Well it kinda had to happen didnt it? Its as natural as the whirlpools that swirl under waterfalls. Kylie's music always has that musical texture coursing through its veins. When I first heard the news about this new show, I was in uni library, and when I should of been examining Hegels dialectics, I somehow drifted off and started to create a story for the impending musical. I started to put together a musical. This is ridiculous! But here goes...
The story basically follows two very close friends: Charlie & Jessica. The show is ultimately about friendship. From their school days right up to the present. It is not the story of Kylie's life or career. Thats offlimits. Though he is pretty shy Charlie really should of been to Italia Conti. Instead he was sent to the local comp where his only source of strength is his friend Jessica. Jessica wants to run the country. She's already started off well. She's got a job at Greggs. Pretty amazing considering this is circa 1990 where the UK is in a recession & jobs are hard to come by.
The show starts off with an older Jessica singing Disco Down. The set is old and bare. Jessica is looking at a collection of photos of her youth. Jessica is joined by a friend Sally who asks who and where this person is. Why is he so important to Jessica. She takes Sally's hand & the stage changes, colours flood the theater and Step Back In Time begins. She is soon joined by an entire chorus line of singers who perform with her for Step Back In Time (Steve Anderson's KylieX2008 would do just fine). The point of this song is essentially to draw the audience into her story and her world some years before. Who was in? Who was out? Its 1990 and we see a younger Jessica in her school uniform that slightly doesn't fit.
The set is now her work. The bakery. A younger Jess is changing her uniform and putting her hair-up in a bun. She works hard for the money. Her boss comes in and like a total bitch she is, tells Jessica off for being late. Jessica tries to explain it was because lessons overran. Megan, her co-worker and mate, tell her to give up the ghost on studies. Jessica wants her own business. Both her boss and Megan laugh at that. The boss introduces a new worker in the form of the ultra delicious Damien. Both Megan & Jessica consequently swoon. Damien tells Jess he believes in her Jessica and her dreams. He sings a part of I Believe In You (the dance version). He does not sing all of it however. As he doesn't know her name (as we hear him say in I Believe In You) she thus properly introduces herself. She then sings Wow. Along with the customers of the bakery and Megan who is putting the finishing touches to the hot dogs.
With Wow finished, Charlie walks in who also works in the bakery. Uniform ripped again. Jessica runs over to him, they greet each other like the best friends they are & she asks him whats wrong. But he doesn't offer any information. He's just pleased to see her. The conversation they have is interrupted by Charlies father and older brother. They insult Charlie over his lack of "being a man". Jessica tells Charlies parents to "eff off" but is once again told off by the boss infront of everyone. But it doesn't get to her. Charlie asks how she can be so strong. She laughs it off. But seeing that he is visibly still hurt after being bullied by his dad she informs him of her personal mantra. Which is Ruffle My Feathers. Charlie, though not entirely convinced, joins in.
Jessica tells Charlie to go home after the shift. Get his gladrags on as theres a new club they need to check out. A dance will cheer him up. She's got fake-i'ds & Damien and Megan say they'll come. They go out and sing a mental mash-up of On A Night Like This/Dancefloor. As they start dancing, Charlie is shocked to find the place is a gay disco. How does Jessica know about him? He hasnt told anyone. He doesn't react so well. Shocked. "Surrounded by feelings I hardly recognize". He likes it but doesnt understand why. Confused. He is rather frightened by it all. He wants it, to be a part of it, but its all so intimidating. Does he belong?
A drag queen soars above them and is winched down from the ceiling above the four and sings mainly to Charlie the sample of Do You Dare and thus initiates the major part of the Everything Taboo Medley from the last recent tours arranged by Steve Anderson. Jess tells Charlie to chill out and relax. Suddenly "its no secret" text appears to be projected around Charlie. Charlie shouts "I'm not that way". He becomes more angry as the music picks up its pace. The drag Queen lands and sings a snippet of "what kind of fool do you take me for?" addressed particularly to Charlie.
Jessica reappears sporting an amazing corset, hot club wear and with the chorus of clubbers (mostly boys) singing What do I have To Do. Directed towards the audience and Charlie, she tells him it doesn't matter who he loves and desires for "loves' always been my excuse". The entire club sing and chant the chorus of What Do I Have To Do. The drag queen introduces herself as Mary Reasonable. She tells the club her story and her coming out through Spinning Around ("threw away my old clothes/got myself a better wardrobe"). The entire club are singing and trying their best to make Charlie feel comfortable through Spinning Around. This however is not working out so well for Charlie. He seems to be suffocating by it all. Its too much to take in.. Strobe lights, cute boys and he runs out, sliding away unnoticed as the club erupts into climax of tickertape.
While Jess looks for a missing Charlie, Megan makes her move and gets a drink for Damien. She attempts to seduce him. She sings Red Blooded Woman. Damien gives-in and the two pash-off. Jessica sees this and runs home in tears. The next day we're back in the bakery. Jessica is late once again for work. Shes worried about Charlie but Megan fills her in about the fact that she's fallen in love with Damien. Right there and then, he walks in for work but seems to be avoiding the two. The boss orders Damien to do the cottage pie deliveries at the back. Megan goes on about his eyes, hands and bum. Jessica has a moment to herself. A soliloquy. Where she sings Put Yourself In My Place. Megan has no idea Jessica seems to be singing the song to her. Advising her to be careful about Damien.
Outside the bakery, Charlie joins Jessica who has walked out for some air. Jessica wipes away her tears but he naaturally he notices and hands some tissue. Both are upset with life and what it has handed them. Both apologize for the previous night. Charlie says he just wants to leave and runaway. Jessica tells him all will be okay. And if he is gay, its ok. She will always be there for him. She will never judge him. She sings Confide In Me. He cheers up. Decides to tell his parents. But tells Jessica that she has to be honest, like he will be with his dad. She has to give up on Damien or instead tell him how she feels. They sing Better the Devil You Know. They part. Charlie goes off to his parents and she goes off to tell Damien; both firmly in fear of the reaction they're about the receive.
Damien agrees to meet up with Jessica at a bar. They sing In Your Eyes. It seems they are hitting it off. In the middle 8 we see cut to a small set on the stage which transforms into Charlie's home, namely the kitchen. He comes out. The stage blacks out. We go back to the bar once again. Strobe lights. Megan appears. She's looking amazing. She's also the centre of attention and surrounded by guys. She has a way with her hands. All that experience with sausage rolls you see. Jessica can't get through to Charlie on the bars phone (this is before mobile phones). She tries to call him but when she gets through the bar is too loud so she leaves Damien to give him a call somewhere outside. Megan starts singing Slow. They're flocking to her now. Damien waits at the table with his drink. Her eyes are focused on Damien. When she sings "read my body language" she grabs Damien who succumbs easily. He gets down dirty with Megan. Jessica looking worried and flustered walks in on all this. Heartbroken, she leaves the club singing the piano version of I should be so Lucky (the one we heard in live in New York).
As she walks home all alone, she spots Charlie running from home. He's got a black eye. His dad pushes him to the ground. He starts kicking his youngest son in the chest. Jessica doesnt hesitate to move. She rips off her stilettos and hurls them around Charlies fathers head. He's knocked out cold. She tells him she'd never let Charlie down and its time they left. He doesnt see how thats possible. He has very little money as he only just started his job at the bakery. She however has money. She's been doing double shifts at the bakery since she started two years ago previously. Its why, despite her late punctuality, the boss will never fire her. She cashes all her money she'd saved for her business. She tells him to get the coach and leave. And never look back. At first Charlie refuses to take the money. But Jessica wont have it any other way. He pleads her to come with her but the money wont stretch for two. Only one will make it. Ultimately he asks her how he'll be strong without her and she sings Turn It Into Love. She waves goodbye and the coach drives away taking her only friend from her. Leaving Jessica standing alone at the bus station singing the last refrain of the epic song Turn It Into Love.
The Curtains fall and its time for icecream!
End of part one!