A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Master of the House”

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In addition to being one of the most infamous literary villains in recent times, Count Olaf has a theater troupe of nefarious henchmen. There’s the Hook-Handed man who’s featured prominently in the books with his hooks at the end of his upper appendages. God only knows how he lost them. Then you have the Bald Man with the Long Nose who plays a key role in the books and can be downright nasty. In the show, he’s more of a dumb muscle who likes to paint. After that is the Person of Indeterminate Gender whose very fat in the books, mostly speaks in grunts, and is seen as one of the scariest members to Klaus. In the Netflix show, they’re kind of dim but can occasionally say some insightful things about gender roles. Next, the two White-Faced Women who usually don’t have much characterization. But whether they resemble geishas or old grannies, you never see one without the other. And finally, we have the Wart-Faced Man who shows up in The Bad Beginning but we don’t know what happened to him since.

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I think a good introduction to them would be in a song like “Master of the House” from Les Miserables. The original version features the innkeeper Thenardier singing of how much of a sleazy bastard he is. In the movie, you may see him having a good old time stealing money and valuables from his patrons. In this version, I have Count Olaf welcoming and entertaining his henchmen as the Baudelaires make dinner. Yet, I gave Mrs. Thenardier’s lines to the Hook-Handed Man since he’s Count Olaf’s most prominent featured crony in the series.

 

“Master of the House” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Count Olaf and his Troup

Count Olaf:

Welcome, my friends, sit yourself down
To the best house of the best actor in town
As for the rest, all of ’em crooks:
Rooking their guests and cooking the books
Seldom do you see
Honest men like me
A gent of good intent
Who’s content to be

Master of the house, doling out the charm
Ready with a handshake and an open palm
Tells a saucy tale, makes a little stir
Fellow guests appreciate a bon-viveur
Glad to do a friend a favor
Doesn’t cost me to be nice
But nothing gets you nothing
Everything has got a little price!

Master of the house, keeper of the troupe
Ready to relieve kids of their cash or two
Take them in their care making them do chores
Having them make dinner that only we will gorge
Everybody loves an actor
Everybody’s bosom friend
I do whatever pleases
Jesus! Won’t I bleed ’em in the end!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Master of the house, quick to catch yer eye
Never wants a trust fund to pass him by
Handsome to a fault, genius on the stage
Comforter, philosopher, and lifelong mate!
Everybody’s boon companion
Everybody’s chaperone

Count Olaf:
But lock up your valises
Jesus! Won’t I skin you to the bone!

Enter Monsieur, we have a scheme
Perhaps we can talk it over roast beef
Don’t mind the kids, they’re cooking now
What we talk won’t interest them anyhow
Care for some fine wine
As we sit and dine
And nothing’s overlooked
Till I’m satisfied

Food beyond compare. Food beyond belief
I’m sure the kids are busy cooking the roast beef
Hope they won’t take long, surely we’re all starved
Scheming on an empty stomach can only go so far
Theater friends are more than welcome
Downstairs bathroom’s on the right
Yes, the toilet’s dirty
But you should check the nearby dive’s!

Never mind the rats, never mind the mice
I’m sure the Baudelaires will make this place look nice
Here’s a little glass, take a little wine
I have enough to pass out after dinner time
When it comes to entertaining
There are a lot of tricks I know
Got to see these three kids chopping wood
Jesus! It’s just as hilarious as it goes!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Master of the house, quick to catch yer eye
Never wants a trust fund to pass him by
Handsome to a fault, genius on the stage
Comforter, philosopher, and lifelong mate!
Everybody’s boon companion
Gives ’em everything he’s got

Count Olaf:
Dirty bunch of geezers
Jesus! What a sorry little lot!

Hook Handed Man:
I used to dream that I’d be filthy rich
But God Almighty, have you seen what’s happened since?

Master of the house? Isn’t worth my spit!
`Comforter, philosopher’ and lifelong shit!
Cunning little brain, regular Voltaire
Thinks he’s quite a genius but there’s not much there
What a cruel trick of nature landed me with such a louse
God knows how I’ve lasted working for this bastard in the house!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Master of the house!

Hook Handed Man:
Master and a half!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Comforter, philosopher

Hook Handed Man:
Ah, don’t make me laugh!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Handsome to a fault, genius on the stage

Hook Handed Man:
Hypocrite and con man and inebriate!

Count Olaf & Troupe:
Everybody bless the actor!
Everybody bless his friends!

Count Olaf:
Everybody raise a glass

Hook Handed Man:
Raise it up the master’s arse

All:
Everybody raise a glass to the Master of the House!

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