The Rocketeer,

Minute 027: Liquor Stores at the Front

May 30, 2017

Guest Host: Royana Black

Royana Black started acting at 11 years old in the Broadway production of Neil Simon’s “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, which she did for over a year, never letting her understudy go on. Since then, she has continued to do off-Broadway and regional theatre, both in New York and Los Angeles. One of her fondest memories was developing and performing in the late Wendy Wasserstein’s semi-autobiographical musical “Miami” (alongside Jane Krakowski and Fisher Stevens, in which she played the playwright as an adolescent. The music was written by the famed Bruce Sussman and Jack Feldman and directed by the Tony Award winner Gerald Gutierrez.

She quickly made the transition into television, first co-starring opposite Robert Klein in the ABC pilot “Father’s Day”. By 15, she was starring as the title character in the CBS series “Raising Miranda”, alongside on Bryan Cranston (Walter White pre-meth days) and James Naughton, and worked steadily in television and theater on both coasts.

Royana took 4 precious years away from her career to get a B.A. in Victorian Literature from Yale University, which enables her to speak fairly articulately at cocktail parties with pretentious Anglophiles; however, it has not offered her the fallback career a liberal arts education promises (at least in the brochures). Upon graduating, she packed up a U-Haul with two of her best friends, moved back to NYC and promptly founded her first non-profit theater company, producing three shows while working three full-time jobs.

Finally exhausted, she packed up her apartment and her cat Jules and moved to Los Angeles, where she continues her work in television and films; she also does as much theater as she can. She is the Artistic Director of the Alliance Repertory Company, which produces original works all over town.

Royana is married to actor JP Hubbell and they have a cat (Jules from NYC) and a dog, both rescues.

She may be best known for getting Vanessa drunk on “The Cosby Show”.

Catch up with Royana on Twitter and at


Cliff and Jenny are at the Bulldog Cafe. Seated at the counter are Goose, Skeets, and Malcolm. Millie is serving food behind the counter.  Cliff is explaining the plot of the movie “Wings of Honor” that he’s just seen with Jenny. He mentions that Neville Sinclair’s pilot character drops a bottle of champagne into the enemy trenches.

“Let me guess,” says Goose. “It hits a general right on the head and we win the war, right?” The men at the counter laugh.

“It was symbolic,” protests Jenny. “He was being chivalrous.”

“Where’d he get the champagne?” asks Skeets. “They didn’t have liquor stores at the front, did they?”

“Not that I recall,” says Malcolm, turning around in his seat to face Cliff and Jenny. “Would have been nice, though!”

“It doesn’t matter where he got it from!” says Jenny. “That’s not the point – – it’s just…” Cliff smiles at her. Jenny realizes her leg is being pulled by the guys at the counter. “Forget it,” says Jenny.

Patsy, a young girl who apparently lives at the Bull Dog Cafe, walks up to Malcolm with a broken toy airplane. “Malcolm?” she asks.

“Hm?” says Malcolm.

“The wheel came off,” explains Patsy, handing the plane to Malcolm.

“Aw, let me see, Princess,” says Malcolm, looking at the model plane. “Yeah, sure – sure, we’ll fix her up!” He looks at Patsy. “Did I ever tell you about the time I got shot down by the Red Baron?”

Patsy starts to nod her head, but behind Malcolm, Millie quietly shakes her head “no.” Patsy changes her own nodding to shaking her head “no,” too.

“No?” says Malcolm. “Well, there I was, flying over the Ardennes on patrol, when all of a sudden, he comes screaming out of the Sun, guns blazing,  and then – smack-”

As Malcolm is telling his story, the wheel he was attempting to repair pops into the air and splashes into Jenny’s bowl of soup. The front of Jenny’s outfit is covered with the brown liquid. Jenny, speechless, looks back at Cliff. Cliff looks at Malcolm.

“Bull’s eye, Ace,” says Cliff to Malcolm.

“I’m sorry, Jenny,” says Malcolm. Patsy walks over to the table to retrieve her plane’s wheel from Jenny’s soup.

“Oh, it’s okay, Malcolm,” says Jenny, waving briefly at Malcolm. Cliff picks the wheel out of Jenny’s soup, sucks on the wheel to get all the soup off it, and then hands the wheel back to Patsy.

In This Minute

Margot Martindale as Millie
Don Pugsley as Goose
William Sanderson as Skeets
Eddie Jones as Malcolm
Bill Campbell as Cliff Secord
Jennifer Connelly as Jenny Blake
America Martin as Patsy



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