The Celebrity Classics Theater - Electra
Saturday, December 12, 1998
Listen


(GK: Garrison Keillor, SS: Sue Scott, TK: Tom Keith, TR: Tim Russell)

(TK & TR & GK TRUMPET FANFARE)

 

GK: The Celebrity Classics Theater presents -

TR: Electra ... by Sophocles ...

GK: Starring Monica Lewinsky as Electra, Bill Clinton as Orestes, Henry Kissinger as the Servant, Linda Tripp as Chrysot hemis, Mister Rogers as the Chorus, and Julia Child as Clytemnestra.

(DARK LOW CHORDS, OMINOUS PERCUSSION)

GK: Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, going off to the Trojan War, allows his daughter Iphigenia to be sacrificed to the gods (DISTANT SCREAM). In revenge, his wife Clytemnestra takes Aegisthus as her lover (JULIA: Are you hungry? care for some fried oysters?), and when Agamemnon returns from the War, they assassinate him. (THUMP OF KNIFE IN BACK, TK ARRGHHHH). Agamemnon and Clytemnestra's daughter Elektra, horrified, sends her infant brother Orestes away for safekeeping, and as the years pass, she waits for him to return and to revenge her father's death.

SS (MONICA): Boy. Like, where is he? I mean - hello! Like, revenge? Okay?

GK: And then one day Orestes returns, with his servant.

(FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR (CLINTON): Sure looks like Mycenae, all right. Hard to believe that my mom is shacked up with Aegisthus, who killed my dad with an axe, but I'm hopeful that we'll be able to work through these issues and reach some kind of agreement that assures that it won't happen again.

TR (KISSINGER): Orestes - this is a tragedy.

TR (CLINTON): Well, I agree, it's a deplorable situation. I don't like it at all. Nobody does.

TR (KISSINGER): Orestes, you have to kill Clytemnestra your mother and Aegisthus.

TR (CLINTON): You're sure about that?

TR (KISSINGER): We've done polling on it. Eight out of ten gods would approve.

TR (CLINTON): You're sure?

TR (KISSINGER): Yes, but we must be very secret. We'll tell them you are dead. That way, they won't suspect anything.

TR (CLINTON): Okay, I'll wait out here.

TR (KISSINGER): Leave everything to me.

(MOUTH TRUMPET BRIDGE)

SS: I mean, I've been waiting around for him for what - like twenty years - and I'm going, like, Orestes - like grow up -

TR (LINDA): This is so hard on you, this whole thing with your mother.

SS: I mean, my father - you know, he's, like, gone to the Trojan Wars or something, so my mother takes this lover, my father like comes home, you know? and she and Aegisthus kill him with an axe - I mean, what kind of home is that for children? Euuuuuuuuu.

TR (LINDA): I just want you to keep your options open, that's all.

SS: Options! I am, like, soooo furious! Orestes! let's go, already.

(TK TRUMPET FANFARE)

TK: Who goes without?

TR (KISSINGER) (OFF): Without what??

TK: What do you mean "without what"? Without. Who goes without??

TR (KISSINGER): What are you talking about?

TK: Who goes out there?? Without? Outside the walls.

TR (KISSINGER): Oh. Why didn't you say so?? It is I, a messenger bearing sad tidings indeed.

TK: Enter!! (MARCHING FEET APPROACH)

TR (KISSINGER): Elektra, I am a friend of Orestes and I bring bad news. He is dead, your brother. He will not return.

SS: Oh great! Twenty years I hang around waiting and - how can he do this to me???? What does he think I am? some kind of houseplant?

TR (KISSINGER): He died nobly in a chariot race.

SS: What a total idiot. I mean - twenty years I'm sitting here in the same house with my father's, like, killers and I do not, I mean, like have a life, all I think about is r-e-v-e-n-g-e and that butthead goes and dies in a chariot race - I mean ... reality check! Hello! Earth to Orestes -

TR (LINDA): Elektra, you really have to think about your options here.

SS: Options! I am, like, in hysterics.

TR (LINDA): I know that, but if you don't stop mourning for Agamemnon, you'll be banished. They'll send you away someplace.

SS: I don't care. It just makes me extremely upset.

TR (LINDA): I know that. I'm only thinking of you.

SS: I mean, my mother had my father killed with an axe - I can't take it anymore.

TR (LINDA): Shhhhh. Here comes Clytemnestra now. (FOOTSTEPS APPROACH)

TR (JULIA): Elektra - I wish you would do something about your hair. You're a mess. Your grief is frankly starting to bore me. Get over it. Lighten up.

SS: Well, excuse me for having feelings!

TR (JULIA): I did have your father cut up with an axe but it was because he sacrificed Iphigenia to the gods - it's a very complicated story.

SS: Oh sure! Right.

TR (JULIA): Your father Agamemnon stole me away from my first husband. Very nasty business. So don't obsess about one little detail.

SS: You are evil. You are like really, really bad.

TR (JULIA): Greek mythology is full of violence. People axing people left and right. Whack, whack, whack, whack. It's always been like that. Grow up.

SS: You are like utterly despicable.

TR (KISSINGER): Clytemnestra, I am here to tell you that your son, Orestes, has died. I'm sorry.

SS: Sorry? Her? Ha!

TR (JULIA): That's wonderful news. He's been a stone in my shoe for years. At last, I'll be able to get a night's sleep.

SS: You are so disgusting.

TR (JULIA): Good night. If Aegisthus comes, send him up. See you in the morning!

SS: I can't believe this.

TR (LINDA): This is so hard for you, isn't it.

SS: I give up. I absolutely give up.

(MOUTH TRUMPETS)

TR (CLINTON): Hello - I thought I'd come by and see how you're doing here and if there's any way I can help out -

SS: I am like totally grossed out.

TR (CLINTON): I feel your pain, Electra. I am your brother Orestes.

SS: This is, like, incredible. I mean - wow. Fantastic.

TR (CLINTON): Today, Electra, we're going to take the first steps toward beginning a process of reconciliation with Clytemnestra and Aegisthis to bring them into compliance with the law and back into the community of the House of Atreus.

SS: Reconciliation, my foot.

TR (KISSINGER): What he means by that is, we're going to kill the both of them. Immediately.

TR (CLINTON): I feel confident that the threat of massive retaliation will bring Clytemnestra and Aegisthus back to the bargaining table.

SS: This is so weird - I mean, he's like "Let's try to work this out," and I'm going like "No way" and he's like "What's the problem?" and I'm like, "Duh, you really want me to tell you?"

TR (CLINTON): Well, let me ask the chorus what they think.

SS: Who? this guy?

TR (MR ROGERS): Yes. I'm the chorus. Do you know what a Greek chorus does? Do you? The Greek chorus comments on the action of the play. Yes, it does. And when the action bogs down, as it has right now, the chorus helps things along a little. Yes, we do. Clytemnestra?

TR (JULIA, OFF): Yes, dear?

TR (MR ROGERS): It's time to carve the turkey, Clytemnestra.

TR (JULIA): Oh, is it done?? Goody. I love turkey. - But that's not the right knife for carving a (THUMP, TR JULIA CRIES OUT) - Oh dear - all my juices are running out - (SHE FALLS)

TR (MR ROGERS): I think that the neighborhood of Atreus is a nicer place without her in it. Yes, I do.

SS: Cool. At last, somebody is paying attention. How about Aegisthus?

TR (CLINTON): I'll go talk to him right now. (AGONIZED DEATH CRY, OFF) Sounds like he's having a meeting.

SS: You know what I'm thinking - I mean - I'm going like, This is so great for me. I mean, I'm sorry but they did it to themselves and I could not personally be happier.

TR (LINDA): This is so wonderful for you, Electra.

SS: I mean, I am not a vindictive person. Am I?

TR (LINDA): No, not at all.

SS: I mean, like some people might see this as cruel and vindictive.

TR (LINDA): I don't think you're vindictive. I hope you're not.

SS: What is that supposed to mean?

TR (LINDA): I'm only thinking of you -

SS: Why do I keep hearing these clicks?

TR (LINDA): That's me, chewing my gum.

SS: Something is clicking.

TR (LINDA): I snap my gum when I chew it.

(MOUTH TRUMPETS)

GK: The Celebrity Classics Theater has presented the five-minute version of ...

TR: Electra. By Sophocles.

GK: With Sue Scott as Monica as Electraand Tim Russell as most of the other people.

(TRUMPET FANFARE)

(c) 1998 by Garrison Keillor

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