Fame (1982) s01e07 Episode Script

The Strike

This is really the cast list? "Othello, LeroyJohnson.
Iago, Danny Amatullo.
- Yeah! - Desdemona, Julie Miller.
" This is a play about passion.
When Othello loves, he does it with incredible emotion, from his heart.
When he hates, it's with intense rage capable of murder.
Martelli, we're talking about a Shakespeare festival not an evening with Con Edison.
You got big dreams.
You want fame.
Well, fame costs and right here is where you start paying in sweat.
- Doris, did they post the cast list yet? - I hope not.
Yo, Danny, what's up? - I'll tell ya when the cast list posts.
- I heard that! Then you have to go through the script and fiind out what characters are in the same scenes and come up with a rehearsal schedule.
- Piece a cake.
- Montgomery- you have to find out what the kids' after-school commitments are.
- That is not a piece of cake.
- I knew that when I volunteered.
Knowing it up here is one thing, child but actually doing it is something else.
The stage manager's always gonna be on the spot now.
The director's gonna be snapping at you.
The actors are gonna be complaining that you're being too tough on them.
It's lonely at the top, but it's no bed of roses in the middle either.
- I think you're just trying to scare me.
- You bet I am and I hope it's working, for your sake.
Remember, when the director's not around, it becomes the stage manager's show.
- Yeah, but you're gonna be around.
- Yeah, well - that's the plan, at any rate.
- What do you mean? Here.
This is the cast list.
Go run off some copies and post them.
You are gonna be around, aren't ya? Montgomery, didn't I tell you the director would be snapping at you? I didn't mean to get started before rehearsals.
Run off copies of the cast list, then post them, please.
- This is really the cast list? - Good-bye, Montgomery.
A lot of people are gonna get bummed out about this.
Copies of the cast list and post it.
Right on it.
I'm goin' now.
You look like one of those bobble-head dolls or something.
If you want to talk to him, you're gonna have to go down to the radio station.
- Earth to Leroy.
You there? - What? Could you cool out? We're not in the mood.
That's your problem.
I wish she'd post the cast list already.
What's the big deal? It's just a play.
We do plays all the time.
Othello is not just a play.
And the musical version of Othello isn't even just Othello.
And the winners aren't even winners 'cause they get to tour.
I know what I meant to say.
That's what counts.
Oh, Mr.
Shorofsky, there you are.
- Good morning, Miss Sherwood.
- Good morning.
- I've been trying for two days to talk- - It'll have to wait.
Berg is expecting me upstairs for a meeting, and I'm late.
Excuse me.
- Good morning.
- Good morning, Mrs.
Shorofsky just left to meet with you.
To meet me for what? Didn't you have a meeting with Mr.
Shorofsky this morning? No.
Why? Never mind.
Here he is! "Othello, LeroyJohnson.
Iago, Danny Amatullo.
Desdemona, Julie Miller.
Emilia, Doris Schwartz.
" Hey, Montgomery, I'm tellin' you right now- I want my own dressing room.
- No way.
- Okay, then I'll share with Julie.
- I got it! I got it! - I know! Congratulations, you guys.
Congratulations to you too.
- Congratulations for what? - You got the part of Desdemona.
You're kidding.
Don't I wish.
- Coco, wait! - All right! All right.
Oh, no.
I don't wanna be around when she gets bad news.
I don't think I could take it.
Strings just don't do it for me.
What do you mean they don't do it for you? This is a play about passion.
When Othello loves, he does it with incredible emotion, from his heart.
When he hates, it's with intense rage, capable of murder.
I don't hear violins.
What do ya hear? I hear synthesizers a bass with a heavy backbeat, even congas.
Martelli, we're talking about a Shakespeare festival not an evening with Con Edison.
What we're talking about is a show where the lead is a black kid from 1 28th Street.
- Excuse me.
- You talk to him.
- Got a minute? - I'm right in the middle of something.
Shorofsky, are you coming to the strike meeting after school or not? - Not.
- You have to come.
Have to? I left "have to" when I left Germany.
This isn't a dictator's order, Mr.
It's your fellow teachers.
I gave Mr.
Wyler my proxy.
That's enough.
No, it isn't.
It's lazy and uncaring, and that's not like you.
Miss Sherwood, I'm a public employee and I do not believe public employees should strike.
Come to the meeting.
Convince us of your point of view.
- Impossible.
Your minds are made up.
- And yours is so open? It certainly is.
Two thoughts- First someone who's seen what it's like when a country loses its way should be the last one to send in a proxy.
And what's the second? You're too old to pout.
"Heaven bless us! Say you? It is not lost, but what an if it were? How! I say it is not lost.
Fetch it, let me see it.
Why, so I can, sir, but I will not now.
Why, so I can, sir, but I-" - You seen Leroy anywhere? - He was in the library.
After school, he was checking out a copy of Othello.
Like me.
He's been duckin' me all day.
I can't set up a rehearsal schedule without him.
- I'll track him down.
- Can I ask you a question? - Sure.
- Come on in.
Hey, close the door.
Why did Miss Grant choose me for this part? - She didn't discuss it with me.
- Why do you think? - I don't know.
- I asked what you thought.
We both know Coco's a better actress than I am.
Not true.
We know Coco's a good actress.
But we don't know if she's better than you 'cause we don't know how good you are.
You haven't had a chance to show anyone yet.
Maybe that's why Miss Grant chose you.
She wanted to give you a chance to show everyone.
- You know what I think? - No.
I think Coco would have gotten the part if she was white.
You're probably right.
If you were black and male you might make a dynamite Othello.
- You think I'm being silly? - I think you've been given a chance and when you get a chance, you go with it as far as it takes you.
You don't question it.
Listen! If we all talk at once, we aren't going to accomplish anything.
So, please, boys and girls, if you'll- If you want to keep me after school, it's okay.
In the words of Danny Amatullo- Look, I don't know what this meeting is about anyway.
I mean, the strike is a foregone conclusion, isn't it? The consensus is the strike will take place.
The question is do we go out with everyone else? What are they talk- I vote we don't.
Lydia, I don't believe you.
You're a member of two unions, this one and Equity.
Three- and AGVA.
American Guild of Variety Artists.
So how can you refuse to strike? Because I can't afford to strike and neither can half the teachers here.
I can't afford not to strike and for the same reason.
I've got a kid that's getting braces and another one that's into figure skating.
I mean, do you know how expensive a thermal tutu is? Yeah, well, how about our kids? Our kids aren't like most kids about school.
Our kids want to learn something.
They wanna be here.
How can we walk out on that kind of attitude? Look, we're not striking just for ourselves.
We're striking for the kids- for their extended class time, for more books for decent cafeteria food.
Nobody wants to strike, but we have to do it.
And none of you minds that while you're walking around the block someone else, someone who doesn't know what he or she is doing is sitting in your classroom destroying everything you have accomplished with your students? None of us wants that, Mr.
This school pays me in more than money.
It pays me by being a place I want to go to each day.
I go here to teach the students and to learn from them.
I go here to be with you all, my friends.
I do not like being asked to choose sides.
Well, I think we've said all there is to be said.
The strike vote will take place tonight at the armory.
I need to know how many of you are going to be there to support the strike.
So if the strike vote passes I'll expect to see you all tomorrow morning, on the picket line.
Did you hear anything? It said on the news the schools would be run by office personnel.
- What do you think that means? - Probably no Shakespeare festival.
- No Shakespeare festival? - And eights hours of study hall.
Oh, I hope this thing doesn't last long.
My mother's already talking about finding another school, maybe in New Jersey.
Is there a school for the arts in New Jersey? Yeah.
Problem is it's located in a refinery.
- You want me to carry your sign? - Give me a break, Amatullo.
How long do we have to keep this up? Till the first bell.
Then again at lunchtime.
And what do we do between then and now? It's a little early for matinees, dear girl.
I don't know.
Shop? Go on strike and go shopping, yeah.
Run up those bills.
Yeah, that makes about as much sense as anything else.
- I think I have a solution.
- What? I have a key to the freight entrance, which leads to the scene dock which adjoins the makeup room where there is a coffee pot.
Oh, I don't know.
I mean do you think it would be right to go on school property? How can a picket line cross a picket line? No, we don't have to give up on Othello.
And, no, we aren't getting a guest director.
That was just a rumor.
I heard Al Pacino may come in.
- Yeah, with Frank Sinatra.
- All right.
All right.
- Listen up.
We got a lot of work to do.
- Shouldn't we wait for Leroy? Yeah, where is he? I could've taken the day off too.
I don't know where he is.
He's late.
He'll be here.
If we're gonna do this thing on our own, we got a lot of work to do.
Who's in charge? In professional theater when the director's not around, it becomes the stage manager's show.
Well, unless somebody's been hiding my paycheck we're not in the professional theater.
I think maybe we ought to call it off.
Miss Grant can't be here.
Shorofsky can't be here to help Bruno with the score.
And it's a great excuse for you to chicken out.
I mean, you can do whatever you wanna do I just don't think you oughta kid yourself about why you're doing it.
Look, the teachers took a vote about going out on strike.
I say we take a vote about whether or not to get this thing on its feet without 'em.
I say we give it a shot.
All right.
Orphans of the storm.
The only way to picket.
Anybody got any cards? We're supposed to picket, not picnic.
Leave it to an English teacher.
Hope that lets up before we're due back out front again.
Whether it does or not, we are gonna be there.
Yes, my captain.
Strike headquarters called me.
They said I had to picket, or I'd be fined.
I came down to picket.
No one was there.
Berg said you were all in here.
Could you explain that to me, please? We're only picketing before the first bell and at lunchtime when we can be noticed.
You're obviously only picketing in good weather also.
Hey, we're not mailmen.
We're pickets.
Wrong, Mr.
Crandall! We're not pickets.
We're teachers.
But some of us seem to have forgotten that fact.
May I please have the damn picket sign so I can get this thing over with? Don't you at least want to wait until the rain stops? What I want to do is get back out there before I dry off and have to get wet all over again a second time.
The sign, please? Thank you.
Have a nice day.
What will you give me for that same handkerchief? What handkerchief, sweetheart? What handkerchief? Why, that the Moor first gave to Desdemona which you did so often bid me steal.
- Did you steal it for me, baby? - What are you two doing? We're trying to put a couple of laughs in this turkey.
Laughs? You're using your wife to get your best friend to murder his wife.
What's so funny about that? Take my wife.
I tell ya, I don't get no respect.
So I think I'm gonna leave.
Leave your wife, big boy, and come up and see me sometime.
Maybe I'll do that.
Yeah! All right, everybody take five.
Make it 25.
Hey, Montgomery, when do I get to rehearse? I can't rehearse you until Leroy shows up.
- Yeah, but when do you think that'll be? - I don't know, Julie.
I don't know.
- Well? - It's not happening.
The music's not ready.
I have to rework the score.
When do I get the music? We can't do the choreography without the music.
I know that.
What I don't know is when you'll get it.
I go to the meetings.
I pay my dues.
I picket during the day.
What's the harm in working with the kids at night? Lydia, the union would never go for it.
I left Montgomery holding the bag.
Let's face it, that boy is not an emotional fortress.
I'd hate to see him fall on his face.
I think you're overreacting.
The strike could be over by the end of the week.
What if it isn't? Elizabeth, those kids need help.
EspeciallyJulie and Leroy.
I wouldn't be teaching.
I'd be directing.
This production is special to me.
It's the festival.
It could bring a lot of good attention to the school or bad attention.
Why bad attention? Because I put some of those kids in it so they'd have a chance to stretch.
If I'm not there to help them, I'm afraid of how it could turn out.
It hurts to fail, Elizabeth.
I've got them in over their heads.
If you're on strike, you don't work.
Look, I know you're not an answering service.
I know you're just the manager.
Could you just manage to knock on Leroy's door and ask him to come to the phone? Hello? Hey, how's it goin'? Othello is a tragedy in more ways than one.
I got no music, no direction, no lead.
What happened to Leroy? I'm about to take the subway to 1 28th Street to find out.
Montgomery, that's not your turf, man.
You wanna get off my case, okay? I'm headin' up there.
I'm not gonna let this fall apart on me.
- I'm headed for Leroy's.
- Montgomery.
I've been in that rehearsal studio all morning trying to put a routine together for myself - and you know what? - What? It's lonely.
I miss you guys.
Isn't that stupid? Coco, I wish you were in the cast.
Yeah, so do I, but I'm not.
So I can stay all bummed out about it or I can try and help, if you'll let me.
- You really wanna help? - Yeah.
Could you get 'em to really buckle down and rehearse? They'll listen to you about the dancing and singing.
When I try it, it's just me.
They won't take it seriously.
I'll do what I can.
Hey, just a minute! Did Montgomery leave the building? - Oh, yes, Ms.
- But he's not supposed to leave during- Shouldn't you be at some class, somewhere? - Ms.
Berg, I'm goin' right now.
- Oh, good.
Tighten your tutus, children, your director is on her way! You get on the wrong bus or what? - Can we talk? - About what? - About you.
- Leroy, you in or out? I'm out, man.
- Hey, call me next hand, all right? - You got it.
Pot's right.
Who wants cards? - Want something to drink? - Got any Perrier? I'm fresh out.
Ain't that always the way though? Actually, I was just kidding.
What'd you want to talk about? About why you're not showing up at rehearsals.
There's a teachers' strike, man.
School's still open, Leroy.
And we're tryin' to get Othello on its feet.
Man, I ain't interested in no Shakespeare.
- Then why'd you audition? - I didn't know what I was doin' it for.
Miss Grant said to walk around like a king and say things like a king.
- That's fun to me.
I can do that okay.
- Then you can do the part okay.
Look, let's go outside and talk for a minute.
- Hey, fellas, give me a holler next hand.
- All right, you got it, man.
- I think you better count me outta this.
- Leroy, no.
Look, nobody said nothin' about no Shakespeare when we tried out.
Miss Grant decided to run the auditions that way so no one would get any preconceived notions.
So nobody would get uptight.
I ain't gettin' uptight! I just ain't interested, that's all.
Get yourself somebody else.
- Leroy, man, you can't do this to me.
- I ain't doin' nothin' to you.
I'm doin' it to me.
I'm takin' me outta the show.
- Hey, Leroy? Deal you in? - Yeah, man.
- We're done talkin'.
- You're done maybe, but I'm not.
Julie Miller is scared to death about that show, but she's there.
Amatullo's hiding behind every bit and joke he can think of, but he's there too.
Coco, man, she'd kill to be in that show.
That didn't work out, but she's still there helping to direct.
And you, man? You're up here playing acey-deucey while your friends are going down the drain.
You know that slaughterhouse on 1 2th Avenue? Maybe you should stop in there and buy yourself some guts! Pot's light, Leroy.
It's up to you.
Martelli, that is music only a mother could love.
- Is it lunchtime? - For me, always.
For you, another hour or so.
Not going so well, I take it.
You take it right.
I just can't make this work the way Shorofsky would want it to.
- Rewrite it.
- I couldn't do that.
It wouldn't be fair.
If Shorofsky were here if I could argue with him, show him that my way was okay, fine.
But to rewrite him without him getting a chance to fight back - it wouldn't be fair.
- Why are you so worried about fair? What's fair about any of this? What's fair about a system that keeps the "barfeteria" open and closes down the rest of the school? So what's fair about a system that has cost of living increases that don't keep up with the cost of living? You sound like you've been talking to your father.
Well, yeah.
Yeah, and I've been talking to mine.
"The unions are gonna ruin this country.
We don't stop them, they'll all go on strike.
Then the garbage piles up, and the planes can't land.
" - And try and take a subway to school.
- Don't blame it on unions.
It's those other guys that are at fault.
- Which is why you're on their side.
- I'm not on their side.
And you crossed a picket line and came to school? Look, I crossed a picket line because if I didn't come to school, I'd get canned.
And I don't feel very good about it.
That's why you're having trouble with the music.
Plus doing it behind Shorofsky's back.
Well, would you have any ideas for rewriting it if he was here? Yeah.
Show me.
A little luncheon music, if you please.
Thank you.
It looks unbelievable, man.
It's finally coming together, you know.
- She's a miracle worker, MacNeil.
- Are you serious? - Yes, we're serious.
- This number is a thing of beauty! All right, let's go! Sit down.
Sit down.
Yeah, but, how'd you do this without Leroy? I got Willie to stand in.
When he shows up, we'll show him the steps.
What about the music? Bruno's rearranging the score.
The tempo's the same.
That's all that matters.
- Great.
Let's see it.
- Okay.
My lens! Stop! Everybody! Oh, my mother will kill me.
She gave up a whist tournament at the Catskills for these things! Everybody on point! No walking around, please! So, listen, they were all at school today rehearsing.
Why weren't you? I don't know.
Did you quit or get fired? Neither yet.
If I don't quit now, I'm gonna get fired soon enough.
Why? Well, I ain't no king.
Miss Grant said- and this is a direct quote- you looked every inch a Moorish monarch.
She said that? That's 'cause she ain't heard me talk yet.
What? I mean, she heard me say my words about being a king but not Shakespeare's.
Montgomery doesn't like the way you say Shakespeare's words? - He ain't hear me yet either.
- But you've been rehearsing.
- They have.
- Why haven't you? Well, you know how you got on my case when I was doin' that "Casey at the Bat" poem? Well, can you think what I would sound like reading Shakespeare? Did you try? And let everybody see what a dumb jerk I am? Leroy, that's not true.
In no way is that true.
Now, you've had some rotten training in the past.
And you've got some catching up to do now.
But that's all.
There isn't any dumb about it.
Could you help me be good enough to be in this play? The problem is this strike.
You're not supposed to help.
Well, obviously, a teacher's always supposed to help a student.
- You won't help.
- Leroy, I'm not supposed- Look, thanks for the coffee.
Look, you swear to me you ain't sayin' no 'cause you think I'm too dumb to learn these words.
I swear.
You gettin' paid while you on strike? How you gonna manage if this goes on? Well, I've got some money saved.
I might be able to get a part-time job of some kind.
Why? Well, you ever "toot" people? Tutor? Yes, sometimes I do.
I got six dollars and 3 5 cents.
How much tutoring will that get me? I'd say that will get you just about all the tutoring you can handle.
That's terrific, Bruno.
- I agree.
- Great.
Then let's use it.
- No.
- Why don't you want to use it? Because it's like doing it behind Shorofsky's back.
So? I'm not gonna let you use my rewrite until Shorofsky says it's okay.
- But he's not here, and he can't be here.
- Montgomery, I know that.
I told you that would be his attitude.
Look, Bruno, if you had a cure for the common cold would you withhold it from the public? I do not have a cure for the common cold.
Or hiccups? Would you hold back with that? Or hickeys? Or herpes? Anything? Thanks for nothin', chum.
"But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, Chaos is come again.
" Good morning.
Doesn't seem like the morning is gonna be as interesting as the night you must have had.
I got caught up watching a late movie on TV last night.
Which one? Red Rock Canyon.
A western.
Randolph Scott.
You are a big fan of Randolph Scott westerns? - Please.
- Never miss a one.
- We should get out to the picket line.
- No, hear me out.
I really think I should go to one rehearsal.
Just one.
For a couple of hours just to see what they're doin'.
I'm sure they're doing fine.
You know, I think you really underestimate them.
Elizabeth, be realistic.
You can't expect high school students to produce Othello by themselves.
I don't care how talented they are.
They need supervision.
I'm sure Coco's doing a good job.
Coco? What do you mean Coco? She's their director.
Temporary director.
Where did you hear that? One of the kids told me.
Well, how come you're talkin' to the kids? We really shouldn't be late.
Come on.
"Major issues have not yet been resolved but union and board of education negotiators have reached agreement on several minor points.
Many observers anticipate a breakthrough before the end of the week.
" Excuse me.
There's a dress rehearsal after school.
If this is okay with you, I'm using it.
Nice talking to you.
- Come on.
- I'm comin'.
I'm comin'.
Shame on you, girl.
Shame on you.
Good morning, Mr.
Lend me thy handkerchief.
- Here, my lord.
- That which I gave you.
- I have it not about me.
- Not? Come on, man.
You gotta put more meaning in it than that.
You don't know what this here play's about? It's about some dude who gives this girl a handkerchief.
Some other brother come along tellin' my man Othello he seen her give it to somebody else.
Now, this made my man Othello mad.
He burning up now.
He think his girl tryin' to cheat on him.
You know? Show you how it's done.
- Come now, your promise.
- What promise, chuck? I have sent to bid Cassio come speak with you.
I have a soft and sorry rheum offends me.
- Lend me thy handkerchief.
- Here, my lord.
That which I gave you.
- I have it not about me.
- Not? No, indeed, my lord.
That is a fault.
That handkerchief did an Egyptian to my mother give.
She was a charmer, and could almost read the thoughts of people.
She told her, while she kept it, 'twould make her amiable and subdue my father entirely to her love but if she lost it or made a gift of it my father's eye should hold her loathed and his spirits would hunt after new fancies.
She, dying, gave it me and bid me, when my fate would have me wive to give it her.
I did so and take heed on it.
Make it a darling like your precious eye.
But to lose it, or give it away were such perdition as nothing else could match.
All right, baby.
You know it! This is for you.
But don't ask me where it came from.
Please? We finally brought it together.
Even with the strike, we did it.
That says a lot about us, you know.
We're a powerful bunch of kids, you know.
We gotta believe in ourselves.
'Cause we can do a lot, seriously.
We should all believe that.
You know? All right, now, on the count of three, man let's just rock this place with a loud noise, all right? - All right.
- Let's go.
One, two, three! What time is it? A few minutes after 3:00.
The paper said both sides were really close, huh? Two peas in a pod.
Anybody hear that? What? Sounds like- I don't know- music.
It's hard to tell way down here.
Excuse me, y'all.
I'm going to the little girls' room.
Me too.
Little boys' room.
The men's room.
I'm gonna go check my box.
I have a catalog I'm expecting.
It's mailed to the school? Plain brown wrapper.
That kind.
Oh, to hell with it! Okay, people.
Come on from the top.
Ooh, my Desdemona Our loving's been so good You know I wanna own ya I wonder if I could Such a fiine kind oflady Making the boys so crazy There's somethin' you should know About Desdemona Don't ya ever leave me Don't know what I'd do Can't I just believe your love Is really true Shejust might deceive you Take you for a fool I can't stand the thought of someone touching you You say that she's been messin' With a friend of mine Don't you keep me guessin' What I'm gonna fiind 'Bout Desdemona She's notjust your woman You're not her only man If I can't have her for myself Then no one can I'm warning you don't know what I'll do If your love isn't true Watch your step If you're steppin'out on me Desdemona, don't know what I'd do If you leave me I'm warning you Don't know what I'll do if your love isn't true I'm warning you