Steven Tancred, a young lawyer has been told by his Boss to quit smoking. Our show starts with Steven visiting a hypnotherapist, Dr. Patel, who is assisting in this endeavour. In a trance, Steven is inadvertently regressed to a previous existence in 1929 Chicago – when he was a young guy called Johnny May who is a reluctant mobster with Bugs Moran’s gang. Johnny has fallen for a gorgeous nightclub singer named Ruby and wants to escape Bugs and the mob to go and live with Ruby on a farm. Slight complication – Ruby is Bugs Moran’s ‘broad’.
Back in the present day a confused and agitated Steven sifts through all the old press cuttings of 1929 and discovers that Bugs Moran was a Mobster who actually existed (he did too!) and, moreover, the greying photos of Bugs are just as Steven saw him in his regressed state. Steven’s amazement turns to horror when he sees a press cutting headed ‘St. Valentine’s day Massacre’ – he is even more horrified to read that every member of Bugs’ gang was wiped out by his arch rival Al Capone. His horror turns to disbelief when he reads that Johnny May was one of the gang who was slaughtered. The photo of Johnny May could be that of Steven.
Because Steven’s law firm is involved in a high-profile law suit, Steven’s colleague, Jeff, gets more and more irate with Steven when Steven insists on having daily ‘regression’ sessions with Dr. Patel in a desperate effort to somehow prevent Johnny from getting killed in the massacre. Barbara, Steven’s fiancé, is also furious with Steven at his lack of concentration on their up-coming wedding and his besotted involvement with the past – especially Ruby!
As one can’t change the past – which Jeff tries to get through to the almost deranged Steven – it might be considered impossible for TWICE UPON A TIME to have a happy ending. But, as Dr. Patel points out to Steven, there is a reason for being regressed to a previous existence. And true love conquers anything!
With the story and book by Ray Cooney and the music by Chris Walker, TWICE UPON A TIME is assured of having lots of laughter and a few tears as the scenes zip between the London of today and the Ragtime of 1929 Chicago. It’s also something of a challenge for the actor playing Steven/Johnny as he ‘doubles’ the two characters!!
World Premiere Musical
TWICE UPON A TIME
by legendary British playwright
Debuts at the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities
Broadway and TV veteran
Feb 13th to Mar 2nd, 2008
Book by Ray Cooney
Music by Chris Walker
Millicent Martin and Ray Cooney
Photo by Ed Krieger