Season 9

Episode 920: “The Show Must Not Go On”

Episode 920: “The Show Must Not Go On”
Original Air Date:April 12, 2003
Written by::R.J. Colleary
Directed by:Frank E. Johnson
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Calvin Gavin McLeod
Wally Ethan Phillips
Naomi Jessica Walter
Ben Alex Rocco
Herbert Scott Thompson
Latrina Elisa Bocanegra
JZ Jake Richardson

There’s a lot to be said for a theater founded solely to celebrate children, but there is more to be said about a theater that, after 50 years, ceases to do so. This is the case for the Egyptian Theater, a little community playhouse, that has aged with its owner, Ben Horner. As the neighborhood grew dirtier and more dangerous, Ben grew more jaded. He began to view the children of the community as the enemy, and now his little theatre is in shambles; frequently tagged by graffiti and filled with self-important, part-time thespians. This is how things stand when the angels arrive with a camera to document the 50th anniversary of the Egyptian.

Never one to mince words, Tess almost immediately confronts Ben, revealing herself as an angel and pointing him back in the direction of his roots. She wants him to write a new song for the 50th anniversary show, something to set the tone for the next 50 years. Ben is inspired. He can already hear the song, and excitedly tells Wally, his all purpose technician all about it. Just as he begins to write though, he suffers a fatal heart attack.

Now the documentarian style interviews take on a somber tone, or they would if the regular cast members weren’t so full of themselves. But even they must put aside their egos and elect a new artistic director for the theater. At first they all vote for themselves, but unable to trust each other, they finally opt for the lesser of four evils, Wally. Who, as it happens, is the ideal choice. He takes charge right away, surprising even himself. His first order of business is to tell off the juvenile delinquents who continue to vandalize the theater with their cans of spray paint. This of course, backfires. The morning after Wally’s warning, the cast and crew find the inside of the theater trashed, with tags like “punks rule” sprayed on the walls.

All seems lost. But soon, with the help of a few angels, they begin to see that the only way to truly save the theater, is to bring the children back in. And the way to do that, is with a truly memorable anniversary show, dedicated to the memory of Ben Horner. With Tess and Wally shaping the show together, the show is a fantastic success and it seems that the Egyptian will live on with another generation of theatre lovers.


(); ?>