They did not owe any Money to the Author or have any Kinfolk in the Cast, so they sat back with their Hands under them and allowed the pretty little Opera to die like an Outcast.
The only Laugh in the Piece was when the Drop Curtain refused to work.
After the Show the Manager met them at an Oyster House and told them they had eased a Persimmon to him.
He said the whole Trick was a Bloomer. It was just as funny as a Wooden Leg. It needed much Pep and about two tons of Bokum.
Both Words and Music refused to countenance any radical Changes.
They said it would be another “Cavalleria” as soon as they could do it before an intelligent Audience of True-Lovers.
The Ex-Minstrel Man said there wasn’t no such Animal as an intelligent Playgoer.
The Simp that pushed his Metal into the Box Office wanted Something Doing every minute and many Gals, otherwise it was back to the Store-House and a Card in the Clipper.
The Call on the Board read “Everybody at Ten,” but the brainy Writer and the versatile Composer were not included.
When they appeared at the Stage Door they were met by Props, who told them to get to a certain Place out of there.
Standing in the Alley, they could hear Wails of Anguish, and they knew that their Child was having the Vital Organs removed.
The celebrated Author of the Graveyard Rag had been summoned in haste. He was in charge of the Clinic–taking out the Grammar and putting in Gags.
The Duos and Ensembles were being dropped through the Trap Door to make way for recent Song Hits from the alcoholic Cabarets.
The Ax fell right on the powdered Neck of the beautiful Prima Donna, who had studied for Grand Opera, but never had been able to find an Orchestra that would fit her Voice.
Her Part was changed from a Princess to a Shop-Lifter and was assigned to Cissy St. Vitus, late of a Burlesque Bunch known as the Lady Bugs.
The Tenor was given the Hook, and his sentimental Role was entrusted to a Head-Spinner who had acquired his Dramatic Schooling with the Ringling Circus.
All of which comes under the head of whipping a Performance into Shape.
When the two Geniuses sat out in front they recognized nothing except the Scenery and Costumes.
Their idyllic Creation had been mangled into a roughhouse Riot, in which Disorderly Conduct alternated with the shameless Gyrations taught in San Francisco.
The last Act had been omitted altogether without affecting the coherency of the Story.
The Plot died just four minutes after the Ring-Up.
Although the Report showed 27 Encores and the Gate began to jump $80 a Night, both the intellectual Troubadour and the Student of Counter-Harmonies went to the Manager and cried on his Shoulder and said that their Beautiful Work had been ruined.
He called attention to the Chunk of Money tied up in Silk Tights and fireproof Borders.
When it came to a show-down between Dough and Art he didn’t propose to tear up his Meal Ticket.
If they would beat it and stay hid and leave the Artists fatten up their Scenes, probably the Bloomer could be converted into a Knock-Out.
While they were in the Sanitarium, the former Minstrel King and young Abie Fixit from the Music Foundry cut out the last vestiges of the Original Stuff and put in two Turns that had landed strong over the whole Orpheum Circuit.
The romantic Operetta now became known as Another One of Those Things.
It was eagerly discussed by Club Women and College Students.
Good seats down in the Observation Rows were not to be had except at the Hotel News Stand.
The Litry Guy and the Music-Maker came out of the Rest Cure to learn that they had registered a Hit and could get their names in “Who’s Who.”
With the Royalty Checks coming in from the eastern Centers of Culture they were enabled to buy four-cylinder Cars with which to go riding in lonesome Country Lanes, far from the sight of a Bill-Board.
When the Number Two Company came along presenting the Metropolitan Success in the One-Nighters, the reincarnated Gilbert and Sullivan packed up their Families and escaped to French Lick.
It was a Sell-Out, because all the Members of the Research Club wanted to see that new Dido called the Chicken Flop.
There was no knocking at the Dutch Lunches that night.
Every one said the Show was a Bird, but they thought it was up to the Author to resign from the Baptist Church.
MORAL: In elevating the Drama be sure to get it High enough, even if you have to make it a trifle Gamey.