Csardasfürstin Libretto
English Translation

OVERTURE
ACT I
Scene 1

The Orpheum Cabaret Theatre in Budapest. The main stage forms the auditorium of the Orpheum. This is not a theatre auditorium in the normal sense, but is an open space furnished with removable chairs and tables at which the audience sits and drinks during the performance. Somewhere in the set (probably upstage centre) is the stage of the Orpheum. Two other exits, one to the Winter Garden, the other to the street entrance of the Orpheum. If convenient, a fourth exit to service area, used by Orpheum staff only.
Over last four bars of overture, scene of great enthusiasm, everyone turned towards the small stage, applauding vigorously. Several cries of “Bravo!” and “Encore!”

FERI:
  Now wait a minute everybody, wait a minute! She’s given us seven encores already, and in all the years I’ve been haunting the Orpheum, nobody’s ever been asked for more than five. But if we want an eighth ...
CHORUS:
  We do! Why not a twenty-eighth? etc.

FERI:
  If we want an eighth encore, Boni and I will just slip backstage, and ask her very nicely.

BONI:
 The Girls don’t say “no” to Feri, and they don’t say “no” to me. “No”to both of us? Impossible!
 
 
 
 
(TERI and BONI disappear behind the curtain. The others resume their seats. General hum of expectant conversation. “D’you think she will?” “Let’s have some more champagne”. “Old Feri’ll fix it” etc. Orchestra plays one flourish. Re-enter FERI and BONI.)

FERI:
  The Lady says ...

BONI:
 “Yes!”
ALL:
   Hurrah! Capital! That’s the stuff etc.
 
 
(Audience noise dies. Enter SYL VA. Applause, this time polite and restrained, intense anticipation)
 
No.1 LA LA! THAT’S THE WAY I AM

SYLVA:
  Heia, heia,
In the lonely mountains is my home,
0 heia, o heia
There in childhood days I loved to roam.
There encircled by snow and ice
Pure and bright blooms the Edelweiss.
Heia, o heia,
There is my heart’s paradise.
When a Magyar maiden comes to offer you her
heart,
Pay good heed to what I have to say before you
start,
If you simply seek amusement
Seek it elsewhere while you may.
Those who love in Magyar fashion
Give themselves in headlong passion.
She will never let you get away.
0 la la,that’s the way I am.
0 la la proud and free.
Kiss me, oh kiss me
For he whose kisses promise bliss
Is just the lover for me.
SYLVA, BONI, FERI &
CHORUS:
O la la, that’s the way I am.
O la la,proud and free.
Kiss me, oh kiss me
For he whose kisses promise bliss
Is just the lover for me.
(SYLVA dances while everyone claps their hands.)
La la la la la la la la.
La la la la la la.
La la la la la la la.
La la la la la la la.
La la la la la la.
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!
(Prolonged and wild applause.)

BONI:
Sssh! Quiet! Sylva’s going to make a speech!

SYLVA:
  Not a speech, just a word of thanks. Nobody ever had a more wonderful public, and you don’t make it easy for me to say good-bye. Please don’t forget me, and the moment I get back from America, I’ll come straight here to you.
(Brief applause, cries of “That’s the girl!” etc.)
Again, all my thanks, and au revoir!
(Exit SYLVA. Further applause. The public gradually leaves the Orpheum, waiters clear chairs etc., only FERI, BONI, MERO, SZERENYI remain.)
Scene 2

FERI:
  Well, what did I tell you this afternoon at the races? There are two ladies in Budapest who never let you down - Shooting Star in the King’s Cup, and Sylva Varescu at the Orpheum!
 

BONI:
 Oh, come on! Shooting Star’s a broken-down old cart-horse, she’s an absolute non-starter beside Sylva. If you’re looking for a thoroughbred champion, that’s the one to put your money on! (Pointing in the direction of SYLVA’s exit.)
Tell me, are we friends? (Takes FERI’s hand.)
 

FERI:
  We are Boni, we are. (To the others) After all, we have him to thank for Sylva. Her discoverer, her promoter.
 

BONI:
 And on an entirely selfless basis…….(The others
chuckle.) ... if you don’t mind! And now Miksa
(Turning to the head waiter.), let’s see that buffet
supper appear, hey presto! Just like we had when
the Gaiety Girls came over from London.
 
Scene3
(MIKSA bows, exit. VON ENDREY, VIHAR, 2 GENTLEMEN enter.)
ENDREY:
  You fellows still hanging around?

FERI:
  Yes, a capital idea of Boni’s - farewell supper for Sylva.
WHAR:
When’s she actually leaving?

BONI:
 3.45 a.m. express train to Trieste, then hop abroad the “Adria” and chug chug chug to New York.

FERI:
  The chap I feel sorry for is young Edwin. He’s dotty about Sylva.
 

BONI:
 Oh, nobody ever died of love - or I’d be a wandering corpse.

FERI:
  Where is Edwin, by the way? Wasn’t he at the show tonight?
MERO:
I never saw him.

BONI:
 Which reminds me - all evening I’ve been nursing a telegram for him. (Takes it out of his pocket.) Oh crikey! From Vienna. What’s the betting it’s another clap of thunder from his Herr Papa about returning to the bosom of the family?

FERI:
  Yes, I’ve no doubt word will have been breathed in Vienna by now about Edwin’s affair with Sylva.
 

BONI:
 Affair? You watch your language old man! Affairs aren’t Sylva’s line of country - with her it’s marriage or hands off. And it just isn’t on the cards for Edwin to marry Sylva.

FERI:
  Aristocrats have been known to marry showgirls.
 

BONI:
 But you don’t know Edwin’s family. The Lippert-Weylersheims are second cousins of the Emperor, and you can’t be related to that old buzzard and not pay the price. I mean their noses point straight up to heaven, and they wear white gloves to go to bed in.
 

FERI:
  Well, they can wear galoshes for all I care. But I can tell you one thing - if I’d got a son, and with a little help from the good Lord I’m not aware that I have, the last thing I would do would be to keep him away from showgirls. In fact for his 18th birthday I’d bring him to this very place, to meet the Ladies of the Orpheum.

BONI:
 Don’t worry, he’d have found his own way long before that. This place is vital for any young chap’s education. (Giving FERI his hand.) Tell me, are we friends? You and I, Feri, we’d die without this place!

FERI:
  Boni, sometimes - just sometimes - you talk sense.
 
 
 
(During this conversation two other gentlemen have wandered in.)
 
No. 2 THE LADIES UP ON STAGE
 

FERI:
  We’re a bunch of sinners,
To reemerge as winners
We’d have to spend our nights asleep in bed.
CHORUSOF
EIGHT MEN:
In bed, in bed, in bed.

FERI:
  But for us the night life
Is definitely the right life
And so we go out on the town instead.
CHORUS:
  The naughty sinful town instead.

BONI:
 Chorus girls God bless ‘em,
To kiss’em and caress’em
Is nectar more delectable than wine.
CHORUS:
  Yes than wine, than wine, than vintage wine.
BONI &
FERI:
    When you taste the pleasures rare
Of song and dance and womankind
Worldly troubles disappear
And joy is unconfined.

BONI:
 To be completely truthful,

FERI:
  And stay effetely youthful,

BONI:
 The one address you must possess
Is where the little ladies can be found.
BON1 &
FERI:
    The ladies, the ladies,
The ladies up on stage,
We love them those sirens of the chorus.
We Johnnies adore them,
Those ladies up on stage,
And relish the charms they parade before us.
The ladies, the ladies.
The ladies up on stage,
They don’t waste their time on deep emotion.
And tho’the cast is often changed, by final curtain
They’ve arranged to see that we can transfer our
devotion.

BONI:
 The gentry have a custom,
Which one fine day may bust’em.
Of lazing ‘round devouring caviar.
 
 
CHORUS:
  Yes please, some caviar.
 

BONI:
 But men of rank and station
Require an education
And this is where our fav’rite teachers are.
 
 
CHORUS:
  Our very fav’rite teachers are!

FERI:
  Don’t think me imprudent
If I remain a student,
And haven’t closed an eye for simply years.
CHORUS:
  Not for thirty, forty, fifty years!
BONI &
FERI:
    There is where we feel our best,
There’s something in the atmosphere,
Here we’re full of zip and zest,
Until the bills appear.

FERI:
  Here ev’ry ardent suitor,

BONI:
 Can find an able tutor.
BONI, FERI &
CHORUS:
  With figure thrilling,
Kind and willing,
Academics in the school of love.
BONI &
FERI:
    The ladies, the ladies,
The ladies up on stage,
We love them those sirens of the chorus.
For they’ve recreated a modern golden age,
And sweetly, discreetly do so much for us.
BONI, FERI &
CHORUS:
  We all treat them well
And when kissed they never tell.
They’ve but to wink at us to floor us.
BONI &
FERI:
    Those fascinating, captivating,
Devastating, scintillating,
Lovely little ladies of the chorus!
BONI, FERI &
CHORUS:
  The ladies, the ladies,
The ladies up on stage.
They’ve but to wink at us to floor us.
Those fascinating, captivating,
Devastating, scintillating
Lovely little ladies of the chorus!
 
(Exeunt all. Enter EDWIN and MIKSA)
 
 
Scene 4
 

EDWIN:
There’s something I want you to do for me.
MIKSA:
Your Highness ... ?

EDWIN:
Take this note to Fräulein Sylva ... in her dressing-room ... urgently.
MIKSA:
Straight away, your Highness.
(MIKSA bows, exit. Enter BONI.)
 
Scene 5

BONI:
 Edwin, my dear fellow - where have you been hiding all evening? Here, I’ve got a wire for you.

EDWIN:
Not another! (Opens it) Ninety nine telegrams a day, it’s enough to make one ... (Reads) “Affair with chorus girl must stop. Stop. Compromising entire family. Stop. If not return home instantly will find means of compulsion.” Well, well! Something’s got to be done about this.
 

BONI:
 What you’ve got to do is a smart about turn and toddle off home to your ancestors.
 

EDWIN:
I can’t.
 

BONI:
 Look, your father’s as stubborn as a mule, and if he decides to lash out with his back feet even your fat head’s going to get a dent in it. Anyway, Sylva’s leaving in a couple of hours.
 

EDWIN:
She won’t be leaving. I won’t let her leave!
 

BONI:
 Won’t let her? I’d love to see you or anyone else try that! You know what she’d say (Adopts SYLVA’s pose from the Entrance Song; sings falsetto) “Olala, that’s the way I am!” Tell me, are we friends? The world’s teeming with girls - does it have to be her?
 

EDWIN:
Yes it does. There aren’t any others.
 
 
(ARANKA’s head appears in one of the doorways)
ARANKA:
     Boni!

BONI:
 There’s one for you straight away! Well, no actually she’s for me. Coming sweetheart!
 
 
(Exit BONI to join ARANKA. Passes SYLVA entering in negligée. Slight air of glamorous disarray about her appearance.)

BONI:
 (Pointing to SYLVA’s dicoléitage.) One more button please. Draughts are bad for the voice. (Exit.)
 
Scene 6
 

SYLVA:
     Good evening.

EDWIN:
Sylva, I have to speak to you.

SYLVA:
     So I gathered from your note; it gave me quite a fright. And by the way, I’m not terribly pleased with you -- missing my farewell performance.
 

EDWIN:
That’s the point - there isn’t going to be a farewell.
 
Scene 7
 

SYLVA:
     It’s the only way Edwin. Be sensible.
 

EDWIN:
Look, you can’t just drive a man clean out of his mind, then preach to him about being sensible. For nearly two months I’ve been hanging around Budapest - I’ve had a cracking great row with my parents - all because of you.
 

SYLVA:
     (Interrupting him) Edwin!
 

EDWIN:
I’m sorry. I know it’s not your fault. I’ve just been completely dotty about you since the moment I first saw you.
 
 
No. 3 LOVELINESS IS ALL AROUND US
(SYLVA takes EDWIN’S hand and looks straight into his eyes)

SYLVA:
  (spoken) Edwin, this is my last evening.

EDWIN:
   Sylva!

SYLVA:
  Just a few short hours. I do so want them to be happy ones.
 
 

EDWIN:
   Oh, Sylva! (He takes her in his arms and kisses her.)
 
 

SYLVA:
  (Instinctively returns the kiss, then breaks gently away from him) Edwin!
 

EDWIN:
   (Urgently) Stay with me! Life without you - it’s just not thinkable!
 

SYLVA:
  You say that now, but it’ll pass. You’ll find someone else.
 

EDWIN:
   (sung) Sylva, my heart is yours.
The only girl whom I adore.
Many are the times I’ve wondered,
 “Could this be the girl for me?”
Why not have a brief flirtation
With ev’ry pretty girl I see?
Many are the times I’ve paused and pondered
Why my stubborn heart survives.
Ev’ry time I ask it, it reminds me
“Wait until the right one arrives.”
 

SYLVA:
  And what, if I may make so bold,
Persuades you I’m the one?
 

EDWIN:
   I only wish that I could say
Exactly why I feel this way.
For loveliness is all around us,
Girls whose beauty may astound us!
But they disappear when Cupid fires his dart.
One alone in all creation, One alone your inspiration,
Someone all apart,
She is the girl who steals your heart.
 

SYLVA:
  Can you really be so certain?
Can the heart be quite so sure?
Many are the passing fancies,
Very few of them endure.
When a sudden flash of light’ning strikes us,
That’s the time to say “Beware”.
Could it simply be a new adventure,
And in course of time disappear?
 
 
 
 
 

EDWIN:
   If only you believed in me,
As I believe in you!
 

SYLVA:
  I’ve heard it said from time to time
That hearts forget though once so true;

With loveliness that’s all around you,
Girls whose beauty may astound you,Do they disappear when Cupid fires his dart?
 
BOTH:
One alone in all creation,
One alone your inspiration
Someone all apart,

SYLVA:
  Is she the girl who steals your heart?

EDWIN:
   She is the girl who steals your heart!
BOTH:
One alone in all creation,
One alone your inspiration,
Someone all apart,

SYLVA:
  She is the girl who steals your heart!

EDWIN:
   You are the girl to steal my heart!
(Exeunt both at end of duet.)
 
 
 
Scene 8
(Enter BONI with the 8 girl dancers. They have all just been given presents, and are chattering excitedly as they enter, thanking BONI.)
 
GIRLS:
    (General hubbub with occasional sentences more clearly
audible.) Coo, look, a lovely little purse with
something in it! Mine’s a mirror with jewels on
the back! Ooh, a gold charm! You are a darling,
Boni! Thanks ever so much. Give us a kiss! etc. etc


 
 
JULISKA:
(She is the last to open her present.) Oh! Boni, it’s a
ring with a socking great ruby!

BONI:
Well, we’ve had a good time, and I don’t want you
to forget me ... (Melodramatically) when I’m gone!
GIRLS:
    (Swarm around Boni chattering) You can’t leave us Boni!
We’ll all cry if you do. We’ll miss you, really we will! etc. etc.

BONI:
Darlings I know true love when I see it, and believe me I’m grateful.
But I have to tear myself away from your adoring bosoms.
 
 
 
ARANKA:
     Oh! Boni, you are naughty!
 
CLEO:
He’s off to America with Sylva, that’s what!
 

BONI:
Only as her business manager, let’s get that straight.But the true cause of my departure lies deeper far. I’m turning my back on nightlife!
 
GIRLS:
    (Giggle disbelievingly) Go on! Tell us another! etc. etc.
 

BONI:
(Ignoring the interruption) For some time now I’ve noticed that every 24 hours I grow one day older. I must seek another way of life - possibly something desperate, like work. In any case my love life is a thing of the past. (Girls laugh) I swear it, and when we men of honour take an oath like that ...
 
JULISKA:
You don’t keep it 30 seconds!
 
GIRLS:
    Give us a kiss Boni!
 
 
No. 4 GIRLS ARE THE THING
 

BONI:
Many times I’ve sworn an oath to say goodbye to girls,  Never kiss another one, not a single one.
Why should I spend all my cash on emeralds and pearls?
Better far to spend my time gainfully employedIn my intellectual prime reading Sigmund Freud. Dedicated as can be,
Till a female face I see.
Then who needs a diamond pin and ten cravats?
Who needs to promenade in gloves and spats?
Who needs a Riviera tan?
We’ll place a ban on Nice and Cannes.
Who needs to drive a swanky Daimler Benz?Who needs a yacht if he’s got any sense?
One thing though is essential,
(Aside) This bit is confidential,
Girls are the thing for the gents!
Early on a man must settle independent aims,
Then don’t ever change your mind, never change your mind.
If the ladies try to stake their matrimonial claims
Though it could be rather nice you must make clear
That life is one long sacrifice, and say “No my dear.”
Don’t invest in wedding rings, Matrimony clips the wings.
And who needs to guzzle in the oyster bar?
Who needs to puff a seven inch cigar?
Who needs to ride a thorough-bred?
You just fall off and bump your head!
GIRLS:
    Who needs an aeroplane at vast expense?
Who needs apartments with enormous rents?
 

BONI:
One thing though is emphatic,
Here I’ll be autocratic,
Girls are the thing for the gents.
GIRLS:
    Who needs to drive a swanky Daimler Benz?
Who needs a yacht if he’s got any sense?
 

BONI:
One thing though we’ll insist on,
One thing we won’t desist on,
Girls are the thing for the gents!
 
(After the number the participants can leave the stage and re-enter shortly, remain on the stage, whichever is more suitable to the choreography)
Scene 9
 

FERI:
(Or any member of the company, however it suits with the production)
Come on everyone, she’ll be here moment!
Let’s have a nice line-up!
(All the ladies and gentlemen of the Chorus hurry on during these words)
Here she comes!
(Enter SYLVA from backstage wearing a superbly glamorous dress)
ALL:
Bravo! Here she comes! etc.
(During SYLVA’s entrance and the general acclamation, the orchestra plays one flourish as at the opening of No.2. EDWIN has entered with the others, but slightly aside, not joining in the revelry)
 

SYLVA:
  You’re all making far too much fuss of me - a thousand thanks to everybody! Now I don’t want to hear anybody mention the word “Goodbye”. We’re going to laugh and joke and dance and have a wonderful time, then when the moment comes, a quick kiss and off we go!
But first anyone who really loves me, I’m dying for a glass of champagne!
(The men all rush to get her a glass of champagne, but EDWIN has anticipated them. He already has two glasses in his hands, and gives one of them to SYLVA)

SYLVA:
  Thank you so much, your Highness.
 
MERO:
    (Raising his glass) To Sylva Varescu!
 
ALL:
To Sylva Varescu!
 

SYLVA:
  (Raising her glass) To the future!
 

EDWIN:
   (Chinks glasses with SYLVA and looks her straight in the eye.) To the present!
 

FERI:
To the past!
 
VIHAR:
   To the Winter Garden!
 
 
 
 
(All rush towards the Winter Garden, except SYLVA, who remains somewhat pensively, and EDWIN, BONI and FERI, who stay with her)
JULISKA:
(Turns before leaving the stage) Aren’t you coming,
Sylva?

SYLVA:
  Don’t wait for me. I’ll join you in a moment.
(Exit ULISKA)
Oh! Goodness, I’m so happy!

EDWIN:
   Are you?

SYLVA:
  One just has to pull one’s self together. I don’t
think about the sad side. (On the edge of tears) I
just laugh ... I’ll just keep on laughing till the
moment I leave. (Bursts into a torrent of tears, buries
her head on BONI’s shoulder)

BONI:
That’s right, laugh it off your chest!

SYLVA:
  (To BONI.) Have you got my hanky?
 

BONI:
There you are.
 

SYLVA:
  I don’t know what’s the matter with me.
I suddenly thought of home, and Mum and Dad sitting there with my sisters in Kis-Kilkijlld.
 

BONI:
Ah! dear little Kis-Küküllö, where the piglets
patter along the pavement!
 

EDWIN:
   (Privately to SYLVA) This is ridiculous.
You’re just trying to fool yourselfl
 

SYLVA:
  Please!

EDWIN:
   You love me, don’t you?
 

SYLVA:
  That’s the best Possible reason for leaving!
 

EDWIN:
   (Turning to BONI, who is holding a bottle and full glass)
Champagne!
 

BONI:
Go easy on the fizz, old man. You’ll be getting sloshed.
 

EDWIN:
   And why the hell not? Come on Boni!
 

BONI:
(Pouring into the glass in Edwin’s hand.) There. Tell me, are we ...
 

EDWIN:
   (Takes the full glass from BONI’s other hand.)
Come on everybody, drink up!
 

SYLVA:
  (Wrenches herself out of her melancholy, takes a glass from EDWIN) Good idea! What shall we drink to?
 

FERI:
To me - long live youth!
 

BONI:
Long live friendship!
 

EDWIN:
   (Clinks glasses with SYLVA, looking her straight in the eye.)
Long live love!
 

SYLVA:
  (Anticipating the intensity of the Opening of the next number.)
That’s it - long live love!
 
 
No.5  0 GRASP WITH OPEN ARMS

SYLVA:
     0 grasp with open arms
Each chance that life affords you,
And fortune will in time
Come smilingly towards you.
For though the world be harsh
Don’t let its cares confound you.
Just wait for happiness
It’s everywhere around you.
Yes, yes and when your heart is aching
Don’t let care confound you.
Just wait for happiness
It’s ev’rywhere around you.
Heissa! Here’s to love divine,
Ties which none can sever.
Give me song and give me wine
Love, just live for ever!
Love the prize of ev’ry heart,
Love the source of sorrow,
All the pain that you impart
Cast aside tomorrow.
If you stand there fondly gaping
Love will knock you senseless.
You will find there’s no escaping
There you’ll be defenceless.
So never try to count the cost,
Just admit you’ve lost!
For when a woman’s eye
Falls on you by and by
There’ll be no earthly place
Where you can hide your face,
No chance of rescue then
You’ll find that women, women,
Weak little women
Are twice as strong as men!
One hope fills ev’ry woman’s heart
And leaves it never,
To know when we’re in love
That we’ll be loved for ever.
How sad our hearts would be
Without this hope abiding,
That someday we shall live
In one man’s love confiding!
 

EDWIN:
Yes, yes how sad our hearts would be
Without this hope abiding
That someday we shall live
In one true love confiding.
 

BONI:
 Heissa! Let’s not sit around, just philosophising.
Girls in general I have found
Fast and tantalising!
 

FERI:
  Heissa! Time is running out,
Let the corks go flying!
Love is all we dream about,
When the night is dying.
 

SYLVA:
     Don’t forget that I have warned you –
Think with whom you’re dealing.
When a Magyar heart has scorned you,
Time will bring no healing.
No, no use then to count the cost,
Everything is lost!
 
SYLVA, EDWIN,
BONI &
FERI:
    For when a woman’s eye
Falls on you by and by
There’ll be no earthly place
Where you can hide your face.
No chance of rescue then –
You’ll find that women, women,
Weak little women
Are twice as strong as men.
 
Dance
(Exeunt all.)
 
 
 
Scene I0
 
(Enter ROHNSDORFF. Self-evident army officer, though wearing civilian motoring clothes. Elegant, slightly arrogant, though in no way a caricature. Followed by MIKSA.)

ROHNSDORFF:
 Announce me immediately to his Highness Prince Lippert-Weylersheim. His cousin, Captain Baron von Rohnsdorff,
(Exit MIKSA. ROHNSDOREF looks around disdainfully. A sudden riotous noise of jollification from the Winter Garden.)
Very exclusive society!
 
(Enter EDWIN.)

EDWIN:
Eugen, what on earth brings you here? Has
something happened at home?

ROHNSDORFF:
 No, no. Calm down!

EDWIN:
How long have you been in Budapest?

ROHNSDORFF:
 Just arrived, with the car. They said in your hotel
you’d be here. Not hard to guess anyway.

EDWIN:
But why ... ?

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Produces an official looking piece of paper.)
Read this!

EDWIN:
(Reads in amazement) “Order to report for duty”?
What the hell’s this?

ROHNSDORFF:
 You’re a reserve officer aren’t you? You’re to
report to your Corps Commander, in person,
tomorrow morning (Looks at his watch) - or to be
exact this morning, May 2nd, at eleven hundred
hours.

EDWIN:
This is a put-up job! Father’s fiddled this to get
me back to Vienna. But I’m not leaving!

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Very sharply) You’re a soldier, and you’d better
obey that order! (More friendly in tone) Edwin,
let me talk to you as a senior officer, as a relative,
and as a friend. You’re compromising us!

EDWIN:
Because I happen to be in love with a good decent
girl?

ROHNSDORFF:
 With a song and dance floozy!

EDWIN:
(Furiously) Rohnsdorff!

ROHNSDORFF:
 I don’t even glance at creatures like that, and
I’m a freeman., whereas you’ve got a flancée sitting
at home.

EDWIN:
That’s not true! Stasi isn’t my fiancee. You know
perfectly well, she’s some sort of distant cousin.
And when her parents died, and she came to live
with us in the holidays we became childhood
sweethearts, or whatever idiotic name people
want to use for it.
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 Stasi has a different impression, and so do your parents. They’re pressing for an early wedding.

EDWIN:
What?
Scene 11
 
(Enter SYLVA, who starts to speak before she has seen ROHNSDORFF)
 

SYLVA:
     Edwin, what’s keeping you? (Sees ROHNSDORFF.Turns to leave.)
Oh! I’m so sorry.


EDWIN:
Sylva, don’t go!
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Aside, bowled over by SYLVA) By jove!
 

EDWIN:
My cousin, Captain von Rohnsdorff - Fräulein Sylva Varescu.
 

SYLVA:
     I hope you’ll grace our little celebration?
 

EDWIN:
I hope you’ll grace our little celebration?
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 To drive Edwin back to Vienna.
 

EDWIN:
It’s an army thing. I have to report to my Corps Commander in the morning.
 

SYLVA:
     I see. So this is the last we see of each other?
 

EDWIN:
(Decisively) On the contrary.
 
(SYLVA looks puzzled; ROHNSDORFF looks at EDWIN inquiringly)
 

SYLVA:
     Well, I must get back to my friends. Good-bye Captain.
What a pity you can’t stay.
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Kisses her hand) A great pity. It’s been a pleasure.
(Escorts her to the door and opens it with a great show of gallantry) Au revoir!
 

SYLVA:
     Perhaps. (Exit)
 
Scene I2
EDWIN :
     (Drinking another glass of champagne.)   Don’t strain yourself I know what it costsyou to be polite to a song and dance floozy.
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 Cut out the drinking Edwin. It’s time we were off.

EDWIN:
(Urgently) Give me half an hour. Go and wait next
door in the café, then come and fetch me.

ROHNSDORFF:
 But …….

EDWIN:
   We’ve got masses of time, don’t worry.
Scene 13
 
(Enter BONI.)
 

BONI:
 I say, what’s all this I hear? jolly old Rohnsdorff
popped up? (Shakes ROHNSDORFF hand, turns to
EDWIN.) And you’ve got to push off and save the
fatherland? That’ll be a nice surprise for your dear
old Dad!

EDWIN:
It will - but I’ve got one for you too! You’re all
going to have a nice surprise! (To
ROHNSDORFF) It’s a bargain - you fetch me in
half an hour.

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Looks at his watch) I’ll be on the dot.

EDWIN:
(With sarcasm) I don’t doubt it. (Exit to Winter
Garden)
Scene 14
 

BONI:
 Tell me, are we friends? What the deuce is going
on?

ROHNSDORFF:
 He’s got to give up Sylva.

BONI:
 Ah!

ROHNSDORFF:
 He’s engaged, to his cousin Stasi.

BONI:
 What? And I never knew?
Why didn’t he tell me?

ROHNSDORFF:
 Because of this Varescu of course. His parents are
getting panicky and want to force Edwin’s hand.
They’ve even had the announcements printed -
but Edwin isn’t to know that till he’s safely back in
Vienna. (Gives BONI a card)
Look.
 
 

BONI:
 (Reads) “Prince and Princess von und zu Lippert-
Weylersheim have the honour to announce the
engagement of their son Edwin to Countess
Anastasia Eckenberg”. Oh, my giddy aunt! (Moves
towards Winter Garden) I must break this to Sylva.

ROHNSDORFF:
 Not till Edwin’s on his way!

BONI:
 We’ll need a bath towel to dry her tears this time!
Well, I must buzz off and pack, or Sylva and I will
reach America with one pair of socks between us!
 
(Exeunt hastily together.)
Scene I5
 
(Enter EDWIN, burstingwith exuberance, leadingSYLVA, FERI, all Ladies and Gentlenten and Dancers)

EDWIN:
Come on everybody, come on! I’ve got some tremendous news for you! All right - wait for it! Sylva isn’t leaving after all!
 
ALL:
   Hurray! Bravo! etc. etc.
 

SYLVA:
     No, please! It isn’t true!

FERI:
  He’s pulling our legs!
 

EDWIN:
She’s staying - I’ll bet you anything you like!
 

FERI:
  A case of champagne!
 

EDWIN:
Fifty! A hundred! Name your figure!
 

SYLVA:
     Don’t be silly, you two. It’s not possible.
 

FERI:
  (To EDWIN.) How are you going to pull it off?
 

EDWIN:
Easy as pie - I forbid her to leave!
 

SYLVA:
     Forbid me? What gives you the right?
 

EDWIN:
(Decisively) My position as your husband.
 
(Stunned silence from everybody)

FERI:
  (Walks up to EDWIN, places his hand on EDWIN’s forehead.) Plastered!
 
(General outburst of laughter.)

EDWIN:
Oh, no - I’ve never been more sober in my life. Sylva is going to become my wife - here and now!
 

SYLVA:
     (Completely taken aback) Edwin ... ?
 

EDWIN:
just tell me - do you want me?
 

SYLVA:
     But it’s impossible. Think of your family!
 

EDWIN:
You’ve got to be mine, and I don’t care if the whole world turns upside down! Pen, ink, a piece o paper!
 

FERI:
  Edwin, my dear young friend ... do you really want ... ?
 

EDWIN:
A lawyer! Dead or alive!

FERI:
  (Catching the air of excitement.)
Next door in the café! That old villain Kisch - he’s always in there playing cards!
 

EDWIN:
(In roaring high spirits) Here with old Kisch!
 

FERI:
  (To MIKSA) Here with old Kisch!
(MIKSA hurries out.)

EDWIN:
I’m going to sign a contract which will bind me to the girl I love.
 

SYLVA:
     Edwin!
 

FERI:
  A wedding in the Orpheum! There’s never been such a thing! Jaj mamam! Edwin, my friend, you wonderful young man - you’re going to get something from me that no blasted Austrian has ever had before - a great big kiss! There!
 

SYLVA:
     (Almost imploringly) But Edwin ... dearest ... you can’t do this!
 

EDWIN:
Sylva, do you love me?

SYLVA:
     (Whispers) Yes. (Then passionately, decisively)
Yes
 
 
(SYLVA and EDWIN kiss; enter KISCH, an untidy old man, looking crumpled and grumpy)

FERI:
  Here’s that old fiddler Kisch! Come on you old
crook - sit yourself down and start writing!
 
(A chair and a small table have been brought down-stage. Inkwell and quill placed
 on table.)
KISCH:
(Grumbling to FERI)
The first time in my life I have four aces, and now look ...
 

SYLVA:
     Edwin - think what you’re doing!
 

EDWIN:
(To KISCH.) Are you ready?
 
(Dictating to KISCH.) I, Edwin Ronald Karl Maria, Prince Lippert-Weylersheim, do hereby solemnly declare that I choose Fräulein Sylva Varescu to be my lawful wedded wife; and that within eight weeks our union will be sealed according to the dictates of God and of the law.
 

SYLVA:
     Dearest ... are you sure?
 
No. 6 FINALE ACT I
 

EDWIN:
Now we’re united!
CHORUS:
  0 Sylva, o Sylva,
Be happy in this love that you have found!
 

EDWIN:
Now we’re united!
 
CHORUS:
  So seldom, so seldom,
So seldom can such happiness be found!
 

FERI:
  Wait though, my children. Tell me one thing. I’m all in favour of having a fling. But marriage is sacred, Not to be played with, And you must consider faithfully “Till death us do part”; No words can bind like these, And will you both, can you both Swear never to be parted?
 
CHORUS:
  “Till death us do part, No words more strong than these,
 And will you both, can you both
Swear never more to part?
 
 
FERI & KISCH:
  No words more strong than these, And can you both swear never more to part?
 

EDWIN:
We never shall part,

SYLVA:
     No never in this life.
 
COMPANY:
We’ll willingly, happily
Stay true to one another.
 

FERI:
  As your resolve is firm and true
May all good fortune smile on you, on you.
 
CHORUS:
  0 grasp with open arms
Each chance that life affords you,
And fortune will in time
Come smilingly towards you.
So when the world is harsh
Don’t let it’s cares confound you,
 
SYLVA
&
EDWIN:
  Believe in happiness,
It’s ev’rywhere around you.
 
 
 
 
(EDWIN signs the document, then SYLVA)

SYLVA:
     (spoken) I still can’t believe it!
(Everyone gathers round SYLVA  congratulating her. After a whispered conference with FERI two of the girls have fetched a veil from back-stage and pin it on SYLVA’s head. One of the other girls puts a bouquet of flowers in her hand.)
I’m so happy - thank you all so much!
 

FERI:
  (Calls in the gipsy band from the Winter Garden)
Come on! We need a wedding march!
 
ALL:
   A wedding march! What shall we have?
You can’t beat the old firm of Mendel and Son!
 
 

FERI:

(Wedding Dance.)
(ROHNSDORFF enters and watches the last few bars of the dance.)

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Looking appalled.) Time’s up Edwin, We must leave immediately!

EDWIN:
Eugen, I can’t - not now.

SYLVA:
     (Very tenderly) Edwin, you’ve got to - for my sake!

EDWIN:
All right, my love. (To ROHNSDORFF.) I’ll be with you in a moment.
 

ROHNSDORFF:
 (Sharply) I’ll be waiting in the car. (Clicks heels, cursory bow to assembled company; exit)
 

EDWIN:
(sung) My love I’ll soon be back with you
And then we’ll never part.
 

SYLVA:
     I’ll wait for you my only love,
I’ll wait with eager heart.
 

EDWIN:
My dearest, heav’nly creatures may surround me,
Loveliness be all around me,
They’ve just disappeared
Now Cupid’s played his part.
 
FERI & CHORUS:
     One alone in all creation, One alone his inspiration.
 

EDWIN:
Someone all apart,
You are the girl who’s won my heart.
 
(EDWIN exits.)

SYLVA:
     (spoken) Is this all a dream?

(Enter BONI, bustling on very busily)

BONI:
 There we are, everything’s packed. (Producing one of SYLVA’s boots from behind his back) I couldn’t quite get this in, so you’ll have to dance on one foot! (Realises that his joke has fallen flat.)
 

SYLVA:
     Boni, you’re going to be furious with me
MERÖ:
She’s not leaving!

BONI:
 Who’s not leaving?
VIHAR:
Sylva - she’s staying here in a new role……

FERI:
  As Edwin’s wife!

BONI:
 As whose what?

FERI:
  (Hands him the document) Look! Read that!
 

BONI:
 (Looks round the company, deeply worried.) But that’s not possible….
 
(The COMPANY laugh delightedly, SYLVA grasps his hands ecstatically)

SYLVA:
     Boni, it’s all true!
 

BONI:
 But he’s not free to do this ...
 

FERI:
  (Sharply) Why not?
 

BONI:
 Because he’s already engaged ... to somebody else!
 

SYLVA:
     (Bursts out.) That’s a lie!
 

BONI:
 (Very tenderly) Sylva, little Sylva ... how can you say that to me? Look, formal announcement - Rohnsdorfl` gave it to me. (Gives her the card.)
 

SYLVA:
     (Reads fragments of the text, incredulously) “Prince and Princess ... have the honour ... Edwin (More clearly) to Countess Anastasia Eckenberg.” (Drops the card, looks as if she may fall.)
 

BONI:
 Sylva! Oh, my God! If I’d known ... But it’s better this way, Sylva - it is, believe me. You’d never fit into a family like that. You’re an artist- the whole world belongs to you! You must have everybody at your feet, not just one man! (He strokes her cheek) Sylva ... you’re a clever girl…..

SYLVA:
     (sung) You’re right my friend,
You’re right my friend!
We ladies, we ladies,
We ladies up on stage
We’ve but to wink at them to floor them!
(spoken) We’ll catch the train to Trieste,
Then out into the world!
Bright lights! Applause! 0 la la,
That’s the way I am!
(sung) Yes Herr von Kisch, dear Herr von Kisch,
I beg you not to take it hard.
Your legal document I fear
Was just a ludicrous charade!
CHORUS:
  Don’t waste your tears!
Cast off your fears!
Life starts anew,
Calling to you!
 

SYLVA:
     Yes, yes, I’ll make the whole world admire me,
Yes, I’ll make the whole world desire me.
Let love live for ever!
Let love live for ever!
Heissal Here’s to love divine,
Ties which none can sever!
Give me song and give me wine,
Love, just live for ever!
Love the prize of ev’ry heart,
I’ve no time for sorrow,
All the pain that you impart
Cast aside tomorrow.
 
BONI,
FERI &
CHORUS:
  If you stand there fondly gaping
Love will knock you senseless
You will find there’s no escaping,
There you’ll be defenceless.
 

SYLVA:
     So never try to count the cost,
Just admit you’re lost!
For when a woman’s eye
Falls on you bye and bye,
You’ll find no earthly place,
Where you can hide your face.
 
COMPANY:
No chance of rescue then,
You’ll find that women, women,
Weak little women,
Are many, many, many, many,
Many times as strong as men!
 
(COMPANY exits except FERI, MIKSA and a gipsy violinist, who’s sitting half asleep on a chair.)

FERI:
  (spoken) And what am I supposed to do now? I can’t go home - it’s only three o’clock in the evening! Miksa, bring me some wine ... pour it out for me, would you? (FERI sits astride a chair, MIKSA serves the wine, a bottle and a glass, on another chair beside him. FERI has picked up the card from the floor, reads it thoughtfully) “Prince and Princess von und zu Lippert-Weylersheim have the honour to announce the engagement of their son Edwin to Countess Anastasia Eckenberg.” Poor Sylva! (Drops the card, calls to the gipsy violinist in quite a different tone.) Zigeuner! (Violinist comes over to him) Play me something nice. But play it …....piano!
 
 
(FERI:)(sung)
The ladies, the ladies,
The ladies up on stage
They don’t waste their time on deep emotion.
La la la la la la.
La la la la la la la la.
La la la la la la
La la la la la la la.
 
Slow Curtain.
End of Act I
No. 6 1/2 ENTRACTE
ACT II
Scene I
A spacious hall in the villa of PRINCE and PRINCESS LIPPERT-WEYLERSHEIM. A ballroom leads off it, from which music is heard. Young couples can be seen dancing there. Some are dancing in the hall, while the older guests are standing and sitting around, drinking, chatting etc.

No. 7 THE MUSIC IS CALLING

CHORUS:
  The music is calling in accents sweet,
We/The dancers are all on our/their feet.
The fiddles are playing,
The couples are swaying
And our joie de vivre is complete.
You can’t beat a party chez Weylersheim,
The food and the drink are sublime.
The guests are the creme de la creme,
So I shall have a nice, really nice time.
 
Dance
Scene 2
 
(At the end of the dance all the guests exeunt, leaving PRINCE and PRINCESS alone.)

PRINCE:
(Spoken over music.) Well, Anhilte, what do you say?
Everything’s going according to plan.
(Pointing to the ballroom.)
Just look how those two waltz together!

PRINCESS:
And how tenderly he holds his arm around her! He’s consoled himself very quickly, Leopold Maria!
 
PRINCE:
I knew it Anhilte. A Lippert-Weylersheim always consoles himself.
 
PRINCESS:
They’re coming this way.
PRINCE:
We must leave them on their own. You can do a bit of listening, Anhilte.
 
PRINCESS:
I’m always listening, Leopold Maria.
 
Scene 3
(EDWIN and STASI waltz on through ballroom entrance. She whirls him around, then flings herself in exhaustion onto a chair.)

EDWIN:
 Don’t be so wild Stasi!
 
STASI:
(Points at the neighbouring chair.) Sit down there!
 

EDWIN:
 And don’t be so fierce!
STASI:
Look me in the eyes - right in the eyes!
 

EDWIN:
 (Rests his chin in both hands and looks her straight in the eye - amused) Right enough? Can’t manage any righter!
 
STASI:
You’re a fraud!
 

EDWIN:
 Stasi!
STASI:
You’re keeping secrets from me.

EDWIN:
 I say ...
STASI:
You’re treating me like a child. You know perfectly well what your parents are up to. They want us to get married.
 

EDWIN:
 (Flatly) Yes.
 
STASI:
(Imitating him) “Yes”. It’s not a death sentence you know! Listen - ever since my parents died, you and I have always told each other everything. I could fill a book with the names of the girls you’ve told me about who were “sizzlers” or “stunners” or “corkers”. So just tell me something now. (Slight pause.) Are you still in love with her?
 

EDWIN:
 Who?
STASI:
Don’t pretend - Sylva.

EDWIN:
 (Jumping up) Who told you about ... ?
 
STASI:
(Interrupting) Rohnsdorff. He meant well. Till that’s over, we couldn’t ...
 

EDWIN:
 It is over.
 
STASI:
Completely? (He remains silent.) Three quarters! (Slight pause) She walked out on you?
 

EDWIN:
 No, no.
STASI:
Yes, yes. The very same evening that you left for Vienna she scooted off to New York.
 

EDWIN:
 You’re extremely well informed.
 
STASI:
Oh! yes. And I know that you sent her a hundred telegrams, but never got an answer.
 

EDWIN:
 Stasi, please! That’s enough about her.
STASI:
All right, not another syllable. (Slight pause.) Was she pretty?
 

EDWIN:
 Stasi, for heaven’s sake! It’s over.
STASI:
So can I tell your parents? They’re dying to announce our engagement - tonight.
 

EDWIN:
 Tonight?
STASI:
Why not? The cards have been printed for weeks.

EDWIN:
 Stasi, it’s not possible – not just yet. It would be….dishonourable of me. I…..I have to wait first for a piece of news.
STASI:
What news?

EDWIN:
 It’s a secret Stasi - please don’t ask me. But let me ask you something. Do you really honestly love me?
STASI:
(Carefully) You’re my very favourite person in the whole wide world.

EDWIN:
 But is that enough for a marriage?
STASI:
Edwin, as we’re being nice and honest again ... You know as well as I do that only about a dozen families in Vienna are considered smart enough for you or me to marry into. Right?

EDWIN:
 (Resignedly) Right.
 
STASI:
You know all the girls in those families and I know all the men. Right?
 

EDWIN:
 Right.
STASI:
The girls all bore you and the men all bore me ...

EDWIN:
 But you and I amuse each other!
STASI:
(Laughing delightedly) Right!
 
No. 8 SWALLOW DUET
 
STASI:
I’ve given up anticipating miracles, The sort you find in books.
 

EDWIN:
 Reality’s a very different cup of tea, Or so it rather looks!
 
STASI:
I sometimes think that matrimony’s not for me, Just he and she all day.
 

EDWIN:
 I think a little freedom would be no bad thing, For each to go his way.
 
STASI:
In any case I don’t intend to atrophy, Waiting at my master’s beck and call.
 

EDWIN:
 With such a very balanced philosophy, It won’t be bad at all.
 
STASI:
Let’s do what the swallows do
When they build a nest.
Let’s agree to bill and coo
While it suits us best.
Later on from time to time
We can flutter forth.
I shall glance towards the south,
You towards the north.
 

EDWIN:
 It really isn’t practicable nowadays
For men to sit at home.
 
STASI:
But who on earth decided when the world began
That only men can roam?
 

EDWIN:
 The woman has the job of looking beautiful
And managing the house.
STASI:
If you want someone simpering and dutiful,
Then why not try a mouse?

EDWIN:
 I fear you’re wearing rosy-tinted spectacles,
Nobody gets ev’rything he wants.
STASI:
So let us make it very clear here and now
Just who will wear the pants!
 
BOTH:
Let’s do what the swallows do
When they build a nest.
Let’s agree to bill and coo
While it suits us best.
Later on from time to time
We can flutter forth.
I shall glance towards the south,
You towards the north.
 
 
 
Scene 4
(Exeunt both. Enter PRINCE and PRINCESS by separate entrances.)
PRINCE:
(Eagerly) Well?
PRINCESS:
Our hopes, Leopold Maria - they are dashed! (Fighting back the tears)
PRINCE:
Dashed my foot! We’ll see about that!
PRINCESS:
I couldn’t hear everything, but Edwin was beside himself. “I can’t!”he said,”It’s not possible. I must await some news - a secret . . .” (Stops in full flight)
PRINCE:
A secret ... ?
PRINCESS:
Leopold Maria, I have a hideous presentiment.
 
PRINCE:
You can’t mean ... ?
 
PRINCESS:
I do!
 
PRINCE:
A child? A little ba ...
 
 
 
(The PRINCESS holds her fingers to her lips in horror in case anyone may hear.
The PRINCE checks himself half-way through the “bastard” and changes it to:
)
baby!
 
PRINCESS:
Calm yourself, Leopold Maria!
Nobody need know. We shall despatch it to a
wet-nurse in the most distant corner of your estates.
 
PRINCE:
Wet-nurse be damned! It shall be reared on a bottle - that’ll teach it!
 
PRINCESS:
(Reproachfully) Remember it’s a LippertWeylersheim!
 
PRINCE:
(Appalled) With more than a dash of Varescu!
PRINCESS:
We must rejoin our guests.
PRINCE:
No-one must notice a thing. (Offers her his arm)
Come, Anhilte!
 
(Exeunt both.)
 
 
 
Scene 5
(Enter SYLVA in ermine coat, fabulous evening dress, jewels; BONI in tails, carrying coat and opera hat.. FOOTMAN)
FOOTMAN:
Whom shall I announce? (Takes SYLVA’s coat, BONI’s coat and hat.)

BONI:
 (In a terrible state of jitters) Count Bonifazius Kancsianu ...
 

SYLVA:
(Sharply) ... and wife. Count and Countess
Kancsianu! (FOOTMAN hesitates~ looking perplexed. SYLVA gives him a sign to get on with it. Exit FOOTMAN.)
Pull yourself together Boni! You’ll ruin everything!
 

BONI:
 I will? What about you? You’re pushing us both in at the deep end - and I’m not dressed for a swim!
 

SYLVA:
You gave me your word; just for this evening I’m your wife.
 

BONI:
 It’s conspiracy to defraud – five years and no option.
 

SYLVA:
There’s somebody coming! Now let’s see a little theatrical talent! (Visibly steels herself for what is coming.)
 
(Enter PRINCE, delightedly.)
PRINCE:
What do I hear? Boni’s blown in? My dear boy, what a pleasure! (Shakes his hand.) And you’ve brought a wife with you! (To SYLVA, who curtseys deeply – PRINCE full of admiration) Well, I must say - congratulations! (Hurries towards ballroom door.) Anhilte! Stasi! Everybody! Do come here! (Enter PRINCESS, STASI, all guests, but not EDWIN.) Wonderful news - young Count Kancsianu, son of my best friend from Budapest, and ... his charming wife!
 

BONI:
 Dreadfully sorry and all that - barging in like a sore thumb in a china shop!
PRINCE:
Such a young villain - marries without telling us!

BONI:
 It ... er ... came as a surprise ... did it in a hurry, don’t yer know!
 

SYLVA:
(Glaring at BONI, but in a cooing tone.) That’s right, Bonifazius darling.
 

BONI:
 Honeymoon starting any minute now.

 
PRINCESS:
(To SYLVA) Well, you’re more than welcome, my dear child.
 

SYLVA:
(Another deep curtsey) Your Highness!

BONI:
 (Aside) Get me out of here!
 
PRINCESS:
(Introducing STASI to SYLVA) This is my very dear niece Stasi.
 

SYLVA:
Ah! (STASI and SYLVA greet each other with slight curtseys. SYLVA looks intently at STASI, STASI is deeply impressed by SYLVA’s glamour.)
 

BONI:
 (Aside, looking at STASI.) By gad, what a stunner!
PRINCE:
Edwin’s eyes are going to pop right out of his head!

BONI:
 Yes, I’m rather afraid they may.
PRINCE:
Where is the young layabout?
STASI:
He went to his room to write an urgent note.
 
 
 
(PRINCE and PRINCESS exchange doom-laden glances.)
PRINCE:
(Imperiously to STASI.) Fetch him!

BONI:
 I shouldn’t bother to fetch him - he’ll pop up soon enough. (Continues chatting flirtatiously with STASI, who is highly amused by him. They do not listen to following conversation)
 
MACGRAVE:
(American accent. Presents himself to SYLVA, looks at her in astonishment.) You know Ma’am, this is amazing - just amazing!
 
SEVERAL GUESTS:
(Gathering round them)
What’s that, Ambassador?
 
MACGRAVE:
Countess, do you know you have a double?
 

SYLVA:
(Smiling, managing to be very relaxed)
How fascinating. Who is she?
 
MACGRAVE:
A little lady I saw a couple of weeks back bringing the house down on Broadway. She sure had a tricky name ... Sylvia.. ?
 

SYLVA:
Ah! Sylva Varescu?
MACGRAVE:
(Enthusiastically) That’s it! D’you know her?
 

SYLVA:
Not personally, but my husband does. Bonifazius! (BONI, still chatting to STASI, turns to her.) Just imagine. Here’s somebody else commenting on my resemblance to the Varescu girl.
 

BONI:
 (Aside) Here we go!

SYLVA:
Isn’t it amusing?

BONI:
 Tremendously! (Mirthlessly) Ha! Ha! Ha!
 

SYLVA:
I’d love to see her.
MACGRAVE:
She seems to be quite a girl. New York was full of stories about her getting engaged to some Prince down in Budapest. But he had second thoughts and decided she was better suited to her gipsy violinist friends. So now they’re calling her the Gipsy Princess!
 
GUESTS:
    (Laughing) The Gipsy Princess!
 

SYLVA:
The Gipsy Princess. How ... entertaining!
 
PRINCE:
(To whom the conversation has become distasteful.) Well, I’m sure that’s enough about this, er, person. We don’t want to upset our dear Countess. Nobody could mistake a “lady of the stage” for a real lady. I couldn’t, anyway!
 
Scene 7

EDWIN:
 (Enters, surprised but delighted.) Boni! Is this true?
 

BONI:
 (Quickly masking SYLVA from EDWIN.) Yes ... ha! ha! ... the old eyes doing a bit of popping, are they?
 
PRINCE:
And look at the charming surprise he’s brought with him! My son Edwin - Countess Kancsianu.
 

BONI:
 (Aside) Hold tight everybody!

EDWIN:
 Sylva!
ALL:
   (Laughing) You too!

SYLVA:
(Quickly walks up to EDWIN, smiling, entirely in control.) You’re confusing me with someone else, your Highness. But don’t worry, you’re not the first. This Varescu really must be my double.
 

BONI:
 It’s environment. All the girls in Kis-Küküllö look identical.

EDWIN:
 (Looking steadily at SYLVA)
Ah, the Countess is from Kis-Küküllö?
 

BONI:
 Yes, jolly old Kis-Küküllö, where the piglets patter ... Aaah! (EDWIN interrupts BONI by taking his hand and squeezing it mercilessly)

EDWIN:
 Boni, I congratulate you!
 

BONI:
 (Ruefully) Thanks most awfully!

SYLVA:
We’re frightfully happy together, aren’t we Bonifazius?

BONI:
 (Hollowly) Frightfully.
 

SYLVA:
(To the company in general.) You musn’t hold it against us that we’re a bit ... er, you know ... (Coyly) It’s just that we’re so newly married!

BONI:
 (As above.) Frightfully newly!

SYLVA:
(Looking straight at EDWIN) When I really love somebody it’s impossible for me to disguise it.
PRINCE:
(Defusing the air of embarrassment)
Yes ... well ... Why don’t we all go and dance?
Would our lovely young Countess do me the honour?
(Offers SYLVA his arm. She takes it)
 

SYLVA:
Your Highness. (Exeunt both, followed by company)
STASI:
(To BONI.) Don’t you dance, Count?
 

BONI:
 You bet I do!

EDWIN:
 (Grabs BONI’s tails) You’re staying here!
 

BONI:
 (To STASI, embarrassed.) Sorry, I’m stuck!
 
STASI:
Pity - I’ll have to find somebody else! (Exit laughing.)
Scene 8
 
 

EDWIN:
 Out with it! What the hell’s going on?
BOM:
  (Exaggeratedly friendly and gently)
Tell me, are we friends?

EDWIN:
 (Grabs him by the lapels and shakes him) I mean to know what this farce is all about!
 

BONI:
 I can’t get a word out if you shake me like that!
 

EDWIN:
 (Let’s go of him, forces himself to be calm) What happened? I wrote so many telegrams my fingers were nearly bleeding ... not a squeak out of Sylva, not a sign of life. And you bolted with her to America - why? (Advances on BONI.) I ask you, why?
 

BONI:
 (Backs away) Cool down, old man!
 

EDWIN:
 You both ratted on me! And I sit here like a total idiot and wait! Where did you get married? Over there?
 

BONI:
 Over here ... in Kis-Küküllö ... Sylva’s old home ... with her Mum and Dad.
 

EDWIN:
 And you have the effrontery to show your face in this house? - a man I’d have trusted with my life! It’s enough to make one tear one’s hair out!
 

BONI:
 Well you carry on, old bean. I’ll be back in a mo. (Tries to get away)
 

EDWIN:
 (Catches him, holds him back) Boni, I might just murder you! Will you explain yourself or not?
 

BONI:
 Please ... no shaking!
 

EDWIN:
 (Lets him go) All right. Now get on with it!

BONI:
 Well, we, er, got ourselves married ...
 

EDWIN:
 Why?

BONI:
 For love.
 

EDWIN:
 (Advancing on him) For what?

BONI:
 (Bolts behind a table.) No, no, for convenience.
(Brief pause. EDWIN paces up and down. BONI follows him nervously and shudders with fright every time EDWIN turns towards him)
 

EDWIN:
 So you’re her husband? Really her husband?
 

BONI:
 Except for one little detail. Our relationship is still ... pure. (Casting down his eyes coyly) Our union has not yet been ... consumed.
 

EDWIN:
 (Leans across the table and shakes him) Look me in the eyes! Is that true?
 

BONI:
 Yes! Now let me go, you ... hyena!
 
Scene 9
 

SYLVA:
(Enters in time to see EDWIN’s last attack and comes to BONI’s rescue.) Bonifazius, the Prince is asking for you.
 

BONI:
 (EDWIN lets go of him.) Give the Prince a lifesaving medal!
 

SYLVA:
You don’t seem quite yourself, my darling. What’s come over you?
 

BONI:
 The shakes!
 

SYLVA:
(Straightens his tie, whispers to him) Is he onto something?
 

BONI:
 (Whispers back.) No, but watch it - he’ll shake your teeth out!
 

SYLVA:
(Normal voice.) Pah, sweetie-pie!
 

BONI:
 Pah, lovey-dovey! (Sticks his hands in his pockets, saunters past EDWIN, whistling provocatively, EDWIN moves towards him, BONI scoots off.)
 
 
Scene I0
(Brief Pause. SYLVA tries to get herself under control.)

EDWIN:
 Sylva! (She turns to him, smiling. EDWIN can’t control his emotions. He rushes up to her, tries to take her in his arms) You’ve come ...
 

SYLVA:
(Interrupts him, still smiling.) I’ve come, your Highness, to wish you luck, and to catch a glimpse of your fiancée - of the girl you’d been in love with long before you pulled your little joke on me.
 

EDWIN:
 Joke?
 

SYLVA:
Oh, come along! Surely my noble friend can’t imagine I took his little ceremony seriously? It was one huge laugh - a night-club wedding - terribly funny idea. After you’d gone we all split our sides!
 

EDWIN:
 Sylva, look at me! (She does so, smiling, relaxed.) The contract that we signed - you honestly took it as a joke?
 

SYLVA:
Of course. How else could I have taken it?
 

EDWIN:
 And you married Boni of your own free will?
 

SYLVA:
Naturally. Boni adores me.
 

EDWIN:
 And you? You love him?

SYLVA:
Sylva Varescu would never marry a man she didn’t love.
 

EDWIN:
 In that case - I have nothing more to say.

SYLVA:
(Intently) And when is your Highness thinking of following my example? When will you be marrying?
 
No. 9 WHERE ARE THEY NOW
 

EDWIN:
 (spoken) My engagement will be officially announced this very evening. And I thank you for the honour you have done me by appearing here in person (Kisses her hand formally!) We two, we can remain good friends, can we not?
 

SYLVA:
(Battling to retain control of herself)... Good friends...
 

EDWIN:
 And that evening in the Orpheum ... that last evening. That was just a dream ... was it not?
 

SYLVA:
(Faintly) just a dream.

EDWIN:
 (Intensely, almost whispering into her ear.)
But a beautiful one - the most beautiful I’ve ever known.
Do you think of it sometimes?
 

SYLVA:
I think of it. (sung) Festive laughter, celebration, Friends around me, jubilation, Music playing, lights ablaze!
 

EDWIN:
 Glasses clinking, waiters beaming, Dancers whirling, jewels gleaming, Ev’rything a golden haze!
 

SYLVA:
All of us were touched by magic,
A dream to cherish and adore.
Such memories as these stay with us all our lives.
Yes, for ever more.
BOTH:
But happiness and love’s enchantment
Are gone for ever and a day.

SYLVA:
Like fading phantom figures
They are out of reach.
So far away!
 

EDWIN:
 Where are they now,
Words so devotedly spoken?
Gone like a dream,
Gone with the dawning of day.
Where are they now,
Vows which could never be broken?
Where are they now?
Where are they now?
Where are the love and the hope?
Where are they now?

Promises which none could sever,
Now so soon they’re gone forever,
And a husband’s at your side!
 

SYLVA:
Other eyes so sweetly smiling,
Soft embraces, words beguiling
Edwin and his lovely bride!
 

EDWIN:
 How could you destroy that magic,
Destroy our own enchanted spell?
The love I felt for you no words could ever tell,
None could ever tell.
 
BOTH:
And yet of such a tender passion
The memory alone is left;
 

SYLVA:
Two wounded hearts of all their cherished dreams bereft,
Ever bereft.
 
Where are they now,
Words so devotedly spoken?
Gone like a dream.
Gone with the dawning of day.
Where are they now,
Vows which could never be broken,
 
BOTH:
Where are they now?
Where are they now?
Where are the love and the hope?
Where are they now?
 

SYLVA:
Just a fairy-tale romance,
How confusing,
Just a momentary fling,
How amusing!
Just a comic episode,
Simply splendid,
So let’s laugh now it has ended!


La la la la la la la.
Simply splendid,
La la la la la la la.
Now it’s ended.
 
BOTH:
Just a fairy-tale romance,
Unenduring.
Now it’s over.
Dead and gone!
 
Dance
Where are they now?
Where are they now?
Where are the love and the laughter,
Oh where are they now?
 (Exeunt at opposite sides of stage.)
 
Scene 13
 
(Enter STASI, followed by BONI.)
STASI:
Go on, you’re just a flatterer!
 

BONI:
 No really - bowled over at the first glance!
 
STASI:
Well, well, well!
Are all Hungarian husbands as wicked as you?
 

BONI:
 No, just me. But what can I do about it? When you look at me like that with those huge blue eyes, everything inside just goes boum! (Strikes the right side of his chest, corrects himself) Er, sorry, boum! (Strikes the left side of his chest.)
 
STASI:
(Clasping her hands in mock horror.)
Heavens! If your wife could hear you!
 

BONI:
 My what? Oh yes, my wife! Well, actually it wouldn’t bother me a bit.
 
STASI:
Well all I can say is, if you were my husband ...
 

BONI:
 (Eagerly) If I were your husband ... ?
 
STASI:
I’d make it my business to scratch your eyes out.
 

BONI:
 (Clasping her hands) And if these were the hands that did the scratching, I’d never want it to stop.
 
 
Scene 12
 
(Enter SYLVA, followed by EDWIN. She sees Boni kissing STASI’hand)
 
STASI:
(Alarmed) Your wife! (Tries to withdraw her hand.)
 

BONI:
 (Relaxed) Doesn’t matter! (Goes on kissing her hand.)

SYLVA:
(Exaggeratedly loving.) Bonifazius darling, I think there’s something in my shoe. (Assumes a limp)

EDWIN:
 (Rapidly) May I.. ?
 

SYLVA:
Thank you, but what does one have a husband for?
 

BONI:
 What indeed? (Aside to SYLVA.)
Why don’t you wear gumboots?
 

EDWIN:
 (Playing SYLVA’s game.) Well, Stasi my angel, are you having a nice time?
 
STASI:
(Looking straight at BONI.) A very nice time.
 

EDWIN:
 You look - ravishing.

SYLVA:
(Hissing to BONI.) Say something loving to me.
 

BONI:
 (His attention still on STASI.) Like what?
 

SYLVA:
Half-wit!
 

BONI:
 (Loudly, in loving tone) Half-wit!

EDWIN:
 (To STASI, holding her hand.)
I’m not going to let you go - you must dance every dance with me!
 

BONI:
 (Still fumbling with SYLVA’s shoe, tries to cross to STASI.) But I’m dancing the next waltz ...

 

SYLVA:
(Wrenches him around.) ... with me!
 

BONI:
 (Resignedly to STASI.) With her!
 

SYLVA:
(Rumpling BONI’s hair playfully, but looking straight at EDWIN.)
I can’t bear to see you dance with anyone else.

EDWIN:
 (To STASI, but looking at SYLVA)
There’s no-one in the world more thrilling
to dance with than you!
 
No. I0 THIS LIFE IS FOR LIVING
(To STASI.)
Music it fires me,
Music inspires me,
Makes my feet want to dance.
Once the band has started playing,
In each other’s arms we’re swaying,
And I know that when a waltz is due,
No-one can dance it like you!

BONI:
 (To SYLVA.)
Music inspires me,
Music requires me,
Wife, to ask you to dance.
Shake a leg with me my sweetie,
Let me beg and make entreaty,
For I know that when a waltz is due,
No-one can polka like you.
STASI:
 (To EDWIN.)
Cousin dear, you’re strangely attentive to me.
May I ask what the reason could be?
What a change to encounter a man.
Who doesn’t just grab what he can!

SYLVA:
(To BONI.)
When a husband’s suggesting a dance,
Ev’ry woman will leap at the chance.
I suspect you are waltzing through life,
So let’s make sure it’s with your wife!
 
ALL FOUR:
Hurrah, hurrah,
This life is for living
So have no misgiving
And live for all you’re worth.
Hurrah, hurrah,
For joy beyond measure
And infinite pleasure,
That’s why we’re here on earth.
To you, to you,
I’ll be for ever true,
We’ll twist and twirl
And swish and swirl,
And waltz our worries away!
Forget tomorrow
And its sorrow,
Dance today!
STASI:
Dearest, you charm me
Wholly disarm me,
Irresistible you!

SYLVA:
Boni dear, you waltz so lightly,
Like a horse, but less politely,
If you hold me closer, then who knows,
P’raps you won’t tread on my toes!

EDWIN:
 From the way I’m dancing
You surely can tell
That I’m hopelessly under your spell.
I will count it the crown of my life,
Once I have made you my wife.

BONI:
 Popsy, don’t be so loving to me,
It puts our marriage at risk don’t you see?
Such affection in public, I swear,
Soon it will be too much to bear!
ALL FOUR:
Hurrah, hurrah,
This life is for living,
So have no misgiving
And live for all you’re worth!
Hurrah, hurrah,
For joy beyond measure
And inifinite pleasure
That’s why we’re here on earth
To you, to you,
I’ll be for ever true,
We’ll twist and twirl
And swish and swirl,
And waltz our worries away
Forget tomorrow
And its sorrow,
Dance today!
(All four dance off.)
 
 
Scene 13
PRINCE:
(Enters enthusiastically.) This young Countess
Kanscianu is a heavenly creature! How she dance
– how she floats! (Imitates her, slipping into a waltz)
 

SYLVA:
(Enters, sees him, laughs.) Your Highness!
 
PRINCE:
That’s right, laugh at me, but it’s all your fault, my dear. You’re an enchanting young lady, and I’m almost beginning to understand my son.
 

SYLVA:
Your son ... ?
PRINCE:
If this Varescu really is your double, how could he help falling in love with her?
 

SYLVA:
Oh, I see. But that’s past history, isn’t it?
 
PRINCE:
Yes, thank God. He loves little Stasi, and she loves him.
 

SYLVA:
just supposing it had been serious. If Edwin had come to you and said “Father, I love this ... cabaret-girl, and I want to marry her”?
 
PRINCE:
(Interrupts her with a laugh.) Oh dear me! You don’t know the Lippert-Weylersheims! My son didn’t come to me, and didn’t say “I want to marry her”. He had his bit of fun, and now he’s marrying one of his own sort.
 

SYLVA:
(Almost to herself) And the Gipsy Princess has been ... forgotten?
 
PRINCE:
She has indeed. And now my only wish for Edwin is that he will be as happy with Stasi as you are with Boni.
 

SYLVA:
(Faintly) Yes. Yes of course. (With forced gaiety) Your Highness, why don’t we dance?
 
(The last page of No. 7 has been repeated very softly behind the final sentences of this dialogue, as if comingfrom the ballroom off-stage. Sudden crescendo after SYLVA’s last words. They dance off.)
 
 
 
Scene 14
 
(Enter STASI and BONI, breathless from dancing. STASI flings herself into a chair)
STASI:
You’re killing me - I must get my breath back!

BONI:
 How about a drink?
STASI:
Oh, no thanks.

BONI:
 What I’d like to offer you is something very different.
STASI:
What?

BONI:
 (Pointing at his heart.) That.
 
STASI:
How can you talk like that? I’m going to tell your wife about you.
 

BONI:
 I wish you would.
STASI:
Listen. Do you know you’re an utterly depraved character?
 

BONI:
 I’m an utterly happy character. I’m in love - for the very first time.
 
STASI:
And your wife?
 

BONI:
 What’s it got to do with my wife? Listen, I have a confession to make.
 
STASI:
Oh my God!

BONI:
 (Mysteriously) Our marriage ... (Searching for words) ... is not a marriage.
 
STASI:
What is it then?

BONI:
 (In desperation.) I can’t tell you till tomorrow. I ... I’ve sworn ... Oh drat, this is dreadful! But please say truthfully (Takes her hand.), if I were free, free like a ... fish on the wing ... could you become fond of me?
 
STASI:
I’m not going to tell you.
 

BONI:
 Why not? Because of my wife? (Very tenderly) Look, forget about my wife. She can be ... eliminated.
 
STASI:
(In horror.) What?
 

BONI:
 Painlessly. We can let her live.
 
STASI:
Don’t you care about your wife?
 

BONI:
 No.
 
STASI:
Then why did you marry her?
 

BONI:
 Can’t say till tomorrow.
 
STASI:
I’m beginning to lose my confidence in men.
 

BONI:
 Oh! it’s nothing to do with us - it’s that fellow Cupid.
 
No. 11 THAT FELLOW CUPID
Glance around, men are thick on the ground,
Some are young, some are old,
Some are shy, some are bold,
Some well read, others slow in the head,
But they all have an urge to wed.
There are some who’ll take on a tigress,
Or get caught by an untamed shrew.
There are others of course
Who are absurdly lucky,
They land a girl like you.
That fellow Cupid, He’s not so stupid,
He’ll make a monkey out of you whoe’er you are.
Like ev’ry lover
You’ll soon discover
Forbidden fruits are always tastier by far!
 
STASI:
Men take care, there are girls ev’rywhere,
Some are sweet and petite,
Very neat on their feet.
Some are vast with a colourful past,
But for partners they all compete!
Though we’re courted in language flow’ry,
Not a word of it’s ever meant.
If we’re titled and saddled with a big fat dowry,
Husbands are quite content.
 
BOTH:
That fellow Cupid,
He’s not so stupid,
He makes us blind before he moves in for the kill
It’s when you’re landed,
Completely stranded,
You notice that the men are all deceivers still!
 
Dance
(Exeunt both.)
 
Scene I5
 
(Enter SYLVA and EDWIN.)
 

EDWIN:
 Sylva, you’re just trying to fool yourself. Every look, every word makes it obvious - you’re not happy. (SYLVA makes as if to reply, EDWIN takes her hand.) You can’t be happy!
 

SYLVA:
Why not? I have a husband who worships me. I’m a Countess. Even Princes open their doors to me.
 

EDWIN:
 But you’re not fooling me. You don’t care a jot for Boni. You just married him to get your own back on me. (SYLVA is about to reply) I’m not blaming you - appearances were against me. But now we both know what really happened, and you can’t go on fighting against it - you’re still in love with me. (SYLVA moves away from him, he turns round to face him) Sylva, you are, aren’t you?
 

SYLVA:
Please let me go! (EDWIN clasps her to him, kisses her.)
 
 
 
Scene 16
(BONI has entered in time to see what is happening.)

BONI:
 (Dramatically) Ha!
(SYLVA frees herself from EDWIN, runs offstage Slight pause. EDWIN remains stock still, BONI strides up and down, glaring dramatically)

EDWIN:
 (Standing like an officer on parade.) Count Kanscianu -
 

BONI:
 Prince Lippert-Weylersheim?
 

EDWIN:
 I am ready to give you satisfaction.
 

BONI:
 (Nervously) Don’t worry about that, old fellow. The word is mightier than the sword - and a lot less messy.
 

EDWIN:
 (Still very formal.) Very well. Count!.. er... (Searches for words) Boni!
 

BONI:
 (Loftily) Take your time, my boy, take your time.
 

EDWIN:
 Tell me, are we friends?
 

BONI:
 Not if you pinch my lines.
 

EDWIN:
 (Impulsively) Boni, I can’t live without your wife. Let her go! (Grabs BONI’s lapels, shakes him) Let her go!
 

BONI:
 (Resolutely) You let me go! Stop it! You can have anything of mine; just don’t shake me!
 

EDWIN:
 (Intensely) Boni, give her to me - let her divorce you!
 
(Slight pause. BONI stares at EDWIN in astonishment, then smiles, goes up to EDWIN, takes his head in both hands, kisses him on both cheeks and speaks, very theatrically)

BONI:
 My marriage - what is my marriage? Take her dear boy - she’s yours!

EDWIN:
 You really mean it? Boni! (Embraces him)
 
 
Scene 17
(SYLVA enters, sees the two men embracing. EDWIN rushes up to her)
Sylva, everything’s all right! I’m the happiest man in the world! Your husband agrees to a divorce!

SYLVA:
Boni, you haven’t ... ?
 

BONI:
 (Tremendously dramatic) Madame, our marriage is over! To be married with none of the advantages of marriage - that is not the marriage I married for when I married. A wife who starts being unfaithful before she’s started being faithful cannot in good faith be called a faithful wife. After the shameful scene that I have witnessed with both my eyes, my heart is turning in its grave, and our life together is over. Never more can we share bed and board. Well, board maybe from time to time, and the other we never got around to. Be happy, as I too hope to find happiness! (Exit)
 
Scene 18
 
 

EDWIN:
 Sylva!

SYLVA:
Edwin!
 
No. 12 LET ME DANCE AND LET ME SING
 
 

EDWIN:
 Let me dance and let me sing,
And shout it to the skies,
Who could have dreamt I would capture
Such a prize?
 

SYLVA:
Night is past,
It’s day at last,
And life is quite divine,
Mine is the love of a lifetime.
Mine all mine!
 
BOTH:
I can hear the angels singing
“This is love”.
In my heart the echo’s ringing
“This is love”
All my dreams of happiness
At last come true,
For darling you belong to me,
And I to you!
 

SYLVA:
Senses reeling,
What a feeling,
Bliss beyond compare,
Out of the window with sorrow
Goodbye care!
 

EDWIN:
 Tears are over,
We’re in clover,
Ev’rything’s all right!
Somehow a miracle happened
Here tonight!
 
BOTH:
I can hear the angels singing “This is love”.
In my heart the echo’s ringing “This is love”.
All my dreams of happiness
At last come true,
So let the world just go to blazes,
I love you!
 
Dance
 
I can hear the angels singing,
“This is love”.
In my heart the echo’s ringing
“This is love”.
 
(BOTH:
)All my dreams of happiness
At last come true,
For darling you belong to me
And I to you.
 

EDWIN:
 And now, my darling, we must go to my father.
 

SYLVA:
(Alarmed) How will you tell him?
 

EDWIN:
 I’ll come straight out with it - “I’m in love with Countess Kanscianu, and can’t live without her”.
 

SYLVA:
But when he finds out that I’m Sylva Varescu?
 

EDWIN:
 But you’re not, not any more. You’re the Countess Kanscianu. Your marriage to Boni has been an absolute God-send.
 

SYLVA:
What on earth do you mean?

EDWIN:
 Look, crazy as it may seem, none of these people (With a general gesture towards the ballroom) would raise an eyebrow about a Lippert-Weylersheim marrying a divorced Countess Kanscianu.
 

SYLVA:
(Quietly) There’d be no disgrace in that?

EDWIN:
 (Pacing up and down excitedly, deep in his own thoughts about the future, not picking up the real importance of SYLVA’s words) None at all.
 

SYLVA:
But if I were still just Sylva Varescu, the cabaret singer?
 
No. 13 FINALE ACT II
 

EDWIN:
 (spoken) (His full attention returning to SYLVA.)
Sylva, let’s not look for difficulties. The great thing is, this way it’s going to work! The other way we’d have had such problems thrown in our path– I sometimes think we’d never have been really happy.

SYLVA:
(Hiding deep distress) I see.

EDWIN:
 (Tenderly) What’ s the matter?
 

SYLVA:
Nothing - just memories.
 

EDWIN:
 Don’t worry about memories. We can afford to forget the past ... let’s enjoy the present, and the future!
 
STASI:
(Enters laughingly from the ballroom.) Edwin, you’re turning me into a wall-flower! I don’t usually have to fetch my dancing partners. Would you excuse us, Countess?
 
(SYLVA nods, STASI leads EDWIN towards the ballroom, looks back briefly at SYLVA. Speaks to EDWIN)
I could start getting suspicious!
(They dance off, SYLVA crosses to the door of the ballroom, watches them sadly. She returns to the table, picks up a bell, rings it. A FOOTMAN enters.)
FOOTMAN:
Madame?
SUVA:
My coat please.
FOOTMAN:
Immediately, Madame. (Exit)

SYLVA:
He’s ashamed of me!
FOOTMAN returns with SYLVA’s coat, helps her put it on, bows, exit. SYLVA  turns to leave, slowly, with head low.)
He’s ashamed of Sylva Varescu! If he knew ... (sung) Believe in happiness, It’s ev’rywhere around you.
(Enter PRINCE, PRINCESS, followed by full company except EDWIN, BONI and STASI.)
PRINCE:
Now then, what’s this? You can’t be leaving, Countess?
 

SYLVA:
I’m very tired.
 
PRINCESS:
Come, my dear - all the gentlemen will be heartbroken. Please change your mind.
 
GUESTS:
    You must stay, Countess. Don’t desert us etc. etc.
 
PRINCESS:
(Aside to PRINCE) Leopold Maria, I think this would be the moment!
 
PRINCE:
You’re right, Anhilte.
 
PRINCESS:
Yes, Leopold Maria!
 
PRINCE:
(To the COMPANY) I have a surprise for you all - an announcement of the greatest importance to the House of Lippert-Weylersheim! (To SYLVA.) Surely you won’t leave us now!
 

SYLVA:
(Hesitates, then very resolutely) I’ll stay!
 
GUESTS:
    Bravo, splendid, etc. etc.
 
(Enter EDWIN, STASI, BONI.)
PRINCE:
My dear, my very dear friends! I have a happy announcement to make. (Clears his throat) Two hearts which, since early youth, have been united in love for one another - my only son Edwin ...
 

EDWIN:
 Father!
 
PRINCE:
... my beloved niece Stasi ...
 

EDWIN:
 (Spoken, gradually changing into the singing voice)
Forgive me Father, Stasi forgive me!
But our betrothal cannot be announced.
My hopes of happiness lie elsewhere,
Someone else has won my heart.
The passion which I thought had vanished,
Vanished into empty air,
Returns again with strength redoubled,
And banishes my dull despair.
For now I hear the angels singing
“This is love”.
In my heart the echo’s ringing
“This is love”.
Nothing in the world can separate us two,
For darling you belong to me and I to you.
 
STASI,
BONI &
CHORUS:
  Golden dreams of happiness
At last come true
If all your love belongs to her, -
And hers to you!
 
STASI:
(To EDWIN.)
Just follow your conviction with sincerity,
To your own heart be true,
And if you find the happiness of which you’ve
dreamed,
My blessing goes with you.
 
PRINCE:
(To EDWIN, very sternly.) This other woman- who
is she?

EDWIN:
 Father, it’s ...
 

SYLVA:
I am the other woman!
 
PRINCESS:
You Countess?
GUESTS:
    The Countess? etc. etc.
 

EDWIN:
 (Joyfully) Yes, it’s the Countess Kanscianu!
PRINCE:
Countess, is this some kind of joke?

SYLVA:
No, it’s no joke. (Looking hard at EDWIN.) But there is something I must tell you all. I am not Boni’s wife.
 

EDWIN:
 Not Boni’s wife?

SYLVA:
No.

EDWIN:
 So you’re not ...
 

SYLVA:
(Interrupting him.) ... a Countess? No, but I am much more than that. (Addressing the full company.) I am a Princess Lippert-Weylersheim!
 
PRINCE:
What on earth do you mean?

 

SYLVA:
(Producing the document from Act 1.) Your Highness, you have it here in black and white, signed by your own son! (Hands the paper to the PRINCE)
 

EDWIN:
 Sylva, what are you doing?
 
PRINCE:
(Reads in horrified disbelief) “I Edwin Ronald ... solemnly declare ... Fräulein Sylva Varescu. ... within eight weeks ... (To SYLVA.) So you are Sylva Varescu, the Gipsy Princess?

 
 

SYLVA:
I am. But if I wanted ... (Takes back the document.)
The eight weeks have a few more hours to run.
EDWAIN:
   I have no need to change my decision,
The contract still stands,
It’s my one ambition
To make you my wife
 
(
EDWIN:
)   The pact is not broken, Proudly let the words be spoken. This is my wife!
 

SYLVA:
No, Edwin, you cannot be blamed
That you were born so high,
I would not want your Highness shamed
By one as low as I!
We were blind when troth we plighted,
Our two worlds can’t be united!
(She tears up the document)
 
STASI
& CHORUS:
(spoken) You are free!

EDWIN:
 (sung) What pain in her voice!
How harsh a price to pay!
Can nothing more, nothing more,
Help them to find their way?
 

SYLVA:
(spoken) Sylva, don’t go!

EDWIN:
 It’s the best way. (With great emphasis) We’d have had such problems thrown in our path - we’d never have been really happy!
 
(SYLVA gives BONI a sign to help her on with her coat. He drapes it round her shoulders, glances from SYLVA to EDWIN from EDWIN to SYLVA)

BONI:
 (sung) (Shaking his head with very underplayed humour)
That fellow Cupid
He can be stupid -
He makes us blind and then forgets to clear our eyes.
(While BONI helps SYLVA with her coat, the PRINCE gives a discreet sign to a FOOTMAN, who fetches BONI’s hat and coat. BONI takes his things and follows SYL VA, who has already turned to leave. He looks very sadly towards STASI, bows to her, bows left and right to the guests, and saunters, the comedy still very underplayed, after SYLVA. EDWIN wants to run to SYLVA, but the PRINCE blocks his path)
STASI &
CHORUS:
  That’s how love takes you,
That’s how love breaks you,
And then you’ve lost your love before you realize!
(As the curtain falls, SYLVA and BONI are still visible, their backs to the audience, just about to leave the stage)
End of Act II
No. 13 and 1/2 INTERMEZZO
ACT III
A sitting-room on the first floor of the Hotel Winkelbaum in Vienna. Not a luxury establishment, but regularly patronized by the aristocracy, particularly when in Vienna unaccompanied by their wives, Stage right and left, tables and chairs. Stage centre, rather up -stage, table with three chairs and a telephone on it. The telephone must have plenty of flex attached to the receiver.
It is after midnight, some 15 minutes after the end of Act 2. There are sounds of gipsy music, clinking glasses, voices etc. as if from a bar downstairs. Exits up-stage centre and both sides of stage.
Enter PORTER, oldish, rather seedy, cockney accent followed by BONI and SYLVA, dressed just as they were when leaving the Villa at the end of Act 2. All up-stage centre.
Scene 1
 
PORTER:
If yer want a quiet chat, sir, this is yer best bet. Make yourself at ‘ome my Lord. Make yerself at lome my, er, Lady (SYLVA and BONI fling themselves exhaustedly into chairs at one of the tables. PORTER stands expectantly beside BONI) It’s a real pleasure to ‘ave yer’Ighness back sir. Same as it always was to ‘ave ‘is Grace yer father in times gone by. ‘E was always such a generous gentleman, was yer father. (BONI takes the hint at last, tips him) Oh! thank yer, sir - no need for that!
 
(SYLVA  gives a deep sigh.)

BONI:
(Gives an even deeper one. Lights a cigarette, takes two puffs. Looks grumpily at SYLVA) Feeling better?
 

SYLVA:
(Unconvincingly). Much better.
 
A
 
 
 

BONI:
 I hate to criticize, but your behaviour was like an audition for the Mad Scene from “Lucia’.
 

SYLVA:
(Shrugging her shoulders) 0 la la, that’s the way I am!
 

BONI:
 0 la la, but it’s not the way I am! I’m as innocent as a new-born lamb, and thanks to you I’m up to here in the mint-sauce! I’ll be the laughing-stock of Viennese society!
 

SYLVA:
(Rests her elbows on the table, looks him calmly in the face.) Are you trying to quarrel with me?
 

BONI:
 (Instantly pacified.) Of course not. But did you have to stage a three act drama? What was poor old Edwin supposed to do? You can’t do much more than ask a girl to marry you.
 

SYLVA:
But it was Countess Kanscianu he wanted to marry! He was ashamed of me!

BONI:
 Nonsense! When chaps are ashamed they turn crimson. Edwin was as white as a sheet.

SYLVA:
You’re sticking up for your old friend. You’re such a good soul! (She quietly starts to cry)

BONI:
 Oh! come on, you know I can’t bear to see a woman cry! (Gets up, blows his nose, throws himself into a chair on the opposite side of the stage.) Now look what you’ve done! (Weeps loudly and trumpets into his handkerchief)
Scene 2
 
(Enter FERI up-stage centre. Cigarette in his mouth, top-hat at an angle on his head, cloak with collar turned up, hands in the pockets of his cloak, in his right hand the handle of his cane, thrust deep into the pocket. Comes whistling down the steps, spots BONI, then SYLVA, stops in his tracks, looks from one to the other, laughs delightedly)

FERI:
  Jaj marnam! Am I seeing things? Boni, Sylva! (They look round, their crying changes to laughter, they leap up)
 

SYLVA:
Feri, dear, dear Feri!
 

BONI:
 (At the same time as SYLVA) My dear old fellow!
 

FERI:
  (Jumps in the air with delight; BONI and SYLVA spin him round.) Sylva, the one and only! (Embraces her.) You look terrific! Boni, my lovely lad! (Embraces him) You look appalling! What the devil are you doing here? You’re supposed to be in America!
 

BONI:
 We, er, had to cut the tour a little short. But come to that, what are you doing here?
 

FERI:
  I’m on a mission.
 

SYLVA:
A what?
 

FERI:
  A mission - as official protector of maidenly virtue. just you wait! (Hurries to upstage exit, calls as if downstairs) Juliska, Aranka, girls! Look who’s here!
 
(Girls’voices start off-stage.)
Scene 3
 
GIRLS:
(Enter dancing girls from the Orpheum) Who can it be? Who is it, Feri? etc. etc. Sylva! Sylva! (Rush up to her and kiss her.)
 

SYLVA:
What a wonderful surprise!
 
(Girls spot BONI, rush at him)
 
GIRLS:
Boni, Boni, have you brought me a present? etc.
etc.

FERI:
  They’ve got a week’s contract, round the corner in
the Apollo - starts tomorrow.

SYLVA:
(Laughing) And what role are you playing?
 

FERI:
  I came along in a paternal capacity - because
they’re all in love with me! Oh, Sylva, people are
going to sit up in Budapest when they hear you’re
back at the Orpheum!

SYLVA:
I’m not coming back.
FERI
& GIRLS:
   What? Why on earth not? etc. etc.

SYLVA:
I’m getting married.
ALL:
   0h!

FERI:
  And who are you marrying?

BONI:
 (Quickly) Edwin!
GIRLS:
(Clapping their hands) You are? Coo, isn’t that
lovely! That’s wonderful! A fairy-tale romance!
etc. etc.

SYLVA:
It’s not true. It’s him (Pointing at BONI, everyone
bursts out laughing.)

FERI:
  That would be the biggest mistake of your life.

BONI:
 Precisely!

FERI:
  You need him like an elephant needs a grand piano.

BONI:
 Bravo!

FERI:
  Why do you want to get married? Come back to the theatre!

SYLVA:
No, that’s over!

FERI:
  (To BONI and the girls) You leave her to me. We’ll see what Uncle Feri can do about this. (Exeunt girls, laughing, with BONI.) (FER1 takes SYLVA’s hand, very tenderly). It’s still hurting isn’t it, that Edwin business? (SYLVA remains silent.) I can understand you - I went through it all myself But it’s not a reason to throw away the whole future - you musn’t do that. Love may have turned your life upside down, but you’re an artist:
 your singing will put it straight again. Come back to the theatre. That’s your home, that’s where you belong! When you stand up there on that little stage, and you look down onto the audience, and suddenly everything goes quiet, and everyone’s glass is lifted - to you - and when you start to sing, and all hearts fly out to you - especially the men’s - then all the pain will slip away and you’ll become once again what you always used to be - a little songbird, marvellous, with happiness in your throat and happiness in your heart. Then you’ll be Sylva again - our Sylva!
 

SYLVA:
Oh Feri, you heavenly man!
 

FERI:
  (Opens his arms to her, she lays her head on his chest, sobbing.) Come back! You will - won’t you?
 

SYLVA:
It’s all been spoilt, Feri. I can’t!
 

FERI:
  You can! (Runs to exit upstage.) Boni, come up here, and bring those gipsies with you!
 

SYLVA:
I mean it, Feri. I really do.
 
(Enter BONI and gipsy musicians)
 

FERI:
  We’ll see about that. Come on Zigeuner,  give us a tune with some fire in it, something to make the blood race! (Hands the primas a banknote.) (To BOM.) Sylva needs one last little push!
 
No. 14 COME ZIGEUNER, TAKE YOUR BOW
Come Zigeuner, take your bow And let that fiddle sing Child of night call up the devil, Make the rafters ring! Where’s the tune that laughs and cries? Where’s the tune that sobs and sighs? Where’s the tune to set the aching heart on fire Where’s the tune to touch the chords of deep desire?
Strike up Zigeuner, Drive our sorrows away, Play gipsy, play Till night has turned into day. Fortune’s a lady who does not like to wait, And tomorrow may be too late!
SYLVA, BONI
A
FERI:
 Strike up Zigeuner,
Drive our sorrows away.
Play gipsy, play
Till night has turned into day,
Who knows how long this sad old world will
survive?
And at least we are still alive!
 

SYLVA:
Play, oh play a soothing song
To mend a broken dream,
Any song you like as long
As love is not the theme.
Where’s the tune to stop the heart
Tear the pain and grief apart,
Where’s the tune to show me heaven after hell?
Play and let the Csárdás weave it’s magic spell!
Strike up Zigeuner,
Drive our sorrows away,
Play gipsy, play
Till night has turned into day,
Fortune’s a lady who does not like to wait,
And tomorrow may be too late!
SYLVA, BONI
&
FERI:
 Strike up Zigeuner,
Drive our sorrows away,
Play gipsy, play
Till night has turned into day.
Who knows how long this sad old world will
survive?
And at least we are still alive!

BONI:
 What’s the point of people moping
In this vale of tears?
We’ll have all moved on elsewhere
In roughly fifty years!
Why should life be sad and grey?
Let it be a cabaret!
So bring on the dancing girls and pink champagne!
Maybe we shall never have a chance again!
SYLVA, BONI
&
FERI:
  
Strike up Zigeuner,
Drive our sorrows away,
Play gipsy, play
Till night has turned into day.
Who knows how long this sad old world will
survive?
And at least we are still alive!
Dance
(Exeunt all, stage centre.)
Scene 4
 
(Enter PORTER and EDWIN by one of the side entrances)
PORTER:
   This is where I left’im, yer’Ighness.
If you’ll’ang on ‘ere,
I’ll see if I can track ‘im down.
(PORTER exits stage centre, EDWIN paces up and down like a caged lion. Enter
BONI stage centre)

BONI:
 Hullo Edwin! I ddidn’t think you’d pick up much sleep. But could I do with some! (Yawns)

EDWIN:
 (Brusquely) Where’s Sylva?

BONI:
 (Evasively) She’s, er, having a cup of coffee with Feri.
 

EDWIN:
 With Feri?

BONI:
 Yes, he’s in the hotel too. Rather jolly, isn’t it? (Yawns hugely)
 

EDWIN:
 (Furiously) jolly? Now listen, Boni, don’t think you’re going to get away with this! A childhood friend, a man I’d have trusted with my life - ever since I was so high! But you go and show Sylva that blasted engagement notice! You’re the man who ruined everything! Then you come bursting into our house and put on some farcical comedy turn! What the hell do you think you’re up to? (During this tirade BONI has gradually fallen fast asleep on hisfeet, his chin sinking slowly onto his chest. With his final words EDWIN grabs BONI’s lapels. BONI wakes with a start)
 

BONI:
 (Shrieks) Help!
 

EDWIN:
 Why did you pass Sylva off as your wife?
 

BONI:
 I didn’t!
 

EDWIN:
 (Yells) What?
 

BONI:
 She passed me off as her husband - different kettle of fish.
 

EDWIN:
 (Visibly restraining himself from doing BONI some violence.) If you weren’t such a hopeless fathead ... !

BONI:
 Now Sylva wants me as a husband. I’m supposed to marry your wife when I’m in love with your flancée. Do I have to swallow that? (Shakes EDWIN.) I’m to marry a girl who has a husband who’s engaged to a fianc& whom I want to have as my wife. Do I have to swallow that? (Shakes EDWIN) The person I want to marry has a fianc~e with a wife who wants me as herhusband-and do 1 have to swallow that? (Shakes EDWIN)

 

EDWIN:
 Boni!

BONI:
 Let go! How dare you shake me like that?
 

BONI:
 (Loftily) You must learn to take turns!
(Enter PORTER, stage centre.)
PORTER:
   (Showing to BONI a visiting card.) ‘Scuse me, m’Lord - there’s an elderly’Ighness what wants a word with yer. (Exit PORTER stage centre.)

BONI:
Oh crikey! Look who’s here!
(Shows the card to EDWIN)

EDWIN:
 My father! I don’t want to see him!

BONI:
 (Pointing to one of the side exits) You pop off that way. I’ll fight a rearguard action. (Exit EDWIN)
 
Scene 5
(Enter PRINCE, stage centre.)
 
PRINCE:
(Very agitated.) Has Edwin been here?

BONI:
 Yes.
PRINCE:
Where is he?

BONI:
 He’s, er, having a cup of coffee with ...
PRINCE:
Is he all right? Nothing’s happend to him?

BONI:
 He’s fine.
PRINCE:
Thank the Lord! (Rushes to telephone.)
Get me 1140!
Yes, and hurry!

BONI:
 (Writes the number down on his cuff. Aside.)
1140!
PRINCE:
(To BONI.) What did he say?

BONI:
 Nothing very memorable.
PRINCE:
(Into phone) Anhilte, is that you? This is me! God be praised, he’s here ... No, he’s all right, and I’ll be bringing him home. (Hangs up) (To BONI.) Without your idiotic theatricals the engagement would have gone through. Now that poor child Stasi is compromised for life!

BONI:
 Not a bit of it. The engagement can be announced today.
 
PRINCE:
What’s that supposed to mean?
 

BONI:
 Just a moment! (Puts on his white gloves) I have the honour to ask your Highness for the hand of the Countess Anastasia.
 
PRINCE:
You’re daft! Stasi’s in love with Edwin.
 
DONI:
 That requires elucidation. (Goes to the telephone, reads the number off his cuff.) 1140! Yes, and hurry!
 
PRINCE:
Is this another of your damned jokes?
 

BONI:
 (Into telephone.) Hullo? It’s Count Kanscianu here. Would you please bring Countess Anastasia to the telephone? (To the PRINCE.) It sounds like a madhouse at the other end. (Into the telephone.) Countess? (He bows politely) Countess, I ... (Listens) Angry? I was afraid you might be, but believe me, I’m the innocent victim of... Please listen, I’m here with Prince ... no, the old one ... Sorry (Bows apologetically to the PRINCE.) ... just one little question, but promise not to fall over and bump your lovely head. I’ve just made a formal request for your hand in marriage. (Listens) Please don’t laugh, my whole happiness depends on it! What? Laughing for joy? ... Then you mean ... ? But you can’t mean that! ... You do? (Looks dazed, places receiver to his heart.) Then I’m the happiest man in the world! (Hangs up) Uncle-in-law, you may embrace me!
 
Scene 6
 
(Enter FERI, by a side entrance)

FERI:
  Boni, Sylva says will you please come and pack.

BONI:
 I’m not packing and I’m not leaving (To the PRINCE.) Don’t be misled - neither Sylva nor any other woman in the world has any claim upon me.
JULISKA:
   (Appears briefly upstage centre.) Boni darling, do hurry up!
(Waves to her, turns apologetically to the PRINCE) She doesn’t count! (To PRINCE) Back in a moment! (Exit)
 
Scene 7

FERI:
  Do I have the honour of speaking to Edwin’s Papa? (Introduces himself) Baron Ferencz Kerekes of Felsö-Mezötur and Also -Kirishaza. Known in Budapest as Feri.
 
PRINCE:
Delighted. Leopold Maria, Prince Lippert-Weylersheim. (Bows)
 

FERI:
  Please forgive me if I’m poking my nose into family matters, but Edwin is a very dear young friend of mine, and I know the whole story.
 
PRINCE:
So much the better. Then you’re bound to agree…
 

FERI:
  Forgive me, but I do not agree. When boy loves girl it’s Papa’s job to give in gracefully.
 
PRINCE:
But nobody can demand of me that I accept a cabaret--singer as a daughter-in-law!
 

FERI:
  Why not? just the other day I bumped into old Lord Wessex while I was over at Ascot. His son and heir married a Gaiety Girl, and the old boy can’t keep his eyes off her. Or his hands come to that.
 
PRINCE:
But dammit man, that’s England! Next you’ll be saying our young fellows should learn to play cricket!
 

FERI:
  Well, let me tell you something else. I’m not exactly out of the gutter, but when 1 was young I’d have given my right hand to have married High-Kicking Hilda from the Orpheum in Miskolcz.
 
PRINCE:
Miskolcz?
 

FERI:
  It’s only a provincial town in Hungary, but Hilda fairly put it on the map. While I was badgering my father for permission to marry her, General von Palonay pinched her from under my nose. He couldn’t stand the pace, poor old chap -~ died on their honeymoon. I’d gone abroad to get over it and by the time 1 got back she’d been snapped up again - Count Geza Zentler it was that time.
 
PRINCE:
(Who has been growing increasingly bored) What did you say? Count Zentler? Are you sure?
 

FERI:
  Absolutely. But poor little Hilda was really out of luck, because he was killed in a riding accident. After that I lost sight of her. But I still carry her picture -in fond memory. (Takes out a photograph and shows it to the PRINCE.)
 
PRINCE:
(Aside) My God - my wife! (Sinks into a chair.)
 

FERI:
  Is anything the matter?
 
PRINCE:
No, no ... I just need some air! (Hands picture back to FERI)
 
(Enter PRINCESS in a state of high excitement.)
 
PRINCESS:
Where is my son? Where is Edwin?
 
PRINCE:
(Leaping up) I’m glad you’re here! I wish to speak to you!
 
PRINCESS:
(Aside) Oh my God! Feri!
 

FERI:
  (Aside) Hilda? (To the PRINCE) The Princess, I assume? (To the PRINCESS.) May I present myself? Baron Ferencz Kerekes of Felsö-Mezötur and Also-Kirishaza. I consider myself fortunate to have made your Highness’ acquaintance. (Kisses her hand, bows. As he leaves, he glances back at her, takes out the photo, tears it in half) There but for the grace of God ... (Exit)
 
PRINCE:
(Aside) Thank the Lord he didn’t recognise her!
 
Scene 9
PRINCESS:
Stasi is waiting downstairs with the Count. Why are you making that idiotic face? What’s the matter with you?
 
PRINCE:
I have one word to say to you - Miskolcz!
 
PRINCESS:
(With a gesture of horror.) Aah!
 
PRINCE:
So, it’s true! Princess von und zu LippertWeylersheim, alias High-Kicking Hilda!
 
(The PRINCESS gives a cry of dismay.)
(PRINCE:
)  Now I understand what’s the matter with Edwin. It isn’t the boy’s fault - he’s a victim of heredity!
 
PRINCESS:
(Imploringly) Leopold Maria!
PRINCE:
I withdraw my opposition. We’d better cut down my family tree, saw it into planks, and use them to build a stage!
PRINCESS:
Leopold Maria!
 
PRINCE:
(With an imperious gesture to exit stage right, and in a voice of doom) Miskolcz! (Exeunt both, PRINCESS leading, head bowed, PRINCE’s arm still outstretched.)
 
Scene 10
 
(Enter STASI and BONI, stage centre)
 
STASI:
What a night! I shan’t forget it in a hurry!
 

BONI:
 Nor me! The happiest of my life - so far!
 
STASI:
(Laughing) You are funny!

BONI:
 That’s going to stop for a start. From now on I’m taking life seriously.
 
STASI:
Please don’t. Stay the way you are.

BONI:
 On one condition - that you do too. When shall we get married?
STASI:
I don’t want to fix a wedding day till I know everything’s all right with Edwin and Sylva.
 

BONI:
 You leave that to me. In the bringing together of loving hearts the world contains no greater master than yours truly. It shall be done tonight.
 
STASI:
How?
 

BONI:
 That’s my secret. But consider yourself a married lady.
 
No. 15 THAT FELLOW CUPID – REPRISE
 

BONI:
 Glance around - what a bargain you’ve found! I suggest, little miss, that you give me a kiss. I’d have said, as we’re going to wed, You could risk it and lose your head.
 
STASI:
Let’s have less of the young Lothario. Shall we wait till I’ve seen the ring? And if you haven’t learnt, my friend, who wears the trousers, You haven’t learnt a thing!
 
BOTH:
That fellow Cupid
He’s not so stupid,
He makes us blind before he moves in for the kill.
So now we’re landed,
Completely stranded,
And ev’ry day is going to be more blissful still!
Dance
 
 
 
(Enter FERI, sees them embracing, coughs loudly.)
Scene 11
 

BONI:
 (Distractedly) Feri meet my wife. Wife meet my Feri.
 

FERI:
  My dear fellow - you don’t let the grass grow under your feet! (Kisses STASI’s hand.)
 

BONI:
 There’s no time for dalliance, you old reprobate. Cupid’s work must be done! Sylva will be here any moment, so clear the decks for action! (STASI leads FERI off, explaining as they go. BONI places up and down seeking inspiration. Gazes upwards) Let this be my finest hour! Here she comes!

(Enter SYLVA with PORTER.)

SYLVA:
... just get them onto the next train ... please!
 
 
 
(Exit PORTER by side entrance, with a mute appeal to heaven. SYLVA sinks into a chair.  BONI has taken up the telephone, stands with his back to SYLVA, other hand on telephone to prevent connection with operator.)

BONI:
 (Into telephone.) Edwin, what did you say? I beg you, Edwin, don’t do anything stupid! Everything can be put right! What was that? You can’t live without Sylva? (Shouting) For pity’s sake, put that revolver down!
 

SYLVA:
Oh my God!
 

BONI:
 (In his excitement has inadvertently taken his hand off the telephone.) What do you mean at the next stroke it will be 3.4 1 ? Clear the line you fool! No Edwin, not you! Man, you look as pale as death. Listen, you’re too young to die. Your life is like a plant in bud. It may still shoot - no, cancel that last message! (His various attempts to turn and see how SYLVA is reacting result in him gradually getting wound up in the flex.) Edwin!
 

SYLVA:
Let me speak to him! (SYLVA tries to take the receiver from BONI, but BONI struggles to prevent her.)
 

BONI:
 (To SYLVA) Stand back! A human life is at stake!
 
(EDWIN and FERI appear upstage centre. FERI takes in the situation and restrains EDWIN from interrupting.)
(Into telephone.) Edwin, tell me, are we friends? Don’t point that thing at me! Edwin, Sylva is here and asks me to say - (To SYLVA) what do you want to say?
 

SYLVA:
(Distractedly) What do I want to say? “I love you, I can’t live without you”.

BONI:
 She says she loves me and can’t live without me Edwin, what shall I tell her? What are your last words? (Listens intently to telephone.)
(EDWIN has walked up very quietly to SYLVA, and is standing behind her back)

EDWIN:
 (Gazing at SYLVA) That I love her and can’t live without her.
 
(SYLVA whips round in amazement, she and EDWIN embrace. BONI notices none of this)

BONI:
 (Still into telephone, very emphatically) Thank you!
(Hangs up, turns to extricate himself from the flex, sees
EDWIN yells in terror.) Aah! The late lamented Edwin! (STASI comes running in, straight to BONI recovers his poise, points magnificently to SYLVA and EDWIN.) All my own work! No when’s the wedding day?
 
STASI:
Any day you choose!
 
 
No. 16 FINAL REPRISE - LET ME DANCE AND LET ME SING
(While the two couples begin the reprise of no. 12, FERI beckons to people off-stage, and the rest of the company gradually come on stage, congratulate the two couples and join in the singing. The PORTER enters carrying as much luggage as he can manage, FERI gestures to him to take it all back. By now the whole company is pouring on, probably using all three entrances, the PORTER makes a hopeless attempt to announce them to BONI, is caught up in the throng, and ends up sitting disconsolately on a pile of suitcases, surrounded by general jubilation)

SYLVA, STASI, EDWIN & BONI:
   I can hear the angels singing
“This is love”.
In my heart the echo’s ringing
“This is love”.
All my dreams of happiness
At last come true
For darling you belong to me
And I to you!
 
FULL COMPANY:
Senses reeling, what a feeling,
Bliss beyond compare,
Out of the window with sorrow
Good-bye care!
Tears are over, they’re/we’re in clover,
Ev’rything’s all right,
Somehow a miracle happened here tonight!
 
SYLVA & EDWIN:
I can hear the angels singing
“This is love”

STASI & BONI:
In my heart the echo’s ringing
“This is love”

FERI &/OR PRINCESS:
    All their dreams of happiness at last come true
 
FULL COMPANY:
So let the world just go to blazes, I love you!