04x08 - The Greatest Musical Ever Written

Adult Adam: In high school in the '80s, you had to get creative when it came to finding your place at school, and I knew exactly where I wanted to belong.

♪ Ta-ta-ta-ta-tah, da-da-da-da-da-dah ♪

Oh! [Laughs]

You are the greatest Tin Boy the world has ever seen!

[Gasps] Oh, I'm sorry. Tin Man.

My delicious, little Tin Man!

You don't think auditioning in full costume is too much?

You're too much! [Squeals]

Unfortunately, not everyone shared my mom's enthusiasm.

Hey, bro!



Ow! Why!?

I have a well-established rep at school as basically the coolest human of all time.

And you'll embarrass me and yourself if you do the musical.

Sure, I'm no Ben Vereen, but I'm really growing as a performer.

I don't care if you act better than Jean-Claude Van Damme!

You're in high school now.

The last thing you want is to be branded a lame-ass theater geek.

You're saying my popularity hinges solely on me not doing the musical?

This is high school, bro.

Theater is the lowest of the low, and nothing's gonna change that.

Well, nothing except the biggest musical sensation of the '80s.

One word ... "Phantom."

No way!


Before "Hamilton," "Phantom" was king of all musicals.

Even non-theater geeks loved it.

That show made me cry, and I don't care who knows it.

After an exhilarating weekend in New York City ...

I stayed in a hostel ...

I have decided to change the musical from that sappy schlock fest that is "The Wizard of Oz" and tackle the greatest musical sensation of our generation.

But don't we, like, need permission from Andrew Lloyd Webber to do his show?

We do, and he's granted it to us.


In spirit.

Look, do you want to be a giant wussbag for the rest of your life or be a star?

Well, you are the adult, so...

We're doing the greatest musical ever written!

Wait. Won't your brother kick your ass if you do the play?

I'll just play it cool around Barry. He won't even notice.

Well, I'm off to school. Have a nice day.


[Title music]

♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ But nonetheless, I feel the need to say ♪

♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ But the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was November 30, 1980-something, and Erica was planning her winter-semester schedule.

Okay, Pops. I just finished the ultimate slacker schedule.

Now that my college applications are in, I can finally, completely give in to my senioritis.

A lot of my friends have that. I-It's not as joyful with them.

First period, I kick things off with study hall, ease into my day.

And then it's on to second period ... another study hall for naps ... and then typing class and then an easy "A" in home ec, and then ceramics, and then intro to summer.

That's a class?

It's an independent study I created.

You know, there's a science to getting a good base tan.

Well, you outdid yourself.

This schedule really does spit in the face of education as we know it.

Got to admit, all this prepping and planning ... very mature of you.

You approve of all this?

She's gonna be going to college soon!

My job here is done.

Your job? As a parent?

Yep. Gonna be phoning it in from now on.

And this has been you not phoning it in.

I've been working my ass off.

Hey, Boopie. What's with the board?

It's a year of maxing and relaxing with nonstop blow-off classes.

Well, at least you're taking one real class.

Which is...?

Home ec.

Running a house is the hardest job in the world.

You know, some people put a man on the Moon, and others put parm on a chicken.

Uh, you sound insane right now. Home economics is the cornerstone of civilization.

Or it's a class football players take to make drop cookies.

That's what they're teaching you?

How to drop a hunk of batter on a sheet?

When did you get so anti-drop cookie?

They're not gonna teach you how to darn a sock, pepper a ham or bleach an undie?

I'm in the mood for drop cookies.

It's important for you to have the knowledge that your grandmother had and her grandmother had before her.

Yeah, well, I'll hire a maid who has that knowledge.

Until then, I have some maxing and relaxing to do.

Will you make me some drop cookies?

Unfortunately for Erica, the maxing was short-lived.

Oh, sweet mother of mercy!

Welcome to "Home Economics."

What are you ...

I'll be your your sub for the day... and week.

How are y...

Possibly month.

Only time will tell.

What did you do to to Ms. Horokawa?

Oh, you mean Mrs. Silverstein?

I introduced her to the man of her dreams. They eloped.

Now they're in Belize on the trip of a lifetime.

You monster...

Buckle up, angel!

You're about to embark on a journey through the domestic arts.

Mrs. Goldberg?

Chef Goldberg.

All due respect, Chef, but the team and I kind of took this class for an easy "A."

Well, the only easy thing about this class is the eggs over.


All right, the fact that none of you are cracking up right now just shows your ignorance.

First assignment ... lasagna!

This will be the greatest challenge of your young lives.

But my mom makes lasagna all the time.

Is it really that hard?

Uh, I don't know, Ruben Amaro Jr.

Does four layers of hand-rolled noodles, freshly stewed tomatoes, and six imported cheeses sound hard to you?

But I only know two different types of cheese ... string and whiz.

Goat, Gruyère, Gouda.

Those are just the G's. You want me to go on?

Mom, you can't do this.

Oh, I just did. You're in my house now.

In addition to our regular house, which is also my house.

As Erica's plans for senior year were crumbling, my year was shaping up to be epic.

Dude. Ms. Cinoman just posted the cast list.

I'm The Phantom! The lead. Was there any doubt?

No one likes a diva, Dave Kim.

Oh, did you see what I got?

A lifetime of pain.

Give it up now or be a loser forever.

Oh my God! I got Christine!

Whoa, whoa. Hold up!

Since when do you do the school musical?

Since it became "Phantom of the Opera."

But I thought we shared the same beliefs and core values, mainly that theater was super lame.

It is, except "Phantom" being the one exception because it's romantic and full of candelabras.

And guess what? You're Raoul.

Wait... are you sure it's not the other Adam Goldberg?

He's an actor, too.

There's an "F." It's Adam F!

My first big part! Suck it, other Adam Goldberg!

Don't tell him I said that. I fear him. But yes!

Yeah, we're like the power couple of the show.


It's acting. Don't make this weird.

Yay, "Phantom!" [Squeals lightly]

[Sighs] She was supposed to come over and watch me provoke those hornets!

Can you believe this?

Kind of.

It's Andrew Lloyd Webber's opus.

What are you talking about?

Haven't you heard the original West End cast recording?



[sobbing] The Phantom loved Christine so much, he let her go.

You know, if I were you, I'd be worried about a showmance.

Oh, for sure.

No doubt.

What's a "showmance?"

It's when people play lovers onstage, and it leads to chemistry offstage, too.

How do you guys know so much about theater?

We saw the musical "Hair." We went for the nudity, but stayed for the rich musical tapestry. [Chuckles]

You guys are nuts!

My super foxy girlfriend and theater dork brother?

Yeah, not sweating it.

Strange 'cause your t-shirt is quite wet.

Yeah you're literally sweating it.

You are!

Anyhow, I'm gonna go change my shirt and pop by rehearsal for the fun of it.


He's so sweaty.

Yeah, it's like a gland issue.

Must be.

And so Barry discovered the world of theater.

What the...

And it was kind of bad ass...


...and very appealing...


...and had frickin' capes!


It was a beautiful mystery.

What is this place?

A world of massage circles that bonded kids for a lifetime.


A word.

Sure thing, Bar.

I hate to do this, but my girl was touching you, so I'm gonna have to karate kick your face. You get it.

Hey, this guy bothering you, Raoul?

It's cool. He's not show folk.

He doesn't understand our ways.

You see, the massage circle is a staple of high school drama.

Whatever, man.

Go back to your stupid tap dancing and lame-ass jazz hands.

So embarrassing.

[Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" plays]

At least that's what Barry thought.

And then rehearsal began, and he was swept away by the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

♪ Since once again with me ♪

Plus, Dave Kim got to wear a frickin' cape!

♪ Our strange duet ♪
♪ My power over you ♪

What's happening?

All my senses are engaged.

♪ Grows stronger yet ♪

That day, my brother's mind exploded.

♪ And though you turn from me ♪

And my mom was about to do some real damage in Erica's cooking class.

♪ To glance behind ♪
♪ The Phantom of the Opera is there ♪
♪ Inside your mind ♪

Cook. Cook, my angel!

Sing, my angel of music!

♪ He's there ♪
♪ The Phantom of the Opera ♪

Well, well.

Let's see if you've learned anything from me, my angel.

Stop calling me your angel. It's creepy.

Let's see how you did.

[Lainey vocalizing]

Blech! Ugh! I'm sorry. Fail.

Ha! You just gave an "F" to your lasagna!

I stole that from the freezer last night.

What? Why?

To prove this was rigged!

Dave Kim: Sing for me!

You cheated.

Sing, my angel of music!

That means you really do get an "F."

Are you serious?!

[Continues vocalizing]

This whole thing is unfair, and everyone here agrees.

Dave Kim: Sing for me!

Is that true?

Pretty messed up, Chef G.

Oh, is that right, Ruben Amaro Jr.?

You get an "F!" Everyone gets an "F!"

[Vocalization ends]

And scene!

With that, Barry paid our drama teacher Ms. Cinoman a little visit.

After much personal reflection, I've decided that I need to put aside my hate of everything you love and accept my destiny.

I'm here to be a star.

I don't follow.

Neither do I. I lead.

And Big Tasty's gonna make this dull-ass musical more popular than a football game.

That's the reach of my appeal.

Ah, okay, well, auditions have already happened ...

Do you want butts in seats or not?

Of course I want butts in seats! That's all I care about!

Then make me the lead of the show. Stedman, I guess.

Wait. What?

"The Phantom of the Oprah."

I assume it's her longtime companion, Stedman.

The man behind the woman.

Okay, uh, putting aside that you don't know the title or the show and that we're already rehearsing, can you even sing?

Of course. I sing rap style.

Oh, well, there's no rapping in this play.


♪ Her name's Oprah Winfrey ♪
♪ Her partner is Stedman ♪
♪ Back off, Donahue, or else you're a dead man ♪
♪ She's a cultural icon, collected and calm ♪
♪ She's Oprah Winfrey, America's mom ♪

[Clicks tongue] Yay. Well, uh, thank you.

And then I break dance and kiss Lainey and win whatever's the theater equivalent of the Stanley Cup.

I'll thank Oprah in my speech.

Okay, uh, the show's not about Oprah.

But hear me out. Could it be?

You know what? You're right?

I want you to be the star of the show.

I knew it! So what's my awesome part?

You will be one of 20 stagehands.

What? You said I was the star.

The real stars of this show are the sets and props ... the fog machine, the little boat, the chandelier that crashes onto the stage.

And you're in charge of it all with 19 others.

Come. Your dressing room awaits!

♪ Ta-da ♪

This isn't a dressing room.


This is a place for me to lurk under the stage like some kind of creepy phantom tending to whatever this play is about!

Wow. Creepy?

That's an extremely unfair characterization of our amazingly talented stagehands.


Aah! Kill it with fire!

Oh, hi, Dan. Show Barry the ropes.

All right, friend.

Let's get you into some clothes that make you more invisible.


It was "Phantom" rehearsals, and I was ready to take center stage while Barry was left waiting in the wings.

Zip! - Zap!



Zap! - Zop!

What is Lainey doing?

How is saying nonsense words with a bunch of nerds more fun than quietly watching me play video games?

Uh, Bar, can you help me hoist this bad boy?

I have a hernia, and this is painfully heavy.

You got this, pal.

I'm gonna grab a sweet shoulder rub from my girl once the massage circle starts.

Oh, uh, no no no.

Y-Y-You can't, uh, join the massage circle 'cause... you're not one of them.

What are you talking about?

Stagehands are part of the show.

Barry, that's something that we say but not really something that's true.

Like, there is a strict social hierarchy in theater, and actors are at the top! They're like jocks.

Stage techies like us are way down at the bottom like mathletes and Latin club.

Damn it! I hate this backwards world!

Hey, crew? I'm sort of in character right now, and your side chatter's really pulling me out.

You might think you're super cool here, but when we get home, anything goes.

Sorry, we're doing that musical in the spring. [Laughter]

Stop making stupid inside theater jokes I don't understand!

Okay. I see what this is.

You're just jealous Lainey and I play tender lovers.

Don't put it that way. But he's right ... you are acting crazy.

Are you jealous?

Jealous? Of what?

Of my little brother and girlfriend kissing or watching people close to me develop a shared interest and thrive in a world I can't be a part of?

All of those things, yes.

None of that applies!

While my rivalry with my brother was heating up, my mom and sister had gone to Principal Ball to settle their beef.

Whoa. Wow.

Okay, while I agree that these lasagnas both look and smell like a diaper fire, you can't give the entire class an "F."

Can't I?

You can't! The very fabric of this school is based on the fact that home ec is an easy "A!"

Okay, what are you even doing here?

My entire offensive line took your class!

If you fail them, we have no football team!

Well, that's on them because they can't cook for [bleep]...

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Dear God, Mom!

Whoa! Look, boys take home ec to boost their depressingly low GPA's.

So it's not important to learn the science behind the three C's ... cleaning, cooking, and cheesing?

Sure, in a pinch, a guy's got to know how to make a Manwich or scrub a bowl if a lady caller's stopping by, but your class is too hard!

Well, if you ask me, the only blow-off class around here is gym.

I could replace you with a pair of shorts, a Jane Fonda video, and a whistle.

You think you can just buy these shorts?! Huh?

You can. But you have to buy them at a special store for coaches!

Okay, stop! Stop! Everyone, calm down.

Beverly, here's the thing.

Home ec is and always will be a blow-off class.

Ha! Face!


That'll teach you to try to teach me.

I see...

Uh, then I guess I have nothing in the world to offer anyone.

Yes. Good. We're in agreement.

Everyone gets an "A."

Now if you don't mind, I'm late for class.


Okay, let's rehearse the big Raoul/Christine kiss, okay?

Let's just get the staging down.

Raoul dramatically runs to center stage to kiss Christine.

["Phantom of the Opera" plays]

[Music stops]

What the ...

Not cool!

Sorry ... technical difficulties!

All right let's just forget the stupid chandelier, okay?

Let's see the kiss.

[Music resumes] Unfortunately, a true phantom was lurking in the wings of Ms. Cinoman's extravagant production, and his name was Big Tasty.

It won't stop following me.


What the heck?!

No! Stop! Get away!


I sold my Ford Festiva to buy this thing. Now, make it work!

Sorry! Shoddy props!

We'll definitely have to lose this scene.

Not until I get my kiss.

All right, you two just get off the stage, all right?

I'll get this.

Wait! Hey!

Aah! Oh!

[Chandelier crashes]

Aah! Oh, the chandelier's broken!

And also my arm.

Dan did it! It was Dan!

Why, Dan? Why?! Boo!

Everyone join me in blaming Dan.

And he's gonna lie and say it was me, but we all know the truth that it was Dan! Boo!


The next day, we learned the cold, hard reality of producing hit theater.

People! People.

Due to Ms. Cinoman's shattered arm, the producers at "Phantom" have learned of our very unauthorized production.

Apparently, you can't do a brand-new hit Broadway show at a high school without getting permission.


Inappropriate, but precise.

I can't believe it. I was so close to being Christine.

Yeah, so close. But hey, that's showbiz for ya.

Now we can get back to just us kissing, baby.

Wait a sec. You sabotaged our show!

I had no choice!

You were gonna put your nerd lips on my girl!

Lainey's everything to me.

[Sighs] Come on, Lainey.


Wait. Don't tell me you're okay with this.

Well, before, I was Christine in a play.

Now I'm Christine in real life.

You know it, girl.

My boyfriend loves me so much, it made him go insane.

I hurt a teacher for you.

Don't find his horrible actions sweet!

Yeah, you did, you naughty, little phantom. [Growls]

Okay, I've had it!

Listen up, all you actors, costume designers, dead-eyed chorus members with no lines.

There's an old adage on Broadway ... the show must go on.

And damn it, it will.

So we can't use their songs or characters or "entire story." This is theater.

When we lose our script, we improvise!

[Cheers and applause]

Backed by a fierce army of theater geeks, I wrote an all-new, completely different musical.

Take that, Broadway attorneys.

Suck it, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

♪ I am the phantasm of the gymnatorium ♪
♪ So listen close, this is my story-um ♪

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!

No, no, no. No!

Just because you say it is not "Phantom of the Opera" does not make your play legal.

But they're nothing alike.

In theirs, the Phantom takes Christine on a boat ride in his underground lair.

In ours, the Phantasm takes Chrissy on a jet ski in his above-ground pool.

They're the same thing, dude.

That's because you played the characters the same, Dave Kim!

You have no range!

Yeah, I'm out.

Me, too.

Yeah, it kind of sucks, man.

All righty, then.

Let's shut her down and burn the sets.

Barry: [Clapping] Well, well, well.

Looks like opening night was also closing night.

That's right ... theater jokes.

Yep, you win.

I finally had one place in high school where I fit in, and you took it away. Bravo.


While our play had been shut down, Erica was back to her year of senioritis.

Hey, you mind?

Your mom just said, "Life is meaningless," and she locked herself in the bathroom.

I'm not gonna feel bad about this.

She tried to fail me and the whole football team to prove a point.

For a smart girl, sometimes you're a real moron.

What's this?

Budgets and meal plans.

Your whole life, she's been scrimping and couponing just to save enough money for you to go to any college that you choose.

I didn't know that.

Well, now you do. Don't make me start parenting you again.

This was supposed to be my blow-off year.

Turns out Erica did learn an important lesson that semester.

When it came to her kids, my mom never took a day off.

♪ Think of me fondly ♪

What the ...

What's all this?

♪ When we say goodbye ♪

Sometimes I think because I'm a senior, I've learned everything I need to know.

But every now and then, I realize that I don't know anything at all.

What are you talking about?

I was wrong to look down on what you do.

And I guess...

♪ To take your heart back and be free ♪

...I didn't realize that all your hard work is for us.

Baby, it's okay. It's just what a mama does.

Well, saying thanks is what a daughter needs to do.

So from the bottom of my heart, thanks.

My God, why?

Yeah, it's the best I've got.

Maybe you can actually teach me.

I would love that, Schmoopie. But can we...

Throw this thing in the trash? For sure.

With that, Erica blew off her blow-off year to start learning from my mom.

But she wasn't the only one who learned something that day.


I'm Donkey Konging. Go away.

I get it.

You're mad 'cause I basically ruined everything.

I'm mad 'cause my brother is a jealous lunatic.

Thing is, I'm not just jealous about Lainey.

It's like you're part of this cool world, and I'm not good at it.

Wait. You're jealous of me?

I guess it was kind of weird to see my little nerd brother succeed in a place where I can't.

I-I could teach you zip, zap, zop and maybe get you into the chorus.

No. That's your world.

I don't get it, and I don't want to.

But I got to say, I think it's kind of cool.

So maybe I didn't get my starring role in a musical, but that night, we all came together for a meal free of drama and full of love.

Mmm. So cheesy.

Bevy, you've outdone yourself.

I had a little help.

♪ Flowers fade, the fruits of summer fade ♪

Boopie, how's the play going?

Oh, you didn't hear? They canceled "Phantom."

The school was doing "Phantom of the Opera"?

Stupid blow-off year made me miss out!

That's the thing about family ... even though you think you have nothing in common, they're the people who teach you the most.

Well, maybe they can do "Les Mis." I hear that's an amazing show.

Come on, Dan! Really dig in there!

I'm mostly muscle! How are you not getting this?

Oh, I am loving mine.

Naked Rob is really working out those knots.

Shh, shh, shh. Just let your day fall away, bro.

Ooh, a massage circle. Can I get in on this?

No one touches my girlfriend!

Everyone form a line, not a circle. Lainey's first.

I got to be the masseuse caboose?

Screw this. I'm telling Ms. Cinoman on you guys.