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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Into The Words

Forbidden Broadway: Greatest Hits - Volume I



STEPHEN
Once upon a time!
(Lights up on a bearded man at the side of the stage. He is Stephen
Sondheim. The MUSIC begins.)

STEPHEN
There was a great songwriter called Stephen Sondheim. He had many, many hit shows, among which
were Sunday In The Park With George...
(A "Dot" character enters, holding an umbrella.)

DOT
I WISH...
(Turns right in profile and freezes)

STEPHEN
Sweeney Todd!
(SWEENEY ENTERS scaring DOT by raising his bloody razor so that
she counters to the right of him.)

SWEENEY
I WISH…

STEPHEN
And the fairy tale musical Into The Woods.
(A LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD ENTERS, carrying a basket.)

RIDING HOOD
I WISH...
(She is left of DOT and smiles at audience, then freezes.)

STEPHEN
All the characters in all the shows were very happy to be in a prestigious Sondheim musical, except for a
few things…

RIDING HOOD
I WISH.
I WISH THIS SHOW WAS MORE MELODIC!
I WISH.
(Sticks her tongue out at SONDHEIM, and freezes again.)

SWEENEY
I WISH.
I WISH THIS SHOW WAS LESS PRETENTIOUS.
I WISH.
(SWEENEY raises his razor high, and freezes.)

DOT
(Faces forward)
I WISH.
I WISH THE LYRICS WEREN'T SO WORDY.
I WISH.

STEPHEN
(As he crosses to center in front of his characters:)
You see, with Sondheim shows people sometimes miss the point. They're supposed to listen and go...Into
the words.
(Each character joins SONDHEIM on his or her line.)

RIDING HOOD
INTO THE WORDS

SWEENEY
INTO THE WORDS

DOT
INTO THE WORDS

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
THE METAPHORS, THE SYNONYMS, THE PERFECT SCAN

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
THE DETAIL AND THE TRICKY LITTLE PHRASES

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

SWEENEY
THE WHAT, THE WHERE, THE WHEN, THE WHY
THE PLOT BEGAN

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

DOT
THE WORK, THE CRAFT

RIDING HOOD
THAT GARNERS ALL THE PRAISES
(They skip in a counter-clockwise circle.)

ALL
INTO THE WORDS!
INTO THE WORDS!

DOT
THE MUSIC WAITS

ALL
INTO THE WORDS!
INTO THE WORDS!

STEPHEN
THE LYRIC STATES THAT

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
YOUR CONTENT ALWAYS COMES BEFORE YOUR FORM AND STYLE

ALL
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
INTERNAL RHYMES THAT EVEN BAFFLED MERMAN

ALL
INTO THE WORDS
A QUICK EXCHANGE
SO VERY STRANGE, YOU'LL CRY AND SMILE

STEPHEN
AND NEVER REPEAT A VERSE OR BRIDGE
THIS ISN'T JERRY HERMAN
(They link arms and skip upstage, then downstage.)

ALL
INTO THE WORDS
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
THEY ALWAYS TEACH
ALL
INTO THE WORDS
INTO THE WORDS

STEPHEN
TO HEAR ME PREACH
THE THOUGHTS ARE CLEAR
IF UNDERSTOOD
I HAVE NO PEER
'CAUSE I'M SO GOOD

THE SCORE IS THE STAR
THE STARS ARE JUST WOOD
I SORT OF HATE TO ASK IT
BUT WHAT'S A RHYME FOR BASKET?

ALL
INTO THE WORDS
THAT TRIP YOUR LIP, AND FRY YOUR BRAIN
AND SPRAIN YOUR TONGUE
INTO THE WORDS
A CAVE SO DARK
YOU'D BETTER BRING A TORCH IN

INTO THE WORDS
THAT FLY AND TRY TO MAKE YOU
CHOKE THE JOKE YOU'VE SUNG
INTO THE WORDS
MORE LETTERS THAN
THEY SELL ON WHEEL OF FORTUNE
(RIDING HOOD goes offstage right and brings on a large board with
the words to the song on it; she hands it to SONDHEIM.)

STEPHEN
(Spoken)
Now, some people say that my songs aren't catchy. But that's not true. And to prove it, I'll conduct a
Sondheim singalong. Now everybody sing and just follow the bouncing razor.
(SWEENEY suddenly raises his peculiar teaching instrument.)

STEPHEN (CONT'D)
Ready? 1-2-12-8.

ALL
(With the audience, they repeat the two verses, slowly and surely,
SWEENEY'S razor bouncing along the top of the board.)
INTO THE WORDS
THAT TRIP YOUR LIP, AND FRY YOUR BRAIN
AND SPRAIN YOUR TONGUE
INTO THE WORDS
A CAVE SO DARK
YOU'D BETTER BRING A TORCH IN

INTO THE WORDS
THAT FLY AND TRY TO MAKE YOU
CHOKE THE JOKE YOU'VE SUNG
INTO THE WORDS
MORE LETTERS THAN
THEY SELL ON WHEEL OF FORTUNE

STEPHEN
(Speaks:)
Very good. You all graduate! So now let's do it up to tempo.
(And then, done very quickly)
1-2-12-8!

ALL
(They sing double time, while the audience tries to keep up, repeating the
two verses.)
INTO THE WORDS
THAT TRIP YOUR LIP, AND FRY YOUR BRAIN
AND SPRAIN YOUR TONGUE
INTO THE WORDS
A CAVE SO DARK
YOU'D BETTER BRING A TORCH IN

INTO THE WORDS
THAT FLY AND TRY TO MAKE YOU
CHOKE THE JOKE YOU'VE SUNG
INTO THE WORDS
MORE LETTERS THAN
THEY SELL ON WHEEL OF FORTUNE

ALL (WITHOUT AUDIENCE)
WE'RE…
(They all take a deep breath)
INTO THE SYLLABLES
INTO THE ANTONYMS
INTO THE METAPHORS
INTO THE SYNONYMS

DOT AND RIDING HOOD
INTO THE SYLLABLES
INTO THE ANTONYMS
INTO THE METAPHORS
INTO THE SYNONYMS
INTO THE SYLLABLES
INTO THE ANTONYMS
INTO THE METAPHORS
AND

STEPHEN
CAREFUL!
YOUR DICTION
CAREFUL!
YOUR DICTION
CAREFUL!
YOU

SWEENEY
ARE YOU SURE
YOU UNDERSTAND?
ARE YOU THAT
YOU VERSTEH?
ARE YOU SURE
THAT YOU CAPEESH?
AWAY WE GO
INTO

ALL
THE WORDS!
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