“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”
“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon’ trilogy—”
“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”
“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”
“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Cough Syrup’!”
[The curtain rises on a backdrop of variegated blue, and a sturdy pole rigged with ropes and sails. One boot rested on a prop rail, gazing into the distance via a gleaming telescope, stands Allyn-a-Dale in the guise of his dashing alter ego, Captain Gant the Second. Abruptly, he lowers the telescope with a violent sneeze that sends the feather on his tricorn hat bobbing wildly.]
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [hoarsely]: Mr. Scarlet! Report to the deck.
[Enter Will Scarlet, his billowing unbuttoned shirt suggesting he thinks he’s about to pose for the cover of a piratical romance novel.]
Will: That’s weird. Could’ve sworn I just heard a toad croaking orders as if it thought it was my captain.
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: I [cough, cough] am your [cough, hack] captain.
Will: Bloody heck, you sound dreadful! What’s become of your beautiful voice??
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [rubbing at reddened, watering eyes]: I’m afraid I’ve come down with a blasted cold.
Will: You? Sick? That’s just messed up.
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: We’re not in Avalon now. ‘Twould seem my magic-enhanced good health is the price to be paid for piracy.
Will: Well, what’s to be done?
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: What we generally do, Mr. Scarlet: High-sea robbery. There’s bound to be a merchant ship carrying a cold remedy somewh— whe— ah-CHOO!
Will: God save ye, Captain.
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [sniffling]: A cold remedy, and/or a box of tissues. That is our aim.
Will: Perhaps a quick sea shanty to raise your spirits in the meantime, Captain?
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: You expect me to sing with my voice in this condition??
Will: Not you, sir. You grab an instrument of some sort, and leave the vocals to me.
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [rolling his eyes]: What could possibly go wrong?
[A small upright grand piano rolls in from offstage. Allyn takes a seat and strikes up a jaunty tune.]
Will: Ohhh, poor Captain Allyn’s come down with a cold;
So rather than treasure chests brimming with gold,
He’s after a box of disposable hankies;
Here’s hoping we find it before he gets cranky!
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [with a grimace]: This so-called music will do that before the illness does. You’ll have to do lyrically better than that.
Will: Mm, all right, how about something more like…
The captain’s defeated his fair share of foes;
He’ll never be vanquished by a runny nose.
Beware, all ye sailing afore the sea breeze:
He’s coming for you with an “arrgh” and a sneeze!
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: Arrgh…
Will: That’s the spirit!
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: No, I meant, “Arrgh, this song is killing me.” [removes hands from piano] I think a nap is in order. Wake me when there’s somebody to fire upon.
Will [sighing]: Aye, Captain.
[Allyn exits the stage, leaving Will Scarlet eyeing the piano.]
Will: Still the song’s chorus to go… [glances toward the audience] Think the captain will mind? … Me neither! [plunks down on the bench and begins pounding away on the keys]
Yo to the ho, and ah to the choo,
What’s a pirate who’s sick with a virus to do?
He’ll keep it together while under the weather
‘Til he’s feeling finer than Spanish doubloons!
ONE! MORE! TIME!
I said yo to the ho, and ah to the—
[A shot fires from offstage, leaving a trail of smoke scant inches above Will’s head. He turns to see Allyn, pistol in hand, glowering at him from just off the wings.]
Will: Oh, hello. Up already, Captain?
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [voice smooth as ever, and inclining toward dangerous]: Step away from the piano.
Will [wisely obeying]: I say, you’re sounding worlds better!
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: Yes, a remarkable thing. I do believe the germs in my body heard one note too many of your hideous racket and jumped ship, as it were. I very nearly followed suit.
Will: Well! If that isn’t just the – [cough, cough] – the most ka-CHOO! Oh, no… [hack, sniffles] Captain, your germs have jumped your vessel and invaded me!
Allyn/Capt. Gant II [smiling roguishly]: Yo to the ho, and what do you know?
What a pirate-ish thing for a virus to do.
Now get ye below ‘til you’re over your cold,
And enough of your acting the scarlet buffoon.
Will [coughing]: Good to have your voice back, Captain Gant.
Allyn/Capt. Gant II: That it is, Mr. Scarlet. That it is.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Susan Francino and Steven Bourelle,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘box of tissues’ and ‘pirates’.”
“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! Until next week, friends! Will and Allyn out!”