David Haverty - Pyramus & Thisbe: A One​-​Man Rock Opera

from by Milburn & Vigoda

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recorded live at the Lillian Theatre, December 2012.

lyrics

PYRAMUS & THISBE: A ROCK OPERA OF MODEST PROPORTIONS
P&T 1: PROLOGUE
BOTTOM
If I offend, it is with my good will.
That you should think, I come not to offend,
But with good will. To show my simple skill. That is the true beginning of my end.
Consider then I come but in despite.
I do not come as minding to contest you,
My true intent is. All for your delight
I am not here.
HERMIA
(stage whisper to the others)
Sweet friends, are you quite sure that we should stay?
BOTTOM, now having regained his confidence, tosses away the hat and forges on.
BOTTOM
Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show;
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.
(donning PYRAMUS costume element)
This man is Pyramus, if you would know;
(donning THISBE wig)
This beauteous lady Thisbe is certain.
(showing WALL stuff)
This thing, with lime and rough-cast, doth present
Wall, that vile Wall which did these lovers sunder;
And through Wall's chink, poor souls, they are content
To whisper. At the which let no man wonder.
(showing the lamp, etc)
This fine, attractive shiny household lamp,
it is the Moon, for in the moonlight’s gloom
And in the cemetery’s dark and dewy damp
Did these fair lovers meet at Ninny’s tomb.
(whipping out the LION puppet)
This grisly beast, which Lion hight by name,
The trusty Thisbe, coming first by night,
Did scare away, or rather did affright;
And, as she fled, her mantle she did fall,
Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did stain.
Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth and tall,
And finds his trusty Thisbe's mantle slain:
Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,
He bravely broach’d is boiling bloody breast;
And Thisbe, tarrying in mulberry shade,
His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
Let Lion, Moonshine, Wall, and lovers twain
At large discourse, while here they do remain.
BOTTOM sets up the lamp in some way to indicate that it’s the moon, and it continues to shine on the “action” of the “play.” BOTTOM preps the wall stuff, and resumes singing.
DEMETRIUS
(not on board yet)
Titania’s letting this guy on the mainstage??
HELENA
(getting into it)
Pyramus draws near the wall. Silence!
P&T 2: O GRIM-LOOK’D NIGHT
PYRAMUS
O grim-look'd night! O night with hue so black!
O night, which ever art when day is not!
O night, O night! alack, alack, alack,
I fear my Thisbe's promise is forgot!
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall,
That stand'st between her father's ground and mine!
Thou wall, O wall, O sweet and lovely wall,
Show me thy chink, to blink through with mine eyne!
(holding up his fingers)
Thanks, courteous wall: Jove shield thee well for this!
But what see I? No Thisbe do I see.
O wicked wall, through whom I see no bliss!
Cursed be thy stones for thus deceiving me!
(moving to the other side of the WALL, as THISBE)
THISBE
O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones,
Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.
PYRAMUS
I see a voice: now will I to the chink,
To spy an I can hear my Thisbe’s face. Thisbe!
THISBE
My love thou art, my love I think.
PYRAMUS
Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's grace;
O kiss me through the hole of this vile wall!
THISBE
I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.
PYRAMUS
Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?
THISBE
'Tide life, 'tide death, I come without delay.
WALL
Thus have I, Wall, my part discharged so;
And, being done, thus Wall away doth go.
Exit
HERMIA
(stage whisper)
This is the silliest stuff that ever I heard.
LYSANDER
It is the wittiest partition that ever I heard discourse.
HELENA
(Totally into it)
Shush, you guys. He’s coming back again.
P&T 3: YOU LADIES, YOU
LION (A HAND PUPPET)
You ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do fear
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor,
May now perchance both quake and tremble here,
When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Then know that I, a handy puppet, am
A lion-fell, nor else no lion's dam;
For, if I should as lion come in strife
Into this place, 'twere pity on my life.

‘cause I’m a puppet. Yeah, I’m just a puppet.
You got no need to be afeard, babe. I got a fluffy little beard, babe.
‘Cause, I’m just a puppet, yeah, I’m just a puppet.
Well you might think that I’m a monster
But you can pet me if you want, sir.
‘cause I’m a puppet. Yeah, I’m just a puppet.
I gotta lotta pointy teeth, mon,
but Bottom's hand is underneath, mon,
'cause I'm a puppet.
Enter Thisbe
THISBE
This is old Ninny's tomb. Where is my love?
LION
[Roaring] Oh--
Thisbe runs off. The Lion puppet grips Thisbe’s mantle in its mouth and leaves a bloody stain.
LYSANDER
Well roared, Lion!
HELENA
Well run, Thisbe!
Enter Pyramus
P&T 4: SWEET MOON
PYRAMUS
Sweet Moon, I thank thee for thy sunny beams;
I thank thee, Moon, for shining now so bright;
For, by thy gracious, golden, glittering gleams,
I trust to take of truest Thisbe sight.
But stay, O spite!
But mark, poor knight,
What dreadful dole is here!
BACKUP SINGERS (TITANIA & GIRLS)
What dreadful dole is here!
PYRAMUS
Eyes, do you see?
How can it be?
O dainty duck! O dear!
BACKUP SINGERS
O dainty duck O Dear!
PYRAMUS
Thy mantle good,
What, stain'd with blood!
Approach, ye Furies fell!
BACKUP SINGERS
Approach, ye Furies fell!
PYRAMUS
O Fates, come, come,
Cut thread and thrum;
PYRAMUS & BACKUP SINGERS
Quail!
Crush!
Conclude!
And quell!
Huge “Bohemian Rhapsody”-style ending.
DEMETRIUS
(after a pause)
Wow.
HELENA
Indeed! What a gripping performance!
(to BOTTOM)
Oh no, fair Pyramus! Thisbe’s not dead!
HERMIA
Pyramus can’t hear you. It’s a play.
HELENA
Right.

P&T 5: O WHEREFORE, NATURE
PYRAMUS
O wherefore, Nature, didst thou lions frame?
Since lion
PYRAMUS & BACKUP SINGERS
vile hath here deflower'd my dear:
PYRAMUS
Which is--no, no--
PYRAMUS & BACKUP SINGERS
which was the fairest dame
PYRAMUS
That lived, that loved, that liked, that look'd
with cheer.
Come, tears, confound;Out, sword, and wound
The pap of Pyramus;
Ay, that left pap,
Where heart doth hop:
Stabs himself
Thus die I, thus, thus, thus.
Now am I dead,
Now am I fled;
My soul is in the sky:
Tongue, lose thy light;
Moon take thy flight:
He turns off the lamp.
Now die, die, die, die, die.
Dies
LYSANDER, HELENA, and DEMETRIUS stand and cheer. HERMIA shushes them and pulls them back down--she knows this story from way back.
HERMIA
Be still yet, for the tale he seeks to tell
has not yet reached its full and sad conclusion.
HELENA
(completely caught up in it)
The lamp is off. Without the moonlight’s glow,
Can Thisbe find her fated Pyramus?
HERMIA
She will find him by starlight. Here she comes; and
her passion ends the play.
P&T 6: ASLEEP, MY LOVE?
THISBE
Asleep, my love?
What, dead, my dove?
O Pyramus, arise!
Speak, speak. Quite dumb?
Dead, dead? A tomb
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
These My lips,
This cherry nose,
These yellow cowslip cheeks,
Are gone, are gone:
Lovers, make moan:
His eyes were green as leeks.
O Sisters Three,
BACKUP SINGERS
O Sisters Three,
THISBE
Come, come to me,
BACKUP SINGERS
Come, come to me,
THISBE
With hands as pale as milk;
BACKUP SINGERS
As pale as milk
THISBE
Lay them in gore,
BACKUP SINGERS
Lay them in gore
THISBE
Since you have shore
BACKUP SINGERS
Since you have shore
THISBE
With shears his thread of silk.
BACKUP SINGERS
Snip, snip
THISBE
Tongue, not a word:
Come, trusty sword;
THISBE & BACKUP SINGERS
Come, blade, my breast imbrue:
Stabs herself
THISBE
And, farewell, friends;
Thus Thisbe ends:
Adieu,

adieu,

adieu.
BACKUP SINGERS
Thus Thisbe ends,
Thus Thisbe ends,
Thus Thisbe ends,
Thus Thisbe ends,
Thus Thisbe ends,
Thus Thisbe ends,
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

credits

from Midsummer Night demos, released May 5, 2014
vocal: the truly remarkable David Haverty. Backups by Danielle Wigfall, Katy Tang, Valerie Vigoda, Ryan O'Connell, Brendan Milburn

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