It is Time Square in the 1980s. The curtain is raised as the audience enters. The set is an empty lot with three filthy brick walls from bordering buildings defining the space. There is a Port Authority Bus Terminal on an adjacent side street, and a sign close by reads "BIG APPLE WRECKING CORP."
Jojo enters and sets the scene, explaining how things are now in Times Square, and how they used to be in the 1980s. As Jojo explains the street comes alive with hookers, pimps, hustlers, dealers, hot dog vendors, etc. (check it out) Jojo continues to introduce the cast who pose as they are mentioned, he then explains his philosophy on life (USE WHAT YOU GOT). The lights fade, we are on a side street off Eighth Ave., in the early morning. All of the other characters have dissolved into the alleys and only Jojo and Queen remain. The story begins.
Queen has spent the night in jail. She tells Jojo how she is through with life on the streets. Sonja joins them, and Queen tells of her new outlook on life (A LOVELY DAY TO BE OUT OF JAIL).
The scene switches to a sketchy Times Square room where Fleetwood is waiting. Queen Bursts in, excited to see her man. They talk of their dreams together (OH DADDY). The fantasy quickly ends when Queen discovers that Fleetwood has spent half of their savings on drugs: $2,000 in on night. She fumes out the door, slamming it in her wake.
Out on the street Fleetwood plans to make it big (A PIECE OF THE ACTION). Jojo emerges from a doorway, and teases Fleetwood. Silky, Bobby, and Snickers enter; they laugh at Fleetwood for having his girlfriend for his only hooker. They exit as Jojo restrains him. Jojo tells him how he should be handling his business, and helps Fleetwood hustle a young girl who has just gotten off the Greyhound bus. Her name is Mary, and this is her first time in New York.
The Pimps and Jojo sit with drinks in Lacy's Bar as the hookers enter. It's early evening, about six. The hookers enter, complaining about their slow business. Lacy brags about the old days for a bit while Sonja enters, and laments over a beer (THE OLDEST PROFESSION). Memphis, the girls' pimp enters with Snickers and April. The girls exit in a hurry, not wanting to upset him for taking a break. Carmen (who is not one of his hookers) and Sonja stay. Memphis glares at Sonja who won't budge. He pours her beer into her purse and tells her to finish it outside. Mary and Fleetwood enter. He gets into an argument with Memphis, but Memphis just mocks him and his pimping style (DON'T TAKE MUCH). As he exits Queen enters. She and Fleetwood make up from their previous fight, he introduces Mary as their new means of income (HEY DADDY). Out on the street Queen tells Mary she has a lot of learning to do about life on the street, although she remains optimistic (GO HOME).
Later that night out on the street Sonja, Carmen, Tracy and some other hookers are out on the street soliciting men passing by. As Carmen spots a group of college boys off stage all the girls but Sonja and Queen exit. As they converse a gospel group enter singing. Sonja is annoyed but Queen is delighted and joins in the singing (YOU CAN'T GET TO HEAVEN). The other girls enter and Frenchie complains of a man she just hooked, who after she had done the deed, gave her a pamphlet: Sinner Repent. Stop your evil ways, Give yourself to God." The girls respond with their attitude on hooking (MY BODY).
The Doll House is a Topless bar where Jojo has gotten Mary a job as a cocktail waitress. A dancer grinds on top of the bar, but as a customer tries to pull off her G-string, she flips and quits. The crowd starts to get ugly and Jojo shoves Mary onto the bar telling her to dance. The patrons begin shoving bills into her panties and bra, telling her to "Take it off!" For a moment Mary is bewildered, but the suddenly takes off her bra: Blackout.
Back on the street the next night, the girls are selling their wares. A loud whistle sounds, and the girls run off, tailed by the police. The pimps come pouring into the streets and complain of damage cops do to their business (WHY DON'T THEY LEAVE US ALONE). Lou enters looking for some fresh new talent. He begins to describe the girl he wants, and Jojo says he thinks he can get it for him (EASY MONEY). Meanwhile, Mary bursts into the empty hotel room, she twirls around in pleasure, posing in front of the mirror. Bills are bursting from her purse and she continues the song. Jojo and Fleetwood enter and join her Jojo gives some coke to Fleetwood and Mary gets her first blow. Fleetwood suddenly remembers that Queen is in jail, but Mary urges him to stay with her. We find out that she is not as innocent as she has pretended. She says she wasn't born yesterday, but does look that way. That is the secret of her appeal. She leans into Fleetwood and Jojo begins to exit. Mary invites him to join the party. He is taken aback, but does. Blackout.
In the City Jail, the girls are packed into a holding cell. A guard lets all the girls out except Queen whose "employer" did not make her bail. Sonja is angry with Fleetwood, but Queen sticks up for him. The guard makes Sonja leave, leaving Queen alone in her cell (HE'S NO GOOD).
Out on the street Mary exits the hotel, Sonja sees her and begins and inquiry, but Mary tells her to mind her own business. Jojo comes out and joins her. He insinuates what they have been up to, and an angry Sonja decides to make bail for Queen herself.
A few days later in Lacy's Bar a few of the girls are hanging out, Tracy has lifted someone's wallet and is buying everyone a drink. Sonja declares she hasn't been feeling herself, but the doctors don't know what's wrong with her. Fleetwood and Mary enter. They join Jojo. Fleetwood presents her with a pair of $300 shoes to wear at the hookers' ball. Queen enters and is outraged at Fleetwood for inviting Mary, she makes a scene and Mary storms out, Fleetwood chases after her. Jojo takes advantage of the opportunity, and tells Memphis to strike while the iron's hot. Memphis goes over to queen and tells her that if she ever wants to, he'll take care of her. He gives her the number to his private line.
Out on the street Fleetwood is waiting for Queen as she exits the bar. He blocks her path and tries to cajole her, but she won't have any of it (I'M LEAVING YOU).
This scene is a traveler. We see hookers and pimps enter from the wings. We watch them dress up in their outrageous outfits for the hookers' ball as Lacy sings (THE HOOKERS' BALL).
At the hookers ball Jojo and Lou enter together. When Mary and Fleetwood enter, Jojo points out his discovery to Lou. Jojo introduces them, and Lou sweeps Mary off without giving Fleetwood a chance to protest. Queen then enters dressed to kill; it is obvious she is wearing an extremely expensive gown. She is dressed with much more class than any of the women there. Fleetwood rises to greet her, but she breezes past him to Memphis' table. The message is apparent. As the curtain closes Queen sits with Memphis, Lou is putting the moves on Mary, Jojo is smiling to himself, and Fleetwood sits alone.
About an hour later, Shill is running a card game. A few pimps, hookers, and Jojo have just exited the hookers ball. April complains the Miss Super Fox contest was fixed because Mary won. Jojo explains that everything is fixed. He used to run card games when he first started with his partner (MR. GREED).
In Memphis' bedroom, we see the height of Pimp D?cor. Memphis and Queen enter still in their fancy attire. She is in awe of her surroundings. Queen thanks Memphis for loaning her the dress. He hardens, and says she bought it at $7,000. Queen is frightened. Memphis tells her that she can work off the debt. Queen understands that she has gotten herself into a world of trouble. Memphis explains his ways to her (MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY). Sonja enters and quickly sizes up the situation. She asks Queen to help her get into her apartment because she's feeling drunk. Memphis allows Queen to go, but not before threatening her with her and Fleetwood's lives if she thinks about skipping town.
In the elevator, Sonja and Queen decide to skip town. Jojo enters, and Queen asks him to have Fleetwood meet her at Lacy's at nine in the morning. Sonja thinks this is a mistake, but Queen has faith in Jojo.
On an outdoor terrace of a hotel suite Mary takes in the view as Lou emerges. He tells Mary that he can make her a star of Eros Entertainment. She I put off at first, but he coaxes her with the dream of real money and fame (PEOPLE MAGAZINE).
At 8:40 am Queen enters Lacy's bar. She waits for Fleetwood while Lacy makes her a drink, but it is Memphis, Snickers and Jojo who enter. Jojo is paid by Snickers, but sticks around to watch the fun. Lacy is beaten for trying to lighten the moment and an already frightened Queen is now terrified. She begs forgiveness but receives a brutal beating instead. Memphis and Snickers laugh at her ugly appearance before exiting.
Queen sits in utter despair cleaning her face with a damp dishrag as Fleetwood enters. He has nothing but cruelty for her. Queen can't believe that this is all he has to say to her (WE HAD A DREAM). He exits leaving her alone with Lacy who puts a comforting arm around her: Blackout.
Fleetwood arrives at the front door of his hotel to see Mary, Lou and Jojo leaving. Mary tells him that she's making money in the movies now. He tells her to go to hell, but she opts for LA. An angry Fleetwood stomps off. The three of them merrily head off to the airport.
The mouth of Lincoln tunnel is a low spot even for whores. Sonja, April and Frenchie are present. The other hookers (bottom feeders) are new to the audience. Queen enters wearing sunglasses to hide her bruises. Snickers forces her to go with some lowlife scum. As she exits, he tells the girls to see she gets plenty of action. Sonja is frustrated and infuriated ("SOMEDAY" IS FOR SUCKERS).
At 5:00 am on the West Side Waterfront, Queen waits anxiously, constantly looking over her shoulder. Sonja enters, suitcase in tow. Queen asks Sonja to leave with her, but Sonja says she can't live a normal life anymore. Suddenly Fleetwood runs onstage. He begs for Queen back, but her heart is cold to him. She knows why he came. Fleetwood pleads with her (WE GOTTA GO). As the song ends Memphis and Jojo enter. Memphis tries to pull Queen away with him. Fleet pulls a gun on Memphis who stops cold. Jojo knocks the gun from Fleetwood's hand and Memphis pulls out a knife. Memphis stabs Fleetwood, but Queen grabs the gun and shoots Memphis dead. Queen kneels over a bloody Fleetwood who dies in her arms. Sonja urges her friend to move on and get out before the police come and the two have an emotional goodbye (MY FRIEND).
As Queen leaves, Sonja begins wiping Queen's fingerprints off the gun and replacing them with her own. As police sirens near, Sonja exits in their direction. Jojo takes on his narrator role again, wrapping things up. He explains that there's always talent everywhere you look. A beautiful black girl enters, and Jojo takes advantage of the opportunity. He gallantly offers to take her suitcase for her. As they exit the chorus finales with a haunting reprise (CHECK IT OUT [FINALE]- Mixed Chorus). Freeze. Blackout.
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