Plot summary

A group of graduating high school students throw an all-night party on a rooftop as one last get-together before they go their separate ways. Ricky, the shy, would-be comedian, longs for Karen, the most attractive and popular girl in school, but Clark, the most popular boy, seems to have a better chance. Into the party comes Denver, the notorious gang leader and school dropout, who is looking for action, and Lana, the school's "bad girl", who is looking for friendship. As the night goes on, Ricky learns to assert himself, in order to attract, then protect, Karen.

Set

There is one fixed set: the roof of an old building with an urban skyline as backdrop

Cast

There are five characters with substantial speaking parts and at least one lead in a song: Ricky, Karen, Denver, Lana, Clark. Other parts are spread out evenly between Doug and Betty Ann (high school sweethearts and friends of Ricky), Officer Spinelli (who makes a cameo appearance in the last act), the Grade 12 girls (4-6 of them), the Grade 12 boys (4-6 of them), and a group of graduating Grade 11 students who want to throw a party of their own (6-10 of them).

Songs

It's Just the Boys (Karen and the Grade 12 girls)

Oh Karen (Ricky)

A Yellow Corvette (Clark and the Grade 12 boys)

Song of the Guys (Clark and the Grade 12 boys)

The Last Night Party's Begun (Grade 12 girls and boys)

No Girl (Ricky)

The Girl from the Wrong Side of Town (Lana)

Show 'Em No Mercy (Denver)

Seniors in High School (Grade 11 boys and girls)

Being in Love with a Boy (Doug and Barbara Jean)

A Mind of My Own (Karen)

Say Good-bye to Summer (the Grade 12 girls and boys)

Finale: Reprise of Say Good-bye to Summer (the entire cast)

 

Act I, Scene 1:

(The setting is the rooftop of an old apartment building somewhere in the middle of a city or large town. It is sometime after 9 o'clock on a summer evening; in the background, we should see the lights of other buildings that are outlined against an evening sky that gets darker as the play progresses.

The rooftop is actually on two levels, with the upper level U.S. and about 4 feet higher than the lower level. The small stairwell housing, complete with a door which provides entrance to the roof, is U.S.C., on the upper level. A metal ladder joining the two levels is to the right of C.S. and, in addition to 3-foot high walls that ring the entire roof, there is a railing which extends along the D.S.L. edge of the upper level.

 

 

 

Up on the Roof

A musical in two acts

Book, lyrics and music by Mark DeWolf

When the curtain rises, the roof is deserted, except for a necking couple -- Doug and Barbara Jean -- locked in a tight embrace and leaning against the S.L. wall of the stairwell housing. Almost immediately, we hear the faint sound of a transistor radio playing the Drifters' "Up on the Roof". This gets louder until the door of the stairwell housing opens and Ricky, carrying a large, early-model transistor radio, steps out onto the roof. He does not see the necking couple at first, and advances hesitantly to the ladder that leads to the lower level. At that moment, the male half of the necking couple, comes up for air and recognises him.)

Doug: Hey, Ricky!

Ricky: (startled) Whaahh? Oh... hi, Doug. Hi, Barbara Jean. (Barbara Jean gives a little wave) Nobody here yet?

Doug: Nah! The movie isn't out yet.

Ricky: Oh yeah. (thinks for a second) Everybody went to a movie?

Doug: That's what it says in the program. (He pulls out a folded piece of paper, unfolds it and reads) "6:00 p.m.: Chinese food at Wong's Restaurant.  7:30 p.m.: Movie at the Mayfair: Gidget Goes Hawaiian". (looks at Ricky) Didn't someone give you one of these?

Ricky: No. (covering his disappointment) But maybe they ran out. So... how come you and Barbara Jean aren't at the movie?

Doug: Medical reasons. Gidget makes me puke. (Barbara Jean giggles, and the two resume their necking)

Ricky: Oh. (He climbs down the ladder, and wanders S.R., placing the radio on the top of the U.S.R. wall. He leans against the wall but hastily backs away and grabs the radio when some of the bricks give way. At that point, "Up on the Roof" comes to an end, and Ricky turns off the radio. Doug once again looks up from his amorous activities.)

Doug: Hey, whatcha turn it off for?

Ricky: I .... don't want the batteries to run down. It's my folks' radio, and they don't know I've got it.

Doug: No kidding. They outta town or something?

Ricky: Labour Day weekend... you know. Anyway, my sister's supposed to be in charge, but I gave her five bucks to let me stay out tonight.

Doug: Five bucks???!! You made of money or something?

Ricky: I got it babysitting. (ruefully) Two whole months of babysitting.

Doug: Some sister. Didncha tell her it was the Last Night?

Ricky: I told her. Then she wanted ten!