The Masked Zinfandel

Synopsis with Audio Samples

Long ago, in the Grand Fiefdom of Helvetica, a Zorro-like hero-outlaw known as The Masked Zinfandel saves the peasants from persecution at the hands of the evil Lord Governor Dredmoor.

THE ZINFANDEL WILL SAVE YOU Performed by: Lawrence Rush, Francis Kelly, Gayla Morgan, Stanley Bahorek

His number-one fan is Sam The Shoemaker, a young amateur swashbuckler who leaves shoes for the Zinfandel in the forest and dreams of being nothing more than a gofer in his gang.

HERO'S ASSISTANT Performed by: Stanley Bahorek

Sam finds an opportunity when he encounters theLord Governor's daughter Cecily, who might appear to be a child of privilege, but claims to be a rebel with close ties to the Zinfandel (MY PEOPLE). Skeptical but curious, Sam follows her into Dangerwood Forest, and discovers the Zinfandel and Dredmoor in cahoots – staging phony rescues while mutually exploiting the masses.

WITH ENEMIES LIKE YOU [older arrangement] Performed by: Craig Fols & Raymond Bokhour 

On Dredmoor's orders, the Zinfandel pursues and tries to kill Sam, but Sam puts up a surprisingly good fight, and in the heat of battle the Zinfandel is knocked out cold. Fueled by idealism and righteous anger, Sam takes the Zinfandel's mask and steals his identity in order to put things back on track (IF I WERE YOU).

But the Zinfandel's job turns out to be harder than Sam thought. The Zinfandel's gang, including the party-loving El Gato Loco and the turnip-brained Burly Dan, are unaware of their boss' treachery, but have gotten soft on a steady diet of fixed fights. (SOLIDARITY SONG) Sam does find a kindred spirit in Aggie The Accessory, the Zinfandel's long-suffering, goal-oriented right-hand woman. And surprisingly to everyone, the “Zinfandel” suddenly re-commits to serious revolution, rather than maintaining the status quo.

NEW MAN Performed by: Stanley Bahorek

Meanwhile, Dredmoor nurses a gnawing dissatisfaction about his compromise with the Zinfandel (PURE EVIL), but can't quite bring himself to challenge him outright.  However, at the next battle, Sam, in mask, breaks the Zinfandel's old protocol by wounding Dredmoor.  Shocked and confused, Dredmoor retaliates and drives them to retreat. 

Sam now knows his days of secrecy are numbered, but isn't ready to reveal his true identity.  But Aggie is energized by his proactive agenda, not to mention the fact that he takes her suggestions seriously for a change, and the pair forge a promising new bond.

I'VE GOT MORE IDEAS Performed by: Sarah Sokolovic & Stanley Bahorek

Dredmoor returns to his opulent mansion to try to make sense of his crony's unsportsmanlike behavior. He's greeted by a surprise guest: the real Zinfandel, who's overcome with terror at the prospect of being an ordinary person.

JUST SOME GUY Performed by: Craig Fols

Unfortunately, now Dredmoor sees the Zinfandel as ordinary too, and he feels empowered to lock away his old nemesis so he can terrorize the people without compromise. Cecily sees it all from a hiding place. Meanwhile, Sam's attempt to rally the populace to his aid backfires, when he discovers they've gotten a little too dependent on being rescued. (KNOWING YOU ARE THERE) Cecily shows up and calls Sam out as a fraud; in the confusion, Dredmoor shows up and leads a charge against Sam and the peasants, resulting in mayhem, and the capture of Aggie.

The next day, Dredmoor ecstatically pursues his dreams of rarefied cruelty (NO ONE CAN STOP ME NOW), while Sam briefly wallows in nihilism and heavy drinking (NOTHING TO IT). But when Sam learns that Aggie is going to be executed by and married to Dredmoor, in that order, he decides to go in for one last rescue. Meanwhile, the peasants, now imprisoned with little hope, begin to consider taking some responsibility for their own lives. (WHAT CAN YOU DO?)

Sam reaches the foot of Aggie's prison tower, but she doesn't want to be rescued; she wants Sam to show up for the ceremony and join her in a bigger rebellion.  And she doesn't want have to spend energy convincing him to do so.

DON'T MAKE ME INSPIRE YOU Performed by: Sarah Sokolovic & Stanley Bahorek

Desperate to return to the old days, Cecily frees the original Zinfandel, but he betrays her, and her father demands that personally bring him Sam the Shoemaker to re-establish her loyalty.  (DADDY'S GIRL) On the day of the wedding/execution, Sam, Aggie, and the peasants erupt into rebellion against Dredmoor, aided by an elaborate plan based on Sam's knowledge of combat footwear. Ironically, everything is almost ruined by the return of the (original) Zinfandel, who tempts the people of Helvetica with a flashy new image and the tantalizing possibility of leaning on a hero once more.

THE HERO ETERNAL Performed by: Mike McGowan

But by being braver and more heroic than the man in the mask, and being honest about the ambiguities of their formerly black-and-white world, Sam earns the people's trust and frees them from both the villain and so-called hero who had once controlled their existence. (ONLY A STORY/FINALE)