Musical Theatre Exercise: "Eight Reasons Why Men Lie"

I have started going through my work from previous semesters' classes in order to prepare for the upcoming school year. In my organizing, I came across a script that I had written for a Creative Processes of Musical Theatre class in 2015. I remember enjoying the project and having fun with the script. We were given a random prompt in class and then assigned to transform it into a musical number. My random prompt was to "give eight good reasons it is OK for men to lie". For the exercise I decided to take a comedic, and eventually romantic, viewpoint on the "eight reasons why men lie". Enjoy!

A CITY OFFICE IN THE 1950S - NIGHT

The audience can hear distant noise from the busy streets below.

ARCHIE sits at his desk, completing some late night paperwork. Suddenly, JOAN throws open the office door and enters the scene furious. She begins to yell at Archie.

JOAN
(Spoken)
You liar! You were with another woman! I saw you talking to her on the street!

Archie stands up from behind his desk.

ARCHIE
That's not true! I talk to plenty of women!

Joan begins to sob.

JOAN
You talk to plenty of women? I knew you were lying to me!

ARCHIE
No! Well, sometimes... That's not fair!

JOAN
Not fair? How is that not fair?! I'm sick of men! Sick of you and sick of them!

Archie walks from behind his desk and towards Joan tenderly.

ARCHIE
Listen, Joan. Men lie for a reason.

JOAN
No reason is good enough for me!

ARCHIE
(Counting on his fingers)
Well, I can name... uh... eight!

Joan stares at Archie in angry disbelief.

ARCHIE
(Sung)
Joanie, dear, I'll tell you the eight lies that men give.

JOAN
Do that and you'll have eight seconds to live!

ARCHIE
Just listen! Here's number one- the reason why I lie is to impress. I want you to always see me at my best!

JOAN
You were with another girl!

ARCHIE
It was my mother, can't you see? You're the only girl who really talks to me!

Joan and Archie begin to shout.

JOAN
(Spoken)
That's a lie!

ARCHIE
No, it's not!

JOAN
Yes, it is!

ARCHIE
No!

JOAN
Yes!

ARCHIE
Yes!

JOAN
Really?

ARCHIE
(Sung)
No. There's reason number two, I lie to agree with you!

Joan shoots Archie a disapproving look.

ARCHIE
There's something else I must confess- Last night, the police made an arrest. I had a few too many at the bar and they put me in their squad car!

Joan starts to cry again.

JOAN
Oh, Archie! Are you alright? Why didn't you come to me last night?

ARCHIE
My little honey bee, that's reason number three. I don't want you to cry. See how there's no harm in a little white lie? I kept you out of harm and covered it up with a bit of charm.

Joan wipes her tears as Archie moves closer to her.

ARCHIE
Now, remember last week? When we were walking on the street? I knew when to turn right, at that one bright stop light. Then, I knew to turn left-

Joan cuts off Archie.

JOAN
(Spoken)
We were lost!

ARCHIE
Not the whole time!

JOAN
It was at least an hour or more!

ARCHIE
(Sung)
That was number four! I know the way, I really do. Next time, I'll prove it to you! Did I ever tell you that I love your casserole?

Archie winks.

ARCHIE
It really is on a roll.

Joan starts to lighten up towards Archie.

JOAN
I really hope it was a treat. After all, it's been sitting out since last week!

Joan glances at her reflection in a mirror.

JOAN
Hey Archie, do I look fat?

Archie looks away from Joan.

ARCHIE
Have you seen the cat?

Joan glares at Archie.

ARCHIE
My love, you look gorgeous in fact! As I remember number seven, I know that I've died and gone to heaven. When I'm with my friends and we have that drink, it gives me plenty of time to think. I say, "I deserve her, I really do!" But we both know that's not true. There's no way that I could ever deserve you!

Joan smiles and grabs Archie's hands.

JOAN
Oh, Archie, that's a lie. Be careful before you put another tear in my eye!

The music stops and Archie stares into Joan's eyes.

ARCHIE
(Spoken)
Do you want to know my reason number eight? Why I know that this is fate?

Joan nods and the music begins again.

ARCHIE
(Sung)
Despite all this, I lie because I love you. And Joanie, my dear, I could never hurt you.

Joan throws her arms around Archie's neck. They silently stand in the office.

STAGE LIGHTING FADES TO BLACK