Grace Under Pressure

Grace Under Pressure Trailer

Episode Summary

A sparkling 8-part comedic, musical, radio drama series, original and unique, Grace Under Pressure follows “the simple story of a woman alone in New York in the ‘90s, an age of diminished expectations.” Inappropriate affairs, office sexual politics, pyramid scheme fraud, cynical art-world pay-to-play, sweatshop fashion, even the AIDS crisis, dealt with the light touch, suggestive humor and speedy delivery of screwball comedy. Grace under Pressure began as an Off-Off Broadway project in 1992, originally staged as an 8-part radio play complete with manic sound man, theme song and additional musical interludes. The part of Grace was written for the sublime Alice King and, thirty years later, it became clear that it was time for Grace to make a comeback. A cast of first-class New York voice talent is led by Alice King as Grace McMoon, our heroine who loses her job in every episode and slides down the socio-economic ladder to find true love, fulfillment and job satisfaction. Each episode is complemented by the Singer-Songwriter acting as a kind of Greek chorus, with a musical interlude from a trove of original ‘90s piano-bar ballads. Created, written, produced, edited and directed – and inspired – by New York City working women.

Episode Notes

PasticheNYC Theatre of the Air 

presents "Grace Under Pressure", starring

Alice King as Grace, Roger Casey as Louie 

 with Tom Bozell, Dorian DeMichele, Luis Carlos De la Lombana, Bianca Franck & George Sheffey as everyone else.

Singer/Songwriter: Emily King


Episode Transcription

If interested in the complete script of Grace Under Pressure

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Episode 1: Flirting with Disaster

In her high-pressure job working for an international corporation, editor Grace McMoon is on the phone, working and complaining to her friend Trudy, when a high-level executive (and inappropriate Christmas Party liaison) drops by to check in on her. When her pink slip arrives, Grace throws him out of her office, to be comforted by her best friend in the mailroom, Louie. She decides to work freelance from home, but gets a call telling her she’s been robbed of her computer. What’s the next job she can do to maintain her Upper East Side lifestyle? The Singer/Songwriter warns: “Trouble’s Back in Town”.


Episode 2: a chilly reception

Grace is now receptionist at the weasely white-shoe law office where Trudy is a perma-temp proofreader. Though most of the partners are in jail or under indictment, when remaining shyster Myron McWeeney asks Grace to “fill in” for his secretary, Trudy and Grace go into sexual harassment red alert maneuvers. Even if they work, will it be worth it?The Singer/Songwriter asks: “I Wonder When”.


Episode 3: the art of whining 

Now a newbie at a high-price SoHo art gallery, run by Trudy’s chic-er cousin Mimi, Grace is introduced to the Art of the Sell. Too bad she’s expected to throw sex into the bargain, by Leo Fursnyder, the guy who owns the guys who run New York. Will speaking truth to power get her anywhere but out on the street?The Singer/Songwriter’s opinion: “Fool”.


Episode 4: waiting for… oh, god!

Grace and Trudy are now waitresses at Trudy’s boyfriend Ted’s startup restaurant. Dodging the “Roamin’ hands and Rushin’ finger” of the customers, Grace, losing her sublet through poor credit decisions, finds comfort when Trudy and Ted offer to let her move in as a live-in bookkeeper. Perhaps a little too much comforting from Ted –too close to Grace – for Trudy’s comfort. Where can you go when you lose your best friends? The Singer/Songwriter reminds us: “Any Number Can Play”.


Episode 5: pushing the envelope

In her new Lower East Side roomshare with Norma Bates, goth/punk midWestern NYU refugee, Grace tries to make big bucks working at home stuffing envelopes. When Jack Mahloff show up to recruit her for bigger things in the organization, Grace catches on to its pyramidal exploitation, and Norma goes berserk. Where can you go when there’s no place at home?The Singer/Songwriter suggests its only a: “First Mistake”.


Episode 6: sweatshop equity

Dressmaking at home in junior high never prepared Grace for work in a Soho loft sweatshop. Her new sewing-machine neighbors Rosita and Carmen try to help her get started, but Grace is at the bottom of a class by herself. If she can’t keep up, where can she go but down? The Singer/Songwriter shares: “The Ladies’ Lament”.


Episode 7: clean living

Isolated, resigned, and strangely tranquil, Grace fronts a laundromat in the Ukrainian Lower East Side. Dealing with grunge band bass players, panhandlers, young Russian moms and crabby old ladies, she’s pretty much given up when an old beloved friend walks back into her life. Will she follow his lead to a life worth living?

The Singer/Songwriter suggests: “Giving Up Your Dreams”.


Episode 8: slide into home

Grace finds peace and purpose attending to the clientele of an AIDS hospice, run by the flamboyant philosopher-in-drag, Hector. She feels useful at last, but fears she might not have what it takes when her patients die. Will she pass the test? It may mean a whole new life. The Singer/Songwriter comments: “Oh…”.

Written by Emily King, © & (p) 1992, 2022. All rights reserved.

All songs © Emily King 1992-1995, BMI

Produced by PasticheNYC llc. 

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