CRUISIN’ The Musical is undergoing a change, a change that brings it into line with current trends and protocols. We are updating the title, the script and the characters to make this show even better while retaining the original music score and songs which stand alone in this outstanding all Australian show.
Copyright 1990-2021 Rod Christian and Peter Waterman
Please view our Showreel here featuring excerpts from Sydney and Perth performances.
For more information contact the Agent David Spicer Productions here:
SYNOPSIS CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
Book, Music and Lyrics By
Rod Christian and Peter Waterman
All Rights Reserved.
2016 Edit by Hal Davies
2021 Edit by Glenda Prideaux
Artwork by Gordon Mitchell, SPECARTS
This book belongs to David Spicer Productions.
P.O. Box 2280 Rose Bay North NSW 2030 AUSTRALIA
PHONE: 0422 307 700
UNAUTHORISED PERFORMANCES of CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL are STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
This work is copyright Rod Christian and Peter Waterman. All rights reserved.
CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
A MUSICAL IN TWO ACTS
THIS CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL is a vibrant, energetic and engaging musical story which follows a young Italian kid – VINNIE RUSSO – as he struggles to escape from his father’s expectations of him. Instead all Vinnie wants is to take his place in the late 1950’s world of motorbikes, rock and roll – and girls!
ACT ONE – Scene 1
The Year is 1959. We are in Johnny Angel’s Rock ‘n Roll Club, a teenage hangout.
Johnny Di Macchio aka Johnny Angel is a streetwise character who ten years earlier managed to escape a potential career in crime in Italy by emigrating with his old friend, Vincenzo Russo to Australia. Resisting all efforts on the part of Vincenzo for him to join the Russo family business, Johnny has invested all his time, money and energy on a rundown eatery and milk bar in town and, to the dismay of his friend Vincenzo, has transformed it into a thriving rock ‘n roll venue. Here, Vinnie Russo, Vincenzo’s son, a 17-year-old high school student has a casual job as a cleaner and bottle washer at the club as well as juggling his time playing the accordion in his father’s wedding band. Unknown to most Vinnie has a secret ambition to play the lead guitar in a band and to that end has purchased an electric guitar with the money he has earned at the club. Johnny is proud to be staging the annual Battle of the Bands at his club for the first time with the grand final being held in a couple of weeks’ time on New Year’s Eve. This is a big event for Johnny and the success of the competition will ensure his club survives well into the future of this crazy Rock ‘n Roll phase. To renovate the club and stage the event Johnny has had to borrow a substantial sum of money from a local crime syndicate, and they now want the return of their money with interest– a major reason why Johnny has to make sure that the competition packs the club out. With everything resting on the local band Cruisin’ led by Phil Stanton (18) to attract the customers and become the resident band, Johnny is optimistic that for him and his club the sky’s the limit!
The action starts with the Cruisin’ band rehearsing on stage but Johnny is far from happy with what he hears and complains to Phil about his lousy guitar work. Vinnie looks on with more than an interest –wishing he could prove how good he is. Vinnie’s other interest in the club is Pamela, a beautiful blonde who works for Johnny. However, on more than one occasion Johnny has told Vinnie that Pamela is well and truly off limits because he sort of fancies her himself.
As well as the obvious rivalry between Phil and Vinnie over the guitar playing, Vinnie also has another issue with Phil as he suspects that his younger sister Maria is seeing Phil behind their parents’ back – something that concerns Vinnie a great deal.\
The Russo Home. It is early evening and Maria arrives home late from school. Rosa, her mother, has witnessed her being dropped off by Phil on his motorbike and is none too pleased. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Vincenzo and Vinnie who are having a disagreement of their own. Vinnie is trying to persuade his father to let him play his guitar at the next Italian wedding they are performing at but Vincenzo is having none of it – The guitar is simply not an option! Vinnie is told that he must forget about his guitar playing and crazy rock ‘n roll music and settle down to build a future for himself – possibly with a University degree and a nice Italian girl -friend.
Maria has taken advantage of her father playing at Bianca and Gino’s wedding and has met Phil at the band’s hangout. Vinnie on his way to the wedding stops by to give Phil a good talking to about Maria and is shocked to find Maria with him. A fight breaks out between Phil and Vinnie with Vinnie coming off the worst. Angry at each other, both Vinnie and Maria threaten to tell on each other to their father – Maria for seeing Phil and Vinnie for planning to play guitar in a band. For the moment there is a stale mate between them as Vinnie takes off to lick his wounds.
Bianca and Gino’s Wedding Reception. The reception is in full swing when Vinnie arrives, all dishevelled and with a bloody nose. Vincenzo is angry because he thinks Vinnie is letting down the Russo good name and sends him off to get cleaned up. When Vinnie returns to play his accordion, his downcast mood soon picks up when he hears his father announce that Pamela is one of the bridesmaids and that she is going to sing the bridal couple’s favourite song. Vinnie is delighted when Pamela asks him to join in singing with her.
After the number the single girls line up for the catching of the bouquet tradition. It is caught by Giovanna, a rather large, young and plain looking Italian girl who Vincenzo thinks would make the ideal partner for his son. Thinking this might be a perfect opportunity for his son and Giovanna to get to know each other better he looks around for Vinnie but his son and Pamela are nowhere to be found. When he does eventually find them Vincenzo is furious with Vinnie’s attitude and grounds him for the next week.
It is the night of another Battle of the Bands Heat and a local band Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes make a huge impression on the customers at Johnny’s. After being paid another visit by the two heavies from the local crime syndicate Johnny is getting desperate and gives Phil an ultimatum to find a better guitar player who will beat all the competition. Reluctantly Phil recommends Vinnie but tells Johnny that he won’t be able to come to the club because he has been grounded by his Dad for sneaking off with Pamela at the wedding. Johnny tells him that he will make things good with Vinnie’s Dad providing Phil gets Vinnie to the club in time for the next performance.
The Russo Home. Vincenzo and Rosa are having a quiet evening at home. Vinnie is in his bedroom supposedly studying but in fact he is practising madly with a tennis racquet in place of his confiscated guitar. Maria is spending the night at Giovanna’s. Vincenzo is not too happy when Phil arrives asking to see Vinnie and warns him about keeping away from his precious daughter, Maria. Phil finds Vinnie in his room and tells him about the situation at the club. Vinnie can hardly believe what he is hearing when Phil begs him to go with him and even promises to lend him his guitar for the gig. Eventually Vinnie agrees and arranges to meet Phil outside choosing to escape his confinement by going through his bedroom window. After Phil has left Vincenzo is incensed when he hears him roar off on his motorbike and tells Rosa he is going to have a man to man talk with Vinnie about the Phil and Maria situation. When he finds Vinnie’s room empty, Vincenzo is like a man possessed as he rushes from the house after his son.
Meanwhile back at Johnny’s club the patrons are getting restless waiting for the next band to perform. Among the customers are Maria and a very nervous Giovanna who have escaped from Giovanna’s house to catch the action at the club. Giovanna eventually starts to relax when the nerdy Neville takes an interest in her but she is ill-prepared when she is thrust on stage with Maria and Pamela as a fill-in group until Phil and Vinnie arrive. Their song is a huge success and finishes just as Vinnie gets there. Handed Phil’s prize guitar Vinnie goes on stage with the Cruisin’ band and blitzes the competition. The reception the band gets is overwhelming but not everyone is pleased with what they hear.
Vincenzo has arrived at the club and his worst fears are realised when he sees his son performing at Johnny’s Angels. The situation comes to a head when he orders Maria home, but she screams at Vincenzo to get away from her and rushes from the club followed by Vinnie.
ACT TWO – Scene 1
Act Two commences as a continuation from the last scene of Act One. Rosa has followed Vincenzo to the Club and now rushes in and hears from Johnny and the ensemble what has happened. Furious with the questions he is being asked and frustrated by the whole situation, Vincenzo cries out in anguish and takes off to find his children.
Maria and Vinnie are sitting in a nearby park wondering what to do now. Maria is planning to spend the night at Pamela’s house while Vinnie’s only option is to ask Phil for help and go to the band’s hang-out. Hearing their parent’s calling off-stage, Maria and Vinnie take off arranging to meet the following morning. Vincenzo enters exhausted and near to breaking down as he thinks he has lost his children forever. Rosa and Johnny do their best to comfort him and to persuade him to allow the children more freedom and not to be tied down by the rigid traditions of the past. The mood lightens as the three friends start to reminisce about coming to Australia. Eventually Rosa persuades Vincenzo to come home with her and wait for the children there.
We see a very despondent Maria and Giovanna sitting in Pamela’s bedroom. Giovanna is particularly concerned about the punishment her parents are going to give her for sneaking out of the house and thinks that a life as a Nun in a convent would be preferable. This introduces some light-hearted banter between the girls which lifts their mood considerably. Pamela enters with the bad news that her parents have phoned Maria and Giovanna’s parents to let them know where they are. Awaiting their inevitable doom they decide to cheer themselves up by rehearsing another song to sing at Johnny Angel’s. Giovanna’s mother comes to take her home, as does Rosa to fetch Maria. Rosa is sympathetic with her daughter’s situation and lets her know that she is always there for her no matter what happens.
Vinnie has spent an uncomfortable night sleeping on an old mattress in the shack. Phil arrives with an uninspiring breakfast of donuts and is alarmed to hear that Vinnie is having second thoughts about playing in the final heat at the Club that evening. To make him see sense Phil blurts out about the nasty situation Johnny has got himself into with borrowing money and how much he needs the competition and the business it will bring in. Desperate to help, Vinnie rushes off to make amends with his Dad and to discuss what to do about the Johnny situation.
Maria arrives at the shack to tell Phil that her father has agreed to them seeing each other but before she can, Phil starts to make disparaging remarks about Vincenzo and threatens to deal with him should he stand in his way again. Not liking what she is hearing Maria takes off telling Phil she is having second thoughts about being his girlfriend.
Vincenzo is getting desperate waiting for Vinnie to return home. He wanders into Vinnie’s bedroom and starts to think over all the hopes and dreams he had for his children. Vinnie arrives and is reconciled with his father but then tells Vincenzo that he has some bad news about Johnny. Meanwhile in the kitchen Rosa is surprised when she sees Johnny at the back door. He has come to see if the children have come home and, more importantly, to see if Vinnie is going to be allowed to play in the band that night. Sensing that there is something wrong Rosa asks Johnny what is wrong but he shrugs it off as being nothing. When Vincenzo enters the room he makes Johnny confess what he has been up to and tells him how stupid he is to get involved with people like that again. Johnny is remorseful and promises not to do it again, convinced that a successful night at the club that evening will ensure the Club’s success well into the future. Vincenzo eventually agrees to let Vinnie play and hands him back his guitar.
It is New Year’s Eve at Johnny Angel’s and the final act is Cruisin’. Everyone is there to hear the band play including Vincenzo and Rosa. The band is a huge success and wins the whole competition. The excitement is interrupted by the arrival of a very glamorous Giovanna on the back of a Harley-Davidson motor bike. Giovanna has decided against a life in a convent and vows that for the New Year she will no more be a good Italian girl. Giovanna is a huge success with the boys, but she only has eyes for Neville. The party mood continues when an Elvis look-alike arrives on stage – to everyone’s surprise it is Vincenzo who announces that there’s no more Caruso for him, that from now on it is all Elvis. The Year 1960 is counted in. Everyone is reunited and the mood is one of great celebration for all the exciting changes the New Year will bring. Music has become the instrument of reconciliation – bridging the generation gap and creating a new cultural harmony – and optimism for the future.
CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
VINCENZO RUSSO: [BARITONE]
(Papa) Italian, Mid 40s, ruggedly handsome features. Quick tempered, domineering and set in his ways, but also has a humorous side to his character. He is a traditional Italian musician and operates a smallgoods business. His family comes first!
ROSA RUSSO: [SOPRANO]
(His wife) Italian, late 30s, compassionate, well -meaning. Her family is foremost in her life. Loving wife to Vincenzo, very protective of her children. Gentle, sincere and has a hidden sense of humour.
VINNIE RUSSO: [TENOR]
Age 17, background Italian. Feisty, good looking. Loves girls, Elvis, Rock and Roll and guitars. Wants to realize an ambition to become lead singer of the CRUISIN’ band. Desperately wants to “fit in” with the new teenage rock and roll scene. Very musically talented. He has aspirations to “reach the stars”.
MARIA RUSSO: [SOPRANO]
Age 16. Pretty, background Italian.
On the surface, seems innocent but loves boys, music and dancing.
She is the apple of her mother’s eye. She is also very musical and fashion conscious.
JOHNNY ANGEL: [TENOR]
Mid 30s, (real name Johnny Di Maccio), originally a friend of the Russo family. He is “street wise” with “connections”! He is clever at manipulating people.
PAMELA SANDERSON: [ALTO/SOPRANO]
Age 17, blonde, blue – eyed and gorgeous. Pamela is a trend setter, right up with the latest fashions and worldly. She is an outstanding singer and dancer. She falls for Vinnie.
GIOVANNA PAPARDE: [ALTO]
Age 16. Very large, plain girl with glasses and an abundance of black hair. She is the “Good Italian Girl” in Papa’s dream and the perfect match for his son VINNIE. She is initially shy and reserved with a hidden sense of humour.
PHIL STANTON: [TENOR]
Age 18, a “Bodgie”. Rides a Harley Davidson and hangs out at the Dynamite Shack, the bikies’ clubhouse. PHIL is rugged and good looking in his own way. Has more than a passing interest in Maria. Leads the CRUISIN’ band.
MINOR CHARACTER ROLES and EXTRAS.
Age 18. Very nerdy, tall guy. Lusts after Giovanna.
Underworld Heavy type
Underworld Heavy type
BIANCO and GINO
Bride and Groom
CHORUS OF SINGERS AND DANCERS (as many as possible)
These need to be a mixture of ages ranging from 16 to 60. They play the Club’s patrons, workers, band member’s relatives, and relatives and friends at the wedding of Bianca and Gino.
CRUISIN’ BAND – Guitar, TONY, Bass, VINCE, Drums with PHIL out front as guitarist/vocalist
RIVAL BAND: Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes – Guitar, Double Bass and Drums with JOHNNY as lead vocalist.
WEDDING BAND: MARIO, organ and TONY, drums.
ORCHESTRA: 13 piece. Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax, Trumpet 1 Trumpet 2, Trombone, Piano, Keyboard, Bass, Guitar and Drums.
Professional scores for all instruments, including complete Conductor’s Score.
Vocal rehearsal score with piano accompaniment.
CRAZY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL
SCENES AND MUSICAL NUMBERS
SCENE 1: JOHNNY ANGEL’S ROCK ‘N ROLL CLUB
#1 – Cruisin’ – Phil and the Band
SCENE 2: THE RUSSO HOME
#2 – Good Italian Girl – Vincenzo and Rosa
#3 – Holding Onto a Dream – Vinnie and Rosa
SCENE 3: THE DYNAMNITE SHACK
#4 – Listen To Your Heart – Phil and Maria
SCENE 4: BIANCA AND GINO’S WEDDING
#5 – Rejoice – Vincenzo and Ensemble
#6 – When a Boy Meets a Girl – Pamela and Vinnie
#7 – Someone in the Crowd – Vinnie and Pamela
SCENE 5: JOHNNY ANGEL’S
#8 – Bet Your Heart on Me – Johnny Tornado and the Hurricanes
SCENE 6: THE RUSSO HOME
SCENE 7: JOHNNY ANGEL’S
#9 – Boys Were Made to Hug and Kiss – Pamela, Maria and Giovanna
#10 – Can You Really Dig? – Johnny, Vinnie, Phil and the Band
#11- Get Back! – Vincenzo, Johnny, Vinnie and Ensemble
SCENE 1: JOHNNY ANGEL’S
#12 – What’s He Gonna Do? – Johnny, Rosa, Vincenzo and Ensemble
SCENE 2: A PARK
#13 – Don’t Cry For Me – Vinnie and Maria
SCENE 3: PAMELA’S BEDROOM
#14 – If That Boy Only Knew – Pamela, Maria and Giovanna
#15 – It Takes A Woman – Rosa and Maria
SCENE 4: THE DYNAMITE SHACK
#16 – Don’t Break My Heart – Phil
SCENE 5: THE RUSSO HOME
#17 – I Had A Dream – Vincenzo
#18 – This Crazy Rock ‘N Roll – Johnny, Vincenzo and Rosa
SCENE 6: JOHNNY ANGEL’S
#19 – Cruisin’ – Vinnie, Phil and Ensemble
#20 – No More Good Italian Girl – Giovanna and Neville.
#21 – Goodbye Caruso, Hello Elvis – Vincenzo, Vinnie and Ensemble
#22 – Celebrate – Vincenzo, Rosa, Cast and Ensemble
#23 – Cruisin’ – Ensemble
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