CLUB CAR is about people and their constant habit of day dreaming.
CLUB CAR is all sung-there is continuous music throughout.
SETTING: There is one set and that is the CLUB CAR of any commuter train.
Specifically, the Amtrak train that goes from Rhinecliff to New York and
When the characters are involved in their deep day dreaming (which is about 80% of the time), through the use of lights we focus in on these dreams and become isolated from the CLUB CAR itself. The other characters "disappear" and we see and hear only the dreamer. The CLUB CAR at this point becomes the "playing area" for their dreams and when they're over, the lights take us back to the CLUB CAR.
There is definatley something to learn from CLUB CAR. That is, to follow your dreams, your wishes, no matter what it costs. Dreams are as important to us as food. We need them both to survive healthily.
There are eight stories traveling simultaneously on the CLUB CAR. these
stories take the shape of hopes, dreams and problems of eight of the passengers.
In the OPENING SEQUENCEwe are introduced to the characters and learn a little of their dreams and problems. IN BABYLON we focus in on Norman, whose recovering from being thrown out of his house by his wife, Vicki. Norman is telling Paul how he wishes he could be back with her in Babylon. Sharon is complaining to Jill of how her husband, Bob, got a big raise and when they moved from Tarrytown to Rhinebeck, everything changed for her. Bob's passion is now his job,not his wife. Perhaps that's why Sharon is on the way to the city to see someone else.
We meet the conductor in THE CONDUCTORS SONG and learn, perhaps, he is the happiest of the bunch-after all, his home is "a hundred miles".
Tina, on her way to another audition, is reading another OPEN CALL ad in a newspaper, dreaming of her stardom on Broadway.
Charley, CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT, why he was jilted by his wife, Jane. He doesn't really love her but has become dependent on her. He thinks she's the only one who can give him what He needs. Namely, ego building. Perhaps that's why Jane left him. As he's telling his problem to Herb enving him and how Herb's wife, Janet, is happy with him. YES, SHE'S HAPPY, Herb admits to himself but Herb is happier seeing Imogen in the city. He's fallen head over heels for her, or at least with a beautiful image.
As Tina reads another open call, FEMALES WANTED, she learns that what they're looking for is a woman who's more open than Tina is ready for.
MOREY'S DILEMMA is that he has eyes only on Tina on this ride. His dream is laid out so well, in such fine details, it actually becomes real in his mind. Of courese, that's not the real thing but it may be enough for Morey. In the BARKEEP SONG, we learn that the Barkeeps bitter philosophy is "don't waste your time dreaming. It won't get you anywhere." He's been doing this all his life and it shows. Buried in him somewhere though, is his own long lost dream to be a big league ball player.
In HE'S GONE, Sharon laments of a life that was happier in Tarrytown when she was number one. Steve's MAKE IT OR BREAK IT DEAL tells us of a big deal for his "incredible adverstising campaign". This deal, with someone named Wilson, is such an important one that if Wilson buys it, it would free Steve from all future financial worries. This would mean He and his family (his two most important loves) could live free and easy. However, if Wilson rejects it, Steves' dream could become a nightmare.
Tina dreams in WAIT TILL THEY SEE ME about her audition that day as Morey and Steve take on the parts of producers seeing and hearing her for the first time. Tina imagines winning the Tony as well.
In the ACT ONE FINALE, Tina is awoken from her dream by the reality of the train coming into New York.
Act Two begins with GOD, WHAT A DAY as
everyone is beat from the day's toll. In the OPENING,
Jill, the Conductor and the Barkeep are all looking forward to going home
while in ROAST BEEF, Steve has his mind on
dinner at home with his family where everything is secure and the Barkeep
is thinking of getting into a nice cold shower. Morey asks himself, WHERE
ARE YOU TINA, as he is searching for her on the return ride.
In HERB'S ATTACK, Herb imagines telling Janet that things are through for them and that he is seeing someone else, but he doesn't have the nerve to work up to it. Charley comes in with CHARLEY'S REVENGE and tells Herb of his plan to get Jane to come back to him. In THE MID SECTION, Norm, Paul, Steve, Barkeep, Sharon and Jill are all at odds with their dilemmas. Morey realizes in IF I DON'T MAKE A MOVE, that if he doesn't do something to talk to Tina, he'll never get her. Paul tells the barkeep, YOU DON'T KNOW how lucky you are because all the barkeep has to do all day is pour drinks.
Norman, in NORMAN'S DECLARATION, comes to grips with "Why did I need her?" and realizes he doesn' t need anyone to be happy.
Herb, now drunk, imagines telling Janet IT'S ALL OVER and that he's seeing Imogen. A trio of Sharon, Morey and Herb ask HOW CAN I TELL HIM? Sharon realizes that A CERTAIN PRINCESS (which Bob refers to her as) asks to leave the throne.
Tina, still excited from her audition, dreams in SOMETHING I'VE ALWAYS WANTED about her dream come true to be an actress. Morey tries to enter her dream now and when she brushes him off, Charley enters and the two have an understanding-during Tina's conversation, Charley thinks of how he still is in love with Jane in IF NOT JANE but after realizes that Tina is alive and interested in him. Morey, dejected by Tina, laments in ALL RIGHT FOR YOU TINA.
Herb dreams of a life with IMOGEN and imagines telling Janet of his love for Imogen and Imogen telling him how that's fine since she met someone else too and no need to worry about child support for Melissa. However, the mention of his daughter wakes him up.
We now hear of the Barkeeps dream in RIGHT OUT OF THE BALLPARK.
Steve can't take his mind off of the WILSON DEAL and if it will go through or not.
In the PARANOIA WAVE, fear hits everyone and then we hear a voice telling us "Open the doors to the dreams that are yours, dreams need to breathe" as everyone enters their dreams and realize that living their dreams in their minds is something we all must do.
CLUB CAR is Copyrighted 1980 by Michael Bitterman
NOTE: To contact Michael Bitterman- Simply email me