Monday, January 1, 2018

Excerpts from "Frenchtown! The Musical": Part 2

If you read my first installment of this theatrical theme, you know there isn't *really* a musical about Frenchtown. My short-term objective is to write a book, my long-term objective is a museum. But who knows, the process may make a playwright out of me yet...

(The curtain opens on a stage split between two different locations and two different years.

Stage Right, a marquee reads "City Hall, 1867." The scene is Mayor Damien Marchesseault's office.

Stage Left, a marquee reads "Marchesseault Street, 1868." The scene is a brick office building.

Damien Marchesseault and Jean-Louis Sainsevain enter, stage right. Sainsevain is carrying rolled-up technical drawings.

Prudent Beaudry, Solomon Lazard, and Dr. Griffin enter, stage left. Beaudry is carrying a notebook, Griffin is carrying a few medical texts.

Marchesseault (spoken): Sainsevain, if anyone in Los Angeles is up to the task, it's you.

Sainsevain (spoken): I tried four years ago, Mayor. I could use some help.

Beaudry (spoken): Gentlemen, Marchesseault tried.

Lazard and Griffin (spoken, removing their hats): Poor Marchesseault.

Song: Water!

Marchesseault (sung): This town needs water.

Sainsevain (sung): We're parched.

Marchesseault: The zanjas just don't cut it.

Sainsevain: No one likes a filthy ditch.

Marchesseault and Sainsevain: We need water!

Beaudry (sung): This town needs water.

Lazard (sung): Fresh, clean water.

Beaudry: No more mud and garbage.

Griffin: Clean and safe and sanitary.

Beaudry, Lazard, and Griffin: We need water!

Marchesseault: Dryden's water wheel was a start.

Sainsevain: The judge wasn't thinking big enough.

Marchesseault: You're an engineer.

Sainsevain: You want a new one? But of course!

Marchesseault and Sainsevain: We need water!

Beaudry: Let's keep the reservoirs to start.

Lazard: We'll need those during drought years.

Beaudry: Keep them close to town (spoken) but not on prime real estate.

Griffin: Lined with bricks to keep the dirt out.

Beaudry, Lazard, Griffin: We need water!

Marchesseault: We need pipes!

Sainsevain: We can't get pipes! We're too remote!

Marchesseault: We'll make our own.

Sainsevain: From what, the sycamores outside?!

Marchesseault (spoken): That's it!

Marchesseault and Sainsevain: We need water!

Beaudry: Our predecessors meant well but they couldn't cut the mustard

Lazard: Beaudry, it was a disaster

Beaudry: Never send a politician to do a businessman's job

Griffin: Or a doctor's!

Beaudry, Lazard, Griffin: We need water!

Marchesseault: We've got trouble, Sainsevain

Sainsevain: Another sinkhole? Damn it!

Marchesseault: Downtown is a muddy mess

Sainsevain: Did I become an engineer for this?

Marchesseault and Sainsevain: We need water!

Beaudry: The world is watching, gentlemen

Lazard: We've got to get it right

Beaudry: It's a 30-year contract

Griffin: But everyone expects results

Beaudry, Lazard, Griffin: We need water!

Marchesseault: I've borrowed from everyone I know

Beaudry: We're on the right track, gentlemen

Sainsevain: I'm about to lose the vineyard

Lazard: Together we can make it work

Marchesseault, Sainsevain, Beaudry, Lazard, Griffin (in unison): Los Angeles needs water!

1 comment:

  1. Hi C.C.!
    I just discovered the blog and I find it really awesome!!
    I am French (moved to L.A. 10 years ago from Montpellier, France).
    I am fascinated with history, particularly French-American history!
    I found out not too long ago about LA's French past in an LA Weekly post... digging a little deeper and I found your blog! Needless to say that it's a gold mine for me!
    I'd love to meet up and talk about LA's French history, your roots, etc.
    I didn't find any contact page or email on the blog so here is my email jeromepayelle[at]
    Hope to hear from you soon!
    A bientôt!