Act I: The Move
A family of eight, ranging in age from toddler to teen, remarkably young and good looking at least on the parenting end, prepare to leave their mini-McMansion (not redundant) in the suburbs of Central Florida for the last time.
|no time to hedge, which will cause wailing and gnashing |
of teeth to their pocketbooks
A Bucket List of Goodbyes is planned for the final day, things they will miss about the little town:
|brand new nail salon visited exactly once|
included only because the image is fantastic
|showering under the crepe myrtles one last time|
But the actual moving of items goes remarkably smoothly because the children have grown accustomed to both being ignored and enslaved.
|loads and loads of help|
They land with their college-kid quality level of furnishings and knick-knacks at a small beach bungalow on a barrier island in southwest Florida.
Act ends on a Sunday afternoon with exhaustion and disillusionment as the final box is set in the middle of the already crowded and slightly filthy cottage, and the father packs his bag to be gone for a week of work travel. Seriously.
Act II: The Ugly
Husbandless, friendless and internetless in a new town with an entire household of unpacked boxes, disassembled beds and shelving, and six displaced, bored, unhelpful whiny babies, the mother turns to alcohol and peanut M&M's for comfort. Not true, but that would make a far better play than Mother moping about distractedly barking unheaded orders and unloading half way through box after box without making it to the bottom of one.
In one lonesome scene intended to induce sympathy from the audience, featuring a single moaning violin, the mother stands with trademark unkempt hair gazing back and forth between a an ever-growing laundry pile and new apartment-size stackable washer-dryer, while out the enormous window-frontage, beach goers set up brightly colored umbrellas.
Meanwhile the children are content to argue amongst themselves, whine about their loss of friends and purpose, and live amidst boxes and boxes, finding to make the hours go unproductively by:
|reading, which is a very boring scene,|
and may be cut from the final production
|producing free-style art unaccompanied by|
sibling or adult supervision,
but nevertheless ends in a mess
on top of the mess
|and seeking refuge on the beach from the very|
exhausted, but somehow still
highly demanding and agitated mother
All hope for a quick resolution to the lack of internet is dashed in a dramatic and orchestrally heavy scene when the cable installers burst the water pipes, flooding the yard and depriving the little home of not only technology, but water.
|oops, this will be fixed in mere days|
Act ends with the mother recognizing for the first time that a crazy and ill-thought out dream has landed her and her family in a not only expensive, small, far from desperately luxurious rental home that is also, horror of horrors, a fixer-upper.
Lights fade. No sounds on stage other than the dogs' clickety-clack across the sandy floor.
Act III: The Light
The Father makes a triumphant return: Maker of Shelves, Putter-Togetherer of Beds, Bringer of Happiness to Mother. His work week away had brought him enormous success relating to his career, and that spirit of hopeful renewal spreads throughout the distraught household. And they could sleep in beds.
Bordering on the symbolic, the little yellow house's path to the beach had been completely grown over, unusable because of the prickers. The father wastes no time in mowing it down, the first step in the process to completely clearing the path to home.
|some such image would be included in the musical number|
accompanying the father's return
The music slows, displaced by heavy silence. The children, the dog and the snake exit both stage left and right, leaving the mother and father alone, but surrounded by half-finished projects, scattered boxes, and perilously ugly ceiling fans and window treatments. A simple dialog about school choices and couch placement ensues, and somehow the scene pans to the front porch (I don't know how, the director can figure that out) where the middle child welcomes the new day thusly: