John Steinmetz

bassoonist, composer, writer, satirist, speaker

All the Libretto You'll Ever Need

Act III, Scene 2

(Outside Rigoletto’s apartment building. Night.)

SPARAFUCILE: Psst! Anybody I can take care of for you, sir?

RIGOLETTO: Maybe. How much do you charge?

SPAR: Venti scudi.

RIG: Venti scudi! Where am I going to get venti scudi?

SGT. BELCORE (offstage): La la la etc.

RIG & SPAR: What was that?

BELCORE (entering): Join the army!

Sign up today!

Put your name here,

Venti scudi I will pay!

SPAR: Venti scudi?

RIG: Venti scudi?

BEL: Venti scudi!

TUTTI: Venti scudi!

MEN’S CHORUS: Venti scudi! Venti scudi!

Venti scudi! Venti scudi!

(A Volkswagen beetle with a Domino’s Pizza delivery sign rolls in and docks by the fountain. The audience titters. Low fog rolls off the stage into the orchestra pit. The music becomes sinister and threatening. Bass drum roll. High staccato chirps from a double bass. Slowly a window of the VW rolls down. A muscular arm emerges from the car, holding a silver platter bearing the head of John the Baptist. The head is covered with a handkerchief. Meanwhile, the Duke is sneaking into the courtyard. He sees the handkerchief.)

SPAR: La vendetta!

RIG: La maledizione!

DUKE: Il fazzoletto!

(Rigoletto unzips the body bag. He staggers back.)

RIG: Dio! Mia figlia! Impossibil!

(The old gypsy woman seated by the fountain turns to Rigoletto.)

GYPSY: Oh, give it a rest, old man. You think you got it so bad. I once threw my baby into the fire by mistake.

SPAR: Yikes. I hate when that happens. (Puts on another costume.) But you know what I really hate: once I killed my brother by mistake.

DUKE: Oooh. Bummer. (Changing costume.) How about this one: I killed my wife once because I thought she was unfaithful.

MEN’S CHORUS: So?

DUKE: Boy, was I mad when I found out I’d been wrong.

MEN’S CHORUS: Oops.

DUKE: (Changing costume.) But then I seduced the most beautiful woman in the world, got her pregnant, abandoned her, and she went crazy and killed the child and then was executed for murder.

TUTTI: Youch.

DUKE: No kidding. It was bad. I was really upset about that one. (Changing costume again.) So I pushed the pillars over, and the roof fell in and killed everybody.

RIG: Ich. Yuck. What a mess.

DUKE (Changing into another costume): Then I had my guards squish my stepdaughter with their shields.

TUTTI: Okay, okay, you win already!

DUKE: Wait! I forgot that Gypsy slut I stabbed....

(GILDA, DESDEMONA, & MARGERITE appear in heaven.)

DESDEMONA: Can you believe these guys?

GILDA: To think I died for that slime. (She barfs.) One thing for sure: I’m never doing that again.

MARGERITE: Tenors. All they can think about is mi, mi, mi.

GIL, DES, & MAR: Ha, ha, ha!

WOMEN’S CHORUS (smoking cigarettes): Ha, (cough), ha!

DUKE: . . . and that Japanese girl!

MEN’S CHORUS (mindlessly): Venti scudi! Venti scudi!

Venti scudi! Venti scudi!

CURTAIN