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Divertissements, or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Grand Adagio

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Pre-Show Narration
KRISTI YAMAGUCHI: I can haz Nutcracker! *holds up Nutcracker*

Some Lovely Slides Of Vintage SanFranScenery And Graffix
OVERTURE: *is all in the upper-registered instruments of the orchestra to set a fairyland-ish tone*
LOW BRASS AND LOW STRINGS: *wait patiently. Or, you know, read comic books.*

Drosselmeier's toyshop
DROSSELMEIER: I can haz Nutcracker! Almost closing time...almost closing time...damn, customers.
LADY IN LOVELY COSTUME: I would like to consider buying a toy, please.
DROSSELMEIER: No problem. There's this thing where a ball runs down a maze.
DROSSELMEIER: Okay...howzabout this little marionette?
COSTUME LADY: Clearly you have underestimated my budget. Do you not see my lovely costume?! I would like that shiny thing up there, please.
DROSSELMEIER: *fetches down the shiny from shelf over his head and wraps it up*
COSTUME LADY: *pays for shiny and hands it to daughter*
DAUGHTER: *curtsies perfunctorily*
DROSSELMEIER: Isn't this damned prologue done yet? I've got a party to go to.
ORCHESTRA: *plays something that sounds like the music is ending*

The street outside the Stahlbaums' house
LADY IN HAT: Hello, invisible passers-by!
BEAT COP: How you doin'?
HAT LADY: Whatever.
NURSEMAID PUSHING BABY CARRIAGE: Good evening, unknown hat lady.
HAT LADY: Excuse me, would you consider buying some holly from this basket I've got here?
NURSEMAID: I'm sorry, did you say something? I was busy showing off my employer's baby to this nice policeman.

COSTUME LADY AND DAUGHTER FROM PREVIOUS SCENE: This neighborhood is not nice enough for our lovely costumes.
HAT LADY: Hello, would you consider buying some holly?
DAUGHTER: Oooo, holly! Mummy, I want holly! HollyhollyhollyHOLLYHOLLY...
COSTUME LADY: All right, only stop making an unpleasant scene.
TWO GUYS: Hello, we are crossing the street with a Christmas tree on our shoulders, take no notice.
COP: Where you goin'?
TREE GUY #1: Thataway.
COP: Okay, then, proceed.

GROCERY DELIVERY GUY: I am so lost. 'Scuse me, officer, do you know where I'm going?
COP: Yeah, sure, follow the guys with the tree.
DELIVERY GUY: Thanks, dude.
LITTLE BOY: Hey, look, holly, check it out!
TWO OLDER GIRLS: Oooo, holly. Hello, hat lady, we would like to buy your holly.
RANDOM CORPS DE BALLET: This is a street and we are walking on it. Anyone know whether this means we get mentioned by name in the program? Anyone?
LITTLE BOY: Hello, housemaid at the only functioning door on this particular set, you're going to let me into the house now.
HOUSEMAID: Um, okay.

DROSSELMEIER: Good evening, officer.
COP: Whatever, weird dude with eyepatch. You're kind of creepy looking and I'm not going to get in your way.
NURSEMAID: Why am I still onstage? This job sucks.
DROSSELMEIER: Good evening, hat lady. Might I purchase a bit of your holly?
HAT LADY: Sure, I conveniently have one piece left after all those customers!
DROSSELMEIER: Pardon me, miss, I couldn't help but notice that you seem to lack the holiday spirit. Would you like this bit of holly?
NURSEMAID: Why thank you, kind sir.
DROSSELMEIER: Aha! I have reached my destination! You can tell because it's the only functioning door on the set.
TWO NUNS: We are walking down the street for no apparent reason. Good evening, person who is dressed like us but is clearly not a nun because you are pushing a baby carriage! What a lovely baby!

LADY IN RED: I'm crossing this damned stage en pointe. I better get mentioned in the program.
GUY CARRYING LADY IN RED'S PACKAGES: Me too. Er, not the en pointe bit, that's for girls.
GROCERY DELIVERY GUY: I am heading back to my grocery shop now.
NURSEMAID: I am heading back to my employer's house now. I think.
OTHER RANDOM CORPS DE BALLET: The scene's about to change, but the music is staying the same, so we will helpfully telegraph an impending scene change by moving faster!

The Stahlbaums' living room
PARTY GUESTS: Tree! Shiny tree! We will hang things on the tree!
CLARA'S GRANDFATHER: I will wave my cane at you to make you hang things faster.
CLARA'S FATHER: Look, we are done futzing with the tree! Is it not lovely?

CLARA: It's me! You know how you can tell I'm the lead? I'm wearing a white dress! Mummy, isn't my white dress pretty?
CLARA'S MOTHER: Yes, dear, it certainly is. And how nicely it ambiguifies your true age!
FRITZ, CLARA'S BROTHER: I'm going to slide down the banisters v-e-r-y slowly in case I hurt something.
HOUSEMAID: Don't do that.

CLARA: Mummy! Some of them are wearing white dresses too!!!
MOTHER: Yes, dear, but you're the only one wearing disturbingly adult amounts of eye makeup, so no one will have any trouble remembering you're the lead.
FATHER: Look! I plug in this little thingy and the tree lights up!
FRITZ: It's only a model.
MOTHER: Time to dance!
FRITZ: We're dancing all the time already. This is a damn ballet.

MEDIUM-SMALL MALE CHILD DANCERS: Ballet training teaches you to suppress your ew-cooties reflex so you can dance with girls.
MEDIUM-SMALL FEMALE CHILD DANCERS: Our footwork is more complicated than the boys' is, because we can be relied upon to remember it for more than five minutes at a time.
FRITZ: This sucks.
OTHER MEDIUM-SMALL MALE CHILD DANCERS: Hey, if he's not dancing any more, neither are we. Look! Over there! Something else interesting!
FATHER: Cut that out. The music's not done yet.
FRITZ AND OTHER BOYS: Oh. Right. *dance*
MUSIC: *finishes*

FATHER AND OTHER DADS: Now, if we give you this toy plane and this drum and this other thing that makes noise, do you promise not to use it to interrupt the party and annoy everyone? Especially you, Fritz, we're going to give you the drum, because there's no possible way that could be a bad plan.
FRITZ AND OTHER BOYS: Oh yes, uh-huh, totally, pinky swear.
MEDIUM-SMALL FEMALE CHILD DANCERS: Clara! Look at these awesome toys we got!
CLARA: Yes, yes, very nice. Where's my present?
FATHER: Here you go, pointy white box.
CLARA: Ooo shiny! I will go over here and look at it.

ADULT CORPS DE BALLET: We are at a party. It is a very nice party.
FATHER: Clara, would you like to put away your shiny for a moment and come dance with the grownups?
CLARA: Why yes, I thought you'd never ask.

RECAP READERS: Good Lord, if the rest of the ballet contains this much plot, we're going to be here all night.

GROWNUPS PLUS CLARA: *are still dancing*
LADY IN PINK DRESS: Hey everyone, stop dancing, a major character has arrived!
DROSSELMEIER: Your revels cease, assist me, all of you! Good evening!
MUSIC: This guy is important. Also kind of creepy. In case the cloak and eyepatch weren't enough of a hint.
DROSSELMEIER: Hang on to this blue box for me, and don't lose it.
DROSSELMEIER: The cloak too.

FATHER: Hello my brother! Or uncle! Or possibly old friend of some unrelated variety!
DROSSELMEIER: Hello, young Fritz, my, how you've grown. Hello, Clara, you're looking very central to the plot tonight.
FATHER AND MOTHER: Isn't she, though?
CLARA: Why, thank you, kind and only slightly creepy sir.
FATHER: Hey, now, none of that, this isn't the Pacific Northwest Ballet version.

DROSSELMEIER: Oh, right. Behold, everyone, I have presents! And magic tricks!
GRANDFATHER: No! Stop him! He's going to further the plot!
DROSSELMEIER: Magic magic magic.

JESTER DOLL: Hello! I am bendy! And probably being danced by a guy!
DROSSELMEIER: But wait, there's more!
ADULT CORPS DE BALLET: We shall stack these life-size boxes on top of each other and spin them about! Do you suppose it could be a stage effect?

DROSSELMEIER: This is a very special present, this one.
BALLERINA DOLL: Hello! I am stiff and jerky! And definitely being danced by a girl! Know how you can tell? No, no, don't be silly, not those, I'm a ballet dancer! You can tell because I'm wearing pointe shoes!
EVERYONE ON STAGE: Oooo. The clown was kind of creepy, but you? You're okay.
YOUR HUMBLE RECAPPER: Life-size ballerina dolls are much creepier than clowns! What are you people smoking?

ADULT CORPS DE BALLET: The music is telling us it's time to clear these people-shaped set pieces off the stage now.
JESTER AND BALLERINA DOLLS: We have been cast for our ability to keep our arms and legs stiffened at a consistent angle when someone lifts us onto his shoulder!
DROSSELMEIER: Blue box, please.

DROSSELMEIER: Well, well, what have we here. Why, it looks like a plot point!
CLARA: You called?
DROSSELMEIER: No, not you, the other plot point. Yes, yes, it is a very shiny plot point. It is so shiny that it has magically spawned a bigger version of itself in a much bigger box!
LIFE-SIZED NUTCRACKER: Hello! Underneath this costume I am very hot! Yes, yes, I do mean I'm quite good-looking, but also it's like nine million degrees in here. Please to be advancing the plot rapidly, thank you.
DROSSELMEIER: Um, that's kind of your job at this point.
NUTCRACKER: Oh, right! Dance dance! Jump jump! March march! Wave sword wave sword! Retreat into box!
CLARA: Oooooo.

DROSSELMEIER: Merry Christmas, you get this wooden kitchen implement in the shape of a soldier! Is he not far, far more interesting than that boring old pointy white box your daddy gave you earlier in the scene?
CLARA: Uh-huh.
FATHER: Dammit.

CLARA: I have a special and very famous dance to do now! Kind of the ballet equivalent of "O mio babbino caro" except I've already totally shut my dad down in favor of a present from someone else!
FATHER: Dammit.
CLARA: Look, my kitchen implement is the shiniest and most wonderful thing there has ever been!
FRITZ: Pffffffft. This would be a more exciting show if he'd given me the kitchen implement. Grrarrghhh! Take that, little kitchen implement! If I can't have you, no one can!
FRITZ: *breaks the Nutcracker*
FATHER: So much trouble.
FRITZ: Dammit.

DROSSELMEIER: Fear not! I shall fix the plot point with my Magic Handkerchief Of True Love Except Not Like That He's My Nephew Haven't Any Of You Read The Original Story?
CLARA: *snuggles the Nutcracker*
ADULT CORPS DE BALLET: It is late at night, but we are still partying!
FRITZ AND OTHER BOYS: We're not tired! We're totally not tired! We are going to make so much noise with our awesome presents!
FATHER: Yeah, no.

GRANDFATHER: Time for my spotlight dance!
GRANDMOTHER: Oh dear. All right.
CLARA: Awww, they are so cute.
DROSSELMEIER: Yes, and if you want to be them in 50 years, you should think about marrying a boy who can dance, know what I'm saying?

ADULT CORPS DE BALLET: We will all dance too!
CLARA: Dad? Um, I'm going to dance with your brother, or uncle, or possible old friend, here, if that's okay.
FATHER AND MOTHER: *smile through gritted teeth and dance together*

MEDIUM-SMALL CHILD DANCERS: We can dance too! It's almost time for us to go home and go to bed anyways!
FRITZ: I don't want to dance, I just want to bang on the drum all day.
HOUSEMAID: Don't do that.
DROSSELMEIER: I sense that you should keep your new toy with you at all times. Take it to bed with you? Why yes, that's a splendid suggestion.
CLARA: Say what?

MOTHER AND OTHER MOMS: Bedtime if you live here. If you don't, party's over so bye.
DROSSELMEIER: Goodnight, my brother or nephew or possible old friend! Thanks for letting me influence your daughter! Cloak, please?
HOUSEMAID: Here you go. "Go" being the operative word here. *ponders how long it'd take to send a Child In Need Of Services notice to her English cousin, the one with the magic umbrella*

CLARA: Goodnight Mummy and Daddy!
GRANDPARENTS: We will go to bed too.
MOTHER AND FATHER: Our Christmas tree is pretty. Should we be concerned about all the weird things that happened at the party? Naaaahhh. Kiss kiss.

The Stahlbaums' living room, later that night
MUSIC: Twinkle twinkle twinkle.
CLARA: I will sneak downstairs and look at the Nutcracker and snuggle him.
CLOCK: It is midnight!
CLARA: I am sleepy. You can tell because I make big yawning motions with my arms.

JESTER DOLL: Bwahaha, I am appearing in your dream! I leap! I tumble!
BALLERINA DOLL: Hello, I too am appearing in your dream! I, er, dance!

LARGE POOF OF DRY ICE: I am in your dream. Which, by the way, is starting to get creepy.
DROSSELMEIER: I am rising through the floor, on a platform, through the dry ice. Did someone say creepy? I am going to take your Nutcracker away and stick him in the fireplace now.
DROSSELMEIER: *eyeroll* All right, fine, I'll make your sofa-chair-thing move around on its own, and I'll make all the scenery grow huge and off-kilter. Honestly, heroines these days.

CHRISTMAS TREE: *grows huge*
TOY CUPBOARD AND STACK OF WRAPPED PRESENTS: *grow huge and appear to have been designed by Frank Gehry*

LIFE-SIZE NUTCRACKER: Hello! While you were not watching, I replaced my toy-sized self and am now sitting in the fireplace!
CLARA: Holy crap, we've got mice! This is what happens when your housemaid spends all her time writing letters to her cousin instead of cleaning!

NUTCRACKER: This shall not be! Are there any army toys out there who can help a brother out?

MOUSE KING: Hi there. I don't have seven heads in this production, but I do have a costume that lets you see my awesomeness in the general waist-downwards vicinity.
NUTCRACKER: This shall not be either! I am the prettiest!
MOUSE KING: Dude, your eyes are bigger than your girlfriend's entire head. Being the prettiest really isn't in it.
NUTCRACKER: Behold! I jump! I march! I do splits in midair! My waist-downwards-vicinity is totally superior!
MOUSE KING: Okay, that's it, it is on. Get him, girls!

MICE: *dance threateningly*
SOLDIERS: *march*
NUTCRACKER: *shoots cannon*
CANNON: *has no apparent effect*
MOUSE KING: My arabesque is higher than yours!
NUTCRACKER: My pirouettes are the most manly!

CLARA: *sigh* Boys.

CLARA AND SOME SOLDIERS: *set giant mousetrap*
GIANT MOUSETRAP: Bwahaha! Mechanical engineering conquers all! *snaps on Mouse King's foot*
NUTCRACKER: *stabs the Mouse King in a seriously fatal manner*
MOUSE KING: Did I mention I was a total drama queen? Look, I shall drag myself down through the trapdoor so that my waist-downwards-vicinity-bits are left kicking in the air for a bit! Bwahahaha, I am totally the prettiest! *dies*
MICE AND SOLDIERS: *conveniently vanish*

MUSIC: We can haz romantic scene now?
CLARA: I beg your pardon?
DROSSELMEIER: Check this out.
NUTCRACKER: Look! Under this very uncomfortable costume, I am a prince and I am hot! Er, I mean, I'm cool!
CLARA: *stares* Yeah, let's just stick with hot, shall we?
PRINCE: I'm dancing and I can't be bothered now.

DROSSELMEIER: Oh dear, we've got one of those inconvenient scene changes. Perhaps waving this silver sparkly thing in the air will help.
MUSIC: Hey, if you think you've heard me in the opening credits of "Stargate", you are so right!
SNOW ROYALTY: Hello! We are pretty and serve no real purpose!
MUSIC: But we sure are pretty.

PRINCE: Hey guys! This is Clara. She saved me from being a kitchen implement.
PRINCE: Well, anyways, gotta go, dancing candy to watch, ballerinas to ignore, see you later.

SNOW KING, NOT MOVING HIS LIPS: Honey, should we be worried that his new girlfriend is too young for pointe shoes?
SNOW QUEEN, NOT MOVING HER LIPS: Just keep smiling and waving. We should be a lot more worried about what's going to happen to him when the Sugar Plum Fairy catches up with him.
SNOW KING: The who now?
SNOW QUEEN: Just keep smiling and waving. God, there's a reason your character is sometimes left out of this ballet, isn't there.


(STAGE MANAGER: Hey, someone go wake up the celesta player, okay?)

Mid-show narration
KRISTI YAMAGUCHI: Just so you know, Act 2 doesn't take place in Candyland like usual. It's supposed to be a pavilion at the 1915 World's Fair. Clara's parents took her to see it and now she's dreaming about it. Not like that's relevant to the plot, but I thought you might find it interesting. Here, look at some more pretty vintage greeting cards and Christmas cards.

The Pavilion Of Dreams

MEDIUM-LARGE CHILD DANCERS: We are dressed like butterflies or like the Flower Fairies, depending on how old we are. And four little boys are dressed like ladybugs. It is cute.
BALLERINA IN PALE PINK: I am pretty, but my costume lacks flair. This might be a clue.
MEDIUM-LARGE CHILD DANCERS: We flutter our hands like butterfly wings while we dance. It is cute.

PRINCE AND CLARA: *arrive in a carriage pulled by dancers dressed as horses*
SOME GUYS: We are security guards.
PINK BALLERINA: Wow! You look like you again instead of a kitchen implement! Tell me all about it!
PRINCE: Don't mind if I do.
PINK BALLERINA: Hey, everyone, he's going to tell!

PRINCE: Okay, so, this is Clara, and she's awesome. There was this big tree, and I was a toy soldier, and Clara went to sleep. And then she woke up and there were all these mice running around. See this totally cute way I am waving my fingers under my chin like whiskers? That means there were mice! A bunch of toy soldiers and I fought with the mice!
PRINCE: The Mouse King and I had a totally manly dance-off. There was jumping and marching and waving of swords. And he stabbed me!
PINK BALLERINA: Heavens to Betsy!
PRINCE: No, no, it was okay, because Clara saved me. She did something really bad to the King's foot and then I killed him. And then I got turned back into ME!!!
PINK BALLERINA: That is totally okay by me.

PRINCE: I jump! I leap! I pirouette! I do this really painful thing where I land on one knee coming out of a leap! I am the awesomest thing that was ever awesome! So, anyways, Clara and me are BFFs forever.
PINK BALLERINA: How nice. Hello, little brave girl who is not old enough for pointe shoes yet, it's very nice to meet you.
CLARA: Um, what?
PRINCE: Clara, say hello to the very important nice lady in the pink dress.
CLARA: Um, okay.
DROSSELMEIER: Come sit with me and watch the party. It's no big deal.

FIVE SOLOISTS: We are the Spanish dancers! Please enjoy our dance even though it is not nearly as exciting or famous as the dances that are coming up next!

TWO GUYS: We are the Arabian dancers! We are carrying a life-size genie lamp on a plank! The Arabian dance usually features a bendy female soloist in harem pants, so you know exactly what's in the lamp. We will rub it in a faintly salacious manner, without taking it out of the realm of family-friendly entertainment.
A FEMALE SOLOIST: I have harem pants, a turban, and no bones in most of my body. Watch me be bendy!
TWO GUYS: We will lift our soloist into all kinds of interesting configurations that don't require the two of us to actually dance all that much. we will put her back into the lamp. Weren't we awesome?

SHORT MALE SOLOIST WITH SERIOUS HANG TIME: I am the Chinese dancer! Watch me jump! Ignore the fact that my top kind of looks like Charlie Brown's shirt! I am awesome! I bet I'm also the understudy for the Prince, because I can jump just that high!
SOLOIST: Run away!!!!

THREE FEMALE SOLOISTS: We are the Reed Flutes! Our music is kind of a palate cleanser. Normally we are dressed like shepherdesses or something, and are not very exciting. But this time we have cute little can-can skirts and those ribbons-on-sticks that rhythm gymnasts use. And everything in this scene is in subdued shades of blue and lavender, except the ribbons which are bright bright pink. Someone sure did a nice job designing us! Oh look, and we can do splits.

THREE GIANT FABERGE EGGS: Hey look, we have three male soloists inside us! Or some of them could be women, the costumes make it hard to tell. They are the Russian dancers! Their music is your humble recapper's personal favorite. They jump. They scissor kick. They pirouette. They are cool.

SMALLEST CHILD DANCERS: We are dressed as Harlequins, and we are cute but not as cute as the ladybugs.
MALE SOLOIST IN DRAG WEARING SOME KIND OF TERRIFYINGLY HUGE ARCHITECTURAL SCENERY DRAPED ON HIM: Hi, I'm Mother Gingerbread or something. My costume looks like they built a circus tent around my hips. I sure hope I'm standing on a wheeled platform that's being moved around through mechanical means, because if I'm carrying all this weight on my own and moving it around just by walking, it's going to hurt a lot.
SMALLEST CHILD DANCERS: The longer this scene goes on, the creepier we look.

MOTHER GINGERBREAD: Look, when I pull these strings on my costume, the front of the skirt rolls up like the front of the tent, and I was hiding a Dancing Bear under there! Don't think too hard about this, I beg of you!
BEAR: *dances*
ALL THE SMALLEST CHILD DANCERS: *run and hide under Mother G's skirt*

ORCHESTRA: Now is the time when we do the Waltz Of The Flowers.
EVERYONE WHO'S SEEN THIS SHOW BEFORE: Time for a bathroom break.

ORCHESTRA: Oh, come on.
EVERYONE: No, seriously, this is the one number in the show that's never, ever redesigned in a new and interesting fashion.
ORCHESTRA: But...but...pretty!
EVERYONE: All right, just this once. Um, just this once again.

PINK BALLERINA: *completely out-pirouettes the Prince, who sadly is not there to see it*

PINK BALLERINA: Hello? Little fangirl?
PINK BALLERINA: Got a surprise for you.

TWO SECURITY GUARDS: *wheel in a giant white pointy box which is presumably a replica of the one Clara was given by her father in the party scene, your humble recapper is not sure*
A THIRD SECURITY GUARD: *hands the Pink Ballerina a replica of the crown she herself is wearing on her head*
PINK BALLERINA: Here. Put this on your head and look at yourself in the mirror inside the giant white box.
CLARA: *sticks her head into giant white box* Oooo, will this take me to Narnia?
SECURITY GUARDS: *shut Clara into giant white box and spin it round a few times*

PRINCE: Hello, here I am again! And this time I am wearing an orange jacket! What did you do with my fangirl?
PINK BALLERINA: Take it easy. We're making her better and stronger than before. We have the technology.
SECURITY GUARDS: *open giant white box to reveal an adult solo ballerina wearing a costume with an orange skirt*

ORANGE BALLERINA: Hello! I am wearing the crown on my head, that's how you know I'm a transformed version of Clara! And I am wearing orange, that's how you know I get to dance with the Prince! And the orchestra is now playing the Sugar Plum Fairy's Grand Adagio music, that's how you know that there is no Sugar Plum Fairy in this production, it's all me, bwahahahaha! Look at me, I look fabulous! Thank you so much, insipidly dressed pink ballerina!
PINK BALLERINA: Don't worry about it. I've kind of got my hands full with all those corps de ballet flowers, anyways. So to speak.

ORANGE BALLERINA: Yes, yes, whatever. Hello my Prince!
PRINCE: Wow, you are magically now old enough that it's not creepy for me to dance the romantic duets with you! Yay!
ORANGE BALLERINA: Yay! Take it away, maestro!
YOUR HUMBLE RECAPPER: *is going to stop blathering now and just watch the pretty*

ENTIRE COMPANY: There is still more music! And so we dance!

DROSSELMEIER: Forgot about me, did you?
ORCHESTRA STRING SECTIONS: We didn't! We have been saving this particularly tense 7th chord just for you.
DROSSELMEIER: ...whatever that means. Anyways, I have to turn Clara back to her original underage self and park her back on her sofa-chair-thing with her toy Nutcracker, okay?
AUDIENCE: If you must. She's kind of a bitch in the grownup incarnation, anyways. Although that could be recapper bias, we're not sure.

CLARA: *wakes up in her living room, her own proper age again*
MOTHER: *is standing on the staircase, smiling indulgently, and leads Clara back to bed as the lights go down.*