Roving Hysterical Theater Vaudeville Revival

and Old-Time Nonsense Revue

 

A collaboration of Cat Badger, Derek Davis, Helen Day, Connie Hatch, Tom Jones, Brenda Miller, Eileen Wylie and the Cast

Directed by Derek Davis and Linda White

 

Character                                                                                               Performer

Emcee                                                                                                                                            Tom Jones

Beatrice                                                                                                                                         Cat Badger

Algernon                                                                                                                                 Richard Houck

Waitress                                                                                                                                     Megan Kiner

Sir Geoffrey Svelte                                                                                                                     Derek Davis

Oatley                                                                                         Cat Badger (front) and Linda Roman (rear)

Houyhnhnm Palomino                                                                                                                Linda White

I. Ain’t Iguana                                                                                                                            Eileen Wylie

Miss Marginella                                                                                                                          Linda White

Watch Children                                                       Olivia Magann, Shammah Magann, Vanessa Molyneux

                                                                                                                                                      and friends

Emcee 2                                                                                                                                Steve Tomlinson

Cockney Complainer                                                                                                                Brenda Miller

Little Man                                                                                                                                   Derek Davis

Waiter                                                                                                                                  Steve Tomlinson

Ayhaitcha Gutz                                                                                                                           Anne Kiner

One                                                                                                                                               Carol Wells

Two                                                                                                                                               Helen Day

Three                                                                                                                                          Eileen Wylie

OK Chorale                                                                                                                                 most of cast

Chorale Director                                                                                                                         Eileen Wylie

Clown                                                                                                                                           Carol Wells

Sergio Placebo                                                                                                                      Steve Tomlinson

Alphonse                                                                                                                                   Megan Kiner

Lucas Flagbottom                                                                                                                          Tom Jones

Sally Getteright                                                                                                                        Brenda Miller

Edwina Fedup                                                                                                                               Helen Day

Orchestra of Outer Atlantis                                                                                         just about everybody

Concertmistress                                                                                                                             Helen Day

Leopold P. Tonedeaf                                                                                                                     Tom Jones

Caterina Badenoff                                                                                                                         Cat Badger

Staff and Crew

Set design and construction                                                                                                           Cat Badger           

Costume design and assembly                                                                                                                 Cast

Lighting technician                                                                                                                Phenny Magann

Sound technician                                                                                                                      Bonnie Houck


INTRO

Emcee enters low stage

 

EMCEE; Introduces production, gives background from last year, introduce self and other Emcees

 

Emcee exits.

 

SCENE 1 [high stage] Misohungry Restaurant

BEATRICE, ALGERNON and  WAITRESS enter high stage

 

BEATRICE: That was so good. I love Chinese food.

 

ALGERNON: But half an hour later you feel full.

 

BEATRICE: Is that it? I thought it was half an hour later you feel empty.

 

ALGERNON: Maybe half an hour later you’re half empty?

 

BEATRICE: That sounds about right. Hey, I’ve had a wonderful time out with you tonight. Let’s do this again sometime.

 

ALGERNON: Yes, lets. Absolutely. I’ve had a splendid time tonight too. How about next -

 

Waitress approaches with check, bowl of fortune cookies.

 

WAITER: Oooohh, fortune cookies! House specialty! Free of charge! Great conversation piece!

 

ALGERNON: What's special about them?

 

WAITER: Oooohh, unlike all other fortune cookies. Guarantee you have a special…uh…experience! Secret recipe!

 

BEATRICE: [turning  one to the light] They look pretty ordinary to me.

 

WAITER: Oooohh, secret recipe hidden inside. And served with chocolate dipping sauce!

 

Waitress brings dipping sauce and exits.

 

BEATRICE: Well that’s unusual…but they are free. Chocolate dipping sauce...?

 

ALGERNON: Eh, what’s the harm? Let’s dig in!

 

Beatrice opens a cookie, dips a corner into sauce, holds paper, drops the cookie into the dipping sauce.

 

BEATRICE: Aaagh! Listen to this – "Your mother will cut off your fingers and sell you into slavery.”

 

ALGERNON: What does your mother do?

 

BEATRICE: [sounding worried] She’s a missionary, currently stationed in Lebanon. She’s there learning the culture.

 

ALGERNON: Ah, I wouldn’t worry.

 

BEATRICE: [sounding desperate] Why would I worry!?

 

ALGERNON: Well, you can’t take these fortunes seriously.

 

BEATRICE: I had a friend who got a fortune once, and it said something like, “You’ll need an umbrella, because it’s going to rain cats and dogs soon.” She brought an umbrella with her the next day and got bit by a dog.

 

ALGERNON: That doesn’t make any sense. I mean, the possibility of rain and the possibility of getting bitten by a dog are two entirely separate things.

 

BEATRICE: NO, no! It makes perfect sense! That’s what that saying means! I’m sure she’s grateful a cat didn’t scratch her too!

 

ALGERNON: [to audience] Makes you wonder what the umbrella was for…. [to Beatrice] OK, calm down. Let’s not let this silliness ruin our night.

 

BEATRICE: OK, OK. What does yours say?

 

ALGERNON: Ahem… "An army of dwarves will shave your head and drive toothpicks in your ears."

 

BEATRICE: Ooohhhh! That’s too horrible to imagine! [throws money on table.] We're getting out of here.

 

ALGERNON: Yeah. I suppose we should. Don’t want to wait around for that gang of midgets.

 

BEATRICE: Dwarves! You should take this more seriously!

 

ALGERNON: Seriously?

 

BEATRICE: ­[walking away] Don’t come calling on me when your head is bare. Well, bare-er. And when your ears are bleeding. Dwarves come in the night. Bring an umbrella, just in case.

 

ALGERNON: Whatever you say… sweetie. [grabs a handful of cookies from bowl.] These will be perfect at sis's wedding.

 

Beatrice, then Algernon exit quickly.

 

SOUND: Chinese pipa music by Lui Pui-Yuen

 

SCENE 2 [high stage] Rabbit song

SINGER

Two songs and ad-lib patter.

 

Singer exits.

 

SCENE 3 [low stage] Oatley

SVELTE: Good evening. As some of you may recognize, I am Sir Geoffrey Svelte, master of all known ceremonies, reappearing once again on this very stage. [loud razzberry from audience]. Ah, someone who witnessed last year's production. But seriously, let me now present the return of ... Oatley the Mathematical Horse!

 

OATLEY and PALOMINO enter as introduced.

 

SVELTE: Those of you fortunate enough to have seen Oatley perform will recall him as an equine of sterling ability but somewhat ... unpredictable temperament. [Oatley nudges Svelte severely.] Ahem, that is to say, he can add and multiply with aplomb but often subtracts from these accomplishments with sour grapes, thereby dividing his audience. However, following an ample serving of millet soufflé, he has agreed to take questions from the audience. As Oatley finds it difficult to discourse in human language, we have brought with us, from Eohippus Farms, Miss Houyhnhnm Palomino, Certified Equine Linguisticator. Miss Palomino will render questions posed by audience members into Equinic for Oatley's benefit, and present his carefully studied replies in English.

 

SVETLE: Good evening, Miss Palomino.

 

PALOMINO: [stamping foot and shaking head] Whinny whinny neigh beeeHHhhheegh.

 

SVELTE: I'm sorry, what ...?

 

PALOMINO: Oh my goodness, please forgive me, I forgot I was addressing a [slight shudder] human. I meant to say, "What a fine evening for a good rubdown and a curry combing."

 

SVELTE: Yes, I would think so. So tell us – has Oatley answered audience questions in the past?

 

PALOMINO: Oh yes! [stage whisper]He likes to pretend otherwise, but he loves the adulation. Though I dare not translate everything he flubbers in a public place.

 

SVELTE: And probably a good thing. Let's get started. Does anyone in the audience have a question for Oatley? Yes, there in the rear.

 

AUDIENCE 1: I saw you add and multiply the last time. Can you tell me how much 9 times 8 is?

 

PALOMINO: Weehinny, nee snort-tabble, too-fubble, toof.

 

Oatley slaps front hooves together, then his back, then stomps all four in a random rotation.

 

SVELTE: I believe that is the correct answer.

 

AUDIENCE 1: If you say so.

 

SVELTE: I do. Yes, over on the right?

 

AUDIENCE 2: Can you add three numbers together, like 4 plus 6 plus 8?

 

SVELTE: Miss Palomino?

 

PALOMINO: Whinny whinny snort sniggerrumpus neigh neigh.

 

OATLEY: [head down, concentrating and muttering] Snort huyung neigh whinny heeeeharoooo pafoob.

 

PALOMINO: He can but he would prefer not to.

 

AUDIENCE 2: Well, that's pretty lame.

 

PALOMINO: Please do not offend Oatley's dignity.

 

AUDIENCE 2: Dignity! He's got the dignity of a cheese danish.

 

SVELTE: Let us not insult the performer. Another question. Over there, you again, the one with the odd sweater and mismatched leggings.

 

AUDIENCE 1: You don't act so bright, Oatley. Is that just a pose so if you do actually add up a couple numbers we'll say "Wow, gee whizz, the old nag ain't as dumb as he looks"?

 

SVELTE: Miss Palomino?

 

PALOMINO: I will not subject Oatley to further insults.

 

OATLEY: Snort?

 

SVELTE: You were hired to provide fully accurate translations.

 

PALOMINO: If you insist. Neigh whinny snort snort wheeeeenyet, whinny neigh.

 

OATLEY: [stomping madly] Neigh neigh neigh bluuubuubble whinnnneeeyyy.

 

PALOMINO: [to Audience 1] He suggests that you meet him tonight behind the stable. He will have a nice warm present for you.

 

SVELTE: We can take one last question. And please keep it within the bounds of thoroughbred decency. Yes?

 

AUDIENCE 2: Hey Oatley, where'd you get your mane, from a spaghetti dumpster?

 

Oatley rears and he and Palomino exit, both stamping on Svelte's foot.

 

SVELTE: Temperamental artists.

 

SOUND: "The Horse Told Me"

 

Svelte,  Emcee 2 and Algernon move piano while music plays. IGUANA sits at piano.

 

SCENE 4 [low stage and piano on floor] Iguana

 

EMCEE: We've had some pretty hectic action the last few minutes, so perhaps it's time to "chill out" with a bit of gentle crooning. We are most delighted to have with us internationally renowned lounge lizard, Mme. I. Ain't Iguana. Mme. Iguana has appeared at the famous Sydney Opera house in Australia, La Scala in Milan and the Mortimer Crestfallen Rodent Museum in Stinkwater, Wyoming. Tonight,  she brings you a select program of her favorites, which I'm sure will become yours as well.

 

IGUANA

medley of

"Because You're Mine," Sammy Cahn,

"By the Time I Get to Phoenix," Jim Webb,

"The Boy from Ipanema," Jobim / Gimbel / Moraes,

"I Belong to You," Alex North

 

SOUND: "Make Someone Happy"

 

Iguana, Svelte, Algernon move piano while music plays

 

SCENE 5 [high stage] Watch children

 

Emcee dashes onto high stage through low stage.

 

EMCEE: Whew! On my way in today, I decided to stop by to visit my old friend, Methuselah. Just before I reached his house I passed one of those "Watch Children" signs [points]. I paid it no particular mind, which was my undoing. For as I turned the corner, there they were: the Watch Children, straining at their leashes, gnashing their fangs and making threatening lunges. Naturally, I backed off, but I was trapped. They broke free, ripped my pants, lacerated my ankles and pummeled my hands with sticky lollipops. I'm still sticky. Let me tell you –

 

Rattle of chains, guttural shouts and general childish hullaballoo.

 

EMCEE: Good lord, they've found me! Guards! Security! I have to escape!

 

LEAD WATCH CHILD: [calling out as Watch Children tear up the aisle] There is no escaping the Watch Children.

 

Emcee dashes off stage. Watch Children chase him, pawing and harassing the audience in passing. Miss Marginella runs back and forth in front of the stage, then suddenly reaches into a pot and fills her pockets and dashes into the aisle.

 

MARGINELLA: Treat! Treat! Here, children, treat!

 

She holds out fortune cookies, Watch Children move toward her, jumping to get their snack. She pats them on the head and scritches their ears. They chew the cookies rapidly, scratching themselves and snapping at each other.

 

MARGINELLA: Good child, good!

 

EMCEE sneaks back.

 

EMCEE: Whew, that was close. Good thinking, Miss Marginella. But ... how can we get them out of here?

 

MARGINELLA: [thinking for a moment] I know. Children! I heard an ice cream truck, a BIG one. Go get it!

 

SOUND: bell ringing

 

Watch children dash down aisle and through outer door.

 

MARGINELLA: They just love to chase cars.

 

EMCEE: It's a shame when they bite the tires.

 

MARGINELLA: But they're so cute when they've finished eating their Child Chow and curl up at your feet.

 

Marginella and Emcee exit.

 

SOUND: "Children Go Where I Send Thee"

 

Emcee 2 enters low stage while music plays

 

SCENE 6 [low stage] Cockney

 

EMCEE 2: Vaudeville may strike some of you as hopelessly "old school," but let me tell you, what we do is on the bleeding edge of –

 

COCKNEY: [in audience] Wait a minute, guv, wait a minute. This was advertised as family entertainment. No obscenities and all like that. You can't go tossin' that kind of word around.

 

EMCEE 2: What kind of word?

 

COCKNEY: What you just said. The "B" word.

 

EMCEE 2: Barbecue?

 

COCKNEY: The "B" word, like, you know, when you stick a pin in yourself and you're ... you know.

 

EMCEE 2: No, I don't know. Tell me.

 

COCKNEY: All right if I use "bleep"? They put 'at in cartoons and wardrobe malfunctions.

 

EMCEE 2: "Bleep" is fine,  jim dandy.

 

COCKNEY: Say some bloke comes along an' 'its a old lady across the back of  'er 'ead with a monkey wrench, an I says to 'im, "Wot kind of bleepin' blighter are you?"

 

EMCEE 2: You mean "bleeding"?

 

COCKNEY: Blimey, you said it again. [walks to front, enters low stage] You know, guv, in Lon'on 'at's somethin' you don't want to be sayin' with kids hearin.' You should apologize to me and all these blokes. [points to audience.]

 

EMCEE: I had no intention of insulting anyone and I'm quite sorry if I did so. But just so we're clear, is it OK for me to say "bloomin'"?

 

COCKNEY: [laughs] Ha! "Bloomin'"? Are you daft? You can 'ang off Big Ben and yell "bloomin'' till your lungs blow out. You can name your dog Bloomin' Benjamin and he'll come 'ome when you call him. Yell "bloomin" at a queen's guard and he'll keep starin into oblivion. You can sell bloomin' liver sausage–

 

EMCEE: Fine, enough. Let's get back to, um, "bleep." When you cut off a finger and there's blood pouring out on the sidewalk, what do you call that? What do you say is happening to you?

 

COCKNEY: I'm exsanguinatin'.

 

EMCEE: O...K. exsangu ... Now suppose you go to the pub –

 

COCKNEY: [to audience] I like this part.

 

EMCEE: – and two patrons start whaling on each other.

 

COCKNEY: 'appens regular as clockwork.

 

EMCEE: They're friends of yours, so you try to break it up, but they slam you into the bar, pour porter down the back of your neck, ram their elbows into your kidneys, pick up a barstool and crack it over your head, knock out your front teeth, rub Limburger in your hair, call your grandmother an Irish tart –

 

COCKNEY: [enraged] Now 'old on, my granny's from Liverpool, you bleedin' seaweed –

 

EMCEE: Ahem. Watch your language, young lady.

 

COCKNEY: That's entrapment! You 'eard 'im! We never should 've give you blighters independence.

 

Cockney and Emcee exit.

 

SOUND: "A Little Bit of Cucumber"

 

SINGER and MAN enter high stage, set table while music plays. Palomino and Oatley walk by on floor.

 

PALOMINO: [reading fortune cookie] "A woman with a very large nose will soil your sofa." Oh my.

 

OATLEY: Snort?

 

PALOMINO: Whinny neigh neigh weeugh neigh whinny.

 

SCENE 7 [high stage] Meatball

MAN walks back and forth in front of stage looking confused and hungry.

 

SINGER

A little man walked up and down

To find an eating place in town

He wandered here and lingered there

But settled on Italian fare

 

Man enters stage left, looks around.

 

SINGER

The little man walked through the door

And gazed around at the décor [Man sits at table, opens menu and peruses it briefly.]

He looked the menu though and through

To see what fifty cents could do

 

MAN: “One meat ball?”

 

SINGER
One meatball, one meatball, one meatball,

He could afford but one meatball.

 

Man looks distraught, signals waiter

 

WAITER enters and exits high stage.

 

SINGER

He told the waiter near at hand

The simple dinner he had planned. [Man mouths “one meatball please."]

The folks were startled one and all

To hear that waiter loudly call

 

WAITER

One meatball, one meatball [mouths this, cupping hand to mouth toward kitchen] “This here gent wants one meatball!”

 

Waiter goes off stage, guitar interlude, Waiter brings out dish.

 

SINGER

The little man was very still, Said

 

MAN: “Some cheese kind sir, if you will.”

 

SINGER

The waiter told him, standing tall

 

WAITER

"Ya gets no cheese with one meatball."

 

SINGER

The little man felt ill at ease, [Waiter starts moving toward kitchen], Said,

 

MAN: “Then some bread, sir, if you please.”

 

SINGER

The waiter hollered down the hall

 

WAITER

"Ya gets no bread with one meatball!"

 

Exit Waiter.

 

SOUND: crashing and banging from kitchen, unintelligible curses.

 

SINGER

The little man was very sad,

[MAN  pockets meatball, sneaks off, shuffles in front of stage.]

One meatball was all he had,

And in his dreams he hears that call

 

WAITER: “Ya gets no bread with one meat BAAALLL!”

 

Man runs behind wing. Beatrice and Algernon walk by on floor reading fortune cookies; singer and waiter move table and bench set bus stop sign, exit.

 

BEATRICE: "Your clothes will desert you in a public place."

 

ALGERNON: I wouldn't entirely mind that, but .... ""The person you most trust will fill your car with oatmeal." Hmmm....

           

BEATRICE: You do trust me?"

 

ALGERNON: Why were you buying a whole case of Quaker Oats?

 

SCENE 8 [low stage] Ayhaitcha Gutz

Svelte enters low stage, GUTZ walks by on floor, enters low stage.

 

GUTZ: Waaaah! Woo, oh, boo hoo hoo.

 

SVELTE: What is the problem, my, uh, dear?

 

GUTZ: Nothing.

 

SVELTE: There has to be something wrong.

 

GUTZ: [blowing her nose loudly] No there doesn't.

 

SVELTE: But you're crying.

 

GUTZ: Well, duh! I noticed that, fuzz-face.

 

SVELTE: When someone cries, it generally means they're unhappy.

 

GUTZ: Glory to marmalade! Yes, I'm unhappy.

 

SVELTE: But you say nothing's wrong. So, do you ...  enjoy being unhappy?

 

GUTZ: I love it!

 

SVELTE: But there must be things you like more than being unhappy.

 

GUTZ: Of course there are.

 

SVELTE: What then?

 

GUTZ: Being miserable.

 

SVELTE: I don't ... quite ... understand ...

 

GUTZ: [gesturing toward audience] Do you have any idea what it's like seeing all these laughing, sniggling people having fun? It's makes me want to heave.

 

SVELTE: So ... if instead we stood here and told stories about our bad dates in high school or tripping over our shoelaces in church –

 

GUTZ: [getting excited] Or finding fish eyes in our gloves and snails in our Jell-O –

 

SVELTE: Or it's 20 below and my hand's frozen to the car door –

 

GUTZ: Or a steamroller ran over my teddy bear –

 

SVELTE: Or the Pied Piper piped all his rats into my kitchen –

 

GUTZ: Or every one of my favorite sitcoms has been cancelled –ooo, waah, ho hoo hoo.

 

SVELTE: [also crying] Or my socks don't match and I put my pants on backwards – owoo, or or or hoop.

 

Both wander the stage for several seconds howling, wiping their eyes and blowing their noses loudly.

 

SVELTE: [drying his eyes] That would make you happy?

 

GUTZ: No, dimbulb, it would make me miserable.

 

SVELTE: And being miserable makes you happy.

 

GUTZ: It does not! It makes me more miserable.

 

SVELTE: And that ...

 

GUTZ: Makes me want to put itching powder on movie seats and stick pins in little kids' balloons.

 

He hands her a fortune cookie to read.

 

SVELTE: Here’s something properly tinged with misery.

 

GUTZ: “May the bird of paradise fly up your nose." I like that, ooohh, I really like that. Now get out of my way. I'm going to look for a tack to step on.

 

Gutz exits.

 

SVELTE: [beginning to weep again] I don't think there's anything we could possibly enjoy after that. I think I'll just leave.

 

Svelte moves to high stage, exits by steps, sets Bus Stop sign.

 

SVELTE: I shall buy a ticket to Elysium.

 

SCENE 9 [high stage] Bench Fight

ONE enters, sits on middle of bench.

 

ONE: Where the heck is that bus? I gotta’ get to that darned cookie contest! I’m covering it for the Sully AND I’m a judge. [puts on judge hat] Talk about a double threat! Hah!  And my family thought I’d never amount to anything! [glances at oversize watch] Darn, where is that bus? Oh, silly me… [reaches for newspaper in bag]  the schedule’s in here, of course. I wrote it just last week. As if I could remember anything that I did a week ago! Let’s see...

 

TWO and THREE enter, stand in front of bench.

 

TWO: [nibbling cookie] Oh, praise be! What a delicious cookie! The gods are looking down and are jealous of me, a mere mortal, munching on this aphrodisiac from paradise! [sits on bench to left of One.]

 

THREE: Must you always be sooo high-fallutin’ dramatic? But I knew you’d love them. Oops! [drops cookie on floor. One picks it up, nibbles.]

 

TWO: How many cookies did you sell today?

 

THREE: Hundreds and hundreds of dozens!

 

TWO: Talk about dramatic! Do you have any left for the cookie contest?

 

THREE: Oh sure. [sits to right of One on bench.]

 

TWO: Have you considered passing the recipe on to the Mad Bakers?

 

THREE: Now, wouldn’t they just love that? Actually, I was considering it, but one ingredient in the recipe is a family secret. I can’t tell ANYBODY. Shhhh! It’s a secret! [One perks up in interest.]

 

TWO: Secret, schmecret! You can tell me. [playfully whacks Three with hand.]

 

THREE: And you won’t tell a soul? Yeah, right!

 

[One is listening with hand by ear.]

 

TWO: Never – cross my heart and hope to burn my pie crust.

 

THREE: No, I can’t.

 

TWO: Just whisper it.

 

THREE: Well… [pretends to whisper in Two’s ear, but mouths to audience, “I’m not saying anything.” ONE takes pencil from bag and shows audience clipboard with "MY NEXT BIG SCOOP"]

 

TWO: You didn’t say a single thing, you rat! [whacks harder with magazine.]

 

THREE: What do you expect me to do? Put it in the paper? [whacks with magazine.] Now you tell me – what does it taste like, ya’ big dummy?

 

TWO: Well, it tastes so rich and smooth and slippery good; it must have ...  butter” in it.

 

[One scribbles “butter” on pad.]

 

THREE: Nope. Sorry.

 

[One erases “butter.” She adds and erases each time a new ingredient is suggested then debunked.]

 

TWO: But, “I can’t believe it’s not butter.”

 

THREE: There you go!

 

TWO: [confused] What?

 

THREE: That's it; you got it, girl.

 

TWO: I've got what?

 

THREE: You said the right answer.

 

TWO: I only said “I can’t believe it’s not butter”! But what is it?

 

THREE: Exactly that!

 

TWO: Exactly what? [whacks One by mistake.] Let me put it another way... WHAT is the secret ingredient in this superb, wonderful, ridiculously indulgent cookie?

 

THREE: Come on, you already said it.

 

TWO: [whacks harder, repeatedly] All I said was, “I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BUTTER”!

 

THREE: Exactly! [whacks, once]

 

TWO: Alright!. Let’s start yet again. [Nibbles cookie] Oh, this cookie is “Utterly Butterly.

 

THREE: Oh negatory on that. I hunted and hunted. I searched every dairy section and couldn’t find “Utterly Butterly” on a single grocery store shelf.

 

TWO: Well, you must admit - your recipe certainly has a “Smart Balance.

 

THREE: Non, ma cherie... There is no “Smart Balance."

 

TWO: [gets balls from bag, hits with magazine] Oh, stop acting all -- all -- all --Imperial”!

 

THREE: Nein, nyet, nada, NOOOO! No "Imperial" either. Okay, Kiddo, are you absolutely sure you want to know?

 

TWO: Yes. Yes, oh boy, yes! I will sing from the steeple of St. Basil’s about how delicious this buttery cookie is! Now you will tell me the truth, won’t you?... ”Promise?”

 

THREE: Ha! You never stop! You slay me! There is no “Promise” in my cookies either!

 

TWO: [whacking Three unmercifully] May you be incinerated in your own oven!  [throws cookie down and stomps it.] Take them back. All of them! I don’t want them! Terrible, terrible, awful, evil cookie fiend!

 

THREE: Don’t get your bowels in an uproar. You’ll blow the “Chiffon” off your “Blue Bonnet!”

 

ONE: [stands and addresses audience] Did you ever witness such a “Country Crock?!”

 

Two and Three throw cookies at each other and whack with magazines. One tries to protect self but ends up on floor, crawling away.

 

Gutz enters, crying and yelling. All three look at her, at each other, start throwing everything in their bags at Gutz, who yells and screams and runs off, the three following, throwing stuff at her as she curses them, the audience, the gods and people who write scripts like this.

 

Silence, then Svelte enters with bus ticket

 

SVELTE: Strangely quiet for a bus station.

 

Svelte exits, sets intermission sign.

 

INTERMISSION

Singer walks across floor.

 

SINGER: Mike, Mike, where are you? [to audience] Has anybody seen my microphone?

 

SCENE 10 [high and low stages] OK Chorale

Emcee 2 enters

 

EMCEE 2: We have done our best to present the widest possible array of entertainment, employing the most exquisite performers culled from around the world. But what of those who don't quite ... grasp the brass ring, shall we say? Should these ... over- or under-looked performers be forever condemned to obscurity? We think not. So it has been our decided good fortune to discover a troupe of singers who, while not possessed of the most exalted chops, have nonetheless come to be recognized as the cream of – well, skimmed milk, I suppose. For our next major performance, we will present the OK Chorale – grand-prize winners of the "Marginally Better Than Merely Adequate Singers Competition" in Shunk, PA. Let's listen in on their rehearsal as they hone their singing skills.

 

CHORALE enters high stage, Emcee 2 exits, LEADER enters low stage.

 

LEADER: Now, Chorale, let's start with our very best song. Turn to page 50. Really put your hearts into it. [C on pitch pipe] Here we go!

 

"I Love You truly," very soft singing , she encourages louder singing, which becomes progressively worse, she doesn’t see CLOWN changing places, bugging singers.

 

LEADER: Well, thank you, singers, but that was not our best work.

 

CHORISTER 1 : Someone is clowning around, Director.

 

LEADER: [ignores Chorister] Oh, I know what the problem is, we forgot our warm ups. Dear me. Here we go! [Leads warm-ups - Brrrs - La las - Mi mis - wide mouths] Now we’re ready! Sing it again prettily and a little faster.

 

Singing picks up tempo to galloping discordance.

 

CHORISTERS 1 & 2: Someone is still clowning around, Director.

 

LEADER: Oh, my, my!   Well, no more of that. I know, let’s do our parts song. You will find it on page 67. Now, I will sing it first…Listen carefully… "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." Now it is your turn. All sing together first time through.  [Clown keeps peeking out from different places.] Now in 2 parts – this side first, sing through twice- [All sing in parts, very badly. Leader throws fake ears on floor.]We seem to be having a problem today…

 

CHORISTERS 1, 2, 3, 4: Someone is still clowning around, Director.

 

LEADER: Hmmmmm. How can that be? I see nothing!  [Looks carefully. Clown hides.] Well, let’s do our closing number. Please turn to page 8. Then we shall call it a night.

 

CHORALE: Yay!

 

Leader walks among singers, still directing while Chorale sings "Listen to the Mocking Bird," she misses Clown at first, then nabs Clown and brings to front as group finishes song,

 

LEADER: You should know there is one thing a clown should never be without. [plunks nose on Clown’s face.]

 

All Chorale do shame fingers to Clown while exiting.

 

LEADER: [to Clown] Oh, I just love those shoes. Where did you get them? Do you think they come in a size 16?

 

CLOWN: They have them at Payless.

 

All exit.

 

SCENE 11 [high stage] Sergio and Alphonse

 

EMCEE: This seems to be a night for acts not being properly prepared. Please forgive these ... technical wobbles; the show will go on as planned shortly. And remember: It's not my fault! I'm sure you recall the charming hominid duo of organ grinder Sergio Placebo and his faithful monkey companion, Alphonse. I see them heading this way – finally. I hope they make it this far. I will return shortly.

 

Emcee exits.

 

SOUND: organ grinder music

 

Sergio enters, Alphonse runs into audience to do monkey antics, collecting coins, returns to stage.

 

SERGIO: Well, Alphonse, another beautiful day in our fair one stoplight town of Dushore. The tourists were surely good to us, yes? Do you remember? All these years we have been together. It seems only yesterday that I found you in that fleabitten pet shop, so sad and bedraggled. And now you and I are the best of friends. [reaches to hug Alphonse, who recoils slightly.] The warm sun today – do you not enjoy such days?

 

Alphonse responds as monkey.

 

SERGIO: Pardon me, you know, the salami sandwich from lunch has made me a little tipsy – I mean, sleepy. OK, maybe it was the wine? Ladies and gentlemen, if you will excuse me, I think I will take a few minutes to rest on this bench. It is not easy carrying this music box around – and to get away from all those people cooking chickens on the corner. I am getting to be an old man. Not like my younger days when I would parade through such towns like there was no tomorrow.

 

Alphonse responds as monkey. Sergio lies on bench and snores. Alphonse takes on human persona.

 

ALPHONSE: Snore away, old man. Day after the day, the same old thing. Dance to the music, collect the money, dance to the music, collect the money. And how I hate that music, like a junk man collecting tin cans. Jingle-jingle-jingle. And boring. I have seen chipmunks hold their ears when he plays.

 

SERGIO: [dreaming, talking and singing in his sleep] I've got spurs that jingle-jangle-jingle, as I go riding merrily alonnnggg...

 

ALPHONSE: Even his wife must find him boring. You out there, don't you find it boring? [audience responds, "yeah, yeah."] Why else would little children put chewed bubblegum in my cap for tribute?

 

SERGIO: [still asleep] Latest news from the Forksville Herald Tribute – monkey declares war on music.

 

ALPHONSE: War on music ... I could use something new to add excitement. Give me a firecracker, a toilet plunger and I could go to town.

 

Emcee enters high stage.

 

EMCEE: Good evening, good evening, I ... but you're ... did you ... say something?

 

ALPHONSE: [bellowing in his ear] Why, is your hearing bad?

 

EMCEE: No, my hearing's fine, but ... you're a monkey and monkeys don't talk.

 

SERGIO: [asleep] My lips are sealed.

 

ALPHONSE: Of course not. So this must be a fantasy, an illusion, a dream – your imagination doing flip-flops.

 

EMCEE: Quiet, will you? These people didn't come here tonight to see – or hear – a talking monkey.

 

ALPHONSE: They came to hear bad music and worse jokes?

 

EMCEE: They came to be entertained, not to have a monkey make fun of them.

 

SERGIO: [asleep, turns on bench] Such a bad dream. Things are taking a turn for the worse.

 

ALPHONSE: Maybe you should give them their money back. How about it, audience? Would you like a refund? Refund! Refund! Refund!

 

Audience plants shout encouragement.

 

EMCEE: Just wait a minute. This show cost money – the sets, the music, the sound system.

 

ALPHONSE: Ha, I've seen better shows and heard better sounds. Besides, isn't this the town best known for – what is it now? – an outhouse race?

 

EMCEE: Well, yes we do have that, but there is so much more – restaurants and fairs and festivals and ... what am I doing? I'm standing here having an argument with a monkey?

 

ALPHONSE: You know what they say: Takes one to know one.

 

EMCEE: All right, you can have your fun. I won't stand around and take this. And no refund!

 

Emcee exits.

 

ALPHONSE: I guess he doesn't like bananas. [tosses a coin from her cup on stage.] That should pay for their wonderful sound system.

 

Sergio wakes slowly, muttering; Alphonse returns to monkey self and they walk off stage together.

 

SERGIO: Ah, my Alphonse, dear simian friend, if only I could read your mind, to know how you feel – but alas, you are only a simple monkey.

 

Alphonse winks at audience, Sergio and Alphonse exit.

 

SOUND: "Too Much Monkey Business"

 

Gutz chases Palomino across floor screaming imprecations, singer enters and sets up equipment.

 

GUTZ: I don't like you, I don't like horses, I don't like short people  ...

 

SCENE 12 [high stage] Cigarettes

 

EMCEE 3: Ladies and Gentlemen, from the back hills of West Virginia, where he lives with his dog Puddles, please give a warm welcome to that wandering minstrel and moonshine connoisseur, Mr. Lucas T. Flagbottom."

 

SINGER

"Cigarettes and Whisky and Wild, Wild Women"

 

SOUND: "Alice's Restaurant"

 

Singer exits, Man sets signs; SALLY and FEDUP enter. Man walks across reading fortune cookie.

 

MAN: "An elephant will tread on your toes and refuse to apologize." And it wouldn't be the first time.

 

SCENE 13 [high stage] Chuckafit

FEDUP sits at table. SALLY walks up with coffee pot and cup.

 

SALLY: Mornin', Hon. Coffee?

 

FEDUP:  Sure, thanks.

 

SALLY: You need a breakfast menu?

 

FEDUP: Maybe. What have you got?

 

SALLY: Our specials today are creamed chipped beef, French toast sticks, or, if you’re really hungry, the "Morning Mix-up.”

 

FEDUP:  Morning Mix-up? What's that?

 

SALLY:  We clean out our sink traps and drop it on a waffle.

 

FEDUP: What!?!

 

SALLY:  Just kidding. Around here we also pride ourselves on our sense of humor. [Pause] What we've really got new is our “Breakfast Bonanza.” It’s our super-duper all-you-can-eat breakfast, comes with a mastiff-size doggie bag, and it’s not even on the menu yet.

 

FEDUP: Huh. Yeah, that sounds good. OK, I’ll take that. What’s in it?

 

SALLY: Well, we gotta do this slow.

 

SOUND: cats screeching outside

 

SALLY: [yells back into the kitchen] Hey! What don’t you understand about not throwing the chicken bones in the alley? [Pause] Sorry about that. OK, first up, we start out with some sausage: link or patty?

 

FEDUP: Link.

 

SALLY:  Two and a half or three inches?

 

FEDUP:  What?

 

SALLY:  Two and a half or three inches long?

 

FEDUP:  Geeze … Uh, three I guess.

 

SALLY:  Vegetable protein or cleaned intestine [Fedup looks confused] For the casing? Vegetab … never mind. Bacon: turkey or pork?

 

FEDUP:  Pork.

 

SALLY:  Fat - meat - fat, or meat - meat - fat?

 

FEDUP:  Huh? What do you mean?

 

SALLY:  Do you want the bacon strip to start with the fat or with the meat?  See, which do you want on the left – fat or meat?

 

FEDUP:  Surprise me.

 

SALLY: Right. Now, eggs: scrambled or sunny side up?

 

FEDUP:  Sunny side up.

 

SALLY:  Chicken or quail?

 

FEDUP:  That's a choice? How many dozen quail eggs would it take? Chicken!

 

SALLY:  Hash browns: diced or riced? [dishes crash in background.]

 

FEDUP:  Riced??

 

SALLY:  That’s pushed through the food processor. [Fedup looks disgusted.] Yeah, you wouldn’t want that, would you? [Pause] OK. Pancakes: circular or oval?

 

FEDUP: [frustrated, makes a circle over her head] Cir-cle …

 

SALLY: Orange juice: 45 or 50% pulp?

 

FEDUP:  You’ve gotta be kidding.

 

SALLY:  Nope.

 

FEDUP:  You figure it out.

 

SALLY:  Aaaannd, last but not least –

 

FEDUP: [under her breath] Thank goodness.

 

SALLY: – we have our special coffee selection – lemme get you a clean cup [takes hers, half full] – latte or espresso? Regular or decaffeinated? Columbian or Peruvian? Standard or organic? Instant or brewed? Iced or hot? Milk or cream? Sugar or Splenda?

 

FEDUP:  BLACK!!! PLAIN BLACK!!! LIKE I ALREADY HAD!!! I feel like my head just exploded!

 

SALLY: I’ll be back in a jiffy. [exits.]

 

FEDUP: Don’t hurry on my account.

 

SALLY: [walking back on stage] Here’s your coffee.

 

It's Fedup's same half-full cup. Fedup looks at the cup, rolls her eyes.

 

SOUND: fly buzzing

 

Sally takes her flyswatter and swats the fly right into Fedup's coffee cup.

 

SALLY:  Oops! Oh well ... he won’t –

 

FEDUP:  Don’t say it.

 

SALLY: – drink much. [goes off stage and says behind curtain.] Nothing like a little protein in your morning coffee.

 

Fedup picks out the fly and flicks it toward the audience. Sally comes back with a plate of eggs.

 

FEDUP: What’s this!! [she lifts her fork over runny goop.]

 

SALLY: Oh I knew there was something I forgot to ask! [Pause] Cooked or raw!

 

FEDUP: That’s it! I’m leaving. A Jimmy Dean is calling my name.

 

Fedup starts to exit, Sally starts wiping the table. Fedup returns, sheepishly holds out a card.

 

FEDUP: Uh … Could you validate my parking pass?

 

SALLY:  Do you want it punched on the left or the right?

 

FEDUP:  Don’t tempt me!

 

SALLY: Black ink or blue ink?

 

Fedup exits.

 

SALLY: Oh, hey! We also do catering. Tell your friends!

 

Sally exits.

 

SCENE 14 [low stage]

 

EMCEE

How many of you saw the performance of "A Hole in the Bucket" in our show last November? [hands up in audience.] Ah, good ... I think. I hope you weren't the ones who wrote "ludicrous absurdity" or "insult to the audience's intelligence" on our evaluation forms. Because, whether you are prepared or not, we intend to insert that same hole into our  musical program this time around. Once again, Sir Geoffrey Svelte will devolve from his lofty height and be joined by his engaging assistant, Miss Marginella beside the well in the rear of Samuel Troglodyte's miserly estate.

 

Emcee exits while Marginella and Svelte enter, Svelte bows and sets props.

 

SONG

"A Hole in the Bucket"

 

Svelte and Maginella collect props, exit; Alphonse walks across reading fortune cookie.

 

ALPHONSE :"Your dirty laundry will be aired at the Dushore stoplight." Laundry! I don't have to worry about that, do I?

 

SCENE 15 [high stage]

 

EMCEE: 2 And now ladies and gentlemen, fresh from their tour of the Finger Lakes of New York and the Sprained Thumb of Idaho, we are proud to present the National Orchestra of Outer Atlantis.

 

Band members enter high stage, prepare instruments; CATERINA BADENOFF carries her bass kazoo and sits in front chair; CONCERTMASTER blows pitch pipe and musicians tune up their kazoos.

 

EMCEE 2: Leading this group of superb musicians will be maestro Leopold P. Tonedeaf.

 

SOUND: Lawrence Welk theme

 

CONDUCTOR enters; BAND MEMBER 1 opens jar of soap bubbles and blows bubbles.

 

CONDUCTOR: What do you think you're doing?

 

BM 1: I thought you liked bubbles.

 

CONDUCTOR: [to audience] I've always hated those things. Ick! [hits podium with his baton].Thank you, thank you. We are certainly honored to be a part of this magnificent celebration of the arts here in – where are we anyway?

 

CONCERTMASTER: Dushore, Sullivan County. Can't you remember anything?

 

CONDUCTOR: Ah yes, Deathsure. Tonight we will present for you a rendering of some classical pieces that we have prepared for your listening pleasure. I might note that the kazoo is the national instrument of Outer Atlantis, which sank twenty five centuries ago, doing it little musical or psychological harm. First, I must introduce our guest soloist, Caterina Badenoff, mistress of the bass kazoo. We will open our program with Beethoven's 5th Sympathy.

 

CONCERTMASTER: Excuse me, your conductorship, that's "symphony."

 

CONDUCTOR: Of course. [turning toward audience] Though you may all need some sympathy when you hear this.

 

BM 1: Hey, can I ask you a question?

 

CONDUCTOR: Go ahead, ask away.

 

BM 1: What happened to the other four?

 

CONDUCTOR: Other four what?

 

BM 1: Symphonies. Why are we always playing the fifth? What happened to Two? Or Three? And which one is One?

 

CONDUCTOR: [to audience] I'll be needing a fifth before this is over. [turns and directs the count] And a one and a two.

 

Band plays familiar four-note opening, out of tune.

 

CONDUCTOR: [stops in a fit] How can you mess up four notes? And where is the passion? This is Beethoven. We're talking Lugwick here! Let's try it again.

 

Band plays the first eight notes. One member goes madly ahead with the rest of the movement before being restrained.

 

CONDUCTOR: [stops them again] You are not doing justice to this piece, you bumbling no-talent hacks. I could have been something back in Atlantis City, selling pretzels on the Boardwalk. Why did I give up on my dream?

 

BM 2: Maybe because you woke up?

 

CONDUCTOR: [attacking BM2 with baton] These days I dream of you being strangled by a giant squid.

 

BM 2: Don't get blood on my kazoo!

 

CONDUCTOR: [returning to podium] Now, let's take it from the top.

 

CONCERTMASTER: Excuse me again?

 

CONDUCTOR: You're inexcusable, but go ahead.

 

CONCERTMASTER: Why don't we ever take it from the bottom? Isn't it easier to build things that way?

 

CONDUCTOR: Only if you're standing on your head. Ladies and gentlemen – and I use the terms loosely – let's play this piece with expression, with oomph, with ... feeling, nothing more than feeling. [Band members groan.] And a one and a two.

 

Alphonse tosses kazoos to audience; Band plays the first eight notes of the Fifth, then charges into the Beer Barrel Polka; when they finish, the orchestra players bow in all directions, including backstage.

 

EMCEE 2: Now we'd like to make a request, if you're willing: All please rise for the national anthem of Outer Atlantis.

 

Band members place right palm to forehead.

 

SOUND: "By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea"

 

All remain, full cast enter high stage.

 

SCENE 18 [high stage] closing song

 

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag

And smile, smile, smile.

While you've a lucifer to light your drag,

Smile boys, that's the style.

What’s the use of worrying,

It never was worthwhile,

Soooo,

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag

And smile, smile, smile.

 

BAND MEMBER: And take that smile home with you.

 

FULL CAST BOW

 

END