The Universe: The Musical was a musical developed by two leading scientists, Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking. It is almost exactly 2 hours and 44 minutes long, and spans the history of the evolution of the universe and the evolution of life on Earth, each minute representing 83,333,333 million years. Broken up into 3 acts, it has been said to be the most schizophrenic piece of crap that was ever put on Broadway.
Soon after its Broadway career, it went off-Broadway, then off-off-Broadway, and is now showing at the Fresno Funtime Children's Theater. Being true to the universe, the script calls for one singer per star in the universe, which accounts for the massive budget the musical calls for.
Act I: 13.7 billion years to 10 billion years
The first act covers the first 3.7 billion years of the Universe's existence. As each act is only 60 minutes long, each minute covers approximately 83,300,00 years of progression. The first act is peculiar in that it only covers the first 3.7 billion years of the history of the universe, and thus only lasts only about 44 minutes. The first scene lasts nearly 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, the first act is the slowest of all three acts, and covers merely the creation of the universe by [INSERT THE NAME OF YOUR FAVORITE INVISIBLE CLOUD-DWELLING SUPERHERO HERE]. The first scene describes the big bang followed very very closely by the creation of the strong and weak forces, protons, neutrons, and electrons. The person playing the universe is traditionally inside of a very hot, very fat suit during the first act. At the very beginning, actors shoot roman candles into the audience to simulate the big bang.
- Universe: OOOOOOOhhhhhh, I am the universe, here to stay,
- chorus: There's the universe, here to stay,
- Universe: Nobody should get in my way,
- chorus: Nobody should get in its way,
- Universe: Because I am quite large,
- chorus: Yes, it is quite large,
- Universe: And hot (in a sexual way)
- chorus: Yes, it gives a good lay. Wait, what?
For the rest of the hour, the actor playing the universe has his fat suit filled and expanded to fill the auditorium to simulate the expansion of our own universe. While some critics applauded the audacity of it, most just left the theater.
The Second scene of the first act covers the creation of the first stars 100 million to 400 million years after the big bang, depending on whose production of "The Universe: the Musical" you see, followed by the creation of galaxies and planets 500 million years after the big bang. The second scene lasts the rest of Act 1.
- Stars: OOOOOOOhhhhhh, I am a star, shining in the night,
- chorus: Oh looky, shining so bright!
- Stars: It's about time, I think,
- Boredom and sparkly things, we are the link,
- We are driving the audience to the brink.
- It is one of my darkest (and brightest?) fears,
- That we should drive the audience to tears,
- All while the director leers.
Act II: 10 billion years to 5 billion years
The second act also is excruciating for both the actors and the audience. Nothing eventful happens for the entire 54 minutes except that the actors silently and very slowly dance away from each other, and form clusters and mega clusters on stage.
The second scene involves the creation of the sun when the first act is nearly over (8 mins left) and the earth and the solar system a minute later. Because there are so many actors on stage, most audience members are confused until the spotlight focuses on the spiral arm of our galaxy.
Act III: 5 billion years to the present day
For about the first 57 minutes of the last act of the play, the evolution of life on earth is covered. For the first 12 minutes, there is no life on the stage: All the actors play either rocks or volcanoes. An interesting scene is carried out where the actors throw rocks at each other simply for the amusement of the audience.
(Play time: 12 minutes left): After representing simple single-celled organisms, the actors start clinging together for greater protection against the elements, here represented by the sadistic stage crew, who throw various objects they find at the actors.
(Play time: 7 minutes left): The actors become simple animals, animals too simple for classification. Ancestors of the jellyfish emerge. The actors begin writing their resumes.
(Play time: 6 minutes left): The actors become fish. A short parody of "The Little Mermaid" is performed. A good time is had by all.
(Play time: 21/2 minutes left): The actors become mammals. The fleas they contracted while living an actor's lifestyle become useful in depicting the life of a typical dumb animal.
Scene II: Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs ruled the earth from 200 million years ago to 65 million years ago, which means that, in the play, the entire history and evolution of dinosaurs is covered in almost exactly one minute and 37 seconds.
- Dinosaur: Oh shit, my friends...
- chorus: Whaaaaaat is it?
- Dinosaur: We should probably get in the car!
- chorus: Wheeeeere did you park it?
Scene III: Humanity
The entire course of human evolution, and the entire history of mankind is covered in the last 2.16 seconds of the play. The play covers a few key scenes in the history of humanity, such as the parting of the Red Sea, the rise of the Iron Curtain, and Paris Hilton's indictment. The play abruptly ends after depicting the 2000 election.
The musical is kept in trust with scientists all over the world, who have to add another minute to the play every 83 million years.
The play's epilogue represents the remaining time of the universe as constructed by Sagan and Hawking from the present day to the heat death in 10120 years. Because each minute represents 83,300,000 years, the play continues unabated for 3.8x10105 years!
By the end of the play, most of the actors have quit, died, decomposed, and become minerals in our drinking water. Most of them went on to become investment bankers and soulless accountants.
Creation: The Musical
As a response to The Universe, a group of creation scientists made "Creation: the Musical" a competing musical (as though musicals compete with each other) which follows the creation of the universe 6,000 years ago to today. Critics have noted that it has exactly the same plot as "The Universe: the Musical" squished into a 6 thousand year timeline. In this musical, which is also 3 hours long, each minute represents a paltry 33 years. Some critics lauded the audacity of making each minute only represent 33 years, but most of the others had already left the theater. The play is used to teach children that evolution is a myth, and that the world is only 6 thousand years old as opposed to 13.7 billion. The play covers the years 4000 BC to 2000 AD.
God creates the Universe in about 4,000 BC, and the first galaxies form
“The Universe...It's So Humongous Big!”
“Look at the size of that one!”
“Believe me, I've seen a lot of big things, but I've never seen anything this big.”
The Universe is big. Really, really big. If you could comprehend just how mind-boggingly big it is, your face would melt. 'Nuff said.
The Universe is, like, everything. It's also all that stuff which isn't really anything but contains everything else. That's the Universe. Really, it's quite impressive when you think about it. I mean, if you're anywhere, chances are it's somewhere in the Universe. Now, that is large. You say the rude kid down by the butcher's told you your mom was fat? Well that's just tasty cashew nuts to the Universe. It is the real broad here.
Where the Universe came from
What really happened was The Big Bang: a great big huge world-making dimension-shaking bang. Except of course it wasn't big, it was infinitesmally small. Presently, this ineptly titled fireball, not unlike an unstable South American economy, underwent a sudden period of hyper-inflation. So, in marginally less time than Usain Bolt could run a nanometre at full pelt, sub-atomic particles formed, matter defeated anti-matter, and Hugh Grant established himself as the archetypal bumbling Brit. In the aeons that have followed, our Universe has expanded, cooled, caught VD, and allowed stars and atoms to form.
Population of the Universe
“I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.”
The population of the Universe is — surprise! — also shrouded in controversy.
NASA believes the Universe's total population is roughly seven billion. This measurement is not of "intelligent life forms," on which we gave up long ago, but merely of "sentient beings," most of whom feel they'll stay right where they are, which is hugging a spinning dirt clod with the appropriate name of Earth. Despite billions being spent to detect extra-terrestrial
intelligence feelings, there seem to be none other anywhere in the Universe — which, of course, is merely a commentary on the need for greater funding levels for the program.
These scientists note that, if other sentient beings were detected, there is no way to actually meet them and learn the answers to mankind's most pressing questions, such as whether Nixon really was a crook and whether eggs are good or bad for you. This is because Einstein's Theory of Relativity prohibits us from exceeding the speed of light. So even if you could build a ship that travels that fast, you'd get obscenely bored during trips to the stars, even if you brought a lot of entertainment along, as everything from yo-yos to marbles to footballs would become prohibitively heavy and cease being round.
WAIT! Stop everything! The Universe is a comprehensive interpretation of life thought of by evil witches that live in caves on the top of your house. Don't let the witches infest your cognitive thinking.
What would happen after such a close encounter is more problematic, as mankind has a perfect record so far of responding to newfound sentient life with game preserves, slave auctions, and butcher shops.
Scientist Douglas Adams, however, takes a competing view. He says:
“It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination”
Dr. Adams' expert opinion is likewise not to be interpreted as advocacy for funding cuts.
The end of the Universe
“Some say the world will end in fire / Some say in ice.”
Scientists maintain that something else will happen, but whatever it is it will involve neither a supernatural being nor a popular puzzle. One theory is known as the Big Crunch: basically the same as the Big Bang, only in cereal form. The Big Crunch theory states that the Universe will "crunch" back down into nothing just like an atomic bomb only exactly the opposite. Whoever named this phenomenon was just as inept at making up names as people who give their child two first names, like Will Smith.
Another alternative, should dark energy overcome the forces of gravity, is the Open Universe, where Unix finally defeats Windows, expansion is eternal, and we all become so spread out as to abruptly end the institution of masturbation. All physical interactions will cease, and the very fabric of reality will tear like a piece of stale bread that your mother tried to pack in your lunchbox. Still, better than the heat death of the Universe. All I can say is that you should never, ever come between a woman and that damned magazine.
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years later. The 1000 actors representing all the stars in the universe are required to wear robes onstage, and sing directly from scriptures. This made for a particularly horrible play.
God created the sun in about 409 BC, the height of the Roman Republic. Half the actors are playing stars at this point, and the other half are playing Biblical figures such as St. Aquinas and, uh, Ralph.
The first lifeform on Earth appears in Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "["., two centuries after Jesus was crucified. The actor playing Jesus is a rock, and the Romans are represented by volcanoes.
The first simple animal on Earth appears in Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "["., about 40 years before the declaration of independence is signed. The actors, dressed up as jellyfish, fight the American revolution.
The first mammals appear in 1912. The actors, dressed up as things that look vaguely like dogs, fight the first world war. By the time of the Great Depression, Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "["., birds arrive on the scene. In Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "["., the first flowers appear, just in time to cover the graves of those proud soldiers in WW2.
The dinosaurs appear in Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[". and die out in Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "[".. An actor in a dinosaur costume playing Nixon gets hit in the head with a comet. By this time, the actors are sending out their resumes.
The first human arrives on the scene in 1999. A man in a hairy ape costume representing Al Gore debates George Bush. By this time, the actors have quit acting altogether. The epilogue of the play describes the second coming of Christ, scheduled for 2109.
Next year will see the release of Intelligent Design: The Musical, an alternate version of the plot of The Universe. The cast will be sharply limited: one actor will do everything. Also comming is Dianetics, the musical