THE SHIP’S CAPTAIN
Imposing in a crisp white uniform, the captain greets his guests and answers questions concerning the length and draft of his ship with self-possessed expertise. Some passengers also find plausible the straightforward way in which he presents at a succession of tables a “Musical Logbook,” from which they are invited to select their favorite songs among this extensive offering of operetta melodies, Broadway classics, Neapolitan songs, film tunes, rock oldies, jazz standards and German popular songs from the Twenties and Thirties. It is only his gradually emerging prediliction for comicality that brings clearness as to his inauthenticity. The mutineer who repeatedly says “right” instead of “starboard” is told he will be conducted down to the bilge. Immediate marriage is recommended to a kissing couple – someone displaying four golden stripes upon his sleeves is vested with that authority. Unabating waves of hilarity surge higher and higher during this boisterous cruise.
Conversations with the guests take place in German, English, French and Italian, with a linguistic command that is not halting and fragmentary, but instead fluent and richly expressive.