Double Trouble (A Musical Tour de Farce)

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  2m

Book, Music and Lyrics by Bob Walton and Jim Walton

In 1940s Hollywood, Jimmy and Bobby Martin have the opportunity of a lifetime: writing a song for a major motion picture... except they have only a few hours to do it.

Double Trouble (A Musical Tour de Farce)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences


From the creators of the hysterical revue Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical Double Trouble (A Musical Tour de Farce) comes this spoof of 1940s Hollywood, in which two performers play ten different larger-than-life characters. Written and originally performed by Bob and Jim Walton, this tale of singing, dancing and songwriting brothers is sure to get you laughing and your toes tapping.

Double Trouble (A Musical Tour de Farce) premiered at Goodspeed Musicals’ Norma Terris Theatre on 17 May 2001, starring authors Bob and Jim Walton.

by Bob and Jim Walton

Some explanation is needed about reading Double Trouble. Even though it is a two-character show, it is deceptively complicated. We always said the sound department is the third character in the show, because they are very, very busy back there! You will see in the script that one character will be talking on stage and then, for example, goes into the bathroom. Once the actor is in there, a recorded voiceover continues the scene with the other actor who remains on stage. Meanwhile, the other actor is running around behind the set, changing clothes and preparing to enter as a different character. Carrying on a scene with a recording takes a lot of rehearsal and precision to make it seem real. Because of the device of exiting in various parts of the set, the sound needs to be sourced to specific locations so that it sounds like the voice is coming only from that area. The designer may decide to add some of that vocal to the main mix, but even so, having the sound originate from the area where the actor is supposed to be will help the gimmick.

The set is also very important; realistic-looking, but with built-in escapes so that actors can exit, run around and enter from another location. Here is a description of the set that was used in Wichita:

The main entrance to the MMG rehearsal studios upstage. A door with frosted glass, so you can’t quite make out who is at the door. Next to that entrance, there is a frosted set of windows in which one side can slide open and closed. It should be high enough so that an actor can be seen from the waist up when the window is open. Downstage center is a studio piano on casters and a bench. Stage left is a sound booth, a step up to the door - and glass window that runs along the booth. Inside, we see old recording equipment, a high back office chair, newspapers clippings, etc. [There need to be two hidden escape hatches in this room.] Downstage left of the recording booth, along the wall, there is a shelf with various show bizzy items on it, including a radio that will be used in Act Two. Next to that is a closet with a door. The doorknob on the closet door needs to be able to come off [trapping an actor inside, because it is “broken.”] We never see inside the closet, but actors need to escape from there as well. A little further on stage left is a desk and rolling chair. On the desk is an intercom, which needs to be wired for sound as it is used frequently in dialogue. Upstage right of the main entrance is an area with a coat rack, small table, water cooler, and an electrical outlet on the wall. Upstage right is a door which leads to the bathroom; one character compulsively brushes his teeth. We don’t see much inside the door, but you enter the bathroom and walk a little further off stage right to fully enter the bathroom. [There is an escape here as well.] Downstage right, on the same plane as the piano and desk, is a chaise lounge.

Costumes are also very important. It was our intent that each character look and dress differently from the next, meaning full costume changes; not just putting on a hat or a jacket to indicate a different character. The offstage business is very tricky [not to mention sweaty] and requires a lot of planning and rehearsing. Two dressers are needed, and these two dressers also act as “doubles” for a couple of characters later. So physically they should somewhat resemble the two actors. They are never seen in light, so just a basic physical likeness.

And finally, a few thoughts on the characters themselves. When we wrote it, we threw in every possible skill and talent we possess: both characters sing, play piano, tap dance, do physical comedy and impressions -- but it is not essential that both actors do all these things. In virtually every show we’ve played piano in, nobody ever believes we were actually playing [which drives you crazy!], so the piano can be angled in a way that prevents the audience from seeing the hands, or other tricky ways to make it appear as if the actors are playing: a speaker in the fake piano, keys that actually depress but make no sound, etc. As for impressions, the character who does most of the impressions also happens to be wearing fake teeth - this makes doing the impressions [or even just talking clearly] a challenge. It would be good if both actors are funny, sing and tap very well and have a very good understanding of those old MGM movies with Astaire and Kelly. Oh, and are EXTREMELY good-looking, like us.

We are very proud of this show, and think it is funny as well as an incredible workout and challenge for the two actors, and calls for creativity from every department.

Double Trouble is performed by two actors, each playing one half of a singing, dancing and songwriting team, as well as multiple other characters.


Bobby's Characters:
MERWIN M. GARNER – The boss of MMG Studios
MILLIE FERBER – Mr. Garner's secretary
REBECCA LEFLEURDELEMAGANIS – The beautiful redheaded movie star

Jimmy's Characters:
JENNA JUMPER – Host of Jenna Jumper's Cavalcade of Stars
PRESTON CREEST – A famous director-choreographer
BIX MINKY – The audio engineer
SWIFTY MORRIS – A slick Hollywood agent
REBECCA LEFLEURDELEMAGANIS – The beautiful redheaded movie star

  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Setting A unit set is recommended.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


1. “Overture – Chorus (Prerecorded)
2. “Just The Two Of Us” – Jimmy 
3. “Jimmy Riffs A Song “ – Jimmy 
4. “First Class Love” – Bobby 
5. “Jimmy Riffs A Song” – Jimmy
6. “You Can Do Anything” – Rebecca 
7. “Bobby Writes Lets Take It Slow” – Bobby
8. “Swifty’s Song” – Swifty
9. “Harlem Nights” – Millie 
10. “You Can Do Anything (Reprise)” – Rebecca 
11. “Jimmy Writes Inspiration” – Jimmy
12. “Jimmy And Bobby Write Gotcha” – Jimmy 
13. “Better Off Without You” – Bobby 
14. “Cold Sesame Noodles” – Millie 
15. “Let’s Take It Slow” – Bobby 
16. “A Very Good First Impression, Part 1” – Seymour
17. “A Very Good First Impression, Part 2” – Seymour 
18. “Gotcha!” – Seymour, Rebecca, Ensemble V/O
19. “Just The Two Of Us (Reprise)” – Bobby 
20. “Back To Old Broadway” – Jimmy

Full Orchestration

Both performers in Double Trouble play the piano on stage in addition to one piano player in the pit. This is not essential; a fake piano may be use on stage and a second piano player may be added to the pit.

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size No Chorus

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
6 Libretto
6 Piano-Vocal
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed
1 Trumpet
1 Trombone
1 Synthesizer
1 Drums
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack
6 Libretto
6 Piano-Vocal
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Logo Pack >br />


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Bob Walton

As a writer, Bob Walton and his brother Jim are proud to have three shows licensed with Concord Theatricals: Mid-Life! (The Crisis Musical), Double Trouble (A Musical Tour De Farce) and Mid-Life 2! #WhatDidIComeInHereFor? Bob is also co-author of the off-Broadway play Game Sh ...

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Jim Walton

Jim Walton has written with his brother, Bob, since 1991 when they wrote and performed in My Brother's Keeper, originally a Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS benefit. This show later played the Pasadena Playhouse and several other regional theaters. Jim and Bob went on to col ...

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