Act One

 

ROUTE 66 is a new romantic musical comedy about a charmingly neurotic freelance journalist from Chicago and the cowboy photographer with whom she teams up to do a magazine piece about the historic old highway. In the process of rediscovering America, the two of them fall in love – not only with one another, but with the good ole U.S.A.SynopsisAct OneFreelance journalist, LIZ MITCHELL, is offered the opportunity of her career when she’s drafted by WALLACE SCOTT, the publisher / owner of Chi Town Magazine, to write the copy for a photo essay on Historic U.S. Highway 66 (A Highway Home). LIZ, who’s frustrated with her stalled writing career (Running a Little Late), jumps at the chance -- even though it means spending a week on the road with a complete stranger: the Arizona photographer whose work her text is to accompany (Chugga-Thunk!). He is ANDREW “DREW” GARRETT and, unfortunately, when LIZ meets him he’s just coming off an extended bender in Chicago (Beer Bubble Moon). LIZ gets suspicious and pries out of her editor, SUKI WEINSTEIN, that she won the assignment by default -- DREW’s drinking binge scared off every other writer they asked. The promise of future assignments and another meeting with SCOTT (plus the fact that she’s already 152 miles from home the guy) convinces LIZ to stick it out. DREW turns out to be decent enough (he can even rustle up ersatz sushi from the ingredients in kitchen of the Dixie Trucker’s Home diner (It Takes All Kinds). But, they run into their first road-block when LIZ gets them lost (All Over the Map). They argue and it comes out that LIZ knows about DREW’s bender. Embarrassed, DREW explains that it was out of character -- he’d just broken up with a woman back home -- and that he’s far too dedicated to documenting Route 66 before it completely disappears to let anything else jeopardize their trip (Route 66). So, they agree to let bygones be bygones and get back on the road. As DREW takes LIZ to the places and, especially, to meet the people that he knows along the old highway -- the offbeat, everyday folk who made it into the cultural icon that it is today -- she’s quickly won over to his way of thinking (Don’t Know Why...). In fact, even DREW starts to look good to her after he gets a haircut, a shave and a little sleep (A Step in the Right Direction). So, by the time WALLACE SCOTT catches up with them to meet with LIZ, she is in a very different frame of mind. With all the passion of a recent convert, LIZ tries to convince SCOTT to shift the emphasis of the magazine piece from the Route’s familiar sights to the people who populate them. SCOTT doesn’t buy it (he’s much more interested in Route 66 “collectibles”), but LIZ stands her ground. She’s surprised, however, when DREW doesn’t back her up (he even points out to her that now she’s the one putting the article at risk). “Let’s be honest..,” DREW says, “Route 66 is a lost cause. You have to know where to draw the line.” Furious that DREW might put personal gain ahead of his ideals, LIZ steals his car and strikes out on her own to finish what the two of them started.

 

 

 

Act Two

 

DREW manages to track LIZ down (Watertower Up Ahead / A Roadside Attraction), thanks to her elaborately detailed itinerary for the trip. The two of them have it out in a Texas restaurant, where LIZ tries to teach DREW about committing to a cause by eating their 72 ounce steak -- which, in a chivalrous gesture, DREW finishes for her (Pileup! / How Love’s Supposed to Be). That’s when LIZ learns that DREW’s interest in seeing the photo essay published actually has to do with the fact that he’s donating the money that he earns to restore an old drive-in movie theater in New Mexico. That’s when LIZ realizes how badly she has misjudged him. When they reach DREW’s home in Oatman, Arizona, LIZ is surprised to learn that a completed draft of the article that she e-mailed to SCOTT has done the trick. He loves it and wants her to meet him at the offices of his media empire in Los Angeles. That’s when LIZ and DREW realize that this might be the end of the road for them -- the article is pretty much done; they’ve only known one another for five days; and they live in completely different parts of the country. All the same, DREW sends LIZ off with his blessing (She Gives Me Hope). When LIZ reaches L.A., things only get worse. SCOTT offers her a big career boost: a staff job on the magazine and a monthly column. But, it’ll mean moving to Los Angeles. In the end, LIZ decides that the things that she loves about Route 66 are the things that she loves about DREW (America’s Back Road) If she can commit to the one, why not the other? The life that she’s after is out there with him. As for her career, she’ll take care of that just like every other dreamer who ever set up shop along the highway: from somewhere out on Route 66 (A Highway Home).