Opera Farce

"Eva Cummings was the star soprano of an 1880s troupe called the Milan Grand Italian Opera Company. They had been booked to play Chicago and Eva was performing her favorite role, the lead in Lucia of Lammermoor. Things were going great until the thrid act. The curtain went up. No Eva.

"The audience became restless. Finally the curtain was lowered and out stepped Signor Alberto Sarata, the manager of the company. He was halfway through explaining how sick Eva was and how she was unable to continue when out from the curtains stepped an extremely healthy looking Eva.

"She stood beside Alberto and explained how she had never felt better and if she was suffering any pain at all it was in the area of her pocket. What she wanted, explained Eva, was some hard-earned cash.

"The audience were divided. Half were cheering for Eva and half for the manager. Not wishing to miss an opportunity to capture all the votes Eva began to take bows. First to one side of the theater and then to the other.

"In the meantime Alberto had sneaked off the stage. Eva began to follow suit when to her horror she found the curtains being held fast. Unable to make it off one side of the stage Eva belted to the other side. Closed.

"By now her smile was gone and the bowing had been replaced by a figure dashing from side to side. Suddenly, with a tremendous shout, Eva charged the center of the curtains. The drapes held for a moment, then finally gave way sending poor Eva sprawling backstage."

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