TMS outline - Stephanie Mills!

Gorgon Heap

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At the age of 18, Stephanie Mills starred as the lead, Dorothy, in the original Broadway cast of "The Wiz", and went on to achieve several hits in the disco / post-disco era. Submitted for your approval:

"It's The Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, Stephanie Mills! YAY!"


SPECIAL GUEST STAR: STEPHANIE MILLS

STYLE: MID-SEASON FOUR (circa Dizzy Gillespie, Liza Minnelli)

COLD OPENING: Scooter knocks and enters.

Scooter: “Stephanie Mills! 30 seconds to curtain, Stephanie!”

(Stephanie looks out from behind the dressing screen.)

Stephanie: “Thank you, Scooter!”

Scooter (averting his eyes): “Oh, I’m sorry, Miss Mills! I didn’t know you were changing.”

Stephanie: “It’s all right, I’m finished.”

(She steps out from behind the screen clad in a baggy sweater.)

Scooter: “I don’t remember that costume from rehearsal.”

Stephanie: “Oh, this isn’t a costume, just a cozy sweater.”

Scooter: “Oh, I see! Kind of loungewear, right?”

Stephanie: “Yes, this is what I wear when don't care how I look.”

(Lew Zealand, Trevor the Gross, Billy the Bear, Lyle the Dog and Luncheon Counter Monster rush in and adorn her with a silly hat, frilly ascot, fake arrow through the head headband and Groucho glasses.)

Stephanie: “... To a point.”

OPENING THEME:
S & W: They’re both wearing gaudy pink sunglasses.

Waldorf: “Nope. The show doesn’t even look good through rose colored glasses.”

GONZO: The trumpet blows fog, filling up the screen.

Gonzo: “Foghorn! Ha ha ha!”

CURTAIN: Kermit enters.

Kermit: “Thank you! Thank you, and welcome to The Muppet Show! Expect the unexpected, throw caution to the wind, and, uh, apologies to the folks in the front row if anything explodes. Hey, our guest star tonight is that bright young star of Broadway and popular music, Miss Stephanie Mills! But first, for our opening number, we whisk you away to the jungles of Africa, there to bask under the rainforest canopy in all its calm and serenity... or something. Curtain!”

OPENING NUMBER: “Groovin’” - sung by Eric the Parrot, with Sundance the Lion, the Gnu, Quongo the Gorilla et al in a jungle set (from “Coconut” in the Kenny Rogers episode), accompanied by birds tweeting & chirping and Beauregard (clad in a safari suit & pith helmet) on harmonica.

Statler: “I once went big game hunting in Africa.”

Waldorf: “Oh? Did you bring home any trophies?”

Statler: “I sure did! I won the bowling tournament!”

(S & W laugh.)

BACKSTAGE: Birds and the Gnu return from the stage.

Kermit: “Good work, everybody! That was a fresh take on that number.”

Gnu: “Well, you know what they say: always give ‘em something brand gnu.”

(The animals laugh and exit. Kermit fake laughs sarcastically. Robin enters.)

Robin: “Hey, Uncle Kermit! I'm really looking forward to meeting Stephanie Mills.”

Kermit: “I know what you mean, Robin. She is really great.”

Robin: “You know, her success just goes to show that just because a performer is young doesn’t mean they're inexperienced.”

Kermit: “That’s true.”

Robin: “Also, just because a performer is small in stature doesn't mean they can’t be a big talent.”

Kermit: “That’s true, too.”

Robin: “Since we’re agreed, I thought I’d do a song on the show tonight.”

Kermit: “Sigh. Robin, why do you always do this to me? I’ve got a full show planned. I have no room in the schedule for another spontaneous act.”

(Kermit exits. Annie Sue enters as Robin sighs.)

Annie Sue: “What’s wrong, Robin?”

Robin: “Oh, hi Annie Sue. It’s just that Uncle Kermit won’t let me do a song on the show tonight. I haven’t had a featured number for months.”

Annie Sue: “Aww, look on the bright side: at least you’ve had a featured number recently. I haven’t had a feature since early last season.”

Robin: “Oh. Sorry... Hey, I’ve got an idea! Why don’t we do a number together? Uncle Kermit will listen to you.”

Annie Sue: “Oh, I don’t know.”

Robin: "Sure! You said it yourself you’re overdue for a feature part in the show.”

Annie Sue: “I don’t know, Robin...”

Robin: “And besides, Uncle Kermit’s always had a soft spot for ya.”

(Annie Sue turns around, slack jawed.)

Annie Sue: “Really?! He does?!”

Robin: “Yeah!”

Annie Sue: “Well, what are we waiting for?”

(She rushes off.)

Robin: “Uh, but – we’re waiting to put together an act first.”

(Annie Sue returns.)

Annie Sue: “I just remembered. We need to put together an act first.”

(Robin does a take to the camera.)

SONG: “What'cha Gonna Do with My Lovin’” – Stephanie sings & dances in a dark lit gold club/disco set with Sweetums & DogLion, backed by the Electric Mayhem on the bandstand upstage.

(Waldorf nods in approval but Statler is sobbing into his handkerchief.)

Waldorf: “Hey, why are you crying? Didn't you like that number?”

Statler: “Of course, I loved it! That Stephanie Mills is a bright young talent.”

Waldorf: “Yes, she’s made quite a career at such a young age.”

Statler: “I know... it’s just too bad it has to end HERE.”

(Statler starts sobbing again. Beat. Waldorf starts sobbing.)

BACKSTAGE: Sundance is boasting about how big and fierce he is, only to be scared by Sweetums & DogLion returning from the stage. He turns and flees. Robin and Annie Sue enter.

Annie Sue: “Oh Mr. Kermit, sir! Robin and I were hoping to do an act on the show tonight.”
(She turns away coyly)
“I haven’t had a featured number since last season, so...”

Kermit: “Sigh! Robin! I already told you --”
(To Annie Sue)
“I’m sorry, Annie Sue, but I already told Robin there’s no room in the schedule tonight.”
(Looks directly at Robin)
“I’m also sorry you got dragged into this!”

(Robin gulps.)

Kermit: “But maybe next week we’ll have you do a song. Okay?”

(He exits.)

Annie Sue: “Don’t be discouraged, Robin. After all, he did say maybe we could perform next week.”

Robin: “I know.”

Annie Sue: “And that DOES give us more time to polish the routine.”

Robin: “I know.”

(Scooter passes by in the background.)

Scooter: “Hi, guys!”

Annie Sue: “And we did everything we could, didn’t we?”

Robin: “I know!”

(Robin and Annie Sue enlist Scooter to persuade Kermit to put them on the show by invoking his uncle who owns the theater. Scooter is reluctant because that would be dishonest. Annie Sue gets an idea and pipes up that, naturally, Scooter would be in the number, too. Scooter immediately joins in on the idea.)

VETERINARIANS’ HOSPITAL: Eric the Parrot is the patient.

DRESSING ROOM: Stephanie is shocked to discover Sundance hiding under her makeup table, quivering and whimpering. She jumps up and stands back.

Stephanie: “Who are you? What are you doing under there?”

Sundance: “Oh, PLEASE, Miss Mills! Please let me hide here! Don’t let them get me, PLEASE!”

Stephanie: “Whoa, wait a minute. Who are you hiding from?”

Sundance: “M-m-m-monsters!”

Stephanie: “You mean Sweetums and DogLion Beast from my number?”

Sundance (whimpering): “Yes!”

(Stephanie approaches Sundance, putting her hand on him.)

Stephanie: “Oh, they won’t hurt you. They’re nice, really!”

(Sundance shakes his head and whimpers.)

Stephanie: “Listen, why don’t you just go on up and introduce yourself?”

Sundance: “Oh, no! No! No!”

Stephanie: “I’m sure you’ll get along just fine.”

Sundance: “Oh, no! No! No! I CAN’T! I’m too scared!”

(She breaks into): SONG: “Be a Lion” - Stephanie & Sundance duet, filling Sundance with confidence. They share a snuggle at the end.

UK SPOT: “Next Time, This Time” - sung by Floyd and backed by Rowlf on piano

PIGS IN SPACE: The crew is throwing a surprise birthday party for Link, and Dr. Strangepork has hired a band for it, little knowing that it's... the Vile Bunch! Link tries to act cool but fails to impress them, especially since his song requests are square at best. Meanwhile, Piggy fends off the amorphous advances of the drummer, culminating in a karate chop, and the guitarist pushes Strangepork's buttons -- literally (on the control panel) and figuratively.

BACKSTAGE: Link sings "Happy Birthday" to himself.

Piggy: “Cool it, lard lips. It's not really your birthday, that was just a sketch.”

(She exits.)

Link: “What? Oh, no! Can we still have cake?”

(He exits. Kermit shakes his head.)

Kermit (into intercom): “Okay, strike the Swinetrek and set up for the next act, please!”

(Fozzie enters.)

Fozzie: “Hey Kermit, what’s on next?”

Kermit: “Tommaso and Teresa, the Terpsichore Tomatoes, dancing the tango, two-step and tarantella!”

(Fozzie buries his face in his hand.)

Fozzie: “Oh, boy! I was afraid of that.”

Kermit (aside, to camera): “Afraid of dancing tomatoes?”

Fozzie: “No, it’s not that. The tomatoes won't be coming.”

Kermit: “WHAT?! But why?!”

Fozzie: “You see, Kermit, about those tomatoes: they made dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant before the show... they won’t be joining us.”

(Kermit whimpers as Fozzie exits. Robin, Annie Sue, and Scooter enter.)

Kermit: “I don’t think I wanna hear about it. Now what am I going to do about the hole in the schedule?”

Robin: “Ahem!”

(Kermit turns, sees them standing there expectantly.)

Kermit: “Robin! Am I glad to see you!”

Robin: “You are?”

Scooter: “It’s like this, boss --”

Kermit: “The three of you have worked up an act?”

Scooter: “Yes, and --”

Kermit: “Whatever it is, you’re on next.”

(Kermit exits to the stage.)

Scooter: “All it took was a little friendly persuasion.”

(Annie Sue shakes her head. They all head for the stage.)

CURTAIN: Kermit enters.

Kermit: “Uh, ladies and gentlemen, there will be a change in the program. Ah, the Terpsichore Tomatoes will be unable to perform. I’m afraid they’ve gone on to marinara. But, in their place, I’m happy to present Annie Sue Pig, our own gofer, Scooter, and my little nephew, Robin, portraying a couple of swells.”

SONG: “A Couple of Swells” - Scooter, Annie Sue, and Robin sing, clad in tuxedos, top hats and tails in an English country garden set.

S: “You know, seeing an act like that gives me hope for the younger generation.”

W: “I know what you mean. Maybe we’ve been too hard on the younger generation.”

S: “Yeah. Maybe we’ve been too hard on the Muppets, too.”

(They look at each other. Beat.)

S & W: “Nah!”

CLOSING NUMBER: “Come Rain or Come Shine” - Stephanie does a disco version of the old standard in the EM bandstand (with a blue sky background and potted plants decorating the periphery of the set).

GOODNIGHTS: Stephanie enters.

Stephanie: “Thank you, Kermit! I’ve enjoyed working with the Muppets so much, I'd wish I could take you all home with me.”

Sundance: “You mean it?”

Stephanie: “... Of course, there are feed bills to consider.”

Kermit: “I thought so.”
(to the audience)
“We’ll see you next time on “The Muppet Show”!”

(Stephanie, Kermit, Piggy, Scooter, Robin, Annie Sue, Beauregard, Sundance, and the Vile Bunch drummer gather around. The drummer backs away upon seeing Piggy but tries to hit on Annie Sue instead, putting his arm around her; seeing this, Piggy knocks him down.)

(Waldorf is covering his eyes with his arm.)

Waldorf: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home...”

(He keeps repeating it to himself.)

Statler: “That won’t work, you old fool!”

(Waldorf disappears. Beat. Statler covers his eyes with his arm.)

Statler: “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home...”



Comments encouraged.

David "Gorgon Heap" Ebersole
 
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