Shows E

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES Musical in 1 Act: Music by Stephen Flaherty; Book and Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens SYNOPSIS Emperor Marcus the Third wonders how he can possibly run an empire when he's only 14 years old. In an attempt to appear more mature to his people, he accepts the credo that "clothes make the man," but soon finds himself the centre of a hoax. Who can blame him for getting into a royal mess--only to find that "no matter how grand or small you appear/the person who counts is the person in here!" And "here," as everyone knows, is your heart. Story Everyone in the Palace bustles about with excitement, decorating, cooking cleaning and scouring--today is the day that the young emperor will be crowned. We meet the royal advisers, a married couple named William and Deena, as well as the lowly "royal scrub boy," a kid named Arno. The grand doors are opened to reveal the new ruler--but he's not there. In a panic, William rushes off to find him, and we meet Marcus, fourteen years old and completely insecure about ascending to the throne. He wants to cancel the event, but William bucks up the boy's confidence and gets him to the coronation, where Emperor Marcus the Third is reluctantly crowned. In the royal portrait gallery, Arno and Emperor Marcus collide accidentally. It's the first time the boys have ever met, and they immediately like one another. Looking at the imposing line of ancestors in the portraits, Marcus confides that he's nothing like his fierce, wise, noble forbears. Arno suggests that maybe he needs more imposing clothes--if he looks like an emperor, maybe he'll feel like one, too. Marcus commands Deena to dress him like an emperor, and she does her best, but the array of increasingly silly finery makes the young man look ridiculous. Villagers arrive with local problems for the Emperor to solve--a large hole in the road, an overflowing river--but he is too insecure to make any decisions, and resorts to more and more outlandish costumes. Outside the Palace, a Swindler arrives in town, and hears the disgruntled villagers complain about the ineptitude of their foppish young ruler. He concocts a plan and tricks his way into the Palace. The Swindler manages to convince Marcus that he is a tailor who can make magic clothes which are "Invisible" to fools and liars. Marcus becomes convinced that he will be able to see the truth in all situations, and he places an order for the clothes, and commands his advisors to give the new tailor anything he wants. He also tells them to plan a parade, where his magnificent new clothes will be revealed. Deena is humiliated and upset, and William is very concerned. With the Swindler ensconced in royal luxury, Deena and William try to convince each other that "I'm Not Scared." But what if these magic clothes are real? What if they're revealed as fools? By the end of the song they've worked themselves into a panic. Marcus and Arno meet up again in the garden, and Arno challenges Marcus to a guessing game. During the game they discover that they each have a lot of special talents and abilities. But at last, Marcus tells Arno that they can’t see each other again--an Emperor has to keep up appearances. He adds that if Arno comes to the parade, he will at least wave to him. Meanwhile, the Swindler is making the most of being in the Palace, as he supposedly works on the magic