Sunday, January 13, 2008

Oh, Brünnhilde, you're so wovely...

" Another opening - another show... "

This time it's a hangover and not a cold that has prompted the "Stuffed Animal Bed-Side Ensemble" to present a new piece- it was either Wagner's "The Valkyrie", or The Who's "Tommy" - so the Monkey, being a star of commercials. stage and screen, cast the deciding vote.
Wagner's inimitable and, some would argue, interminable second installment of his operatic trilogy can, like anything else, be watered down to the scant essentials. In this modernized and abridged reworking of "The Valkyrie", we can discern his brilliance and message in much less time than it takes to watch the opera, and then get on with our lives.
Tragic opera is just Shakespeare on ice, anyway. So rev up your voice with the la-la's and mi-mi's and sing along to one of the most pivotal and lengthy tragedies in operatic history...

Siegmund is played by "The Monkey", Sieglinde is played by "The Polie", Hunding is played fetchingly by "The Lamb", Wotan is played by the Sweater girl Polie, Brünnhilde is played by yours truly- (a role my breasts were born to play.) Fricka is played by my imaginary robot friend Alexander Abraham Von Clangburg, Gerhilde is played by the Louis 16th side chair and Roßweiße, Ortlinde, Helmwige, Schwertleite and Waltraute are played by various decorative toss pillows, a Hello Kitty key-chain and a few pairs of dirty panties.


[Spooky backyard. Ominous ash tree centre. Sieglinde is flitting about miserably. Siegmund stumbles in and collapses on some steps.]
Siegmund: OH. DEAR- I feel like I'm peeing like a girl, sitting down, with my dick in the toilet! [passes out]
Sieglinde: [approaching him] Who is this bum? He's kinda cute. I think I'll wake him up. Hey! Hey, you! [pokes him] What's your story?
Siegmund: [groggy] Wa-wa!
Sieglinde: [fetching water] Here ya go.
Siegmund:[revived] Wow! That really hits the spot.
Sieglinde: Oh, you liked that mistah? Here try some of this mead then.
Siegmund: What the hell is 'mead'?
Sieglinde: Well, it's this kind of honey liqueur that no one really makes any more. I found some at Trader Joe's and bought it on a whim. I also bought a case of "Two Buck Chuck" to bring to New Orleans...
Siegmund: Hmm. I'll try a slug. [sips from goblet] Mmm! It is enchanting. And so are you! Who are you, by the way?
Sieglinde: [bats lashes to the beat] I'm Hunding's scag. But I'm not all that excited about it. Who are you?
Siegmund: Um, I'm ... I'm ... I'm ... leaving. Misery follows me like a filthy puppy. I couldn't possibly stay and bring any unhappiness upon you.
Sieglinde: Oh, don't worry about it. I'm already quite miserable. A little more might be diverting.
Siegmund: Yah, but I'm really, really miserable.
Sieglinde: No, believe me, I'm the sad one.
Siegmund: I'm not sure you know what sad is.
Sieglinde: Don't patronize me.
Siegmund: Don't flatter yourself.
Sieglinde: Oh no! You're making me more miserable!
Siegmund: See? What'd I tell you?
Sieglinde: Sheesh. Okay. We're both miserable. Don't let's fight, eh? It makes me unhappy.
Siegmund: I thought you were used to it.
Sieglinde: [eye roll in Bb minor]
Siegmund: [gets up to leave at C# dim]

Sieglinde: Wait! Custom dictates that a guest can stay here overnight and my husband can't kill you for taking advantage of me! I have peach salsa and chips!
Siegmund: Oh. Cool!
Sieglinde ...besides. You can't just leave the stage yet. You have to be here for at least 20 minutes before you can go. This is a long show, buddy. Even the supernumeraries can't just walk on and walk off.
Siegmund: You're right. I'm sorry.
Sieglinde: You may sleep on the steps, hot-shot.
Hunding: [angry, enters with 2 supernumerary guards who can't leave for 20 minutes]
Wife! Have you been banging the transients again?
Sieglinde: [flustered] No! No! I swear by this mead he never touched me.
Hunding : [skeptically] Mmm-hmm. Who are you then, little traveler boy?
[Sieglinde leans closer into the conversation to catch his identity]
Siegmund: Well, I'm certainly not Peter the Pleasant or Carl the Contented or even Harvey the Happy-Go-Lucky.
Hunding: Don't answer a question in the negative. It's bad writing style!
Siegmund: Right, then. Some call me Rupert the Wretched. Others call me Wally the Woeful. But you can call me Suzy Chapstick.
Hunding: Alright, Suzy. Sit yourself down. Custom dictates that I must offer all wanderers mead and a place to stay for the night.

[Aside:] (Damn these bothersome customs.) Tell me your story.
Siegmund: [throughout solo, he runs from endtoend of stage, jumping on the props] I was a miserable child. My mother and twin sister died before I could pee straight. For some reason, my father took me on miserable journey after miserable journey all over the country where we killed people who got in our way. This made us outcasts. Weird, huh? This is how I grew up. Did I mention it was miserable? Then, he ran off I-don't-know-where. Recently, I've been working on my certificate to be a VCR repairman and saving unwed damsels from their oafish fiance's. Just last night, as a matter of fact, I stormed into a wedding scene and killed this damsel's entire family. Don't look at me that way. Seventeen deaths is not too high a price to pay for a woman I hardly know. Anyway, now I'm totally fucked because the surviving family members are out to get me. I just don't get it! I was doing them a favour. See? Even when I try to be nice, I end up miserable.

Hunding: Wife! Go fix me fresh mead! [she leaves] Ah! It is you! I have just returned from a committee meeting on how to find you and kill you. You see, I am the dead groom's second cousin thrice removed. I'd skewer you now, but, alas, custom once again dictates that I have to let you stay here tonight, regardless of my personal opinion. Customs are very impersonal, you know. [sigh] Whatever. I'll kill you in the morning.
Siegmund: But I am unarmed! Doesn't custom also dictate that you must needs give me a weapon?
Hunding: I don't know. It might. I must have skipped that day of etiquette class. Anyway, it will just make my job easier, you unarmed. Phht! See you in the morning, Suzy Chapstick. [exeunt]
Siegmund: [alone and wailing and jumping around on more props] Oh, this is so typical! I'm woeful again! My predicaments are becoming as ridiculous as an old Batman episode. And just as predictable. My father Wälse promised me I'd have a sword in my hour of greatest need and I don't see one anywhere! I wonder if this counts as such an hour. Hmm, what's that golden glint in yonder ash tree? Oh, it must be nothing. I'm just so miserable miserable miserable I'm hallucinating. Life sucks. Woe is me. I never get the breaks...[ad lib]
Sieglinde: [entering] Hi! I spiked Hunding's mead with PCP. He won't know which was is up for the rest of the night. How are you?
Siegmund : Miserable!
Sieglinde: Let's not start that again.
Siegmund : Hunding and I are going to fight it out in the morning and I don't even have a sword! Can you help me?
Sieglinde: I don't think we have any extra swords lying around. I haven't seen any, at any rate. Oh, wait! There is that one. That one the one-eyed mystery guest jammed into our tree at our wedding party, prophesying mysteriously, as was his wont, that only a Super-Stud could pull it out. No one has yet succeeded. Hey! Are you a Super-Stud?
Siegmund: Why don't you give me a try and find out for yourself. [They embrace and roll around on the AstroTurf. The walls of the dismal chateau break open and moonlight streams in. Major key.]
Sieglinde: Phew! You are Super-Studly. Where did you learn to do that?
Siegmund: Soaps.
Sieglinde: Oh ... I hope you kill my husband tomorrow. I'd much rather serve you mead than him.
Siegmund: And I would rather drink your mead than rot in a grave.
Sieglinde: That's soooo romantic. I'll have another entendre ... and make it a double!
Siegmund: I was a flightless fowl until I met you. You gave me feathers. Watch me soar! [he jumps around on more props]
Sieglinde: You make me feel like a natural woman!
Siegmund: You have made me weak in the knees.
Sieglinde: HAH HA! Hester Prynne was right!
Siegmund: The only thing I love more than you is being with you.
Sieglinde: Oh! That makes no sense but it sends my heart a-flutter. I loved you from the first moment I saw you! -- Exhausted and cranky.
Siegmund: Then it must be true love!
Sieglinde: It think that's a fair assumption!
Siegmund: Oh, my honoured father. Oh, Wälse! Thank you for the sword that opened this woman's eyes to my Super-Studliness.
Sieglinde: What a ... painfully ambiguous remark. Oh, did you say Wälse?
Siegmund: No, I sang it.
Sieglinde: Er, what did you say your name was again?
Siegmund: I used to be called Danny the Destitute, or Marvin the Manic. Some called me Paulie, the Prince of Preoccupation. My friends just call me 'Gloomy.' What would you call me?
Sieglinde: [elated]... and your father is Wälse -- I would call you SIEGMUND! My estranged twin! And I love you.
Siegmund: And I shall call you Sieglinde. My incestuous sister! And I'm all the more excited by it! [he grabs the hilt of the sword and pulls it out of the tree effortlessly.] And I shall call this sword Nothing! for I have a feeling that is exactly what it will accomplish!
Sieglinde: Oh!
Siegmund: Oh! [they fall to the earth and copulate fervently.]


ACT II [Scène I: Valhalla, home of dead Super-Studs. Like Mt. Olympus, but more ruddy. Wotan sits on his throne. Brünnhilde in ram's horn cap is waddling about, jabbing at things ast random with her spear.]
Wotan: Ah, perfect. My kids have met and fallen in love.
Brünnhilde: I thought I was your child!
Wotan: Well, you are, in the sense that, since I'm god, everyone's my child. But I was talking specifically about that little stunt I pulled when I turned into 'Wälse,' common earth-walker and begat those randy twins.
Brünnhild : Oh.
Wotan: You're my child too, Brünnhilde. You're my absolute most favoritest valkyrie. I mean it, kiddo.
Brünnhilde: Aww.
Wotan: In fact, I'm sending you on a very important mission. I want you to go make sure that in tomorrow's exciting duel, Siegmund kills that Hunding. And kills him good! I've given him Nothing! to help him.
Brünnhilde: 10-4. Copy. Yikes! I hear your harpy wife approaching. You won't think me wimpy if I duck out of this potentially unpleasant situation will you?
Wotan: You've only been on the stage for 15 minutes!
Brünnhilde: I will be back in a sec. Love ya -- mean it. Ta.

[exeunt Brünnhilde. Wotan's wife Fricka enters, scowling and crabby.]
Fricka: I've got a bone to pick with you.
Wotan: [sighs despondently -- glissando] Here she goes....What's new.
Fricka: Could you please explain to me what the hell you mean by ordaining that Siegmund not only commits incest and adultery but then pulls off the murder of the wronged husband as well?
Wotan: Lighten up! Look at them. They're so in love. It's the right thing to do.
Fricka: Carly Simon lyrics won't help you out of this, you sappy romantic. Brother ... sister ... ewww! Gross me out! Groady to the spoon! I am not the goddess of kinky couplings. I am the goddess of marriage, home, housecleaning and escrow and I do not approve of such shenanigans.
Wotan: Honey, please ...
Fricka: Save your 'Honey' for the mead, Wotan! This is not the way things are supposed to work.
Wotan: Did you ever stop to think that things can work different ways?
Fricka: You're breaking your own damn rules and making me look like an idiot.
Wotan: [acquiescing] Yes dear.
Fricka: And another thing!
Wotan: Here we go.
Fricka: I want Hunding to kill Siegmund. My ego demands it.
Wotan: [hen-pecked] Yes dear.
Fricka: Get to it! I'm going to the gym. I want Siegmund dead when I get back or there'll be hell to pay.
Wotan : [automatically] Yes dear.
[exeunt Fricka] [enter Brünnhilde]
Wotan: Oh, my favoured one. I am so miserable.
Brünnhilde: [Aside:] Like father like son.
Wotan: There's been a change in plans, sadly.
Brünnhilde: What is thy bidding, master?
Wotan: Do what I said before, but reverse it. Hunding must now kill Siegmund. You go down and take away Siegmund's Nothing!
Brünnhilde: Oh no! I cannot! You don't really want me to. It is against your heart! And you know what a sappy romantic you are!
Wotan: [irate] Don't tell me what I want! You sound like my wife! Do as I say or I'm cutting you out of the will! Defy me and I will roast your demigod eyeballs on the end of my spear in the Sacrèd Barbecue of Valhalla and spread them on grilled rye with sauerkraut and a daub of spicy Dijon and ... do you hear me, naughty brazen one?
Brünnhilde: Yes, Papa.
Wotan: Oh, woe to the gods. I foresee huge changes in the next fiscal year.
Brünnhilde: What kind of changes? What do you see, Father? You frighten me!
Wotan: I predict ... Götterdämmerung!
Brünnhilde: Eeeeek!
[exeunt Brünnhilde]
Scène II: A dismal forest. Siegmund and Sieglinde run in and around the trees, panting.]
Siegmund: Why are you running from me, Sieglinde? And why around that one tree, over and over?
Sieglinde: It gives the illusion of traveling far and wide, Siegmund. Like when the Lone Ranger passes the same bush-cluster seventeen times in his frantic ride to save the day!
Siegmund: Slow down! Stop running. You tire me. What have I done, love?
Sieglinde: Oh! I'm such a butt-slut. I can't believe what I just did with you. I love you too much to disgrace you further. Keep away from me!
Siegmund: You're being miserable and it's making me miserable. Just like old times. Sieglinde. I love you. Don't run away from me. Are you having your period?
Sieglinde: Don't touch me! Stop that! It's dirty! Put your tongue back in your mouth where it belongs! I missed my period! I can't deal with this!

[She faints. Siegmund arranges her comfortably next to a log and watches over her sleeping form. Brünnhilde appears in the mist and watches the lovers in silence for about 40 minutes. She then calls to Siegmund:]
Brünnhilde: Siegmund! Siegmund! Come with me.
Siegmund: Who are you! Why are you wearing that funny hat?
Brünnhilde: I am Brünnhilde, the definitive valkyrie [z-snap in cut time]. I come to take Super-Studs to Valhalla where they make lovely decorative statuettes. Fricka, the Goddess of Love-Or-Whatever has a fancy for them.
Siegmund: It sounds blissful. Can I bring my girlfriend?
Brünnhilde: Sorry. Only Super-Studs allowed in Valhalla. It's sort of like a farm that way.
Siegmund: Then I'm not going with you. If you try to take me, I'll kill Sieglinde and then myself so's we can be together.
Brünnhilde: [obviously moved] That's soooo romantic!
Siegmund: [stalwart] That's what Sieglinde would say! But it happens to be true!
Brünnhilde: You guys do make a great couple. And your similar chromosomes will make for an interesting sequel. Okay. You talked me into it. I'm a sucker for happy endings. [foreshadowing lightening flash] I was sent here to take Nothing! away from you and yourself back to Valhalla, but your plight has swayed me. Tomorrow, you shall slay the foe, slay the foe, slay the foe. Doo-wop, doo-wop, doo-wop.
Siegmund: Thanks, sistah!
Brünnhilde: Don't mention it. Now get yourself geared up. I hear Hunding and his accessories approaching.
Siegmund: I 'm soooo psyched.

[Hunding and heavily armed extras enter]
Hunding: I will kill you!
Siegmund: I will kill you!
Brünnhilde: And ... ACTION!
Hunding: No, you will not kill me for you shall be dead!
Siegmund: You are mistaken! It is you who will be dead, thus nullifying your vow to kill me because dead men can't do that.
Brünnhilde: Go team!
Hunding: Shut up and die!
Siegmund: Après vous!
Brünnhilde: Fight! Fight! Woo!
Siegmund: Brace yourself, for you are soon to know death biblically.
Hunding: Cha-right!
Brünnhilde: Rah, rah. whatever margaret...
Sieglinde: [has awakened and watches the mêlée] Oh! I am so nervous! I broke a nail! and my uterus is tilted!
Siegmund: I will avenge your nail, at least.. my sweet. [enter Wotan with spear]
Wotan: Ha! You will do no such thing, Siegmund.

[Wotan points spear at Nothing! and it shatters. Sieglinde screams and faints again.
Brünnhilde gasps operatically. Hunding stabs Siegmund with his sword. Wotan, disgusted with the whole scenario points spear at Hunding who perishes also.]
Wotan: [totally irate] Brünnhilde! You cur!
Brünnhilde: Did Liszt give you the idea for that 'Killing Hunding' afterthought?
Wotan: Huh?
Brünnhilde: Overkill. [nervously, innocently] Heh, heh.
Wotan: Brünnhilde!
Brünnhilde: Oh-dang.
Wotan: You dissed me!
Brünnhilde: Hey! Look over there! Isn't that George Sand? [Wotan swirls to look. Brünnhilde gathers the inert Sieglinde and the pieces of Nothing! and waddles off. Wotan turns back to find them gone. He is steaming.]
Wotan: Double-duped! Argh! [CURTAIN]
[Remote rocky crag. The valkyries Gerhilde, Ortlinde, Helmwige, Schwertleite, Waltraute, und Siegrune gather, tending to the bloody accountrements of dead Super-Studs. Conversation sung to the catchy 'Flight of the Valkyries' tune.]
Gerhilde: Hey!
Ortlinde: Hey!
Helmwige: Hey! Hey!
Schwertleite: [harmonizing]hey
Waltraute: Hey! Yoo hoo!
Siegrune: Yo! Over here! Hey!
Gerhilde & Schwertleite: Hey! Hey! Hey!
Ortlinde, Siegrune & Gerhilde: Hey! Look! Over here! Hey!
Ortlinde, Siegrune, Gerhilde, Helmwige & Waltraute: Hey! You! Come gather at the rocky crag, Sisters of the Keepers of the Deceased Super-Studs!
Helmwige: Hey!
Waltraute: Hey! Here comes Roßweiße! [enter Roßweiße]
Roßweiße: Hey! Whattup!
Gerhilde, Ortlinde, Helmwige, Schwertleite, Waltraute & Siegrune: Um... Hey!
Roßweiße: Hey!
Ortlinde & Waltraute: Hey! How you been!
Roßweiße: Not too shabby! Yourselves?
Siegrune: Hey! Look!
Gerhilde: Hey! It's Grimgerde who approacheth!
Roßweiße, Siegrune, Waltraute, Schwertleite,Helmwige, Ortlinde & Gerhilde: Hey! Hey! Hey![enter Grimgerde]
Grimgerde: Hey! Sistas! How you be!
Schwertleite: Hey! You know. Same ole', same ole'.
Ortlinde & Roßweiße: Heyheyheyheyhey!
Helmwige: Hey! Where's Brünnhilde!
Ortlinde: Dunno. Hey! Is that her, there?
Gerhilde: Hey! I think it is! Who's she got with her?
Siegrune: Hey! That's no Super-Stud! She's got a...a...a...
Grimgerde: ...a woman with her! Oh! Hey! That's wacky! [enter Brünnhilde with Sieglinde slung over her shoulder]
Brünnhilde: Hey! Help me! Ensconce this wretchèd woman! Wotan's going to kill her ... or me ... or both if he can manage it.
Helmwige: Hey! Touchy situation there, Brünn-baby.
Ortlinde: Hey! No joke!
Waltraute: Hey! What did you do?
Brünnhilde: I have disobeyed our Father, Wotan. Siegmund was to be slaughtered by Hunding, and I attempted to reverse it.
Gerhilde: Hey! You're messing with fire!
Brünnhilde: Tell me about it. Though I don't know why he's so upset. Hunding, as it turns out, did slaughter Siegmund, as he wished. I suppose if I were married to Fricka though, I would be overly-edgy too sometimes.
Schwertleite: Hey! I heard that!
Brünnhilde: You must hide me and protect me, my sisters. Wotan's fury knows no bounds!
Waltraute & Helmwige: You don't make it sound too appealing to side with you. We fear we must abandon you, though it breaks our hearts to do so.
Brünnhilde: You must help me! You must help this woman, Sieglinde! She has been knocked up by her brother Siegmund. When the child is born, he will be named Siegfried and our contracts will be extended through the next opera season. He will be the Mightiest-Extra-Super-Stud ever, and his eyes will be too close together!
Roßweiße: Hey! Heavy dude....
Brünnhilde: [to Sieglinde] Sieglinde, take these useless pieces of sword and run away. Try not to be eaten by a bear. You must have a safe delivery. Run! Run now!
[Sieglinde grabs the sword shards and runs off, sobbing in E.] [Wotan enters and peers about angrily. The valkyries have clustered around Brünnhilde and whistle nonchalantly and stare at the sky as if nothing were amiss.]
Wotan: [irate, per usual] Where is Brünnhilde, that Mata-Hari-in-a-Triple-'D'-cup! She will feel my wrath when I impale her pancreas on my spear and fold it into origami animals to set as decorative serviettes on my dinner table!
Ortlinde & Grimgerde: Hélas, our knowledge of the whereabouts of Brünnhilde is not as precise as your imagery, Father.
Wotan: You're not hiding her from me are you? For if you are, I shall purée your toes, all of you, and use the grounds to brew my coffee!
Schwertleite, Waltraute & Gerhilde: [acting surprised] Oh! wow.... Here she is! She must have sneaked in between us all.
Wotan: You do not fool me! She is far too corpulent to 'sneak' anywhere. Demmed insubordinates. I will roast your lips! I will pierce your navels. I will make a frothy pâté from your gluts. I will dock your pay!
Brünnhilde :Do not be angry with them Father. It is I who must absorb your rage. I alone.
Wotan:Scatter! vile backstabbers![exeunt the valkyries, like roaches from the light, except for Brünnhilde]
Brünnhilde: Punish me, Father. I am ready for it. Weld my face to my knee. Turn my marrow to lava. Feed me lo-cal Häagen-Dazs.
Wotan: You, my favoured one! You have crushed my trust and upset me a lot! Your fate shall be worse than any archaïc torturing device yet devised.
Brünnhilde: What would you with me then, Father?
Wotan: I demote you to ... to ... to ... A MORTAL!
Brünnhilde: Nooooo! No, anything but that!
Wotan: I shall extract all your valkyrie powers and put you in a coma. You will be made available to the first Joe that comes along. And you will serve him as a ... a ... a WIFE!
Brünnhilde: [falling to ground, screaming inagony, tearing her hair out at the roots- drama queen...] Father! You are too cruel to the one who loves you most! How can I blandish you to lessen my horrible fate?
Wotan: [moved, and with a mite of tenderness] This will hurt me more than it will hurt you.
Brünnhilde: Please, Father. If I must be a lowly, boring mortal, at least give me a mortal husband who can show me a good time. Someone ... Super-Studly!
Wotan: Would that I could, dearest Daughter. But you have been very naughty. It is the fate up with which you must put.
Brünnhilde: I fall at your feet and beg your mercy! Encircle me in a ring of fire that only a Super-Stud could penetrate!
Wotan: I am not as cold-hearted as I try to sound. I wish I were written as a baritone. I could have stood up to Fricka, I imagine. Very well. You shall be granted this one request, my precious piggy. Come, kiss me good-bye. Never again may you lay eyes upon me.
[Brünnhilde embraces her father in tears. Her demigoddess powers are lost and she poops a little before she falls into slumber. Wotan is depressed]
Wotan: Loge, spirit of fire. I command thee: if thou can'st but find some kindling that has not been drenched in tears in the last five minutes, spark your flame and enfold my belovèd Brünnhilde in its everlasting protection. Go do that voodoo that you do so well.
[A small flame flickers and steadily grows until the rocky crag is ablaze. Wotan walks pensively amid the flames ... because he can....]
Booze anyone?

A Crow Left of the Murder (as a Valkyrie )
Sooooo... mix:
4 oz bourbon whiskey
4 oz cranberry juice
4 oz pineapple juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes.
Shake well, strain into a highball glass filled with ice cubes, and serve with a straw- and a hat with horns.


Dr. Whore said...

That was clearly much more entertaining than anything the Who could have imagined, sober or trippin'. Danke.

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