Friday, April 17, 1992

Royal Shakespeare Dinner Theatre


RICHARD III strides onto stage and does his twisted, hunchback thing. Actor is Patrick Stewart type. Classically trained.

RICHARD III: Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of...

Lights up. Loud noise. From stage right, a metallic dessert counter slides into place with a sound like a pneumatic snake. It almost crushes the actor. He leaps out of the way just in time.RICHARD III: ... a bitch!

STAGE MANAGER strides to center stage. Charming. In a Jon Lovitz kind of way.

AUDIENCE of extremely old people looks at him. Not charmed yet.

STAGE MANAGER: Merry, good ticket-buying people. Forgivest thee or thou this thy humble servant. Zounds. I hast forgotten yon dessert selection. Prithee, behold our multitudinous flavors of ice cream and Apple Betty. Forsooth, etcetera.

His ass-kissing wins them over. But the Shakespearean actor is pissed.

RICHARD III: Mine gorge doth rise.

STAGE MANAGER: The fault is in thine ass, not the stars. Dig in!

AUDIENCE flocks to the dessert selection like the rats eating the Ernest Borgnine character in Willard.

RICHARD III: What in the bloody hell are you doing?

STAGE MANAGER: Keep the people happy, OK?

RICHARD III: This is Shakespeare!

STAGE MANAGER: Shakespeare? Gee. You think so?

RICHARD III: Yes! The Bard himself!

STAGE MANAGER: Really? Aw, I'm not respectful enough?


STAGE MANAGER: Respectful? Pfft! Jesus, you stupid actors. Read a book sometime! The original Globe Theater had sword fights and coitus. In the audience! Now hit your mark, asshole! From the top!

Elizabethan music. The play must go on.

Open as before.

RICHARD III: Now is the winter of our discontent ...

OLD WOMAN: (in audience -- OS) Where's my Apple Betty?

RICHARD: III: Made glorious summer by this sun of...

OLD WOMAN: (OS) I didn't get my Apple Betty!

STAGE MANAGER: (OS) Behold, good woman! Thine Apple Betty appears with haste!

RICHARD III: York. And all the clouds that ... loured upon our house.

STAGE MANAGER: (OS) Ah, crap ...he unplugged it.

OLD WOMAN: I want my Apple Betty!

RICHARD III: In the deepest bosom ...

She climbs up on stage and confronts him.


RICHARD III: Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled ... (looks at her) Apple Betty.

She glares at him.

STAGE MANAGER leaps on stage, hands her an Apple Betty.

She takes it.

STAGE MANAGER: Give the people what they want, asshole!

RICHARD III whips out rapier and stabs him.

The AUDIENCE applauds.