Rockville 2069 An Epic Rock Musical
It’s the year 2069. Greed, conflict, neglect and excess have exhausted the world.
Wishing to halt this madness, groups of die-hard musicians have come together to celebrate the centenary of the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, again in upstate New York where the original took place. [Overture/Prologue]
A storm is brewing as the various bands arrive for their sound-checks prior to the concert. The MC, Cliff, fusses across the stage. There is great camaraderie as they reminisce about previous gigs and celebrate their philosophy that music can conquer all. [That Summer]
JohnnyReb is either loved or hated. While he has a huge fan base – particularly one fan named Arch who is desperate for JohnnyReb to listen to a riff he has composed – JohnnyReb reacts typically by violently kicking at the instruments on stage. He is captured and taken away kicking, and is prohibited from performing at the concert. Shortly thereafter, a sound technician with a large droopy mustache, Stache, saunters in. He has been asked by a close friend who is CEO of a technology company to hand out a free promotional device to the musicians. The gadget, named the iHalo, is able to accomplish almost any high-tech task ranging from communication to holographs. He sees a hot young rocker, Velvet, and decides that the device would serve as a great introduction and gives it to her.
The concert begins, amidst increasingly turbulent weather and sounds of excitement all around. First up is Black Habit, a rock band, led by Tyler and Banjovida, [Rock On!] followed by Shabahoola, a reggae group led by Ozzimba. [Music Of The Day]
There is great anticipation for the appearance of Velvet and the Velvetones, a driving rock band. Suddenly we hear loud protest rock music coming from JohnnyReb and his crew who have invaded the stage. The audience goes nuts and security scrambles to arrest him. Velvet can’t contain herself and joins in the music with an insane guitar solo. [Once Upon A Time]
Chaos, the cheering, the storm and the music all reach a crescendo, at point a mighty sonic boom erupts and the world as we know it is destroyed. Thereafter there is silence and darkness and the air is thick with death. Mangled bodies lie everywhere at unnatural angles amidst banners, posters, glow sticks and general detritus. Inexplicably, an eerie glowing dome has appeared and pulsates over a wide area. It drones and throbs to a slow pulse of light, but is not quite closed at the top. [All That Unfolds]
Stache rises, dusts himself off and calls out for survivors. In a pile of debris, a familiar beam of light is flashing intensely. It’s Velvet, trapped, but alive with the iHalo flashing, and Stache helps her up. In another pile of debris, JohnnyReb lies entangled with his chief critic, Danielle. JohnnyReb is revived and he and Danielle’s closest friend, Banjovida (who has a crush on her) resuscitate her and she expresses her gratitude and surprise to JohnnyReb for saving her from the falling girder.
One of the older musicians, Papa, (who is Danielle’s father) calms everyone and leads an exodus away from what he calls ground zero. The survivors are terrified and Papa, to lift the group’s spirits, focuses everyone’s attention on the rising sun. [Morning Song Part 1]
Over a hill, they see the Drummers, who are dancing, singing and celebrating their survival. [Morning Song Part 2]
On the advice of the Drummers, the survivors decide to continue eastwards towards the sun and their ancestral continent. They decide to call their new home, Rockville, nestling under a dome created by the shifted atmospheric pressure of the earths change in magnetic orientation. Papa notices a strange, colourful, glowing rock (later to be used as a podium). Professor Starr, Nobel Prize winner and eminent scientist is fascinated by what is occurring. He suggests the need for a Council. Papa is elected as the head. The Rockers remind the travelers that it was the violence of the past that has brought them to this point and how they should take a lesson from it. [Morning Song Part 3]
Papa has called to the first Council meeting. Velvet and Stache are on their way to it. Velvet has mastered the iHalo and has discovered more and more applications on the device. She ascertains that these applications allow her to do various things, like determine the weather on Mars and change one’s outfit (in holographic form) in seconds. When Papa and the Councillors gather in the council chamber, Professor Starr informs them that the protective dome is a force field which has trapped an atmosphere within which humans can survive. [Good Vibrations]
The challenge is that it weakens at full moon. Given that music is their talent and passion, he must build a generator which will amplify and channel the sound waves into the dome. In this way they will ensure their survival. He also startles everyone by mentioning that there is a group of individuals on the outside, the TechnoRemnants, who have been jealously eyeing Rockville. Their leader is Ice, the one who provided the iHalos that Stache was handing out at the Festival. Stache and Ice have ambitions to take over Rockville and Stache uses Velvet to pass information about Rockville to Ice. She records the proceedings of the Council meeting, especially the fact that the force field degenerates at full moon, and passes it onto Ice.
Ice has in the meanwhile managed to ensure survival of his staff and supporters at the launch of the iHalo, not too far from ground zero, but outside the Dome. He powers up their newly constructed habitat, in the shape of a pyramid made of huge ice blocks from the icy wasteland, frozen over by a series geographical anomalies. [Survival Made Us Strong]
He informs those close to him that he has a plan and an ‘inside man’. Glaze is agitated and is desirous of more urgent action.
Various members of the bands have gathered to make final adjustments to the generator and stand ready to charge it. Banjovida, as usual, is starry-eyed around Danielle. JohnnyReb enters and they have their usual altercation. Professor Starr says the generator is working and a song is needed to test it out. [Look About With A Laugh And Shout]
It starts to lift spirits, in which everyone is involved. There is a romantic moment between Danielle and JohnnyReb. [Our Love Grows (Reprise)]
Banjovida sees this and is crushed. Stache approaches him and insinuates that there is something going on between JohnnyReb and Danielle, which upsets him even more. Starr’s generator is successful in generating an additional force field for the dome, created by resonating sound waves of their music. If the music dies they die.
Professor Starr discovers that the TechnoRemnants are increasing their activity. He warns Stache to protect the information, but Stache purposefully allows Cliff to see the data, and, as expected, Cliff in a panic dashes off to inform Papa.Mama and Papa are talking in a relaxed manner, reflecting on all the beauty and peace of Rockville [Live As You Dare (Reprise)] when Cliff bursts in, out of breath with a wild look in his eyes. He is overwhelmed by paranoia. Starr and Stache arrive shortly thereafter. The outcome is that Papa orders Cliff to find three able-bodied islanders to scout the world of the TechnoRemnants so that they can better understand the threat. JohnnyReb volunteers but is turned down by Papa. [Take It Easy (Reprise)]
Stache in the meanwhile has managed to convince Velvet to join him and Ice in their quest to take over Rockville and dominate the only land left on earth that contains breathable air, the new liquid gold. With the deception in place at Rockville, Velvet sends confirmation to Ice. [Time For Change (Techno)]
Situated in his ‘inner sanctum’ the apex of the pyramid, rises from his bed as he hears the beep tone of the message from Velvet. His two lovers, Janice and Freeza, wake up as well and Ice reveals all to them and summons a meeting with all the TechnoRemnants to announce the take-over of Rockville.
Ozzimba, Conga and Tyler, trudge out into uncharted, hostile landscape in search of the great ice pyramids that the TechnoRemnants have made their home. [Taking Back Our Lives (Techno)]
A Large congregation of TechnoRemnants is gathered inside the pyramid at the base of a raised section where the leader, Ice is standing. He is aware that the three scouts are present and lets them know of the spy inside Rockville and his plans for the TechnoRemnants to attack the settlement at full moon. As Ice addresses his followers, one of them challenges him momentarily. The tension is relieved when it is agreed that the enemy are the inhabitants of Rockville and their energies are better spent taking over Rockville, and thus the only habitable place left on Earth. Ice sarcastically asks the three if they would like to join the TechnoRemnants and they beat a hasty retreat. Ice also reveals that Velvet will soon be going “out of fashion”
Back at Rockville, Cliff jumps to the conclusion that the only traitor (the “inside man”) present has to be JohnnyReb. Papa asks Stache to summon JohnnyReb and he says he’ll call him to meet at the generator. Johnny’s biggest fan, Arch, who is still pursuing him relentlessly, hears that Johnny is on his way to the generator and hopes to get him to listen to his riff. While he waits in the shadows, he witnesses Velvet being bludgeoned by a disguised figure (who he recognizes as Stache). As Velvet lies dying, JohnnyReb enters and runs over to her. She tries to tell him of Stache’s betrayal, but dies in his arms before completeing her sentence. As JohnnyReb stands over Velvet’s limp body, Papa, Mama, Cliff, Stache and Banjovida (no longer in disguise) arrive. JohnnyReb is suspected of murder and banished to the Forbidden Island. Strangely enough, Danielle, plead with JohnnyReb to fight for his innocence. He goes willingly [Take It Easy] to the Forbidden Island however. Arch, who had seen the death and knows who is responsible, tries to get everyone to listen to him, but is characteristically ignored.
Danielle attempts to convince her father of JohnnyReb’s innocence, but he dismisses her, thoroughly irritated by her disobedience. Mama senses the dome’s increasing weakness and despairs. [Time for Change – reprise]
Danielle obstinately decides to follow JohnnyReb. She steals a small boat and encounters Arch along the way and they sail together. He tells her everything as they depart, but they are hit by a violent storm that sinks the boat. Fortunately they both survive and encounter JohnnyReb who is mightily surprised that Danielle has come after him. They reveal their love for one another. [Better Than You There is None]
Arch is also finally listened to. He points out that he saw Banjovida and Stache at the generator with Velvet when she died. JohnnyReb and Danielle indicate that the Councillors must be told.
On the main island, the three scouts report back to the Elders that the TechnoRemnants are music lovers, just like the inhabitants of Rockville, but that their techno music induces a trance-like state. They reveal that the shape of the pyramids has ancient mystical powers which keeps them protected in the frigid climate outside the Rockville dome. They also report that the TechnoRemnants are planning to attack. [Full Moon Grinning Down Brightly]
Increasingly it is observed that the dome is becoming unstable and Papa has an epiphany and decides to revert back to a moral stance. Instead of being intimidated, Papa says that he will invite the TechnoRemnants into Rockville to see whether they can help energise the dome with their different music. He creates a contest, a battle of the bands, in which the band which is able to generate the most energy into the dome take Rockville as the prize. He sends a message to the TechnoRemnants inviting them to participate in the competition. Papa is convinced that the people of Rockville have the music and the values of peace and love to win the contest and hopefully convert to the TechnoRemnants to their way of life. The dome, however, becomes more and more unstable as they approach full moon, keeping everyone on a fragile edge. Can music save the day?
At this point, Danielle returns from the Forbidden Island and desperately tries to seek pardon for JohnnyReb. Papa, enraged, has her committed to her room for going against his will. Danielle knows that she is right, and is concerned about the change in her father’s attitude to authority, which is totally against his character. In a song, she testifies her love for her father, though he can’t feel it, and expresses her devotion to JohnnyReb.[I Will Always Follow You]
The TechnoRemnants have accepted the challenge: they will compete in the battle of the bands. [The Battle Of The Bands][Higher/Our Love Grows/Live As You Dare]
Each band is given a chance to energise the dome so that it glows brightly, but each band fails to do this completely. It looks as if the TechnoRemnants could take over. They have been musically underestimated.
Danielle then informs everyone that she knows who murdered Velvet and points to Stache who laughs at her. Danielle cleverly gets Banjovida to blurt out that he was just the look out and didn’t murder Velvet, but that Stache did. He then displays his true allegiance, snarls and crosses to the side of the TechnoRemnants. Danielle pleads with Papa to allow JohnnyReb and his crew to perform as they have developed a new form of music that incorporates all of the styles, rock, reggae, the blues and folk rock. Papa is not inclined to agree because he believes JohnnyReb to be a violent man. [You Need To Listen]
Danielle points out that JohnnyReb is a changed man and that Papa is no better than JohnnyReb used to be, given the way his own ego has grown. Papa realizes his failing and agrees to let JohnnyReb free to perform. In reality, however, it may be the last chance for Rockville to survive as all other options have failed.
JohnnyReb steps up to play. [False Start] He starts promisingly, then stops, puts down his guitar and extends the hand of friendship to the TechnoRemnants. Ice senses victory and acts as if he is friendly while secretly belittling JohnnyReb’s softness. JohnnyReb invites Ice to play with him but he refuses. Banjovida sees this and asks JohnnyReb if he can play with him. JohnnyReb welcomes him and when Banjovida steps up, the podium glows, signifying his change of heart. [The Wind Lay Down Part 1]
The boys play and the dome get stronger, but still do not close at the top. Everyone notices the change in the strength of the dome, but are discouraged when JohnnyReb appears to give up, saying that he does not have the last bit of the song to complete it and therefore complete the closing of the dome. Unexpectedly, Arch steps up and starts playing his riff, which is really the last eight bars of JohnnyReb’s song. Arch has a simple message – ‘work together and we can rise as one’. The different factions agree. [The Wind Lay Down Part 2]
The dome bursts forth with bright splendor and equilibrium is once again restored in the world. All the opponents of Rockville, including the TechnoRemnants, realise that it is music that binds all of humanity and there is wholesale delight and celebration. Our descendants then stare back in time and insist that we safeguard the world for those who will come after. [We Look To You To Save Us True]