Hockey: The Musical! A Synopsis
The following synopsis is based on the second development of the script that went into effect in October 2008 in the Betty Oliphant Theatre remount. The
show is still currently in development - music is being written, scenes shifted and rewritten- there may even be a new character or two! When the final draft is
ready for release a new synopsis will be posted here, but as of now, this is the most recent and up-to-date version...
ACT I - The lights rise on the set of L.A. SPORTSNight. As the show’s fanfare introduces her, Elizabeth Grey, the show’s new anchor, presents the night’s top
story: a look back at the past season for the Minnesota Turtles, winners of last year’s coveted Henley Cup (TO THE UNTRAINED EYE). She explains that she
used to be a beat reporter for The Minnesota Daily Star and was actually in the locker room on the night that the Turtles won their first major victory against their
rival team, the Boston Redcoats.
As she begins to weave their tale, suddenly the Turtles themselves rush the stage, which has transformed into their locker room at the Aquarium Gardens
Arena one year prior to Elizabeth’s broadcast. The team revels in their first win of the season (SHUT HIM DOWN) which culminated with their star player, Pavel
Riccardino, scoring the first hat trick of his career. The Turtles pay a mocking tribute to the fight which ended the game, in which Pavel’s best friend and fellow All-
Star, Oleg Meloski, took down the Redcoat’s center, Sigi Svoboda.
Coach Cox enters with several reporters, including Elizabeth, who interview the team. When the team heads off to the showers, Pavel, Oleg and Elizabeth are
left alone. Oleg heckles Pavel and Elizabeth, who are, in fact, secretly lovers. Pavel and Elizabeth promise to see each other later that night and leave the locker
room in opposite directions. A few members of the team enter and jokingly speculate that Elizabeth has a thing for Pavel, even though the conflict of interest
would destroy her career.
At Marcello’s Carnivale, a gay club on the outskirts of the city, several patrons hang out at the dimly lit bar. Among them is Pavel. Kevin Wieler, a handsome
young man in his twenties, enters and recognizes Pavel as “Paul”, the online friend he has come to meet. Torn between reluctance and desire, Pavel agrees to
go home with Kevin, but not before two of Kevin’s friends at the bar snap a few photographs of the two.
Later that night, after spending most of it with Kevin, Pavel calls Elizabeth. She is furious because he hasn’t taken her calls all night. Pavel does his best to
cover his tracks and Elizabeth agrees to let it go even though she was up worrying all night. After he hangs up, Pavel laments his conflicted feelings as well as
the recent loss of his hockey-playing father (SOMEHOW). He decides it best to bury his desires rather than risk his athletic career and destroy his parents’
dreams for him.
The next day, the Turtles unexpectedly lose what should have been an easy win against the Los Angeles Hipsters. After observing their performance on the ice
as being akin to that of a team of showgirls, Coach Cox forces them to dance, sing and execute a disgraceful musical number (HOCKEY IS A MUSICAL!).
After learning Pavel’s true identity, Kevin shows up at the arena to see him again. Pavel, fearful of someone spotting them together, angrily tells him never to
come back. Kevin, stung to the heart by Pavel’s harsh rejection, decides to take matters into his own hands.
Later that night, Pavel meets up with Elizabeth at a private booth in an upscale Minneapolis restaurant. In the middle of dinner, Bubba Hamilton, the team’s
captain and one of the only people besides Oleg to know about their secret relationship, busts in. He tells them that some pictures have come out in the press
and that Pavel needs to leave immediately. Bubba leads Pavel out the back of the restaurant and leaves Elizabeth alone. Slowly realizing that her hopes of a
storybook romance are melting away, she reflects on the past few months with Pavel (WHAT’S GOING ON?).
Less than a day after they were taken, the photographs of Pavel taken at Marcello’s have become the nation’s hottest scandal. Coach gathers the team to
discuss their options while Oleg talks to Pavel alone elsewhere in the arena. The team’s reactions run from concern to apathy to anger and repulsion. Coach
Cox refuses to let this news stand in the way of the team’s success, but the players’ various feelings speak otherwise.
Elizabeth is quick to find Pavel once she hears the news. She threatens to leave him. Pavel, trying to calm her, buries himself deeper in lies. He tells her that
he didn’t know he was in a gay bar until it was too late. She convinces him to have a press conference to explain himself to the fans and the world.
As the press conference is about to begin, Kevin returns to the arena. He flags down Elizabeth and tells her that he has more information on the unfolding
scandal. He hands her an envelope of photos he took with Pavel at his apartment the night they were together. Though shocked by this revelation, she remains
calm. Elizabeth agrees to set Kevin up with her editor and he leaves. Confronted with the truth she has worked so hard to deny, she finally admits defeat (WHAT’
S GOING ON (REPRISE)).
After the press conference, Elizabeth confronts Pavel and tells him they are through. She also tells him that she is going to expose him further. In anger, Pavel
threatens to reveal their secret relationship and take her down with him. She catches him by saying that no one would believe him and reminds him that there is
no material evidence to prove it. Still caring for her, Pavel pleads with her to stay. She simply tells him, “I’m done.”
ACT II – The hockey world has descended on Palm Beach, Florida, for the 2010 UHL All-Star Game. Pavel, Oleg and now All-Star teammate Sigi Svoboda
appear on the ice. In the last quarter, Sigi swoops in and steals the puck from Pavel, throwing Oleg into a rage. Oleg takes Sigi down and begins pummeling him
Reporters, including Elizabeth, recount the All-Star fight during which Oleg broke Sigi’s nose and earned a twenty-game suspension. Prompted by Elizabeth,
they also question Oleg and Pavel’s friendship- wondering exactly “how close” the two are.
When the two return to Minneapolis their teammates welcome them with insults and mockery. Even their closest allies barely make an attempt to visibly support
either one of them. Pavel decides it’s time to admit his lies and officially comes out to the team. He also apologizes for bringing bad press to the team, inciting
an off-color comment from a teammate. Oleg immediately explodes, telling off every member of the team- including Pavel.
Meanwhile, the media continues to spin and speculate. Members of an evangelical congregation from Kansas have shown up to protest outside the arena, the
team’s owners are increasing their pressure on Coach Cox, and the playoffs are quickly approaching. Elizabeth, gaining momentum from her exclusive expose
on Pavel, is hired as a roving reporter for WXL-TV News. Oleg refuses to see or speak to Pavel.
The next day, as the team continues to debate their situation with Pavel, their resentment and disgust lead them to completely trash their star player.
Unbeknownst to them, he is listening outside the locker room door. Pavel walks in and tells them that he is sick of lying and he is through trying to pander to
them and the fans (I’M NOT DOING THAT). As he speaks, his words not only touch his teammates, but spark an epiphany within himself. Physically and
emotionally exhausted, Pavel leaves the locker room. Moved by Pavel’s words, some of the team formulate a plan to sort things out…
That night, Pavel arrives at Coach Cox’s house. Pavel begs that he be traded, thinking that is the only way to save the Turtles. Coach Cox refuses, telling him
to remember his father’s advice of “just be in the game.” Pavel erupts and accuses Cox of trying to be his therapist instead of his coach.
Meanwhile, the most of the Minnesota Turtles arrive at Marcello’s Carnivale. They stay just long enough to take a few photos with the bar’s colorful array of
patrons before being kicked out by the owner.
Later that night, Pavel barges in to Kevin’s apartment. Kevin is shocked to see him and Pavel berates him for his actions. Kevin explains his side of the story
and asks why Pavel is so ashamed of who he is. Pavel doesn’t quite know the answer.
Early the next morning, as Pavel sleeps in his apartment, Elizabeth lets herself in. At first, Pavel is furious. He demands that she leave, but as she is about to
go, he stops her. She tells him she is leaving for Los Angeles to take an anchor job. She apologizes for what she has done to him but also tells him how much
he has hurt her. After a tearful farewell, Pavel and Elizabeth forgive each other. Elizabeth reminds Pavel that his father will always be proud of him (SOMEHOW
Back on the ice, after a lucky win against the Maryland Mariners, the Turtles make it to the playoffs. They find themselves once again pitted off against the
Boston Redcoats. Before the game, Coach Cox announces that a player is being traded: Oleg Meloski. Pavel explodes.
The coach and team leave the two alone in the locker room. Oleg tells Pavel that he has to be traded. After the All-Star Game, he is afraid he will try to kill
anyone who tries to hurt Pavel. Oleg admits that he has known Pavel’s secret since childhood and only wishes Pavel could have been open about it with his best
friend. Pavel apologizes for all the grief he has caused and convinces Oleg to stay.
When the two embrace, the team bursts in crying, cheering and guffawing. It seems that things are back to normal. Almost. Shawn Knighty, the team’s
youngest player, presents Pavel with a copy of that day’s Minnesota Daily Star. The front page is Elizabeth Grey’s last story for the paper: an exposé of the
Turtle’s visit to Marcello’s, showing their full support of Pavel. Pavel’s teammates finally agree to accept him for who he is- not gay, straight or in between, but a
Turtle (YOU’RE A TURTLE). A dreamlike skating sequence ensues, after which a befuddled Coach Cox can only enter to say, “What the hell was that?”
Renewed in their friendships, their brotherhood, and their drive to win, the Turtles make their way out to the arena, determined to bring home the Henley Cup
(SHUT HIM DOWN/UNTRAINED EYE (REPRISE)).
Elizabeth appears once again behind the desk of L.A. SPORTSNight. After recounting the Turtle’s unlikely tale, she recalls a time when she actually met Pavel
Riccardino’s father, “the late, great Antonio Riccardino”. Elizabeth tells her viewers his life philosophy was a lot like his outlook on hockey; “Never stay down
once you’ve been checked. Keep your head up, your feet moving and your stick on the ice.” Secretly knowing full-well her unsung role in this incredible story,
she looks into the camera, smiles, and signs off. The studio lights fade away as the A.D. confirms, “And we’re out.”
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