A NIGHT AT THE (SOAP) OPERA

SCENE: Wherever
TIME: Whenever

CAST:

Groucho Marxisto        OPUS E. DRIFTWORT
Chico Marxisto             FIORELLO BLOWHARDO
Harpo Marxisto           TOMASSO PASTO
Margaret Dontmont    MISSIS PLAYPOOL
Sig Rumanboardo       HERMANO GOTLIEBCHEN
Kitty Carlisimo            ROSA GROSSA
Allan Jonesboro          RICARDO MACARONI
Walter Wolf Kink        RODOLPHO ALASPRAIRIE
Roberto O’Connor      POLICE DETECTIVE BANDITO MUSOLINI HENDERSON

ACT 1

Missis Playpool , millionaire dowager and high-society wannabe, has been stood up for dinner at a fancy restaurant by Opus E. Driftwort, gold-digging entrepreneur. After being discovered dining with a gorgeous blond at the next table, Driftwort worms his way out of the situation and sits down with Missis Playpool for a second dinner, during which he professes his undying love for her. Repulsed, he then proposes a plan to get her into society by investing $200,000 (in round figures) in the New Yurt Opera Company.

Hermano Gotliebchen, impresario of the opera, happily accepts Missis Playpool’s money with intent to hire celebrated Italian tenor Rodolpho Alasprairie, who beats his valet, Tomasso Pasto, for trying on one of Rodolpho’s costumes before the opera which Missis Playpool attends, after which she and Gotliebchen agree to sign the tenor to a contract. Got that?

Enter Fiorello Blowhardo, who claims to represent the “greatest tenor in the world” (Ricardo Macaroni, a little-known singer in the chorus). Driftwort, thinking Blowhardo represents Alasprairie, tries to get Blowhardo to sign a contract in which Driftwort gets $990 of the $1,000-a-week contract for the “greatest tenor’s” services….but the contract has too many disagreeable clauses, which they agree to rip out until they’re down to the last clause, which happens to be the sanity clause. Of course, Blowhardo claims there ain’t no Sanity Claus, and that’s the end of Act One.

There will now be a short intermission, during which you are free to check out the commercials, or go to the fridge for a beer, before we resume with Act Two.