With an intro like that—sideways and hijinx—you’ve got us hooked
The barber, still leaning on his broom, asks in a baritone, Whatever do you mean by sidewaaays? The grocer sets the bushel of corn down firmly and cries in a falsetto, Hiii-jinx??
The townspeople freeze in tableau. After a full measure of tense silence, the orchestra goes into a vamp: strings trilling, joined by a low roll of tympani, then brass gently pulsing on two and four. Townspeople gradually unfreeze into a crouch, hands on knees, elbows out, bouncing on one and three. With widening eyes and sidelong glances at each other, they watch me step down-stage left.
The oboes start their jittery climb in eighth notes up the scale, like listening to the barber’s pole. Hands on hips, gazing out at the dim red exit lights, I wait for my cue.
The percussionist, watching the conductor intently, is poised with an enormous balloon in one hand and a pin in the other……