(STORYTELLERS set up stage for
palace as SULTAN enters in a huff, speaking over his shoulder.)
Young lady I have had quite enough of your head strong ways.
But, father! If you would only listen to me!
I can't listen to you! It fills my ears with camel crud and monkeyfeathers!
Well, listening to you fills my eyes with tears, father!
Oh, my little apricot. When will you listen to your poor old
papa? A princess must marry a prince! Now please, my
dear. Just sit still and let us see how you like this next one.
(SULTAN seats GINGER, claps his hands.)
(STORYTELLER NASIB becomes THOR
and enters with a bound. He makes a deep exaggerated bow then
jumps up with arms up like an Olympic swimmer.)
I am here, your highness! I have arrived!
Now here's a worthy prince, my dear. From a different country
but quite eligible. Show her how strong you are, Thor.
I am most gifted with a slender physique as you can plainly see... (Poses
to show himself off.)
And yet for all of this delicate splendor I am strong like
muscle in his arm.)
You see this? Ha-hah!
(He lifts a set piece and poses
with it as if his picture is being taken.)
You see, my dear.
Show her, Thor! Do something splendid.
(THOR points to an adult
audience member in the front row.)
I could lift this sack of clothing right here in the front row.
(Clapping with delight.)
Oh, yes, do!
(THOR goes to lift audience
member. He struggles but can't lift him.)
This sack is too large. I could lift a smaller one if you like.
Go on! Go on!
(THOR tries to lift a child
audience member. Struggles, can't do it.)
This small sack is obviously stuffed with bricks.
(LAYLA crosses downstage
cradling a baby doll, making baby crying sounds --
"wah-wah!". She hands THOR the baby doll. He
takes it and lifts it above his head. He is triumphant,
strutting and waving as he imagines adoring crowds.)
Ha! Ha! Strong like bull!
(Even the SULTAN can see this is lame.)
(BAKI begins to escort THOR away.)
I do not marry the princess?
You do not. Next please.
(THOR exits, dejected, carrying
the baby doll by the foot. FARIS enters with STORYTELLER RANA
as PRINCE YOGI.)
Prince Yogi, your highness.
(FARIS bows and exits. YOGI
enters stumbling, with his nose in a book. He is nearsighted
and clumsy, pushing his glasses to his face.)
This one is very smart, my dear. You'll see. Go ahead,
say something smart, Yogi!
Sorry, sir. Were you talking to me?
Yes, yes, Yogi! Read something from your book there.
Oh. Um. Well, here is a love poem.
Excellent. Read! Read!
Roses are red, violets are succulent. I love you more than a
(FARIS rushes YOGI away, they exit.)
Oh, father, don't you see? No matter how many princes you
bring to me, I will love only one! The prince I met at the
Nonsense! What kind of a prince goes skulking around in the
market? Wait until you see the next one, my dear. You'll
fall in love in an instant. (Clapping.)
(GEEWIZ enters and bows.)
Your highness, I present my master, Prince Omar.
(OMAR enters. He makes
great sweeps of his cape as he bows.)
Your highness. (He
slinks up to GINGER.)
You told me of your daughter's charms, sir, but I see you were
modest. Why, not even the stars in the sky can compare to these
(OMAR kisses GINGER's hand.
GINGER rolls her eyes and pulls away.)
This would be a very good match for you, Ginger. Omar is well connected.
Did he tell you that I'm a magician?
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