A NEW STAGE MUSICAL
Book and Lyrics by Rosalind Winton
Story and Music by Mick Cooper
Dreams are only dreams if you let them slip away
Take a chance, start the dance, today
ARNIE'S GYM is an exciting and heart warming new musical about the exploits of ARNIE SUTTON, who accidentally became the owner of a gym, in order to start a new and trouble free life. Only trouble is, he cannot help but harp back to his old ways now and then.
The show opens with an enthusiastic rock 'n' roll showstopper, THE KEEP FIT BOOGIE, which tells of Arnie's loveable rogue qualities.
The audience is then introduced to MICHELLE SUTTON, Arnie's daughter and HARRY FORBES, the barman. They are both young and in love. Harry tells Michelle that he wants to talk to Arnie about their relationship, but Michelle is scared, because Arnie is too protective over her and doesn't really want her to be with anyone. Harry and Michelle perform the ballad IT ALL COMES FROM LOVING YOU, which is a declaration of their love for each other. Harry promises Michelle he will talk to Arnie and try to convince him that they should be together.
SOPHIE McALISTER, who is an undercover cop, enters the gym in the guise of a new gym member. It is revealed that she is a backing singer, but she can't perform upfront, because she suffers from stage fright. She performs STAR OF A MEGA SHOW, which is a karaoke, upbeat song about pretending to perform to a huge audience.
Arnie finds it really difficult not to harp back to his old ways and he cons Sophie out of more money to join the gym and when he talks to Harry about it, Harry emphasises that honesty is the best policy. Arnie, Harry, Michelle, Sophie and the chorus perform LET'S TAKE THE WORLD BY STORM, which comically goes through how celebrities became rich or famous and how easy it should be for anyone else.
SWISH AND SWOSH are two cleaners that enter the show periodically. They perform various reprises of the comic song IS IT CLEAN, hinting that Arnie and the gang members are not very 'clean' at all. At this point in the show, they perform the whole song about how amazing they are at keeping the gym clean.
Harry talks to Arnie about being with Michelle, but Arnie threatens to sack Harry if he finds out they are seeing each other. Harry is a bit intimidated by Arnie, but remembers that he saw some shifty looking characters hanging around outside the gym. Harry tells Arnie that there could be trouble and quickly leaves before Arnie can quiz him further about it..
Enter LEONARDO DAGASTINI, SCAR FACE and JIMMY, who are members of the gang that Arnie belonged to in the past, but ran away from. Leonardo forces Arnie to talk about his past crimes that Arnie has kept secret from everyone. Leonardo, Scar Face and Jimmy perform the jazz number, THE HUSH MONEY SONG, where they blackmail Arnie into giving them protection money, which Leonardo says is insurance, otherwise the gym would be burned down.
Leonardo recalls Arnie's past exploits and has an idea. He tells Arnie to bring back his drag act and perform a show, so that the ticket money can go to him and then all debts would be paid. When Leonardo suggests a ticket price, Arnie surprises himself when he objects to the amount, showing he does have morals deep down. Arnie is totally against the whole idea, because he promised himself he would never do the act again after having a terrible time performing in the pubs and clubs. Arnie performs I SAID I WOULDN'T DO THIS ANYMORE, a lament about the promise he made to himself.
Michelle talks to Arnie about being with Harry, but Arnie tells Michelle he will sack Harry if he finds out they are together. Michelle performs the ballad THE CHILD IN ME, in which she battles with still feeling very young, but also being grown up and wanting to make her own decisions.
Sophie reveals herself as an undercover cop to Arnie and she tells him they have been after Leonardo and his gang for a long time. She tells Arnie that the drag performance would be the perfect opportunity for them to arrest the gang. Sophie asks Arnie why he doesn't work out in the gym and Arnie performs a comical song TIME TO GIVE UP THE FIGHT, where he talks about how being in the gym and exercising is always a disaster for him.
Leonardo, Scar Face and Jimmy come back to the gym to find out what Arnie has decided and Arnie tells them he will do the show. Jimmy tries it on with Michelle. Michelle slaps him really hard and Harry punches Jimmy, which sends him flying. Jimmy recovers and goes to hit Harry, but Michelle puts herself between them. Arnie is completely stunned and he realises at that moment that they must really love each other. He tells them they have his blessing.
Harry asks Arnie why he is giving in to the gang and Arnie tells him that if he wants to save the gym and do the right thing to get them put them away, he has to do the show.
Arnie asks Sophie if she will do a warm up act before he goes on, but Sophie says that she can't because she has never sung upfront before and it would be too frightening for her. She tells Arnie that when he has finished his final song, she will give the order for the police to come in and arrest the gang.
Arnie falls asleep at his desk and has a bad dream... The chorus, in dresses that have nightmare-ish appearances, dance to an instrumental piece of music called ARNIE'S NIGHTMARE. Leonardo, Scar Face and Jimmy appear in the dream threateningly. Sophie enters the dream dressed as a superhero, she zaps the dresses with her police flashlight. The dresses, Leonardo, Scar Face and Jimmy all go to Arnie who is asleep and they surround him menacingly. They all exit, except Arnie, who remains asleep at the desk. He wakes with a fright, Sophie enters and Arnie tells Sophie he is losing sleep over the situation.
Michelle tells Harry that she is worried that with all the problems with Arnie, Harry won't want to be with her anymore. Harry reassures Michelle and performs the ballad YOU ARE EVERYTHING TO ME.
The stage for the performance is set and Arnie gets ready for the show. The stage audience take their seats, including Leonardo, Scar Face, Jimmy and a few other gang members. Harry tells Arnie that Sophie has decided to sing.
Harry introduces Sophie and she performs JUST ONE STEP, a rousing ballad that talks about believing in yourself, following your dreams and never giving up.
Arnie, dressed as Lucy Lastic, Arnie's alter ego, goes on stage to start his show. He tells some saucy jokes and then performs his first song LUCY LASTIC, a soulful tale of his past life as a drag artist.
Before Arnie starts the next song, he accidentally gives Sophie a prolonged look. She is at the back of the room, discreetly talking into her radio. Leonardo notices and turns to see what Arnie is looking at.
He spots Sophie and realises something is wrong. Sophie realises Leonardo has caught on and she tells the police through her radio to come in straight away.
All of a sudden the police burst in and arrest Leonardo, Scar Face, Jimmy and the other members of the gang. This stops Arnie from performing the rest of his show, the show ends and the stage audience exit.
Arnie changes back into normal clothes and he apologises to Sophie for messing up. He asks Sophie what made her decide to perform and she tells him that because Arnie was brave enough to do his act, she felt she was letting him down by not performing, she is really glad she did it and says she would not be afraid to sing upfront again.
Harry takes Michelle by the hand, leads her to center stage, he gets down on one knee and proposes to her, she accepts.
Everybody celebrates and Arnie, Harry, Michelle, Sophie and the chorus perform RISE ABOVE THE WORLD, a rousing anthem that says it doesn't matter if you make mistakes, as long as you learn from them.
The cast all take their bows, then the show finishes with a very energetic reprise of THE KEEP FIT BOOGIE performed by the whole cast and chorus.