Bryan D. Leys

“66”

Synopsis

“66” is an epic, non-conventional musical that takes place in 1966 at various locations on legendary Route 66. The focus of the piece is a family trying to cope with the desertion of the mother. This undoing of the American family parallels the decline of America’s “mother road” which is being chopped up and decommissioned to make way for a series of super-highways. All along the highway, people are experiencing the end of an era and the beginning of the “Age of Aquarius” with freer love, gay rights, and liberal revolution. Some are being dragged into it kicking and screaming.

Lauren Johnson has left her family and returned to her former home in L.A., leaving behind her husband Walter and their two children, Cory and Les. Eighteen years before, Walter and Lauren had traveled from L.A. to Chicago to begin their marriage. By retracing their spiritual journey, Walter hopes to discover what went wrong.

Along the way, the family picks up Randy, a small time thief who can’t imagine himself out of trouble. Cory, Walter’s daughter, falls immediately in love with this outlaw, and when Randy robs a roadside diner, Cory jumps into her father’s car and drives off with him. Meanwhile, her brother has made the acquaintance of Della, a local waitress, not realizing that she’s a transvestite. Les and Della take off in pursuit of Cory and Randy, leaving the father behind. Not willing to give up, Walter begins hitchhiking west. And so a chase begins that leads them to nihilist bikers, a muddy tourist trap, a dreamlike commune, a ghost that haunts the highway, and a fatal reckoning.

The Johnsons’ America is coming apart. But, out of this chaos a new America may emerge, one where we are all part of an extended family and where new roads may lead to strange and exciting destinations.

Cast of Characters

THE ROAD
The Ghost Spirit of the road.
ILLINOIS
Walter Johnson An American father. 40.
Leslie (Les) Johnson His son, 18.
Correne (Cory) Johnson His daughter, 17.
KANSAS
Del (Della) Trowbridge A transvestite waitress, 24.
Bill (Werewolf) Thompson An outlaw biker, 35.
Yvonne (Cat Tail) Bounomici His traveling companion, 32.
Ben Dombrowski A tractor trailer driver, 41.
OKLAHOMA
Charlie Tallfeather A deputy sheriff, 43.
TEXAS
Karl Fruhauf A dishonest garage mechanic, 42.
NEW MEXICO
Ned Bartley Owner of Big Ned’s Dinosaur Ranch, 47.
Ed Stickley Owner of Popsicle City, 46.
ARIZONA
Bughead A pirate radio station operator, 30.
CALIFORNIA
Lauren Johnson An American wife, 38.
DOUBLES
Actor 1 Ben, Trooper, Frank.
Actor 2 Ned, Karl, Werewolf, Bartender.
Actor 3 Ed, Liquor Store Owner.
Actor 4 Ghost, Dickens.
Actor 5 Della, Man in Bar, Frank.
Actress 1 Lauren, Woman in Bar, Park Ranger, Mabel.
Actress 2 Illinois Cop, Cookie, Mayor, Cat, Bughead.

Music Excerpts

Music by Kevin Kuhn