A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Ersatz Elevator”

Down the Elevator Shaft

That evening, the Baudelaires get to plan. Klaus mentions that there are two sets of elevator doors at the penthouse floor while every other floor has one. Thus, one of them must be fake which would explain why Count Olaf was able to sneak away without the doorman or anyone else seeing him (save Esme). But how to tell them apart? Well, Sunny figures that the button panels would have up and down buttons on them. So since you can’t go higher than the penthouse, they press the up button. Inside they find a bare shaft that’s nothing but blackness as the elevator is ersatz. So how to go down? Well, they decided to make a rope of extension cords, neckties, and curtains. Because they have to find Count Olaf to rescue the Quagmires.

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The song I chose for this is Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” which is a trippy tune by lead singer Grace Slick about Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. She stated the original version was a slap to parents who read children such stuff but wonder why they end up using drugs later on. Also, she claimed to write this song after an acid trip. For her, the white rabbit symbolizes a pursuit of curiosity since drugs were about mind expansion and social experimentation. Not to mention, she often read Alice in Wonderland as a child. And it was one of the first songs whose drug references went past the censors on the radio, according to Wikipedia. But I highly doubt this since there are a lot of earlier songs replete with drug references as well. In this version, I have the Baudelaires going looking into the ersatz elevator shaft for the first time and going down.

 

“Ersatz Elevator”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Klaus:
One set has an elevator
And one set just has a shaft
If we want to know Olaf’s hideout
The second one’s is that
Sneak past Squalors
To tell doors apart

Violet:
How to tell which is genuine
And which is just a set of doors
Look at the buttons as Sunny told us
Don’t need “up” on top floor
Let’s press it
Since these are just plain doors

Klaus:
As the elevator doors start to open
Nothing but darkness from inside
No ropes, this elevator is an ersatz
As the long dark shaft terrifies
It’s just blackness
From a deep well’s side

Violet:
But we must all go down there
To find out Olaf’s plan
Forget about asking Jerome and Esme
Get some cords, drapes, and ties for a rope
While I tie them with the devil’s tongue
Down the shaft
Down the shaft

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Do It Again”

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When Jerome and the Baudelaires return to 667 Dark Avenue that night, the doorman tells them that Gunther didn’t return and that they can’t leave the lobby until he shows up. But Jerome figures that since it takes a long time to go downstairs and is on his way out so he ignores the doorman. Yet, when they reach the penthouse, Esme claimed that Gunther left a long time ago. So how did he leave without anyone seeing him? Obviously, this has the Baudelaires very worried since this means that Count Olaf could be anywhere in the building, which is a very scary prospect for them. So the next morning while the Squalors are out, the Baudelaires search for their dreaded enemy. They first search the penthouse using a trail of breadcrumbs to keep track of the rooms they looked in since it’s a ridiculously large place. When there’s no sign of Olaf found, they turn to the other apartments in the 66 story building, thinking they could listen in. When that proves fruitless, they ask the doorman in the lobby. But he gives them the same answer and keeps them there until the Squalors show up. Yet, as they wait, the doorman slips something that gives Klaus an idea about the second elevator at the penthouse that’s not at the other apartments.

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The song I chose for this is Steely Dan’s “Do It Again,” which was their breakthrough hit. The original version is said to be about some combination of addiction, second chances, and the inevitability of fate. Though many also have their interpretation such as the corruption and destruction pertaining to violence, sex, and money. In this version, I have the Baudelaires searching for Count Olaf at 667 Dark Avenue.

 

“Do It Again” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

“Do It Again” (ASOUE Version)
(Based on the song by Steely Dan)
Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
In the morning Jerome goes shopping
To stock up on parsley soda
Esme’s out to go hobnobbing
With the king of Arizona
Doorman thinks Olaf’s still here
While Esme claims he left
He might be inside the building
Or the penthouse apartment

We go back Jack do it again
Use breadcrumbs to check rooms
We go back Jack do it again

Klaus:
He may be in one of the apartments
Perhaps rented by a henchman
Did he hijack a compartment
And have tied up the hapless tenant?
Though it’s not right to go prying
Count Olaf can be anywhere
We don’t know where he his hiding
But must check the building here

We go back Jack do it again
Listen through doors and walls
We go back Jack do it again

Klaus:
Doorman still insists Gunther’s still here
Now we’re stuck back in the lobby
Wonder how he gets some sleep here
Says he drinks a lot of coffee
He says sometimes all the answers
Can be right under our noses
We must check the spare shaft elevator
Though I’m not sure what he knows

We go back Jack do it again
Let’s check that spare elevator
We go back Jack do it again

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Mr. Cellophane”

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While Jerome Squalor is nice to the Baudelaires, he doesn’t believe in confrontation of any kind. Which means that he’ll go with whatever his wife Esme wants, even if her actions could harm the kids. And while he dislikes the idea of fashion in his wife’s eyes, he usually goes along with her anyway. Since he’s a walking, talking doormat, it’s fair to say that Esme abuses his position to gain access to the Baudelaires and wear the pants in the relationship. Still, Jerome is kind of a pathetic character who would’ve been much more likeable if he could just grow a pair. His self-absorbed, fashion-obsessed wife obviously doesn’t care about him (or anyone else). And he could certainly do better. Seriously, he’s rich and successful with a penthouse. I’m sure any woman would want him. Then again, his aversion to conflict really doesn’t make him good relationship material. Anyway, you can’t help feel sorry for him since Jerome’s life with Esme kind of sucks since it’s all about her.

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The song I chose for him is “Mr. Cellophane” from Chicago. The original version focuses on Roxie Hart’s husband Amos, who’s basically Jerome Squalor’s working class counterpart. Both men are kindhearted doormats who are married to self-absorbed blondes who care nothing for them and see them as only a means to an end. In the original version, Amos sings about how he’s often ignored by everyone around him. And I’m sure Jerome gets the same feeling on many occasions. For I had to change very little of this song.

 

 

“Mr. Cellophane” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Jerome Squalor

If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm and shook his leg
You’d notice him

If someone in the movie show
Yelled “Fire in the second row
This whole place is a powder keg!”
You’d notice him

And even without chirping like a wren
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should be
Invisible, inconsequential me!

Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…

I tell ya
Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…

Suppose you was a little cat
Residin’ in a person’s flat
Who fed you fish and scratched your ears?
You’d notice him

Suppose you was a woman, wed
And sleepin’ in a double bed
Beside one man, for seven years
You’d notice him

A human being’s made of more than air
With all that bulk, you’re bound to see him there
Unless that human bein’ next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished
You know who…

Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there…
I tell ya
Cellophane
Mister Cellophane
Shoulda been my name
Mister Cellophane
‘Cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I’m there
Never even know I’m there.