From Off the Planks of Balboa (Act Two)

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Act Two of the comedy of the same title. Read Act One first if you haven't done so already..

Submitted: January 27, 2019

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Submitted: January 27, 2019

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From Off the Planks of Balboa

By Jim Pack

Anyone can enjoy a little bit of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Even if you are a criminal mastermind.

 

A comedy in two acts.

 

With the occasional musical interlude legally purloined from the public domain;

apologies to Sirs W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.

All rights reserved, to the non musical portions of this written work, by the author Jim Pack, copyright 2018.

 

 

Act Two, Scene One (please read Act One if you haven't done so already).

As always the beautiful woman enters the stage illuminated only by a follow spot, and again she is carrying a placard.  She is now however dressed in Victorian garb.  This time the placard reads "Round Six.  Never Mind the Why and Wherefore".  When she reaches the far side of the stage she doesn't exit.  She just tosses the placard off stage left and turns around and crosses to center stage.  When she reaches her center stage mark the stage lights come up, and suddenly she is no longer the placard lady, but is now instantly transformed into the character Josephine Corocran, from Gilbert and Sullivan's HMS Pinafore.

Arthur is also on stage and appears to be asleep in a large easy chair, stage right.  Josephine is then joined by two more characters from HSM Pinafore, Sir Joseph Porter, who is being performed by Harold Smythe, and Captain Corcoran, who is being performed by Timothy Keen.  One of the ensemble members in the cast will be at Timothy's keyboard supplying musical accompaniment.  Both Sir Joseph and Captain Corcoran are attired in 19th Century British Naval uniforms appropriate to the character that they are portraying.

When Arthur looks up from his slumber the trio begins performing the following musical number, with singing and choreography: "Never mind the Why and Wherefore" from HMS Pinafore.

Captain Corcoran will begin first, center stage, as Sir Joseph and Josephine begin a dance routine about the stage in time to the music, while Arthur, still lounging in his easy chair looks on in disbelief.

Captain (singing his solo)

Never mind the why and wherefore,

Love can level ranks, and therefore 

Though your lordship's station's mighty,

Though stupendous be his brain,

Though his tastes are mean and flighty

and her fortune poor and plain..

All Three (in unison)

Ring the merry bells on board ship,

Rend the air with warbling wild,

For the union of his (my) lordship,

With a humble Captain's child.

Captain 

For a humble captain's daughter.

Josephine 

For a gallant captain's daughter.

Sir Joseph 

And a lord who rules the water.

Josephine 

And a tar who ploughs the water.

All three in unison 

Let the air with joy...

Arthur (interrupting) 

This isn't from the Pirates of Penzance.... This is from HMS Pinafore!!!

Harold

You're having a nightmare dear boy.  Please allow us to continue, don’t make me have to put a serious hurt on you.  Remember this is only a nonsensical dream.

Arthur 

Then by all means, continue.

Harold (to the keyboardist)

Pick up to "Let the air...."

Then all three in unison

Let the air with joy be laden,

Rend with songs the air above. 

For the union of a maiden,

With the man who owns her love.

Sir Joseph 

Never mind the why and wherefore,

Love can level ranks and therefore,

Though your nautical relation

In my set could scarcely pass,

Though you occupy a station in lower middle class.

All three in unison 

Ring the merry bells on board ship,

Rend the air with warbling wild,

For the union of his (my) lordship,

With a humble Captain's child.

Captain 

For a humble captain's daughter.

Josephine 

For a gallant captain's daughter.

Sir Joseph 

And a lord who rules the water.

Josephine 

And a tar who ploughs the water.

All three in unison.

Let the air with joy be laden,

Rend with songs the air above. 

For the union of a maiden,

With the man who owns her love.

Josephine 

Never mind the why or wherefore,

Love can level ranks and therefore,

I admit the jurisdiction, ably have you played your part,

You have carried firm conviction

To my hesitating heart.

All three in unison 

Ring the merry bells on board ship,

Rend the air with warbling wild,

For the union of his (my) lordship,

With a humble Captain's child.

Captain 

For a humble captain's daughter.

Josephine 

For a gallant captain's daughter.

Sir Joseph 

And a lord who rules the water.

Josephine 

And a tar who ploughs the water.

Josephine

Let air with joy be laden.

Captain and Sir Joseph

Ring the merry bells on board ship.

Josephine 

For the union of a maiden,

Captain and Sir Joseph 

For her union with his lordship.

All three in unison 

Rend with songs the air above,

For the man who owns her love.

Rend with songs theee air aaabove,

For the man, who oooowns, .... her love!!!

After the keyboardist finishes the number and the trio finishes the choreographed dance routine at the very end, Sir Joseph, now reverting back to Harold, crosses over to Arthur who is still sitting in his easy chair looking up.

Harold

I say old boy, what say we do HMS Pinafore and scrap the Pirates altogether?

Arthur

You're right.

Harold

About scraping Pirates?

Arthur

No something else.

Harold

What would that be dear boy?

Arthur 

This truly is a nightmare.

Blackout, end of scene.

 

Act Two, Scene Two

Again the follow spot illuminates the beautiful woman crossing the stage with a placard.  This time it is saying “Round Seven, Tinker Bell to the Rescue”, and then she exits the stage in the usual manner.  When the rest of the lights come up we see Arthur sitting on a wooden bench on the pier, with Timothy sitting in a foldout chair behind his keyboard.

Arthur 

So Tim did you have a nice time last night?

Timothy (lightly improvising at his keyboard)

Yeah, pretty much.

Arthur 

What did you do?

Timothy

I went to a restaurant.

Arthur 

Which one?

Timothy (stops playing and points to something in the distance)

That one right there.

Arthur

Which one are you pointing at?

Timothy

The one with the blue door.

Arthur

Mc Jenkins?

Timothy

That's the one.

Arthur 

I've never been there.  How is it?

Timothy

Pretty good.  The waitress was very nice to me.

Arthur

She was?

Timothy

Yeah.  She called me "honey" a lot.

Arthur

That's nice.

Timothy 

Lately that's the closest thing I can get to a real date; when a waitress calls me “honey”.

Arthur

How very nice for you and yet poignantly sad at the same time.

Tim

Yes it is. (Pause) When is scary man due to arrive?

Harold enters as if on cue.

Harold 

My ears are suddenly very itchy.  Are you two chaps talking about me?

Timothy

No we were talking about a waitress at Mc Jenkins.

Harold

Odd?  While walking over here I thought I heard the term "Scary Man" and wondered if that was a reference to me.  I can’t imagine why it would be?

Arthur 

I can.

Harold

Why is that old boy?

Arthur

Because you are a scary man.

Harold 

What a cruel stab to the heart.  I don’t know if I should be offended or hurt?

Arthur

Why did you want us to come here an hour earlier than usual?

Timothy

Yeah, I was wondering why we were summoned myself, Harold.

Harold 

Good.  The reason I summoned you both here tonight, a full hour than what would normally occur, was that I wanted to discuss the upcoming callbacks with the two of you beforehand.  But before we open up that can of worms there was a little business matter I wanted you to witness; the both of you.

Arthur 

Witness?

Harold 

Nothing serious.  Just a minor legal nicety.  Whenever I transact a business deal there are never any papers signed.  Everything is always with a handshake, along with an unspoken threat of certain mutually assured destruction should something go awry.

Nevertheless, it's always nice to have a couple of eye witnesses in case lawyers do become necessary later on.  I so dislike involving lawyers in almost anything I do.  Lawyers can be so distressing.  Don't you gentlemen agree?  Believe it or not I know quite a few very unsavory characters.

Arthur

Oh, I can believe that.

Harold

And some of those unsavory chaps are truly quite dangerous.

Arthur

Oh, I can believe that too.

Harold

Some so dangerous they even intimidate me.

Arthur

Now that’s a little hard for me to believe.

Harold

There are some very scary blighters out there.  Even in Orange County California.  They frighten me very much.  And I’m not easily frightened, I can assure you.

Arthur

Color me surprised.

Harold

And out of that parade of horribles I fear the ones with brief cases far more than I fear the ones with guns and knives.  Even the blokes who wield machetes do not frighten me nearly as much as a single lawyer. 

Arthur and Timothy in unison 

Really?

Harold

But nevertheless lawyers unfortunately do sometimes become necessary; especially when it comes to avoiding certain unnecessary forms of violence.  But if no papers are to be signed and/or notarized, what's one to do?  That's when eyewitnesses come in handy.  Who later can sign notary documents themselves, testifying to what they have seen and heard in person.  Naturally, they need to sign these written proofs in case something unfortunate were to happen to they themselves later on, making it impossible for them to be present to give their valuable eyewitness testimonies before a judge.  In which case, at least you still have their notarized and signed statements.  And that's where you two blokes come in. 

I'm about to perform a business transaction with a chap.  All perfectly legal mind you.  But towards the end of our transaction I may require that he make certain assurances.  If he gives me those assurances, I need the both of you to witness those assurances when they are made.

Am I being clear?  Do you both understand me?

Arthur and Timothy in unison 

YES!

Harold 

Good.  (looking stage right) Oh, here comes the fellow and company now.

Then enters a man by the name Thor Andersen who is an antiques expert and rare document appraiser, who also happens to be a man with a shadowy past and possesses a somewhat dubious character.  He is accompanied by his bodyguard, a large man he refers to only as "Arnold", no last name.  They both have Ronald Kappy in tow, who is entering the scene right behind them, clutching to his chest his other family heirloom, the aforementioned "Bar Tab Ledger Book".

Thor (speaking in a London West Ender Accent similar to Harold’s)

Good evening old boy.

Harold

Likewise to you too old chap.

Thor 

Before we begin Harold.  I simply must protest yet again, for the umpteenth time as to why you must continually conduct business on this rotten, smelly old pier? 

Harold 

Old?   I enjoy the ambiance of this old historic structure.  It reminds me of Brighton when we were lads.  You remember Brighton don't you dear boy?  All those glorious summers we experienced there in our youth?  Remember the fairly temperate winters, which were sometimes even more tolerable than the early springs? 

Thor

All I remember is how bad smelling that pier was.  It smelled of rotting fish carcasses; just as this one does.

Harold

In all fairness I should point out that the smell you are referring to is not entirely from the carcasses of rotting fish.  Just the little bits of fish scaling that is invariably left behind after the carcasses have been processed and cleaned.  You cannot expect a pier, of all things, to be antiseptic. 

Thor

Is that the reason for this meeting?  To discuss the little bits of rotting fish left behind in the recesses of this rotten old pier?

Harold

You broached the subject dear boy, when you started criticizing my use of the place as a venue to conduct my personal business?

Thor

Well, please allow me then to un-broach the subject and continue on with our personal business, which is now at hand.

Harold

By all means, Thor, proceed.

Wait.  I forget my manners.  I neglected to introduce everyone to everyone else.

Thor

If it's all the same to you old boy, I would prefer that you not acquaint me with your associates.  And now that they know my first name, which you have so carelessly called me by, I would prefer that you not now invoke my last name.

Harold

As you prefer, Thor.  They'll not hear of it from me; unless circumstances later warrant otherwise.

Thor

And what circumstances would those be, old boy?

Harold

Such circumstances I'm sure you can imagine without me having to draw you a picture, old boy.

Thor 

Let us now set aside any veiled threats and get to the real crux of this assembly.

Harold 

 By all means, proceed.

Thor

Well, as per your request I and my nameless associate here, were able to assist Mr. Kappy locate his family heirloom.  The mysterious "Bar Tab Ledger Book".  He has it before you clutched to his chest.  He seems to be afraid that we are going take it from him by force.

Ronald (accusingly)

You did take it from me by FORCE!!

Thor

Only temporarily.  We gave it back after it was examined?

Harold (to Thor)

I didn't authorize you to take the ledger book by force, even temporarily.

Thor

We persuaded him to loan it to us.

Ronald (pointing at Arnold)

The big guy yanked it out of my hands and then shoved me to the ground!

Harold

Hello Arnold.  Nice to see you again.

Arnold (in a London East End accent)

Please don't mention my last name, Mr. Smythe.  Mr. Anderson won't like it.

Thor

YOU JUST DID MENTION MY LAST NAME!!!!

Arnold

Blimey, sorry about that Mr. Andersen.

Thor

YOU JUST DID IT AGAIN!!

Arnold 

Sorry sir, won't happen again.

Thor

WHY NOT!!  NO POINT IN KEEPING IT A SECRET NOW.  I MIGHT AS WELL FORMALLY INTRODUCE MYSELF!!! 

Thor now starts shouting at Timothy.

HELLO, MY NAME IS THOR ANDERSEN, SPELLED WITH TWO “E”s!!  WHAT'S YOUR NAME?!!!

Timothy

My name is.... 

Thor

I DON'T CARE!!!

Harold

Get a grip man.

Thor immediately tries to compose himself.  Arnold gives him a paper bag to breathe into.

Thor (after a while)

Right.  Where were we?

Harold

What did the chap say about the ledger book after it was examined?

Thor

He said your suspicions were correct.  He is going to compose a letter of authenticity tonight.  The age of the ledger checks out.  And the signature checks out as well.

Harold 

He wasn't actually supposed to tell you anything about the signature.  That is way too much information.

Thor

Well he did tell me, old boy.

Harold

Did he tell you who the owner of that signature was?

Thor

It appears the saloonkeeper was a bit of a celebrophile.  There were only two signatures represented in the entire ledger book.  Is that actually a word, a “celebrophile”?  Well, you know what I mean.  The saloonkeeper was an autograph hound.  Evidently he was fan of 19th century theatre folk.  At lease in this case he was.

Harold

It was a mistake sending you on this errand.  I blame myself.  I should have known better. 

Ronald

I didn't tell him anything Harold.

Thor

I didn't need Mr. Kappy to tell me who the other signatee was.  It is signed John W. Booth.  And it’s the only entry in the book that mentions his Deringer.  The signature is authentic.  And a little voice is telling me that you must have this same Deringer in your possession.  And that this weapon must be the one that Booth used to shoot Abraham Lincoln in the back of his head at Ford’s Theatre?

Harold 

Well of course old boy.  How could it be otherwise?

Thor then nods to Arnold who slowly takes out a pistol and points it at Harold.

Thor

I couldn't find anything in the ledger indicating that Booth redeemed it.  Are you sure it is the same weapon?

Harold

You and I go way back Thor, all the way back to our boyhood days in the West End.  Would I lie about something like that?

Thor

In a New York minute dear boy.

Harold

You're absolutely right.  I am lying.  It's not the same gun that he shot Lincoln with.

Thor

But how do I know you are not lying to me right now?

Harold 

You don't old boy.  That's the beauty of it.  You safely cannot believe a single word that I am saying to you.  I'm manipulating you old chap.  The only reason I lied about the Deringer being the actual gun that was used to shoot Lincoln was to see if you would give the nod to your henchmen here to point his pistol at me.  And you have.  Haven't you old boy?

Thor

Either way I want that gun.  Where is it?

Harold

That's for me to know and for you never to find out old boy.

Thor

Shoot him in the knee cap Arnold.

Arnold 

Terribly sorry about this Mr. Smythe.   You are a fine gent and I hate to do this....

Harold 

Before you do I have something to tell Mr. Andersen.

Thor

Make it good and short Harold.

Harold 

I love musicals.  Have you ever seen the Musical Peter Pan, Thor?

Thor

I'm afraid not.  Does it have anyone getting knee capped in it?

Harold 

No but it does have a fairy named Tinker Bell.  And Tinker Bell is sometimes indicated on stage by a single beam light.

Right at this moment a red laser beam from a gun sight appears on Arnold's chest, as of yet unbeknownst to him or Thor.

Harold (pointing to red bead on Arnold's chest)

I too have my own Tinker Bell and she too is indicated by a single beam of light.  However unlike Peter's Tinker Bell, who sprinkles magical pixie dust hither and thither, my Tinker Bell sprinkles only high velocity, cooper jacketed, polymer tipped 308 rounds, and only then at specific targets.

Both Thor and Arnold now become acutely aware of the danger that they face, as they see the red laser beam flitter back and forth between the two of them.

Harold 

What's that Tink??  I think Tinker Bell is trying to tell me something???  No Tink.  I can't say that.  Sorry chaps.  Tink has bit of a potty mouth.  But she insists that I relay the following verbatim message to each of you.  This is her words, not mine.  I'm sorry Tink I’m going to have to clean this up a bit.

Harold (now affecting an American accent).

"Drop the blanking gun".

Harold (now speaking in his own voice again).

Of course, you can all surmise what adjective the word “blanking” is replacing.  Oh, dear there's more.  The profane parts are edited out of course, 

Harold (now affecting an American accent)

"I'm going to count to three, if the blanking gun isn't dropped by the blanking three count, I'm going to blanking blow the both of your blanking heads off.  One, two.."

Arnold drops the gun onto the deck of the pier and then both he and Thor hit the deck themselves.  Harold calmly walks over and steps onto the discarded weapon.

Harold (in his own voice again)

A very wise decision Arnold.  A 308 round makes for a very untidy crime scene.  I would have to hire a profession cleaner to tidy up a bit.  And then there are all those bribes I would have to make for various eyes to look the other way.   I so wish the human genome had never been decoded.  Life was so much easier before that particular scientific advance; especially when it came to inconvenient corpse removal and disposals. 

Harold then reaches down and picks up the pistol then tosses it into to the ocean.

Up off the deck lads.  Run away and hide now.  As a professional courtesy I will give you both 24 hours before I start looking for you.  Here’s a helpful hint.  Any skip trace I make on either of you will not pursue beyond the borders of the State of California. 

At the hearing of this, both men get up and exit the stage, running as fast as they can manage.  After they have exited, patrol officer 257 enters the stage again.  He looks at Harold and the other three men, that being Ronald, Arthur and Timothy.  There is a look of puzzlement on the patrol officer’s face.  Harold, not caring that the officer is watching, ignores him and addresses Arthur and Timothy.

Perhaps I should have made an example out of them.  In the old days I would have.  But it is so much less trouble just to let them disappear. (pause) Under their own power of course.

Patrol Officer 257

I thought I heard a commotion?

Harold

Everything is just spiffy, Patrol Officer 257. (pause) You may go now, Patrol Officer 257.

Patrol Officer

Have a nice evening (pause) Sorry to have bothered you Sir.

Harold

Good night Patrol Officer 257.

Exit Patrol Officer 257.

End of Scene

 

Act Two, Scene Three

Yet again the follow spot illuminates the beautiful woman crossing the stage with a placard.  This time it is saying “Round Eight, the Impertinent Major General”, when she exits we see Harold by himself sitting on the bench atop the deck of the pier, writing notes in his copy of the libretto.  An actor by the name of Fred Stampers enters and confidently approaches Harold.

Fred (in a friendly tone)

So Harold, where did you end up doing your time?

Harold

Excuse me?!!

Fred (now sounding worried)

Well, you seem to have an affinity for people who have been ex-cons.

Harold

Who are you again?

Fred

I’m Fred Stampers.

Harold

And which character do you portray in our cast?

Fred (now looking worried)

I’m the Major General.

Very long awkward pause while Harold blankly stares at Fred.

Harold 

And?

Fred

And what?

Harold

What were you just saying to me?

Fred (now frightened)

I just asked you a question.

Harold

And what was that question again?

Fred

I ah,…..

Harold

Go on.

Fred

I just asked you where did you do your,…. (pausing with a gulp) time.

Harold

Did my what?

Fred

Time.

Harold

By ”time” do you mean at what penal institution did I serve a term of incarceration?

Fred

I just assumed you had done some time somewhere, like I did?

Harold

And what about me gave you that impression?

Fred

You seem to have empathy, or perhaps an affinity for ex-cons.  Like myself because you can relate with them....... So I thought that must be because you have probably also done.....  time.

Harold (standing up and walking over to Fred)

May I ask you a question, Fred?

Fred

Sure Harold

Harold

Do you know how to swim?

Fred

Yes, I was on the water polo team in high school.

Harold

Jolly good.

Fred

Why is that “jolly good”?

Harold

You have asked me if I have ever done any time.  So I assumed you must know how to swim.

Fred

Why would my asking you about doing time mean that I must know how to swim?

Harold

Why would you ask that question if you didn’t know how swim?

Fred

I’m not understanding the train of this conversation.

Harold

Why else would you ask such an impertinent question of me while standing on a pier that juts out over the Pacific Ocean?

Then Harold then reaches down and grabs Fred by the legs and tosses him over the railing to the water below.  The sound of water splashing is then heard.

Harold (shouting to Fred below)

No I have not done any "TIME!"  I have never even been arrested!!  You need something called "evidence" to arrest someone.  ONLY STUPID PEOPLE LEAVE BEHIND EVIDENCE!!!  AND ONLY STUPID PEOPLE GET THEMSELVES TOSSED INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN FOR ASKING CHEEKY QUESTIONS OF THEIR BETTERS!!!

Harold composes himself and returns to the libretto to study while he sits on the bench again.  Enter Arthur accompanied by Timothy and Ronald.

Harold (to himself)

Cheeky blighter.

Arthur

We took Ronny over to the gun shop, per your request.  The staff brokered the transfer of ownership papers for the Deringer to me, also per your request. 

Harold

And you surrendered to them the Deringer for the waiting period to commence, correct?

Arthur

Correct.  It is safely put away in their vault.  And why am I signing on as the new owner?

Harold

In name only dear chap, as to why that's on a need to know basis.  And right now you do not need to know.  You will eventually,  but eventually has not yet arrived.

Arthur (with undisguised sarcasm)

I can’t wait for it to get here.

Harold (reaching into his jacket to retrieves an envelope)

And as per you, young Mr. Kappy, here is the $20,000 and change per our handshake agreement.

Ronald

The agreement was for $36,000 and change.

Harold

Minus the principle and accrued interest on the vig, your loan is now paid off in full, with $20,000 plus to frivolously squander away on something foolish.  You best get started on that task.  The sun will be setting soon.

Ronald

All right, I will…

Harold

Consider yourself extremely lucky.  If that pistol did not have JWB as a previous owner, you would be standing before me right now minus one Cartier watch, along with your family heirloom and still be in debt after that.

Then Harold turns addresses Arthur:

And now to other pressing business, I’m afraid we are going to have to find another Major General.

Arthur

Oh no, why?!

Harold

Unfortunately (pause) what was his name again?  I hadn’t taken the effort to commit it to memory yet; which is just as well, since he’s not going to be with us anymore.

Arthur

His name is Fred Stampers.

Harold

Yes Mr. Stampers.  Unfortunately, he had to drop out.  Oh should I say “drop in”.

Arthur

What did you do to him HAROLD?!!

Harold

Him and me.  Or is it him and I?  I and him?  Anyway we had a falling out, the two of us.  Or in this particular case, a falling in; into the ocean as it were.  Don’t worry he’s perfectly safe and unharmed.   I saw swim safely towards shore. 

Arthur

WHY DID YOU THROW HIM INTO THE OCEAN?!!

Harold

Before I answer that very loudly put question, let me ask you a question.  Do you know how to swim?

Arthur

All right, I’m sorry I yelled at you.  Please don’t throw me off the pier.

Harold

All right, I won't.  So now in answer to your question, I threw Mr. Stampers off the pier because he was impertinent to me.  I will not abide impertinence in others; especially when that impertinence is directed towards me.  It’s just not done old boy. 

Arthur

How was he being “impertinent”?

Harold

I’d rather not say.

Arthur

What are we going to do now?  We still don’t have a theatre lined up to perform the show.  And now we don't have a Major General.  Fred was only guy we could find crazy enough,.. The clock is ticking Harold!! 

Harold

As to not yet having a theatre au contraire, we do so have a theatre.

Arthur

Where is this theatre, Harold?!

Harold then stomps his foot onto the deck of the pier.

Harold

Here.  Here old boy.  Here is our theatre.

Arthur

We don’t have permission to perform on the pier!!

Harold

We didn’t have permission to audition on the pier, but we did.  We didn't have permission to rehearse on the pier, but we do.

Arthur

You are so keen on making a big profit on this show.  How can we show a profit if we can’t sell tickets on the pier?  Maybe Patrol Office 257 will look the other way, but the rest of his department will not if we try to sell tickets!

Harold

We won’t sell tickets dear boy, we will accept donations from our patrons.  And trust me old boy, there will be a long list of patrons giving donations.  They will be lining up in droves.  Whether they want to or not.  I will personally see to it.

Arthur

How will you “personally” see to it?

Harold

I have been in the business of debt collection for some time now dear boy.  And through that entire journey I have been stacking up a mountain of favors personally owed to me in the form of markers from past associates.  All of whom have been dreading the day when I finally called in those markers to be repaid.  They will now be greatly relieved to find out that I will only be seeking financial patronage for all those favors and not something else more distasteful to them.  Admittedly, some of those debtors are miscreants who could give a wit for the amateur stage, but believe it or not, there are others who actually enjoy going to the musical theatre.  And three of those theatre types are even critics.  Normally, those three stuffed shirts wouldn't trifle themselves reviewing a community theatre production like this, but in this case they will.

Timothy

They will?

Harold

Yes they will and they will give our show rave reviews.  I will see to it.

(pause)

On another issue there is I believe something called a 501(c).  Isn’t that what they call it?  A 501(c)?  You need a 501(c) when you form a nonprofit organization.  Something like an acting troupe.  Yes?

Arthur

Harold the operable word is “nonprofit”.  We are not supposed to show any profit in a 501(c) organization.

Harold (trying to act incredulous, but still restraining a smile)

By all means, let’s not show a profit with all that cash that we will be raking in, except to paper the walls and ceilings of our bathrooms!  Are either of you boys familiar with a term called (now whispering) “money laundering?”

Timothy

He has a point.

Arthur (first to Timothy, then to Harold)

Don’t encourage him.  Putting that argument aside, what do we do about casting another Major General?

Harold

I have someone else in mind, entirely.

Arthur

No.  I’m not going to play the Major General!!  My acting and singing days are over!!  Go ahead and throw me off the pier.  I don’t care!

Harold

Not you old boy.  I have someone else in mind; someone completely different.  Someone with the power, tenacity, fortitude and sheer brilliance to get the job done; whatever the obstacle placed in front of him and in short order too. 

Arthur

Who?!

Harold doesn’t answer.  He just smiles while looking like the cat who swallowed the canary.  Arthur realizing that Harold means himself, then recoils and cringes at the very idea.

Merciful God in heaven help us!

Black Out

 

Act II Scene four

The beautiful young placard bearing lady emerges for the last time.  She is wearing a Victorian Swimming Costume.  Now her placard reads “Round 9, Opening Night”.  She then exits and Ronald Kappy (now portraying the character Fredric from the Pirates of Penzance) enters the stage followed by several young women from the ensemble who are portraying Major General Stanley’s daughters.  Fredrick is wearing his pirate costume and the young ladies are all dressed in the same Victorian swimming attire as the placard lady was, who has re-entered the scene, now portraying Mabel.  Enter Timothy who then sits down at his keyboard, he is dressed in pirate attire as well.  Later he will also portray Samuel’s part briefly, while continuing to provide musical accompaniment on his keyboard simultaneously.

Fredric (singing)

Stay, we must not lose our senses;

Men who stick at no offences

Will anon be here!

Piracy their dreadful trade is;

Pray you, get you hence, young ladies,

While the coast is clear!

Fredric and Mabel exit together off the stage.

Enter pirates while they sneak onto the stage, positioning themselves behind the girls, unawares.

Daughters

No, we must lose our senses;

If they stick at no offences

We should not be here!

Piracy their dreadful trade is –

Nice companion for young ladies!

Let us disappear.

Pirates (yelling in surprise)

HAAAA!!

Daughters

Too late!

Pirates

Ha, ha!

Daughters

Too late!

Pirates

Ho, ho!

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ho, ho, ho, ho!

Here’s a first rate opportunity,

To get married with impunity,

And indulge in the felicity

Of unbounded domesticity.

You shall quickly be parsonified,

Conjugally matrimonified,

By a doctor of divinity,

Who is located in this vicinity.

Daughters

We have missed our opportunity

Of escaping with impunity;

So farewell to the felicity

Of our maiden domesticity!

We shall quickly be parsonified

Conjugally matrimonified,

By a doctor of divinity,

Who is located in this vicinity.

All

By a doctor of divinity

Who resides in this vicinity,

By a doctor, a doctor, a doctor,

Of divinity, of divinity!

Mabel and Fredric suddenly reappear on stage.

Mabel

HOLD MONSTERS!!

Ere you pirate caravanserai

Proceed, against our will, to wed us all,

Just bear in mind that we are Wards of Chancery,

And father is a Major General!

Samuel (Timothy still sitting at his keyboard)

We’d better pause, or danger may befall,

Their father is a Major-General

The Major General (Harold) enters unnoticed, with his back facing audience.

Daughters

Yes, yes; he is a Major-General.

Major General (Harold) (suddenly drawing attention to himself)

Yes, yes I am a Major General!

Samuel

For he is a Major-General!

All

He is!  Hurrah for the Major-General!

Major General

And it is, it is a glorious thing

To be a Major-General!

All

It is!

Hurrah for the Major-General!

Hurrah for the Major-General!

Samuel (Timothy) still as his keyboard plays the intro to the song, “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General”, while the General prances around stage to the music and waits for his cue to begin his song.

Major General

I am the very model of modern Major-General,

I’ve information vegetable, animal and mineral,

I know the kings of England and I quote the fights historical,

From Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical,

I’m very well acquainted to matters mathematical,

I understand equations both simple and quadratical.

About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot o’news –

He searches for the next rhyme, then finds one.

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

Then the lights slowly begin to dim as the chorus continues.

All

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

With many cheerful facts about the square of the hy-po-te-po-te-nuse!

The lights continue to go dimmer.

Major General

I’m very good at integral and differential calculus;

I know the scientific names of beings animalculous;

In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,

I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

The lights finally fade to black

All (now singing in dark)

In short, in matters vegetable, animal and mineral,

He is the very model of a modern Major-General.

Harold (now angry)

BLIMEY!!  Who turned off the lights on my big number?!!!

Thor (from the darkness)

I control the lights on the entire pier!!!  For now I’m only allowing you to have sound, but no lights!!!

Harold (still in the dark)

Is that you Thor?  I thought I banished you from the State of California?

Thor

I’m turning off your lighting remotely from somewhere outside of the State of California!!

Harold

Where outside?

Thor

That’s for me to know and for you never to find out!!

Arnold

Mr. Andersen, sorry to interrupt, but the front desk of the Tropicana called.  Our limo rental is not supposed to be parked in the red zone on their front driveway.

Thor

YOU STUPID GIT!!!  YOU JUST GAVE AWAY OUR POSITION!!!

Timothy then ends the song and the musical abruptly with two loudly pounded chords on his keyboard.

 

CURTAIN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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