Shows R

music, there's no difference between the music and the words. I think you can make songs of how people talk. Where there is melody, like the Salsa or Latin of "Where Do People Go," the choice of style is directly related to what the words mean. This is the music that kids disco dance to today. But so do older people who learned the mambo and cha-cha. It's a universal kind of music that connects all generations, and with it we state the premise of the show — running away encompasses everything: "From theatre groups to therapy to jogging to long walks and long talks and arguments and reconciliations. It's all the same ... Runaways is not a documentary about hard-core street runaways. They're symbols for things that everybody does. "Every Now And Then" is full of sadness we found at the runaway houses we visited, the regret they felt about having had to leave home. The music I chose is what moves me most personally. It's Brazilian, with a very slow samba beat It's the saddest music there is, without being sentimental. The blues in "Minnesota Strip" is sung by an older girl, a black woman who has been toughened, and she's commenting on the dangers of the street. Then a thirteen-year-old sings "Song Of A Child Prostitute." It's a monotone because this girl is dulled. A lot of pimps on the streets of New York take these runaway children and offer them drugs so they don't know what to think. They give them money, employment, nice clothes, and that creates an illusion of security. Then they intimidate them further by beating them up if they don't co-operate. It's much the same way they are treated by abusive parents. So they're used to it, and they feel like they are home. The next song is a kind of mock production number ("Find Me A Home"). It's crazy music — country-western; but since I have trouble writing something that's just regular, I put in some calypso and even a little oompah marching band. "The Undiscovered Son" also connects with the theme of heroes and famous people. Kids love to fantasise, so in one of the workshops I said, "Pretend you're the son or daughter of someone very famous and tell me about your life with that person." "The Undiscovered Son" is a chant for one of their rituals. And it's about inner dreams, which are always chants to me. "No Lullabies for Luis," which is based on Latin music and samba, is a dance, a life-giving ritual to keep a junkie away, to breathe life into him. "We Are Not Strangers" is a kind of hobo song, done to a calypso or reggae beat. It's a hymn for wanderers, a coming together of people who've been through hard times. "The Basketball Song," which is sort of reggae, sort of blues, is a celebration, almost religious, a love song between a boy and his basketball. When we did interviews around the city, I would ask the more troubled kids, "What do you do in your spare time?" Most of the answers were things like smoke reefer or beat each other up. The only constructive thing they ever said was "play basketball." That was constant and common. "Let Me Be A Kid Again" is about children's rights and the expectations that parents and teachers put on kids which can smother a child. But it isn't just a kid's liberation song. As we get older, we apologise for play, for sport, for joy, and deprive ourselves of just experiencing life. In the background they're singing "Ring Around The Rosy" and "The Hokey Pokey." One. of the musical themes in the show is the juxtaposition of childhood songs with popular music. In the runaway houses we visited, sixteen-year-olds wanted to be eleven; eleven-year-olds wanted to be eight — just so they could go home again. The "Revenge Song" is old-time,. ragtime striptease music for a spoof about everyone's fantasies about getting back at their parents. "Enterprise" takes the spoken word and sets it to rhythm. One of my favourite things in the world is to take mountains of words and fit them into measures. There's gorgeous music in the spoken voice that people never recognise as music. "Lullaby From Baby To Baby" is the "theme song" of Runaways, and it's done in a very popular disco style to say that running away is a universal experience. Mothers can be runaways. Fathers can be runaways. We're not shutting anyone out. "Sometimes" has a very melodic, popular and loving sound. We don't want to represent just hardcore runaways. There are kids who live in mansions, or even a nice duplex, whose parents can buy them a nice jacket or a new dress but never give them a kiss. And that deprivation is as painful as not having material goods. I don't know the least thing about Punk, but "Where Are Those People Who Did Hair" is a Punk Song.