A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Ten School Commandments”

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After exposing Shirley as Count Olaf and Foreman Flacutono as the Bald Man with the Long Nose as well as getting fired from the Luck Smells Lumbermill, Mr. Poe sends the Baudelaires to boarding school. But unfortunately for them, they’re not going to Hogwarts. Instead, they’re enrolled in Prufrock Preparatory School which on the surface resembles the kind of place the Addams family would send their kids since the buildings resemble tombstones on a brown lawn in the middle of nowhere like it was designed by a “depressed architect” according to Lemony Snicket. Then again, Prufrock Prep probably the place the Addams family would’ve sent their kids if it boasted any form of excellence which it doesn’t. In fact, Prufrock exemplifies all the horrible and negative aspects of school. It’s pedantic with awful cafeteria food, bullying, and a motto denoting one’s inevitable mortality. Has biased and strict teachers playing favorites, giving tons of stressful homework and exams, teaching boring and useless lessons. And its administrator is a delusional and sadistic man with the maturity of a bratty seven-year-old. Yet, would punish students for the slightest infractions with glee. It’s said the school is likely meant to symbolize a place preparing students to die, “killing” their free will and independent thought and teaching them to become mindless workers who’d respect and submit to authority. On a positive note, the dormitories are apparently nice. But we won’t be seeing them because the Baudelaires are assigned to the horrendous “Orphan Shack” since they don’t have a parent or guardian to obtain permission.

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For the Baudelaires’ introduction to Prufrock Preparatory School, I used “Ten Duel Commandments” from Hamilton. In the original version, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr recite the Code Duello before gearing up to pose as seconds in one between John Laurens and Major General Charles Lee, which took place after the 1778 Battle of Monmouth. However, in real life, while this duel really took place and Hamilton was Laurens’s second (since they were best friends), but Burr wasn’t involved in the duel in any way. This would be first of 3 duels featured in the musical that are connected to Hamilton’s life.  In this version, I had Vice Principal Nero explaining the terms on how the Baudelaires could expect their life at Prufrock Prep.

 

“Ten School Commandments”

Faculty:
One, two, three, four
Five, six, seven, eight, nine…
It’s the Ten School Commandments

Faculty and Staff:
It’s the Ten School Commandments
Number one!

Vice Principal Nero:
To live in the school dormitory
A student must need parental permission

Faculty and Staff:
Number two!

Vice Principal Nero:
If they don’t, they live in the tin “Orphan’s Shack”
A tin shack with haybale beds, crabs, and orange fungus

Faculty and Staff:
Number three!

Vice Principal Nero:
Don’t go to the cafeteria late
Else you’ll be drinking
Your beverages from a plate
Which you’ll consume like a dog at feeding time
So come on time, and you’ll be fine

Faculty and Staff:
Number four!

Vice Principal Nero:
Everyone must attend my violin performances
Which last six hours a night in the auditorium
Miss one of these then you must buy me a large candy bag
And you’ll have to watch me eat it even if you gag

Faculty and Staff:
Five!

Vice Principal Nero:
We don’t enroll children under six
So Sunny will work in my office to assist

Faculty and Staff:
Number six!

Vice Principal Nero:
Always come to class on time
Else you’d have to eat like a dog as your hands are tied

Faculty and Staff:
Seven!

Vice Principal Nero:
Come to my office without an appointment and you will be forced to eat without silverware

Faculty and Staff:
Number eight!

Vice Principal Nero:
You don’t get to negotiate
Talk back to elders, you won’t get to set the record straight

Klaus:
Violet

Violet:
Klaus

Klaus:
Can we agree that this guy’s dumb and immature?

Violet:
Sure
But Nero has no answer for his words, Klaus

Klaus:
With his rules? We both know that’s absurd.

Violet:
Hang on, so Sunny has to work for Nero since she’s too young for school?

Klaus:
Though there’s no Olaf

Faculty and Staff:
Number nine!

Vice Principal Nero:
If Count Olaf comes on campus
Our security system will hand his ass
Then count

Faculty:
One two three four

Faculty and Staff:
Five six seven eight nine
Number
Ten places!
Fire!

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