Scene 1. Prelude
A new day in the concrete jungle is about to begin.
Morris Phist, aka the Devil, is lounging on the top of a skyscraper. He leans against a large clock. He gesticulates and the sunrise accelerates and the hands on the clock move forward a few minutes. He stops and then reverses the temporal acceleration, the clock hands responding accordingly. He tweaks the temporal activity to a point where he is pleased with the view. Some woodwinds play a pretty pentatonic ‘morning has broken’ melody. He stretches.
There doesn’t have to be a melody
A single word of lyric is excess
Sophisticated harmony? Syncopated rhythm?
Phist surveys the city and leaps into the air. Gracefully, this fallen angel soars to the ground, his trench coat fluttering in the breeze.
On the street, the urban jungle dwellers move like mechanical figures of a macabre wind-up clock, doing rigid, Copelia-like movements. Phist conducts them like a music director.
No, just a tick, a tock, a tick-tock, tick-tock
Is all it takes to be music to my ears.
How I love that note! (the music dwells on a loud tritone)
An attractive young mother is pushing a baby carriage. Phist gestures playfully and the mother ages. She collapses and the carriage rolls forward on its own, spilling its contents. The baby morphs into a child on a bike. It moves forward as though the sidewalk were a conveyor belt, although the child is peddling faster. Phist continues to ‘zap’ the subject with his baton. The child, now a teen, transforms into a confidently striding businessman. A few more gesticulations, and he is a senior moving in a stooped hobble. Another wave of the baton and a nurse comes from behind and catches the old man in a wheel chair as he falls backward. The wheelchair moves forward and bumps up against an open coffin. The old man fall forward into it. As the lid slams down, in rhythm, six pallbearers pick it up, move forward, and drop it into an open grave. All the while, Phist sings.
Time passing: How it brings me such delight
Time passing: To see each day become a night
Time passing: Like an old friend I can trust
Time passing: Time passing: Turns each beauty into dust
How I love the click, the beat, the pulse, the tock, the tick of
Oh, it’s music to my ears!
Cinematic Script to be continued. . .
To view the video of the Opening Scene from the stage version, click on the following: