Monday, January 30, 2012

Ghost Girls; a Sketch

The following is a sketch of “Ghost Girls”, a Bollywood-style musical. The dance numbers and music should be elaborate, but that is beyond my skill and time, so I'm not writing all of that. There are only so many hours in a day and days in a life; and I am content to write this sketch.


Ghost Girls
Sketch of a Musical

The setting is a Chinese village, whose boys outnumber the girls by seven; that being the number who were aborted; for abortion was sex-selective in that village.

Our story starts on the village green, where the boys and girls line up for a dance. Seven of those girls are dressed in filmy white; the Ghost Girls, unseen by most of the characters most of the time. The seven Ghost Girls explain that they had never been born, and they sing "Wasn't I Good Enough?"

There's a big dance number. The boys and girls pair up, leaving seven boys unmatched. They sing "Lorn Boys".

Two of the Lorn Boys sing "Forbidden Love". They approach each other and embrace; meanwhile two of the Ghost Girls dance with each other. The villagers jeer and revile the two Lorn Boys, so they leave the village, for the city. The two Ghost Girls leave with them.

A Lorn Boy, dressed in monk's outfit, sweeps the stage, singing of meditation and self-denial. A Ghost Girl sweeps the stage alongside him. They sing a duet; "What Might Have Been".

A Lorn Boy, bottle in hand, staggers around and falls over; a Ghost Girl stokes his head and sings "I Wasn't There."

"But Not Me" is a duet. A Lorn Boy, gun in hand, swaggers around and raps about how he scares everybody. A Ghost Girl retorts, "But you wouldn't have scared me." The Lorn Boy rages around the stage, robs two Parents, and boasts that he has everything he wants, but the Ghost Girl sings, "But you don't have me." He brags that he'll go to the city now, where he'll have dozens of women, but the Ghost Girl sings, "But none will be me." They leave.

On stage we see the last unattached girl - the plainest one in the village - and three unattached boys; her suitors. They plead their cases; one is rich, the second is smart, the third is handsome. She, at first wary, says she likes them all; the suitors press their case; with rising self-confidence, she sings "At Last I'm In Control". She leads her suitors and the Ghost Girls in a triumphant procession around the stage; the Ghost Girls set her on a throne and give her a crown, while her suitors grovel at her feet.

Meanwhile the Plain Girl's Parents are in a double quandary. It was they whom the Hoodlum had robbed; and he took their plain daughter's dowry. How are they to marry her off now? They can't afford it; for marrying off a girl is expensive. They sing, "Like A Fire In The House." To make things worse, the wife is pregnant again, and with another girl. The Parents ask, how can we afford another child, let alone a girl? The Ghost Girls, seeing this, sing "That's Why We Aren't Here".

The Unborn Girl steps forth. She is dressed in filmy blue, and she never strays far from her mother. She sings "To Be Or Not To Be".

The Plain Girl sees her Parents' distress, and says she has a solution. She sings a song titled, "Market Forces". Its lyrics include "Supply and demand, production and price!"  So they call forth the six parents of the three suitors, and demand a Reverse Dowry; that is, that the girl's parents be paid, rather than pay. At first the Six Parents are outraged, but then they start outbidding each other, to the tune of "Market Forces".

"Market Forces" is interspersed with plot-advancing dialog. So we see Dad, Mom, Unborn Girl in tow, the Plain Girl, and the three suitor's Dads.

It starts with Plain Girl seeing her distraught parents; she says it's all right, she has a plan. "What plan?" says Dad, astonished by her sudden uppityness. She whispers into her Mom's ear, who in turn whispers it to Dad. He says, "outrageous!" Mom says, "Impossible!" PG says, "But they'll agree! It's just a matter of... Market Forces!" and then sings the chorus of "Market Forces", which includes

"Supply and demand, production and price;
so who pays who, and what’s the rate?
One plain prediction should suffice;
the market will equilibrate!"

The three Dads come in; they demand dowries; he starts playing them off against each other. The price starts to plummet; the three Dads bewail this predicament in verses of the song, and sing the chorus. At each reduction, Dad 1 says "Outrageous!" Dad 2 says "Impossible!" Dad 3 says "Agreed!" Dad 2 says "Agreed!" Dad 3 says "Agreed!" Finally Dad asks for a dowry of zero. "Outrageous!" "Impossible!" "Agreed!" "Agreed!" "Agreed!"  Then Dad starts bidding up the Reverse Dowry. "Am I bid fifty? Fifty? Yes, fifty to you! Am I bid sixty? Sixty! Am I bid seventy?" Another round of "Market Forces", and Dad closes the deal. "Sold!"

The rich boy's parents win the auction, and the other two boys vow to go to the city, or even overseas where perhaps they can find a wife. But their parents sing, "Trouble Coming".

The Unborn Girl steps forth and stands silently while the rest of the cast sings "To Be Or Not To Be".



Let some rich pro-lifer, or some wealthy feminist, with ties to Bollywood and China, make this show! Or not, I don't care; it has something in it to offend everyone! I am done now.

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