‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore - A Pop Opera by Todd Squitieri


This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author’s PRIOR consent

LOCATION: The Royal Gardens

      Enter FLORIO.

      FLORIO:  What is the meaning of this?! What strange broils so near my

      The two men immediately disband.

      VASQUES: Apologies, your highness. He started it.

      GRIMALDI: This man is an ass.

      FLORIO:  Vasques, you know this is unbecoming of you. If Soranzo sees

      VASQUES: Forgive, sir, forgive.

      VASQUES bows.

      Enter SORANZO, running onstage from behind.

      SORANZO: I heard the commotion and came as fast as I could.

      SORANZO studies the scene quickly.

      SORANZO: I see.

      VASQUES: My Lord, Grimaldi slandered your name and made defamatory
      claims against your royal standing. I was preparing to do battle with
      him, sir. I thought how dare this vile creature besmirch your good

      GRIMALDI: (to Vasques) Thy claims were justified!  (to Soranzo)
      However, I must implore you that if you are thinking of trying to take
      a small piece of me, than perhaps you had better place a napkin across
      thy entire lap and prepare for the whole bloody thing!

      GRIMALDI extends his arms in such a way as if to invite SORANZO to
      come attack him—a clear invitation.

      Soranzo: Fool, don’t tempt the fates!

      FLORIO: You two, break it up, break it up! (to Donado) See what a mess
      has been created in these quarters? Ever since I publicly announced my
      intentions of marrying off my daughter to a qualified and
      well-intentioned gentleman suitor, all sorts of rivalries hath erupted
      within these walls. Why, this may prove the very undoing of Parma!

      DONADO: It’s not your fault, your Highness. While these creatures
      appear to be grown men, their brains have not yet caught up with their
      bodies. Nothing a swift strike to the backside with an armored boot
      wouldn’t fix.

      GRIMALDI: I—

      VASQUES: My Lord, had you not arrived, this septic boil on the bloated
      arse of a dead donkey would surely have been a dead man.

      GRIMALDI: (to Vasques) Coward, I’m not afraid of you.

      VASQUES makes a gesture to hit him.

      VASQUES: You couldn’t botch a crack whore with a musket.

      GRIMALDI: (to Vasques) Coxcomb!

      FLORIO: Now, now, desist immediately, the two of you, for I will under
      no circumstances entertain this sort of whimsical clamoring behind the
      quarters of the royal palace! Am I clear?!

      There is silence.

      FLORIO: And in any case, it is for neither you nor you to decide, for
      it is my very daughter who will decide who will get rightful and
      regular entry into her… heart. Try as you may, it is my daughter’s
      final say.

      The suitors avert their gazes, looking slightly dejected and perturbed
      by this news.

      SORANZO then slowly gazes up and with anger, glares at GRIMALDI.

      SORANZO:  Grimaldi, if you do not heed my warning…

      FLORIO: Soranzo! What did I just say?!

      SORANZO: Apologies, sir.

      VASQUES: (With a gleam in his eye) Excellent form, sir!

      GRIMALDI: Fie!

      GRIMALDI throws his hands dismissively in the air and then exits in a
      huff, trying to save face (and time) as best he can.

      VASQUES smiles.

      FLORIO: Gentlemen, listen to me immediately.

      There is a pause as both VASQUES and SORANZO prepare to take in what
      FLORIO has to say.

      FLORIO: Mark my words, you two: there is to be absolutely no bloodshed
      within these walls. None. Do you hear me?

      All remain silent.

      FLORIO: Promise me, or I shall hold you both in contempt!

      VASQUES: Ay, ay, sir, there shall be no blood shedding. Not on this

      FLORIO: Vasques!

      VASQUES: Nor any other night as long as I’m in command, sir.

      VASQUES salutes FLORIO with his hand, military style with a grin on
      his face.

      FLORIO: Okay.

      SORANZO: Don’t worry, your highness, he doth mean his word.

      VASQUES bows with a smile.

      FLORIO: We shall see.

      VASQUES grins.

      VASQUES: I am as faithful as a Spring lamb, your Highness.
      FLORIO: (To Soranzo) And you?

      SORANZO: Ay, of course, my lord.

      SORANZO bows.

      FLORIO:  Alright then. (beat). Come, let us retreat to the holy
      banquet hall within and reserve our energies for the evening’s

      With a flamboyance and flourish, FLORIO sweeps his cape behind him and
      walks majestically back into his palace.

      DONADO and SORANZO follow suit before VASQUES even begins to move
      toward the exit.

      He stands idly for a moment, smiling. Looking in the direction that
      GRIMALDI exited.

      He looks as if he might run after him when…

      SORANZO calls from within.

      SORANZO: (From within) Vasques!

      VASQUES: My lord!

      VASQUES puts his sword back into his sheath and quickly runs off to
      catch up to SORANZO.

      Royal-sounding improvised transition music begins to play.


[end of extract]