NARRATION: …Tonight we bring you Menken, Ashman & Rice’s rags-to-riches story Aladdin—only our version is set not in Agrabah but in exotic Wenham. It’s not the courtship of street urchin Aladdin and Princess Jasmine that spurs our tale, but that of a couple of young, unknown Scandinavians…
We come from a land full of books and robes
Where the magical scholars pace,
And the guests stay here
Only four or five years
And then vanish without a trace—
—but for nights like this
When the sages you miss
Set aside their professional rites,
And with much less hair
Come back to remember their
Carlbergian Nights – like Carlbergian Days,
So goofy, yet good,
Like Jan and like Jud—
Whose names start with J’s;
Carlber-gian delights – Carlber-gian romance:
Some shmoe and his bride
Combine to preside—
They both wear the pants.
NARRATION: It could hardly “Arabian Nights” with surnames like Carlberg and Jensen.
Now, our saga begins to heat up in 1976, when that “shmoe” arrives here in Wenhamabad as the young Academic Dean—anxious to prove he’s a diamond in the rough. But dark forces begin to conspire against him—strange entities like “Mobile Unit #3” and “the Players’ Shack” and “the Black & Blue Review”—and he must reckon with Jafarvin Wilson, the Grand Vizier of O.T., who may have sinister plans of his own.
One Step Ahead
JUDLADDIN: Gotta keep—
One jump ahead of the riffraff,
One step in front of the line,
Uh-oh, I gotta talk to Peter Stine. [Public speaking!]
One hop ahead of Marv Wilson,
As if I possibly could:
Our Father Abraham is pretty good. [Hine ma tov…]
CROWD: New kid! Light weight!
Can’t keep – stuff straight!
JUDLADDIN: Just some ADHD…
CROWD: Make a schedule with Ann Seavey!
JUD: I’m about to snap,
Can I take a nap?
Gonna make my hair go white. [Right!]
CROWD: Oh it’s sad that Jud’s so heavy laden;
It’s so sad we can’t think up a rhyme.
No, his wife is not an iron maiden—
JUD: I’m the new man;
Wife’s name’s Jan,
Tell you all about her when I got the time—
One hand in faculty welfare,
One foot compelling the board,
They buy only when they can afford. [And I’m begging them…]
One click left of Bob Jones,
One click right of BC— [One click?]
JUD: OK, better make it two or three.
CROWD: [spoken, fast] Hey, we need buildings!
CROWD: Tightwad! Pinchfist!
JUD: I can’t – buy it. [Why?]
Let’s not be too hasty…
JANSMINE: Still I think he’s rather pasty!
JUDLADDIN: That’s my wife Jan,
Helps me all she can,
Otherwise I’d get it wrong. [Awww…]
One prayer ahead of Houghton— [Houghton?]
One soul ahead of Calvin— [Calvin?]
One dance ahead of Wheaton— [Wheaton?]
One jump ahead of Marv Wilson—
Got the fatal flaw, no
Brick without straw, so
Why’d I ever take this job?
NARRATION: Well, Judladdin did seem kind of pasty… And, left to his own devices, his fortunes might never have improved—and some poor Carlbergians might still be living in Byington.
But there came a day when, trapped in the Cave of Wonders some call Frost Hall, our hero scrubbed an old coffeepot, and with a great burst of noise and hot air, out popped—a DONOR.
JUDLADDIN: A donor?
DONOR: That’s right! What would you wish of me?—the wisely invested, tanned and well-rested… Donor of the CAMPus!
Friend Like Me
DONOR: Well, Cinderella had her Fairy G,
And Harry Potter had his Dumbledore,
But for real power, summon me,
I got a hundred million charms or more.
Let’s put some bank behind your rank, my man,
And put some dollars to your policies,
Need a building?—poof! I’ll raise the roof,
All you gotta say is “pretty please”—
And stop tryin’ science in those
I’m your port of call and your wrecking ball,
You ain’t never had a friend like me. Ho ho ho—
I can’t stand MacDonald, no
I would never go in Emory!
Let me renovate – your resume,
You ain’t never had a friend like me. Yes sir—
I’m the wish you can keep on wishing,
And the infinite check you cash,
But like the gifts of pearls from boys to girls
I come with strings attached…
Like Grimm’s old Rumpelstiltskin
Or Faust’s Mephistopheles,
When I be your friend, you owe me, then
You gotta name your children after me!
Names like— [Waa-waa-waa!]
Can your friends lays bricks? […Tavilla Hall…]
Can your friends make tracks? […the Brigham Fields…]
Can your friends name pubs— […pubs…pubs…]
After their little CAAAAAT?
So don’t mess with the magic
That can make you a VIP,
It’s in my blood to keep you, Jud,
Have you ever had a friend like me?
You might never – want a – friend – like – me!
NARRATION: Well, now we know where Jud and Jan got their kids’ names.
But the Faustian deal proved to be good for Carlbergia: lavish new dorms and
arts centers sprang up on the sites of hovels. And it wasn’t long before Judladdin moved into the big Frost office with a private bathroom—and started wearing that Big-Cheese medallion around his neck. He was The PREZ.
Shout yay—for Prez Juddie
No way!—it’s Prez Juddie
Break out the kazoos and the big bagpipes,
Send texts, spread the news, tell your friends on Skype,
And savor the smell of success as he floats by…
When you see his car
Try to steal his car:
What’s it like to be this guy?
Prez Juddie! President, he! Juddie Carlbubwa:
Mount his bust – high upon Frost — permanently;
He’ll blow up every HUD dorm,
Drew Hall he’ll wicked transform
To something sturdy and warm — finally!
Prez Juddie! Excellency, Juddie Carlbubwa:
Taller than – any challenged – vert-i-cal-ly;
At every college affair,
Adjust available hair,
Then step up on a chair —
To meet Juddie!
He shares one name with our A. J. Gordon,
Which marked him for the presidency.
Like a stone you discover a sword in—
That name was a sign
He was destined for royalty!
JUDLADDIN: Prez Juddie! Fabulous, me! Juddie Carlbubwa:
I say “caw-eege” not “college”— so what?
I wear a super-sized shirt—
I’ve just had another growth spurt!
I sing like Ernie’s friend Bert — I’m Prez Juddie!
I’ve got 95 faculty monkeys [He’s got the monkeys, let’s see the monkeys]
But smart ones, I’ve got less than three. [Mark Stevick and — who?]
There are 90 Jud Carl-bub-wa junkies—
ALL: Or so we hear,
It’s still unclear
Who those remaining five might be…
Actually… change the key…
Prez Juddie, soon retiree, Juddie Carlbubwa
Made this campus a locale lovely to be;
And that, good people, is why
We’re loath to bid him goodbye:
Umpteen alumni, students galore,
Scads of deans, staffers and more,
His vast professors, his one successor
All honor his legacy!
Hooray—for Prez Juddie!
NARRATION: The Prez and the Prez-ess ruled many years, and accomplished much, and lived happily in the place they called home. And the time came to pass that they said one to another, “Let us go, while we are yet young-ish, to a whole new place—and conceive more children there, to name as we wish.”
And so our tale draws to its close. Exchanging words of hope and love, Jud and Jan now climb aboard their magic retirement, and turn their faces toward Somewhere we all hope won’t be too far, far away…
A Whole New World
I can show you the world
Shining, shimmering, splendid
Tell me, Janice, now when did
You last let yourself unwind?
Time goes slow and it flies,
Passing years make you wonder
What this spell is we’re under—
Can we take the time to find
A whole new world
A new fantastic point of view
One with a wild address
That tells us, “Yes,
It’s good to go on dreaming”
A whole new world
A dazzling place I kind of knew
Now after all these years
It’s crystal clear
That I can make a whole new world with you
Let me make a whole new world with you
Free for fishing and boating
Writing, reading, freeloading
On your children’s dwindling dime
A whole new world
—Don’t you dare close your eyes
A hundred thousand things to see
—Hold your breath, it gets better
I’m like a kid again
With all my crazy wishes come to be
—A whole new world
Every turn a surprise
—With new horizons to pursue
Goofing off to the letter
And though we’re bound for there
We want to share
How we’ve loved just being home with you
A whole new world
—A whole new world
That’s where we’ll be
—That’s where we’ll be
A thrilling change
So wondrous strange
For you and me.
Performed at a celebration marking Jud-and-Jan’s 35 years at the college, on May 25, 2011.