Yes, Indeed! by Jim Boston | Script Revolution

Yes, Indeed!

Tired of being out of showbiz, two child TV stars of the 1970s ride the late-1980s swing revival by forming their own big band in hopes of playing a respected Los Angeles jazz club.



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In September 1989, former child TV star MARGARET ALEXANDER, now an unemployed adult, ponders her future in show business when her writer husband, RAY KEITHLEY, encourages Margaret to give her college major, music, a try: "You know...y'oughta start your own band."

Margaret, loved for her role on TV's "The Homesteaders," decides to take the black-dots plunge, then talks her buddy, fellow ex-child star JANET O'KEEFFE, into helping her start a that plays swing, the music of Janet's old TV series, "The Jennings Family."

Determined Margaret and energetic-and-gentle Janet find their first bandmember at a ritzy hotel in their native Los Angeles: JULIA LEE MERRIWEATHER, an exuberant young woman who sings and plays piano at that hotel's lounge.

Margaret's worrier agent, DAVID STEINMARK, isn't happy with his client's decision to give up acting, but she and Janet plow on. Their initial auditions yield the band SUE ANN RICE, a bubbly, trumpet-tooting mother of two; fun-loving, sax-playing model CANDY CUMMINGS; eccentric BARBARA HANSBERRY and her fellow guitarist and fellow UCLA grad student, spunky TESS MCKENNA; straightforward drummer and teacher TERRI BARNWELL; and childlike DOROTHY CLUTTERBUCK, a clarinetist who directs John Marshall High School's bands.

Janet and Margaret come to realize that's all the swing talent the Big Orange has to offer the they set out to tour the nation in search of more talent.

Julia, Sue Ann, and Candy join them on this cross-country does Janet's insecure husband, BRUCE THOMPSON, who takes notes on the road.

The 1970s child stars find eight more musicians; the best are tireless baritone sax player VIRGINIA EDES and team-oriented ALYCE NORDQUIST, a multiinstrumentalist who eventually settles in on trombone. A ninth performer, BETSY PARKHILL, gets away after wowing everybody with her trumpet prowess.

It's all because this clever Texan doesn't want to give up her photography studio.

Once the band is put together, its leaders throw a party at Janet's and Bruce's house; there, Betsy changes her mind after all...and decides to move her photography studio to California so she can join the band.

But once the band gets down to rehearsing together for the first time, Margaret doesn't like what she hears...considering her goal is Amateur Night at Los Angeles' most respected jazz club, Le Jubile.

And that first rehearsal catches the ears of GRANT MOORE, a music critic for the "Los Angeles Times."

His reaction: He buries his head in his hands.

That's not all: David issues Margaret a challenge in which he'll help support her musical career if the band succeeds at Le Jubile...and, in the event of band failure, vows "You'll never work in show business again. In this town."

To get the kinks out in time for Amateur Night, Dorothy lands the Alexander/O'Keeffe Band an opportunity to play at an assembly at John Marshall.

It's a surprise to most of Dorothy's colleagues...but the test concert is a success. And Janet, jovial Ray, Margaret, and Bruce celebrate by going to Le Jubile.

When the two couples notice the audience's reaction to A JAZZ TRIO'S rendition of a late-1980s rock tune, Margaret gets cold feet about springing her own outfit's material on the Le Jubile crowd. After all, it's a more conservative, more knowledgeable crowd than the one at John Marshall.

Still, club manager PERVIS REED books Janet's and Margaret's band for the fourth Tuesday of 1990. The following night, Grant makes an appearance on KNBC-TV's "Channel 4 News" to warn viewers to stay away from the club when the two ex-child TV stars bring their outfit there.

Finally, it's Tuesday, January 23, 1990...Amateur Night at Le Jubile. And the Alexander/O'Keeffe Band is fired up...well, not all of it: Margaret's still in her car and afraid to come out. She comes out, though, only after the other bandmembers rock that car.

Grant goes to the Le Jubile event anyway...only because his newspaper sent him to the club.

It takes a while, but Margaret's and Janet's swing band overcomes the former's fear as well as customer skepticism to earn a Saturday engagement at the club.

And, as they offer congratulations, Grant and David humbly admit they were wrong about the band.

Submitted: October 13, 2019
Last Updated: October 9, 2021

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The Writer: Jim Boston

I first got interested in screenwriting as a college student in 1979 (Iowa State University); an additional impetus was the paperback version of the "American Graffiti" screenplay. From 1980 to 1994, I pursued screenwriting with a vengeance...but other things happened in my life. Since 2016, I've been back chasing the dream...and it's only because I inherited a Power Mac from one of the codirectors (Nick Holle) of a documentary I was in: "The Entertainers," about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. (Nick received the computer from the husband-and-wife couple who helped produce the film, Brent and Jackie Watkins.) The Power Mac has a copy of Final Draft 6... Go to bio

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