The Webber
by Chapeau

Kooky Macabre and Company are Pleased to Present...
In Association One More Time with Chapeau's Clouded Consciousness...
The Mysterious and Terrifying Poetic Interpretation of

Once within a theatre dreary, Sir Webber pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a tail of feline nature and cat-names a score-
While his books were overcrowding on the table- then, a meowing?
As of some cat loudly meowing, meowing at the theatre door.
"'T is some lost kitten," he muttered, "meowing at the actors' door-
Only that, and nothing more."

But distinctly came the howling, then the door-knocks came a 'pounding;
And the composer's shaking hand spilled coffee on the floor.
Eagerly he wished for morning as the cat's screams fell unwarning
And the hissing sounds so scorning- scorning forlornly at the door-
But the door would not be opened 'till the clock struck P.M. four-
When the actors would perform.

Poor Webber sat, uncertain, but then- a rustling; the stage curtain?

KOOKY: Okay, Cats, let's get this show on the road!

[They come in carrying various props, scenery, and costumes. Igor is in the front, triumphantly carrying Macabre's "unique" directing chair (it's kooky and macabre, of course), a clipboard, and his own trusty bucket.]

MISTO: (groans) This sofa is murder on my bac- TUMBLE! LOOK OUT!

[Tumblebrutus runs into poor Igor, who goes flying through the air and into the orchestra pit. The director's chair, clipboard, and bucket go in different directions, causing quite a stir among the cast. Macabre comes running.]

KOOKY: What happened?! (looks down in the orchestra pit; gets confused) ...And why are there legs on that tuba?

IGOR: I'm thtuck in here, Mathter! (cries)

KOOKY: (jumps down) Oh, there there, friend Iggy... You know I hate to see a grown tuba cry! (looks at his cast) I'm sorry, guys, but you're going to have to fend for yourselves until I get Igor straightened out.

IGOR: Ith'th okay, Mathter... I don'th wanth to cauthe a problem...

TUMBLE: You have to feel sorry for the poor little guy.

VICTORIA: (scoffs) Yeah, about the same way you'd feel sorry for a burnt-out toaster oven...

IGOR: I make very good thtrawberry thtrudel!

[CUT TO: Webber, walking out onto the stage, watching everyone setting the props up and getting ready for a performance. He ducks behind the curtain, hiding.]

WEBBER: (scared) This... this... this is impossible! Cats walking around like people, talking like people, acting like people... I must have stayed up too long reading about cats. (convincing himself) Yes, yes, that's it. This is just a product of my overworked brain. I should go sleep now... (he falls asleep and slides to the floor behind the curtain) Zzzzzzz...

[CUT TO: the prop room, where Macabre and several cats are desperately trying to get the tuba off of his assisstant.]

KOOKY: Now, on the count of three; one.... five.... seven.... three! (he pulls at the tuba)

IGOR: Outh, Mathter! Thath hurths!

ALONZO: This could take a while...

[CUT TO: a room onstage. Macavity is sitting at a desk dressed in a costume like Adme's first one. He doesn't like the shoes at all...]

MACAVITY: Okay, so now I get a crack at being the narrator, Mr. Macabre, right? (looks around, gets up) Mr. Macabre? Kooky?

[He walks towards the prop room across the vacant stage. His shoes click-clack behind him.]

MACAVITY: Why the heck does anyone need to wear shoes, anyway? Makes it sound like someone's sneaking up behind you...

RAVEN: Nevermore!

MACAVITY: Ack! (spins around and looks at the bird) What the heck are you doing here?

RAVEN: Nevermore!

MACAVITY: Yeah, *that* answer made a lot of sense... Can't you say anything besides 'nevermore'?

RAVEN: Ne... Never... more?

MACAVITY: This is weird... Besides, I thought we were doing "The Cask of Amontillado." (picks up script) "The Raven?" Now why would they... (looks at raven; reads script) Oh, great. I *knew* I shouldn't have made fun of Kooky's chair...

RAVEN: (cheers up) Never-more!

MACAVITY: Let's see exactly how and to what degree they want me to embarass myself. (reads from script) "And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;" (looks at curtains) I guess bright lilac *is* a rather frightening shad-

[Suddenly, the curtains move. Behind the curtains, Webber is still asleep; his foot is absentmindedly kicking the purple fabric.]

MACAVITY: Um... (goes back to script) "So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating ''T is some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door- some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door- this it is and nothing more.'"

[He glances at the window pane, then sits down at the desk and continues.]

MACAVITY: "Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, 'Sir,' said I, 'or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;" (to himself) Since when? (reads) "But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, and so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, that I scarce was sure I heard you' -here I opened wide the door;"

[Macavity gets up from the chair and walks over to the doorframe. He opens the door.]

MACAVITY: -Darkness there and nothing more. Hmm... (walks out to the rest of the stage) Hello? Is anybody here?

[CUT TO: the prop room. Most of the cast are still trying to get the tuba off of Igor's head. Macabre is sitting in his chair, moping over his friend.]

KOOKY: Oh, my poor, poor Igor! Whatever shall we do?

IGOR: Well, Mathter, we could alwayth join a marthing band. (Macabre groans.) You thould be the drum mather and thwirl a big bathon!

ETCETERA: I bet Tugger would know what to do!

CASSANDRA: Yeah; he's sitting in the Green Room taking a nap.

ELECTRA: Actually, that isn't such a bad idea... By the way, what's going on out onstage? I keep hearing someone.

JENNY: I think Mac's going over his lines.

EXOTICA: While snoring? I swear, I keep hearing someone snore...

[CUT TO: Webber, still asleep behind the curtain. Poor tired composer.]

JEMIMA: (pulls back curtain) AHHHH!

VICTORIA: What? What happened?

JEMIMA: It's... It's... It's...

TUMBLE: It's what? (looks where Mima points) Oh. It's him. Ya-ay.

MISTO: What the heck is he doing in this story?

[They all turn and look at Macabre, who whistles nervously. There is a collective groan.]

MUNKU: I *thought* that the Centrurion Talcum was headed in the wrong direction!

KOOKY: But it's more fun this way! Really, you'll see...

TUMBLE: That's what we're afraid of.

[CUT TO: Macavity. He's pacing back and forth, reading from the script as the raven enjoys a good cup of Darjeeling. (You'd have a sore throat, too, if all you said was, "Nevermore.")]

MACAVITY: Okay, where was I? Oh, yes, just got done with Lenore... "Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before-" What's that noise?

[He glances down at his foot, which is tapping nervously. He steps on it with his other foot and goes on.] MACAVITY: "'Surely,' said I, 'surely that is something at my window lattice; let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore- let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;- 't is the wind and nothing more!'"

VOICE: Lenore!

MACAVITY: Huh? (looks over script) You missed your que a whole paragraph ago! Who is this anyway?

[The door opens, and in steps Firefrorefiddle.]

FIDDLE: Good morrow, I am Firefrorefiddle, ghost cat extraordinaire. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressi- Malcolm! (runs to the raven) Malcolm, Malcolm, where have you been?

MACAVITY: (sarcastic) Well he sure as hell wasn't here to see the queen; now, come on, what are you two doing here?

FIDDLE: I'm really very sorry, um.... what was your name?

MACAVITY: It's Macavity.

FIDDLE: Yes, well, poor Malcolm here decided that Mr. Macabre could use some help on this poem, so we decided to drop by. Macavity, this is Malcolm; Malcolm, Macavity.

RAVEN: Nevermore!

FIDDLE: No, no, no! Not right now, Malc! (to Mac) So I missed my que? Where was it?

MACAVITY: (clears throat) "Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no feline ever dared to dream before; but the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token-"

FIDDLE: (finishes) "-And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, 'Lenore!' This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, 'Lenore!' Merely this and nothing more." Okay, I think I remember now... Shall we start where you left off, Macavity?

MACAVITY: Might as well; let's get this over with as soon as possible. (mumbles) At least I'm not a cloud again... Ahem. "Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter in there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; but, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door- perched upon a bust of Pallas..." Pallas? Who's Pallas?

FIDDLE: Taj Mahal?

MACAVITY: I think not.

[CUT TO: the prop room. Everyoen is taking turns getting into costumes and still trying to get Igor out of the tuba.]

TUMBLE: Pluto! You're going to be on in five minutes!

PLUTO: Where the heck is my costume?

BOMBA: It's over here next to Webber. We decided to make use of the director's chair, considering that Macabre is still with Tuba Boy.

DEMETER: You think they'll ever get that off of Igor?

ADMETUS: It wouldn't be much of a fanfic if they didn't.

ALONZO: Hmm; good point.

[CUT TO: Firefrorefiddle sitting at the desk. He's looking through a large encyclopedia volume while Malcolm sits on his head. Macavity is glancing over the rest of the script.]

FIDDLE: Here we go! It says here that "Pallas" is another name or first name for the goddess Athena.

MACAVITY: So basically Mr. Nevermore over here is supposed to be perched on Athena's head which should be above the chamber do-

[They both glance up at a gruesome object sitting over the door frame.]

MACAVITY: This Macabre guy is taking literalness *way* too far...

FIDDLE: Isn't this supposed to be a family story- Malcolm, stop that! Leave Athena's head alone! Bad raven, *bad*!

MACAVITY: He's already up there, let's just finish the poem.

FIDDLE: But he's destroying the prop! (grumbles) Stupid scavenger birds... Why couldn't Edgar Allan Poe have written, "The Pigeon"?!

MACAVITY: Shut up, Kooky might hear you and get ideas...

[Show Macabre. He suddenly sits up, looking astonished.]

FIDDLE: Don't be silly, he couldn't hear you from in here. Just start reading.

MACAVITY: "-Perched upon a..." Uh, half-demolished head of Athena...

FIDDLE: Stop ad-libbing!

MACAVITY: Right, right. "Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door- perched and sat and nothing more." (looks up) Hopefully... (continues) "Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, by the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore, 'Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, 'art sure no craven, ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore- tell me what thy lordly name is on the-" Wait a minute, this has to be a typo...

FIDDLE: (wrestling bird from the head) What? It's, "Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" right?

MACAVITY: It says here, "on the Knight Plutonian's shore-"

[A trumpet sounds, and Pluto gallops in wearing a suit of armor, riding a stick horse.]

PLUTO: I say, ho there, good citizens!

MACAVITY: (outraged) Ho? Who you callin' a ho?

PLUTO: No, Mac, it's in the script! It means, "hey!"

MACAVITY: Then why couldn't they have just put 'n that?

FIDDLE: (beating his head against the doorframe) Oh, Bast...

MACAVITY: (at Malcolm) No, you deranged raven! He said Bast, not bust! Stop eating the ear!

PLUTO: (sighing) Can we get on with the show?

MACAVITY: (angry) Ho there, yourself, good knight! Why don't you read for a change? I'm getting a headache... (sits at desk)

PLUTO: "Quoth the Raven,-" (coughs) I said, "Quoth the RAVEN,-"

RAVEN: (swallows) Nevermore?

[CUT TO: the prop room. Everyone is in costume discussing what to do with Webber, as he's still asleep.]

ELECTRA: Is this wig straight?

TUGGER: (caustic) I don't know; why don't you ask it?

ELECTRA: (rolls her eyes) I shouldn't have asked at all...

DEMETER: So, getting back on subject, what are we going to do with Mr. Webber?

MISTO: Uh-oh... I think we're about to have a musical segment...!

ALONZO: (groans) No-o-o...

[Some music starts up from an unknown source; "What Are We Going to Do With Uncle Albert?" Rumpleteazer starts humming.]

MUNGO: No, Rumple! Don' give in t' th' song! Figh' i'!

RUMPLE: Bu' i's such a catchy tune!

SKIMBLE: (sings) What are we going to do wit-

JELLY: No! Don't sing! Everyone, don't sing!

[Meanwhile, behind the curtain, Macabre is busy putting another record onto the phonograph. Igor is sitting next to it, still inside the tuba.]

KOOKY: Igor, are you in tune?

IGOR: Yesth, Mathter.

[CUT TO: the room on stage. The show has been going on, and Macavity has taken his lines back from Pluto.]

MACAVITY: "Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, 'Doubtless,' said I, 'what it utters is its only stock and store caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster-"

[Electra comes out onstage.]

ELECTRA: Hello, folks. This is probably one of my few appearances this entire series. Enjoy it while you can, because I'm not.

MACAVITY: "-Followed fast and followed faster-"

ELECTRA: Well, it's been nice, hate to cameo and run, but it's time for me to fly. (exits)

[Offstage, Macabre has put on, "Time for Me to Fly," much to the cast's dismay.]

MACAVITY: (glances at lines) Can we just cut some of this out?

FIDDLE: What the hell; Macabre's already destroyed the poem, anyway.

MACAVITY: Okay then; wait a minute... we've got another typo coming up. "Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censor-"

[There are a series of cats who come out with "CENSORED!" signs.]

MACAVITY: I knew it, I knew it!

TUGGER: Who died and made him Javert?

[They all start fighting amongst each other, and those with signs have quite a lot of fun. Then, out of nowhere... a song and choreographed dance segment?! (To the tune of "Yellow Submarine, last verse.")]

CAST: Near the end of this strange play, we only wanted now, just to say, that the narrator himself is mad, and the Ra-a-ven is mighty glad; for there he sits, right 'till this day-

KOOKY: And Igor's out of the tuba! The fanfic is saved! Yeeha!

CAST: We're gonna need to get some massive therapy! Massive therapy! Massive therapy...

[They exit, taking all the props and costumes with them. They're gone when, via the wonders of parody, Webber wakes up.]

And the Webber, never sighting, still is writing, *still* is writing
All his wondrous musicals there inside the actors' door;
And his pencil never floundering, he sits there, most unsounding,
But wait- a meow? A pounding there now at the actors' door?
Could it be that he's still dreaming up new and lively score?
Hopefully now- forevermore...

Back to the Fanfiction
Come Home