c: the arbiter

‎"We Sangheili are only as good as our deeds. We are born and live in common rooms, beginning life equal to each other in the eyes of the keep,and rise according to our ability. You should have voted against me and stood your ground, or killed me yourself. Your cowardice is not a trait I want spread through the lineage of Vadam"
—  Thel ‘Vadamee

The Arbiter sketches

There’s various degrees of stylization I’m trying with the Arbiter. I don’t think it’s imperative that he completely match the rest of the cast, because he has this “above it all” quality. Tough, no nonsense, but with a good sense of humor. He’s either the most sane or the most insane character in the show. 

And his song is jammin’.

The Arbiter
Paul Harman, Original Broadway Cast
The Arbiter

Much has been said about Broadway’s somewhat odd decision to move “The Arbiter’s Song” to the beginning of Act II, setting it now in the Kennedy Airport as the Arbiter answers questions from reporters, but I don’t think enough has been said about how weird the actual arrangement of the song is.

In addition to adding in the extra verse from the music video (“as you settle down behind your pawns…”) Broadway’s arrangement of the song takes a turn for the bizarre when it splits the chorus in half, singing the first half after verse one, the second after verse two, and then finally the whole chorus after verse three.

Surprisingly enough, it just about works, but apparently not enough to be kept in the score- the licensed version of this number (included as an appendix in the score) keeps the choruses intact, though the rest of the arrangement appears to be kept the same. I’m not aware of any subsequent productions that chose to arrange the song in this way.

As an aside, kudos must be given to Paul Harman for taking the characterization of the Arbiter as always one move away from having a nervous breakdown and absolutely running with it, turning in a delightfully comic performance and taking a fairly standard monologue in Act I and making it worthy of applause. I particularly enjoy the way he shouts the line “PLEASE FEEL FREE!”


Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that little scene in Halo 3, where Sgt. Johnson and the Arbiter are carrying each others weapons? That symbolism of where the humans and Sangheili both now have this bond to where they’re using each other’s weapons. The Elites, who found it dishonorable to even wield a UNSC weapon, now use their weaponry. The humans, who found it hard and an annoyance to even use a Covenant rifle, now use their weaponry. That, in my opinion, shows the bond between the humans and Elites. The trust they have for each other. 
In short, humans are BFFLs with Elites.