CHUCK: So we’ll move on then?
MARION: What are we waiting for!
MS. CRONOS returns to her seat.
MS. CRONOS: Alright then, after the servant part Chuck.
CHUCK: Gad Zeus! It’s a letter from the great Count
The Evil and Terrible Herbert seeks
a council with me to decide my fate,
like a mighty being gives mortals fire
MS. CRONOS: Yes! Good!
Jules plays Schubert’s 8th Symphony, as Chuck gives the performance of a lifetime
CHUCK: What ants we mortals be! Playthings of kids,
swarming to the stray victuals they leave,
exchanging our lives for heav’nly mana
unaware of the looming world above…
MS. CRONOS: Keep it up, Chuck!
CHUCK: For what is a man but a beast micro?
What seven stages can erase his state?
What keeps a man from a loquaciousness
that slows the play of life down to a halt?
MS. CRONOS: Yes! This is wonderful! You all did it! You took this play and turned it into a work of serious beauty and respect as well as a parody!
RONALD MEO enters, a large figure in a very effeminate drag costume. Everyone stops and stares at him.
RONALD: …what? I have the next line.
MARION: You still came in at the wrong time, Ron.
MS. CRONOS: …just… just continue the play.
RONALD: Oh, my love! My one and only lover!
Has thou thus heard the news about Herbert?
It chills my bonnet just to think of him.
Oh Bob, do not go near that vile man!
CHUCK: Begone, temptress! Not but a fortnight past
And you return to grovel at my feet
After you said, “Oh Bob, it’s time that we
Catch a glimpse of supplementary folk!”
RONALD: Not so, my pumpkin, it is so not so!
I may come due to lust, but I still come!
CHUCK: Oh, my Vicky! Oh my dearest feather,
your devotion to me shall be rew’rded.
MS. CRONOS: Marilyn, stop tap-dancing! I can see you, you know!
RONALD: And now I must fly, oh my prince and lord,
But later on, I won’t leave you so bored…
RONALD winks and waves at CHUCK as he leaves.
MARION: (really chewing the scenery here)
Oh my master! Did you receive the word
From the Count of Mesopotamia?
You never sent him that gift you promised
Of your jewels, so he could use them as his
Paperweights… My lord? Do you doth hear me?
CHUCK: (almost matching MARION)
Oh woe! Oh woe oh woe oh woe is me!
For now that I forgot to do this task,
This is symbolic of my forthcomin’ doom
And the hubris of mine that must be cut!
Oh woe! For now I am damned into hell!
MS. CRONOS: Cut!
MS. CRONOS emerges from her seat.
MS. CRONOS: I’m sorry I forgot to tell you this, but we need to eliminate all swear words from the script. How about you say, “I am darned into heck?”
CHUCK: “I am darned into heck…” What am I, a pair of socks?
MS. CRONOS: Well, there are kids coming to the show, so…
MARION: Since when has the audience become more important than the actor’s art?
MS. CRONOS: Since be quiet.
CHUCK: So what do you expect us to do anyways? Say, “I am Exclamation Point-Dollar Sign- Asterik- @ signed into Hades?”
MS. CRONOS: Well, just replace it with anything else. I’m sorry I didn’t proofread this when Slyvester put it into my lap, but you’ll survive. (as she returns to her seat) Oh, and watch out for the upcoming sonnet. There are a lot of them in there.
MS. CRONOS returns to her seat.
MARION: What if, good sir, you take the jewels from the
Evil and Terrible Herbert ov’r there?
CHUCK: I’d love to rob the… dust bowl! , I agree,
But first we need a plan both smart and fair.
MARION: His place is guarded through the days and nights,
As if the… bad nerd can never go sleep.
CHUCK: Oh how nice it’d be if one guard just might
Have been my… featherstitch! I could force him to creep
Inside the palace. Oh… liberty chit! I just know
A way in now… If I go in disguised
As one of his men, I’m able to go
Inside and take the stuff… make him surprised!
It’s my one chance… I hope I’m not outlucked…
MARION: You better hope so, sir, or you are… a duck!
CHUCK: (breaking character) What did you call me!
MARION: Why do you mind?
CHUCK: OH NO! Anseriformes Anhimidae and I do not mix! How’d you like it if I called you possum or a Bandersnatch, huh?
MARION: (upstaging him) So?
MS. CRONOS: CUT! I don’t think any of that was in the script…
CHUCK: I will not stand for such maltreatment, Ms. Cronos!
MS. CRONOS: You’re not a duck, Charles, all right?
MARION: Would you prefer that I use the word I replaced?
MS. CRONOS: NO! …Erm, next scene, I think.
Lights black out. “Sing, Sing, Sing,” by Benny Goodman, begins playing.
MS. CRONOS: JULES! We’re saving that for the fight scene!
JULES: (from offstage) Got it!
The song stops and is replaced by “One-Winged Angel” by Nobuo Uematsu. Many actors move around the furniture for the next scene.
After half a minute, the lights go back on. Several chairs surrounds a small table with a huge, majestic tablecloth. SLYVESTER LOCKED enters.
SLYVESTER: (doing an excellent, but still over-the-top, performance)
Soon my dastardly plan shall be complete
And I shall rule the world! Of course, I’ll need
Those jewels that will power my death-ray. Wait!
I hear a noise… and no man can be here!
Enter quickly, my beloved servant… what’s up?
CHUCK enters in a servant costume that’s very bad and on backwards, a costume obviously put on at the last second.
CHUCK: What is wrong with this cheaply costly clothing anyways! Ms. Cronos, who purchased this costume for me? I want to thank them as soon as I get within swinging distance!
MS. CRONOS: Well, I think it might…
SLYVESTER: Do you dare complain about your un’form?
He does a stage slap to CHUCK, who's very confused and doesn’t react to it.
SLYVESTER: It is I who house you and give you bread
And you respond with verbal treachery?
Oh how it pains to see loyals astrayed!
MS. CRONOS: CUT!
MS. CRONOS emerges from her seat.
SLYVESTER: For the umpteenth time you’ve said that, strange girl,
I scarcely know what you mean by that word.
MS. CRONOS: Don’t worry about me, dear, you’re doing a great job. Chuck, I wish you’d stop breaking character like that…
CHUCK: Like Sly, right? Oh sure, Sly doing a great job, except he hasn’t stopped doing that job for weeks!
MS. CRONOS: I know, dear. That’s why he’s so good at it.
CHUCK: But… I… aggghhh!
MS. CRONOS: Look, dear, you’re a great actor. You really are. There’s no reason to get upset when you’re so loved. But…
CHUCK: AHA! BUT! But I don’t stand up to an escaped Arkham Asylum inmate! But I wouldn’t know a character if one cut off my head and used it as a stylish hat! But all you said means nothing!
CHUCK exits SR, shouting insults about whatever at whomever as he goes.
MS. CRONOS: Great. Now we need someone in his place…
JULES: (offstage) You called me, Ms. Cronos?
MS. CRONOS: Mr. Clifton, you’re Bob’s understudy, right?
JULES: (offstage) Right! I’ll be right over there!
JULES runs onto SL from SR.
JULES: Oh, and don’t worry, I have Wilhelmina’s lines totally memorized, so there’s nothing to worry about.
MS. CRONOS: I thought you’re playing Bob.
JULES: I know that! Where do I start?
MS. CRONOS: Your entrance, please.
With much energy, JULES walks backwards off of stage left and then walks back on.
JULES: It is I, oh my lord, as servant Bob.
SLYVESTER: BOB? The dreaded BOB?! Do not use that name
Unless you want to suffer endless wrath
At the hands of your superior lord!
Oh how thou hast aggrieved and done me ill
For the mugging ornaments thou has made!
Within brink of vivacity I’ll bring
My blight of bizarre chastisement! Ha!
JULES: (genuinely confused) Wait, what?
SLYVESTER: You hear! My command is law here,
So change your name, and thus bring me good cheer!
JULES: Oh, ummm, Line!
MS. CRONOS: You’re supposed to have them memorized, remember?
SLYVESTER: Go, my servant Line, and guard my jewels,
In order to keep them from my foe Bob.
SLYVESTER exits SR
JULES: How am I doing?
MS. CRONOS: Well enough.
JULES: Sorry, Ms. Cronos, can I talk freely now?
MS. CRONOS: (sighs) About what, dear?
JULES: You’ve got to do something about Locked.
MS. CRONOS: Slyvester?
JULES: That’s him. He’s been acting like complete villain…
MS. CRONOS: I know, and that’s what makes his performance so good.
JULES: … acting like a villain all the time. I mean, it’s exciting when he says to his teachers, “I do algebra homework for NO MAN!” but it’s really getting out of hand. He tried to tie my girlfriend to the railroad tracks last week!
MS. CRONOS: Well, if it works for the play, I don’t think it should do too much damage to…
SLYVESTER: (offstage) YOU WILL ALL PERISH IN FLAMES! BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA!
MS. CRONOS: I’ll talk with him.
MS. CRONOS: Let’s just keep going.
JULES: This weary sailor drives his ship to rock…
MARION CUTIO enters as JULES CLIFTON continues his monologue silently.
MARION: Ms. Cronos, can I speak for a minute?
MS. CRONOS: No.
MARION: Thank you! Anyway, I noticed that Slyvester lets a new guard in the same room as his most prized possession.
MS. CRONOS: So?
MARION: So, I figured that if we’re going to establish him as careless and destructive, we need to change a few lines of dialogue. Or, we could opt out of the entire decision and establish that Bob will replace somebody, and that Slyvester is really short-staffed.
MS. CRONOS: I think you’re overthinking this farce, dear.
MARION: One can never overthink art… even if said art uses drag.
MS. CRONOS: Let me get this straight. You want me to change the entire direction of the plot the night before the show opens.
MARION: Yeah. It’s for the best. We’re putting on a PLAY… what do actors matter?
MS. CRONOS: Shouldn’t we consult with the playwright first?
MARION: He’s busy doing algebra homework for no man. What does he care?
MS. CRONOS: He’s… well, he was… look, Marion, do you remember who the director of this play is?
MARION: Yes. Now if Sly portrays a different continence in Scene 2, we could theoretically…
RONALD MEO enters
RONALD: Chuck here?
MARION: No, stormed off again. Why?
RONALD: I thought so. Be back in a minute! (he begins to walk offstage)
MS. CRONOS: Don’t bother, Ron. He’s not in the mood to talk to anyone.
MARION: (to MS. CRONOS) Yes, because you’re so good at understanding character motivation.
MS. CRONOS: How’s this for character motivation… get off my stage or I’ll remove a pound of thy humanities grade.
JULES: But what ho! I sense the presence of a guard
Who works for Herbert and does not know me.
SLYVESTER crosses from SR to SL, and the two EXTRAS follow him as guards.
SLYVESTER: My loyal guard, I thought I saw something
untrustworthy in this man named as Line.
Have you ever meet him before this day?
… My guards? Doth mine owed eyes deceive myself?
MARION: Ummm, where’s Duncan?
JULES: Busy again.
MS. CRONOS: WHAT?!? Err, pardon?
RONALD: How do you even know these things?
JULES: It just happens.
SLYVESTER: My slave? My slave? … I shall dock your pay hence!
JULES: Don’t worry, I…
MARION: I’ll do it!
Everyone’s surprised that MARION has volunteered. She assumes the position of a hunched-back servant and begins her lines in her normal voice.
MARION: It is so true that I do not know him,
But another grave matter comes to light.
Since why must you be one running the shots?
With all the work I’ve done, the tears I’ve cried,
The walk-on roles that I had to endure,
this role ill-fits me. No matter, it is
the fate of all who have Apollo’s gifts
to be given the role of the sidekick.
MS. CRONOS: Ummm, Mr. Cutio? None of that was in the script.
MARION: (smiling) I know.
She walks with confidence offstage.