Music by CHRISTOPHER J. ORTON
Book & Lyrics by ROBERT GOULD & CHRISTOPHER J. ORTON
Full professional, Suitable for amateurs (rights available)
Elephant Juice tells the story of six characters, some of whom find it hard to say I Love You, some say it too late, some say it at the wrong time or to the wrong person, some never say it at all – while some find it easier to whisper – as in the children’s playground game – “elephant juice”.
John has always found it hard to commit himself totally in word and deed to Katy, his girlfriend of 6 years – probably because he has not admitted the reality inside himself. He meets Jason and gradually falls in love with him. John tells Katy he is gay and wants to be with Jason, only to find that Katy has been having an affair with Joe, a married man – mainly because she found it hard to confront John about his apparent reluctance to commit himself emotionally to her. Katy’s rebound shot heads straight for Joe and she tries to give vent to her feelings, to clear the clouds and find the blue. Katy thinks that Joe’s apparent lack of enthusiasm for their relationship is caused by his inability to say what he is truly feeling. The twist is that when he does tell her what he is feeling, he tells her he cannot leave his wife and kids for her, that he wants to just stay friends.
A comic sub plot reveals Maureen, Katy’s mother, recently widowed after a 25 year marriage to a man she despised. She had stayed with him because it was hard to display her lack of love for him and break free. Now, when she attempts her first date at fifty, she finds it hard to communicate effectively with Julian, a younger man she tries to pick up. She sits by her phone for days, depressed, waiting for him to call – while Julian is reluctant to try calling her because he thinks she’s not really interested. Finally, Julian takes a chance and attempts to say (or rather sing!) what he feels.
Meanwhile, Jason appears to be turning more and more moody and shutting John out, until he finally tells John the truth: If I only whisper what I feel inside – then I can hide all that I’m afraid of. Jason has been hiding a secret burden that has prevented him from expressing the love he really feels for John: he is dying from cancer.
At Jason’s funeral, John meets Katy, who still believes – mistakenly – they can “turn back the clock”. John knows better. And he sings about the guilt he feels for the words he has left unspoken with both Jason and Katy. The musical ends with a song in which all the characters look inside themselves and ask are they now ready to whisper Elephant Juice?