Adrift in Macao

Musical in 2 Acts: Book and Lyrics by Christopher Durang; Music by Peter Melnick

59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street, Manhattan. New York - February 13, 2007 - March 4, 2007


Set in 1952 in Macao, China, ADRIFT IN MACAO is a loving parody of film noir movies. Everyone that comes to Macao is waiting for something, and though none of them know exactly what that is, they hang around to find out. The characters include your film noir standards, like Laureena, the curvacious blonde, who luckily bumps into Rick Shaw, the cynical surf and turf casino owner her first night in town. She ends up getting a job singing in his night club – perhaps for no reason other than the fact that she looks great in a slinky dress. And don’t forget about Mitch, the American who has just been framed for murder by the mysterious villain McGuffin. With songs and quips, puns and farcical shenanigans, this musical parody is bound to please audiences of all ages.


Prologue. Macao. China. Figures dart in and out of shadows; a boat docks; happy passengers; moody man, Mitch, in search of a "Mr. McGuffin"; Lureena, a gorgeous woman in an evening gown sings. She meets Rick Shaw who offers her a job as a nightclub singer which she accepts.

Elsewhere Mitch is In a Grumpy Mood. He meets Tempura, so named because he has been "battered by life." Mitch is looking for a Mr. Rick Shaw, Tempura answers in riddle, and Mitch offers him a "knuckle sandwich,"

Tempura relents and brings Mitch to Rick's nightclub where hey run into Corinna, Rick's quirky paramour and the current nightclub singer. She oozes attraction meeting Mitch. Mitch thinks Rick knows how to find McGuffin, but Corinna and Tempura tell him never to mention the terrible Mister McGuffin.

Later Rick arrives with Lureena. He's on the make and sends Tempura to tell Corinna she is now "the girl who blows on the dice." Corinna is furious that there'- is a new singer in the nightclub. Lureena finds her thrust on-stage and made to sing. She doesn't know the lyrics but Tempura tells her to "make them up!"

Corinna upstages Lureena and sings an old favourite of the customers. Rick then insists Lureena sing as well, and they sing both songs simultaneously. Chaos and a fist fight ensue. Mitch has been watching this from the bar, and is drawn to the beautiful Lureena. It is then that the sparks begin to fly.

The next morning Rick is shouted at by Corinna, and then by Lureena who doesn't want his attentions. Mitch comes in looking for Mr. McGuffin. He reads a short story he wrote about his "back story": he was hired by McGuffin to find Jane, he fell in love with her, they hid away, McGuffin killed Jane and pinned the murder on Mitch. The women love Mitch's covered sensitivity. Rick is '1 irritated, but says he'll try to track down McGuffin. Which leaves Mitch waiting in the bar. Lureena tries to rekindle the spark between them but he seems cooler today. Corinna says she wants a hit of opium, and gets embarrassed at her admission, and says she means... pancakes. They all feel Adrift in Macao. Lureena gets a surprise offer of a singing job at the Ticky Ticky Tock Club in Bangkok. Mitch says "You should take it." She's hurt he's so blasé at not seeing her anymore, but he says he's too burned ever to hook up again.

She decides to quit the job in Macao, and does so by telling everyone when she is on stage singing. When she leaves, the actor who plays Rick brings out sheet music and insists on singing Rick's Song.
Tempura tells Mitch: McGuffin will meet him at 2 a.m. on the docks of Macao. Corinna overhears ominous hints Mitch won't survive this meeting, and she and Lureena decide to warn Mitch. And so, in the fog and with Mr. McGuffin shooting at everyone, there is The Chase.

Mitch and Rick capture Mr. McGuffin and he's...Tempura. Mitch says "But McGuffin was 62" with red hair," and Tempura explainsthat he is, in fact, Irish. Then with a puff of smoke, he's gone.

Mitch can now go home to America (because Tempura/McGuffin admitted framing him); and Lureena, giving up on romance with Mitch, invites Corinna to go off to Bangkok with her.

In the nightclub, Mitch shows up and admits that he misses Lureena. She is thrilled to hear this.

Mitch now runs a nightclub in New York where he and Lureena are now together. Corinna is off drugs due to the "more wholesome environment of America in the fifties" (although she has discovered tranquilisers), and she and Rick plan to get married. An Asian dancer joins the cast - looking a lot like Tempura. But as Mitch says. "Well, even if it is Mr. McGuffin, her legs are good and we need another dancer." Everyone is happy, film noir has disappeared, and the characters lead the audience in a sing-along.

Musical Numbers

  1. Prologue - Orchestra
  2. In A Foreign City - Lureena
  3. Grumpy Mood - Mitch
  4. Tempura's Song - Tempura
  5. Mister McGuffin - Tempura, Corinna, Joe, Daisy
  6. Pretty Moon Over Macao - Lureena
  7. Mambo Malaysian - Corinna, Lureena
  8. Sparks - Mitch, Lureena
  9. Adrift In Macao - Mitch, Lureena, Corinna, Tempura
  10. So Long - Lureena
  11. Rick's Song - Rick
  12. The Chase - Ensemble
  13. I'm Actually Irish - Tempura
  14. Ticky Ticky Tock - Ensemble


4 m, 3 f

Unit set