This club play was written as a group collaboration between the participants and the group leader, Trish Denton.
February 05, 2011
LOBQUARIUM OR THE MONKEY?
Victoria Gazella (Avery)
Francesca Gazella/Monkey (Augie)
Washed-up Wiccan Magician (Trish)
Popcorn Peddler (Avery)
I. In the private circus tent of The Magnificent Gazella Sisters, we find Victoria and Francesca discussing material for their new act. They are in agreement on adding a 'lean-out', a 'double table', and a 'right-left crossover'. The sisters fall into a tussle when Victoria proposes a need for a new element, "...something big..." for the grand finale. For years she has been pushing for a trained animal in their beloved act. Francesca reluctantly inquires, "An elephant?" And Victoria tells her she is crazy. She was thinking something shiny and grand... "A LOBSTER!" Francesca thinks Victoria has lost her marbles, but agrees to try it out for a time. "Good! Then go to the market and get a fresh lobster. Don't forget the shopping list: Popcorn, The Lobster and A Skull." Francesca gathers her market basket and heads into the town.
II. The market is bustling and Francesca is confident she will find the special items she needs. First, she comes upon an old Popcorn Peddler. The hobbling old woman offers her fresh, popped corn out of her weathered, wicker basket. Then, Francesca hears a shanty being sung in the distance. She follows the bellowing melody to a fish stand with a kooky old sailor. "Have you come for some mussels, Madame? Some crab? Some starfish? Some mud puppy? Some ruffy? Can I offer you a clam? Shrimpies?..." The old fisherman goes on and on and Francesca can hardly get a word in. Finally she prevails, "I would like one live lobster please." It was as if the old fisherman had known all along and tried to talk his way around the request. "A lobster, eh? Eh, eh, eh... I have only one lobster... and it's a REAL LIVELY one, it is.... Sure you want a lobster, madame?" When Francesca insists, the fisherman asks for her assistance. We see a rough and tumble flurry of movement. "You can 'ave that rascal on the house, madame. Just be careful!" With an active basket, Francesca continues on her way through the bustling market. She happens upon a voodoo stand with a crowing old barker. "Magical Elements! Wiccan wonders! Crystals! Herbs! Witchcraft!" The old woman looks slightly familiar to Francesca and she is certain that the stand will have what she needs. "Well, hello young madame. You look quite familiar. It is you! You are one of the Magnificent Gazella Sisters,aren't you!?" Francesca is accustomed to fans and tells the old woman that she is indeed. The old woman says an aside, "If it wasn't for those sisters, my Wonderous Wiccan Magic Show would still be top bill instead of a side show.... I wouldn't have to be a peddler. It is because of her that I have fallen from glory!" She turns to Francesca, "What have you come for, my dear, dear girl?" The girl remarks, "I am looking for a skull for my circus act..." The old woman's eyes light up, "A skull huh? I'll tell you what. I only have one left, but I'll give it to you if you make me a promise, young one." Francesca thought this to be a fair deal, "Please eat these three enchanted lima beans before your next show. Think of me... that will be payment enough." Francesca agrees and hurries back to the circus grounds with her shopping list fulfilled.
III. Once outside of the tent, Francesca stops and reflects on the exchange she had had with the interesting old woman. Considering her a fan, she figured that the enchanted lima beans would aid her in not only her performance, but in her quarrel with her sister regarding the lobster. "Bottom's up!" She swallows the three beans whole. Suddenly her body begins to disfigure, bewhisker and transform... inside the tent Victoria hears what seems to be a monkey screaming. She rushes to the entry to see what the commotion is about. Her sister is no where to be seen, but the market basket is left just outside the entry. A spunky little lobster crawls out. "Great! Francesca has left the lobster for me! I'll get right to work!" Victoria brings the lobster in and begins to lovingly shine his shell. "You are to be called Lobquarium!" Lobquarium clicks his claws and slowly crawls across the sawdust floor. Just then, a random monkey comes bounding through the door pulling at Victoria's dress. Victoria is confused. Did Francesca bring the monkey as an option for their act as well? She tries to calm the monkey and brush him aside. She has work to do training Lobquarium! Victoria first asks Lobquarium to do a little dance. The wonky little lobster clicks one claw, then the other. We hear the crickets chirping outside. Then, she instructs Lobquarium to jump over the skull. In slow motion, Lobquarium approaches the skull at half-speed. Just when we expect Lobquarium to jump, he clicks his claw at the skull. We hear the crickets chirping outside. Victoria is flustered as show time is announced in 15 minutes. "Where the devil is my sister?!" The monkey gets very, very excited at this and begins to dance an amazing dance. Then, the monkey bounds gracefully over the skull. Victoria is not sure what to do for the show. "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo, catch a tiger by the toe, if he hollers make him pay, $50 everyday." Her finger lands on Lobquarium, so she grabs him and storms off leaving the monkey in the dust.
IV. Under the big top, Victoria is flustered by the disappearance of her sister, and the mysterious appearance of the random monkey. She starts her act with the usual bits, a gazelle inspired can-can, ice-dancing and acrobatics. When Lobquarium is introduced the crowd is eager for the new element to the famed act. As Victoria instructs Lobquarium to do his first trick, it is equally as disappointing as it had been in rehearsal. Trying to make it up to the audience she plays up his next trick: Jumping the Skull. There is much anticipation and as the drum roll unfolds Lobquarium reaches the skull and stops with an awkward click toward the audience. Victoria shoos him away and finishes the act with finesse. Once back in her tent she scolds the lobster, "Lobquarium! That was the most awkward performance I have ever had. Back to the ocean with you... you, you, you CRUSTATION!!" Nodding toward the random monkey, Victoria says, "It's me and you monkey. Until my sister returns..."
V. Weeks go by and the show of Victoria Gazella and her Flying Monkey becomes a great success. Victoria is so distracted by the success, that she hardly has time to worry about where the heck her sister has gone. Until one night, the stars are so bright that they clear her mind and focus her heart. "Go to bed, Monkey." She sighs sadly. Looking at the heavens, Victoria spots a shooting star. "Oh stars. I miss my sister dearly. Please bring her back to me." Her wish is so heart-felt and pure, that no Wonderous Wiccan enchantment could override this heart magic. Hearing a ruckus from the monkey's quarters, Victoria rushes to his side... but instead of finding the monkey, her sister is there!! The two go for a long walk and Francesca explains everything. They agree that there is one thing that must be done. "That Wonderous Wiccan Witch needs to be paid a visit. She can't get away with this!" The sisters stomp down to the marketplace. Conveniently the Wonderous Wiccan Magic Show is happening in the main square. The old woman is preparing for her grand finale... "And now for my final act! I have been developing it for quite some time and I assure you, you will be nothing short of amazed! I would like to introduce you all to my assistant LOBQUARIUM!..." The girls just look at one another and roll their eyes. If that is all the old witch has up her sleeve, than they would rather leave her to her own demise of poor showmanship than to waste their energy on revenge.