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TheOneLiner

Amusicprofessorcomestotermswithhissonsdeathand,withthehelpofanewstudent,
rediscovershispassionformusicandforlife.
TheBackground
ROBERTWALSH,40s,reservedandsoftspoken,handleshimselfwithaquietgrace,isa
passionatecellistandJuilliardprofessorandthefatherofhisownmusicalprotg.Ontheway
totheworldpremiereofRobertsnewpiece(aduetwithhisson,NICKWALSH,18)thepairis
caughtinagrislyaccidentwhereNickdies.
ThePremise
ItsMr.HollandsOpusmeetsAugustRushacharacterdrivendramasetinthepulsating
enigmaofmoderndayNewYorkCity.Pickingupfiveyearsaftertheaccident,Roberthaslostall
senseofpassionandallsenseoflife.Hehasbecomeanemptyshellofhisformerself.Though
stillteachingatJuilliard,itseemseveryotheraspectofhislifehaschanged.Robertrefusesto
granthisseparatedwifeadivorceandappearsdeterminedtoputthepiecesofhislifeback
together.Whenabrilliantnewstudent,ALEXIASLOANE,19,NewYorkCityguttersnipe,shows
up,Robertsworldisturnedupsidedownagain.
Forcedtoworktogether,theopinionatedpairoftenendupatoddswitheachanotheruntilAlexia
startstofillthegapingholeinRobertsheartthatheldaplaceforhisson.Hisrelationshipwith
Alexiablossomsandinspireshimtostartplayingagain.Robertsoondecidestopremierethe
duethewroteforhissonwithAlexia.AsRobertcontinuestotriestorecreatehisformerlife,
AlexiabecomesincreasinglyconcernedwithherroleasareplacementforNick,especiallyas
sheisalsodealingwithherownburgeoningromanticfeelingsforRobert.
TheNemesis
Roberthasafewnemeses,himselfincluded.AsidefromRobertsmentalstatebeingatrue
threat,thereisalsoAlexiawhoposesasthevillain.WhileAlexiadoeswarmtoRobert,sheholds
adarksecretthatcoulddestroyeverything.Robertsestrangedwife,MICHELLEWALSH,40s,
alsoprovestobeahazardtothehappinessthatRobertsodesperatelyseeks.Finally,Roberts
boss,JONATHANRAILTON,50s,thecoldanduncaringheadofthedepartment,jeopardizes
Robertscareer.
TheHeroandtheTwist
RobertWalshisatalentedmusicianandprofessorofmusicattherenownedJuilliardSchool.
Hislifeandspiritarebrokenafterthedeathofhisson.Hisworldcrumbles,andhemustlearn
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howtostandonhisowntwofeetagain.Theproblemisthateverythinghesdoingtomake
himselfhappieriseitherveryselfdestructiveandextremelypsychologicallydamagingorwillend
upleavinghimmorebrokenthanhewasbefore.
TheBeats
TheAccident
1.Bronxville,NY.NICKWALSH,18,standsinfrontofamirrorinhisroom,nervous.Two
piecesofpaperareinhishandsashestaresunseeingintothemirror.Hehidesthe
papersbeforehisfatherenters.
2.ROBERTWALSH,40s,asoftspokenmusician,reassuresNickthateverythingis
goingtobeokay.
3.Inthecaronthewaytothecity,thetwodiscusstheupcomingconcertwhentheyare
blindsided.
4.Thecarflips,leavingthepairinamessofshatteredglassandblood.Feelingbloodon
hisforehead,RobertchecksonNickonlytofindthatNickisdead.
TheFuneral
5.MICHELLEWALSH,40s,normallyheldtogether,fallsapartinthearmsofher
husbandduringNicksfuneral.
6.Rainpoursdownonthem,whichfadesto
FiveYearsLater
7.NewYork.WaterpeltsRobertintheshower,spiralingdownthedrain.
8.Robertnolongerhasanyzeal.Itseemsasthoughhesjustgoingthroughthemotions,
livinginadaze.Hislessonsgooninastrainedvoiceasifeachwordiscuttinghimonits
wayoutofhismouth.
9.Hegoeshometoanemptyhouseandanemptybed,barelysurviving,dependingon
antidepressantsandthewilltonotdie.CollectingdustinRobertsstudyisacelloanda
setofunsigneddivorcepapers.
ANewStudentArrives
10.Robertliterallyrunsintoastudent,ALEXIASLOANE,19,onhiswaytoarehearsal.
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Aftertheirbriefandunpleasantinterlude,hegoesonhisway.
11.Partwaythroughtherehearsal,Alexiaenterstherehearsalspace.Robertfinishes
thepiecebeforeconfrontingAlexiaandherpresenceinhisclassroom.
12.AlexiaexplainsthatRobertsboss,JONATHANRAILTON,50s,coldanduncaring,
senthertoseeRobertandschedulelessonswithhim.
ASuperiorRequest
13.RobertstormsintoJonathansofficeaskingwhyAlexiawassenttohimforlessons.
14.JonathanexplainsthatAlexiaisauniquecase,andhebelievesthatRobertwould
workwellwithherbecausetherewassomethingaboutherthatremindedhimofNick.
15.JonathanasksnicelyifRobertcanfindawaytofitAlexiaintohislessonschedule,
andRobertobligeshim.
Dissonance
16.RobertandAlexiahavetheirfirstlesson.Theylearnthattheyclashbothin
personalityandstyle.
17.Alexiaissetinherwaysanddoesntseemtowanttolearntheproperwayofdoing
things.
18.Robertisalsosetinhiswaysandrefusestobudgeonhistraditionalsenseof
teachingandplaying.
19.AlexiachallengesRoberttoshowherhowitsdoneifhiswayissomuchbetterthan
hers,butRobertrefuses.Alexiacallshimoutonthefactthathesamusicteacher,but
hewontplay.Claimsthathemustnothavebeenverygood.
20.ShepushesenoughbuttonsthateventuallyRobertblowsupandtheygetinabig
fight.
AnUltimatum
21.Yetagain,RobertfindshimselfinJonathansoffice,thoughthistimeitiswith
convictionthatRobertrefusestoworkwithAlexia.
22.Jonathanpresentshimwithanultimatum:eitherworkwithAlexiaordontworkat
Juilliard.RobertquestionsJonathanonwhatgroundshewouldbefired,andJonathan
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unsympatheticallypullsoutaperformanceclauseinRobertscontract.
Choices,Choices
23.Robertpaysavisittohisbestfriend,COOPERKAPLAN,40s,devilishlyhandsome,
insearchofadviceonwhattodo.
24.Coopertellshimtotrainthegirlandthatitisntworthlosingajobover.Healsoasks
iftherewasanyattraction.
25.RobertinquireswhyCoopernevercomestoseehimanymore.Aftergetting
sufficientlyawkward,CooperadmitsthathesbeenwaitingforRoberttocometohim.
26.CoopermentionstheanniversarypartythatMichelleisthrowingforCooperandhis
wife.
SecondChances
27.RoberthasdecidedtogothroughthelessonswithAlexia,andwhilesheisnoless
surlythistimearound,theybothhaveresignedthemselvestotheirfates.
28.RobertdecidestochecktoseewhereAlexiaisatmusicallyandisbothstunnedand
appalledtofindhowwellsheplaysforhowlittlesheseemstoknowaboutmusic.
29.Alexiasnapsmoodilyabouthowshedoesntneedtoreadmusic,hermusiccomes
fromwithin.
CordiallyInvited
30.Arrivinghomefromalongdayoflessons,Robertfindsthathehasreceivedan
officialinvitationtothepartyforCooperandissurprisedtoseethatitwasaddressedby
Michelle.
ExMarkstheSpot
31.RobertshowsupatMichellesartgalleryrequestinganaudiencewithher.The
receptionistissnippywithhim,butheeventuallygetsin.
32.RobertwonderswhatMichellemeantbypersonallysendinghimaninvitation,but
Michellewarnshimtonotreadintoit.
33.WhenitseemsthatRobertisjustusingtheinvitationasanopportunitytogauge
Michellesfeelingstowardhimandtheideaofreconciling,Michelleblatantlyrefuseshim,
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tellinghimtomoveon.
ThirdTimesaCharm?
34.ThelessonsdontseemtobegettinganybetterasAlexiasNewYorkCityattitude
getsinthewayofhershowinganyrespectforRobertorhisteachingmethods.
35.Robertrefusestoshowherrespectbecauseofit,resultinginafightthatbreaksout
overbowingpositions.
PlayingNice
36.Wornout,RobertreturnshometofindMichellesittingonthefrontstoop.
37.Michelleexplainsthatshewouldliketoreconsidergivingtheirmarriageasecondtry,
thoughdoesntreallyexplainwhy.
38.Robertinvitesherinandtheyshareaslightlyawkward,butnice,dinner.
39.Attheendoftheevening,neitherofthemseemsureofwhatshouldhappen.Michelle
eventuallyleavesforherNewYorkapartment,despiteRobertsinvitationtostaythenight.
SimilarHeritage
40.Robertseemshappieratthenextlesson,buthismoodisfouledbyAlexiaslessthan
enthusiasticattitude.
41.Alexiadoessomethingrude,andRobertmakesanoffhandcommentabouther
upbringingandwhatherparentstaughther.Alexiarevealsthatsheisanorphan.
42.Empathizing,Robertrevealsthathetoowasanorphan.Alexiaadmitsthatshe
alreadyknewthatabouthim.
43.Thepairbeginstobondovertheirsimilarheritageand,insteadofworkingagainst
eachother,startworkingtogetherlikeallies.
PlayingAgain
44.Astimegoeson,RobertstartstofindhimselfinspiredbyAlexiasplayingandsoon
dustsoffhiscello.
45.Thefirsttime,heplaysonlyafewscreechingnotesbeforeRobertsetsitdown.
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46.HecontinuestoplayasheworkswithAlexia.
TheDuet
47.Oneday,hecomesintoapracticewithAlexiaonlytofindthatAlexiahasstarted
playingwithouthim.ShesplayingNickspartintheduetthathewroteforthem.
48.RobertflipsoutandscaresAlexiaoff.
49.Thatnightathome,Robertsitsdownandplaysaportionofhisownpartoftheduet
andcomestotherealizationthathewantstoplaythepiece.
50.Thenextpractice,heasksAlexiaifshewouldplaytheduetwithhimtokickoffher
recitalattheendofthesemester.
BackintheGame
51.After23yearsofmarriage,Robertfindshimselfbackinthegame,ironicallycourting
hiswife.Theydothingslikegoingouttodinnerandseeingmovies.
52.Theyseemtobefallingbackinlove.Slowly,afewofMichellesthingsfindtheirway
backintothehouse.
53.Robertstopstakinghisantidepressants,happywithhislifeforthefirsttimeinfive
years.
54.Neitherofthemacknowledgestheirhistory.NeitherofthemeverbringsupNick.
55.MichelleandRobertdecidetoattend/hosttheanniversarypartytogetherasacouple
oncemore.
AConcerttoPreparefor
56.RobertandAlexiapreparefortheconcert.Theirlessonsturnfromeducationalto
practicingfortherecitalpracticingtheduet.
57.Theyaremeshingwellandplayingwelltogether.Theyareabletolaughandbefree
withoneanother.
58.AlexiaallowsRoberttoteachhersomenewtricks.
59.RobertalsoallowsAlexiatoteachhimsomedifferentmethodsandtostepalittle
outsidehiscomfortzone.
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60.RobertinvitesAlexiatotheparty,ashehasalreadystartedtoconsiderhera
substitutechild.Alexiahappilyacceptstheinvitation,notpreciselyknowingwhatshewas
gettingherselfinto.
AnAnniversarytoRemember
61.RobertshowsupatthepartywithbothMichelleandAlexiaonhisarms,which
createsabitofastir.
62.CoopergiveshimgriefaboutAlexiaagainandinquiresifthereisanythingromantic
goingon,whichRobertvehementlydenies.HeinformsCooperthatifanythinghesees
herasadaughter,notalover.
63.ThoughRobertandMichellelookhappytogether,itisobvioustomanyofthepeople
inattendance,Alexiaincluded,thattheydontloveeachotherandareonlytogetheroutof
denialoverwhathadhappened.
64.AlexiacatchesherselfstaringatRobertwithlessthanappropriatethoughtsgoing
throughhermind.CoopercatchesherwatchingRobertandconfesseshisown
misgivingsaboutRobertsmarriage,whichonlyservestospurAlexiasfeelings.
ThePerfectFamily
65.CooperandhiswifeGWENKAPLAN,40s,sharetheirpartywiththeirtwolovely
children,whoarebotharoundAlexiasageandseemtobethepictureperfectimageof
whatafamilyissupposedtobe.
66.MichelleandRobertbarelyconcealtheirjealousyoverthewonderfullivestheir
friendslead,anditonlyremindsthemofhowtrulymesseduptheirownsituationis.
TheWrongName
67.WhileAlexiaisinbedwithherboyfriend,sheuttersRobertsname.
68.Herboyfriendgetsupset,assumingthatshescheatingonhim,andbreaksupwith
her.
TheGoodSon
69.RobertgoesintoNicksroomforthefirsttimeinalongtime.Hesettlesdownonthe
bed,butsomethingcrinklesunderthepillow.Robertpullsouttwopiecesofpaperfrom
underthepillow.OneisanacceptancelettertoJuilliard,theotheranacceptanceletterto
UCLA.
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70.RobertremembersbacktoanargumenthehadwithNick,notlongbeforethe
accidentaboutwherehewasgoingtoschool.Nickwantedtogiveuponhismusicto
pursuemarinebiology,butRobertrefused,claimingthatitwouldbeawasteofNicks
talent.
LamentandGuilt
71.AlexiamentionstoRobertthatshethoughtheseemedsortofsadattheparty.
72.RoberttellsAlexiaaboutwhathappenedwithNick,attemptingtoconveyhowmuch
hemisseshisson.
73.Alexiaseemsguiltyaboutsomethingbutdoesntsayanythingaboutit.
SealedwithaKiss
74.Thatnight,Alexiawritesaletterinherdorm,addressedtoherparents.Onecaninfer
fromtheletterthatsheranawayfromhomeanumberofyearsagoandisnotanorphan.
75.AlexiaasksherfriendEMILYCOOKE,19,sweetandoutspoken,tosendtheletter
afterAlexiahasleftforThanksgiving.
76.Notrealizingwhatitwas,EmilysendsitfromNewYork,notthinkingtwiceaboutit.
BeingRealistic
77.CooperandRoberthaveanotheroneoftheirchats,andCooperconfrontsRobert
aboutbeingrealisticinhisexpectationsabouthisrelationshipwithMichelle.
78.RobertwritesoffCooperwhenhetellsRobertofAlexiasfeelingsforhim.
CantStoptheMusic
79.RobertsurprisesMichellebytakinghertoaclassicalconcertthinkingthatshewill
enjoyitbecausesheusedtoloveclassicalmusic.
80.MichellecanthandletheclassicalmusicafterwhathappenedtoNickandstorms
out,sayingthatshedoesntknowifshecankeepdoingthis.
FoulMoods
81.Robertarrivesatthenextrehearsalinafoulmoodoverwhatisgoingonwith
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Michelle,butAlexiadoesntwanttotakehiscrap.
82.Robertkeepstreatingherlikeachildlikehischildandshesnapsathim,
exclaimingthatsheisnothisdaughterandshedoesntappreciatebeingtreatedas
thoughsheis.
83.Roberttriestoexplainthat,sinceshesevenyoungerthanhisson,itjustsortoffeels
righttohaveherfillinthatspace.Shegetsfrustratedandrunsoutonhim.
PleaBargain
84.Evenworseoffthanbefore,Robertendsupgoingtoabarandgettingfairlydrunk
beforereturninghomelateintheevening,onlytofindMichellewaitingforhim.
85.SheexplainsthatshecantbewithRobert.Theresjusttoomuchhistoryandtoo
manybadmemoriesthatshecantdealwith.Robertaccusesheroftryingtoeraseher
lifewithhim,andshedoesntdenyit.
86.Shepracticallybegshimtojustsignthedivorcepaperssotheycanbothmoveon
withtheirlives.
DissonanceRedux
87.Moreupsetthanbefore,Robertshowsuptorehearsalinastatethatislessthan
soberandseemsintentonruiningwhateversemblanceofhappinesshehadbeenable
toaccrueoverthepastfewmonths.
88.HeverballyattacksAlexia,callingherungrateful,ashewantedtogiveherafamily
andthoughtshewouldunderstandthat.
89.Alexiaalmostslipsandtellshimthetruthbutisupsetenoughoverhisaccusations
thatsheendsupleavingbeforesheruinseverything.
AnUnexpectedMeeting
90.AfterstormingoutonRobertforthesecondtime,Alexiamakesherwaytothe
subwaytogetawayfromschoolforalittlebit.However,shequicklyencountersanother
problem:hermotherisonthetrainwithher.
91.Alexiatriestoignorehermothersattemptstogetherattention,butthewoman
makesherwayovertoAlexia.
Gone
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92.RobertstartstoslowlyloseitashebeingstorealizethatAlexiahasgonemissinga
weekbeforetheconcert.
AlternativeSolutions
93.JonathantellsRoberttobeginpracticingtheduetwithanotherofhisstudents,since
theperformancehasalreadybeenheavilyadvertisedandtheticketshavesoldout.
94.Robertworkswiththeotherstudent,butheisaveryclassicalperformerandisnt
abletoconveythesameenergythatAlexiadid.
SoPerfect
95.RobertcomplainstoCooperaboutAlexiasabsenceandMichellesadamantrefusal
toseeortalktohimuntilthedivorcepapersaresigned.
96.Coopermentionssomethingabouthowotherpeoplehaveproblemstoo,andRobert
nastilystrikesbackathimabouthowCooperhastheperfectfamilyandshouldnt
complain.
97.Theygetinafight,andRobertleaves.
AFamilialTruth
98.Thenightoftheconcert,Alexiashowsupbackstageandaccidentallyletsslipthat
thereasonforherabsencewasthatsheranintohermother.
99.AbigfightbreaksoutasRobertrealizesthatAlexiahasbeenlyingtohimthewhole
timeandisnot,infact,anorphanatall.
100.Alexiacomescleanaboutherpast.
TheLastGoodbye
101.Aftertheybothcalmdownalittlebit,Robertapologizesforthethingshesaidtoher
beforesheleftandexplainedthatitwasbecausehewascomingtotermswiththefact
thathismarriagewasover.
102.AlexiaconfessesherfeelingsforRobertbykissinghim,andRobertexplainstoher
thathehadmeantwhathesaidaboutherbeinglikeadaughter.
103.Overcomingherembarrassment,shechoosestogoonstagewithhim.
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SomethingtoRememberMeBy
104.Robertseemedmostlyokaybeforesteppingonstage.However,onceunderthe
lights,Robertstartsgettingincrediblyanxious.
105.Hesitsdownbeforetheybeginplaying,butflashesofthenightNickkeepcomingto
him,andbeforeheknowsithesstuckinthenightmareofholdingontohisdeadsons
bleedingbody.
106.Robertsnapsoutofittofindhimselfonthefloorintearsandcantcontinuewiththe
performance.
ComingClean
107.Robertputsinhisresignation,andJonathancomescleanabouttheperformance
clausenotexisting.
108.CooperreconcileswithRobert,makingsurethathesleavingfortherightreasons.
MovingOn
109.Robertmovesoutofhishouse,boxingupNickspossessions,takingonlyhis
acceptancelettersandhiscello.
110.HemovesintoamodestapartmentinNewYorkCity.
111.Robertendsupsigningthedivorcepapersandreceivesathankyounotefrom
Michelle.
112.Hebeginsteachinglessonsagain,butprivately.
ParkPerformance
113.Inthespring,Robertgoesouttoaparkandplayssomemusic.Whenhegetstothe
duet,hestartsplayinghispart,hiseyesfallingclosedashedoesso.
114.Partwaythrough,anothercellojumpsin,playingtheotherpart.
115.Surprised,RobertopenshiseyestofindAlexiaisplayingwithhim.
116.Theysmileateachotherandnodinunderstandingandforgiveness.
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