All For A Song: Synopsis
Format: Although it was not the authors intent, though some will see All For A Song as A Rat Pack musical it became clear through rewrites by using the hero format it evolved into an update of The Wizard of Oz substituting Vegas for Oz and Sam, Dean, & Frank for the scarecrow, tin man, and lion, who represent something Bill will need to survive and succeed.
The Story: Wednesday June 5, 1963, Frank Sinatra’s movie “Come Blow Your Horn” is about to premier in New York. On the other side of the street songwriter Bill Ralich’s billionaire boss Erika Brickmeyer demands he write a “hit” song in twenty-four hours or he’s fired! With rent and a baby due his choice is clear. But because Bill’s been sending songs to Sinatra, with pressure mounting, believing Sinatra calls and wants him to meet him, Dean, and Sam, in Las Vegas, it isn’t a big stretch to understand that Bill’s there with the three people who made Vegas “the most exciting city in the world!” From them he learns how you fight is as important as the talent and luck because in the music industry it isn’t just anything … it’s everything.
The original music’s dual purpose … Frank, Dean, and Sam’s experiences becoming learning tools as they talk and sing about the struggles, loves, breaks, and heartbreaks that made them the people the world listened to, laughed with, and looked up to. But the story is Bill’s it’s what he learns and whom he learns it from. Bill grows into the moment when he can step up to the plate and that’s exactly what he does with the help of a few new friends. Songs play sequentially as they appear.
A preview reel of All For A Song can be seen using this link. https://youtu.be/Jv2bcAe5T2M
Bill Ralich: optimistic, talented, a diamond in the rough needing polish
Frank Sinatra: A more real Sinatra, guarded, edgy, and moody.
Dean Martin: Smooth, but still a pecks-bad-boy with a glint in his eye.
Sammy Davis Jr.: The most talented and understanding of the protagonist.
Eddie Pucci: Frank’s bodyguard, a dees, deems, dose, kind ‘a guy.
Finis Henderson: street smart, well dressed, and definitely cool, Sammy’s right-hand man
Minor characters: backstage voice, tv producer and assistant,
Projected images on a huge screen and the use of film and TV clips is encouraged.
Casting: Female (actresses double explained below)
Sherry Spears, The secretary, a comedic roll with a definite Brooklyn twist.
Mrs. Erika Brickmeyer: Billionaire, self made, a no nonsense type (think female Donald Trump)
Jeanene: the concierge, (was a lead dancer has good carriage and a bit of a French accent
Andrea: Wife, (final stage of pregnancy) nurturing and loving
Ava Gardner: Sultry and sensual “Ava” (a non-speaking roll.)
A cocktail waitress: Attractive, been around, good hearted.
Minor Characters: A line of chorus girl dancers (nothing says Vegas better)
Actresses can double as Ava, secretary, and Cocktail waitress – Brickmeyer, wife, and concierge
*Author’s note: The written word takes precedence over any discrepancies from recordings. Music and book are original and thoroughly researched and each song fits each performers persona.
All songs words and music Sandy Smolen, “My Father, My Uncle, and Me” Schaffel - Smolen.
The musical was gleaned from the writings; Sinatra, The Song Is You, by Will Friedwald, My Lucky Stars, by Shirley MacLaine, The Good Life, by Tony Bennett and Will Friedwald, Why Me, and Yes I Can, by Sammy Davis, Jr. Jane and Burt Boyar, It Wasn’t All Velvet by Mel Torme, My Life, by Ava Gardner, Frank Sinatra; An American Legend, by Nancy Sinatra, Jr. Rough Mix by Jimmy Bowen, Why Sinatra Matters by Pete Hamill, Ol’ Blue Eyes by Leonard Mustazza, The Life and Times of Frank Sinatra by Esme Hawes, My Father’s Daughter by Tina Sinatra and Jeff Coplon, The Sinatra Treasures by Charles Pigone, Martini Man by William Schoell, Dino: Living High In The Dirty Business of Dreams by Nick Tosches, That’s Amore by Ricci Martin and Christopher Smith, Memories Are Made of This by Deana Martin and Wendy Holden, Dean and Me by Jerry Lewis and James Kaplan, A Pocket Full of Dreams by Gary Giddings, How To Write The Broadway Musical by Aaron Frankel, Tommy Dorsey, Livin In A Great Big Way by Peter J. Levinson, Ava Gardner “Love Is Nothing” by Lee Server, I Should Care by Sammy Cahn, and But He Doesn’t Know The Territory by Meredith Willson, Name-Dropping by Alan King and Chris Chase, Sinatra And Me – The Very Good Years by Tony Consiglio and Franz Douskey, plus numerous news paper columns and magazines articles.
The author is grateful to the writers and the many people who shared their insights especially vice president of Sammy Davis Enterprises and friend Finis & T. Henderson, who provided such a wealth of information. Also comedian/actor Lee Allen, arranger Lloyd G. Wells, Italian translations Monica Carmosino, copyright infringement consultant Earl Spielman, director Kaine Riggan, recording engineer Nick Sparks, musician Sandy Tipping, record producer/arranger Chuck Sagle, and all who brought these words to life in readings, Alan Lee, and Bakari J. King and two terribly important people to whom I owe my deepest thanks Mark Schaffel and Linda Davis.
A six-week production of All For A Song took place at Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theater in Nashville.