OFF BOOK: The Improvised Musical – LIVE from The Curious Comedy Theater

[Off Book theme]
Welcome to the Earwolf Theater. We now present Off Book. [Off Book theme]
Off Book: the Improvised Musical Podcast, with Zach and Jess! [Applause] [Jess]: Hello! [Zach]: What’s up everybody? That one is Jessica McKenna
[Jess]: That one is Zach Reino! [Applause] [Jess]: Give it up for Scott Passarella. [Zach]: On the keys, King of Pianists, Pianist of Kings, right over there. There he is, Scott himself. [Applause] [Jess]: Curious Comedy.
[Zach]: What’s up, Portland? [Jess]: Thank you so much for coming. Oh my gosh. [Zach]: We’re a podcast, normally. That’s why we’re sitting in chairs. [Zach]: Thank you so much for coming out. For those of you that maybe don’t know what we do, this is an improvised musical. [Jess]: Yeah. Make some noise if you got brought by a friend. [Applause] [Jess]: You brought all these friends?
[Zach]: You brought this table? [Jess]: Oh my gosh.
[Zach]: It’s gonna get weird for you. [Jess]: Okay don’t worry if we like say “we forgot that we were bears” and people are like “they are bears!” [Jess]: And when we’re like playing a lot of animals… Although I should set it up so that like, maybe we play a non-animal show. [Jess]: Although… let’s be real.
[Zach]: Yeah. [Jess]: Let’s be so real.
[Zach]: The odds of that happening are very slim.
[Jess]: Very, yeah. [Zach]: But thank you all for coming out, and thank you for bringing people against or for their will. [Jess]: I know. It’s really so kind of both sides. Kind of our fans to bring more people, thank you so much. [Zach]: Kind of the other people to take just the biggest risk of coming to see musical improv. [Zach]: When it goes bad, it goes so bad.
[Jess]: Very bad. [Zach]: It really does. So you’ve taken like a huge leap of faith tonight, and I we really appreciate that. [Jess]: What’s dorkier than musical improv? [Zach]: Zero. Nothing. Nothing. No things.
[Jess]: Zero things. Zero things. [Jess]: And we’re leaping into that with abandon. We’re like, you know what? We found it, and it’s prime dork. [Zach]: Yeah, we’re adults, we’re gonna do this. We normally have a guest who we chat with, we’re trying to figure… [Zach]: we’re not trying to figure it out. We don’t have one tonight. [Jess]: We didn’t lose them, but we… because we don’t have a guest to like talk about their lives, what’s… what’s your name here? [Nikki]: I’m Nikki. [Jess]: Nikki.
[Zach]: Hi, Nikki. [Jess]: Nikki, would you just give us a word, just to get us going?
[Zach]: Something to talk about. [Jess]: Nikki is the kind fan who brought a whole table. So, she’s in the lead, and this is a competition. [Zach]: The winner will be allowed to stay for the entire show. [Jess]: The rest of you we will slowly kick out. [Zach]: You will not know how it ends, which is a weird choice for us but we’re sticking with it. [Zach]: But yeah, just a word, so that people don’t think that we’ve like… [Jess]: written it.
[Zach]: planned an insane musical to do. [Jess]: This is honestly for your friends that are like
“but seriously they wrote that.” We’ll be like “no, she said…” [Nikki]: Potluck. [Both]: Potluck.
[Zach]: Potluck. [Jess]: I think I’ve talked to you about this before, but this is a memory I have, and it’s a memory I had multiple times. [Jess]: But it’s a way that I know I was like a very sensitive child. But only sporadically. [Jess]: Sometimes I was like a very… bold child who could never be criticized. I was like…
[Zach]: A willful child. [Jess]: Yeah, I was like “I’m the best!” But, like a memory where it really still like brings it back, and I can like conjure the feeling is… I remember going to the piano studio that we that my siblings and I studied that we would have like potlucks after recitals. And I remember feeling so nervous for my mom if not enough people ate her dish. Like… [Zach]: Yes! It is a weird sort of like, group tribal judgment on your cooking.
[Jess]: Yes! Yes, and sometimes my mom–I mean, she, [Jess]: my mom is a great cook, and so I don’t really know what I was worried about, like her stuff slayed. [Piano starts]
[Jess]: Oh… [Zach]: But like, what your passover dish is, is very much a reflection on you. [Jess]: Yeah and also just to touching this really quickly one time –keep playing, I love it, and I trust you, but I do want to just give you, I really am telling you this– [Jess]: we had a mock trial party at my house.
[Laughter] [Jess]: And my mom made a bunch of food, and we went swimming in the pool. She was like so generous, but she had recently heard this recipe for tuna–no not tuna, sorry– pineapple with cheddar cheese and Ritz crackers and I was like-
[audience member cheers] [Jess]: Okay, so someone knows it.
[Zach]: Someone just screamed in the audience. [Jess]: But I was like, “mom it’s too risky. And I’m too afraid of what will happen when no one tries it!” [Zach as Matthew]: Hey, mom, can I talk to you real quick?
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: What is it, sweetheart? [Zach as Matthew]: The entire Mock Trial team is out there.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I know! I know, I’m so excited, sweetheart. [Zach as Matthew]: I know. It’s just that, I’m looking at the table right now. I just want to be the one to tell you… [Song: That Dish Is a Risk] [Zach as Matthew]: That dish is a risk.
That dish is a risk. You don’t know how it’s gonna end up, with this,
because that dish is a risk. [Both]: That dish is a risk.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: No. [Both]: That dish is a risk. [Zach as Matthew]: Like, even more so than an exotic fish,
that dish is a risk. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Matthew, don’t you worry!
Don’t worry your little head. I have all types of dishes,
even safe, safe garlic bread. If someone wants to venture out
and have a salad with quinoa, who am I to not broaden their horizons?
Let their horizons be broad! [Both]: That dish is a risk. [Both]: That dish is a risk. [Zach as Matthew]: You wouldn’t serve it after a potluck or a bris. Why? Because
[Both]: it’s a risk. [Zach as Matthew]: And even the garlic bread
has a little adventurous flair.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: What? [Zach as Matthew]: I see some
unorthodox herbs on the side over there! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: It’s just a little bit of parsley!
[Zach as Matthew]: Why would you do that on a– [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: It brightens the whole thing up!
[Zach as Matthew]: I don’t think it does. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: We gotta push these kids, Matthew, that’s what’s up!
[Zach as Matthew]: No we don’t. [Both]: That dish is a risk.
[Zach as Matthew]: They are children. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: That dish is a risk.
[Zach as Matthew]: That dish is a risk. [Zach as Matthew]: That dish is a risk.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: It’s not a risk. [Applause] [Zach as Brian]: Well, well, well. Matthew’s mom laid out quite the spread here. [Jess as Clark]: Honestly. Top spread. Top spread. When, like, it was comin’ to the end of the season, [Jess as Clark]: and people were like “who’s gonna host the Mock Trial Banquet,” I was like– [Zach as Brian]: Can I just say?
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah? [Zach as Brian]: Prosecution has been on their fuckin’ grind. [Zach as Brian]: And defense? The defense team? Like, makes me shake with anger. [Jess as Clark]: Dude, listen, we all know defense has an easier path, because the cases are written to be even, [Jess as Clark]: so it’s easier to prove that the prosecution has not met their Burden of Proof. [Zach as Brian]: Yeah, all these–These are all Mock Trial specifics that everyone knows.
[Jess as Clark]: Dude, it’s just, like, everyone knows. [Zach as Brian]: Listen, Clark?
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah? [Zach as Brian]: It’s just, like, as my co-counsel on prosecution, I just can’t help but feel like, [Zach as Brian]: the defense is just not lifting their weight here.
[Jess as Clark]: Brian? [Zach as Brian]: And this, the People vs… Jo– [Jess as Clark]: Madison Casco.
[Zach as Brian]: Madison Casco. Yes. [Jess as Clark]: Brian. Brian, it’s the end of the season, man. Why’re you beefin’? We’re seniors, dude, you gotta leave this behind. [Jess as Clark]: From now, we have to go into like, I think in college they call it, like, Moot Court. [Zach as Brian]: Yeah. And I know it’s over, and I know we did as well as we did, but it’s kind of like… [Song: Legacy] [Zach as Brian]: It’s about legacy.
What people remember.
It’s about the path you leave behind. It’s about legacy.
To the sophomores and freshmen. When you walk through the halls,
you should blow their fuckin’ mind. If a freshman comes up to me,
and he knows me from Mock Trial, I want him to be, like, visibly shaken,
for, like, at least a while. And it’s just my goal,
think it’s clear for all to see,
that Mock Trial is about legacy. [Jess as Clark]: It’s about legacy.
[Zach as Brian]: It’s about legacy. [Jess as Clark]: What they say when you’re gone.
[Zach as Brian]: When you’re gone. [Jess as Clark]: It’s not about the verdict,
Who was right and who was wrong.
[Zach as Brian]: It doesn’t matter at all! [Jess as Clark]: No, the verdict doesn’t matter.
[Zach as Brian]: No, no no! [Jess as Clark]: There’s a separate scoring sheet.
[Zach as Brian]: Right! [Jess as Clark]: And this is about a legacy,
doin’ things that they cannot repeat. [Both]: It’s about legacy. Legacy! [Zach as Brian]: What the tiny kids remember about you and me, [Zach as Brian]: L-E-G-A-C-Y,
[Both]: Legacy! [Jess as Clark]: But what if we’re wrong?
What if we should let them build upon [Jess as Clark]: what we did so one day
they’re better than we were. [Zach as Brian]: The words that you just said right now
make me shake in anticipation. [Zach as Brian]: I’m so angry,
what is this,
some kind of cross examination? [Both]: It’s about legacy. Legacy! [Jess as Clark]: How all those kids remember you and me?
[Zach as Brian]: L-E-G-… [Zach as Brian]: Whoops, how do you spell that?
I did it a second ago… [Jess as Clark]: L-E-G-… A-C-Y? [Zach as Brian]: That’s it.
[Both]: Legacy! [Applause] [Zach as Brian]: I knew we made the right move by not being on the Spelling Bee team. [Jess as Clark]: Dude, honestly, like, what high schooler’s on a Spelling Bee team? [Zach as Brian]: Excellent point. [Jess as Clark]: Dude, also, Brian, that’s a solo sport. That’s a straight-up solo sport. [Zach as Brian]: Thanks, Clark, I’m not into that. [Jess as Clark]: And, like, we’re a team, you know? Like, when I’m doin’ the opening, and I’m, like, layin’ out that path, and then you circle back in that closing, and we’re like, “hey, did you see what I did?” And in the meantime, we conduct direct- and cross-examinations. [Zach as Brian]: Hell. Yeah. Character witnesses. Main witnesses. Other. Mock. Trial. Things. [Jess as Clark]: Experts. Cops. Referring to their affidavits. [Zach as Brian]: Do you see what’s going over there, with those nerds at the defense end of the table? [Jess as Clark]: Oh, I don’t know, oh, yeah! [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: I hated it then, and I hate it now. [Jess as Alicia]: Who do they think they are?
[Zach as Spencer]: They think they’re so much better than we are. [Jess as Alicia]: You know what? I–honestly?–I blame television. [Zach as Spencer]: Thank you! It is the media’s interpretation of, like, a glorious prosecution, and the defense is always, like… [Jess as Alicia]: It’s like, I’m sorry, you know our system doesn’t work if people don’t have a good defense. [Jess as Alicia]: It’s just like, we are here, not taking any of the glory, not hammering our fists and saying “for the law, for justice!” [Zach as Spencer]: Yeah! [Jess as Alicia]: We’re just the part that makes sure “hey, someone gets to get defended, this is America!” [Zach as Spencer]: This is America! And if you don’t even get to get defended, then it isn’t even America, and where even is that? [Jess as Alicia]: Ugh, it’s just like… [Zach as Spencer]: There’s just not enough good media interpretations of what we do. [Zach as Spencer]: There’s My Cousin Vinny, the movie which I know you haven’t seen.
[Jess as Alicia]: I haven’t, no. [Zach as Spencer]: But it’s very good, you should watch it. [Jess as Alicia]: But you know what, you’re forgetting about our number one. Spencer, how could you forget? [Zach as Spencer]: Oh, Alicia, I’m sorry, what did I forget? [Jess as Alicia]: [wistfully] Atticus Finch. [Zach as Spencer]: Oh. [Jess as Alicia]: Every defense attorney’s bay. [Piano starts] [Zach as Spencer]: You’re right. You know, sometimes, I wake up in the middle of the night, just sweating and scared. [Zach as Spencer]: Then I remember, what would Atticus Finch do in this moment? [Jess as Alicia]: And we won’t take in that watchman book, just the original. [Zach as Spencer]: Oh, ‘Don’t Tell a Watchman’? That one that was, like, published maybe kinda
[Both]: against her will [Zach as Spencer]: way later?
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah, no, no, no. [Zach as Spencer]: Yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: This is just To Kill A Mockingbird.
[Zach as Spencer]: Just To Kill A Mockingbird. [Song: Atticus Finch] [Jess as Alicia]: When I think about his face,
as it dabs with sweat, [Jess as Alicia]: trying to make sure he did it all,
so he doesn’t live with regret. [Jess as Alicia]: As I think about him pointing out
all the sections of reasonable doubt, [Jess as Alicia]: and teaching compelling lessons
to Jem and Scout, [Jess as Alicia]: I remember!
[Zach as Spencer]: I remember! [Jess as Alicia]: You’re never in a pinch. [Both]: I remember! [Jess as Alicia]: That morality is a cinch. [Both]: I remember! [Jess as Alicia]: Atticus
[Both]: Finch. [Zach as Spencer]: Sometimes, when I’m afraid and scared that the world is going badly, [Zach as Spencer]: I remember that brave, brave man, in the story surrounding
[Both]: Boo Radley [Zach as Spencer]: And I think to myself,
why make a fuss? [Zach as Spencer]: All I have to do is
Follow the strong moral backbone of Atticus! [Zach as Spencer]: You’re
[Both]: never in a pinch. Remember, [Zach as Spencer]: Justice is a cinch! [Jess as Alicia]: Remember
[Zach as Spencer]: Remember [Both]: Atticus Finch [Zach as Spencer]: You know what?
[Jess as Alicia]: What? [Zach as Spencer]: I think, in this moment, I’m realizing that I am gay. [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: Like upon… yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: Like, you wake up in the middle of the night, thinking of…
[Zach as Spencer]: I’m… yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: And, can I ask,
[Zach as Spencer]: Sure. [Jess as Alicia]: First of all, am I the first person you’ve told?
[Zach as Spencer]: Yes. [Jess as Alicia]: Oh my gosh, Spencer, what an honor!
[Zach as Spencer]: Thank you, Alicia. [Jess as Alicia]: Um, is it–are you seeing your own amalgamation of good looking people into Atticus Finch, [Jess as Alicia]: or is it just straight-up Gregory Peck? [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: I hadn’t even thought of Gregory Peck.
[Jess as Alicia]: ‘cause he is -such- a zaddy. [Zach as Spencer]: No, it’s just in my mind’s… in my mind’s eye, I was just thinking like, “man, I really like Atticus Finch.” [Zach as Spencer]: And then I thought about it a little more and the phrasing of that same sentence became like [Zach as Spencer]: “Man. I -really- like Atticus Finch!”
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah. [Zach as Spencer]: There’s something going on… And I’m like “yeah, I’m gay. This is a great day for me!”
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah! [Jess as Alicia]: That’s great!
[Zach as Spencer]: Yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: You know what?
[Zach as Spencer]: But I still hate those guys over there, the prosecution. [Jess as Alicia]: Yeah, I bet they would never have such, like, and open conversation with each other, [Jess as Alicia]: they’re probably just going “Oh, we’re the best!”
[Zach as Spencer]: Yeah. [Zach as Brian]: Can I tell you something real quick? [Jess as Clark]: Yeah, of course, is it that we’re the best?
[Zach as Brian]: Yeah. It’s that. Yeah. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: Can I tell you something about this living room right now?
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah. [Zach as Brian]: The feng shui of it is making me angry. And I don’t mean to lay that out against Matthew’s mom or whatever, [Zach as Brian]: ‘cause, like, she has a tastefully decorated home, or whatever. [Jess as Clark]: Dude, Matthew’s mom’s a very nice lady, so tread lightly.
[Zach as Brian]: Yeah. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: It’s not even that. Honestly, you know who I blame?
[Jess as Clark]: What? [Zach as Brian]: Matthew’s dad.
[Jess as Clark]: Why? [Zach as Brian]: Because I think that Matthew’s dad is responsible for the layout of this room. Look at where the TV is. [Jess as Clark]: But wait, there’s no way of even like, lobbying that criticism that doesn’t imply that like, Matthew’s mom doesn’t have, like, agency. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: How so? I think you’re right, I just want to understand. [Jess as Clark]: Yeah, no, for sure. Like, you perceive something negative, and you’re like “I know and love Matthew’s mom, and see that she’s a rad lady, [Jess as Clark]: so there’s no way that she could have made this choice,” which might be true, but what that still posits, [Jess as Clark]: is that she doesn’t have the self respect and wherewithal to stand up to her husband who’s making a bad choice. [Zach as Brian]: For sure. But that’s also assuming that she recognizes that choice as the bad choice that I recognize it as. [Jess as Clark]: Totally.
[Zach as Brian]: As opposed to a choice that, like, she thinks is fine, but is upsetting to me. [Jess as Clark]: But I still think you were like, attributing blame, and so I was, like, okay, so this must be, like, [Jess as Clark]: at least slightly, objectively negative.
[Zach as Brian]: That’s fair. That’s fair. [Laughter] [Jess as Clark]: I don’t know, dude. [Zach as Brian]: Yeah. No. I think that’s, honestly, I think these conversations are important to have. [Jess as Clark]: Yeah. And if, like, this was, like, my direct examination of you, I would, like, lay the foundation to help you get to that point. [Zach as Brian]: Oh, if this was your direct examination of me, as, like, a witness from the other side, you would’ve just gotten straight fives. [Jess as Clark]: Yeah. Thank you. [Zach as Brian]: Five. The best score you can get on the Mock Trial…
[Jess as Clark]: Five. The best score you can get on the scoring sheet that has nothing to do with the verdict. [Zach as Brian]: cause it’s 1 to 5. Yeah.
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah. Triple-weighted if you do pretrial. [Zach as Brian]: Hell yeah. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: Oh, yeah, I didn’t even check in with what the pretrial guys are doing over here… [Lilting piano] [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Oh, look at that cloud!
[Zach as Xander]: Woah! [Laughter] [Zach as Xander]: What does it look like to you?
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Oh my gosh, I kind of think, well… [Song: Looking at Clouds] [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I think it looks like a narwhal, but the end of its horn has a flower instead of a horn. [Zach as Xander]: I think it looks like a dolphin, with a flat face, and a horn– no, I’m thinking narwhal. [Zach as Xander]: And there’s a flower at the end of the horn. [Zach as Xander]: Too. [Both]: Looking at clouds. Looking at clouds. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: What about that one?
[Zach as Xander]: Oh, that one? Hmmm… [Zach as Xander]: I think it looks like a horse, [Zach as Xander]: like a tiny horse that’s very small, and it’s pulling what looks like Santa’s sleigh, but Santa is a flower. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I think it looks like a reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh, [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: but it started to zoom back to the narwhal, so now it has the flower! [Both]: Looking at clouds. Looking at clouds. [Zach as Xander]: Oooh, what about that one?! [Zach as Xander]: Oh wait, can I go first?
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Yeah. [Zach as Xander]: Okay. That one looks like a–hmm… Some metal spherical shape going through the sky, [Zach as Xander]: but instead of spherical, it has wings, oh, that’s not a cloud, it’s an airplane. Okay. [Zach as Xander]: I see what I did there. I saw a plane and I thought it was a cloud. But it isn’t a cloud, it’s a plane, and I’m embarrassed. [Zach as Xander]: We’re supposed to be
[Both]: Looking at clouds. Looking at clouds. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Ooh, look!
[Zach as Xander]: Whoa! [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Whoa! That one looks like a bust of Beethoven. Except, [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: it’s more like Bach. [Zach as Xander]: And instead of a bust,
it sort of has arms and legs, and a torso.
I guess it kinda just [Both]: Looks like Bach!
Looking at clouds. Looking at clouds.
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Looking at clouds. [Zach as Brian]: Man, they’re just total nerds, I just don’t even want to think about what they’re doing over there.
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Looking at clouds. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Looking at clou–
[Zach as Brian]: Hey, pretrial! [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: What?
[Zach as Brian]: What’re you guys doing? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Looking at–what, at the party? We got invited. [Zach as Brian]: No, that’s not what I mean, I mean what are you guys doing outside of the party. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Oh. We’re looking at clouds. [Zach as Brian]: Can I say something that I think doesn’t get said enough?
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Sure. [Zach as Brian]: You guys did a really killer job this year. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I knew it, Xander!
[Zach as Xander]: Yeah! He always respected us, he just wouldn’t say so. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Well, it’s hard because, you guys have a lot of flash, being the prosecution lawyers, but really, like…
[Zach as Brian]: [laughs] yeah. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: It’s pretty cool what pretrial does. You know, we argue in front of a real judge, to get a piece of evidence thrown out, [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: citing constitutional precedent, and court cases, it’s very cool and hard, and we have to think on our feet. [Zach as Brian]: Yeah, and it’s like, doubly hard, because you’re kind of in your own way, like, isolated and separate from the team. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: He saw, us, Xander!
[Zach as Xander]: Yeah, he didn’t say it, but he sees us. I feel seen! [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Yeah, it’s really hard, it’s just kinda like, me and Xander in the room, going over, like, if we could use the People vs. Tinker. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: You can ALWAYS use the People vs. Tinker!
[Both]: [Laughing] [Zach as Brian]: [forced laughter] Yeah. I didn’t pay attention to what the pretrial was, to be totally honest. [Zach as Brian]: I just kinda checked in to see, like, is a piece of evidence in, is it out, but, [Zach as Brian]: that was not really because of you, that was because I had my mind so much on what we were doing. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Yeah, no, Brian, you’re the prosecution closer, captain of the team, we get it, we get it… [Zach as Brian]: Can I ask you a question?
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Yeah. [Zach as Brian]: How would you remember me? [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: Like what would you say is my legacy?
[Guitar starts] [Zach as Xander]: Wow, honestly?
[Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Let me think about it. [Zach as Xander]: I mean… [Song: Equal Parts Fear and Admiration] [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I’ll think about the first time we all met at the bus, [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: and I’ll think about how I was filled with fear but also trust.
[Zach as Xander]: Trust. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I’ll think about how you said “this is the song we play on the bus, and we don’t vote on the song.” [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: “This is the song.” [Zach as Xander]: I’d say equal parts fear and admiration.
[Both]: Equal parts fear and admiration. [Zach as Xander]: You come on kind of strong, but then you finish… [Zach as Xander]: also strong, so
[Both]: Equal parts fear and admiration. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Why does the song have to be The General by Dispatch? It doesn’t get us amped up at all. [Zach as Xander]: Yeah, it’s like, not really the best pretrial jam. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: We’re trying to get super excited and we’re really hot in our suits and you’re like [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: “this is the song we play, and you’ll like it, that’s the truth!” [Zach as Xander]: So it’s, I guess,
[Both]: Equal parts fear and admiration. [Zach as Xander]: With, like, a hint of pent up disappointment at your refusal to listen to other ideas, [Zach as Xander]: but
[Both]: Equal parts fear and admiration. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: We’ll never forget how you impeached the cop on your cross-examination. [Zach as Xander]: It filled us with equal parts [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: fear
[Zach as Xander]: and
[Both]: admiration. [Applause] [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Matthew! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Matthew. Matthew, sweetheart. Listen, you begged me to host it okay? [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You said, ”mom, I’m only a witness the lawyers won’t hang out with me.” [Zach as Matthew]: Mom, what if I go out there, and they’re eating the weird garlic bread and they’re talking about– [Zach as Matthew]: and it is weird and don’t make a face like it’s not. There’s parsley on it. [Zach as Matthew]: Our Italian great-grandparents would be rolling in their Sicilian graves right now! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Matthew.
[Zach as Matthew]: What. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You said “Mom. I’m a sophomore.”
[Zach as Matthew]: I know. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: “I have a lot to prove.”
[Zach as Matthew]: I know. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: “Can we please host the banquet?” And I said “What a spread I’ll make!” [Laughter] [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And now, you’re just hovering around me in the kitchen and you’re not out there talking to any of the lawyers [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: and they might help you figure out how you could be a lawyer next year. [Zach as Matthew]: You’re right. There’s only so much you can do as a witness. [Zach as Matthew]: You get to go on you do your five-minute examination your five-minute cross-examination… [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And that’s hard because the cross-examination is done by a student from a different school, [Zach as Matthew]: They hate you!
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You can’t prepare, you have to just know your affidavit. [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. But…
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: It’s hard! [Zach as Matthew]: No, I know it’s hard, but…
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And it’s a great area to score points! [Zach as Matthew]: But it’s not the flashy, the flashy dream of what I want to do. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Well that’s why you still have two more years in the program, Matthew.
[Zach as Matthew]: You’re right. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: But you could learn a lot from those older kids you know let them be your guide. [Zach as Matthew]: You’re saying go out there, and demand that they like the food. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: No.
[Zach as Matthew]: Got it. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: That’s not…
[Zach as Matthew]: I understand. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Not what I’m saying at all.
[Zach as Matthew]: Well, what are you saying, then? [Song: They Won’t Object (To a Brand New Friend)] [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I’m sayin’ don’t just sit down and let the defense rest. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I’m saying go out and show how you’re smart [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: and prose-cute!
[Zach as Matthew]: Aw, mom! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I’m sayin’ get out there,
and don’t stop, and I promise they won’t object [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: to havin’ a brand new friend! [Applause] [Zach as Matthew]: You’re saying get out there,
just trust that they’ll be real good sports. [Zach as Matthew]: And when I show the my true self, they won’t want to [Zach as Matthew]: hold me in contempt of court. [Zach as Matthew]: They’ll just think that I am a normal kid who’s the best. [Zach as Matthew]: And the things that I say, they will allow to remain [Zach as Matthew]: as admissible evidence! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: They
[Both]: won’t object to a brand new friend! [Both]: They won’t object to a brand new friend! [Zach as Matthew]: Thanks, mom.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You’re welcome. [Zach as Matthew]: I’m gonna go-
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Good luck.
[Zach as Matthew]: Thanks. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And I’ll take the parsley off the garlic bread, but…
[Zach as Matthew]: No! Leave it. It’s inspired. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: That’s more like it.
[Zach as Matthew]: I was just being afraid. Like a defense attorney on the mock trial team. [Zach as Matthew]: Instead of brave. Like a prosecutor on the mock trial. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And I’d love for you to be inventive. Like a pretrial attorney on the mock trial team. [Zach as Matthew]: You’re right. All right mom, wish me luck. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Good luck.
[Zach as Matthew]: Okay. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You don’t need it.
[Zach as Matthew]: You know what… what? [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I said it, and then I said you didn’t need it.
[Zach as Matthew]: Oh. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Good luck! [softly] You don’t need it! [Zach as Matthew]: Okay. Thanks.
[Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You’re welcome. [Applause] [Zach as Matthew]: Yes. My mother made that garlic bread you’re trying right now. [Jess as Alicia]: I really like it. I really like it.
[Zach as Matthew]: You do? [Jess as Alicia]: Yeah. You know what? It’s like, parsley is like a tiny salad we should put it on more things. [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: Matthew, where have you been? Like… [Zach as Matthew]: Oh just helping my mom, in the kitchen…
[Jess as Alicia]: That’s really nice. [Zach as Matthew]: She’s got some pretty rad and brave dishes. [Jess as Alicia]: You know, I’m sorry we didn’t get to hang out more [Jess as Alicia]: because you were a witness for the prosecution, I’m a defense attorney so, like, really our paths just hardly cross, but… [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah, Alicia, I um… Can I ask you a question?
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah? [Zach as Matthew]: Did you want to be a defense attorney? Or did you want to be a prosecuting attorney and it just didn’t work out? [Jess as Alicia]: Um, you know, honestly? When I tried out for the team, I thought it was a debate club. And… [Laughter] [Zach as Matthew]: Like, you, hold on, like you, like you, you accidentally auditioned for the mock trial team and became an attorney? [Jess as Alicia]: Yeah.
[Zach as Matthew]: That’s incredible. [Jess as Alicia]: Oh. Well, thanks. I’m just like, I really like arguing, and I like you know presenting points. [Jess as Alicia]: And it was the closest thing that our school had, so I… I became a defense attorney. [Zach as Matthew]: Your sophomore year?!
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah. I don’t know is that good? [Zach as Matthew]: That’s wild, Alicia. That’s crazy.
[Jess as Alicia]: Is it? Is it good even? [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. It’s good even.
[Jess as Alicia]: I don’t know. [Zach as Matthew]: Do you not realize, how like, incredibly impressive that is? [Jess as Alicia]: No, why is that even like that big a deal? I mean, it’s just like, not that many kids try out for the team, [Jess as Alicia]: very few people even know what it is, and like only this year when we like won county did people even say “what is that?” [Laughter] [Zach as Matthew]: I don’t know, it’s impressive to me.
[Jess as Alicia]: Oh, thanks.
[Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Zach as Matthew]: Okay, bye! [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: Who is that?
[Jess as Alicia]: Who is that? Matthew, he’s, uh, he was a witness for the prosecution? [Zach as Spencer]: Oh yeah,
[Jess as Alicia]: He played the park ranger? [Zach as Spencer]: No, I know who he is, I just only saw his, like, hoodie kind of going through the door, I didn’t see his face. [Zach as Spencer]: Where’s he been this whole time? [Jess as Alicia]: I think, inside helping his mom with this spread, but I can’t imagine what more she could make. [Zach as Spencer]: Yeah. I have a question.
[Jess as Alicia]: Okay. [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: You may not know the answer to this.
[Jess as Alicia]: Sure. [Zach as Spencer]: Has anyone else on this team come out to you?
[Jess as Alicia]: Um… [Laughter] [Jess as Alicia]: No. Are you just… like, you’re just ready to… ready to go for it? [Zach as Spencer]: I mean honestly, no, I’m just kind of trying to like see… [Zach as Spencer]: if I’m the first? [Jess as Alicia]: No. I mean, no one’s come out to me, but that doesn’t mean that no one else is gay, and also [Jess as Alicia]: I am only a sophomore, so someone like the older kids, like, they don’t even give me the time of day. [Zach as Spencer]: Oh, yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: Like, I don’t think Brian is gonna come out to me, a defense attorney sophomore, which I just learned is very impressive [Laughter] [Zach as Spencer]: Oh yeah it’s extreme–I’m sorry, as a senior I tried out to be a defense attorney three years in a row before I got it. [Zach as Spencer]: Did you not realize that’s really impressive? [Jess as Alicia]: No, I just was like, oh, no juniors tried, I guess. And, here I am. [Zach as Spencer]: Alicia, I think you may not realize that you’re a genius.
[Jess as Alicia]: What do you mean, come on. [Zach as Spencer]: I mean everything you do your kind of day-to-day life is like genius-level intelligence, and I don’t think you just… you just don’t know that. [Piano] [Zach as Spencer]: I’ve assumed you knew you were genius, do you not know that you’re genius? [Jess as Alicia]: No, I mean, like, I know I’m, like, smart, but genius… that’s like… that’s like people who, like– [Song: One Kind of Genius] [Jess as Alicia]: Clean up MIT and then they solve a big, hard math problem. That guy is a genius. [Zach as Spencer]: [spoken] Yeah, sure. [Jess as Alicia]: People who grow up in Southie and don’t even go to college. That guy’s a genius. [Zach as Spencer]: I guess that’s one kind of genius.
One specific kind of genius. [Zach as Spencer]: There are other kinds of genius, too.
[Jess as Alicia]: [spoken] No. [Zach as Spencer]: That’s just one kind of genius.
A specific kind of genius.
A different kind of genius are you. [Jess as Alicia]: I’ve never even had a crush with someone who I thought was smarter,
but then I proved myself, [Jess as Alicia]: and drove across the country for her.
I’ve never even had a widower open up to me on a park bench [Jess as Alicia]: about his dead wife [Zach as Spencer]: That’s the same specific genius.
You’ve seen one kind of genius. [Zach as Spencer]: We all know what you’re talking about.
That’s just one example of a genius. [Zach as Spencer]: One Matt Damon genius.
There are other kinds of genius, no doubt. [Jess as Alicia]: [spoken] I don’t know… [Jess as Alicia]: Am I smart, I suppose, yes, that’s true and with big ideas I can grapple. [Jess as Alicia]: But never have I gotten in a bar fight in Cambridge, and said [Both]: “How do you like them apples?” [Both]: That’s just one kind of genius. One kind of genius. [Zach as Spencer]: The only kind of genius you know!
There are other kinds of genius. [Zach as Spencer]: You’re a different kind of genius. [Jess as Alicia]: I’m not being humble, so you know.
I promise that’s the kind of genius,
I am not fronting, [Jess as Alicia]: I only know of geniuses from Good
[Both]: Will Hunting! [Zach as Spencer]: [sighs] Alicia. [Applause] [Zach as Brian]: Hey Clark?
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah, Brian. [Zach as Brian]: We’ve both been out to each other for a long time. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: And it didn’t seem important to me to talk about, I mean like, we’ve known…
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah. For sure bro. [Zach as Brian]: And it didn’t feel… it wasn’t like we were hiding it, it just like didn’t seem like it was reason [Zach as Brian]: to talk about it, since we weren’t romantically interested in anyone at this school. [Jess as Clark]: Right. Right. Nor each other. We were just like, “bro, I’m gay,” and you were, like “me too.” [Zach as Brian]: Yeah, “me too. Not into you”
[Jess as Clark]: And I was like “Not for you.”
[Zach as Brian]: And that’s okay. [Jess as Clark]: I don’t know, dude, I mean…
[Zach as Brian]: Why do straight guys seems to think that every gay guy is attracted to all of them? [Jess as Clark]: I don’t know, dude, exposure I guess. It’s just like, a how many people do you know situation. [Jess as Clark]: But like, I think that’s honestly our problem, like obviously I think our time is gonna be more, like, [Jess as Clark]: in college it’s hard for people to come out at such a young age. There’s so many hormones, so many questions. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: I honestly don’t even know why I felt like talking about this right now. [Zach as Brian]: Just felt I kinda wanted to say it, you know? [Jess as Clark]: Well, like, have you ever had like a crush on a guy like at our school? ‘Cause, like, [Jess as Clark]: my only crush has been on, as you know, [Jess as Clark]: ceramics teacher Mr. Pacu. [Laughter] [Zach as Brian]: Yeah. [Zach as Brian]: Dude fills out those trousers. [Jess as Clark]: Dude. [Jess as Clark]: Also like I can’t help like walk by his studio [Jess as Clark]: and just be running mad Ghost fantasies.
[Zach as Brian]: Yeah. [Jess as Clark]: Also, like, you remember when he grew his hair out in between sophomore and junior year, and I was, like, dope choice. [Zach as Brian]: Normally when like adult men grow their hair out, I’m like not into it, but on Mr.… [Jess as Clark]: Pacu.
[Zach as Brian]: Pacu… [Song: Mr. Pacu] [Jess as Clark]: But also like, he’s only like, I think he’s only like 34. [Zach as Brian]: I think you’re right he might even be younger than that. [Jess as Clark]: No way.
[Zach as Brian]: Yeah. [Zach as Brian]: Mr. Pacu, [Zach as Brian]: Ooo, ooo, ooo. [Zach as Brian]: Make me wanna do ceramics with you-ooo-ooo-ooo,
[Both]: Mr. Pacu [Jess as Clark]: Mr. Pacu
[Zach as Brian]: Mr. Pacu [Both]: Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo. [Jess as Clark]: Make me wanna do
[Both]: ceramics with you [Jess as Clark]: Mr. Pacu, you’re so flippin hot, [Jess as Clark]: I wanna watch you throw that pot. [Jess as Clark]: Mr. Pacu, I know, [Jess as Clark]: it’s gonna get hot when we open up that oven. [Jess as Clark]: What is it called? A- [Both]: kiln. [Zach as Brian]: It’s called a
[Both]: kiln. [Zach as Brian]: And I’m not sure you open it. Or maybe some of them are open all the time, [Zach as Brian]: But, no, I think you’re right, some you open. [Both]: Mr. Pacu [Both]: Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo. [Jess as Clark]: Mr. Pacu
[Zach as Brian]: I wanna do ceramics with you [Both]: Ooo-ooo-ooo, Mr. Pacu. [Zach as Brian]: And to be clear, I don’t actually care about ceramics at all. [Zach as Brian]: You’re just givin’ me excuses to take that detour [Zach as Brian]: down that school hall. [Jess as Clark]: Honestly, I have no purpose for pots, or even a plate. [Jess as Clark]: I just wanna see your face, and picture us on a date. [Both]: Mr. Pacu [Jess as Clark]: Ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo, ooo
[Zach as Brian]: Mr. Pacu, I wanna do ceramics with you [Both]: Mr. Pacu [Zach as Brian]: Yeah.
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah. [Applause] [Zach as Xander]: Okay, you go. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I can’t do this anymore.
[Zach as Xander]: What?! Why not? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Well, for one thing the clouds kind of cleared up. [Zach as Xander]: Yeah. It’s nighttime and it’s hard to see them. [Zach as Xander]: Let’s play “what do you think the clouds look like, [Zach as Xander]: if you could see the clouds!” [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: No, I don’t know.
[Zach as Xander]: No? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I don’t know. Maybe we should talk to anybody else. [Zach as Xander]: But we spent so much time with just us! And pretrial. [Zach as Xander]: We got to know each other real well, and I’m comfortable with you. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: But we should talk to somebody else.
[Zach as Xander]: Who do you want to talk to? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: I don’t know, anybody. I just worry that we’re codependent. [Laughter] [Zach as Xander]: Huh. [Zach as Xander]:I don’t mean to be all lawyer-y, but what evidence do you have that the two of us have become codependent? [Piano starts] [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Well, if I could like, lay out, you know… [Song: Codependent Bullshit] [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: You text me in the morning “what are you wearing? Let’s not match again.” [Zach as Xander]: Well, I don’t wanna be at school in the same clothes as my best friend! [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: You ask me “are we trying tofu yet, or are we saving that for February?” [Zach as Xander]: Well, I just wanna eat tofu, but eat it with you, so not if you think it’s scary! [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Zach as Xander]: Wait, what about when I take a test, and then ask you if the answers are right? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: Not as bad as when you make us fall asleep on speakerphone at night. [Zach as Xander]: Well, how am I supposed to have sweet dreams if I don’t hear your voice? [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: This is clear, and the path is here, we seriously have no choice. [Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Zach as Xander]: I think that I can prove you wrong. It’s easy, I fear. [Zach as Xander]:You just go stand over there, and I’ll stay over here– [Zach as Xander]: where are you going right now?! [Laughter] [Zach as Xander]: Oh. I see. Oh, God damnit. [Zach as Xander]: You’re right. [Zach as Xander]: Aw, man. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: We can still be friends. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: But maybe not friends like this. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: You know you are my best friend, and forever, you I’ll love. [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: But I had a bad feeling [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: that time we shared a single glove, [Jess as Xander’s Friend]: that this was gonna be hard when we go to college. [Zach as Xander]: You’re right.
[Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Zach as Xander]: The glove was taking it a step too far, there was no physical way it could fit. [Both]: This is some codependent bullshit. [Both]: [Sighs] [Applause] [Jess as Alicia]: Oh, Matthew?
[Zach as Matthew]: Yeah? [Jess as Alicia]: Oh sorry, I just, um, I think, um, [Jess as Alicia]: I think we needed… Well, uh… [Jess as Alicia]: Spencer was here… Uh, this is weird, but, [Jess as Alicia]: do you have any more parsley? [Zach as Matthew]: You want… more parsley?
[Jess as Alicia]: I don’t know… [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. Passover was like a week ago, so we’re like lousy with parsley right now. [Zach as Matthew]: You get like a ton of it, and then you have it on anything–honestly? I think that’s why I got put on the garlic in the first place. [Jess as Alicia]: That’s really inventive on your mom’s part.
[Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: It’s like, she’s playing her own Chopped chicken. I mean, kitchen. [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. No, I knew what you meant. [Both]: [Nervous laughs] [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah, I’ll go get some. I’ll go get some right now. [Jess as Alicia]: Okay, great. [Zach as Matthew]: I’m back, I have it. [Laughter] [Zach as Matthew]: Our kitchen is small. It’s more like a kitchenette, really. [Jess as Alicia]: Wow, she made all this in a small kitchen? [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. She’s the best. [Jess as Alicia]: Your mom’s like… [Jess as Alicia]: kind of a genius. [Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: Whew, now I know two. Hmm. [Song: Passover It] [Jess as Alicia]: I’m a Gentile. [Laughter] [Jess as Alicia]: So what’s the word? [Jess as Alicia]: During Passover, this is… bitter herb? [Zach as Matthew]: Umm… kinda sorta…
[Jess as Alicia]: [Spoken] Great. [Zach as Matthew]: You bet. I mean, some people use the bitter– [Zach as Matthew]: or, no, I was about to say charoset, but that’s not right. [Jess as Alicia]: If you don’t like this, we can just [Jess as Alicia]: pass over it. [Jess as Alicia]: If you don’t like this
[Zach as Matthew]: If I don’t like this [Jess as Alicia]: We can just pass over it. [Zach as Matthew]: I feel like in your life, [Zach as Matthew]:there’s some things that you just have to try-ah. [Zach as Matthew]: You gotta be brave, and take your seat at the table. [Zach as Matthew]: Don’t leave it empty for Elijah. [Jess as Alicia]: Do you like this?
[Zach as Matthew]: I like this! [Jess as Alicia]: Because we can pass over it.
[Zach as Matthew]: I don’t wanna pass over it. [Jess as Alicia]: Do you like this?
[Zach as Matthew]: I like this! [Zach as Matthew]: I don’t wanna
[Jess as Alicia]: Because we can
[Both]: pass over it. [Jess as Alicia]: I’m sorry if I said something dumb. I’m a genius, but I can’t quit. [Jess as Alicia]: If you don’t
[Both]: like this, we can pass over it. [Zach as Matthew]: Alicia, can I tell you something, that I believe is true? [Zach as Matthew]: Worse than any of the actual plagues, would be not getting to see you. [Jess as Alicia]: I didn’t know what tonight had in store, [Jess as Alicia]: but I’m learning so much from this fellow sophomore. [Jess as Alicia]: And if you could like this.
[Zach as Matthew]: I like this! [Jess as Alicia]: Then let’s not
[Both]: pass over it! [Jess as Alicia]: And if you could like this,
[Zach as Matthew]: And if you like this, [Jess as Alicia]: Then I won’t pass
[Both]: over [Zach as Matthew]: it.
[Jess as Alicia]: you. What?
[Zach as Matthew]: Whoa, what? [Zach as Spencer]: Oh my god! Alice! Alicia, sorry.
[Jess as Alicia]: What? [Zach as Spencer]: I don’t mean to butt in. What is happening right now?
[Jess as Alicia]: What are you doing? Get out of here! [Zach as Spencer]: This seems like a good moment for you!
[Jess as Alicia]: We’re having a huge moment, Spencer! [Zach as Spencer]: Okay. Do you need me?
[Jess as Alicia]: No. [Zach as Spencer]: I’m here for you.
[Jess as Alicia]: Thank you.
[Zach as Spencer]: Okay. [Jess as Alicia]: Will you give me a ride home later? You’re my cool senior friend.
[Zach as Spencer]: Hell yeah. [Jess as Alicia]: Great. Get out of here though.
[Zach as Spencer]: You, okay, yeah goodbye! [Jess as Alicia]: Sorry. [Jess as Alicia]: Sorry. [Zach as Matthew]: Is there…? Oh sorry. [Zach as Matthew]: I know he’s a really good friend of yours… [Jess as Alicia]: Oh my gosh, no. It’s not my story to tell, but oh my gosh, no. [Zach as Matthew]: Okay. Cool.
[Jess as Alicia]: Cool. [Jess as Alicia]: I know that, like, you have to be really close when you’re co-counsel, but like, [Jess as Alicia]: we’re just friends. [Zach as Matthew]: Oh, great. Hey, [Zach as Matthew]: do you have anyone to go to winter formal with? [Jess as Alicia]: Six months from now?
[Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Laughter] [Jess as Alicia]: Hey, wait…
[Zach as Matthew]: Honestly? I’m setting goals in my life, [Zach as Matthew]: and getting to them now.
[Jess as Alicia]: And I loved it! [Zach as Matthew]: I’m not waiting for winter formal to come around anymore.
[Jess as Alicia]: No, no… [Zach as Matthew]: Do you want to go to prom senior year too?
[Jess as Alicia]: I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. [Zach as Matthew]: All the dances! The Sadie Hawkins dance. I know you’re supposed to ask me for that one. [Zach as Matthew]: In fact, yeah. Take that one back. [Zach as Matthew]: That’s your gift to give. [Zach as Matthew]: If you want to. And if you don’t, I will walk away. [Zach as Matthew]: That’s a promise I make to you. But also, let’s start slow. [Zach as Matthew]: I’m new at this, and I feel like it’s going bad.
[Jess as Alicia]: Stop. [Jess as Alicia]: Stop. [Music continues] [Jess as Alicia]: Let’s not skip ahead.
[Zach as Matthew]: Let’s not pass over it. [Jess as Alicia]: Let’s live in the now.
[Zach as Matthew]: Let’s not pass over it. [Jess as Alicia]: But, there’s something here, [Jess as Alicia]: and I know how
[Zach as Matthew]: How… [Jess as Alicia]: We’ll just say something
[Zach as Matthew]: Something… [Jess as Alicia]: We’ll start at homecoming
[Zach as Matthew]: Homecoming… [Zach as Matthew]: Let’s just set one thing [Jess as Alicia]: And not pass over the rest.
[Zach as Matthew]: Yeah. [Zach as Matthew]: [spoken] Will you go to homecoming with me?
[Jess as Alicia]: Yeah. [Zach as Matthew]: Whoo! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Matthew!
[Zach as Matthew]: What? [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: How’s it going?
[Zach as Matthew]: It’s good. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: I told you.
[Zach as Matthew]: What? [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Did someone think you were a prose-cutie?
[Zach as Matthew]: Mom! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: What? Okay.
[Zach as Matthew]: Not right now! She’s right there! [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: Okay. Guys, I’m bringing out dessert soon. It’s pineapple with cheese and it’s on fire. [Zach as Matthew]: I don’t wanna hear that! [Zach as Brian]: Uh, I don’t know how I feel about that, pineapple? [Jess as Clark]: That sounds rad. [Zach as Brian]: Yeah. You know what? Normally, I would be like “no thank you.” But… Mrs. Matthew’s mom? [Jess as Clark]: For sure. [Zach as Brian]: I trust you. [Jess as Clark]: Hey, Spencer? Did you, like, need a seat? At the table? [Jess as Clark]: This chair doesn’t need to be empty. [Zach as Spencer]: Uh… Yeah. I’d love to. [Jess as Clark]: Come here, bro. [Zach as Spencer]: Are you sure?
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah. [Zach as Spencer]: You don’t wanna hang out with like, cooler people, or whatever? [Jess as Clark]: Dude, it’s the end of senior year. This is when boundaries fall. [Zach as Spencer]: Oh. [Zach as Spencer]: Honestly, you guys are so cool, I really looked up to you guys so much, you’re so good at what you do, I like you a lot. [Jess as Clark]: Dude. Stop it, Spencer. You’re a closer in your own right, I’m just an opener. [Zach as Spencer]: I mean… Just an opener? You set the tone for the entire… [Jess as Clark]: I know, I know. It can be set in stone, it doesn’t have to, like, be flexible with what happened in the case. Like, [Jess as Clark]: Brian’s the man, he’s the one with the real legacy. [Zach as Brian]: No no no, man. It’s cool of you to say. [Jess as Clark]: No but, honestly, like, your closing was rad. And I thought, like, [Jess as Clark]: it had, like, a lot of poeticism to it. [Zach as Spencer]: Thank you. [Jess as Clark]: Like I felt like, shit, man, like, that guy… and you wrote that. [Jess as Clark]: Mine’s straight up written by the coach, I just memorized it. [Jess as Clark]: That shit’s rote. That shit’s rote. [Zach as Brian]: Honestly, I was real hard on the defense earlier, [Zach as Brian]: but I think it was just because I felt a little threatened by you guys [Zach as Brian]: because you’re very good at what you do and… yeah.
[Jess as Clark]: Dude. [Zach as Brian]: And it’s hard for me to say I respect someone younger than me because it feels– [Zach as Brian]: makes me feel like I should be further along-
[Jess as Clark]: Spencer’s a straight-up senior, man. [Zach as Brian]: What? [Jess as Clark]: Spencer’s a straight-up senior. [Zach as Brian]: Oh, then you’re tight as hell, bro.
[Jess as Clark]: Yeah, dude! [Laughter] [Jess as Clark]: This cat’s a senior, you know? [Zach as Spencer]: Yeah. I am. [Jess as Clark]: I know.
[Zach as Spencer]: And I knew that.
[Jess as Clark]: Hey. [Laughter] [Jess as Clark]: Bro. [Song: Governed by Fear (Finale)] [Jess as Clark]: Sorry we got defensive. We put up our defenses [Jess as Clark]: but now we’re tearing them down like old rickety fences. [Jess as Clark]: I’m sorry we got
[Both]: defensive. [Jess as Clark]: Put up all our fences, [Jess as Clark]: bringing it all down because it’s the end of the year. [Jess as Clark]: We were governed by fear. [Both]: We were governed by fear. [Zach as Spencer]: And that doesn’t make us closer, it’s incredibly clear that you can’t be governed by fear. [Zach as Xander]: Hey, pretrial friend! [Zach as Xander]: It’s time to let you walk away. [Zach as Xander]: I can’t be scared of the unknown. [Zach as Xander]: And all of this starts today! [Zach as Xander]: Although I do feel much better when I wake up and you’re very near. [Zach as Xander]: It’s occurring to me now. [Both]: You can’t be governed by fear. [Jess as Alicia]: And if I put my hand… [Jess as Alicia]: and your hand was also there…
[Zach as Matthew]: What? [Jess as Alicia]: Is that the kind of thing you would like? Or would you feel self conscious of your arm hair? [Zach as Matthew]: I’D LIKE THAT A LOT. [Jess as Alicia]: And if we say that we can’t wait for fall in a year, will you promise me you won’t be [Both]: governed by fear? [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: And you have to make all the dishes you like, [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: you can’t think about if the kids will try them. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: No, your destiny is clear. [Jess as Matthew’s Mom]: You can’t be governed… [Zach as Matthew’s Dad]: It’s me, your husband. Hello, I’m here. [Zach as Matthew’s Dad]: Everything you’ve done in this living room is genius, and it’s clear, [Zach as Matthew’s Dad]: that you never were, and you [Both]: never will be governed by fear! [Piano chord] [Both]: The end! [Applause] [Talk-Back] [Both]: Thank you so much. Thank you so much. [Jess]: That was the world premiere to… [Jess]: “We Object to Fear”? [Zach]: Yeah, the world premiere of “We Object to Fear: The Musical.” [Zach]: You’ve all seen it. You’ve all seen this-
[Jess]: You literally have! [Zach]: You literally have. But right now, in your mind, I want you to imagine what is true, which is [Zach]: that you’ve just seen this performed by many many actors and [Jess]: full costumes, full choreography
[Zach]: full sets, full orchestra [Zach]: And we’re gonna bring all of those talented people back out onstage right now. [Jess]: Oh my gosh, give it up!
[Zach]: Give it up for them, here they come! [Jess]: The choreographer, the dramaturge…
[Zach]: The director, the musical director, the costume designer… [Zach]: So… [Jess]: This is a common occurrence in regional theater. [Jess]: When shows are first getting on their feet we’re gonna like we’d love to have you sit here. [Jess]: Thank you, you’ve been an amazing audience. But if you could just stay here and give us a little bit more of your time, [Jess]: we’d love to do a little talkback. [Jess]: So that means we get questions from the audience about things they saw in this production and we’d love to answer. [Jess]: So if you want to just raise a hand…
[Zach]: Just raise your hand, [Zach]: and if we could get the lights up just a little bit so we can find you, but if you have a question about the script, or… [Zach]: Yes, hello, who is your question for? [Audience Member 1]: My question is for the caterer. [Zach]: Excellent. Yes, the caterer of this performance. Yes.
[Jess]: Yes. [Audience Member 1]: I love how interactive it was, how did you bake garlic bread for the whole theater? [Jess as Caterer]: [French accent] Eh, thank you. [Laughter] [Jess as Caterer]: When they came to me and they said “will you make the food so we have an immersive experience,” [Jess as Caterer]: I said “oui oui oui.” [Jess as Caterer]: They said “it is mostly garlic bread,” and I said [Jess as Caterer]: “I am French, but I will do my best.” [Jess as Caterer]: So, the parsley is, eh, it is my own collaboration with the text. [Jess as Caterer]: Thank you, I hope you enjoyed it, and it is not stuck in your teeth. [Zach]: Excellent, excellent question. Do we have any other questions? Yes, there’s one. [Audience Member 2]: Hi, yeah, this question is for the writer. I was wondering… yeah.
[Jess]: [off mic] “Writers.” It took a village. [Laughter] [Zach]: “Writers, it took a village” is what people are responding to right now. This is a podcast, and if it’s not said into the mic, no one can hear it. [Audience Member 2]: I was wondering if the real life Mr. Pacu has seen this and what his response has been? [Laughter] [Jess as Writer 1]: Okay, I’ll take that. I wrote the first draft and a lot of people meddled with my creation. [Zach as Writer 2]: That’s on me. [Jess as Writer 1]: But yeah Mr. Pacu, real life ceramics teacher… um… [Zach as Writer 2]: Can I just say… Because I feel like you and I had a dialogue about this as writers. [Zach as Writer 2]: As to whether or not it was appropriate to objectify a member of a literal faculty in such a blatant and obvious way. [Jess as Writer 1]: Yeah. For sure. I guess, um, where I was coming from was just a place of truth [Jess as Writer 1]: a place of write what you know and I didn’t… [Jess as Writer 1]: there’s nothing in this that I used my imagination for. [Laughter] [Jess as Writer 1]: This was straight up just… [Jess as Writer 1]: just me pulling exact vignettes from my own life… [Zach as Writer 2]: Yeah. It’s based on the literal Mock Trial case of 2000 and… [Jess as Writer 1]: 3?
[Zach as Writer 2]: 3? [Both]: The people versus Madison Casco.
[Jess as Writer 1]: Yeah, that’s right. [Zach as Writer 2]: But to answer your question, [Zach as Writer 2]: we of course got his consent to use him in this, and he, uh, honestly? Loved it. [Zach as Writer 2]: Uh, yes, any other questions for anyone? Who is your question for? [Audience Member 2]: Hello. I’d like to… I have a question for the two actors who played the codependent friends? [Jess as Actor]: It’s actually only one of us.
[Audience Member 2]: Oh, I’m sorry! [Zach]: We use a lot of mirrors but it’s just one person. [Audience Member 2]: Oh, okay, so my question is, um… [Audience Member 2]: Was that written as a true life relationship? [Audience Member 2]: I have a codependent friend relationship and I’m trying to step out of that. Do you have any advice? [Jess as Actor]: Um, thank you so much for that question. [Jess as Actor]: And the fact that you saw two of us on stage is like a huge compliment. [Jess as Actor]: It is just me standing next to a mirror. [Zach]: Which is part of… part of what I think is so impressive about is they use a form of throat singing to sing harmony by yourself. [Jess as Actor]: It took me a long time. [Zach]: Casting this part was very difficult. [Jess as Actor]: A lot of YouTube videos about throat singing. But… [Jess as Actor]: You know what? My advice is, like, [Jess as Actor]: you have to either make a clean break, compromise, or live in it forever. Those are the three choices. [Laughter] [Jess as Actor]: Those are sort of your three paths forward. Now, which one you’ll take, I don’t know. [Jess as Actor]: And I don’t know which one’s best. But those are literally the three things you could do. [Zach]: Yes. In the arts we like to say all paths are correct.
[Jess as Actor]: Yeah that’s right. [Zach]: Because it’s easier for us to make art that way.
[Jess as Actor]: That’s right. That’s right. [Zach]: Do we have any other questions. yes there’s some.
[Jess]: Oh, great. [Audience Member 3]: This is for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who I understand consulted on this. What sort of feedback did you have on the legal aspects? [Jess]: Can we Skype in RBG?
[Zach]: Yeah, sure. Hold on. [imitates Skype ringtone] [Jess as RBG]: Hello? [Zach]: Hi, Ruth? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ladies and gentlemen. [Applause] [Zach]: The Notorious R-B-G of the Supreme Court. [Zach]: Do you have a second? I know you’re very busy. [Jess as RBG]: I’m very busy, but this is fine. [Zach]: Um.. Do you remember when we… [Laughter] [Zach]: Yes, we’re literally putting your picture up, which is a thing that we did not expect to be able to do. [Zach]: Uh, do you remember when we sent you that advance copy of the script of… uh… [Jess as RBG]: I Object to Fear? Of course. Of course I remember.
[Zach]: I Object to Fear. [Zach]: Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to read it. [Jess as RBG]: Mind like a steel trap. [Zach]: Yeah. Um, do you have any… do you have any thoughts on the on the legalities of the script, I believe is the question? [Jess as RBG]: You know, I love that you kept in my great punch-up joke: “You can always use the People vs. Tinker.” [Laughter] [Jess as RBG]: It’s a very funny joke. [Zach]: Some would say it’s a little niche, but it’s very, very funny if you know what it’s about. [Jess as RBG]: Very funny. Sometimes you have to have some specifics in comedy, and the People vs. Tinker is a very funny joke. [Zach]: I don’t think people realize how funny you are. [Jess as RBG]: Oh, well, you know I have a lot of bigger fish to fry but I am a real crack-up.
[Zach]: For sure. [Zach]: We thank you so much for your time.
[Jess as RBG]: And thank you. [Zach]: You’re welcome.
[RBG sets down dumbbell] [Zach]: I think we have time for one more. Yes. Who is your question for? [Audience Member 4]: I’d like to jump back to throat singing. I was wondering if you could give us a 30-second lesson on how to do it? [Laughter] [Jess as Actor]: Thank you so much. It’s so adorable that you think it could be 30 seconds. [Jess as Actor]: So let me just give you like the starting place. Which is that you open up, okay, so that is in every way, I mean, okay, [Jess as Actor]: so physically, mentally, spiritually, vocally, throatily. [Jess as Actor]: And then it’s really just about, like, allowing magic to come in, and also using your diaphragm so here you go. [Silence] [Laughter] [Both]: [vocalizing] [Both]: [vocalizing] [Jess as Actor]: It’s not cute, but it’s effective. [Applause] [Zach]: You know…
[Jess]: Thank you. We do have time for one… [Jess]: one more question. Yes, come into, yeah. [Audience Member 5]: Yeah, this question is for the executive producer. [Audience Member 5]: I just would like to know what you’re planning for the spin-off for the Law & Order series? [Jess]: Oh! Someone’s in the industry it knows little buzz. [Laughter] [Zach as Executive Producer]: Yes. Thank you. We are very excited for the spinoff. [Zach as Executive Producer]: As everyone knows, musicals are always a financial good investment. [Laughter] [Zach as Executive Producer]: Spin-off musicals, doubly so. [Zach as Executive Producer]: Well here’s what… well actually, do you mind– [Zach as Executive Producer]: I didn’t want to do this. [Zach as Executive Producer]: We’ve actually written some of it already. [Zach as Executive Producer]: Uh, now, weirdly, the things that take place in it… [Zach as Executive Producer]: it mostly–like most sequels do–takes place on a boat. [Laughter] [Zach as Executive Producer]: You know, the first one you do…
[Jess]: That’s right, so we deal with the legalities of international waters. [Zach as Executive Producer]: Yes. It’s called “Maritime Law? Maritime Nah.” [Zach as Executive Producer]: And we’ll sing a little piece of it for you right now. [Song: Maritime Law? Maritime Nah!] [Piano lounge music starts] [Jess]: Ba-ba do do, ba do, ba do bah! [Jess]: Life is good on a boat. [Both]: Ba-ba do do, ba do, ba do bah! [Jess]: There are no laws, I don’t wanna gloat. [Zach]: People tell me you can’t murder a woman or even a man. [Zach]: I say to that person “maybe that’s true…” [Zach]: “… if you are stuck on the land.” [Both]: Maritime law? [Both]: More like maritime, nah! [Both]: Maritime law? More like maritime, nah! [Zach]: You can gamble, you can sell your organs. [Zach]: You can marry 17 other people. [Zach]: You can pretend that the cabin is a literal steeple of a church. [Zach]: All churches are churches, if you say it’s a church on a boat. [Zach]: This is the first draft of this song. [Jess]: Yes, we can question all legality, but everything’s legal when you’re on the sea! [Both]: Maritime law? More like maritime, nah! [Zach]: And if you see, I will tell you to forget what you saw! [Zach]: Why? Because it’s
[Both]: Maritime law! [Zach]: Ladies and gentlemen!
[Jess]: Thank you guys so much! [Zach]: Thank you Portland! Thank you to the Curious Comedy Theatre! [Jess]: Thank you Scott Passarella!
[Zach]: Give it up one more time for Scott Passarella on the keys! [Jess]: Thank you Dana!
[Zach]: Dana up in the booth, thank you! [Jess]: Thank you Dana up in the booth! [Jess]: Thank you again to Curious Comedy, thank you Portland, and Portland area, for coming out, it is so great to see your face with our face! [Zach]: Again, this is a podcast so if you like this, there’s more, and they’re on your phone for your ears! [Jess]: Yeah! Off Book: The Improvised Musical Podcast With Zack and Jess. For our friends of fans who came… [Jess]: oh boy, what’s happening in your head? Don’t tell me! [Zach]: Uh, that’s it! Have a great night, sleepy babies! See ya later, bye! [Applause] [piano glissando] [Applause]

100 thoughts on “OFF BOOK: The Improvised Musical – LIVE from The Curious Comedy Theater

  1. "Oh my gosh no…it's not my s-story to tell, but oh my gosh no." I love everything about this entire thing, but that line in particular made me lose it.

  2. Ok I get I could just listen to the podcast (and I will now that I’ve discovered it) but I want more videos of the improv musicals! …Please?

  3. How on earth do you improvise multiple story-lines which then somehow all coincide and then end up with a resolution for everybody, culminating in a closing number which ties the whole show together. Incredible.

  4. We Object To Fear (still editing info)

    Musical Numbers:
    4:53 "That Dish is a Risk" – Matthew, Matthew's Mom
    8:08 "Legacy" – Clark, Brian
    12:58 "Atticus Finch" – Alisha, Spencer
    18:55 "Looking at Clouds" – Pretrial Team
    22:28: "Equal Parts Fear and Admiration" – Zander, Pre-trial Girl
    26:18 "Object to Having a Friend" – Matthew's Mom, Matthew
    32:03 "Kind of Genius" – Alisha, Spencer
    35:51 "Mr. Piku" – Clark, Brian
    38:50 "Co-dependant Bullshit" – Pre-trial Girl, Zander
    42:41 "Passover It" – Alisha, Matthew
    49:43 "Governed by Fear" – Brian, Spencer, Zander, Pre-trial Girl, Matthew, Alisha, Matthew's Mom, Matthew's Dad

    Matthew – In his sophomore year of high school, and on the mock trial team. He played a park ranger witness in the trial. He is hosting the mock trial banquet at his home. He is also Italian.
    Matthew's Mom – Matthew's Mom who is hosting the mock trial banquet at her home. She is also Italian.
    Clark – In his senior year of high school, and on the mock trial team. He is Brian's co-counsel on the prosecution. He is also gay, though only Brian knows, and has a crush on the ceramic's teacher Mr. Piku.
    Brian – In his senior year of high school, and on the mock trial team. He is Clark's co-counsel on the prosecution. He is also gay, though only Clark knows, and has a crush on the ceramic's teacher Mr. Piku.
    Spencer – Is on the mock trial team and Alisha's co-counsel on defense. He is also gay.
    Alisha – Is on the mock trial team and Spencer's co-counsel on defense.
    Zander – Is on the mock trial team and apart of the pre-trial team.
    Pre-trial Girl – Is on the mock trial team and apart of the pre-trial team. She is never given a name in the course of the show.
    Matthew's Dad – Dad of Matthew.

  5. Song list bc i’m bored and love this

    -That dish is a risk
    -(I remember) Atticus Finch
    -Looking at clouds
    -Equal parts: fear & admiration
    -They wont object
    -Kind of genius
    -Mr. Pikoo
    -Some codependent bullshit
    -Passover it
    -Governed by fear

  6. As a Brit I have no fucking clue what they're talking about, but this is still the coolest thing I've ever seen.

  7. We Object to Fear: The Musical:
    Song timestamps:

    That Dish is a Risk 4:40
    Legacy 8:08
    Atticus Finch 12:10
    Looking at Clouds 18:24
    Fear and Admiration 22:17
    They Won't Object (To a Brand New Friend) 25:13 (For context dialogue, actual song starts at 26:05)
    (Kind of) Genius 31:42
    The one about the ceramics teacher who really Fills OUT those trousers 35:51
    Some Codependent Bullshit 37:56
    Passover 42:39
    Governed By Fear (Finale) 49:40

    Preview of “Maritime Law?, Maritime Nah” 1:00:42

  8. I'm only 3 episodes into the podcast (after watching this video) and I'm already dreading what my life will be like when I run out of episodes.

  9. I absolutely adore how she just packs as much information about the rules of mock trial into her lines trying to teach him just what the fuck they’re singing a musical about /as/ they’re making it

  10. This was amazing!! I couldnt stop watching! Would love to see more from these 2… so freaking funny and quick on their feet!

  11. What… what? I love this, I didn’t know this way a thing, thanks YouTube for suggesting this, but… what? This is so good!

  12. I always get annoyed when I find videos like this cause it means I'll never get to enjoy it for the first time again

  13. I live in Edmonton AB, Canada and we have an international festival every year and back in 2012 a group called Rapid Fire Theatre created a show called Off Book. It has the same concept as this but they also do acting and dancing on the stage and they create a story from a subject you give them.. Idk who copied who but the name Off Book, and it being an improvised musical are/is a little suspicious

  14. I'll be completely honest, most improv I've heard/seen is terrible. This however, is absolutely incredible. It is a whole new level – it is actually a fantastic musical in its own right! Lovely talented performers and a cracking pianist.

  15. Wow. Amazing.
    I immediately went to thezachandthejess website to see if they were planning to perform in NYC, and was bummed that there's no East Coast dates…

  16. Been listening to this podcast since it first came out. Found you guys through my favorite comedian Paul F Tompkins! I wish Earwolf would put out more video content here. Make this a regular thing! Please! The people love you!

  17. singing 30 dislikes? Why? Why? Why? Each dislike makes me sigh, sigh, sigh. Thumbs down to this is a lie, lie, lie. Haters can’t win but they can try, try, try.

  18. The fact that this school apparently has a specifically dedicated ceramics teacher with a kiln and not a debate team confuses me so much but I love it so much that I really don’t care ❤️

  19. I've listened to this so many times and I just watched it twice back to back… I think I may have a problem…

    But seriously this podcast is the best content I've heard in ages, and you need to film more live shows like so many of these comments point out! Such amazing talent!

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