Dan Duling

Morgue or Less

[staged reading, L.A. Theatre Works]

[full length play with music, 2 acts]

An anti-musical set in a morgue, featuring the “Duet for Unwed Mother and Unborn Child,” “Lament of the Old Fashioned Girl” and the “Morgue or Less Finale.” Alternate title, “Slab Shtick” says it all in this highly theatrical flashback with songs as Maury Bond watches his childhood trauma with “fruit” torment him through the game show and soap opera of his feeble adulthood before he is once again reunited with his one true friend and love, too late. You’ll leave the theater humming, “Morgue or Less, just might be the best thing you’ll ever do.” [cast 5 w, 5 m]

MAURY: Oh, wow, mama, like lay some heavy ego-boost juice on my angst, oh great pillow feedbag in the cosmos!

MAURY: Looking back on my wonder years, I recall feeling small, acting small, being small. Copying was coping for, yours truly, a chameleon slug!

The Voids Prayer

Our Meaning
Which art in question
Ironic be thy discovery.
Thy symbolism come
Thy consequences be done
On earth as it is in literature
Give us this day
Our daily rationale
And forgive us our dogmas
As we forgive our dogmatists
And lead us not into conformity
But deliver us from chaos
For Thine is the possibility
And the probability
And the total unlikelihood

From “The Ode to Unrequited Love”

And now you’re dead
This is the morgue
If this is love, it doesn’t show
No tangled words
No jealousy or pain
This is ROMANCE, at last I know!
So why should I just look forward
When I’ve got the past?
And why should I mourn for love
When this romance will last
Beyond the love that might have been.

From The “Morgue or Less Finale”

Morgue or less
Good enough for your ancestors
Good enough for you
Morgue or Less
Maybe the best thing you’ll ever do
I’m telling you friend
You better be quick,
Tomorrow you be doin’ this slap stick...SLAB SHTICK!

Now I was a late late nighter
And I was an early riser
Now our lifestyles are the same
Grade-A fertilizer!

Well, I was a banker
And I was a bum
And I was first-rate musician
Now we dance and sing
And do our own thing
In praise of decomposition.

Looking ahead in 2012.

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A little extra...

Duling’s plays have been produced throughout the United States. Most recently, “Monstrosity” received staged readings at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles as part of the Inkubator reading series by the Katselas Theatre Company. Before that, “Monstrosity” also received a staged reading at Innovation Theatre Works in Bend, Oregon. The search for theatres interested in producing “Monstrosity” continues in earnest in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.