The play opens with the "Untitled Opening Number" and then shows two friends, Jeff and Hunter, talking. Eventually they start discussing a new festival, the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and decide to send something in. Unfortunately the submissions deadline is three weeks away. They long to create something that will make a mark ("Two Nobodies In New York"). Later, Jeff is suffering from writer's block until his blank paper, which looks a lot like Hunter, starts encouraging him ("An Original Musical").
The two men get their friends Susan and Heidi to agree to help with the project, but later both men are suffering from writer's block again and need the help of the girls, acting as voices in the guys' heads, in order to come up with something ("Monkeys and Playbills"). The group gets more and more excited, especially when they start thinking about the possibility of one day winning a Tony ("The Tony Award Song")?until Jeff reminds Hunter, who is singing, that they've cut that number from the show. Jeff and Hunter talk about how much they want to be able to write and compose for a living ("Part Of It All").
Later, Jeff is testing out some Heidi songs ("I Am Playing Me"), while Susan and Hunter talk about the show and "little meteors". But Susan and Heidi have been feeling awkward toward each other and ask Hunter and Jeff, respectively, "What Kind Of Girl Is She?" Hunter and Jeff continue writing, but they're getting more and more discouraged: What were they thinking? Will they even finish? Susan tells them that they need to not let the "vampires" get in the way of their creative freedom ("Die, Vampire, Die!"). Feeling reenergized, the men finish the show and call the women over to help them fill out the submissions form for the festival ("Filling Out The Form"), deciding on [title of show] as a name. But, "What if they don't pick it?" asks one of them. Another responds: "Well, that'll be Act 2."
Their little three-week musical is chosen! It is now September, during the festival, as the four talk about their six performances and about not wanting it to end ("September Song"). On the last day, they are talking together?"We did it!"?and Hunter and Jeff mention that there were "fancy industry people" in the audience. They go back out to schmooze, leaving Heidi and Susan, who reconcile their differences and bond over the shared role of "Secondary Characters". The musical is even sent to the Eugene O'Neill Center for development.
Then, things begin to fall apart at a rapid pace. Either Hunter or Jeff (whose answering machine it is, is never esablished), who has been receiving voicemail throughout the show from several leading ladies declining offers for them to star in the show, gets a voice message from Emily Skinner saying that she would love to be a part of the musical. As the four friends are discussing which parts of the show need to stay and which need to go ("Change It/Don't Change It"), Hunter suggests that they have Emily Skinner play Heidi's role, as she has recently been offered a part in another project. All four are frustrated with each other, and finally everything boils over at a press photo shoot ("Awkward Photo Shoot"). Heidi is upset that Hunter wants to replace her, Susan is wondering about profit-sharing, Jeff is getting more and more uncomfortable, and Hunter lashes out at all of them. They all leave in a huff.
That night, Hunter calls Jeff and apologizes: "You know how when you're sick, you want to throw up and you keep going, don't throw up... and then you do and you go, I feel better now, why didn't I do that sooner? ...I'm just sorry I threw up on you guys." They discuss stories from when they were smaller, with Susan coming over and joining them, while Heidi sings about how much this experience has meant to her and about wanting to find "A Way Back To Then".
Finally, all the edits are finished, and the four are no longer angry at each other. But, will their show be a success? They really want it to be something great, but ultimately, all agree that they'd toss hundreds of fans saying "well, it was pretty good" in a heartbeat for the chance to be "Nine People's Favorite Thing". The show is drawing to a close. "Let's just put it out there and see what happens," one of them says... and the show ends ("Finale").
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