Songwriter Dave Hall and Tom Silka Urban Urbn Faery Tales
A Musical TV Series by Dave Hall & Tim Sulka
Fairy tales have been a part of every culture for hundreds of years. Their themes are familiar and timeless, told throughout the ages. They have been reimagined and reinvented on stage, screen and television and is evidenced by such current favorites as Once Upon A Time, Into the Woods and Cinderella to name a few. Incorporating music into such television shows as Glee, Nashville, Galavant, Smash and Empire has also proven to be a popular favorite with audiences. Urbn Faery Tales is family entertainment (for ages 8 and up) with a unique blend of both.
The setting for Urbn Faery Tales is modern day Brooklyn and its distinct neighborhoods of Bushwick to Bed Stuy and Red Hook to Park Slope with a little bit of Manhattan thrown in for fun. The stories are updated, incorporating present-day situations, culturally diverse characters and original songs while still retaining the heart of the original tales. Urbn Faery Tales consists of six episodes and will be filmed (and sung!) on the streets of Brooklyn. For example, Jack and the Beanstalk is set in a vacant lot in Bushwick; Rumplestiltskin, a barbershop in Bed Stuy and the Empress’ New Clothes in a trendy loft in Dumbo. Our goal is to retain the fantastical quality of the original tale while infusing a contemporary feel and tone into the show. While our initial goal is to use Brooklyn, other urban settings also offer great potential to bring these stories to life.
Along with its well-known heroes, every good fairy tale needs a villain. Urbn Faery Tales has created the greedy and soul-sucking Mr. Giant (not a giant at all, but a giant in his own mind!), a shrewd businessman whose only goal is to drain the artistic integrity out of artists and use their talents to make him rich. While the stories stand alone, the thread of Mr. Giant’s nefarious activities are woven throughout the six episodes, building to an ultimate, exciting conclusion.
Introducing each episode is Jane, the hero of Urbn FaeryTales. As she says in her voiceover to “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Never in my wildest dreams did I think a painter, a gamer, dress designer, a wanna-be hip-hop star and a few more artists from Brooklyn, New York could take down a power hungry giant! This whole adventure didn’t even start with me; I mean, we’ll get to me soon enough, but it’s probably better if we show you how the whole thing began – with my friend Jack, a cow and some beans (human and the kind you can eat!).
The music in the series is a sparkling mix of folk, pop, hip-hop and traditional musical theater, woven together in an original style that reflects the diversity of the shows’ characters. Certain themes recur as characters or situations reappear, so that as the series moves on, viewers will become familiar with the melodies while being entertained by new songs in each episode.
Logistically, the series provides ample opportunity for guest stars and cameo appearances by celebrities from Hollywood, Broadway and the music industry who will entertain viewers of all ages.
While the goal of Urbn Faery Tales is to introduce fun-filled and comedic updates of old favorites to a new audience, it is our hope to impart positive messages in each story regarding generosity, love, honesty, and remaining true to yourself.
Music Samples & Teleplay Excerpts
a struggling artist, not too bright, trades his painting of a cow for a bean burrito. Becomes leader of a group of "muralists" fighting against the greedy Mr. Giant.
a pretty, young pastry chef that “bakes the golden cupcake.”
a very “high-strung” harpist.
a computer genius, struggling to create an app that turns computer bytes into gold. Unwittingly becomes the heroine of the series; leads Jack and his followers in their efforts to take down Mr. Giant.
Jane’s dad, a barber who imagines a better life for his daughter but whose exaggerations cause big problems.
a street magician whose magic may be more real than you think.
a girl with flowing locks who dreams of a life with “bounce and shine” outside her ten-story apartment building.
Rapunzel’s love, an aspiring and creative hair-designer whose muse has ten stories of luscious locks!
a family of free-spirited souls, whose love of artisanal crafts (handmade clothing, infused olive oils, rooftop gardens, heirloom pickles and organic ramen!) is put to the test.
a cobbler and tradesman whose craft is no longer needed or appreciated.
a greedy businessman whose only goal is to reap profits and destroy the souls of innocent artists.
the spoiled teen daughter of Mr. Giant, obsessed with material goods, only wants more, more, and then a little bit more.
a down on her luck fashion designer trying to support a small son and tailor herself a career in the fashion industry.
Crystal de Canter
the editor of Empress magazine, determined to revolutionize the world of fashion.
a cool jazz cat, determined to finally find success by transforming a lazy slacker into a star.
said lazy slacker, a loveably absent-minded rapper.
What follows is a full synopsis of the Pilot and brief summaries of the remaining episodes.
Episode 1 - Pilot
Jack and the Beanstalk
(or Climb That Vine!)
High in a tower overlooking the metropolitan area of New York City and its five boroughs, an eye blinks through the end of telescope. Behind the telescope is MR. GIANT, megalomaniac extraordinaire. His face grimaces as the telescope sweeps around, at last coming to stop on a vacant lot somewhere in Bushwick, Brooklyn. With a greedy grin, Mr. Giant focuses the telescope further and sets his sights on his next victim…
As sung by The Beans, a merry hipster trio of singer/musicians, Jack, a starving artist is introduced. Song: This Here’s Jack. Jack currently squats with his mother in a shack in an empty lot in Bushwick, a burgeoning artist community. He enjoys painting cows, particularly his favorite, Esmerelda. Accompanied by The Beans, Jack sings. Song: Conversation with the Artist and a Young Cow.
At the urging of his frustrated mother and as much as it pains him, Jack agrees to sell the one thing that means anything to him – his only finished painting of Esmerelda. As Jack walks the streets of Brooklyn trying to sell Esmerelda, he is waylaid by a huckster who swindles the painting from him. Jack’s only payment - a bean burrito from a food truck. The huckster tells Jack that the burrito is a special burrito that contains magic beans – made up of black, red and pinto beans. Magic? Song: Burrito of Dreams. Jack wonders. What are they, fartless beans??!
A starving Jack regretfully trades Esmerelda and devours most of the burrito, promising to save some for his mother. Jack’s mother is not too happy with the burrito, which will just give her gas (and The Beans! – 3 more mouths to feed?). She tosses the remains of the burrito into the vacant lot and storms out. Jack is depressed and alone, without Esmerelda to cheer him up. Jack and The Beans sing about what it would be like to be rich. Song: Jack and The Beans Talk.
The next day, Jack discovers a huge vine has grown out the of the beans in the dirt of the empty lot. As The Beans sing, Song: Climb That Vine!, Jack follows the vine which leads him through the streets of New York, into the subway and up the side of a huge skyscraper in the middle of Manhattan. Jack follows the vine up hundreds of steps to the door of mega corporation, Giant Enterprises, with its founder and CEO, Mr. Giant. Mr. Giant isn’t actually a giant at all, (maybe a giant of industry!) but just a man who “eats people like Jack for breakfast!” It is here that Jack discovers the painting of Esmerelda on Mr. Giant’s wall!
Turns out, the huckster worked for Mr. Giant and deliberately led Jack to Mr. Giant because everyone sells out eventually! Mr. Giant promises Jack that he will make him famous by plastering Esmerelda’s image on t-shirts, lunch boxes, skateboards, etc. if he only signs a contract. Song: Before There Was a Giant.
Still trying to persuade Jack, Mr. Giant shows off his prized possession, Goldie Gosling, young and pretty, who is making trays of her famous “golden cupcakes.” She only praises Mr. Giant for giving Goldie her “big break.” To Mr. Giant, Goldie’s cupcakes are gold indeed. There is a spark of romance between Jack and Goldie.
Before Jack can sign on the dotted line, Mr. Giant is called away with a work emergency leaving Jack alone in his office with another prized possession – Elodia, a high-strung harpist who is forced to play music 24/7 for Mr. Giant. She warns Jack not to take the deal. Song: My Goose is Cooked/Strung Along. It’s all a sham! Mr. Giant has ironclad contracts with dozens of artists who are forced to work for little pay or reward. Mr. Giant is the only one making money! Even Goldie? Even her!
Jack rushes to find Goldie who is chained to her worktable. Mr. Giant hoodwinked Goldie after he ate one of her cupcakes. He promised her he could make her rich. All she wanted was to make a decent living and sell her cupcakes out of a nice little storefront in Park Slope. But now, the cupcakes don’t even taste as good as they used to since they are being mass-produced with substandard ingredients. It’s certainly no fun for her anymore.
Jack quickly frees Goldie and they start to leave. Elodia begs Jack to take her with them, and along with his painting of Esmerelda, they sneak out of Giant Enterprises, down the vine as The Beans sing Song: Down That Vine! and back to Bushwick where they can live happily ever after as artists instead of slaves to the soul-sucking Mr. Giant.
Meanwhile, Mr. Giant is furious at Jack for stealing his prized possessions and is out for revenge (“Bay Ridge, Bed Stuy, I want the blood of that Brooklyn guy!”) No one steals from Mr. Giant and gets away with it! He’ll find Jack and tear him limb from limb if it’s the last thing he does. And he WILL find them. Song: The Giant’s Rage.
End pilot episode.
Music Samples & Teleplay Excerpts
Rumplestilskin or Grab That Gold!
Mr. Miller, a barber in Bed Stuy, brags to his friends that his computer genius daughter, Jane, has invented an app that can literally convert old bytes on the computer into gold! Mr. Giant, (Miller’s landlord) gets wind of this and wants the app for himself.
Jane is stunned to learn from her father that he is in debt to Mr. Giant and needs her to cover for his lies and create the gold app. She can’t possibly convert computer bytes into gold. But she has to! Her father has made a deal with Mr. Giant, who will foreclose on the barbershop if he doesn’t come up with the app.
Jane encounters a mysterious street magician (Rumplestiltskin) in Prospect Park, who has drawn a small crowd by performing magical tricks on his ipad. She is immediately drawn to this magic in which the magician literally pulls objects from his tablet. The magician is very sympathetic as he listen’s to Jane’s plight. Maybe he can help. He shows her as he literally pulls a gold coin from inside his ipad! Jane wishes she had some of it to use for herself. But everything comes with a price… Jane must find a way to earn this magic before Mr. Giant takes control of it.
Musical Numbers include: Miller’s Bragging Song, Nothing Into Gold, The Magician’s Song.
End Episode 2
Music Samples & Teleplay Excerpts
The Cobbler and the Elves or Shine Those Shoes!
Mr. Lacey, a cobbler, is the last of a dying breed – the sole proprietor of his own business in a tiny storefront in Bay Ridge. Cammie the very spoiled teenage daughter of Mr. Giant, discovers the cobbler’s custom made one-of-a-kind shoes and absolutely ADORES them! Her father is Mr. Giant and she wants more shoes – NOW!
The cobbler works hard into the night until he falls asleep only able to complete a few pairs. He can’t work as fast anymore. He falls asleep. As he sleeps, a strange free-spirited family the d’Elves (mom, dad and a brood of kids) enters and takes over the cobbler’s work. They’re an artisan family, traveling around in their van with their homeschooled kids and totally into making shoes from scratch.
Once Cammie is bored with her new enterprise, Mr. Giant is quick to put the cobbler out of business and force the d’Elves to work for him. Jane overhears the cobbler’s plight and is determined. Someone has to take down Mr. Giant!
Musical Numbers include: Whatever Happened to Quality?, Shoes!, Teamwork Doesn’t Suck, Shine Those Shoes!
End Episode 3
The Empress’ New Clothes or Dig That Dress!
Single mom Trudy Taylor, an aspiring clothing designer, dreams of getting noticed in the fashion world instead of just showing off her designs to friends out of her small Red Hook apartment. Trudy takes a low-paying internship at Empress Magazine, one of the premier fashion magazines located in a tall, translucent glass loft in Dumbo. She soon discovers that the world of fashion is filled with vacuous people who seem to care about nothing substantial. They go to restaurants where the waiters eat and breathe on you as a meal, wear lens-less glasses, walk invisible dogs and never read.
A sly designer appears on the scene claiming to have created a fabric that can only be seen by the most discerning and fashion-forward artisans. Intrigued, Editor-in-chief Crystal de Canter commissions him to create a gown of the new material for Crystal to wear at Empress’s Spring Gala. Of course, the fabric is non-existent, but everyone pretends they can see it, not wanting to look foolish or out of trend. As the big night approaches, social media is abuzz. From the fashion bloggers to Mr. Giant, the editor’s date for the event, the world cannot wait for the grand unveiling of “the dress.” It is Trudy who must save the day, when the grand unveiling does not go as planned.
Musical numbers include: Am I Invisible, Everything Is Clear, Dig That Dress!, She’s Got Nothing On!, Mr. Giant Triumphs Again!
End Episode 4
Rapunzel or Rock That Weave!
Rapunzel is a Brooklyn girl with the longest, richest head of hair nobody’s ever seen. Her wicked stepmother has locked her up in their tenth floor walk-up. One twilit night, Alonzo, an aspiring hair designer, happens past Rapunzel’s apartment building when he hears the most beautiful singing coming from ten stories above him. With her stepmother out, Rapunzel lets loose her flowing locks and Alonzo climbs up her hair (enjoying a few strange encounters with neighbors in the floors below!) It is love at first sight!
Alonzo tells Rapunzel his dream of winning the Brooklyn Hair Wars, a yearly competition that showcases the most inventive and outrageous hair designers. Alonzo also convinces Rapunzel to be his hair model for the event. The two plan a way to overcome Rapunzel’s stepmother and make their dream come true. First prize in the Hair Wars is a job in the salon chain owned by Mr. Giant. Unfortunately, this prize may turn out to be more of a punishment.
Musical numbers include: All Locked Up, RAPunzel RAPunzel, Climb That Hair! Hair Wars.
End Episode 5
Music Samples & Teleplay Excerpts
Puss ‘n Boots or Climb That Chart!
An old Chinese man, Shi On, had three sons, and when he passed away, he left the care of his third and youngest son, Li On, a slacker who writes rap lyrics all day, to the care of his old friend, Katz. Katz (who owes a debt to Shi On) becomes impatient because Li On has no head for business, does nothing all day, and sneaks out every night. Katz follows him to a poetry slam, hears Li On’s lyrics and is impressed. Jane is at the slam and when she meets Li On, there is an instant connection.
Katz sets about grooming Li On for a career in the music business, establishing social media accounts that will help him create the illusion of being a star. Li On meets secretly with Jane and tells her about Katz’s plan to get him a record deal with Mr. Giant. She warns him to stay away from the Giant! He’ll steal Li On’s soul!
Under Mr. Giant and his daughter, Cammie’s, thumb, Li On’s songs are vapid and lifeless. At first Katz takes credit for Li On’s rise to fame and fortune, but he sees that Li On only hates himself more and more. Katz goes to Jane for help. He regrets what he did just to free himself from the debt he owes Li On’s father. Jane wonders what is the debt? And why is Katz suddenly growing whiskers and a tail?? Jane must find a way to defeat Mr. Giant and save Li On.
On the day Mr. Giant is to receive and honor from the city for his achievements, Jane and all the artists under the Giant’s rule band together to defeat him. But there is one thing missing – magic.
Musical numbers include: The Purrrfect Girl, Cool, Cool, Katz, Climb That Chart! A Giant Revenge.
End Episode 6
Their souls now free to really create, the artists form their own community, offering artisanal products to the public. In true Urbn Faery Tale fashion, they all live happily ever after!
Tim Sulka is a versatile screenwriter, playwright and producer. His first feature, co-written with actor John Franklin, Children of the Corn 666, was produced and distributed by Miramax/Dimension and directed by Kari Skogland. John Franklin starred in the film, reprising the role of “Isaac” which he created in Stephen King’s cult classic Children of the Corn. The film also starred Nancy Allen and Stacy Keach. Franklin and Sulka have also developed and written several feature films and miniseries for Connie Stevens’ Shane Productions, as well as a video series on good parenting. Prior to this, Sulka and Franklin were selected out of thousands of applicants to be part of the Warner Bros. Sitcom Writers Workshop. Tim is currently co-writer of the book and lyrics for The Most Miserable Christmas Tree, a delightful (and slightly off-kilter!) holiday musical written with Debra Barsha, composer of Radiant Baby, a musical about the life of artist Keith Haring.
Tim is currently a partner in Laddsville Entertainment, which has produced the first installment of Prime Cuts, a graphic novel based on the legend of Sweeney Todd and co-written with John Franklin.
He now serves as the Associate Company Manager on the Broadway production of the Global Hit, Jersey Boys.
Dave Hall is a songwriter and composer of pop, TV, musical theater and concert music. Known for both his music and lyrics, the New York Times called him “an artist of considerable lyrical clout.” He’s released several CDs of original folk-rock (Playin’ The Man, Places, and True), two classical recordings (Songs of Boyhood and Songs of Brooklyn) and a holiday CD (Christmas). His first musical Getting Home, for which he wrote book, music and lyrics, was performed in a vacant lot in New York’s Lower East Side and his children’s musicals Jack and the Beanstalk (Manhattan Children’s Theater) and Angela’s Flying Bed (NY International Fringe Festival) enjoyed successful runs. His most recent foray into musical theater was Round Midlife, for which he co-wrote the book, music and lyrics, and which ran off-Broadway in 2013. He’s also been active as a composer of incidental music for off-Broadway plays as Richard Hoehler’s Working Class andVoices From Guantanamo. He’s currently at work on a new music theater work called Darkened City.