A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Stuck at Caligari Carnival”


Realizing that they’re stuck at the Caligari Carnival, the Baudelaires try to make the best of things and put on some disguises since they don’t have much choice. So they go through Count Olaf’s trunk to find what’s there. And let’s just say, they have plenty of stuff to work with. They find part of a brass reading lamp that Count Olaf dropped from a window near Klaus, a bag from the “In” Boutique, pantyhose covered in sawdust from Paltryville, Violet’s old wedding veil, and plenty they haven’t seen before. So they have plenty of options with clown and judge out. Though the clothes are too big. Yet, when Violet comments on how freakish she’d look in these clothes, Klaus gets the idea of them to dress up as freaks. Violet and Klaus would dress as a pair of co-joined twins of different genders which goes against everything we know about biology. Because co-joined twins are identical twins who failed to split before coming out of the birth canal. Sunny would disguise herself as wolf/child hybrid, Chabo the Wolf Baby. Yes, that’s a bestiality reference in a children’s book. Though to be fair, there’s also one in Harry Potter pertaining to Dumbledore’s brother getting cited for improper charms on a goat.


I used Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You” which is famously used in the torture scene from Reservoir Dogs. The original version tells of a dismissive tale of a music industry cocktail party written and performed as a pastiche to Bob Dylan. And its music video features a dinner scene featuring a clown trying to eat a plastic chicken. In this version, I have the Baudelaires going through Count Olaf’s trunk for disguise ideas.


“Stuck at Caligari Carnival”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Well, we came in with Count Olaf tonight
And we’re clear that nothing is right
If we leave, we’ll just be going nowhere
There dangers and that we’re accused murderers
When we tell the truth, no adult thinks we’re right
Here we are, stuck at Caligari Carnival

Yes, we’re stuck in Caligari Carnival
And I wonder what Lulu does with that ball
Can we help us with the questions we have?
But we must avoid Count Olaf if we can
So we’re all staying but where to spend the night?
Here we are, stuck at Caligari Carnival

Well, perhaps we can use some stuff
Back inside Count Olaf’s holed up trunk
See he’s got a lot of costumes
So we can put disguises for Lulu to see, see

Here’s some piece from Monty’s brass lamp
Guess this is Esme’s In Boutique shopping bag
Those sawdust hose must be from Paltryville
Hey, is that Violet’s old wedding veil?
So many disguises but so little time
Here we are stuck in Caligari Carnival

So we can’t go as a clown or judge
And it’s clear that all these clothes are too big
But if we all come off as freakish so
Maybe we should all dress up as freaks, freaks

Well, I know that freak shows aren’t quite right
But what choice do we have here tonight?
Hey, Vi, how we share this pair of pants
And we both can share a shirt if perchance
Take this fake beard, Sunny, we’ll blend in as freaks
Here we are stuck at Caligari Carnival

Yes, we’re stuck at Caligari Carnival
Stuck at Caligari Carnival
Here we are, stuck at Caligari Carnival


A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “When You’re Good to Lulu”


While she’s a considerably more benevolent and heroic character in the TV show on Netflix, Madame Lulu is far more ambiguous in the books. For one, her motto is “Everyone gets what they want” regardless on whether she should. Secondly, Count Olaf often visited her whenever he needed to know where the Baudelaires where at any given moment in exchange for gifts or favors.  Since he believed she could tell him through psychic means. Now Count Olaf and his gang have many questions for the carnival fortune teller like where the Baudelaires are, if one of their parents survived, and the Snicket File’s whereabouts. But Madame Lulu tells them that they’d have to wait until sunrise since the crystal ball has certain rules. In exchange, she’s worried that Caligari Carnival may close since it doesn’t attract many visitors being a decrepit amusment place in the middle of nowhere. So Olaf promises her to give her something that could give the paying customers she needs. Also, Lulu doesn’t seem thrilled with the idea that Esme is the Count’s girlfriend. Nor is Esme since the fortune teller acts kind of flirty with her Olaf.


The song I went with for Madame Lulu’s introduction is “When You’re Good to Mama” from Chicago. In the original version,  prison Matron Mama Morton sings how she’ll do favors for her female charges in her clink if they’ll do stuff for her in return. Particularly, pay her money to use certain services and have certain amenities.  In this version, I have Madame Lulu basically sing the same thing for I barely change the words save her name.


“When You’re Good to Lulu”

Sung by Olivia Caliban (as Madame Lulu)

Ladies and gentlemen
The Keeper of the Keys, the Countess of the Caligari Carnival
The Mistress of the Mystical
Fortuneteller Madame Lulu

Ask any of the chickies in my pen
They’ll tell you I’m the biggest mutha hen
I love them all and all of them love me
Because the system works, the system called reciprocity

Got a little motto
Always sees me through
When you’re good to Lulu
Lulu’s good to you

There’s a lot of favors
I’m prepared to do
You do one for Lulu
She’ll do one for you

They say that life is tit for tat
And that’s the way I live
So, I deserve a lot of tat
For what I’ve got to give

Don’t you know that this hand
Washes that one too?
When you’re good to Lulu
Lulu’s good to you

If you want my gravy
Pepper my Ragu
Spice it up for Lulu
She’ll get hot for you

When they pass that basket
Folks contribute too
You put in for Lulu
She’ll put out for you

The folks a top the ladder
Are the ones the world adores
So boost me up my ladder kid
And I’ll boost you up yours

Let’s all stroke together
Like the Princeton crew
When you’re strokin’ Lulu
Lulu’s strokin’ you

So what’s the one conclusion?
I can bring this number to
When you’re good to Lulu
Lulu’s good to you

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Standing in an Old Carnival”


When Count Olaf and his troupe reach the Caligari Carnival, the Baudelaires get out his trunk with Violet’s handy lock picking. But since they found themselves at what appears to be an abandoned carnival in the middle of nowhere, they’re not sure what to do next. There are tents and a roller coaster, but nothing seems used much. They know Olaf will be back any minute and will probably be pleased to see them in his trunk. They can’t call the police since everyone thinks they’re killers (though they’re not). Violet tries to call Mr. Poe but the operator hangs up on her after she explains their situation. Eventually they realize they have nowhere to go. So they decide to listen in to Count Olaf and his troupe meet Madame Lulu.


Since their situation seems rather hopeless, I used Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay.” Recorded just days before his death in a plane crash, Redding wrote the lyrics while sitting in a rented houseboat in Sausalito, California. The original version is a mournful song about a guy sitting on a dock to waste his time since he has nothing better to do. In this version, I have the Baudelaires trying to figure out what to do after finding themselves at the Caligari Carnival.


“Standing in an Old Carnival”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Standing in the evening sun
We’ve found ourselves at an old carnival
Broke out Count Olaf’s trunk
We don’t want him to find us again, yeah

We’re standing in an old carnival
But we’re rather stalled, ooh
We’re just standing in an old carnival
Not sure where to go

We left Heimlich Hospital
Riding in Count Olaf’s trunk
Not sure what we should do here
But now calling 911 and police is bunk
But we can’t keep stand in an old carnival
Remaining rather quite stalled, ooh
We’re standing in an old carnival
Not sure where to go

Looks like nothing’s gonna change
Nobody’s going to come our way
I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
So I guess that we’ll have to stay, listen

Standing here using the phone
And the operator hung up on me cold, listen
Out on the lam we’ve roamed
So we’ll just make this place our home, now

We’re just going to live in the old carnival
There’s nothing else to do at all, ooh
Standing in an old carnival
Guess we’ll stay

[Ends in harmonic whistling]

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “What’s the Buzz?”


By the beginning of The Carnivorous Carnival, the Baudelaires are riding in the trunk of Count Olaf’s car listening to their archenemy discussing his plans with his troupe. Since they’re in the desolate Hinterlands, his henchmen are complaining how there’s nowhere to go and they’re miles away from the city. Though his cronies are happy that everyone thinks their boss is dead and the Baudelaires killed him, Count Olaf won’t be satisfied until they get the Snicket File and find those kids since he knows they survived the fire at Heimlich Hospital. Besides, there’s a fortune to be stolen. Though he needs only one of them, he and his cronies speculate which kid to spare. The Hook-Handed Man hopes it’s Sunny because he enjoyed putting her in a cage. Count Olaf hopes it’s Violet because she’s the prettiest while he’s a creep. Esme, on the other hand, doesn’t really care. But none of them know where the Baudelaires are. So they set sights to the Caligari Carnival to see Madame Lulu.


The song I decided here was “What’s the Buzz?/Strange and Mystifying” from Jesus Christ Superstar. In the original version, Jesus’s disciples are anxious to know what’s going on and when they’re going to ride into Jerusalem. While Jesus just wants them to shut up and give him some peace. In the second part, Jesus rebukes Judas for ripping on Mary Magdalene for anointing him. In this version, I have Count Olaf’s henchmen asking about what’s going on and the Hook-Handed Man ripping on Esme. Since he’s not fond of the woman on the show.


“What’s the Buzz?” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Count Olaf, Esme Squalor, and his Troupe

What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s a-happening. (Repeat 8 times)

Count Olaf:
Why should you want to know?
Baudelaires are all still out there
Don’t you try to think ahead?
We must find the Snicket File;
And visit Madame Lulu’s tent.

What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s happening. (Repeat many times)

Count Olaf:
The public now thinks I’m murdered
And the Baudelaries killed me too.
Though I killed Jacques Snicket.

Long must be driving through the Hinterlands? (Repeat many times)

Count Olaf:
Why should you want to know?
Why are you are all complaining
About your travels since the fire?
We must go to find the orphans
Let’s give Madame Lulu a try.

What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s happening. (Repeat many times)

Let me try to cool down your face a bit. (Repeat 5 times)

Count Olaf:
Esme that is good,
While you prattle through your outfits,
Where and when and who and how.
She alone has tried to give me
What I need right here and now.

What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s happening. (Repeat many times)

Hook-Handed Man:
It seems to me a strange thing, mystifying
That a man like you can waste his time on women of her kind.

Bald Man with Long Nose:
Hey, cool it man.

Hook-Handed Man:
Yes, I can understand that she amuses,
But to let her kiss you, stroke your hair, that’s hardly in your line.
It’s not that I object to her obsession,
But she’s more about herself than what we do or say
It doesn’t help us she’s independent.
She’ll only need to throw an ax to put our plans astray.

Count Olaf:
Who are you to criticise her?
Who are you to despise her?
Leave her, leave her, let her be now.
Leave her, leave her, she’s with me now.
She is my girlfriend, you must respect her.
Perhaps you shut up, and leave her alone.
I’m amazed that men like you can be so shallow, thick and slow
There is not someone among you who know or cares if I come or go.

All (save Count Olaf and Hook-Handed Man):
No, you’re wrong!
You’re very wrong!
No, you’re wrong!
You’re very wrong!
No, you’re wrong!
You’re very wrong!
No, you’re wrong!
You’re very wrong!
How can you say that?
How can you say that?
How can you say that?
How can you say that?

Count Olaf:
Not one, not one of you!