Friday, January 10, 2014

Fun Friday: The Taming of the Shrew, Gangster Version

This is another rewritten scene I wrote for my Shakespeare class, which they of course wanted to act out. For who, quoth she, can resist a good gangster tale?

The Taming of the Godfather's Grumpy Girl
(You'd be grumpy, too, if your father was a gangster!)

Act 5, Scene 2 (Inside Godfather Baptista's mansion.  Lucentio and Bianca's wedding feast.  They are seated with Don Baptista, Don Vincentio, Don Petruchio, Don Hortensio, Don Gremio, Katherine, and Widow Corleone.  Bodyguards Tranio, Biondello, and Grumio are hovering nearby.)

LUCENTIO:  (Lifting a glass in a toast.)  To my beautiful wife, Bianca, my new father Don Baptista, my old father Don Vincentio, my former rivals, and all youse guys, may all our hits be clean and our money laundering profitable!

PETRUCHIO:  (Grumbling)  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Where's the action?

BAPTISTA:  What are you complaining about, son Petruchio?

PETRUCHIO:  (Nervously)  Nothing, Don Baptista, I assure you.

HORTENSIO:  For both our sakes, I hope that's true.

PETRUCHIO:  What's the matter?  Are you scared of your widow?

WIDOW:  I'm a Corleone.  I fear nothing.

PETRUCHIO:  Yes, yes, but you misunderstand me.  I mean Hortensio is afraid of you.

WIDOW:  "He who is dizzy thinks the world is spinning."

PETRUCHIO:  (Laughing) A dizzying answer!

KATHERINE:  (To Widow)  What do you mean by that remark?

WIDOW:  You know exactly what I mean.  Your husband, married to a shrew, thinks all husbands suffer in the same way.

KATHERINE:  That's a very mean meaning.

WIDOW:  (Acting snooty) That's right.  I mean you.

KATHERINE:  Compared to you, I'm a bimbo.

PETRUCHIO:  Get her, Kate!

HORTENSIO:  Get her, Widow!

PETRUCHIO:  I'll bet one thousand my Kate gives your Widow a fat lip!

HORTENSIO:  I'll accept your wager!

BAPTISTA:  (Leaning toward Gremio) What do you think of these quick-witted men, Don Gremio?

GREMIO:  Quick-witted and hot-tempered and ready to bet or fight at all times.

BIANCA:  Of course they're ready to fight.  They're both married to hot-tempered women, after all.

VINCENTIO:  So what about you?  Now that you're a wife, will you become a fighter, too?

BIANCA:  Not me.  I keep my claws sheathed and let my words do my fighting.

PETRUCHIO:  Oh, ho!  Since you've brought up this subject, let's continue with some fighting words.

BIANCA:  You don't tell me what to do, Don Petruchio.  Come on, ladies, let's get outta here.  (Bianca, Katherine, and Widow exit.)

PETRUCHIO:  Well, Tranio, are you sorry now that you didn't win that prize?  (Lifts his glass again)  Here's a toast to all who bet on Bianca and lost!

TRANIO:  Don Petruchio, I was never in the running.  I was running the scam for my boss, Lucentio.  But what about you?  Do you have any regrets now that you've married the shrew?

BAPTISTA:  Yes, Don Petruchio.  I know my own daughter.  I can only think that you got a bum deal.

PETRUCHIO:  I can see why you would think that, Don Baptista, but I can prove you all wrong.  Let each of us send for his wife.  The one whose wife comes quickest when he sends for her wins the bet that we'll agree on.

HORTENSIO:  I'm in.  How much is the bet?

LUCENTIO:  I'll bet two thousand.

PETRUCHIO:  Two thousand?  I'd bet that much on a racehorse or a blackjack game.  I would bet twenty times that much on my wife.

LUCENTIO:  A hundred then.

HORTENSIO:  One hundred thousand?  All right.

PETRUCHIO:  It's a bet.  You all are witnesses.

HORTENSIO:  Who goes first?

LUCENTIO:  (Standing)  I will.  Go, Biondello, and ask Bianca to come to me.

BIONDELLO:  Yes, sir.  (exits)

BAPTISTA:  Son, I'll split the bet with you that Bianca comes.

LUCENTIO:  (Confidently)  Thank you, sir, but I don't need to do that.  I'll cover the bet myself.  (enter Biondello)  Well, where's Bianca?

BIONDELLO:  Sir, she says that she's busy and can't come.

PETRUCHIO:  She's busy and she can't come!  Is that an answer?

GREMIO:  At least it's a polite answer.  That's more than you'll get from your wife, Don Petruchio.

PETRUCHIO:  Don't be so sure about that.

HORTENSIO:  Biondello, go and request that my wife come to me right away.  (Biondello exits)

PETRUCHIO:  Oh, ho!  Request?  Then she must come.

HORTENSIO:  I'm afraid, Don Petruchio, that whatever you do, yours won't come to any request.
(Biondello enters)  Now, where's my wife?

BIONDELLO:  She says you've got to be kidding.  She won't come and says you must go to her.

PETRUCHIO:   (Laughing)  It gets worse and worse!  She will not come!  Come here, Grumio.

GRUMIO:  Yes, sir?

PETRUCHIO:  Go to Katherine and say I command her to come to me.  (Grumio exits)

HORTENSIO:  I know what she's going to say.


HORTENSIO:  She will not come.  And we'll be able to hear her answer from here.

PETRUCHIO:  (Shrugs)  If she doesn't, that's my bad luck.

(Enter Katherine)

BAPTISTA:  I can't believe my eyes!

KATHERINE:  (Kindly)  What do you want?  Why did you send for me?

PETRUCHIO:  Where are your sister and Hortensio's wife?

KATHERINE:  They're in the study, gossiping.

PETRUCHIO:  Bring them here.  If they refuse to come with you, chase them to their husbands here with a whip.  (Exit Katherine)

LUCENTIO:  I can't believe my eyes or my ears.

HORTENSIO:  Me, neither.

PETRUCHIO:  Believe it, and weep!

BAPTISTA:  Well, Don Petruchio, you have won the wager.  I'll add to their losses another twenty thousand, for you have tamed my daughter when I thought she could not be tamed.

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