THE TOM OF LA MANCHA
by Chappy the happy cat!

Author's Note: Since Don Quixote is really nothing more than just a figment of Alonso Quijano's imagination, many of the other characters take on different personas when around him, except for the Padre, Anto˝ia, and Sancho Panza. To avoid confusion, I will go by the character's being played names.

CAST:

Don Quixote/Alonso Quijano- Munkustrap
Sancho Panza- Mistoffelees
Governor/Innkeeper- Old Deuteronomy
Duke/Dr.Carrasco- Rum Tum Tugger
Aldonza/Dulcinea- Bombalurina
Maria- Victoria
Anto˝ia- Jemima
Housekeeper- Demeter
Padre- Macavity
Barber- Skimbleshanks
Fermina- Tantomile
Muleteers:
Pedro- Coricopat
Anselmo- Alonzo
JosÚ- Plato
Tenorio- Etcetera
Paco- Morgan
Juan- Jellylorum
Others-
1) Cassandra
2) Exotica
3) Electra
Knight's Attendants- Jennyanydots and the Crocheting Mice #s 1-5
Horse 1- Rumpuscat
Horse 2- Bustopher Jones
Stage Hands- Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer
Director- The Author

THE PLAY:

[The Cats are backstage getting in costumes and make-up for a dress rehearsal of The Man of La Mancha.]

SANCHO: Wow! Look at my puffy hat! (plays with the feather)

DULCINEA: What the heck is my character supposed to be? I mean, look at what I'm wearing! I don't even know what this thing's called!

PADRE: It's called a "dress." From the looks of things (glances at own costume), I'm wearing one as well.

ANSELMO: FINALLY! I'm not dressed in drag for this! YES! (blank stares) Uh... never mind.

PADRE: ...And as to who your character's supposed to be... you can definitely tell by your costume.

GOVERNOR: I think I've been type-cast for this role...

QUIXOTE: I hope I wasn't type-cast! Have you read this script? I have to run into a windmill and think I'm doing battle with a giant!

HORSE 1: Get over it. I have to put this (holds up a poorly-made horse's head made from a cardboard box) on my head. (He demonstrates.)

QUIXOTE: I'm confused... shouldn't that box be on your foot?

BARBER: Is my hat... sink... whatever it is on straight?

JUAN: (putting on moustache) You're wearing a tea kettle, dear.

TENORIO: Your moustache is on upside-down.

HOUSEKEEPER: So? You look like you need to shave.

DUKE: Um... my coat's too long, and I can't dance in it. (tries a shuffle step and trips) Ouch...

DIRECTOR: (offstage) Everyone on in five!

[Five minutes later, everyone is assembled more or less (in Bombe's case) in costume. The director is giving instructions.]

DIRECTOR: Okay, we're going to skip around a little today, but first, we'll start at the beginning, when the curtain rises to reveal a dungeon during the times of the Inquisition. Any questions? (Bustopher's hand goes up) Yes?

HORSE 2: What if we look absolutely rediculous in our costumes?

ANTOĐIA: This is a crossover; everyone's supposed to look rediculous in their costumes!

[Everyone laughs- ha ha, he he, ho ho hack.]

SANCHO: My throat kind of hurts after doing that last laugh bit there.

DIRECTOR: Come on, everyone. let's focus; top of the play. Que the orchestra (a piano sounds); que the lights (the house lights switch off and the spotlight goes up); and que the curtain!

[The stage hands yell at each other backstage.]

RUMPLE: Ger'roff o' me foot!

MUNGO: But you're on t' wrong side, Rum'le!

DIRECTOR: (impatient) Hey, can we get these curtains moving?

MUNGO: W'ich rope do I pull on t' make i' move?

RUMPLE: 'Ere, try t'is 'un.

DIRECTOR: Anyday now.

MUNGO: Are ya' sure ya' pull that 'un?

DIRECTOR: The Jellicle Ball is coming...

RUMPLE: Eh... yah, I'm sure.

DIRECTOR: YO! STAGE HANDS! OPEN THE BLEEPIN' CURTAIN!

MUNGO: Uh... (looking at the rope, which isn't attached to the curtain anymore)

RUMPLE: Whee!

[Rumpleteazer goes swinging across the stage with Mungojerrie pattering madly behind her. There is a loud crash offstage.]

BOTH: Oopsies...

DIRECTOR: (to no one in particular) Why didn't I take up ventriloquism?

[The pianist turns away form the piano and stands up to talk to the director.]

ERIK: You know, it's not really all that hard to learn-

DIRECTOR: Erik, save it for the Home Shopping Network. I'm in the middle of directing a play!

[He sits down, obviously annoyed, and picks his music. Erik flips throught it, then looks back at the director.]

ERIK: One of these days she's going to regret that comment...

[Later on, Don Quixote is singing, "To Dream the Impossible Dream" to Dulcinea.]

QUIXOTE: (singing)
To dream the impossible dream;
To fight the impossible foe.
To go on when-

DIRECTOR: Hold on! Victoria, what do you think you're doing?!

MARIA: Can't you see that I'm dancing?

CAST: WHY?!?

MARIA: Because she gave me the role of the bit- (sees Jellylorum) -really really mean and cranky innkeeper's wife.

QUIXOTE: See, Old Deuteronomy? This is an excellent example of type-casting.

DIRECTOR: Victoria, please, just go sit down. (she stomps off and pouts) Top of the song.

QUIXOTE: (singing)
To dream the impossible dream;
To figh-

CORICOPAT: Excuse me!

TANTOMILE: You're excused.

DIRECTOR: Yes?

CORICOPAT: Well, how are we supposed to dream an impossible dream-

TANTOMILE: -when it's impossible?

DIRECTOR: Um... it's kind of like... like from the point of view of a philosophic poem. You know, poetry. (no one blinks) Figurative language.(unblink unblink) Pretty stuff?

MUNGO: Oh! Pre'y stuff! Cream! Ming vases- no, wait, me 'n Rum'le 'ave bro'en most of 'em.

MULETEER 2: To cream the impossible cream?

DULCINEA: No! Dream, not cream! (thinks for a minute) Although... a little cream would be good right now...

PACO: (sings) To break the unbreakable Ming...

DUKE: Did someone say the Highland Fling? (breaks out his bagpipes)

[The Padre walks out onstage and uses his extra-sharp, long claws to rip a hole in the bagpipe. The Duke looks dejected.]

DUKE: Critics...

DIRECTOR: Felines, please! Can we get on with rehearsal?

[Everyone settles down (more or less) and go back to their respective positions. Quixote begins to sing to Dulcinea again.]

QUIXOTE: To Ming the impossible cream- wait a minute, I've forgotten the words!

MULETEER 1: Since he doesn't remember the words, can we sing the song about the little bird in the cinnamon tree?

MULETEER 3: Why do you want to sing that particular song?

MULETEER 1: Because, frankly... I'm starving!

JOS╔: Yeah, me too!

ANSELMO: I smell fish... does anyone else smell fish?

DUKE: Just follow my nose.

[They do, and they wind up finding Victoria, asleep.]

DUKE: Darn. No fish; just a cad.

DIRECTOR: Let's all take a lunch break and we'll meet back here in half an hour. Maybe we can all concentrate afterwards.

DIRECTOR: Okay, now that we're all back, let's start with the Padre's psalm after Alonso Quijano has died.

[They all get into their spots.]

PADRE: Uh... er... blah blah blah... stuff in Latin I don't know how to pronounce... Everlasting Cat... yada yada... veni, vedi, vici...

SANCHO: I can't believe he got the role of the Padre. It's almost sacreligious, really.

PADRE: Shut it! Can't you see that I'm trying to pray for this dead guy?

DUKE: Yeah, you're trying all right!

QUIXOTE: What is this? A Funeral and Three Cat-Fights?

DULCINEA: Shush! You're supposed to be dead!

QUIXOTE: Gee, I feel so appreciated! And after all I did for you, Dulcinea!

DULCINEA: What? You let the Muleteers kidnap me, you bumbling idiot! What is wrong with you?!

SANCHO: The director doesn't look so thrilled...

DIRECTOR: Gee, I wonder why? (everyone is quiet) Now, I want Don Quixote and Sancho Panza on stage for "Man of La Mancha." SCOOT!

[The two named stay on the stage as the horses come on.]

HORSE 1: Neigh. Winny, winny. (his eyes glow red)

SANCHO: Eek! My horse has rabies!

HORSE 1: Ha ha ha- I mean, hee-ha. Bray, bray. Stomp.

HORSE 2: Donkeys go hee-ha, not refined horses such as ourselves. We of the genus cardboardus horsus rediculosis must hold our heads high... especially if there's grouse on the table.

DIRECTOR: Hel-lo! Earth to cast members! Start at the chorus, seeing as we probably won't be able to get through this, anyway.

QUIXOTE: (singing)
I am íay! Don Quixote
The lord of La Mancha;
My dest-

SANCHO: The lord of what? The munchies?

BARBER: Wouldn't that be El Muncho?

MULETEER 2: ┐QuÚ?

ANTOĐIA: I say we make a run for the border.

[Duke comes in with accordion playing, "When the Bluebonnets Came Over the Border."]

DIRECTOR: Don?

QUIXOTE: Yes?

DIRECTOR: Just keep going...

QUIXOTE: (singing)
I am íay! Don Quixote,
The-

JUAN: Who hurt themselves? What happened?

QUIXOTE:
-lord of La Mancha;
My destiny calls-

GOVERNOR: Local or long distance?

QUIXOTE:
-and I go.
And the wild winds of fortune-

MUNGO & RUMPLE: Where?!

QUIXOTE: I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!!

[He runs off stage, leaving Sancho and the horses.]

SANCHO: Well, the show must go on, I suppose.

[He throws his hat across the stage and starts singing.)

SANCHO:
I am íay! Don Quixote!

DUKE: Is it my turn to come into the inn yet?

DULCINEA: What have you got on your head?

DUKE: It's a tin can.

DIRECTOR: Helmet.

DUKE: It may be a helmet, but it still smells faintly of tomato sauce. (takes off "helmet" and looks for a mirror) Have I got hat hair?

DULCINEA: Of course not... (he walks past her) ...helmet head.

DUKE: (ignoring her) If Don gets to be the Lord of the Munchies, can I be the Lord of the Dance?

DIRECTOR: Why not? Let's at least send the audience out smiling. They'll forget to throw things at us that way.

[Later on: the night of the performance. Anto˝ia is singing, and everything is going well... so far... Meanwhile, offstage, Erik is talking to some of the cast members.]

ERIK: She insulted my comments...

HORSE 1: ...made me wear this stupid thing...

KNIGHT 1: ...told me not to tap dance...

DUKE: ...and told me not to play the bagpipes.

[They all look slyly at each other.]

ERIK: It's payback time...

[Back on stage...]

ANTOĐIA: (singing)
I'm only thinking of him;

PADRE: (mutters) Yeah, right!

ANTOĐIA:
I'm only thinking of him.

[Suddenly, Horse 1 runs across the stage with the Duke on his back.]

DUKE: Yee-ha! Ride 'em, cowboy!

[Plays the William Tell Overture, which signals the Knights of the Mirror to come on.]

KNIGHT 1: Tap dance solo!

[She and the mice start dancing. Victoria, who wasn't even in on the plot to begin with, leaps in. This was all part of the original plan, you see.]

MARIA: No! I want to dance! (does ballet across the stage)

[Cut to: backstage. The director is phoning the police, because the entire audience is doing strange things, which was all part of of the original plan, you see.]

DIRECTOR: Yes, Chief Bruno? I-

[Her eye is caught by a shadow of a man holding a noose on the wall. She drops the phone as the door shuts.]

ERIK: Going somewhere?

DIRECTOR: Eh...

ERIK: I didn't catch you at a bad time, did I?

[Back on stage: the entire audience is doing Irish Step-dancing as the Duke plays the bagpipes.]

HOUSEKEEPER: Forget Don Quixote; let's go to the Jellicle Ball!

CAST: (singing and conga-ing)
Jellicle cats come out tonight,
Jellicle cats come one, come all.
The Jellicle moon is shining bright...

[We fade out to two people riding horses. One has a sink on his head, the other a floppy hat.]

SANCHO: íNo es muerto!

QUIXOTE: Yes, Sancho, we've established that I didn't die.

SANCHO: So, your grace, are we off to fight the windmills again?

QUIXOTE: I'm not sure...

[Rumpleteaser and Mungojerrie go sailing through on the curtain pull-rope.]

QUIXOTE: Eh, maybe tomorrow. Right now, for some strange reason, I could really go for some fish...

THE EPILOGUE:

MAC: Man, I am glad we got that whole director thing straightened out!

MISTO: No kidding.

ERIK: Actually, it wasn't very straight.

VIC: What wasn't?

ERIK: The rope. I've lost the touch.

[Everyone backs away slowly.]

DEUT: Is she...

[Erik kicks at the director with his foot.]

ERIK: Heh heh... oops?

THE END!


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