Posted on March 18, 2012 at 2:10 am
From The Trumpet of the Swan, adapted by Marsha Norman from the novel by E.B. White:
And then, on the last day before the boats were taken out of the water for the winter, a Western Union messenger boy arrived with a telegram for Louie. It said:
CAN OFFER YOU FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS A WEEK FOR NIGHTCLUB SPOT. TEN-WEEK ENGAGEMENT. PLEASE REPLY. ABE “LUCKY” LUCAS, HOTEL NEMO. PHILADELPHIA.
Louie did some quick figuring. Five hundred dollars a week for ten weeks – that was five thousand dollars. That would easily pay his father’s debt to the music store. He took his slate and wrote-
OFFER ACCEPTED. ARRIVE TOMORROW. MEET ME AT BIRD LAKE IN THE ZOO. SPLASHDOWN WILL BE AT FOUR FIFTY-TWO P.M. HOPE THIS WILL BE A CONVENIENT TIME FOR YOU.
The messenger took down the note and rode off on his bike. Then the next morning Louie flew to Philadelphia. He had no trouble finding Philadelphia. Almost anybody can find Philadelphia … who tries.
One, two, one two three!
Orchestra swings into PHILADELPHIA SWING, It has a big city vibe, cigarettes and booze, late nights and guys and dolls.
Louie splashed down into Bird Lake at exactly four fifty-two. His trumpet banged against his slate, his slate knocked against his medal, his medal rapped against his chalk pencil, and his chalk pencil on its string wound itself around his moneybag. The ducks and geese were astonished; they were not expecting a big white Trumpeter swan to drop down out of the sky, loaded with personal possessions. But Louie paid no attention to the other birds. He saw a man wearing a purple suit waiting in front of the Bird House. The man’s face looked shrewd and wise, as though he knew a great many things, many of them not worth knowing. Louie had no doubt this was Abe “Lucky” Lucas.
Philadelphia Swing (rough mix)
from The Trumpet of the Swan (2011)
Music by Jason Robert Brown
Randy Landau: fretless bass solo
Bernie Dresel: hi-hat solo