Shows F

alone and lost, asks himself, "If they put Algernon back in the big cage with the other mice, what would happen to him?" Suddenly, he recalls himself as a child observing a fearful argument between his parents over his mother's refusal to accept Little Charlie as he is. He remembers his mother's lullaby. ("Dream, Safe With Me") Finally, Alice has agreed to go out with Charlie. Returning from a movie, he is exhilarated but nervous, talkative but unable to express what he really wants to say. At last Alice asks him, "Is something wrong, Charlie?" ("I Can't Tell You") Alice begs Charlie not to put their relationship on a personal level. He's changing too fast. "Every week you're a different person," she says. "When you mature intellectually, 1 may not even be able to communicate with you. When you mature emotionally, you may not feel about me the way you think you feel now. I've got to consider myself, too, Charlie." Impulsively, he kisses her and she feels her objections begin to melt away. "Do you want me to go or stay?" Charlie asks. "I want you to stay, Charlie," Alice replies. ("Now") Charlie tells Dr. Strauss and Dr. Nemur that he and Alice have taken an apartment together. The Doctors object strongly, demanding that he remain at the Clinic. "The experiment is not over. Charlie and Algernon must be kept in a controlled environment." They intend presenting Charlie and Algernon to a conference of the most important scientists and neuro-surgeons in America. "Both of us?" Charlie asks. "Both of you," the Doctors reply. "What is important to Charlie and Algernon is this experiment!" Alone, Charlie removes Algernon from his cage. He snaps his fingers and is caught in a spotlight. He snaps his fingers again and a spotlight hits Algernon turning the darkened lab into a vaudeville stage for Charlie and the mouse. ("Charlie and Algernon") On the platform at the conference, the mouse's behaviour suddenly becomes erratic; he refuses to run the maze, he bites the Doctor who is handling him. Charlie, at the height of his genius, realizes there may be a flaw in the Doctor's technique; there is a possibility of his own regression. The Doctors deny it, bring the conference to a close. There is one last question from the floor. "Mr. Gordon, now that you possibly face the same regression as the mouse, how do you feel?" Charlie answers, "Frightened." ("The Maze") Charlie begs Doctor Strauss to be permitted to use the intelligence he has been given to work on the project. Later, he vows to Alice that he will find the Doctor's mistake and correct it. I won't go back, Alice," he tells her. "I won't let the old Charlie take it all away . . . my mind . . . my body . . . you." "What if you fail?" she asks. "Then 1 have had this much. I have seen and done and lived more than most men . . . and I have known what it is to be in love. I don't regret the experiment. And there is still time." "How much time?" Alice asks. "Nobody knows how much time they have, Alice. There are no guarantees." ("Whatever Time There Is") In the midst of Charlie's feverish work on the project, Algernon dies. Charlie buries him. He has a sudden, frightening regression, he talks and acts for a moment like the old, retarded Charlie. But he is determined to finish his work. "Don't you smile at me, Charlie!" he yells at some private vision of his old self. "I know you want in . . . but there's only one brain and there's only one body and they're mine!" ("Charlie") Charlie, completing his work discovers the flaw in the Doctor's theory and how, in time, it can be corrected. It is, however, too late for him. His mental powers decrease rapidly and, not wanting Alice to witness his descent, he tells her to leave. "You promised to go when I asked you. Please go," Before she leaves he tries, with his failing ability, to describe his feelings for her. (I Really Loved You") THE CAST ALICE KINNIAN DR. STRAUSS DR. NEMUR CHARLIE GORDON LITTLE CHARLIE CHARLIE'S MOTHER CHARLIE'S FATHER MRS. DONNER GINA FRANK NURSES