Part of the SHORT MUSICALS NOW COLLECTION
Pellets, Cherries, and Lies
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Erik Przytulski
In this heart-wrenching tale of addiction, a legendary video game golden boy must struggle to keep his family together while dealing with his late night binges. With the help of his wife, Ms. Pac-Man and his son, Junior, can Pac-Man free himself of his disease, or will he succumb to the seductions of Sue and her fellow ghosts?
In the Pac Family House in Mazeland, Ms. Pac Man paces in the living room of her house, worried about her husband, Pac Man’s whereabouts at such a late hour “PROLOGUE”. When he tries to sneak in, she confronts him and learns he’s been out in the maze eating pellets again. Ms. Pac Man pleads with him to stop and get help with his addiction. Pac Man is appalled at such an accusation and attempts to convince his wife that he is “IN CONTROL”. He pulls a power pellet out from his pocket to prove he can resist eating, but realizes he does have a problem when he nearly gives in to his urges. Ms. Pac Man informs her husband that they have another problem. She shows Pac Man a box filled with power pellets that she found hidden in their son’s room. Pac Man calls his son, Junior Pac Man, and asks where he learned to eat such things. Junior tries to deny it, but after his father presses him for an answer, he finally breaks down and admits that he learned in watching him. Junior expresses how he just wants to be cool and popular like his father, but even he is realizing that his dad has a problem and is a loser “LIKE YOU”. This revelation is too much for Pac Man to handle and runs out of the room. Junior is soon comforted by his mother how confesses to a secret of her own: That she, too, once had a pellet addiction. But after years of nearly falling into the same habits as Pac Man, she found her reason to kick her habit with the birth of her son “OUT OF THE GAME”. Later, as Pac Man is flushing power pellets down their toilet, Sue the Ghost appears along with her cohorts, Inky, Blinky, and Pinky. She calls out to Pac Man, trying to seduce him back into the maze and indulge in his pellet addiction “TASTE”. In the “FINALE”, Ms. Pac Man and Junior plead to Pac Man not to go back into the maze. Sue entices Pac Man by telling him this next board has a Kiwi. After his family begs him to stay, Pac Man refuses, promising that he’s going out into the maze just one last time. Ms. Pac Man and Junior hold each other close as Pac Man disappears into the maze with Sue and the Ghosts.
MS. PAC MAN: Female, Soprano – Caring wife and mother with a past.
PAC MAN: Male, Baritone – Strung-out pellet addict in denial.
JUNIOR PAC MAN: Male, Tenor – Emo kid with a secret.
SUE THE GHOST: Female, Alto/Mezzo – Ghostly seductress of Pac Man.
INKY, BLINKY, and PINKY: Female, Alto/Mezzo/Soprano – A trio of ghosts and Sue’s back-up singers.
OFF-STAGE VOICES and MARIO, Q-BERT, TAPPER, & FROGGER
Note: INKY, BLINKY, and PINKY are optional cast members and can be omitted if necessary. Actors playing SUE THE GHOST, INKY, BLINKY, and PINKY can double the roles of OFF-STAGE VOICES, MARIO, Q-BERT, TAPPER, and FROGGER.
Theatre Now's SOUND BITES 2014 - 10-Minute Musical Festival
Venue: The 47th Street Theater, Manhattan, NYC
Date: December 8th, 2014
WEST COAST PREMIERE
Production: Strip Show: One Act Stories... Stripped Down
Company: After Hours Theatre Company
Venue: The Hudson Theatres, Los Angeles, CA
Date: March 1-2, 2019
ERIK PRZYTULSKI is a composer, writer, and producer whose works include: A Song for Christmas, Thumbelina, and Christmas In Neverland. His show, Princesses, was presented at the 2012 ASCAP/Dreamworks Musical Theatre Workshop hosted by Stephen Schwartz. Pellets, Cherries, and Lies: The Pac Man Story marked his Off-Broadway debut and was soon followed by the NYC premiere of the award-winning Alien Vs. Musical in early 2019. Upcoming projects include Marian – A New Musical, an updated adaptation of the Robin Hood legend, and BugBandKids, a new educational music series premiering in 2020. (www.pretzylmusic.com) (@pretzylmusic)