Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Phantom" Seeks to Undermine Alameda Civic Light Opera

Dear Mr. Grumbel:

I am writing to enlist the help of your readership, which I understand is vast, in apprehending the individual responsible for disrupting the operations of the Alameda Civic Light Opera in Alameda's Kofman Auditorium.

It all began about a year ago, when members of our company reported hearing what sounded like overwrought strains of 1980's synthesizer pop emanating from deep within the bowels of the theater. Later, a series of increasingly mysterious notes was found pinned up around the hall, full of runaway underlining, spurious "quotation marks," unexpected italics, Odd Capitalization, ALL CAPITALS, and even "combinations" THEREOF. These rambling missives threatened the A.C.L.O. with ruin if we did not "pay back what [we] owe," apparently in recompense for some tragic event that befell this individual many years ago. The formal tone of the notes only imperfectly masked the writer's vehement disdain for all of the A.C.L.O.'s efforts.

In our defense, I must point out that the A.C.L.O. has suffered a series of unexpected hardships that have affected our ability to fund quality performances. After viewing a hard-hitting investigative report of damage from flooding due to burst pipes in the Alameda Museum, the A.C.L.O. decided to inspect its basement as a precautionary measure. First we discovered a long hallway illuminated by a series of non-standard lighting fixtures. Then we nearly stepped in a pile of…evidence that a large animal of some kind was being quartered in one of the subterranean chambers. Finally, the plumber we hired was alarmed to discover huge quantities of water—almost like an underground river—in a previously unexplored sub-basement deep beneath Kofman Auditorium. The poor plumber was startled by a blast of synthesizer music followed by sinister laughter and a haunting voice crying out for repayment of some terrible debt. Just before he dropped his flashlight and fled the scene, he could have sworn he saw something not unlike a barge floating in the murky water.

The public can rest assured, however, that the A.C.L.O. will take precautions to prevent moisture and rogue animals from damaging performance facilities, and that the lighting fixtures will be brought up to code as soon as possible, despite the great expense. Furthermore, it is not true, as rumors have suggested, that the company is in danger of running out of sopranos. Only a few of our lead singers have, in fact, disappeared, and our talented understudies have always proved themselves more than equal to the task of stepping in on short notice.

We urge anyone with information about what some have called a "phantom" presence in the basement of Kofman Auditorium to contact the A.C.L.O. at 864-2256.

Sincerely Yours,
Len "Bossman" Paris, on behalf of the A.C.L.O. Board of Directors


Anonymous said...

I heard rumours that the "Phantom" was turned down for the role of Mr. Applegate in a high school production of "Damn Yankees," and vowed not to rest until he had destroyed musical theater forever... starting right here in Alameda!

Lauren Do said...

Beware falling chandleiers!