The Dream Engine a new rock musical

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jim Steinman

Directed by Barry Keating

Music Performed by Sundance

A Joint Independent Study Project

Kirby Theatrer, Aherst College — 8:30 P.M. April 25, 26, 28, 1969

Musical Numbers

Act One

  1. Invocation and Formation of the Tribe (“Come in the Night”)danced by The TribeJim Steinman
  2. Who Needs The Young?danced by Stephen Collins and Sarah HarrisStephen Collins, Sarah Harris
  3. Love SongIntro: “Come Home Child" sung by Barry KeatingEllen Parks
  4. Liberation Through Pain (“Firebird”)danced by Ellen Parks and The TribeChip Tucker
  5. Liberation Through Pleasure (“Ride a Cock Horse”)danced by The TribeJim Steinman
  6. Inspirational Hymn: The God Gamedanced by The TribeJim Steinman
  7. Hymn To Fire (“When Your City's Burning”)Jim Steinman
  8. (“Pyro”)Larry Dilg, Steve Stern, Arthur Wilkins, Jim Steinman and The Tribe

Act Two

  1. Entr’acteSolo by the band “Sundance”
  2. Keep on Truckin’danced by The Company
    backups: Sarah Harris, Stephen Collins
    Barry Keating
  3. Mother River SongSarah Harris
  4. Song of the Dream Engine (“Hear the Screams”)Larry Dilg and The Tribe
  5. The Revolution in Musidanced by The Tribe and Killer NunsSundance

Creative Team

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jim Steinman
Director: Barry Keating
Musical Director: Martin Brody
Lighting Designer: Ric Steliga
Costume Designer: Patter Field
Musical Numbers Staged by Joanna Mendl, George Bentley and Barry Keating

The Cast

Historian: Barry Keating
Baal: Jim Steinman
Max: Stephen Collins
Emily: Sarah Harris
The Girl: Ellen Parks
The Tribe: Becca Stone, Lynne Barbee, Renee Yuen, Melissa Herbert, JoAnna Mendl, Sandy Jaspen, Tom McKitterick, Larry Dilg, Ben Harris, Steve Stern, Aurthur Wilkins, Bob Yarchoan, and Michael McGrath
The City: Richard McCombs, Josh Posner, Jim Miller, Timothy Nater, David Case, Phil Barr, Keith Miller,
and Alan Wilken

Production Staff

Producer: Susan Richardson
Associate Producer: Robert Nathan
Assistant Director: Jon Alper
Set Design: Barry Keating
Stage Manager: David Hills
Master Electrician: Tom Blackwell
Lighting Assistants: David Buroughs, Jay Williams, Tom Moadley and Jim Linford
Sound: Tom Looker and Earl Forton
Set Construction: Alan Wilken
Costume Assistant: Candace Dennis

Music Arranged and Performed by Jim Steinman & SUNDANCE

Marty Brody: piano, organ, cello
Tad Lipsky: organ, guitar
Craig McNeer: drums
Jeff Southworth: guitar
Chip Tucker: guitar, percussion
Rick Weinhaus: fender bass

Entr'acte composed by Jim Steinman

Buffalo Sculpture: Tom Horan
Dream Engine Sculpture: James Goodwin

Special thanks to Professor Walter Boughton, Mrs. Evelyn Ward, Mike Kapinos and the members of the Independent Study Committee of Amherst College.

Preface (excerpted from Jim Steinman’s draft manuscript)

The stage is set as follows: there is a large black disc in the center. It extends over almost the entire playing area. Up front, stage right and left are two elevated platforms. All the songs are sung "out of the action," i.e. sung by SOLOISTS, like rock "arias" on the platforms, while simultaneously on the disc, the strongly choreographed or "directed" dances and rituals are performed. These rituals cannot be loose or ragged or have anything to do with pop dance steps. Neither can they be "dancy," i.e. completely part of the world of calculated deliberate modern dance. They must convey a ceremonial quality and epic texture…strenuous, strong, muscular, sensual and extreme. Never cute. The best examples I can think of are the works of Robert Joffrey, Grotowski, and perhaps, most strongly, the richly choreographed theatrical textures that Peter Brook created for "Marat/Sade" and Seneca’s "Oedipus." There must be physical intensity and power on stage capable of equaling and finally merging with the power and ritualistic drive of the rock music. The work is, in essence, a rock opera, despite the fact that it is not all music. Music runs behind and weaves through almost all the scenes, and in the next draft I am preparing, the most important changes have to do with making the entire piece more operatic, more totally ritualistic and ceremonial; the dialogue should be much more incantation-like…more chants, visions, deliriums…Ideally, I would like the work to unite the "music-drama" structure of Wagner’s opera with the more immediate political and social bite of Brecht-Weill’s "Mahagonny," still retaining a modern equivalent of "Mahagonny’s" epic scope…and adding, especially in keeping with the nature of rock, elements explored by the Living Theater, Grotowski, Joseph Chaikin, and Peter Brook…all of whom have created astounding works which, for me, push the theater of today right to the edge of magic — "religious" and ritualistic theater for the future, capable of awe and holy immediate power: to arouse and then to cleanse.

I can’t help thinking that Artaud would have adored rock and found in its sources and textures a true example of "Theater of Cruelty," a truly new an paradoxically primitive but electronic Church. It seems to me that rock is now the perfect musical tool for welding together the theatrical styles mentioned before…A new form of music drama based on rock’s inherent theatricality and immense power of communication and a new form of Brechtian "epic" theater and a new form of Artaudian ritualized theater of cruelty…"The Dream Engine" is certainly far from achieving this complete synthesis now. I wouldn’t presume to put it in the company of Brecht, Wagner or Artaud. But I wanted to indicate the direction I’ve tried to make it go, and also to suggest the nature of the staging when it was first performed in America for 10 performances at colleges on the east coast…

The BAND is on stage behind the disc. THEY are covered by a scrim in front. During the "play" sections, THEY are not seen. But during the "musical" sections, THEY are lighted from behind the scrim, usually with a very pure blue, giving the effect of being on water…

The primary force to creating the visual quality of the work is an extensive use of projections, never easy multi-media or strobe effects, but more the "visionary" work best exemplified by Wieland Wagner in his Bayreuth productions and Robert O’Hearn in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Strauss’ "Die Frau Ohne Schatten," or the N.Y. City Opera’s work in Boito’s "Mephistopheles." In essence, what I’m trying to say is, the nature of the lighting has more to do with the stylized textures of epic opera than the whining, bouncing, clumsy stuff of discotheques.

In summary, the texture used in staging the entire work was derived primarily from three really "inspirational" sources: the mythic density of Wagner’s Bayreuth work ("the hypnotic force of an heroic hallucination, taking place in a strange god-inhabited world of the primeval future!")…the unique and prophetic writings of Antonin Artaud and the realizations of so many of these visions, and more, by Peter Brook in his work and the book by Mr. Brook, "The Empty Space."

The Historian’s Introduction

[Empty Stage]

[HISTORIAN enters from the Audience. He stands in the orchestra pit, where a desk and a blackboard are standing, to the left of the stage.]

The HISTORIAN is the Narrator of the entire play. He is a dirty, crotchety, withered old man. But He should be played by a young man, and though He suggest menace, decay and evil, He must be appealing to the audience, a character from farce… a cosmic W.C. Fields on amphetamines, without the accent…

He enters, stares at the audience, spits a few times, utters some absurdly guttural noises. From his filthy desk, He brings forth a collection of model airplanes, ships, toy soldiers, dusty books, raw meat and large plastic anatomical models of the male and female bodies. Methodically He smashes the soldiers to the floor, rips the pages from the books and hurls them away in a cloud of dust, shatters the airplanes and ships with a hammer, cracks off limbs from the anatomical models and caresses them, and finally throws chunks of raw meat over the whole thing and smothers it all with ketchup…

He… goes over to his blackboard and writes ‘KETCHUP OR BLOOD’ in big letters as if beginning a lecture. He turns back to the audience as He finishes, wipes his hands to signify that the time has come to officially begin, takes one step forward and promptly falls off the stage. After one ’SHUT UP!’ at the audience, He regains his dignity.

Historian Shut up! I don’t need this!

[He picks up his pointer, slaps the blackboard, table, blackboard — while glaring at the audience. Rings bell. He pauses, begins to cough, as though getting sick. More business with items on his table.]

Ladies and gentlemen, I am an historian.

Ketchup or blood? Yes… No… Yes… Ketchup or blood? And which is which? Yes… No… Yes… Ketchup or blood? Does it matter? They both disgust me. Ketchup or blood? Does it matter? Ketchup or blood? I asked you a question. Ketchup or blood? Ketchup or blood? KETCHUP OR BLOOD? Does it matter??

We pour one on our meat to make our meals more colorful, we pour the other on our flesh to make our deaths more colorful, to make our banquets more colorful, to make our wars more colorful, to make our stockyards shine brighter, to make our streets run richer with red, so…

[He has been pouring ketchup over raw hamburger meat during his speech, and now he shows the glop to the audience as he finishes.]

Yes… No… Yes… We pour one on our meat to make our meals more colorful, one on our flesh to make our wars more colorful, to make our slaughter more colorful for the movies, and YES! we do have colorful movies, YES!

Do you like movies? I find them immeasurably more entertaining than the theater, don’t you?

Ketchup or blood? We enjoy them both. Ketchup or blood? We love our movies. Ketchup or blood? We love our lives. Ketchup or blood? We love our dramas. Ketchup or blood? We love our bodies. Ketchup or blood? We love our meat. Well, don’t we? Well don’t we love our meat, now? Don’t we? I asked you a question — don’t we love our meat, now? Yes, no…YES! We love our meat! Altogether now, look at me! — altogether now: "Yes we love our meat!"

[Pause]

So why do we smother it in ketchup? Why do we drown it in blood? Yes… No… Yes… Yes, yes…

Ladies and gentlemen, I am an historian. I have to keep reminding myself, something that hideous you try to forget. I deal in life: so little to do, and so much time to do it in.

I think I’m going to puke.

Well, forget what I said — it’s irrelevant. It has nothing to do with tonight’s subject, nothing to do with at all.

SHUT UP! ALL OF YOU! DON’T ANYBODY MOVE!

I’ve been watching you. I’ve been watching every one of you and I know what you’re trying to do to me. But it won’t work. You can’t hold me here, you can’t keep me prisoner, you can’t bind me in chains, you can’t stuff me with nails! Take your shiny spikes away. I protect nobody’s filthy secrets, nobody’s! So it does no good to try and surround me, no good to try to torture me, no good to destroy me or my sick, swollen memory. I’ll remember everything. I protect nobody’s filthy secrets, nobody’s — so SHUT UP!

I know just what you’re thinking. FORGET IT!

Ladies and gentlemen, I am an historian. I am also your narrator for tonight.

[Pause]

Don’t anybody speak. Don’t anybody so much as look around, or blink, or wince, or laugh, or convulse or cry — stare straight ahead, stony as a corpse! Now that shouldn’t be too difficult. Most of you look like rigor mortise was a way of life. Fools! You bore me! Only the slightest breathing. Only the slightest.

Ladies and gentlemen, how do I appear to you? Oh, I can guess your answer. You see one very slimy, very greasy, perhaps even repulsive man. Don’t let it bother you. It’s only my business manner. My own special brand of distilled insanity. It’s not easy being caretaker to the largest, most inevitable, most relentless, most rancid, and most inescapable cemetery is the scope of the human imagination. It is not easy being an historian. For centuries we have continued, oblivious and diseased. For years we have been on the brink of eternal coma, and I am sick of playing nurse to a patient without hope! There’s nothing you can do about it. And the vomit and blood and shit and piss get thicker and thicker…crawl up your legs…nest in your cunt…eat at your balls and your prick… tear at your stomach… strain at your brain… and blindfold your eyes. Oh! The scabs are extraordinary.

For a while I tried to be optimistic. I wrote long tracts on the grandeur of man, the progress of civilization, the sublime hopes of humanity…Gradually it made me sick to my stomach. At least now I am honest with myself. THERE IS A MAJOR LESSON TO BE LEARNED HERE!… What is it?

[He rummages through notes on his desk]

Oh yes! Vaseline is no cure for cancer! I offer no more comforting lubrication. Only the facts. Therefore my admittedly putrid business manner. I am what you see, no more, no less. You can ignore me for now. Do you think I care? Most of you mean nothing to me.

[Pause]

My vein is twitching. A vein in the middle of my eye. It’s twitching again and again and again. There. Now it’s quiet. It’s waiting to catch me off-guard. I can feel it out of the corner of my eye. It’s waiting. I can see you all smirking. Hm! How amusing this all is. The little man is making a fool of himself. At least that’s what the young ones think. The older ones, they’re closer to me now. But the young ones! Sometimes they never really do understand, until the time comes…The ludicrous parade of young boys, the ludicrous display of young girls, stuffed to their cruel mouths with exhaustive breathing, ecstatic moaning and voluptuous coupling…

[Pause]

I’m going to cough. Again, and again, and again. It’s expected of me. I always do what’s expected of me. That’s why I’ve lived so long. I think…

AAGGHH! Watch the vein! WATCH THE VEIN!

[He clutches at his face, stumbles into the lap of someone sitting in the first row.]

We can’t go on meeting like this. It just won’t work.

Now where was I? Oh, yes. The young. The fine young boys and fine young girls. First the girls: the girls who submerge themselves night after night in long strenuous swims against the hard stiff undertow of young boys’ waves — and don’t give a damn if they drown or not. How long do you think it will last? How long before you find yourself sweating from one supermarket to the other, looking with horror at your own flabby, irrigated flesh? I can see you now, waddling down the street…your fat tits erupting in front of you — your fat, hideous tits smothered in silicone, bouncing hysterically like two middle-aged cheerleaders trying desperately but hopelessly to arouse enthusiasm for the tired antique body that follows far behind… I use the word ‘body’ loosely. I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, to say the least.

AAGGHH! Where is my vein!? You fools, you let it get away! I warned you! Don’t just sit there like assholes…WHERE IS IT?!

[Pause]

I got it. Forgive me. My body has a tendency to drift and flake. I have to be careful at all times. It won’t happen again.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The fine young boys. The blue-eyed boys. How proud they are, hurtling themselves through space, in the middle of a clear green field, legs tightly wrapped around a pliant apple tree. They rip open their pants, they pull out that panting naked capsule which they softly call their own, that sadistically exulted prick burning in their hands. I can see them, I can see them watching with monstrous desire. The goddamn bullet goes shooting its way up towards the sky, a bullet of flesh pointing its way up towards the heavens like some divine gargoyle accusing God himself and challenging HIM to a confrontation! One spurt of rushing youth to cleanse the polluted sky!

[Pause]

How I hate them all.

And how long do you think it will last? How long before your shattered remains are found in some enemy swamp, somewhere far off in some enemy swampland, and sent home to Mother in a tin-can coffin with your name inscribed on your ass and the lid opened wide? How long before your lovely head explodes in a blaze of blonde chaos, after just one golden overdose more than you can stand?

You can’t escape. The battlefield of eternal, undeclared wars is unbounded and endless. There are no limits there, there never will be. And terrified young men, very much like yourselves, will continue to lob one another’s skulls across the wings of strange birds that are burning themselves alive — just like you are. There’s no way out.

[Pause]

And after that, how soon before you find yourself trapped in a business suit… a prisoner in your own nightly bath, with pink soap balls for eyes, and nothing to see, and no reason to try. The perfect American marriage, perhaps: the vegetable husband and his vegetarian wife!

[He laughs. Then yells]

SHUT UP!

An empty shell, nothing more, a shell, in which you can’t even hear the ocean, no matter how hard you try, no matter how close to your ear. An empty shell…

Fools, young boys! Fools, young girls! I warn you but you never listen. FOOLS! All of you!

Well, I could go on, but I won’t.

Tonight’s a festive occasion and I let myself get carried away. Forgive me! It won’t happen again!

I am an Historian. I don’t ask for pity. I don’t ask for compassion. I don’t ask for condolences. I don’t ask for hope. I don’t ask for promises. I don’t ask for feelings. I ask only that you keep your distance as I have tried to keep mine, though we have both failed too many times to count! I am an Historian. I ask only to be left alone. After all these years, I think I deserve that. I think I deserve that, don’t you?

[Suddenly passionate]

IF YOU’D ALL JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!! Give my vein some peace! Leave me alone! Die faster, die more cleanly, die in black and white and fuck the colors! But please — give history the rest it has earned! Give us all some mercy! Take your confessions somewhere else! Give history the rest it deserves. TAKE YOUR CONFESSIONS SOMEWHERE ELSE!!

[Long pause]

I’m sorry. There is nowhere else. I’m really very sorry.

[Muffled sobs. Pause.]

I suppose I seem to be crying…

]Suddenly harsh]

Well, don’t let it fool you, shitholes!

I’ll admit it. There is nowhere else. I’ll do my best. I’ll do what’s expected of me.

[Long pause. Then he speaks very calmly]

Can’t you see how much I hate you?

Phase One: Formation of the Tribe

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, tonight’s history!

Let us begin with our location: we are on the coast of northern California. On the shining rim of the searing edge of the west. The farthest dream of essential America in the near future. On the cliffs, overlooking the purple water, we find our main character.
His name is BAAL.
B — A — A — L.
BAAL! Get it right!
He has left his home to live on the rocks in the open air. Young men and women will follow him there.

And now, a song for your pleasure. Baal and his followers express their disgust with our society and offer an alternative.

PHASE ONE: THE FORMATION OF THE TRIBE!

While BAAL sings, the TRIBE is formed from all sides. All the other 19 members of the TRIBE enter the stage from ’tunnels.’ First a Boy and a Girl come from opposite sides of the disc. They come and kneel next to each other in the center of the disc. The Boy stares at her, then raises his arm high into the air and brings it smashing down on her body. She clutches at his flesh. In essence, then, they inflict pain on each other at first…then they embrace desperately and sensuously. They ‘bring each other into the TRIBE.’ Then they go and bring forth a third and perform and initiation ritual on him, always consisting of a cruel painful act, then a coming-together. Then those three bring in a forth, etc. until all 19 are there by the end. The first part of the song is sung by BAAL alone, then he is joined by other voices, and finally the whole TRIBE at the end. All staging is violent, sexual, and often exultant, rising to a high pitch of dark celebration at the end when the TRIBE is bound together.

[In the actual production of The Dream Engine, the rituals developed by the TRIBE through rehearsal turned out more sensual than violent; the cruelty appeared more at the end of the drama, during the pantomimes of the Revolution.]

Invocation and Formation of the Tribe (“Come in the Night”)

Baal Come in the night, come in the day
Anytime, and play our game
It’s all right, special flight –––
You’ll fly home into our game

See the light, shining bright
Shining down upon our game
In the night, come in the day
Play our game, come away!…

Come, in the night, come in the day
Turn around, it’s a black day dawning
Turn around, there’s a corpse in mourning
Turn around, to your tin-can graveyard
Turn around, to your tinfoil savior

Turn around, bright eyes
Turn around, bright eyes

Turn around, there are napalm babies screaming
Turn around, there are rivers steaming
Turn around, to your forests rotting
Turn around, [and stop] your assassins plotting

Turn around, bright eyes
Turn around, bright eyes

Don’t let the slaughter drag you down
Who ever said that madness was a sin?
It’s too late for the rain to wash you down
Who ever killed the ocean and the wind?

Down on your knees now
What do you see now?
Down on your knees now
What do you see now?

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all your long years of dying?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears

Come on all you children, put your bodies up against the wall
Just stop your crying and start running down the hall
You’ve got no time to lose and there’s no peace left at all
You’re on the edge now and there’s always one more fall

Bring in all the children, with their bodies up against the wall
No time for crying and there’s no time left to stall
No time for love now and there’s no peace left at all
We’re on the edge of now…

Turn around, to the blood on your highways
Turn around, pick up a new war each day, now
Turn around, ‘cause your skies are hungry
Turn around, ‘cause your earth is thirsty

Turn around, bright eyes
Turn around, bright eyes

Turn around, let a new world in, now
Turn around, let the final dance begin, now
Turn around, live us all your guns, now
Turn around, look at us, we’re your outlaw sons, now

Turn around, bright eyes
Turn around, bright eyes

Don’t let the slaughter drag you down
Who ever said that madness was a sin?
It’s too late for the rain to wash you down
Whoever killed the ocean and the wind?

Down on your knees now
What do you see now?
Down on your knees now
What do you see now?

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all the long years of dying?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears

Come in the night, come in the day
Anytime, and play our game
It’s all right, special flight –––
You’ll fly home into our game

See the light, shining bright
Shining down upon our game
In the night, come in the day
Play our game, come away!

Turn around!

[The TRIBE now having been formed, the members group themselves on the stage, performing various pantomimes, and making animal-like noises while the HISTORIAN speaks.]

Historian It is said that strange orgiastic and brutal rites are performed on these rocks. Nearby is a huge black city, a monster that breeds on its own inescapable pollution. The citizens of this nearby metropolis are terrified, worried that Baal and his savage tribe might leave their cliffs and come wandering into the city limits thus destroying the peaceful balance of urban life.

Action is taken! Baal’s youth and apparent freedom are a threat! The city sends out Max and Emily, two special agents, masters of impersonation and assassins of the young. Their job is simple: tame the Wild Beasts and bring them back alive.

[MAX and EMILY appear on either side of the stage. They await the completion of the Indoctrination Chant.]

Indoctrination Chant

[No music]

Baal Seek and find America’s children.
Send them back.
Send them back.

Seek and find America’s children, 1969.
And America came with her outlaw son
She came with her outlaw son
Her eyes full of lightning
Her hair all undone
And her genes melting into the sun

She came with her outlaw son
And she bathed in a sheath of silk
With the sweet smell of sperm
And the warm smell of milk

She came with her outlaw son
And she gave birth till the night decayed away
To a hint of gun dust
Tinged with hairspray

America’s children, 1969
Aren’t we beautiful?
Answer me!
Answer me!

This is not a microscope and we are not your specimens!
I am sick of the smell of your laboratories!
Fuck your laboratories!
Your experiments are over!
Your test tubes are starting to bleed!
Your mutants are fighting back and this is the result!

America’s children, 1969
Aren’t we beautiful?
Aren’t we filthy?
Aren’t we real?
Yes! There are no lies on my body!
Yes! Worship the truth and look at me!
Yes! We have no need of a God! Each of us is his own!
Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

Phase Two: The Interrogation

Historian PHASE TWO: THE INTERROGATION!
Max becomes the Chief of Police.

The TRIBE crawls about almost as animals, making strange sounds, as if speaking a new language. MAX…slashes at the bodies with a confetti-streamer, used as a whip. He wipes the sweat from his face with an American-flag handkerchief.

Max All right, where is he? Give him to me! It won’t do you any good. I’m going to find him sooner or later…sooner or later! I don’t have time to waste here. My cereal’s boiling, my uniform needs pressing, and my bath is waiting. You understand that, animals!? Ha? MY BATH IS WAITING! My bath is calling me home.

We have order to our lives. We have to live within boundaries. Complete freedom is destructive. Total license is sick.

TRIBE MEMBERS howl

Max You can’t escape me Baal. Sooner or later I’m here and sooner or later I’m all that’s left. I always win in the end, Baal, I thought we understood that from the beginning, hmm? No? There must be an interrogation. There must be questions, there must be answers. There must be QUIET!

Blows a toy whistle

There must be limits, there must be boundaries. There must be law, there must be order. And I must have Baal.

Baal You can have me Max. You can have me.

Historian THE INTERROGATION!

BAAL and MAX sit at a table. MAX often stands and walks around. He conducts himself as a policeman. BAAL faces the audience, sometimes leans back in his chair, looks at MAX only occasionally

Max (Begins strongly, becomes weaker as Baal ignores him) Baal. Answer me!
Confess!
Baal.
Answer me.
Confess!
Listen to me!
Remember me!
Look at me Baal!
Think of me Baal, think of me.
Confess!
Remember me, Baal! Remember me?
Taste me.
Smell me.
Hold me, Baal.
Don’t, don’t hurt me, Baal, don’t hurt me Baal.
You won’t hurt me, will you Baal?
You won’t hurt me?

[Rapid fire dialogue begins.]

Baal I can’t hear you, Max.
Max Baal…
Baal I can’t see you Max.
Max Answer me…
Baal I can’t reach you, Max.
Max Confess!
Baal I can’t taste you, Max.
Max Baal!
Baal I can’t feel you, Max.
Max Answer me.
Baal I can’t smell you, Max.
Max Confess!
Baal I can’t remember you.
Max Listen to me!
Baal I can’t touch you.
Max Remember me.
Baal I can’t smell you.
Max Look at me, Baal.
Baal I can’t hear you, Max.
Max Think of me, Baal.
Baal I can’t remember you.
Max Confess!
Baal I can’t reach you, Max.
Max Remember me, Baal.
Baal I can’t feel you, Max.
Max Taste me.
Baal I can’t smell you, Max.
Max Smell me.
Baal I can’t see you.
Max Hold me.
Baal I can’t touch you.
Max Don’t hurt me, Baal.
Baal I don’t need you, Max.
Max Don’t hurt me, Baal.
Baal I don’t need you, Max!
Max Don’t hurt me, Baal!
Baal I DON’T NEED YOU, MAX!

[Rapid-fire dialogue ends.]

Max You won’t hurt me?
Baal Only if you ask. Only if you ask, nicely.

[Rapid-fire dialogue starts up again.]

Max Let me hear you Baal.
Baal Think of me, Max.
Max Let me taste you.
Baal Remember me, Max?
Max Let me smell you.
Baal Taste me.
Max Let me hold you.
Baal Smell me.
Max Let me reach you.
Baal Farther!
Max Let me see you.
Baal Darker!
Max Let me hurt you.
Baal More!
Max Let me answer you.
Baal ANSWER ME!
Max No, enough.
Baal Answer me.
Max No, please.
Baal Answer me.
Max No, no, there’s nothing…
Baal Answer me, Max.
Max There’s nothing…
Baal There are no lies on my body, answer me.
Max Boundaries, limits…
Baal Confess!
Max I can’t remember!
Baal Confess!
Max Boundaries, Baal…
Baal Confess!
Max …boundaries!
Baal Confess!
Max We agreed!
Baal There’s always more, Max right behind you: SHRIEKS!
Max STOP!

[End of rapid fire dialogue.]

Baal Silent shrieks…dripping from every single body. Listen to them Max. They’ve heard you. You’ve seen them. Silent shrieks dripping from every single body, silent shrieks.
Max QUIET!
Baal You can’t hurt me, Max.
Max Why?
Baal You can’t hurt me.
Max Why!? WHY? Why? Confess! Why? Stop! Why? Confess! I can’t taste you. I can’t answer you. STOP! I can’t feel you. STOP! I can’t hurt you. STOP! I can’t remember you. STOP!
Baal I can’t stop.
Max Why?
Baal Because I’m too young to stop.
Max Remember me, Baal? Remember me?
Baal I’m sorry, no.
Max Why?
Baal Because you’re too old to remember.
Max Then touch me, Baal, just once. Touch me.
Baal I never touch what I don’t want to remember.

Max You’re very young, aren’t you? Nineteen? Nineteen… We’re getting nowhere. You’re going to have to cooperate sooner or later.
Max (German accent) Ve have vays of making people talk.
Now where were you last night?
Baal I was here.
Max Where were you last night?
Baal Here!
Max And the night before?
Baal Here!
Max Before?
Baal Here!
Max Before?
Baal Here!
Max Where were you before you were here?
Baal Before I was here, I was on my way over here. I was either here or on my way over here. It’s only here that matters now.
Max So, you would have us believe that you were always here or on your way over here.
Baal Yes, that’s all.
Max Just where do you think you are now?
Baal Here.
Max Where is here?
Baal Right here on the edge!
Max Well just what are you doing here on the edge?
Baal Balancing myself.
MaxJust answer the questions!

[Pause]

MaxThat’s better. How long are your legs?
Baal They’re hard.
Max How long are your legs without your clothes on?
Baal Five inches.
Max Is that all?
Baal Eight when erect.
Max Are your arms very white?
Baal In the sun they’re gold.
Max And at night?
Baal Sliver.
Max How long are the legs of all your friends laid end to end?
Baal Silver.
Max Are they hard or soft?
Baal Silver.
Max Why is your hair so long!?

[Pause]

Max It disgusts me.

[Baal is silent. Max stands beside Baal’s chair and begins touching his hair.]

MaxIs it soft? Does it glow in the dark? Does it curl at the nape of your neck? If I touched your thigh with an ice pick, would you blink?
Baal I might.
Max You’re very young, aren’t you?
Baal About nineteen.
Max I’m rather old, don’t you think?
Baal Yes. What does it taste like, Max?
Max I don’t know. I can’t remember.
Baal Then you’re very old, then you’re past the limits.
Max There are no limits.
Baal Is this the end, Max? Is this when you win?
Max There are no limits!
Baal Is this the end, Max? Is this when you win?
Max Your hair is long and dirty, you have no sense of morality. Your body’s distasteful, exposed and caked with earth. You’ve forgotten how to wash. Violence means nothing to you, you’re a sick dangerous outlaw, an offense to the society we all know and love as our own, a danger, a threat to the ideals we fought for, the principles we stood for, the life we hoped for our children, and the hopes we lived for our fathers. You disgust me!

[Max is standing beside an American flag, caressing it.]

BaalI know thirty-six positions.
Max (Looking at his hands) Why am I so pale?
BaalYour face is like chalk.
MaxIt must be the moon.
BaalEighty-two positions if three are involved.
MaxThere are no limits at all?
BaalAnd I’m only nineteen.
MaxGive or take a little?
BaalJust a little.
MaxJust a little?
BaalYou can have more later, but just a little for now. You can have more later.

[Emily appears as a Policewoman. She draws near to Max.]

MaxNo. I’m going to count to three.
One! Confess!
Emily Confess!
Max Two! Confess! Three! Confess!

[The TRIBE hurriedly assembles in center stage and begin to recite their "confession" in unison. It’s the Pledge of Allegiance.]

Tribe I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands…

[Members of the TRIBE begin getting sick on stage. Pantomime vomiting, gurgle horrible noises. Then they transform their noises into raucous laughter. Lights suddenly go off. The stage is very dark. TRIBE makes sounds of the wind.]

MaxBaal, where are you? Where’s the flag, Baal? Where’s the light?
BaalIs it the moon, Max? Is it the moon?
MaxGive me my bath. Give me my flag.
BaalIt’s dark forever, Max. It’s over and gone.
MaxI can’t see, help me.
BaalListen to me Max, the flag is extinguished, the flag has blown a fuse.
MaxNo.
BaalYou’ve gone blind and this is only the beginning.
MaxWe agreed.
BaalWe’re all you have now, Max. We’re your only chance. Look at us! Do we glow in the dark, Max, do we glow in the dark?
MaxI don’t need it, I’ll find my way.

Baal There’s no light for you, there’s no room for you, I’m only nineteen and you’ve gone past the limits — do you understand that? You’ve gone past the limits and I’m right behind you.
MaxWhat have I done. Where is the sun, Baal?
BaalIt’s down, Max, it’s down.
MaxBaal, let me in. Let me in, Baal!
BaalLET ME OUT!

[The TRIBE’s wind noises have gathered into the sound of heavy breathing. They now all are breathing together, like a single being, breathing in a sensual sleep. MAX stands right next to BAAL, leans over him.]

Max (Speaks quietly) Baal, listen. If I touch my lips to your shoulder, is it my mouth or your shoulder that’s giving the kiss? Hmm? And is it my mouth or your shoulder that is receiving it?
BaalDoes it matter, Max?
MaxYes, it does matter. I need answers, help me.
BaalThen you’re even older than I thought.
MaxDoes it matter?
BaalYes Max. Yes, it matters. Yes, Max, yes. Yesssss.

[Merges with the sounds of the TRIBE, then the breathing stops. TRIBE leaves the stage. Lights come on. MAX and EMILY come center stage for their song and dance.]

Historian Max and Emily are trapped and threatened. A dark warning has been issued.
Girding their loins for the task before them Max and Emily sing "Who Needs The Young" — their bitter creed and fervent anthem.

Who Needs the Young?

Max & Emily Who needs the young?
The revelation of their faces and their hair
When all we have are withered traces of the faces we once were
And suffocation in the dirty, fatal air
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun

Who needs the young?
The celebration of the races they have won
The sado-masochistic things we’ve never done
And all the places that we never will have gone
Who needs the young bodies floating in the sun
Who needs the young?

My eyes just aren’t what they were
My eyes just aren’t what they were
My eyes just aren’t what they were
Is there anyone left who can see? Blind him!

My lips just aren’t what they were
My lips just aren’t what they were
My lips just aren’t what they were
Is there anyone left who can kiss? Spit on him!

My legs just aren’t what they were
My legs just aren’t what they were
My legs just aren’t what they were
Is there anyone left who can dance? Cripple him!

My mind just isn’t what it was
My mind just isn’t what it was
My mind just isn’t what it was
Is there anyone left who can dream? Wake him!

My voice just isn’t what it was
My voice just isn’t what it was
My voice just isn’t what it was
Is there anyone left who can sing? Silence him!

My sex just isn’t what is was
My sex just isn’t what is was
My sex just isn’t what is was
Is there anyone left who can fuck? Screw him!

[Max and Emily dance.]

Who needs the young?

Who needs the young?
The perfect star of flesh that’s free from questions why
Who needs the whispered moaning passed from thigh to thigh
Who need to see them do the things we’ll never try

Who needs the young?
When we’re spending all the rest of our miserable lives
Learning to die!

Phase Three: The Seduction Scene

Historian Ladies and Gentlemen, to keep things moving right along here: PHASE THREE: THE SEDUCTION SCENE!
A seventeen year old girl escapes from the iron grip of the city and having heard of Baal and his followers, she comes to the rocks of the coast. First she sings a bitter tune in honor of her homeland, and then love takes its course.

Come Home Child

Historian Come home, child! Take a look at your pages all shining
Come home, child! Take whiff of your sweet scented gas
Come home, child! But don’t let the pigs catch you crying
Come home, child! Where your flowers get shoved up your ass!

Love Song

Girl Nightsticks smashing on innocent heads, now
A broken skull, but the brain escapes and flies away free
Phantom policemen counting up all their dead, now
Maybe four, maybe more, extra corpses

People living just like slabs in a ruin
Greasy women linked to tired old men, and
Not a trace can be seen of the land, now
Nails are piercing every orphan’s hand, now
The city feels like a cold cancer tomb
We live and die in an open wound

Hunchback writhing on an oily street, now
He’s dying slow, he’s dying fast, but he’s finally dying!
Tourists crowd around and they (unintelligible)
They’re hurling stone, they’re hurling spit and they’re spitting curses

All the people just don’t feel the pain, now
All the children waiting for the rain, now
Skies are covered with a nauseous stain, now
Anywhere you look you know it’s all the same, and
The city feels like a cold cancer tomb
We live and die in an open wound

Historian Ladies and Gentlemen, THE INITIATION!

[BAAL stands center stage on the disc. The GIRL crawls onto the disc and sits at his feet.]

This scene should go fast, since the real point of it is contained in the… songs that come at its climax.

GirlLet me in.
Baal[Disinterested and harsh] Why?
GirlIt’s getting hungry, I can feel it.
BaalI know.
GirlThe air is hard and my face is dry.
BaalAnd your eyes are empty. Empty space. It’s very sad.
GirlIt’s not my fault.
BaalAsk me for something.
GirlWhat do I need?
BaalA hiding place?
GirlYes, please.
BaalI’m sorry. There are no more hiding places. All the hiding places are hiding.
GirlTell me what’s left? Tell me what I need?
BaalMattress of velvet?
GirlLet me in now! Hurry! Tell me!
BaalMattress of velvet and a clear water candle… How old are you?
GirlSeventeen
BaalYears?
GirlYes.
BaalGood, that makes things easier.

GirlI can’t go back. It might be following me. You can never see it when it does, you can never feel it or hear it. Or know that it’s there. Until it comes from behind and grabs you and pulls you back. All the way back.
BaalHow did you get here?
GirlI escaped.
BaalFrom where?
GirlI can’t go back.
BaalFROM WHERE!?
GirlWhere I came from.
BaalSAY IT!
Girl… The city.
They know about it. They know about me. They all know by this time. The city is following me. It sends out assassins. It breeds assassins and then it spits them out to bring us back. The city is creeping up behind me, you can never see it when it does. You can never feel it when it does. You never even know it’s there!
BaalYou haven’t escaped anything. Not yet. Maybe soon.
GirlI can’t wait any more!
BaalYou’ll have to. Tell me about yourself.
GirlWhat do you want to know?
BaalWell…

[slowly]

are you…

[then rapid-fire]

anal, rectal, vaginal, oral, genital bestial, hetero, homo, bi-, tri-, quatre-, cinq, six, sick, lonely, desperate, monolingual, bilingual, cunnilingual, passionate, poetic, hallucinogenic, barbarian, Cesarean, mammalian, cornucopian, horn of plenty, plenty horny…??
GirlALL RIGHT! Stop! What do you want me to say!?
BaalALL OF THEM!!
GirlYes, I’m all of them, I’m everything you want!
BaalAren’t you exhausted?
GirlYes. Very.
BaalHow do you like it out here?
GirlIt’s very lovely.
BaalOn a clear night you can see the labia minor.
GirlCan I stay?
BaalYes, you can stay. I need you here. What do you know about mirrors?
GirlWhat kind of a question is that?
BaalWhat do you know about mirrors? Just that.
GirlNothing. Just nothing.
BaalI believe that. Nothing at all. But you’ll have to meet my mirrors. They’re very strange.

[Members of the TRIBE spread themselves across the disc, here, and begin pantomiming in couples some of what BAAL describes.]

Baal You see my mirrors keep getting larger.
They keep growing, they keep spreading out
They keep getting larger and I can’t seem to stop them.
I have to keep filling them up, I have to keep feeding them
And they’re still getting larger and larger and larger and larger.
My mirrors have become vast, and beautiful, and very, very hungry.
My mirrors have become vast, and beautiful and hungry
And pretty soon they are going to devour me.
They are going to swallow me up, consume me,
Piece by piece, bit by bit
Flesh on flesh, limb by limb, kiss on kiss, tremble by tremble
Shiver by shiver, sliver by sliver, and splinter by splinter.
But you’re going to help me.
You’re going to help me fill them out.
You’re going to help me spread them out.
I’m going to feed you to my mirrors.
I’m going to make you one of my reflections and feed you to my mirrors.
I’m going to pin you to the cold glass
and watch you soak up the sunlight on the surface of the water.

I need you here.
We’re going to share a little chromosome damage.
With your genes melting into the sun!

GirlNow, please now! It’s been too long.
BaalSoon! Soon! Come here.

[GIRL comes closer to BAAL. She is sitting on the stage as he stands above her.]

Baal You’re so soft. I like to finger clay. Soft clay. Come here, soft clay. I’m going to make a shape — don’t be frightened, it will be beautiful. Soft clay. We’re going to make a shape.
GirlHurry!
BaalSlowly!

[Pause]

BaalLook at me.
GirlI can’t see anything else.
BaalTouch my leg.
GirlIt’s wet.
BaalIt’s soaked. There’s a flood coming.
GirlI can swim.
BaalNo, it’s not good enough.
GirlWhy?
BaalIt’s not good enough!
GirlI don’t understand.
BaalLouder!
GirlI can swim!
BaalAgain!
GirlI CAN SWIM!
BaalNO! It’s just not good enough.
GirlWhat do you want, I can only go so far.
BaalThen you’re going to have to get there faster, that’s all.
GirlI will not be tortured like this.
BaalOh, but you will. You will be tortured like this. You will be tortured and celebrated and worshipped and suffered and exulted and caressed and submerged and awakened and pierced and shattered and sucked on and spit upon and cried into and held onto and lovingly torn apart until we are ready to stop. Until we are ready to put you back together again and you are ready to open your eyes and begin to see!
GirlSee what?
BaalYou’ll see.
GirlI’m not an object.
BaalI know. I am trying to show you that — step by step. Don’t deny the soft, white, underbelly. Don’t defy the dark black forest. Let the coachman drive you through until you reach the end. Bumper to bumper all the way. Bumper to bumper all the way. BUMPER TO BUMPER ALL THE WAY!
GirlAll right — stop! There’s a flood coming.
BaalWell, what are you going to do?
GirlI don’t know.
BaalWe’re going to have to teach you, then. We’re going to have to teach you a little bit more.
GirlA little more?
BaalWe’re going to have to teach you to drown!
GirlMore?
BaalDrown!
GirlYes!
BaalShow me!

[Pause]

Baal Say it.
GirlTeach me to drown.
BaalAgain, you know the rules!
GirlTeach me to drown.
BaalSlowly…There’s time. We’re young and in love and the whole world is springtime. Your skin is so white. There are no scars on your body.
GirlI’m sorry.
Baal(Gently, smiling.) We’ll have to make some.
GirlMy skin is white. Incredibly white.
BaalThere are no scars.
GirlYou will have to make some
BaalWe’ll have to make some.

Pause. They stare at each other. Her back is to the audience. He rubs his clothes and body. She runs her hands along her face and chest. She turns around. There is blood coming from a wound in her forehead, neck and breasts. She touches it sweetly. She smiles. She has entered the game.

GirlMattress of velvet?
BaalMattress of velvet and a clear water candle.
GirlDon’t move. There’s a spider on your leg.
BaalGood! You know the rules.
GirlI have very shiny eyes.
BaalBullshit!
GirlYou want to see?
BaalFuck off!

[The TRIBE begins to gather around BAAL and the GIRL. I do not remember what ritual the stage production embarked upon at this point. I believe it was only between BAAL and the GIRL, with the TRIBE pantomiming stuff. Steinman’s earlier vision of this scene is more violent than what occurred in the original production:]

When the lights go on, the GIRL is in the center of the disc. She is tightly bound with leather straps; they tear and pull at her body. The straps are very long. They are wrapped about her body and held on the other end by members of the tribe. Each tribe member has a strap that goes around her body. The tribe members surround her and are standing all about the outer rim of the disc in a circle. One by one, they fall backwards, thus causing, one by one, each leather strap to pull viciously tight on the GIRL’s body. While this strange ritual goes on, BAAL speaks from behind her, like a man in a delirium. While he speaks, he pulls at her skull, as if to detach it from her body in a slow, strange, hypnotic manner.

Girl[Touching BAAL’s clothing] Leather.
BaalYeah. Leather. Black and tight. Leather, clinging, black and tight.

[As BAAL speaks, other members of the TRIBE start echoing his words. Eventually they are all chanting together, but not in unison.]

Baal The revolution likes leather.
The revolution wears leather to survive in the streets.
And leather looks for holes to hide in.
Dark holes. Damp holes.
Dark damp holes, black and tight and clinging.
Deep holes, dark dank deep holes, black and tight and clinging.
Dangerous holes.
Dark damp deep dangerous holes, black and tight and clinging.
Do you want to come inside now?
Do you want to come inside and look for hiding places now?
Do you want to come inside and look for holes now?
Do you want to come inside and look for deep dark damp dangerous holes now?
Do you want to come inside and look for dark damp dangerous deep holes now?
Do you want to come inside and look for damp dangerous deep dark holes now?
Do you want to come inside and look for dangerous deep dark damp holes now?
Do you want to come inside now?
Do you want to come inside and look for hiding places now?
Do you want to come inside and look for mattress of velvet now?
Do you want to come inside and look for clear water candle now?
Do you want to come inside at all now??
Do you ever want to leave?
Do you ever think you can?
GirlThe sun is too bright!
BaalYou’re melting, like vanilla syrup…soft and loose and thin, white and sweet.
GirlI love the dawn!
BaalProve it!
GirlThe sun’s too bright!
BaalYou’re melting!
GirlMake it go away!
BaalSoft and loose and thin and white and sweet!
GirlTURN IT OFF!

[Sudden silence.]

BaalLeather. Slash! Leather. Slash! Leather. Slash! The skin of a beast. Slash! The skin of a creature. Slash! The skin of a mammal. Slash!
You have to work for it. You have to earn it. Have you ever been clawed?
GirlWhat?
Baal You heard me.

[Pause, The TRIBE has withdrawn from the disc now as has BAAL. The GIRL is suddenly all by herself in the middle of the stage. The TRIBE is hidden around the outside of the disc. When the GIRL starts talking, the TRIBE repeats her words in mocking whispers. The whispers grow louder as she panics.]

Girl I don’t want to be on this stage alone.
I don’t want to be on this stage alone.
I don’t want to be on this stage alone!
Why don’t they touch me?
Why don’t they touch me?
Why don’t they touch me!?!
I DON’T WANT TO BE ON THIS STAGE ALONE!
WHY DON’T THEY TOUCH ME!?!
I DON’T WANT TO BE ON THIS STAGE ALONE!
WHY DON’T THEY TOUCH ME!?!

Baal[Still standing at a distance from her] Quiet. It’s only theater. It’s nothing to be afraid of. Be still. I’ll guide you. We’re all watching. We’re all listening.

[The GIRL turns her head in despair.]

Baal DON’T TURN AWAY!

[She looks back at him.]

Baal Don’t you ever turn away!

[Pause]

GirlI can’t do it.
BaalEvery single muscle is in revolt. Every single muscle wants to love you. There are no lies on my body. I want you to swell to my size. Swell to my size. SWELL TO MY SIZE! SWELL TO MY SIZE!! I want you to spread forever and swell to my size.
GirlI don’t want to be on this stage alone. Why don’t they touch me?
BaalThey will. When you’re ready. When you’ve learned to scream.
GirlI have screamed!
BaalNo, not really! Only words, that’s only part of it. We want something purer.
GirlWhy must I scream?
BaalSo they’ll know you’re here. So we’ll all know you’re here. So I’ll know you’re here. So I’ll be sure.
GirlI don’t want to be on this stage alone.
BaalIt’s all right, it’s only theater, it’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ll guide you. And I’m really very beautiful. I look like I was made up on the phone by two fags. A hint of gun dust, tinged with hairspray.
GirlI can’t see anything else.
BaalThat’s enough. That’s enough.

[The TRIBE begins making strange wind noises. BAAL goes off to a corner of the stage, as though looking down at the ocean.]

GirlI don’t want anymore dreams. I’m stuffed with dreams. There’s no more room. Can’t you understand that? There’s no more room!
BaalListen to it.

[Becomes increasingly excited.]

Listen to it beating on the rocks! Listen to it beating down on the cold rocks! Is this what you want?
GirlI don’t want to hear it.

[Wind noises from the TRIBE are very loud now.]

BaalIt’s going to break out very soon now. It’s going to break out! Listen to it. Listen to it! LISTEN TO THE REVOLUTION!
GirlWhat revolution?! Tell me! Give me something I can hold onto! Tell me, WHAT REVOLUTION?
BaalAll of them!!

[TRIBE falls silent. Pause. BAAL lights up a joint.]

GirlThere’s no more room. Just no more room.
BaalStep by step. Lie down. Don’t move. Don’t move!

She lies down facing up at him on the bottom of the disc, center stage, her head pointing up the disc, turned away from the audience…BAAL stands over her and very methodically flicks ashes in her eyes from a burning cigarette. She writhes and tries to cover her eyes.

BaalNo! Don’t cover them! Look at it… look at the tip. Look at it burn. Slim, slow, slider…Look at it. Look at it! Breathe… More! Breathe! Harder!
GirlIt’s burning my eyelids off!
BaalGood! Without eyelids you can’t close your eyes. And if you can’t close your eyes then you won’t miss anything.
GirlNo more!

[BAAL kneels down over the girl, still flicking his cigarette ash.]

Baal Now. Beating down on the rocks! Beating down on the cold rocks. We’re there! We’re there! Breathe! Scream! Fly! Breathe, scream, fly! BREATHE, SCREAM, FLY! LET IT OUT NOW!!

[BAAL stuffs the cigarette out in her eyes and slams his hand down next to her on the stage.]

GirlSTOP!

[Pause. BAAL stands up.]

BaalI already have stopped.

[Pause]

BaalPain is the flashiest high. Insanity, of course, is the ultimate high. I’m still working on it.
GirlI’m sorry. No.
BaalIt’s all over, don’t rub them.
GirlI can’t do it. I’m sweating.
BaalWell, that’s something. Mattress of velvet.
GirlMattress of velvet.
BaalAnd a clear water candle.
GirlAnd a clear water candle. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go through with it.
BaalYeah, you will. Listen: Breathe with me. Breathe with me.

[TRIBE begins deep breathing, as BAAL bends down and puts the GIRL’s face against his chest. They’re breathing becomes a humming.]

BaalMake it even. Make it rhyme. Can you hear it?
GirlYes.
BaalOur breathing will rhyme. Don’t stop it.
GirlDon’t let it stop.
BaalAnd the fragrance of forests clings to my skin.
GirlThe smell of…
BaalNo, fragrance.
GirlThe fragrance of forests clings to your skin.
BaalIt’s been missing from this country for too long, and we’re going to bring it back.
GirlThe fragrance of forests clings to my skin.
BaalGive me some.
GirlDon’t let it stop.
BaalAnd finally, what I mean by revolution is that very moment when my prick becomes a political force. Now…finish it up.
GirlThe fragrance of forests clings to your skin.
BaalClings to my leather clothes wherever I go. Even to the whip hidden in my boots.
GirlEven the whip.
BaalDon’t let it stop.
GirlOur breathing will rhyme.
BaalAnd your eyes are empty holes. Empty space.
GirlHurry!

[TRIBES noises are now a distinct buzzing, which grows louder here.]

BaalSlowly!
GirlWhat is all of this for? What are we trying to do?
BaalFinally — we’re filling a space, that’s all. Bit by bit. We’re filling space. Spacccce…

[BAAL rises from the GIRL and starts walking off stage.]

GirlThe ashes!
BaalLeave them alone!
GirlThey’re still burning!
BaalDon’t touch them! I just wanted to teach you. Never protect your eyes. Let everything in. Let it all come through.

[BAAL exits. The TRIBE assembles for the next number.]

Liberation Through Pain (Firebird)

During the singing of this song … the TRIBE enacts ‘pain dances,’ stylized representations of all forms of agony. Their appearance is like those seized by convulsions and controlled by horror. The GIRL is surrounded by them and tries to reach out to comfort them. Each time she touches one, the pain is intensified. The pain spreads to her. She tries to escape. They hurl her from one to the other. At the climax, she is thrown into the air and caught at the last minute, with the TRIBE clutching every part of her body, like many knives. After the song, she stands in the corner of the whole TRIBE, starting with a low humming sound, builds up almost into a monstrous howl. Just as the howl is about to break, the GIRL gives off a powerful scream that racks her body.

Band Member Take me down to the firebird
Try and teach me how to fly
Take me down to the firebird
Make me free from questions why

Fly free, burn free
Please, teach me to burn!

Take me down to the firebird
Try and teach me how to burn
Take me down to the firebird
Teach me all the screams I’ve earned

Scream free, burn free
Please teach, teach me scream

Oh, take me down to the firebird
Try and teach me how to die (?)
Take me down to the firebird
Make me (unintelligible)

Burn free, run free, run free, run free
Ooooh…
They’ll all burn down… they all burn down
YOU’LL ALL BURN DOWN…
YOU’LL ALL BURN DOWN…
We’ll all burn down!!
We’ll all burn down!!
We’ll all burn down

TribeHowl builds towards a scream
GirlTremendous scream

[BAAL appears. Walks to GIRL, who is center stage, facing audience. BAAL stands behind her, puts his hands on her shoulder.]

BaalOn a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with red roses?
GirlWill he offer me his mouth?
BaalYes
GirlWill he offer me his teeth?
BaalYes
GirlWill he offer me his jaws?
BaalYes
GirlWill he offer me his hunger?
BaalYes
GirlAgain
BaalOn a hot summer night, would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
GirlYes
BaalThen you’re ready

The last stage of the GIRL’s initiation is now undertaken. It is a form of stylized ‘orgy’ where in the GIRL is ’sucked into’ the pleasures of the tribe. What is most important about this segment is that, in contrast to the ‘heat’ of the ‘Liberation Through Pain,’ this ritual is cool, icy, strangely muted though extremely sensual. The TRIBE is almost like children rediscovering their bodies. The tone is very narcissistic and yet very innocent. The main theme of the music is set to ‘Ride A Cock Horse,’ the nursery rhyme which starts off very prettily, then becomes darker and sinister, and builds finally to hard rock…

Liberation Through Pleasure (Ride a Cock Horse)

Baal Ride a cock horse
To Bambury Cross
You’ll see a fine lady
Upon a white horse…
(repeat)

Phase Four: The Induction

[Following the ballet, the TRIBE leaves the stage. EMILY appears.]

Historian Baal is visited by an older woman. Emily becomes the local Draft Board. She comes with business to attend to, a matter of life and death.

PHASE FOUR: THE INDUCTION!

[Emily slithers around the table at which BAAL sits, in grotesque parody of seductiveness.]

Emily Hi! I need a drink, no doubt about that!

Takes out a glass from her bag, throws it away, then takes out a bottle, sticks her finger into its neck, pulls it out, then licks her finger.

Emily Hi! I need a drink, no doubt about that! Cheers!

Offers BAAL her finger.

Take some, you’ll need it. Such a pudgy finger after all. Pudgy, that’s all there is, pudgy. This whiskey’s just the same. Stale, old, tired…
Baal Whiskey gets better as it ages.
Emily I’m not interested in whiskey, any more. I have no further need of whiskey.

[Slams her bag down on the table.]

Do you consider me old?
Baal No. I don’t consider you at all.
Emily Oh? But you will.
Baal Maybe.
Emily My arms are still good, look! They’re firm. You can see that, anyone can see that.
Baal All America can see that.
Emily I’ve always felt that youth was more a state of mind than a…a…
Baal Youth is a seizure. I’m foaming at the mouth.
Emily Old wives’ tale. Nothing more. Forget it.

[She caresses her arms.]

Look at them. They’re firm, but pliant.
Baal Tart but not too light. Delicate but sweet.
Emily Would you like your zipper polished? It must be a lovely zipper. Is it bright and shiny?
Baal It’s rusty. It gets wet.
Emily Ah! It’s cold.
Baal Well, it takes time to really get to know it.
Emily (Starting to pull down the zipper.)Whatever goes up, must come down.
Baal (Slaps her hand.)No! Don’t help a good boy go bad! Lock your car!
Emily Now we can get down to business. I have interesting news.
Baal I expected this.
Emily (Forgetting business again.) You know, I’ve never lost my shape.
Baal Do you always shave the brown grit hair on your arms? Does it scare you?
Emily No, of course not. It was an accident. It won’t happen again.
Baal I hope not.
Emily They were all long full hairs. I collected them. I’ll show you.
Baal You’re so clean. Like a corpse, washed for burial.
Emily That can be easily changed.

She takes a clump of earth from her bag, rubs filth on her face.

I like earthy women, too.
BaalIs my hair dry?
Emily [Touching his hair]Yes, perfectly dry.
Baal I want it wet. Change it!
Emily [She takes an orange from her bag] I’m never without them!
Baal Bite it!
Emily I’m going to bite it!
Baal Good idea.
Emily There! It’s going to burst! Just look at it drip!

She stands above him, her legs pinning down his arms. She starts squeezing the orange over his face…a huge quantity of liquid pours out all over him.

Emily I’m in the prime of my life! I have nothing to loose, no time to waste, the world is at my fingertips!

She turns to one side as if answering someone’s question.

EmilyHow do you like it?

She turns to the other side, as if answering someone’s question.

EmilyIt’s wonderful. Very satisfying.
BaalThe perfect late afternoon pick-me-up.
Emily I feel so refreshed. Look at my face. My wrinkles are dying. I’m sure they are. It happens all the time. Look at my face!

[She feels BAAL’s forehead.]

He’s hot. No, he’s freezing cold. Like touching an iceberg.
Baal Like being next to the sun?

Emily Oh, brilliant full light! Shine on forever. Give me an hour and my face is reborn! Like a sudden miracle, and my wrinkles are lost in a vision. There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? Having your wrinkles disappear? There’s nothing wrong with that, is there? There’s nothing wrong with killing wrinkles — alien wrinkles. Here and now in this land, in America, in this beautiful country — and it is beautiful…filled to the brim with magnificent specimens like Baal. Filled with promise. Just waiting for the rest of us to make use of them, to make use of all this youth, to make it ours. It belongs to us. It belongs to me. We’re all still young. The wrinkles are captured and tortured and finally exterminated for good. The wrinkles are dead. The battle is won. The war will soon be over. Big money! Cheeseburgers! Quality products! Cheeseburgers! Big profit margins and cheeseburgers! Fringe benefits, unlimited prospects, a thrilling young army that’s constantly wounded! Rifles and tanks and Cinerama attacks! Plush carpeting! Skim milk skin that never curdles! Wall to wall luxury! More and more cheeseburgers! The latest in comfort! The glitter of chrome on every coffin. Purple mountain majesties! Our flag is still there! Yes! Yes! It’s all waiting for you Baal! It’s all waiting for all of us! A feast of riches! The last supper is back! Eat my child, eat! Enjoy! Enjoy! The breakfast of Champions awaits you in Asia! Fill your mouth with star spangled turds! Enjoy! Enjoy! Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow your deferment is ended!

She smiles, pauses, looks at him. [She starts eating another orange. She then starts packing her handbag.]

Emily I’m sorry, but we do get hungry, Baal, you know that. We’ve got to keep finding new things to eat. You understand, don’t you? You’ve been classified 1-A, Baal. That’s my little surprise. The board orders you to report for induction in seven days. Just to make sure, Dr. Rosenbloom will be here tomorrow to give you a preliminary physical.

Now, wasn’t this more interesting than an impersonal note in the mail?

I hope you’re not resentful. We were just worried that you were getting a bit out of control, moving out of our grasp. We have a big stake in your young life, Baal, and we simply decided to drive that stake home. To your heart. Where your love is. Poor little boy-chick.

She squeezes the last orange on him.

EmilyDon’t you have anything left to say?
Baal Yeah. Save the pits, I’m hungry too. Save the pits.
Emily Can I watch you eat them? Please?

[Blackout. Scene shift.]

Historian Baal sings the INSPIRATIONAL HYMN, THE GOD GAME, or ‘You, too, can walk on water."

Inspirational Hymn: The God Game

Baal In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the some time just to soak up the light?
In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just for one more fight?
We can’t wait till the morning
Cause we’re sinking fast into a piece of the night

In the morning, in the morning
Will they say they’re all sorry and take us back home?
In the morning, in the morning
Will they put out their hands and give us a bone
Well we can’t wait till the morning
Cause by then our bodies will have turned into stone

And I can hear the sun
And all the planets just calling me home
And I can hear the sun
I can hear the planets just calling me home
We have no need of a God
‘Cause each of us is his own

In the morning, in the morning
Will you kiss all those snipers, don’t their guns all look fine?
In the morning, in the morning
Will you kick out the pigs, and give us a sign?
We can’t wait till the morning
Cause we’re too busy drinking, turning blood into wine

In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just for one more fight?
In the morning, in the morning
Will there still be the chance just to soak up the light?
For we can’t wait till the morning
Cause we’re sinking fast into a piece of the night

And I can walk on the river
I’ll stand on the waves and I’ll rise all alone
And I can walk on the river
I’ll stand on the waves and I’ll rise all alone
We have no need of a God
For each of us is his own
We have no need of a God
For each of us is his own

Phase Five: The Analysis

Historian Max becomes Dr. Rosenbloom. We have heard his name before. He is a noted psychiatrist and he comes in the name of reason.

PHASE FIVE: THE ANALYSIS!

Max walks to the front of stage right. He speaks to the audience. He’s in a tweedy suit, with a pipe. Speaks smoothly, self-confidently, and with a hint of unctuousness and condescension.

Max I find, ladies and gentlemen, that these kids are really fascinating people to meet and mingle with. I like freaks. No, let me change that. I dig freaks. They stimulate me on a very high level. Try to talk to them as I do. I think these young folk truly do want to build a better world for all in their own peculiarly charming, naive, idealistic way. I find contact with their fresh new minds bracing, invigorating. Get to the heart of the matter. A lot of these weird, offensive customs are simply put-ons, only exhibitionist ways of getting our attention — it’s not much, really. Don’t let it bother you. Underneath it all, they’re so scrawny… so young, so confused, and at the base of it, so weak. But we can understand this phase of growing up. We’ve seen it before. We were kids once, weren’t we? And though the hair may have gotten longer in the interim, underneath it all, boys and girls growing up have always been pretty much the same. And I’ve got a strong feeling inside that they’ll continue to be. Now there’s nothing here that we can’t manage. Let’s try to communicate. That’s the beginning. That’s where it all starts. Now I’ve never had any trouble in the least in that area. After all, we have ways of making people communicate.

[He goes over to BAAL, already sitting at a desk.]

MaxIt’s nothing, Baal. Nothing at all. All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little peace of mind.
BaalWhose mind?
MaxOnly yours Baal. Just a little piece.
BaalWhich piece?
MaxOnly the piece that threatens us.
BaalIs that all?
Max You see, Baal, I find that you’re quite unable to cope with human beings on a mature, realistic level. As an example, your relationship with young girls such as the one we saw a little bit earlier. Now you couldn’t get through to her on a personal basis, so you protected yourself behind sadistic games and rituals, systems whose rules envelop you like a womb. You built a barrier between you so you wouldn’t have to make real contact with the girl as a person equal to yourself. This is all very common. We can deal with this easily in treatment.
BaalI’m sure you could.
Max We first have to get you to redefine your distorted outlook. A girl is a young woman, Baal, and a woman is more than a piece of merchandise to be bought or sold, more than a stanza in a poem to be studied or collected, more than a prop for narcissistic ceremonies. What is a woman, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked that. A woman is a proud, passionate, boiling river about to burst its banks.
BaalWhat time do the banks open?
MaxLet me tell you something — we danced to Guy Lombardo after the last war and we’ll dance to Guy Lombardo after the next war.
This is what eternally separates man from the animals. You can’t withdraw from reality. Sooner or later, you have to succumb to it, sooner or later you have to negotiate with it, you have to work out some sort of peaceful settlement.
BaalFor hundreds of years they’ve been butchering up my reality chopping it up into sick bloody pieces. Amputating and amputating and amputating until there’s almost nothing left of it but the infection. Until you can barely hear yourself breathe above the noise of the infection! Reality’s in agony. Listen to it, Doctor! Open your ears! Reality’s in agony and it’s about time it stopped. It’s about time we put reality out of its misery. And there are only a few of us left with the grace to try euthanasia.

[Long pause. MAX chuckles a little.]

BaalShow me your numbers.
MaxI could buy you…
BaalShow me your numbers! SHOW ME YOUR NUMBERS!
MaxAll right!

"Suddenly he has a German-Jewish accent and seems much older." He rolls up his sleeve.

There! Look, a feast for the eyes. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. My precious souvenir. Four years at Auschwitz. So don’t tell me about your suffering or your mercy. There is more to that subject than the whinings of a self-indulgent adolescent! There is more to that subject than the endless droolings and abstractions of a spoiled onanist. There is more to both suffering and mercy than your flamboyant fantasies! There is more. There is also truth. 1-5-7-3-8-9-6. A feast for the eyes! 1-5-7-3-8-9-6!
BaalBingo!
MaxI despise you!
BaalI’m sorry
MaxI have only scorn for your pain.
BaalAnd my pleasure?
MaxA fraud, a pose. You won’t know pleasure till you really feel pain.
BaalIs that an offer?
MaxI’d like, just once, to see your pain close up, to really feel it. I would like to make you feel a fraction of the pain I was made to feel.
BaalDo you want to send all your children to camp?
MaxIt might do you some good.
BaalI have nothing to prove to you!
MaxYou have everything in the world to prove. Everything. I have made a life of civilization, intellectual rigor and perfect order out of starvation, barbarism, anarchy, and hatred. I’ve earned everything I have. This is my city. I am the city and I am proud of it. I’m not going to relinquish my humanity to the mindless hallucinations of some pseudo-savage in search of the perfect orgasm. I’ve come too far for that. And I could buy you…
BaalFUCK YOU! FUCK THE JEWS!
MaxI was in a concentration camp for four rancid years.
BaalYou seem very proud of that fact!
MaxI SURVIVED!
BaalWhy?!
MaxI survived.
BaalAll of you? Or maybe just a piece… maybe just the piece that threatens us.
MaxI have a right to control you. This is my right, this is my proof!

[Points to his numbers.]

All the proof I need, You be a victim for once in your life, and then you can talk to me about revolution!
BaalI am a victim.
MaxProve it!
BaalWe’re all victims.
MaxProve it!
BaalI have nothing to prove to you!
MaxShow me your scars!
BaalSome marks aren’t that visible.
MaxYou’re not even Black.
BaalGive us time!
MaxShow me your scars!
BaalSome marks aren’t that easy to find.
MaxFind them!
BaalI have nothing to prove to you!
MaxEven for you, even for you there are limits. My limits!
BaalTHERE ARE NO LIMITS!
MaxProve it! Show me your numbers! Show me your scars!

[BAAL breaks away from MAX.]

BaalALL RIGHT!

[Pause]

All right. You’ve shown us your numbers. Now it’s our turn. Tonight we’ll bring some scars to the surface where you can really see them. Tonight we’ll show you our numbers. Tonight is the time for release.
MaxRelease? Of what?
BaalOf everything that’s been held back. Of everything that’s been hiding underneath. Release of everything. Tonight we’ll show you our numbers. Tonight we’re entering the city, Max.
MaxNo.
BaalYes. All of us. We’ll pick up thousands, a full scale invasion. Tonight we’ll show you our numbers.

[The TRIBE has reappeared on stage during this, slowly taking up positions around the disc.]

MaxYou will be destroyed.
BaalWill we? Max, when was the last time you really listened to your city? It might do you some good. We’re going back, Max. And nothing can keep us from swelling.

Historian Presenting THE VOICES OF CIVILIZATION!

MAX goes to his chair in the center of the disc. The TRIBE lines up along the rim of the disc. Lights present them with large shadows as vague black outlines, giving them an awesome large stature. They begin to "declaim" personal ads from underground newspapers. These should begin cool, unemotional, gradually building in intensity, until the last few ads are read with feverish desperation. After each one finishes his ad, he repeats the telephone number over and over like a chant. Above all of this, at regular intervals, MAX holds up his wrist and yells out his Auschwitz numbers above everyone…I’m just giving examples of typical ads here to begin with. Much should be done with improvisation.

Tribe MemberYoung muscular male will pose in the nude. Post Office Box 1922, Costa Mesa, 01394…
Tribe Member Some like ‘em hot, I said hot, not pot; some like ‘em gay, for me that’s the way; some like ‘em young and very well hung; some like ‘em athletic, not short fat and pathetic. I am what I seek? You too? Then let’s meet. Bob Bennett, P.O. 254345…
Tribe MemberBlack guy, 32, seeks gay Caucasian male, 26…
Tribe MemberDetermined tall woman seeks friendship with nice gay girl. No men, please. Sherry…
Tribe MemberChildless executive seeks to adopt young man who can offer affection and security and an innocent hard body. 765-9326…
Tribe MemberHusband sucks and takes up the ass. Wife loves couples with big cocks and hairy pussies. Will suck them dry. Detailed letter, revealing photo only. Act fast…
Tribe MemberAmputee girls wanted. Swinging guy, 50, hemophiliac, civilized and daring, seeks attractive, limb-deficient girl to explore mutual interests…
Tribe MemberAnimal trainers wanted fast; swinging blonde in need of help. 666-5876
Tribe MemberElegant lady on the edge of death cries out for young blond Adonis to explore new pathways of pain. Should be under 18 and over 8 inches. Give me one more pleasure to die with!…
Tribe MemberAlberto, my Mexican friend from Fire Island, please contact me. Please. I am on the verge of falling off! WA 8-5548…
Tribe MemberHelp me! Near the end! Almost over! One more chance! Will take anything! Will touch anyone! Will do everything! Help me! Near the end! Almost over! Last chance! Help me!

Keeps repeating. The phone numbers are repeated now louder and louder by all. Suddenly the GIRL bursts forward and stands right behind MAX…She begins her long ad, slowly and intensely. It builds till she’s almost exploding with bitterness and fury. After this ad begins, MAX’s hands go under his pants and as the rhythmic pulse of the ad builds, we realize he is masturbating to it. He convulses grotesquely and with appropriate noises. He is, then, a complete ‘prisoner’ of the ad.

Girl This is addressed to all the people who answered or are thinking of answering the personal ad I placed in Volume 2, Number 15 of this newspaper, two weeks ago Friday.

First, my apologies to the huge bartender with the voice and the lighthearted dark-skinned advertising man. If either of you had called me back, I might not be writing this retraction of my ad (although I will soon be too busy to date much). But why didn’t you call back?!

But to the others — which include the two lesbians;
the under-25’s and over-40’s,
the numerous ones who called my number and hung up as soon as I said hello;
the 35 or 40 of you who made dates with me and never showed up
(including the one who complained that his penis was so large that he couldn’t get it into anybody)…

The wife-seekers, the already married;
the one who was so one-sided that he could think of nothing but sex, and then had the gall to ask me if his nationality was the reason I wouldn’t sleep with him;
the two who couldn’t raise their cocks when I was agreeable and the many who could (and did) when I was not; the pleasant young foreigner who turned out to be the private property of his gigantic girlfriend;
the ones who were so grotesque in their appearance that I couldn’t possibly get past their faces to even consider a relationship with them (especially sexual);
the jerk-off artists and the 69ers (the latter category which I had specifically stated I didn’t want) and the ones who wanted hand jobs;
the ones who wanted to be spanked;
the ones who could only boast about the size of their bankrolls and/or their penises, and this definitely includes the teacher who said, "All the girls want my cock";
the businessman who had an adjective for every letter of his last name ("R" is for Rich)…

The ones, and they were many, who said: "My name is so-and-so. When can we get together and fuck?";
the faggot who wanted me to support him;
the diminutive actor and the other short ones;
the racists, including the one at whose pad I left my white sweater (and I’d rather cut off my right thumb than go back for it);
the drunks, junkies, and acid-heads;
the multitude of liars;
and especially the nice ones who never called back!

To all of you I say: Just forget my phone number!! I don’t need all the hassles!!
I’ll be starting school next month and I just don’t want to be bothered!!
I’ll be leaving home next month and I just don’t feel like looking back.

Don’t hold your breath, any of you!!

Sincerely, the Overweight Brunette

MAX is sweating, drained in every way. He breathes heavily, looks around paranoid. He begins to clean himself up, recompose himself, get back his dignity as if nothing had happened.

MaxStop it. Stop looking at me! STOP IT! I can’t stand it. Stop! Baal — Baal, it’s nothing, Baal! Nothing at all. All we want, all any of us want, all I want is a little peace of mind.
BaalWhose mind?
MaxOnly yours, Baal. Just a little piece.
BaalWhich piece?
MaxOnly the piece that threatens us.
BaalIs that all? You disgust me.
MaxIs that all?
BaalYes, that’s all.
MaxDon’t look.
BaalI don’t have to.
MaxWhat are you going to do to us? What do you want in our city?
BaalMax, the greatest gift we could give you is fire!

Historian Baal and his followers sing a joyous HYMN TO FIRE, the one element of Nature that illuminates as it destroys.

Hymn to Fire

This number is a wild, tribal, African-oriented dance, centered around the themes of fire and storm. MAX is in the center of the maelstrom, attacked from all sides.

When Your City Is Burning

Baal When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?
When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?

The smell of kerosene is at your door
And your lungs can’t seem to take it anymore
Do you ever feel like asking yourself what for?
Got any doubts? Get out in the streets — check it out!
When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?

When the sky is hungry where you gonna run to?
When the sky is hungry where you gonna run to?

The smell of kerosene is at your door
And your lungs can’t seem to take it anymore
Do you ever feel like asking yourself what for?
Got any doubts? Get out in the streets — check it out!
When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?

Take a trip on a star ship, we’ve got demon wings to fly
Take a trip on a star ship, and you’ll never have to die
Take a trip on a star ship, give salvation one more try
Take a trip on a star ship, you go higher! You wanna go higher!
You’re gonna go higher! What do you see now?

When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?
When your city’s burning where you gonna run to?

At this point, the TRIBE kills MAX. They literally butcher him…When they kill MAX the realize that there is no turning back. They see the blood on their hands. They touch each other with it…kiss, smear it on their bodies. Each one says, ‘I’m sorry,’ very gently to another tribe member, who answers with ‘I forgive you.’ This continues and builds slowly: ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘I forgive you,’ ‘I’m sorry,’ ‘I forgive you,’ etc. until it is virtually being howled. Then we hear the beginning of a hymn in the background. The music gets louder and the TRIBE all sings the final chorale, ‘Pyro.’

[In the original production, MAX was yelled off the stage by the anger and hatred of the TRIBE. As they moved down the stage in a semi-circle, he cowered at the front of the stage, and then jumped off into the audience, disappearing into the back of the hall. As the TRIBE watched him go, the members formed one line on the front of the stage; then they broke into the ‘Chorale’ section of the song, below.]

Pyro

Baal and The Tribe Pyro, O Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again and make your holy heat ray come!

[In Steinman’s draft script, the line above reads, "holy cruelty.".]

Country bright, my country fair
Can I touch you everywhere?
Hold you close and squeeze you tight
Caress your guns all through the night!

Country black, my country blue
Will you hurt me if I hurt you?
Can I sleep inside your park
And will you still glow in the dark?

Pyro, O Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again and make your holy heat ray come!

Pyro, O Pyro, burning cities in the sun!
Make us feel alive again and make your holy heat ray come!

Give us some fire!
Give us some fire!
(repeat)

Give us some fire!
Give us some fire!
Take these dreams away and give us some fire!
(repeat)

Come in the Night (reprise)

Down on your knees, now — what do you see now?
Down on your knees, now — what do you see now?

How do you bury the skull of your country?
How do you bury a nation of fears?
Where do you put all the long years of dying?
Give me a tombstone and a wreath of all your tears

Come, in the night, come in the day
Anytime, and play our game
It’s all right, special flight
You’ll fly home into our game

See the light, shining bright
Shining down upon our game
In the night, come in the day
Play our game, come away!

Historian INTERMISSION!

Entr’acte; Solo by the band “Sundance”

Marty Brody - piano, organ, cello
Tad Lipsky - organ, guitar
Craig McNeer - drums,
Jeff Southworth - guitar
Chip Tucker - guitar, percussion
Rick Weinhaus - Fender bass

Historian Ladies and Gentlemen, I am now able to make an announcement that pleases me as much as I am sure it will please you. As of this moment, history has lost all its shock value. From now on in, it is nothing but endless, boring repetitions. There will be no more grisly surprises from the fun world of history. You’ve seen all our big production numbers, so, sing along as you go.

The ‘TRUCKING’ number is an absurd, freak-Busby Berkely sort of thing. All of a sudden the tribe comes out in splash psychedelic costumes, smiling, dancing and waving their hands like a bunch of happy marionettes. The HISTORIAN smears blackface on, and the song goes from torch song to rag time to gospel to big Broadway production boom-boom ending.

[HISTORIAN picks up a hat and cane, and begins his number like a song-and-dance man.]

Keep on Truckin’

Historian Once I was young, and now I am old
The years keep passing by
Once I was clean, and now I am soiled
My life has come and gone

I asked my savior: What should I do?
He put a crown of thorns on my head
He told me never to forget these words
And this is what he said:

[Slow and dreamily]

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

[Gradual increase in tempo from here on.]

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!
Keep on truckin’! Your heavy load
Keep on truckin’! That endless road
Keep on truckin’! Truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!
Keep on truckin’! Your heavy load
Keep on truckin’! That endless road
Keep on truckin’!Truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

[Fancy dance steps from the Historian here.]

Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…

[Intro soft shoe dance number, which suddenly erupts into heavy Black beat, Chorus Line appears.]

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!
keep on truckin’! Your heavy load
Keep on truckin’! That endless road
Keep on truckin’! Truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’!
Keep on truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!
keep on truckin’! Your heavy load
Keep on truckin’! That endless road
Keep on truckin’! Truckin’! On down the line, on down the line!

Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…

[Music pauses for HISTORIAN’s speech:]

Historian Ladies and gentlemen, let’s build a pleasure palace for every human being in existence, filled with a garden of perfect delights. Watermelon for the niggers, cesspools for the Polacks, grease for the Spics, garlic for the Wops, bar-room brawls for the Micks, fags for the Limeys, torture chambers for the Chinks, rice paddies for the Gooks, police dogs for the Honkies, rifles for the Gringos, cash registers for the Kikes, a minimum wage for the Hunkies, and a truck full of blues for every poor pitiable schmuck in every timid lonely audience in every ancient rotting theater on the acne-scarred face of the earth!
KEEP ON TRUCKING!

Historian and Tribe Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…
Keep on truckin’ your blues away…

Historian THE INVASION AND SLAUGHTER OF THE CITY!

Thousands of young men and women sweep through the boundaries of the city. They are met by huge massive lines of armed troops, the defenders of our civilization. Ideally for these terrifying scenes of violence and chaos we should be able to provide mammoth forces of police units and national guard platoons. Unfortunately these costumes are impossible to obtain. Therefore we’ve done the next best thing. Baal and his tribe will confront a fierce squadron of killer nuns. Why nuns, you ask? Well, don’t ask! I’m running this show and by my proclamation, the killer nuns, led by Emily, the Mother Superior, the greatest Mother of them All, are, at this moment, in this very theater, the feared and awesome Protectors of the Holy City.

EMILY strides out in a huge grotesque habit, which, when she spreads her arms and opens it lake a pair of bat’s wings, reveals an inner lining of garishly gilded silk, with a grossly colored ’mural’ of the Last Supper painted on it.

Emily In my family, we always respected the uniform. Any uniform. My husband became a cop, because he loved the law. I became a nun, because I love order. Sometimes we exchange uniforms and nobody seems to notice. In effect, my uniform makes me holy.

Historian Emily sings THE MOTHER RIVER SONG. A hymn to our urban womb.

Mother River Song

Emily And I’m the only one that’s free
For I’d rather have my children die for me!
I was born on a rack in a rotting shack
And the cities have nothing to scare me
All my victims are wild and I won’t be defiled
So the bodies pile up in the alley
I adore Novocain- I’ve dismissed all my pain
And my children are mine to devour
And I don’t give a damn for the rights of a man
And I can’t get enough of my power!

Take a look at your Mother River!
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current? Never!
If you should try to make it, you’ll bow to me
If you would hope to make it, you’ll kneel to me
Maybe I’ll forgive you if you just learn how to crawl
And you’re down upon your knees
To the greatest mother of them all!

Bless you!

Doors are locked and windows closed
Shut your eyes and wipe your nose
Say another prayer and go to sleep now!

Send your arms and legs to war
Have a party! Rent a whore!
Say a final prayer! Do you want to weep now?

Then stain your sheets with TV dreams
Hide your body, it’s obscene!
Wash your coffin, you’ll stay clean
Don’t cry now! Don’t cry now!

Money buys you all you need
Flowers die, so worship weeds
Say a prayer to me, and go to sleep now

Stop your running, running wild!
Surrender now, my helpless child
All roads come to me, would you like to weep now?

Then stain your sheets with TV dreams
Hide your body, it’s obscene!
Wash your coffin, you’ll stay clean
Don’t cry now! Don’t cry now!

And I’m the only one that’s free
For I’d rather have my children die for me!

For a ride on my knees, for a single reprieve
You can take what you want if you ask me
For I know what’s best and I know all the rest
And you just can’t survive here without me

I adore Novocain- I’ve dismissed all my pain
And my children are mine to devour
And I don’t give a damn for the rights of a man
And I can’t get enough of my power

Take a look at your Mother River
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current? Never!
If you should try to make it, you’ll kneel to me
If you would dare to make it, you’ll bow to me
Maybe I’ll forgive you if you’d just learn how to crawl
And you’re down upon your knees
To the greatest mother of them all

Good times!

Look at your mother
Look at your mother
Look at your Mother River!

Say another prayer to the skull of your country
Say another prayer to a nation of fears
Who gives a damn for your long years of dying?
So kiss the tombstone with a wreath of all your tears

Bring in all the orphans! Put their bodies up against the wall!
No time for crying, and there’s no time left to stall
No place to hide now, and there’s no peace left at all
We’re on the edge now and it won’t be me that falls!

Take a look at your Mother River
As it sweeps like a siren through my hair
Should you go swim against the current? Never!
If you should try to make it, you’ll bow to me
If you should dare to make it, you’ll kneel to me
Maybe I’ll forgive you if you just learn how to crawl
And you’re down upon your knees
To the greatest mother of them all

Bless you! And I’m the only one that’s free
For I’d rather have my country die for me!!

[MAX appears on stage. He is dressed as a nun.]

EmilySister! Get over here!
MaxI’m sorry I’m late, I was looking at the chaos down in the streets. It’s revolting!
EmilyYou have good fingers, like magnets. Rub me!

MAX puts his head and hands under her ’dress’ and rubs.

EmilyHow do you like it? Now what’s wrong?

Pulling out as if smelling something foul.

MaxYou have filthy habits.
Emily ("Kicks him away.") Enough! Get out of my sight!
MaxIt was only a joke.
EmilyA very bad one! This is certainly not the time or the place. What do they want? Why don’t they leave us alone?
MaxThey’re insane.
EmilyDrug fiends! There are no reasons for this, none at all!
MaxAny real revolutionary has a plan, a system, a definite purpose — and discipline.
EmilyThey have none of that. They’re just children.
MaxYes — but they’re our children.
Emily You bastard! I can see you’re weakening! I won’t stand for it. We’ll destroy all of them before this is over.
MaxYes, of course.
Emily Why don’t they say what they’re looking for?
MaxThey probably don’t even know themselves.

MAX starts moving right behind her and they both go about in a circle

Emily Fools!
MaxFools!

Suddenly turning around to face MAX who stops in his tracks.

Emily Stop following me!
Max ("Slaps her.") You bastard.
Emily That’s better.
MaxThank you.
Emily ("Smiling.") I could have you excommunicated or defrocked or crucified or converted or martyred or murdered or…
MaxAll of the above?
Emily Perhaps.
MaxI’d like that.
Emily Enough!
MaxOf course.
Emily I have never particularly liked the sound of fire. Look, it’s absurd. Sweating, ripping of their clothes… sweating, endlessly touching…
MaxCaressing themselves…
Emily Fondling…
MaxSweating…
Emily Screaming…
MaxSweating…
Emily Soaring…
MaxBurning…
Emily Screaming…
MaxSweating…
Emily Fondling…
MaxAll of the above!
Emily Shut up!
MaxI’m sorry.
Emily How are the citizens reacting?
MaxAs well as could be expected.
Emily I have great faith in them.
MaxOf course, a few thousand have joined the rebels.
Emily Peasants!
MaxPeasants!
Emily How do you join?
MaxYou run…
Emily …into the streets?
MaxYou rip off your clothes…
Emily Savages!
MaxFreaks!
Emily Sweating…
MaxFondling…
Emily Touching…
MaxCaressing…
Emily Soaring…
MaxBurning…
Emily Screaming…
MaxScreaming…
Emily Sweating…
MaxScreaming…
Emily Stop it!
MaxStop!
Emily Stop, it’s disgusting!
MaxI’m sorry. I wasn’t listening.
Emily I was talking to you, shit-face. They must be stopped.
MaxWe’re trying.
EmilyThe very survival of years of culture, civilization and order is at stake.
MaxTheir bodies are all over the streets. We’re doing all that’s possible, but it doesn’t do any good. They don’t seem to mind.
Emily They’re mad!
MaxYes, but who are they mad at?
Emily I don’t know — that’s your job. Get me some answers I can deal with.
MaxYes, Mother.

[Pause]

Emily Do they ever accuse me of anything?
MaxOh, well, I… I really wouldn’t know that.
Emily Do they even mention our name?
MaxWell, maybe…
Emily At all?
MaxI suppose so.
Emily What do they say?
MaxWell, just the usual, you know. Just the usual.
Emily Yes, of course. Just the usual. But at least they do use my name sometimes.
MaxSometimes very loudly.
Emily And sometimes softly?
MaxMaybe.
Emily Tell me, Max, tell me!
MaxMaybe.

(Cold.)

Rub my back, you have good fingers.
Emily Yes, I know, like magnets. If they knew that fact, they wouldn’t be so cruel.
MaxThey’re not really cruel.
EmilyI have never oppressed anything or anybody. I’ve only defended tender
things… things getting old, things that kick with their hind legs…Is your mouth fixed now?
MaxIt is fixed.
Emily Good. Say it. Make yourself holy.
MaxAgain?
Emily Say it!
Max Mmmmmmmmmmmoooooooootttttttttthhhhhhhhher!
Mmmmmmmmmmmoooooooootttttttttthhhhhhhhher!

[He collapses.]

They begin their strange prayer ritual as the bell tolls in the distance, gradually turning into drum/gun blasts. MAX begins saying the word ‘Mother’ three times. He says it in a hideously distorted voice, as if it is oozing out of the pit of his body, like ‘Mo-------ther!’ each syllable held out as if to eternity. The last time he says the word, his body, contorted into a weird shape, suddenly takes the form of a crucified man with a jerky quick gesture. He hold that position for a second, then collapses. Then EMILY does the same thing, but with the word "Fa---------ther!’ After she collapses and both are on the ground, they wait a second, then whisper together, ’Save us.’

Emily If only they knew that, perhaps they wouldn’t be so cruel. No, I’ve never oppressed anything or anybody. I’ve only defended tender things — things getting old, things which kick with their hind legs…Max, wake up!

[MAX gets up.]

EmilyThat was very good, Sister.
MaxThank you, Mother.
Emily Your habits are filthy.
MaxVery funny.
Emily I thought so. There is not one of us without perversion.

[A group of Nuns suddenly drag in BAAL. He is battered and bloody. They hold him in front of EMILY. She laughs.]

Emily (Seductively)What do you want? Just say it.
Emily (Coldly)SAY IT! What do you want!
BaalObliteration!
Emily With what?
BaalSanctification!
Emily For what?
BaalLiberation!
Emily To what?
BaalEnergy!
Emily How much?
BaalKneel down!
Emily For how long?

[BAAL does not reply.]

MaxHe won’t speak. He’s mocking us.
Emily No one mocks us. Out with it! (Pause) I find you very strange.
BaalFlesh on flesh, the bodies dripping blood…
Emily Young bodies!
Baal…dripping blood, float in the air and point to the…
Emily Sun!
BaalYeah…the sun.
Emily I’ll give you one more chance. Tell me the meaning of all these fires and all these screams. ANSWER ME!

[Pause]

Emily (German accent) Ve have vays of making people confess!

[Pause]

Well, it works sometimes.
MaxIt’s not your fault.
Emily Be quiet! Don’t you know where you are? I have never oppressed anybody. I have only defended tender things, very tender things. There is not one of us without perversion.
MaxThere’s no need to apologize.
Emily FUCK OFF!

[EMILY goes up to BAAL and kisses his eyes very tenderly.]

Emily Oh, a bit of blood comes out of his eyelids. Oh, this bit of blood is sweeter than butter.

Historian THE REVOLUTION IN WORDS AND MUSIC!
Baal and his followers assert their complete innocence and proclaim their rebirth.
They sing an anthem: THE SONG OF THE DREAM ENGINE

During this song, BAAL is strung up like a piece of meat and tortured by the NUNS in a parody of a bizarre religious ritual. The TRIBE walks out, nude, and sings the following anthem, standing around the disc…god-like

[In the stage production, TRIBE members were dressed and undressed in torn clothing, with much body paint, signifying both wounds and war paint. They were now transformed into ‘freaks’ and their appearance, zombie-like at first, then more animated as the scene progressed, was chilling.]

The Song of the Dream Engine (Hear the Screams)

Tribe and Soloists Hear the screams of the newborn dominions
Hear the screams of your proud outlaw sons
Hear the screams of the old kingdom dying
Hear the screams of the new kingdom come

God speed
God speed
God speed us home!!

Hear the screams of the street-fighting angels
Hear the scream of a land being torn
Hear the scream of the magic of chaos
Hear the screams of a dream being born

God speed
God speed
God speed us home!!

Don’t ask me questions
Don’t give me flowers
Don’t tell me love is the only way!
Don’t look for reasons
Don’t look for meaning- just get yourself out of the way!

Black panthers scream at the heat!
White panthers scream at the heat!
Flesh on flesh in the street

Kingdom come
Kingdom come
Kingdom come!!

Hear the screams of the newborn dominions
Hear the screams of your proud outlaw sons
Hear the screams of the old kingdom dying
Hear the screams of the new kingdom come

God speed
God speed
God speed us home!!

Hear the screams of the street-fighting angels
Hear the screams of a land being torn
Hear the screams of the magic of chaos
Hear the screams of a dream being born

God speed
God speed
God speed us home!!

Historian THE REVOLUTION IN WORDS AND MUSIC!
Baal’s Delirium and Call to the City, during the course of which he imagines himself transformed into what he thinks is a god, and what others think is a beast, and what is, in reality, a combination of the two.

[No music]

[BAAL is tied up, crucified, in the center of the stage. The NUNS and the TRIBE stand apart from him. As BAAL’s speech develops, the TRIBE spreads out in front of him on the disc, pantomiming his words in groups of twos and threes…mimicking the death of the buffalo, for example, in ritualistic expressionistic gestures. For his part, HISTORIAN remains at the side of the stage, standing in the audience, shouting his comments and amplifications from time to time.]

Baal They asked me where this earthquake would begin. I offered to let them feel my pulse. They asked me if I was insane. I pointed my finger at them. They turned away and played with their pencils.

Historian DREAM OF THE ANCIENT BEAST!

Baal Somewhere, not very far from here, in the glittering center of some sequined desert the last buffalo in America is dying. He’s dying of onesomeness. Quietly, slowly, painfully. The sky is leaving his face. His eyes are blinded by TV screens and radar antennae. His skin is burned by nuclear dust. His heart is clogged with detergent and cold cream. His lugs are sick with fumes of neon, and he’s choking on his own vomit. Quietly, slowly, painfully. But there’s no point in being quiet any more! The last buffalo in America is dying of onesomeness, and choking on his vomit. And when he starts to convulse and beg for help, iron robots disguised as cops will beat him to death on the eyes. And then they’ll go to their locker rooms, and then they’ll whisper sweet nothings to their billy clubs, and then they’ll take long showers together. And then there’ll be nobody around to stop it! The last beautiful buffalo in America is dying of onesomeness and choking on his own vomit in the glittering center of some sequined desert, choking on his own vomit, and nobody’s there to stop it! I’d like to make love to the rhythms of his gasps, I’d like to make love without stopping until he becomes extinct or I become extinct. Whichever comes first. It’s going to be a close race. And even now seems too late.

Historian Half the world is insane, the other half is scared, and who knows which came first or which will finish last.

[TRIBE members have reformed into groups on the stage, facing the audience. As a Chorus, now, they join individually, and then collectively, to speak with BAAL.]

Baal and Tribe There is not a blessed tree left in this land! No sacred rivers have been spared! This is a land named after rapists and racists! Cortez! DeSoto! Sherman! Boone! Franklin! This is a land named after its conquered! Dakota! Ojibwa! Iowa! Cherokee! This people has soaked occult power sources dry for every dime and not paid back one watt of power! This race has chased all message-bearing birds down canyon, out of the sky, and replaced them with bloodless planes!

Get it through your fucking heads! America was not discovered by Columbus! America is still a secret land, as yet undiscovered by anyone! The circus has gone crazy! The exhibits are turning against their cages! The Dream Engine is ready to attack! Your experiments are over!

Baal Your mutants are fighting back! Your test tubes are starting to bleed! And it’s about time the freaks really started acting like freaks!

Baal and Tribe And this, sir, is why your fathers are stuffed with chains; why your mothers are turning to liquid; why black children walk the streets with those jungle markings on their chests; why motorcycles reproduce in nocturnal alleys, groaning with greasy pleasure!

And this, sir, is why your ketchup is turning to blood; why your highways are turning into stockyards; why the national colors are black and blue and pure gangrene! Why your leaders are all either murdered or haunted; why the limp dick of J. Edgar Hoover is hung at half mast! Why the barbecue pits are stinking of napalm and burning your steaks!

And this, sir, is why a broken bargain with the Iroquois tribe is avenged by Vietcong warriors; why the smashing of the Inca temples is avenged by new African Armies, burning the ghettos and dancing with the flames!

And this, sir, is why your children are going insane. And this, sir, is because our insanity is the greatest gift we can give a world whose mental health makes us sick! Our insanity is the greatest insult we can give a world whose mental health can be measured in uniformed corpses and packaged decay!

And this, sir, is why the War of Liberation has finally come home! Where it belongs! WHERE WE CAN KEEP AN EYE ON IT!
I AM THE AMERICONG!
I AM THE AMERICONG!
I AM THE AMERICONG!

[The TRIBE remains on stage, but they are straining the bonds of theatrical convention. They seem to be gathering energy, waiting to explode into the auditorium.]

Historian Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the War goes on!

Everyone Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our veins are swelling with chemical blood.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our muscles are swelling with the music of revolt, played at the decibel level of pain.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our brains are swelling with electrified nerve endings.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but our mirrors are getting larger and larger.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seem to be far more gods here than there are temples.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but there seems to be no reason why I should feel all of this, since I’ve had no experience.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, but the War goes on and even the bullets are bored!
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen!
Tribe MemberJanuary 20th, 1969, Inauguration Day for Richard Shithouse Nixon!

[The TRIBE breaks its static formation as a Chorus, and swirls around the stage, forming smaller pantomime groups.]

Tribe The Nix is on!
WE’RE ALL NIGGERS NOW!!

Historian DREAM OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION REBORN, THE GOLDEN AGE OF DYING!

[The TRIBE pantomimes various execution rites, various ritual killings.]

Baal Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into sand and soft lace baskets. Once the bodies dripping blood would float in the air and point to the sun. Now they kill with foam and mist and spray and gas and poisoned spit from germ-free cans. Now they kill with antiseptics approved by Christ and the President. There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better…

[The sound of guillotine-gestures grow to a climax, the victims screaming at the final whoosh! of the blade. The HISTORIAN’s words are drowned out.]

Historian Once they killed with silver blades! Now they don’t! It’s all the same, no matter how you slice it!

[TRIBE members reform into new groups, develop new, quieter killing rituals, to accompany the chanting.]

Baal How do you bury a severed body? Do you bury the head with it?
Tribe MemberDo you place the head on the neck, in the hands, on the chest, between the legs??
Tribe MemberDo they put the right head with the right body?? DOES IT MATTER?
Tribe MemberDo they dig separate graves? Do they make a trench? Does it matter where they’re all buried?
Tribe MemberDOES ANYONE KNOW?? DOES IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE TO KNOW??
Baal HOW DO YOU BURY THE SKULL OF YOUR COUNTRY?

Tribe Member Once they killed with silver blades and shiny shadows on guillotined faces dripping sweet blood thickly into sand and soft lace baskets. Once the bodies dripping blood would float in the air and point to the sun. Now they don’t point to anything. Now they can’t even see the sun behind clouds of mace and gas and poison spit from germ-free cans. Once the blades were clear and sharp and shining silver. Once you could see your reflection on the tip of the blade. Now they use their dull wooden clubs. Now they shoot from a distance. Now you can’t even see your pig! There are no more silver songs or whistling blades. Once it was better!

[The rituals have stopped, the TRIBE begins moving towards the front of the stage. The energy is building for them to explode into the auditorium. Their voices build, first one by one, then they begin talking over each other, repeating and repeating until they are shouting themselves towards the audience.]

Girl There’s no reason why I should feel all of this, I’ve had no experience.
There’s no reason why I should feel all of this, I’ve had no experience.
(repeat)

Baal Will this Revolution ever get off this stage?
Will this Revolution ever get out of this theater?
Nothing can keep us from swelling!
(repeat)

Tribe Kingdom Come!
Mutate Now!
There Is No Reason Why!
(repeat)

[The TRIBE picks up the final chant, while BAAL and the GIRL punctuate their rising chant with their voices, their questions. The TRIBE breaks and pours into the auditorium, yelling and screaming. They freeze on the HISTORIAN’s announcement. Then they begin chanting again, building slowly, shouting to each other across the theater. BAAL remains in his posture of crucifixion, center stage.]

Historian STREET FIGHTING PRAYER!

[Long pause. Then BAAL begins.]

Street Fighting Prayer

Baal Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!

[The TRIBE joins in.]

Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights
Black, black voyager!
Off to a million tomorrows
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima’s children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

Tear open doorways to unknown altars!
Fill vacant theaters with miracle and wonder!
Stain the streets with the magic of chaos!
Give us back the twisted sons poisoned by mildewed fathers!
Find again the used-up whores, dying in forgotten corners!
Find sunlight!
Find barking dogs!
Find wolves to devour!
Find hunger to feed on!
Find pity!
Find hell for wax bitches!
Find love and an everlasting fix for nightmare junkies!
Find lost nights! Find lost time!
FIND FURY!
FIND RAGE!
Find the flesh of assassinated poets!
Find linen and light to clothe all the wretched!
Find chemical blood to fill all the vessels!
Find music and truth to pour in our underwear!
Find sons of fertility to melt all the ice fields!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights
Black, black voyager!
Off to a million tomorrows
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima’s children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

[The TRIBE in the Auditorium starts shouting at audience members, looking for all the children they are talking about. As they chant, they are backing up toward the stage, pulling back together again as a TRIBE. By the time the "Send them back" chant begins, the TRIBE members themselves are coming back to the center of the stage, crawling towards each other, gathered together, eventually around the feet of BAAL.]

Find Hiroshima’s children
Find America’s children
Find Chicago’s children
Find Harlem’s children
Find Cornell’s children
Find America’s children, etc. etc.

Send them back
Send them back
SEND THEM BACK, etc.

Baal Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Beautiful mutants!
Voluptuous acrobats!
Psychotic magicians!
Mescaline cowboys!
Anarchist bikeboys!
Alchemical freaks!

Voyager now!
Surveyor of ruins!
Off to a million midnights
Black and black!
Seek and find Hiroshima’s children!
Send them back!
Send them back!

WE NEED ALL THE MUTANTS WE CAN GET!

Tribe Kingdom Come
Mutate Now
There Is No Reason Why!
(repeat)

[The TRIBE is huddling now on the stage, partly defiant, partly protective. They shout and glare at the audience. When the HISTORIAN begins, they fall silent.]

Historian Who among you will run with the hunt? Run through the streets of your city, run through the pale forests that never die? Who among you will run with the hunt? Battered by clubs, rammed by tanks, sprayed by gas, slaughtered by pigs in the stockyards of your own backyard?

Who among you will run with the hunt? Shivering with ecstasy, breaking the limits, breathing the breathless, breathing the breathtaking, beaten cold with beauty…beaten cold with a very final beauty, beaten cold with a beauty that comes right before the end!

And this, and nothing less… THIS is how you bury the skull of your country!

HistorianTHE REVOLUTION IN MUSIC!

The Revolution in Music

[instrumental]

[In this climatic dance of the drama, the killer NUNS appear on stage, and begin slaughtering the TRIBE. But first, they must catch them, and screaming TRIBE members, half-clothed or totally unclothed, go running around the auditorium, being chased by the NUNS wielding billy clubs. Certain fights and slaughters are choreographed on stage, many are improvised. During the drum solo, a single girl is being chased by NUNS in center stage. She dances to her death, being thrown back and forth from one torment to another. The TRIBE fights back. The NUNS are slaughtered too. The auditorium is dimly lit, the music is terribly loud, the spectacle is grisly and gripping. TRIBE members are dragged from the auditorium, where they have been seeking refuge amid the audience, and brought onto stage, where their bodies are gradually piled on top of each other. The NUNS too are attacked. In the end, a pile of grey bodies, most naked — NUNS and TRIBE having lost their clothes — lie on the grey disc. BAAL appears. He, too, is naked. He crawls over the pile of corpses and finds the GIRL.]

Baal American Revolution, 1969.
The beast lives forever. The creatures are behind you! The universe is in a state of triumph.

I am meat.
I am muscled space.
I am electrified nerve ends!
I am colored light!
I am chemical blood!

I am the meat of the universe!
I am the muscles of space!
I am the colored light of a god!
I am the nerve end of a star.
I am the chemical blood of the future.

I am a nineteen year-old boy.
There are no lies on my body.
Drink from my skull.

The revolution will be fought with meat.
The revolution will be fought with muscled space.
The revolution will be fought with colored lights.
The revolution will be fought with electrified nerve ends.
The revolution will be fought with chemical blood!

With the muscles of space
With the meat of the universe
With the colored light of a god
With the nerve end of a star
With the chemical blood of the future!

The revolution will be real, because I am real.
I am real, swell to my size.
I am real, swell to my size.
I am real…
I am real…
(repeat)

[He repeats parts of his speech beneath the HISTORIAN.]

Historian There is more to a street-fight than we see in a photograph. There is more to a revolution than what is real.

Mescaline cowboys, indeed!

[The HISTORIAN packs up his books, tossing things around on his desk; he is preparing to abandon us to our own thoughts. He starts disappearing down the back of the auditorium.]

Historian There’ll be an orgy tonight in the White House. Mrs. Nixon will supply the guns and butter. God isn’t dead, he’s just gone flaccid. Oh, how I love the old jokes!

[Pause]

The fight is over. You can barely crawl between the bodies. Everyone is satisfied. Or, at least, satiated.

[BAAL is still holding the GIRL. The stage is getting darker, but a spotlight illuminates BAAL, standing center stage, front.]

Baal America. How can it be, America, that already you’re reduced to ashes, and you’ve never burned? America, you came with your outlaw son, your eyes full of lightening, your hair all undone, and your genes melting into the sun, America. Beautiful mutant. Beautiful outlaw, America!
You came with your outlaw son, and you bathed in a sheath of milk — and blood… young blood all over your streets, America! America, you came with your outlaw son, and you stayed till the night decayed away, you gave birth, to a hint of gun dust, tinged with hairspray.
American Revolution, 1969. Aren’t we beautiful? Aren’t we filthy? Aren’t we real? And isn’t our blood sweet?

Historian Ketchup or blood, ketchup or blood… what’s the difference? Metaphor is dead. It’s all theater, now. And in the theater, as well as in madness, it’s not how far out you go, or how much you see out there. It’s what you bring back.

Give them time.

Baal It’s almost morning. It’s almost light outside. We’ll be able to see the corpses more clearly. It’s almost light. And if it gets any lighter, we won’t see a thing!

Historian Ladies and gentlemen, while we still have time… if we still have time… please, let’s make our cemeteries safe for our children.

Goodnight.

[CURTAIN]