This is it! Twenty years in the making, but finally here. Straight From the Heart – The Musical, starring Pamala Stanley, with Chris Bennett and James Lee Stanley. The story of two women, their love lives, their work, their heartbreak, their friendship, there there. You will be touched and surprised by this masterwork. Perhaps the culmination of the work of James Lee Stanley.
Here are all the cartoons that were created by the talented Pamela Adamowich for each of the recorded songs on the CD:
Here is a short synopsis of the story :
Straight From the Heart – The Musical
The spotlight opens on a young girl rocking a cradle. She sings the first verse of “Daddy’s Eyes” and then a voice off stage calls out, “Pamela, they can’t wait any longer. They are here. You have to bring her down.”
Pamela looks down at the little baby in the crib and says, “They tell me this is for the best little one…my heart says no, but they all say Yes. I must give you up. I love you and I know that I’ll never forget you…” She picks up the baby and walks out of the spotlight.
Then blackout …
Open up on the offices of Busyworks, Inc. Ensemble sings “No Time For Romance“.
In the offices of Busywork, Inc, Pamela, a mid thirties woman heading HR, is at her desk which is home to an ever changing bouquet of flowers which she ignores daily. She reaches for some overdue paperwork only to find that it has been done. “Weird,” she says.
Her first interviewee is a lovely young black girl names Chris, bright, energetic and capable. They hit it off and she is hired to work in HR with Pamela.
As Chris leaves, Pamela notices the birthdate on her employment application. “Weirder” she says, “it’s the same birthdate as…” She puts the paper down and reaches for the remaining reports she has to do, but more amazing, they are already done. “Even Weirder,” she says, “I could have sworn I still had to do these.” Chorus of “Another Day Another Dollar” swells as the lights fade to black…and then open on Pamela’s office…
Chris has now been at BI for a month, in the HR Dept with Pamela. They have become fast friends. As Chris enters there are, as usual, still more flowers on Pamela’s desk which she perfunctorily disregards to Chris’s vocal bewilderment.
Chris then mentions the office mixer she is going to and tries to talk Pamela into joining her, however Pamela is not interested. Chris tries one more time to convince Pamela to join her at the mixer. Pamela asks her if she heard the opening number, No Time For Romance, and then explains how little she is interested in romance and sings, “Just Like Love“. Chris sighs and walks away, but is determined she’ll get Pamela to go and she doesn’t give up trying.
Pamela finally gives in and we find them both at the mixer, where an overzealous Louden G Lizzard is doing his best (or worst) Studley Dooright impression with little success. He sings, “Dirty Job“, but only really has eyes for Pamela, who is clearly not interested.
Ruminating on her life of work and solitude, Pamela is interrupted by a very attractive suave James dressed in a singular plaid jacket. Pamela finds herself surprisingly engaged. In the meantime, Louden has followed Pamela up to the roof, but stops in his tracks when he hears James and Pamela talking.
Monday morning in Pamela’s office she is humming Hard to Say No to herself as Louden walks in and asks what’s up? She tells Louden that she met someone Friday night and they’ve gone out all weekend and she’s so elated she’s even glad to see Lizzard. He tries to hide his disappointment just as James shows up in the singular plaid jacket and invites Pamela out for coffee. As they leave, Louden sits down at her desk and starts doing some of her paperwork. He hears someone coming and hides away unseen as seconds later James returns and puts some flowers and a note on Chris’s desk, then turns and leaves.
Louden assumes that he meant it for Pamela’s desk and intends to put them there when he sees the note that he cannot help but read. It’s addressed to Chris and it’s an invitation for a liason with James.
End of Act One
Faintly we hear, “Another Day Another Dollar” It builds to a crescendo as spotlights find each person singing until the full ensemble is singing, then blackout.
Chris is at her desk looking at the note and the flowers. She hears Pamela approaching and she puts them under her desk. As Pamela come in, still gushing about the weekend with James, at which point he shows up still in that same plaid jacket and they sing, “Falling In Love”
James makes his excuses and exits as Chris (wondering what to do about the note and flowers) listens to Pamela expound on James. Chris invites Pamela to lunch to talk, but Pamela says no and invites Chris to go for some celebratory shopping. They go shopping and sing “Shopper’s Paradise“.
Later that night at home Pamela has been stood up by James and sings a slow sad version of the bridge from “Just Like Love” She calls Chris and commiserates with her as the bridge from “Falling In Love” plays in the background. Pamela tells Chris that she’d like her to come over tonight as there’s something else she wants to talk about. Chris agrees as she has something she really wants to talk about as well. They say good night and she takes the phone off the hook and goes to bed.
At her home that next night over glasses of wine, Pamela tells Chris of her teenage molestation and of the child that she had to give up. The child was born on the same day as Chris and is the same age. Pamela sings “Daddy’s Eyes” in its entirety. Chris is stunned by the confession, but also somewhat doubtful that Pamela could actually be her mother. “That you could actually be my mother is just too Oscar Wilde for me,” she says. “Do you want to do a DNA test,” Pamela asks? “I want to think about it for a while,” says Chris walks off stage pensively.
Meanwhile outside Pamela’s home, Louden sits with a bouquet of tulips listening to a radio broadcast of the robbery. The description of the actual robber in a singular plaid jacket fits James to a T. Louden freaks and calls the police, who come much faster than in real life.
Inside Pamela’s home, things are beginning to thaw between she and James, when Chris rushes back in with the bouquet and the note and accuses James of being the slime he is. He tries to explain but it’s too late, as just then the police burst in and arrest him for the robbery of the convenience store. Chris and Pamela are still astounded as a beat or two later, Louden comes in still holding the bouquet of tulips.
James is led off as Pamela, godsmacked, exclaims, “It’s too much! Lizzard? It was YOU? All the flowers? From YOU? And were you the phantom picking up my slack at the office as well? (Louden looks chagrined) It WAS you! Okay, we have to talk.”
They go off to a little hill where the stars are shining and the moon is on the rise. Louden explains about his divorce, loss of confidence and mojo as well as his lame behavior while trying to hide his misery and loneliness. Sings “After they chase you those heartaches embrace you, it seems like they never will mend, what can you do when its not up to you in the end?”
It was James’s betrayal that finally gave him the strength to say and do something. “He’s right” Chris calls out, “James actually sent me those flowers and a note suggesting a romantic getaway the day after your weekend with him. I was so stunned I didn’t know what to do.”
Then Pamela overwhelmed by all this revelation, betrayal and confidences opens up to Louden and tells him about her teenage molestation and pregnancy. Sings a reprise of “Daddy’s Eyes” Now it Louden’s turn to be stunned.
She says that Chris and she are moving ahead slowly but that they both believe God didn’t make any mistakes. Louden agrees and they both muse about right and wrong in the world, in their lives and in the unfolding emotion they are both feeling. They finally kiss. Louden sings, “Two Wrongs” and Pamela joins him.