A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “I’ll Be Back”

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Just as everything seems to go to hell, Violet throws a wrench in Count Olaf’s scheme by signing the marriage document with her left hand instead of her right. Though to be fair, she could’ve easily got out of being a miserable contessa by simply saying she was forced into and being 14 years old. Besides, most places don’t consider a marriage between a teen girl and her legal guardian lawful anyway. Though to be fair, the Netflix series did say the Marvelous Marriage was a plot, “that’s not quite lawful.” Anyway, Justice Strauss invalidates the marriage and everyone in the theater is horrified that the evil count loses custody. But before Count Olaf and his crew can be arrested, one of his associates turns off the theater lights and escapes. But not before whispering into Violet’s ear telling her that he’ll kill her and her siblings.

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For the number he sings before disappearing, I have Count Olaf singing “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton. The original version has King George III singing in a Beatlesque fashion and an extended double entendre. It addresses the colonists’ grievances and asserts King George’s authority, but in a way echoing song with the creepy “you want to leave me, but can’t really” vibe. Still, it’s perfect for such a memorable villain like Count Olaf since he’s a guy who the Baudelaires could never shake off.

 

“I’ll Be Back”

Sung by Count Olaf

You say the price of my love’s not a price that you’re willing to pay
You cry cause I tried to wed you for cash when you’re only fourteen
Why so sad?
Remember we made an arrangement when you came to stay
Now you’re making me mad
Remember despite our estrangement, I’m your man

I’ll be back
Soon you’ll see
You’ll remember you belong to me
I’ll be back
Time will tell
And I’ll make your lives a living hell

Curtains rise, curtains fall
We have seen each other through it all
And when push comes to shove,
I will steal your large family fortune to remind you of my love

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dada da da dayada

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dada da da da

You say the money’s off limits and I can’t go on
But I’ll be laughing to the bank when you are gone
And, no, don’t change the subject
‘Cause you’re my favorite orphans
My spoiled, dismissive orphans
My disloyal, bratty orphans
Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever

I’ll be back
Like before
I will fight the fight and win the war
For your love
For your praise
And I’ll love you till my dying days

When you’re gone, I’ll go mad
Since I’ll have a ton of cash at hand
‘Cause when push comes to shove
I will kill your friends and family to remind you of my love

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dada da da dayada

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dada da

Everybody!

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dada da da dayada

Da dada da da
Da dadada dayada
Dadada da da dayada

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “The Marvelous Marriage Song”

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In The Bad Beginning, a key event is the one-night only premiere of Al Funcoot’s “The Marvelous Marriage.” In it, a “very handsome man” played by Count Olaf marries the bride played by Violet Baudelaire in front of an adjudicating judge portrayed by Justice Strauss. It’s not particularly entertaining. But it’s actually a wedding trick for Count Olaf to legally marry Violet and become eligible for a claim to the vast Baudelaire fortune. Though you get much details in the books since Snicket thought it was that bad. But the film and TV adaptations do. The movie version pertains to two counts fighting over a woman they loved with the other guy being represented by a mannequin. The Netflix series has Count Olaf playing various characters throughout history like a Pharaoh and Duke and bragging how handsome he is. The two White-Faced Women flank him declaring how he’s such a handsome man. Nonetheless, The Marvelous Marriage caused The Bad Beginning to become a controversial book, due to how it involves a grown man trying to marry a 14-year-old girl who’s supposed to be his adopted daughter and distant cousin. Still, despite what some parents think, the marriage is supposed to set up Count Olaf as a disgusting character who’d do anything to get what he wants. Even if it means resorting to marrying a teenager, which is morally depraved.

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A good song for this scene would be the “Toredor Song” from Carmen which I found very hard to adapt since it’s a French opera from the 19th century. The original version is a sung by a Spanish bullfighter discussing his time in the ring and of how everyone thinks he’s so great. It’s usually sung by a baritone. You probably know the tune since you might’ve heard it several times, especially the chorus. In this version, I’m basically borrowing  from the Netflix adaptation with Count Olaf saying how handsome he is. Though I have compare his looks to Neil Patrick Harris and how the audience shouldn’t be grossed out that the bride’s a teenager. Since it’s supposed to be a period piece.

 

“The Marvelous Marriage Song”

Sung by Count Olaf

Count Olaf:
Here you see, a very handsome man
Ladies and gents, all lay your eyes on me
I am a gorgeous gent, almost seem heaven sent
Can’t believe that ScarJo fantasized about my eyes
The theater is full, for the wedding night
The theater is full, from top to bottom
I’ll charm all your wives, moms, and mistresses
A dashing bridegroom with looks impeccable!

Gracious me, you’d sure mistake me
For one Neil Patrick Harris!
You’d almost think that he’s my brother
Though unlike him, I’m definitely not gay
And now I must await to see my bride!

I am a very handsome man. Make the girl’s squeal. Like it’s for real.
Too bad, since there’s only one girl for me
Who I’m marrying tonight,
That I await my one true love
Who is my bride, who will soon arrive

Troupe:
He is indeed a very handsome man. Oh, so divine. You’d almost die.
And yet, soon he’ll be with his only bride
He’ll soon be marrying tonight
We’ll await for his one true love
Who is his bride, who will soon arrive

Count Olaf:
She will come, wait until she sees
Her handsome groom beside her
Oh, how lucky she will be
To be with a handsome man like me
Once she comes here
We’ll soon get in the judge!
Here she is, in her wedding veil
And her white dress is awfully dazzling
Okay, she’s only fourteen
But this play’s a period piece
So a grown man with a teen
Isn’t really that disgustingly bad!

Here she comes, she’s at my side
About to give her boundless assets
Here’s the judge about to bind us
With a document to sign our names
Soon I’ll have her fortune
Once she signs and says, ‘I do! Ah!

I am a very handsome man. Make the girl’s squeal. Like it’s for real.
Too bad, since there’s only one girl for me
Who I’m marrying tonight,
That I await my one true love
Who is my bride, who will soon arrive

Troupe:
He is indeed a very handsome man. Oh, so divine. You’d almost die.
And yet, soon he’ll be with his only bride
He’ll soon be marrying tonight
We’ll await for his one true love
Who is his bride, who will soon arrive

Here’s the blushing bride, coming at the bridegroom’s side!

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Day Before Wedding”

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After doing extensive research on nuptial law and inheritance, Klaus Baudelaire goes downstairs the next morning. He confronts Count Olaf, telling him that he knows what that he’s trying to trick Violet into marrying him to get access to their fortune. He then threatens to tell his sisters, Mr. Poe, and turn in evidence, which Olaf tells him to go ahead. Mostly because he had Sunny kidnapped and put into a cage dangling from a tower to use as a bargaining chip to get him and Violet to cooperate. If not, then he’ll drop her. Violet agrees. That night, she fashions a rope and grappling hook to rescue her baby sister. But once she reaches the top, the Hook-Handed Man grabs catches her and keeps her in the Tower, before Klaus joins her. As Violet considers saying “I Don’t,” Olaf shows her a walkie-talkie, implying that if she doesn’t say “I Do,” he could notify the Hook-Handed Man to drop her. At this point, it all seems hopeless for the Baudelaires.

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The song I chose for this part in the book is “Trial Before Pilate” from Jesus Christ Superstar. It’s a high dramatic number depicting Pilate trying to get Jesus to talk and save himself as crowds clamor to crucify him. Sure he might seem to do all he can to save the guy. But I think he just wants Jesus to put up some fight or at least explain why the crowds want him crucified. The fact Jesus won’t say anything just frustrates him because he has no idea what the hell is going on with him. He may not want him killed. But if Pilate is doing everything to save Jesus it’s because he wants a satisfying answer before putting him to death. Because to him, he seems fairly innocent. Yet, he eventually goes to, “well, I find no guilt in this man, but I’ll crucify him for you anyway.” He then washes his hands as a way to say, “don’t blame me.” I’ll use the long Broadway version. In the ASOUE version, it begins with Klaus confronting Olaf before going to Violet trying to rescue Sunny from the tower. I also have the parts normally going to the mob reserved for singular characters.

 

“Day Before Wedding”

Count Olaf:
Seems you are up this hour at dawn.
May I ask you what the hell you’re reading on?

Klaus:
I read all night up on some nuptial law.
I’ve figured out what you’re planning on.
You mean to marry Vi.
It’s all you have to do.
To get our inheritance.
It’s all you have to do.

There are three things you need.
First, a judge’s presence
Second, there must be mutual consent.
Last, a bridal signature on a marriage document
In her own writing hand.
You have one out of three
But it’s a simple as that.

Count Olaf:
Violet’s pretty but she’s just
Fourteen.
She’s not at a right marriageable age.
She’s just a teen.

Klaus:
You can give consent.
You are her guardian

Count Olaf:
But why the hell would I want to marry her?

Klaus:
You want our cash
And if you marry her,
You can get access.
To our large inheritance

I will tell my sisters and we’ll go to Poe.

Count Olaf:
What do you mean?
You’re gonna turn me in?

Klaus:
You’ll have a long jail sentence

Count Olaf:
Well, go ahead.
There’s nothing stopping you.

Klaus:
Violet, Sunny, I need to see you!
I’ve figured what he’s doing?

Violet:
Where is our baby sister Sunny?
I put her to her makeshift bed last night
Why she’s not here? Where could she be?

Count Olaf:
Oh, yes where could Sunny have gone to?

Violet:
What have you done to her?
It’s all you have to do.

Klaus:
What have you done to her?
It’s all you have to do.

Count Olaf:
Don’t worry, Baudelaires.
Come with me, Baudelaires.
She’s in the backyard.
Hanging thirty feet,
In a birdcage from tall tower window.
Her mouth’s been taped shut.
And her hands are tied.
She’s my stick
For stubborn mules.

Violet and Klaus:
Please release her!

Count Olaf:
She’ll be all right
If you do me just one thing

Violet:
Tell me, just free our Sunny.

Count Olaf:
Just marry me,
Or else I’ll drop her cage.

Violet:
Okay, I’ll marry you, Count
Just release her.

Count Olaf:
Oh, I’ll release her after tomorrow.
But for now, just go in to finish up your housework
There’s to be a wedding back in the theater
So you might want to keep this place spotless.

Give me that book, Klaus. You won’t need it.

Violet:
I’ll get you out, Sunny
I’ll climb up that Tower
Patience.
I’ll use these rods
To make in a hook for
My anchor.
I’ll twist these old curtains
Into a strong makeshift rope.
There’s just no way I will
Ever share a bed with this dope.

I once promised Mom and Dad.
I’ll look out for you and Klaus, so I must save you.
Even if I have to climb that tall tower.

What is it, Sunny dear?
What are you saying?

Hook-Handed Man:
Do you think we wouldn’t catch on?
Come in here, Olaf
She’s in the tower
She climbed up to rescue her sister!
Bring in the young Klaus.
Have them all stay here
Until tomorrow for the wedding.

Violet:
Perhaps tomorrow
I’ll just refuse him.
When it’s time to give the I dos.

Count Olaf:
We made a bargain
If you don’t do it,
I’ll tell him to cut the rope and drop her

You think you’re clever
I wouldn’t notice.
So play the game or it’s death to your sister.
Don’t try to cheat me
You’ll sure regret it
Just comply or it’s death to your sister.

Violet:
Keep us locked up, you dirty old bastard!
Do what you want, you horrible monster!
I won’t let you to our large family fortune!
I’ll never be your sweet teenage countess!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Hook-Handed Man and Klaus”

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Being rightly suspicious of Count Olaf, the Baudelaires go to the Justice Strauss’s library on nuptial law. Since reading upon law is boring, Violet and Sunny go outside for a break. Meanwhile, the Hook-Handed man arrives to retrieve the children since Olaf wants them to do some chores. There, he frightens Klaus telling him,  “The only reason Count Olaf hasn’t torn you limb from limb is that he hasn’t gotten hold of your money. He allows you to live while he works out his plans. But ask yourself this, you little bookworm: What reason will he have to keep you alive after he has your money? What do you think will happen to you then?” This implies that once Count Olaf has their fortune, he intends to kill them, raising the stakes even more.  After sneaking in the book on nuptial law, Klaus pulls an all-nighter. And while he may occasionally doze off, the Hook-Handed Man’s threat remains strong in his mind which will keep him up and remind him why he needs to continue his research.

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A good song for this is “Pilate and Christ” from Jesus Christ Superstar where Pilate meets the savior himself. Here he’s basically telling Jesus what’s in store for him if he doesn’t say anything now. Though Pilate is seen as a neutral character since he’s a Roman governor and a pagan, he’s not exactly nice. And he often delivers his lines in a snobbish and menacing tone. Still, given how the Hook-Handed Man is a threatening but later becomes the most fascinating of Count Olaf’s original theater troupe, the Pilate tone fits perfectly.

 

“Hook-Handed Man and Klaus”

Hook-Handed Man:
What are you doing here, reading in the library?
What’s that book in your hands?

Klaus:
Some book on
Nuptial law.

Hook-Handed Man:
Why read a book like that?
I am really quite surprised.
You’re twelve years old.
An orphaned boy.
I guess you must suspect
The boss wants
Your inheritance.

Klaus:
Your words, not mine.

Hook-Handed Man:
If he’s not torn you limb by limb
He don’t have your money.
You’re deep in trouble friend.
Baudelaires,
Know what I mean.
He’s working out his plans to get your fortune in his hands.
But ask yourself, you bookish elf
Once he he’s got your cash, why would he let you last?
What do you think
Will he do then?

Troupe:
Hey, orphans, come back in, and please do your chores
Boss is real mad and how
Hey K.B., K.B. please explain to me,
You had everything.
Where is it now?

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Sweet Theatric”

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The morning after Count Olaf treats the Baudelaires to a breakfast of oatmeal and raspberries. Strangely, he’s act super nice to them, which means he’s up to something. Of course, he talked about how Mr. Poe blabbed to him that the kids aren’t adjusting well to their new home, obviously. So he tells the kids that he’s planning to include them in a new theatrical production as a way to bond with him. However, the play is titled “The Marvelous Marriage” where he plays the groom, Justice Strauss plays the judge, and Violet plays the bride. Immediately, the Baudelaires have red flags going into overdrive and start suspecting the worst. Because they know the guy’s after their family assets and don’t think this “Marvelous Marriage” is just a play.

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For a song, I thought the Rocky Horror Picture Show song, “Sweet Transvestite” would fit well. The original version is the villain song of Dr. Frank N. Furter who’s a mad scientist and alien transvestite who’s creating a living muscle man in his lab. In here he welcomes an engaged couple to stay at his haunted castle for the night, which will be more than they bargained for. In the ASOUE version, Olaf is merely talking about his sick plans for the Baudelaires which they want no part in.

 

“Sweet Theatric”

Count Olaf:
How do you do, care for a
Bowl of hot oatmeal
Think it’s poisoned? I’ll take a bite to prove it’s not toxic
Seems like I’ve acted like a total heel

Mr. Poe called about your little chat
Said you weren’t doing well with your new father
Sorry for my snap since I’ve been quite busy
But I’ve got a play we can bond for

It’s just a sweet theatric
Written for your participation

It’s in two acts, can you work with that?
It’s called The Marvelous Marriage
I’ll be the bridegroom, Justice Strauss will be a judge, too
While Violet will be the blushing bride on the stage

Violet:
How about I stick to the sets? It’s what I’d do best.
Cause I’m not much of an actress

Klaus:
Right

Violet:
Father, I’d hate to disgrace your name, if I put you to shame
I might sure cause an outrage

Count Olaf:
Build the set? Heaven’s no. My sweet Violet
A pretty girl shouldn’t be there
A long white dress, will suit you best
With a veil over your hair

It’s just a sweet theatric
Written for your participation

Please don’t protest. Or hinder its success.
But understand I’m your dad now
So you can act on your accord or I can use force
So might as well as comply and kowtow

It’s just a sweet theatric
Written for your participation

It’s just a sweet theatric
Written for your participation

Violet:
Is it just me or do you feel that this shit just got real?
That this isn’t a presentation

Klaus:
If you want to ask, he’s after our cash
So let’s go to Strauss’s and consult her law books.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Banker Refuted”

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The day after the puttanesca incident when Count Olaf smacked Klaus in the face,  the Baudelaires go to Mulctuary Money Management to visit Mr. Poe. After all, he did say he would help if they need them. But once they get there, the coughing banker is busy and doesn’t have much time for them. So the kids explain how Count Olaf is an abusive monster, gave them only one bed, makes them do ridiculous chores, drinks too much, has terrible friends, and always asks about their money. Now since it’s the first book, you probably assume that Mr. Poe is a sensible adult and take the orphans’ concerns seriously. But he doesn’t. Instead, he states that as their legal guardian, Count Olaf can raise the Baudelaires if he sees fit even if they don’t like some of his methods or lifestyle. Violet is furious since their legal guardian threatened Sunny and smacked her brother across the face. Frustrated, they suck it up and leave. Still, it’s a critical scene showing that despite how well Mr. Poe means, he’s an utterly incompetent adult thanks to his stupidity, condescending attitude, and downright uselessness.

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I think a good number for this scene would be “Farmer Refuted” from Hamilton. The original version involves Alexander Hamilton a loyalist publicly advocating against the American Revolution. This song was inspired by a series of anonymous letters to newspapers in New England, with Bishop Samuel Seabury writing as a “A Westchester Farmer” (1774) describing about how destructive a revolution against Great Britain would be. Hamilton responded with “A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress” and later, “The Farmer Refuted,” (1775). Also, keep in mind that King George III’s nickname was “Farmer George” due to his interest in agriculture. So in this song Hamilton argues against the loyalist Seabury and the soon-to-be mad King George simultaneously. In this version, I have the Baudelaire orphans arguing with Mr. Poe and getting increasingly frustrated of his inability to take their concerns seriously. Because the guy is a complete idiot.

 

“Banker Refuted”

Mr. Poe:
In loco parentis means “acting in the role of a parent.”
It’s a legal term which applies to your guardian, Count Olaf.

Now that you’re in his care, the Count may raise you
However in ways he’ll see fit

Sunny: (subtitled babble) Oh my God. Tear this dude apart

Mr. Poe:
I’m sorry your parents spoiled you rotten
If they didn’t make you do chores
Or never had you see them drink wine

Violet: Yes, they did

Mr. Poe:
Their friends might’ve been better than his
But these are things to get used to
For shame, for shame!

Klaus: Yo!

Mr. Poe:
Now that you’re in his care

Klaus:
You don’t care to understand the way he treats

Mr. Poe:
The—

Klaus:
He’s completely horrible

Mr. Poe:
Count may raise you—

Klaus:
He’s a drunk

Mr. Poe:
However in ways he’ll

Klaus:
There are laws against child abuse

Mr. Poe:
See fit—

Sunny: (subtitled babble)
It’s hard to listen to you with a straight face

Mr. Poe:
I’m sorry your—

Violet:
Our mom and dad

Mr. Poe:
Parents spoiled

Violet:
Didn’t spoil us

Mr. Poe:
You rotten–

Sunny: (subtitled babble)
Honestly, you shouldn’t even talk—

Mr. Poe:
If they didn’t make you do chores–

Klaus:
Count Olaf’s insane!
We made him puttanesca for dinner
But he asked where’s the roast beef?

Mr. Poe:
Or never had you see them drink wine

Klaus:
My baby sister has more sense than thee

Mr. Poe:
Their friends might’ve been better than his

Klaus:
But strangely, you drool just the same!

Mr. Poe:
But these are things to get used to

Sunny: (subtitled babble) Is he in Jersey?

Mr. Poe: For shame—

Sunny: (subtitled babble) What a useless asshole!

Mr. Poe: For shame!

Klaus: What a useless moron!

Mr. Poe: Now—

Klaus:
If you repeat yourself again I’m gonna

Mr. Poe & Klaus:
Scream—

Klaus:
Honestly, look at me, can’t you see?

Mr. Poe: However in ways —

Violet:
Don’t modulate the key then not take us seriously
Jesus, he lifted and threatened Sunny
Before striking Klaus across the face!

Klaus: Violet, please!

Violet:
Klaus, I’d rather be honest than accommodate
Drop the niceties

Mr. Poe:
Sorry, you must get out posthaste.
For I’ve got a lot of work.

Violet:
Since you won’t help, you jerk!