Suggested by "Ubu Roi"
by Alfred Jarry
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Welcome to the mythical country of Weltschmerz (pronounced
It’s the Middle Ages, but occasionally the future seems to have gotten here
sooner than expected.
It’s a storybook land – that remains quite cartoon-like,
no matter how gross the behavior of its inhabitants becomes.
Weltschmerz, we’ll discover, is a fascinating world of greed,
corruption, hypocrisy, and sleazy, cut-throat politics.
Nothing like our present day…
KING WENCESLAS rules over Weltshmerz with a feudal
that everything in the world is right.
After all, he’s at the top of the pyramid of power.
We discover him in his palace, celebrating in song with his adoring subjects.
They do a pristine courtly dance as they sing.
HERB PINOCHLE is the King’s
HERB is a fat, crude little man, and seems satisfied with his position in life.
When You Add It All Up
But HERB’S pretentious, dominating wife, EUGENIE, itches
She convinces him to stage a coup and become king himself,
with her at his side as queen.
You Can Do It
HERB finds the courtiers, who are
praising their benign sovereign in the words
their benign sovereign loves best.
Good King Wenceslas
HERB quickly kills the king and comes
home to EUGENIE with the good news.
EUGENIE is more than ecstatic. At last! She is no longer a slave!
It’s a coup! HERB, is now King, and
consults with his new MINISTERS.
King HERB cavorts in the throne room with all his new gold and jewels!
Things Are Lookin' Better
Meanwhile, EUGENIE has time for
reflection, and uses it to reflect on her husband,
looking for his good qualities. It’s a difficult task...
The young, naïve PRINCE BOUGRELAS is,
ultimately, the only member of the royal family left.
He flees to a cave, where he hides out.
But GHOSTS of his relatives visit him, urging him to defeat the Pinochles
and regain the throne.
Fired up with family honor and idealism, BOUGRELAS prepares himself for battle.
Think Of The Crest / I Dream Of Right
HERB and EUGENIE impoverish the
populace, keeping all the gold and jewels for themselves.
The angry serfs march against HERB and EUGENIE.
Frightened, EUGENIE tells HERB that this is the perfect time for a peacekeeping tour –
one that will take them out of the country,
highlighted by a visit to Las Vegas.
She reflects on the world’s problems and how easy they would be to fix
with just the right attitude..
CAPTAIN BEKLEK, a supreme politician
at court, tells HERB that the way to deal with the serfs
is to give them a little mooney to keep them happy, and, with HERB’S approval,
BEKLEK will do it while HERB and EUGENIE are away.
HERB approves the plan.
Alone, BEKLEK declares his true motives.
He’d like to take over the kingdom himself.
Before leaving for their trip,
EUGENIE, who wants HERB to be refined and above the crowd,
criticizes him once too often, and he threatens to lock her up in the tower
instead of taking her with him.
He feigns rejecting her, under the pretense that perhaps
he’s just not good enough for her.
You Don't Want Me
EUGENIE, seeing that this could be
the end for her,
promises from now on to respect and obey her husband.
He relents and they go on the peacekeeping tour together.
When they return to Weltschmerz having negotiated a peace agreement with Las Vegas,
the kingdom is in chaos.
EUGENIE enthusiastically greets her subjects at the airport,
but she fails to notice that some of them are hostile, to say the least.
As she sings a self-glorifying musical comedy song, they are shooting poison darts at her.
The darts miss, however, sometimes hitting others, who drop dead.
EUGENIE thinks they are merely fainting with joy over her presence.
Oh, Hi, Eugenie!
EUGENIE discovers that the serfs now
love her and HERB, but the merchants hate them.
They see her and HERB as liberals for giving mooney to the serfs.
It’s time for HERB and EUGENIE to get out of Weltschmerz.
They each plan their own getaway, with as much gold and jewels as they can take with them.
PRINCE BOUGRELAS marches into the palace and reclaims the throne.
He finds out that CAPTAIN BEKLEK is planning to use him as a pawn,
and has him arrested.
Looking to involve his subjects in government,
BOUGRELAS invents “democracy,” and quickly finds out that his subjects all have ideas of their own.
HERB and EUGENIE flee, ending up in a rowboat.
They set off to find their ideal country –
a place where they can rule in absolute freedom to do whatever they like,
where people will bow to them of their own free will.
The curtain falls as they row off into the sunset.
The River Xanadu
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