Honey 3: Dare to Dance (2016) Script

(DANCE MUSIC PLAYING)

(BIKE ENGINES REVVING)

(CAR TIRES SCREECHING)

(INDISTINCT)

Huh!

Hey!

Hey!

Huh!

(CROWD SCREAMS)

Right, yeah!

Whoo! (WHISTLES)

(TIRES SCREECH)

Hey, Melea.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

(UPBEAT DANCE MUSIC PLAYING)

(SHRILL WHISTLE BLOWS)

(DRUM BEAT)

WOMAN: Go, girl!

(DJ ANNOUNCES SONG)

(ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING)

(CHEERING)

Whoo!

(SHRILL WHISTLE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Whoo!

WOMAN: Whoa!

(HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING)

Yeah!

Whoo!

Yay! Oh!

(CHEERING)

Check her out! Yeah! Yeah!

Ha!

(ALL CHEERING)

Shake it! Yes! (CHUCKLES)

Ha! Ha!

(SCOFFS)

(HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING)

(LAUGHING)

WOMAN: Come on, shake it!

Whoo!

Yeah!


(LAUGHS)

Yeah.

You and your drama, Nadine.

Do you always have to make such an entrance?

I am nothing if not dramatic.

(CHUCKLING)

How long have you known me for?

Well, since our mothers grew up here together, I would have to say before we were born.

Mm-hmm. And that's how it's gonna stay.

From womb to tomb, baby!

I know that's right. Got this tonight.

You guys are crazy. (NADINE LAUGHS)

And you love it. Yeah, I do. I do.

You know, being around them, it makes me miss being with someone special.

And, baby, you are so on my...

Okay. You...

You need to not touch me. I'm not trying to hear that. (CHUCKLES) Oh!

Yo, give it up, Laser. Whatever, man.

I'm ready to go, anyway.

Yeah, we should go, too. We have class in the morning.

You go ahead.

I'm gonna hang out with Nadine for a little while.

Come on, I'll see you tomorrow.

Don't be too late. I won't.

Bye, ladies. Bye.

Have fun. Not too much.

Yeah, he's a good one.

Maybe I should come to your fancy university and snag me a cutie, too.

Been trying to tell you.

Girl, I have a job.

I'm just saying, you have other talents besides teaching.

You can't let all of this go to waste. (LAUGHS)

Oh, no, it won't, 'cause, um...

See that guy at the bar? Yeah.

Yeah, well, he's about to pay for my drinks all night. Oh-ho!

Can I get you something?

I'm not drinking.

You know, MeMe, we give the people a show.

The least they can do is buy our refreshments.

Have fun.

It's time for a real battle.

(CHUCKLES) What? (SCOFFS)

(HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING)

Come on, guys. Let's kick some ass.

(CHUCKLES)

Yeah!

Yes!

All right.

(CHEERING)

Who are they?

I have no idea.

Okay, you gotta take this for me.

Let's do this.

Yeah.

Yeah!


Come on, please.

ZUBAIR: (OVER SPEAKER) Not tonight, guys.

Security, security! Take this out.

Damn. Every time. This ain't over.

Oh, we're just getting started.

Yo! Hey, hey!

Hey! What are you doing? Stay out of it.

Let's go. What are they even fighting for?

I told you!

MELEA: It wasn't that big a deal.

Things just get a little crazy between cliques there sometimes.

ERIK: I knew I shouldn't have left you alone.

I wasn't alone. I was with Nadine and my crew.

Your crew? Yeah.

Just 'cause you spent your summers growing up here, (CLEARS THROAT) does not make you from here.

And you need to relax.

Nothing bad happened.

In fact, I learned some new moves from this girl that I battled.

(SIGHS) She was dope.

(CHUCKLES) I think I might use some of the moves in my Romeo and Juliet thesis.

You have such a one-track mind.

Is it always about dance with you?

No, occasionally, it's about you.

Occasionally? Mm-hmm.

Oh, okay.

Well, you know, I'm busy. Got a lot of stuff to do.

You're so busy.

(CHUCKLES)

Are you too busy for this?

Nope. I'm late for class. (CHUCKLES)

Okay, cool.

Oh, you have some new tracks for me later, right?

Yes, Captain.

Stupid. (CHUCKLES)

EDUARDO: Five, six... Five, six, seven, hit it.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Yes!

Yeah!

Whoo!

Go, go, go.

Yeah!

Yeah!

Hey! (CHUCKLES)

(CELL PHONE RINGING)

Hold on. I need to take this.

Yeah?

Yo, Melea, that was hot.

And I'm gonna need you to run it by me again later.

Why? You jealous that I got some moves you don't?

He is. Hey.

What? (CHUCKLES)

Melea. Administrator wants to see you.

So, go.

Okay, guys, let's take it from the top.

Do I have to tell you twice?

Let's go.

(INDISTINCT)

Melea, whatever it is, we'll figure something out.

There's nothing to figure out, Erik.

I'm getting kicked out of school, and I won't be able to present my thesis project.

It's our thesis project, and I'm just as upset as you are.

No, you're not.

Come over, and we'll talk about it.

Please? I can't. I'll call you later.

(ENGINE STARTS)

UNCLE SIMON: So, what's the problem?

MELEA: My tuition is overdue, and I can't return to class until it's paid.

And what about your scholarships?

Not enough.

And you weren't going to tell me?

I mean, you already let me stay here. You put food on the table.

The least I can do is handle this.

Melea, you know I will do anything to help you.

But you have to talk to me.

Well, you know I promised Mom that I would get my degree.

Ever since I started doing this Romeo and Juliet thesis...

Phew.

I thought it was the perfect way to honor her memory.

I'm pretty sure that giving up is a lousy way to honor your mother.

You're probably right.

And I'm pretty sure you're gonna beat this.

(SCOFFS) What makes you so sure?

I screwed everything up so much already.

Well, you're a smart young lady. And that's important.

But mostly, you're very stubborn and thick-headed.

Gee, thanks. (CHUCKLES)

I think we need to do less talking and more eating.

(BOTH CHUCKLING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

ERIK: What are you gonna do?

MELEA: I'm gonna get a job, figure it out.

How?

I don't know. I'll find a space.

I'll mount it myself.

I don't know why it's so important to you.

'Cause I have something to say, Erik.

'Cause Romeo and Juliet hasn't been done in the way that I want to do it.

And dance is the way I speak.

I want to be able to tell this story, and have it reach out to people.

It's my mom's favorite play, and I want to honor her with it.

You will.

Why does it have to be right now?

I mean, I get it. I'm the same way with my music, but I think you need to focus on money and getting back into school, and then worry about your show.

(SIGHS)

I'm gonna figure out a way to do both.

And costumes, and sets. It's not cheap.

How're you gonna afford all that?

Ticket sales, eventually. Oh!

Um... And you're still gonna help me with the music, right?

You're serious?

I'm dead serious.

But if you pull this off, then, yes, I'll do the music.

Great.

Now, all I have to do is find a job, so I can afford paper to print tickets. (LAUGHS)

Wish me luck. Yeah, you don't need it.

And look, if all else fails, I mean, at least you got Romeo.

(CHUCKLES) You can be so corny sometimes.

Yeah, that was corny. All right, I'm out of here. Bye.


Hello. My name is Melea Martin.

I'm a hip-hop choreographer, and I'm interested in interviewing for your open position.

MAN: Hip-hop? Oh, no. We only teach ballet and jazz here.

(MUSIC PLAYING)


(CELL PHONE BEEPS)

(CUTLERY CLATTERS)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Okay, I see you. Get it.

Oh, you like what you see?

Come and get some.

Oh, it's like that? Okay.

Whoo!

Oh, Crystal, you do not want to mess with my friend.

Melea is no joke.

Yeah, right. (SCOFFS)

(SCHOOL BELL RINGS)

Okay, everybody, get back to class now.

I don't want anyone being late.

Go hit those books like you hit those moves.

Zam, you, too.

I've seen you before. You are good.

(CHUCKLES) Thank you.

Wow! You really impressed him.

That was his version of rambling. He never says anything.

He seems like a cool kid.

Oh, he is. He's just hard to reach.

Hmm.

What are you doing today?

Oh, just a job search, but they don't have anything here.

Yeah, budget cuts.

Why the need for money all of a sudden?

For school.

All my scholarships ran out. And now they want cash.

Welcome to the real world. Tell me about it.

Okay, well, I better get inside before my students form a coup. Good luck.

Okay, thank you. Call me.

All right. Ooh, give me my phone?

Oh, shoot, I almost forgot.

Here you are. Bye. Thanks, girl.

Don't ever give up.

Hey, yo, check it.

What happened? You playing hooky?

(CHUCKLES) Not that it's any of your business, but I'm taking a break from school.

Oh!

So, now you back in the hood. Bumped down to our level.

(CHUCKLES)

For your information, I live in this neighborhood.

I don't consider it a bump-down.

What's your name, girl?

Was gonna ask you the same thing.

I'm Ishani. Everybody knows me.

(LAUGHS)

I'm Melea.

And you should get to know me before you judge me.

So, what? You want to have me over for tea or something?

(ALL LAUGH) ISHANI: This girl's a trip.

Everything all right, Melea?

MELEA: Yeah, Taariq. We're cool.

If you're looking for friends, go back to America, 'cause you won't find them here.

Come on, let's go. We got better things to do.

Yeah. She's a waste of time.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Where to? MELEA: Bo-Kaap.

Bo-Kaap.


You know, I don't need security.

(CHUCKLES) Are you sure about that?

We just came here to dance, man.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Yo, yo! 'Sup, boys?

Yo, what's up? Boy!

Yo, what's happening?

(INDISTINCT GREETING)

MAN: What's up?

(MELEA LAUGHS)

Yeah, go! Hit it!

Yeah!

I like your style, Taariq. It's pretty dope. I'll catch you later.

Peace, Taariq. You guys are great.

Thank you. Yeah! Sweet.

All right, let's do it.

You are making the best decision, Mr. Wright.

Well, I sure hope so.

(CAR ENGINE STARTS)

Mr. Wright. Yes?

Oh, my goodness. It's Melea. Isn't it?

Yeah, I can't believe you remember me.

Well, you look just like your mother.

How's she doing? Is she with you?

Um, no. She passed. About a year ago.

Oh, Lord. I am sorry.

She was one fine lady.

Yeah, she was.

Hey, I wanted to talk to you about working here at Bijou.

Is there anything I can do around here?

Melea, you're too late.

The lady who just left, uh, Miss Lee, she's thinking of buying the place.

Well, you're gonna sell it? Like, why?

(SIGHS) Because I'm old.

And I ain't made a dime in years.

Hey, this might sound crazy, but can I ask you a favor?

Okay, now, close your eyes. (CHUCKLES)

Step.

Don't look yet!

How can I look? Your hands are covering my eyes.

Oh, wow!

This place is amazing. I know, right?

Well, it needs a lot of work, but...

Nothing a mop and nails won't fix.

(CHUCKLES) That's being optimistic.

So, are you in, for real? Phew.

Yeah. Yeah, let's do this. Yeah?

(BOTH CHUCKLE)

Grab the mop. Okay.

(BOTH CHUCKLING)

FEMALE INSTRUCTOR: Perfect. And one, and two...

And one. Point your feet.

Thanks. FEMALE INSTRUCTOR: One more time.

Thank you. Yeah, you should...

LASER: Hey.

Oh, Melea, where have you been?

Hey.

Just because you're a dropout doesn't mean you can't hang with us intellects.

I promise we won't use big words.

You're an idiot, and I've been busy. Check this out.

Romeo and Juliet? Yo, I have to be a part of this.

I was hoping you would say that, 'cause you could seriously rock Mercutio.

Yeah, you know it. Which one is that?

(CHUCKLES) It's Romeo's friend.

He gets in between the families and ends up getting killed.

Well, I don't want to die.

No, dude, it's a tragedy. Everyone dies.

Oh.

How about Lord Capulet?

Lord? Yeah, I'm on it. Yes. (CHUCKLES)

FEMALE INSTRUCTOR: One more time, please.

(HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING)

(LAUGHS)

(ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING)


LASER: Yo, Melea! Hey.

How's it going? Good, how are you?

Yeah, good. Passing all right? It's going.

You gotta see some of these dancers, though.

I mean, look at that guy. He is dope.

(ALL CHEERING)

(MOUTHING) Wow!

You know that guy? Yeah, Dajon.

Whoa!

LASER: Melea, he is sick. He's killing it.

MELEA: Hey, excuse me.

Dajon?

Yeah, that's me.

GIRL 1: Oh, my God. It's Taj. BOY 1: That Taj?

BOY 2: Hey, it's Taj! BOY 3: Is that Taj?

GIRL 2: It's Taj! BOY 4: Hey, how's it going, Taj?

BOY 5: Hey, it's Taj. Hey, man.

BOY 6: Hey, Taj, Taj, over here.

Erik, I found my Romeo.

His name is Dajon Bell. He's from the States, and...

Look, who do you...

Oh!

Shit. Not you again.

Erik, let me call you back.

What's this?

It's a hip-hop R and J.

A what?

A hip-hop Romeo and Juliet.

Okay, that's not just crazy, that's stupid crazy.

What's stupid crazy?

Hey, girl. I see you're still holding it down.

Where you been? Man, you're all over the charts.

Yeah, good times.

Hey, I'm Taj.

Melea. I know who you are. Everyone knows who you are.

We pretty much grew up in the same neighborhood, actually.

You're from New York? Yo, what are you doing out here?

Going to school. Or at least I was. It's a long story.

Uh, you out here on tour or something?

Nah, I got a home out here. Visited once and fell in love with the place.

So, when I'm not touring, I come and hang out with my people.

Like Ishani, here.

She's not your people. Why are you telling her your business?

Why you throwing shade?

'Cause this crazy-ass bitch got it in her head to do a hip-hop Romeo and Juliet.

Why I gotta be a bitch, and a crazy-ass one at that?

Yo, don't mind Ishani. All right? She has a short fuse.

But listen, that R and J, built for hip-hop.

All them rich folks killing each other.

It's perfect.

Would you think that you could do some music for us?

Well, I have been looking to spread my wings a bit.

You know, get into TV, film, whatnot. But I don't have the time.

Gimme your phone.

(SIGHS)

Here's my number. Text me.

Come through, and if you like what you see, please get involved.

I'll think about it.

Thanks.

Nice to meet you, Melea.

Hit me later, all right? Got some business I gotta take care of.

Just wanted to show my face real quick.

It's bad enough you guys hang out at our spots and steal our moves.

Oh, yeah.

You didn't think we knew why you college kids were there?

We're not stupid.

And you can have the dances.

But Taj is off limits. Understood?

You like him. Wow!

(CHUCKLES)

It's funny, because the way that he kissed you is the way a brother kisses his little sister.

Think about it, Ishani.

A rich and famous guy like that could have any girl that he wants.

Why would he want to be with a bully like you?

GIRL 1: Hey, can I fit two more?

GUY: We need at least one more.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

Hey, did you get to check out those videos I sent you?

Oh, yeah, balcony scene. All over it.

Okay, let's give it a shot. Hit it, Zam.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Oh, you must be Erik.

Uh, you must be Mr. Wright. You have a beautiful theater, sir.

Well, she's seen better days.

But soon, it won't be my problem.

That was great. Okay.

(CHEERING)

Thanks, thanks.

Erik, finally. Where have you been?

Sorry. I got caught up at school.

What's up? I'm Erik.

Dajon. How's it going?

Good, yeah.

He's my boyfriend and composer.

Act one, fight scene.

It's just the first take.

What's wrong?

I mean, this scene is just not working.

Yeah. Yeah.

What's not working?

I mean, I don't know. It's... These kids are in rival gangs, right?

Right, right, and we should be playing into that, right?

Well, yeah, because when their parents find out, they're gonna freak.

Yep.

So, maybe we can sex it up a little?

It's a love scene.

No, he might be right. Play into the tension.

Yeah.

So, maybe, we can add something like this, you know, like...

Like there, and then, maybe, you know...

Mm-hmm. Something like that.

Yeah? No, it's supposed to be romantic.

You should do something like this.

Okay.

All right, well, that's not bad.

Yeah. It was... It was perfect.

Oh, if you say so, Romeo. Melea, let's take five.

Yeah, good idea. Yeah, take five.

Thanks. All right.

Take 10.

What was all that about?

What? I don't like the way you're dancing with him.

You're jealous?

No, I'm not jealous.

Okay, maybe a little.

I'm not exactly his type.

What are you talking about? You're everyone's type.

Not the kind of guy that likes other guys.

Oh, right.

Ah, yes. I... I missed that. (CHUCKLES)

Yeah, that's obvious. Yeah. Sorry.

Cool. Can we get out of here? Grab a bite or something? Anything?

I can't. I have to keep practicing with Dajon, if I want our chemistry to be believable, you know?

We're new partners. Mm-hmm.

So we have to feel each other out.

Right.

Promise after all this is over, everything will be different.

Cool. All right.

Bye, guys. Bye.

Ready to hit it again? Let's do it.

(MUSIC PLAYS)

(CLASSICAL MUSIC PLAYING)

Hey. Hey.

What are you watching?

The ballet, for inspiration.

(CHUCKLES) You know, when Nureyev did this, they applauded for 40 minutes.

Don't compare yourself. I mean, you're doing hip-hop, right?

Yeah.

But this is a classic. It sets the bar.

Yeah, but it was written, when?

You have to speak to your audience.

I mean, you got Romeos and Juliets all over The Flats.

You're right.

(BOTH CHUCKLING)

Hmm.

Hey, man. Yo, what's cruisin', man?

Good, man.

What's up?

Why are we here, again?

Because I want to change the tone of our Romeo and Juliet.

I want the reality of this place to inspire us.

We've got company.

NADINE: Do you know who that is?

Yeah, I know him. Who invited him?

Who cares?

My view just got 100% better. (SIGHS)

Hey, I didn't know you would make it.

I listened to that score you sent me.

Oh, you did?

Oh, like that's not what you wanted me to do.

I mean, I was hoping so. Yeah, I figured.

I took a shot at that parting scene, where you and Romeo split.

Yeah. And I came up with this.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Okay. Yeah?

I feel it. A'ight.

You want to try it?

Hell, yeah.

Come on.


MELEA: Erik.

Erik.

Erik.

Want me to go after him?

No, it must not have been important.

Hey. Hey.

Who was that? Oh, her boyfriend.

Trouble in paradise.

Uh, yeah, I guess so.

Phew! Nice session, yeah?

Yeah.

All right.

I'll see you tomorrow, Melea.

Thank you, Dajon.

Thank you.

Bye, guys.

(CHUCKLES)

Bye, Taj.

(CHUCKLES)

Thank you so much for the song, Taj. It was perfect.

It's no problem. Just glad everything worked out.

Listen, I gotta hit a session, but I'm having a party Saturday, if you all wanna stop by.

I'm there.

You can apologize to your other guests in advance, 'cause you won't be able to resist me.

Wow, Nadine. Really?

Shush. He has a private jet. I can come visit you.

I'm flattered, but I'm kinda seeing someone.

Damn. All the good ones are taken.

Hey. I'm a good one.

Ew. You're like my brother. Don't be weird.

You two are funny.

What about you, Melea? See you at the party?

I don't know, I have a lot to do with the show.

I don't know if I can make it, but I'll try.

Yo, you might meet some folks who could help you.

And your girl Ishani will be there.

That's the girl you've been telling me about? The one we battled?

Yeah.

Now I know I can't make it.

A'ight, come on. She's cool.

Talks a lot of trash, but she's going through some deep shit.

Like what?

Her little brother, Emmanuel, was killed last year.

Some messed-up gang thing over a fancy chain he was wearing.

I didn't realize.

Yeah, I know a lot of kids going through the same thing.

Yeah, it's bad.

So, cut her some slack, maybe.

She could use more good people in her life.

See ya.

Bye.

I know that look.

That's your "I want to save the world" look.

(CHUCKLES)

(PIANO PLAYING)


I heard that.

It was nice.

Come in.

I had already written music for that scene.

I'm sorry. I didn't know.

Babe, you know I can't do this without you.

You sure seemed like you were doing fine earlier.

You know what Taj brings to this project.

Yeah, credibility. I know, I get it. He's an established artist.

Yeah, but that doesn't change how I feel about you.

It just seems like the only thing you care about is this Romeo and Juliet show.

(CHUCKLES) Well, it is important to me.

Especially without school, and being where my mom grew up, seeing how it is here, it makes me feel obligated.

Yeah, so you want me to play the role of the understanding boyfriend?

If you don't mind. Okay. Yeah.

Love you when you're crazy.

I've had plenty of practice for that.

So, we should be okay. Thanks.

Besides, there's one thing I know I can do way better than Taj.

Really? What is that?

(WHISPERS) Dance.

(CHUCKLES)

(MUSIC PLAYING)


MELEA: And five, six, seven, eight.

(ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC PLAYING)

MELEA: Bring the energy up, guys. Ready?

Yes, Laser!

Go for it, Nadine.

Okay, break it up, break it up.

Stop the music. Stop the music.

Look, I like you guys' attitude, but let me ask you something.

Do you really know what this play is about?

ALL: No.

That's what I thought. Sit down.

All right, so I'm gonna give you the lowdown.

So, the Capulets are Juliet's parents.

They don't get along with Romeo's parents.

You guys hate each other. It's kind of like rival gangs in The Flats.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Everyone knows the basic plot of the story.

Boy and girl fall in love, and die in the end.

But it's so much more than that.

It's a story of forbidden love surrounded by violence, revenge, and death.

People died basically for no reason, just like here in The Flats.

And Juliet is in the middle of it all.

Alone, confused, and afraid.

So, Benvolio and Mercutio, they're Romeo's friends.

And they get into it with Tybalt, who is Juliet's cousin.

He's one badass dude.

(ALL CHUCKLING)

Our version of the story opens on a big rumble between the families.

Everyone's fighting like it's a Saturday night in The Flats.

And these fights are sick.

During one of the fights, Romeo ends up getting killed by Juliet's badass cousin, Tybalt.

Eventually, Romeo gets run out of town and that makes things much worse.

But during our opening fight, this cop, better known as the Prince of Verona, shows up and breaks up the fight.

He tells them that the next guy to start a fight is gonna be punished with death.

So, they all scatter.

But let's get back to the Capulets and the Montagues.

Juliet's parents are talking to this guy, Paris.

He's one of their own, but he's just a rich guy that's got his eye on Juliet.

(ELECTRONIC MUSIC PLAYING)

And right then and there, they tell her that she has to marry the guy, without even asking.

So, they send out invites for a party to get the two of them together, and it's Capulets only.

And my man, Romeo, shows up, steals the invite, and has the bright idea of crashing the party.

That's where he meets Juliet.

And it's love at first sight.

And that, folks, is just the beginning.

Yeah!

Yes.

I like it. (GIGGLES)

Bye, Melea. Bye.

Great stuff today. Yeah, you, too.

Thank you. Thank you.

All right, see you soon. Bye, see you soon.

Bye, girl. Bye.

See you later. Bye.

Melea?

Just wanted to tell you I'm proud of you. You're doing a great job.

Thank you, Mr. Diego. You're welcome.

And I think you can call me Eduardo now.

Especially since you're in charge. (BOTH LAUGH)

Thanks. (CLICKS TONGUE)

But I just can't shake the feeling that I'm missing something.

The piece needs more.

Edge. Yes.

A lot of shows have more than one choreographer.

You need someone with a fresh set of eyes. A different flair.

Someone with a raw passion. You find them, and this show will sing.

Thank you.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

TAJ: Yes, you said it.

ISHANI: Really? TAJ: Yeah.

I've been spending time there.

I just think you could find something better to do with your time.

Ishani, you keep telling me I could do so much to help The Flats, and now that I'm doing it, you're still not happy.

(SCOFFS) How is helping that American chick helping us?

Whoa! Forget I'm American, too?

Not like her.

Look, Melea's got a lot of kids dancing for her.

Kids who would usually be out on the streets getting into trouble like your...

I'm... Yo, I'm... I'm sorry.

Yeah, you should be.

Rented out a private...

Probably, yes.

Great, right on cue.

Sniffing around for Taj, I guess.

No, I was actually coming to see you.

Girl, you need to stay out of my face before I hurt you.

NADINE: MeMe.

Hey, you made it.

Yeah, I came to talk to Ishani.

Oh. The kind of talk where I need to take off my shoes and earrings?

Wasn't planning on it. That's on Ishani.

You need to leave before you both get a beatdown.

(CHUCKLES) Okay, girl.

You're not the only one with friends around here.

Okay, you guys, it's not going down like that.

Mm.

You need to accept the fact that I'm not scared of you.

You should be.

Whatever.

Look, I need you to work on my show.

What?

(CHUCKLES) No, thanks.

Why not?

Do you have something better to do?

I know your type, and you're not gonna play me.

You put on a show, and when it's over, you take off back to America, and we're still here.

Nothing changes. No jobs, no money, no hope, nowhere to go.

Kids getting killed over a goddamn necklace.

So, what would you suggest? What would work for you?

What would make you happy?

I don't know.

Maybe a rec center, or a dance hall.

Some place a kid could go and do something besides drugs.

Then let's do it.

And there's that "save the world" shit.

(CHUCKLES)

I'm serious. Let's make a difference.

You don't have to stop at one night, one show.

I want to help.

Are you in?

There's love in the house! Yeah, baby!

(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING)

MELEA: Hey, heads up, everybody.

This is our new co-choreographer, Ishani Mfeke.

She will also be dancing the role of Tybalt, so if you think she ain't man enough, I'd watch my back if I were you.

Well, Melea. You sure this is a good idea?

No, but I haven't been sure of anything since I started this.

(CLICKS TONGUE) Okay.

But I'm watching you.

(MELEA CHUCKLES) Okay, guys, let's set it off.

And make sure to hit this hard, okay?

(HIP-HOP MUSIC PLAYING)


MELEA: All right, get low.

And five, six, seven, eight.

And one, and two, and three, and four, and five, six, seven, eight.

And one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight.

All right, hit it from the top. ALL: All right.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(SIGHS)

See, now, that's old school.

Think you have something better? If they can bring it.

Well, that's what you're here for. Go out there and show 'em.

No problem.

Follow my lead.

(CHEERING AND CHATTERING)

Five, six, seven, eight.


NADINE: Damn.

She's good. Hmm.

I'm not gonna tell her that, though.

It's okay. She already knows. (CHUCKLES)

And five, six, seven, eight.

What's up? Hi, how are you?

Good.

I see you guys are hard at it.

It's going well.

You have something for me?

Not yet, but I listened to your boyfriend's track, and I'm gonna lace it with lyrics.

Might want to tell him to add a horn, just to kick it up a bit.

I will. Thank you.

MELEA: Your girl over there is amazing. TAJ: Yeah, I know.

She's not my girl.

Oh, yeah? Yeah.

Hmm.

Hmm? (CHUCKLES)

What was that?

(MUSIC PLAYING)


Whoa!

Hey, MeMe?

What?

Come here. We got a problem.

What's up?

Tickets aren't selling as fast as we had hoped.

At this rate, we won't have a full house.

That's not an option. We have to sell out.

We have to make enough to pay rent on the rec center.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

Melea, this is my mama and my sister, Kiara.

Pleased to meet you, Mrs. Mfeke. Kiara.

They're both seamstresses, so Mama was thinking they could help out with the costumes we still need.

That would be great.

Let me show you what I borrowed from the college's wardrobe department.

(KIARA CHUCKLES)

Um...

I truly appreciate you giving 'Shani this opportunity.

She's been needing something like this.

They both have.

I couldn't do it without her, believe me. Thank you.

I think Juliet's family should wear red.

MELEA: Sounds great.

ISHANI: Everyone take five.

Melea, can I talk to you? What's up?

You know the whole Romeo and Juliet theme? Hmm.

It's all about the dumb stuff people pull, beginning to end.

Yeah, but in this scene, these guys are family.

So, they don't act dumb?

You ever been to a party and someone wasn't acting out?

Not lately, no. Exactly.

Even the ladies should be trying to one-up each other.

Like when we first met.

So, what you're saying is...

Get over here. Let's show 'em how it's done.

Okay.

Zam, give us something we can work with.

(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING)

What you want?

Quit playing around.

Come on, let's bring it. You ready? (LAUGHS)


Whoo!

(CHUCKLES) Yes!

That's what I'm talkin' about.

You pushed Juliet, and she pushed back. I love that.

Okay. That was hot.

You're okay by me.

(CHUCKLES) Man, you girls are soft.

You love it.

(ALL GIGGLING)

(INDISTINCT CHATTER)

And five, six, seven, eight.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Cue Romeo.

Really get into it.

Feel it.

(DAJON GROANS)

ISHANI: Dajon, are you all right? DAJON: Mm-mm.

It was an accident.

I'm sorry, man. It's okay.

Don't... It's okay.

Just need... Oh, no!

MELEA: No, it's not okay.

We have to get you to a hospital.

I'll take him. My car's out front.

(DAJON WINCING)

(INDISTINCT ANNOUNCEMENTS)

MELEA: Eduardo, how is he?

It's fractured.

You're definitely gonna need another Romeo.

I need you.

(ROMANTIC MUSIC PLAYING)


(APPLAUSE)

Whoo!

Yeah. Yeah.

That was good, but that song gotta go.

What are you talking about? I thought it was perfect.

Really? Do you think that's the best he can do?

Let me guess. You got something better in mind?

As a matter of fact, I do, man.

Yeah.

Play it, Zam.

(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING)

Whoo!

Whoo!

Now, that's something new I've been working on for you, Melea.

Because I think you can do better.

Are you kidding me?

You know, I'm gettin' really sick of you running your mouth all the time.

Shut up, man. What?

Stop it!

No, no, no. Stay out of this, Ishani.

It's between me and him.

What, I'm stupid?

I'm not. You're fighting over Melea.

What?

We're fighting over the music.

Music? I'm fighting over my girlfriend.

What... What? No... Then stop it.

This is insane. Come on, Taj is just trying to help, you guys.

Melea, don't be stupid.

You said it yourself. He can have any girl he wants.

And he wants you.

Hey, Ishani.

Ishani, wait.

Hey, where are you going?

Anywhere.

Away from here, away from him.

Ishani, look at me. I'm not into Taj.

I'm in love with Erik. Besides, I wouldn't do that to you.

I know how much you like him.

Do you?

(CHUCKLES) Look, I'm not playing this game with you.

We both know you want Taj. You're always throwing yourself at him.

I'm not gonna be a decoy so you can cheat on your boyfriend.

What?

What are you talking about? Are you crazy?

Yeah. Yeah, I'm crazy.

Crazy for letting my guard down with a girl who's used to getting whatever she wants.

Crazy to get involved with you, this show.

Good luck with your fantasy world, Melea.

I'm going back to the real one.

Hey.

Look, I just want to let you know that I'm done.

I'm done with us, I'm done with the show.

If I'm not gonna be your Romeo in real life, why am I gonna be him in your musical?

I just need a break, all right?

I'm gonna focus on myself. That's what I'm gonna do.

Erik... No. Bye, Melea.

(SCOFFS)


MeMe.

Hey.

Hey, girl.

So sorry about all this.

But I think it's a sign.

Erik said he's out. Tickets are just not moving.

Mm-mm.

Can't make this happen out of thin air.

So, I think we need to regroup and try and make this work at another time.

Okay, baby girl?

Wait, Erik didn't bail on you as well, did he?

Look, I don't want to talk about it. I'm cool.

Hit me later?

(KISSES)

(SIGHS)


(MUSIC PLAYING)

(CELL PHONE BUZZING)


(PANTING)

(CAR ENGINE REVVS)

Get in.

(CLICKS TONGUE) I'm not going anywhere with you.

Girl, I said get in.

(TIRES SCREECH)


(SEATBELT BUCKLE CLICKS)

What is your problem?

I don't have a problem.

You're the one hung up on a girl who doesn't care about you.

Strutting around here like a fool, and she ain't even into you.

You're right. She's not.

I guess being rich and famous doesn't work on everybody, huh?

Apparently not.

(SEATBELT BUCKLE CLICKS)

Let me ask you somethin'.

Why'd you get so mad?

Because I'm your friend, and I was just looking out for you.

Is that all?

Yeah.

Damn, that's too bad, because, um, you're right.

I am crazy about this girl and she acts like I don't even exist.

That's too bad. Maybe you should give up on her.

I don't think I can do that.

Not when I'm this close to her.

What?

Ishani, I'm hung up on somebody, but it's not Melea.

It's you.

Taj, don't play with me. I'm not.

Why do you think I come back here every chance I get?

Ishani, I come to see you.

I don't believe you. You've never said anything.

Because I didn't want to ruin our friendship.

And then, your brother...

Hey, Ishani, look at me.

I'm tired of waiting and playing games.

I bought a house to impress you.

I got involved with the community.

Now, I'm just gonna flat-out say it.

Ishani, I love...

Me, too.

Yeah? Yeah.

(KNOCKING ON DOOR)

Hey, Erik.

We need to talk.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(ZUBAIR SPEAKS IN NATIVE LANGUAGE OVER RADIO)

This is Zubair Khumalo, and we are live from GoodHope FM studios in Cape Town.

We got Taj in the studio, and Taj has got a brand-new album coming out this year, and he's got something very interesting as well.

Tell us about it, dawg.

Yeah, man. A hip-hop performance of Romeo and Juliet.

(CELL PHONE RINGING)

Ishani, where have you been?

ISHANI: Shut up. Put on the radio. 94.0.

What?

Just do it. 94.0.

ZUBAIR: That is radical, man.

So, musically, what?

All right, are you merging the two worlds together like a yin and a yang?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, but I can't take all of the credit.

This is a passion project of Melea Martin. A'ight? (CHUCKLES)

And I got my man here with me, Erik Wildwood, and we did a collabo' together to make it super-dope.

Yo, tell 'em, E.

I want everyone to know that I put my heart and soul into this music, because Melea is the love of my life.

(CHUCKLES) Oh, my God.

And also that I will be dancing the part of Romeo to her Juliet at the big show at the Bijou Theater.

Love of my life.

Guys, that's amazing, man.

Can we drop this beat? Can we, like, hear it guys?

TAJ: Yo, ready when you are, man.

All right, here it is.

A song by Taj, produced by Erik Wildwood.

It's the opening scene in Melea Martin's hip-hop R and J.

Boo-yah!

(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING)

Uncle Simon, what are you doing?

It's for my niece's show, man. With the youngster, Taj.

Oh, Taj! (LAUGHS)

Come on, Mama. Let's see those moves. (SIGHS)

(LAUGHS)

You guys are so whack.


Whoo!


(CLICKS)

You said they were only using it for rehearsals.

But there's no rule against the theater operating, Ms. Lee.

Don't believe me? Check the contract.

I am this close to killing this deal.

If you want this thing to work, you had better start playing ball.

If you want this thing to work, best you start considering the community and what they want.

(LAUGHS)

They don't want you, or your theater.

They've proved that.

Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

We'll see.

So, I'm the love of your life, huh?

Yeah, I know, it's pretty corny.

No, actually, it's pretty awesome.

(BOTH CHUCKLE)

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

(CLATTERS) Huh?

Yeah, yeah, that's it. That one.

Now, now, move it a bit to the left. Yeah. Little more.

Little... That's it. Good.

That's perfect. Now, this one.

Hey. Hey.

(NADINE GASPS AND EXCLAIMS)

I can't believe it. Neither can I.

Shoot, I can.

Thank you, guys, for not giving up on me.

Looks like we're gonna need to add another performance.

So, you get to change the world after all.

ISHANI: The world? I'll settle for that dance space.

MELEA: Me, too.

But we still need to find a new place.

Wow.

You really know how to suck the life out of everything.

Right?

I don't know how you've been her friend for so long.

Yeah, neither do I.

(CHUCKLES)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Phew.


Stop, stop, stop. ISHANI: Why?

He's great. It's the ending. I don't like it.

Melea...

No, seriously. I mean, we all end up dead, and that's it?

Hey, you're preaching to the choir.

You killed me off in Act 3, remember?

I still don't like it.

So, change it.

I can't. Why not?

Prokofiev wanted to change the ending, too, but his investors wouldn't let him.

So, you're saying just change the story?

ERIK: Why not?

You already changed the dance.

Yeah, Melea. Haven't we all had enough tragedy in our lives?

Let's take back control.

Yeah.

You're right. Yeah.

Okay, everybody. It's gonna be a long night.

Careful with that, man.

ISHANI'S MOM: 'Shani, come on! We gotta go!

Yeah, coming!

Wish me luck.

(INDISTINCT CHATTERING)

Thank you. Thank you.

And this must... This little one. Okay?

Phew.

Don't worry. It's gonna be fine.

Right. You do this all the time, bro.

I feel like I'm gonna have a heart attack.

Then before you die, you should know something.

What?

You hit like a girl. (CHUCKLES)

Thanks.

Better? Better, yes. Thanks.

All right. Gotta get to my seat.

All right. Enjoy.

Phew.

Then it's like... Okay, round...

So, you ready to get serious?

ALL: Yeah!

(ALL GASPING)

Ow!

Thank you, Mama.

Yes, thank you, Mrs. Mfeke, so much.

So, any last words for the troops?

Let's do this.

(ALL CHEERING)

FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats, turn off your cell phones, and enjoy the show.

Sit down.

(APPLAUSE)

For never was a story of more woe than this, of Juliet and her Romeo.

Two young people from different sides of the track, two lovers star-crossed.

Now, Romeo, being a Montague, and Juliet, being a Capulet, meant that their love could never be accurate.

Their families were sworn enemies, so them being in love would just add to it.

The ongoing fights about who's wrong and right, but after all these years, still, two wrongs don't make a right.

Sharing a love strong enough to die and kill for, the kind of love that everyone should try and live for.

So, please, if you will, open eyes, all attend, the show must begin, but I'll be back before it ends.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)


They gettin' into it already.

Whoa!

(APPLAUSE)


(APPLAUSE)

Ooh!

(ALL CHEERING)

(CLATTERS)


Whoo!


(AUDIENCE CHEERING)

Go, Juliet! Mm! (LAUGHS)


Whoo!

That's what we came to see!


Oh!

Yeah, all right! Whoo!

(SWORDS CLINK)

CROWD: Ooh!

(CROWD GROANS)

It's just a dance, baby.

No, Mama. It's so much more.


(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Guys, can you believe this?

It's insane.

Ishani, you okay, baby?

You want me to get some revenge on Romeo over there?

Nah, it's cool.

Hey, you okay?

What's wrong? Nothing at all. I'm fine.

Guess I just can't believe that this is all finally happening.

I wish my mom could've seen it.

Um, you lovebirds need to save all of this for the stage.

The intermission is over.

(CLAPS) Okay, people!

It's time to rock.

Yes! (ALL CHEERING)

Let's go!

(CHEERING)

These violent delights have violent ends, drawing swords, spilling blood.

Vicious brawls over grudges.

Vengeance and rage lead to death, leaving no room for discussions.

Banished for his actions, Romeo has got to leave.

Will they ever be together? We'll just have to wait and see.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(MUSIC PLAYING)

Whoo!


(WHISTLING)


(HEART BEATING)

They want her to marry that guy.

It's not good.

(THUMPING)

(THUNDER RUMBLING)

(ROMANTIC MUSIC PLAYING)


Did she really kill herself?

Nah, she's just faking.

But then she can't be... Come on, show respect.

Okay.

(INAUDIBLE)

(APPLAUSE AND CHEERING)

Whoo!

Things have come full circle in the state of despair.

Juliet holds the solution in her hand and just stares.

Slowly dancing with the potion, yeah, she's going through the motions.

A selfless sacrifice, hoping the gates of love will open.

Ready to die for her love, ready to rise up above.

Putting an end to all the pain is all she's hoping that it does.

So, will Romeo come save his only love before her time's out?

Will true love prevail?

The time has come for us to find out.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

Whoo-hoo!

(CHURCH BELLS RINGING)

(SOMBER MUSIC PLAYING)


(AUDIENCE CHEERING)

Yeah, that's what I'm talking about.

(ALL CHEERING)

You know, when Nureyev danced this, they clapped for 40 minutes.

(SCOFFS) Is that right? Mm-hmm.

(CHEERING)

(UPBEAT MUSIC PLAYING)

I don't even know what to say.

Say you did it. We all did it.

Well, I imagine you won't have much trouble selling tickets from here on out.

I hope not, but we still don't have a space.

Actually, I don't think that will be a problem.

How would you like to establish a permanent dance center, here at the Bijou?

(CHUCKLES)

You're serious?

The community needs this place.

That's great, but what made you change your mind?

Consider it a charitable gesture.

Yeah. Her company wants to have the appearance of being good people.

(ALL CHUCKLE)

Well, whatever the reason, thank you.

MELEA: Uh...

Except I'd like to ask for a favor, please.

Which is?

I'd like to name it after my mother and 'Shani's brother.

All right, yeah.

MS. LEE: Done. MELEA: Thank you.

You're welcome.

Yeah!

Are you okay?

Thank you.

ALL CHANTING: Melea! 'Shani! Melea! 'Shani!


(MUSIC PLAYING)