A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “I’m No Good”

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That morning, the Baudelaires go from the library to Esme who’s set to take them to the auction at Veblen Hall. They tell her everything like V.F.D., the Quagmires, and who Gunther really is. At first this seems to go well. Esme seems to listen and doesn’t tell them to shut up or that they’re making stuff up, as they’ve often heard before. She even seems to believe the kids and take them at every word they tell her, which they are happy to confirm. Furthermore, once the Baudelaires tell their story, Esme resolves to head straight to Veblen Hall and get everything sorted immediately. But just as we’re relieved that we finally have a responsible and competent adult in this series, Esme leads the Baudelaires to the ersatz elevator and pushes them down its deep, dark shaft. After the kids hit the net, Esme laughs above them stating that she knew everything they told them, that Olaf is her former acting teacher, and that she and Olaf will come back for them later. Oh, and she tries to justify her horrible actions by saying that Beatrice stole something from her. Nonetheless, this is a rather shocking turn of events which completely blows the Baudelaires away. Perhaps they would’ve taken a hint at Esme’s conduct toward Gunther before going to Café Salmonella. Then again, they may have thought her too self-absorbed and fashion obsessed to even risk her reputation as the city’s 6th most important financial advisor.

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The song I chose for Esme is “You’re No Good,” which was most famously recorded by Linda Ronstadt in 1975 and became her signature song. However, it was written by Clint Ballard Jr. and originally recorded by soul singer Dee Dee Warwick in 1963. By the way, Warwick was the sister of Dionne Warwick, niece of Cissy Houston, and cousin of Whitney Houston. Other artists who’ve covered it pre-Ronstadt are Betty Everett and the Swinging Blue Jeans. The original version usually pertains to a woman telling her ex how much of a jerk he was to her in their relationship and that she’s not coming back to him. And she’ll probably try to get back together with a guy whose heart she broke. In this version, I have Esme gloating over the Baudelaires saying what amounts to, “Ha! Ha! You’re screwed! So long, suckers!”

 

“I’m No Good”

Sung by Esme Squalor

Feelin’ better, now that you know
Fellin’ better, cause I gotta go
You may be alive, you’re not okay
Now you see what I really am

I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good (I’m gonna say it again)
I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good

When auction’s done, and twins are gone
We’ll pack them up and run them out of town
You’ll never be okay, I guarantee
Just like I when Beatrice stole from me

I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good (I’m gonna say it again)
I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good

Once we’re done, Gunther will get you
Better pray now for you’re all through

I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good
I’m gonna say it again
I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good

What a wonderful and profitable day!
My former acting coach will have two fortunes today!

I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good (I’m gonna say it again)
I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good
Oh, oh, no
I’m no good, I’m no good, I’m no good
Children, I’m no good

 

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