A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Vertical Flame Diversion”


While Sunny is cooking a salmon dish, her older siblings scale through the Vertical Flame Diversion with a mysterious stranger as their guide. This secret passageway is a chimney in the back of the cave. Inscribed with footnotes on a side, it’s supposed to stop caves from filling with smoke when a fire’s lit. The boy states that the Valley of Four Drafts is named because that’s where the tunnel comes out while the smoke is “scattered four winds” which they had to conceal from suspicion. The sweatered scout also pulls out some green tubes resembling cigarettes. But they’re actually Verdant Flammable Devices that give off green smoke to let volunteers know where they are. The sweatered scout then produces a purple commonplace book and reveals a map he constructed all by himself based on what he’s read. They then reach the Vernacularly Fastened Door which requires language to open it with three questions. Violet answers the first as Sir Isaac Newton. The scout answers the second as Panthera Leo. Klaus answers the third pertaining to the central theme of Anna Karenina with tragedy. Though the reader knows that they’d find the remains of a burnt V.F.D. headquarters, the children are obviously astonished by what they see.

Vernacular Fastened Door

Once again, I turn to Phantom of the Opera with “Angel of Music.” In the original version, Christine talks about her mysterious singing teacher she refers to as this. But we all know he’s Erik, the Phantom who’s all out creeping on her. In this version, I have the Baudelaires go through the Vertical Flame Diversion with their mysterious sweatered guide.


“Vertical Flame Diversion”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire and Quigley Quagmire

Let’s hide the sneak off so they won’t catch us.
C’mon, follow me

Violet and Klaus:

Where in the world have we been going
Really, we don’t know this
I only wish I knew your secret
Guide through this tunnel

The Valley of Four Drafts is named
Because that’s where the tunnel comes out
And the smoke is ‘scattered to the four winds
We must hide the smoke
To avoid suspicion

Our dad had those in his desks
Always thought he’d smoke one
When my mom wasn’t looking

Oh, these aren’t cigarettes
They’re Verdant Flame Devices
They give off green smoke
To allow volunteers to see where they are

I’ve made a map in this book
Based on what I have read
We must see a Vernacularly
Fastened Door here
We must enter phrases to 3 questions
For the door to open
What’s the Latin name for cat detectives
Oh, it’s Panthera Leo

Who is scientist most widely cited
To first define gravity
That hast to be Sir Isaac Newton
As we all can see

What is the theme
Of Anna Karenina
By the late Leo Tolstoy

I have no idea

A rural life
Of simple morals
Better than rash tragedy

Thank you, Klaus, it’s open

My hands are cold

So are mine

At least there are no snow gnats

Oh, holy shit!

Oh, Jesus Christ!


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