Til Death Do Us Start: Production Information
The Cast:

The Chatamborough Family
Mr. Cameron "Chip" Chatamborough Jr.   (our hero)
Mr. Cameron Chatamborough, Sr.   (Chip's widower father) *
Miss Sylvia Starewell   (Chip's Aunt, and his dead mother's twin sister)**

Edgar Solomon Popov   (the family's only butler)

The Claypoole Family
Miss Elizabeth "Bitsy" Claypoole  (Chip's fiancé, a high society socialite)
Senator Payton Claypoole (Bitsy's coal tycoon father)
Mrs. Amber-Rose Claypoole (his socialite wife)

The Mojeaux Family
Mrs. Diabolique Mojeaux   (a clairvoyant widow)
Miss Madeline Mojeaux   (her beautiful young daughter)

The Netherworld Folk
(all these roles are portrayed by the above ensemble)


Restless Spirits   (Company girls)
Skeletons   (Company boys)
Mortatus   (Ruler of the Netherworld)
* Played by the same actor as Cameron, Sr.

Annabel Starewell Chatamborough  (Chip's dead mother)
** Played by the same actress as Aunt Sylvia

The Songs:

ACT I

Where Ever You Are
Chip
Chip, singing to his dead mother's portrait, questions his approaching marriage to Bitsy.

The Lap Of Luxury
Company
The guest at Chip & Bitsy's engagement party sing about the good life...and being very rich.

To Be Mad About You
Madeline & Chip
Exotic new party guest Madeline Mojeaux sings and plays a game of musical chairs with the gentlemen guests...much to the displeasure of Bitsy, the bride-to-be.

Forgotten
Bitsy
Bitsy sings to her fiance, Chip, about how she's been feeling at their engagement party...forgotten!

Spirits, Come To Us
Popov & Payton, Amber-Rose, Sylvia, Chip, Bitsy
The butler Popov, conducts a seance to contact the entity that is haunting Chatamborough Manor.

Just Tonight
Chip & Madeline
After talking Madeline out of suicide, Chip sings of his feelings towards her...and discovers mutual love at first site.  At the songs end, they dance, Just Tonight Waltz. But when Madeline accidentally falls to her death, Chip is charged with murder!

Just Tonight (reprise)
Chip & Madeline
While in jail, Madeline's ghost visits Chip, and tells him how he can bring her back to life.

Ceremony Of The Dead
Chip, Diabolique, Annabel, Mortatus & Company
Chip, having faked his own death to travel into the Netherworld, meets the ghost of his dead mother who leads him to their ruler, Mortatus, where Chip strikes a deal to bring Madeline back to life...if he successfully passes Mortatus's test.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

The Depths Of Misery
ALL  (except Chip, Madeline & Diabolique)
At Chip's funeral, his family and friends sing of their loss.

As You Sow, So Shall You Reap
Company
The funeral guests sing a traditional funeral song.

When Love Calls
Diabolique & Cameron
Diabolique sings of her emerging feelings towards Chip's
widowed father.

But I Am Just Saying
Payton, Amber-Rose & Sylvia
The senator and his wife question Aunt Sylvia about Chip's mysterious new bride, and her suspicious state of being, or lack
there of.

What Do You Think Of? (1stprise)
Popov & Bitsy
Bitsy, enlisting the help of the butler Popov, hatches a scheme to discover exactly "what" Chip's new bride is...?

Civilization
Popov, Bitsy, Payton & Amber-Rose
Popov, explaining what they've discovered about Madeline (that she may be a zombie), tries to persuade  Senator Claypoole and his wife to join Bitsy's cause.

Madeline
Chip
Chip, alone and controlling Madeline's re-animated body with a zombie doll, sings of how she's not the woman he fell in love with, and will she ever be again?

What Do You Think Of?
Popov & Bitsy
Parading numerous items infront of Madeline, Popov and Bitsy try to discover the secret allergy all zombies have, which, once discovered, will send Madeline back to the grave for good!

Ceremony Of Re-Animation
Chip, Diabolique, Mortatus & Madeline
Under the full moon, Chip encounters Mortatus once again...but has Chip passed the test which will bring Madeline back to life?

Keep It Out Of The Papers (reprise)
Popov & Company
Popov, having rallied Chip's friends and family against Madeline, leads them to her to prove what he believes to be the truth...Madeline Mojeaux is a zombie!

To Be Mad About You (reprise)
Bitsy, Chip, Madeline
Since Popov's plan to expose Madeline fell apart, Bitsy sings a peace-offering to Chip and Madeline, if only to save face.
(into) Keep Your Spirits Up
Chip, Madeline & Company
True love proved to be the key to Chip's test, and his newly returned-to-life bride joins him in singing a traditional "Happy Ever After" song.

   
   
 
Production History:

Fall, 1992
Began research and writing outline, under the original title of “My Controllable Zombie"

Spring, 1994
Dvorak & Co., Los Feliz, CA
This was the first staged reading infront of an invited audience.  In this version, the entire story is told as a flashback by Dr. Popov (from his padded room in a mental asylum).

September 27 & 29, 1994
Dvorak & Co., Los Feliz, CA
Second staged reading for invited guests.  Added masks to actors in the Netherworld scenes (to clarify to audience that company is portraying different characters here).  Cut 3 characters (Doasey Doates, Clark "Slugger" Johnson and Henri Mojeaux).  Expanded the song “Just Tonight”.  Added dialogue within the song “The Lap Of Luxury”.  Cut Dr. Popov's asylum scenes at very top of show (now the show opens at Chip & Maresy's engagement party).

April 10, 1995
The HBO Workspace, Hollywood, CA
Third staged reading.  Added new scene (with Chip talking to his dead Mother's portrait) at the top of the show, including a new song, "Where Ever You Are".  Added additional dialogue to scene with the song “Madeline” (showing better detail to Chip and zombie Madeline's personal life).  Continued to reshape “Ceremony Of The Dead” (less comedic, more dark).

March 3, 1996 (6th Draft)
Theatre Geo, Hollywood, CA
Fourth staged reading, for members of Theatre Geo..  Used Theater Geo company members (which included 2 of our original actors).  Cut Chip & Poker scene at sea, and their song “Over My Dead Body”.   Added the company song “Keep It Out Of The Papers”.  Developed love interest between Cameron & Diabolique, and gave them a song, “When Love Calls”.

July 1998 (7th draft)
(No public performance)
Fleshed out all secondary characters.  Changed title of show to: “'Til Death Do Us Start”.

July 1999 (8th draft)
(No public performance)

Informal reading with company member's of Theatre Neo.  Cut 2 more characters (Poker and Hazel), integrating their dialogue and song parts into the roles of Senator Payton Ivy (making Poker his nick-name), and his wife, Lamby (making her more integral to Maresy's plot line).

March 18, 2002 (9th draft)

(No public performance)
Reading with and for company member's of Theatre Neo.   Reworked "Just Tonight" reprise, "Ceremony Of The Dead" and "Ceremony Of Re-Animation" by adding dialogue within these songs (to clarify the character's motivations).  Added new underscoring to several scenes.

CURRENT 2009 (9th draft)
World Premiere at _____________________ ?