Apologies to cleolinda for vaguely stealing her format
(though you'll notice I decided not to call this "Lohengrin in 15 minutes").
And apologies to everyone else for, well, everything...
Scene 1[Brabant castle. TOWNSPEOPLE are arguing.]
No, you suck!
GUY WEARING RED+ORANGE STRIPEY THING:
Hey everybody, it's The King!
[music shifts around to C major so that we can have a fanfare
on the valveless trumpets. The KING enters.]
Hi, I'm here to see the Duke.
You'll have to wait.
The old Duke is dead, his son-and-heir Gottfried has disappeared.
Of the Duke's family, only Elsa, the daughter, remains,
and we still haven't figured out what to do about this.
Well hurry it up.
I'm getting my ass whooped fighting the Magyars on the Eastern front
and I need more guys with swords.
And this is our problem because...?
Germany must be united so that we can be strong and defeat our enemies!
And even though my lines are being scripted by a mid-19th-century,
anti-Semitic, German-nationalist composer, there are no hidden
allegorical/political messages here or anything,
just in case anyone was wondering.
Never mind. Anyway, I'm the King, remember?
[TELRAMUND and ORTRUD approach THE KING]
Hi, you remember me.
And you might also remember my wife Ortrud here,
who is the last remaining descendant of the first Duke of Brabant,
and who also happens to be a pagan sorceress,
but she's not, like, evil or anything.
Anyway, she saw Elsa drowning her brother in the swamp.
Conveniently enough, I'm next in line to be Duke,
and Ortrud would make a really great duchess what with her bloodline and all.
Looks like a no-brainer to me.
[RED-CLAD TOWNSPEOPLE cheer.]
You do have evidence, right?
[pulling out big-ass sword]
Got your evidence right here.
Okaaaay. [turns to ELSA]
I suppose we ought to get your side of the story, too.
My brother Gottfried and I went walking in the swamp,
and then suddenly he wasn't there anymore.
And that's all I know.
[ORANGE-CLAD TOWNSPEOPLE cheer.]
That's pretty weak.
But you have to believe me!
Oh, I do. But in this interesting judicial system we have here,
the only thing that matters is whether or not you've got
your own guy with a big-ass sword willing to go up against Mr. T here.
Well, I had a dream last night about a guy with a big-ass sword.
Does that count?
Uh, no. Has to be a real guy with a real sword. Sorry.
Maybe we can find a sucker in the crowd here.
I don't suppose there'd be anyone around here with a big-ass sword
who'd like to fight experienced veteran knight Telramund to the death?
It'll be great fun. Really.
[TOWNSPEOPLE make themselves scarce]
I just know my champion is around here somewhere.
Guess that would be this faith thing of yours, eh?
Well, here goes. Going once....
[no one comes forward]
[Suddenly, the warp gate opens, revealing a placid blue lake
surrounded by flowerbeds. We see LOHENGRIN with his big-ass sword
following the SUPERMARIONATIONTM SWAN as it moves towards
the front of the stage. Lots of dry ice spills into the orchestra pit.]
Hm. Not bad. I think I would like one of those for my castle.
Here I come to save the day!
You have got to be kidding me.
Thank you, Mr. Expensive Animatronic Swan, for leading me here.
[SWAN bows its head, smiles]
This swan made possible by generous grants from the Boeing Corporation
and the Vulcan Capital Group.
[Swan swims in a little circle, twisting its head
and blinking its eyes most endearingly]
Farewell, Faithful Swan; maybe we will see you again sometime.
[SWAN swims back into the gate and recedes. Warp gate closes.]
Wait, when did Brabant get a warp gate?
ELSA [facing LOHENGRIN]:
Oh, Mr. Complete Stranger, thankyouthankyouthankyou for showing up.
LOHENGRIN [sees Elsa, drools]:
This is bullshit.
For championing my cause, everything I have is yours.
mmmmm. [finally notices she's talking to him, looks up]
[giving him an appraising look]
By which I mean everything, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. [wink]
Oh, I almost forgot, by marrying me, you get to be Duke, too.
Well there is one small, teeny, tiny condition I have to tell you about:
You must promise to never ask me who I am. Never ask me where I'm from.
And none of this weasling about by asking somebody else to find out for you,
or asking them to ask me, and so on.
And finally, never, never, ever feed me after midnight.
Otherwise really bad shit will happen.
Triple-dog-dare pinky-swear on the bones of your dead father cross your heart
and hope to die?
Yes! I get it. Geez.
Did everyone hear that? There will be a quiz later.
Well, all righty then.
[to LOHENGRIN & TELRAMUND]
You guys ready?
We hired a special Fight Choreographer and everything.
You know, there really needs to be a rule about prospective champions
having to follow physical laws of space and time.
I mean, I don't want to be completely anal about this,
but it would be sorta nice to at least respect the basic guidelines,
you know? Simple things like, no fucking warp gates.
How hard can that be?
Oh, stop whinging and get on with it.
[LOHENGRIN & TELRAMUND draw swords and fight.
After several well-choreographed sword strokes,
TELRAMUND's sword inexplicably goes flying
as he takes a dive into the ground.
LOHENGRIN then executes a well-choreographed pounce
ending up with his sword at TELRAMUND's throat.]
I'm guessing I die now.
Actually, just to be annoying, I'm going to let you live.
Because, of course, even though you'll now be an honorless exile without
a penny to your name and a reputation for being a liar,
you won't be holding a grudge or anything.
No trouble from me.
And you have my solemn word on that as an honorless liar.
[holding up LOHENGRIN's hand]
Let me be the first to offer my congratulations to the new
Duke Hey You of Brabant.
Um, actually, I don't want to be Duke Hey You of Brabant.
I think I'll be Guardian Hey You of Brabant instead.
Whatever. As long as you have an army for me the day after tomorrow,
you can be Egregious Wombat Hey You of Brabant for all I care.
[turning to TELRAMUND]
And you, sir, are now officially exiled. Enjoy.
Scene 1[Outside the castle. TELRAMUND and ORTRUD are lurking.]
This was not a good career move.
And this is my problem because...?
Oh, I dunno. We're only, like, married and all.
You had your chance. It's not my fault if you can't fight
your way out of a paper bag.
Anyway, now it's my turn to try to screw things up and
I think I can do much a better job of it.
Well, I still have my diabolical plan for revenge.
I'm going to sneak back into town and denounce him.
Oh, that should be good. I can hardly wait.
Scene 2[Inside the castle. ELSA, ORTRUD and BRIDESMAIDS prepare for the wedding.]
This is so weird how you're, like, my best friend now,
even though you and Telramund were saying all these
horrible things about me in Act I.
Well, don't worry your pretty little head about it.
[pops a piece of candy in her mouth]
Yum. These lead-paint truffles have always been my favorite.
Would you like one?
No, thank you.
I'm still on track to be Smartest Person in This Opera;
and I don't to want to blow it now.
Hey, maybe I should practice my vows.
Okay. "I, Elsa, take thee unknown-guy-who-may-be-a-child-molester.
Odd. I don't remember it being that complicated.
How about, "I, Elsa, take thee potential-scumbag-who-is-going-to-leave-m
Sorry, slip of the tongue, there.
This not-having-a-name thing is pretty annoying, don't you think?
[Music drifts back to C major, just in time for a fanfare.
LOHENGRIN appears with THE KING]
Oops. Looks like everyone else is ready. Time to line up.
[BRIDESMAIDS get into formation.
Suddenly TELRAMUND appears and confronts LOHENGRIN.]
I denounce you!
Wait, isn't he supposed to be, um, exiled?
I mean, shouldn't we be dragging him off to a dungeon or something?
I denounce you!
You refuse to tell anyone who you are, so you could be, well, anyone.
Yes, I suppose that's true; we've been over this already.
I trust you'll be getting to a point sometime soon?
Cats and Dogs living together! $30 car tabs!
Or maybe not. I've got a wedding to go to. Bye.
[Everyone except TELRAMUND heads into the cathedral.]
Scene 1[ELSA's bedroom, later that night.]
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
Wait, I recognize this music.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2:
Well it's only the most popular wedding processional ever.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1:
So how the hell did anybody ever get the idea that this would be
good to use for real weddings? I mean, considering what's about
to happen, wouldn't using this music be the worst of all ill omens?
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2:
[Wedding party arrives including LOHENGRIN, ELSA, the KING, the RED+ORANGE GUY,
and PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY ELSE.]
Hey. Party in Elsa's room! We get to watch, right?
[BRIDESMAIDS finish arranging ELSA in her nightgown on the bed.
GUYS finish mounting LOHENGRIN's sword on the wall by the bed.
Note carefully: sword mounted on the wall.]
Okay kids, have fun. We're outta here.
[Exeunt everyone except ELSA and LOHENGRIN]
[passionately] Oh, Elsa.
[passionately] Oh, Hey You.
Hold on. We're about to fuck and I now realize
I know absolutely nothing about you.
Wait. You're only just figuring this out now?
No, really, I think this is going to bug the crap out of me.
How do I know you're not going to just leave me?
Uh, hello? You have to trust me.
That's the whole frigging point.
Do I need to go back and review Act I for you?
Oh, all right. [thinks carefully]
But I still need to know who you are.
[bangs head against wall]
You couldn't have waited until tomorrow morning, could you?
[bangs head against wall some more]
Dammit! Dammit! Dammit!
[TELRAMUND bursts in, waving sword]
Aha! Now I've got you!
Oh, sure. Why not? Make my day.
[LOHENGRIN grabs his own sword
which, as you will recall, has been
conveniently mounted on the wall by the bed.]
Not that it's going to make up for another 500 years of blue balls,
but at least it's something.
[extends sword towards the charging TELRAMUND]
[promptly skewering himself on LOHENGRIN's sword]
Argh. Another brilliant plan goes awry.
Now I guess I get to explain everything,
but I think I will instead do it in front of the whole town
so that I can completely humiliate you.
Scene 2[The next morning. In front of the whole town]
Okay, here's the deal:
My name is Lohengrin, son of Parsifal who is the King of the Grail Knights.
I'm going to guess you've all heard of him.
If you haven't, there is this whole 'nother opera you can go see
that's even longer than than this one.
Wait, but this is three and a half hours, not counting the intermissions.
Pussies! Parzifal is five hours.
And that's not even the longest.
Gotterdamerung is six and that one's a full two and a half hours
just getting to the first intermission.
Only the strongest of bladders need apply.
[whitefaced] My god!
So anyway, we're Grail Knights, we guard the Holy Grail,
and we also go around and Do Stuff. Now as it happens, when we're
Doing Stuff, we have this really stupid rule that
says we can only stick around as long as nobody knows who we are.
And of course, somebody here [looks pointedly at ELSA]
just had to ask. And now I have to go back
before the Grail starts getting all pissy.
[warp gate opens. SWAN approaches]
She could have had me for a whole year, but she blew it.
And then I was going to unenchant her brother here [indicates SWAN].
I would have gotten laid and everyone would have lived happily ever after.
Aha! Now no one will be able to undo my spell
and Gottfried will stay a swan forever and ever.
Bwahahahahahahahahahahaha! I win! Go me!
Or maybe I'll just unenchant him now and be on my way.
D'oh! [bangs head repeatedly against wall]
[utterly huge cloud of fog comes wafting through the warp gate.
music falters as orchestra pit fills up with dry ice once more.
Fog clears, leaving GOTTFRIED standing there.]
Thunderbirds are go!
No, no, you're not animatronic anymore. You have to be Duke now.
Kthnxbye! Have a nice life, y'all!
[LOHENGRIN steps through warp gate. exits. Warp gate closes.
ELSA, sobbing, pounds on the wall where the warp gate used to be.]
Hang on a minute.
He knew the whole time where her brother was and didn't say anything?
And he was going to leave her anyway after a year?
Shut up! It's high tragedy. Anyway, you're supposed to listen to the music.
What a rat bastard!
[TOWNPERSON#2 beats TOWNPERSON#1 into a bloody pulp as the curtain descends.]
Copyright © 2004 wrog, you know the drill.