of graduating high school students throw an all-night party on a rooftop
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.
is one fixed set: the roof of an old building with an urban skyline as
are five characters with substantial speaking parts and at least one
lead in a song: Ricky, Karen, Denver, Lana, Clark. Other parts are spread
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),
a group of graduating Grade 11 students who want to throw a party of
their own (6-10 of them).
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
High School (Grade 11 boys and girls)
Being in Love
with a Boy (Doug and Barbara Jean)
A Mind of
My Own (Karen)
to Summer (the Grade 12 girls and boys)
Finale: Reprise of
Say Good-bye to Summer (the entire cast)
Act I, Scene
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.
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.
on the Roof
A musical in two acts
Book, lyrics and music by Mark DeWolf
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
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.)
Ricky: (startled) Whaahh?
Oh... hi, Doug. Hi, Barbara Jean. (Barbara Jean gives a little wave) Nobody
The movie isn't out yet.
yeah. (thinks for a second) Everybody went to a movie?
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?
reasons. Gidget makes me puke. (Barbara Jean giggles, and the two resume
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.)
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?
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.
bucks???!! You made of money or something?
Ricky: I got
it babysitting. (ruefully) Two whole months of babysitting.
sister. Didncha tell her it was the Last Night?
Ricky: I told
her. Then she wanted ten!