On for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 3

(Note: This scene is to depict the passage of several weeks.  It takes place in different villages which are actually in the same place (stage right).  A few VILLAGERS tend to chores until LANZO AND LEA arrive; then a group gathers.  Then others arrive.  The term SHOWCASE is used to indicate where groups may perform.)

(Action between LEA and LANZO is mimed. Instrumental of Hey Li Lee plays in the background while they are walking.)


(Curtain opens with LANZO AND LEA entering stage left front.  LEA is bent, limping, and nagging at LANZO.)

(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA sits, watches others gather and dance, and drinks and eats daintily.)


(ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)


(LEA will snort in disgust and then watch the others.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)

Gunda has captured Ulrich’s heart,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
Fitting 21 cows on a cupid’s dart,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.
(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA is complaining; LANZO is teasing.)


(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA stoops less, discontinues mimed complaining, and looks resigned.)

(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA eats the muffins with some gusto.  When offered a bota, she pours wine into her cup and drinks. Occasionally she smiles and sings along.)


ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus)

VILLAGER: (LEA will laugh and then watch the others.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Rumor is Markus will soon be wed,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
To a wife light as lead,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.)

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA says nothing, bites her lip and looks resigned; LANZO keeps turning to look at her.)


(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA walks without difficulty and is pleased to see people.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA shoves muffins into her mouth.  Wipes the mouth of the bota several times, but finally drinks from it.  She smiles sings along.)


ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

VILLAGER: (LANZO will look startled and miss a strum or two.  LEA will  laughing heartedly.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Trommler Duchy’s only heir,   
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
Is out courting a maiden fair,
Hey li lee, li lee lo

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and go to stage left.  Lights dim except for spotlight on LANZO AND LEA walking. LEA teases, throws grass at LANZO.)


(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach.    LEA is excited and eager.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA shoves food into her mouth and laughs with villagers.  She drinks from the bota readily.  She sings with gusto.)


ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

VILLAGER: (LANZO will laugh  LEA will choke, look at the jeering villagers, and then join in the laughing.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
What’s Markus need with a wife new,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
When his sister’s tongue can cut in two,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.


(Lights come up on the village.  LANZO AND LEA approach. LEA is excited and eager.)
(VILLAGERS embrace LANZO, call for others to join them.  LEA is shouting and calling with the rest of them.  She shoves food into her mouth and drinks a stream of wine from the bota.  She acts as song leader with a few dance steps thrown in.)


ALL join in singing Hey Li Lee verses and chorus.)

LEA: (LANZO will look resigned.  Other VILLAGERS will laugh and jeer, then join in the chorus.)
Lanzo likes to laugh and tease,
Hey li lee, li lee lo,
But his hair is filled with fleas,
Hey li lee, li lee lo.

(VILLAGERS stop to gossip.  LANZO and LEA say their farewells and exit stage left. Lights dim.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 2

(Evening, four days later.  At a well on a village green.  LEA stumbles in stage left wearing a reed hat and rags on her feet. She is sunburnt and exhausted.  LANZO follows, whistling and strumming a tune.)

LANZO (Steps ahead to point out well)  Cool water.  Shade.  Just as I promised.  (LANZO scoops up water in a gourd and offers it to LEA.)

LEA: (Drinks thirstily. How much farther do we have to walk?

LANZO:  Today, not a step.

LEA: And how many more days.

LANZO: Leaventown is only two days away.

LEA:  Oh, good.  Only two days. (Sits on side of well.)

LANZO: If we were going to Leaventown.

LEA:  We’re not going to Leaventown?

LANZO: We are going to see what we can see.  We are going to travel from sunup to sundown and from snow to snow. 

LEA: So you plan on walking like this forever?

LANZO: Any way you wish.  (Hops a few steps.  Looks at LEA.  Shrugs.  Waltzes backward a few steps.)  Is that better?

LEA: (Angry.  Half rising)  You rogue!  You think it is funny that I am hot and tired and dirty…and hungry.  (Sits.)  And my feet hurt.

LANZO:  So you’re tired of walking on your feet.  (Takes a few steps on hs hands. Stands.)  Yes, much better.  Rests the feet.  Of course, for long differences, one can use hands and feet.  (Cartwheels.) 

LEA:  Stop.  Just stop.  Give me peace from your vexations.

LANZO: (Laughs) Oh, the lady wants a piece of my vexations.  Now where did I put them?  (Upends bucket.  Water streams into LEA’s lap.)

(LEA starts to stand and scream, but shakes her head and sits.  GRAMS enters stage left, walks slowly with her eyes on the ground. LANZO hurries to her and bows.)

LANZO:  Oh, have pity on a poor wandering mistrel who has traveled day and night for a glimpse of you, my pretty.

GRAMS: (Brightens with recognition) For a taste of my muffins, you mean, young man.  I caught onto you a long time ago.

LANZO:  No, now, I come for the sight of you…though traveling does make me terribly hungry.

GRAM:  It’s time you gave up gallivanting and…(Spies Lea.  Turns to squint.)  And what have we here?  You are dragging a young maid around in this dust and heat?

LEA: (To herself) At least she’s not as daft as he.

LANZO:  My bride.  You have refused me—and even a poor minstrel needs someone to darn his clothes.

LEA: So that was my competition.

LANZO: You should feel guilty for charming such a sweet young thing.

(LEA laughs.)

LANZO:  Honestly, all I did was promise her a taste of the bet muffins the kingdom..with a smidgeon of honey.

GRAMS:  The devil will punish you for such lies—but that girl looks in need of food.  I’ll find something.  (Walks off sprightly, humming Greensleeves.)

LEA:  I pray she returns with some food.

LANZO:  Of course she’ll return.  When Grams tells the others I’m here, we’ll have a party—right here.

LEA: A bring-your-own food party, I hope?

LANZO:  Even better.  A bring-your-own food, make-your-own music, dance-every-dance party.  Too bad you can’t dance.

LEA:  I can dance.

LANZO: No, you can sissy-foot. (Imitates ball room dancing) I don’t even know that you’ve seen real dancing.  (Gives vigorous kicks and spins.)

LEA: That’s more like jousting than dancing.

LANZO:  Oh, but it feels much better.  Maybe we can think of something you can sing.  I know!  There’s a song that they played at Ritter House…(Play Barbara Allen).

LEA: (Standing)  Stop!  Anything but that.

(LANZO switches to “Greensleeves.”  As he sings, GRAMS enters followed by a group of VILLAGERS.)

GRAMS:  See.  He is dragging a poor young maid with him.  Have you ever seen the like?

VILLAGER 1:  It is Lanzo.
VILLAGER 2:  Are you really married?
VILLAGER 3: I can think of better things to do with a new bride than traipse around. 
VILLAGER 1.  You’d think she’d know better.

LANZO:  (Stretches out arms) Friends.  I promised my bride a party.

VILLAGER 2:  Did you steal her?
VILLAGER 3:  He must have.
VILLAGER 1:  No father would let this worthless one near his daughter.

LANZO:  Worthless one?  But I am rich in friends and songs—and kings would trade thrones for Grams’ muffins if they but knew of them.

GRAM: Love hasn’t changed you.

VILLAGER 2.  Seems the honeymoon isn’t over.
VILLAGER 3.  Ah, she’ll find her tongue one day.

GRAM: Let’s see that poor dear gets some food.

(VILLAGERS open baskets and offer Lea food.  LANZO begans playing “Gypsy Rover.  ALL join in chorus. During final chorus LANZO stops to gulp food.)

VILLAGER 1: Now we have our own gypsy rover.
VILLAGER 2.  Lanzo, now we need something to dance to!

LANZO:  Coming up.  I’ve promised my bride she’ll see real dancing.  (Eats a few more bites.)

(LANZO begins a reel.  Villagers form a semicircle and individuals step to the center to dance solos.  ALL hoot or hiss. LEA slumps, then sleeps.)

(Song over.  Stage quiet.)


GRAMS:  I do think Lanzo’s bride is sleeping.  Isn’t she a sweet thing?  I’ll leave her these muffins for morning.

(VILLAGERS say their farewells, grip LANZO’s hand, take a final look at LEA.)

LANZO: Such a sweet thing!  Would that I always had a score of people to drown her out.  The sun’s too bright; the road’s too dusty; the bread’s too stale.  I doubt this one can sing or laugh—much less whistle.  (Strums “Greensleeves.”)

“I have been ready at your hand,
To grant whatever you would crave;
I have waged both life and land,
Your love and goodwill for to have.”

(LANZO continues chorus as the lights dim)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act II, Scene 1

(In front of Ritter House.  Late morning.  DIANA and ELISABETH enter through front door, stage back right.  Move forward while talking.)

DIANA: (Wails) I can’t believe any of this.  I just can’t.

ELISABETH: Well, at least I got you out of there.  You’ve got to calm down before someone hears you.

DIANA: That wasn’t a marriage, was it?  Lea can’t be bound to that man for life?

ELISABETH:  A bride, a groom, a priest-we call that a marriage.  (DIANA wails again.) Of course..well, there are ways out. 

DIANA: Can he refuse Lea’s dowry?  Can’t she take Blackberry Villa regardless of what he says?

ELISABETH: I’m not sure.  I’m sure Markus will be fair.

DIANA: But maybe he arranged all this.  Maybe he told that…that vagrant the answer just so he wouldn’t have to give up the villa.

ELISABETH:  Cousin Markus isn’t that bad.  Remember…he tried to get Lea to wed one of his friends.

DIANA: But he can’t let her just walk away from Ritter House without anything.  What is he…

   (Door opens.)

ELISABETH: Hush, someone’s coming.

(LEA enters wearing carrying two bags, one small and one large and heavy. DIANA and ELISABETH start toward her.)

DIANA: Lea, you can’t go.  How can you think of leaving us?  (Hugs LEA who drops heavy bag.)

ELISABETH:  Stay here, Lea.  Markus wouldn’t dare force you to leave with that man.

LEA: (Walks forward.) Stay?  And give everyone an opportunity to laugh in my face?  Markus?  Ulrich?  Karina? (Pause.) And Gunda.  I could not bear to see Gunda gloat.

ELISABETH: (Puts arm around LEA’s shoulders.  They continue to walk forward.)  You know the longer you are wed, the harder it will be to dissolve the wedding.  You can’t….

LEA: (Faces Elisabeth) Don’t talk like that.  If you are truly my friend, you will tell everyone how happy you are for me…that I’ve found a witty man…and am off…on an adventure.

DIANA:  No, you can’t…

ELISABETH:  You think that’s fair to your friends.  We will have idea were you are, if you’re well or ill…or even alive or dead.

LEA: Oh, I’ll survive.  The road has no terrors equal to the gloating of Karina or Gunda.  They have enjoyed this whole thing too much.  I will survive—even with that squalid, dirty little beast.

ELISABETH:  Lea, listen to yourself…

(Door opens.  ALL look back to it.  MARKUS and LANZO enter.  LANZO wears a backpack and carries a lute.  They stand apart from the girls. The girls talk among themselves.)

MARKUS:  Are you sure you cannot stay a while, Stefan.  The summer is young—you need not start your journey just now.

LANZO:  Lanzo.  (MARKUS looks confused.)
     Not Stefan, Lanzo. (MARKUS nods.)
    Oh, I’m anxious to see how dear Lea likes the gypsy life—and how my father takes the news of what I have done.

MARKUS:  I will come visit before All Saints’…and bring her home if I need to.

LANZO: (Chuckles)  I’ve no doubt you will need to—but  I guarantee Lea will be chastened and changed.

(MARKUS and LANZO embrace.  MARKUS then turns to LEA.)

MARKUS:  And a farewell hug from my sister.

LEA: (Grimaces).  Of course, dear brother. 

MARKUS: (Hugs LEA) I have asked Lanzo to stay the week with us so you could see your brother wed. 

LEA: Ah, I do regret not seeing you and dear, sweet Karina wed, but we are anxious to lose ourselves in the beauty of the countryside…and commune with nature under the glorious stars. 

(DIANA wails.  ELISABETH comforts her.)

MARKUS:  It is decided then.  I bid you both good journey.

LUCAS and LANZO shake hands.  LEA squeezes DIANA’s hand and then ELISABETH’s.  Then she walks stage left without looking back.  Gian hastens to pick us his lyre and follow her.)

LEA: (Turns before exiting)  My bag, you fool.  You didn’t bring my bag.

LANZO:  (Gives “who me” gesture) Methinks you are also the fool then.  You didn’t bring the bag either.

LEA:  I will not take one more step until you get my bag.

LANZO:  (Laughs.) Then statues it is.  (LANZO mimics Lea’s stance and freezes.)

(Lights dim.  Curtain.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act I, Scene 5

(Next morning in the empty ball room.  KARL OF GRUNWALD and KARL’S MOMMA enter stage right and, during dialog, move to stage center front.)

KARL’S MOMMA: (Looks around). This has to be the right room.  Why isn’t anyone else here?

KARL:  It’s early, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Well, good.  It would be amusing if no one else showed up.  The nerve of that girl—wanting a man with wit.  Whoever heard of such a thing?  Wit.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  You’ll just have to show wit today, Karl.  And speak out loudly and boldly.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Loudly and boldly.

KARL:  Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA: (Inhales deeply. Exhales slowly.)  That’s better.  Now remember the riddles we worked on this morning.  When does a cherry have no pit?  When does a ring have no end?  When does a babe make no crying?
Well, tell me.

KARL:  When it’s a blossom, when it’s rolling, and when it’s sleeping, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA:  Well, that’ll have to do.  It would be just like Lea to make up her own riddle though.  That girl is too smart for my taste.  Why does she have to be the one with the great dowry? 
Well, we can’t change that.  Remember—stand straight, speak loudly and have wit.

KARL: Yes, Momma.

KARL’S MOMMA: (Moving to stage rear) I’ll be watching and depending on you to do your best.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to get Blackbird Villa.
(Turn back to Karl while walking) Remember, loudly and boldly.

KARL: Yes, Momma. (Turns to audience. Patter song.)
Karl of Grunwald, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
     Her hand is just fine,
    In act, it fits well in mine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(BERTRAM OF ADLER enters stage left.  Mumbles as though practicing riddles.)

Momma told me to come do my best,
Although with wit I am really not blest,
    I know Lea’s a shrew,
    But what else can I do
To earn a villa with sheep and all the rest?

BERTRAM: (Patter song.)
Bertram of Adler, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine
    And the rest is divine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(ODO OF BRANDT enters stage right.  Mumbles as though practicing riddles.)

I’ve heard a wife is a terrible expense,
Wanting pounds and shillings rather than pence,
    But the dowry’s a size
    Makes even Lea a prize
Not to be ignored by a man of good sense.

ODO: (Patter song.)
Odo of Brandt, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine
    And the rest is divine,
But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.

(EXTRAS filter in.)

A woman should devote her hours to praying
When she’s done with the cooking, cleaning, and haying,
    Yet sheep, cattle and steeds
    Are all a man needs
To ignore all the drivel his wife’s saying.

(KARL, BERTRAM and ODO move to center stage.)

Think man, do you want this audience or not?
Do you seek Lea’s hand—or what?
    Her hand is just fine

KARL: In fact, it fits well in mine.

BERTRAM:  And the rest of her is divine,

ODO:  And the dowry is just fine.

ALL: But, Lord, what a mouth she has got.!

(MARKUS AND LEA enter center rear. MARKUS nods greetings to others as he leads LEA to a seat.)

MARKUS: (Turns to waiting men.)  I have invited you today because my beloved sister plans to wed.  As you know, she has a dowry befitting a lady of refinement…and grace.  Lea asks only that her suitor correctly answer this riddle.  (Hesitates while others wait.)  If you threw a blue shoe into the Red Sea, what would it become?

(ALL talk to themselves.)

ODO: (Steps forward to address Markus) Hmmph.  That is obvious.  It would become ruined.  And a terrible waste it would be.

KARL: (Steps forward and speaks loudly) It would become a boat.  (Quieter.) I mean, you could call it a boat..if it didn’t sink.  (Quieter.) I once had a boat that looked just like a wooden shoe.

BERTRAND: (Steps forward)  A blue shoe in the Red Sea might become purple?

(Loud laughter offstage.  ALL turn to stare as LANZO, dressed in ragged minstrel gear, runs in stage right.)

LANZO: (Triumphant)
Boat or shoe,
Purple or blue,
In the Red Sea set,
All becomes wet.
(Throw arms wide.)  Now where is this wench that prizes wit?

(ALL stare first at Lanzo, then at Markus. LEA looks ill.)

MARKUS:  (Stares, hesitates, then takes LEA by the hand and helps her rise.)  Sir, you have won the hand of my sister Lea, complete with her dowry—Blackberry Villa, 100 sheep…

LANZO: (Laughs and approaches Lea) A skinny wench like this will be enough of a bother without all that sheep and drivel.  (Takes her hand and hops wildly.)
I am no king, and I am no lord,And I am no soldier of arms, said me.
I’m none but a harper, a traveling harper
That am come hither to wed with ye.

(LANZO dances, pulling LEA after him, as  ALL gossip and the curtain falls.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show

Act  I, Scene 4 

(Before curtain. In a small garden. Sounds of departing guests offstage. DIANA and ELISABETH enter stage right.) 

DIANA: What a beautiful ball! So elegant.Wasn’t Peter cute? He said, “I’d walk you to the garden and nibble on your ear…if I could reach it.”  (Giggles.) If only he were a little older! 

ELISABETH: And Bertram of Adler had an eye for you. 

DIANA: Nonsense!  He didn’t say more than five words to me all evening. 

ELISABETH: Which is at least three more than he said to anyone else. 

DIANA: You think so?  He is cute—but too serious. I think he’s the only one at the ball who didn’t have a good time tonight. 

ELISABETH: (Short laugh.) You weren’t looking at Markus then. 

DIANA: (Giggling). He shouldn’t take Lea so seriously. Of course she’s going to insult Gunda and Karina. 

ELISABETH: And refuse to talk to Stefan? 

DIANA: Well, she’s in love with Ulrich. 

ELISABETH: And that explains her telling Odo of Brandt that he shouldn’t exhale his pipe smoke? 

DIANA: He’s so cheap he probably appreciated the advice. 

ELISABETH: And telling Karl of Grunwald that his mother should mend his oratory because his bombast was showing? 

DIANA: His what?

ELISABETH: His bombast. His long windedness. His pomposity. 

DIANA: (Laughing) I’m sorry.  I adore Lea. “His momma should mend his oratory… 

ELISABETH: (Laughing) because he bombast was showing.” 

(LEA enters from rear.) 

LEA: Oh, catch me before I float away. Tonight was so fantastic.  Didn’t Ulrich look handsome?  Doesn’t he dance divinely? He raved about my perfume. 

DIANA: You two were together a lot.  He didn’t dance twice with anyone but you and Gunda. 

LEA: Why did you have to mention that old cow when I was feeling so happy? 

ELISABETH: You know the jewels cast a spell on him. 

LEA: I wish Markus and Ulrich would settle on the dowry. Then I could quit worrying. 

(Offstage MARKUS calls for Lea and then enters garden from the rear.) 

MARKUS: Lea, I need to talk with you. 

LEA: You’ve talked with Ulrich? 

MARKUS: Diana, Elisabeth, if you don’t mind. 

(DIANA and ELISABETH exit stage right.) 

MARKUS: Stefan came a long way to meet you.  

LEA: He’s short and ugly; his beard looks like a bird’s nest; and he’s as dark as a peasant. 

MARKUS: And he’s witty and responsible and my friend.  You could have been polite. 

LEA: And let my friends down?  They expect me to have the taste and refinement to recognize a boar when I see one. 

MARKUS: Taste and refinement?  You?  Vanity and ignorance is more like it. 

LEA: So get rid of me. Talk with Ulrich. 

MARKUS: Ulrich just turned down the villa with 100 head of sheep, 20 matched horses, ad 20 head of cattle. There are princesses who marry with less. 

LEA: You lie! Ulrich loves me. He’d marry me if I had such a dowry. 

MARKUS: (Shaking head.) I don’t know whether to be angry with you or pity you.  How can you not see that deceiving fop for what he is? He cares for nothing except money. 

LEA: You don’t want me to marry Ulrich. You want me here, begging you for favors and simpering with gratitude.

MARKUS: You? Simpering? That’s a laugh.  I’ll make it 25 cows if I have to. 

LEA: Thirty? Think of having dear sweet Karina here with you night and day. 

MARKUS:  Thirty if I have to. 

(MARKUS leaves center back. LEA, happy, swirls toward stage right. ULRICH enters stage right.)

ULRICH: Lea, how delightful to see you here. (Reaches back to stage right where GUNDA enters.) Gunda, doesn’t our Lea look lovely. 

GUNDA: (Looking only at Ulrich) If you say so, dear. Do tell her of our bethrothal. 

LEA: Betrothal. You and….her?  

GUNDA: Yes, me. Ulrich, have you been a naughty boy, leading other maidens on?  

ULRICH: But I have cared only for you, my sweet. 

GUNDA: I know, dearest. You are so worth a villa with 100 head of sheep, 20 matched horses, and 20 head of cattle. 

ULRICH: Twenty-one head of cattle. 

GUNDA: Oh, yes, twenty-one head of cattle. 

LEA: A villa with 1oo head of sheep, 20 matched horses, and 21 head of cattle? 

GUNDA: Yes, a dowry fit for my handsome love. (Makes kissy, kissy motions.) 

LEA: Doesn’t it upset you to know you had to buy a husband? 

GUNDA: (Laughing) Oh, isn’t our Lea a bit peevish tonight?  (Takes Ulrich’s arm and moves toward stage right exit).  I’ve heard old maids get like that. 


LEA: One cow.  One cow. Ulrich threw me over for one cow!  So I’m the old maid now.  We’ll see.  I’ll marry before that bovine biddy. I’ll marry tomorrow. Markus!  Markus!  (Runs off stage left.)  

(Lights dim)


One for the Money, Two for the Show (Act I, Scene 3)

Scene 3

(At the ball. Musicians at stage right rear. Dancers in action. GUNDA, heavily jeweled, is left front. MARKUS and STEFAN talk left rear. LEA dances in with ULRICH. ) 

LEA: (Sees GUNDA. Stops dancing.) Why, Gunda, you’re looking lovely this evening. 

GUNDA: Of course. People expect it. 

LEA: Of course, dear.  Why you’ve been a beautiful maiden for decades, haven’t you? 

GUNDA: (To Ulrich.) If you can’t control your dog, you really should leave her at home. (Walks to stage left rear.) 

LEA: (Watches GUNDA. Turns to ULRICH.) Must be past her bedtime, poor old dear.

(LEA and ULRICH resume dancing. LEA stops stage center near KARINA.) 

LEA: Karina, so glad you are here tonight. 

KARINA: I’m sure. 

(MARKUS aproaches unnoticed.) 

LEA: I am so looking forward to your moving to Ritter House. 

KARINA. Really? 

LEA: We always have such a problem getting rid of the table scraps when you aren’t here. 

MARKUS: Lea, that’s enough. Excuse us, Ulrich, Karina. Lea and I must talk. 

(ULRICH and KARINA dance away.) 

MARKUS: I didn’t throw this ball so you could insult my guests. 

LEA: Well, what do you expect. I’m bored. You promised to introduce me to a tall, handsome duke-to-be. I certainly don’t see one. 

MARKUS: Hardly fitting when you’re so enthralled with Ulrich. 

LEA: Isn’t he handsome tonight? I know he wants to marry me, Markus. You must talk wth him tonight. 

MARKUS: So you don’t want to meet Stefan? 

LEA: It might be amusing. Let me see him. (MARKUS takes LEA’S arm and guides her.)  You can’t mean that small, brown creature? 

MARKUS: You behave. He’s seen us approaching. 

LEA: But he’s not handsome at all. 

MARKUS: Do this for me. (Reaches out to STEFAN.) Lea, allow me to introduce  my friend Stefan. 

LEA: No. No, I won’t allow it. (LEA walks off stage left.) 

(Lights dim.)

One for the Money, Two for the Show (Act I, Scene 2)

Scene 2 

(Sitting room. Dresses are strewn around.  LEA sits in dressing gown idly throwing dice and scooping them up.  DIANA and ELISABETH, in fine dresses, enter stage left.)

DIANA: I have never seen so many people! 

ELISABETH: Eligible male people, at that. 

DIANA: I can’t believe Markus planned all this. I was beginning to suspect he liked being in mourning. 

ELISABETH:  He would like seeing Lea engaged even better. 

DIANA:  Lea engaged?  (Turns to Lea.)  Lea, you’re not keeping secrets? 

LEA:  (Rises, stretches.)  As Elisabeth said, Markus wants to see me engaged.  And when have I ever given my brother what he wanted? 

DIANA:  (Starts to speak.  Stops.  Hesitates.  Starts again.) Why should Markus want you engaged. 

ELISABETH:  It’s Katrina’s idea. 

DIANA:  Why should Katrina want Lea engaged. 

LEA:  It might have something to do with me saying she belched like a sick hunting dog. 

(DIANA giggles. 

ELISABETH:  (Frowns.)  Lea, you didn’t? 

LEA:  But I did.  And I can’t wait to tell her that she is getting so slender that she reminds me of a starving walrus.

ELISABETH:  (Laughs in spite of herself).  Don’t.  She’s going to be lady of Ritter House.  .  

LEA:  Well, I’m sick of hearing Barbara Allen.  I don’t care if it’s her favorite song.  You think Markus would have some mercy  for the rest of us. 

ELISABETH:  Katrina is really very sweet and… 

LEA:  Do not start.  It’s always how sweet Katrina is. How lovely she is.  How considerate she is.  Well, if you look like a starving walrus and want to marry a rich man, you had better be sweet and considerate—even if you’re willing to settle for a stingy dullard like Markus. 

DIANA:  But Markus spent a fortune on this ball.  Such food!  I don’t know the names of half of it. 

LEA:  (Walks back to chair. Sits down.)  I (pause) am not going. 

ELISABETH: But you must go! 

DIANA: But everyone important is here! 

LEA:  (Plays with dice.)  I’m far too busy tonight. 

DIANA: But we can’t go without you! 

ELISABETH: (Serious.)  But we must…if only so Markus can’t blame us. 

(DIANA and ELISABETH exit stage left.  LEA rises and paces nervously, biting her lip and glancing toward the door. There’s a rap at the door and she sits hurriedly sits and picks up the dice.  MARKUS enters stage left.) 

MARKUS:  So it is true.  You have not dressed for the ball. 

LEA:  And I’m not going to.  Not unless you promise a decent dowry. 

MARKUS: I’m offering an immense dowry.  Ulrich is just playing for more.  It is time you considered marrying someone else. 

LEA:  (Stands) One of your friends.  (Waves toward ballroom.)  That perpetually smirking Gerold?  Or that antique—what is his name?—Randulf? 

MARKUS: Karl of Grunwald is… 

LEA: A prattling popinjay!  And it is always, “Momma this” and “Momma that.”  

MARKUS: (Tense).  Odo of Brandt is… 

LEA:  A spindly miser.  Dear brother, I don’t plan to go through life eating beans and cabbage every night. 

MARKUS:  And Bertram of Adler? 

LEA:  Is a solemn ass.  Have you ever seen him smile?  He disapproves of music, jewelry and laughter.  I suspect he disapproves of women entirely. 

MARKUS:  So no one is worthy of your great beauty and wit?  You—the most spoiled, the most inconsiderate—sling insults at the world.  Well, I’m sorry that Father spoiled you.  I’m sorry that he died.  But insulting everyone we know won’t make things better. 

LEA: I don’t insult them.  I describe them. 

MARKUS:  All but your precious Ulrich?  You must have the unreachable toy or none? 

LEA: He wouldn’t be unreachable if you’d offer a decent dowry. 

MARKUS:  And I suppose you have insults ready for Stefan? 

LEA:  Stefan? 

MARKUS:  The son of the Duke of Trommler. 

LEA:  And he’s here? 

MARKUS: He’s come all this way to meet you.  I guess I’ll tell him you are too busy. 

LEA:  Is he taller than Ulrich?  Does he dress as fine? 

MARKUS:  You’ll have to come to the ball to find out.  (Starts toward door stage left.  Turns back.)  I’ll have you announced after two more songs.  (Exits.) 

(LEA is thoughtful.  Hums.  Begans gathering her things. Lights dim.)


One for the Money, Two for the Show Act I, Scene 1

Zummara_MedievalAct I


Scene 1 

(In the gray, dimly lit anteroom before the Ritter House’s front door.  Spotlight follows as Karina enters stage right carrying a heavy carpetbag and walks to front center.) 

KARINA:  (Setting bag down) I am getting out and I am never coming back.  It’s bad enough that the musicians played “Barbara Allen” eight times this evening. Markus is overdoing  the life-is-fleeting bit.

He’ll find out how fleeting if I have to stay under the same roof as his she-witch of a sister one for nght.

Where is that carriage?  It should be here.. 

MARKUS: (Entering stage right).  Karina!  There you are.  Why did you leave dinner?  It’s time to announce our engagement. (Grabs and swirls with her.) 

KARINA:  (Stops abruptly and adjusts her skirts). I left, my dearest Markus, so you could not announce our engagement. 

MARKUS:  Karina, sweetie, I thought we’d agreed that we’d announce our engagement as soon as the mourning period for my father was over. 

KARINA:  (Shakes head.  Walks left to peer out door.  Turns back.)  That was a mistake. 

MARKUS: What is the matter? 

KARINA:  You don’t know? 

MARKUS: (Suddenly angry)  So it is Lea.  What did she say this time? 

KARINA:  More insults than I can remember.  I cannot stay here, Markus. 

MARKUS:  But you will be mistress of Ritter House, not Lea.  I’ll make her stay in her room.  I’ll forbid her to speak in your presence.  Just don’t let her ruin our future.

Besides, Lea will marry soon and plague some other household. 

KARINA:  Lea may never marry.  She’ll never meet anyone who is a match for her.  

MARKUS:  She will marry—soon. 

KARINA:  If I could only believe that. 

MARKUS:  I’ve made her dowry immense—Blackbird Villa, 100 sheep, 20 horses, and 20 head of cattle. 

KARINA:  You think a man would marry a witch for that? 

MARKUS:  Then I’ll make it more.  Trust me, Katrina, I will invite every eligible man to a ball soon and have this settled by Christmas.  I promise.  

KARINA:  By Christmas.  (Pause.)  And I need not spend a day in this house until she is gone? 

(Barbara Allen plays backstage.) 

MARKUS:  Not a day.  Come with me now.  (Takes her arm.)  The musicians are playig our song.  (Hums.) 

KARINA:  (Sigh.)  How nice.  

   (Pair exits stage right. )


One for the Money, Two for the Show

A Play in Three Acts

Adapted from a folk tale

by Judy Ferro

NOTE:  This play is designed for presentations to schools and performances by student groups can be included.  The songs referenced may be accessed on-line in a variety of formats. 

The manuscript will be available in both printed and electronic forms.  Reasonable terms for acquiring performance rights will be posted following the final scene. 


LEA    ………… Spoiled, bored maiden

LANZO/………. Vagabond minstrel

STEFAN……… Duke of Trommler 

MARKUS……… Lea’s brother, master of Ritter Hall 

ULRICH……….. Money-hungry young noble 

GUNDA……….. Wealthy widow who desires to marry Ulrich

KARINA………. Markus’s fiance

ELISABETH, DIANA….. Cousins and friends of Lea


KARL’S MOMMA…………Mother of Karl of Grunwald

GRAM….......…….. Elderly villager

MARY…….........……Head cook at Trommler Hall

TISH…........……….Scullery maid at Trommler Hall

VILLAGERS........Friendly folk at seven different sites

Teaching Reading (1)

Somewhere out there is an article titled “Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science.”  Well, the

Borrowed from www.dyslexiaa2z.com

Borrowed from www.dyslexiaa2z.com

fact that kids learn in so many different ways may make it even more complicated though, fortunately, most people catch on.   

               Few kids in my family learned though phonics; in fact, I never knew phonics until I had to teach it.  Yes, I could sound out b’s and d’s but the vowels and accents were a mystery—and dipthongs?  Often you have to know the country of a word’s origin to know which rule to use. 

               Motivation is a big factor.  Adults enjoy reading.  It’s mysterious and fun.  I remember reading a book with French words to my granddaughters and seeing the older one catch on that I didn’t know any of this stuff, that all these thoughts were on the page.  I could feel myself falling from a pedestal, but I had sensed her resolve to learn to read for herself and was glad.

               Her mother had been even younger when she started scowling whenever Sesame Street featured letters—she didn’t like not understanding.  I showed that her name had letters and helped her learn the “c”.  Before long she asked her Dad what y-o-b-y-a-l-p spelled. She had learned letters from Sesame Street, but hadn’t yet figured out we read left-to-right.

               Repetition is also important.  When my seventh grade class doubted my statement that most kids memorized books before they read, I started reciting “Green Eggs and Ham” and enjoyed the amazed faces as half the class chimed in.  Young children love repetition.  They are wired to learn that way—and that learning sticks with them.

               The hardest kids to teach are those who have not been exposed to story young.  I can teach a kid whose parents told him marvelous stories in Spanish to read easier than I can an English-speaking kid who has not been raised surrounded by story.  The wonder of story is a strong motivator. For kids raised without it, todays’ colorful books on the natural world can help.  Curiosity about the world is also a good motivator.

               Then there are the skills.  The brain is actually reforming and reprioritizing as we learn to decode and form mental pictures.  Kids can learn a fact on Tuesday and recite it on Friday, but reading is a skill—like bicycle riding or swimming—and requires time and patience. 

               Here are some of the letter games I played with my kids while we were in the car.

               One, make up words that end in the sounds “-at” or “-an” or “-ed.”  A kid who can’t say “cat, bat, fat, rat” will have a harder time learning letters. 

               Two, once kids know letters, they can call out combinations for mom to pronounce. (I think we made this game up).  A girl would say “b-d-t” or “r-c-g” and laugh wildly at the weird sounds mom would make.  One day one said “a-r-m” and there was awe and pride when mom said a real world.  She had spelled. 

               Three, once kids know the alphabet, they can work from “a” to “z” by spotting items that start with the sound or by spotting the written letters.  (You can choose to skip “q”, “x” and a few others.)  You can do this cooperatively by all working through the alphabet together and graduate to a more competitive version where each kid works through the alphabet and only the first to spot an item gets to count it.

               Play is a child’s work.