Tom Petiet's CHAPTER & WORSE tells the story of a dweeb (Fenster) who falls into a coma due to the frustration of his inability to win the heart of a young lady. A librarian, his ensuing dreams display his continuing ineptness in the gamut of literature, providing the basis for this musical parody. This excerpt from the fourth scene finds Fenster in a breadline in the Great Depression, trying to make conversation with the winsome Amy. Unfortunately, a gangster and his gun moll put an end to his efforts. Starring Peter Greenquist (Fenster), Thomas Petiet (The Kop), Patricia Petiet (Annabella), Theresa Kromis (Zelda), Michael Pearson (Bugs), Robert Douglas (The Boss) and Barbara Hilbish (Mrs. Buffles). The narrator is Robin Barlow; Margaret Counihan at the piano. For more comedy in music, visit www.comicoperaguild .org.
Tags: CHAPTER & WORSE THOMAS PETIET PATRICIA PETIET COMIC OPERA GUILD
Added: 2 years ago
The Comic Opera Guild Presents
Tom Petiet's Chapter and Worse!
Madventures in good music
["In the Depression" appears on screen, as the scene opens with the narrator speaking directly to the audience]
NARRATOR: Next, Fenster's mind could have - without difficulty - set him down in any one of a dozen wonderful literary scenes. It might've been the time of King Arthur, or perhaps Renaissance Florence. Or even in a harlequin romance ...
[the audience laughs]
NARRATOR: I would've liked that ... But no, where did that recalcitrant organ drop him? On a dismal street corner in one of the more depressing stories of the Depression. If Eugene O'Neill had written a musical, this would be it!
[Fenster (as the Depression-era literary character Ralphie) enters the breadline and stands behind a woman]
FENSTER: Excuse me, are you waiting in line too?
AMY: Mm hmm.
FENSTER: Me too ... Are you poor?
AMY: Everybody's poor.
[a "blind" woman holding a trombone turns and holds her hand out to him]
MRS. MORGAN: I, I've got this dime!
[he takes it]
FENSTER: Oh ... Everybody's poor, alright. Boy, it sure goes to show.
[a man approaches the line]
BOSS: Alright, people! I got a job here for one woman! Which one'a ya needs it the worst?
[the boss man points to Amy]
AMY: Gee, that's great!
BOSS: Now, ya gotta be here at eight sharp ... tomorrow morning!
AMY: Ew. I don't know, that's kind of early for me.
[the "blind" woman and her other "blind" friend barge in]
MRS. MORGAN: We can be here at seven!
[he pulls Amy aside]
BOSS: Now, that's alright, that's alright. If you can't ... It's a little bit early for ya, it's alright, but we have to make it up. After work.
[he laughs in a depraved fashion, then walks off as Amy turns to Fenster]
AMY: I guess I got a job!
FENSTER: That's a lucky break for you, I guess.
ANNABELLA: Yeah, I got a break for ya ...
[she tries to hit Amy with her trombone, but Fenster stops her]
ZELDA: [from off camera] Ralphie!
[a young gun moll runs up to Fenster]
ZELDA: Bugs is lookin' for ya!
FENSTER: What for?
ZELDA: For talkin' to his gohlfriend ...
FENSTER: His "gohlfriend"?
ZELDA: Yeah ...
[she looks over at Amy]
FENSTER: Amy Sue, you and Bugs?!
AMY: [coyly] You don't think I should go out with him? He does gimmee stuff ...
AMY: He's also got a Duesenberg ...
ZELDA: Yeah, he does!
FENSTER: [shrugs] Well, I guess he got her there ...
[Amy walks away, as Zelda turns to Fenster]
ZELDA: Bugs thinks you've been hanging around me too much.
FENSTER: What, five minutes?!
ZELDA: That's too much.
FENSTER: But I thought you were his ... "gohlfriend."
[she fluffs up her hair]
ZELDA: Yeah, I am.
FENSTER: Well, how can you go out with him when he does things like ...
[he points at Amy]
ZELDA: Oh, I guess I'm just a one-man woman, Ralphie ... Yeah, that's it! A one-man woman! I started kickin' that Chinaman, and I said "That's my guy, Ralphie!" I don't know why. Something just snapped inside'a me. Or maybe inside the Chinaman. Oh, I don't know!
[Bugs the gangster enters the scene, grabbing Amy by the collar]
BUGS: That's far enough, doll baby! So, you thought you'd roll me over for the babyface here, huh?
[Fenster tries to hide behind Zelda]
BUGS: Thought I'd let you go and come clean!
[he approaches Fenster, but Zelda stops him]
FENSTER: Honest, I wasn't doing anything!
ZELDA: Bugs, come on!
BUGS: What? Oh, yeah ...
[he takes his hat off and puts it on Zelda's head, then gets nose to nose with Fenster]
BUGS: Shaddap, punk! Nobody takes what's mine and gets away with it, see?
FENSTER: But I wasn't takin' nothing of yours ...
BUGS: Didn't I tell ya to shaddap?
FENSTER: Uh, but ... Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you asked me a question.
BUGS: I'll make ya shaddap ...
[Fenster walks away and begins talking to himself]
FENSTER: Oh, I see, that was just a rhetorical question ...
ZELDA: Don't do it!
[Bugs takes out a pie and aims it at the back of Fenster's head, but Zelda jumps in the way]
[Zelda gets hit in the face with the pie, as she falls backwards into Fenster's arms]
BUGS: Zelda, you fool! Look what you've done!
FENSTER: What a mess ...
[as Zelda lays sprawled on the floor, she grabs at Bugs' suit]
ZELDA: [weakly] I'm going fast, Bugs ...
BUGS: Hey, watch the suit, huh?
ZELDA: I'll say hello to your mama for ya ... I'll wait for ya, Bugs.
BUGS: Look, don't bother ... Let go, will ya?
[he slaps away her hand (covered in pie filling) and tries to wipe it off his suit]
ZELDA: Oh, I was a good girl once, Bugs ... Where did I go wrong?
[she pulls him in close]
ZELDA: Oh, I know ... It was because we couldn't have children.
BUGS: [annoyed] No, it's not that.
ZELDA: But I like kids, Bugs ... We could'a adopted!
[she pulls him in closer, getting more pie filling on his suit]
BUGS: Come on! Come on, huh?!
ZELDA: [weakly] Oh, I'm cold, Bugs ... Why do I feel cold?
BUGS: How the hell should I know? Maybe it's the cement ...
[she grabs him again]
ZELDA: [weakly] Hold me, Bugs ...
FENSTER: Hold her, hold her!
BUGS: [yelling] I am in a hurry here!
FENSTER: For goodness sake, hold her!
[he reluctantly brings her in close, as she wipes her face across his suit]
ZELDA: Oh, Bugs ... Kiss me.
[they kiss, and Bugs ends up with pie filling on his nose]
ZELDA: [weakly] Bugs ...
BUGS: [yelling] What?!
ZELDA: [weakly] Tell me one thing, Bugs ...
BUGS: [impatiently] One thing, but hurry it up!
ZELDA: [weakly] Why do they call you ... Bugs?
[she goes limp, but Bugs seems to perk up at the opportunity to answer that question]
BUGS: Oh gosh, everybody asks me that! Y'see, years ago, when I was just--
FENSTER: [solemnly] It's too late, Bugs. She's ... pied!
[a police whistle sounds from off camera (causing Bugs to run away), as an Irish police officer enters the scene]
KOP: What's goin' on here?
[he surveys the crime scene]
KOP: Oh, good god, tis a murder ... Ooh, and it's a messy one, at that!
[he rushes in and grabs Fenster]
KOP: Ah, it's you what's done the deed, right enough! Come on!
FENSTER: No no, it's wasn't me, it was Bugs!
KOP: Ay, the bugs will get to her soon enough, and you right afterwards! Come on!
[he pulls him away, as Fenster grabs for Amy]
FENSTER: Amy Sue! Tell him!
AMY: [smiling] I got a job!
[she walks away, as the policeman pulls Fenster off camera, while the two "blind" woman inspect the body]
MRS. MORGAN: Oh boy!
MRS. BUFFLES: What is it, Misses Morgan?
[she runs a finger over the pie filling]
MRS. MORGAN: Custard, Misses Buffles!
MRS. BUFFLES: Oh!
[everyone gathers around and begins eating the evidence]