this winter, we look forward to the opening of

RETAIL!
a new musical
adapted from Il Mercante-Principe,
an unproduced opera formerly known as IL RIGATTIERE
with lyrics and stage directions by Dario Fo
Portions of scenes from this innovative form of musical art may appear on this blog from time to time, and the Producers hope that you will enjoy them.

We also hope that the Powers That Be in various entertainment media will take note.

the theatre darkens slowly. As the curtain rises, the Chorus, a single line of bandits, vagabonds, urchins, cutters, pressers, pattern makers, sample makers, fit models, showroom models, catalog models, packers, slowly moves across the stage and does not come back.

Chorus:
Preppies, mommies, chunkies, skinnies,
Listen as we tell it true:
Those who spend their money freely
Are not the many, but the few.

The curtain is up. Ominous machinery looms ominously in the ominous dim light, over a thin young girl, who starts to sing. As the machines grow quieter, we hear:

I dreamed a dream in seasons past,
when clothes were fine and shoes worth wearing
I dreamed that cashmere would be mine
When I walked by they'd all be staring.
Yes, I was young, a sample size,
my styles were shown and worn and restyled.
My bills could easily be paid, 
and my sketchbooks all compiled.

Then accountants came at night
with their pencils soft as thunder
and they ripped my styles asunder
as they tore my clothes apart. 

Three men in shirtsleeves and green eyeshades enter left and stand still, holding signs:

NO SAMPLE MAKERS NEEDED.   
NO PATTERN MAKERS NEEDED. 
NO FINISHERS NEEDED. 

A fourth enters right. His sign says  聘用 .

The song continues.

And still I dream that I will wear
the clothes I see behind my eyes
but there are dreams that cannot be
and styles I can't accessorize

I had a dream that I would find
a dress and separates worth the spending
So different now from pants unlined,
so far from things I'm always mending.

a tall man in corduroy slacks strolls by.

Man:  Why are you waiting here? It's so dark.
Girl:   I'm waiting for the sale to open
          I need a dress for my child's birthday
Man:   Why don't you just go to a store?
Girl:    I can't pay list price.
Man:    Maybe I can help.

In complete darkness, shouts, noises, siren. An Urchin pokes his head out from the wings:
Urchin: Was that an undercover cop?
Another Urchin: No, that was the accountant from HR.

37 comments:

  1. Not sure what to say. Well done my dear. I dreamed a dream that I could open my e-mail and not be bombarded by store sales.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, BB, the "opera" has been in pre-production for a few years now, we were also recruiting a claque. Then someone pointed out that not every character and scene fit the works of Mozart, of Puccini, of Mascagni...

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  2. Replies
    1. thank you, m, the next set piece will probably be Three Little Chicks From FIT.

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  3. Brilliant!!!! (Standing Ovation) Brava! Well said fred!!!!!

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  4. Replies
    1. hi, Hexicon, and then there's that crowd-pleasing patter song, I am the very model of a modern prince of merchandise.

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  5. You've absolutely nailed it, Fred! This could be my cheapest fall (season, not tumble) in some time.

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    Replies
    1. and the grand finale, "Stout-Hearted Ren."

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  6. Congratulations, you have a winner on your hands, I do believe.

    I think I might even manage to sing the word 'apart', as it gets higher and higher, without running out of puff at the end. The 'ah' sound is so much easier to sing than the word 'shame'.

    Maybe your could rework 'The Pajama Game' with some contemporary clothing references?

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Trish! 7 and 1/2 Ren comes to mind..

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  7. LOVE this!!! You are so right on it is scary......

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    Replies
    1. And a solo from The ghost of fibers past?

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    2. Yes - can they be wearing chains around their ankles???? could this be the SCROOGE! Christmas musical???

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    3. no, the Ghost will be wearing Forgotten Fibers, and he will rustle as he passes by. He will not be a main character, just a walking reference and people will either pick up on it or not.
      .

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  8. It's a lock for the Tonys. All of them, especially Best Adaptation of a Retail Decine.

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    Replies
    1. hi, mommydearest, thank you! Those first chilly mornings are inspirational, no?

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  9. So spot on. You are quite gifted. Am holding my breath for the G and S operetta. Although, the 3 little chicks from FIT are most likely working at Buffalo Wild Wings to pay back their student loans, as the manufacturers recycle old patterns in ever cheaper fabrics, and pay the display and pr team more than they do the designers.
    ( Disclaimer-This was not meant to insult the 3 chicks. My boys are big BWW fans.)

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Knit Yarns, I saw them more as underpaid interns living on trust funds, dressed in shorts, tights, and metallic spike heels.

      Perhaps I should regroup. Keeping an open mind.

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    2. WFF- I stand corrected-shorts, tights and metallic spike heels. Oh, that sounds suspiciously like something my VPS might suggest for office wear. Clearly they work for JCrew.

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  10. I will underwrite this production!

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    Replies
    1. please make this generous offer known to Bialystock and Bloom.

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  11. Replies
    1. in the works of many modern dramatists the elements of both are mixed, together with disguised quotes from the writers the perceive to be their own predecessors,folk ballads, street plays -- I desperately trudge in their footsteps, and not just because my shoes are coming unglued.

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  12. Exemplary work, dear Fred. I hope it did not require you to butcher your hair or shed pounds so that you would look consumptive. Better free up some shelf space for that Tony.

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  13. Exemplary work, dear Fred. I hope it did not require you to butcher your hair or shed pounds so that you would look consumptive. Better free up some shelf space for that Tony.

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  14. Exemplary work, dear Fred. I hope it did not require you to butcher your hair or shed pounds so that you would look consumptive. Better free up some shelf space for that Tony.

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  15. *chortles* I would love for this to be a traveling production :)

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