The Terminator of the Opera

May 8, 2024

DIRECTOR and PRODUCER welcome ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER into the room.

Everything ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER says is very direct, loud, and monotone, and in his signature accent. He yells everything he says and pronounces every word in full, rather aggressively. He is wearing The Phantom’s classic mask on half of his face.

DIRECTOR

Alright, Mr. Schwarzenegger, no need to be nervous! As you know, we are looking to cast a new Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. We want to see you succeed, and we are on your side!

PRODUCER

And you’ve got quite an impressive acting resume.

DIRECTOR

Exactly! So, Mr. Schwarzenegger, whenever you are ready, you may begin the audition.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Agh! She is singing to bring down the chandelier!

DIRECTOR and PRODUCER exchange puzzled glances.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Christine! I am the Terminator! Of the op-er-a!

PRODUCER

Great, um, could we hear you sing a bit? We would love to hear you sing “Music of the Night” from Act 1 of the show.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

I can sing “Music of the Night.”

PRODUCER

Great. Again, whenever you’re ready.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER (saying, not singing)

Nighttime sharpens. Heightens each sensation.

DIRECTOR

Good lord.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Turn your face away. From the garish light of the day. Let the dream begin. Let the darker side give in.

PRODUCER

You know what, let’s do a reading from the script, shall we? In this scene, you are angry because Carlotta is playing the role you wanted Christine Daae to play. I will read in for both Christine and Carlotta, and you will read in for the phantom.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

I can do that.

PRODUCER 

 I know it! It’s him!

PRODUCER (in a slightly different voice)

Your part is silent. Little toad!

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

A toad, madame? You are the toad here. The toad is you. Christine is perfect. Go be a toad somewhere else.

ASSISTANT enters and beckons for DIRECTOR and PRODUCER to lean in and listen to a whisper.

DIRECTOR and PRODUCER gasp. ASSISTANT exits.

DIRECTOR

I’m sorry, we have to stop the audition. We’ve just got word that Phantom is closing on Broadway.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

Phantom’s not on Broadway anymore?

Beat

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER

I’ll be back.

Curtain.

 

Gillian Corsiatto hails from Alberta, Canada, right between two major cities: Calgary and Edmonton. She has been a lifelong writer, and her first book Duck Light was published in 2021. Since then, she has been motivated to keep at her writing and further it into an established career, even branching out into writing for the theatre. Currently, a sequel to Duck Light is underway, but she still pumps out scripts and short stories whenever an idea creeps into her mind. You can find her mostly at her writing desk, probably with a cat in her lap, and maybe even spinning a fidget spinner. She thinks those are still cool.

 

Featured image by Paolo Chiabrando.

SHARE THIS STORY
COMMENTS
ADD A COMMENT