Hey blog world! In my writing class at school we have been tasked with writing another short story. To see the previous one I wrote click here. This time around I wrote two! I can’t decide which to pass in. This first one is titled “Mormon Fever”.
“Hello, my name is Elder Price” sang Jeremy Wells’ voice on the radio “and I would like to share with you the most amazing book!” He then spoke “Come see Atlantic Light Theater’s production of “The Book of Mormon” starring Jeremy Wells and Justin Goulding June 5-8th at the Arts and Culture Center!”
Show day was fast approaching and the whole cast was very excited, Jeremy especially! Elder Price was his dream role to play and he finally landed it! He was always first to rehearsals and sung the songs from the show wherever he went! Little did he know that something would soon get in the way of his performance.
A few days before opening day Jeremy had a sore throat and cough. He thought nothing of it and figured it would go away before the show started. It didn’t, he got worse. He soon developed a stomach ache. Opening day arrived and when he woke up he felt miserable! He had aches and pains all over his body, he felt very hot and weak and he had a stuffy nose. He took his temperature and to his dismay he discovered he had a fever. He was devastated that he couldn’t do the show!
He called Jacinta, the artistic director of Atlantic Light to break the bad news to her. “Hello.” she said when she answered the phone
“Hi Jacinda” Jeremy said in a stuffy voice.
“My name is Jacinta. Who’s this?”
“Id’s me, Jeremy! I have a sduffy nose and cand say D.”
“You just did.”
“D as in deacup.”
“Oh. I’m sorry to hear that. Try using a neti pot. That should clear your nose up and have you ready for rehearsal later on and the show tonight.”
“I wond be able do perform. I have a fever.”
“Oh dear! You poor thing. It’s terrible this had to happen opening day.”
“I agree. I wish I could jusd…” he attempted to sing “Durn id off, like a lighdswidch, jusd go flick!” he groaned “Ugh. I cand even sing! Dis is derrible! I’m really sorry Jacinda.”
“It’s ok Jeremy.” she said with a sigh “Get well soon. I’ll try and find a replacement. Bye.”
“Bye.” Jeremy replied and hung up.
“Doug what are we to do!” exclaimed Jacinta worriedly to her business partner “Jeremy just called and he has a fever. He can’t do the show!”
“Relax Jacinta!” said Doug trying to calm her down “This is why we cast understudies! I’ll give Evan a call and ask him to fill in.”
So he did. Unfortunately there was a family emergency and Evan was unable to perform as well. Jacinta began to panic. “What now?!” she exclaimed “Who in the world can learn the script, choreography and songs in…” she checked her watch “8 hours?!”
“It is a difficult task” replied Doug “but I’m certain that there must be someone out there who’s able.”
Several hundred phone calls later they realised Doug was wrong “I told you so!” Jacinta said “I guess we’re going to have to cancel. We cannot do “Book of Mormon” with no Elder Price! It’s almost time for final rehearsal. We best get to the Arts and Culture Center. You go to the lobby and let the box office know the show is off so they can start calling people and refunding. I’ll let the cast know when they get here.” “Ok then.” Doug replied sadly.
As Jacinta was heading to the rehearsal area she heard a voice, one she’d never heard before. “I believe that Satan has a hold of you!” it sang “I believe that the Lord God has sent me here, and I believe that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people! You can be a Mormon, a Mormon who just believes!”
Jacinta was astounded by this voice! It was breathtaking! She turned the corner and saw that it was the Arts and Culture Center’s elderly janitor singing the song as he mopped the floor. “Yes! Yes! The Lord God HAS sent you here!” she exclaimed joyously!
“Excuse me?” said the Janitor confused
“Jeremy Wells, who was to be playing Elder Price came down with a fever today and try as we might Doug and I had no luck finding a replacement. I was just about to tell the box office to cancel the show! Thank goodness for you sir! You sound absolutely amazing!”
“Thank you very much.” he kindly replied
“Would you mind playing Elder Price in the show?” Jacinta asked “I would really appreciate that.”
“I would love to get back on stage!”
“Back on stage?”
“Yes. I was on Broadway for several years. “Phantom”, “Les Mis”, “Wicked” and back in the days when I had it “Hair”! He chuckled.
“That’s remarkable! Why haven’t you been in any productions since coming to Newfoundland?”
“My last performance was when 10 years ago when I was 60. I was Wilbur Turnblad in “Hairspray”. I suffered a heart attack a month after the show opened. My daughter got all flustered and blamed it on Broadway. She claimed that all the late nights, dancing, Starbucks etc. did this to me. She made me move in with her so she could “take care of me”, got me this job and hasn’t let me act since! I would be honored to take on the role of Elder Price and prove to her that I’ve still got it!”
“Wonderful!” exclaimed Jacinta “You just saved the show! I can’t thank you enough for doing this!” she checked her watch again “The show opens in 5 hours. Do you think you can learn everything by then?”
“That’s plenty of time. I’m certain I can. I’ll Skype with my grandson Andrew and ask for his help.”
“Excellent. By the way, what’s your name?”
“Bob Rannells.” he gave Jacinta a wink.
Later on Jacinta assembled Doug and the cast onstage to introduce them to Bob. “Everyone, I have some good news and some bad news.” she said “Bad news is that Jeremy has a fever and can’t perform.” Everyone was disappointed by this. Gasps and exclamations of “Oh no!” came from several cast members.
“The good news” said Jacinta “is that I found a relative of Andrew Rannells, the actor who originated the role of Elder Price on Broadway to replace Jeremy in the show!” This time the cast erupted into cheering!
“Everyone, meet Bob. He’s Andrew’s grandfather and the janitor here.” Bob smiled and waved. The cast once again had a switch in emotions. They were very confused and uncertain. “Really Jacinta?” said Justin unsurely “He looks a little too old for this.” To his amazement Bob cartwheeled across the stage! “Who you calling old Goulding?” he retorted.
“You think that was impressive” said Jacinta “you should hear him sing!” Bob sang a little bit of “Hello” and the cast was astounded!
As was the audience. Night after night Bob stole the show! He got two standing ovations per night! At the end of “I Believe” and at the final bow.
His daughter happened to be in the audience for the closing night and she couldn’t believe what she saw! She was very impressed. She realized that he was not yet too old to stop acting and allowed him to continue. He has since starred in several local productions and is always happy to fill in should a performer get sick!