THE NEXT BIG THING asks the riveting and, at times, terrifying question,
“What lengths would one go to make their dreams come true?
As topical as today’s headlines, THE NEXT BIG THING is a 7 character piece in the tradition of COMPANY and CITY OF ANGELS which reaches into the dark underbelly of the Hollywood ‘Star Machine’ and comes out with comedy, pathos, and wit...backed by classic Broadway melodies with contemporary lyrics.
The brain-child of life-long theater professional, J. Laurence Lowenstein, THE NEXT BIG THING has enjoyed two professional Staged Readings (Chelsea Studios - NYC & Two River Theater - Red Bank, NJ), a well-received Lab at the Helen Mills Theater 169 (NYC), and was a finalist for the 2015 O'Neill Musical Theater - Development of Best New Original Musicals. Lastly, a full production of THE NEXT BIG THING took place at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center of Deal, NJ in 2017.
Scott Morland is having his first success as Happy Loman in a regional production of “Death of a Salesman”. He has not done well at auditions and is determined to change that . I’m Happy. Gayle Winters, a top agent, sees and loves his performance and has Scott meet her colleagues. She sees him as the fresh face for a new TV series. The Next Big Thing. Scott screws up the audition so Gayle warns him that he must play the Hollywood game. You’ll Never Work In This Town Again.
Scott considers other professions, but realizes acting is his only love. What Am I Gonna Be When I Grow Up?. He meets his friend Jerry and tells him Gayle has gotten him another chance. This time he does everything right and gets the part!
An Actor’s Audition.
The TV pilot doesn’t sell but Gayle believes in him and Scott is determined to get a feature film. Gayle arranges a meeting with A list Producer/Director Malcolm Stevens who is looking for a new star.
Scott meets Tara Bronson at a preview of her new movie – Directed by Malcolm. They leave together and don’t meet Malcolm. I Usually Say. Scott, Tara and Jerry fantasize about how wonderful 2001 will be. This Is Gonna Be Our Year. Scott and Tara get to know each other. Tara is cautious. I’m Afraid To Get Into The Game. Scott gets a phone call and leaves her.
The call is from Gayle and they spend the night together. She is excited about embarking on a casual affair with him. Fool Of The Year.
All the characters meet accidentally at a very un-Hollywood greasy spoon in a farcical mix up. Malcolm is intrigued by Scott and agrees to hear him read.
At Malcolm’s home the reading is a hit, but there are strings attached. Things Are Seldom What They Seem. The part of a lifetime is Scott’s if he agrees to go with Malcolm to St. Barts for ten days. Scott is enraged and repels Malcolm’s advances. Outside he realizes that this part could make him an international star. I’ll Be The Guy. He goes back inside.
It is 2010. Scott is a super star and Jerry is his Producer. They perform at a benefit where they kid their enormous success. Famous In The Industry.
Tara, now Scott’s wife, sings about her life with Scott and their two children. It Never Rains In Malibu.
Scott, Tara and Jerry have a smash hit film. Jerry and his wife are off to Paris. Gayle and Scott talk about new projects. He would like to play a super hero who helps people. Lost Lives. Gayle finds she is still in love with him. Forever Friends.
Scott is told he is being blackmailed by two massage therapists who claim he hired them for sex. Scott vehemently denies the accusations insisting he is straight. His agents warn him that his life will change significantly if he is even perceived as gay. Nothing Will Ever Be The Same. They decide Tara must give a press conference supporting Scott. Scott confesses to Tara but insists that he was doing research for his acting. He loves her. He is not gay. She reluctantly agrees to the press conference.
Tara and Gayle rehearse for the press conference and Gayle shares that research shows that Scott has slept with Jerry’s wife. That revelation is too much for Tara and she tells him the marriage is over. Time On Our Side. Scott vows to win her back.
Scott is desolate, guilty and ashamed. Gayle tries to console him. Tara takes their children away from the publicity. Scott is alone.
Jerry returns and he and Scott have a violent confrontation which turns to a physical expression of their long-denied love. It Must Have Been You All The Time.
Scott and Jerry contemplate the pros and cons of coming out. Scott is confronted by all the people in his life saying he must make his choice. Great Scott.
Scott is ready to choose. For The Rest Of My Life.