A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Sobbin’ Quagmires”

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Thanks to the Quagmires, the Baudelaires get time to study, make a staple machine, and get a goodnight’s sleep for their tests the next morning. The next morning they’re tested by their teachers and Vice Principal Nero. Violet and Klaus manage to pass their tests while Sunny gets a great performance rating for making staples (arranging cards in the TV show). Mr. Remora and Mrs. Bass even praise the elder Baudelaire kids for being good students and compliment their baby sister on her administrative work. But Coach Genghis shows up with Klaus’s glasses and Violet’s ribbon as well as his shoes covered with flour. He accuses the children for cheating by having Duncan and Isadora impersonate them for S.O.R.E. training. Vice Principal Nero agrees and uses the incident to gleefully expel them while Mr. Remora and Mrs. Bass just shrug like they don’t know what else to do. But the Baudelaires are more interested in knowing where the Quagmires are, knowing that something terrible happened to them. Coach Genghis tells them they were whisked away to the kitchen as punishment. After Mr. Poe shows up with bags of candy and gets into an argument with Nero, the kids beg the gym teacher to take his shoes and turban off but he refuses. Yet, he did tell them he had a couple of prisoners with a small fortune, too. But he’s still going after them. Still, once the White-Faced Women show with the Quagmires tied up in the getaway car, the Baudelaires make a run for it. Violet and Sunny grab a hold of Count Olaf first with the former grabbing his turban and the latter undoing his shoe laces, which exposes him. Klaus gets to car where he and the Quagmires struggle with the White-Faced Women which proves futile. But not before Duncan tells him about what they found during their research, blurting “V.F.D.” Nonetheless, when Olaf gets to the car, he shoves Klaus, steals the notebooks, and hops in to drive off.

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The song marking this occasion I selected is “Sobbin’ Women” from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers since it revolves around kidnapping like the original. Though in the original, it has the oldest brother singing about Romans abducting the Sabine women as wives, which is giving his younger brothers ideas on how to score with their girls. By the way, guys, if you want to get the girl, kidnapping her away from her friends and family isn’t the answer. Seriously, just ask her out if you’re interested even if you live in the Old West. Because chances are you’re not a super hot brawny man with a great singing voice and dancing chops or a house in the Rockies. Just want to get that out of the way. Anyway, in this version, I have Count Olaf singing about abducting the Quagmires and getting away after the Baudelaires expose him.

 

“Sobbin’ Quagmires”

Count Olaf:
So you passed your examinations
While baby got staples made.
Your teachers showering you praises
While Nero’s expelled you in rage.
Well, I think these things are yours
I’ve found them right on the course
But none of you showed up for S.O.R.E.
The Quagmires came instead.
Oh yes!
The twins were both sobbin’, sobbin’, sobbin’
Fit to be tied.
Ev’ry muscle was throbbin’, throbbin’
As they’re being shanghaied.
Oh they cried and begged and begged and cried
As the lunch ladies got em’ tied.
So don’t forget that putting the wool on my eyes.
Sobbin’ fit to be tied
As they’re being shanghaied!
I’ve left the twins out in the kitchen
Seems a fit punishment
Whisked away for their infraction
So as not to cheat or abet.
And you’ve never seen so,
They tell me, such as heinous duplicity
While both begged me while on their knees
Not to get them sent.

Troupe:
Oh yes!
As the twins were both sobbin’, sobbin’, pissin’ their pants.

Count Olaf:
While we’ll soon be going out robbin,’ robbin’
Robbin’ their banks
These young Quagmires got a sizeable fortune in
Sapphires but don’t forget I’ll still be a thorn in your shanks

Hook-Handed Man:
Pissin’ all over their pants

Count Olaf:
A fortune
While we all rob their banks.

Klaus:
“Hey listen to this”
Since you had us spend nine nights running
You didn’t bet you’d be outrun
Your laces gotten hold by Sunny
Now your gym shoes now are undone.

Violet:
I got your turban’s now unwrapped
To show that you’re full of crap
Your exposed monobrow now unmasked
So your scheming here is all done

Troupe:
Oh No!
The twins are still sobinn,’ sobbin’
Sobbin’ buckets of tears
On account of our plottin’
Plottin’ pissing the Baudelaires
Oh, you may thwart my latest scheme

Duncan:
But there’s a thing about V.F.D.

Count Olaf:
But I’ll drive my car out while at ninety speed.

Troupe:
Oh, oh, oh, oh them poor little dears.

Troupe:
Oh yes
While the twins are sobbin’, sobbin’, sobbin’

Count Olaf:
Oh yeah

Troupe:
Weepin’ a ton

Count Olaf:
Them sobbin’ Quagmires

Troupe:
While their friends are joggin,’ joggin,’ joggin’

Count Olaf:
Oh yeah

Troupe:
Toward us on the run.

Count Olaf:
Them sobbin’ Quagmires.

I’ll just shove bookworm from my sight
And take their notebooks just for spite

Then we’ll make for our clean speedy leave

Troupe:
Oh yes!
Cause adults don’t call for the authorities!

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A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Up Around the Bend”

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Fortunately Duncan and Isadora have a plan to help the Baudelaires. They loan their notes to Violet and Klaus to study for their test the next morning. They also decide to disguise themselves as the Baudelaires and run in their place to give them time to study and have a goodnight’s sleep. Isadora would play Violet while Duncan would play Klaus. As for Sunny, well they’ll just have her pass as a bag of flour which they’d pull by a string. In the book, Duncan and Isadora borrow Violet’s ribbon and Klaus’s glasses while they don’t do anything to the flower bag but put a little face on it with teeth. In the TV show, they make a fake pair of glasses with metal rods, fashion a fake set of bangs, and use a bag of flour to make a Sunny doll on wheels. However, though the Baudelaires are grateful for their help, they’re filled with foreboding that something terrible would happen to them. The Quagmires on the other hand, find the idea exciting.

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A song I chose for this is Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Up Around the Bend.” Written by John Fogerty, the original version is about a gathering “up around the bend” on the highway and inviting the listener to join in, which seems like fun considering the upbeat mood. In this version, I have the Quagmires devise their plan to help the Baudelaires while Violet and Klaus have their concerns.

 

“Up Around the Bend” (ASOUE Version)

Isadora:
We will head to the track dressed as you two
Sunny will be a flour sack
While we run you can look at our notebooks
So you can pass your exams
Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re running up around the bend
Oh

Duncan:
Course, we might have to steal stuff
Metal rods, string, and a flour sack
Give us your ribbon and your glasses
And by dawn, we’ll sure be back
Come on the risin’ wind,
We’re running’ up around the bend
Oh

Violet:
You can ponder perpetual motion,
But I’m anxious about this plan
There’s a strong chance of tribulation,
Try fleeing the track if you can
Come on the risin’ wind,
You’re running up around the bend.
Yeah
Oh

Klaus:
Let us get put our plan into action
Steal some stuff from the school kitchen
Get out quick and hope there no factions
Be prepared before the sun goes down
Come on the risin’ wind,
You’re running up around the bend
Yeah

Quagmires and Baudelaires:
Do do do do
Do do do do
Do do do do
Do do do do yeah
Do do do do
Do do do do

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Nero’s Waltz”

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After nine nights of running, Carmelita Spats gives them two messages. The first is from Coach Genghis wants them to report to the track in the evening. The second is from Vice Principal Nero who wants to see him in his office. The idiotic school administrator is upset that they’re missing his concerts and now owe him 29 bags of candy as well as falling behind in school and work. He also wants them to give Carmelita Spats 10 pairs of earrings as a tip. But more importantly, Nero threatens the Baudelaires with expulsion if they don’t pass their exams assigned to them personally the next day. Or else, they’ll go into Coach Genghis’s care who intends to homeschool them. Though we know the gym teacher is Count Olaf who wants to kill them and make off with their money. Unable to pretend any longer, Violet basically says, “Genghis Olaf.” But Nero won’t hear any of it. Luckily the Quagmires have a plan to get the Baudelaires out of this impossible situation.

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The song I used for this moment is the “Thenardier Waltz” from Les Miserables. In the original version, the Thenardiers pretend they care for Cosette in order to get money from Jean Valjean. But in reality, they see her as nothing and make her do chores. Jean Valjean, however, sees through their schemes and takes the little girl off their hands. In this version, I have Nero tormenting the Baudelaires in his office.

 

“Nero’s Waltz”

Vice Principal Nero:
What to do? What to say?
Seems like your grades are slipping away.
And Sunny, can’t keep up
With all her secretarial stuff
Concerts missed 29 bags
Also a tip of ten pairs of earrings to Spats

Violet:
We’ve been up, running laps
We haven’t got around to taking naps

Klaus:
Run all night, every night
Not exactly been studying right
Blame Coach Genghis, Sir!

Violet:
Can you give us a night off, sir?
Keep an eye on Coach Genghis
We are tired.
Call Coach Genghis about what’s going on
Cause something is clearly wrong

Vice Principal Nero:
Fail your tests, the next day
I’ll have to expel you away
Coach Genghis, has agreed
Take you in and teach you three

Violet:
What the hell? What the fuck?
Don’t you put us in with Genghis Olaf!

Vice Principal Nero:
Are you mad? Must you shout
That Coach Genghis is Count Olaf
If he was, we would know
Since our computer system would show

Klaus:
That does not, prove a squat.
Your security system is mere crock.

Vice Principal Nero:
Why don’t you just get out
Before I’ll soon have to shout

Klaus:
Least we know Olaf’s plan
Now let’s try thwart what we can

Violet:
If we fail, he’ll take us
So he can kill us for our trust
How do we pass our tests?

Duncan:
We can run laps in your stead

Isadora:
Use our books, we can lend
While we run you can study then.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “One Track Before”

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Night after night, the Baudelaires go onto the track while the Quagmires sneak out of Nero’s recitals and watch their friends to see what Count Olaf is up to. While the first S.O.R.E. training session was all about running laps, the subsequent ones are about running laps and not sleeping the night before. And training doesn’t improve with repeat experience since they’re more tired and hurt a lot more. Their school and administrative work ate taking its toll and they’re falling behind. As Lemony Snicket said, “As I’m sure you know, a good night’s sleep helps you perform well in school, and so if you are a student you should always get a good night’s sleep unless you have come to the good part of your book, and then you should stay up all night and let your schoolwork fall by the wayside, a phrase which means ‘flunk.'” They’re also getting quite cranky since Klaus lashed out at Isadora and called her a “cakesniffer” like Carmelita Spats. Yet, the Baudelaires keep going even though they don’t know how they’re able to do so and for 9 nights. And they’re not closer to figuring out what Count Olaf is doing.

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The song I used for this grind would be “One Stage Before” by Al Stewart from his Year of the Cat album. The original version is an enigmatic song about reincarnation and show business, which is considered one of the finest tracks on it. In this version I have Violet and Klaus singing about how their subsequent S.O.R.E. training is taking a physical and mental toll on them.

 

“One Track Before”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
It seems to me as though I’ve run upon this track before
And sprinted away the night around the same old “O”
We run all night for training, after not sleeping much before
S.O.R.E. tasks don’t improve with every night we go
The Quagmires sneak out to watch us all run
But don’t know Olaf’s plan as well as I
We know he has us run all night but why now I just don’t know
Yet, all the sleepless days blur my tired eyes
For infinity

Klaus:
I can’t remember the last time when I had a good night’s rest
My schoolwork suffers since now I can’t stay awake
Don’t know what’s the point of S.O.R.E. while I’m failing tests
Or how long I could press on without any break
But for nine nights, I run while my body’s weary and aches
Don’t know why I am not even dead
And why do I still run in circles or how much more I can take
The route is still locked inside my head
For infinity

Violet:
Since Olaf made us run laps, I’ve wet myself each time
And now I’ve got menstrual cramps and bleeding stains

Klaus:
I’ve got stomach aches and already have puked twice
My patience thinned while my temper’s inflamed
There must be a way we can escape from all this constant hell
So we don’t have to run this track again
But until then we run while everything’s is not well
In a glowing circle that seems to never end
For infinity

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “He Made Us Run All Night”

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The Baudelaires return from their S.O.R.E. training exhausted since they ran laps until sunrise. They are sore with headaches like you’d expect after a long time running. They’re even getting toe aches in the Orphans Shack since they’re too tied to put their tap shoes on. And at lunch, Sunny falls asleep in a salad bowl. While her older siblings have started to slump in class. By contrast, the Quagmires managed to avoid being extremely tired by taking turns sleeping and keeping an eye on the Baudelaires in an effort to see what Count Olaf is up to. Or at least make sure he’s not doing anything dastardly. Well, anything dastardly that falls among kidnapping, murder, or outright theft. Because we all know that Count Olaf is a real sneaky bastard. And then Carmelita sends them a message to go out on the track again.

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The song I picked here is “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady. The original version has Eliza Doolittle expressing her exhilaration and excitement after an impromptu dance with Henry Higgins in the small hours of the morning. Meanwhile, his housekeeper Mrs. Pearce and servants urge her to go to bed. In this version, Violet and Klaus are expressing their exhaustion because Count Olaf made them run all night for S.O.R.E.

 

“He Made Us Run All Night”

Sung by Violet and Klaus Baudelaire

Violet:
Bed, bed we couldn’t go to bed
My head’s aching and I need to go lie down
Sleep, sleep, he didn’t let us sleep
Not as we were about to pass out

He made us run all night, he made us run all night
And still he begged for more
He made us run many laps but didn’t give us any naps
Now my legs are sore

I’ll never know why I never fainted
Why I didn’t start to spew my lunch
I know Coach Genghis had us run our laps
Which we had to run, run, run all night.

Duncan: It’s after eight now
Don’t you agree now?
We ought to be in class

Klaus:
He made us run all night, he made us run all night
And left me spent and sore
I was all on my feet but couldn’t take a seat
Now in class I snore

Those stupid laps were just plain exhausting
All of my joints began to ache
I only know I need to take a rest, indeed.
Since he had us run, run, run all night

Isadora: I understand, Klaus
It’s all been mad, Klaus
But now it’s time class

Violet and Klaus:
He had us run all night, he had us run all night
We can’t stay up for class
We need to take a nap for we ran a thousand laps
For that dumb ass S.O.R.E.

We can’t believe laps could be such torture
We had no time to even take a shower
Now our own clothes are sweaty as well soaked
Cause he made us run, run, run all night

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “S.O.R.E.”

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So the Baudelaires meet the Quagmires for dinner where the former will go meet Coach Genghis at the school grounds and the latter will sneak out of Nero’s recital and watch what’s Count Olaf is up to. That evening, when the Baudelaires show up, Count Olaf gives them luminous paint and tells them to paint a circular track. Once they’re finished, he makes them run laps all through the night. So they run around the track over and over again to the point they lose count and don’t leave until morning. Obviously, they’re exhausted but can’t sleep since they have to get to class and Nero’s office.

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My choice of song here is “Y.M.C.A.” by the Village People, which is often played at sporting events with crowds using the arms to spell out the letters. And it remains popular as a disco classic with letters appearing as Space Shuttle Wakeup call on mission STS-106. In the original version, the face value meaning extols the virtue of the Young Men’s Christian Association. But given that the gay culture from where the Village People sprang, the song is implicitly understood as celebrating the YMCA’s reputation as a cruising and hookup spot, particularly for the younger men to whom it’s addressed. Still, Victor Willis said he never wrote this song as a gay anthem but more of a reflection of black youth fun at the YMCA such as basketball and swimming. Then again, he’s often expressed fondness for the double entendre. In this version, I have Count Olaf telling the Baudelaires what to do and reveling in their misery he’s putting them through.

 

“S.O.R.E.”

Sung by Count Olaf (as Coach Genghis)

Orphans, go and pick up some slack
I said, orphans, use this to go paint a track
I sai-d, orphans, make sure it’s large and round
There’s no need to be so lazy

Orphans, now go out run your laps
I said, orphans, now your legs better be fast
You got to run there, and will do what I say
And you’ll stay here till I say so

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

You will run constant laps, you won’t gripe about cramps
And don’t you dare ask about naps

Orphans, are you listening to me?
I said, orphans, won’t you pick up the speed?
I said, orphans, you keep moving your feet
Now you got to know this one thing

Orphans, go and pick up the pace
I said, orphans, don’t you be an utter disgrace
And just run laps as for S.O.R.E.
Don’t you complain you’re queasy

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

You will run constant laps, you won’t gripe about cramps
And don’t you dare ask about naps

Orphans, won’t you pick up your shoes?
I said, get up, don’t be down with the blues
And don’t pass out if you feel faint
Cause you got to get a move on

Faster, I’ll make you do this all night
I won’t dismiss you until the dawn’s early light
Cause there’s no choice being in S.O.R.E
Since you won’t have it so easy

It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.
It’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Keep your feet moving fast at all of the time
And you will run laps for all night
S.O.R.E. you’ll be running in for S.O.R.E

Orphans, orphans, there’s no need to be down
Orphans, orphans, pick yourself off the ground
S.O.R.E., it’s fun to run in for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, are you listening to me?
Orphans, orphans, won’t you pick up the speed?
S.O.R.E., just run for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, go and pick up the pace
Orphans, orphans, don’t you be an utter disgrace
S.O.R.E. and just run in for S.O.R.E.

Orphans, orphans, won’t you pick up your shoes?
Orphans, orphans, get up, don’t be down with the blues, S.O.R.E.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Musical – “Vice Principal Nero”

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The next morning, the Baudelaires visit Vice Principal Nero’s office. There, the kids notify him about their suspicions that Count Olaf has entered the school. However, as expected Nero dismisses each suggestion and takes their cutlery privileges away from them (since they entered his office without an appointment). And then Coach Genghis shows up to suggest that he may be Count Olaf. The kids insist he take off his running shoes, socks, and turban to prove it. But the guised Count Olaf refuses, complaining that his feet smell and the turban is consistent with his religious practice. The Baudelaires are dismissed and sent to the cafeteria to eat scrambled eggs with their hands. At least the Quagmires are willing to share their silverware. Still, later that day Carmelita gives the Baudelaires a message that they’re to meet with Coach Genghis that evening. That can’t be good.

Vice Principal Nero with Baudelaires

The song I selected in this part is “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story. In the original, the Jets members make fun of a police officer by saying how they’re victims of the system instead of assholes and juvenile delinquents. It’s a humorous number where the guys play a bunch of authority figures and mock how these people perceive them. It’s a fun moment before the next night where there’s a gang fight and everything starts going to shit. In this version, I have the Baudelaires call out their suspicions to Vice Principal Nero.

 

“Vice Principal Nero”

Klaus:
Dear kindly Mr. Nero
Ya gotta understand
Not trying to cite fearo
That’s getting outta hand
We think that Count Olaf
Has entered on school land
Golly, Moses, please don’t piss us off

Violet:
Vice Principal Nero, we’re very upset;
We think your computer system has
Greatly failed you yet
If you don’t believe us
Perhaps inspect
Or give a thorough background check!

Klaus:
Background check!

Violet and Klaus:
Background check, background check
Do a background check
Give out a thorough background check

Vice Principal Nero:
You kids are just overreacting
Came here without an appointment?
No cutlery for you today!

Klaus:
Dear kindly, Mr. Nero
Olaf’s a master of disguise
He might be under our noses
And we wouldn’t be wise
He could be anybody
He could possibly be me
Leapin’ lizards—please God can’t you see?

Violet:
Right!
Vice Principal Nero, I got to be frank
We think that some Olaf’s disguised
As a notorious crank!
He may even see you as a musical god
But we three see him as a great fraud

Klaus:
He’s a fraud!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s a fraud, he’s a fraud
He’s a great big fraud
Like he’s a great enormous fraud

Vice Principal Nero:
That’s hilarious!
The only thing under my nose
Is my own mouth, kids
Which is now telling you to get the hell out
Else, should I check the boys’ basketball team?

Count Olaf (as Coach Genghis):
Hell, maybe I can be Count Olaf

Violet:
You?

Klaus:
Who you?

Violet:
Then if you are Count Olaf
Please remove your disguise
Take your shoes and socks off
To reveal your tattooed eye
And please unwrap your turban
To show your monobrow
Come on, Genghis, go ahead strip down!

Count Olaf:
No!
Vice Principal Nero, I shouldn’t be here
For I cannot fulfill the requests of the
Three Baudelaires
I’ve got a foot fungus that makes them stink
And I wear this turban cause I’m Sikh!

Klaus:
He’s a Sikh!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s a Sikh, he’s a Sikh
He’s a Sikh, Sikh, Sikh
Like he’s genuinely a Sikh!

Vice Principal Nero:
Well, these kids are natural comedians
Have you thought of stand-up?
Cause that’s a funny song and
Dance routine

Count Olaf:
Hey, don’t touch my turban!

Violet:
Oh, my bad. We’re really sorry!

Coach Genghis:
Dear kindly, Mr. Nero
Please accept these rose
I enjoyed last night’s sonata
That made me tap my toes
You sound like a great genius
Love how you compose
Jesus, Mary, how could they not know?

Klaus:
Eek!
Vice Principal Nero, just listen to me
Coach Genghis many not be the man
He claims to be
It ain’t just a question of misunderstood;
Deep down inside him, he’s no good!

Violet:
He’s no good!

Violet and Klaus:
He’s no good, he’s no good
He’s no earthly good
Like he’s definitely no damn good!

Vice Principal Nero:
The trouble is you’re crazy
Do you honestly believe?
That our new gym teacher
Is not the man he seems
You suspect he’s quite shady
But you don’t have any proof!

Jesus, I got troubles can’t you see?
Baudelaire children,
Why don’t you just leave
Cause I don’t want to deal with
Your mental disease

Violet and Klaus:
Vice Principal Nero,
What are we to do?
Vice Principal Nero —
Fuck you!