A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Drywood”

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Thanks to thinking he can name an island after himself and take over the so-called “primitive” islanders, Friday and Count Olaf argue about the place until he threatens her with a harpoon gun. But Friday simply tells him that the islanders will be coming out to scavenge and witness whatever Olaf would do to her. This results in the villain lowering his harpoon gun. As the little island girl graciously invites the Baudelaires to come with her, she tells Count Olaf to go away since he’s not a nice guy. Too bad the Baudelaire children could’ve threatened Olaf to keep him in check 13 books ago. Now Count Olaf is all alone and it’s all his fault.

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For ASOUE parodies I usually stayed away from Cat Stevens since his songs usually don’t match the books’ tone since they’re quite sunny and upbeat (even if they’re used in the comically dark Harold and Maude). But I thought his song “Drywood” fit for Friday since its strong powerful tone. It’s not a well-known song of his. Yet, the original version has a more spiritual direction. In this version, I have Friday talk back to Count Olaf and threaten him.

 

“Drywood” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Friday Caliban

You’ve got to learn, to brighten up your ways
This is not your Olaf-Land
We aren’t backward, so shut your damn face
You can go with us, or we can leave you in the sand
Now that you’ve got no place to go
And you stand alone
Know that there’s just one place to be
And it’s on the shore, oh
Like drywood takes to fire the truth will come to you
Like streams that seek the ocean they will find ways through
Like morning meets the moon, come now, I’ll guide the way
It’s time to suck your pride now, go away
Don’t come to take us over, that’s not a so good to do
Don’t come to take us over, go now and screw you

We live in tents down near the shores
We’re not your submissive natives
We’re civilized and live by rules

And we’re in no way, you’d find as primitive
Now that you’ve got no place to look
And you stand alone
Know that’s there’s just one place to be
And it’s on our shoals, oh
Like fish that seek the water, the truth will come to you
Like leaves upon the soil, they will find ways through
Like flowers seek the sun, come now, I’ll guide the way
It’s time to suck your pride now, go away

You think you really own this but you only washed up aground
You don’t rule over me
But we don’t want anyone here
Who’d rather push us around

You think you can threaten me but all the islanders will soon be out
They’ll see you shoot me dead
So if you conduct any violence
They will all toss you out
You may aim that harpoon gun, put islanders through hell
You may just merely maim me but you
Better, better, better behave
Yourself, oh, no, no, no.

Like drywood takes to fire the truth will come to you
Like streams that seek the ocean they will find ways through
Like morning meets the night’s stars, come now, I’ll guide the way
It’s time to suck your pride now, go away
Don’t come to take us over, that’s not a so good to do
Don’t come to take us over, go now and screw you.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Storm’s Adrift”

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The next morning, the storm dies out and the Baudelaires find themselves together in the shallows among a lot of other junk washed ashore on an island coastal shelf. As they walk in search of land, they come across Count Olaf. Though the kids think he’s dead at first, he starts ordering them around as soon as he gains consciousness. He first demands coffee but then tells the children to do everything he just told them. Oh and he fantasizes about how the primitive islanders will make him their king of his self-proclaimed Olaf-land he just washed up on. However, they find themselves stranded on an island with people already living there who mostly consist of castaways and their progeny. They are greeted by a little girl named Friday Caliban who’s out storm scavenging. After the Baudelaires introduce themselves, Count Olaf demands she worship I’m as her king. But she refuses.

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I turned to Hamilton again and decided to go with “Guns and Ships” which tells Marquis de Lafayette and Hercules Mulligan’s efforts in the lead up to Yorktown. But while their contributions may be great to the American Revolution, George Washington and his subordinates increasingly realize that they need Alexander Hamilton back. In this version, I have the Baudelaires and Count Olaf washing up on the island and meeting Friday Caliban.

 

“Storm’s Adrift”

Violet:
How do we ragtag volunteers needing a shower somehow survive a storm and land in the shallows?
How do we emerge from a stormy night in this mire?
As the boat fell apart while winds and waves grew higher?
Yo. Turns out we clung to each other.
While the storm swept the count off from the boat on cover
As we’ve landed all washed up, on this beach with all this clutter
Holy shit, I think Count Olaf’s become conscious, beginning to mutter

Violet and Klaus:
Count Olaf!

Count Olaf:
You’re working with me now bring me coffee
What’s the matter, you not hear me?

Violet and Klaus:
No coffee!

Count Olaf:
Now you’re gonna walking west and find an island
Let’s not stop until we manage to find some dry land

Violet and Klaus:
Right away!

Count Olaf:
Must have primitive island natives
Avidly raving

Violet and Klaus:
Jesus Christ!

Count Olaf:
They’ve never seen civilized folks

Violet and Klaus:
He’s gone nuts!

Count Olaf:
Revere me as god

Violet and Klaus:
Leave
Or take
Which is a worse mistake

Violet:
We’re noble folk, with him we go, and bear all he complains

Klaus:
His crazy demands all annoy us, walking from the sea
People living nearby from what I see from the white sheets

Sunny:
Land, ho!

Count Olaf:
Olaf-land!

Violet:
Please, folks may have already named it
Might’ve been perfectly, good name, I mean

Count Olaf:
Olaf-land!

Klaus:
Vi, I wonder who’s the hell that can possibly
Better hope it’s somebody friendly, I mean

Count Olaf:
Olaf-land!

Violet:
Guess they’re not friends or volunteers
Just don’t try to lash out or act out in mere fear

Count Olaf:
Just shoot them!

Violet:
You wanna waste your last hook, man?

Count Olaf:
Have a point!

Violet:
Then hold your harpoon gun back!

Count Olaf:
Okay then.

Klaus (Violet):
Ah! Uh, hold ya harpoon gun back (Then hold your harpoon gun back!)
You know you gotta hold ya harpoon gun back (Your harpoon gun back!)

Violet (Count Olaf):
Just a girl who’s around six or seven, haven’t met her (Olaf-Land)
But sooner the better (I’m ruler of Olaf-Land!)
So what’s your given name, ma’am? (Ha ha)

Friday:
My name’s Friday Caliban
And I’m just out storm scavenging
And no, you aren’t my king, we don’t even do monarchy
Oh, come, you tired Baudelaires
Must be exhausted from last night’s storm
Didn’t expect some castaways
Washing up on our shores today
Would you like something to eat, come, Baudelaires

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Shades of Grey”

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All through the night, the boat rocks and tips as well as seemingly disintegrate all around the Baudelaires who clung to each other to avoid separation. Count Olaf and the figurehead with the deadly fungus helmet are both swept away. However, I’m sure the idea of how far they strayed from their moral compass isn’t far from their heads. After all, they considered throwing their biggest enemy overboard. Yet, as they’ve found themselves in a world where good people can do villainous things, the children start to question their own notions on morality. Despite that all the bad things to do were to know about family secrets (like stealing Hal’s keys), just to survive or make their lives less miserable (like escaping with Count Olaf and stealing stuff from Prufrock Prep), or due to an overall lack of agency (like the Caligari Carnival fire). And while they consider killing or kidnapping anyone, they usually don’t follow through. Any reasonable person would think they’re being a little too hard on themselves. But the Baudelaires don’t see it that way.

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The song I chose for the storm is Billy Joel’s “Shades of Grey” which is mainly about recognizing the moral ambiguity of life in a war zone. There isn’t a doubt the Vietnam era was influential on this number. In this version, Klaus evaluates the morality of his and his sisters’ actions and how far they have fallen off the moral path. Not to mention, how the world for them has become grayer and grayer as the learn more about V.F.D., their parents, and the schism.

 

“Shades of Grey” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Klaus Baudelaire

Some things were perfectly clear, seen with the vision of youth
No doubts and nothing to fear, I claimed the corner on truth
These days it’s harder to say I know what I’m fighting for
My faith is falling away
I’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Black and white is how it should be
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Once there was Olaf and troupe and one point of every view
Get him and ruin his plan
Get him before he gets you
These days the edges are blurred, I’m not sure where we’d fall on
We helped Count Olaf burn
I’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey are all that I find
When I look to the V.F.D. line
Black and white was so easy for me
But shades of grey are the colors I see

Now with the wisdom of years I try to reason things out
And the only people I fear are those who never have doubts
Save us all from arrogant men, and all the causes they’re for
I won’t be righteous again
I’m not that sure anymore

Shades of grey wherever I go
The more I find out the less that I know
Ain’t no rainbows shining on me
Shades of grey are the colors I see

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Hold the Line”

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Meanwhile, the Baudelaires are trying to figure out what to do about their situation. Sunny suggests diving for seafood since they have nothing else but beans to eat, but neither of her older siblings are enthusiastic about. Klaus doesn’t have anything useful in his commonplace book. Violet might make a compass but she doesn’t know where they’re going so it would be kind of pointless. And they can’t really go back to V.F.D. since they escaped on a boat with Count Olaf. Then Sunny suggests the notion of pushing Count Olaf overboard which might solve some of their problems. But strangely this gives them a bad taste in their mouths, that they’re wondering what their parents would do. After all, they were noble people, right? Yet, Olaf told them they were involved in a plot pertaining to poison darts. They’ve also started question their own moral compass, too. However, before they make their move, Count Olaf announces that he’s a genius since he spotted a storm cloud coming towards them. Their little boat seems doomed and there’s nothing they can do about it.

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The song I chose for the Baudelaires here is Toto’s “Hold the Line” which is about being patient in a relationship like waiting for a phone call on hold. In this version, the Baudelaires consider throwing Count Olaf until it starts becoming a bad idea that they eventually refrain from. Though to be fair, it’s not like you can blame them for throwing him overboard. But it’s not like them.

 

“Hold the Line” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
So what do we do about Olaf?
He’s bossing us rowing his damn boat
I can make a compass but where would we go
Look in your notebook, Klaus, and see what you know
Can’t join volunteers, since we’re stuck with Count Olaf on this boat

Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh
Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh

Klaus:
My book doesn’t have anything useful
Sunny thinks we should push him overboard
How many times has he made our lives hell?
But were our folks good or would’ve said, “Might as well.”
Though pushing him in seems to be really looking quite good

Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh
Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh

Violet:
We’d like to think our folks nice and noble
Yet, Olaf says they used poison darts, oooh
If we throw him, how would that make us look?
Despite he’s a monster and a real shameless crook
Can’t think now since there’s a storm ahead and there’s not much we can do

Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh
Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
(Can’t we just throw him this time?)
Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
(Can’t we just throw him, can’t we just throw him this time?)
Hold the line
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Can’t we just throw him this time?
Whoa oh oh

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Like a Rolling Stone”

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However, whether he’s aware of it or not, Count Olaf isn’t in very good shape by The End. And unlike the Baudelaires, he can’t claim that it’s his own fault. For one, he’s stuck with the children on a boat in the middle of the ocean. While this situation might provide opportunity for Olaf to murder them and get away with it, he can’t really do that since they’re rowing his boat. Not to mention, he’s in no position to get the Baudelaire fortune or anyone else’s anytime soon. Second, most of his henchmen by this point have either deserted him or died in horrible ways thanks to him. Third, all his plans have been ruined. Oh, and there’s a storm coming.

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The song I chose here is Bob Dylan’s career-defining “Like a Rolling Stone” which is about a spoiled rich girl who’s fallen from grace and is reduced to fending for herself in an hostile and unfamiliar world. The song’s subject previously opted for easy options in life but now that her situation has become difficult, she seems to have no meaningful experiences that define her character. Of course, the Baudelaires can relate to that incredibly well. Anyway, there are theories that Dylan might’ve based this song on former girlfriend Edie Sedgewick over her treatment by Andy Warhol, his targets Marianne Faithfull, Joan Baez, and Bob Neuwirth, or even himself. In this version, I have the Baudelaires let Count Olaf know about his true situation, which they’re all too familiar with.

 

“Like a Rolling Stone” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You stole from bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you?
People’d call, say, “Beware man, you’re bound to flat”
You thought they were all kiddin’ you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin’ out
Now you don’t talk so loud
Now you don’t seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Klaus:
You’ve gone to the finest school all right, Count Olaf
But you know you only used to get juiced in it
And nobody’s ever taught you how to live out on the sea
And now you’re gonna have to get used to it
You said you’d never compromise
With the Baudelaire brats, but now you realize
We’re not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of our eyes
And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
A complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Violet:
You never turned around to see the frowns of your henchmen on their rounds
When they all did things for you
You never understood that it ain’t no good
You shouldn’t let other people get your kicks for you
You used to ride on the chrome horse with your hooked hand man
Whose little sister got in Klaus’s pants
Ain’t it hard when you discover that
He really wasn’t where it’s at
After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel?
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

Klaus:
Princes on the steeple and all the pretty people
They’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring, you’d better pawn it knave
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you, you can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel
How does it feel
To be on your own
With no direction home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “As the Money Comes Rolling In”

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Since he feels that he has the Baudelaires in his clutches, Count Olaf feels that their fortune will soon be his. And what does he plan to do with it? Well, buy a brand new shiny luxury car with a powerful engine for going over the speed limit and an extra-thick bumper to prevent scratching whenever he rams into other cars. He plans to name the car after himself so when he squeals the brakes, people will say “Here comes Count Olaf!” He then directs the children to head for the nearest luxury car dealership. But the Baudelaires know that he’s delusional at this point. Though he does call the kids his henchmen, they didn’t have much choice to come with him. And threaten them with the Medusoid Mycelium helmet.

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The song I chose for this is “And the Money Kept Rolling In (and Out)” from Evita which describes Eva Peron’s philanthropy to increase her reputation and get a little on the side (as far as this musical depicts). In this version, I have Count Olaf imagine what he intends to do with the Baudelaire fortune which will have nothing to do with giving to charity whatsoever. Since Olaf cares for nobody but himself, though he does talk about putting the money in a Swiss bank account to avoid taxes and arrest.

 

“As the Money Comes Rolling In”

Sung by Count Olaf

Count Olaf:
As the money comes rolling in from every side
While my dirty hands reach out and they reach wide
Now you may feel I should give it to some voluntary cause
Ah, but that’s not the point, you brats

When the money comes rolling in, you don’t ask how
Think of how Count Olaf gonna see some good times now
Once I have your family fortune, you will be no more
Never been a fund like the fortune of the Baudelaires

Violet and Klaus:
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling on in, rolling on in, rolling on in, on in!

Count Olaf:
Set a course towards a near luxury dealership
Got to get myself a new shiny car with a bumper extra thick
Your vast family fortune can make my dreams come true
Though I must kill you, you brats

Got to have a powerful engine so I can drive past the legal limit
Would like to ram it into people without getting a scratch in it
Will name the car after myself, in case you want to know
When they hear my breaks squeal, they’ll say, “There goes Count Olaf!”

Violet and Klaus:
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling on in, rolling on in, rolling on in, on in!

Count Olaf:
As the money comes rolling in from all directions
From the dead, from the old, from the rich orphans of all complexions
Now cynics claim too much of the cash has gone astray
Ah, but that’s not the point, you brats

When the money comes rolling in, you don’t keep books
You can tell you’ve done well by how nice your mansion looks
Accountants only slow things down, figures get in the way
Never will be a man so stinking rich as Count Olaf!

Violet and Klaus:
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling on in, rolling on in, rolling on in, on in!

Violet:
Oh, God!

Count Olaf:
When the money comes rolling in, what’s a man to do?
Got to hide all that cash away from the taxman – wouldn’t you?
But where on Earth and people hide their little piece of Heaven?
Thank God for Switzerland!

Where a man has grabbed a lot of petty cash from fortunes
Can be sure, when he deposits, no one’s seen them
Oh, what bliss to sign your checks as three-oh-one-two-seven!
Never been accounts in the name of Count Olaf!

Violet and Klaus:
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!
Rolling, rolling, rolling!

Rolling on in, rolling on in, rolling on in
Rolling on in, rolling on in, rolling on in, on in!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “The Actor Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear)”

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In the last book, The End, the Baudelaires are trapped on a boat departing from the burning Hotel Denouement into the sea. And they’re accompanied by a man they have spent the whole series fleeing as he’s been after their fortune and their lives. You know, Count Olaf. You can imagine the misery on these kids. It doesn’t help that Olaf has been sitting around giving orders as well as renaming the boat after himself which was previously called The Carmelita. Also, they have nothing to eat but beans. However, Count Olaf has been celebrating his triumph over the Baudelaires, Hotel Denouement, and V.F.D.

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Nevertheless, I couldn’t think of a better song for the start than Evita’s “The Actress Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear)” where Evita basically says she’s not going to conform to the expectations Argentina’s aristocracy pressures her, especially since they don’t even like her. She even says that everything she does will be justified by her foundation despite the song heavily implying how selfish she might be (in real life, she may not have been like that at all). However, in this version, I have Count Olaf emphasize how he doesn’t really care what the Baudelaires think of him or anyone else.

 

“The Actor Hasn’t Learned the Lines (You’d Like to Hear)”

Violet:
Is this how our story ends?
Only an actor would pretend
He’s triumphed while we’re out to sea
Celebrating while we’re eating beans
My how our lot begins to turn
When will the evil man ever learn?
My how our lot begins to turn
When will the evil man ever learn?

Count Olaf:
This famed actor hasn’t learned the lines you’d like to hear
He won’t go scrambling over the backs of the poor to be accepted
By making donations just large enough to the correct charity
He’ll just take your fortune and buy himself a new car fast and shiny
Which I’ll just name after me
And it’ll be a car unsafe at any speed

The actor hasn’t the lines you’d like to hear
He won’t join your clubs, he won’t dance in your halls
He won’t help the hungry once a month at your tombolas
He’ll simply take control as you disappear

Klaus:
Forgive my intrusion, but fine as those sentiments sound
We’re stuck with you at sea, we’re working this boat around
I hate to sound childish, ungrateful, I don’t like to moan
But do you now represent anyone’s cause but your own?

Count Olaf:
Why don’t you shut up and keep rowing like my good henchmen?