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about

Stuck Elevator is a music-theatre hybrid prompted by the experience of a Chinese food delivery man who was trapped in a Bronx elevator for 81 hours. The work is scored for five voices, violin, cello, percussion, piano, and soundtrack. These live performance recordings are for demo purposes only.

www.stuckelevator.com

credits

released November 3, 2013

Music by Byron Au Yong
Libretto by Aaron Jafferis
Directed by Chay Yew

Contact:
Thomas O. Kriegsmann
ArKtype
+1 (917) 386-5468
tommy (at) arktype.org

Stuck Elevator logo © Wing Fong
Photos © Kevin Berne

tags

license

all rights reserved

about

Byron Au Yong San Francisco, California

Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world.

contact / help

Contact Byron Au Yong

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Track Name: Orange Beef
(needs to be updated)

MÍNG
OH.

GUANG
Míng?

MÍNG
OH.

GUANG
Míng?

MÍNG
ORANGE.

GUANG
OH!

MÍNG
ORANGES STRAIGHT FROM THE TREE.
NEVER GET SICK OF THE SOUR OR THE SWEET OF

GUANG
Míng?

MÍNG
ORANGE.

GUANG
Míng.

(GUANG’s dance gets sexy. BOSS’ WIFE enters the Happy Dragon kitchen.)

MÍNG, BOSS’ WIFE & GUANG
ORANGE

BOSS’ WIFE
BEEF.

BOSS’ WIFE
MOO.

GUANG & MÍNG
MOO?

GUANG & MÍNG
OH.

(MARCO enters. GUANG gives him the phone, trying to escape BOSS’ WIFE, who searches for ingredients, cleaver in hand.)

MARCO
Oye, Orange Beef.
Tu órden está allí. (Translation) Listen, Orange Beef. Your order’s here.

GUANG & MÍNG
ORANGE.

BOSS’ WIFE
We’re short a delivery man.

GUANG
Wait! Espera! Can’t you see? My hands are sort of...

MARCO & BOSS’ WIFE
ORANGE?

GUANG
full.

MARCO
But the Boss’ Wife is short a / bull!

BOSS’ WIFE
(Raising the cleaver) Bull!

GUANG
Shh, Míng está aquí with / me. (Translation) Ming’s here with me.

MARCO
Míng’s ten thousand miles away,
orange beefing someone else,
making

BOSS’ WIFE & MARCO
moo

MÍNG, GUANG & BOSS’ WIFE
ORANGE

BOSS’ WIFE
BEEF.

MÍNG
MOO?

MARCO
another / Wáng Yuè!

GUANG
Wáng Yuè is enough for us! You’re jealous, and a liar / too.

(BOSS’ WIFE plunges the cleaver into a wood block. Other restaurant sounds seep in and grow. MARCO assists BOSS’ WIFE, passing her ingredients.)

BOSS’ WIFE
Too tasty. Our customers desire / you!

GUANG
You’ll see, Wáng Yuè’ll go to Yale, buy this place, / and fire you.

MARCO
And fire you, ‘cause I speak English mejor que / tú. (Translation) better than you.

(GUANG tries to keep dancing with MÍNG. BOSS’ WIFE cooks.)

GUANG
Today I’ll bring the beef home,
sugar, stuff the dough in my shoe,
win enough at the casino, flower,
in an hour or two

BOSS’ WIFE
BEEF,
SUGAR, DOUGH,
FLOUR,

MARCO & MÍNG
ORANGE.

(SNAKEHEAD enters, so GUANG must do a quick u-turn.)

GUANG
to pay the / fat

MARCO & BOSS’ WIFE
FAT!

GUANG
snakehead I owe.

MARCO
/ Who?

SNAKEHEAD
Me. I’m a snakehead. Make my bank account grow!
I need a

SNAKEHEAD, MÍNG & GUANG
BIG CASH DELIVERY –

GUANG
FROM MY FAMILY

SNAKEHEAD, MÍNG & GUANG
ONE HUNDRED TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS

GUANG
THAT BROUGHT MY NEPHEW AND ME
ACROSS THE SEA.

SNAKEHEAD
Yes! Fatten all of these cattle up
with money, then send those
greenbacks to me and my honey!

MÍNG
Mmmm...
money’s delicious.
Mmmmy honey’s
delicious.

(GUANG’s dance becomes cow-like. BOSS’ WIFE is searching for the final ingredient. GUANG tries to escape her.)

MARCO
Guey: (Translation) Dude:
this snakehead, this smuggler, this piece of shit
who sent you and your nephew here in a container ship –
you and your family owe this ugly, empty, lousy thug
a hundred twenty thousand bucks?
Tú estás fucked! (Translation) You are fucked!

GUANG
We’ve paid ‘im forty thousand,

MARCO
But you owe ‘im eighty yet?!

SNAKEHEAD, BOSS’ WIFE, MARCO & MÍNG
You better get back to work so you can pay that debt!

GUANG
Míng!

(BOSS’ WIFE catches GUANG. Sounds crescendo.)

BOSS’ WIFE
Batter ‘n flour you,
shake, spatter ‘n shower you
with fat, fry you up,
take you out, shh, now relax
under the heat lamp,
while we feed you extra sauce
to keep your orange feet damp.
Fat American dudes
love fake Chinese food,
so there’s a line outside the door for

SNAKEHEAD, GUANG, MARCO & MÍNG
ORANGE.
ORANGE.
ORANGE.
ORANGE.

(BOSS’ WIFE cooks GUANG.)

GUANG
YES! MÍNG, I’M YOUR

MÍNG
OH!

SNAKEHEAD, GUANG, MÍNG, MARCO & BOSS’ WIFE
ORANGE

SNAKEHEAD, GUANG, MARCO & BOSS’ WIFE
BEEF!

MÍNG
OH!

GUANG
MOO.
Track Name: How to Get Out
(needs to be updated)

ZHŌNG YÌ
Guang!

GUANG
Huh?

ZHŌNG YÌ
You’ve been in here way too long, so
“How To Get Out Of An Elevator” is the name of this song.

GUANG
So how do I get out?

ZHŌNG YÌ
First—

GUANG
Wait. Who are you?

ZHŌNG YÌ
I’m General Tso.

GUANG
So?

ZHŌNG YÌ
No, not just Tso. I’m a General too.

GUANG
People’s Army?

ZHŌNG YÌ
Homeland Security. And I have a special jam I wanna do. It’s called “How To Get Out Of An American Jam When The Blueberry Is You.”
We’ll report you, then detain you, take you to court, and then arraign you,
and if you can’t afford a lawyer, it’s much shorter, we just deport you – hey!

GUANG
I can’t just disappear.
There’s too much
riding on my life.
Who will help my son and wife
pay the loans that I still owe,
and owe,
and owe?

ZHŌNG YÌ
Wow, your life sucks. I was just kidding, though.
General Tso is just an alias. In Hong Kong, they think
folks like me and you are aliens just like they do here,
but my new identity means homeland security
for me: even though I was a foreign-born man,
now I can be secure in my new homeland. Hey!

GUANG
Zhōng Yì? It’s / you?

ZHŌNG YÌ
Used to be. I got rich in Hong Kong.
Life can be a bitch but that’s not the name of this song.

GUANG
How could you disappear
on your son?
In his dying breath,
he gave me all that he had left,
GUANG (cont’d)
so I breathed in his life,
his dream,
his debt.

ZHŌNG YÌ
Yes, and who’s fault was that? Not mine.
If you had left him back in Fuzhou, he would’ve been fine.
You try to save people, that’s when you hurt them.

GUANG
(Considering) But it’s selfish to desert them.

ZHŌNG YÌ
Guang. You’ll be helpless as long as you send each cent to someone else.
It’s not selfish to want to make something of yourself.
I have a new family now. Three kids. Two cars.
Life is beautiful once we decide to make it ours.
America means freedom. Think you’re trapped by debt? Wrong.
Forget

GUANG
Ming and Wang Yue?

ZHŌNG YÌ
Yes. What’s taken you so long?
Liberate yourself from your family! This is where you belong!
And “How To Get Out Of Obligation” is the name of this song!

ZHŌNG YÌ & GUANG
“How To Get Out Of Obligation” is the name of this song!

GUANG
If I could let / them go,

ZHŌNG YÌ
Let them go.

GUANG
who knows who I / could be,

ZHŌNG YÌ
Let them go.

GUANG
what I’d do - if I were / free.

ZHŌNG YÌ
Let them go.

GUANG
How can I...

ZHŌNG YÌ
Let them...

GUANG
Go.