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CHARACTERS:

HAZEL HUNT: Retirement age, matronly. Shrewd, enthusiastic, perhaps a bit dotty, but definitely in control. Hazel is the town's beloved music teacher and patroness of the arts. (voice: low female range)
GLADYS FRITTS: Middle aged. More dramatic than Hazel: high strung, and excitable. Gladys is a small town gal who yearns for greater horizons. She considers herself artistic and sophisticated. She possesses a deep love of poetry, and has studied voice. (Voice: lyric soprano)
O.B. ABBOTT: Bureaucratic and self important yet underneath he has the soul of a poet. Abbott is a "closet" musician and singer. (voice: tenor or light baritone. Preferably plays some accordion (or another portable instrument) .
AMERICA: Breezy, sunny, open young woman. Unsophisticated yet enthusiastic. (Voice: soprano with a country belt. Preferably violin.)
RENNABELLE: cousin to America. Somewhat more tomboyish, and sophisticated. (Voice: alto, with belt. Preferably drums)
AZILEE SWINDLE: Elderly, well-dressed lady. Friend and associate of Hazel's. (Voice midrange -- instrument: preferably bass)
MABEL SWINDLE: Elderly, well-dressed lady. Friend and associate of Hazel's. (voice midrange, preferably plays piano.)

THE ACTION TAKES PLACE ON A SPRING DAY IN 1927 IN THE PARLOR OF HAZEL HUNT'S HOME IN CEDAR RIDGE, ARKANSAS

(RADIO GALS is scored for piano, bass, drums and a violin, or alternate solo instruments. The actors may play the instruments, as indicated, or the music could be supplied by an offstage band or added musician/actor characters on stage (i.e. "the Volunteer Fire Department", etc.)

ACT ONE (excerpt)

(As the curtain rises, HAZEL comes bustling into the parlor. It is early morning and she is preparing for her daily broadcast. She may be finishing her cup of coffee, fiddling with her hair, & perhaps softly singing a verse of "The Wedding of the Flowers", as she turns on the transmitter. She positions herself before the microphone and speaks:)

HAZEL: Good morning, Glories. Welcome to WGAL, the radio-phonic voice of Cedar Ridge, Arkansas. This is Hazel Hunt speaking. I have just come on the air and I am wondering if anyone is listening. How about you, Mr. Hitchcock? Have you slopped your hogs yet? And you, Miss Peach, poor thing! How s your irregularity? Remember what the Psalmist says: "Heaviness may endure for a night, but Joy cometh in the morning!" Doc Gump, I know you're listening.... Look in on Miss Peach, will you. By the way , I'm simply wild about your new paling fence! Am I coming through loud and clear, Dear Hearts? Ring me up on the Royal Telephone and tell me if I am. That's Katydid 23. And I certainly hope you'll enjoy the programme. (There is a knock at the front door. HAZEL smiles) Well, I declare, it seems as though we have visitors. (The front door opens and the HAZELNUTS -- AMERICA, RENNABELLE, MISS MABEL AND MISS AZILEE -- enter.) Come in, lambs. (HAZEL waves them.) If it isn't my Hazelnuts. Morning, glories!
HAZELNUTS: (singing:) GOOD MORNING, HAZEL.
(The HAZELNUTS bustle to their places, carrying handbags, sheet music, etc. AMERICA carrying a jar of mayonnaise, as HAZEL introduces them:)
HAZEL: My Hazelnuts. I'd like you all to meet them. Here's Miss Azilee and Miss Mabel Swindle. Trusty and true, fellow Sisters of Pythias -- AND dedicated baseball fans! How about those Cedar Ridge Yellow Hammers, girls?
MISS MABEL AND MISS AZILEE: Woo!
HAZEL: And looky, here's Rennabelle and America. Girls, how are we this morning?
AMERICA: Fresh as daisies.
RENNABELLE: Not me. Spent all Sunday making mayonnaise.
AMERICA: It was fun!
HAZEL: That fancy new sauce I've been reading so much about? What will they think of next?
AMERICA : (holding up the jar of mayonnaise) It's the latest thing. Ended up gallons of the stuff.
RENNABELLE: Big waste of Wesson Oil, if you ask me.
AMERICA: Rennabelle...
RENNABELLE: What are we going to do with all that goo?
HAZEL: Why, make Waldorf Salad. Tubs of it!
RENNABELLE: Hazel, you're a Solomon!
HAZEL: Poppycock! Has anybody seen Gladys?
RENNABELLE: She stopped by the P. O.
HAZEL: Flirting with the mailmen again. When is she gonna come down from her pink balloon. My Hazelnuts... well, almost all of em! Life's been peaches since we've been together.
RENNABELLE: There hasn't been a silent night in Cedar Ridge for months.
HAZEL: (raising her arm like a coach signaling a footrace to begin) And with the help of God and my Western Electric Five Hundred Watt Radio Transmitter, there won't ever be! (HAZEL chops the air, giving AMERICA the go.)
AMERICA: This is:
HAZELNUTS: (singing:)
WGAL
IN CEDAR RIDGE,
ARKANSAS.
HAZEL: Wake up, Cedar Ridge. I want to hear the whole town singing!
(RENNABELLE makes a rooster crow noise, then the HAZELNUTS start the song with HAZEL conducting:)

"SUNRISE MELODY"

HAZELNUTS:
TIME'S A-FLYING
DEW'S A-TWINKLING
BACON'S FRYING
CHINA'S TINKLING
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY

WIPE THE SLEEP FROM YOUR EYES
NOW'S THE TIME TO HARMONIZE
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY

RENNABELLE:
EVERY COW THAT'S MOOING
SEEMS TO SAY WAKE UP
SWINDLES:
WAKE UP!
RENNABELLE:
SMELL THAT COFFEE BREWING
HAZELNUTS:
WOULDN'T YOU LIKE A GREAT BIG CUP?

BUGS ARE BUZZING
BREEZES BLOWING
FIDO'S BARKING
LET'S GET GOING
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY, DE DE DE DE
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY MELODY MELODY

HAZEL:
MAMA'S BUSY SCRAMBLING
EGGS FOR EVERYONE
HEAR THAT FIDDLE PLAYING
ALL:
COME ON, BOYS, LET'S HAVE SOME FUN.

WHAT'S THAT MUSIC IN THE TREES?
IS IT BIRDIES? IS IT BEES?
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY, DE DE DE DE
GLORY, IT'S A SUNRISE MELODY MELODY MELODY


ACT TWO (excerpt)

(GLADYS comes in the front door, followed by ABBOTT, with his arms raised, followed by HAZEL who is training the musket on ABBOTT)

RENNABELLE: Holy cats! You found 'em!
AMERICA: I've never been so glad to see anyone in my life!
RENNABELLE: Where have you been?
GLADYS: (Disappointedly) Nowhere. We never left the county. HE got lost.
ABBOTT: SHE spilt a bottle of violet water all over my road map. Bleached out the entire Midwest.
HAZEL: Found 'em parked by the Nimrod River Dam.
RENNABELLE & AMERICA: Parked?
ABBOTT: I was out of gas.
GLADYS: HE couldn't get it started.
ABBOTT: Well if I could've I would've so's I could dump Sarah Bernhardt here.
GLADYS: You're no Valentino.
ABBOTT: You're no Vilma Banky.
HAZEL: Friends, friends...
GLADYS: Oh, Hazel, he's nothing like I thought. He doesn't give a fig about the things I adore: Emerson, Wordsworth, Longfellow.
(HAZEL directs GLADYS to the microphone. GLADYS, over the course of reciting the following verse, is overcome with self pitying emotion:)
GLADYS:(Declaiming)
"By the shores of Gitche Gumee
By the shining Big-Sea-Water
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water
Beat the clear and sunny water
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water"
(GLADYS collapses)
HAZEL: I've never seen her like this before. (She pauses, then reconsiders:) Well... hardly ever. (She pokes the musket at Abbott:) You've got to do something.
ABBOTT: Me? What?
HAZEL: How about a ballad?
RENNABELLE: We are on the air.
HAZEL: (Recalling herself to the radio audience, she advances to the microphone and says sweetly:) I certainly hope you're enjoying the programme. (Urgently, to RENNABELLE:) Rennabelle, some sheet music.
RENNABELLE: (Grabbing a song off the top of the pile and handing it to ABBOTT) Here, Mr. Abbott. The song plugger down at the furniture store's been pushing this one.
ABBOTT: (reading) "Why Did You Make Me Love You?"
(GLADYS moans pitifully.)
ABBOTT: "As popularized by Miss Pansy Spry of Pomona, New York." But it's got four flats.
HAZEL: (Aiming musket at ABBOTT) It's like I used to tell my students... Just take a deep breath and pretend this is Carnegie Hall!

"WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE YOU?"

ABBOTT:
I WAS CONTENT TO DRIFT ALONG
THE GENTLY ROLLING STREAM
I HAD MY DAYS
MY CAREFREE WAYS
MEANT ALL THE WORLD TO ME.
THEN YOU APPEARED
AND, AS I FEARED
LIFE CAUGHT UP WITH ME
AND SO THAT'S WHY
I'D LIKE TO TRY
AND SOLVE THIS MYSTERY

WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE YOU?
WHY DID YOU MAKE ME STAY
YOU LOCKED ME UP LIKE A NAUGHTY PUP
AND THREW THE KEY AWAY

SURE AS THE STARS ABOVE ME
STICK IN THE MILKY WAY
I'M UP IN THE BLUE
WHAT CAN I DO?
OH, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE YOU?

(INSTRUMENTAL)

GLADYS: (Over the instrumental) Don't anyone mind about me. I'll just go up to the widow's walk and ponder my life as it moves into the evening shadows. I'll scan the horizon for my Odysseus. Maybe he'll still come -- he doesn't have to be a tenor.
(GLADYS starts to head for the door, but HAZEL taps her on the shoulder.)
HAZEL: Gladys ... may I have this dance?
(HAZEL, still holding the musket, waltzes with GLADYS as ABBOTT finishes the song:)

ABBOTT:
SURE AS THE STARS ABOVE ME
STICK IN THE MILKY WAY
I'M UP IN THE BLUE
WHAT CAN I DO?
OH, WHY DID YOU MAKE ME LOVE YOU?

(The LADIES have all been deeply moved by the song and ABBOTT'S performance.)
AMERICA: Anybody who sings that good can t be all bad.

RADIO GALS SCRIPT
from the Samuel French Musical Library, on sale here

(l994, l998 Mike Craver and Mark Hardwick)

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