SLAY IT WITH MUSIC is an original musical in the “Grande Dame Guignol” tradition of WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, SUNSET BOULEVARD, and THE BAD SEED. It tells the saga of Enid Beaucoup, a fading, forgotten Hollywood star of the 40s. Cooped up in her spooky California home—attended by Zachary, her compulsive manservant—she has been approached to make a film comeback. However, given Enid’s past—in which she was implicated in the ax murder of her coiffeur/lover (Grant Foster)—Zachary isn’t sure Enid should make this film: a slasher movie titled CHOP CHOP.
Adding to the complications, Enid’s sister Marcy—a TV star and one-time film ingenue—arrives for a visit. Marcy and Enid have always squabbled, but were further divided when Marcy had an affair with Grant Foster (and, since then, divorced numerous deadbeat husbands). Marcy’s soap opera POUGHKEEPSIE has just been axed by the network, so Marcy can no longer afford to help maintain Enid’s home. Enid is already offended by many of Marcy’s actions, including the fact that Marcy didn’t retain her family name (Marcy replies, “it was hell going through life named... Marcy Beaucoup!”). Marcy also demands that Enid not make the slasher movie, because it could remind the public of past scandal. Thereupon, Enid “accidentally” breaks her sister’s leg, pulling a rug from under her.
Marcy is forced to stay in the house, where Enid and Zachary can care for her and where Marcy reluctantly helps Enid rehearse for the slasher movie. The sisters pass time recalling a happier time: when they were the apple of their father’s eye. Their French père, Marcel Beaucoup, was a major Hollywood filmmaker with a special eye for black-and-white movies: he was colorblind. He died of a broken heart when movies were taken over by technicolor. When they were children, he made the sisters promise to always take care of each other.
After flashbacks, we return to the present, where there are two more complications. First off, the house is being snooped upon by young Jill Little, the granddaughter of Enid’s neighbor, mysterious Mrs. Jenkins. Jill is as menacing a bad seed as ever appeared in creature features.
In addition, Marcy’s scoundrel ex-husband, Chad Walker, pays a visit. He is the washed-up, former star of beach movies like LOCO IN ACAPULCO and DANGEROUS BIKINI. Lately he has been sponging off amorous old ladies. Now desperate for money, he forces his way into Enid’s house, threatening Enid. She kills him in “self-defense,” when she again pulls the rug and an ax lands in his forehead.
Marcy discovers the body, whereupon Enid locks Marcy up to keep her quiet. As Marcy vainly tries to escape, Enid marches off to start her first day of filming CHOP CHOP. More bedlam occurs, as Rosemarie Clinger, a tour guide and movie fan, sneaks into the house. After singing a show-stopping number about movie fans, Rosemarie is viciously murdered, her screams heard by Marcy. Hours later, Enid—fired after one day’s shooting—confronts Marcy. Surprise revelations follow, including the unmasking of Grant Foster’s real killer, Mrs. Jenkins. Lurking as a neighbor, Mrs. Jenkins has been waiting years to avenge herself on the two sisters. Abetted by Jill, she is not only Jill’s grandmother but Chad’s jilted ex-girlfriend. She lunges forth, looking like Mrs. Bates in PSYCHO. Luckily, she slips on the rug, then lands with an ax in her forehead. Exonerated (except for accidental killings), the sisters reconcile—but only momentarily. At curtain, the sisters are back—fighting as vociferously as ever.
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