The Toilet

a pOpera in two acts
(2000)


A little town in the midwest, circa 1995.

ACT ONE

A familiar, stereotypical story:  Drunk father may have killed his wife in a drunken rage. Their progeny — a loser-of-a-boy who mopes around being pissed off at the world — misses his Mom and resents his Dad.  The boy, Marcenaric (kind of like Marjoe…), recently found himself a girlfriend, Fanny, to spend less time around his asshole father, Sam.

All the while Sam sits home drinking whiskey that smells like cat piss and leather, lamenting to himself about hating the world and resenting his loser son being born and his wife dying.  Stuff like that.

Strange vibrations and wailing sounds come from the bathroom.

Unbeknownst to all, and for some heretofore unknown reason, the dark lord Satan has decided to take up residence in Sam Jacobsohn's toilet. 

After proclaiming their love for each other (through song) and taking each others virginity (through duet), Marcenaric leaves Fanny's house and heads back home. When he arrives, a very drunk Sam taunts his son once again.  Marcenaric finally proclaims he is leaving his father for good.

His shit doesn't go so well — Satan emerges from the toilet and pulls Marcenaric in, killing him.  The terrible noises from Marcenaric's gruesome death jolts Sam from his drunken slumber.  What the hell was that noise?  Sam investigates.  He checks Marcenaric's bedroom: he's not there.  Where else could his son be?  He checks the bathroom door.  Its locked.  He bangs on it furiously, trying to get Marcenaric to open the damned door.  Finally, with all his might, Sam kicks down the door.  A brazen e minor chord as Sam sees the carnage left behind.  

He drops to his knees.  What now?  His wife gone.  His son gone.  He didn't kill them, but no one will care.  He knows he will be accused anyway.  That's what happens to drunk fucks like him, right?

ACT TWO

Things have changed.  Sam has been accused of murder and is behind bars.  Marcenaric's dead.  Fanny is without her boyfriend.  The shit has hit the fan.  

After the funeral, Fanny corners Rev. Domenico Cavaradossi and brings to light that she doesn't think that Sam killed Marcenaric.  Appalled by that notion, Cavaradossi fluffs her off.  However, Fanny reveals that Marcenaric had a journal. Intrigued, Cavaradossi pages through it.  The journal seems to illuminate the fact that Marcenaric didn't think his father killed his mother, and that there was some strange sounds and weird paranormal shit going on in the bathroom.

Some time passes.  After consideration, Cavaradossi bails Sam from jail - realizing that there may be some merit behind what Marcenaric described in his journal.  Sam concurs.  He too has experienced the creepy paranormal vibrations of the bathroom.

Cavaradossi investigates.  Sure enough, he was right.  Satan emerges from the toilet and begins to taunt Cavaradossi.  Using his bad ass catholic power, Cavaradossi plunges Satan back into the murky toilet waters.  Cavaradossi emerges from the bathroom and explains to both Sam and Fanny that they were right.  Only one thing can be done now: exorcism.

Cavaradossi spends days trying to get in touch with the vatican.  Sam begins to understand how fucked up he was while he was a drunkard.  He vows to never drink again.

Cavaradossi finally gets a hold of the pope.  The pope can't help and suggests that he calls Moses.  He does.  Moses can't help so he suggests to Cavaradossi that he calls God.  He does.  God can't help, but he can send his son, Jesus, to come help out.

Sure enough, the doorbell rings and Jesus Christ stands there at the door.  He absolves Sam of his sins and proceeds to exorcise Satan from the toilet.  Satan and Jesus have a knife fight, and as expected — Jesus wins.

Everyone sings a nice, happy song to celebrate.

Many years later, an embittered Cavaradossi speaks of his time exorcising the toilet and how he has become disillusioned with Catholicism and how much he hates this fucking world.  Out of nowhere, the ghost of Marcenaric appears and chokes Cavaradossi to death.

THE END.  

LIBRETTO:

Vincent Calianno

SCORING:

Flute (doubles Piccolo), Clarinet (plays Bb, Eb and Bass), Saxophone (plays Soprano, Alto, Baritone), Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion [Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Tambourine, Bongos, Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Tamtam, Woodblock, 3 Temple Blocks, Claves, Quica, Police Whistle, Mark-Tree], Drum Set (also plays Slide Whistle), Piano/Synth, Guitar/Banjo, 2 Violins, Viola, VIoloncello, Contrabass/Bass Guitar, Fixed 2-Channel Playback

DURATION:

2 hours, 15 mins.

PREMIERE:

1-4.March.2000 
Wilder Main Space, Oberlin OH

Original Cast:

Jarred McAdams - Rev. Domenico Cavaradossi
Wally Scharold - Sam Jacobsohn
Andrew Davis - Marcenaric Jacobsohn & The Pope
Amy McIntire - Fanny
Claire Thompson - Satan
Dave Levin & Dinos Dionysopoulous - Detectives
S. Andrew Smith - Jesus Christ

Mark Bartscher - Sound Engineer

Directed and Conducted by Vincent Calianno

Orchestra: Sandra Sutak - Flutes, Marie Rinkoski - Clarinets, Dave Reminick - Saxophones, Guitar and Banjo, Ed Parsons & Leigh Miller - Bassoon, J.Q. Whitcomb - Trumpet, Scott Forth - Percussion, Brian Chase - Drums, Emily Manzo & Carlton Maia - Piano/Synth, Erica Dicker & Rebecca Huber - Violins, Amy Cimini - Viola, Kivie Cahn-Lipman - Cello, Dan Rubin - Contrabass and Bass Guitar.