Fame (1982) s01e10 Episode Script

Come One, Come All

Presenting "A Fable for Parents.
" The show has got to have a theme.
Something different.
Something new.
Consider yourself out of the show.
We'll wear straw hats and red-and-white blazers.
Will that help? Well? You got big dreams.
You want fame.
Well, fame costs and right here is where you start paying in sweat.
Let's go! Oh, man! I was just getting ready to get under this thing.
Oh, y'all stop that.
Stop that.
I am the spaghetti man.
You don't have class in here next period, do you? Go on, you all.
Get on out of here.
Good morning, Elizabeth.
And how are we this morning, dear? Greg Crandall is in traction.
Oh, no.
His back again? That's terrible.
He'll be in traction for two or three weeks.
Oh, poor Greg.
- I feel so sorry for him.
- Do not feel sorry for Greg.
- Feel sorry for us.
- Why? Greg is in charge-was in charge- of Parents' Night, right? - Right.
- He ran the auditions.
He made the selections.
The whole thing was his idea, his baby, right? - Right.
So you just take over for him.
- No! We take over for him.
Oh, Elizabeth, I'm right in the middle of student evaluations.
- I don't have time.
- Here are his notes.
- Sweetheart, I don't read shorthand.
- I do- but I can't read that.
This isn't shorthand as the civilized world knows it.
It's a code that Greg made up when he was stage managing on Broadway.
- Okay, so we call the hospital- - Already called them.
The nurses' station warned me that he was heavily sedated with muscle relaxants for his back.
When he came on the line, it took me three tries before he remembered who I was.
He said he had that covered.
- Good.
Who did he get? - He's been in touch with Spencer Tracy.
"Spence" was delighted by the invitation and promised to be there.
- Ooh, Greg is really flying high.
- And we are in deep trouble.
- Deep trouble.
- Mm-mmm.
Not we.
Not me.
Hey, Dad, I got some stuff to get in my locker for first period.
So go.
I can handle myself.
I already see the man I need to talk to anyway.
Uh, Mr.
Shorofsky? I'm Angelo Martelli, Bruno's father.
Of course, Mr.
I remember you very well.
Well, I wasn't sure.
You meet so many parents.
There are many parents.
Only one Angelo Martelli.
What can I do for you, sir? Well, it's this Parents' Night thing.
I have to work that night.
I'm trying to switch off with some of the guys at the garage, but it's pretty hard.
Two weeks' notice, you can't find someone to take your place? Perez and Goldman.
These are two of the coworkers that won't cooperate? No.
They're two middleweight fighters who are fighting for the championship that night and nobody who's off wants to miss it.
That's why I can't get anybody to take my shift.
You don't want me to drive for you, I hope.
I just want your okay so I can come to the dress rehearsal the night before, that's all.
Martelli, you have my blessing, but it doesn't mean a thing.
The operation has been willed to Miss Sherwood.
- I suggest you leave a note in her box.
- Okay.
Thanks a lot.
Oh, hi, Mr.
- Hi, Mr.
- Hi, sweetheart.
Aren't you in the classroom like everyone else? I'm room monitor first period.
You know, I run errands.
Berg? Miss Sherwood said that you have the SAT reports? The SAT reports? Yes.
She said you knew where they were.
You know, the ones that came in last Friday.
Could you help me? Y- Oh, yes.
Uh, just a minute.
It's driving me crazy.
Where did we meet? - I don't believe we've ever met.
- Yes, we have.
I have a memory for faces you wouldn't believe.
It's names I have trouble with.
- Was it a PTA thing here? - No, it was not a PTA thing.
- It was at one of the shows here? - No.
You might have seen me on the screen.
- You mean, like, you're an actress? - Yes.
I hardly go to the movies.
I mainly watch movies on the- I mainly watch movies on the tube - and you were in Good News, weren't you? - Yes.
You did the varsity drag.
- Yes.
- You'reJune Allyson? You're Melinda MacNeil.
You're Montgomery's mom.
Well, it's not the best billing I've ever had - but factual.
- He's gonna flip out.
He's in my English class right now.
I hope you weren't put out that I didn't know your name.
Oh, no, that's all right.
I didn't know yours either.
Thank you, Julie.
Five minutes, people.
And Montgomery doesn't know you're our celebrity guest? When Mr.
Crandall wrote me I thought it might be a nice surprise for Montgomery as well as a change of pace for me.
Well, a change of pace it will be, that's for sure.
You didn't have to put off starting a picture or anything in order to come? Oh, Miss Grant, my son is more important than any picture and besides, I've always wanted to see some show he was doing.
Well, it'll be a far cry from the kind of shows you're used to doing.
I know.
It's school.
Well, no, we usually put on exciting, good work.
It's just that, well, when Mr.
Crandall's back went out a lot of our preparation went out too, so- I just don't want you to think we're so disorganized.
Miss Grant, I'm gonna love the show- just because my son is part of it.
Please, consider me just another parent.
Well, you're not.
You know, I've always admired you and I don't want us to look bad to you.
Oh, if there's anything I can do to help- Well- Well, actually, there is.
I mean- You know, do you think you could- Maybe you could- It's been a while, but I used to be pretty good at putting things like this on its feet.
Then you think maybe you might- - Take over for Mr.
Crandall? - Crandall.
Well, all right.
I will.
Oh, Miss MacNeil, if you're really serious, oh, we'd be tickled pink.
I sound likeJulie Eisenhower.
I mean - we'd love to have you take over our show.
- Okay.
I've got a class to teach right now but if we could get together in about an hour over lunch in the cafeteria- I'll find it.
This is going to be great.
- Congratulations.
- What for? - Julie said your mom was here.
- That's what she says.
She said? Haven't you checked to find out? Haven't you seen her? I'll run into her sooner or later.
Well, considering that it's lunch and everybody is headed in that direction have you considered the possibility that she might be in the cafeteria? Look, I'll run into her when I run into her.
You're not being fair.
Look, you don't know what the history is so stop telling me who's being fair and who's being unfair.
I think I know my mother a little bit better than you.
- You think I'm talking about your mother? - Yeah.
I'm not talking about her.
You're being unfair to me.
How am I being unfair to you? Montgomery, the closest I have ever gotten to a star in my life is when Jan Pierce sang "The Bluebird of Happiness" at my Aunt Lillian's wedding and now I have the opportunity to meet an actual star in person who is on the premises, and I have someone to pave the way with an introduction-you.
I'm asking you for a favor.
If you want to turn me down, turn me down.
But I think you ought to consider it practice 'cause a lot of people are gonna be asking.
Why me? - I am famished.
- That's a statement only a first-time visitor could make here.
The food is not gourmet-style, I'm afraid.
Well, that's all to the good.
Maybe I'll drop a pound or two.
I always say you can't be too rich or too thin.
Haven't you seen Montgomery yet? Oh, I didn't know where to find him until now.
Excuse me.
Oh, you've gained weight.
Actually, I haven't.
You look fine.
Actually, I've gained weight.
I guess that shows how often we see each other.
I wanted to surprise you.
You certainly accomplished that.
How long you gonna be here for? Couple of weeks.
You're kidding.
Young man, you are looking at the guest celebrity - and director of Parents' Night show.
- Terrific.
- I'm in charge.
- What about your new picture? It's more important that I see you and all of your friends.
Now tell me.
What are you going to be doing in the show? Stagehand.
Well- Mr.
Shorofsky, guess who's directing Parents' Night.
I don't know.
Take a look.
I bet you don't know who that is.
That's Melinda MacNeil.
It certainly is.
Years ago she toured with a nightclub act.
She came to a place where I was working nights and I was her accompanist for two weeks.
The Commodore Perry Hotel, Toledo, Ohio.
I spent a number of nights with her in her room.
We had a very pleasant time.
Who's got the salt? Look, now, he goes on and on about all of you in his letters.
I know you better than you know yourself.
- Mom- - Well, I do.
I'll prove it.
Which one of you is Mr.
Johnson? - That's me.
- You're the dancer.
- It's my life.
- I can tell.
The way you're coiled there.
That's a dancer's body.
That means- You must be Mr.
If you say so.
Tell me.
Have you managed to overcome some of your problems? What problems? Montgomery's written to me about your drinking problem about your father's tie-in with organized crime and about your confusion over your sexual preference.
She's good, Montgomery.
She's really good.
Yeah, well, uh- I'll let you guys get to know each other.
I've got some reading to do in the library.
Oh, I'll be in the school office after school.
- We'll arrange something for dinner.
- Sure thing.
I'm gonna go and tackle the food line.
- Anybody volunteer as guide? - Yeah.
I hear the food is really pretty treacherous.
Put that book back, mister.
There are women dressing in here.
- Followed me up here? - Sexual harassment.
Sue me.
Why'd you follow me? - Curious.
- About what? About why somebody'd be so bummed out about having a mother who's witty and talented, funny and bright.
There are worse curses than that, you know.
Ever see Citizen Kane? - Yeah.
- More than once? - Three times.
- Why not four? I don't know.
After a while- You know what Rosebud is.
You know the twists and turns.
You know what's coming.
Same thing with me and my mother.
I've seen the act before.
I know what's coming.
I know how it's gonna end up.
Why an act? Why not just someone being nice to people her kid hangs out with? She was just being nice.
Why not that? Because I've seen her do it with agents, lawyers boyfriends.
You name it.
I've seen it enough times I know how it's gonna end up.
How? It'll end up with her center stage in a spotlight and the rest of the world watching from the wings.
I've been in those wings all my life.
I hate it.
All right, fellas.
Leroy, that was terrific.
That was great.
Yeah, I know.
- Well, what do you think? - Oh, that was really nice.
Nice? Really.
Well, does doing really nice get me in the show? I have to discuss that with Miss Grant.
We'll let you know.
I've been called fierce.
I've been called bad.
Really nice.
Leroy the kid, really nice.
Nice! You don't think Leroy is good enough to be in the show? Oh, I think he's terrific at doing that kind of dance.
But I wanted to ask you, how versatile is he? Leroy can handle anything I throw at him.
Then you don't think the '20s motif - will give him too much to cope with? - What '20s motif? Miss Grant - the show has got to have a theme.
- Well, it has one.
We're showing the parents what we're doing here.
That's the theme.
Oh, that's not a theme.
The dance must come out of something- an idea, a concept.
Well, the concept is, we're showing the parents what the kids do best.
It's my guess that the kids are showing their parents what they think they do best.
I think they need to do something different- something new.
Something new? Like the Charleston? Look, let's not split hairs.
We could do both.
We could do both- we could show the old and the new.
Why don't we do an evolution of the dance? I have this tape.
What if we started with an early jazz period? Kind of- early Lindy? Then give it a little Jack Cole.
These kids are young.
We gotta use that.
You don't have to work so hard.
Gimme an eight.
Can't we sass it up a little? Gimme a four.
A two.
- Do you know the Thing? - Oh, that's my era.
Ha! You know, we study the history of dance too.
Simplicity is the key.
I'm thinkin'.
I got it.
I knew you'd come over to the younger way of doing things.
- Sass.
- Class.
It might work.
I'll think about it, dear.
You do that.
- Don't ask.
- I wasn't going to.
I've got problems of my own- new wardrobe, new comic scripts, new- What's your story? She's impossible.
I thought we came to an understanding about working together, collaborating- She tells me, "I'll think about it, dear.
" Oh! She is the most difficult, devious, demanding woman I have ever met.
Takes one to know one.
Funny joke? Girl, thank you.
I needed that.
I needed that.
You ready for another laugh? She came in to give me her autograph for my mom.
She also gave me this.
It's a list of special guests she'd like for us to invite to Parents' Night.
What? These are all agents and producers' representatives.
Looks like our celebrity guest is using Parents' Night as her own private New York audition.
I'm looking for the lady of the house.
I'm here to inspect your plumbing.
Did you bring your plumber's helper? I asked, but he was busy.
My plumbing's fine, honey.
Hot water's hot, and cold water's cold.
Have you thought about getting a washer? I think there are some jobs a girl should do herself.
I'd be happy to replace the washer you have now.
You wait here.
I'll call him.
"Call him"? Washers don't have a sex.
Well, that depends on the temperature- Forget it, Danny.
I can't do this.
This is the most unfunny stuff I have ever heard.
Montgomery's mom said they laughed at this in the old days.
Danny, they have a rule in burlesque- When the person who writes the joke dies, the joke dies with him.
It's only an act of consideration for future generations.
Was any of that funny? Depends on how demented you really are.
What do you think, Leroy? Look, don't come to me looking for no sympathy, man.
Montgomery's mama told me I have to learn some dance called the Black Bottom.
Almost flattened that woman.
Danny, face it.
I mean, it's not funny, it's boring, it's tired- - And apart from that? - I'm going back to my solo singing act.
- Doris, you said- - I said I'd try, and I did.
But this stuff is a lost cause.
It lays there like white rhythm.
That's because you're not giving it a fair chance.
You're still doing the "Plumber's Pleasure" skit, yes? "Plumber's Pleasure" skit, yes.
Can you believe what I just said? Cue me.
I'll be happy to replace the washer you have now.
You wait here.
I'll call him.
You see, you won't get the laugh unless you punctuate it.
You really have got to give it a ta-da.
Would any of you other girls like to try it see if you can get the hang of it? Uh, no.
Thank you.
I gotta get my books.
- I gotta go too.
Thank you.
- Thank you.
- Bruno.
- Yes, ma'am? I noticed on the sheet that your musical composition - is entitled "Carved Smiles.
" - Yes? Well, that doesn't sound very '20s to me.
Well, it's not.
But I like it and the dancers like it.
But it's not in the theme.
We'll wear straw hats and red-and-white blazers.
Will that help? What would help is for you to drop the sarcasm and come up with a '20s number, or- - Or what? - Consider yourself out of the show.
- My father's coming to see me.
- Your father's coming to the show.
Whether or not he sees you remains to be seen.
Mom, you're going about some of this all wrong if you don't mind my saying so.
No, I love being told I'm wrong.
What are you talking about? Well, this '20s thing is kind of getting in the way.
Said the stagehand to the director.
Said the son to the mother.
Montgomery, I was making a joke.
Yeah, so was I.
I just didn't know it at the time.
How's your back? I'm sorry to hear that.
No, I mean I really am sorry to hear it.
It isn't sympathy talking at all.
Look, I'll keep you posted.
Do what they tell you to.
Bye now.
- Good morning.
- Hello.
You don't remember, do you? I beg your pardon? My feelings aren't hurt.
It's been a number of years.
I don't even know what we're talking about.
We're talking about Toledo, Ohio.
The Commodore Perry Hotel? Imagine: no beard, jet-black hair a waistline not quite as imposing.
- Those were good times, weren't they? - The best.
Oh, when I think of how much you taught me.
If it wasn't me, it would have been someone else.
Don't forget, you taught me too.
Oh, but you were so patient with me.
Oh, I remember those nights with such fond thoughts of you.
Oh, it really was special, wasn't it? You think we could do it again? - How about lunch hour? - In your classroom? Students might come in.
How about the teachers' lounge? The teachers' lounge it is.
But I don't want you to show me any mercy.
I want the old Benjamin blitzkrieg.
No promises, but I'll do what I can.
Okay then.
Don't you disappoint me now.
Nothing brightens the day more than having something to break the tedium.
Don't you find it to be so? I- The classic challenge of penetrating defenses.
I love it! - The music was that bad? - No.
It's not the music.
It can wait, but I can't.
Think I'm gonna have a problem.
Which means you hope that I got a solution? Yeah, you see, I'm bowing out of this thing with Danny which kind of takes him out of the show and leaves him in the lurch.
- Unless I can- - Unless you can find a replacement? Yeah, well, I was thinking along those lines.
You were wondering if, uh, I knew anybody? The thought had crossed my mind.
And it'd be a nice surprise for your mom.
- Not tell her, you mean.
- Yeah.
Oh, that material is rotten, Doris.
I mean, that's why you're asking out, isn't it? Yeah, but now you have a perfect excuse to change it.
You're going from a boy-girl skit to two guys - so you could do anything and justify it.
- Yeah, I suppose that's true.
We could make that number almost anything we wanted it to be.
My mom's never seen me on stage.
You're off the hook.
Montgomery, what are you gonna do? Oh, I'm gonna have a little conversation with my mom only I'm not gonna say a word.
She wants Leroy to slick his hair back like the '20s.
What? Oh.
I've got to try to get through to her- Try to make her understand the way we run things around here.
You go talk to her.
I'll even buy you lunch.
I think she's in the teachers' lounge.
Watch those.
Wasn't the time or the place for any kind of conversation.
She and Mr.
Shorofsky are in there going at it.
Going at it? Chess.
Elizabeth, let's go eat.
I'm starved.
You're buying.
Doris, have you seen Miss MacNeil? She's in the star's dressing room.
We don't have a star's dressing room.
What we don't have anymore is a teachers' lounge.
There are no stars in this school, and no star dressing room.
What we do have is a desperate need for a teachers' lounge.
- How's Montgomery? - He'll be here in a few minutes.
Well? You look very dapper.
Great hat too.
- Really? - Go on.
Are they ready yet? Be about five minutes or so.
You look very nice, Miss MacNeil.
Don't you think I need more rouge? Just a little.
- Can I talk to you while you do that? - Sure.
Have we forgotten who we're putting this show on for? We're putting it on for the parents of the students.
I haven't forgotten that.
I think you have.
- What you want them to do, Miss MacNeil- - Miss Grant these kids have got to be able to dance everything a choreographer wants them to dance.
- They have to know it all.
- They'll know it all, Miss MacNeil.
By the time I get finished with them, they'll be able to dance with any choreographer anywhere, but right now- for right now- they're supposed to be showing what they've learned so far and that's not burlesque skits and step-touch, razzamatazz dance numbers.
That's not what they do best, not right now.
It's what you do best.
I didn't have to do this, you know- helping out in an amateur production like this.
When I got a letter asking me to be guest celebrity- I was just trying to do you a favor.
Is that why you invited so many agents to come and see the show because you were doing us a favor? There wasn't any movie, was there? And now, in honor of the occasion presenting "A Fable for Parents.
" Once there was a lonely man who lived high on top of a lonely hill.
He spent his days looking at the horizon and listening to his heartbeat.
Then one day he saw a tiny speck in the blue sky.
It grew larger and larger as it came near and soon the man saw it was a small seed.
The man quickly dug a hole and gently placed the seed within it.
He watered the spot every day.
Not too much.
Not too little.
He made sure the sun shone upon the spot.
And then he waited and he waited and he waited.
And a miracle happened- The earth trembled and moved aside and a beautiful flower appeared.
It grew and grew reaching toward the sky.
And one day, it was actually as tall as the man who lived on top of the hill.
And the day after that it was taller than he was.
And when he looked down he saw that what had been roots were no longer deep in the ground.
And when he looked up he saw that what was once his flower- needing his care and love and attention- was now a magnificent soaring eagle flying free and high carving its own world in clouds racing high above.
And for just a time the man was lonely again.
Until he realized that he had taught a flower how to fly and he was content with watching the miracle he had raised fly through a far-away sky high above his lonely mountain which was never as lonely again.
First class, and bill the studio.
Any through flight tonight.
Tomorrow will be too late.
Then bump someone.
I can make that.
I'll be there.
- Just don't take off without me.
- Where were you? - I had to make a phone call.
- You always have to make a phone call? Montgomery, you've got to help me.
- Help you what? - Find a cab.
I have to get back to the hotel, pick up my stuff.
- The plane leaves at 1 1:30.
- Tonight? - You're not gonna stay for the show? - I can't.
The picture's going to start.
I have to get back right away.
You said that I was more important than any picture.
Darling, you're not in the show so it doesn't really matter, does it? It matters.
Why are you so upset? Why are you so dense? Whatever is bothering you, just tell me.
What's bothering me is that you never- That I'm missing the show.
It's that you're missing my life.
Darling, if there was any way I could stay, I would.
I know.
You can't catch a plane tomorrow night instead of tonight.
You can't make them wait for one day? They won't wait.
They'll give the part to somebody else.
Are they gonna give the lead in a movie to someone else- It's not the lead.
It's a supporting part.
A mother.
The reason I came here instead of doing the picture is because they wouldn't give me the lead.
Then I came here and I saw what young really is.
That's not me, Montgomery.
That's not me anymore.
It's important that you get that part, isn't it? Well, it's important that I have some part.
There aren't that many now.
I have to hold on till I can play grannies.
There's a lot of those.
Darling, I'm sorry about the show.
I know it's important to you, even if you're not in it.
Yeah, it is.
I'm not much of a mother, am I? Well, maybe I'm not much of a son but we're all we've got.
You've got makeup on your face.
You've been hugging those good-looking chicks again, haven't you? You got it.
What do you say we find that cab? Mom- about the finale? Oh, that's right.
I'll find the cab.
You go back in there and be my representative.
You can handle it.
Yeah, I can.
But we'll do it our way, Mom.
It's gonna be our finale.
It should be yours.
Hey, kiddo.
Break a leg.