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CLOSER TO HEAVEN

Playbill

Book by Jonathan Harvey: Music & lyrics by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe (Pet Shop Boys)

Arts Theatre, London - 31 May, 2001 - 13 October, 2001

Synopsis

The Night of your life… London's club-land. Suddenly what was wrong seems right…

Dave, young, sexy and fresh from Ireland, falls for beautiful, ambitious Shell and streetwise drug dealer Mile End Lee. Billie Tricks, seventies rock icon and now hostess of a glitzy London nightclub, is there when they need to turn to "mother". Meanwhile the outrageous Bob Saunders, pop manager extraordinaire, has his own plans for Dave. As fame and fortune beckon, Dave quickly learns that things aren't always as straightforward as then seem

The story is narrated by retired rock icon and actress Billie Trix, who otherwise has a fairly small part in the story. The opening number, My Night, is sung by Billie and the rest of the cast, and is used to introduce the characters.

Story

Shell Christian is going to see her estranged father, Vic Christian  for the first time in years. Vic, who is gay, left Shell and her mother during her childhood, and now runs a successful gay club in London. Meanwhile, Straight Dave, who has just arrived from Ireland, is working as a bartender at Vic's club, although his ambition is to be a dancer at the club. After seeing and speaking to her father, Shell meets Dave, and they immediately fall in love.

Record producer Bob Saunders is a friend of Billie Trix and a regular at Vic's club. He sees Dave dancing and decides he wants to sign him for a boy band he is forming. He makes an offer to Dave, who has no interest in signing; however, Saunders continues to pressure Dave into working for him.

Dave meets and falls in love with drug dealer, Mile End Lee, who deals at Vic's club. Shell is devastated when she discovers that Dave is gay, although part of her has suspected it all along. Meanwhile, Vic discovers Lee dealing drugs in his club and confiscates the drugs. Lee is worried he will be killed for losing the drugs.

At this point, everyone gets high on ketamine - Shell is still upset about Dave, Lee is worried about being killed, Dave is frustrated that Lee has withdrawn from him, and Billie, a habitual user, needs no excuse. Unfortunately, Lee has a drug overdose and dies. At Lee's funeral, Dave sings a song, For All of Us.

A few months later, Dave is apparently back on the road to success and sings "Positive Role Model" to end the show on a high.

Musical Numbers:

  1. My Night - Billie Trix & Cast
  2. Closer to Heaven - Shell & Vic
  3. Something Special - Straight Dave
  4. Positive Role Model (instrumental)
  5. Closer to Heaven - Shell & Dave
  6. In Denial - Vic & Shell
  7. Call Me Old Fashioned - Bob Saunders
  8. Nine Out of Ten - Shell & Straight Dave
  9. It's just my little tribute to Caligula, darling! - Billie Trix
  10. Hedonism (instrumental)
  11. Friendly Fire - Billie Trix
  12. In Denial - Straight Dave & Shell
  13. Something' Special (reprise) - Straight Dave
  14. Shameless - Vile Celebrities
  15. Vampires - Vic
  16. Closer to Heaven - Straight Dave & Mile End Lee
  17. Out of my System - Shell with Billie Trix, Flynn & Trannies
  18. K-Hole (instrumental) - Billie Trix
  19. For All of Us - Straight Dave
  20. Closer to Heaven - Straight Dave
  21. Positive Role Model - Straight Dave
  22. My Night - The Cast

Cast

Discography:

Original Cast Recording - Mercury 5045162.