6.20 Buss Stop





Original Air Date: April 24, 1995 [Listed incorrectly as April 12, 1995 in the Production Bible.] Production number: 77818
Written by:
Robin Green and Mitchell BurgessDirected by: Mike Fresco

Maurice: The theater is like a virus. It changes people--alters them. In a place like Cicely where you've got so many independent spirits, it's even more virulent. Petty jealousies. Creative differences. All kind of little spats. Then, finally, there's a suspicious fire in the barn of the leading man. People come up here to reinvent themselves, rewrite the book so to speak. They're not the kind of people who easily take direction.
Log line (1): Michelle directs the townsfolk in "Bus Stop" and almost has a nervous breakdown.
Synopsis (1):

Okay, let's all sing: "Bus stop Wendy, she stays, I go,--under my umbrella..." I think those are the words of that sixties song I sing every time the title of this episode comes up. Anyway, in our episode, buss is spelled with two S's, because it's a double entendre, not because we're not good spellers. And, our bus stop doesn't refer to the song, but to the play, "Bus Stop," by William Inge. Yes, Cicely is mounting a play, under the deft direction of Michelle Capra, the town hyphenate: journalist-restaurant critic-director.

It seems most of Cicely has been bitten by the showbiz bug, especially Shelly, who was vying for the lead female role of 'Cherie', which Maggie won. Instead, Shelly is playing, as Shelly puts it, "that egghead waitress, 'Elma.' Holling's got the part of the drunken 'Doc,' Chris has the male lead 'Bo,' Ed has the part of 'Virgil,' and Eric Hillman (of Ron and Eric) has the part of 'Sheriff Will,' which Ruth-Anne really thought should have gone to Ed. So, just how did Eric get the part of the sheriff? Well, Hollywood-style, of course. Ron paid Michelle two-hundred-fifty dollars to assure that Eric would get that role. The money didn't actually go to Michelle, it went to a good cause, The Cicely Trout Hatchery -- but, you get the point. When Eric finds out, he's naturally livid. But, after seeing him perform, Michelle comforts him by telling him that he really was the right one for the part.

Meanwhile, the politics of the play are giving Michelle severe muscle spasms, so Phil prescribes some medication for her. To make matters worse, however, Chris wants to quit the play, because he can't handle the kiss that he and Maggie (as Cherie) are supposed to have at the end. But, we all know that it goes way beyond that, and Chris is afraid of the kiss because of his feelings for Maggie. Oh, the theatre. Such a complicated life. But, in the end, the play goes on, Michelle relaxes, the actors enjoy themselves, the audience enjoys themselves, Chris and Maggie kiss as 'Bo' and 'Cherie' but we really know it's Chris and Maggie, and the curtain goes down to a standing ovation.

(Production Bible):

Cicely's rendition of "Bus Stop" - a benefit in support of the local trout hatchery.

Cast list:
Cherie - Maggie
Bo - Chris
Doc - Holling
Elma - Shelly
Sheriff - Eric
Virgil - Ed

The Eric Hillman special sandwich: Ham on rye.

Eric's acting credits: Hal in William Inge's "Picnic", Mitch in "Streetcar Named Desire".

Most Memorable Quote: "But what is theater, really, but people gathered to sit together, quietly, bravely, trying to solve their humanity together."

Guest stars (9):

Walt - Moultrie Patten
Hayden Keyes - James L. Dunn
Prop Assistant - Kenny McCain
Stunt Double - Michelle Sebek (Also appeared in 6.23)

(Note music listed is from the original TV airings. The DVD may differ.)

[Help! I need names of missing tunes from the original airings - email me.]

• There's No Business Like Show Business (In many versions - a disco-ized Ethel Merman, piano)

• other bits of piano showtunes, including On With the Show (from Bugs Bunny), and Another Op'nin, Another Show (from Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate). (thanks Karen!)

On Broadway - George Benson (thanks Karen!)
[Eric tells his drama stories.]

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331 Mozart
[Michelle goes to Maurice.]

• banjo piece when Ruth-Anne reprimands Ron for messing with Eric.

Shelly's Earrings:

Tea bag and tea cup [Marilyn posts the cast list.]
Silver baubles at the end of a chain [During the opening night of the play.]

Additional Notes:

Holling, Chris and Eric in the still - Holling says "No one said I was an actor!"

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