June 20, 2009

The Rodeo Clown and the Sausage Maker: A Play in 3 Acts and 2 Intermissions

In Act 1, after the curtain rises, the rodeo clown enters stage left and crawls into the barrel situated center stage. Otherwise, the stage is empty. Flute music of the haunting Celtic variety begins to play. A trained bull is released and enters stage right. The bull proceeds to butt the barrel about the stage. It ceases when suddenly cymbals crash. Turning to the audience, the bull bows while lowing, and then exits stage left walking on its hind legs and saluting to the balcony with its right hoof. The rodeo clown warily emerges from the barrel, stands, takes his bowler hat with flower from his head, aims his painted red grin at the audience, and begins to tap dance, causing his pants on saggy suspenders to bob up and down. The orchestra strikes up a random tune from ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’, drowning out the persistently annoying flute. Streamers are released from above. The curtain falls.

Between acts, an archery contest is held, and the winner is awarded a year’s subscription (the year being 1953) to The Ladies Home Journal.

In Act 2, the rising curtain reveals the stage strewn and draped and hung with sausages of all sizes and sorts. The sausage maker, with bloody hands and wearing a white, albeit blood-smeared, apron, enters stage left wielding a cutlass. He slashes at the sausages in a whirling frenzy while a tuba plays oom-pah music. After some five minutes have passed, the sausage maker feigns a heart attack and collapses. Stage right, the rodeo clown enters tap dancing while at the same time the bull enters stage left tap dancing. The music from the orchestra pit is now two fiddles and a glockenspiel playing ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.  An American flag is lowered and the curtain falls.

Between acts, each member of the audience is handed a tulip, and then punched in the face.

Act 3 is played behind the curtain, which never rises. Various sound effects are heard – a weeping lawyer, doorknobs dropped into a vat of nougat, a phalanx of heldentenors roaring ‘Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling’, etc. Finally, silence reigns for a moment. Following on the round heels of silence are ‘Night on Bald Mountain’, Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’, the road company of ‘Annie’ singing ‘Where is Love?’ from ‘Oliver’, and the trained bull bringing the proceedings to a close with a short reading from the ‘Nighttown’ section of James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’.

The audience is sprayed from the theater with fire hoses.

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