Romeo & the Beanos
an original screenplay by J. Thomas Wells
Romeo points to the tray and shakes his head (no). Then makes a hand motion - come to me. The bird pauses then starts toward Romeo. Romeo takes several steps back drawing the bird to follow. He stops at a table and picks up a cup of ice water and takes a sip. The Gru’kiba comes closer. Romeo holds up his hand, the bird stops. Romeo nods his head (yes), “Good bird.” She snorts and puffs smoke. He takes an ice cube from his cup and tosses it to the floor in front of the bird. He points to it. “For you.” She leans over and picks it up in its beak and swallows it. Romeo nods, “Good bird.” He then steps to the side and back a few more steps, signaling the bird to follow. No snorting, the bird complies, “Good bird.” Romeo then walks toward Galdifore leaving a trail of ice cubes with the bird following and picking them up. The soothing ice seems to have cooled her craving for the beans, at least for the moment. He hands the cup to Galdifore, who with the ice offerings continues to lead her off and away from the stage. Romeo signals the performers to continue and pulls Juliet up on the stage.
The concert ramps up, the audience participating, Romeo and Juliet are by the tray chanting, all eyes on the bean monitors. But the beans remain quiet and unresponsive. Romeo turns to Juliet, “I need you to go and get Galdifore. Juliet, “Who?”, “The old man with the bird.”, Juliet gasps. “Uh huh, and what about the bird?, “Speak your English to her. She looks intelligent.” Juliet gags in disbelief. “We’re in a jam here. I need Galdifore.” She is almost stuttering. “Hurry please.” He waves her off to her task. She finally grabs the ball and takes off in a run.
Galdifore comes jogging back to the stage. Romeo looks behind him, no sign of the bad bird. They stand close and speak in hushed tones. Romeo, “I need your help here.” They go over to the tray. “Ever since bad bird came through here they’ve been unresponsive.” The shaman looks them over and then mumbles to himself in his native language. He then quickly disassembles the lattice and picks up the corners of the gray velvet cover and lifts, taking all the beans in a bundle and then walks off the stage and into the audience.
The singing continues, but all eyes are on Galdifore as he begins handing out single beans to individuals in the crowd, motioning for them to hold it against their throat while singing. A woman steps up to help: she tears strips of cloth from her shawl, then twisting it with a bean in the folds. This is then wrapped around the neck holding the bean in place over the vocal cords. The singing continues as he and the woman distribute all the beans.
Soon the little voices are heard. Their sound mingles and blends with the human voices creating complex harmonies. The emotional tone of the crowd lifts. The concert takes off and continues deep into the night. Unscheduled artists are showing up to lend their support.
People arm in arm singing along, videos of the concert are streaming out on cell phones; the nearby streets begin filling with vehicles with their doors open, people dancing in the street. The concert rolls through the night.
Romeo, Juliet and Galdifore are standing back taking it all in. Romeo,”Something is happening here.” The other two nod, not taking their gaze off of the phenomena. The three of them standing there in an eternal moment.