SCENE: A small zoo. Preparing for the holiday performance.
At rise: The residents of the zoo are practicing for the annual holiday performance. It's the last dress rehearsal before the actual production and chaos reigns supreme.
Hello? Everyone? May I have your attention, please? There is far too much cacophony among the performers. I can't hear myself think! Not you my dear...you embody the true thespian soul
(laughing while watching from a tree)
Uh-oh...zebra says there's too much caca-phony around here. The elephants have been using the toilets, again
Oh Cyril - you're so witty!
You mean, witless. Now where were we? Oh yes...we were discussing your acting abilities, my dear.
You think I have talent? My acting coach has offered to give me private lessons
Would your coach anyone I would know? Perhaps we could work together to maximize your performance
That's a very kind offer but 'CH' swore me to secrecy. He doesn't want the whole world calling him and begging for private tutoring> He's a very private person
Totally understandable, my dear. Know exactly where he's coming from. I too separate myself from the lesser...well...talent-challenged among us
(ZEBRA admires his frame from all angles, in a full-length mirror)
(cont'd. ZEBRA) 'Perfection!' (whispering) You can share the name of your acting coach with me. There is a professional code of silence among zebra directors that is adhered to. You said his initials were CH? Hmmmm....not familiar with any coaches with those initials...
He calls himself cheetah
(ZEBRA reacts with horror)
Cheetah...you did say cheetah? Does this cheetah...would this coach live, perchance, in a cage in this very zoo?
He would! How did you know? He said that his style of coaching requires getting down to the bare bones of acting
My dear, naïve, zebra! Forget about - um - coach cheetah. I, myself, shall take you on as a client, gratis, and as a cost to myself (aside to himself) ...wait 'til I get my hands on cheetah...' What am I saying? Let's just say, my dear, that his reputation and taste for zebras is well developed. Why don't you go over there in the corner and study your lines
If you say so. "I think I hear Santa!....I think I hear Santa....I think I hear Santa...'
Okay...actors - places please! Mr. Squeeze - please tear yourself away from rat? We don't want a repeat performance of last year's incident
I was just trying to show him some love
(gasping for breath)
Surrre! Remember the squirrel incident? We lost our Santa Claus on account of you
We're good friends! Right rat? Who ever heard of a squirrel playing Santa Claus, anyway?
(admiring himself in the mirror and fixing his cravat)
'You handsome devil! Your stripes don't do you justice. 'kiss-kiss....' For the record and given our budget, which is half of last year's and next to nothing, he was the only one who could fit into the Santa suit. Who will play the old elf this year?
(a chicken jumps down from the branch of a tree)
I would like to volunteer my services for the cause
(slithering up close to chicken)
Great idea! And my contribution will be to offer my help We can go over your lines in my den
Not! Thank you for your...offer but I'm sure chicken can remember "ho-ho-ho..." Now if you will put on the suit, we can start our rehearsal
It's a little tight...jacket won't...fit...over my...breast bone...
Perhaps I can fix that problem ...
...my particular qualities can definitely fix that...
(both cheetah and MR. SQUEEZE inch closer to the chicken)
Stop where you are, both of you! We will make do with what we have. Please put on the red hat and black shiny boots and get on the sled. The children are arriving
(smoothing her feathers and pulling the jacket over his breast)
I'm very nervous.. This is my first acting job
Don't worry my friend. I'll be watching close by...in case you forget your lines, of course
Places people! Mr. Squeeze - you're not in the first scene
Just helping chicken get over his nerves. Everyone needs a hug''
Open the curtains and let the play begin!
NEXT TIME: THE SHOW MUST GO ON - MAYBE