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The Show Must Go On

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“And… auditions for the fall musical are open on Friday after school, so if any of you want to be a part of that, you’ve gotta go.”

Phineas leant back in his chair, nodding at his brother, who nodded back. He and Ferb always took part in theatre productions; Phineas always acted and Ferb did behind the scenes stuff.

“Y’know what,” Isabella quietly said to Adyson on the other side of the class. “I’m gonna audition again this year. Maybe I’ll even beat Phineas Flynn to the lead role!”

“Good luck with that,” Adyson replied. “He’s amazing. He can sing without even needing a mic or a metronome.”

“Well, I’m gonna prove you all wrong. I’m gonna audition and see what happens.”

“Wonder what the lead role is,” Phineas said to Ferb. “Hopefully someone with strong vocals. I could definitely do that this year.”

”I’m sure you’ll get something you’re after,” said Ferb. “It’ll be a great production this year.”

”How do you know?” Phineas asked, leaning over to his brother.

”Oh, I haven’t been told anything about it yet, but every year’s always better than the last, right?”

Phineas nodded, squinting slightly. “Yeah. Sure.”

”Oh, I forgot to mention,” the homeroom teacher announced from her desk at the front. “There’s a sign-up sheet for it at the theatre office. You gotta go and sign up before you audition otherwise you don’t get to. Y’know, it’s just so they know who and how many people are gonna do it.”

The bell rang, ending homeroom. There was a sudden burst of conversation from most students as they left the room.

”Have a good day, guys,” the teacher said, reclining in her seat.

”I’m getting excited now,” said Isabella as she left with her friends. “But it would just suck if I had to perform with Phineas Flynn. I wanna beat him to that role so bad.”

”Why do you want to be lead so badly?” Holly asked.

”He’s been lead like, four years in a row! Now that we’re seniors, I just think it’s fair if someone else got a turn, that’s all.”

__________________

Isabella waltzed up to the sign-up sheet after school. She whipped a sparkly pink pen out and wrote her name underneath all the other kids who dared to audition. As she turned to leave, she saw Phineas walk up to the sheet as well.

”Oh, you’re auditioning?” She said sarcastically. “What a surprise, maybe you’ll get the lead.”

”Yeah, I hope so,” he returned. “Hope you get an ensemble part. At least.”

Isabella scoffed. “Huh!” She tossed her hair and sharply turned away, her shoes clacking down the empty hallway.

Phineas clicked his black pen and wrote his own name in small letters underneath Isabella's obnoxious handwriting. Ferb and Baljeet appeared behind him as he put his pen back in his pocket.

"Oh, hey guys," he said, hitching his backpack up higher on his shoulder. "We goin' home?"

"Sure," said Ferb, peering at the sheet on the wall behind his brother. "Isabella Garcia-Shapiro's auditioning?"

Phineas glanced back at the list briefly. "Uh, yeah. She's hoping for a pretty good part, I think."

"I hope she does not get the lead," Baljeet said. "You are always better for lead roles than her. Even in last year's one she was an ensemble character and tried to stand out. I do not even do theatre and I know that is not right!"

"Don't worry, guys. I'm sure she won't get a lead role. Gosh, can you imagine if we had to work together? I know she'd try to make it hard for me."

The door of the office opened beside them, and the theatre teacher popped out. "Oh, hey Phineas! I was hoping you'd audition. This year's musical is a little different." He pulled out a thick wad of paper, and handed it to Phineas. "It's the script. Have a go at reading some of the lines for your audition on Friday.”

Phineas skimmed the front page of the script with his eyes. Romeo and Juliet: The Musical! “Oh, uh, thanks! I’ll definitely use this for my audition. Thanks!”

Mr S smiled, and closed the door of the office.

”Romeo and Juliet?” Baljeet said, reading the script cover. “Wow.”

”Gosh, I really want this part. I mean… Mr S did say it was a little different. Maybe it won’t be too traditional.” He flicked through the pages, skimming through the dialogue. “Oh. This is all… modern English.”

”Won’t that be easier to do?” Ferb asked.

”Actually, yeah it will. Shakespearean crap is so hard to read and to recite.” Phineas was smiling now. “I think this year will be my best one yet.”

__________________

The few days before the auditions went so quickly that Phineas almost couldn’t learn some of his lines from the section he’d picked.

”Alright, welcome everybody!” Mr S stepped out onto the stage of the theatre; all the auditioning kids in the seats in front of him. “This is just gonna be in order of the list, so let’s get right into it!” Mr S looked down at his clipboard. “Looks like we have little Melissa up first.”

A girl with blonde hair and big eyes came onto the stage, beaming. “I’m auditioning for the role of Juliet!”

“Oh, uh…” Mr S hesitated. “Ok. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

Melissa mimicked a British accent (badly) and Phineas put his face in his hand. Christ! How can she be this bad? She consistently looked at her palm, reading the blue ink from the wrinkles in her hand.

”Uh… thank you, Melissa,” Mr S said, looking at his clipboard again. “Next up is Django!”

The mouse-haired boy stepped up onto the stage with a grin. “I’m auditioning for the role of Mercutio.”

”Oh, nice! Go ahead, Django.”

He recited his lines perfectly, and Phineas saw a satisfied smile on Mr S’s face. Guess he’s getting that part.

”Thanks heaps! Uh, next is Phineas.”

Phineas bounded up to the stage, the place he felt most comfortable in the whole theatre. His smile widened. “As expected, I’ll be auditioning for the part of Romeo.”

”Take it away!” Mr S announced from his seat.

“As yonder lady over her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! For I never saw true beauty till this night.”

“Absolutely great work, Phineas. Thanks!”

Phineas grinned and bounded back to his seat, feeling satisfied.

Mr S looked back at his clipboard. “Next is Isabella Garcia-Shapiro!”

Phineas could feel Isabella’s burning eyes on him as she tiptoed up onto the stage. “I’m auditioning for the role of Juliet,” she said, shuffling her feet along the floor slightly. She seemed slightly irritated.

”Alright, Isabella!” Mr S said, hyping her up.

She cleared her throat before she began. “'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone: and yet no further than a wanton's bird; who lets it hop a little from her hand, like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves. And with a silk thread plucks it back again, so loving-jealous of his liberty.”

”Wonderful job there,” Mr S said with a polite smile. “Thank you.”

Isabella smiled at him, and went to sit back down in her seat.

The auditioning process continued for the rest of the hour, until Mr S had seen everybody that had been wanting to play a part.

Mr S got up on the stage to address everybody. “Alrighty, so I’ll make decisions over the weekend, and I’ll post the cast list on Monday morning, okay? Cool, everybody have a great weekend! You’re all free to go.”

There was collective chatter as the students left the auditorium. Phineas left with Ferb, and as soon as they were out of earshot of everybody, Ferb began to speak.

”Listen, I know this goes against everything we think about her, but Isabella’s performance was good. As in, really good. She might even get the part.”

”She won’t,” Phineas said quickly and sharply. “Surely there’s somebody else who auditioned for Juliet. Expect for Melissa, who is very clearly off the table.”

”There weren’t too many auditions for that. And the other ones were terrible, can’t you admit?”

”Yeah, I guess I can.” Phineas sighed. “I guess I’ll just have to wait til Monday to know.”