Thursday, September 1, 2011

Audience Reaction to “It’s a Small World” Musical Mirrors Enhanced Interrogation Confessions

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- The San Narciso Police Department had an unusually busy week according to officers. Between Sunday and Thursday, units found themselves responding to a series of disturbance calls during performances of The Tank Players’ theatrical production of “It’s a Small World.” Several arrests were made, including a local high school football coach. A homemaker who confessed to various acts of terrorism and jihad was also detained for questioning by authorities, but was later released without being charged. SNPD spokesman Ren Williams said, “We’ve never seen anything quite like this. For whatever reason, about midway through the musical, people begin airing all their wrongdoings to the world. It's like watching a suspect break under enhanced interrogation -- just saying anything to make the pain stop. We’re still looking into it. For the time being, though, all upcoming performances have been cancelled.”

Navigating the Uneasy Currents of The Tank Players’ Cruise ‘Round the World
Director Randolph Driblette’s musical is based entirely on the Disneyland attraction “It’s a Small World.” But in Driblette’s retelling, audience members see not the idyllic, sanitized world of Walt Disney, but the globe divided and fractured through tumultuous geopolitics. “The themes are disturbing,” said Driblette, “but so is life. After all, it’s a world a laughter, a world of tears, a world of hopes and a world of fears.”

During the performance, theater patrons are seated in stationary boats that surround a revolving stage. Each time the curtain falls, it rises again to reveal scenes of political discord in a specific country. Meanwhile, roving musicians approach the boats to perform renditions of “It’s a Small World” in the prevailing language of the country on display, using regional instruments.

“We tend to receive calls as the Mexico scene unfolds,” Williams said. “In most cases, our officers have to wrestle angry mobs off the mariachis. It’s a legal nightmare.”

Some of the more uncomfortable moments in the show, by Driblette’s admission, come right at the beginning. In the United Kingdom, for example, puppets dressed as syphilitic monarchs urinate on leprechauns while a caricature of Tony Blair in a poodle suit is sodomized by a neurotic, giggling cowboy.

Driblette explained that he was forced to move one of the exhibits out of prominent view: “We had to push it to the back of set, and you can only see it if you’re looking, but we’ve got a Rupert Murdoch doll decapitating Princess Diana with her own cell phone.”

Germany, of course, features physically and economically superior socialists in black and red uniforms, but instead of engaging in genocide, they’re marching across Europe with an enormous wallet from which Greeks, Spaniards, and other EU members extract bills. Any anti-Semitism in the play is reserved for Iran, Palestine, France and, at the end, Walt Disney himself.

Despite the dark themes of the show, Driblette said he tried to introduce some lighthearted moments. “I know the whole nuclear kabuki thing in Japan was pretty scary, but the stuff in China was a riot.”

During the “voyage” through China, audience members are taunted by fat Caucasian men costumed as Charlie Chan, who use American bond notes as toilet paper and kindling to light their Cuban cigars (an interesting production note: the gold wrap on the cigars features the image of Lyndon B. Johnson dressed as Fidel Castro).

But according to police, the disturbing imagery of the show has nothing to do with the odd behavior of theater goers.

“My theory?” SNPD’s Ren Williams surmised. “Every song in the musical is ‘It’s a Small World,’ performed in different musical stylings for three hours. Who could endure that?”

The Confessions and Arrests
Fudd McTaffuckle, head football coach at Bongo-Shaftsbury High School in Bennington Vale, resigned unexpectedly from his position Monday, citing “personal reasons.” School principal Dr. Maude Bravo said she couldn’t comment further on the resignation, but sources close to McTaffuckle reported that he stepped down after an internal investigation by the San Narciso County School District about complaints of “inappropriate conduct” with a player during recent practices.

In the complaint, McTaffuckle was accused of cursing at the player, trying to hit him in the head with a ball and of attacking him with a pick. Interestingly, both Dr. Bravo and the victim protested that the police statement was inaccurate.

On Tuesday’s performance of “It’s a Small World,” a day after his resignation, Fudd McTaffuckle abruptly leaped from his boat as the “Liberia” scene opened. He then grabbed the Charles Taylor doll and screamed, “The kid was right! Please, just make the noise stop, I’ll confess. Some of my friends in City Hall fudged the report. I wasn’t cussing at the boy or hitting him in the head with a ball or chasing him with a pick. I was kissing him, asking for head, grabbing at his balls and chasing him with my...”

McTaffuckle was arrested before finishing his rant. He is scheduled to appear in court to face new charges of sexually assaulting a minor.

Police also took Trinity Diaz into custody on Tuesday after she told one of the theater ushers that she had illegally smuggled an entire busload of Mexican orphans into San Narciso County.

Diaz was released hours later after Father Preternature explained the misunderstanding.

“We had given our congregation a pamphlet called ‘Visit Mexico for Orphans.’ The intent was to promote some volunteer work in Tijuana, where the quality of life is much worse than here. Ms. Diaz, who helps our treasurer, became convinced that unless the church made its quota of orphans, the federal government would begin taxing us. I assure you all, she snuck those children into the country with the best of intentions. If you knew what she went through to achieve this -- the bullet holes in the bus, the game of Russian roulette with a coyote and the night of prostitution -- you’d commend her commitment.”

The third disruption occurred Wednesday evening when Bennington Vale resident Eunice Hyman rushed the soundboard during the final number in the show. Breaking into tears, and with blood streaming from her right ear, Ms. Hyman grabbed a microphone, activated the PA system and announced that she would admit to masterminding the September 11 attacks if The Tank Players would stop the music. She too was released by detectives without incident.

(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody. See disclaimers.