The Filkado

Act II

In Act II, the chorus is split into the Pirates and the Nesfanese. If desired, the Second Guard from the first act can double as the Pirate Lieutenant.

Scene 1

The right half of the stage is the interior of the 3PMP3, decorated to look like a typical TV spaceship bridge, or as close as we can get to that on a $10 budget. The left half has an optional black backdrop, representing outer space. Enter the Music Pirates L, led by D. J. Thoris and the Pirate Lieutenant. If the setup allows, they can advance down the aisle from the back. Otherwise they enter from the right. With them is the Punsman, in a pirate disguise (he's at least hidden his beanie).

Music Pirates [sung, TTTO "With Cat-Like Tread" from The Pirates of Penzance]:
With cat-like tread, we warp through outer space...

D. J. Thoris: Stop that!! "Pirates of Fenzance" was done in 1998!

Pirate Lieutenant: So? We are music pirates, after all.

All take positions on right (bridge) side of stage.

Punsman: But, Captain Thoris, can you explain that to me? I'm still new to your crew, having risen to trusted lieutenant in just three days. Of all the many forms of space crime, why did you choose to become a music pirate?

D. J. Thoris: Lieutenant Dick Deadear, you've shown amazing ability and trustworthiness in those three days. You're entitled to an explanation. When I chose to embark on a career of space crime, I looked at the tales of the many bucaneers, pirates, and swashbucklers of space, and noticed one thing in common about many of them: they died horrible deaths. I came to the sudden, blinding realization that a different, less deadly form of plunder would increase my chances for longevity.

[TTTO "The sun whose rays are all ablaze"]
The gun whose rays are all ablaze with coruscating glory
May soon portend a frightful end that is both grim and gory
And when you burn men, you may learn that they get very irate,
So that is why discreetly I became a music pirate.
I mean to steal some songs, but not to die.
We aim for different wrongs, the gun and I.
I mean to steal some songs, but not to die.
We aim for different wrongs, the gun and I.

A PlagiaRay can win the day and yet be never violent.
A quiet thief, it brings no grief, for its attack is silent.
I pilfer tunes; just like the moon, I shine on by reflection,
Claim every line therein is mine, and suffer no correction.
The author soon will find and can't deny
We're bound in every mind, the tune and I.
The author soon will find and can't deny
We're bound in every mind, the tune and I.

Punsman [aside]: Such a beauty! But though love may level all ranks, it could never level the distance that stands between an evil pirate and a defender of the galaxy. Oh, if only she'd give up this life of crime, I could tell her that she's stolen my heart.

D. J. Thoris [aside]: He is so handsome, so competent, so dedicated! I would gladly ... Ah, but no, I am a captain, and he is my lieutenant, and it is forbidden of a captain to fraternize with her crew. [Sighs] This is space opera, after all..

Pirate Lieutenant: Captain, we will have the planet Nesfan in PlagiaRay range in five minutes.

D. J.: Excellent. It's almost too easy! Have we forgotten anything?

Pirate Lieutenant: Captain, you remember what happened when we raided the planet Direidi. Their plan C counterattack not only disabled the PlagiaRay, but crippled the ship. That was too high a price to pay for just the planet.

[Direidi is pronounced "di-rye-dee," according to John M. Ford.]

D. J.: We're in no danger of Comedy as a weapon here, Lieutenant. Nesfan is the most punless planet in the known galaxy. Our equipment can metabolize their songs without the slightest difficulty.

Punsman [aside]: A-ha! This is the fatal secret I've been waiting for! I must return to my cloaked ship and be away to the planet... first, though, they must be distracted from me, so that my leaving is not obvious. But how?

Pirate Lieutenant: Captain! A ship is approaching!

D. J.: So, a show of resistance! But that will only make our victory the more entertaining. All hands to battle stations!

Pirates and lieutenant exit quickly R.
Scene 2

Punsman [aside]: A-ha! That would be Tomokatisha! As with humor, timing is everything! I must away -- this is the distraction I was waiting for!

The Punsman moves to center stage, outside the "bridge," and is no longer seen by D. J.

D. J.: Dick dear -- I mean, Dick Deadear -- where are you? [Looks around] He must have gone to his post already. No one could be more loyal to his duty than he.

Punsman: Punsman to Tomokatisha. Come in, Tomokatisha.

Tomokatisha enters L, neither seeing nor being seen by any of the others. She answers the Punsman as if by radio.

Tomakatisha: Tomokatisha here. Have you escaped the pirate ship?

Punsman: Not yet. I need to transfer to my ship while you create a distraction. Once I'm there, I'll return to the planet at once with the information I collected.

Tomokatisha: Good work. In a little while, though, your information will be of interest only for writing a history book about the pirates.

Punsman: Tomokatisha, remember what I said about subtle strategy! I've found they have weaknesses, but they aren't the kind which you can exploit in a direct attack. The most important thing right now is to buy me the time to get back to Nesfan.

For the following piece, D.J., the Punsman, and Tomokatisha should be evenly spaced across the stage, singing to the audience, and not looking at each other.

Tomokatisha [TTTO "The Chippy-Chopper Trio"]:
I am so proud, if I allowed
My martial pride to be my guide,
Then I'd attack and cut no slack,
And they'd be through in a minute or two.
But martial pride must be denied,
As time I bide, as time I bide.
My brain it teems with endless schemes
Of strategy if I can flee, if I can flee.
It's time to skip out from this ship
And then diffuse my vital news.
Now I must race through outer space
So I'll outpace them to our base.
D. J. Thoris:
I heard one day a lawyer say
Musicians who write and try to fight
Will lack a stash of needed cash
And so will fall, will fall when pirates call.
Since that is clear, our victory's near.
The Nesfanese we'll conquer with ease.
And so, although all systems are go,
I greatly pine to to brightly shine
As hero-ine against these swine,
This task is mine: to hold the line.
And so, although I'm ready to go,
I must be wise and use disguise
So I can rise and bear my prize
Into the skies, so I surmise.
D. J. Thoris:
We'll go and show our pitiful foe
How we'll advance with laser lance,
And with a glance that's quite askance,
We'll take our stance, and they have no chance!
I must surmise, I must surmise... [repeat]
To hold the line, to hold the line ... [repeat]
D. J. Thoris:
We'll take our stance, and they have no chance! ... [repeat]
All three:
We're ready now for battle, and we will not yield,
The emptiness of space will be our battlefield.
We're targeting each weapon that we have to wield,
From a zippy-zappy blaster to a photon shield!
We will not yield
The battlefield,
The guns we wield,
And photon shield,
We're ready now for battle
In the emptiness of space
As we are targeting each weapon
From a zippy-zappy blaster
To a pho - ton shield!
D. J. Thoris exits R; Punsman and Tomokatisha exit separately L.  

Scene 3

The planet Nesfan. Enter the Punsman L and Dr. McKoko R. Punsman is no longer disguised.

Dr. McKoko: You? I thought you had gone away.

Punsman: I had, Doctor, and I have returned with vital information.

Dr. McKoko: Then you completed your task?

Punsman: Indeed I have.

Dr. McKoko: Excellent! [grins broadly] You remember that your punishment was commuted so long as you were in the service of the Filkado -- and no longer.

Punsman: If it hadn't been commuted, I hardly would have chosen to commute back here.

Dr. McKoko: But now your service is complete. Therefore, your immunity no longer exists.

Punsman: Do you mean to say the successful completion of my work will result in my termination?

Scene 4

The Filkado and Nit-Pick enter L, but the Punsman and Dr. McKoko are too engrossed in their argument to notice.

Dr. McKoko: Quite so. I still need to test my procedure on a live subject, and you will do very nicely. Brain made of rock, indeed!

Punsman: Stick it in your ear!

Dr. McKoko: No ... yours will do much better.

He gestures offstage, and First Guard (perhaps now costumed as a lab assistant) enters L with a huge stuffed lobster, which he holds as if struggling with it.

Dr. McKoko: You see this creature, which I have genetically developed. The procedure is quite simple. It is inserted in the subject's ear, where it will seek out and devour the pun center.

The Punsman gapes at the creature in horror. Then he notices the Filkado.

Punsman: Your majesty, surely this is not a just reward for my service!

Filkado: I'm afraid Dr. McKoko has the right of it. I suspended charges against you, so long as you remained in service to us, and no longer. You have successfully completed your task; therefore the charges are once again in effect. Very slovenly of me, I admit. I'll have it corrected at the next E-board meeting.

Tomokatisha [running in breathlessly L]: Hold!

Dr. McKoko: Oh, no, it's Tomokatisha!

Tomokatisha: But Dr. McKoko, you're always so glad to see me!

Dr. McKoko: Yes, but it's the second act, and you've just entered, shouting "Hold!" That means you're about to reveal a secret which will spoil all my carefully devised plans.

Tomokatisha: I'm afraid that's true. But first I must present my military report.

Nit-Pick: Your majesty, she can't present her report now! There is no quorum!

Filkado: Nit-Pick, I appreciate your efforts to deserve your name, but you will find that Section 1618 of the Legal Code permits me to receive military reports without a quorum call.

Nit-Pick: Section 1618? Your majesty, I don't believe I have heard of it before.

Filkado: You have now. [To Tomokatisha] Proceed with your report.

Tomokatisha [Addressing the Filkado]: The pirates are coming, and we can't stop them. We were chased right out of the sky. However, we did do some damage to the 3PMP3. We crippled their main PlagiaRay. Most likely they will land and attack with manual song-stealing devices. They could arrive any minute.

Filkado: This is bad. But we will have to face them on the ground.

Punsman: But if that's bad, what about the fate that I'm about to face? I've eaten stuffed lobster before, but I never expected to be eaten by one! And this, after I've completed my service-- but not yet revealed the enemy weakness which I discovered!

Filkado: Yes, the timing is indeed unfortunate, but what can we do?

Punsman: What can we do? ... I know! The secret, Tomokatisha, tell them the secret!

Tomokatisha: Since there is no other hope, I will reveal the secret. [Pause] We have all been punning incessantly! Look at our very names! To operate on him would be hypocrisy!

Filkado: Isn't that government by hippos?

Dr. McKoko: Don't you know your Greek? It's government by horses!

Filkado [realizing what they have just said]: We've just proven her point. She's right.

Dr. McKoko: And I can't operate on myself. [To the assistant] You're relieved. [First Guard exits L, indeed looking relieved.]

Punsman: Not nearly as much as I am. But listen. While I was on the 3PMP3, I learned that the pirates are vulnerable to the Power of the Pun. That is the one weapon we still have against them.

Dr. McKoko: Absurd!

Tomokatisha: Please, listen to him.

Punsman [TTTO "The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring"]:
The power that comes from the pun, tra-la,
Gives promise of vict'ry in war.
It's better than swords or a gun, tra-la,
In forcing the pirates to run, tra-la,
When they hear all the lines they abhor. (2x)
And that's why I say that when all's said and done,
We must use the power that comes from the pun.
Tra-la-la-la-la, Tra-la-la-la-la,
The power that comes from the pun.
Tra-la-la-la-la, Tra-la-la-la-la,
Tra-la-la-la, la-la.
Dr. McKoko:
The power that comes from the pun, tra-la,
Is not of the sort we can wield.
For under the Nesfanese sun, tra-la,
No pun has been ever begun, tra-la,
Our pun centers all are congealed. (2x)
If we should attempt it, the pirates have won,
So bother the power that comes from the pun.
Tra-la-la-la-la, Tra-la-la-la-la,
Bother the pow'r of the pun.
Tra-la-la-la-la, Tra-la-la-la-la,
Tra-la-la-la, la-la.

Filkado: Dr. McKoko is right that we lack your skills. Making inadvertent puns is one thing, wielding a pun under combat conditions quite another.

Punsman: There is a way. [Removing his beanie] Dr. McKoko, the Beanie acts as a pun amplifier. The principle will be very easy for one of your intellect to grasp. Make as many copies as you can of it before the pirates land.

Dr. McKoko: You want me to do what!? Mass-produce beanies?

Filkado: You must, Doctor. It's the only thing that can save us.

Dr. McKoko: [TTTO "Tit Willow"]
I've a brain like a planet, and what must I do?
Make beanies, make beanies, make beanies.
It's an insult to my mighty intellect to
Make beanies, make beanies, make beanies.
I could build them a ship that cleaves space with a "whoosh";
I could rig up a Raygun, or even a Bush.
But instead I must go in and sit on my toosh,
And make beanies, make beanies, make beanies.
There's so many devices that I'd rather make
Than beanies, than beanies, than beanies.
Though turning these out is a mere piece of cake;
Make beanies, make beanies, make beanies.
With a tight pressing deadline, no rest can I grab.
There is no time to loiter and no time to gab.
And my sighs echo back in the halls of the lab:
Make beanies, make beanies, make beanies.
Now I know that I'm sure as I'm sure that my name
Isn't Beany, not Cecil, not Beany!
That by saving the planet I'll win much acclaim
For my beanies, my beanies, my beanies.
But unless I can flee to some better work, I
Will perish of boredom, and you will know why!
And I surely will say with a groan as I die:
Make beanies, make beanies, make beanies!

Dr. McKoko, then all, exit L.

Scene 5

Enter the pirates R, led by D.J. Thoris and Pirate Lieutenant.

D. J.: We are close to victory now! Draw your hand PlagiaRays, and be ready.

The Pirates produce kazoos (bearing MARS logos) from their pockets, which they hold like guns.

D. J.: If only Dick Deadear hadn't proven such a coward! I wanted to share my triumph with him, but he fled from my ship as soon as the battle started!

Pirate Lieutenant: Listen. People are approaching.

D. J.: Take cover and ambush them.

The Pirates crouch down in a corner of the stage. The Filkado, Tomokatisha, Nit-Pick, and the Punsman enter L, followed cautiously by the First Guard (no longer a lab assistant) and Nesfanese chorus.

Tomokatisha: The 3PMP3 landed near here. The pirates have to be somewhere nearby.

D. J. [leaping up and pointing her kazoo at them, followed by the other pirates]: Indeed we are!
The Nesfanese raise their hands in surrender. Then D. J. notices the Punsman.
You! Faithless one! Traitor!

Punsman: All of that and more.

D. J.: I am D. J. Thoris, the leader of the Music Pirates. We have no personal enmity toward the rest of you. We merely intend to loot and pillage you. But as for this vile spy...

Punsman: Do your worst. I will be composed as I meet my doom, even if I must decompose afterwards.

D. J.: We have eight new parodies of "Banned from Argo" prepared just for you.

The Punsman and all the Nesfanese react with horror.

Filkado: Barbarian!

D. J. [to the Filkado]: Are you the leader of these people?

Filkado: I am.

D. J.: Then you will open your storehouses of music to us.

Filkado: And if I do not?

D. J.: Then we will take them regardless. Resistance is futile!

Punsman: And we currently have no capacity to offer impedance to your plans? How revolting!

D. J.: A Punsman! I should have known! Gag him, before he...

Punsman: Attacks you with more gags?

The pun attack throws the pirates off their stride, but they regroup. As the Nesfanese are backing away from the attackers, Dr. McKoko enters hastily L, his hands full of beanies.

Nit-Pick: Help, Dr. McKoko, help!

Dr. McKoko: I'm coming!

Tomokatisha: Beanies!

Filkado: Pirates, you have waited too long!

Dr. McKoko quickly passes out the beanies, and the Nesfanese put them on. Drum roll through the following.

Tomokatisha: Now, D.J., you dirty gal... [to the Nesfanese] Set beanies on pun!

D.J. and pirates [terrified]: No!

Filkado: I sentence you, for what you've done, To cruel and unusual puns!

D.J. and pirates: Mercy!

Nit-Pick: The sentence you must serve will vex, For it is compound and complex!

D.J. and pirates: Spare us!

Dr. McKoko: The sentence which on you will fall Is hideous--no appeal at all.

Pirate Lieutenant: Our PlagiaRay guns! They're overheating from the pun barrage!

The pirates and D.J. drop their kazoos as if they've become too painful to hold.

D. J.: We admit defeat! We surrender! [Kneels before the Filkado] Is our sentence really beyond any appeal?

Punsman: To the Filkado, perhaps. But you do appeal to me.

D.J.: You? You betrayed me! But ... my career as a music pirate is at an end. If my appeal pleases you, then let me learn the Power of the Pun from you! [They embrace, and Dr. McKoko puts a beanie on her]

Filkado: Then there will be a truce between our worlds, and we will seal it with a marriage.

Tomokatisha: Let it be two marriages! [Takes Dr. McKoko's hand]

Dr. McKoko: But, Tomokatisha, are you sure?

Tomokatisha: Now, now, Doctor. Remember D. J.'s words. Resistance is futile.

Dr. McKoko: I have always dreamed of a partnership with to make the mighty weapons of destruction, you to wield them. I never dared hope for more; the career of a mad scientist is often, by necessity, a solo one. But now... [beams happily at Tomokatisha]

Filkado: Then let there be two marriages. No ending could possibly be more satisfactory!

Punsman, D.J., Filkado, Dr. McKoko, Tomokatisha: [TTTO "Bellow of the Blast," reprise]

It's all the same, for derry down derry,
It's evident, very, our goals are one.
We share one aim, to merrily marry
Nor tardily tarry till day is done.

Repeat, with all pirates and Nesfanese joining in the chorus, and a couple of pirates playing their kazoos  
All: It's all the same, for derry down derry,
It's evident, very, our goals are one.
We share one aim, to merrily marry
Nor tardily tarry till day is done.

Sing derry down derry,
We'll merrily marry
Nor tardily tarry
Till day is done.