Just You and Me

Just You and Me opens with Tom Mc Millan and Rick Ellis, a folk singing duo, on a bus from Indiana to Boston circa 1965. Tom says he’s going in order to improve his craft as a musician while Rick’s purpose is to find “fame and fortune.” In Boston they attend an open mic night at Grendel’s Coffee House. They sit waiting as a young heavy-set woman named Wendy Rosenberg sings Collage. Tom and Rick follow and perform Boston. Soon after, Wendy asks if she could join them and perform as a trio. Though Tom adamantly opposes the idea, Rick persuades Tom to give it a try.

The following day, Rick enters Wendy’s apartment where they write Just You and Me which the three perform the following week at Grendel’s. In the audience is Jeff Kaye who has a radio show each Sunday night called Hootenanny. He invites the three to perform Just You and Me on his show. The song becomes a major hit propelling them, now calling themselves Indiana, to national prominence. Julian Goodman, president of NBC television meets with his staff to discuss the network’s dismal Tuesday night ratings. One of his assistants, Leslie Stiles, suggests giving Rick Ellis his own hour long variety show. Goodman thinks it’s an idea with trying and dispatches Leslie to meet with Rick at Indiana’s next appearance which happens to be the Woodstock Music Festival in August, 1969.

Following Indiana’s set at Woodstock (Graduation Day, Lost without You), Leslie meets Rick and suggests meeting Goodman at the NBC office in New York. Rick meets with Goodman where he is offered his own show which he readily accepts sans Wendy and Tom. Back in Boston Wendy is excited about Indiana having its own weekly television show and writes a song (Friends) in anticipation of Rick’s announcement. Tom enters and together they play Friends. Rick enters and tells them he’s decided to leave the group and do the television show himself. Wendy is devastated though Tom is not surprised given he knows of Rick’s singular desire for fame and fortune.

Following their final performance together (We’ll Meet Again), Wendy expresses her deep love for Rick which he politely declines. Upon leaving Rick asks Tom to join him in California. Tom refuses choosing to stay with Wendy as Act I ends.

Act II opens with the premier of The Rick Ellis Show with Rick singing Here You’ll Stay. Following, he introduces his guest, Sammy Davis. Together they sing a big band version of Just You and Me. Years pass and Rick has become one of the biggest names in show business while Tom and Wendy struggle even to get a club date. They are, in fact, reduced to hosting the open mic night at Grendel’s. They practice Seasons in Wendy’s apartment. At Grendel’s they perform Do You Remember? then Seasons. During Seasons Wendy suffers a heart attack, collapses, and is rushed to a hospital.

Back in California, Rick’s agent informs Rick of what happened to Wendy and suggests he visit her as a means of boosting his ratings. Rick agrees and flies to Boston to see her where he feigns concern at the bedside. The scene is filmed for future use on his show. Outside the hospital room there is a heated exchange between Rick and Tom revealing what exactly transpired at the meeting with NBC and why Rick had no interest in having Wendy and Tom join him. As Rick is about to leave for the airport he asks Tom if he has a new song he could use on his show. The following week Rick sings Seasons which he says he wrote.

Tom, now 70, is looking through albums at a vintage record store. Tom takes an Indiana album to the cash register. The owner recognizes him as a member of Indiana and questions Tom about the group during which time it’s revealed that Wendy died in 1995 and Rick in 2009. Outside the store, Tom takes the album out of the bag and looks at it. It shows Tom, Rick, and Wendy standing in a fountain, splashing water on each other as the play ends.



Character Breakdown

Related Posts