The Regrettable Comedy and Worthless drama


Les Not-Quite-So Miserables


The Hitchhiker's Guide to Les Mis

Act I, Fantine

Scene 1 [Colorado, 1997. A small town street. Onstage is The Bishop, puttering in his garden. Enter Jean ValBeeblebrox, running]

TB Slow down! Hey! What's the rush?

JVB They're after me! The police are hot on my trail!

TB Why? What did you do?

JVB I was smoking in a non-smoking area!

TB What?! (crosses himself) May God have mercy on your soul! Quickly, my son, hide behind this cottonwood.

[JVB hides. Enter Inspector McMillian]

TB Hello, officer. Fine day, isn't it, ma'am?

McM Shut up. Where is he?

TB Ma'am?

McM ValBeeblebrox. That dog. He was just released after serving his time for spitting in public, then he goes and starts smoking. Some creeps never learn.

TB How long was he in prison, ma'am?

McM Ten years.

TB They let him off light, then?

McM Yes. Are you sure you haven't seen him?

TB As sure as I was before.

McM Huh. Well, farewell, citizen.

TB Ma'am.

[McM exits]

TB You can come out now, sir.

[JVB comes out]

JVB Thank you! I would have been executed for a second offense. [Takes out pack of cigarettes] Good-bye, good sir!

[Enter McM]

McM Aha! I knew you were here! Hand over those cigarettes and come quietly with me!

JVB No! Not again!

TB Ma'am, those are my cigarettes. [Takes cigs from JVB] He was holding them for me.

McM Oh. Um... you weren't planning on smoking them, were you?

TB No, ma'am. I like the feel in my fingers and on my lips. [places one to mouth] See?

McM [glares at TB and then JVB] Alright! Fine!

[Exit McM, stalking]

JVB Thanks, man! You saved me again! [Holds out his hand]

TB No problem. [looks at JVB's hand] What? Maybe I do like to hold them in my mouth.

[Exit TB]

JVB [starts after TB, stops] Ah, he did save me.

[Enter Ford Prefect with Arthur Dent]


FP Jean! I thought they'd locked you up for good!

JVB Not yet. I need to get out of here, though. The old lady's looking for me.

FP Really -- well, there's a town a few miles over that could use a mayor -- their last one disappeared suddenly, making a convenient opening for the plot, so if you want, you could fill in for her...

JVB Her?

FP Yeah, Madeleine Jenkins. She was quite a woman.

AD Ford, who is this man?

FP Nevermind, Arthur. So, you want the job?

JVB Uh, sure. Where is it?

FP About twenty miles east of here.

JVB That's more than a few. What's its name?

FP Broomfield-sur-mer.

JVB Sur-mer? There's no ocean for thousands of miles!

FP There aren't any fields of brooms, either.

JVB Good point. Thanks, Ford!

FP Sure thing. Hey, you know where this guy can stay for a while? They demolished his cardboard box and-

AD House. It's my house.

FP Yeah. Whatever. And he needs a place to stay.

JVB They guy who lives here's pretty nice. Maybe you should ask him.

FP Thanks.

JVB Only -- don't give him your cigarettes.

FP Okay. See ya.

JVB Bye.

[End Scene 1]

Scene 2 [Denver, a sidewalk café. Fantine, Anne, Josie, Judi, Donald, Mike, Bob and Fred are onstage, sitting around a large table.]

Fan So, what about the president?

Anne Oh, my God! He is so ugly!

Josie I know. And have you seen his wife?

Judie Fashion alert! [she giggles]

Fan No, what about the drilling in Alaska?

Don Why would you worry about that, sweetie?

Mike Yeah, you should worry about your hair.

[The boys laugh. Fantine flushes]

Don Hey, ladies, wait here, while we go get you something.

Josie Ooh! What is it?

Anne I bet it's jewelry!

Judie Or a dress!

Fan [hopefully] Concert tickets?

Anne Yeah! The Beastie Boys! [Fan sighs]

Don [laughing] Just wait and see, ladies!

[Exit Boys]

Anne I can't wait! [car tires screech]

Josie Maybe it's a new car

Fan [sighs] They're not coming back.

All but Fan What?

Anne Sure they are!

Judie They love us!

Fan [Eyes downcast] That's what I thought.

[Exit Fan. End Scene 2]

Scene 3 [Fantine's Apartment. Onstage is Random, Fantine's daughter. NOTE: Random can be a doll in a crib at this point. Enter Fantine]

Fan Hi, baby. How's my kiddo? [she picks up Random] You're a good girl, yes. You're your [Fan begins to cry] mother's daughter. Not your father's, no. [She puts Random down] I was so stupid. He was so handsome, so dashing. I'd never had a boyfriend before. Everything was perfect. He'd bring me flowers, he even remembered my birthday. I should have known it was too good to be true. I invited him up to my apartment. I thought we were going to marry someday. That was last June. March was when Random was born. My little baby. What am I going to do with you? I don't have any money to send you to daycare, and who's going to hire a girl with no skills? Maybe I could intern at the White House. No, no. How would I get there? Oh, what am I going to do? My rent's three months due and I'm broke.

[a knock at the door]

Oh no! That's my landlord! He'll kill me if I don't pay! [Wrings hands] Oh! [picks up Random's carriage (w/Random)] Come on, baby!

[Exit Fantine through window. End scene 3.]

Scene 4 [A trailer park. Suzanne Thénardier and daughters, Elizabeth and Alice, are onstage. Suzanne is hanging out the laundry while the girls play on a rusty swing set. Enter Fantine, with Random. She sees the girls happily playing, and is touched. She approaches Suzanne]

Fan Ma'am, are these your children?

ST [curtly] Yes.

Fan They're very happy-looking girls, very pretty.

ST [softening] Thank you.

Fan I have a little girl myself, Random. [She shows Random to ST]

ST Well, isn't she darling!

Fan Thank you, ma'am. (beat) I was wondering...

ST Yes?

Fan Since your girls look so happy, and I can't take care of mine...

ST You want to leave her with me.

Fan Yes.

ST [eyes narrowing] Always the same with you tramps, isn't it? You get knocked up and you expect society to take care of your kids. No way.

Fan But, if I have to stay home, I can't work! We'll starve!

ST Nothin' doin'. Unless...

Fan Unless what?

ST She'll need food, and clothing.

Fan Oh, I'll gladly send what I can...

ST No. Five hundred dollars a month. No less.

Fan That's outrageous! Where will I get all that money?

ST Well, if you're not interested...

Fan [sighs] Fine. Five hundred a month.

ST And don't be late. Come, kids.

[Exit ST and girls into trailer. Fantine kneels to talk to Random]

Fan I guess this is goodbye, Random. Don't worry, these are good people. It'll only be for a little while, then I'll come and get you. I promise. [she is crying] It won't be easy, but we'll make it. I'll be back, kiddo. [she knocks on the trailer door. ST answers, and Fantine gives some money and Random to her. Exit ST, with Random.] [Sniffling] Bye, baby.

[Exit Fantine. Enter ST and Robert Thénardier, with Random.]

RT You fool! We can't afford another brat! I owe Joey a hundred and fifty dollars, and he's the guy with the gun, if you know what I'm sayin'.

ST Relax. She gave us two hundred to start, and I talked the whore into five hundred a month.

RT Huh. Not bad, for a beginner. Fine, we'll keep the brat. But next time let me do the talking!

ST Hmph.

[Exit ST and RT. End Scene 4]

Scene 5 [Broomfield-sur-mer. JVB is onstage, dressed in fine clothing. He has a beard and is talking to a townsperson. Enter Fantine and Arthur, from opposite sides. Fantine stops him.]

Fan Sir, do you know where I can get a job? I'm willing to work for anyone.

AD A factory position just opened. [eyes her. She reacts by drawing herself up coldly] Yes, you'd do just fine.

Fan Where? When do I start?

AD Follow me. You'll start now.

[Exit Fan and AD. JVB ends his conversation and the townsperson leaves as Ford enters]

FP Well, Mayor Madeleine, how do you like your job?

JVB Don't call me that! Geez, Ford!

FP Alright, alright.

JVB Did you see that new girl?

FP The one who went off with Arthur?

JVB Yeah. Find out who she is.

FP Oh [clicks his cheeks] I gotcha.

[Exit FP]

JVB Idiot.

[Enter AD]

AD You shouldn't talk about your friends that way.

JVB (muttering) Monkeyman.

AD Birdbrain.

JVB What did you do with that girl?

AD I told her this city didn't need any single mothers.

JVB What is wrong with you? This city was founded with the intent of making sure single mothers get the support they need!

AD (muttering) Yeah, like horny men.

JVB What was that? Nevermind, where did she go?

AD She was headed toward the river.

JVB You nitwit! Call the ambulance, get someone out there!

AD Yessir.

[Exit AD]

JVB I hope she's still alright.

[Exit JVB. End Scene 5]

Scene 6 [the river. Fantine is standing on a large rock, about to jump in. Enter JVB]

JVB Wait! Don't jump!

Fan Why shouldn't I? I've got nothing to live for, no one will hire me, not even the stupid factory. I've given away my girl, and I'm a useless old hag!

JVB You're hardly an old hag!

Fan You don't get it, do you? Goodbye, cruel world!

JVB Don't jump! I'll hire you, I'm rich! You could be my maid! You can bring your girl, too...

Fan Really?!

JVB Yes, if you want, I've even got a French maid outfit that-

Fan No! I mean, I can really bring my girl? [she starts climbing down]

JVB Yes. You both will have whatever you need.

Fan Like nice clothes?

JVB The nicest.

Fan And good food?

JVB McDonald's every night.

Fan And a big screen TV?

JVB Um... [she hugs him]

Fan Oh, thank you, sir!

[Enter Inspector McM]

McM I got a 911... You!

JVB You!

McM Freeze ValBeeblebrox! You're under arrest!

Fan What?! Why? This man is so kind, so sweet, he-

McM He was smoking in a public area.

Fan Oh my god! [she dies]

McM Alright, sir, come with me.

JVB But, shouldn't we, um...

McM Do you want me to read you your rights in front of a dead body?

JVB Um, no.

McM Follow me. [while exiting] Jean ValBeeblebrox, you are under arrest for smoking in a... [exit McM]

JVB I'll take care of your kid, young lady.

[Exit JVB. End Scene 6. End Act 1]