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

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As Violet helps Hector fix the Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home, Klaus looks into Hector’s secret library to find a way to get Jacques Snicket off. Since it’s obvious that Jacques isn’t Count Olaf. But since the adults seem to identify people based on two defining features like a unibrow and an eye ankle tattoo, Jacques is basically condemned to a most burning and painful death at the stake in the morning. So not only will V.F.D. burn an innocent man, they’re going to make the world think that Count Olaf is dead, which won’t bode well for the Baudelaires. Especially when the real Count Olaf comes around since he won’t ever worry about being caught again. Apparently, Klaus had fun reading the rule books since many of them are contradictory. But he did find one in which the condemned could make a speech before their execution as well as read up on mob psychology to get the villagers into a frenzy. If only the adults would listen.

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The song I chose for him is “Shipoopi” from The Music Man. Sung by Harold Hill’s friend Marcellus Washburn (the only guy who knows the truth about him), the original version is about finding love with a term Meredith Willson invented himself. Still, this occurs at the same time Harold Hill is wooing Marian the Librarian. Anyway, this version has Klaus explain what he found about the V.F.D. rules and mob psychology.

 

“Persuasion”

Sung by Klaus Baudelaire

Klaus:
V.F. D. Rule #2,493
Gives the condemned some leeway.
To address the crowd and make a last-minute speech
Before he’s burned at the stake.

But in case a speech won’t be allowed,
There’s still a way to sway the crowd!
And in mob psychology, that is
Persuasion! Persuasion! Persuasion! Persuasion!

To save Jacques Snicket yet.

Persuasion!
Persuasion!
Persuasion!

Violet:
To call his innocence.

Klaus:
Make sure a few are nice and scattered,
Make sure that only their voices matter.
Soon the all the rest assembled,
Will soon go along with
What they’re yelling.

Both:
Do re me fa so la si
Do si la sol fa mi re do

Klaus:
Have the doubters voice their opinions,
The other villagers won’t know what hit em’
Have them say Jacques innocent,
The Elders will have no choice but to cave in.

Both:
Do re me fa sol la si
Do si do

Klaus:
Now Jacques isn’t Count Olaf
As we four could see
But groupthink we can set them off
So he can walk out free

Have the doubters voice their opinions,
The other villagers won’t know what hit em’
Have them say Jacques innocent,
The Elders will have no choice but to cave in.

Both:
Do re me fa sol la si
Do si do

Both:
Persuasion, Persuasion, Persuasion
To save Jacques Snicket yet.
Persuasion, Persuasion, Persuasion
To call his innocence

Persuasion, Persuasion, Persuasion
To save Jacques Snicket yet.
Persuasion, Persuasion, Persuasion
To call his innocence, Persuasion

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Greased Lightning”

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During that night, Klaus looks into the V.F.D. rulebook to get Jacques Snicket out, Violet helps Hector finish the Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home which would be useful in their escape should Count Olaf come to call. As Hector told the Baudelaires: “My invention is nothing more than a hot air balloon — except it’s much larger. Instead of one large basket, there are twelve baskets, all tied together below several hot air balloons. Each basket serves as a different room, so it’s like having an entire flying house. It’s completely self-sustaining — once you get up in it, you never have to go back down. In fact, if my new engine works properly, it will be impossible to get back down. The engine should last for more than one hundred years, and there’s a huge storage basket that I’m filling with food, beverages, clothing, and books. Once it’s completed, I’ll be able to fly away from V.F.D. and the Council of Elders and everything else that makes me skittish, and live forever in the air.” Though I’m not sure if anything is completely self-sustaining, Hector’s hot air mobile home is pretty cool, especially if you see it on the TV show.

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The song I went with here is “Greased Lightning” from Grease. In the original version, one of the greasers gets a used car and Kenickie (or Danny in the film) sees wins over his fellow gang members with a rousing rock n’ roll number describing the modifications to transform it into a hot rod to attract the ladies. In this version, I have it featuring Violet on her inventing abilities as she describes the modifications she wants to put on the Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home. And yes, I may have kept some of the original lyrics but I have no idea how Hector built this thing. So forgive me on some of the inaccuracies. Not to mention, Violet needs a fun featured musical number to herself this time because most of her songs seem kind of sad.

 

“Greased Lightning” (ASOUE Version)

Sung by Violet Baudelaire

Violet:
Why, this Self-Sustaining Hot Air Mobile Home is automatic
It’s systematic, it’s aerodynamic
Why, it’s greased lightning
Hector: “Grease lightning”

Violet:
We’ll get some overhead lifters and some four-barrel quads, oh yeah
Hector: “Keep talking, whoa, keep talking”
Violet: Fuel injection cutoffs and chrome plated rods, oh yeah
Hector: “I’ll get the money, I’ll kill to get the money”
Violet: With a four-speed in the air, you’ll be heading out of here
You know that ain’t no shit, you’ll be getting lot of lift in Grease Lightning
(Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go)

Go grease lightning, you’re burning up the quarter mile
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
Go grease lightning, you’re flying through the air lift trial
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
You are supreme, the bird lovers’ll scream over grease lightning
(Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go)

We’ll get some strong sturdy canvas and thirty-foot ropes, oh yeah
Some powerful solar panels and duel wind turbines, oh yeah
With new pistons, plugs and shocks you can get off your rocks
You know that I ain’t bragging, she’s a real stellar wagon
Grease lightning
(Go, go, go)

Go grease lightning, you’re burning up the quarter mile
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
Go grease lightning, you’re flying through the air lift trial
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
You are supreme, the bird lovers’ll scream over grease lightning
(Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go)

Go grease lightning, you’re burning up the quarter mile
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
Go grease lightning, you’re flying through the air lift trial
(Grease lightning, go grease lightning)
You are supreme, the bird lovers’ll scream over grease lightning
(Go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go, go)

Lightning, lightning, lightning
Lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning, lightning

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Jacques Snicket Calypso”

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That afternoon, three members from the Council of Elders approach Hector and the Baudelaires and announce that Count Olaf has been captured. For these children, hearing that the man who terrorized them wherever they went must be the best news in the world. In fact, it almost seems to good to be true. That’s because it is. When Hector and the children reach the Town Hall, the find a man with a monobrow and an eye tattoo. But it’s obvious to the Baudelaires that this man isn’t Count Olaf. He’s shorter, heavier, clean and tidy, and doesn’t have the same look in his eyes. So now the kids have to see through a trial of an innocent man who will be inevitably sentenced to death. The man identifies himself as Jacques Snicket, Lemony’s brother. And he’s been following the Baudelaires for some time. But he doesn’t get the time to say his case. The children protest and proclaim his innocence yet as it’s the case this series, the adults ignore them. So they’ll have to wait until the following morning.

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The song I decided on for the trial is “Benjamin Calypso” from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In the original, Joseph’s brothers rise to their youngest brother’s defense after he accuses the young man of stealing his cup. It’s a test since he knows Benjamin is innocent. In this version, I have the Baudelaires defend Jacques Snicket’s innocence.

 

“Jacques Snicket Calypso”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet and Klaus:
Oh no – not he
How can you accuse him is a mystery
He ain’t – the Count
For we’d recognize him as a tall palm tree

Violet:
He may have one brow and an eye tattoo
But he sure as hell ain’t that man you presume
Have you seen his photograph?
For you’ve really made yourselves an ass
Oh yes

Klaus:
Oh yes

Violet:
It’s true

Klaus:
It’s true

Violet:
We’re not sure if you even have a clue?
No ifs

Klaus:
No ifs

Violet:
No buts

Klaus:
No buts

Violet:
You all must be cuckoo for coconuts

Klaus:
I know Count Olaf like he was my own hand
This guy is an innocent man
I haven’t seen him in all my life
Please believe me, oh, Jesus Christ
Oh no

Violet:
Oh no

Klaus:
Not he

Violet:
Not he
How you can accuse him is a mystery

Klaus:
He ain’t

Violet:
He ain’t

Klaus:
The Count

Violet:
The Count
For we’d recognize him as a tall palm tree

Violet and Klaus:
Oh no
Not he
How can you accuse him is a mystery
He ain’t
The Count
For we’d recognize him as a tall palm tree

Violet:
Sure as the tide wash the golden sand
This guy here is an innocent man
Sure as bananas need the sun
He’s not a criminal guilty one
Oh no

Klaus:
Oh no

Violet:
Not he

Klaus:
Not he

Violet and Klaus:
How you can accuse him is a mystery

Violet:
He ain’t

Klaus:
He ain’t

Violet:
The Count

Violet and Klaus:
The Count
For we’d recognize him as a tall palm tree
Oh no – not he
How can you accuse him is a mystery
He ain’t – the Count
La la la la la la la

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”

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The Baudelaires spend their first morning and afternoon at V.F.D. doing all the villagers’ chores. Most of these are insanely difficult, boring, or pointless like making hot fudge sundaes for the Council of Elders. While the chores are hard work, the villagers are often rude and unpleasant. Nor do they appear to make the children feel welcome in their new home. Hell, their lunch mostly consists of cabbage sandwiches from a local restaurant. Additionally, at dawn the children receive another couplet from Isadora reading: “Until dawn comes we cannot speak,/No words can come from this sad beak.” And the Baudelaires still have no idea what the Quagmires are trying to tell them. The final task that day is cleaning the massive Fowl Fountain statue which was recently built. While it’s all covered in bird shit, the children wouldn’t complain much. Since they’ve already worked at Lucky Smells and ran laps at Prufrock Prep.

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The song I selected for this sequence is “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)” by The Band. The original version is about a poverty-stricken farmer, who with increasing desperation, details the misfortune befallen him during the Great Depression. Over the song’s course, the farmer has his crops die due to no rain, his barn burns down, his horse goes mad, and he ends up on skid row. A union organizer appears, promising to improve things, with the narrator telling his associates “I’m a union man now, all the way but begs them to “just don’t judge me by my shoes.” Yeah, it’s kind of a downer song. In this version, the Baudelaires sing about doing their chores and the couplets they’ve received.

 

“King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”

Hector:
Corn in the fields.
Listen to the crows when the wind blows ‘cross the fountain,
King Harvest has surely come

Violet:
We work for the village ‘cause they’re our guardians;
And we have to do all their chores,
Since they say it’s a town tradition
We will do everything these folks will say,
Even if it means making the Elders fudge sundaes
Looks like this time I’m gonna get to stay,
I’m a V.F.D. girl, now, all the way

Hector:
The smell of the leaves,
From the Nevermore Tree on the outskirts,
King Harvest has surely come

Klaus:
V.F.D. folk are awfully rude,
When we do what they refuse
Hey, Isadora, can’t you hear my plea?
Tell me what your couplets mean!
Two dawns we get these poem notes
And it’s plain to see, I’ve nothin’ to show
I’m glad Count Olaf is not around
But won’t be long till he’s in town

Hector:
A scarecrow in a yellow moon,
Pretty soon, the carnival on the edge of town,
King Harvest has surely come

Violet:
Our final task, we have to clean,
The Fowl Fountain till it sheens
Lots of bird shit, well, that ain’t bad
Let’s hope the Council of Elders don’t get that mad
Now here they come with their ugly crow hats
Tellin’ us how their sundaes aren’t up to scratch
And then, if we don’t give them what they like
I hope they don’t keep us up all through the night

Hector:
Corn in the fields.
Listen to the crows when the wind blows ‘cross the fountain,
King Harvest has surely come

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

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While Hector is a nice guy, he doesn’t exactly fit in V.F.D. like the Baudelaires. And he’s the only one who truly appreciates their company as well as willing to have anything to do with them. He doesn’t like many of the village’s rules such as those against mechanical devices, not harming crows, books breaking rules, and recreational biting. And he doesn’t like their form of punishments either like burning at the stake. However, Hector also has a self-sustaining hot air mobile home in his barn he’s working on to Violet’s delight. In addition, he keeps a secret library with banned books that has shelves to the roof. One day, Hector plans to unleash his hot air mobile home and leave V.F.D. and society forever. But for now, he and the Baudelaires are stuck doing the town’s chores as the residents don’t appear pleasant or polite.

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Here for Hector,  I chose “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast. In the original version, Belle is introduced as walking through the village with her nose stuck in a book. Yet, it’s clear that the town doesn’t really understand her or shares her interests. So it’s no wonder that Belle longs for more than a provincial life. Though you can say the same about Hector. In this version, I have Hector introduce the Baudelaires to their first day doing chores for V.F.D.

 

“Hector”

Hector:
V.F.D.
Such an awful village
Ev’ry day
Like the one before
V.F.D.
Full of little people
Coming down to say:

V.F.D. Residents:
Bonjour!
Bonjour!
Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!

Hector:
There goes the baker with his tray, like always
The same old bread and rolls to sell
Ev’ry morning just the same
Since the morning that I came
To this poor provincial town

Baker:
Good morning, Hector!

Hector:
Good morning, Monsieur.
Need anything done today?

Baker:
How about you and the Baudelaires load some bread into
My cart and feed my horses.

Hector: That’s nice. Baudelaires! The baguettes!
Hurry up!

V.F.D. Residents:
Look there he goes that man is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?

Woman:
Never part of any crowd
Man:
‘Cause his head’s up on some cloud

V.F.D. Residents:
No denying she’s a funny man, Hector

Man I:
Bonjour!

Woman I:
Good day!

Man I:
How is your fam’ly?

Woman 2:
Bonjour!

Man 2:
Good day!

Woman 2:
How is your wife?

Woman 3:
I need six eggs!

Woman 4:
That’s too expensive!
Hector:
There must be more than this provincial life!

Hardware Storekeeper:
Ah, Hector.

Hector:
Good day, sir. I’ve come to ask for some tools and supplies.

Hardware Storekeeper:
Replacements already?

Hector:
Well, I have some orphans under my care. You know the Baudelaires?

Hardware Storekeeper:
Came here yesterday.

Hector:
Yes, sir. Need anything done?

Hardware Storekeeper:
Well, I can use someone in the yard!

Hector:
Okay, Baudelaires, let’s go to and work
Mr. Woolworth’s yard! It’s within the next
Few blocks. You can’t miss it. I swear.

Hardware Storekeeper:
Here are the tools. That’ll be $50.

Hector:
All right.

Hardware Storekeeper:
Thank you.

Hector:
You’re welcome. Call me any time!

V. F. D.:
Look there she goes that man is so peculiar
I wonder if he’s feeling well
With a dreamy, far-off look
And his nights up in the barn
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Hector

Hector:
Oh, isn’t this amazing?
Got to see the fly in to town—you’ll see
There they are on the Fowl Fountain
But it’s not as impressive than at the Nevermore Tree!

Woman:
Now it’s no wonder that he’s quite handy
His skills have got no parallel

Shopkeeper:
But behind that nice façade
I’m afraid he’s rather odd

Man:
Very diff’rent from the rest of us

V.F.D. Residents:
He’s nothing like the rest of us
Yes, diff’rent from the rest of us is Hector!

Hector: Can you tell me a little about yourselves, kids?

Violet: Well, I like to invent things.

Hector: Rule 67 states, “no citizen is allowed to build or use any mechanical devices.” But don’t worry, I’m building something in my barn you might be interested in with stuff I was told to remove from the village. It’s a self-sustaining hot air mobile home.

Violet:
Thanks, Hector.

Klaus:
I like to read books. What does the library have?

Hector: According to Rule 108, “the V.F.D. library cannot contain any books that break any of the other rules.” So stock is limited. But I do have a secret library in my barn where I put all the rule breaking books I was supposed to remove.

Klaus:
What a relief. But your secret is safe with us.

Sunny: Bite!

Hector: Sorry, but “rule 4,561 clearly states that citizens are not allowed to use their mouths for recreation.” If the Council of Elders knew, I can’t imagine what they’d do. I’m sure we can find things to bite but you’ll have to do it in secret.

Sunny: Okay.

Violet:
Right from the moment when we came to live here
We almost thought we would regret
Yet, since you came to us
Told us about your stuff
So perhaps life in V.F.D. will be fine with Hector

Esme (as Officer Luciana):
Look there they go
Within the village
Along the streets
Those Baudelaires
Olaf, my dear
When will you get here?
So we can get all the Baudelaire children’s cash!

Woman 1:
Bonjour!

Esme:
Pardon

Hector:
Good day

Woman 2:
Mais oui!

Woman 3:
You call this bacon?

Woman 4:
What lovely grapes!

Man 1:
Some cheese

Woman 5:
Ten yards!

Man 1:
One pound

Esme:
‘scuse me!

Cheese merchant:
I’ll get the knife
Esme:
Please let me through!

Woman 6:
This bread –

Woman 7:
Those fish –

Woman 6:
it’s stale!

Woman 7:
They smell!

Men:
Madame’s mistaken.

Women:
Well, maybe so

V. F. D. Residents:
Good morning! Oh, good morning!

Hector:
There must be more than this provincial life!

Esme:
Baudelaires might want to prepare for strife!

V.F.D. Residents:
Look there he goes
The man is strange but special
A most peculiar handyman!

Women:
It’s a pity and a sin

Men:
He doesn’t quite fit in

V.F.D. Residents:
‘Cause he really is a funny guy
A handy but a funny guy
He really is a funny guy
Hector!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Nevermore Tree”

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That night, Hector and the Baudelaires get to know each other as well as the village of V.F.D., which as it turns out stands for the Village of Fowl Devotees. Also, it’s not an especially friendly town since they’re not keen on mechanical devices, banned books, and public biting. But Hector’s totally fine with it but that’s for another song (yes, I know I’m going out of order here). Anyway, while the Baudelaires are initially skeptical of the handyman (for completely legitimate reasons), they find he has nothing to hide when he produces a scroll with a couplet written by Isadora Quagmire reading:  “For sapphires we are held in here,/Only you can end our fear.” Obviously, this gets the Baudelaires’ attention but they’re not exactly sure what the couplet means or where the Quagmires are hiding. In fact, Klaus thinks their friends are hiding in the Nevermore Tree. But Hector tells them they can’t go there while the crows roost. So they wait under the Nevermore Tree for the night.

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Once again, I turn to Paul Simon with “Scarborough Fair” which he performed with Art Garfunkel. Now this is an incredibly old ballad from England dating to the Middle Ages which tells of a man who, through a third party, instructs his ex-girlfriend to perform a series of impossible tasks to win back his affections. Let’s just say, it’s quite clear that the guy doesn’t want his ex back. Though people thought it was about the Black Plague. In the Simon and Garfunkel version, Simon inserted some lines relating to an anti-war song he wrote in 1963 called “On the Side of a Hill.” In this version, I have the Baudelaires staying under the Nevermore Tree to find out what’s going on with the couplet and speculate where the Quagmires are.

 

“Nevermore Tree”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
We are waiting at the Nevermore Tree
Hope the Quagmires send us a sign
They must be somewhere at V.F.D.
Though we’re not sure where they hide

Klaus (Violet):
Are they hidden in the Nevermore Tree (crow nested tree)
Hector found this couplet and rhyme
He said we can’t climb up the tree (blankets and pillows all through the night watch)
Since we don’t know where they hide (sleep shifts until dawn’ light)

Violet (Klaus):
Hector said the birds can’t be disturbed (why must we wait)
We must all keep watch all through the night (Olaf can move on us at any time)
Though Isadora sent two lines of words (on a scroll wrapped in a feather quill)
These may tell us where they hide

Klaus (Violet):
Will we see Duncan and Isadora again? (Olaf is somewhere out hiding)
Though we know they’re quite nearby (His cronies must be with him now)
We now don’t know how to find and save them. (they can be around V.F.D. among us)
The we’ll need to find where they hide

Klaus:
We are waiting at the Nevermore Tree
Hope the Quagmires send us a sign
They must be somewhere at V.F.D.
Though we’re not sure where they hide

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Murder of Crows”

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So the Baudelaires are sent to live with Hector who isn’t looked fondly among the villagers. Also, he doesn’t say much since he’s quite nervous in front of the Council of Elders. However, after the kids leave the Town Hall, Hector seems like a pretty cool guy who likes Mexican food. He also wants the children to watch the sunset because it’s spectacular when all the crows fly from the V.F.D. town proper to the Nevermore Tree, which happens to be just in his back yard. Indeed, the birds flying away to their nightly home is quite impressive to him and there’s a rather spectacular sunset on the horizon.

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I went with Paul Simon’s “St. Judy’s Comet” with this one since it’s a more low key song about a wondrous sight. Though the original is about Simon getting his son Harper to sleep since he’s up way past his bedtime. In this version, Hector describes the sight of the crows flying to the Nevermore Tree at sunset and how he wants the Baudelaires to see how spectacular it is.

 

“Murder of Crows”

Sung by Hector

See that, Baudelaires
Do you know what time it is?
Well, the hour of the sundown’s
Coming fast

The crows fly to the Nevermore Tree
From the Fowl Fountain across the skies
They’re flying fast
Flying fast

Won’t you come see this murder of crows
Fly across the skies
Dotting the vast horizon
In its wake
Seeing that murder of crows
Always makes my night
After a long day

Baudelaires
Can you see all these crows fly
Baudelaires
Dotting all the twilight skies
Flying to Nevermore Tree for the night

The founders saw
These flying birds
I’m going to sing it three times more
The named our Village of Fowl
Devotees
Though I think their crow devotion
Can be ridiculous with all these rules
They enact

Won’t you come see this murder of crows
Fly across the skies
Dotting the vast horizon
In its wake
Seeing that murder of crows
Always makes my night
After a long day

Baudelaires
Can you see all these crows fly
Baudelaires
Dotting all the twilight skies
Flying to Nevermore Tree for the night

See that, Baudelaires
Do you know what time it is?
Well, the hour of the sundown’s
Coming fast
The crows fly to the Nevermore Tree
From the Fowl Fountain across the skies
They’re flying fast