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"snow Piggy And The Seven Jedi"?


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The by-now-infamous “Pig Wars” puppet troupe have done four plays now, dramatizing (in order) the legends of the three little pigs, the three billy goats gruff, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. Lest they fade into obscurity, we should do another play. But which fairy tale to fracture this time?

Snow White? There is really not a lot of plot in the Snow White story, despite Disney making a full-length movie out of it in 1939. Evil step-parent (that’d have to be Darth) has it in for beautiful (compared to Darth, anyway) Princess Leah, who escapes (to a galaxy far, far away, of course) and hooks up with The Seven Jedi (of which we see only Yoda and Luke—the rest, we’re told, are at work saving the galaxy) and hides out at their secret military base. Darth finds the princess, brings her an evil-looking present (maybe the pumpkin from the last play), knocks her out with a brick (using the Dark Side of the Force, in other words), and the princess stays unconscious until discovered by the handsome prince (Hansolo, I guess).

Of course, we have to have the magic mirror (we used the mirror in “Cinderpiggy” so that Leah would have someone to talk to, but the Snow White legend is really where the mirror comes from). We need a part for Chewy, too. Maybe Chewy should be the one who always gets asked (and answers) the “Who’s the fairest?” question—the mirror could get really annoyed at that. And Chewy has to be the one who’s supposed to dump the girl’s body off in space, and ends up shipping her off to the galaxy far, far away instead—there’s no one else to play that role. Can Chewy pull it off with a one-word vocabulary?

We can’t do the Disney chase scene through the mountains with sock puppets—and we don’t want the evil step-parent getting killed off, anyway: this is a kids’ play. Disney could be violent (especially toward stepmothers), but we won’t. Could we maybe have Darth and Chewy live happily ever after, too (eating cookies, of course)—after giving Leah and Hansolo the annoying magic mirror as a wedding present? And this time, the mirror can join in the “moral of the story is…” discussion at the end. It just might work. We can call it “Snow Piggy and the Seven Jedi.”

I wonder what we’d do for a song? (The one verse, one chorus songs performed by the sock-puppet band have become a tradition now. Have to have one. The public expects it.) And what genre? We’ve done rock (in “Sleeping Piggy”), and country (in “Cinderpiggy”). Bluegrass, perhaps? (I know a fiddle player.) A polka?

I’ve threatened to do a sock-puppet play based on the legend of the Treasure of Neahkahnie Mountain (it was actually the subject of a movie), but I probably won’t—the fairy tales work better for our Star Wars troupe. People know how the fairy tales are supposed to go, because they grew up with them—and then we can twist the tales unmercifully (and humorously) in the course of fitting our “actors” into the roles. If people didn’t already know the story, it wouldn’t work as well.

Found a few more public-domain songs that might be suitable for the Train Set: “The Last Ride,” a dying-hobo tune that may date as far back as 1890 (Hank Snow did it with a real rockabilly beat, which I’d like to imitate), “Reuben’s Train,” which dates from the Civil War (and has a grisly murder in the last verse), and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel No. 2 (T for Texas),” which was a Dodson Drifters standard—it plays good as rock ‘n’ roll, and there aren’t many rock ‘n’ roll train songs. Of the tunes I’ve been sent by songwriters, I think there are only three I have managed to be able to play and sing—but I’m not done yet. This week, I get to play music Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and maybe even Thursday night before the Writers’ Guild meeting—and there’s another job to apply for that I wouldn’t mind having. And is there a play to write, too?

Joe

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