Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Road to Carpathia

I wrote this back in 1999 for PEERS' annual Bal des Vampires. It is actually a sequel to a 1997 skit. If the characters seem weirdly familiar, it's because they are.

The Road to Carpathia

A Skit in One Unnatural Act

By Paul T.S. Lee


The Players

Vladdy Ricardo (Paul Lee): An alter ego of the Count, Vladdy comes from the Little Havana part of the Carpathians. He is a band leader first (Vladdy Ricardo's Latin Orchestra), a vampire second.

Lucy Ricardo (Ruth Chow): A native of California, she met Vladdy while attending Columbia (he worked swing shift at the med school blood bank and bussed tables at the Bat Cave, a vampire club in Spanish Harlem). Lucy knows that Vlad is a vampire, but hopes that modern science might have a cure soon.

Vladdy Ricardo Jr. (LW Boy): Also known as Little Wooden Vlad, Little Vladdy, or just Vladdy Jr. He is about to turn 3. He is not quite a vampire, nor is he entirely human. Neither modern science nor literary criticism theory is able to explain Vladdy Jr.'s existence or status, which is just fine with the Ricardo's.

Ethel Mertz (Jessica): Lucy's best friend and upstairs neighbor. She thinks Lucy's big secret is that Vladdy does not have a green card.

Fred Van Helsing Mertz (Steve George): Ethel's husband and a friend of Vladdy's. He doesn't care that Vladdy doesn't have a green card (Vladdy does), but wonders if the Ricardo's will raise Vladdy Jr. as a Catholic.

Mina "Boom-Boom" Harker (Jennie Redwitz): Exotic dancer, occasional dance instructor, and ex-girlfriend of Vladdy. She is managed by her husband, Johnny.

Jonathan "Johnny" Harker (Greg Chow): Former lawyer, now full time manager for Mina. Favorite singer: Frank Sinatra.


The Props

  • LW Boy

  • Basket for Little Vladdy

  • Sign: "Ricardo Residence"

  • Sign: "A While Later"

  • Sign: "Welcome Carpathia High Grads"


    The Script

    Cathleen comes up towards the front of the hall, well before the stage, and speaks to the guests.

    Cathleen: And now, let us imagine a different history for Vlad the Impaler; one in which he was drawn to a different Lucy... a more modern Lucy...


    Act I, scene 1


    ["I Love Lucy" theme begins, enter VLADDY. Music fade out 5 seconds after entrance.]

    VLADDY: Babaloooo! Honey, I'm home!

    Enter LUCY from opposite side.

    LUCY: Hi Vladdy, how was the rehearsal?

    VLADDY: Not so good. The boys are tired of playing the same old tunes, and I just can't seem to find the time to write some new ones.

    LUCY: Poor Vladdy. I think you need a vacation.

    VLADDY: Maybe chou're right. We haven't had one since little Vladdy Jr. came along.

    LUCY: Of course I'm right. You work all night and sleep all day.

    VLADDY: That's not fair, sweetheart. I'm a vampire. I have to work nights.

    LUCY: Wah!

    VLADDY: Oh honey, please don't do that. It gives me such a headache.

    LUCY: [pauses] WAH!!! WAH!!!

    VLADDY: Uh, uh, look honey. Mail from the old country. Maybe I get a chance to take you and the band on the road.

    [Hands one letter to LUCY, opens and reads other.]

    VLADDY: "To Herr Frederich Van Helsing Mertz," Hey, this is for Fred! I didn't know his mother was a Van Helsing. I wonder if he is related to the other one. [Continues reading.]

    "We regret to inform you that your great uncle, Abraham Van Helsing, passed away in his sleep on 1st May." They are related! Ay yai yai. Fred, a Van Helsing.

    LUCY: "From: Carpathia High Class Reunion Committee"
    "To: Count Vladimir José Estephan Hohenzolleren Consuela de Soto Ricardo,"

    It's from your high school, dear. I think it's an invitation.

    VLADDY: "It was Herr Van Helsing's final wish that you should receive the Van Helsing family legacy and some portion of the estate. To expedite matters, we have booked passage by ship and train to Carpathia for you and your wife. We hope to see you soon.

    "Yours sincerely,

    "Hawkins, Seward, Holmwood & Morris, Esquires"

    LUCY: "Dear Count, As part of our special reunion celebration, we would like to invite you and your Latin Orchestra to come and play at the Reunion Ball. We hope that you and the band can come.

    "Yours sincerely,

    "Carpathian High Reunion Committee"

    VLADDY & LUCY: [together] Honey, we have to go to Carpathia

    VLADDY: What? Lucy, you're talking crazy again. This is serious. Fred is a Van Helsing!

    LUCY: What does that have to do with you?

    VLADDY: Van Helsing was a famous vampire hunter. He nearly caught me a couple of times before I decided to come to America.

    LUCY: Do you think that Fred is going to find out who you really are?

    VLADDY: Not if I can help it.

    LUCY: But you can. You and the band just got an invitation to your high school reunion. They want you to play at the ball.

    VLADDY: Really?

    LUCY: What if we go with Fred and Ethel? You can keep them out of trouble and find out what this legacy is, and Fred won't suspect a thing.

    VLADDY: That's a great idea honey. Here, let's seal this letter back up and get it to Fred. Then bring him and Ethel back here. Don't forget to act surprised when I mention that we're going to Carpathia.

    LUCY: OK. [exit LUCY]

    Hold up sign: "A little later...." Enter FRED, followed by ETHEL and LUCY.

    FRED: Vladdy, you home?

    VLADDY: Oh, hi Fred. How are you?

    FRED: You'll never guess what I just got in the mail.

    VLADDY: What's that, Fred?

    FRED: Boat and Train tickets to Carpathia. My great uncle on my mother's side passed away, and I have to go over there to claim my inheritance.

    VLADDY: What a coincidence, Fred. I just got an invitation to my high school reunion in Carpathia.

    [Enter ETHEL and LUCY.]

    ETHEL: Did you say Carpathia?

    VLADDY: Sure did, Ethel. [to Lucy] Honey, we just got an invitation for my high school reunion in Carpathia next month.

    LUCY: Say. I have an idea. Since we're all going to Carpathia, why don't we see if we can travel together?

    ETHEL: That's a wonderful idea. Lucy and I can go shopping while you boys play shuffleboard.

    FRED: Now don't start spending money we don't have yet, Ethel. How about it, Vladdy? Maybe you can show us some of the sights back home.

    VLADDY: Sure Fred. There are lots of sights to see on the Road to Carpathia.

    ETHEL: Come on Lucy, let's go pick out something to wear on the Road to Carpathia.

    ALL TOGETHER: [singing] We're off on the Road to Carpathia We certainly do get around.

    Boom, chica boom, chica boom, chica boom, chica boom, chica boom, etc.

    [Exit all in a conga line as singing fades out]


    Act I, scene 2

    INT. CASTLE W/SIGN "Welcome Carpathian High Grads"

    [MINA is doing warm-up exercises, while Johnny watches. Enter VLADDY, LUCY, FRED, ETHEL, in same conga line from scene 1.]

    VLADDY: Mina, long time no see. You remember my wife Lucy. And these are our friends, Fred and Ethel.

    LUCY: Hello, Mina.

    MINA: Hiya Lucy. Hiya Vladdy. Ethel, Fred, nice to meet you. This is my old man, Johnny.

    JOHNNY: Howya doin'? You folks comin' to see Mina's number at the dance?

    FRED: Actually, I have to be at the lawyer's office. We were suppose to get here before dark, but the sun sets awfully early around here, and I'm afraid I'm running la....

    ETHEL: [Interrupting] Are you the Mina "Boom-Boom" Harker? Arrested in 27 states and Canada?

    MINA: Always glad to meet a fan. That's 28 states now, and Puerto Rico.

    ETHEL: Gosh, I've always wondered what you do in your act. Every time I get to that part in the newspaper, Fred takes it away.

    FRED: [Interrupting] Well, Ethel, obviously Mrs. Harker is quite busy getting ready for her ah, ah, ah....

    MINA: "Performance?"

    FRED: [Relieved] "Performance." We shouldn't disturb her any longer.

    MINA: That's all right, Fred. The girls can stay and watch. You boys will just have to wait 'till the show.

    VLADDY: Come on Fred. Why don't you go see if the lawyers are in. Johnny and I need to check on the band. We'll see you girls back at the hotel.


    LUCY: [To MINA] So. You and Vladdy dated.

    MINA: When I was younger. Anyway that was ages ago. You don't have anything to worry about. Johnny is the man for me.

    LUCY: Well....

    MINA: You probably wouldn't care if I did something else for a living.

    LUCY: No, I guess not.

    MINA: Lucy, honey. You may not believe it, but I have helped keep more couples together than you know.

    ETHEL: How do you do that?

    MINA: Dancing lessons.

    ETHEL & LUCY: Dancing lessons?

    MINA: Girls, every woman can do what I do on stage. It just takes a little professional coaching.

    ETHEL: Really?

    MINA: Sure, hon. Watch.

    [dancing lesson to the song "Hell" by Squirrel Nut Zippers]

    [MINA begins by show some burlesque moves. ETHEL enthusiastically tries steps, pulls LUCY in, who is reluctant at first. As lesson progresses, she gets more into it. Actual dance steps TBD.]

    MINA: So you see, girls, with some imaginative costuming and a few of these moves, you can keep your man interested for a long time.

    ETHEL: Gee, thanks Mina.

    MINA: Anything for Vladdy's friends.

    LUCY: Yeah, thanks Mina. Gosh, Ethel, we should get back to the hotel and change for the dance. See you after your show, Mina.

    MINA: See you later, girls. And keep practicing those steps.

    [Exit LUCY & ETHEL to side room, giggling.]


    Act I, scene 3

    INT. Same as before. Enter VLADDY & Johnny.

    JOHNNY: Hi honey. How did the lesson go?

    MINA: Just fine. Say, Vladdy, that Lucy of your can really dance.

    VLADDY: Thanks Mina. Listen, you two. I need your help. My friend Fred is a relative of Van Helsing.

    JOHNNY: Not the Vampire Hunter?!

    VLADDY: Yes. And the family lawyers have told him that there might be vampires at the reunion tonight, so he's coming to stake us out.

    MINA: How do you know about all this.

    VLADDY: The lawyers told me. Professional courtesy.

    JOHNNY: We can't let him find out anythin'.

    VLADDY: That's where I need your help. Could you two keep him occupied when I'm leading the band.

    MINA: Sure thing, hon.

    VLADDY: Thanks. [Looks at watch] Gotta go do the last sound check. Mina, I'll cue your entrance as soon as the second set is over. [Exits]

    JOHNNY: Eh, Mina, I have an idea.

    MINA: Really?

    JOHNNY: Yeah, and it'll take care of this situation, permanently. Here's what you're gonna do.

    [Exits whispering to each other.]


    Act I, scene 4

    [At the ball, backstage. Entry music the last 10 seconds of "Hell".

    Enter VLADDY and MINA.]

    MINA: Thank you, thank you. You are all too kind.

    VLADDY: Let's have another round of applause for our very own Mina "Boom-Boom" Harker. [pauses] And now, some more music from the islands. [to Mina] Nice show, Mina.

    MINA: Thanks, doll. A lot of familiar faces out there we haven't seen in decades.

    VLADDY: Centuries. I told the committee that if they made it a costume ball, people will come. You know how many of us like to live in the past.

    MINA: Not me, honey. Every night's a new night for me. You taught me that.

    [Enter JOHNNY, escorting LUCY.]

    JOHNNY: 'Nother great show, Mina. Hey, Vladdy, she dance, or can she dance!

    Enter FRED and ETHEL.

    ETHEL: Great show, Mina.

    MINA: Thanks, hon. You're doing pretty good yourself out there.

    FRED: Yeah, Mina. I don't know what you taught Ethel, but I haven't had this much fun on the dance floor in years.

    MINA: Well, Fred, you ain't seen nuthin' yet. [to ETHEL] Can I borrow him for a spin?

    ETHEL: If Lucy doesn't mind me borrowing Vladdy for a dance.

    JOHNNY: Bada-boom, bada-bang. And Lucy can dance with me.

    FRED: [to MINA] Mind if we stop by the buffet first? I could sure use a bite.

    MINA: What a coincidence! That's just I was thinking. [Holds out hand to FRED. FRED leads MINA off stage.]

    [Other couples begin to dance. Jokes go back and forth.]

    LUCY/VLADDY: What's a Vampire's favorite cocktail?

    A: Bloody Marys.

    JOHNNY/LUCY: What's black and white and red all over?

    A: A vampire at dinner time.

    ETHEL/VLADDY: How many vampire hunter does it take to screw in a light bulb?

    A: Three: one to drive in the stake, one to cut the base off, and one to stuff garlic in the socket.

    VLADDY/JOHNNY: What's a Vampire's favorite cut of meat?

    A: A steak.

    LUCY/ETHEL: What does a Vampire love with his morning croissant?

    A: Coffin-au-lait

    ETHEL/JOHNNY: Why aren't there any Jewish vampires?

    A: Because blood isn't kosher.

    LUCY: Hey Johnny, how did you and Mina meet?

    JOHNNY: It was love at first bite.

    [While jokes are happening, FRED gets "bitten". Wait for scream cue from FRED.]

    ETHEL: That sounded like Fred. [Rushes to FRED] Oh my God. Somebody help. He's white as a sheet.

    VLADDY: Oh, oh.

    LUCY: Vladdy, do something.

    VLADDY: It's too late, honey. [to Fred] Fred, Fred. Can you hear me?

    FRED: [Fred channels Bela Lagosi] I can hear everything. Do you hear them out there.

    [Sound cue for wolf howls] The Children of the Night. Such music.

    VLADDY: Cut it out Fred. You lost blood. That doesn't give you an accent.

    FRED: Oh.

    ETHEL: What happened, Fred?

    FRED: I went to the buffet with Mina, and then she bit me.

    MINA: Oh, oh. I think we used the wrong plan, Johnny.

    JOHNNY: [to FRED] Hey there, big guy. No offense, we were just trying to help Vladdy and keep you out of trouble.

    VLADDY: Well, it's too late now.

    ETHEL: What do you mean, too late? He's walking and talking. Really pale, but walking and talking.

    VLADDY: Ethel, your husband is now a Vampire. He will need fresh blood every two or three days. Unless someone puts a stake through his heart, cut his head off, and stuff his mouth full of garlic, he will live forever.

    ETHEL: Wah!

    LUCY: Don't cry, Ethel. You'll get use to it. After all, Vladdy is one of them.

    ETHEL: Really? I don't see him going hunting every night.

    VLADDY: No, no. Too much work. I'm part owner of a blood bank. Twice a week, I drop by for a transfusion. When I travel, I carry it in powder form. [pulls out zip lock bag, begin commercial section]

    Tired of hunting down your meals when far from home? Try Vladdy's "Hemo-Quik[tm]". Just add water. One little box can last you a week.

    LUCY: [Pulls out bottle] And when you're feeling run down, try Vita-veta-vegamin. [takes a swig] That's Vita-veta-vegamin. [Another swig; staggers]

    VLADDY: Ok, honey. That's enough.

    ETHEL: So everything will be alright?

    LUCY: It takes a little getting use to.

    MINA: But you will get to buy him a whole new wardrobe.

    ETHEL: Oh, shopping!

    MEN TOGETHER: Girls....

    LUCY: Oh hush. We'll be getting a few things for ourselves too. Dancing costumes.

    JOHNNY: Bada-boom, bada-bing. If you know what I mean.

    FRED: Well, if I'm going to stay up all night, let's dance!

    VLADDY: That's the spirit, Fred. Hit it boys. Conga line!!!

    [Exeunt Omnes Congus]


    Copyright 1999, 2008 by Paul T.S. Lee

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