McHale's Navy

Season 4 Episode 11

The McHale Opera Company

Aired Thursday 9:30 PM Nov 23, 1965 on ABC

Episode Recap

As Mayor Lugatto and Rosa Giovanni exit the town's ruined opera house, they express their sadness that there will probably not be an opera season, this year, since the house was heavily damaged during a German air raid, some time back. Rosa asks Lugatto if there might be a possibility of making the opera house and company operational, again, but Lugatto tells her that that would be quite an expensive undertaking, what with the need for construction materials, and labor for the renovation.

Just then, they hear Virgil's baritone voice resounding through the town, and they smile, as they pause to listen, as Virgil belts out an operatic tune, at the Mayor's restaurant. When Virgil finishes, he gets a big round of applause, from the rest of the Crew, and some of the townsfolk, who have gathered to listen. Virgil's lovely singing voice gives Lugatto and idea, and he enlists Rosa's help in putting his plan into action.

Later, in Binghamton's office, The Captain and Carpenter are listening to a rather bad recording of an old song, on a phonograph. Soon, McHale and Parker enter, to pick up their supply requisition papers, and comment on how bad the singing is, until Binghamton informs him that the voice on the record is his. McHale and Parker quickly change their opinions, and comment on just how good a singer Binghamton is. Binghamton then angrily tells them that he'd made the recording as an anniversary present for his Wife, and adds, in defense of his singing voice, that he'd landed the male lead in his yacht club's annual show, 3 years in a row.

Parker suggests that they hear the recording again, so that they might give a 2nd opinion, but Binghamton will have none of it, and rushes McHale and Parker away, to pick up their supplies.

Meanwhile, in the main tent, at McHale's camp, Lugatto and Rosa have asked Virgil if he might sing the lead in their upcoming opera production. Virgil is very flattered, and enthusiastic about the prospect, and Lugatto adds that they might begin rehearsals, as soon as the rest of the guys repair the damaged opera house.

Suddenly, the idea doesn't sound like such a good one, to the guys, but, when Lugatto offers them 50% of the profits, everyone agrees.

Later, as Gruber and the guys have tried to get away with some building materials, heisted from an Army warehouse, Carpenter has caught them red-handed, and turned them over to Binghamton. As Binghamton orders them all hauled away to the brig, his only regret is that McHale and Parker aren't going with them.

Just as the MPs are marching the guys away, along come McHale and Parker. McHale asks the Captain what's going on, and Binghamton explains. McHale protests, and offers to punish the guys, himself, but Binghamton will have none of it.

Carpenter then reminds The Captain that the mail truck is about to leave, and, knowing he needs to get his record into the mail, for his Wife, Binghamton tries to flag the truck down. Parker then steps in, and offers to take the package to the truck, and, in the confusion, the package falls to the street, and the mail truck runs over it, shattering it. Binghamton is very tempted to knock Parker down, but Carpenter restrains him, and coaxes The Captain away.

After they're out of sight, McHale is pretty angry with the whole situation, and can't understand why his Crew were stealing building materials. But soon, Lugatto comes along, and inadvertently lets the cat out of the bag, about the opera house, a situation about which, McHale is not very happy.

Later, in Binghamton's office, The Captain and Carpenter are getting set up to make a new recording for Binghamton's Wife, to replace the one that was shattered. Meanwhile, out in the town square, McHale, Parker, Lugatto, and Rosa are having a little meeting, to discuss their situation. Lugatto's opera house is still in ruins, and McHale has been left without a Crew, and no one knows what to do. But, when they hear Binghamton begin to sing, in his office, for his new recording, McHale comes up with his idea to not only get his boys out of the pokey, but to get Lugatto's opera house back in business.

Back in The Captain's office, Carpenter plays the newly made record, for Binghamton to hear. It no sooner starts, than Rosa rushes in, and makes a fuss over the lovely voice on the record. Rosa can hardly believe her ears, when Binghamton tells her that the voice on the record is his own. When Binghamton begins a live demonstration, Lugatto enters, to make a fuss of his own. Rosa suggests that Binghamton sing the lead in the new Voltafiore Opera Company's season opener, and Lugatto heartily agrees.

Meanwhile, McHale and Parker have gathered some of the townsfolk out in the square, and hired them to make a fuss outside The Captain's window. When Binghamton makes an appearance, on the balcony, with Rosa and Lugatto, McHale and Parker – Out of sight of the balcony – Coach the townsfolk into applause and cheers for the star of their new opera company.

Later, as McHale exits the police station, after having gotten the guys out of jail, they all complain that Binghamton's singing the lead in the new opera production is a high price to pay, even to get them all out of jail. But no one is more upset than Virgil, for having to give up the lead in the new show to Binghamton. Shortly later, Binghamton heads out of his office, along with Carpenter, and an entourage of townspeople. He stops to tell McHale that – If the repairs to the opera house aren't finished by opening night – He's going to turn McHale over to the Army. He then heads out for rehearsal, giving the townsfolk a sample of his voice, on the way.

Later, McHale supervises the guys, as they put the finishing touches on the renovation of the opera house. The guys still aren't too happy about the situation, especially with having to cheer Binghamton's performance.

Binghamton then comes along, quite obviously with his mock popularity having gone to his head. He informs McHale that General Bronson and his staff will be attending the opening night performance, which, of course, makes McHale and the guys even more unhappy.

McHale sits down, to brainstorm with the guys on what to do about their situation. Parker comes up with an idea, but, as he tells the guys about it, a flight of P-38s flies over, their noise drowning out everything Parker says, which gives McHale and idea.

Opening night – A very nervous Binghamton paces, backstage, with a bad case of 'Opening night jitters'. When General Bronson and his staff arrive, Lugatto shows them to their seats, and the even more nervous Binghamton heads for his dressing room, to prepare for the show.

Meanwhile, McHale checks with The Boys, to see that they have everything in readiness, and the curtain rises, shortly later. Rosa opens the show, and Binghamton soon makes his entrance. After Rosa finishes her aria, Binghamton opens his mouth to sing, but his voice is drowned out by the overpowering sound of a flight of P-38s. It seems that McHale and the guys have made recordings of the big planes, down at the airstrip, and have set up loudspeakers to drown out the sound of Binghamton's voice.

In the audience, where Lugatto and General Bronson are seated, in the front row…

"Those planes…" says General Bronson, "…I can't hear a thing."

"You lucky." Returns Lugatto, then…. "I mean… We lucky to have a-you noisy airport to protect us!"

Backstage, McHale is pleased with the results, but notices that The Captain is beginning to sing louder. He orders Willy to turn the record over to the much louder bomber sounds. But, when Parker goes over to help Willy, in the confusion, the record gets dropped, and shatters.

Thinking quickly, he orders Parker and Tinker to get into costumes. First, Parker goes onstage with a French horn, and blows it, in Binghamton's face, and later, Tinker comes on, with cymbals. The show goes over well, with the audience, and they get quite a laugh out of the antics onstage. Then, as a finishing touch, McHale sends 3 of the guys onstage, with a giant bell, which they ring, to drown out Binghamton's voice one last time.

The whole act goes over quite well with the audience, as they roar with laughter. But the furious Binghamton has caught on to the scheme, and he goes to McHale, and threatens to run them through, with his prop sword, if they try anything else, to sabotage his performance.

But, as it turns out, no more action is necessary, for, just as Binghamton goes back on stage, the air raid siren sounds. The audience begins to head for the exits, but Binghamton – Convinced that it's another of McHale's tricks – Goes back out, and tries to keep everyone seated. But, the General orders McHale and The Boys to get The Captain out of the building, and into an air raid shelter.

After the air raid, in Binghamton's office, with McHale, Parker, The Crew, General Bronson, and his staff in attendance, The General thanks Binghamton for the hilarious show, especially the part where they'd produced the sound effects to cover up Binghamton's singing. Binghamton is a bit taken aback, by the General's response, but goes along with it, until the General states his intention to see that Binghamton and the Voltafiore Opera Company put on a show for the front-line troops.

The General gives everyone a "Well done", and heads out, with Binghamton chasing after them, frantically making excuses for not doing any more opera, leaving McHale and The Boys in the office.

"Well, that's our Captain, boys." Says McHale, with a laugh. "He can't sing… But boy, can he act!"