A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Nero’s Waltz”

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After nine nights of running, Carmelita Spats gives them two messages. The first is from Coach Genghis wants them to report to the track in the evening. The second is from Vice Principal Nero who wants to see him in his office. The idiotic school administrator is upset that they’re missing his concerts and now owe him 29 bags of candy as well as falling behind in school and work. He also wants them to give Carmelita Spats 10 pairs of earrings as a tip. But more importantly, Nero threatens the Baudelaires with expulsion if they don’t pass their exams assigned to them personally the next day. Or else, they’ll go into Coach Genghis’s care who intends to homeschool them. Though we know the gym teacher is Count Olaf who wants to kill them and make off with their money. Unable to pretend any longer, Violet basically says, “Genghis Olaf.” But Nero won’t hear any of it. Luckily the Quagmires have a plan to get the Baudelaires out of this impossible situation.

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The song I used for this moment is the “Thenardier Waltz” from Les Miserables. In the original version, the Thenardiers pretend they care for Cosette in order to get money from Jean Valjean. But in reality, they see her as nothing and make her do chores. Jean Valjean, however, sees through their schemes and takes the little girl off their hands. In this version, I have Nero tormenting the Baudelaires in his office.

 

“Nero’s Waltz”

Vice Principal Nero:
What to do? What to say?
Seems like your grades are slipping away.
And Sunny, can’t keep up
With all her secretarial stuff
Concerts missed 29 bags
Also a tip of ten pairs of earrings to Spats

Violet:
We’ve been up, running laps
We haven’t got around to taking naps

Klaus:
Run all night, every night
Not exactly been studying right
Blame Coach Genghis, Sir!

Violet:
Can you give us a night off, sir?
Keep an eye on Coach Genghis
We are tired.
Call Coach Genghis about what’s going on
Cause something is clearly wrong

Vice Principal Nero:
Fail your tests, the next day
I’ll have to expel you away
Coach Genghis, has agreed
Take you in and teach you three

Violet:
What the hell? What the fuck?
Don’t you put us in with Genghis Olaf!

Vice Principal Nero:
Are you mad? Must you shout
That Coach Genghis is Count Olaf
If he was, we would know
Since our computer system would show

Klaus:
That does no, prove a squat.
Your security system is mere crock.

Vice Principal Nero:
Why don’t you just get out
Before I’ll soon have to shout

Klaus:
Least we know Olaf’s plan
Now let’s try thwart what we can

Violet:
If we fail, he’ll take us
So he can kill us for our trust
How do we pass our tests?

Duncan:
We can run laps in your stead

Isadora:
Use our books, we can lend
While we run you can study then.

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “One Track Before”

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Night after night, the Baudelaires go onto the track while the Quagmires sneak out of Nero’s recitals and watch their friends to see what Count Olaf is up to. While the first S.O.R.E. training session was all about running laps, the subsequent ones are about running laps and not sleeping the night before. And training doesn’t improve with repeat experience since they’re more tired and hurt a lot more. Their school and administrative work ate taking its toll and they’re falling behind. As Lemony Snicket said, “As I’m sure you know, a good night’s sleep helps you perform well in school, and so if you are a student you should always get a good night’s sleep unless you have come to the good part of your book, and then you should stay up all night and let your schoolwork fall by the wayside, a phrase which means ‘flunk.'” They’re also getting quite cranky since Klaus lashed out at Isadora and called her a “cakesniffer” like Carmelita Spats. Yet, the Baudelaires keep going even though they don’t know how they’re able to do so and for 9 nights. And they’re not closer to figuring out what Count Olaf is doing.

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The song I used for this grind would be “One Stage Before” by Al Stewart from his Year of the Cat album. The original version is an enigmatic song about reincarnation and show business, which is considered one of the finest tracks on it. In this version I have Violet and Klaus singing about how their subsequent S.O.R.E. training is taking a physical and mental toll on them.

 

“One Track Before”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
It seems to me as though I’ve run upon this track before
And sprinted away the night around the same old “O”
We run all night for training, after not sleeping much before
S.O.R.E. tasks don’t improve with every night we go
The Quagmires sneak out to watch us all run
But don’t know Olaf’s plan as well as I
We know he has us run all night but why now I just don’t know
Yet, all the sleepless days blur my tired eyes
For infinity

Klaus:
I can’t remember the last time when I had a good night’s rest
My schoolwork suffers since now I can’t stay awake
Don’t know what’s the point of S.O.R.E. while I’m failing tests
Or how long I could press on without any break
But for nine nights, I run while my body’s weary and aches
Don’t know why I am not even dead
And why do I still run in circles or how much more I can take
The route is still locked inside my head
For infinity

Violet:
Since Olaf made us run laps, I’ve wet myself each time
And now I’ve got menstrual cramps and bleeding stains

Klaus:
I’ve got stomach aches and already have puked twice
My patience thinned while my temper’s inflamed
There must be a way we can escape from all this constant hell
So we don’t have to run this track again
But until then we run while everything’s is not well
In a glowing circle that seems to never end
For infinity

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “He Made Us Run All Night”

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The Baudelaires return from their S.O.R.E. training exhausted since they ran laps until sunrise. They are sore with headaches like you’d expect after a long time running. They’re even getting toe aches in the Orphans Shack since they’re too tied to put their tap shoes on. And at lunch, Sunny falls asleep in a salad bowl. While her older siblings have started to slump in class. By contrast, the Quagmires managed to avoid being extremely tired by taking turns sleeping and keeping an eye on the Baudelaires in an effort to see what Count Olaf is up to. Or at least make sure he’s not doing anything dastardly. Well, anything dastardly that falls among kidnapping, murder, or outright theft. Because we all know that Count Olaf is a real sneaky bastard. And then Carmelita sends them a message to go out on the track again.

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The song I picked here is “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. The original version has Eliza Doolittle expressing her exhilaration and excitement after an impromptu dance with Henry Higgins in the small hours of the morning. Meanwhile, his housekeeper Mrs. Pearce and servants urge her to go to bed. In this version, Violet and Klaus are expressing their exhaustion because Count Olaf made them run all night for S.O.R.E.

 

“He Made Us Run All Night”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
Bed, bed we couldn’t go to bed
My head’s aching and I need to go lie down
Sleep, sleep, he didn’t let us sleep
Not as we were about to pass out

He made us run all night, he made us run all night
And still he begged for more
He made us run many laps but didn’t give us any naps
Now my legs are sore

I’ll never know why I never fainted
Why I didn’t start to spew my lunch
I know Coach Genghis had us run our laps
Which we had to run, run, run all night.

Duncan: It’s after eight now
Don’t you agree now?
We ought to be in class

Klaus:
He made us run all night, he made us run all night
And left me spent and sore
I was all on my feet but couldn’t take a seat
Now in class I snore

Those stupid laps were just plain exhausting
All of my joints began to ache
I only know I need to take a rest, indeed.
Since he had us run, run, run all night

Isadora: I understand, Klaus
It’s all been mad, Klaus
But now it’s time class

Violet and Klaus:
He had us run all night, he had us run all night
We can’t stay up for class
We need to take a nap for we ran a thousand laps
For that dumb ass S.O.R.E.

We can’t believe laps could be such torture
We had no time to even take a shower
Now our own clothes are sweaty as well soaked
Cause he made us run, run, run all night

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “S.O.R.E.”

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So the Baudelaires meet the Quagmires for dinner where the former will go meet Coach Genghis at the school grounds and the latter will sneak out of Nero’s recital and watch what’s Count Olaf is up to. That evening, when the Baudelaires show up, Count Olaf gives them luminous paint and tells them to paint a circular track. Once they’re finished, he makes them run laps all through the night. So they run around the track over and over again to the point they lose count and don’t leave until morning. Obviously, they’re exhausted but can’t sleep since they have to get to class and Nero’s office.

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My choice of song here is “Y.M.C.A.” by the Village People, which is often played at sporting events with crowds using the arms to spell out the letters. And it remains popular as a disco classic with letters appearing as Space Shuttle Wakeup call on mission STS-106. In the original version, the face value meaning extols the virtue of the Young Men’s Christian Association. But given that the gay culture from where the Village People sprang, the song is implicitly understood as celebrating the YMCA’s reputation as a cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger men to whom it’s addressed. Still, Victor Willis said he never wrote this song as a gay anthem but more of a reflection of black youth fun at the YMCA such as basketball and swimming. Then again, he’s often expressed fondness for the double entendre. In this version, I have Count Olaf telling the Baudelaires what to do and reveling in their misery he’s putting them through.

 

“S.O.R.E.”

Sung by Count Olaf (as Coach Genghis)

Orphans, go and pick up some slack
I said, orphans, use this to go paint a track
I sai-d, orphans, make sure it’s large and round
There’s no need to be so lazy

Orphans, now go out run your laps
I said, orphans, now your legs better be fast
You got to run there, and will do what I say
And you’ll stay here till I say so

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

You will run constant laps, you won’t gripe about cramps
And don’t you dare ask about naps

Orphans, are you listening to me?
I said, orphans, won’t you pick up the speed?
I said, orphans, you keep moving your feet
Now you got to know this one thing

Orphans, go and pick up the pace
I said, orphans, don’t you be an utter disgrace
And just run laps as for S.O.R.E.
Don’t you complain you’re queasy

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

You will run constant laps, you won’t gripe about cramps
And don’t you dare ask about naps

Orphans, won’t you pick up your shoes?
I said, get up, don’t be down with the blues
And don’t pass out if you feel faint
Cause you got to get a move on

Faster, I’ll make you do this all night
I won’t dismiss you until the dawn’s early light
Cause there’s no choice being in S.O.R.E
Since you won’t have it so easy

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night
S.O.R.E. you’ll be running in for S.O.R.E

Orphans, orphans, there’s no need to be down
Orphans, orphans, pick yourself off the ground
S.O.R.E., it’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, are you listening to me?
Orphans, orphans, won’t you pick up the speed?
S.O.R.E., just run for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, go and pick up the pace
Orphans, orphans, don’t you be an utter disgrace
S.O.R.E. and just run in for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, won’t you pick up your shoes?
Orphans, orphans, get up, don’t be down with the blues, S.O.R.E.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Vice Principal Nero”

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The next morning, the Baudelaires visit Vice Principal Nero’s office. There, the kids notify him about their suspicions that Count Olaf has entered the school. However, as expected Nero dismisses each suggestion and takes their cutlery privileges away from them (since they entered his office without an appointment). And then Coach Genghis shows up to suggest that he may be Count Olaf. The kids insist he take off his running shoes, socks, and turban to prove it. But the guised Count Olaf refuses, complaining that his feet smell and the turban is consistent with his religious practice. The Baudelaires are dismissed and sent to the cafeteria to eat scrambled eggs with their hands. At least the Quagmires are willing to share their silverware. Still, later that day Carmelita gives the Baudelaires a message that they’re to meet with Coach Genghis that evening. That can’t be good.

Vice Principal Nero with Baudelaires

The song I selected in this part is “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story. In the original, the Jets members make fun of a police officer by saying how they’re victims of the system instead of assholes and juvenile delinquents. It’s a humorous number where the guys play a bunch of authority figures and mock how these people perceive them. It’s a fun moment before the next night where there’s a gang fight and everything starts going to shit. In this version, I have the Baudelaires call out their suspicions to Vice Principal Nero.

 

“Vice Principal Nero”

Klaus:
Dear kindly Mr. Nero
Ya gotta understand
Not trying to cite fearo
That’s getting outta hand
We think that Count Olaf
Has entered on school land
Golly, Moses, please don’t piss us off

Violet:
Vice Principal Nero, we’re very upset;
We think your computer system has
Greatly failed you yet
If you don’t believe us
Perhaps inspect
Or give a thorough background check!

Klaus:
Background check!

Violet and Klaus:
Background check, background check
Do a background check
Give out a thorough background check

Vice Principal Nero:
You kids are just overreacting
Came here without an appointment?
No cutlery for you today!

Klaus:
Dear kindly, Mr. Nero
Olaf’s a master of disguise
He might be under our noses
And we wouldn’t be wise
He could be anybody
He could possibly be me
Leapin’ lizards—please God can’t you see?

Violet:
Right!
Vice Principal Nero, I got to be frank
We think that some Olaf’s disguised
As a notorious crank!
He may even see you as a musical god
But we three see him as a great fraud

Klaus:
He’s a fraud!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s a fraud, he’s a fraud
He’s a great big fraud
Like he’s a great enormous fraud

Vice Principal Nero:
That’s hilarious!
The only thing under my nose
Is my own mouth, kids
Which is now telling you to get the hell out
Else, should I check the boys’ basketball team?

Count Olaf (as Coach Genghis):
Hell, maybe I can be Count Olaf

Violet:
You?

Klaus:
Who you?

Violet:
Then if you are Count Olaf
Please remove your disguise
Take your shoes and socks off
To reveal your tattooed eye
And please unwrap your turban
To show your monobrow
Come on, Genghis, go ahead strip down!

Count Olaf:
No!
Vice Principal Nero, I shouldn’t be here
For I cannot fulfill the requests of the
Three Baudelaires
I’ve got a foot fungus that makes them stink
And I wear this turban cause I’m Sikh!

Klaus:
He’s a Sikh!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s a Sikh, he’s a Sikh
He’s a Sikh, Sikh, Sikh
Like he’s genuinely a Sikh!

Vice Principal Nero:
Well, these kids are natural comedians
Have you thought of stand-up?
Cause that’s a funny song and
Dance routine

Count Olaf:
Hey, don’t touch my turban!

Violet:
Oh, my bad. We’re really sorry!

Coach Genghis:
Dear kindly, Mr. Nero
Please accept these rose
I enjoyed last night’s sonata
That made me tap my toes
You sound like a great genius
Love how you compose
Jesus, Mary, how could they not know?

Klaus:
Eek!
Vice Principal Nero, just listen to me
Coach Genghis many not be the man
He claims to be
It ain’t just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he’s no good!

Violet:
He’s no good!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s no good, he’s no good
He’s no earthly good
Like he’s definitely no damn good!

Vice Principal Nero:
The trouble is you’re crazy
Do you honestly believe?
That our new gym teacher
Is not the man he seems
You suspect he’s quite shady
But you don’t have any proof!

Jesus, I got troubles can’t you see?
Baudelaire children,
Why don’t you just leave
Cause I don’t want to deal with
Your mental disease

Violet and Klaus:
Vice Principal Nero,
What are we to do?
Vice Principal Nero —
Fuck you!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Concert Night”

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Now with Count Olaf in their lives, the Baudelaires are obviously worried. They know he has a plan. But they’re aware that it’s pointless to tell Nero about him, especially since he takes a liking to the new gym teacher. That night, they discuss the situation with the Quagmires at Nero’s trainwreck violin recital. As their friends, Duncan and Isadora agree to help the Baudelaires. Yet, they see the whole situation as a fun mystery game, making the Baudelaires apprehensive about their involvement. After all, they’ve had Uncle Monty and Aunt Josephine die on them. And it’s unlikely the Quagmires understand how serious jumping in can be. Because whoever has tried helping the Baudelaires typically doesn’t meet a great fate. And the Quagmires may not be an exception. Anyway, the Baudelaires decide to see Nero the next day though they know he’s a jerk and an idiot at that.

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I used “Grovel, Grovel,” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat since it’s a continuation of “The Brothers Come to Egypt.” In the original version, Joseph’s brothers beg him to give them some food since they’ve been starving in their native Canaan. Yet, Joseph has a trick on his sleeve since he wants to know whether his brothers have learned from what they did to him. In this version, I have the Quagmires express eagerness to help the Baudelaires while the latter worries whether they understand what they’ve signed up for.

 

“Concert Night”

Violet:
I know well who Coach Genghis is
I only played his game
Telling Nero’s a waste of time
Since he’d think we’re all insane

Klaus:
We need to know about Olaf’s plan
If he’s got guys with him now

Duncan:
Can you describe each of them
So they can all be found

Isadora:
Duncan and I really want to help you
Five beats out three

Duncan:
We need to go visit Nero
Get him to see

Violet:
We’ll go visit him tomorrow morning
We just really need to get him
At least to suspect
To make Olaf take off his turban
And kick off his keds

Duncan and Isadora:
Seems like you gave us a fun mystery
With us, you won’t have Count Olaf flee

Violet:
This is not a fun adventure
He’s a bad guy

Klaus:
Terrible things have really happened
To our key allies
Olaf is a very dangerous man
You have an enormous fortune
That is not good
He may really try to exploit you
I know he would

Duncan and Isadora:
Please don’t mind us, we’re on your case
Don’t you worry, he’ll be out of our base

Violet:
Do you know what you’re doing?
Not sure you do
He’ll surely try to hurt us
And move on to you

Klaus:
Just ask Monty or Aunt Josie

Violet:
We do not want you in danger
For you’re our friends
I know you really want to help us
But it could be your end

Duncan and Isadora:
Don’t you worry, we will be fine
We’ll get Olaf, and he will do time.

If you need us, give us a call
We will be there to help you and all

Lemony Snicket:
But while they had a wonderful night
Baudelaires turned out to be right

If you’ve followed our series from the first
You should know things are about to get a whole lot worse

Cause we all know that Count Olaf’s here
And he’s got some design
Which he’ll soon get into gear

Count Olaf:
Oh, Bravo, Nero!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Coach Genghis Intro”

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While the Baudelaires’ life at Prufrock Preparatory School isn’t great per se, but at least they’re trying to make the best of things. For one, they have Duncan and Isadora Quagmire as friends. They’re also working on to make the Orphans Shack more like a home. They make tap shoes to drive off the crabs while inside and use salt to ward off the fungus. Of course, they’re probably stealing stuff from the school for these improvements. But it’s not like they had any choice to live in the shit house (no, not that kind of shithouse. Though I believe the Baudelaires probably use one of those, too. Yet, Lemony doesn’t talk about how they went to the bathroom.)  But just as everything seems bearable, Count Olaf shows up. This time, he’s disguised as the new gym teacher Coach Genghis wearing a track suit, athletic shoes, and a turban. In the TV show, he even speaks in a Southern accent. Anyway, he’s looking for orphans to be in the in his fitness regime called Special Orphan Running Exercises or S.O.R.E. And somehow the Baudelaires seem to fit the bill. Also, he’s stroking Vice Principal Nero’s ego.

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For his intro, I went with “The Brothers Come to Egypt” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In the original version, the brothers go to Egypt for better food and provisions since there’s a famine in Israel. There, they meet Joseph who they don’t recognize. But he’s less than enthusiastic since they threw him in a well and sold him to slaver. In this version, I have the Baudelaires and Quagmires meet Count Olaf as Coach Genghis.

 

“Coach Genghis Intro”

Lemony Snicket:
Just as the Baudelaires began settling in
Nero showed up with a new coach for gym

Violet and Klaus:
We’ve added fixes to the Orphan’s Shack
With tap shoes
And some salt
It’s not all that bad
Yes, we occasionally had to go steal
But at least the Quagmires are here

Vice Principal:
I’d want all you orphans to meet

Count Olaf (as Coach Genghis):
I’m Coach Genghis your new gym teach

Duncan:
Hello, Coach

Isadora:
Welcome here

Violet:
Make yourself at home

Klaus:
Jesus Christ, Violet-
Hey, pull up a chair.

Count Olaf:
I came down to look at your legs
So I can try you out for my reg
The Baudelaires have
What I need
But the twins’ knees look pretty weak

Nero:
Perhaps, you’d join me tonight
At the auditorium
As I play my violin
For my evening fun

Count Olaf:
I would love to see your recital tonight
For screeching cats are always a delight