Double Trouble - A Musical Tour de Farce
Double Trouble - A Musical Tour de Farce

Book, Music & Lyrics by Bob Walton and Jim Walton

Show Synopsis

JIMMY AND BOBBY MARTIN: Two singing, dancing, song-writing brothers from New York, are flown to Hollywood to write a hit song for MMG Studios upcoming movie, BROADWAY MELODY. It seems odd that they are the first ones to arrive at the studio, but Jimmy reminds Bobby that “everybody we need is right here in this room,” as they sing JUST THE TWO OF US.

Before he can begin writing, Bobby has a compulsive need to brush his teeth and disappears into the bathroom. “Four out of five dentists recommend brushing your teeth before you write a lyric.” MERWIN M. GARNER, [Bobby] the tyrannical namesake of MMG Studios, bursts into the room and informs Jimmy that if they don't write that hit song in three days, they're fired. Knowing that this opportunity is a big one, they don't want to let anything distract them. Since girls are the only thing they seem to fight over, the brothers make a pact: “No girls until we finish the song.” They shake on it.

 

The intercom buzzes, it's MILLIE FERBER, [Bobby] Mr. Garner's secretary. She asks if one of them could come down and help sort out their luggage. Jimmy goes, as Bobby begins writing. But he's soon interrupted by BIX MINKY, [Jimmy] the audio engineer. Bobby realizes the assignment might be tougher than expected because Bix is very old, very deaf, and is narcoleptic.

Jimmy and Millie return with the luggage. Much to his surprise, Millie is one of the few people who saw the short lived Broadway show the brothers wrote, called “Harlem Nights.” She informs Jimmy that they've assigned an intern to the brothers, and he'll make sure they're not disturbed. As she exits, she says Mr. Garner is going to buzz in a couple of minutes, and he'll want to hear the song they've written. Jimmy panics. They just got here, they haven't written anything yet. Luckily, on the flight over Bobby wrote some lyrics to an unused melody of Jimmy’s, scribbling the words down on various pieces of paper. They decide to wing it and try to sell FIRST CLASS LOVE to Mr. Garner. But Garner's not buying. Millie informs the boys there are some contracts they need to sign, so Bobby goes to get them.

SEYMOUR BECKLEY, [Bobby] the slightly touched, but lovable intern, sneaks up on Jimmy and startles him. But even more startling are Seymour's teeth. He's in serious need of a good dental plan. He tries to do his impressions of movie stars for Jimmy (or anybody who will listen), but will have to wait.

When the sultry, sexy movie star, REBECCA LAFLEURDELAMAGANIS [Jimmy] enters the room, Bobby falls instantly in love with her. She tries to persuade Bobby to go solo and write her a song so she can put it in the movie and become an even bigger star, promising him stardom and more, in YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. Bobby agrees and begins trying to write Rebecca's song, LET’S TAKE IT SLOW.

Meanwhile, Jimmy has managed to secure an agent to make sure the contracts are on the up-and-up. He's a slick, double talking womanizer named SWIFTY MORRIS [Jimmy] and he sings SWIFTY’S SONG to Bobby.

Mr. Garner informs the boys that there's been a crisis and the shooting schedule for Broadway Melody has changed. They have to shoot the big song-and-dance number TODAY. Bobby slips away, hoping to meet up with Rebecca, while Millie reminds Jimmy they've already written a great song about New York. They sing a duet, HARLEM NIGHTS, with Millie's voice coming over the intercom.

Just as Jimmy tries to get back to writing, Rebecca [Bobby, this time] enters. As she says, “When you’re a big movie star like me, your looks can change from moment to moment. Why, I'm not the same woman I was ten minutes ago.” She seduces Jimmy with her sultry ways, promises him stardom and more, and gets him to agree to write a song for her in YOU CAN DO ANYTHING - reprise. Jimmy then begins trying to put his newfound inspiration into a song, entitled INSPIRATION.

Even though the boys are distracted trying to write their own songs for Rebecca, they manage to make some headway on a song for the movie. But they can't hide their secrets any longer, both admitting they've met a big movie star and have fallen in love with her. Then they realize that they have fallen for the same woman - again! Their stubbornness gets in the way as they argue in BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU, deciding it's time to go their own ways and end the act. Just as Mr. Garner and the others are about to enter the studio, the circuit breaker blows and the lights go black. It's the end of the act for them, and for the audience.

 
Act Two begins with the lights still out as Millie enters the studio to encounter Swifty. We learn that Mr. Garner kept the boys from leaving the studio. So hopefully, they'll finish writing the song. Swifty and Millie find out they’re both from the Bronx and went to high school together. They miss many things about the city, especially COLD SESAME NOODLES. Could romance be in the horizon?

 

Finally, the lights come back on and PRESTON CREEST [Jimmy], the flamboyant director of the movie, enters. He wants to hear the song they've been writing. Since Jimmy can't be found, Bobby takes the opportunity to play the song he's been writing for Rebecca, LET’S TAKE IT SLOW. Preston doesn't like it, and he leaves.

In two very brief, clandestine encounters, Rebecca [doubles, not Jimmy or Bobby] tells each brother to secretly meet her in two different locations, promising some type of fleshy reward when they get there.

Meanwhile, Seymour innocently tells Swifty that Rebecca is trying to get each brother to write a song for her, then she'll take the best one and put it into the movie. Swifty is on to this vixen and has to stop her. Seymour, who would very much like to have an agent, gets Swifty to listen to his impressions. Seymour is so good, and such a quick study, Swifty comes up with a plan on how to trick Rebecca in A VERY GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION. Swifty has Seymour dress up and do an impression of Bobby, coaxing Rebecca to confess her plan as Mr. Garner, the boys (hiding in the booth) and everybody else listens during the song, GOTCHA! We then learn from a gossip live radio broadcast that it's just been discovered that Rebecca Lafleurdelemaganis is a man! “In her home town of Jasper North Carolina, Rebecca Lafleurdelamaganis is known as Richard Lefleurdelemaganis - or ‘Dick,’ to his friends.” Bobby and Jimmy reenter, grimacing as they remember all the things they did with her...

However, too much too little too late. Garner still doesn't have his song, and the boys are fired. As they pack up to head back to New York, Jimmy and Bobby sing about how they miss their city in BACK TO OLD BROADWAY. Luckily, Garner is listening to them over the intercom. He loves the song and not only wants to put it in the movie - he wants them to STAR in it as well!

The set fades away, a movie screen lowers and we see a short movie newsreel of the boys singing and dancing in New York City. The screen flies away to reveal Jimmy and Bobby in person. They finish with a rousing song and tap dance in BACK TO OLD BROADWAY - Finale.

Buy Sheetmusic

Double Trouble Audio

Audio clips of the authors’ live performance of DOUBLE TROUBLE.

Just the Two of Us
First Class Love
You Can Do Anything
Swifty's Song
You Can Do Anything (reprise)
Cold Sesame Noodles
A Very Good First Impression
Gotcha!
Back to Old Broadway

Set Requirements

ONE MODULAR SET: A rehearsal studio with an upright piano (functional, if needed), a recording booth with sound proof window, a desk with phone and intercom, a water cooler, a chaise lounge and various Hollywood knickknacks on a shelf. Upstage by the door we see a frosted sliding glass window that shows part of the hallway. On one side of the set is a door leading to a bathroom, and on the other side, a closet.

Important Details

Double Trouble Reviews

Cast Requirements

Double Trouble is performed by two men, each playing one half of a singing, dancing and songwriting team as well as multiple other characters.

PRINCIPALS

Bobby Martin
Jimmy Martin

Bobby’s Characters:

  • Merwin M. Garner – the boss of MMG Studios
  • Millie Ferber – Mr. Garner's secretary
  • Seymour Beckley – an intern
  • Rebecca Lefleurdelemaganis – the beautiful redhead movie star

Jimmy’s Characters:

  • Jenna Jumper – host of Jenna Jumper's Cavalcade of Stars
  • Preston Creest – a famous director-choreographer
  • Bix Minky – the audio engineer
  • Swifty Morris – a slick, Hollywood agent
  • Rebecca Lefleurdelemaganis – the beautiful redhead movie star

Rental Materials

REHEARSAL SET

5 LIBRETTO BOOKS

5 PIANO-VOCAL BOOKS

1 LOGO CD

10 BOOKS (1 or 2 PLAYERS*)

*Both performers in DOUBLE TROUBLE play the piano on stage in addition to one piano player in the pit. This is not essential – a fake piano may be used on stage (angled away from the audience) and a second piano player may be added to the pit.

Orchestra

  • Keyboard I - Piano/Conductor
  • Keyboard II
  • Drums/Percussion
  • Trumpet
  • Reeds - Tenor Sax/Clarinet/Flute

Additional books:

  • Trombone
  • Upright Bass (free up left hand of Keyboard II)

The show can be done with Piano/Bass/Drums or with Solo Piano.