Sc. 2 – Velocity of Escape

 

Michael Slattery as Lew Zellman and Karen Vuong as Susan Tanaka

Listen: The Velocity of Escape

DUET- Arroyo Seco, 1939
Lew + Susan

LEW:
This is the beginning of everything.
Here, in the Arroyo, they will build the first parkway.
Six-glass smooth miles to downtown.

SUSAN:
It’s late.  We shouldn’t be here together.

LEW:
Six-glass smooth miles to downtown.

SUSAN:
My father knows the library’s closed

LEW:
This is the beginning of everything.
Tonight, in the Arroyo, we will test a real rocket.
Sixty-two miles to the edge of space.

SUSAN:
The curfew, I can’t be here with you…

LEW:
Sixty-two miles to the edge of space.
Imagine, imagine, imagine a rocket
That travels so fast
Breaks gravity’s prison with one awesome blast.

SUSAN:
I just want to break out of Boyle Heights.

LEW:
Envision, envision, envision no traffic,
No jams in the street.
We’ll sail down a river of steel and concrete.

SUSAN:
I want to, I want to, I want to imagine
A future so rich.
But there is no parkway and this is a ditch.

LEW:
Remember the third law of motion?

SUSAN:
Not really.

LEW:
For every action a reaction
That is opposite but the same
A mere Newtonian abstraction
‘Til lighting, exciting, igniting when fuel meets the flame

SUSAN:
Could I envision abstractions?
Could I envision the flame?

LEW:
This is the beginning of everything…

SUSAN:
You are too close to the sun
You’ll tumble like lcarus
Tumble and end up in the sea

LEW:
To soar, to soar, to soar
you must risk everything.

Susan:
To soar, to soar, to soar
Could I risk everything?
The uncertainty…

LEW:
The uncertainty?
The uncertainty principle states:
Reality is not objective
The observer changes the observed
To change your world,
change your perspective.
Toss out inhibition, embrace your ambition, you’ll soar like a bird

Susan:
Observers can’t change the laws that keep us apart.

LEW:
Am I where you’d go if you’d follow your heart?

Both:
Am I where you’d go if you’d follow your heart?

Susan:
I’d follow you anywhere.

LEW:
I’d follow you anywhere.

Susan:
What’s the speed we need to make our escape?

LEW:
Thirty four times the speed of sound—
Breaks gravity’s prison

SUSAN:
If we can travel fast enough
Hate can’t find us

LEW:
Fear can’t find us.

SUSAN:
We’ll watch the earthrise
From our porch on the moon

LEW:
Waltz weightless till sunrise
Then sleep until noon.

SUSAN:
Our troubles will vanish

BOTH:
We’ll watch them fly by
Just a pale blue dot in
The vast lunar sky

LEW:
Imagine a rocket
That travels so fast
Breaks gravity’s prison with one awesome blast

SUSAN:
I want to imagine
A vision so wide.

SUSAN AND LEW:
I would dare to soar with you by my side.

SUSAN:
With you by my side.

LEW:
We’ll harness the power,
the power it takes.
To reach the velocity of escape

BOTH:
We’ll harness the power, the power it takes.
To reach the velocity of escape

SUSAN:
We’ll watch the earthrise
From our porch on the moon
Waltz weightless ‘til sunrise
Then sleep until noon
LEW:
For every action a reaction
That is opposite but the same.
A mere Newtonian abstraction
‘Til quaking, ground-breaking when fuel meets the flame.

BOTH:
Just thirty four times the speed of sound—
Breaks gravity’s prison
To reach the velocity of escape.

NEXT:

Sc. 3) RHYTHM AND NEWS

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