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Magnificent Bastard / Theatre

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  • Antony and Cleopatra: The cunning Octavius Caesar aims to seize control of Rome and rebuild it as an Imperium with himself at the head. Manipulating Antony and Cleopatra both, Octavius acts to remove the pirate Sextus Pompey without Antony's assent and seizes his lands, also removing their fellow Triumvir Lepidus from power. Octavius also proceeds with marrying his sister Octavia to Antony, knowing Antony will be unable to resist Cleopatra, allowing Octavius to lay another charge against Antony in making war on him. Finally Octavius wins the war with Egypt, resulting with Antony and Cleopatra's deaths, admitting sympathy for them despite everything and ordering them to be given an honorable funeral before going on to reign as Rome's first true emperor.
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  • How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: J. Pierrepont Finch is a window-washer who gets a mailroom job at a company by pretending he knows the CEO; gets promoted to head of the mailroom that same day by shmoozing the former head; turns down that promotion knowing that he would be stuck there for years and screws over another employee; gets a job as a junior executive by being so "humble", tricking the CEO into thinking he had been working all night long on a Saturday and that he is an alumnus of the CEO's college; gets his own office and secretary as a result of this; tricks that secretary into seducing his boss whose job he steals; gets appointed Vice President in charge of Advertising by outing the actual VP candidate as a student of the rival of the CEO's alma mater; steals an idea from a fellow employee about a treasure hunt and pitches it; and finally, when the treasure hunt idea fails and he is facing being fired for the disaster it caused, he forces everyone else at the company to help him by suggesting to the Chairman of the Board to fire them all, but reminding them that they are all in a "Brotherhood of Man", and then when The Chairman retires he names Finch his replacement.
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  • King Lear: Edmund of Gloucester, the literal bastard son of the Duke of Gloucester, executes a plan to consolidate power and play even his own family as pawns while vowing to make the gods themselves "stand up for bastards." A ruthless but deeply charismatic schemer who plays everyone for his own benefit, Edmund frames his brother for treason and convinces him to flee into exile while manipulating his father into granting him Edgar's legitimate birthright, before exposing Gloucester's sympathy for King Lear and handing him off to the Duke of Cornwall. As the Duke of Gloucester, Edmund schemes for the throne of Britain itself and seduces Lear's own ambitious daughters to further his own power. Even on his deathbed, Edmund finally finds the grace to defy his own bastardly nature and rescinds the order he had previously given to execute Lear and Cordelia—a sentiment which, tragically, is too late.
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  • Urinetown: Cladwell B. Cladwell is the corrupt CEO of the Urine Good Company (UGC). He's been running an operation where he keep his friend Senator Fipp, in power in exchange for raises in the fees for public bathrooms, fees that go right into Cladwell's pocket. When people don't pay the fees are sent to Urinetown, a mysterious punishment that no one returns from. When the Poor, led by Bobby Strong, revolt, Cladwell confronts them, trying to explain that his actions are for their good since he keeps the water regulated for use "tomorrow" as opposed to their desire for it "today." Hope is captured and Cladwell threatens to send the poor to Urinetown if she isn't returned. When Bobby shows up to negotiate a deal, Cladwell offers the Poor full amnesty in exchange for them releasing Hope and paying the new fees. Despite warnings that Hope will die if he doesn’t return Cladwell sends Bobby to Urinetown, now revealed to be death by being thrown off the roof of UGC headquarters. When the Poor, now led by Hope, storm UGC headquarters and again ignore his warnings about "tomorrow," Cladwell is condemned to Urinetown. Before being killed Cladwell defiantly shouts that he, "kept the pee off the streets and the water in the ground!" After his death Hope takes over and makes all bathrooms free, leading to the water quickly running out and the people turning on Hope, proving that Cladwell was right all along.