Behind the Scenes: SPINDOWN



The Play

A musical written by George and his partner G.G. Kovacik

Synopsis: Tragedy befalls the family of a children’s book author. To help them cope, she develops a whimsical town of characters that must break free from their chains to return to the vibrant magical forest.

The Yavor Tree Forest

The magical Yavor Trees existed in the ancient forest before the beginning of time itself. The villagers of PlentyGood and creatures of the forest lived in harmony for many generations. One day, the dark and twisted King of the Ravens, a creature called Chernaboke, declared that he should rule over the affairs of the forest instead of Klambert, the leader of the Yavor Trees.

When Chernaboke’s revolt failed, the Yavor Tree council transformed him into the shape of a man. This was done in the hopes that he could experience the love from the trees by joining the real humans when they came to visit the forest. But alas, Chernaboke grew to hate the trees even more and devised a plan to separate them from the villagers once and for all.


Mayor Phineas T. Rasinmoth

Character Profile

The thrice-elected mayor of the fictional storybook hamlet, PlentyGood. He is overthrown shortly after all the citizens are chained up and rename the town 'Locksville.'

Chernaboke: Evil Warlock

Act I - Scene 8

"Later that night when the villagers were snugly asleep in their beds, Chernaboke returned to perform his devilish deed. His plan wasn’t to hold them captive, for he knew the ridiculously long length of the chains would allow the villagers to move about the town unencumbered. His goal was to hurt the trees by preventing the people from being able to visit them."

"For extra measure, Chernaboke deviously took a pinch of an odd powder from an amulet dangling around his bony neck. Whispering an ancient incantation from his crooked lips, he blew a small puff. Instantly, an eerie fog of envy and mistrust descended upon the town."

A Children's Picture Book

ACT II - Scene 9

(SOPHIA is back in her studio intensely working on the final section of her book, The Locksmith of PlentyGood. She’s interrupted by a phone call.)

"Oh, hello Mr. Cavanaugh, your timing is perfect; I’m nearly finished with the art for the new book. The title?"

(She pauses and lifts a large painted sheet of a cloaked figure on a magnificent white horse.)

"I’m calling it… The Locksmith of PlentyGood."



The Raven King

Act I - Scene 6

Stage Direction: (TRISTAN and EVAN creep a safe distance behind CHERNABOKE as he descends into dank stone dungeon. The RAVENS watch from the rafters, but CHERNABOKE, mumbling curses about the forest is unaware of the father and son’s presence. The decrepit wizard takes a seat at a long metal table and begins to pound at an oversized chain with a blacksmith hammer.)

(As the tempo increases the RAVENS descend from the rafters to dance. CHERNABOKE’S hammer magically continues to pound the chains setting the rhythm.)





Cart of Chains

Act I - Scene 8

(CHERNABOKE slowly pushing a rickety, rusty old cart arrives in the marketplace of PlentyGood. His clanking attracts a cluster of merchants and their patrons. Everyone stops to see what wares this mysterious figure is peddling.)

(The rickety cart begins to expand and transform into an enormous structure.)

(CHERNABOKE’S raven henchmen join in helping him strew chains from one side of the stage to the other)

The Confrontation

Act II - Scene 7

(As the song comes to an end, THE STRANGER escapes from the clutches of JOHNNY’s minions by climbing to top of the lock. He strikes it with his walking stick sending a bolt of electricity through the chains. The VILLAGERS fall to the ground stunned but not injured.

With everyone flat on the stage, we see the lone figure of CHERNABOKE still standing in their midst. With nowhere left to hide, he shrieks, drops his grinning kabuki mask, and flees the stage.

The people are in awe to see the skull lock has a six foot jagged crack down its middle. The structure is still intact with chains fastened to it, but noticeably damaged.)


The Tragedy

Act I - Scene 9

(A tight spot shines on the boy’s red ball cap floating atop the water, and then fades to black as somber instrumental music plays.)

PlentyGood Cottages

ACT I - Scene 3

The curtain rises to reveal a bustling town square circa colorful 17th century-ala Dr.Seuss meets Tim Burton style architecture. The VILLAGERS joyfully rush around closing up their shops and courtyard businesses. There is a tangible excitement in the air, and light laughter and banter is contagious.


The Songs

OVERTURE
ACT I

WE ALL LIVE TOGETHER
MAYBE SOMEDAY
WE’RE ALL CHARACTERS HERE
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?
I WILL RISE AGAIN
I’VE GOT A BARGAIN FOR YOU
A LITTLE BIT IS ALL YOU NEED
THE WATER WAS STILL, THE WATER WAS CALM
LOCKED UP IN CHAINS
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? Part II
LIVING ON THE FAULT LINE

ACT II

A LITTLE BIT IS ALL YOU NEED (Reprise)
HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? Part III
BIG LOCKS, SHINY CHAINS
NOTHING LEFT TO SAY
USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT
COUNCIL IN THE WOODS
LOCKED UP IN CHAINS Part II
A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN
AN UNCHAINED MAN
NOBODY’S WAITING BUT YOU
THE RETURN
BEYOND THE NIGHT
WE ALL LIVE TOGETHER (Reprise)



Initial Concept

A brief video telling how the project came about

"We're songwriters, not Broadway singers..."

Demonstrating the problem of writing songs with notes that are higher than you can sing

Outakes

It's always something when you're trying to lay down demo tracks...

'The Hi-Hat'

Another recording session = more hilarity