GJ’s insistence that it’s time for the 3rd Testimonial. Victoria threatens that there will be dire consequences if this song doesn’t relate directly to the Cause to which she has devoted her life. GJ introduces his Special Guest Star, overpowered by his excitement he falls all over himself as he/she/they sing about their redheaded experience (Testimonial #3 – “Redheaded Stepchild”). (Note about the Special Guest Star: new guest stars can participate each week/night/month, singing the version of this song that best suits them.)
The song turns out to be about actually hating their uncontrollable redheaded stepchild, using the unforgivable term “wanting to beat her like a redheaded stepchild.” Victoria is livid, barely managing to stay calm to ask questions. “Where do you think you are, what do you think THIS is?” The Special Guest says it’s a group for people who’ve had to deal with defiant redheads, and shares even more about how hard it was to deal with the little ginger-face. Victoria gracefully escorts the Special Guest Star out, leaving GJ terrified and alone onstage. They fight. She fires him, then cracks a little and tells the audience more about why this means so much to her: there truly are forces at work trying to subjugate redheads, and she found out first-hand when she woke up, kidnapped with a shaved head in a storage unit (“Silence is Red”). She warns the audience about trusting people, even if they’re nice to you. And as she advises them to fight, and find allies, she realizes GJ is the friend and ally she is singing about— and he is gone. Emotional, she calls GJ back and the two are reunited. As they make up, GJ struggles to get back on track, forcing Victoria to admit this isn’t just about blondes. She decides to write an I.T.M.L. about the other enemy… brunettes. They create a song with the audience’s help (“What Good’s a Brunette, Anyway…”). GJ has worked himself up, and inadvertently admits he may not actually believe Victoria’s “waking up in a storage unit, bald” story. This hurts Victoria, but eventually she admits to being a completely devoted friend to GJ, and her past dealings with anyone that has wronged him— she has dealt with herself. Then, because there must be a cost for his inkling of doubt, Victoria steals his song (“Your Side”). Victoria invites GJ to sing with her and they sing together, solidifying they are family. GJ is so moved and has a sudden lightning bolt of realization. He and Victoria need to have redheaded babies… now. Victoria proclaims she’s basically an Oprah-esque god in the vaguest of ways, and is meant for greater things than babies. He is in awe as she tells him to “get the pom poms,” signaling that they are jumping to the end of the presentation (“Procreation”)! They try and rally the audience in one last ditch effort to get everyone to procreate. Stephanie Hicks and Craig join a seemingly happier and less-suspicious Victoria. The song transitions to a reprise of the R.R.R.E.D. anthem (“R.R.R.E.D. Reprise”)
Victoria uncharacteristically invites Stephanie Hicks to solo with her at the end, and as they get lost in their glory, GJ is flirting with Craig and finds brown-hair under Craig’s brown wig! Craig chloroforms GJ unconscious and drags him off-stage. Stephanie Hicks is chased offstage. Craig returns with the Special Guest Star and they drag Victoria off in a giant burlap sack. After the sound of a giant melee, Victoria appears bloody and beaten with a piece of GJ’s outfit. She is in shock, and sings a cappella… then suddenly GJ appears brandishing Craig’s wig, and a piece of the Special Guest Star’s outfit. He and Victoria sing “the last twenty-one hund-RED”! End of play.
This smartly crafted show left me laughing from start to finish!
Cast of Characters (in order of appearance):
These characters have been played by many vocal types and, especially in case of the “Testimonial” parts of the evening, can be modulated up or down to fit the actors.
GJ Crockett – An officious go-getter with a pencil ever behind his ear, Victoria's Guy Friday and King of Hearts for the R.R.R.E.D. Fan Club. Small in every way that Victoria is big, except personality, which is overflowing. Dynamic, quick on his feet, and sexually ambiguous in the friendliest possible way. Strong Tenor/High Baritone.
Victoria O'Hara – The redheaded Oprah in full-blown messiah-mode. She is righteous, devoted to the cause of preserving the redhead, and we believe every word she says, however crazy it might sound later. Often disarmingly charming, if she had to re-populate the earth on her own, she could do it on pure sex appeal. Rangy Alto Eb to Mezzo-mix to an F.
Voice from the PA System / Security Guy – Can be Craig. If not, an imposing ex-military type of any gender.
Stephanie Hicks (Testimonial #1) – Little Orphan Annie, all grown-up, filled-out, and sexed-up. Perky but never obnoxious, all curves and fun. Alto/Mezzo.
Craig (Testimonial #2) – From average Joe to sales dynamo, Craig has found purpose and personality in the R.R.R.E.D. Cause. He is everybody's best-friend bartender, your older brother who might not ever move out of his parents' house (but they might not ever want him to.) Baritone.
Testimonial #3 – Ever-changing guest artist from the best that Broadway, Television, Film and Vaudeville* have to offer. If celebrities or drag-queens are not available, this special guest spot could include: “Hot Waiter from Denny’s,” “Cupcake Mom from Kyle’s Soccer Team,” or “That Woman from That Show.”
Setting: Today. A secret meeting place.
“This smartly crafted show left me laughing from start to finish!” –LA Weekly
“GO! The songs, with their bawdy, satirical lyrics, are a treat.” –LA Weekly
“Katie Thompson and This Next Generation of Female Songwriters deserve to be heard!” –Playbill
“Playbill Picks: Katie Thompson is a contemporary musical theater songwriter you should know.” –Playbill
“Ample showbiz pizzazz. There's even a special guest spot testimonial, played at each performance by a different member of the theatre community.” –Broadway World
Materials: Your materials will be sent to you two months prior to your opening date and will include everything necessary for your production. They 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 Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for R.R.R.E.D. – A Secret Musical includes: