Shows F

Doctor Falke: "If you want to see your husband dancing away his prison term, wear these and come to Count Orlofsky's palace tonight." In high dudgeon, Rosalinde's plans for evening with Alfred change rapidly. Unfortunately Alfred is not so willing to alter his plans. Amorous and shameless, he makes himself at home in Eisenstein's clothes, eating Eisenstein's supper and planning breakfast with Eisenstein's wife. When yet another visitor is heard coming up the stairs, Rosalinde is at her wits' end. It is Frank, the prison governor. Though he too is on his way to Count Orlofsky's ball, he has come in person to escort his esteemed prisoner to gaol. Seeing Alfred (slightly the worse for drinking Eisenstein's wine) he immediately assumes it is Eisenstein. Alfred begins to contradict him, but Rosalinde hastily assures the prison governor that this is indeed her husband. Alfred is a great fatalist. He accepts the situation as unavoidable and makes the best he can of it, with a long goodbye to Rosalinde. Then he surrenders himself into Frank's custody. Act II Prince Orlofsky's parties are legendary. They delight everyone but him. Orlofsky suffers from that terrible disease of billionaires-ennui: everything bores him! He cannot laugh. Tonight, Doctor Falke is his 'Master of the Revels' and has arranged something special for the Count's amusement. Orlofsky promises to pin a medal on Falke's chest if it makes him laugh. When the Act opens, the guests are singing in praise of the occasion. Adèle receives a less than warm welcome from her sister. 'Letter? What letter? I didn't send you a letter!' Falke sent it. He greets Adele warmly, congratulates her on her new career as an actress, and rechristens her 'Tanya'. A moment later Eisenstein arrives, calling himself the Marquis Renard. First he makes the grave faux pas of mistaking the elegant actress Tanya for his housemaid! The guests take him to task in 'The Laughing Song'. Adèle joins in. Next, Eisenstein strikes up an undying friendship with Chevalier Chagrin, the pseudonym being used by prison governor Frank. But by the time Falke's chief guest of the evening arrives - a masked Hungarian Countess - Eisenstein has a pair of dancing girls on each arm and his infallible chiming watch at the ready. He is extremely taken with the mysterious foreign lady. Being well acquainted with the watch and its uses, the 'Countess' (Rosalinde in disguise of course) encourages Eisenstein to put it through its paces. During 'The Watch Duet', she manages to take it from him in such a way that he dare not ask for it back. He bewails his disgrace at losing it. Orlofsky's entertainments of course include a ballet - an obligatory ingredient in operettas of the period. This one is usually danced to one of the famous Strauss waltzes, although, for the original, Strauss wrote a sequence of national dances Spanish, Scottish, Russian, Hungarian …Then the 'Hungarian Countess' obliges the guests by singing a native Hungarian folksong - a Czardas. Then Count Orlofsky toasts the life and soul of the party - 'Champagne the Great!' Frank and Eisenstein are, by this stage, inseparable. The mood is one of universal friendship as Orlofsky begins the dancing with a waltz - the waltz! The clock strikes midnight. Like twin Cinderellas, Eisenstein and Frank scramble out of doors, leaving behind a wake of wrong coats and hats, not realising that they are headed for the same destination. Act III The Gaol Scene opens with a cameo comic sketch. Frosch, the drunken deputy warder, is suffering from a surfeit of drink and Alfred's singing in the cells. Frank comes reeling in and falls asleep. Adèle and her sister arrive at the door. They have taken up Frank on his invitation to come and live with him in his 'big town house'- an offer made while the 'Chevalier Chagrin' was not quite himself. Adèle promptly launches into The Audition Song. No time for applause before the bell rings again. Eisenstein is at the door, reporting for his sentence. Frank refuses to believe Eisenstein is Eisenstein. After all, he arrested Eisenstein the night before, while the prisoner