今天想寫的,是百老匯音樂劇「夥伴們」(Company)。(原本想寫”RENT”,但是有太多可以寫,我現在沒力氣生長篇大論,所以,改天吧。)

這齣劇的場景發生在紐約,一開始的背景就是男主角Robert的生日宴會,會上他的五對已婚朋友用各種暱稱叫他,Bobby, Bobby baby, Robbi, Robert darling…每個都想引起他的注意,殷勤地幫忙吹蠟燭、叫他許願,然而Robert只說自己沒什麼特別的願望。接著Robert分別到這五對夫妻家裡聊天,但他眼中只看到婚姻中的悲慘面。在其後的”Sorry-Grateful”曲中,Robert問這些已婚男士們後不後悔,先生們跟Robert說,兩人關係有甜有苦,「You're sorry-grateful, Regretful-happy. Why look for answers when none occur?」,然而Robert只願意看到他想看的東西,也就是悲慘的那一面,讓他繼續有理由逃避,繼續當個不願承諾任何事情的人。

他只想要「完美」,從他後面的獨唱「Someone Is Waiting」就可以一窺究竟。他等的那個"someone",集合了他身邊這幾個已婚女性朋友的優點,然而這些女性都已經是別人的妻子,他心中那個完美的典型則根本不存在這世界上。於是劇情帶到了下一首「Another Hundred People」,Robert女友之一Marta訴說了她對曼哈頓的感覺,市容髒亂、街道擁擠、牆上滿是塗鴉,大家在派對上跟朋友的朋友的朋友虛情假意交際半天,即使如此,每天仍有幾百幾千人爭先恐後下火車來到這裡。Robert的另一個女友Kathy終於要離開他,去Vermont跟別人結婚,Robert問她為何這樣決定時,她說,她不想再呆在紐約佯裝自己有真正的生活了。「有些人知道何時該來,有些人知道何時該走。」

第二幕的開頭又是Robert的生日宴會,曲目是「Side by Side by Side/What would We Do Without You?」。沒錯,多了一個「by side」。Robert身邊雙雙對對的朋友,正熱情地幫他過生日,唱著「Side by side…」Robert卻總是跟在後面接一句彆扭的「by side」,完全就是多餘的一個人。但他仍安慰自己,「One's impossible, two is dreary, three is company, safe and cheery.」朋友又唱道Robert是個多好多棒的人,「What would we do without you?」,Robert回「Just what you usually do.」朋友們異口同聲回道,「Right!」。是啊,真的,沒了他也不會怎樣。在這場宴會上,他一直無法融入別人,不能體會他身邊朋友的感受。

到了「Ladies who Lunch」這一段,憤世嫉俗的好友Joanne在喝了幾杯酒之後,開始對各種類型的女生開刀,唱出她們的缺點,也把Robert心中對「完美」的夢想給戳破了。既然沒有一種路是百分之百美好的,何必去擔心那麼多呢?

到了劇中的最後一個生日宴會,Robert問大家,一段感情到底給了大家什麼:
「What do you get?
Someone to hold you too close.
Someone to hurt you too deep.
Someone to sit in your chair.
To ruin your sleep.」

他的朋友告訴他,不只是這樣,沒有那麼糟糕,然而Robert繼續唱著:「
Someone to need you too much.
Someone to know you too well.
Someone to pull you up short.
And put you through hell.」
諸如此類。

他的朋友則紛紛告訴他,
「Robert, how do you know so much about it when you've never been there?」
「It's much better living it than looking at it, Robert.」

於是主角的心情慢慢轉變,慢慢開始唱出體悟,
「Someone to crowd you with love,
Someone to force you to care,
Someone to make you come through,
Who'll always be there,
As frightened as you of being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive.」

到後面,Robert已經不用較模糊的”someone”,而改用”somebody”,後面的語氣也不再諷刺:
「Somebody, crowd me with love,
Somebody, force me to care,
Somebody, make me come through,
I'll always be there,
As frightened as you,
To help us survive
Being alive,
Being alive,
Being alive!」

我沒有別的想法需要提了,這齣音樂劇本身的詞與劇情就可以說明一切。

最後附上「Another Hundred People」的歌詞,這是我最喜歡的一首詞。

Another Hundred People

Another hundred people just got off of the train
And came up through the ground,
While another hundred people just got off of the bus
And are looking around
At another hundred people who got off of the plane
And are looking at us
Who got off of the train
And the plane and the bus
Maybe yesterday.

It's a city of strangers,
Some come to work, some to play.
A city of strangers,
Some come to stare, some to stay.
And every day
The ones who stay
Can find each other in the crowded streets and the guarded parks,
By the rusty fountains and the dusty trees with the battered barks,
And they walk together past upholstered walls with the crude remarks.
And they meet at parties through the friends of friends who they never know.
"Do I pick you up or do I meet you there or shall we let it go?"
"Did you get my message? 'Cause I looked in vain."
"Can we see each other Tuesday if it doesn't rain?"
"Look, I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain."
And another hundred people just got off of the train.

It's a city of strangers,
Some come to work, some to play.
A city of strangers,
Some come to stare, some to stay.
And every day
Some go away
Or they find each other in the crowded streets and the guarded parks,
By the rusty fountains and the dusty trees with the battered barks,
And they walk together past upholstered walls with the crude remarks.
And they meet at parties through the friends of friends who they never know.
"Do I pick you up or do I meet you there or shall we let it go?"
"Did you get my message? 'Cause I looked in vain."
"Can we see each other Tuesday if it doesn't rain?"
"Look, I'll call you in the morning or my service will explain."
And another hundred people just got off of the train.
And another hundred people just got off of the train,
And another hundred people just got off of the train,
And another hundred people just got off of the train.
Another hundred people just got off of the train.


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