Every Man's Dream - copyright 1998
a Musical
(The Characters)
John - starting at the shelter, works his way up in Hermann's Company. James dies and suddenly John questions whether he is happy.
James - worked on wallstreet but left it all, now hangs out at the Shelter.
Catherine - has always wanted to take over for her father hermann, but has never told him.
Hemann - his wife died when Catherine was young, he blames her death on her working so hard.
(Overview of Scenes)
ACT ONE (Every man's dream) performed off stage (or at the shelter) as lights come up.
Scene 1 (at Shelter) John and James. John, believing he has failed as a writer, gives his writing
notebook to James. Hermann and Catherine walk by on their way to work. John looks
on whistfully. James talks about being "A Suit" and having ajob. (I am free / James solo)
Scene 2 (at Office) Hermann and Catherine. Catherine convinces Hermann to start a Jobs
Program at the Company.
Scene 3 (at Shelter) John and James talk about the Jobs Program. John decides he's had enough of
sitting around and he's going to try it. (I can make it/ John and James)
ACT TWO (four years later)
Scene 1 (at Office) Hermann tells Catherine that he is very impressed with John, Hermann makes
John the Foreman on an important job. John bumps into Catherine on the way out and
asks her to go out with him to celebrate his promotion. To his surprise. she accepts.
Scene 2 (at Park) After dinner they go for a walk and realize they both had a wonderful time.
(Maybe I Love You / John and Catherine, duet)
Scene 3 (at Shelter) John tells James about being made Foreman and going out with Catherine.
(I am free, reprise / James and John)
Scene 4 (at Office) Hermanns 60th Birthday. Catherine and John give him a present that reminds
him of his wife. Catherine leaves and Hermann talks to John about starting the business.
(If you were my Son / Hermann, solo)
Scene 5 (at Office) Hermann dies, stipulating in his will that John will be President of the Company.
ACT THREE (four years later)
Scene 1 (at Office) John receives his old writing notebook, because James has died, he walks to the
Shelter. (I was free / John. solo)
Scene 2 (at Office) Catherine asks where he has been. John says he is leaving the Company.
(South of France / John and Catherine, duet) John walks out.
Scene 3 (at Park) John and Catherine meet and talk about their dreams, and staying together.
(This wonderful feeling inside/ John and Catherine, duet)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
Every Man's Dream
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(SONG - Every Man's Dream / James, solo)
(Sung off stage, or at the shelter)
You've got every man's dream, that's what he said.
And as he turned, I shook my head.
This is not my dream, you don't understand.
How hard it is to live, the dream of every man.
Oooh, the dream of every man, Oooh.
You've got everyone's dream, what a funny thought.
As if happiness, can be bought.
As if I'm a machine, without a heart and soul.
A race without a goal, but I have a dream.
Oooh, I have a dream, Oooh.
And sometimes it seems so close to me.
That I lose myself in daydreams.
And sometimes it feels like it's years away.
And I wonder if it will happen.
You've got every man's dream, that's what he said.
And as he turned, I shook my head.
This is not my dream, you don't understand.
How hard it is to live, the dream of every man.
Oooh, the dream of every man, Oooh.
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Act 1, Scene 1 (Beside the Shelter, trash cans and newspapers, John is reading a newspaper that James is using as a blanket, both dressed in ragged clothes. John tries to turn the page and James wakes up with a start)
JamesGood God, what are you doing?
JohnSorry, just reading, there was a literary review.
JamesAnyone we know?
JohnHa, Ha (pause) actually it's someone I knew, in school, he got into this internship thing, and then he starts writing books, now here's another.
JamesWell is it any good? the book I mean.
JohnHow would I know, it's just a review. He always seemed like a jerk to me, but HE falls right out of High School into a book deal!
JamesWell good for him, now why don't you go read someone elses blanket. I've got some serious business to attend to.
(lays back down and covers his face)
JohnNow that's serious.
JamesHey, how many people out there do you think get even five minutes to do this. I'm just making up for some of them,
JohnI think you're making up for ALL of them.... Life sucks!
JamesYeah, it does some times.
JohnI can't believe that jerk has another book.
JamesJohnny!
JohnHe's an idiot, he skipped class all the time.
JamesWill you leave the guy alone. What did he ever do to you?... besides succeed.
JohnI don't have anywhere to go.
JamesAmen!
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JohnI don't have anything to do but sit here.
JamesHeaven.
JohnGod I'm a failure.
JamesIs that what you think? You can't think of anything better to do so you're all washed up?
JohnI told you, I failed. I spent all my money, wasted all that time, everybody elses time. and it all came to nothing, I failed.
In case you haven't noticed, this isn't an apartment, I don't have a car or a
phone, and I'm living on handouts.
JamesSo, what? You just give up, twenty-five years old and you just give up?
JohnLife's been a lot easier since I gave up. You gave up... well didn't you?
JamesLook at me Johnny. I'm an old man and I'm tired. I didn't just give up I wore down. Don't go comparing my life to yours. My life is over, or getting close, But your dream just had a setback, you've got plenty of time.
JohnYou're wrong. My dream is dead. It got thrown out. it's over.
JamesYou still carry that pad around.
JohnI haven't written a thing for months. I should just throw it away....
unless you want it.
JamesI don't want your notebook Johnny.
JohnWell that's the problem, no one does. (goes to throw it in trash can)
JamesNow wait, if you're gonna throw it away I'll take it. I'll keep it for you, just till you need it again.
(Catherine and Hermann walk by on their way to work)
JohnOh my God James will you look at that.
JamesWow... nice suit.
JohnNot the suit, the suit's daughter! At least I hope it's his daughter.
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JamesAnd not his wife. Yeah, She's all right, But look at that suit. 'Dress me up and take me downtown', That's what my wife used to say. I do miss a new suit now and then.
JohnWhen did you wear a suit ?
JamesOh, years ago. When I worked on Wallstreet.
JohnCome on!
JamesTenth floor, private office, steel and leather.
JohnWell, what happened? How did you end up here?
JamesDon't look at me like here is the end of the road! I almost died in that private office. Another five years and I'd have been remembered fondly by my associates. Cause of death, stress! You see money flowed like water in that place, a million dollars would walk in one door and ten million would walk out another, like being blindfolded in the ring with a heavyweight, ducking and weaving, all the while thinking one day, I'm gonna be laid out cold. One day, I just walked away.
JohnAll that money?
JamesDoesn't mean a thing. This may sound strange to you, but I'm happier now than I was then, oh I might be taking simplicity a bit too far, but I'm happy, no planning, no expectations,...
JohnNo life.
JamesThat's what you think, I've got more than enough life for any man.
(SONG - I Am Free / James, solo)
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I Am Free
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander 1998
(Solo / James)
Well... here I am, at the bottom of the heap.
May not have money, but I sure enjoy my sleep.
Don't pity me... I am free.
I enjoy my walk, in the park every day.
It doesn't matter, how short or long I stay.
Don't pity me... I am free.
See those people always got a phone stuck in their ear
Rushin' pushin' shovin' just to get from there to here.
I just can't believe that people want to live that way.
They'll keep on climbin' till their dyin' day.
So you want to be rich, well now that's okay.
But make sure that drive, doesn't make you pay.
Don't pity me... I am free.
No one to tell me, where to go or what to do.
I'll have no regrets, when my time is due.
Dont pity me... I am free.
No dont pity me... I am free.
Don't pity me... I am free.
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Act 1, Scene 2 (In office, polished steel, very clean)
CatherineI don't understand why this is so hard for you.
HermannI'll tell you why it's hard for me. You are still my little girl, I know you've gone to college, now you say you're grown up, but to me you are still my little girl and you are telling me how to run my business!
CatherineI'm not telling you how to run your business I'm merely suggesting that you are in a position to help others, to be more supportive to the community.
HermannI'm not supportive? I support hundreds of workers - contractors, subcontractors, plumbers, electricians, YOU!!!
CatherineI know all that. I'm not attacking your business it's just that we have a lot Papa and there are a lot of people who don't. Did you know that there is a shelter just two blocks from here? We live in a huge place with rooms we never use, and those people dont even have one room to call their own.
HermannYou want them to move into our house?
CatherineNo!! Be serious.
HermannI am being serious. When I came here I had nothing. I started at the bottom and built this business into what it is today. If I can do it, they can do it.
CatherineSure, you started with nothing but who gave you a job right away?
HermannMy uncle..... of course. Oh, he got his money's worth out of me.
CatherineAnd when you started the business who loaned you money for equipment?
HermannYour mother's brother. But I paid him back with interest!
CatherineAnd Mother took in work during those first years.
HermannI never wanted your mother to work.
CatherineWhat I am saying is that you may have started with nothing but you had help from friends and family when you needed it most. Well, some people dont have friends and family who can help.
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CatherineYou're always saying your subcontractors need Apprentices, you could sponsor workers from the shelter, just to smoothe the transition.
HermannI don't know.
CatherineI've already spoken to the Director at the shelter and...
HermannYour pushing!!
CatherineJust try it for a little while.
HermannAll right, I'll try it, I'll try it.
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Act 1, Scene 3 (At the Shelter)
JohnWell, what do you think?
JamesThis is why I only hang out here part of the year, the orators get a little verbose in the spring time.
JohnSo I suppose you summer in the South of France?
JamesIndupitably young Sir.
JohnI meant, what did you think of the Program?
JamesThere was a Program? Damn I must of missed it.
JohnThe new Jobs Program they talked about.
JamesOh that, well first of all the words'New' and'Jobs Program' simply don't mix. Second of all they're just trying to get you to shave and take a shower... which you could use by the way. Anyhow I like my life just the way it is.
JohnJames!! I was thinking about it for me! I'm just sitting around here day after day.
JamesYeah It's great ain't it?
JohnNo It's not great, not for me, this isn't a life, this is nothing. I want to be
somebody, I want a girl like the one we saw the other day, to smile at ME that way. I want to have money to send her flowers, or take her out to dinner. What am I doing here, what am I waiting for?
JamesChrist Johnny, I'm sorry, I keep forgeting your just a kid, I keep spouting off about taking it easy, like you're as old as me. (Pause) Hell, you know what I did when I was your age? I hopped a train to Washington D.C. and worked as a cab driver. I woke up one morning and just went.
JohnHow long did you stay ?
JamesOh, quite a few years. I liked driving, and I liked all the different people you meet as a Cabby. My point is. If you like the sound of this job thing, you should give it a shot. You may like it.
JohnDo you think they'll accept me? I mean, I don't have any experience or anything.
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JamesOh listen to you. What do you think they expect? A bunch of P.H.D.'s to show up for an entry level job like this? you'll do fine.
JohnYeah? I guess I want to do better than fine.
JamesYou want to impress your new boss? I'll tell you how. Take a shower, shave and show up early every day, rain or shine. And.. well, It's a free country and all, but if I were you...I'd get a hair cut.
JohnLots of people wear long hair.
JamesIt's up to you.
JohnYou really think I should ?
JamesYou can always grow it back. There's always time to grow some hair. Why in my lifetime I've had long and short hair so many times... well listen to me, I'm talking like an old man again.
JohnYou really think I should ?
JamesOh, forget it Johnny. Hair short or long what you really need, is some pep... some pride. You need some'I am somebody'. You know what I mean?
JohnI am somebody!
JamesThat's right.
JohnI can do this!
JamesYou tell'em.
JohnI can make it!
JamesYou can make it.
JohnI can make it!
JamesYes sir.
(Song, I can make it / John and James)
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I Can Make It
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(John and James)
JohnI... can make it, I... can hold my head up high.
I... can make it, I... will reach the sky.
I'm tired of living in the dirt.
I'm tired of waiting for my hand out.
Tell me who would it hurt,
If I decided to get out ?
JamesYou... can make it, keep looking forward and never stop.
You... can make it, you will reach the top.
JohnI'm tired of doors closing in my face.
I'm tired of people looking away from me.
Tell me would it be such a disgrace,
If I made a bunch of money ?
I... can make it, I... can hold my head up high.
I... can make it, I... will reach the sky.
I... can make it, keep looking forward and never stop.
I... can make it, I will reach the top.
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Act 2, Scene 1 - Five years later (Hermann is sitting at his desk, Catherine comes in)
CatherineHere's your mail father, weeded of course.
HermannThank you my dear. I seem to get more junk the older I get. (pause) Oh, I thought you would like to know. One of the workers in our jobs program is getting a promotion. He has proved himself to be an asset to the company, I must admit.
CatherineWhich one, what's the promotion?
HermannJohn, I'm making him Foreman on the Hadley building extension.
CatherineThe Hadley, why that's wonderful. Are you sure, can he handle it ?
HermannCan he handle it, Listen to you. I wouldn't give him the promotion if I wasn't sure, and I'll tell you something else. He reminds me of myself at that age.
CatherineIs that good or bad ?
HermannWhat!?
CatherineI'm teasing of course, (pause) Father, there's something I've been meaning to tell you about John.
HermannIf it is detrimental to his promotion, you'd better tell me now.
CatherineNo. It's nothing like that. John and I have gone out a few times, just for lunch, I hope you don't mind.
HermannYou are an adult, as you have told me many times, you don't need my permission to go out to lunch with someone. Now dinner, maybe.
CatherineOh no, you just said I don't need your permission, and I'm holding you to it.
HermannYour mother would be proud.
CatherineAnd worried too? .
HermannProbably, your growing up and making your own decisions. How can a parent not worry? I try to stay out of your business, so I don't usually give advice, but if you need it, I am here.
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CatherineNow that you mention it, there is something else about John that I've wanted to talk to you about.
HermannJohn again, thats the second time, in one conversation, that his name has come up. Now I AM worried.
CatherineFather, It's no big deal. I like John, and I know it shouldn't matter where he came from, but I cant help thinking about it, thinking about why he was there.
HermannCould it be that my Daughter, who cajoled me to start the jobs program in the first place, is a snob ?
CatherineI don't like thinking that way, I just wonder sometimes.
HermannListen, when I was your age I had no money, as you know. My family was poor, but it was different there, we were a community, we helped each other. When I met your mother we used to take walks together in the country, because it was beautiful, but also because it was free. If I had been born here, I might have been at the shelter myself.
CatherineFather. I can't imagine you at the shelter.
HermannI know it must seem strange to you, but living here, it could have happened. I talk to the workers, this is not a nice place to be poor. (Pause) Now, unless you're going to present the promotion yourself, you had better leave, he will be here in just a few minutes.
CatherineOh, well I'd better go. I'll stop by later. Goodbye.
HermannGoodbye dear.
(Catherine leaves)
HermannI shouldn't be suprized, she gets older every day.
(knock on the door)
HermannCome in.
(John steps in)
JohnI'm sorry Sir, I realize I'm early, I can come back if you'd like.
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HermannNo, come, sit down. I would have been surprised if you were not early.
John, I have asked you to my office to commend you on your performance, and to offer you a promotion and a raise.
JohnThank you sir, I accept!
HermannNow before you accept, consider the position carefully. What I am offering you is the position of Foreman, on the Hadley Building extension. This is not an offer to be taken lightly.
JohnForeman on the Hadley, are you sure sir? I know it's a very important account.
Hermann(chuckles) I am sure, young man. The question is whether you are sure. It will be a much more complicated project than you have been in charge of
JohnWhy me sir? surely there are others who could run the project.
HermannOf course there are others, as well as other projects. I think you are ready for this one, so I am offering it to you first.
JohnAnd if I choose not to take this position?
HermannYou will continue in your present capacity, and I will offer you something else later.
JohnWhat if I don't work out? on the Hadley, I mean.
HermannOh I'm not giving you my undying support. If you aren't working out I will replace you, the position is not without risks. You can let me know tomorrow if you would like some time to think about it.
JohnI don't need more time, I accept.
HermannGood, we will go over the plans next week. The raise is effective immediately, Congratulations, (stand's to shake Johns hand).
JohnThank you sir. I'll do my best.
HermannI trust you will.
(John leaves the office, and on the way out he meets Catherine)
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CatherineWhat hit you?
JohnA promotion, and a raise!
CatherineThat's wonderful, congratulations. You're quite the up and comer these days.
JohnOh, I guess I'm doing all right.
CatherineYou've done very well for yourself, you should be proud.
JohnWell I hope I can keep it up.
CatherineWhat do you mean ?
JohnThe promotion is a big step. I guess I'm still trying to get used to it.
CatherinneMy opinion may not make much difference, but I think you'll do great.
JohnThanks, well I'd better go.
CatherineYeah, me too. Bye.
JohnBye... No wait.
CatherineYes?
JohnI'm going out to celebrate tonight, would you, Um, do me the honor, of
accompanying me to dinner?
CatherineA party, or just the two of us?
JohnOh, um, just the two of us.
CatherineI'd love to. What time?
JohnUh, is seven okay?
CatherineThat's fine, should we meet here?
JohnSure. It's easy to find.
CatherineThat's true, I'll see you tonight.
JohnYes, tonight
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ACT 2, Scene 2 (Between the Office, and the Shelter)
CatherineThat was a wonderful dinner, thank you.
JohnIt was my pleasure.
CatherineWhat a beautiful night.
JohnYes it is. And you are too, beautiful I mean.
CatherineWell thank you, that's nice to hear. (pause)
JohnListen, I have to know... if you really wanted to come tonight.
CatherineWell that's straight forward.
JohnI'm sorry. It's a beautiful night isn't it?
CatherineJohn, I wanted to come. I'm not just being nice. I like talking to you.
JohnI'm glad you do. I like holding your hand.
CatherineI'm glad you do.
JohnJust say the word when you want it back.
CatherineI don't want it back... ever. (she laughs to lighten what she's said)
JohnIt might be hard to eat. I could feed both of us.
(John mimes spooning food into their mouthes)
CatherineAnd I could wipe our mouthes.
(Catherine mimes wiping her mouth, when she wipes John's mouth she also strokes his cheek. They kiss)
JohnOh, what are we doing, what would your father say?
CatherineUh, I don't know what he'd say. Does it matter? I mean it's not like we're
teenagers or something.
JohnI know it shouldn't matter, I don't want it to matter.
CatherineHe know's we've been out a few times, I told him before he gave you the
promotion. He's trying to give me space these days.
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JohnWell, let's hope he's got lot's of space for you.
CatherineI was a pretty tame teenager, he owes me.
JohnYou're different than the person I expected to find.
Catherine(Giggles) That's a funny thing to say. How am I different, what kind of person did you expect to find?
JohnOh, I don't know, some nice girl in a pool hall.
CatherineA pool hall? Are there any nice girls in a pool hall?
JohnYou'd be surprised. What about you, who did you expect to meet?
CatherineFather is always introducing me to young men from wealthy families, but most of them are either boring or completely in love, with themselves.
JohnI might be rich someday.
CatherineYou probably will. May you never fall in love, with yourself.
JohnWhat if I fall in love... with you ?
CatherineI don't know, I don't know.
JohnHow did we get here, like this, tonight. Your the bosses daughter, and I'm from the shelter, it doesn't make sense.
CatherineMaybe it doesn't have to make sense.
(SONG - Maybe You Love Me / John and Catherine. Duet)
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Maybe You Love Me
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(Catherine and John, duet)
CatherineWhat I feel for you, I am so unsure of, I wonder
JohnI wonder.
What I feel for you, seems to grow each minute, stronger
CatherineStronger.
Maybe we should just pretend, that this night never happened,
And go hack to having lunches, but I don't want that to happen.
JohnMaybe you love me.
CatherineMaybe I love you.
JohnWhat I feel for you, I'm at a loss of words for, but so sure
CatherineSo sure.
What I feel for you, I don't remember feeling, before
JohnBefore.
I may never have the voice, or the right words to tell you,
All that I am feeling right now, I want to tell you.
CatherineMaybe you love me.
JohnMaybe I love you.
HarmonyMaybe I love you, I'm sure I do.
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ACT 2, Scene 3 (at the shelter)
JamesHey stranger, good to see you.
JohnHi James, how's life ?
JamesJust fine, just fine. Although they're putting off painting the place again, I keep telling them, appearance is everything, you can't just... Hey what's gotten into you? You got a smile, like a crocodile.
JohnBet you can't guess who I went out with last night.
JamesOh!! So that's what's wrong with you.
JohnRemember Catherine?
JamesWell, no.
JohnWe saw her the day I started the jobs program.
JamesThat was four or five years ago John, I can barely keep the facts straight from last week, much less that long ago.
JohnThe girl with the suit
JamesThe Suit! Now I remember, Not his wife I hope.
JohnNo! His daughter. It's funny, we just went out to celebrate my promotion and...
JamesWait a minute, you got a promotion?
JohnYou are looking at the Foreman for, no less than, the new Hadley building extension.
JamesSome big new building huh? hey John that's great, I am proud of you. You know I didn't think much of that jobs program thing when you started it, but I must say you've done great there, next thing you know you'll own the place, Ha Ha (pause) So how was the date?
JohnOh, it was like magic. I mean I've seen her around since I started there, and we've had lunch a few times...
JamesYou had lunch together, and you never told me?
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JohnWell, I haven't been around much, and there really wasn't anything to tell. We just went out to lunch, you know pleasant conversation, but nothing personal. I've always felt she was a little distant, you know, just being nice.
JamesShe's the bosses daughter John, that's bound to set you back a little.
JohnYeah that's true. well anyway, this time was different. We went to a REALLY nice place, and we talked about ourselves, you know, growing up, our families, and when the bill came I didn't even glance at it, just paid it like it was nothing at all.
JamesThat's the way to do it.
JohnThen after dinner we held hands while we walked around the park....
JamesOooeee, Johnny my boy you got bit, and hard, by the love bug and the money bug (points to each hip in turn) Bit, bit. You better figure out how to get rid of that silly grin before you go to work, or tongues will be wagging all over the place.
JohnWhat silly grin ?
JamesThat silly grin, you should look at yourself in a mirror. You look... well... you look like a million Johnny.
JohnNow you're smiling.
JamesWell It's rubbing off on me. Boy, I remember one night when my wife and I had just met. We were at a party, dancing really close, eyes closed. Well I guess it was late, and someone called the police, it got pretty loud,
A little later the music stopped, but we just kept dancing. I finally looked up and we were all alone. The owner of the place must have gone to bed, and left us there dancing in the silence, (pause) God I miss her sometimes.
JohnI'm sorry James.
JamesI don't think about her as much now as I used to, you know, the passing of time.
JohnIt must be rough to lose someone like that.
JamesOh hell, It's been years, just seeing you now kind of brings it back.
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JamesWhen you get to be my age a lot of good things are memories, (pause) But you, Mr. Foreman, it sounds like you're making memories right now. I'm happy for you John, for work and for love.
JohnThanks James, you know I was thinking, my new place has a lot more
JamesThats really nice of you to offer, but no. I'm fine where I am.
JohnI'm sorry I haven't been around much lately.
JamesMan, you look sorry, what happened to that smile like a crocodile you had on a minute ago.
JohnIt's just that everything is going so well for me. and...
JamesAnd. you deserve it. Things are going well for me too, so what's the problem? Hey what's that song I used to sing ? Well here I am at the... you know.
JohnUh. here I am at the end of the street?
JamesNo, it was... bottom of the heap.
(thinking) bottom of the heap...
(Song, I Am Free / James and John)
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I AM FREE
(reprise)
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander. 1998
(James and John)
JamesWell, here I am at the bottom of the heap.
May not have money but I sure enjoy my sleep.
Don't pity me... I am free.
I enjoy my walk in the park every day.
It doesn't matter how short or long I stay.
Dont pity me... I am free.
JohnHere I am climbing up the ladder of success.
It doesn't matter... if I have to wear... a dress.
Don't pity me...
JamesI pity you.
JohnI am rich.
JamesHere I am just watching you climb.
You may be rich but you've forgotten how to rhyme.
Don't pity me... I am free. Don't pity me... I am free.
No don't pity me... I am free.
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ACT 2, Scene 4 (Catherine and John outside of Hermann's office)
JohnWhy don't you give it to him from just yourself ?
CatherineBecause you thought of it.
JohnHe's your father, not mine. I feel like I'm intruding.
CatherineAs far as I'm concerned, we're family.
JohnYou may think we're family, but I dont know if he does. I dont want to be pushy.
CatherineIf anyone's being pushy, it's me. and I'm his daughter, so it's kind of my job.
JohnIt's not your job I'm worried about.
CatherineOh, now your being paranoid. John, you've worked for him for six years, we've been living together for two, what is the problem?
JohnIt's one thing to know that we live together, It's another to see it.
CatherineJohn, he's my father, and I'm telling you he's not like that. You're making such a big deal out of this!
JohnOkay, I'm sorry. I'll come in with you.
CatherineThank you. (Catherine raises her hand to knock)
JohnIt's just that the subject of you and I, together, has never come up in conversation, what do I say to him ?
CatherineHappy birthday would be fine. Listen, I'm going to be late for my appointment, if we don't get in there and give him his present.
JohnOkay, I'm coming.
(Catherine knocks on the office door)
CatherineFather?
HermannCatherine, come in, what a wonderful surprise. And John, good to see you.
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Every Man's Dream
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JohnGood to see you Sir.
HermannPlease, It's Sunday, call me Hermann.
JohnAll right, Hermann.
HermannHow did you know I was here?
CatherineYou're always here, besides the housekeeper confessed.
HermannAh, well. You know, as I get older, I love to come here on Sundays, just to listen to the quiet. (hand to ear) No phone ringing.
CatherineWell, speaking of getting older. Happy Birthday!
JohnHappy Birthday, Hermann.
HermannThank you, both of you. It's very good of you to remember, much less, to give me a present.
CatherineWell open it.
HermannAll right.
CatherineIt was John's idea. I hope you like it.
(Hermann opens the package)
HermannOh my word, it looks like our wedding day. But how? We didn't have any
photographs of that time.
CatherineJohn found a portrait artist, who talked to relatives about the setting, and then worked from every old photo I could find.
HermannThank you, both. I am deeply touched.
CatherineI'm glad you like it father, I'd stay longer but I have an appointment. In fact I'm already late, bye bye.
HermannGoodbye dear.
(Catherine leaves)
HermannShe was so beautiful that day. Sorry, can you stay a while?
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
JohnSure, it is Sunday after all.
HermannWell, sit down.
JohnThanks, we've been pretty busy lately.
HermannThis is true. (pause) I must say, I am overwelmed by this picture. It brings back so many memories.
JohnI'm glad you like it. Happy memories, I hope.
HermannOh, no, mostly sad, some happy. They're all mixed together. I remember that day we were married, we were going to be leaving our homeland a week later, such sadness, such hope. We left everything we knew and loved, hoping to find something better.
JohnI can't imagine moving to another country, that must have been hard.
HermannI worked two jobs while starting this business in a strange country, and my dear wife worked up till the very day Catherine was born. I wish she could see her little girl today.
JohnI'm sorry. My father died when I was quite young, but I still miss him sometimes. I wonder what he would think, if he could see me now.
HermannI am a father, and I can tell you with complete certainty, that he would be proud. I sometimes wish I had a son, someone to carry on the family business.
JohnWhat about Catherine?
HermannCatherine? What do you mean?
JohnShe knows a lot about the business, she grew up with it.
HermannCatherine is very nice to me, she always sorts my mail, like when she was young, our little joke, and show's a polite interest in this old place, but she is busy with her own work, which I wish, (getting emotional) I wish she wouldn't work so hard. (thinking) No, I wouldn't want this for her, I want to protect her. (pause) It takes someone like me at the top... or maybe, someone like you.
JohnMe?
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
HermannYes, you.
JohnI started in the jobs program, you must be joking.
HermannI started with nothing, what's the difference.
JohnWell there must be a difference, because I'm a foreman, and you own the place.
HermannDo you know why I have this company, why it has succeeded.
JohnI don't know.
HermannI think... I was lucky.
JohnThat's it, that's the difference between us? Luck?
HermannOh, I've worked very hard, and it didn't happen over night, but I have also been lucky, here and there, just enough.
JohnHas the business always done well?
HermannNo, the first few years were horrid. I can laugh now, but at the time it was far from funny. So many memories fade, back then all I could see was the future, now... the future doesn't hold as much for me now.
(Song, If you were my son / Hermann, solo)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
If You Were My Son
Words and music by
Charles Sjolander 1998
(Solo/Hermann)
Years I have seen, days without end it seems.
Why do I work hard, if there's no one to teach.
All of this to, someone like you, if only you were my son.
My wife used to smile, in a way that made it all worth while.
Now there's an emptiness, I cannot fill.
And never will, years gone and still, I miss the way she smiled.
I'm getting old I can see my life ending,
But what will happen to all that I have made.
Will it continue and shine with new glory,
Or will it turn to dust and slowly fade.
If you were my son, Oh how proud I would be.
I'd teach you and share with you, all that I know.
Watching you grow, to let the reigns go, If only I, had a son, like you.
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
ACT 2, Scene 5 (at the Office, Catherine sitting at the desk, staring off into space)
JohnI came as quickly as I could. What's up? (pause) Catherine, where's Hermann, what's going on?
CatherineHe's gone.
JohnWhat do you mean? Where?
CatherineHe died this morning.
JohnOh my god.
CatherineI meant to phrase it better... (starts to cry, and John holds her while she cries)
JohnCatherine, is there anything I can do?
CatherineI don't know, just hold me.
JohnOkay, I will.
CatherineI'm alone...
JohnNo, your not alone, I'm here.
CatherineI know your here, but you're not my Father.
JohnI know, I don't know what to say.
CatherineOh, I don't have time to cry anymore. I've got papers to go through, and I do much better when I'm busy.
JohnWell, if you have to do them now, Can I at least help you with them?
CatherineI don't know, just, stay here with me. (Catherine starts to leaf through the papers, John beside her)
JohnDo you want me to make the arrangements or anything?
CatherineNo... I went on automatic when I heard, the funeral is Friday, it's all arranged. Karen, his housekeeper, contacted family and friends, lots of people coming that I've never even met. Karen's the one who called to say he had gone to the hospital... not feeling well I guess, I was about to
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
Catherinego there when they called... to say that he... (Catherine starts to cry again, and John holds her)
JohnCatherine, I wish there was more I could do.
CatherineYou can stand beside me at the funeral, and hold me up.
JohnOf course I will.
CatherineNow, I've got to get through these.
JohnWhat is all this stuff?
CatherineYou won't believe it.
JohnWhat?
CatherineIt's his will.
JohnHis will?
CatherineWell part of it.
JohnPart of it?!
CatherineI have no idea how big the whole thing is. Apparently he was one of those people who adds something every week.
JohnAren't lawyers supposed to handle this sort of thing?
CatherineThey have, they've got sections and subsections. I called his lawyer this morning to check if he even had a will.
JohnBoy does he ever.
CatherineTell me about it, anyways, we went over the main issues together, but he said there were some documents that he kept here at the office.
JohnSome documents? (dead pan)
CatherineI expected a page or two. I think I've got them organized now.
JohnSo what are these?
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
CatherineThose are just notes to himself.
JohnAnd that pile?
CatherineThose are some request's, but they aren't signed or anything, so they'll probably get thrown out.
JohnAnd door number three?
CatherineThese are all official looking stuff, with signatures, and witnesses, so I'm going through them more carefully. Look at this one, it's a trust fund or something. I don't recognize the name or anything about it.
JohnCould be someone from back home.
CatherineI guess so.
(Catherine nods, and starts to cry, John holds her, she looks at papers again)
CatherineLook at this, (laughing, exasperated) it's to start a foundation or something. Why couldn't he do this when he was alive?
JohnI don't know. (shaking his head)
(Catherine is reading something very intently)
CatherineOh my god.
JohnWhat ?
CatherineWell it's signed, and dated, and witnessed...
JohnCatherine, what is it?
CatherineIt's a last request, and it's pretty recent.
JohnNumber, one hundred and two?
(John kidding, but Catherine keeps getting more serious)
CatherineYeah, but it's signed, and dated...
JohnYou said that already, Catherine whats wrong ?
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
CatherineCongratulations John.
JohnWhat?
CatherineWell, unless something somewhere else changes it, (pause) Hermann made you president of the company.
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
ACT 3. Scene 1 (At office, John sitting at desk reading something, papers everywhere)
JohnGood god, we went over that at the start of the project, I should have chosen someone else. Maybe if I move Parker over from the Brooks building... I shouldn't have taken it. it's too damn big.
(Catherine comes in while he is thinking)
CatherineMail and a package, I sorted out the junk of course.
JohnJust put it down, I'll get to it later.
Catherine(looks around) Where?
JohnOn my lap, for Christ's sake! Anywhere! I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I shouldn't snap at you.
CatherineCan I help?
JohnUnless you can stop time, I don't think so.
CatherineYou look so tense. I could massage your shol....
JohnI know you want to help, but being less tense isn't going to change reality. We're behind schedule on too many jobs, and I underbid on a huge one. I just need time to think.
CatherineMaybe it will help you think, if you read your mail. (set's it in his lap)
John(smiles faintly) Funny. Okay, I'll read my mail. Happy?
CatherineI'll stop by at, lunch?
JohnI don't think so today, maybe dinner.
CatherineWell I'll stop by just in case.
JohnAll right, see you later, (already reading again)
CatherineYes, later. (Catherine leaves)
(John starts reading another report, then throws the whole pile down in disgust.
looks through mail and gets to package, opens it, and takes out his old writing
notebook)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
JohnOh my god, It's my old writing notebook, but I thought I gave it to James... (takes out a sheet of paper from the package, and reads it.) Aw Christ, James. I always meant to visit, and now I never can. God it's been years, what have I been doing? You're only two blocks away. (thinking) Just two blocks away... just two blocks away.
(rushes out of office, taking the notebook with him, jogs over to the shelter.)
(Song, I Was Free / John. solo)
(after the song, John sits down on trash and starts looking through his old writing notebook)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
I Was Free
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(John, solo)
(verse 1)
I can no longer comprehend, sleeping in the dirt, cardboard for my home,
the lonely streets to roam.
I can no longer comprehend, garbage for my food, hiding from police...
doing as I please.
(Refrain)
I was free, to go where I choose, nothing to lose, nothing to gain.
I was free, to sit completely still, to sleep and wake at will, to enjoy the sun and rain.
In this land of freedom, in this land of wonder,
Some freedom's here are cursed, and mine was the worst, freedom from greed.
In this land of freedom, in this land of wonder, is it any wonder,
I strove to be rich, reached for the top, climbed up the hill, but then couldn't stop,
but then couldn't stop.
(verse 2)
I can no longer comprehend, everything I was, is foreign now to me,
I simply cannot see.
I can no longer comprehend, clothing ripped and torn, looking like a crime...
No one asking for my time.
(verse 3)
I can no longer comprehend...
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
ACT 3, Scene 2 (at office, Catherine sitting at desk going through papers, John walks in)
CatherineJohn, where the hell have you been ?
JohnI went for a walk.
CatherineWithout telling anybody ? I came by at lunch, and no one knew where you were. I've been putting out fires and lying through my teeth ever since.
JohnI want out of the company.
CatherineWhat?
JohnI resign.
CatherineYou can't. I mean, you can't be serious.
JohnI can't do it anymore.
CatherineCan't do what anymore?
JohnPretend I like (grabs some papers) this. (throws them up in the air)
CatherineNo one likes (grabs some papers and throws them up) this. We're in debt, behind on some jobs, things are bad right now, but it'll get better, it always has.
JohnI don't want to... I ca...
CatherineYou need a break. It's been years since we left this place for more than a day or two, we need a vacation, a real vacation. What's the name of that place we went on our honeymoon, in France ?
JohnI don't remember. Catherine...
(Song, South Of France / Catherine and John, duet)
(after song, John walks out)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
The South of France
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(Catherine and John)
CatherineCan't we return to the south of France.
Days filled with laughter and sweet romance.
Our honeymoon was there, come with me if you still care.
Can't we return to the south of France,
Loosen up your shoulders, we could learn to dance.
A prince out with his princess, darling won't you please say yes.
JohnThrow it all away, throw it all away and join me,
You are more than this, dressed up like a prize,
While your spirit slowly dies.
Throw it all away, shackles made of gold have bound me,
We've wasted all this time, on an endless upward climb,
Never noticing the skies.
I cannot return to the south of France,
I feel as if I've awakened from a deadly trance.
Everything's so clear to me, and this is not what I want to be,
CatherineThrow it all away, You'd throw it all away and leave me,
This is who I am, this is where I live, all I have to give.
Throw it all away, throw away our years together,
Look at all we've done, who are you to shun, the paradise we live.
Oh can't we return to the south of France,
Surely you and I are worth a second chance.
Both of us could rest a spell, darling everything will be well.
(continued next page)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
(The South of France, continued)
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
JohnThrow it all away.
CatherineHow can you keep saying that to me?
JohnThrow it all away and join me.
CatherineI can't believe what I'm hearing.
JohnWhy can't you leave this place, leave this foolish race.
CatherineIt's not foolish to me.
CatherineThrow it all away.
JohnI'm going now you can have the company.
CatherineYou'd throw it all away and leave me.
JohnI'm sure you'll find someone to replace me.
CatherineEverything I am, you don't seem to give a damn.
JohnI just can't stay.
TogetherThrow it all away.
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
ACT 3, Scene 3 (John and Catherine meet on the street, near the office)
JohnDo you have a minute, I mean will you talk to me ?
CatherineI'm not the one who ran out John. (Catherine keeps walking, briskly)
JohnI know, I'm sorry, (John keeping up) I blamed you, and I shouldn't have.
Catherine(Catherine turns) Throw it all away, that's what you said. Well it's thrown, your done.
JohnI just wanted to tell you that I didn't mean to hurt you.
CatherineWell you did a mighty good job anyways.
JohnI'm sorry, I got all worked up, and stormed out, and I didn't even tell you why.
CatherineI'm listening.
JohnA good friend of mine died, and I don't even know if he had a funeral.
CatherineJohn, you idiot, why didn't you tell me? I kept wondering why, what happened.
JohnI know, I went a little over the edge.
CatherineOver the edge? I'm still reeling from losing my husband, and taking over a company, all in one day.
JohnI know, I shouldn't have left, I...
CatherineWhy didn't you tell me? Who was it, your old friend?
JohnI met him at the shelter. James was his name, he and I talked a lot. He was sort of like... well, a second father to me. He was a character... (Smiles, shakes his head)
CatherineHow did you find out?
JohnA package came. When he died he left me an old notebook that I had given him years ago. full of short stories, essays, even part of a novel. It was like opening a time capsule, all sorts of memories...
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Every Man's Dream
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CatherineWait a minute, James was a writer?
JohnNo, James used to be a stock broker. I think he just snapped one day.
CatherineSounds familiar. So who was the writer?
JohnI was a writer.
CatherineYou were a writer?
JohnWell a failed writer, at least I thought so at the time.
CatherineJohn, we've been together for years, you never wrote more than a memo...
JohnI thought I had failed as a writer, so I left it behind, went on with my life. But when I got the notebook, I was stunned, the stories were good.
A lot of my assumtions started to fall apart. I missed james, and the simple life we had back then.
CatherineSo you want to go live at the shelter?
JamesNo, that's all I could think of at the time, just getting out.
CatherineWell you're out, all right. I told everyone I fired you.
JohnYou what?
CatherineFiring your husband holds a certain prestige, I've found out, Things are running very smoothly right now.
JohnThey are, How? I mean, I expected you to be angry with me for leaving you with that place, and now I find out you sacked me.
CatherineI'm still angry with you, not because of the business, but because you didn't talk to me about it, you just stormed out.
JohnI'm sorry about that, I really am.
CatherineI know, and I would be angrier if I wasn't... so happy running the company.
JohnHappy? Wait a minute, you said things were going well at the company? We were in debt, overbid, and behind on some huge jobs. What did you do?
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
CatherineI gave away the two largest jobs, to larger firms.
JohnYou what? That's suicide, they're our competition.
CatherineOur competition, have known my father for years. They thanked me for the work, and gave us some small jobs, they didn't know what to do with.
JohnThat's amazing? What about the debt's?
CatherineThose will take a little longer to iron out, But we're a lot healthier than we were three days ago.
JohnYou're amazing.
CatherineWell it's my turn to tell you something I should have long ago.
JohnYou're not married to someone else are you?
CatherineNo!
John'Cause I don't think I could handle that right now.
CatherineYou're the only one I'm married to, now hush.
JohnOkay, sorry.
CatherineSince I was little, I've wanted to run my Father's business, but it never even occured to him. I think he spent most of his life...
UnisonWaiting for a son.
CatherineSometimes I'd find myself waiting for him to die, and I'd feel so guilty. Then when he did die, and made you president, I just couldn't bring myself to question his dying wish.
JohnI remember the shock, when you told me I was President,
CatherineWell, think of me. Hermann had just died and then I found that document, all signed and legal.
JohnI should have run out then.
CatherineI'm glad you didn't, I needed you then probably more than I ever will again. I've missed you these last few days.
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
JohnI missed you too. We're still married aren't we?
CatherineAs far as I'm concerned, we are.
JohnSo, what do we do now?
CatherineWell, my struggling writer, we negotiate your termination, of course.
JohnGee thanks.
CatherineWell, your definitely not coming back to the company, your fired.
JohnOh, I don't want to go back there, I meant personally.
CatherineWell I don't know, it'll all work out somehow, won't it?
JohnIf we both want it to.
CatherineWhich we do.
JohnThen I guess it will.
(Song, This Wonderful Feeling Inside /Catherine and John, duet)
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Every Man's Dream
a Musical
This Wonderful Feeling Inside
Words and Music by
Charles Sjolander, 1998
(Catherine and John)
CatherineWhat are we doing here, just like so long ago,
Starting again, and where it will end,
I'd have to say I really don't know.
JohnWhat are we doing here, how will our lives unfold,
Each step we take, may be a mistake,
But at least we have someone to hold.
At least I'll have your hand to hold.
CatherineIt may be difficult at first, friends will worry for our future,
But each day I feel so sure, together you and I belong.
JohnI feel excited and afraid, starting again feels daring,
But I know well keep sharing, this wonderful feeling inside,
HarmonyThis wonderful feeling inside, this wonderful feeling,
This wonderful feeling inside.
CatherineI look toward the future and smile
JohnWith you beside me, never again to be hiding
HarmonyThis wonderful feeling inside, this wonderful feeling,
This wonderful feeling inside.
The End
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