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Marc Blitzstein

The Cradle Will Rock, Scene 6 (midi)

 


 

Scene 6: Hotel Lobby

 

(YASHA and DAUBER enter from either side, practically stomping. Music furious and gay, settles to a vaudeville vamp-till-ready.)

 

YASHA

Well, if it isn’t my old friend Dauber, the artist!

 

DAUBER

Well, if it isn’t my old friend Yasha, the violinist! (Aside.) He has to be here today.

 

YASHA

(Aside.) Of all the people who walk into a hotel lobby, I meet him.

 

DAUBER

How’s the concert business?

 

YASHA

Fine. How’s the painting business? I had thirty concerts last year.

 

DAUBER

Last year, I sold twelve pictures last year. How about this year?

 

YASHA

This year I rely on my talent.

 

DAUBER

Prospects are lousy for me, too….

 

(A patter song.)

 

DAUBER

Don’t let me keep you, please be on your way. You must have many things to do.

 

YASHA

No, not at all, an appointment today brings me to these parts.

 

DAUBER

Me, too!

 

YASHA

But the person I’m about to meet, I doubt you could have met her. The kind that grovels at my feet, she’d stay there if I let her. She’s fabulously wealthy, and although that’s not the reason, I think she can be counted on to subsidize me all next season!

 

DAUBER

Your lady friend does resemble a lot someone, and that’s very queer.

 

YASHA

(Indifferent.) So?

 

DAUBER

Someone who’s meeting me here—

 

YASHA

(Interested.) No!

 

DAUBER

Is her Pierce Arrow light blue?

 

YASHA

(Alarmed.) Yes!

 

DAUBER

Not Mrs. Mister?

 

YASHA

Well, yes—Mrs. Mister.

 

DAUBER

Me, too!

 

YASHA/DAUBER

Oh, there’s something so damned low about the rich! They’re fantastic, they’re far-fetched, they’re just funny. They’ve no impulse, no fine feeling, no great itch!

 

YASHA

What have they got?

 

DAUBER

What have they got?

 

YASHA/DAUBER

What have they got? Money.

 

(The vamp again.)

 

DAUBER

Stupid woman, Mrs. Mister!

 

YASHA

Stupid? What she doesn’t know about music would put Heifetz back on his feet again!

 

DAUBER

She asked me to bring El Greco to tea this summer!

 

YASHA

This summer?

 

(The song.)

 

YASHA

Oh, so she mentioned this summer to you: Did she say where she will be?

 

DAUBER

No, but we both thought that Paris would do or Capri. She calls it Capree.

 

YASHA

Why, she promised me Bar Harbor, with an extra house where I—But of course, if she has other plans, I’ve other fish to fry….

 

DAUBER

Well, dear Lady Duchess desperately wants me at her place; she’s had everyone do her three quarter’s; I’m to do full-face.

 

YASHA

And I just heard from Marchesa Contessa last week: she was Matilda Magee.

 

DAUBER

Well?

 

YASHA

Now she’s divorced the Marquis!

 

DAUBER

Hell, my Lady Duchess loves me!

 

YASHA

Swell!

 

DAUBER

But to wed wealth, so I fear, would affect my career.

 

YASHA

I agree!

 

YASHA/DAUBER

For there’s something so damned low about the rich! It’s incredible, the open way they court you. All these millionaires, I can’t tell which is which.

 

DAUBER

What can they do?

 

YASHA

What can they do?

 

YASHA/DAUBER

What can they do? Support you.

 

(Enter MRS. MISTER. YASHA and DAUBER trip over each other trying to get to her.)

 

MRS. MISTER

Ah, there you are, you two—and together! Who says I haven’t brought about a union of the arts? Painting… and Music… Twin flowers… from one stem… The Spirit! Yasha, those horns are perfect… Imagine… (To DAUBER.) He went and had the horns of my Pierce Arrow tuned to that motif in Beethoven’s Egmont Overture… you know: ta, ta, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta, yoo hoo! Dauber, I had an argument with Hallie Vacuum at lunch whether Picasso has curly hair… now don’t tell me, I couldn’t bear it if he was bald! The weekend… you’re both coming to me for the weekend!

 

YASHA/DAUBER

(Elaborately.) Oh, yes!

 

(A rhumba duet.)

 

YASHA/DAUBER

Ask us again and again, Mrs. Mister. Ask us again, we love it. Please, now and then, do ask us again! Whenever it’s convenient, we’ll come; when it’s not, we’re always lenient, unless you’ve found some other bum! For we love to sit in the lap of your lush and lavish display although it’s only from Friday night till Sunday. Your guests are disgusting; your food is too heavy; we eat and we drink and we belch and we’re full and we’re ill and we’re bored…

 

MRS. MISTER

(It is all quite incomprehensible and hilarious to her.) You boys will kill me!

 

YASHA/DAUBER

But we live off the fat of the land; And for service we don’t lift a hand. We’re allowed to be rude, and insulting and lewd—

 

(YASHA and DAUBER go into close harmony.)

 

YASHA/DAUBER

So long may you wave, and forever, amen. If you’ll ask us again, again and again, oh, please, Mrs. Mister, just ask us again!

 

MRS. MISTER

Did I tell you about Rupert Scansion? The poet, you know, he has divine eyes and such sensitive hands, and he told me I was an old soul, a very old soul… He was alluding to my spirit… And he’s coming to dinner tonight.

 

YASHA

(This is serious!) To dinner!

 

DAUBER

(Willing to unite against a common enemy.) Cora, you’re falling!

 

YASHA

Cora, we’re starving! Ask us to dinner, too!

 

DAUBER

Yes, do!

 

MRS. MISTER

(Bland.) You poor boys! Artists have to eat, that’s all we’re good for, we moneyed people. Just use us, just step all over us. If it’s only for the good of the cause… Oh, speaking of the cause… I want you two to join my husband’s Liberty Committee. You will, won’t you?

 

DAUBER

Put us down.

 

YASHA

And how!

 

MRS. MISTER

But don’t you want to know what it’s all about?

 

YASHA

Politics?

 

DAUBER

Cora, we’re artists!

 

YASHA/DAUBER

And we love art for Art’s sake! It’s smart, for Art’s sake, to part, for Art’s sake, with your heart, for Art’s sake, and your mind, for Art’s sake—Be blind, for Art’s sake, and deaf, for Art’s sake, and dumb, for Art’s sake, until, for Art’s sake, they kill, for Art’s sake, all the Art for Art’s sake!

 

(Sound of the “Egmont” motif on limousine horns outside.)

 

MRS. MISTER

There’s the car now! Dauber… (MRS. MISTER takes DAUBER’S arm.) Yasha… (MRS. MISTER takes YASHA’S arm.)

 

MRS. MISTER/YASHA/DAUBER

(As MRS. MISTER, YASHA and DAUBER exit to much Beethoven.) Yoo hoo! Yoo hoo! Yoo hoo!

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