The following scenes are excerpted from the new musical, Coronavirus, originally scheduled to appear at The Lyceum Theater on Broadway starting March 22nd, 2020.
The musical will one day be directed by the composer and impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, the producer of such long-running hits as The Phantom Of The Opera and Cats, and, god willing, it will eventually star a wide-range of noteworthy actors, among them Lin-Manuel Miranda, Julie Andrews, and, in a surprising cameo expected to take critics by storm, Piers Morgan. We hope you enjoy the following excerpts from the play, which critics, during previews, deemed “absolutely infectious” and “unfiltered as the air in the theater.” Incidentally, the play has absolutely no connection to the hit production that appeared several years ago at The Belasco Theater: “SARS: An Acrobatic Respiratory Death Sentence.”
Excerpts from the scenes are below:
SCENE 1: Angry Iranian Husband looks disapprovingly at his wife. She stares out the widow looking dour, and, now and then, shivering intensely. Through the ajar window we notice the teeming streets of Tehran, bustling with activity, including a few corpses being wheeled onto a pile of them and set aflame.
IRANIAN HUSBAND: You’re quarantined.
IRANIAN WIFE: This is something new?
IRANIAN HUSBAND: I mean it. Don’t look at anyone, talk to anyone, and stay in the house.
IRANIAN WIFE: You always say that.
IRANIAN HUSBAND: Oh, and if you must go out, COVER UP!
IRANIAN WIFE: This is very dull. I behaved the same way before Coronavirus.
IRANIAN HUSBAND: Don’t test me. I mean it. Or I’ll throw you into an I.C.U. where you’re guaranteed to get infected!
IRANIAN WIFE: Certainly beats getting stoned to death.
SCENE 2: A windy day, the telephone poles shaking virulently. Scattered papers go whirling into the air in a frenzy. An eager young salesman tries to solicit onlookers, most of whom ignore him. He seems a bit ill, but, in spite of that, remains undeterred.
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: Excuse me, sir. Would you like to get infected today?
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: Infected by what?
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: COVID-19.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: Are you for real?
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN nods.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: Why the hell would you sell Coronavirus?
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: Well, since you asked, Greenpeace fired me. Then I did pharmaceutical sales for J&J. Loved it, but the hours were long, and there wasn’t much vacation time. I figured, if I’m going to sell out, might as well go all the way. So now I’m working for CDC. They told me spread the Coronavirus and we’ll take care of you.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: You’re a sick bastard.
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: Not as sick as you’re going to be after this conversation.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: I’m not buying COVID-19. That’s absurd!
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: Too late.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: What do you mean?
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: You’ve already been sold it.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: How?
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: I put it on your credit card.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN checks his wallet.
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN (handing him his card): Truth is I’m also a pick-pocket.
RANDOM PEDESTRIAN: DAMN YOU! I’M AN 89-YEAR-OLD WITH A HEART CONDITION!
CORONAVIRUS SALESMAN: My advice is make sure your local hospital has a decent ventilator. Otherwise, well, you’re screwed.
SCENE 3: A television blares with the latest COVID-19 Statistics. Shaking his head, a disgruntled man, quarantined in Wuhan with his wife (after visiting on business), gets up from the couch and paces back and forth. His wife tries to console him.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: We’re stuck here. Absolutely trapped. And—the worst part about it is—I can no longer eat pangolins!
HELPFUL WIFE: Maybe it’s for the best.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: What? It’s my favorite food. Every night I have three pangolins with barbecue sauce.
HELPFUL WIFE: I know you love them, but honestly, babe, they smell funny.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: I love that smell. Next you’re gonna tell me bats aren’t a delicacy?
HELPFUL WIFE: They’re not.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: Excuse me?
HELPFUL WIFE: You have a strange diet, sweetie. You gotta admit that.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: Now you’re stigmatizing me. So, occasionally I’ll grill leeches in blackened tar and finish it off with the blood of a yak. Big deal. Nobody’s perfect.
HELPFUL WIFE: You’re certainly not.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: Hey, do I complain when you leave your clothes on the floor?
HELPFUL WIFE: Like that compares to your refried monkey brains chilled on a bed of ice that you keep moaning as you consume ever so slowly. I’m leaving.
DISGRUNTLED MAN: Wait. I’ll change.
HELPFUL WIFE (gathering her personal items): It’s over. I found someone else. Enjoy your quarantine!
DISGRUNTLED MAN: No! NO! There’s nothing exotic to eat in the house. All that’s left is chicken. NOOOO!!!!!
PRODUCTION NOTE: There will be no curtain call. Instead, the cast and crew will be doused in a giant vat of Purell, as, from a remote location, The World Health Organization looks on and applauds.