A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Rescue Boat Blues”

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Unfortunately, the Baudelaires and Aunt Josephine’s rescuer turns out to be Count Olaf. But since he’s the only guy who came out for them, they have no choice but to board his boat because the boat they’re on is sinking thanks to the leech onslaught and the fact Aunt Josephine just had to eat a banana. Also, the sailboat had to be made out of wood instead of metal, which would’ve been much more resilient. Come to think of it, why didn’t Aunt Josephine’s cliffside house have metal supports and a lightning rod? Anyway, instead of sticking up to the kids (like she did in the TV show), Aunt Josephine pleads for her life, hands the kids over to him, and promises to move far away. Because she’s a coward who’s most worried about saving her own skin. And despite that the Baudelaires were willing to defend her. Still, at first, Count Olaf seems like he’s going to let her live. Until Aunt Josephine has to correct his grammar so he pushes her in to the leech infested Lachrymose waters. And you can guess the leeches devoured her. Let’s hope Sunny can put her little chompers to good use.

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The song I selected is Jethro Tull’s “Rainbow Blues” which is most likely about Ian Anderson’s experience touring and live performing which soon becomes routine and the destination appear to become the same. In this version, I have Count Olaf rescuing Aunt Josephine and the Baudelaires while their fearful guardian pleads for her life. Too bad that was futile when she tries correcting Count Olaf’s grammar.

 

“Rescue Boat Blues”

Count Olaf (as Captain Sham):
By fire light in nighttime
Got on my boat with full speed ahead
Climb up, you’ll be safe here
I’m quite surprised you’re not yet dead.
For since your house went down in the waters
I almost assumed you drowned

It’s a shame you’re not even grateful
Since you’d be lost if I weren’t around

Violet:
We wouldn’t be in the lake to begin with
If you didn’t force Aunt Josie to write up that note
So you could get our fortune
And maybe a knife on our throats

Count Olaf:
Poe’s got adoption papers
He’s moving fast to put you in my care.

But if you weren’t for your Aunt Josie
You wouldn’t need to rescue her
So when we return to Damocles Dock
I will be you ungrateful brats’ guardian
Perhaps Josie might care for a dip or to
Before the darkness turns into dawn

Aunt Josephine:
Don’t hurt me, just take the children
Promise you I won’t say a word to Mr. Poe
I’ll change my name and hairdo
You won’t hear me from where I go.

Count Olaf:
I had given you no reason to trust me
What makes you think I’ll let you live
I could easily push you overboard
If you put me through that grammar shit

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Curdled Cave and Leeches”

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The Baudelaires reach the cave to find Aunt Josephine who’s pleased to see the kids and that they managed to figure out her message to find her. Though what would’ve been more impressive would’ve been her calling the cops on Count Olaf when he forced her to hand over the children in the first place. But no, she had to write a suicide note giving Olaf what he wanted, jumping out of the wide window, and go hide out in Curdled Cave expecting the orphans to figure out where she was as well as bring food and their belongings. Anyway, the Baudelaires persuade her to come with them because they don’t want to be in Count Olaf’s care ever again and they need an adult to vouch for them to Mr. Poe. Because Mr. Poe doesn’t listen to these kids. Aunt Josephine refuses because she’s complete coward who’s totally failed as a guardian by this point. However, Klaus gets her to change her mind by explaining how the cave is for sale and that realtors will come to look at it. On the return trip, leeches start attacking the boat because Aunt Josephine just had to eat a banana. Now Violet has to use boat parts, a hairnet, and a magnifying glass to create a signal to attract a rescue.

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The song I chose for these events is Cream’s “Sunshine of Your Love.” The original version is just a run of the mill song about sex or love depending on who listens to it. Anyway, like a lot of Cream songs such as “Badge,” the lyrics aren’t usually the main purpose. Yet, in this version I have the Baudelaires convince Aunt Josephine to leave Curdled Cave and their boat being infiltrated by the infamous Lachrymose leeches.

 

“Curdled Cave and Leeches”

Violet:
We need to get out
We came all over here to find you
You need to come to town
For if you don’t we’re through

You can’t go up and hide
You can’t just run off and live in a cave

Aunt Josephine:
Olaf had me write that note
Or he would’ve killed me
And I was scared to use the phone

Violet:
Well, we’ve been afraid
All day we’ve been terrified
But we still pressed on
Cause we know Olaf wants our hides

Klaus:
Curdled Cave’s now for sale
Stay longer and you’ll soon face realtors

Aunt Josephine:
Okay, now you’ve got me
Yes, I will go with you
Don’t want to face no RE/MAX guy

Violet:
The leeches are out
They’re tearing our boat to bits
But we haven’t had a bite
So how can you explain this?

Aunt Josephine:
Pardon me, but I just ate
I had a banana before you found me

Violet:
Don’t have time to argue!
I’m trying to save us!
Please give me your hairnet!
To send out a signal
Take glass and moonlight for a fire

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Downeaster Alexa”

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After finding the Fickle Ferry closed due to Hurricane Herman to get across Lake Lachrymose, the Baudelaires decide to steal a sailboat from Captain Sham’s Sailboat Rentals. Though to be fair, I think Count Olaf killed the real rental boat owner and took over the business as a front. Anyway, since the gates to the docks are locked, they have to steal them from the obese Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender posing as a security guard. While Sunny succeeds in getting the keys, the Henchperson of Indeterminate Gender wakes up and picks up all of them in a struggle before slipping on an atlas. This gives them time to escape, grab the atlas, and steal the sailboat. The kids then sail through Hurricane Herman, the Raucous Rocks, the Wicked Whirlpool before entering the calm of the Lavender Lighthouse near Curdled Cave. And all without no leech problems of any kind.

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Best number for this part would be Billy Joel’s “Downeaster Alexa,” which refers to a fishing boat. But it tells the story of an impoverished fisherman struggling to keep his boat amid the decline of the fishing industry. He sings about fish stock depletion and environmental regulations that make it more difficult for him to survive, especially since his home Long Island and other islands in the New England are being converted to summer homes for rich people. Still, it decries the plight of the Long Island Baymen, representing a dying breed of people who like small rural farmers, work with the environment to provide for their families. Yet, are being forced out of their livelihoods by “industrial” factory overfishing destroying traditional fishing grounds along with the creep of urban society and government regulation. Joel was always sympathetic to these hardworking people on the sea and even got arrested in a protest supporting them. Also, the boat in the song is named after his daughter Alexa Ray and his own boat. In this version, I have the Baudelaire children steal the sailboat from Sham’s rental service and navigating through Hurricane Herman on Lake Lachrymose.

 

“Downeaster Alexa” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
Well, we stole the Downeaster Alexa
And we’re sailing through Lake Lachrymose
We’ll need to go through Hurricane Herman
And tonight we are Curdled Cave bound

Fickle Ferry’s shut down due to hurricane
So we went to Sham’s rentals in Damocles Bay
A bolt of lightning wrecked Aunt Josie’s home
We had to leave and prick those keys from Olaf’s drone

Klaus:
So we could steal the Downeaster Alexa
And we go where the waters are deep
There are leeches out there in the center
And a good captain can’t fall asleep

Olaf’s on to us and he’s now with Mr. Poe
We know Aunt Jo’s out there but where, God only knows
They say these waters aren’t what they used to be
But there are people back on land who’re after we

Violet:
So if you see the Downeaster Alexa
And if you work with the rod and the reel
Tell Mr. Poe we are trolling Atlantis
And I still have my hands on the wheel

Now I drive the Downeaster Alexa
More and more Curdled Cave is quite near
Praying that lightning does not strike us
And the winds don’t blow us down here

I know she’s hiding out from Olaf back ashore
Though she can’t go to the home she lived before
Her shaky house has already plunged apart into the lake
But there ain’t no home left for orphan kids like us

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Wide Window”

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After ingesting peppermints to induce allergic reactions, Mr. Poe allows the Baudelaires return to Aunt Josephine’s house just as Hurricane Herman’s effects can be felt with. Wind has picked up some speed while it’s starting to rain. As Violet and Sunny take a baking soda bath to sooth the itch from their hives, Klaus goes into the library to see if he could make anything out of Aunt Josephine’s note. With the help of some grammar books, he discovered that Aunt Josephine had purposefully written the mistakes in the note to hide a message reading, “Curdled Cave.” But as soon as his sisters rejoin him and he reveals that their guardian isn’t dead and hiding there, Hurricane Herman reaches peak force. Since she had told the children earlier that she hid anything to do with Lake Lachrymose under her bed, they venture there where they find an atlas. But once lightning strikes a stilt supporting Aunt Josephine’s house, they must escape as the house collapses and falls into the lake.

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The song I use for this one is Cream’s “White Room.” Written by poet Pete Brown for bassist Jack Bruce’s already composed score, the original version is about hopelessness and depression and the “white room” is an empty apartment. According to Brown, it was in this apartment that he realized his talent as a song writer, came to terms with stuff going on in his life, and turned his life around. In this version, I have Klaus discovering the errors in the note while Aunt Josephine’s house falls apart around them.

 

“Wide Window”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Klaus:
The wide window with glass shattered near the statue.
High winds rising, strong waves crashing, heavy rainfall.
Sitting near the grammar library with her death note.
Somehow errors read like some kind coded message.

I’ll wait in this place as I correct these mistakes;
Wait in this place while the girls take baths for their hives.

Aunt Jo’s not dead, merely hiding in a cavern.
She made errors, to give us a hidden message.
She wants us to go and find her at Curdled Cave.
Storm winds blowing, rain is soaking through the window.

Violet:
Let’s make an escape while the hurricane rage;
But any map of Lake Lachrymose was stashed away.

She must’ve stashed the lake’s atlas under her bed.
Take it with us since we’ll need it for the ferry.
Bolt of lightning strikes the cliff stilts, house is shaking.
Winds at peak force, we are leaving, house collapsing.

We’ll run to the docks and find us a boat;
We’ll sail cross the cave as the house falls from the cliff.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “All Along the Watchtower”

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As usual, Mr. Poe is proven unreliable yet again. But unfortunately, he’s right about the note Aunt Josephine left behind since she actually wrote it despite the Baudelaires’ disbelief. So it’s a legal last will and testament as far as the idiot banker is concerned since he doesn’t buy the fact that Captain Sham is Count Olaf. And Poe and Sham have made plans to meet and bring the kids in the afternoon at the Anxious Clown. So once again, the Baudelaire orphans are screwed since Sham is their guardian and there’s nothing they can do about it. Though the have to do something to get out of their latest predicament and they don’t have long. But Klaus still has Aunt Josephine’s note in his mind and notices something off. So as Count Olaf and Mr. Poe sort out the legal paperwork, the Baudelaires must do something drastic.

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The song I chose to mark this moment is Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” which is best known for Jimi Hendrix’s cover version. Like many Bob Dylan songs, its meaning has been debated for decades with theories ranging from the Vietnam War or Armageddon. But there are some reviewers who think the lyrics echo Isaiah 21:5-9 (KJV):  “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise ye princes, and prepare the shield./For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth./And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed./…And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.” Only Bob Dylan would really know. In this version, I have the Baudelaires mulling over what to do about getting to Aunt Josephine’s house so Klaus can study the note in the grammar library. But in the end I have Lemony Snicket narrate that more trouble is on the horizon.

 

“All Along the Watchtower” (ASOUE Version)

Violet:
There must be some way out of here
Time window’s very brief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Count Olaf, he drinks his wine
As Poe draws the terms
We need a way to buy some time
Before it all starts getting worse

Klaus:
No reason to get excited
There’s something about this note
I might need to use the library
To make out of what she wrote
But for us right now, we need a plan
For this won’t be our fate
So let us not talk falsely now
The hour is getting late

Lemony Snicket:
All along the watchtower
Coast guards kept the view
While the kids ingested peppermints
They’re allergic to

Outside, in the distance
A taxi came around
Dark clouds were approaching
The wind began to howl

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Helpless”

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At the sound of a loud crash, the Baudelaire orphans frantically search for Aunt Josephine but she’s nowhere to be found. Yet, they later find a note at the grammar library door and the glass on the wide window shattered. The note is filled with grammatical errors she would’ve never made but it suggests that Aunt Josephine threw herself out of the wide window and put the kids in the care of Captain Sham, which is horrifying for obvious reasons. And as with their last 2 encounters with Count Olaf, there’s really not much they can do about it. Even if Aunt Josephine wasn’t of sound mind at the time, they have Mr. Poe in charge of their affairs which basically demonstrates how great their parents were at estate planning. Because if you want your assets protected in a touch fund and your children placed in a good home, Mr. Poe is totally not your man. Seriously, you’re better of entrusting your affairs with a tree stump.

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Perhaps Neil Young’s “Helpless” can describe their feelings at this point since as far as they’re concerned, they’re screwed. However, the original version touches on Neil Young’s childhood memories that aren’t so pleasant either. At 6, Young came down with polio which was a devastating disease that caused muscle paralysis. Before Jonas Salk discovered the polio vaccine, a polio outbreak would often cause places to close because everyone was afraid of catching it. Lucky, Young survived. Ten years later, Young’s parents divorced, from which Neil would stay with his mom but his brother Bob went to live with his dad who later remarried. Yet, the song is bittersweet since he had fond memories of growing up in a small town that made dealing with his troubles all the more easier. Now while the Baudelaires aren’t dealing with polio or family break up, their troubles at this point in the book make them feel helpless.

 

“Helpless” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
Aunt Jo jumped from the wide window
And left us three in Captain Sham’s care
Who is Count Olaf
I just called up Mr. Poe
Told me he’ll soon be here.

Klaus:
Why don’t we just destroy the note?
Omit the part causing strife?
Why leave us with this guy?
Throwing shadows on our eyes.
Leave us

Both:
Helpless, helpless, helpless

Violet:
Siblings, can you hear me now?
Poe may be kind
But he’s a useless tool
Yet, we’ve no choice anyhow.

Klaus:
Count Olaf is very much at large,
Remains a threat to our lives
When he appears in his disguise,
No one listens to our cries.
Leave us

Both:
Helpless, helpless, helpless.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Fakin’ It”

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Since Aunt Josephine is so taken with her new friend Captain Sham, the Baudelaires are obviously miserable. And the fact their guardian is charming and wants him to come for dinner only makes the kids feel worse. Since they know his identity is a sham since he’s Count Olaf and are terrified that he’s found his way back into their lives again. But despite their protests, Aunt Josephine simply doesn’t believe them. When Sham calls them Violet hangs up pretending that the person on the line was looking for the Hopaling Dancing School. Yet, the next time Sham rings, Josephine herself answers the phone and has the Baudelaires go up to their bedroom so they won’t listen in. What happens that night when they hear a crash from the wide window a few hours later.

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The song I used to describe their frustrations is “Fakin’ It” by Simon and Garfunkel. It’s not a well known song in their repertoire. The original version has the protagonist mulling over his insecurities and shortcomings and it’s been suggested as an allegory for Paul Simon’s relationship with Art Garfunkel. Despite that Simon has become one of the most noteworthy singer-songwriters while Garfunkel has become synonymous to a partner who doesn’t contribute much of anything of importance. Because Garfunkel hasn’t been as well know after his association with Simon since their breakup. In this version, I have the Baudelaires mulling over their frustrations over Count Olaf being in their lives and Aunt Josephine not listening to them.

 

“Fakin’ It” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
When he goes, he’s gone
If he stays, he stays here
Count does what he wants to do,
He knows what he wants to do
We know he’s fakin’ it,
He’s not really makin’ it.

Klaus:
He’s such a dastardly soul
And a walk in the market
He’s in town
Charming off Aunt Josephine
Trying to get our green
He’s just been fakin’ it,
Not really makin’ it.

Violet:
Is there any danger?
Oh, yes certainly.
Just lean on me.
Tryin’ hard to warn
About him to Aunt Josephine.
He’s just been fakin’ it,
He’s not really makin’ it,
This seeing him fakin’ it,
I still haven’t shaken it.

Klaus:
Can be anytime now
I’m sure she wants us upstairs
Listen here

Aunt Josephine:
Good evening, Captain Sham.
Have you had a busy day?

Klaus:
She’s opened up and calling him
How she’s not afraid of him?
We know he’s fakin’ it
He’s not really makin’ it
This seeing him fakin’ it
I still haven’t shaken it.