Roving Hysterical Theater

Roving Hysterical Theater Vaudeville Revival

and Old-Time Nonsense Revue

A collaboration of Derek Davis, Helen Day, Richard Houck, Brenda Miller, Steve Tomnlinson, Linda White and the Cast

Directed by Derek Davis and Linda White

 

Act or Character                                                                                                                         Performer

Sir Geoffrey Svelte                                                                                                                     Derek Davis

Miss Marginella                                                                                                                          Linda White

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home”                                                                                                 Tom Jones

Stan Laurel                                                                                                                                  Derek Davis

Oliver Hardy                                                                                                                        Steve Tomlinson

New Found Sound Quartet                                       Ed Burket, Wayne Gavitt, Dale Thomas, Brian Willis

Oatley (forward section)                                                                                                               Cat Badger

Oatley (hind section)                                                                                                                 Linda Roman

"Inchworm"                                                                                                                                  Dori Fisher

Ayhaitcha Gutz                                                                                                                           Anne Kiner

"Grandma's Feather Bed"                                    Barb Murray, Joanna Murray, Brenda Miller, Deb Rojas

Luke Warm                                                                                                                             Richard Houck

Maddy Ochre                                                                                                                                Helen Day

Sergio Placebo                                                                                                                      Steve Tomlinson

Alphonse                                                                                                                                   Megan Kiner

"I'd Rather Be Blue"                                                                                                                     Dori Fisher

Old Hippy Mary                                                                                                                     Brenda Miller

Old Hippy Carl                                                                                                                        George Hasay

Undrews Sisters                                                                                 Helen Day, Dori Fisher, Barb Murray

Stan Lowroll                                                                                                                        Steve Tomlinson

Oliver Hardly                                                                                                                              Derek Davis

Can't Can't Dancers                                                                     Helen Day, Connie Hatch, Richard Houck

 

Staff and Crew

Set design and construction                                                                                                           Cat Badger

Costume design and assembly                                  Cat Badger, Megan Kiner, Linda Roman, Linda White

Lighting technician                                                                                                                        Ed Murray

Sound technician                                                                                                                         Leona Hatch

Piano accompaniment                                                                                                                    Deb Rojas

Ticket manager and refreshments                                                                                              Barb Murray

 

 

Act One

SIR GEOFFREY SVELTE enters, places 2 books on table, hat on stand, starts to search in corners, in odd gaps, finally turns to the audience

 

SVELTE: Ah, there you are! Goodness, I should have worn my spectacles. Of course I intend to make a spectacle of myself. I am Sir Geoffrey Svelte, humbly referred to on numerous continents as Master of All Known Ceremonies. Now you might be wondering what we are up to this afternoon. I often wonder that too, considering our perplexity of oddments. You never know who might walk in from here [points to stage right--teddy bear thrown on stage] or there [stage left--horse's leg shows].

As was announced in advance, this is a family program. As such, there will be no profanity, no extremes of ribald exhibitionism – not even a double entendre, for the motto of the Roving Hysterical Theater is and ever shall be, "no entendre higher than 1.5." But humor? This revue will overflow with wit, buffoonery and snigglacious rambunctiousness.

Now it's time for you to see for yourself. Miss Marginella – oh, you haven't met her? [enter MARGINELLA SR in front of stage, holding signs, looking down]. The audience is out there, dear. Miss Marginella will announce the acts by means of these cleverly devised pieces of cardboard. Could you hold them up a bit? That's it. [explaining to her] Upon each are printed letters spelling the name of the coming song or recited act. You place the piece of cardboard on this stand and leave it there until replaced by the piece of cardboard announcing the next song or bit of fluidic absurdity. Is that clear?

 

Marginella starts sniffling.

 

SVELTE: Now my dear, what can possibly be wrong?

 

MARGINELLA: I can't do anything right.

 

SVELTE: Did you get out of bed this morning?

 

MARGINELLA: Yes.

 

SVELTE: There, you see? You arose successfully, because you are here and not asleep.

 

MARGINELLA: Oh!

 

SVELTE: And did you eat your breakfast?

 

MARGINELLA: Yes.

 

SVELTE: Another milestone of competence. You ate your breakfast so you would be healthy enough to come onstage this afternoon and entertain these fine people.

 

MARGINELLA: Oh!

 

SVELTE: Now, would you like to tell them a story?


MARGINELLA: Oh yes!

 

SVELTE: Then do so. But first, announce your act.

 

MARGINELLA [in a loud bray]: I will now  ­–

 

SVELTE: The cardboard, dear, the cardboard.

 

MARGINELLA: "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut," Enunciated by Miss Marginella. [She places placard and makes a deep bow, enters stage putting on a red hooded cape.]

 

MARGINELLA: I will now tell you a story, but it’s a special story. Although all the words are real English words, none of them are the words that should really be there. It’s called “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut” and it works like this:  see, Ladle stands for little, and rat stands for red and rotten stands for riding and hut stands for hood. So, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut really means Little Red Riding Hood! Got it? OK, here we go!
        
Wants pawn term, dare worsted ladle gull hoe lift wetter murder inner ladle cordage, honor itch offer lodge dock florist. Disk ladle gull orphan worry ladle cluck wetter putty ladle rat hut, an fur disk raisin pimple colder Ladle Rat Rotten Hut.

Wan moaning, Rat Rotten Hut's murder colder inset, "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, heresy ladle basking winsome burden barter an shirker cockles. Tick disk ladle basking tutor cordage offer groin-murder hoe lifts honor udder site offer florist. Shaker lake! Dun stopper laundry wrote! An yonder nor sorghum-stenches, dun stopper torque wet strainers!"

"Hoe-cake, murder," resplendent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut, an tickle ladle basking an stuttered oft. Honor wrote tutor cordage offer groin-murder, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut mitten anomalous woof. "Wail, wail, wail!" set disk wicket woof, "Evanescent Ladle Rat Rotten Hut! Wares are putty ladle gull goring wizard ladle basking?"

"Armor goring tumor groin-murder's," reprisal ladle gull. "Grammar's seeking bet. Armor ticking arson burden barter an shirker cockles."

"O hoe! Heifer blessing woke," setter wicket woof, butter taught tomb shelf, "Oil tickle shirt court tutor cordage offer groin-murder. Oil ketchup wetter letter, an den - O bore!"

Soda wicket woof tucker shirt court, an whinney retched a cordage offer groin-murder, picked inner widow, an sore debtor pore oil worming worse lion inner bet. Inner flesh, disk abdominal woof lipped honor bet an at a rope. Den knee poled honor groin-murder's nut cup an gnat-gun, any curdled dope inner bet.

Inner ladle wile, Ladle Rat Rotten Hut a raft attar cordage, an ranker dough belle. "Comb ink, sweat hard," setter wicket woof, disgracing is verse. Ladle Rat Rotten Hut entity bet rum an stud buyer groin-murder's bet.

"O Grammar!" crater ladle gull, "Wood bag icer gut! A nervous sausage bag ice!"

"Battered lucky chew whiff, doling," whiskered disk ratchet woof, wetter wicket small.

"O Grammar, water bag noise! A nervous sore suture anomolous prognosis!"

"Battered small your whiff," insert a woof, ants mouse worse waddling.

"O Grammar, water bag mousy gut! A nervous sore suture bag mouse!"

Daze worry on-forger-nut gulls lest warts. Oil offer sodden, thoroughing offer carvers an sprinkling otter bet, disk curl and bloat-thursday woof ceased pore Ladle Rat Rotten Hut an garbled erupt.

Mural: Yonder nor sorghum stenches shut ladle gulls stopper torque wet strainers.

 

SVELTE: That was certainly inspiring ... if incomprehensible. But perhaps we could use a slightly different sort of story now, one of tender feelings and romance, yes? [motions audience to applaud and cheer] And, good fortune, we have with us exactly that, a tale of love in times gone by. Miss Marginella, the board?

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and Other Nostalgic Favorites, performed by Mr. Tom Jones!  [She walks in front of stage, places placard, blows a kiss and exits SL.]

 

SONGS

 

Svelte pushes Marginella out from around end of stage right flat.

 

MARGINELLA: What am I ... you didn't ... I don't have my cardboard. [starts to cry]

 

SVELTE O.S.: My dear, compose yourself.

 

MARGINELLA [sniffling]: But I don’t know how to write music!

 

SVELTE O.S. : No need, dear, there is your card [his hand reaches out with a sign] Simply read the words and place it on the stand.

 

MARGINELLA [attempting to read the sign] : "Low ... roll  and ... Hardly introduce themselves!"

 

SOUND cuckoo theme

 

[Marginella places placard and exits SL.]

 

HARDY: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, we are so delighted to be with you in dear Sullivan County.

 

LAUREL: Ollie...

 

HARDY: In a moment, Stanley. [to audience] As I was saying, we are more than delighted to be among –

 

LAUREL: Ollie...

 

HARDY: Stanley, I'm giving our introduction. Please do not interrupt me. [to audience] I must say we have heard the most wonderful things about the fine folks here in the Endless Mountains –

 

LAUREL: Ollie, I don't what to do this.

 

HARDY: What? You don't want to do what?

 

LAUREL: Perform in front of all these people who I don't know. It makes me all queasy.

 

HARDY: They are our audience. They're like any other audience. [to the audience] Of course I'm not saying you aren't exceptional –

 

LAUREL: We could get lost.

 

HARDY: We're on a stage. How could we get lost?

 

LAUREL: In the Endless Mountains. We could go round and round and round and never get out.

 

HARDY: It's not that kind of endless.

 

LAUREL: What kind is it?

 

HARDY: I don't know. That's just what it's called.

 

LAUREL: What what's called?

 

HARDY: The mountains.

 

LAUREL: Who's calling the mountains? Why would they do that?

 

HARDY: It's their name.

 

LAUREL: Whose name?

 

HARDY: The mountains!

 

LAUREL: Oh. [pause] I knew a mountain once. It's name was Joe.

 

HARDY: That's ridiculous. [to audience] Excuse me.

 

LAUREL: It was one of the Ridiculous Mountains.

 

HARDY: You're ridiculous. These are the Endless Mountains. It's a name. It's the same thing.

 

LAUREL: The same thing as what?

 

HARDY: As calling them the Ridiculous Mountains.

 

LAUREL: Then why don't they just call them the Ridiculous Mountains?

 

HARDY: Why don't you be quiet so I can finish our introduction?

 

LAUREL: All right.

 

HARDY: Now where was I? Ah yes. Dear friends here in the Ridic – the Endless Mountains, we want to thank you for your kind invitation to us to perform in a place we have never been before.

 

LAUREL: And might never be again.

 

HARDY: Stanley, that's not a pleasant thing to say.

 

LAUREL: It's true. Especially if we get lost in the Endless Mountains.

 

HARDY: We're in civilization! We won't get lost!

 

LAUREL: I bet people have gotten lost here.

 

HARDY: Nonsense. No one has gotten lost here.

 

LAUREL: Has anyone gotten lost here?

 

Ringers in the audience raise their hands.

 

LAUREL: See. I told you.

 

HARDY: Fine, now let us get on with our routine.

 

LAUREL: I still don't think we should do it in a church.

 

HARDY: We are not in a church.

 

LAUREL: Look. It says right on the floor, "St. Basil's." What would St. Basil think if people started laughing in his church?

 

HARDY: It's not a church, it's an auditorium. Anyway, St. Basil is dead.

 

LAUREL: Oh? Did he get lost in the Endless Mountains and die?

 

HARDY: I don't know.

 

LAUREL: Maybe he wandered into the whimpering pines and the ham hocks and fell down into a ravine and broke his leg and couldn't get help and got et by a mountain lion. [begins to cry]

 

Hardy hits Stan with his hat, Stan pushes him sideways and pouts.

 

HARDY: Stop that. It happened hundreds of years ago. Forget about it.

 

LAUREL: That long? Oh, all right. If St. Basil isn't around to mind, I guess we should get on with what we were going to do.

 

HARDY: That's what I've been trying to say. Ladies and gentlemen –

 

[Marginella runs on stage.]

 

MARGINELLA: I'm sorry, sirs, it's so late and everything is so topsy turban hat, that – that – anyway, your time is up.

 

[She pushes Laurel ahead of her off stage R.]

 

HARDY: Well, Stanley, that's another fine mess you got us into.

 

MARGINELLA [OS]: I can help you with that.

 

SVELTE [OS] : Quiet, they are not supposed to know.

 

MARGINELLA [OS] : Who aren't supposed to know?

 

SVELTE [OS] : Out there – the audience.

 

MARGINELLA [OS] : What aren't they supposed to know?

 

SVELTE [OS] : Could you possibly keep your voice down?

 

MARGINELLA [OS] : You dropped your chin. It's on the floor.

 

SVELTE [OS] : I don't care, for goodness sake. What a blundering confusion.

 

Svelte enters, stuffing ascot sloppily into place.

 

SVELTE: Ha! You had no idea I was involved in that skit, did you? Oh. You did? Ahem. Well. Let us move on. It is not recorded who invented the first upright pole or to what use it was put. In time, the pole evolved into the supporter of flags, totems, telephone wires and athletic female dancers. Later, it also became involved with barbers – and let me tell you how. In 1793, in Warsaw, three Poles and a Lithuanian formed the first barbershop quartet. Their descendants, three Lithuanians and a Pole, are with us today to twirl around in red and white spirals. [looks offstage] Oh, you're going to sing? How original.

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] The New Found Sound Barbershop Quartet [places placard and exits]

 

SONG

 

Svelte enters. Horse's head pokes out of left wing. Svelte points to it as he addresses the audience.

 

SVELTE: Now we find a mystery. Here we have a horse's head.

 

Horse's butt pokes out of the right wing.

 

SVELTE: And here we have a horse's ... further extremity. A puzzling sight, is it not? Yet, surprising as it may seem, these two discordant parts belong to the same equine. How can that be, you ask. [paces the stage, turns and gestures to the audience to speak] "How can that be?" YOU ASK!

 

Audience asks "How can that be?"

 

SOUND trotting horse

 

MARGINELLA:  [crossing in front of stage] Oatley the Counting Horse [places placard, gallops off.]

 

Oatley cantors onto the stage in one piece.

 

SVELTE: Good afternoon, Oatley.

 

OATLEY: Whinny.

 

SVELTE: My sentiments exactly. You are a mathematical horse, are you not?

 

OATLEY [taps with its foreleg three times] Whinny, whinny, whinny.

 

SVELTE: No need to expostulate, the visual element will suffice. So ... tell us, what is the sum of 4 plus 2?

 

Oatley hesitates, then taps out six.

 

SVELTE: Excellent. And the product of 4 times 3?

 

Oatley puts one hoof up in concentration, then slowly taps out 10 and pauses. Svelte encourages him with a hand gesture. Oatley taps out 2 more.

 

SVELTE: Superb! Now please, the square root of 749.

 

Oatley startles, looks at him angrily, rears up on its hind legs, goes "phhhfft" and cantors off.

 

SVELTE: Mathematicians are so temperamental. But I must let you in on a secret. The length of our acts is mathematically determined by a most minute yet remarkable creature. The next musical number honors this longitudinal genius and also its original protector, Mr. Danny Kaye.

 

[Marginella enters with placard.]

 

MARGINELLA: Inchworm measured by Miss Dori Fisher.[places placard, pulls out measuring tape and measures audience, exits.]

 

SONG

 

Svelte enters.

 

SVELTE: For our next act, ladies and gentlemen –

 

AYHAITCHA GUTZ enters and interrupts.

 

GUTZ: Hey, fuzz-face! You ready for me or you just gonna keep yappin'?

 

SVELTE: Patience, my dear. You are listed to follow intermission.

 

GUTZ: Intermission! What kind of jello salad is that? I got places to go!

 

SVELTE [aside to audience: I might suggest one or another. [to Gutz]You will have adequate time on stage – and off.

 

GUTZ: Don't try to shimmy me, Maestro-man. I know my rights. [holds up left fist] And my left jab.

 

SVELTE: See here –

 

GUTZ [pointing to audience]:  see them out there. They're waitin' for my act. Ain't ya? [waves to get audience to cheer]

 

SVELTE [to audience]: My apologies for this most unapt interruption. [to Gutz] We have a schedule to maintain.

 

GUTZ: Maintain yourself up a greased flagpole. You think I'm gonna wait around like L'il Bo Peep? [changing tone, stroking his shoulder] Listen here, short daddy, there are things I could do for you.

 

SVELTE: Such as leave?

 

GUTZ: That ain't in the cards I'm readin'. I was thinkin' after, when the lights get low.

 

SVELTE: Nothing could get much lower than the present moment. [running out of options] I suppose we could slip you in for a rapid interlude. Miss Marginella, see if you can find her placard.

 

GUTZ [slamming Svelte roughly on the back] : Knew you'd see it my way. [to audience] They always do. Ain't that strange?

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] "Beautiful Dreamer," Assaulted by Miss Ayhaitcha Gutz [puts her hands together on the side of her head as if to sleep, exits.]

 

SOUND Beautiful Dreamer intro

 

Music starts up. Gutz, waves her hand to stop music and looks into the audience.

 

GUTZ: Wait a fishboned minute. How'm I supposed to sing a sweet lullaby when ain't nobody out there payin' attention.

 

Ringers in audience needle her and she gives it back even harder. Gutz ad libs snide remarks addressed to audience members, depending on what they're doing at the moment. Then ...

 

GUTZ [disgusted] : OK, that's it. I've had it. I ain't singin' nothin' for you bozos. So long, cheese dip.

 

Gutz stomps offstage. Svelte swings his hands up to encourage audience.

 

SVELTE: Give her a big hand, dear folks. Seldom has a performer so succinctly delineated her limitations. Now to return to our point of departure: My grandmother never slept. She was awake 24 hours a day for her full 94 years and became the poster child of insomnia. Every morning at 3 am she would open the back door and throw huge printed letters at the rear fence. This was the origin of the term "capital o'fence." Yet in her last will and testament, she requested that all honor be given to her favorite item of furnishing, which became the delight of her offspring, who would pile onto her feather bed, along with – well, hear for yourself.

 

MARGINELLA: "Grandma's Feather Bed," eulogized by Miss Barbara Murray, Miss Joanna Murray, Miss Brenda Miller and Miss Deb Rojas. [Marginella places placard, tosses feathers into the air, exits.]

 

SONG

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] The Tale of Jack a Nory," Recounted by Sir Geoffrey Svelte. [Marginella places placard, wags her tail, exits.]

 

Svelte enters, picks up one book from the table, opens and studies it a moment.

 

SVELTE: I'll tell you a story of Jack a Nory, now my story's begun.

 

He places the book on the table, looks into the distance, opens the second book.

 

SVELTE: I'll tell you another about his brother, and now my story is done.

 

He closes the book, picks up the other book, turns to audience.

 

SVELTE: And since you have been such a charming audience, we now grant you – intermission!

 

INTERMISSION

 

Act Two

SVELTE: Glad to see most of you back again. Almost no one has escaped? Excellent! But before we proceed, let me take a  moment for something more serious. Although ... considering the subject of our reflections, perhaps not too serious. Those of you who remember the Roving Theater from its historical, rather than hysterical days, must recall the multi-talented work of Joel Fisher, who over the years portrayed, among other superb characters, a reticent Dutch founder of Fox Township, a seasoned sergeant in World War II France, and an Hispanic gas-company foreman from Oklahoma. Joel, alas, expired from a stroke earlier this year, not long after telling us that he would delight in performing here today. At the instigation of several of our troupe, we dedicate this performance to the memory of Joel in recognition of a fine actor, a fine human being and – most important – an hysterical figure without peer.

 

[A rain of rubber chickens explodes over the side flats.]

 

SVELTE: [megaphoning up to heaven] Joel! For heaven's sake, enough of your fowl jokes! We need to proceed with our next act.

 

Marginella dashes in with her sign.

 

SVELTE: You are being precipitous, my dear.

 

MARGINELLA [stops, looks down as though from a precipice]: I won't fall off.

 

SVELTE: Not that sort of precipice. I mean you are getting ahead of yourself.

 

MARGINELLA [looks behind and in front]: I'm in the same place the rest of me is. I think.

 

SVELTE: You wait for the introduction, dear, then you place the placard.

 

MARGINELLA: Oh! [stares into space]

 

SVELTE: We next present a pair I'm sure you all know well. You have met them at parties, on the street corner and even in your own living room. Their scintillating chat enlivens every occasion. Miss Marginella? The sign? Please? NOW?

 

MARGINELLA: Oh! Luke Warm and Maddy Ochre, the Most Boring Couple on Earth [Marginella places sign, gives a big yawn, exits].

 

MADDY: Oh, hello dear....welcome home from work! How was your day?

 

LUKE: Just fine. We packed up 800 cases of Spaghetti-o's today.

 

MADDY: On my! That sounds like a lot. How many do you usually do in a day?

 

LUKE : Oh, about 800.

 

MADDY: Well isn't that just something? Sounds like you had an outstanding day then.

 

LUKE : Yes, I certainly did! How about you? What did you do today?

 

MADDY: Well...let's see.... I cleaned the cat's litter box [Luke nods], I took your gray suit to the dry cleaners [Luke nods again, saying uh hum], and I trimmed my toenails.

 

LUKE : It sounds like you had a great day today too. Did the gravy stain come out of my suit?

 

MADDY : It did. I hung it in the closet, between the light gray one and the dark gray one.

 

LUKE : Well, thank you for taking care of that for me, dear. Say,what's for supper tonight?

 

MADDY: Porridge.

 

LUKE: Didn't we have that last night?

 

MADDY: Yes, but last night it had bananas it.

 

LUKE : I thought it was blueberries.

 

MADDY: No, dear. That was the night before. And the night before that, it was walnuts.

 

LUKE : You sure are a good cook, Maddie. [she gives an “aw shucks” look] Those baloney sandwiches you pack in my lunch are always the highlight of my workday, that's for sure!

 

MADDY: Anything for you, dear! I was thinking of switching out carrot sticks for celery sticks tomorrow.

 

LUKE looking amazed: I'll be the envy of everyone in the lunchroom!

 

MADDY: Was Bertha still painting her porch rails next door when you came in?

 

LUKE: She was. [he gets an idea] How about after supper, we go out and ...

 

TOGETHER: ...watch them dry! [they chuckle]

 

LUKE: I swear, I don't know how you do it. Sometimes it's just like you read my mind!

 

Exit Luke and Maddie. Enter Svelte

 

SVELTE: [removing cape and wig while talking] Wasn't that fun? Of course it was. And such sparkling repartee leads me to a question I have often asked myself: If you fill in a hole, where does it go? This puzzle has long plagued philosophers, gophers and dentists. Miss Marginella and I hope today to address the matter. My dear?

 

MARGINELLA: "A Hole in the Bucket," filled by Sir Geoffrey Svelte and His Engaging Assistant, Miss Marginella. [Marginella looks at audience through a hole made by her fingers, exits SL enters SL with apron. Svelte removes cape and wig and gets bucket from under table CS.]

 

SONG

 

Marginella takes bucket OS SR. Svelte puts cape and wig back on while talking.

 

SVELTE: Did you find that wholly illuminating? No? Perhaps you think we have been perpetrating too much monkey business. But I say – there can be no such thing. The lesser primates, after all, have a charming way of commanding your attention. The organ grinder and his monkey – how many here recall the calliope-like sound, the thrill of that costumed visitor's soft, tiny hand receiving your penny? Ahhh ... [appears to drift off into nostalgia] But enough of bland reminiscence, for this afternoon we have with us the real thing – the joyous past reanimated. Please welcome Sergio Placebo and his jungle compatriot, Alphonse.

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] Eep! Eep! [She places placard, gives a small jump and exits SL.]

 

Sergio comes on grinding a monstrous box.

 

SOUND organ grinder music, turned on and off depending on his grinding

 

Alphonse, ridiculously costumed, jumps up and down making monkey noises. Sergio stops playing and bows to the audience.

 

SERGIO: I cannot say to what I feel such wonder. So much flocculations of joy abut me I do not know before. I would, once, have been so down in the sewer, but here, I am up high like the kite bird swooping. Yes? I grind the organ to make the music that my Alphonse can wallow among you and demand of you tribute. Is that not a magnificence? Truly, I play the tunes, and Alphonse gropes to see what you will give. The Queen of England said to me – but she did not really, that is a joke – that she would pay my life salary to hear this music while Alphonse would lumber and tango to my tunes. So here he is to do that. Now you must extend your hands filled with munificence for his encumbrance. See? I play.

 

Music plays off speed while Alphonse harasses the audience. When someone offers him a coin, he turns it over and makes sputtering noises to show his displeasure at its puniness. He grabs someone's hat, slaps it on his head and bounds back up to the stage.

 

SERGIO: Is not Alphonse the most delightful of simians? He is like the kettle set to boil away all displeasures and effrontments. With him I know the moderate delight of veritable extension. But now we must go home, where he makes his bed of sweet smelling laundry. So to you I say goodbye, or in my language, arriva dirty. Next time, we find the golden treasure of mighty remembrance. I see you in my dreams.

 

SVELTE: Thank you, thank you, Sergio, you have brought back such memories. But you know, when I was a child – can you entertain such a concept? – I was beset by a congenital inability to maintain my physical balance. I made at least five attempts to ride a bicycle, all ending in abject catastrophe. Worse were my futile exercises at controlling roller skates. I bring this up because, in the musical "Funny Girl," songstress Barbra Streisand skittered about the stage on roller skates during her inspired warbling of "I'd Rather Be Blue." Her performance will be wonderfully reenacted this very afternoon, complete with those appliances of circular mayhem, the roller skates.

 

Hand reaches out from the wings, waving toward him, holding skates.

 

SVELTE: What's that? You want me to wear them?? [hand waves the skates, then heaves them on stage] Oh. Perhaps I was premature. Apparently we must make do without these maniacal devices. Nonetheless, the song will go on.

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] "I'd Rather by Blue," Brightened by Miss Dori Fisher. [Miss Marginellaplaces placard, heaves a sigh, exits SL.

 

SONG

 

SVELTE: I have spoken of my early years  at some length [ringer in the audience: "at too much length"] Come up here and reiterate that to my face, you young scoundrel. The youth of today have no respect for their elders. Though come to think of it, neither did the youth of my day. It's amazing what a firecracker can achieve when placed in the pit of an outhouse. But I realize that I have not yet released my most accomplished attribute, my singing voice. Did you know that I was, in my early years, a major proponent of Russian opera? To provide an enriching example, I will now perform the aria for which I was most renowned: The ogliphonia de trompe l'oeil of Rasputum, from Smellikov's, "The Hairdresser of Kiev." Oh, does anyone in the audience speak Russian? [ringer raises hand] Ah ... would you please keep your translation of this aria under your cap? There are certain ... thank you.

Svelte releases a torrent of appalling inhuman noise.

But enough of my glorious past. Of all moments in recent musical history, one stands out above all others for its uninhibited joy and degenerate mayhem. I refer, of course, to the Whistling Pig Jubilee of 1997 in Dubuque, Iowa. [whispers] I josh – it was actually something even more spectacular.

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] Old Hippies of Now, recalled by Miss Brenda Miller and Mr. George Hasay. [Miss Marginella places sign, raises both hands with peace signs, exits.]

 

SOUND Cat's in the Cradle

 

[Carl enters and sits down with the Sullivan Review.]

 

CARL: [yelling offstage] Hey Mary, grab a brew will ya?

 

MARY: Hang on-I’m getting a bag ready for the Loan Closet. Boy- our kids sure left a lot of junk behind. [Mary walks out with the bag and beer, hands Carl a beer, sits down and rubs her knee.]

 

MARY: My knee has more snaps and crackles than a bowl of rice crispies.

 

CARL: It’s a gift dear. [pause] Hey Mary, look at this!  It’s a 1969 Pontiac Firebird.  350 V8 fire engine red exterior, black interior and a convertible white top.  It’s right here at Fitzpatrick and Lambert.

 

MARY: What?

 

CARL: Right here in the Sully!--air conditioning, power steering.  My brother Miles had one just like this.  Purred like a kitten.  He used to give us rides, remember?  Wow, the wind in your hair!

 

MARY: Bugs in your teeth! Pooh pooh!

 

CARL: You know I could have bought it from him and Lorraine. [pause]  You remember what else happened in 69’, don’t you?

 

MARY: Your hernia operation?

 

CARL: No,  no. The festival at Bethel, New York-Woodstock!

 

MARY: Oh I’m just pulling your leg. I remember.

 

CARL: Remember all that music?

 

MARY: And mud!

 

CARL: Good thing we got there before they had to shut down the New York State Freeway.  We had to abandon our Mercury Comet by the road.

 

MARY: Yah, and we had to walk five miles to get there.

 

CARL: Yup-We just followed the white smokey haze.

 

MARY: There was only one way in or out, by helicopter.

 

CARL: You went to get food from the Hog Farm, and it took you two hours to find me again.

 

MARY: How did we ever make it without cell phones?  Freedom, Freedom! Do you remember Richie havens?  I would have walked 10 miles to see HIM!

 

CARL: And Jimi Hendrix’s Star-Spangled Banner performance while he supposedly wore an LSD soaked bandana?  [Mary shakes a scarf at Carl.]  He just as well may have soaked it in Stegmaires Beer.

 

MARY: Hey Carl--didn’t I burn my bra there. [Mary finds a bikini top in the bag.]

 

CARL: The closest you ever came to burning your bra was getting too close to the BBQ grill.

 

MARY: I heard one man brought his pet sheep and he was in his birthday suit; and I’m not just talking about the sheep.

 

CARL: Oh Mary, I just thought of something.  Remember when Mrs. T from the El Monaco Hotel pocked her broom into the bushes and all sorts of arm, legs, and other appendages  came flying out.  [Mary starts poking into the air.]

 

MARY: Get outtta here, ya bums! She sure took care of “em”.  And speaking of unclothed people, remember the Earthlight Theatre Players who put on a performance for the locals and started yelling obscenities at them.  Carl, they almost cancelled the whole festival.

 

CARL: Mary, do you recall when you slid down Yasgur Hill in all that mud?  Boy you were something!  You needed a dip in Filippini’s Pond after that!

 

MARY: Uh I was bringing you a beer at the time.

 

CARL: Oh yeah, Piels beer.  Remember the Hells Angels beer can mountain?

 

MARY: Boy the little kids sure had fun climbing on that!

 

CARL: But you know out of 400,00 people there, I heard only 6 got arrested.  The National Guard was on standby in case of a riot.  Old Max Yasgur was sued by his neighbors for property damage, but he did get a full page obituary  in Rolling Stone magazine. [pause] Yeah, lots of great memories.

 

MARY: And even better than that, we had Earl and Pearl next year.  Earl …….and Pearl………You remember great grandpa Ed’s reaction….. “Oh lordy! Give ‘em strength!”  Ya know Carl, at least we didn’t name them Moon Unit or Dweezil.  What were they thinking?

 

CARL: They weren’t thinking, that was the problem.

 

MARY [Digs into the bag]: Carl, look-Earl’s favorite bowl.  Do you remember when Earl dumped his spaghetti all over Pearl’s head?  Lord- she looked just like Medusa! [pause] Look , Carl-- a John Lennon album. He once said, “If everyone demanded peace instead of another TV set, there would be peace.

 

CARL:  Oh Well, the spirit of Woodstock still exists.  Wavy Gravy still has his Hog Farm and he has annual summer clown camp for kids.

 

MARY: Did you know that when he was a little boy in New Jersey he took walks with Albert Einstein?  I could just see it ……

“Hello Mr. Einstein”

“Hello Hugh”

“Where’s your socks?”

“They are unnecessary encumbrances!” ……

Yup- He’s definitely more than a frozen Ben and Jerry’s dessert!

 

CARL: Speaking of dessert, don’t we have some of those Hurley’s popsicles  in the freezer?

 

MARY: Hang on a second….I think so. [exita. Carl opens paper and gazes at his special car. Mary returns with two pairs of sunglasses and a popsicle for each of them.] Remember these? [Carl and Mary put on their sunglasses and eat popsicles.)

 

CARL: Hey Mary- Let’s go buy that Firebird!

 

MARY: Does that mean I get my new kitchen? [They exit, with Mary grabbing her bag on the way.]

 

SOUND Both Sides Now

 

SVELTE: [Entering SR] Somewhat earlier, during the 1940s, besides the explosions of war, there was also an explosion of  music, from quiet crooners to sprightly big bands. One group however, attached itself like a lamprey to a single well-known tune, then disappeared without a trace for over half a century. But now, resurrected from Limbo for your listening pleasure – Miss Marginella, please?

 

MARGINELLA: [crossing in front of stage] Chattanooga Choo-Choo," railroaded by the Undrews Sisters. [She places sign, and pulls her hand down as if blowing a whistle. A train whistle sounds, Marginella exits.]

 

SONG

[Helen tells Roy Rogers joke.]

 

MARGINELLA: Tee hee. They're back again – and I have it right this time! [flourishes sign that says Low-roll and Hardly and announces triumphantly]  Laurel and Hardy! [places sign, giggles with delight and exits.]

 

SOUND second cookoo track

 

Stan and Ollie enter and sit on a pier. Stan starts fishing. Ollie starts to nap and Stan steals Ollie's hat, sniffs it. This time the actors have switched roles. The one who played Ollie before is now playing Stan and vice versa.

 

STAN: Maybe this would make better bait.

 

Stan casts it, reels it in, starts to cast it again. Ollie wakes, sees what he's doing and slaps him on the arm, points to the hat. Stan hands his hat back. Ollie places it on his head and water cascades over him.

 

OLLIE: Don't you have any sense, Stanley?

 

STAN: I don't suppose so.

 

OLLIE: I'm tired.

 

STAN: Why Ollie? You haven't done anything. I did all the fishing.

 

OLLIE: I am tired of looking for work!

 

STAN: You're right, Ollie. Let's take a vacation from not working!

 

OLLIE: Indubitably, my friend

 

Stan casts a line again. Ollie sees something in the paper that intrigues him.

 

OLLIE: Stanley, didn't you have an uncle named George?

 

STAN: I did, but he fell and broke his neck.

 

OLLIE: That’s terrible. Was it an accident?

 

STAN: No they hanged him for murdering his wife. Why do you want to know, Ollie?

 

OLLIE: Because this newspaper says a George Laurel died. You may be the heir to three million dollars.

 

Stan begins to get upset and do his high-pitched cry.

 

OLLIE: Stop crying over spilled relatives. I have an idea. Just follow my lead!

 

Stan and Ollie exit SL. Marginella enters with sign.

 

MARGINELLA:  Later. [places the sign, makes an arc with her hand, exits. Ollie and Stan enter. This time Ollie is fishing.]

 

OLLIE: I can’t believe you told the judge you weren’t your uncle’s long lost relative. Why Stanley, why?

 

STAN: Because my uncle died with money and I would [more gibberish and Stan starts to weep].

 

OLLIE: Well, you have really done it this time. Our one chance to be rich and on top of the world – you didn’t even have to work for it and you still botched it up for ME. Stop your crying, you simpleton.

 

Stan, still sniffling, blows his nose on a hanky he removed from Ollie’s jacket pocket. Ollie stares at him with disgust. Stan unsuccessfully tries to refold it and crams it back in Ollie’s pocket, leaving it half in and half out, then pats Ollie’s pocket like it's all good. Ollie goes on a rant, grabbing the hanky violently and trying to jam it back into any pocket he can find in Stan’s clothes. They go into their famous arm flailing. Ollie backs off and Stan relaxes, then Ollie tries it again only to go into 10 more seconds of useless arm flailing. Ollie faces the audience with a disgusted look, still holding the offensive hanky while Stan removes his hat and scratches his head. Very gently, Ollie slides Stan’s hat from his hand and even more gently places the soiled hanky on Stan’s head, then forcefully pulls Stan’s hat down over the hanky and his head as far as possible. Ollie then does his tie flip, head nod and mutters his famous…. “MMM, MMM, MMM.”

 

STAN : You don’t understand, Ollie. My family has a curse.

 

OLLIE: A what?

 

STAN: It’s true, it’s called the “Maloit.” It means “hairy eyeball” in English.

 

OLLIE again looking at the audience with disgust: The “Maloit” ! … NONSENSE!

 

STAN: But it’s true, Ollie. My Great great great great great grandmother Lara Laurel sold an Italian Gypsy some bad “snake oil” and it poisoned him. The man, not the snake. With his dying breath he put the “maloit” on my family. If any Laurel be wealthier than a pauper, he must die. My Uncle was the last, so I don’t want his money. [Begins head scratching and hang-dog look.]

 

OLLIE Almost sympathetically: There, there little buddy. Here, you fish awhile [handing Stan the pole]. It will relax you! Think about it – why, if we – uhhh, I mean if you had your Uncle’s inheritance, we could come to this pier every day, eat a picnic lunch and you could fish to your heart’s content…HMMM? What could happen here?

 

STAN: Thank you, Ollie, I feel much better now. Let’s go back to the courthouse tomorrow and I’ll tell them who I am.

 

OLLIE: Now that’s the spirit, my moronic friend! You relax and keep fishing for dinner while I take a nap.

 

Ollie closes his eyes and starts to snore while Stanley keeps fishing. He removes his hat and scratches his head when suddenly his rod pulls violently. He puts his hat on the pier, fights a futile battle while crying his high-pitched cry. Then it’s over – SPLASH!

 

SOUND splash

 

The splash wakes Ollie gradually, who doesn't know what happened.

 

OLLIE: Now little buddy, wasn’t that relaxing, what could happen? Stan, Stanley!?

 

Ollie sees his friend’s hat on the pier, picks it up and stares at it quizzically, exits as lights fade.

 

OLLIE; What are you doing out there? [exits] And why are you all wet?

 

STAN O.S.: I got lost again. After I got pulled into the river.

 

OLLIE O.S.: What pulled you into the river for pete's sake?

 

STAN O.S.: It was either a very big fish or a very small tugboat.

 

OLLIE O.S.: Can't you tell the difference between a fish and a tugboat, you idiot?

 

STAN O.S.: Not when I'm under water. But I'm not under water now, so if I get pulled in again, I'll know who did it.

 

OLLIE O.S. : If you get pulled in again! We need to clean you up and go see that judge. You're all covered with seaweed.

 

STAN O.S. : Oh. Maybe that's why I couldn't see the tugfish.

 

SOUND Inka Dinka Doo

 

Svelte dashes onstage, removes fake chin and attempts to hide it under cape, it falls to floor.

 

SVELTE: Ha. It's good to get away from things now and then, isn't it? So why not a side trip to Paris and the Folies Bergere! In the 1890s, these dancers were considered somewhat risque. Now please, as promised – there will be nothing risque performed on this stage – though some of us may have risked our sanity. You may not have seen the headlines, but several of the original Folies dancers were recently uncovered – umm, that may have been an unfortunate turn of phrase. They were unearthed in ... well, let us just skip that part. It's been 75 years since these well-rested performers last danced together at the Moulin Rouge. So let me introduce them to you: Ivy En de Fleur, who has arisen from her hospice bed to cavort one more time with her attenuated troupe. [Ivy enters.] Fred LeFarge – formerly Fifi, who made the brave decision to undergo gender transition two years ago. [Fred enters.] And last but hardly least, former dance hall girl and lady of the evening, Too Loose LeTrec. [Too Loose is wheeled from audience and lifted onto stage in her wheelchair, fast asleep. Once again, louder] Too Loose [no response, kicks wheelchair and bellows]Too Loose LeTrec!

 

TOO LOOSE: God save the queen!

 

SVELTE: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Can't Can't Dancers.

 

MARGINELLA:  The Can't-Can't Dancers, Featuring Too Loose LaTrek, Ivy En de Fleur and Fred LeFarge. [She places sign.] Ooooh La La! [Exit SL.]

 

SOUND Can-Can

 

MUSIC AND ACT

 

Svelte comes on, swirl of cape

 

SVELTE: And now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you have all been waiting for [beckons the cast], the culmination of today's entertainment, the crŹme de la crŹme, the piece de resistance – we bring you THE END!

 

As applause starts, launch into "Good Night, Irene."

 

Irene goodnight

Irene goodnight

Goodnight Irene

Goodnight Irene

I'll see you in my dreams

 

Last Saturday night I got married

Me and my wife settled down

Now me and my wife are parted

I'll take another stroll down town

 

Irene goodnight

Irene goodnight

Goodnight Irene

Goodnight Irene

I'll see you in my dreams

 

Sometimes I live in the country

Sometimes I live in town

Sometimes I stand on a big rock

And jump in the Loyalsock

 

Irene goodnight

Irene goodnight

Goodnight Irene

Goodnight Irene

I'll see you in my dreams

 

SVELTE: Good night, everyone, refreshments in the rear.

 

THE (ACTUAL) END