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What's Opera, Arnold?/Transcript

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< What's Opera, Arnold?

Credits

Cast (as credited)

Arnold (speaking) Phillip Van Dyke
Arnold (singing) Toran Caudell
Gerald Jamil Smith
Helga Francesca Marie Smith
Phoebe Anndi McAfee
Brainy, Mr. Packenham Craig Bartlett
Curly Adam Wylie
Eugene Ben Disken
Harold Justin Shenkarow
Rhonda Olivia Hack
Sid Sam Gifaldi
Stinky Christopher Walberg
Ruth Lacey Chabert

Note

Bolded Dialogue = Singing

Italicized Dialogue = Spanish

(Parenthesis) = Actions

Scene 1

(Screen shows the opera house with a bus in front of it, and then switches to the other side of the bus to show students from P.S. 118 in a group with Mr. Packadam in front of them. Helga steps out of the bus with Phoebe following behind.)

Helga

Humph! Opera, what a bunch of dorks! La-de-da-froo-froo ladies in wigs singing a lotta 2-dollar words about nothing, doi!

(Zooms to the crowd)

Gerald

What a waste of a good field trip!

Harold

You said a mouthful, pal. Opera’s for wimps!

(The students start yelling)

Mr. Packenham

Kids, kids, listen! Feel the music. Here’s the big finish! (Hums, then sighs when the music stops.) And that was Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”. What do you think?

Students

Boo!

Stinky

That really bites!

Mr. Packenham

Stinky, you are entitled to your opinion; but I bet by the time we’re finished with this field trip; I’ll make an opera lover of you yet! (Rewinds on the boom box and presses play) And this is, of course, the song of Pagliacci, the crying clown.

Harold (steps out)

Look at me, I’m Pagliacci, the big, sad clown. Boo, hoo, hoo! Ha, ha, ha!

(Students laugh)

Mr. Packenham

And this (pointing to the poster) is what we’ll be seeing today. A classic tale of power and faithless love; the opera “Carmen”.

Helga

Power and faithless love, huh? Ya got my attention.

Mr. Packenham

The story centers around Carmen, the beautiful gypsy, (Students ooh and aah) who flirts with the young Spanish officer, Don José. (Students hoot) Don José is, how you say, charmed by Carmen, and lets her escape arrest for, um, how should I put this, (loosens tie) causing harm to another girl.

Helga

Maybe this won’t be so boring after all, Pheebs.

Phoebe

Oh, not boring at all, Helga. “Carmen” is a great story.

Mr. Packenham

But Carmen forgets all about Don José the minute she sets her gypsy eyes on the torero Escamillo.

Gerald

Torero? What’s a torero?

Curly

You know, a toreador, a bullfighter! (Pulls out a handkerchief and holds it in the air. Harold acts like a bull and runs into it. Curly removes it and bows) Ole!

(Students cheer)

Mr. Packenham (lights flicker)

Oh my gosh! Look, the show’s about to start. Everyone have your tickets ready.

(Everyone walks inside, but Helga sneaks behide a pillar.)

Helga (Arnold is with Gerald, getting binoculars)

Oh, Arnold, flamenco dancer stomping on the stage of my heart! Conquistador of my soul! With that, at this moment, I could know your heart’s desire, my love. (Arnold aims his binoculars in the direction of Ruth, who’s talking with Connie and Maria.) Ruth! (Cringes) Ruuuth! If only I can get that football-headed torero to feel that way about me! What am I doing wrong? What? (Pushes usher out of the way) One side, moron!

Scene 2

(The students are on the balcony. Helga moves to her seat next to Gerald who is next to Arnold. As soon as Arnold and Gerald eat some caramels, the curtain opens to reveal the actors. Arnold leans closer to the edge, but then soon falls asleep. Arnold appears on a stage with the spotlight upon him.)

Someone

Figaro, figaro, figaro!

Arnold

Huh?

(Gerald steps out of the darkness, wearing fancy Victorian-era clothes)

Gerald

Figaro, figaro, figaro! (Runs back into darkness)

Arnold

Hey Gerald, what are you doing? Where are you going? What’s going on? (Crying comes from the other side and Harold steps out, dressed as a clown.) Harold? (Turns around)

Harold

(crying)

Arnold

Uh, are you alright?

Harold

Look at me, Arnold! Look at me! I’ma, I’ma, (music starts)
big ugly clown, oh! A big, sad ugly clown, oh! (Cries and runs away)

(A scene of a small town in Italy appears and all the townspeople laugh at Harold as he runs away. Then all of them look up and gasp as Arnold’s clothes change instantly to that of Don José)

Townspeople (gasp)

It’s Ruth! It’s Ruth!

(Ruth, dressed as Carmen steps out and slowly walks down the stairs halfway)

Ruth

I’m Ruth McCarmen,
and awfully charmin’.
I guess
(points to Arnold) you’ve noticed by the way you stare.
You’re not bad either.
(Arnold looks down and sees his new clothes)
Let’s take a breather
and we can talk about my auburn hair.

Townspeople

Her auburn hair!
You’re standing there.
Why don’t you introduce yourself to Ruth?

Stinky

She’s like a flower blossom.

Sid

I know; she’s wicked awesome!

Gerald

Come on Arnold, it’s the moment of truth! (Pushes him to the foot of the stairs)

Arnold (pulls up his pants)

My name’s Don Arnold, (pulls out caramel bag)
please have a caramel. (She takes one and flutters her lashes)
Your hair is lovely, do you like my pants? (Smiles, embarrassed)
They’re made of satin, (takes off cape)
the cape’s pure Latin. (A hanger comes down and he hangs it. It goes back up.)
I had it tailored in the south of France.

(Ruth giggles)

Townspeople

The south of France,
your satin pants.
(Cow picks Arnold up)
Why don’t you ask the lady for a dance?

Stinky

It’s time for your decision.

Sid

It’s almost intermission.

Gerald

Hey Arnold, you better ask her to dance.

Arnold (the cow walks till they reach Ruth)

Uhhh, (gets hit with a spitball and instantly wakes up) Hey cut that out! Who’s doing that?

Helga (tucks the sling shot back in her shirt)

I had to shut you up somehow. You were snoring louder than the orchestra.

(Students laugh)

Arnold

Man, how far into it are we?

Gerald (Looking at a tape)

Beats me. I’m looking for something to listen to, until this thing is over.

Phoebe

Second act. Now Carmen will convince Don José to desert from the army and join her band of gypsy smugglers. All goes ok for a while, but then this really handsome guy named Escamillo comes along.

Scene 3

(Helga falls asleep. The spotlight is on Arnold and Ruth, who are about to dance. Then lighting flashes, the sky splits, and a shadow falls on them. A flying horse comes from the sky with a Viking on him. Everyone runs when the flying horse lands, and the Viking turns out to be Helga.)

Helga (Standing on the horse)

Ruth is a lightweight,
a giggling geek bait!
I’m here to thrash her,
(Sticks a white flag in the ground)
that’s what I said! (Holds the flag and leans to the other side)
Ruth is a loser,
how could you choose her?
(Swings on the flag and lands in front of Arnold)
How could you do that football-head?

Townspeople

Football-head! Football head!

Helga (Pulls out pic of Ruth)

To show my contempt her picture I shred! (Shreds the pic and it falls to the floor.)

Stinky

Helga’s a Viking!

Sid

Sure is exciting!

Helga

I’m gonna thomp her right on the head!

Arnold (Steps up)

Oh yeah? How?

Helga (Looks at him with evil eyes)

With my golden magic slingshot! (Pulls out golden magic slingshot)

Stinky

Golden magic slingshot?

Sid

Golden magic slingshot?

Gerald

I thought it was a spear and a magic helmet!

Helga

No, with my (holds it in the air and points to it) golden magic slingshot! Doi! (Crosses her arms)

(Helga pulls a lighting bolt from her hair and puts it in her golden magic slingshot. Aims it at Ruth and then at the trap door switch)

Helga

Hey Ruth! Scene’s over, bonehead. (Releases it, the trap door opens, and Ruth falls in.)

Arnold (on the floor)

Ruth? Ruth?

(Helga snaps her fingers and 3 girls come to change her, with a screen, of course)

Arnold (Looks as they finished. They removed the screen to reveal Helga in Ruth’s clothes.)

Ruth?

Helga (Spotlight on her as she removes the fan from her face)

Ruth? Humph! (Arnold looked bewildered)
Just as I stated,
she’s overrated.
(Phoebe brings a chart and Helga opens it. It’s a chart of Ruth.)
A big no braino with enormous feet! (Rolls it up.)
Why not forget her?
I’m so much better!
My name’s CarmHelga and I’m awfully sweet!

Townspeople

She’s awfully sweet,
such tiny feet.
Her name’s CarmHelga and you two should meet!

Helga (Throws away fan and lifts Arnold up)

Come join my band of gypsies.

Gypsies

We’re touring 50 cities!

Helga (starts dancing with Arnold)

With you, my gypsy band will be (Arnold dips her) complete!
Perfect! What could possibly be better that this?

Curly

Hold it!

Girls

Curlimillo! It’s Curlimillo! (Faint)

Curly

Thank you very much! (Slides down, then gives Helga a red rose. Then a bouquet, chocolate, a teddy bear, a wrapped gift, and a key to a brand new convertible! He runs back up the stairs.)
I’m so fine!
The girls know I’m divine.
The thing is
(pulls out mirror) I’m sublime,
it’s really true, ya know. (Throws away mirror and takes out metal pot)

Girls

(True you know)

Curly

Check out my puskador! (Flicks it)
I’m whatcha lookin’ for! (Runs down with the pot under his feet)
Helga won’t you dump this guy and come to my bullfights? (Pot covers Arnold’s head)

Helga

Bullfights, huh?

Curly

Bullfights and swordfights,
rolling in manure.
(Arnold gets the pot off and it flies toward Curly’s head)
Blows to the head (pot hits Curly) I can endure. (Arnold runs into Curly’s cape and crashes into a table of pots.)
Fighting bulls is all I want in life,
plus I could use a wife,
(Stands on a pillar)

Girls

           (Use a Wife.)

Curly


And several pairs of tights (Girls swoon)
in shades of blue. (Jumps off and kneels in front of Helga holding a ring with a huge diamond!)
Girls
        
        (In Shades Of Blue)
        

Curly


Helga, please say “I do”.

Girls

      (I Do!)

(Townspeople cheer)

Arnold

Wait a minute, (takes off the pot over his hat) On guard!

Curly

Cafe Ole! (They whip out their “swords”)

Townspeople

Fight! (Repeat 10 times)

Helga (Arnold and Curly are fighting on the bridge)

At last, my dream comes true! Arnold, my true love, saving my honor, dueling to the death! Be still my beating heart! Hush my distempered breath!

Someone

wheeze, wheeze

Helga (Looking annoyed)

I said hush my distempered breath! (The wheezing is Brainy behind her. She punches him, as usual.)

(Arnold and Curly fight at the edge of the stage; Arnold almost falls off as Curly rides Eugene to the side of the stage as Arnold runs after them. The weights take Arnold and Curly to the bell tower as Eugene gets covered in sand. They fight and slide down a rope into a haystack, where Arnold “stabs” Curly. He wails in pain and dies. Everyone mourns.)

Curly (Lifts head)

Thank you very much. (Dies again)

(Arnold gets out of the hay, and with his eyes half closed he pulls Helga close)

Helga

Don Arnold, my love! (They’re about to kiss, but the earth trembles and everyone runs in terror. Arnold departs from Helga)

Helga

Arnold! Don Arnold! Wait, my love, wait! (Fades to darkness) Don’t go.

Scene 4

(She wakes up to find herself on Gerald’s lap. She jolts upright in time to see the curtain go down)

Gerald (Takes of headphones)

So, how was it?

Arnold

It was... (Ruth passes by) interesting. (They get up to leave)

Phoebe

Wasn’t that great, Helga?

Helga

It was okay. (Gerald and Arnold pass by) It just ended too soon. (sigh)

(The scene fades to darkness.)

Source

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