Night of the Bully
This one is relatively large and decidedly fast-moving. It's the gentle story of a terminally obnoxious television talk show host (of the Jerry Springer ilk) named Forrest James who, when challenged on the air by a feminist to prove that he, one of the most despised humans in America, actually has a family who loves him, sets out to prove just that. Even though he has no family at all. His dastardly plan: to return to his hometown, seek out the kid he bullied throughout high school, and "borrow" his family for television purposes. It's a steamroller of a comedy, which was the biggest-selling show in the first five years of New Century Theatre. I think it gets the job done as far as laughs go. For theatres looking for a big cast show with lots of distinctly wild characters--say no more.
RICHARD FEATHER (35-40) Mild-mannered, jittery, candy salesman and father of two.
FORREST JAMES (35-40) Quintessentially obnoxious and overbearing bigtime network tabloid television talk show host. Always running on a minimum of eighteen cups of coffee.
GERALDINE "GERRY" FEATHER (mid-30's) Sweet, loyal, steadfast and terminally ingenuous wife of Richard. She will do anything for her husband and family. Well, almost anything.
WARD CALLIOPE (55-65) Wistful, grandfatherly President of Calliope Confectionery, "Home of The Big Toot" candy bar. Richard"s employer.
REX FEATHER (11) Actually Richard Feather, Jr. He has chosen the name "Rex" because he found out that "Rex" means "King" in a language other than his own and also because his father calls him "Dick" and he will not stand for that.
TINA FEATHER (15-16) Typically disgruntled teenager. Cute, and she knows it.
MARILYN LARDNER (30) Tough-as-nails Publicity Director and Manager for Forrest James. Smart, sharp, attractive.
LEON MANDELLE (45-50) Producer of The Forrest James Show ("Over My Dead Body"). A man who, well, it"s not that he loves his job, it's just that--he doesn"t want to LOSE his job.
ZELDA FEATHER (65-70) Richard"s sassy and feisty mother. She loves her son, but is getting fed up with Richard's fear of Forrest James. Not a patient woman.
DORIS ADDISON (35-50) Feminist author who challenges Forrest James, on national TV, to prove he actually has a family who loves him.
UNCLE DAVE (50-60) Forrest's only living relative, consigned to a home for former entertainers in Canada, where he sort of believes he"s Pavarotti. A very nice, harmless individual.
DERRICK OLIVIER (20-40) "Dragnet" type private investigator. (Has undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts.)
SID (20-40) Female "Dragnet" type private investigator. (Also has undergraduate degree in Theatre Arts.)
Note: "Addison" can also play "Sid."
"Uncle Dave" can also play "Derrick."
A unit set can accommodate the various locations of this swiftly-moving play, which jumps from a New York City television studio to the Feather's House to the offices of Calliope Confections with nary a beat missed. ("Neary" a beat missed? Sorry.)
"An evening of hearty, healthy laughter. NIGHT OF THE BULLY is a frenetic comedy filled to exploding with honest good humor. It is funny, clever and appealing. The pace is frantic, the scenes short and rapid. This original work is obviously a sincere labor of love and the result is a thoroughly pleasurable evening. There ought to be more like it." Theresa Giera, the Chicopee Herald
"Bully for comedy at New Century!" Marjorie Spillman, Daily Hampshire Gazette
"BULLY is all laughs and fun! It"s fast-paced and strives for nothing but entertainment." David Allen, Holyoke Sun
"Jack Neary's NIGHT OF THE BULLY is hilarious, the script simultaneously entertains and tickles the funny bone." Claudia Combs, the Lowell Sun
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