Tabloid – Opening Song
Ratings R Us
There Goes the Neighborrhood
Rhoda Haynes, famous playwright has a grudge against Frenchy King and his lying King Media Empire. Rhoda and her family are suing King Media over fake stories written about them.
The story revolves around the victims of tabloid stories that were featured in the March issue of King Media. Rhoda as narrator weaves the separate tales and how they converge at the finale.
Rhoda Haynes, a playwright, Blaze Haynes, Rhoda’s daughter, a famous singer and Hubert Haynes, a Congressman. Donny O’Connelly, a social worker and his girl Laura Fitzpatrick, are the other injured party.
Francis P. King II (Frenchy King) – Flamboyant media tycoon. 50’s.
Sheila Acer – Frenchy’s girlfriend/newscaster/reporter. Late 30’s.
Donny O’Connelly – Clean cut, short hair, twinkle in eye. Early 30’s.
Laura Fitzpatrick – Hyper and on the phone often. Early 30’s.
Rhoda Haynes – A famous playwright. 50’s.
Blaze Haynes – Daughter of Rhoda Haynes. 30’s.
Hubert Haynes – Husband of Rhoda Haynes. 50’s.
Mr. Perry – Owner of Perry’s Poorhouse. He is like the King of the
Underworld. Age unknown.
Trench Coat Bob – Works for Frenchy King. He is his nephew. 40’s.
Ensemble Cast Parts
Homeless Residents – ages 17-40
Lawyer – Attractive woman in a suit.
Kids – Teens
Perry’s Inmates – A collection of people.
Ball and Chain
You Did Me Wrong
Tabloid Finale – piano
RECOMMENDED ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE
- Rachel Feeny-Williams: 14 Jun. 2021“ This piece gives wonderful imagery in its dialogue. This coupled with the beautiful character creation with complex lives and relationships makes this a great play to begin with. However, I then listened to two of the songs (‘Tabloid’ & ‘Hope and Pirde’) and WOW! Beautiful piece and as catchy as any musical tune I’ve listened to (and I’m a huge musicals fan!) I would love to see this in the West End as I feel its on par with any of the big shows out there, brilliantly done! ”
- Kerr Lockhart: 5 Jul. 2021. “ TABLOID by Marta Jorgensen is a mad, extravagant CANDIDE- in- reverse carnival, where all is for the worse, and the dark denizens of the world struggle mightily to make it so. Maybe there is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so, but framing can make everything bad, only in a bold, lusty, entertaining way. If you find THE SIMPSONS too subtle, JERRY SPRINGER too polite, and the SUN too fancy and elegant, you will be right at home in the world of TABLOID. ”
Book and Music
By Marta Jorgensen
Additional music by Robi Hager
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Tabloid is a new full-length musical full of scandal, revenge, and whimsy!
Rhoda Haynes is quite happy with her life as a successful playwright, wife, and mother. Her husband, Hubert, is a congressman. Her daughter, Blaze, is an internationally renowned singer. But suddenly Rhoda, Hubert, and Blaze are all the target of fabricated scandals invented by crooked media-mogul Frenchy King. Rhoda and the audience have now crossed over into the “world of the tabloid”, a magical theatrical space where anything can happen and Rhoda can address the audience.
Donny O’Connelly, a reporter for King Media, attempts to blow the whistle on Frenchy and his lyin’ rag. Unfortunately, Donny’s attempts fail and Frenchy sacks him. Nearly penniless himself, Donny becomes a manager of a local homeless shelter.
Unsatisfied with merely firing Donny, Frenchy plots to frame him for embezzling funds from the homeless shelter. When Rhoda reads this newest slander, she decides Frenchy must be stopped at all costs.
Rhoda, her family, and Donny, team up to dethrone Frenchy King with a familiar Christmas Carol-esque ruse, updated for the 21st century. Rhoda, Hubert, and Blaze disguise themselves as “ghosts’ ‘ and warn Frenchy that should he not un-frame Donny within twenty-four hours, he will be condemned to hell. The ruse is a success, leading King to immediately try to un-frame Donny.
But Frenchy finds that un-framing a man is much harder than he suspected. Twenty-four hours pass, and he now finds himself an inmate at Mr. Perry’s Poorhouse, a metaphysical “hell-on-earth” composed of the souls Frenchy has slandered. The world of Frenchy’s tabloid (aliens, bigfoot, and all) has come to life, and he must now live in it.
In the end, Frenchy escapes only after pawning his company for a dollar, and recanting his deceitful ways, proving that “fake news” can never beat the truth. Rhoda, her family, and Donny, can now live their lives in peace.
Tabloid features a cast of 9 principle roles and a small and expandable ensemble. The score is a rich and delightful palette of traditional theatre, film-noir jazz, and operatic arias. Tabloid is a choreographer’s dream, filled with solo, partnered, and company dance numbers!