Judith’s Mad Scene, from Gemini the Musical (2004) (Day 186)

While we’re on the subject of Fourth of July fireworks, here’s a scene from the 2004 version of Gemini the Musical that followed immediately after yesterday’s song, Let’s Find Out. Judith arrives to discover that Francis very nearly had sex with her brother, and is hurt and angry. The idea of a “mad scene” is a nod in the direction of the operatic thru-line that was woven throughout the 2004 version; in fact, there is an early draft of this number in which the ghost of Maria Callas appears as a furious Brunnhilde in response to Judith’s scornful remarks about her singing. “Spawn of spite and malice/Do you slander Callas?” asks Maria, who then commands Francis, “Avenge me!” It was inspired, and I’m still disappointed that it never made it to the stage.

As in the previous number, the song follows the dialog closely, with spoken and sung text seamlessly interspersed. The thematic material in this number is derived from Francis’s earlier song Welcome To My Life and Judith’s Not Your Typical Fairy Tale. Jillian Louis does a lot of vocal and emotional heavy lifting in this piece, and listening to this fills me with awe and gratitude. She was (and is) fierce and fearless!

Judith: Happy birthday, Francis!

Francis: Act your age, Judith!

Judith: Oh ho, act my age…!
(spoken) Act my age says this paragon of maturity,
(singing) Says this pristine sage!

Francis: It’s hard to explain…

Randy: That’s right!

Judith: Hard? Hard to explain? What is?
(singing) You were gonna fuck my brother!
(spoken) That’s very simple,
(singing) That’s the birds and the bees,
(spoken) That’s biology 1a.

Francis: Calm down, Judith, please…

Judith: I thought I loved you!
(hitting randy) I thought I loved him!
(singing) Never trust a fatty…
(spoken) They’re self-indulgent, that’s what my mother told me…
(singing) Mom, you weren’t wrong!
(spoken) Go have a banana split!

Randy: For chrissake, calm down!

Judith: I knew it was suspicious that you asked to come along.
I’m sure you both enjoyed it.
At least it all makes sense:
It was a joke at my expense!
I’ll bet it was the greatest show on earth!
You promised me a freak show
And you didn’t let me down!
In this ring, we’ve got Francis
The famous fairy clown
And over here, another queer
Direct from Harvard Square –
His faggot Sidekick, randy!
Don’t they make a perfect pair?

I guess it’s just a typical fairy tale –
It’s enough to make you wince!
Cinderella is a fella
Who has fin’lly found his prince.
So let’s give a cheer,
My boyfriend’s a queer,
And he loves my brother too…

[Bursting in unaware of the drama they are interrupting:]

Bunny, Fran, and Lucille: Happy birthday, Francis,
Happy twenty-one!
Happy birthday, Francis…

Fran: My son!

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