The Libretto - act 1, scene 1


(A BLACK SCRIM OBSCURES THE STAGEWhile we take our seats, a looped infomercial extolling the scientific advances of TRANKULE CORPORATE LABORATORIES runs on multiple SCREENS positioned around the theater. When all are seated, the screens go darkA stocky, jovial, middle-aged man, research scientist DR. FISHIE LENGPIULLE, enters R.)

               DR. LENGPIULLE

History is nobody’s priority.

But we know, in the long ago past

Disgraceful crimes and wars held sway.

Disease and famine ruled the day,

Before the exterminating blast


The price of unity was steep.

But steeper are the pillars

Of this city born from ashes,

The pride and joy of a unified world!


    (An unseen CHORUS OF CITIZENS joins Lengpiulle)

Sivarsi Nine…

Sivarsi Nine…

Sivarsi Nine…!


(The scrim lifts to reveal the bustling, multi-level megacity of Sivarsi Nine. Fantastic, flying vehicles weave back and forth between futuristic skyscrapers jutting against the late afternoon sky. Robotic DROIDS patrol. Stylish people, from techs and workers to the ultra-rich, go about their business in a magnificent indoor/outdoor MALLWAY. The chatter of the city builds as TWO YOUNG BUSINESSMEN emerge from the crowd.)

                YOUNG BUSINESSMAN #1

Heard you finally got the upgrade!

Gotta say, it’s overdue.

Keeping up’s a way of life here,

You fall behind, you’re through.

Meandering the mallways

While the travel grid soars overhead.

Watch your step – long way down.

And even here, dead’s dead!



Sivarsi Nine!

Megacity of all Megacities!

Where technology and dreams are one!

Sivarsi Nine, megacity of mine,

Reaching ever higher, never done! 

(Excited STUDENTS cluster around DR. LENGPIULLE, asking questions ad lib.)

STUDENTS: Doctor Lengpiulle! Doctor Lengpiulle! / Is it true you’ve been invited to ANTON PROSPER’S mansion?  / What’s his laboratory like?  /  What’ve you been working on with him?

PUSHY STUDENT: Is it some new advance in life extension?

LENGPIULLE:(Over them) No, no! No more questions!

STUDENTS:(Insistent, ad lib) But Doctor Lengpiulle! / Come on!  / Tell us! / What’s Prosper really like? / What’s the inside word?

LENGPIULLE: Meeting some associates, you know… really must be going! (Retreats into the crowd. Disappointed, the students disperse.)

(Virtual reality newscasters BITTIE and IX, holograms whose changing colors reflect their synthetic emotions, appear projected on all screens.)

IX: (Obnoxiously cheerful) Good afternoon Sivarsi Nine! Bittie and Ix, here, your natty-chatty holographic newshounds!

BITTIE: (Cartoonishly girly) We hope you’ve been taking advantage of today’s stunning weather courtesy of the WORLD GOVERNMENT MAINFRAME’S meteorological control system.

IX: You said it, Bittie! What a day to stroll, dine, shop and people-watch in one of our trendiest super-automated mallways!

(Dr. Lengpiulle re-enters with his plump, attractive WIFE alongside black, lesbian scientist DR. GESHUKA TEED and a DOUR PSYCHOLOGIST. All are involved in a spirited conversation.)

BITTIE: Speaking of people-watching, Ix, check out the group of scientific heavyweights heading for PROSPER TOWERS

GESHUKA TEED: — even so, we’ve freed Society from most of its ills and ignorance. Utopia does seem within our grasp.

DOUR PSYCHOLOGIST: But are these improvements real or are we merely being used as… as cosmeticians, hiding a creeping rot beneath a glittering surface?

LENGPIULLE: (Contented) Colleagues! Sivarsi Seven was a sensuous spitfire of a city. Sivarsi Eight, a sophisticated vixen. Sivarsi Nine is a big, generous voluptuary! (Hugs his wife) With nano-technology advancing every day, Humanity will soon have no limits whatsoever.

IX: You heard it here, folks, right from Doctor Fishie Lengpiulle himself! Long time no see, you loveable old goat!

LENGPIULLE: “Old!?” (Implying vast sexual prowess) I’ll have you know, Bittie and Ix, my nanos are calibrated for peak performance!

               LENGPIULLE’S WIFE

Fishie, dear, he’s got a point!

You were there to see it all.

You lived through Sivarsi One,

A city that reached half as tall!

If it weren’t for nano-ops,

You’d have barely seen Sivarsi Four!

Life extension, no disease,

Who could ask for more?

DOUR PSYCHOLOGIST: And those who say over-reliance on nano-technology could lead us all to ruin… do you give them any credence?

LENGPIULLE and WIFE:(Exchange amused glance) No!


Sivarsi Nine! 

Megacity of all Megacities!

DOUR PSYCHOLOGIST: Run by the One World Government —


— Mainframe!

Since Sivarsi One

Reached up for the sun,

Nothing else has equaled her fame!

(Event Planner BUNCHH – petite, blue-skinned, flamboyant, intersexed – trots on L. Checking items off a digital tablet, they head for PROSPER TOWERS VIP ENTRANCE.)

BUNCHH: (Mutters with slight patois) …Sector Eighteen raw silk napkins, darkest teal with gold braid trim…

BITTIE: And look who we have here, Ix! The social organizer no High Society “Hoo-rah” can do without —

BITTIE & IX: — Bunchh!

(Passers-by stare and murmur. BUNCHH glances up, realizes they’re “on,” and flashes a high voltage smile.)

IX: Love the outfit, sweetie!

BUNCHH: Bittie! Ix! Just business casual, darlings! Nothing close to tonight’s fancy gear!

BITTIE: (Wheedling) For longtime client Anton Prosper’s exclusive dinner party? Hmmm?

(BUNCHH rolls eyes, feigns ignorance)

IX: Last minute errands?

BUNCHH: “Last minute?” Last quarter nano-second! No time to chitchat. (Notices group of scientists) Fishie! Doctor Teed! Are we all flying to PENUMBRA ISLAND on Anton’s shuttle jet?

LENGPIULLE: Rooftop happy hour first, Bunchh!

BUNCHH: But of course, you big-brainy dears! Drink up!

(BUNCHH exits through PROSPER TOWERS VIP ENTRANCE. The scientists start to follow.)

IX: Doctors, before you go… everyone knows you’ve collaborated with your host – and brilliant scientist, himself – Anton Prosper.

BITTIE: We’re just itching to know: What’s the top-secret project he’s been working on for six years?

IX: Any hints… the slightest clue?

               SCIENTISTS: (Smile conspiratorially)

Sivarsi Nine! 

Love her for the grand old dame she is,

Still teasing and flashing her wares.

Sivarsi Nine!


               DOUR PSYCHOLOGIST

Dear old faded concubine!



A bit frayed!

A bit jaded, but who cares!

You’re still a good time,

Megacity of mine!

Sivarsi Nine!

Sivarsi Nine!

Sivarsi Nine!

(The scientists exit through the VIP entrance as a futuristic LIMOUSINE noses into the mallway L. Celebrity socialite FRONDA TRANKULE, 19, emerges. The crowd goes wild as she vogues for the cameras.)

BITTIE:(Nearly orgasmic) People, can you believe it? It’s the media darling of the moment, Fronda Trankule, on her way to another nova-hot date at THE DOME!

(During this, athletic DARYEL MIRRIN, 20, wearing a Trankule corporate cap, enters R. Juggling a heavy box and a half-eaten hot dog, he maneuvers with polite urgency through the throng.)

IRRITATED MAN: (Intercepts DARYEL) Hey you with the hat! You’re a Trankule tech, right? (Touches his own ear) That new cell phone ear implant… tell your boss the “ping tone” spikes so bad it makes my teeth itch!

DARYEL: We’re working on it, sir.

IRRITATED MAN: Some upgrade!

DARYEL: No innovation’s ever a hundred percent glitch free. Excuse me, but — (Their hassle continues sotto.)

IX: (Fawning over FRONDA) In case you’ve been sleeping in a CRYO-POD the past nineteen years, lovely Fronda is the daughter of mega mogul TONO TRANKULE – and heiress to her daddy’s incalculable empire.

BITTIE: (Blatant commercial) “The Trankule Corporation, leading nano-technology to a limitless horizon!”

(DARYEL disengages from the irritated man. Placing his hot dog atop the box, he hurries blindly through the crowd, not realizing he’s headed straight for FRONDA.)

IX: While we have you, “Fronda-wonda-ful” – and since we’ve been batting his name about – any truth to your rumored connection with Anton Prosper?

FRONDA:(Coy) Well… you know what they say about society gossip, Ix. Only those who can’t get into it do it!

(Just inches from her, DARYEL stops short. The hot dog slides off the box and falls splat! at her feet. She glares at it, then at him. He stares back, smitten.)

IX: (Fake agony) Oh, pixilized profanity! The shoes!

BITTIE: (Faker agony) The dress! Fronda, darling, will you sue?

FRONDA: It’s nothing. (At DARYEL) Seriously… nothing!

(She exits, followed by the enamored tech. The crowd LAUGHS. A SANI-OP floats in to remove the ruined hot dog.)

IX: (Keeps the patter going) Well, looks like no one’s willing to dish about Anton Prosper, Bittie. So we’ll just have to do it ourselves.

BITTIE: But to do so, Ix, we’ll have to resurrect an obsolete title from the distant past. And that title is: “Prince.”

               YOUNG BUSINESSMAN #2

“Prince…? Prince!” Ridiculous word!

So fossilized! So antiquated!



“God,” “country,” “state” and “church…”

Like them, it’s best eliminated!


               WORLDLY WOMAN

Free to love all ways, no “nays,”

We live our lives, no muss no fuss.


               GAY COUPLE

Who’d want to recall the days

When they’d’ve said, “HELL NO!” to us?



Prince! Prince… Prince? (Mocking laughter)

IX: And yet no other fame name so befits the elusive, reclusive Anton Prosper the Fourth!

(The crowd watches as BITTIE and IX fade, replaced by blurry images of a darkly handsome young man.)

BITTIE: (V.O.) Sorry for the poor quality candid shots, but we didn’t say “elusive” for nothing! (Ominous) It was thirteen years ago today…

(All screens change to an image of ANTON’S father, ANTON PROSPER THE THIRD.)

IX: (V.O., with ghoulish delight) Who could forget that terrible night! The gruesome revelation that led to the death of teen Anton’s father, Prosper the Third!

(Security cam footage of TRANKULE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS BOARDROOM appears on all screens. At the foot of a conference table sits the ailing PROSPER SENIOR. His teenaged son, ANTON, stands stiffly nearby. CITY PLANNING COMMISSIONERS fill the rest of the seats. At the table’s head, L, stands TONO TRANKULE with geneticist MADAME KABALA and her teenaged son STEFFAN.)

BITTIE: (V.O.) During that fateful board meeting, as we all know, Prosper Senior’s arch rival, CEO Tono Trankule, accused him of murder!

(Onscreen TRANKULE points an accusing finger at PROSPER SENIOR. Board members react with shock and outrage. PROSPER SENIOR rises as if to throttle TRANKULE.)

IX: (V.O., milking it) Yes, murder! The permanent removal, Trankule said, of young Anton’s secret, egg donor mother! True? False? Why? We’ll never know. For, at that crucial moment the old man’s nanos failed him!

(Onscreen, PROSPER SENIOR doubles over, clutching his chest. He coughs up blood onto the conference table, collapses back into his chair and dies.)

BITTIE: (V.O.) To think, Ix, that horrible sight happened right in front of geneticist Madame Kabala and her gifted son, Steffan! Yet, strangely, young Anton showed no emotion.

(As others, onscreen, rush to PROSPER SENIOR’S aid, teenaged ANTON stands impassive. MADAME KABALA grabs STEFFAN’S arm. Just before she exits, the two boys’ eyes meet. They make a sudden, deep connection. MADAME KABALA rushes STEFFAN off L. The security cam footage ends.)

(BITTIE and IX reappear on all screens.)

BITTIE: Since his teens, “Prince” Prosper has managed his family’s vast holdings. Now twenty-eight, a self-made scientific genius, he dwells in seclusion on Penumbra Island.

MAN: (After a bit of silence) I’d bang him!

WOMAN: Who wouldn’t?


Mysterious!  Imperious!

Fabulous wealth!

Looks oh so hot, if oh so not

In the best of health!

Dark, elusive, so exclusive!

Worthy of our wooing.

Distinguished with a haughty air,

I wonder who he’s doing!

BITTIE: No sign of a romantic attachment yet, boys, girls and “others.” So keep those dreams alive!

IX: (Blatant commercial) If Prince Prosper falls for anyone, you can bet on one thing: they’ll be from Sivarsi Nine!

BITTIE: Remember, there’s Sivarsi Nine —

BOTH: — and then there’s everywhere else!


Sivarsi Nine!

Megacity of all Megacities!

Ev’ry door leads to luscious affairs!


Sivarsi Nine,

Megacity of mine!


A bit frayed!

A bit jaded, but who cares!

You’re still a good time,

Megacity of mine!


(Shuttle jet takes off from Prosper Towers)


Sivarsi Nine!

Sivarsi Nine!

Sivarsi Nine!