Romeo & the Beanos
an original screenplay by J. Thomas Wells
Her mother’s trite questions are muffled in the background; Juliet’s full attention is on Romeo. Cut to Romeo walking on a busy LA street which fades to almost nothing as he sees Juliet in his mind. She is smiling at him, the dim chatter of her mother behind her. He smiles back.
Six months later
Juliet is in a rehearsal session for a Shakespeare’ play. Miranda, a fellow actress and Juliet’s roommate are discussing the play while in line at a nearby Starbucks. The song being played there grabs Juliet’s attention – she hears the distinct complex chorus of the beans. She asks Siri on her smart phone to ID the music, “Cookin’, by Billy and the Beans.” Miranda sees her startled look. “What’s happening?” “That song, . . .” “Yeah, she’s great. I love that album.” Back on the street they walk past a street musician and Juliet hears the bean chorus again. This time it’s coming from a small amplifier box mounted on a tripod. She stops and queries the musician. “It’s a Bean Box Ma’am.” “Where did you get it?” “From a guy name Romeo.” Juliet gasps wide eyed. “You just missed him.”, pointing up the street.
She takes off in a mad run, Miranda barely keeping up, “Juliet, wait up.” After a couple blocks of franticly looking about they stop and catch their breath. Miranda asks, “Is this the guy from the bus?” Juliet nods. They’re standing in front of a music store and go in. Juliet asks for any CDs with “Billy and the Beans” and is directed to the Bean Section with two rows of various artists that record with the Beans - Beans Blues, Bean Pie, a hip hop group, Beck and Beans, Sting ‘n Beans, and on and on including remixes - Ray Charles and the Beans, Satchmo over Beans, The Brubeck Bean Mix, Bean Background/Horace Silver. Juliet picks them up, one at a time, studying the back cover and contents, “Romeo, Romeo, where art thou? ”Miranda watching over her shoulder. She finally finds a photo of a recording session on the Sting album, Romeo is sitting in the background wearing head phones. But no mention of his name, no contact info.
That evening Juliet goes to dinner at her parents’ house. The TV is on in the other room showing Access Hollywood. “The Bean Buzz has electrified the music industry, a unique living sound that has found a home in just about every musical genre.” Juliet grabs the remote and turns it up. “With us tonight are Beck, and Jay Jay of Bean Pie. Both of whom incorporate the Beans in their unique sound. “So Beck, what are these things really?” “They’re obviously beings from outer space that have come to lead us to a higher plateau. And they’re very polite.” “Alright, and Jay Jay what can you tell us about them?” “They’re spooky Man, but cool. And they’re very low maintenance.” Hostess: “OK, but I’ve heard that they are related to Mexican Jumping Beans, that it’s just a gimmick and that they’re really Alvin and the Chipmunks moonlighting between movies.” Beck: “Well, if you heard all that and are now saying it on TV then it must be true or will be soon enough.” “Well thank you both for sharing your views on the Beans. Tune in Saturday night when our guest will be the man behind the beans, Romeo Adebo. Her father says, “That’s the boy on the bus. Are you seeing him Juliet?” “Haven’t seen him since you blew him off at the bus station”. “Ok honey don’t get all upset. I was doing that for your own good. You need to stay away from those artist types. You need a man with a steady income, an insurance salesmen like me.” Juliet flies out of the house flinging a polite thanks a lot for the dinner in Elizabethan English.
That night Juliet has a dream - she is watching Romeo in a strange tropical environment. He is walking through the ruins of a temple studying the bas relief images on the walls. He stops in front of one depicting a fire breathing parrot attacking a village. Suddenly, there’s a chilling screech from above. Romeo looks up, fear in his eyes.