SHVAN LAKE – Comedy Sketch

(From JUMP AROUND A LOT: Seven Tales of Olden Times For Grown-Ups)

CHARACTERS

 He (Siegfried)

She (the Qveen, his mütter)

SETTING

A stage. It could be romantically velvety and foggy.

(He and She, in ballet costumes, are not yet in character.)

 HE

Because of our concern for the cultural well-being of the general public, we will now present our version of a well-loved work from the world of ballet. The world’s favorite ballet, without a doubt.

(Swan Lake music is heard. It could be played on a number of kazoos.)

SHE

This ballet was based on a German fairy tale.

HE

From Germany!

(She gives him a look.)

SHE

We are going to go beyond–or behind–or within–or beneath–the glitter and the magic, to the genuine human emotions at the core of the story.

HE

We’re gonna deconstruct the text a little, you know what I mean?

SHE

Sure. That’s what we’ll do. Right–Well, Siegfried, a young prince, has left a birthday party thrown by his mother to go hunting for a bunch of swans—

HE

Is that a gaggle?

SHE

Quiet!  We’re getting started . . . . It’s early the next morning, when he finally returns home.

(More Swan Lake music. He strikes a ballet pose. She turns, ending in a plié.)

Zo, Ziegfried, my zon—how vas the hunting?

HE

Oh, I had a good time, Mütter. A wery good time. It was wery exciting.

SHE

Did you get anything?

HE

Vell, in a vay . . . Vhen my friends und I saw the shvans flying oferhead–

SHE

You have to cofer your head vhen they fly oferhead . . . .

(Laughs at her own joke.)

HE

Ja, vhatever . . . So ve picked up our crossbows and vent to Shvan Lake.

SHE

Did you get a shvan?

HE

(tickled by his own word play)

Nein, Mütter, but a shvan got me.

SHE

How so, my clumsy oaf of a poopsie? Did you get a shvan bite on your zitzfleish?

HE

Nein, Mütter, I vasn’t goosed by a shvan!

(Laughs heartily at his own joke.)

Listen, Mütter, all kidding to the side, I’ll tell you vhat hoppened: I fell medly in lofe vith their qveen.

SHE

Their qveen? Qveen of the shvans? Vith the qveen of the shvans you fell in love vith? The shvan-qveen, qveen of the shvans?

HE

Ja, she’s a wery nice person . . . vhen she’s a person. She’s a wery sophisticated indiwidual. And her feathers, Mütter, are as smooth as welvet. You might like her if you got to knowing her. . . Her neck is so long und shapely . . . .

SHE

Sure. I’ll send an engraved inwitation to solicit her acqvaintance.

(Under her breath)

Qveen of the shvans, qveen of the shvans . . . Feathers like welvet . . .

HE

And it’s not her fault she’s enchented.

SHE

You’re a prince. You don’t take on people’s problems like a social vorker. So vhat did you do on this—date—vith a shvan? Did you talk? “Nice feathers, qveenie”? Did you dence vith her?

HE

Ja, she’s a wery good dencer. You should especially see her valtz.

SHE

Vith her vebbed feetsies, she’s a good valtzer? I vould like to take a gander at that. Did you—you know—how you young people say—make za nookie?

HE

(grinning sheepishly)

Ja, ve made za nookie.

SHE

You made za nookie vith a shvan? Vith a shvan you made za nookie??? You’ll get a disease! Vhat kind of food does she eat–vorms und ladybugs?? You’ll get shvan pox!

HE

There’s no shvan pox. You’re making that op.

SHE

Don’t tell me there’s no shvan pox. I’m your mütter. Ach, I remember vhen you vere a merry little boychik, shooting your little bow and arrow into anything that moved in the wicinity, including the peasants. Vhy can’t ve be heppy again like in those days?

HE

I grew up, Mütter.

SHE

I can see that, you overgrown puddle of hormones.—Vell, you’re a youngster, you had a one-night fling vith a shvan, and now I suppose she’s flying the coop already . . . .

HE

Nein, Mütter. Vhen night falls at night tonight, I’m going to merry her.

SHE

A shvan? You’re going to merry a shvan?

(Clutching heart area)

Ach, my cardiac wentricles . . . You vant to bump off your own poor mütter? . . . Vhat kind of children vould you have vith a shvan? An egg! She’ll lay you an egg! You vant her to keep house for you? She’ll make you a nest—you’ll shleep on tvigs!

HE

Vhat?

SHE

Tvigs! Little shticks from trees.—You vant the doctor bills vhen she gets a crick in her shapely neck?! Or leringytis?

HE

Please, Mütter, I’m not sure you understend. It’s a tregedy like Schiller or Villiam Shakespeare could drematize it. The qveen of the shvans and all of her hendmaidens vere enchented by an efil magician.

SHE

Ja, ja—you beliefe that fairy story? My belofed idiot zon, it’s time you should wisit the priest. The bishop efen.

HE

I already did! I vant him to break the shpell. It isn’t easy for those shvans—vomen at night, shvans at daybreak, vomen at night, shvans at daybreak, vomen at night, shvans—

SHE

Ja, ja, I get the pattern.So he’ll break the shpell? Your sveetheart vill stay a voman?

HE

(grinning ecstatically)

Nein, Mütter. I vant her to stay a shvan.

(More music. Blackout.)

*************

The orthodox version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXJawzOLS3k&feature=related

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