A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Orphan Shack and Quagmires”

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To make a molehill out of a mountain, the Orphan shack is horrendous. It’s just a tin shack with hay bale beds, crabs teeming on the floor, fungus dripping from the ceiling, and horrendous lime green inner walls with hearts. Oh, and I’m not sure if it even has a bathroom with plumbing. But since they can’t live in the dorms, the Baudelaires are sent to live a terrible and humiliating existence. This makes them targets of bullies, particularly from the monumental red-headed alpha bitch Carmelita Spats who cajoles everyone in the cafeteria to chant, “Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphan Shack.” However, things aren’t all that bad on the Baudelaires’ first day. Since they meet two of the Quagmire Triplets, Duncan and Isadora whose parents also died in a fire along with a brother named Quigley. Nonetheless, the they all become fast friends and spend the afternoon in the library. Also, they can always find ways to improve living in the Orphan Shack.

Carmelita Spats in the Cafeteria

The song I selected here is “Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve” from 1776. In the original, American Founding Father and “obnoxious and disliked” curmudgeon John Adams lets out his frustrations over the Continental Congress in his efforts to persuade his fellow delegates to vote for independence from Great Britain. He complains how Congress hasn’t done anything in the last year as well as argues with his wife Abigail over saltpeter and pins, which he gives in. In this version, I have the Baudelaires look over the Orphan Shack and meet the Quagmires on their first day.

 

“Orphan Shack and Quagmires”

Klaus:
Dear God! We have to live in this tin shack? For a whole semester? This travesty?

Though I’d love to have a dormitory at Prufrock Preparatory School
The Orphans Shack accommodations are ridiculously cruel
There are no fresh fruit or a library
Beds are only bales of straw
The ceiling’s dripping fungus
Crabs are teeming on the floor

The pink hearts on the lime green walls
Good God, the look just makes me bawl

Violet:
At least we’re not working in that shitty lumbermill
Or have Count Olaf chasing us for our great big dollar bills
Perhaps I’ll invent some contraption
To ward off these wretched crabs
You can read up on ridding the fungus
Sunny can bite the paint

Klaus:
But first we must make sure what’s in it
Before she sinks her teeth

Violet:
Yes, we must take notes, study, and work hard
At least we don’t have Count Olaf
Take notes, study, and work hard
We can make it here in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
Prufrock Preparatory School

Student:
Someone ought to open up a window!

Klaus:
Good God!

Seems like it’s time we need to go to the cafeteria
If we’re late they’ll take our cups and glasses out
I miss being in a real classroom
Can’t believe it’s been that long
There’s a massive lasagna waiting for us to take
Holy shit, that redheaded bitch has gotten in our way

Carmelita:
Don’t even think of eating at this track
If you’re living in the Orphans’ Shack
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack
Nobody will eat with you in foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
Prufrock Prepatory School

Duncan:
Why don’t you shut your fucking mouth?
Please.

Violet:
Thank you. We’re the Baudelaires. I’m Violet. That’s my brother Klaus and sister Sunny.

Duncan:
I’m Duncan Quagmire. This is my sister Isadora. So living in the Orphan’s Shack. So that’s why we got upgraded to a broom closet.

My passion is in journalism
Hers is poetry
Loud noises really scare the crabs
Though try to get some sleep

Isadora:
If you want to hear my poetry
I mostly write in couplet verse
I can read you an example, from my notebook if you prefer
Though watch out for Carmelita

She’s just the worst. As in “I would rather eat a bowl of vampire bats than spend an hour with Carmelita Spats.” How was that?

Klaus:
That was excellent.

Sunny (Translated babble):
Ain’t that the truth.

Isadora:
Thank you very much.

Duncan:
I can lend you books from the library.

Sunny (translated babble):
Show us sometime.

Violet:
We can tap dance while we’re in the shack. Nice to have twins around.

Isadora:
Uh, we’re not twins.

Duncan:
We’re triplets for we had a brother, Quigley born on the same day
Died in a fire with our parents
So he’s not here today
Once we’re eighteen we will inherit a fortune of sapphire gems
Though we’ve been the students’ target till you three moved in
Let’s finish our lunch fast we can to get library time in!

Carmelita:
Look at all those cakesniffers!
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack!

Students:
Cakesniffing orphans in the Orphans’ Shack!

Duncan:
Less we see of her the better.

Klaus:
So where’s the library?

Isadora:
We’re close to it.

Duncan:
But we can only stay till five.

Violet:
Maybe things won’t be that bad.

Klaus:
Least we have friends and a wonderful library.

All:

Till then
Till then
This time
Was, is, and ever shall be

Ours
Ours
Ours
Ours
Ours

Violet:
Hope things stay this way.

Klaus:
And not in disarray.

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!