THE NOTHING LIKE VAUDEVILLE SHOW Music by Teddy & Kurt Sikora Book & Lyrics by Teddy Sikora Phantasy Theatre, Cleveland - November 19, 1994 THE STORY A deformed sixteen year old Boy, forbidden by his single Mother ever to leave their rural country home finally runs away. At a harbour, a Navigator offers to take him to "a place where one like him can learn to see." He accepts and enters a dark, surreal land where he finds himself in a carnival. He enjoys this land until he witnesses the Freak Show. He leaves, disgusted, but not without being noticed by the show's Ringmaster and Barker. Deciding that he's "not yet ripe" they resist seizing him until he can be ripened. After exploring the carnival, the boy wanders the streets and encounters the horrifying Man with the Creepy Smile. He lies in shock as the town people pity and scorn him. Attempting to recover, he meets Teri, a freaklusting woman who entices him into a bar. However, she is met by her angry boyfriend who viciously pulls her out of the bar leaving the boy all alone. He tries to hide in the corner; but Barker, disguised as a bar drunk, reveals "the freak" to the paranoid patrons. The boy runs out and encounters a homeless Bum who teaches him how to beg and tells him of a hopeless life on the streets. After the boy leaves, the Bum reveals himself as the Ringmaster in disguise. The boy's mother arrives; and, while searching for her lost son, encounters the Ringmaster and Barker. Meanwhile, the boy encounters the Man with the Creepy Smile for the second time. A proper looking man sees the terrified boy and offers to take him home for the evening. At the gentleman's home, the boy quickly finds himself tied to a chair in a bizarre psychiatric session hosted by the selfproclaimed Son of Mr. Hyde. During the session, the boy realises that society is what makes him a freak and he decides that he has no need for society. The man's struggling Jekyll half allows the boy to leave. To avoid the cold night, the boy decides to hide in a wax museum. Inside, he is captured by Fletcher, the museum's owner. This necrophiliac warlock, who embalms and displays dead bodies, then introduces the boy to The Allegiance to Sir Terror, who would prefer him as a Freak Show spy. When the boy refuses, he is taken to the mob's number one assassin, the Tap Dance Killer, where he is given the choice to "join or be waxed." He escapes, however, when the killer is forced to flee from the approaching Man with the Creepy Smile. The boy seeks solitude in a graveyard where he is found by the Barker and Ringmaster. They convince him to consider life in the Freak Show. The scorned Fletcher pinpoints their location and casts a spell which transforms the lifeless corpses into zombie killers. The boy, Barker, and Ringmaster narrowly escape. Back at the carnival, the boy is torn between the many forces that seek to control him: The Ringmaster and the Freak Show, The Son of Mr. Hyde, Teri, Fletcher, and The Allegiance to Sir Terror. To make his choice more difficult Miss Fergenagle, a believer in "psychiatric saving grace" and who wants to shut down the Freak Show, arrives with the boy's mother. Confronted by his mother, the boy must choose what is right for him, and, with the help of fellow freaks, he shuns the world's Symphonies of Sympathies and joins the Freak Show.