Bill Roper: Falling Toward Orion
Bill Roper: Seven Miles a Second















Shades of Gray (The Musical)

This notional album is the cast album for the musical that I've been working on sporadically. Sooner or later, Gretchen and I will sit down to write the book for this. Katie and Julie are doing their best to make sure that will happen later. But here's the plot synopsis through the end of the completed songs.

Our villain (who desperately needs a name, as do all of the other characters in this little musical) is a character that you may remember from Power. The victim in that particular song is our heroine's overprotective older brother -- occasionally known in our plotting as "that nit of a tenor". The villain arrives in town, spots the brother as the wonderful, but inept, power source that he is and hires him. This is good, as no one else in town will hire either of our two "odd" siblings, odd because they're both good potential -- but untrained -- magicians. This is bad, because our heroine recognizes that her brother is not quite himself.

There is an old magician out in the forest who everyone stays away from. Our heroine figures that she's got about one chance to bust her brother loose from what she recognizes as magic, so off to the woods she goes where she asks the magician to train her in magic so she can whack her brother upside the head and get him out of the villain's influence. He tries to scare her off, but Look At Me doesn't do it. After a bit of dialogue, he agrees to train her.

Slightly later in the sequence, we get into why the old magician is hiding out in the woods. He's sitting here to watch the wall described in Shades of Gray. There is a lot of dark power caught up in the wall there, so someone's got to keep an eye on it. Most specifically, the Big Bad is caught in the wall. Fortunately, there's really no way for him to get out. More or less...

As training continues, we'll pass through our heroine's song, Behind the Mask, and the magician's response, Illusions. Yes, we have a communications problem here.

Meanwhile, our villain has been keeping an eye on things and decides that it's now time to kick things up a notch by casting our nit of a tenor into the wall from "Shades of Gray". So the brother is Trapped.

You can only get someone out of the wall by entering the dimensional space behind the wall. And only one spell can do that, but -- as our hero points out -- it's of no use to the villain, because it can only be cast by two people in love with each other. And our villain loves no one but herself. Unfortunately, he continues, it's of no use to them either.

"Do you mean to say that you don't love me?" she asks.

"No, I mean to say that you don't love me!"

Cue the thrown crockery past our hero's ear.


Of course, it's not so simple as casting the spell. The two of them have to cast the spell in a room full of people, borrowing energy from each of them. And in Winter Waltz, as they waltz round the room and trace their pattern, each couple's path that they intersect contributes a bit more energy to the spell...

Look At Me
Shades Of Gray
Behind The Mask
Winter Waltz