Christmas Encore (2017) Movie Script

Little white flakes of snow
Whisper through the air
Twinkling lights flicker and shine
Around Times Square
It's that time of year
When hearts are filled with cheer
- And darkness disappears
- Out of sight
I just love this time of year,
and I love it even more
shopping at Maven's
because the prices are so low,
it's like every day
is Christmas!
You wanna see anything else?
Oh, no, no, I think that's okay.
- Well, are we done?
- So, next?
- Right this way.
- Let's move on.
We'll send our Christmas cards
Both near and far away
[Santa] Ho ho ho.
- Charlotte?
- Yes?
Sorry, different Charlotte.
Excuse me.
Excuse me!
It's the season of light
Every day is Christmas!
Every day is Christmas.
Every day is Christmas!
"Today is the first day
of the rest of your life."
You know what?
I've had a lot of first days.
I would actually like a second.
Thank you.
[phone ringing]
Hey, Mom!
Yeah, I actually just got out
of an audition.
Nice! I know I'm not supposed
to ask you this, but...
how did it go?
Well, we'll see.
And just as a rule of thumb,
you can always ask how it went,
just never...
"Did you get the part?"
So, how was your Thanksgiving?
Well, Uncle Carl wants to know
when your cereal commercial
is gonna air again,
and Grandma wants me to tell you
that Brad Pitt is single. Again.
Oh, well, I'll be sure
to put his number
in my speed dial.
Mom, I'm sorry I didn't make it
home for Thanksgiving.
I know, sweetie, but...
like you keep saying,
you're just one audition away
from the big one,
and I have faith in you,
Thanks, Mom.
Then maybe you'll be able
to come home
for Christmas, right?
Well, a girl can hope, right?
Anyway, right now I have
to go meet Rachel, though.
She's in town for the holiday.
[Charlotte's mom]
Rachel from college?
I always liked that girl.
Such a good head
on her shoulders,
very... pragmatic.
Right, and who doesn't love
a hopeless pragmatic?
Okay, I love you, hon.
Okay, bye.
Hey, have you seen the remote?
Should be on the coffee table.
Never mind. Found it!
[man on TV] Julian Walker
stars in Thick or Thin.
Tune in tonight at eight o'clock, seven central.
[music on TV]
[Julian Walker on TV] Hey! Hey!
I cannot believe you watch this.
It is so overrated.
[Morgan] You're joking, right?
I love Thick or Thin.
Julian Walker sure
is easy on the eyes.
Not so easy on the ears.
They should give him
a fork and a knife,
the way he chews that scenery.
Wait, didn't you
take an acting class with him
back in the day?
Back in the day? Wow.
Thanks. It wasn't that long ago.
it was an acting workshop,
which is sort of a place
where actors
gather and work out.
Did you work out
with anyone else famous?
You know what?
Maybe you should stop watching
these boring reruns
and get out the rest
of the Christmas decorations.
- Bah... humbug!
- Great.
- Bye!
- Bye!
Hey! Hi!
Aren't you a sight
for sore eyes!
It's so nice to see you.
How's it going?
[Rachel] It feels like
100 years between drinks.
Speaking of, how's the eggnog?
- It was perfect.
- So...
you didn't come home again
this year for Thanksgiving.
No, my roommate and I had
a Friendsgiving,
you know, everyone brings
a special dish...
I know, silly.
I'm the one who started those for
us back in college, remember?
Oh gosh, how quickly time flies.
[Ellen chuckles]
All right, I know
you must loathe the question,
but how is it going?
Well, I am up
for a big commercial.
That's good!
And? You're happy?
I choose to believe happiness
is a journey, not a destination.
You are still collecting
all those corny sayings.
Don't make fun. They keep me
believing anything is possible.
Even if lately I feel like
I'm spinning my wheels
waiting to become
the next big whatever.
[Ellen] Don't say that!
Weren't you this close to landing the
lead in Thick or Thin a few years back?
Ugh. The big fish that got away,
don't remind me.
I was so confident,
and then they paired me
with the one and only
Julian Walker.
I can't imagine it's easy putting
yourself out there all the time.
The ups, the downs...
Oh yeah,
the constant cloud of rejection
mixed with the occasional
rays of hope and sunshine.
Well, then maybe it's time
for a change...
Okay, I wasn't gonna
mention this, but...
they're looking for a new
coordinator in employee events
at my company.
Oh, please!
I am so not qualified.
Says who? You know,
the last woman in the job,
she actually
had a degree in theater.
- Seriously?
- Yes!
Face it, Charlotte, acting is
just a different form of sales
- or public relations.
- I suppose.
And you,
with your boundless energy?
You're a natural born
corporate cheerleader.
- You really think so?
- Totally.
And just think of it...
terrific salary, with benefits,
and you get to be
in Chicago with me!
I mean...
Wouldn't that be fun?
Okay, you don't have to decide
this minute. Just...
think about it. Please?
I'm thinking...
I need to get to work
and put a pin in this reunion.
- I'll take that as a maybe.
- Okay.
[both laugh]
It was so good to see you,
- It was so nice to see you too.
- I'll see you.
- Okay, we'll talk soon?
- Yes, please.
- All right, bye.
- Bye.
- I love you.
- Love you.
Livin' the dream. [sighs]
Don't you read that same book
every Christmas?
Yep. I consider Scrooge
a personal literary hero.
- Is that so?
- Absolutely.
Table for one?
Thanks, but I'm looking
to take it to go.
I'm heading for a potluck
and I've got to
bring the dessert.
- Any recommendations?
- Absolutely.
Yeah, the ginger spice pumpkin
bread, always a solid choice.
Or the peppermint cupcakes,
to die for.
Or to diet for.
I think I'll take
a half a dozen of both.
Hey, I like it.
Gary, can you help me
with a takeout order?
- Yep.
- Half a dozen
of the ginger spice
pumpkin bread
and a half a dozen
of peppermint cupcakes.
- Got it.
- There you go.
- Well, thanks, Charlotte.
- How did you know my name?
- Sid. Nice to meet you.
- Nice to meet you, Sid.
And a potluck, huh?
That sounds fun.
What's the occasion?
I'm working on a new production
at the Grand.
It's their annual
Christmas dinner.
Is that so?
Well, our Charlotte
is quite the actress.
That I am.
And tonight, I will be
acting as your waitress.
[Sid] Have you been in any theater
productions I might have seen?
Oh no, no.
I mean, not since college.
I've done some commercials
and some guest roles.
[Sid] Nice.
But if you ever get the chance,
there's nothing like theater.
True. You can't beat
the thrill of a live audience.
[chuckle] Okay, I'm sorry,
when were you in front
of a live audience?
Third grade production
of the Christmas nativity.
- I played one of the Wise Men.
- Yeah, you did.
Okay, here you go.
Hope to see you around.
And I'm looking forward
to being seen.
- [chuckles] Good night.
- Good night.
You ever thought about
trying out for the live theater?
I bet you'd be great on stage.
My friend
is trying to convince me
to take this party planning job
in Chicago.
- And?
- And I am considering it.
I can't keep living
paycheck to paycheck.
I'm getting kind of tired
of chasing the dream.
I've seen this before.
You're just in a funk.
And it's like you're always
telling me...
you're only one audition away...
From the big one. I know.
That's my Charlotte.
Mind closing the caf tonight?
My wife is hoping that
we'll put up the Christmas tree.
Oh... Of course. Go have fun.
- Thanks.
- Bye.
[Julian Walker] To the Grand
Repertory Company...
I wanna thank each one of you
for welcoming me back.
- It means... Oh, who's that?
- And enter dessert!
- Dessert, fashionably late.
- [Franny] Sid!
As always, Sid,
your timing is impeccable.
Everybody, this is Sid,
our set designer.
- [greetings]
- [laughter]
I'm so glad you decided
to join us again this year.
I wouldn't miss working with the
finest seamstress in theater.
Flattery will get you
- [Sid laughs]
- [Julian] Sid, hey!
[Julian laughs]
How you doin', buddy?
The real star
of this production.
America's favorite
award-winning TV star.
- Oh, come on.
- How's the series going?
It was great, we did five years.
Onto the next, right?
Oh, I told Sid
to check out the entire
Thick or Thin experience.
- Okay, I'm sure you did.
- [Franny laughs]
Well, you know me and TV.
I have to confess,
- I didn't see a single episode.
- [Julian laughs]
You know who you're starting
to sound like? My dad.
Yeah, he didn't like TV much.
And even before he became the
artistic director of this theater.
This place was his home.
But he did have a little disdain
for TV actors.
Hey now, don't say that.
Your father would be very proud
of all of your accomplishments,
especially the fact that
you're running the company and
directing our Christmas show this year.
The prodigal son following
in his father's footsteps.
Okay, let's not
get ahead of ourselves.
Those are huge shoes
to fill, okay?
You know, A Christmas Carol
is a big chestnut to crack.
for a first-time director.
You're nervous?
Come on. Me?
I'm a TV star.
Not to mention I was nominated
for People's Choice awards.
Nervous? Ha! Come on,
that's for kids!
- [Sid laughs]
- No, I'm...
utterly terrified.
[all laughing]
Okay, there's a glass here
that's empty.
You started decorating
without me?
Sorry, we sort of
got carried away.
This is my friend Liz.
- Hi.
- Hi.
What started out
as a decoration party
turned into a celebration.
Liz just booked
another acting gig.
She's killing it right now.
No, it's...
just a silly commercial.
- Go on, Liz, do the line from it.
- No!
- Oh, it's so good!
- No!
- Yes, do it!
- Okay. Okay.
Shopping at Maven's, it's
like every day is Christmas!
[Morgan laughs]
[Morgan] So good!
[Morgan laughs] It's amazing!
We're gonna go celebrate,
have a glass of champagne.
Do you wanna come with?
No, I mean, I'm...
I am... I am just exhausted.
But you guys should go.
Yeah, you should celebrate.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
Okay, Rach,
I'm ready to take a stab at that
job if it's still available.
Really? Are you serious?
Serious as a broken dream.
Yay! Charlotte, that's amazing.
[Rachel laughing]
Julian, have you thought about
the design aesthetic
for this year's production?
We could save a lot of money
by repurposing the sets
from last year.
Costumes as well.
Yeah, see, right there,
that's my worry.
That's the same thing
that's happening all the time.
The tried and true.
People have seen that millions
and millions of times, guys.
[Naomi] Maybe, but there is
a comfort in familiarity.
Besides, we don't have time
to start something new.
Look, I know that's comforting,
but we need to do something
inspiring, not comforting.
Something exciting, something
refreshing, something real.
Something from, hey...
from here, okay?
That means
we don't have a script.
Julian, we need a script.
I promise you
we will have a script.
But what I want you guys
to do right now
is I want you to eat your meals,
enjoy this festive time
and go home and enjoy
a beautiful weekend.
Let your minds roam free.
Listen to your artist
and come back on Monday
and let's spitball
some concepts.
I'm scared.
Change is scary.
Okay? It's intimidating.
I get it.
Do you wanna know
why I came back here?
Because I believe in
everybody at this table.
I believe in your talent,
and I believe
if we work together,
we can create something amazing.
Let's give our audience
a Scrooge they'll never forget.
Who's with me?
I'm in.
- Me too.
- Let's do it.
To the Grand Company Players.
Let's create
something... beautiful.
- Cheers.
- Cheers.
[man] Cheers.
[Julian] Table for two.
[waiter] Absolutely.
- Make yourselves at home.
- Thank you.
Appreciate it, thanks.
You've got two live ones
at your station.
- Happy holidays.
- Happy holidays.
Julian Walker?
[Julian] Hello, Charlotte.
You know, I thought
that was you.
I just saw you over here
- from my table over there.
- [Julian] Right.
And I just came over
to say hello.
Oh, this is my friend Franny.
Nice to meet you.
Charlotte and I auditioned
for Thick and Thin together
and we did some workshops
back in the day
when we were starting out,
didn't we?
Yeah, good times.
- Good times.
- [laughs] Yeah.
Rock solid actress. Fantastic.
Ah, well, you are too kind.
I don't wanna keep you.
I just, you know,
was coming to say hello,
- so I'm gonna...
- Excuse me. Charlotte,
I need you to take these
to table seven.
We have a party of nine
I need to set up for.
Oh... Okay, I'll do it.
Anyway, well,
I better get going.
I'm just here, you know,
researching a part.
A part I seem born to play
for the rest of my life.
[Rachel] Hey, Charlotte.
Just got back to Chicago.
Just four more blocks, sir.
[taxi driver] No problem.
[Rachel] Okay, so,
Operation Charlotte
is officially in motion.
Okay, I like the sound of that,
but what exactly does it mean?
Well, I've told my boss
how awesome you are,
how you've held
three jobs sometimes
to pursue your dream
of being an actress.
What, she actually considered
that an asset?
Shows her you're goal-oriented.
Now you just have to show her
you're a passionate,
goal-oriented multitasker.
Okay. In a phone interview?
No. My boss is coming
to New York
and plans on seeing if
everything I've said about you
is true.
- Okay. I'm scared.
- [Rachel] Don't be.
Just be you.
That's all I sold and that's
all you need to deliver.
Okay, I will be the best version
of me that I can muster,
and if that doesn't work,
I'll fake it.
Okay. Bye!
- Bye.
- What was that about?
Oh, I have a job interview
next week.
Ooh, what's the part?
It's not an acting gig.
It's a real job.
Like, in the real world.
Uh-oh. I heard about those ones.
Entirely overrated.
So, Gary, I'm gonna need
to keep my schedule loose
over the next week,
but I should know about the
interview in a couple days.
Got it. What's the part?
Party planning coordinator.
You're not seriously considering
taking a job, are you?
I am seriously considering all
of my options at this point,
and this is most certainly
an option.
- Fair enough.
- And look, if fate's plan
is for me to stay in this town,
it needs to give me a sign.
And that sign
needs to have, like,
big flashing lights
and a sparkler on it.
But until then...
happy holidays.
Happy holidays.
Hey, Naomi. Do me a favor, okay?
Looks great, you guys!
I love it!
We'll get a lot of inquiries.
I'll give you that.
No, no, no, hey,
I'll get that. No, no.
But I'm not exactly sure
what to expect.
What to expect, Naomi,
is that we're gonna make sure
that the actors only have
one minute per audition.
That way, we'll be moving
at a quicker clip.
'Cause all we're looking for
is a little Christmas magic.
Just be prepared to sit
through a lot of cold.
Ah, you know, that's why
we love you, Naomi.
You always see
the glass half empty.
I'm gonna make you a deal.
You give me
till tomorrow afternoon,
and I promise the both of you
I will have a decision on
the direction of the play, okay?
All right,
I'm going inside to get warm.
I'll say this about our Julian, he
definitely thinks outside of the box.
Well, hopefully,
this little exercise in futility
will put him back
inside the box.
To be honest,
I find his spirit refreshing.
I think we've all been working
on autopilot
a little too long around here.
We'll see.
Hey, Charlotte,
it's Sandy, your tireless agent.
Calling your tired client.
Yeah, well, you'd better wake up
'cause I've got a great audition
coming down the pipe for you.
[Charlotte] Oh, yeah?
What's character Du jour?
Lady at the counter?
- Woman in the background?
- [Sandy] No. Listen.
There's a new
theatrical production
of A Christmas Carol
and the company's
holding open calls.
They're doing a whole new interpretation.
I thought you loved the book!
I mean, how many times
have you read it?
[sighs] Yeah, more times
than I'd care to admit.
[Sandy] Which means that
you're perfect for this project!
Plus, the director
requested you personally.
Really? Who's the director?
[Sandy] They didn't say.
Listen, all you need to do
is come up
with a killer monologue
and go in there and knock
their socks off tomorrow.
Are you in?
Okay, yeah.
Wish me luck.
[Charlotte] The fact is there's just not
that many parts for me in this play.
I'm too old for Belle,
I'm too young for Mrs. Fezziwig,
and all the other parts
are for men.
[Morgan] Who says?
Your agent told you they wanted a whole
new take on the Christmas classic.
That's right.
Why settle for a bit part?
Right. I mean,
if I'm gonna go for broke,
I may as well
put it all on the line, right?
What are you thinking?
Where's my computer?
Is it over here? Oh, no, no, no.
Computer... no, no, no.
Erlinda... Scrooge.
That's right.
[Morgan and Liz laughing]
And God bless us, every one.
That was great. Thank you.
That was probably
the most mature version
of Tiny Tim I've ever seen.
- Okay, we'll be in touch.
- You're not serious!
No, I'm not.
That was terrible.
I told you we'd end up with a
mixed bag with these open calls.
I know.
I'm getting a coffee.
Who's next?
Charlotte, is that you?
Yeah. I'm sorry, I can't...
It's me.
Oh, Sid, hi!
You're here to audition, I hope.
Yes. Yes, I am.
- That's great.
- Who is the director?
Hi, Charlotte.
You know what, I'm sorry.
I knew this was a big mistake.
Short and pithy,
I'll give her that much.
Franny, come on.
Charlotte, wait!
Okay. All right.
We have a...
[Franny] Any time.
Charlotte! Charlotte, wait.
Please? Come on, hey. Listen.
Please tell me this is not about
the Thick or Thin audition.
No, I just changed my mind.
I don't wanna do this anymore.
And by the way,
that wasn't just an audition,
that was a network test
and you decided
to go rogue and improvise.
[Julian] Don't blame me
because you played it safe.
I blame you
because you didn't warn me.
I just took a chance.
And it paid off.
Yeah, paid off for you,
but it totally threw me off.
If that's what I did, I'm sorry.
Well, a lot of good
that does me now.
Look, I believe in you.
I've seen you audition.
You are a very talented actress
and I know you've got
something prepared.
We're in there
waiting and excited
for you to go in there
and blow us away. Come on!
Well, thank you, coach,
but I'll see you
at the next one.
Charlotte, this is the next one.
What are you afraid of?
A merry Christmas to us all,
my dears.
God bless us.
God bless everyone.
Spirit, tell me
if Tiny Tim will live.
I see a vase...
a vacant seat in the...
in the poor chimney corner.
And a crutch without an owner,
carefully preserved.
If these shadows
remain unaltered by the future,
the child will die.
[Scrooge puppet]
No, no! Oh, no, kind spirit!
Say he will be spared!
If these shadows remain
unaltered by the future,
none other of my race
will find him here.
What then if he be like to die,
he had better do it
and dis... decrease
the surplus population.
[Julian] Bravo!
- Bravo!
- That was very, very unique!
- [boy] Thank you.
- And...
We'll... we'll be in touch.
- Do we have your contact information?
- [boy] Yeah.
- You should, actually.
- Wonderful! Okay.
Why do we need
his contact information?
It's my nephew's birthday
next week.
Stealing from the talent pool.
Thank you very much,
that was great.
That's not it.
What's that?
I have more.
That's just the beginning.
Oh, no, I don't want to waste
your energy. That was fantastic.
We've seen enough.
Okay. How many more do we got?
Forget it.
I don't even wanna look at that.
Let's just keep going.
What are you so afraid of?
[Julian] [clapping hands]
Thank you.
We'll be in touch.
All right, boss,
that was the final audition.
Anything stick?
No, 'fraid not.
I give each one of them
credit for trying.
Franny, what's that saying?
Nothing ventured,
nothing gained?
[Charlotte] Excuse me!
Hi, sorry. Am I too late?
- Yes, I'm sorry, we're all...
- No, no, no, no. No. No.
You're not too late at all.
Charlotte... welcome back.
Please, the stage is yours.
Well, first I'll just say...
so, my idea
is a modern retelling
of the classic tale,
told from a female perspective.
Erlinda Scrooge.
Like most of us,
I think she is wondering
how she got here,
what she's doing,
and maybe the most troubling,
where she's headed,
which I think is something
that most of us,
at least I anyway,
can relate to.
I'm sorry.
Well, we all look forward
to seeing what you've got.
Great. Is it okay to use...
You can use the whole stage.
- What's her name?
- Charlotte.
Am I really the woman...
who's still at work,
head buried in a laptop
on Christmas Eve,
surrounded by leftover excuses
of how I got here,
wondering what went wrong,
or worse,
if my best years are behind me?
I thought my name
would be in bright lights
on big marquees,
not posted to the side of
a cubicle that no one sees.
From now on, I vow...
to heed my past
and honor my present
while keeping hope alive
for a bright future,
knowing that deep down,
none of that matters.
All that matters
is what is in here.
And I promise to keep
all three spirits alive
within me,
That was great.
Could you wait in the lobby, just
give us ten minutes to discuss?
Yeah, for sure.
Thank you for your time.
Thank you for your time.
Guys, come on, that was amazing.
It's a classic tale
told with a real point of view,
with a modern-day twist.
It could work. It just feels
really ambitious.
Come on, Franny!
Ambitious is good.
Not when you're
on a time crunch.
Charlotte's an unknown quantity.
True, but it's
a breath of fresh air.
I think that's a good thing.
It could be
a recipe for disaster.
Okay, I know you're scared.
I get it.
We're all scared, right?
But when you see
something like that
that's that inspiring,
you jump on it.
What do you guys say?
I... I have some news.
Now, it wasn't unanimous
by any means,
but we all got together and
thought about it long and hard
and came to a consensus.
It's okay.
- I understand.
- You're our new Scrooge.
- Yeah.
- What?
No, there must be
some misunderstanding.
No, there's no misunderstanding.
You are our new lead.
Welcome to the company!
We love your idea.
Now, look, I know we got a lot of
work to do before Christmas...
- I understand.
- But you... you, Charlotte,
are exactly
what we're looking for.
Yes! Yes, seriously!
Thank you!
- Oh, group hug!
- Thank you.
- Oh, my goodness!
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
- Congratulations.
I got this!
[phone ringing]
- Hello?
- Mom?
I'm sorry it's so late,
it's just,
I couldn't wait until morning.
Now I'm excited.
What's happened?
I just landed a part
in the new production of
A Christmas Carol at the Grand.
Oh, sweetheart!
That is... incredible!
I know. I know.
I still can't believe it's happening.
Well, what... what is your part?
Well, it's a loose adaptation
of the Dickens classic,
and I am playing
Erlinda Scrooge.
I love it already.
Thanks, Mom.
I guess that means you won't be
able to come home for Christmas...
but that is totally fine,
I completely understand.
And I'm just...
I'm just so proud of you.
And we can just see each other
in the new year,
to celebrate your success.
Yes, that we will.
All right, I love you, Mom.
I love you, baby.
Okay, goodnight.
Oh, yes! Yes!
Yes! Yes!
[knocking on the door]
[Samantha] Sorry,
I didn't mean to startle you.
I was just hoping
to surprise you
so we can
finally do some catching up.
That's... that's
very kind of you, but I...
Aren't you gonna invite me in?
It's our favorite Cabernet,
and it's not exactly
pouring itself.
Samantha, look, I have
a very important dinner meeting
with the Christmas production
I'm directing, so... I can't.
Can't you reschedule?
I'd really love it
if we could talk.
You know, co-star to co-star.
Yeah, I will,
one hundred percent,
but unfortunately,
this is not the time.
Can I take a rain check?
It's okay.
I just have to go.
They're waiting for me,
you know what I mean?
We'll... I'll call you
and we'll try to reschedule
when the play's over,
you know what I mean?
[Samantha] Yeah.
- Julian!
- Hey!
Hi! How long have you been here?
Since the place opened, I guess.
Yeah, I had lots of work
to get done
and I didn't know
when your shift started, so...
- Not for 10 minutes.
- Well then, great, have a seat.
This is the rehearsal schedule,
not to mention some preliminary
production designs, and this...
We need to work on this, okay?
This is gonna be
our little opus.
Yes, but I do need to work.
Right. You gotta work.
Fine. You work here,
- I'll work here.
- Okay.
- All right? Beauty.
- I like it.
- I'll be right here.
- Okay.
- Morning, Charlotte.
- Good morning, Gary.
I haven't seen you wearing
that smile in a while.
Oh, so I guess
you heard the good news.
Congratulations. I couldn't
be more thrilled for you.
Thank you. Oh, but I do
need to talk to you
about my schedule
for the next few weeks.
Don't worry,
me and your director
already got that ironed
and put away.
- Do you now?
- Yes.
Actors have a way of being
awfully persuasive
when they wanna be.
I've heard.
And what I love the most
is that what's happening
to Erlinda's character
is she's not sounding
anything like Ebenezer.
Exactly. And did you notice,
in the entire script,
there's not a single "humbug"?
'Cause it's real
and it's contemporary
and it's modern, right?
Which is exactly the way we discussed it.
I love the idea.
- Yeah.
- Hey, you creative folks,
I wish I could let you stay,
but I gotta close up.
Gary, come on.
You sure we can't stay?
Just give us a little more time.
- Come on. Gary!
- Sorry.
No, he's actually right.
People are gonna keep walking by
and seeing the light on,
they're gonna think we're open.
We're not gonna get
any work done.
Right. All right,
I have an idea.
- Let's go to an all-night diner.
- Actually...
I think I have a better idea.
You're a real triple threat,
you know that?
I mean, you can act,
you can write, and obviously,
you can bake.
Well, don't speak too soon.
You haven't tried one yet.
Hey, my mom was the real
baker in the house.
There was nothing like her
famous icebox snowball cookies.
I'm not an expert there,
but that doesn't
look like a snowball cookie.
- I said my mom was the baker.
- Oh, okay. Good.
Okay, so, back to our story.
Where do you see Erlinda
at the end of the play?
Yeah, well, I was thinking
about that, and...
you know how Scrooge
looks back on his youth
as, like, a missed opportunity?
Well, I was thinking
that Erlinda
could maybe see it
as a second chance.
And who wouldn't
want that, right?
Well, that's the point.
I like that. Okay.
- To second chances.
- To second chances.
So, what made you
want to direct?
Uh... I suppose I'm...
I'm looking for
my second chance too.
Yeah, my dad...
huge influence on me
in the theater.
You know, growing up,
Christmas was never about
being around Christmas trees
or presents
or anything like that.
It was about being around him
and being around the stage.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
So, you really
are a theater rat.
I was, yeah.
And then came TV,
and my agents are dying for me
to go back to it, but...
when this play came to me,
I just... I just
couldn't turn it down.
I didn't want to miss
this opportunity.
Well, that makes two of us.
All right,
let's get back to work.
- Okay.
- Okay. Opening, Act Three.
[Julian] Good morning,
the Grand Company.
Hand those out for me?
Thank you.
You know, in the wee hours
of the morning,
Charlotte and I
were working furiously
to put together the final touches
on our little production here.
- You must be running on pure adrenaline.
- Well, yes.
That and plenty of
Christmas cookies.
Okay, you know, I gotta ask this,
somebody answer me this, okay?
How is my cohort in crime
looking brighter and bushier
than I do this morning?
Oh, lots of hair and makeup.
Beneath it all, I'm half asleep.
That makes two of us.
There you go.
Think we can talk casting?
Yes, good point, Naomi.
So, listen, I was thinking
that the Ghost of Christmas Past
should be our youngest member.
- That would be me, sir.
- Yes, it would, Brady.
You up for the challenge?
Can you handle that?
- We'll find out soon enough.
- Yes, we will.
And the Ghost
of Christmas Present...
is going to...
What are you looking at?
Oh! Speak of the present.
Dennis Hayes, to what
do we owe the pleasure?
I was hoping
we might have a word.
- Up there?
- Please.
Let's take five, okay?
Excuse me.
Okay, everybody,
we are back at 11:53.
If you don't mind, I'd love
to take your measurements.
Oh, of course, yeah.
Who is Dennis Hayes?
Ugh. The real company Scrooge.
He owns the place.
Inherited it from his father,
who was a real arts lover.
I see. And his son?
Not so much.
- I'll meet you over there.
- Okay, sure.
Mr. Hayes. I assume you're not
here for season tickets.
[chuckles] I'm afraid not.
But I don't want to beat
around the bush.
What is this?
No, you're planning
on mowing it down.
Your lease ends this year.
It was hard for me
to make this decision,
but I'm putting this place
on the market come January.
What are you doing?
What about the theater company?
I mean,
we've been here for 50 years.
that's not my concern.
Property in this city is far
more valuable than sentiment.
A little longer, and now,
of course,
you can put your arms down.
Let's take a look here.
[Julian] Everybody, if...
I could just have everybody's
attention for a second.
Guys, can I have your attention?
I have a short
announcement to make.
The production of Christmas Carol
this season is gonna be...
this theater company's
final performance.
[Franny] What?
I don't understand.
This theater
has been around for...
I know. Trust me.
I grew up here.
Its owner supported our vision.
Unfortunately, this guy...
Only supports the bottom line.
Well, so...
what can we do?
I say we give
this little theater of ours
the greatest send-off ever.
We put together
the best holiday show ever.
That's it?
And then what, we shut our doors
and go our separate ways,
pretending this was just a job?
Julian, I don't...
I don't need to tell you,
this theater company
has been my family!
Guys, I'm sorry.
Well, I guess our company
will have to find another space
to perform in next year.
[clears throat]
I don't believe this.
No. I... I can't believe
that fate would give us
this incredible opportunity
only to, what, let it slip away?
Charlotte, we're not
gonna let it slip away.
It's just that none of us...
know what to do at the moment.
Sounds a lot like my life.
- You know what we need?
- What?
A Christmas miracle.
Well, in that case,
I guess it's...
'tis the season to find one.
Excuse me.
- Hi.
- Hey.
Sucker punch table for one,
Yeah. I take it you
didn't see that coming.
Did you? I don't think
any of us saw it coming.
That is the business.
Oh yeah, I know.
This whole thing feels like
a replay of my career.
I can't tell you how many times
I have landed roles
only to discover they ended up
on the cutting room floor.
How do we even have
the stomach for this?
I think the only reason
I'm still doing this
is because I can hear my dad
whispering in my ear.
Is he the one that encouraged
you to be an actress?
Yeah. He was a dreamer,
trapped in the body of
an ad salesman from Ohio,
- trying to support his family.
- [Julian laughs]
He passed when I was in college,
so it's just me and my mom now.
I'm sorry.
But I'm sure he's very proud
that the dream lives on.
Lives on...
on life support.
Oh, come on.
I have a friend
who put me up for a job
in Chicago.
- A job. Not a gig, but a job.
- Yeah.
Yeah. You know,
I gotta tell you, Charlotte,
I don't know
if I like the sound of that.
Well, I think we have
bigger fish to fry.
True. No doubt.
Okay, what's the priority, then?
Mount the play
or save the theater?
I knew you'd say that.
- Yeah. You thirsty?
- Yeah.
- And I'm hungry too.
- Oh, that's good.
- Here's the menu. Right there.
- Great.
[Julian] Okay, people, we
have to show Mr. Hayes
that the Grand is worth keeping
before the new year.
I was up all night
and this is my conclusion.
The only way
we're gonna save the Grand
is getting people interested
in what we're saying, right?
Right, and right now, what we
know is we have a show opening
in a week and a half
and a website that is so ancient
it can't even take
online purchases.
Oh, I think I helped
design that in 1997.
Well, that's an easy fix,
but it's not gonna
turn this place around.
No, no, no.
That's where you're wrong.
It's a good start. It's a good start.
We need buzz for the Grand.
We gotta get people knowing what
we're doing for the community, you know?
You know how many careers
were launched from this theater?
Oh, I've seen quite a few
stars of stage and screen.
That's the kind of information
we need to get out there.
Right now, this theater
is New York's best-kept secret.
But we're gonna change that,
because we're gonna
give this theater
the buzz and publicity
it deserves, right?
Even if it means drawing
on your celebrity?
Naomi, whatever it takes.
And what it takes right now...
is a selfie.
Oh, Charlotte, hold up.
You know, you have a way
of motivating a crowd
that's really inspiring.
Even when the outcome
is seemingly, you know, bleak.
Well, I guess it's all
those years of rejection
really strengthening
the bounce back instinct.
[chuckles] I get it.
I really think
this time is gonna be different.
You know what? This time,
it is gonna be different.
- Oh, my scarf.
- Hey!
- Forgot something?
- Yes, thank you.
Hey, listen, you were
fantastic up there tonight.
- Thank you. You too.
- Well, thank you.
- Tomorrow's your day off, right?
- Yeah.
Okay. I was thinking maybe
we'd hang out
and you know, regroup.
- Regroup?
- Yeah.
What did you have in mind?
Well, I can't tell you,
it's a surprise.
But what I will tell you
is I'll swing by around noon.
- How's that?
- That sounds great.
- I'm game. Okay.
- Great! See you then.
- See you then.
- All right.
It is so not a date!
Think of it as a
working field trip.
Uh-huh. Then why are you
wearing your good earrings?
Because I lost one
of my bad earrings.
I just don't want you
getting your hopes up.
- For what?
- Julian Walker.
According to this,
he's unavailable.
- Oh! Well, I see.
- It's true.
There's pictures of him here
all over Manhattan
with his former co-star,
Samantha Cross.
I just don't want you
getting your heart broken.
Well, don't worry.
This is totally safe.
Remember my rule
about not dating actors?
Oh, right. I guess
I confused you with me
and my "really want
to date an actor" rule.
[knocking on the door]
- Hi!
- Hi.
- Wow.
- Hi.
Morgan, Julian.
Julian, Morgan.
Hi. Nice to meet you.
It's not funny.
Okay... Bye.
- Bye.
- Have a great day.
- Bye.
- Bye-bye.
- Right, bye.
- Bye.
Tell the truth,
there's nothing like Christmas
in Manhattan!
The energy! The sounds!
The people, the smells!
- This is the best thing in the world!
- No, you're right. You're right.
This town does come alive
like no other.
Yeah, well that's...
All right, see?
- Yeah.
- Tough town to walk away from!
Wow. You are about as subtle
as a dump truck
In a dynamite factory.
- What does that even mean?
- I don't even know.
Remember this place?
[car honking]
- Wow.
- Yeah. Come on.
Our old acting studio.
Let's go in.
Julian, we don't even know
if it still exists.
So what? There's only one way
to find out. Come on, let's go.
Okay. Okay, okay, okay.
This place, huh?
It's like we never left.
If these walls could talk...
They would say
there is no failing,
only bold choices.
Bold, right?
We were so bold!
And you... Ugh!
- You were so good at the improv!
- What?
Yes! Me, that wasn't my thing.
- I wasn't so great at that.
- What? No, seriously?
It's not what came across.
Well, that's 'cause I took
my mom's advice, right?
- "Fake it till you make it."
- [Julian laughs]
Oh, remember that...
that Santa reindeer thing
that we did?
- The fear of flying seminar.
- Yes!
[Julian laughs]
It was so much fun. You know,
we were really good together.
We were.
Gosh, I felt so alive then.
So free.
Is that why you brought me here?
You know, I don't know
what happened
the day of that
Thick or Thin audition.
I thought you said I threw you.
Well, you did.
But that was me.
I was afraid to take a chance.
Yeah, I understand
why I didn't get that part.
But to be honest, the worst
part about the whole thing
was that I didn't get the
opportunity to work with you.
We could have had fun.
[man] Hey, what are you
doing here?
You can't be here! You gotta go!
[Julian] Um...
Hey, we actually used
to study here,
so we just thought
we'd come back.
I know you. I know you.
I don't know you, sir.
You must be mistaken, so...
He must be thinking
I'm somebody else. So, let's...
No, no. No, I know you!
Thick or Thin!
You're that cheesy cop!
- Yeah.
- Yeah, that's him.
Yeah. That's me, the cheesy cop.
- Yeah, thanks. Let's go.
- Okay.
Hey, hey. Can I get
your autograph? I'm Terry.
Do you have a pen or anything?
- Is that food? What is that?
- It's something.
- Don't touch it. Sorry.
- I... Terry.
Okay. There you go.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
I got stuff all over me.
Must have been something
on that thing.
[Julian] Okay, so...
First real
professional acting gig?
That would be a fast-food commercial.
- Really? Oh-ho-ho!
- Yes.
I ate so many French fries
that day, I got sick.
- [Julian laughs]
- What about you?
Um... I was an extra on a soap.
- Ooh!
- Yeah. I remember I got paid
for sitting around all day
and I thought, "Woah!
There are worse things
you can be doing to get paid."
- This is true.
- I'll tell you.
- All right, subject change.
- Okay.
Favorite Christmas memory?
Oh. Um...
You first.
Well, that's easy.
It was one of the times
my mom came to visit,
and I got a legit job.
- Okay.
- So, I took her to see
the carolers
at Rockefeller Center.
- Really?
- And then we went and had
Christmas dinner at Tavern on
the Green with the money I made.
[Julian] Yeah.
- That sounds really special.
- It was, for both of us. Yeah.
I can tell you really miss her.
Yeah, well, after my dad passed,
it was just the two of us.
And I haven't seen her since...
Ugh... I can't even remember.
What is your favorite
Christmas memory?
It would have to be here.
- Oh?
- Yeah, in New York.
Yeah, I was ten
and it was this crazy snowstorm,
and afterwards,
my dad took me and my brothers
out to a snowball fight.
What? You've never had
a snowball fight before?
- Nope.
- What?
And I plan on keeping it
that way.
Why? It's fun!
I've got a great idea.
We'll do a duel.
- One snowball, three steps.
- A duel?
- Yeah.
- No.
What are you afraid of?
What's wrong?
All right.
Oh! There! See, there's the fire
in your eyes. Okay, good!
- All right, you're on!
- Okay.
Okay, now it's three steps.
- Okay. Is that the rule?
- That's the rule,
but you've gotta turn around.
It's the rule.
- Okay.
- Okay, now don't cheat.
- [chuckles] Okay, ready?
- Okay. Yeah.
- One...
- One...
- Two... three!
- Two... three!
[Julian] Oh!
Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!
Oh, my gosh!
- Are you okay?
- [Julian laughs]
- Jeez!
- Whoops.
Oh, man!
So, I guess you can scratch that
off your bucket list, right?
Your first snowball fight.
And for the kids
watching at home,
that would be Charlotte one,
Julian zero.
No, I don't think so.
I think you jumped on two.
Spoken like true sore loser.
I'm not a sore loser.
- Yeah. Well, now we're tied.
- Really?
- I had a really good time.
- I had a great time.
All right.
- Goodnight.
- Goodnight.
[Charlotte] Ellen, thanks for coming
to New York for this interview.
[Ellen] Oh, it's no problem.
I had some business in town.
By the way,
how is it that New York City
is the only place on Earth
that can make crme brle
this scrumptious?
People say the same thing
about the pizza.
There's something about
this city that must be magic.
So how do you feel
about a move to Chicago?
To be honest,
I've been trying to open up
my mind to new possibilities,
and I'm liking the idea
of a new adventure.
What a refreshing way
to look at life.
Change can be good.
Change can be good.
Well... You've certainly
given me a lot to think about.
I do have other candidates
to consider,
but you're definitely
in the mix.
I'm so happy Rachel
recommended you.
[Charlotte] Ugh...
It's okay.
Sorry, is it just me or did
our apartment get smaller?
- Liz is homeless.
- I'm not homeless,
I'm just... domicile-deprived.
I don't think
that's even a word.
What happened?
I was subletting from this girl who,
turns out, was subletting from this guy
who moved upstate but didn't like
it, 'cause it was like too quiet.
Not like it usually is here
in our apartment.
He showed up yesterday
wanting his place back.
I'm so sorry, Charlotte.
I had no place to go.
It's fine. Totally fine.
You can stay here.
You know,
if you're still considering
that move to Chicago,
I'd be happy
to take over your lease.
You would do that for me?
You're such a lamb.
Real subtle.
Why don't you ask
to help her pack?
What are you looking for?
Costume change.
I need to go back to the theater
wearing something festive.
Okay, how about...
- this?
- Oh, that's perfect.
Absolutely perfect.
Thank you.
Another outing
with Julian Walker?
Something like that.
[Morgan and Liz] Oooh.
Okay, I'm not even gonna
dignify that with a reaction.
Joy to the world
The Lord has come
So, when the Grand Company
actually asked me to direct
this season's production
of Christmas Carol,
obviously, I was thrilled.
But not because of what
the play meant to me.
I truly believe that theme
is even more relevant today
- than ever, right?
- Not bad there, mister.
- Thank you.
- [Charlotte] And this theater
has such a long past
with this city
and an incredible present with this show.
- And we're hoping for a bright future...
- Yes.
...if the community will get
involved and support us.
- Come, community, and support us!
- Please!
- Merry Christmas!
- Merry Christmas!
Well said!
Now, what do you guys think?
Talk to me.
Well, I won't lie.
It will definitely help.
I'm sensing a but...
I'm sure we'll sell the run,
yes, but I'm not sure
this publicity's
enough to save the theater.
We need to cast a wider net.
Yeah, what's up?
I don't mean to pry
into your personal life,
but I'm sure
I don't have to tell you
that your former co-star,
Samantha Cross,
is somewhat of a
social media phenomenon.
With over
three million followers,
her endorsement
could really go a long way
towards our cause.
So, you're asking me
to talk to Samantha?
I mean, that would be amazing!
I'll see what I can do.
Good idea.
There's a Throwback
Thursday for you.
That's Julian's father
standing outside the theater
with Peter Hayes.
Wow! Who's the little boy?
Our current owner, Dennis Hayes.
The times were more
innocent back then.
Hey, I think
they're pretty great now.
Hey, we looked pretty good
out there, huh?
- Yeah, I know. We're a pretty good team.
- Yeah.
I think it looks great,
you guys.
- Let's light it up.
- Yeah.
[Sid] I got it, I got it!
- Okay, Sid, fire it up.
- [Sid] Here we go!
[clapping hand]
Wow, that certainly lights up
this old lobby!
- It certainly does!
- Yeah.
You know, I can't remember
the last time I actually...
- put up a Christmas tree.
- You're kidding!
No. This time of year,
I'm typically
traveling and working.
Wow, you really are Scrooge.
- [Charlotte chuckles]
- I think I just... that hurt.
- [Julian] Okay... You got it?
- [Charlotte] Yup.
- [Julian] Watch out.
- [Charlotte] Come on.
- Oh, there we go.
- Okay. Perfect.
Lights. Okay.
You just had to get the biggest
tree in the lot, didn't you?
- [Charlotte] Yup!
- [Julian laughs]
[Charlotte] Wow...
I think your place
can handle it, though.
Yeah, well I am kind of
a minimalist, aren't I?
You know, they say
a person's dcor is a reflection
- of what they want the world to see.
- Oh?
And I'm getting a hiding
in plain sight kind of vibe.
- Really?
- Yeah.
Yeah, well, I'll tell you.
If this acting thing doesn't work out,
you'll make a great therapist.
- Nice deflection.
- Okay. You gonna psychoanalyze me,
or you gonna help me
with this thing?
- You know what
- What?
I think it should go right here.
It'd be the first thing people
see when they walk in the door.
Oh, okay.
Well, I can see a method
- to your madness.
- Oh, yeah?
- Now the fun begins.
- Yeah. Decorations, right?
It's been a while. I don't know
how many decorations I have.
- Oh, I can make anything work.
- Really? Perfect.
- Okay, I'll see what I got.
- Okay.
Lucky for you, I am a master
at Christmas decorating.
- Really?
- Yep! I don't know what it is,
something about
this time of year.
I just get this special feeling,
like finding the right guy
to put the star
on top of the Christmas tree.
- Wow. That was subtle.
- Yeah.
[Julian] I can handle it.
I've got this.
So, listen... what are
your plans for the New Year?
I'm still trying
to figure that out.
I think I'm just gonna
play it by ear.
So, there's no one special
in your life?
No. I think that's
why I'm willing
to take some risks right now.
You know, shake things up.
Yeah, I think I'm
in the same boat.
My agents think
that this theater gig
is my way of hiding
from the spotlight.
Well, is it?
I mean, I can't imagine this
whole fame thing being easy.
I mean, you know, I'm not
gonna complain, but yeah.
I mean, you can kind of...
get caught up in it
once in a while.
I just know what my roommate
reads in the tabloids.
Oh, okay.
About Samantha and I?
- Not my business.
- That's okay.
It's not my business.
But one of the reasons
I will never date an actor.
You... Okay, hold on a second.
You're not gonna date an actor?
No, iron-fast rule.
Never ends well.
I think I would do better with,
like, an accountant type.
Oh, no, no, no, no. No, no.
- Boring and way too safe.
- Safe? Don't knock safe.
Safe is good.
Safe is dependable,
especially when you're living
paycheck to paycheck.
All right.
- Still boring, though.
- Okay.
Let's light this thing up.
What do you think? Ready?
- Yeah.
- Three... Two...
[Charlotte gasps]
- Looks great.
- Oh, it's so great.
I gotta hand it to you,
you certainly know how to...
bring life to a room.
Okay... Let's toast!
Yeah. Thank you.
- To...
- The most perfect tree.
- The most perfect tree.
- Like, ever.
- Ever.
- Yeah.
No, Mom, I already told you
I'm not gonna make it home
for Christmas.
Oh, I have to figure out a way
to nail this McMann account
so I can get that promotion
that I deserve.
[mobile phone ringing]
Are you kidding me?
Whose phone is that?
Whose phone is that?
Come on, anyone?
[phone continues ringing]
- Oh...
- [phone continues ringing]
You know what, I'm sorry.
I think it's mine.
I thought I turned it off.
Okay... It's fine, Charlotte.
Let's take five.
Yeah, I know I owe you a phone call.
I've just been so busy.
I know! I see.
Looks like you and your
almost Thick or Thin co-star
have become quite thick!
- Please!
- Merry Christmas!
I am actually
at rehearsal right now,
so can I please
call you tonight?
[Rachel] No need to.
I'm just calling
with some huge news.
You got the job!
Ms. Murray loves your energy.
Oh... Wow.
That is great news. Um...
But I'm at rehearsal right now,
so I will call you tonight,
- okay?
- [Rachel] Sure.
In the meantime, I'm going
to pick out your office.
Okay, bye.
It looks like Julian
finally dialed up the heat.
He must have contacted
that Samantha Cross
because our theater's
Twitter feed is buzzing.
So, that's good?
Yes, very good!
The story of
our theater's plight
is going out to millions
of Samantha's followers.
This is just
the shot in the arm we need.
I don't understand.
Why did it take Julian so long
to ask Samantha to get involved?
I think
their relationship status
is... complicated.
- Everything okay?
- Great, yeah.
I put my phone on silent.
- Thanks.
- Great.
Okay, let's get back to it,
shall we?
Charlotte, let's try this again.
[Morgan] Hey, Char, be honest.
What do you think?
Oh, really nice.
You're going
to a Christmas party?
Yeah, an ugly
Christmas sweater party.
Oh! Well, then you look perfect.
What's going on with you?
You've been in a funk ever since
you got back from rehearsal.
I'm fine. I'm just, you know,
burning it at all ends.
I have an extra sweater
if you want to join.
I would,
but I still have another shift
I have to cover
before Christmas.
Oh, right. But you must be
getting pretty excited, right?
For what?
Your show!
- [Liz] Oh, right! Wow!
- [Morgan] We should go.
Yes, I'd love to go.
- We'll get our tickets...
- Okay.
[Liz] Oh, we could reserve
tickets ahead of time!
- Yeah!
- [Liz] Can we do something really Christmassy?
- [Morgan] Yes!
- [Liz] Red. Head-to-toe red.
- [Morgan] Yes! Head-to-toe bows.
- [Liz] Glitter!
- [Morgan] And a turtleneck!
- [Liz] Pom-poms. Pom-poms.
Yeah. And lots of velvet.
[Morgan and Liz chatter]
Excuse me, can we get
the check, please?
You've been staring at that tree
half the night. What's up?
I think this might be one
of my last shifts at the bistro.
You mean for the year?
I mean for forever.
I got offered
that job in Chicago.
So, you're gonna take it?
I don't see
how I can turn it down.
It's a great salary,
plus a moving bonus.
My friend Rachel lives there,
my mom lives there.
Are you trying to sell me
or sell yourself?
I said I needed a change.
And change is never easy.
And as much fun as
I'm having doing this play...
I just can't keep
living like this.
[message beeps]
[knocking on the door]
Merry early Christmas!
- You didn't have to bring me this.
- I know. I wanted to.
Let's see...
can we...
put a little more Christmas?
- How about right here?
- Sure.
- Perfect.
- Yeah, it looks great.
So... I got your message.
What's going on?
Are you okay?
Well, let's start with the...
the good news, shall we?
The play is looking spectacular.
Thanks largely due to you.
And you.
And the entire Grand Company.
- Yes.
- What else?
I just got offered
another TV series in LA.
That's... great, right?
That's exciting.
Sure, no, it's exciting, until
you open up and read the script.
It's just another watered down
version of the same thing
I've been playing
for the last five years.
I'm grateful that I'm working,
but I don't...
I don't want to spend the next
five years doing the same thing.
I get it.
We're kind of
in a similar situation.
I got offered
that job in Chicago.
That's exciting.
Do you maybe want
to say that again,
but this time
with a little more feeling?
You know, congratulations!
That's exciting!
- There it is!
- [Julian laughs]
Oh, man...
Can I ask you something?
How did we get here?
I don't think it's about
how we got here.
I think the real question is,
where are we headed?
[knocking on the door]
It's like Grand
Central Station in here.
Hold that thought.
Merry Christmas, Julian.
Samantha. Hi.
What... What a surprise.
Samantha, this is Charlotte.
She is the star
of our Off-Broadway show
we're doing tomorrow night.
Yeah, our holiday play.
This is our star.
Yeah, that's me.
And this is my exit.
Wait, I wanted to talk to you.
No, just have a good night.
Do you want to come in,
Are you okay?
Yeah, no, I'm good.
Come on in.
Come on, let me fix you a drink.
And all three spirits
will live inside me forever.
Perfect. Love it!
Good work, everyone.
[metal clanking]
- It was great.
- Yeah?
- You sure you don't want me to...
- No, no, no, no, no.
Come on, I don't want to over
rehearse. Let's keep it fresh.
- It was wonderful!
- Fresh, right. Fresh is good.
Yes! Everyone, listen up!
We are going to
be doing curtain calls
- before the show tonight. Naomi.
- Thanks, Julian.
Everyone has a call sheet.
Hair and makeup
for featured players
is 5 p.m., sharp.
And before you leave,
please, everyone, I'll need
all costumes on the rack
to be accounted for,
please. Thank you.
Thank you.
So, listen... How are you
feeling about the show tonight?
I guess as good as I can, right?
I mean, the butterflies are
definitely starting to flutter.
Well, that's okay. Just relax.
You know, if you're half as good
as you were in the dress rehearsal,
I'm wrapped around your finger.
- Listen...
- Wow.
[both laugh]
- You go.
- No, you go.
I wanted to talk to you
about last night.
- Samantha and I, we're not...
- Oh, Julian, it's fine.
Really. It's not even
any of my business.
No, I understand that, but it got
a little awkward when you left,
and I didn't want you
to get the wrong idea.
I'm taking the job in Chicago.
You are?
Yes. Yes.
I am.
I don't understand.
Why the change of heart?
I just...
really don't feel like there's
anything left for me here.
I mean, hey,
if that's what you want to do,
I'm happy for you.
Okay, well,
I should get changed.
No, I understand the boardroom
being in the center.
I don't understand it being
the smallest room on the floor.
Mr. Hayes? Hi.
Hi. Charlotte Miller.
Thank you for coming.
I had meetings scheduled.
So, you're one of the players
of the soon-to-be
defunct theater group, I assume?
One of the visiting members,
I really hope you didn't ask me here
to give me a piece of your mind.
Not exactly.
But I discovered this
inside the theater
- and I thought you should have it.
- What is this?
Oh, a photo of the old gang?
Hoping to pull
at my heartstrings, are we?
Actually, it's a photo
of you and your father,
and Julian's father
in front of the Grand Theater.
Innocent times, huh?
Yes, they were.
I understand your father
was a big supporter of the arts.
[Hayes] Huh.
He called this his folly.
He had a head for business,
but the heart
of a starving artist.
Maybe he sensed
there was room for both.
Miss Miller,
I'm honestly not trying
to be the bad guy here.
This is just
about good business.
I understand.
But your father did find a way
for arts and business to coexist
- and turn a profit.
- True,
but at a time when this was
a thriving art district.
Hey, have you checked
your social media?
Our little show is gonna be
the next big thing!
All right, well...
Merry Christmas.
Merry Christmas.
Thank you.
[Julian] Listen, I need you to
make sure the crew double-checks
- all the spots, okay?
- [Naomi] I'm on it.
All right. Great.
By the way, thanks to you,
our social media
has been on fire.
Ever since that girlfriend
of yours took to Twitter...
Whoa. Okay, hold on a second.
First, sorry...
That person is not
my girlfriend.
I'm sorry.
- It's okay. It's okay.
- I didn't mean to assume.
- No problem.
- Well, with any luck,
she might just help us
save the place.
- Hi there, Julian.
- Brady.
I got one here for you.
- And here's yours.
- What's this?
That's a crew gift.
Charlotte got us one.
Oh, that's nice of her.
All right, thanks.
- Hey, break a leg. I'm proud of you. Okay?
- Thanks, man.
You know, your dad
would really be proud.
Thanks, Franny.
I'd like to think so too.
So, tell me something.
Are you really gonna
let her get away?
- Franny...
- I've been in the business
long enough to know
when I see true chemistry.
Well, unfortunately,
I think I'm too late.
Charlotte's already
made up her mind, so...
but have you made up yours?
Okay, guys, break a leg.
Keep the energy up
in the first act, okay?
Hey, Mom!
I tried you earlier,
I guess you're not around.
I miss you. I will
try you after the show, okay?
I love you.
Merry Christmas.
Check. Mic check.
All right.
Here we go, everybody.
[Charlotte] Oh, I'm so sorry.
I think I just pulled too hard.
[Franny] No harm. Maybe it's
a good omen. Good as new.
- Thank you.
- Break a leg.
- Have a good show!
- Thank you!
How are you doing?
Me? I'm great. I should be
asking you that question.
- Um... I'm... surprisingly calm.
- Good.
Good to hear. Um...
I also wanted to...
give you this.
Yeah. It's a... you know,
just for insurance.
It's... it's a prop
from my dad's first performance
in Merchant of Venice.
Shakespeare in the Park.
Yeah, I used to take it with me
on auditions for good luck.
Thank you.
Hey, just be you.
You'll be great.
I love it.
- Okay...
- Yeah... well... Yes?
I just want to say
thank you for everything.
Oh. Yeah, great.
We have a seat
out there for you, okay?
Oh, you want me out there?
- Enjoy the show!
- All right. Okay, thank you.
All right, everybody,
here we go!
Break legs.
Have a great show, everybody.
All right. We're ready.
I learned to heed the past,
honor my present
and maybe, most of all,
keep hope alive
towards a bright future.
And so...
God bless us,
every one.
Woah! [whistles]
Thank you.
[applause continues]
[all] We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
and a happy New Year
Good tidings we bring
to you and your kin
We wish you a Merry Christmas
and a happy New Year
Hey, it's my mom!
You deserve it.
[chatter and festive music]
[Charlotte's mom]
Sweetheart! Sweetheart!
- You were incredible!
- You look amazing!
Thank you!
I'm so glad you got to see it!
How did you get here?
I wouldn't have missed it
for the world!
At least that's what I
kept telling that Julian fellow
when he offered
to fly me out here.
He did?
You crushed it!
- You guys!
- Best show ever!
So good!
Thank you, guys!
Thank you so much!
Charlotte, honestly. I mean,
I knew you were good, but...
- Gary!
- You were so good, honestly!
- Thank you!
- I'll say!
You came alive out there
on that stage.
Rachel, I can't take
that job in Chicago.
[Rachel] Oh, please.
I figured that out
by the end of the first act.
- Really?
- Yes.
- You're not mad?
- No!
[Charlotte] Oh.
Guys, can you turn down
the music, please? Thanks.
Everybody obviously knows
Mr. Dennis Hayes here,
our landlord and
owner of the Grand.
If you can give him a moment of
your time, he has a few words.
Everyone, please.
Just give him a chance, okay?
I know this might be
impossible to believe,
but Mr. Hayes is actually
seeing the lights
about what this theater
means to the community.
I'm a businessman first,
and have holdings in
many properties in the area.
Now, due to the exposure
all that social media
has generated,
developers are clamoring
to revive
the old theater district.
you can't have
an old theater district
without an old theater.
It appears keeping
you people in business
is... good business.
Then, what you're
saying, Mr. Hayes,
is that the Grand
Theater Company... lives on?
I think our fathers
would be proud.
[all cheering]
It's a Christmas miracle!
Come on!
Okay, a toast!
A toast!
- Yes.
- [Sid] To the Grand Company!
The Grand Company!
You were wonderful tonight.
Play me out, Gary!
Cheers, you guys!
- Cheers!
- Cheers!
Julian, you really know
how to throw a surprise party.
For you guys, anytime!
- Hey! Cheers, you guys.
- Cheers!
You guys were wonderful!
- This one is for you.
- Thank you!
And thank you for all of this.
It's a special night.
So, listen, you were the one,
weren't you,
who convinced Hayes
to keep us going?
His bark is worse than his bite.
Actually, no,
they're both really bad.
But we did find a common ground.
You're pretty amazing,
you know that?
Yeah, for the first time,
like, ever,
I'm actually starting
to believe that.
Good. You should.
So, where's Samantha?
Last time I heard,
she was... on her way to Greece
for a holiday
with a new boyfriend.
Why are you looking at me
like that?
Oh, you assumed
I was still dating her?
I didn't know!
It's not my business.
Speaking of business, what's going
on with this trip to Chicago,
starting a new career?
Um... I'm passing on that job.
Yeah. No risk, no reward, right?
I think I'm gonna stay
around New York and...
I don't know,
see where that leads me.
Well, that certainly
could pose a problem.
Some problems?
[loud music starts playing]
- That's a problem.
- Loud is a problem.
- Oh, no!
- Uh-oh, let's get out of here.
Let's go, let's go.
Let's go outside.
I don't want to leave,
so I decided, you know what?
I'm gonna pass
on that gig out in LA,
so I can devote
more of my time here
as the new artistic director.
- Wow! That's fantastic!
- Thank you.
So, what's the problem?
Well, come on,
you got this hard-and-fast rule
you'll never date an actor.
Well, you know what they say
about rules, right?
What's that?