LIBRARY of CONGRESS
Two Copies Received
FEB 23 1905
Copyright Entry
Mar 6 1905
CLASS XD XXe Mal
6285
Copy B

THE KING OF GEE-WHIZ

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A M u s i c a l   E x t r a v a g a n z a

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By

L. Frank Baum and Emerson Hough.

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SCENARIO AND GENERAL SYNOPSIS.

 

Copyright 1905 by L. Frank Baum and Emerson Hough.

 

ACT I

    SCENE: THE ISLE OF GEE-WHIZ, showing entrance to the Temple of the Oracle at L. --Background shows the sea at R. C. , washing the shore of the Isle. --A rock at R. --Palms and tropical foliage at wings .

    AT RISE the two priests of the Oracle, Tomocatl and Jerocatl, are discovered sweeping the approaches to the temple, as this is a feast day.  They comment on the fact that Goo-Goo, ruler of the realm of Gee-Whiz, is annoyed at the parsimony of the priestess Itla, guardian of the Radiant Valley.  Goo-Goo needs gold, radium etc. to build a new dog-house, and is having difficulty in securing same.  Their attention is attracted to the sea--there is a distant explosion--a water spout is seen--and then their gaze follows a flying object until a body shoots downward and falls behind the set rock.  Approaching to see what it is, they are startled to discover Lieut. Arthur Wainright, who sticks his head above the rock and addresses them.  He explains that he was in command of a submarine boat, which has met with an accident.  Without stopping to think, he has landed upon this unknown isle.  The priests inform him that this is the island of the Radiant Valley of Gee-Whiz, that the inhabitants are sun worshippers and are ruled by King Goo-Goo, the legitimate Son of the Sun.  They explain to Wainright that the Radiant Valley is filled with precious metals, and that it is controlled by a High Priestess, the Princess Itla, and her band of virgin guardians.  The secret of the entrance to the Radiant Valley is known to Itla alone and not to any mortal on the island.  Conversation follows regarding the extreme abundance and relative uselessness of the precious metals in the land of Gee-Whiz.  For instance, one may have gold door knobs on his doors, and still be unable to buy a cigar or cocktail. Wainright is both elated and depressed at this news.

    The two priests now invite Wainright to come into the Temple of the Oracle, explaining its virtues to him.  In return he declines, explaining that in the explosion his trousers have been blown away, and that, though his uniform is intact, he does not, under the circumstances, feel like leaving the shelter he has found.  Tomacatl assures him that in Gee-Whiz no gentleman wears pants.  Now enter King Goo-Goo, the jovial monarch of the land, with chorus of natives, courtiers and many native beauties .

    After the Goo-Goo song and chorus, King Goo-Goo asks Wainright to come forth.  The girls, who have been pleased with his features, and who have been inviting him to approach, join in the appeal, but Wainright refuses. Goo-Goo commands Jerocatl to go and consult the Oracle.  Jerocatl off stage, and presently returns, stating that the Oracle has counseled a flour sack instead of trousers for Lieut. Wainright, there being no fashionable skirt available for him at the time, so that he may be clad as the natives of that land.   Goo-Goo declares that no man's past life shall be held against him in the land of Gee-Whiz.  He states that in the royal palace of Gee-Whiz everything goes but the clock.

    Now enter Itla and her maidens, who are greeted with great respect by the natives, who consider her semi-divine.  Wainright considers her altogether so, and falls madly in love, forgetting his somewhat novel costume.  Goo-Goo warns him that Itla may not be loved, but only worshipped; that, for instance, to kiss her would be a crime surely punishable with death.  In spite of this, the ardor of Wainright leads him suddenly to kiss Itla.  Itla is filled with surprise and other and mingled emotions.  A general consternation seizes upon all others. Goo-Goo orders Wainright to be seized and taken away to the prison gardens.  He is ultimately to be offered up as a sacrifice to the offended deities of the land.

    The captors search Wainright and find in his pocket a pipe, a bar of soap and a novel by Marie Corelli, all of which are curiosities to the natives.  Goo-Goo demands information as to these articles, and Wainright explains.  Seized with a sudden idea, Wainright calls for a bowl of water, and begins to blow a series of soap bubbles.   Goo-Goo prostrates himself in delight, his followers imitating him.   Goo-Goo orders the Priests of the Oracle to consult the Oracle.   They return and declare that so long as the stranger can produce these objects, which far out-shine anything in the experience of Gee-Whiz, he shall not be executed as a sacrifice to the gods, but preserved as Lord High Entertainer to the King.  Goo-Goo orders that Wainright, newly erected to this estate, shall now be honored by all his subjects.  He commands his attendants to take him to the orange groves of the palace, and to surround him with every courtesy and kindness, to render him every attention and to gratify every wish he may express.  This situation is to endure so long as he is able to blow the bubbles.  Wainright, looking at his diminishing bar of soap, regrets that ablutions are necessary, wishes that he had more soap, and departs under his escort, relieved but not wholly happy.  Turning to Exit, he waves good-bye to Itla, who returns his salute.  Finale, "Bubbles", for curtain:  Wainright, Itla, Goo-Goo and full chorus.

 

ACT II

    SCENE l:--THE ORANGE GROVES OF THE ROYAL PALACE. --Wainright discovered surrounded by a bevy of beautiful damsels, to whom has been assigned the duty of making his life as pleasant as possible while it lasts.  Song, "The Brides of the Sacrifice".

    Flowers, musical instruments, dainties et cetera, are shown in abundance, and the setting is one of tropical splendor.  At L. two palm trees arise, extending above the level of the orange trees.

    Enter a messenger, who notifies Wainright that King Goo-Goo is approaching for his daily amusement treatment. Wainright expresses despair, as his soap is reduced to very small proportions, and as he must die when all his soap is gone.  He explains carefully that while there is soap there is life, but not otherwise.  Enter Itla, whom he greets joyously.  He resumes his education of Itla in the art of loving, and both bemoan the cruel fate which may presently put an end to the education.  Wainright reasons that he must presently die for the first kiss, and can only die once, whereas he may kiss her many times; so proceeds logically to do the latter.  Itla can see no wrong in this, since her lover is soon-to be put to death for his presumption.

    Goo-Goo enters and chides Itla for niggardliness with the precious metals in her care, likewise accusing Wainright of stinginess with his soap bubbles.  In anger, Goo-Goo betakes himself to his favorite tree, from which he has been wont at will to extract an intoxicating draught of palm wine, which he calls by the name of wood alochol.  In his excitement he chops into the wrong tree, and in error takes a deep drink from the sap of a rubber tree, which presently produces upon him the most curious effects.  When he stamps his foot in indignation, he bounds from the earth.  His arms stretch out in singular fashion, as well as his neck, legs et cetera. When he ascends his throne, he turns a somersault, a hidden spring-plank being inserted into the foot of the throne.  Even his head distends, and Goo-Goo announces that he is afraid his conscience will also presently become elastic, and then no one can tell what might happen.  In anger, he would separate Wainright and Itla, but is unable to do so by reason of his unnatural resiliency, which keeps him hopping from one point to another.

    In a song "Unhappy King", Itla explains that she has brought this punishment upon Goo-Goo for his own cruelty.

   Alarm: Enter an officer, the Protector of the Coast, who guards Morgenstern, a retired soap maker, who has had a yacht and dyspepsia, but who has lost everything but the dyspepsia; Lady Sophie Morgenstern, his daughter; Augusta Eckerstrom, her maid; Buljose, a pirate; Ardenta, his jealous sweetheart, a Flaming Soul.  Enter later, under guard, Willie Cook, a fat missionary.  Enter later, also under guard, the Inca widow, nee Hanson, who comes from Peru (where the Perunes come from.)  With the latter are her seven Inca kids, or pickaninnies, of graduated sizes.

    Sir Isaac Morgenstern, being a British subject, would take over the country in the name of His British Majesty.  Lieut. Wainright points out to him that this is impossible, as Uncle Sam has seen it first.  The Inca widow, asking some one to take care of her kids, assails the Pirate, charging him with abandonment and desertion.   This inflames the jealousy of Ardenta, his sweetheart.  The widow turns to Wainright for consolation, explaining that she very much needs a father for her seven Inca kids .

    The Pirate admits that he took the widow prisoner, or endeavored to do so; which creates a greater difficulty with Ardenta.  The Pirate explains that he is willing to do anything that is right to clear up the existing difficulty, and offers to barbecue Willie Cook, the Missionary.  This pleases the Priests, Tomocatl and Jerocatl.  The Widow thinks it is a shame, as very possibly the Missionary would make an agreeable father for the seven Inca kids.  Goo-Goo insists that some one, under the circumstances, must be barbecued, as he is feeling very nervous.  Morgenstern, in fright, orders Lady Sophie, and her maid, Augusta, to spread the table for the barbecue, which they would proceed to do.

    Augusta Eckerstrom says there will be more of the Missionary than is necessary to go around, but points out that the guests can take home some with them to have cold for their Sunday supper.  At this the Missionary is not happy.  Goo-Goo is also much disturbed and uneasy, as he is unable to sit down without bouncing up.  Wainright accuses him with having the manners of a regular bounder.  Goo-Goo retorts that if his spirits were not so elastic, he would insist on his daily entertainment of bubble blowing.  Wainright unguardedly refers to his scarcity of soap.  Morgenstern hears this, and learning that so great a value is attached to soap in that country, which he discovers to be abounding in precious metals, falls prostrate in grief.  He is a retired soap maker, with no immediate way of producing soap.   Wainright, who still remains dissatisfied with his native costume, offers to give Morgenstern Five Thousand Dollars for the pair of trousers he is wearing.  Morgenstern dislikes to part with them, but, under the circumstances, feels obliged to do so.  Itla offers Morgenstern priceless wealth if he will tell how soap can be made, but the latter, distracted, is unable to reply. Goo-Goo, still bounding about, manages to suggest that the Oracle should be consulted.   Tomocatl, Priest of the Oracle departs, presently returns and announces that a very excellent quality of soap can be made of Missionaries.  All eyes turn upon Willie Cook.  The latter wildly objects.  He promises to marry the Inca Widow if spared.

    As Buljose, the Pirate, would approach to prepare the Missionary for his fate, he is interrupted by Ardenta, who drags him away from the Widow, who is now clinging to the Missionary.   Augusta Eckerstrom expresses her practical contempt for a meal so much interrupted.  She now insists that Morgenstern, according to his agreement, shall take his money and convey his trousers to Wainright.  This is done. Morgenstern, by force, presently compels the Pirate to exchange his trousers for the flour sack, which he has received from Wainright.  The Pirate, in turn, robs the Missionary of his trousers.  Eventually the Inca Widow compels Morgenstern to resume the flour sack, which he received from Wainright, and he is thus clad for the remainder of the scene.  Meantime, Morgenstern's cupidity is much aroused by the sights about him.  He has never heard of so much wealth as is here to be found everywhere.  He hears of the Radiant Valley and offers his daughter, the Lady Sophie, in marriage to Wainright, thinking the latter has access to the Valley. Learning that the Priestess Itla is the real key to the situation, he finally enters into a partnership with Goo-Goo, looking to the eventual joint partnership of the Radiant Valley.

        The Pirate also inflamed with greed of gold, determines that if he can shake the Widow, he will capture and carry off Itla, in order to learn the secret of the Valley.  This still further inflames the jealousy of Ardenta.  The whole situation is now much involved.  Goo-Goo declares himself as being very nervous and scarcely able to keep still.  Meantime, Augusta Eckerstrom has stolen a drink from the rubber tree, with the same effects noticed as on Goo-Goo.  In this act she is followed by Buljose, Ardenta, the Lady Sophie, Morgenstern and the Inca Widow. Sextet and eccentric dance, "The Gee-Whiz Ballet"

    As soon as matters have become somewhat quieted, it is agreed that a solution must be found for these difficulties. This is afforded by Augusta Eckerstrom, the Swedish handmaid, who, in a very practical fashion, states that in her opinion, if an Oracle was ever of any value, it should be now.  This suggestion is accepted by Goo-Goo, and all matters are referred to the Oracle.  Exit all, those who have been drinking at the rubber tree still showing the effects.

 

    SCENE 2. --INTERIOR OF THE TEMPLE OF THE ORACLE OF THE SACRED DRAGON. --In the center of the stage is a sort of cabinet, black in color, with double doors, opening outward.  From the rear of this cabinet trails a long, dragon-like body covered with greenish scales, circling around to the front of the stage, where it ends in a golden spear point.  This is the body of the Oracle, the head being in the cabinet, which is opened by slipping a coin in the slot, when one desires to consult the Oracle.

    At opening of scene the two priests of the Oracle, Tomacatl and Jerocatl, are preparing the dragon for work.  They oil the joints, polish the scales, et cetera. They open the cabinet, draw out the head, light the lamps in the eyes, test the flaming breath and in various ways display the absurd imposition of the supposed Oracle. Hearing footsteps approaching, one Priest gets inside the body and lashes the tail, the other goes into the cabinet to operate the head.

    The Oracle is now visited by the several characters above introduced.  These have their different problems for solution.  Goo- Goo wishes to know how he can get this rubber out of his system; Morgenstern wants to know whether he ought to demand a pair of trousers or the secret of the Radiant Valley; the Missionary asks how he can escape being made into soap; Ardenta wishes to know how she may be avenged upon the Pirate for his faithlessness; the Inca Widow wishes to know where she can find a father for her seven kids ; Lady Sophie is undecided whether to go into the chorus or to marry a Lord; Augusta Eckerstrom asks the Oracle when her wages are going to be raised from three fifty to four dollars per week.  At length enter Itla and Wainright, and these implore the Oracle to tell them how Wainright may escape death, so that they may live and love one another.  In his perturbation, Wainright drops the precious remnant of his bar of soap.  This is noticed by Goo-Goo, who endeavors to approach it, but cannot do so, on account of his elasticity.  The Pirate, the Missionary and Morgenstern all notice it, pretend to be unconscious and edge towards it.  Augusta Eckerstrom secures the piece of soap and refuses to surrender possession until after she has scrubbed the parlor floor with it.  Thus there is no soap left in the land of Gee-Whiz.

    The Oracle now advises that soap shall be made of the Missionary and the Corelli novel.  The Pirate and Sir Isaac proceed to put the Missionary in a Kettle.  A flame appears under the kettle. Presently a large quantity of very excellent soap is drawn off from the kettle and cut into bars.  Unfortunately, there is now so much soap that it loses all value, as did the gold originally.  King Goo-Goo no longer has interest in soap bubbles, and insists upon his sacrifice.

    To save her lover, the Priestess Itla now determines to fly with him to the Radiant Valley and to secrete him, where they may live happily, since no one knows the entrance to the Valley.  Sir Isaac, bemoaning the fact that the Missionary has proved so great a commercial disappointment, overhears Itla and Wainright making their plans.  He informs Goo-Goo, and they too agree to follow, undiscovered, and to secure entrance into the Radiant Valley, which, of course, means all the wealth they could ask.

    The two Priests of the Oracle have now made so much money that they proclaim their independence from further work.  Every one believes a solution of his difficulties to be at hand.  The Inca Widow mourns for the Missionary.  Ardenta takes charge of Buljose, the Pirate; Augusta Eckerstrom, being haughty at her promised raise of wages, commands the Lady Sophie to carry her wraps for her, etc., etc.

    Finale number, "On to the Radiant Valley".

ACT III

    SCENE I.--A ROCKY PASS LEADING TO THE GOLDEN VALLEY.  Along this path appear the characters in turn--first, Itla and Wainright; cautiously following them, Morgenstern and Goo-Goo.   Next appears the Inca Widow and her seven kids.  The Pirate appears, chased across the path by Ardenta. The Lady Sophie appears, carrying the personal belongings of her maid, Augusta Eckerstrom who gives her advice in waiting on a lady.  Tomocatl and Jerocatl lead natives, chorus etc.  Augusta Eckerstrom instructs two of these natives to be careful of the kettle, which they are carrying, as she explains this is the warmed-over Missionary, or such of him as was not used in making the soap.

Dissolving transformation to

    SCENE 2. --THE RADIANT VALLEY OF GEE-WHIZ. -- Cascade of natural water L.C., falling from near borders into a pool C. and running off as a brook L. --The brook is spanned by a small bridge of gold.  The vale itself is a semi-grotto, open to the sky at top.  The background, of a dull color, is streaked with great veins of pure gold, while golden nuggets are scattered everywhere. The lighting should be by concealed lamps. --The gleam of diamonds is seen at several points. --The setting is one of as great magnificence as the management may see fit to establish.

    Two heaps of golden nuggets are placed on either side of the brook, one at R.1 E. and the other at L. 4 E. By a light effect from proscenium, a rainbow is thrown upon gauze, so that the end appears to test upon the heaps of nuggets.

    At opening a chorus of nymphs arise from the pool and dance underneath the rainbow. They are joined by the Golden Girls, guardians of the Radiant Valley, who appear from rocky nooks.  The ballet scene here should be rich and of a distinguished splendor .

    Enter Itla, leading Wainright by the hand.  She introduces him to her possessions, and tells him that they will here be happy ever after.  Itla explains to Wainright that should a profane hand touch the gold in this valley, it will at once be transmuted into lead, and all the splendor of the precious stones will vanish.  She explains that only under the touch of true love can the quality of the Radiant Valley endure. Enter now the others of the cast in turn.  Morgenstern at once falls upon the nuggets of gold.  As he does so, a bolt of lightning, by electrical device, controlled by this production, strikes him upon the head and he falls prostrate.  Goo-Goo attempts the same profane act and is also struck by lightning several times.  He explains that he is so full of rubber that he cannot be called a cheap street-car employe, but is strictly a non-conductor; all the lightning can do to him is to give him a headache, and he has that already .   He lights a cigarette on the lightning, carelessly.

    Augusta Eckerstrom, faithful to her employer, Sir Isaac, now puts liniment upon his head and revives him.  The lights now quick-change, and at this time the scene shows in leaden hue, although the luminous rainbow remains, with Ilia and Wainright standing close at its foot.  At this moment of disappointment, Lady Sophie declares her intention of joining the chorus.  "Unmarried forever, She'll Always Endeavor", etc.

    At this moment, the kettle, borne by two servants, is violently agitated. There emerges from it Willie Cook, who bows and declares he is none other than Sherlock Holmes, and has not been dead at all.   The Inca Widow falls upon the Missionary's neck; the kids group about his legs, calling "Papa! Papa!"  Ardenta and Buljose are now united and declare their intention of sailing the Spanish Main.  King Goo-Goo, who is feeling better since he has been struck by lightning, now announces his intention of laying suit for the hand of the Lady Sophie Morgenstern, member of the chorus.  Wainright and Itla now join hands. Unconsciously they stoop and touch the golden nuggets. At once up-lights, and the full illumination shows the Golden Valley in its original splendor; the transformation at the touch of true love.

    Finale, "The Rainbow's End."


Text scanned and edited by Scott Andrew Hutchins. Known only from a typed manuscript, all typographical errors are retained.
Afterword forthcoming.