GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES

See Lorelei


GEORGE M!

Book: Michael Stewart and John and Fran Pascal
Music and Lyrics: George M. Cohan
Lyrics and Musical Revisions: Mary Cohan

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Palace Theatre, April 10, 1968 (435 perf.)
Director and Choreographer: Joe Layton
Musical Director: Jay Blackton
Orchestration: Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
Jerry Cohen- Jerry Dodge- Baritone
Josie- Bernadette Peters- Soprano
Nellie- Betty Ann Grove- Alto
George M- Joel Gray- Tenor
Fay Templeton- Jacqueline Alloway- Soprano
Ethel- Jamie Donnelly- Mezzo
Agnes Nolan- Jill O’Hara- Alto
Sam Harris- Harvey Evans- VTNE
Chorus: 8M/8F minimum

SYNOPSIS

        Act I opens on a stage in Providence, Rhode Island in 1878 where an actor begins to tell the life of George M. Cohan. The doctor, who has just delivered George, arrives on the scene and sends two girls to get Jerry Cohan, who is currently performing Irish songs and dances on the vaudeville stage (ALWAYS LEAVE THEM LAUGHING- M Solo). Jerry wonders what his new son will be like and decides that he will be introduced to the stage as soon as he can walk.
        On stage, George is seen learning to walk and dance at the same time, as Jerry coaches him along. A quick vignette shows the four Cohans with ten-year old Georgie, who quickly becomes a young adult. The Cohans sing about the various cities they have visited in their performances, and close with a tap dance (TAP DANCE FINISH- Dance Quartet).
        During the curtain call at Columbia Theatre in Cedar Rapids, George issues his closing phrase, soon to become a trademark thanks to the audience. He is already directing the company and ordering the stagehands around. Famed vaudeville producer E. F. Albee arrives to make a contract with the family, but George insists he see their act first. Jerry, Nellie and George perform a song and dance about the enchanting role of the moon in all stories (MUSICAL MOON- Sc to 2M/F Trio). George then introduces his sister, Josie, to Albee who sings a short love song (OH, YOU WONDERFUL BOY- F Solo to Mixed Chorus). Last, but not least, George introduces himself as the most talented kid to ever play New York (ALL ABOARD FOR BROADWAY- 2M/2F Quartet). As they finish this last song, Albee tells them he is only interested in Josie. Josie declines, however, explaining that it is a four-person act. Jerry is willing to make changes in the act in order to be hired by Albee, but George refuses and warns Albee he will regret not hiring the Cohans. Jerry warns George that he is too ambitious, but George has to make it to the top on Broadway. The four Cohans stride out of the theatre and into the street, confident that they will someday be successful.
        As the Cohans are marching in the streets, George portrays an ambitious and proud picture, which the family and town citizens notice (MUSICAL COMEDY MAN- Mixed Chorus).
        In the dining room of Madame Grimaldi’s boardinghouse, an assembly of various theatrical people gather for their Friday dinner. George audaciously announces that he and his family will soon be going to New York with their new act: "The Twentieth Century Kid." He later justifies this lie by writing the sketch for "The Twentieth Century Kid" and proposing that the family go to New York and perform for one week without pay. The family agrees to his scheme.
        En route to New York, the Cohans and the various people from the boarding house sing and act out their individual performances (ALL ABOARD FOR BROADWAY [REPRISE]- Mixed Chorus). When they finally get to Broadway, they are awed by its lights and glamour (BROADWAY TAG- Mixed Chorus).
        At the Adams Street Theatre, Ethel Levey, an aspiring young performer, continues to sing the Broadway medley. George presents her to Producer Behmen, who has signed the act, and asks if their contract can be altered from four Cohans to five Cohans. George assumes that Ethel will marry him, although he hasn’t even proposed to her. When Ethel expresses her need to be wooed, George courts her in eleven short steps. As time passes, the family changes their costumes and the five of them perform their description of modern day love (TWENTIETH CENTURY LOVE- Sc to 2M/3F). The act is completed and the family takes a bow.
        George, sings a solo song about his respect for Manhattan (MY HOME TOWN- M Solo), but the people are unresponsive. He begins to write the book, music and lyrics for "Little Johnny Jones," a story of an American jockey in England. Ethel tries to get him to slow down and spend more time with her, but George is too busy.
        On a bare stage, George observes Agnes, an actress from Worcester, Massachusetts who auditions for his show (BILLIE- Sc to F Solo). He rushes her off the stage and orders Ethel and some girls to rehearse their latest number (PUSH ME ALONG IN MY PUSHCART- F Trio). While they are singing, George orders a stage hand to paint the Eiffel Tower in the middle of a London backdrop. The astonished painter does as he is told and George asks for another rehearsal for a new song that will be in the show (A RING TO THE NAME OF ROSE- Male Quartet). George bustles around directing the rehearsals and demands another number to be practiced (POPULARITY- Dance). After all the practicing, George admits to Jerry that his arrogance is only a facade to hide his fear. Jerry assures him that the show will be a success.
        The show begins on a dock in England with George playing the title role. He is a smash, performing his song about Broadway (GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY- M Solo to Mixed Chorus), and the show is a hit.
        When Act II begins, George is a successful producer and in a partnership with Sam Harris. He blatantly announces their first collaboration will star Fay Templeton, a famous actress who is outraged at his presumption. George daily sends her new songs, hoping to interest her. He sings in his office and she sings the melody in her apartment (FORTY-FIVE MINUTES FROM BROADWAY- M/F Linear Duet). Fay’s manager tries to talk her into joining Cohan, but Fay adamantly resists. George sends her a second number to entice her (SO LONG MARY- Sc to 3M/2F) and her mother and manager urge her to listen, but Fay is so angry with her manager that she threatens to fire him. After she receives another song (DOWN BY THE ERIE CANAL- 3F And Mixed Chorus), she finally agrees.
        On opening night in the New Amsterdam Theatre, Fay sings George’s next great hit (MARY’S A GRAND OLD NAME- F Solo). George’s reputation continues to flourish but he is so caught up in it that he neglects his marriage. On New Year’s Eve in 1907, Ethel tells George she wants a divorce and George responds in typical Cohan fashion saying, "Life must go on." The company celebrates their success and friendship (ALL OUR FRIENDS- M Solo and Mixed Chorus) in a song that contrasts the news about the marriage. Nellie, Jerry and Josie arrive and read several telegrams including one which announces that George is splitting all assets with his family (JOLLY GOOD FELLOW- Chorus). One of them is also from Ethel, telling of their divorce (ETHEL EXIT- F Solo). George insists that the party go on as he quietly slips out a side door. He meets Agnes, the girl from Worcester, and, on their way home, he opens his heart to her.
        During the years till 1919, George and his company continue to prosper. They inspire a patriotic spirit with their shows (YANKEE DOODLE DANDY- 1M/3F And Mixed Chorus). Agnes is now George’s wife, supporting him in whatever he attempts. He devises a new show about a beautiful girl whose father is a cop called Little Nellie Kelly (NELLIE KELLY- 2M/2F and Mixed Chorus).
        Josie announces that she will be getting married and must leave the show to be with her husband. George, who cannot accept her leaving for personal reasons, argues with Jerry during a performance (HARRIGAN- Sc to 4M). After the song is over, Harris enters and tells George that Jerry has died. George and Nellie sing a tribute to the deceased Jerry American flag (OVER THERE/YOU’RE A GRAND OLD FLAG- 1F/1M and Mixed Chorus).
        The acting company decides to form a union and strike (STRIKE- Mixed Chorus). George refuses to go along with the actors’ demands and will not comply with the strike. He doesn’t want the old Broadway to change (THE MAN WHO OWNS BROADWAY- M Solo to Mixed Chorus).
        George’s power on Broadway declines and he retires to Midtown, NY. In February of 1937, Agnes gives George a letter from Harris, which offers him a part in a musical. He agrees (PARK INCIDENTAL- Orchestra).
        Onstage at the Alvin Theatre, George is playing the role a president (I’D RATHER BE RIGHT- M Solo) but is very old style. Walt, the stage manager, is given the task of telling George he must adapt his style to the new theatre. After Walt leaves, George crumples the director’s notes, refusing to believe that Broadway has changed (GIVE MY REGARDS TO BROADWAY [REPRISE]- M Solo to Mixed Chorus). Agnes arrives and tries to console George who vows not to change his style. He and Agnes leave to retire in Worcester, Massachusetts (YANKEE DOODLE FINALE- M/F Duet) (FINALE- Mixed Chorus).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        George M!, based fairly accurately on the life of the famous showman, is a fast-paced, song loaded musical. The book is occasionally confusing, for it covers such a long history, but a slick performance by a talented company can easily compensate for any flaws in the script.
        The sets are theatrically oriented and, traditionally, to represent the period, should be primarily drops and smaller units. There are a lot of costumes, at least three per cast member and ideally many more. The costumes also reflect the changing times and must be historically accurate.
        The minimum chorus for a smaller theatre would seem to be sixteen extremely good dancers and singers. If the stage is large, the size of the company needs to be increased to give a more exciting look to the production. If the tap dancing talents of a company are limited, it is advisable to have a large cast who know at least eight tap steps. The larger choruses take a longer amount of time to enter and the massive sounds of tapping feet in different physical configurations compensate for limited experience.
        The show is popular among school groups because the music is familiar and catchy and the story is interesting.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "All Aboard For Broadway," good for opening of revue of period choreography
    "Yankee Doodle Dandy," "You’re a Grand Old Flag," "Over There," "Give My Regards to Broadway," "I Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune," and "Harrigan," all are Cohan classics and work well in a revue situation or in shortened form as a medley
 
Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, 4 reeds, horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, percussion, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Vocal Selections: Marks
Record: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark

GIGI

Book and Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner
Music: Frederick Loewe
    (Based on a novel by Colette)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Uris Theatre, November 13, 1973 (# perf.)
Director: John Dexter
Choreographic Assistant: Leo Andrew
Musical Director: Ray Cook
Orchestration: Chris Walker
Principals:
Honoré Lachailles- Jean-Pierre Aumont-
Gaston Lachailles- Geoffrey Burridge-
Liane D’Exelmans- Carrie Ellis
Gigi- Amanda Waring
Aunt Alicia- Sian Phillips-
Lucille (Gig’s Mother)- Alexandra Denman-
Inez Alvarez (Mamita)- Beryl Reid-
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 10M/7F

SYNOPSIS

        As the play begins, four early-teenage girls, dressed in turn of the century clothes are dimly seen playing in the park. Honore Lachailles emerges and strolls past the girls. He pauses briefly to observe them and continues on. He stops and talks to the audience. First he introduces Gigi and then begins to discuss women and marriage (THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE GIRLS- M Solo). He tells the audience that the year is 1901 and that he is in a restaurant. Gaston, Honore’s nephew, and his current woman friend, Liane, enter. Suddenly she remembers that she has ice skating lessons and leaves quickly. Honore hints to Gaston that Liane may be having an affair with her skating teacher. Gaston says that he doesn’t care because he is bored, bored with her and bored with life. Honore is shocked (IT’S A BORE- M Duet). During the following, Mamita’s apartment comes into view; the busboys bring Gaston and Honore their gloves and canes. Gaston tells Honore that he is going to visit Inex Alverez (Mamita) and Honore reacts to the name. He obviously knew her once.
        Scene two opens in Mamita’s apartment where Mamita is getting Gigi ready to visit Aunt Alicia, who will teach her the things every woman should know. Gaston rings the doorbell and enters. He brings Gigi a set of playing cards for her birthday. When he learns that Gigi will be visiting her Aunt Alicia, he is disappointed. Mamita and he discuss the life of Aunt Alicia (THE EARTH AND OTHER MINOR THINGS- F Solo).
        Scene three begins a short time later in Aunt Alicia’s apartment. Alicia asks Gigi about herself, then begins to teach her about jewelry, cigars and how to eat Ortolons. At the end of the scene, music begins. The lights of Paris begin to appear and ladies and gentlemen, togged for the night, begin to move on in the shadows. Honore enters. Now the setting switches to the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower and Honore sings (PARIS IS PARIS AGAIN- M Solo).
        As the song ends, Gaston and Liane enter to have dinner with Honore and his date Jacqueline. A gentleman approaches the table and asks Liane to dance. Gaston realizes that she knows this man intimately (SHE IS NOT THINKING OF ME- M Solo). When Liane sits down, Gaston "accidentally" spills champagne down her bosom.
        It is a split scene. Stage left is a corner of Alicia’s apartment and stage right is Honore’s dressing room. Alicia is talking on the phone and Gigi is standing beside her with an open box of cigars in her hand. Honore is sitting in the barber chair reading a newspaper. Both Alicia and Honore begin to gossip about Gaston pouring champagne down Liane’s bosom. As Gaston enters Honore’s dressing room, the lights black out on Alicia and Gigi. Honore tries to cheer him up, then tells Gaston to throw her over like a man.
        Next the lights come up on Alicia. Honore pushes Gaston off and the lights dim out on him. Alicia, who is again on the phone, discovers that Liane has "committed suicide" for the fifth time. The lights come up on Honore again who is telling Manuel that this is Gaston’s first "suicide." Gaston feels slightly depressed. He tells Honore that he is thinking of leaving Paris. Honore replies that he has to be seen in public every night with a new woman, not leave Paris (IT’S A BORE [REPRISE]- M Duet). Meanwhile, a dancing instructor has been teaching Gigi how to dance.
        Three weeks later we see Mamita’s apartment where Gigi is reading the gossip from a local newspaper. She’s sad to read that Gaston has had another girlfriend, the fourteenth in three weeks. Gaston enters and the two begin to play cards. They decide on a bet: if Gigi wins, Gaston will take her and Mamita on vacation with him to the sea. She wins and is so pleased that she drinks all of Gaston’s champagne (THE NIGHT THEY INVENTED CHAMPAGNE- Mixed Chorus).
        Next we see the three en route to Trouville, singing and dancing (THE NIGHT THEY INVENTED CHAMPAGNE [REPRISE]- M/2F Trio).
        Scene seven begins in the lobby of the Grand Hotel, Trouville, the following afternoon. Gaston and Mamita are waiting for Gigi. She enters, very excited about seeing the ocean and they exit together. Honore appears and describes the resort. Madame Laverne enters with her husband and Honore secretly hands her a note. She and her husband leave as Alicia enters. Mamita greets her and the two discuss possible candidates for Gaston. When Honore, who has been sitting aside reading a paper, hears Mamita plotting, he looks up unbelievingly. Alicia and Mamita exit as Gigi runs on, followed by Gaston who stops to see Honore.
        They talk briefly and Gaston exits. Just as Honore is about to meet the married woman, Mamita enters. We discover that the two had once been engaged to be married, but Mamita called it off because of Honore’s infidelity (I REMEMBER IT WELL- M and F duet).
        Next the scene changes to the beach at Trouville. Music is heard. Gigi runs on with Gaston and he swoops her up in his arms (I NEVER WANT TO GO HOME AGAIN- F Solo). Alicia enters, watching Gaston and Gigi. She tells Mamita that Gaston is falling in love with Gigi. Mamita is completely surprised. Both ladies look from Gigi to each other as the curtain descends.
        Act II begins in Mamita’s apartment four weeks later. Mamita is present with a telephone installer. She has decided to install a phone since Gigi has come of age. Gaston enters with a box of caramels as Gigi enters all made up under the influence of Aunt Alicia. Gaston tells her that she looks horrible. Gigi angrily tells him off and he leaves. He reappears a moment later and apologizes. He asks Gigi to go to tea, but Mamita refuses to let her go because she is afraid that Gigi’s reputation will be ruined. Gaston exits again, this time angry with Mamita.
        On the street outside Mamita’s apartment, Gaston comes down the steps to the street sputtering (GIGI- M Solo). By the end of the number he realizes that Gigi is not a little girl anymore and rushes back up to tell Mamita.
        Scene three opens in a lawyer’s office where the lawyer, Alicia and Mamita are present. They discuss a marriage contract with Alicia aggressively bartering for her niece (THE CONTRACT- Mixed Chorus). As the scenery evolves into Mamita’s set, the two law clerks arrive downstage and gives Gaston the contract to sign and hands him a bouquet. He enters Mamita’s apartment. Gigi is present and very uncomfortable. She tells him that she doesn’t want to marry him because she knows that he will drag her into newspaper gossip columns, be unfaithful to her and eventually divorce her. Gaston is shocked and becomes angry at Mamita, whom he feels has taught Gigi that men are vulgar and not to be trusted. He leaves, slamming the door behind him.
        Scene five is set in a street cafe an hour later. Gaston enters and joins Honore at a table. Gaston tells him what has occurred and Honore, in his own way, tries to comfort Gaston (I’M GLAD I’M NOT YOUNG ANYMORE- M Solo).
        Scene six takes place in Mamita’s apartment later that day where Mamita and Alicia are facing each other. Alicia is stunned into silence and then the two argue over the situation. Suddenly the phone rings. Gigi answers the phone gingerly and then sings to Gaston who is on the other end (IN THIS WIDE, WIDE WORLD- F Solo). Alicia is thrilled that Gigi accepts Gaston’s proposal.
        The prologue to scene seven begins as Gigi and Gaston, dressed to perfection, are walking into Maxim’s. Honore and Juliette are already present when the two arrive, but they sit at a different table. Gaston acts very uncomfortable. Suddenly, Liane enters and approaches Gaston. She talks briefly and then leaves the embarrassed Gaston. He and Gigi begin to dance. He gives her a beautiful emerald bracelet. All watch the two anxiously waiting for some gossip. Gaston becomes more uncomfortable, beginning to realize that Gigi dosen’t belong in the superficial atmosphere that he has introduced her to. Honore walks over to talk to Gaston, who is so upset that he asks his uncle to take Gigi home.
        Scene eight opens again in Mamita’s apartment where Honore and Gigi have just arrived. Gaston suddenly appears at the door, then enters the room. After a moment, he grandly asks Mamita for Gigi’s hand in marriage. Mamita accepts and all is well (THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE GIRLS [REPRISE]- M Solo). Gigi and Gaston slowly walk toward each other as Honore and Mamita look over at each other with a smile that seems to say "Why didn’t we?"

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

 

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

 

Instrumentation: 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, flute, clarinet, horn, harp, piano
Script: Tams-Witmark
Score: Hal Leonard Corp.
Record/CD: First Night Records
Rights: Tams-Witmark


GIRL CRAZY

Book: Guy Bolton and John McGowan
Music: George Gershwin
Lyrics: Ira Gershwin

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Alvin Theatre, October 14, 1930 (272 perf.)
Director: Alexander Leftwich
Choreographer: George Hale
Musical Director: Earl Busby
Orchestration: Robert Russell Bennett
 
Principals:
Molly Gray- Ginger Rogers- Mezzo
Kate- Ethel Merman- Alto
Churchill- Allen Kearns- Tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 7M/4F minimum

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        This musical classic revolves around Kate, a down on her luck Cabaret singer, and her pianist, ex-husband, Zoli who happens upon friend and former TV star and owner of a failing Arizona Cattle ranch, Johnny Churchill.
        Molly, the local post-mistress who Johnny is attracted to, goads him into opening a dude ranch and running for sheriff. Meanwhile, Kate is coerced by Johnny's agent into trying to woo Johnny back to television and away from Molly's influences. Johnny wins the elections, but believes that Molly is involved with his agent and follows her to Mexico with Kate. The Mexican adventure ends with an explosion of fireworks and everyone returning to town much wiser. Kate remarries Zoli, and Molly marries Johnny who has rid the town of all outlaws.
        The musical made a star out of club performer Ethel Merman and the memorable music, humorous dialogue and interesting characters add much to the revised script.
        The show is more enjoyable if the chorus is kept to a minimum and the production is "obviously" low budget where everybody does everything. A sort of "let's do a musical" a la the Garland/Rooney films of the 30s.
        The sets are relatively simple and consist of the dude ranch and the hotel lobby (some combining possible), with an easily cut election headquarters. Costumes may be limited to two or three for the women, one for the male chorus and two for the principals.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Bidin' My Time," M quartet, sung by four cowboys with very tight harmony, good for a revue
    "But Not for Me," F Alto Solo, poignant love ballad about everyone being romantically involved but her
    "Strike Up the Band," M Solo to Mixed Chorus, up-tempo, patriotic fervor, originally from Of Thee I Sing, but added to the revised script, good for revues
    "Treat Me Rough," M/F Duet, comic, up-tempo song between Zoli and Kate where she tells him she will tell the man when to treat her rough
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, viola, cello, bass, 4 reeds, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Score: New World
Record: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark

GOBLIN MARKET

Book and Lyrics: Polly Pen and Ann Morrison (and others)
Music: Polly Pen
    (Adapted from the poem by Christina Rossetti)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Vineyard Theatre, October 17, 1985; moved to Circle in the Square, April 13, 1986 (# perf.)
Director: Andre Ernotte
Choreography: Ara Fitzgerald
Musical Director: Lawrence Yurman
Orchestration: James McElwaine
 
Principals:
Laura- Terri Klausner- Soprano
Lizzie- Ann Morrison- Soprano
Chorus and Smaller Roles: None

SYNOPSIS

        There is a large curtain that covers the set area. A woman in a late 19th century-style black dress enters in dim blue and lavender light. She opens the curtain to reveal a curtained off area over large windows and the interior of a house becomes apparent. She sits, frozen, as a second women in black enters and goes to some toys opposite a large music box and the two women become aware of each other. We are in an old fashioned nursery with period music box mood music, which continues as the two women, working together, lift a white sheet to reveal a large Victorian dollhouse.
        They start a game of buying and, as the light rise to full, the game continues (COME BUY, COME BUY- F Duet). Laura often forgets the word raspberries. As the two begin to remember, it is clear that we are moving toward their past (OVERTURE- Orchestra). The lights fade as the women remove their stiff black dresses and they are returned to their youth, when they wore white dresses. Each goes to opposite closets to hang up clothes, remove their high shoes and change to ballet slippers and period straw hats. They pull down the shade above the window, which reveals a garden painted through the window. They run back and forth playing childhood games with blue and green cloth.
        Laura urges her sister to look at the goblin men because she is enthralled by what she sees, but Lizzie is cautious and creeps hesitantly out (WE MUST NOT LOOK- F Duet). Laura describes them in glowing manner, but Lizzie sees the men in a far different light and they sing their opposite viewpoints and visions. Laura will buy and rushes off to be with the Goblin men. .
        Lizzie narrates and goes to doll house and pulls out various fruit, i.e bananas, avocados, pomegranates and melons. Laura says she has no money, but Lizzie continues her narrative as she runs around the set getting more and more fruit. Laura runs around sucking on various fruits; she sucks until her lips are sore. Laura sings of her bliss (MOUTH SO CHARMFUL- F Solo), gathers all the fruit onto the cloth on the floor and, in a sexual way, starts rolling the various fruits up her thighs. Lizzie (as she rolls up the garden shade) continues the story of how Laura came home. Laura is excitedly singing as she holds out her one apple and urges her sister to take it, but Lizzie refuses to partake. She reminds her sister about their friend Jeanie who died after succumbing to the cries of the "goblin men." (DO YOU NOT REMEMBER JEANIE- F Solo).
        Laura is undaunted and tells Lizzie she will return the next night, but Lizzie, urging her sister to sleep, goes to window and pulls down the window shade, which has a bed painted on it and gives the illusion that they are sleeping on a bed. Lizzie urges Laura to sleep, but she has a fitful night, tossing and turning as Lizzie watches her. (SLEEP, LAURA, SLEEP- F Solo). The lights dim throughout the number until it is sunrise the following day.
        They raise the shade and go about various areas of the theatre as they mime their chores, milking the cow, making bread, whipping cream, making butter, feeding the chickens, sewing etc. They sing as two sisters (SISTERS- F Duet) and the song reflects their love for one another, but also their differences and their arguments.
        Lizzie is enthused about the prospects of a bright day while Laura is anxious for night. Laura and Lizzie go to a well to fetch some water. Lizzie is nervous and wants to leave, but Laura taunts her for her fears. (SOME THERE ARE WHO NEVER VENTURE- F Duet). Lizzie grows more frightened because she can hear the goblin men coming closer but Laura, remembering the fruit she has tasted, becomes excited at the prospect of meeting the men, for she wishes to experience the sensation again (MIRAGE- F Solo).
        Laura thrashes about, but Lizzie covers her with a cloth. It seems that Laura will never again hear the goblin cry because when morning comes her hair is white and her life is passing. The lights go to black.
        Lizzie is standing on the window seat miming work as Laura sits in a child’s rocking chair and takes over the role of narrator. Laura narrates how unhappy Lizzie is to see Laura’s life fading away (PASSING AWAY- F Duet), but Lizzie keep hearing the goblins and slowly ventures out with a silver penny and Lizzie goes to the brook, where she climbs a ladder. (LIKE A LILY- F Linear Duet) Laura moves to be with Lizzie.
        (HERE THEY COME- F Duet) Lizzie gives them money and they insist that she stay, but she chooses not to give in to them. Laura narrates the emotion as she wraps a clothesline with cloth and hangs it around Lizzie. Lizzie breaks away and refuses to succumb as "the evil ones threw back her penny."
        Lizzie gives the apple to Laura and Laura mistakenly thinks that Lizzie succumbed because of her (LIZZIE, LIZZIE, HAVE YOU TASTED?- F Solo). Laura faints and Lizzie tells that she braved the glen. Laura awakes at last (THE SISTERS [REPRISE]- F Duet) and the two girls don their black dresses and depart (TWO DOVES- F Duet) (CLOSING MUSIC- Orchestra).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Goblin Market is performed in the narrative/reader’s theatre style and is a marvelous work for two students of exceptional talent. The women must move well, sing, act and portray various moods throughout the piece. This show is an ideal culminating performance style project for two college sopranos, one with a slightly lower range.
        Rosetti’s poem has been interpreted many ways; some call it a children’s poem, others feel it examines Victorian sexual fears. No matter what the interpretation it is clearly about two sisters who care very much about each other, a relationship piece that showcases real talent.
        The set is a unit set, as the play occurs in a children’s nursery. There is a large Victorian dollhouse, various stuffed animals, a music box, a window with a window seat (that doubles as a bed) and a window shade that is changed to localize various areas. There is a rocking chair, a ladder and a climbable pole to enhance the movement pattern.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

        The entire piece is sung and it is difficult to select individual songs, but some are worth working on in a classroom situation. The reader will have to listen to the entire score to decide which duets best suit their individual needs.

    "Mouth So Charmful," Possible to use a portion of this for an opera or classical audition, shows off the voice and a chance to physicalize, this song is written by Antonio Lotti with lyrics by Theodore Baker
 
Instrumentation: piano, violin, cello, percussion, synthesizer
Script: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Score: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Record/CD: TER (That’s Entertainment Records)
Rights: Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

GODSPELL

Book: John-Michael Tebelak
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Cherry Lane Theatre, May 17, 1971 (2,118 perf.), moved to Broadway, June 22, 1976 (527 perf.)
Director: John-Michael Tebelak
Musical Director: David Lewis
Orchestration: Stephen Schwartz
 
Principals:
John/Judas- David Haskell- Baritone
Jesus- Stephen Nathan- Tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 3M/5F

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        A small company of ten re-enacts familiar biblical parables and the teachings, betrayal, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The women's vocal types are in the alto/mezzo range with the remaining male roles being divided into baritone, high baritone, and tenor.
        The performers need one basic costume, usually pulled from stock and not representing any specific period of time. The set needs are minimal which makes the show an easy one for school groups to tour. Although based on a biblical theme the show is not uncomfortably religious or preachy. The chorus may be expanded if desired although the charm rests in demonstrating the varied talents of a small company.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "All for the Best," Tenor Duet, vaudeville style, soft shoe required, excellent study in diction and speed
    "Turn Back O' Man," Alto, torch song, movement and sensuality necessary, good for combining sensuality and humor
 
Instrumentation: pit band: piano/organ, guitars, bass (electric), drums/onstage: recorder, 2 tambourines, 2 acoustic guitars, vibra-slap, various toy instruments-usually played by the performers
Script: NP
Score: Hansen
Record/CD: Bell
Rights: Theatre Max

THE GOLDEN APPLE

Book and Lyrics: John Latouche
Music: Jerome Moross
    (Based on Homer’s Odyssey)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Phoenix Theatre, March 11,1954 (48 perf.), moved to Alvin Theatre April 20,1954 (123 perf.)
Director: Norman Lloyd
Choreographer: Hanya Holm
Musical Director: Hugh Ross
Orchestration: Jerome Moross and Hershey Kay
 
Principals:
Helen- Kaye Ballard- Mezzo
Lovey Mars- Bibi Osterwald- Alto
Penelope- Priscilla Gillette- Soprano
Ulysses- Stephen Douglass- Baritone
Paris- Jonathan Lucas- Dancer/VTNE
Hector- Jack Whiting- Bass
Menelaus- Dean Michener- Tenor
Mrs. Juniper- Geraldine Viti- Mezzo
Miss Minerva Oliver- Portia Nelson- Soprano
Mother Hare- Nola Day- Alto
Chorus and Smaller Roles: mixed, minimum of 14 males if Ulysses’ troop is trimmed to 8 (need 4 dancers, 4 excellent singers, 2 of which are tenors), 10 women. This minimum configuration should only be used if the stage and auditorium are small.

SYNOPSIS

        Act I takes place in 1900 in Angel’s Roost, a small town in the state of Washington, at the edge of Mt. Olympus.
        The curtain rises on a romantic, sexy young woman of twenty who is seated atop a ladder, singing of the boredom she feels (NOTHING EVER HAPPENS IN ANGEL’S ROOST- F Solo to F Trio). She bemoans the fact that a small town with a population of 751 has little to offer a young girl, especially when the men are off fighting the Spanish American War. Three of the town’s leading citizens extol the "blessedness" of the town.
        Mother Hare, a cross between a witch, a small town psychic and a beatnik enters. She is cheerful, but definitely offbeat as is evident when she produces a crystal ball and reels off a list of predictions. She prophecies that Helen will go off with a stranger and Mrs. Juniper and Minerva will argue with Lovey Mars, which will result in a split in the town (MOTHER HARE’S SEANCE- F Solo to F Quartet). The ladies pay her little heed, for they are more concerned with determining the length of the war then with what Helen will do. Mother Hare re-checks her crystal and tells them the war will last for years.
        Penelope, an effervescently attractive girl in her twenties, enters with the aged Sheriff Menelaus who announces the end of the Spanish American War. The ladies are excited that the war is ended and the troops will soon be home. They turn to berate Mother Hare who warns them to heed her words and huffily exits. The Sheriff takes his dreamy wife, Helen, home to put her under lock and key before the men return home.
        Penelope, left alone, dreams about Ulysses’ return (MY LOVE IS ON THE WAY- F Solo). She dances off as the townspeople enter to exclaim their joy about the boys returning home (THE HEROES COME HOME- Mixed Chorus). They proceed to decorate the town for a turn of the century pageant complete with bunting, flags, and banners. The returning victors and Ulysses are greeted by the townsfolk who present a small pageant to commemorate their return. The men thank everyone for all the letters and presents, but the young girls interrupt by asking them to tell of their adventures. The men respond, led by Ulysses, with tongue in cheek humor, by describing the "love" all the natives felt toward them, yet wondering why these "loving" natives were so brutal (IT WAS A GLAD ADVENTURE- M Solo to M Chorus).
        Lovey Mars interrupts the festivities to request the girls tell about the plans for the evening (COME ALONG, BOYS- Mixed Chorus). The chorus dances off leaving Ulysses and Penelope alone to warmly embrace and tell of their longing for each other (IT’S THE GOING HOME TOGETHER- M/F Duet).
        The sky suddenly changes color as Mother Hare enters to welcome Ulysses home and force the happy couple to look into the dismal future (MOTHER HARE’S PROPHECY-2F/M Trio). They face a desert where there once were trees and Mother Hare outlines the achievements man will make as the scientific achievements of the twentieth century are projected on a screen. As Ulysses wonders if people will be happier, Penelope turns on Mother Hare, for she fears the woman is entwining them in some sort of spell, but the strange woman waves her hand, comments that life needs evil for man to grow and exits. An anxious Penelope urges Ulysses to resist Mother Hare’s predictions, but he promises to always be by her side.
        As they exit, six of the young veterans enter looking for Helen, whom they remember as high spirited, fun loving and always willing (HELEN IS ALWAYS WILLING- M Chorus). When Helen enters to tell them she has quieted down and married Sheriff Menelaus for his money, the boys begin attacking the old Sheriff, but Ulysses breaks up the fight and forces them to give their word to protect Helen from others who might take her from Menelaus. They give the Boy Scout salute in agreement.
        The townsfolk appear carrying a picnic table laden with food and the scene changes to represent a church social, complete with various flags and posters. The dancers demonstrate the various races and events that were commonplace at a 1900 style country fair (THE CHURCH SOCIAL- Mixed Dance Chorus)
        The sudden appearance of a hot air balloon decorated with flashing electric lights advertising Paris Notions, Inc. startles the villagers. Mr. Paris, a handsome young man, is posed in the basket as the balloon lands. It turns out he is a traveling salesman who dances his thoughts, for he does not speak. The townsmen read an advertising flyer describing his wares as Paris demonstrates (INTRODUCIN’ MR. PARIS- M/F Mixed Chorus). Everyone is excited by all the different items for sale and buy up most of what he has to offer.
        Lovey Mars, Mrs. Juniper and Miss Minerva enter with their baked goods, but are greeted by an angered Mother Hare who accuses them of neglecting her advice now that the men are home. When they half-heartedly apologize she brings forth a golden apple to give to the winner of the baking contest. The three women, certain one of them will be the winner, argue over who will get the award and demand an impartial judge be summoned. Their wish is granted as an unsuspecting Paris dances on (THE JUDGEMENT OF PARIS- F Trio with M needed for staging). The three ladies leave him alone with the entries, but gradually sneak on, one by one, to bribe the young man. Lovely Mars, who offers him a lucky key charm, guaranteed to win him any girl he desires, is declared the winner.
        Lovely introduces Paris to Helen, who is immediately attracted to him and serenades him in a sultry voice (LAZY AFTERNOON- F Solo). Paris responds by dancing his proposal that they leave. She agrees and they hastily ascend in the balloon. An unsuspecting Menelaus enters, perturbed to see Helen in a balloon with someone he doesn’t know.
        Menelaus and the old men of the town urge Ulysses and his young soldiers to make war on Rhododendron, the town where Paris lives (THE DEPARTURE FOR RHODODENDRON- Mixed Chorus). The women, led by Penelope, are appalled by the thought of another war and urge them to stay home but Ulysses and the boys set off with Menelaus as the curtain falls.
        The Act II curtain rises on the busy metropolis of Rhododendron where Helen and Paris are viewing the sights. A group of admiring, elegantly dressed men are following the couple and Helen is excited by her new life (MY PICTURE IN THE PAPERS- F Solo with M Chorus). Her happiness is cut short by Ulysses and his men who urge her to come back before there is trouble. She stubbornly refuses and the townsfolk protect her when Ulysses tries to take her by force.
        The boys desire to return home and leave Helen with Paris, but Ulysses is impressed by the wonders of the town and excited by the prospect of controlling it. He quickly divides the town by creating an issue over the morality of keeping Helen. The city folk, who are quick to join a cause, divide in two groups and begin fighting. Mayor Hector arrives to urge a compromise and devises a system to settle the issue by a single fight between Ulysses and Paris. Ulysses wins, restores Helen to Menelaus and the two depart for Angel’s Roost leaving Ulysses and the boys to wonder what the fight was about (THE TAKING OF RHODODENDRON- M Chorus).
        They don’t dwell on the war for very long because Hector invites them to shop for new clothes before going home (HECTOR’S SONG- M Solo). They enter a mercantile establishment as Hector tells the audience he will soon have his revenge, for there is nothing the city can’t offer the victors and one by one they will succumb to its evil.
        A curtain opens to reveal a section of Angel’s Roost where Penelope sits, sewing a patchwork quilt, surrounded by suitors. Helen and Menelaus enter arm in arm to tell Penelope that Ulysses is probably off on a spree and she may find him greatly changed when he returns. She reassures herself by remembering their wonderful love (WINDFLOWERS- F Solo).
        The style of the show becomes revue oriented as Ulysses begins his travels through the city and each number demonstrates a passing of time.
        Ulysses enters, nattily dressed in a new suit (STORE-BOUGHT SUIT- M Solo to M Chorus). He is joined by his soldiers who agree to join him on a big spending spree. Hector arrives to urge them into Madame Calypso’s social parlor where everyone looks very familiar, for the characters are played by their counterpart types from Angels’ Roost, i.e. Madame Calypso is played by Mrs. Juniper.
        After an evening with the big-city phony society, who initially are enthralled by the victors, but quickly lose interest, Hector guides the scene to an abstract version of the stock exchange. There, the Stockbroker (Menelaus) and Hector perform a parody of a Gallagher and Shean vaudeville number (SCYLLA AND CHARYBIDIS- M Duet). An unsuspecting Ajax, invests in the market, loses his worldly goods, and leaps through a nearby open window to his death.
        Hector quickly passes a flask around and coerces the boys to a volcanic, tropical island amusement area where the siren (played by Lovey Mars) and her Sirenettes perform a sultry night club number (GOONA-GOONA- F Solo to Mixed Chorus).
        During the course of their travels several of Ulysses crew are shanghaied, but he doesn’t discover this until there are only three left. Hector urges Ulysses, Doc and Achilles, the only remaining soldiers, to trust science and the set is suddenly transformed into a rocket laboratory whose head scientist is a woman (Mrs. Minerva). She outlines the future of the world, which is quite bleak (DOOMED, DOOMED, DOOMED- F Solo to Male Chorus).
        Her enthusiasm for her latest invention causes Doc to excitedly volunteer to be the test pilot. The rocket flies into space as Ulysses discovers no thought has been given to Doc’s return and he is doomed to die in space.
        Ulysses, realizing only he and Achilles remain, tells Hector he will fight this evil city. Hector’s response is to send him to the commanding Circe (Penelope), who introduces herself (CIRCE, CIRCE- F Solo to Mixed Chorus). Circe holds out the golden apple to Ulysses and promises him that super power will be his forever if he goes with her. A jealous Paris, who is enamored of Circe, attempts to stab Ulysses, but Achilles acts as a shield and takes the death blow. Everyone rushes off, leaving Ulysses alone to question the meaning of life, death, love, faith and hope. A robed chorus led by Mother Hare responds to his questions as if they are part of his mind (ULYSSES SOLILOQUY- M Solo to F Chorus). During this questioning, the city disappears and Ulysses decides he can return home much wiser and more capable, for he is his own man.
        The set changes to Penelope’s house in Angel’s Roost where the ladies and Menelaus are commenting that ten years is too long to wait for Ulysses and she must seriously consider someone else. (THE SEWING BEE- F Solo to F Chorus to M Solo). An exhausted Ulysses arrives, but Penelope’s anger causes the townsfolk to hastily disperse and leave the two alone. Knowing she is both upset and relieved at his return he beseeches her to look at their life together. The two reunite (IT’S THE GOING HOME TOGETHER [REPRISE]- Sc to M/F Duet) as the curtain falls.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        In John LaTouche’s forward to the published libretto he notes his initial attraction to the Ulysses theme and his attempt to adapt these stories to American life. He wanted the material to evolve from the Native American situation, history, music, dance and philosophy. He more than achieved his goal, for The Golden Apple employs musical theatre, nostalgia, vaudeville, social history, representative characters and attitudes of early 20th century America. It is refreshing, brilliantly conceived and unfortunately not produced often enough.
        The music flows continually through the show with the majority of the dialogue being sung. Each dialogue section/scene is a short song of its own, and complete in itself; however only the complete songs which are titled are named in parenthesis.
The show is unfamiliar to most people, probably due to the fact that it had a short run and the record album has been out of print for a number of years. The show was originally performed Off-Broadway and received such rave reviews and ticket requests that the producers moved it to Broadway. Unfortunately the move did not prove to be a wise one and the show, in a larger theatre, lost much of its charm and was unable to survive the usual summer drop in ticket sales. The original production received the New York Drama Critics and Donaldson Awards as the Best Musical of the Season and is certainly worth consideration by any talented company looking for something unusual, charming, and challenging to produce.
        The opportunity for character work for males and, more especially, females is excellent and Colleges and Universities who are looking for opportunities for their female acting students would do well to peruse the full script and score of this musical.
        The sets may be trimmed to utilize two basic locations as a backdrop to the overall action. A painted drop or wall of flats denoting Angels’ Roost and Rhododendron with small units or cut outs to represent other locations would be sufficient. The costumes are turn of the century period with those in the Act I being more small town in flavor and the those worn in Act II, which takes place in the city, being more flamboyant and sophisticated.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "By Goona-Goona Lagoon," comedic spoof of South Sea Island musicals
    "It’s the Going Home Together," Romantic duet for a Baritone/Soprano
    "Lazy Afternoon," Mezzo, warm and sentimental, sultry song
    "Scylla & Charybdis," Baritone/Bass, vaudeville comic M duet, good for revue and class study
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, viola, cello, bass, 5 woodwinds, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, trombone, percussion, harp, piano-celeste, piano/conductor
Script: Random House
Score:
Record/CD: Elektra
Rights: Tams-Witmark

GOLDILOCKS
Book: Walter and Jean Kerr
Music: Leroy Anderson
Lyrics: Joan Ford, Walter and Jean Kerr

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Lunt-Fontanne, October 11, 1958 (161 perf.)
Director: Walter Kerr
Choreographer: Agnes De Mille
Musical Director: Lehman Engel
Orchestration: Leroy Anderson and Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
Maggie Harris- Elaine Stritch- alto
Max Grady- Don Ameche-
Lois- Pat Stanley- alto
Pete- Nathaniel Frey- tenor
Bessie- Margaret Hamilton-
George- Russell Nype- tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles:

SYNOPSIS

        The play opens on the view of a New York marquee in 1913 at the height of the silent film craze. Popular stage actress, Maggie Harris, is giving the final performance of her hit musical "Lazy Moon."
        The marquee, painted on a scrim, dissolves to reveal the show’s finale where the chorus, in period style and dressed in colorful costumes, are performing (LAZY MOON- Mixed Chorus). At the final curtain call the "Clown" lead introduces Maggie, who is leaving the show to marry the wealthy George Randolph Brown. The shy fiancé also takes a bow.
        In her dressing room, Maggie tells the chorus members and her maid that she is happy to be leaving the theatre and marrying someone wealthy (GIVE THE LITTLE LADY- Sc to F Solo to Mixed Chorus). Her farewells are interrupted by the silent film director, Max Grady, who informs her that she is contracted to make a picture for him, starting tomorrow. She is aghast, but agrees to be at the shooting. When her future husband, George, of blue-blood stock arrives carrying a large poster of Maggie, she confesses her fears that she isn’t good enough for his family. He ignores her protests and promises her a lovely life (SAVE A KISS- Sc to M/F Duet).
        The scene shifts to the movie set, a "fenced-in-vacant-lot-in New York." The set is a sheet that has been hung up, clothes-line-style, and painted with a background of western hills and cacti. There are various props meant to depict the pioneer days strewn about. A cabin is being assembled. Bessie, a friend of Max’s who owns the farm where he stores his scenery, tells him she can’t continue sewing costumes, for she is needed on the farm. Lois, a star struck, sweet young girl, enters to beg Max to put her in his picture. He refuses because she has no talent.
        Maggie arrives on the set with George and is sent to wardrobe, leaving George with Lois, who tells him she is in love with Max. As two of Max’s assistants wheel on an enormous Egyptian griffin, Peter warns him that J.C., the financial backer, had better not discover Max’s profits have been spent on props for Max’s dream film feature, an Egyptian epic.
        Just then, J.C. appears in a wheelchair and demands to see Max’s financial records. Max agrees to give him the records if he finds him a new leading lady. After he exits, Maggie returns, transformed into a pioneer woman complete with baby, and films a series of fantastic episodes, which Max tyrannically directs. Maggie comments on Max’s egotism and he on hers (NO ONE’LL EVER LOVE YOU- Sc to M/F Duet).
        When J.C. pulls out, leaving Max with no financial backing and no leading lady, he decides to keep Maggie working by expanding the shooting schedule. When he tells her, she tells him she is breaking their contract and getting married. George, who overhears the conversation, is appalled that she would break her word and insists that she complete the picture. After a long shooting schedule, an exhausted, unhappy Maggie pours out her feelings to the actor who played the Bear in the last film sequence (WHO’S BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR?- Sc to F Solo). She refers to herself as Goldilocks and wonders when she will get to share her life with George. She dances with the Bear, who kisses her hand and leaves.
        Max enters and invites her to dinner. When she refuses he accuses her of being scared, but she retorts that she wants nothing to do with him. He reminds her that she promised to attend Lois’s singing debut at the Fat Cat Club and she reluctantly agrees to be picked up at nine and exits.
        Max confides his latest idea for a film about a woman captured by pirates to Peter, who wonders when Maggie is going to realize he is making more than one film. He accuses Max of being interested in her, but Max scorns the idea. Left alone, he recognizes the challenge in getting Maggie interested in him (THERE NEVER WAS A WOMAN- Sc to M Solo).
        At the Fat Cat, Lois is performing, but barely able to hold her own in the chorus dance section (PUSSY FOOT- F Solo to Chorus Dance). The lights rise on a table where Max tells Maggie her contract is finished and that he has been using her to make other films. She questions him about his reasons for telling her and he confesses his dream about the Egyptian film and his growing interest in her. She agrees to do the film.
        On Huckleberry Island, where the pirate film is being shot, Peter and Bessie tell Max they are going to get financing from George for the Egyptian picture. He goes to direct the film and he and Maggie become so involved they kiss. Maggie confesses she loves him. When Pete and Bessie return with money from George to pay the cast, Maggie feels betrayed. Max tries to tell her the truth, but she runs from him. He quickly has the pirates bring her back and begins filming despite her protestations. George becomes involved in the scuffle and gets knocked out. The scene ends in chaos.
        Act II opens in the hospital where four nurses hover around George as Lois watches (DO BE CAREFUL- F Quartet). He sends them off as Lois congratulates him for his romantic bravado. When she questions him about all men’s lack of interest in her, he urges her to be less aggressive and let the man make the overtures (LADY IN WAITING- Sc to F/M Duet). Lois leaves as Maggie arrives, furious that George will not help her get out of Grady’s picture (THE BEAST IN YOU- Sc to F Solo). She wonders why he isn’t a fighter.
        George asks Maggie, who is unable to respond, if she loves him. As she thinks, J.C. enters with a portfolio of ledgers, which he exchanges for a check from George. It seems George has purchased the picture from J.C. and has made Maggie Max’s boss. She kisses him and exits. George wonders when she will realize she loves Grady (SHALL I TAKE MY HEART AND GO- M Solo).
        At Bessie’s barn Andy has finished supervising the company’s preparation for the move to California. Maggie arrives to take over the film and curiously asks to see the loaded boxcars. They exit together. Max enters with Bessie who urges him to go back to town and see Maggie. She leaves him alone to convince himself he isn’t in love (I CAN’T BE IN LOVE- M Solo). Maggie also realizes her feelings toward Max and agrees to let him shoot the picture. His four assistants are jubilant (BAD COMPANIONS- 3M/F Small Chorus).
        On the evening of the wedding rehearsal at George’s parents’ home, Max tells Maggie that he loves her, but she feels can’t give up her dream of marrying into social position (I NEVER KNOW WHEN- F Solo).
        On location the next day, the cast and crew celebrate the beginning of their Egyptian epic (TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING- Mixed Chorus), but Lois, who is the new star, is hopelessly inept. Maggie arrives and announces she will finish the picture, but she won’t marry Max without a sign from heaven. As the filming begins, it starts to snow, an omen, and Max and Maggie embrace.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Pat Stanley won the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actress.
        The show is an enjoyable one for the community and high school groups to attempt as it is full of fast-paced, comic silent film sequences and can call for large or medium size cast.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

"Bad Companions," humorous trio or quartet
 
Instrumentation:
Script: Samuel French
Score:
Record: Columbia
Rights: Samuel French

THE GRAND TOUR

Book: Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Music and Lyrics: Jerry Herman

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Palace Theatre, January 11, 1979 (61 perf.)
Director: Gerald Freedman
Choreographer: Donald Saddler
Musical Direction: Wally Harper
Orchestration: Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
S. L. Jacobowsky- Joel Grey- Tenor
Colonel Tadeusz Boleslav Stjerbinsky- Ron Holgate-
Szabuniewicz- Stephen Vinovich-
Marianne- Florence Lacey- Soprano
Chorus and Smaller Roles:

SYNOPSIS

        The prologue begins at the end of the overture when the curtain rises and we see a man standing in silhouette on the bare stage. He wears a shiny, but neat, suit and a bowler hat and carries several well-worn suitcases. As the lights come up he steps forward, removes his hat and tells the audience in a strangely optimistic way that he is in flight from the Germans (I’LL BE HERE TOMORROW- M Solo).
        Scene one is set in a street in Paris where an air raid siren is wailing and various people are scurrying for shelter. In front of the Hotel Mon Repos et ce la Rose, a fourth-class establishment somewhere in Montmartre, a young man wearing an apron takes Jacobowsky’s suitcases and brings them inside the hotel as Jacobowsky looks at his watch and crosses to a small cafe table. We become aware of an aristocratic man in an officer’s uniform who sits unconcernedly, eating breakfast at a table as the last Parisians scurry off. A very nervous man with pince-nez stands along side him trying to convince him to take shelter. The same man hands the Colonel papers which have the addresses of Polish resistance fighters ready to join the English against the Germans. He tells him to meet a man with a flower in his buttonhole in St. Nazaire. The Colonel’s aide, Szabuniewicz, attempts to find him transportation. Jacobowsky overhearing the conversation offers to help him find transportation if they can go together. The arrogant Colonel refuses this invitation. However, when Jacobowsky has bought the last car in Paris, the Colonel reluctantly is talked into sharing it since he is a patriotic Pole (FOR POLAND- Mixed Chorus).
        Scene two begins and we see a squad of German soldiers advancing through the French countryside. Sporadic machine gun fire is heard, the Germans exit right and we find ourselves in front of a garden wall in St. Curille early that evening. An old woman marches determinedly on carrying several suitcases and a birdcage. She sets them down as Marianne, a lovely and vivacious young Frenchwoman, appears behind her. Madame Vauclain tells Marianne to flee as the Germans have arrived. She refuses to leave as her Colonel, the man she loves, will return and defeat the Germans (I BELONG HERE- F Solo).
        She exits and the garden is silent a moment. Then, in the distance, we hear the sound of an exhausted motor coughing and sputtering. We also hear reprise music of "For Poland" as the sound grows louder and louder and Jacobowsky’s limousine starts jerkily on from right. Steam is hissing out of the radiator, one tire is flat and the car is covered with mud and dust. It gives one final gasp then shudders to a stop. Jacobowsky is slightly upset at the Colonel who would bring them into the danger zone. The Colonel positions himself just outside the garden wall and sings (MARIANNE- M Solo). Marianne enters and hugs the Colonel. Jacobowsky tells Marianne to pack her bags quickly. He tells the reluctant Marianne that she can not save her home unless she is free to fight the Germans. The Colonel is angry that Jacobowsky has stepped into his business. They leave for the train.
        Scene three takes place in a third class carriage of a local train where the conductor and various passengers are boarding. The Colonel is indignant about the accommodations. He feels that he is above third class status. Jacobowsky and Marianne talk him into accepting it (WE’RE ALMOST THERE- Mixed Chorus). During the number Szabuniewicz falls off the back of the train and Jacobowsky saves him by pulling him back on. A shriek of brakes is heard, the train lurches to a stop and the number is over. The Germans have cut the track.
        Resourceful Jacobowsky arranges for a carnival to take the four on to St. Nazaire. The wagons of the Carnival Manzoni are rather dilapidated. Marianne admires Jacobowsky’s ability to take care of them and, when all the others leave, Jacobowsky admits that he is falling in love with her (MARIANNE [REPRISE]- M Solo).
        Scene five opens in the countryside, just outside the city of Rennes. A man with a suitcase comes out of the carnival wagon and crosses right with Madame Manzoni, the carnival owner, chasing after him. It is Hugo the Hungarian Hercules who leaves because he is afraid of the Germans. The Colonel and Marianne enter. He is angry because he has had to change out of his uniform into civilian clothes. He is convinced that Jacobowsky is in love with Marianne and has decided to fight him. Szabuniewicz and Jacobowsky enter with cheese, bread and sausage. Jacobowsky serves it to Marianne, pretending that he is the waiter in Chez Maxim, and Marianne thoroughly enjoys herself. The Colonel is furious (MORE AND MORE/LESS AND LESS- M/F Duet). Marianne and Jacobowsky begin dancing. At the end of the song the Colonel tells Jacobowsky to step away from Marianne, then challenges him to a duel. Jacobowsky admits that he loves her and then reluctantly agrees to the duel. As it begins, two SS soldiers and one Captain enter. Jacobowsky tells them that he is Hugo the Hungarian Hercules and that they are practicing for the show. The SS Captain says that he will be there to see Hugo shoot out of the cannon.
        Scene six opens in the dressing area of the carnival. A nervous Jacobowsky attempts to calm himself (ONE EXTRAORDINARY THING- Mixed Chorus).
        On the Midway of the carnival that evening, (ONE EXTRAORDINARY THING- Dancers) the blast of a whistle is heard and Madame Manzoni steps forward to present the next act. Szabuniewicz starts out, sees the target and starts immediately off. He is stopped and put into place against the target as Jacobowsky, in his sharpshooter costume, makes his entrance. He crosses to Marianne and puts on his glasses. He takes the first pistol and, with his hand trembling, aims it at Szabuniewicz. He pulls the trigger and the first balloon pops. Both he and his target heave a sigh of relief and the act continues. He shoots the last balloon, dangerously placed between Szabuniewicz’s legs. He exits as Szabuniewicz, half-fainting, exits behind him.
        Madame Manzoni next introduces Bobo the Clown. The Colonel starts on in an outrageous costume made up of several inflated inner tubes covered by a huge clown’s costume. He falls and bounces up again. His two girl assistants run against him and bounce off. The SS Captain has meanwhile wandered suspiciously by and the Colonel bounces merrily against him. Suddenly the Colonel falls and is unable to rise. The full company comes to his aid (ONE EXTRAORDINARY THING [REPRISE]- Mixed Chorus).
        Through the last of this, Jacobowsky has come out in his human cannonball costume and is lifted up as the number ends. A whistle is blown and Madame Manzoni makes the announcement as two assistants load Jacobowsky into the cannon. Suddenly a voice calls out. It is the SS Captain, who asks him a question in Hungarian. The soldiers try to stop the event when Jacobowsky can’t answer the questions but they are too late. A dummy shoots out of the cannon and the four escape before the Germans catch them. Jacobowsky then arranges a ride for the other three, but, after they have left, he discovers the papers that they had hidden in Marianne’s hatbox. He goes after his friends.
        Act II, opens on a barge where Jacobowsky is hiding with the help of barge men. Jacobowsky thinks about something his mother once told him (MRS. S. L. JACOBOWSKY- M Solo).
        The second scene opens in the Cafe of Papa Clairon at St. Nazaire. Present are Papa Clairon, Claudine, the waitress, and various patrons. A man with a flower in his buttonhole comes crisply on. He is slightly impatient and Papa, who is involved in the operation, tries to calm him. There is a bridal party present and the mother of the bride is insisting on a Jewish wedding. Jacobowsky enters in the middle of an argument between the bride’s mother and aunt. Although he is looking for the man with the flower in his buttonhole, he agrees to read the ceremony at the wedding. Jacobowsky mistakenly thinks that the bride’s father is the man with the flower that he is supposed to meet. He tries to talk in code in order to alert the bride’s father but he does not respond (WEDDING CONVERSATION- M Duet).
        Suddenly, four more guests, each wearing flowers, enter. This confuses Jacobowsky. The wedding begins and we see Jacobowsky getting totally caught up in the moment (MAZELTOV- Mixed Chorus). As the number ends, a man rushes into the cafe yelling that the Germans have arrived and Jacobowsky hurriedly reads the ceremony before everyone leaves and the Germans arrive.
        Jacobowsky hides as the SS Captain, accompanied by two soldiers, bursts into the room. They check the man with the flower’s passport, which is in order and the Germans exit. The man with the flower tells Papa to tell the Colonel to meet him elsewhere. Papa passes the information onto Jacobowsky and Claudine, Papa’s daughter, decides to help Jacobowsky find his friends.
        Scene three is set alongside a country road where a peddler’s wagon is stopped. The Colonel, Marianne and Szabuniewicz are in the wagon discussing their next plan of action. The Colonel tries to act as resourceful as Jacobowsky but he can’t and this distresses him immensely. He has come to realize that he and Jacobowsky are not as different as he thought (I THINK, I THINK- M Solo). Just as the number ends, Claudine enters. The Colonel and Marianne take her bicycle at her request in order to make the meeting with the man with the flower.
        Scene four begins in the reception room of 23 Rue Mace, a small Ursuline Convent. This is the new location for the Colonels’ meeting. The sisters enter from their tasks led by Mother Madeleine. They are singing (FOR POLAND [REPRISE]- F Chorus). On the last notes of the song, the SS Captain and six men enter. Mother Madeleine attempts to divert these men from the place where the man with the flower and the Colonel will meet. She does this long enough for Marianne, the Colonel, Szabuniewicz, Jacobowsky and the other man to arrive. The man with the flower tells the Colonel where a boat will be waiting to transport him and the papers to England and exits. The Colonel is very grateful to Jacobowsky, who has saved those papers. Suddenly, the SS Captain and company begin down the stairs and the four renegades hide in the chapel. The Captain orders all the sisters out of the chapel. They all emerge, but among the last four nuns, we notice one who is extraordinarily tall. The suspicious Captain discovers the Colonel and there is a short struggle, which the Colonel wins. It is very apparent that this is his area of expertise and we observe the Colonel in a new and competent way. Jacobowsky, on the other hand, is inferior to the colonel in this type of situation.
        Jacobowsky reluctantly locks the six soldiers in the coal cellar. The SS Captain attempts to escape, believing that the inferior Colonel will not shoot him because of his Polish code of ethics. The Colonel does in fact shoot him during this escape attempt. It is after the Colonel proves himself that he and Jacobowsky become close friends (YOU I LIKE- M Duet).
        The song continues over into scene five where the set changes to a street in St. Nazaire. The two men who are still singing look at each other for a moment, then cannot resist any longer; seizing each other by the waist, they begin to polka wildly through the empty street.
        Scene six opens a few minutes later on an old wharf, two lights playing on the stone causeway littered with barrels and boxes. The soldiers exit and Szabuniewicz and Marianne step out from behind a packing case. Shortly, Jacobowsky enters with news. Since an SS Captain has been shot, all Jews and aliens are to be shot on sight and the situation is now extremely dangerous.
        The Colonel enters and he and Jacobowsky discuss their duel. Marianne tells the Colonel at that moment that she belongs with him (I BELONG HERE [REPRISE]- F Solo). The man with the flower enters and tells them that the boat will only take the Colonel and Marianne. Szabuniewicz tells the Colonel that he does not wish to go to England, but instead wants to be back in Poland. The Colonel refuses to leave Jacobowsky, who stands a very good chance of being caught. Jacobowsky tells him that those papers must be brought to England, that it is the most important thing. Reluctantly, the Colonel and Marianne board the boat. Soon Jacobowsky is alone on the wharf. He picks up his battered briefcase and sings with mounting confidence (I’LL BE HERE TOMORROW- M Solo). By the end of the song the sun has begun to rise and Jacobowsky is filled with joy as he starts toward us. The spot catches him in a freeze, his arms outstretched, his eyes looking hopefully to an uncertain future.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        The play takes place from June 13th to the 18th in 1940 between Paris and the Atlantic coast of France.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

 

Instrumentation:
Script:
Score:
Record/CD: Columbia Masterworks
Rights: Samuel French

THE GRASS HARP

Book and Lyrics: Kenward Elmslie
Music: Claibe Richardson
    (Based on the novel by Truman Capote)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Martin Beck Theatre, November 2, 1971 (# perf.)
Director: Ellis Rabb
Choreographer: Rhoda Levine
Musical Director:
Orchestration: J. (Billy) Ver Planck, Jonathan Tunick and Robert Russell Bennett
 
Principals:
Dolly Talkbo- Barbara Cook- Soprano
Collin Talbo- Russ Thacker-
Catherine Creek- Carol Brice-
Verena Talbo- Ruth Ford-
Dr. Ritz- Max Showalter-
Babylove- Karen Morrow-
Chorus and Smaller Roles:

SYNOPSIS

        As the lights come up, they focus on Collin Talbo, a sturdy, well-made boy of about fifteen, wearing blue jeans and a shirt with rolled up sleeves. He is stretched out down left, head propped up, day dreaming and staring at the sky. Something alerts him and, as he gets up and steps onto a tree root, he looks intensely out front. The lights brighten and he sees, relaxing on the ground on the right side of the tub, Dolly Talbo, a pretty woman who is wearing a plain, ankle length country dress with an apron. Her hair is pulled back in a bun and she wears a cameo. Catherine Creek, a black woman, is lying down, up center. She is dressed up in flamboyant, somewhat self-invented, Indian regalia. She is festooned with turquoise bracelets and necklaces and her cheeks are highly rouged. The three suddenly realize that it’s dropsy weather, time to make their own special cure for dropsy (DROPSY CURE WEATHER- Mixed Chorus). During the number, they begin to create the concoction. Collin reads a letter from a customer requesting this wonder medicine. The mood between the three is comfortable and happy.
        Suddenly Verena Talbo, Dolly’s sister, appears behind the screen door and puts a damper on the lively mood. It is quite obvious that Catherine and Verena do not like each other. Verena yells at all three and she warns them that Dr. Ritz will be coming very soon. Just before she exits, Verena tells Collin to get rid of his dirty magazines and dirty boy ways. Collin angrily throws down his magazine (FLOOZIES- M Solo). He sings while acting out his floozy fantasy. When the number ends, Collin retrieves his magazine and runs off, as the back drop of leaves and vines and the screen door fly up.
        Scene two opens in the Talbo house. Dr. Morris Ritz, a dashing city slicker in a black business suit embraces Verena, torridly in the foyer. They speak about getting Dolly to tell the ingredients to her dropsy medicine in order to patent it. Dolly and Collin enter with lemonade. Collin jolts the cart holding the lemonade hard enough for all to spill to get Verena and Dr. Ritz apart. Dolly hurries out of the room, upset, as Catherine enters carrying a devil’s food cake, which she thumps down on the teacart. She speaks to Verena in gibberish with a totally serious manner. It becomes obvious that she has deliberately lost her set of false teeth, rendering her speech unintelligible, a strategy calculated to unhinge Verena. Dolly, hair tidied and apronless, enters from the pantry. Verena introduces her to Dr.Ritz and tells her that they want to register a patent making Dolly the inventor. Dr. Ritz tries to explain the advantages (THINK BIG RICH- M Solo). Dolly refuses to do it and Verena attempts to make her feel guilty. Dolly begins to relinquish the recipe until she remembers a song that her grandfather used to sing. She tears the patent papers in two and Verena exits.
        Dolly tells Catherine and Collin that she is moving out. Catherine tells her that the house is rightfully Dolly’s and not Verena’s because she has so lovingly taken care of it (IF THERE’S LOVE ENOUGH- F Solo). Dolly still strongly feels that there is no place for her in her sister’s house and the three prepare to leave (YELLOW DRUM- Mixed Chorus).
        As they sing, marching exuberantly, the Talbo house flies up. Folded under the backdrop, attached to its bottom edge, is the foliage of the Chinaberry tree. As the Talbo House disappears upwards, the foliage slowly unfolds, forming a screen of green through which one can catch glimpses of the tree structure. As the song ends, Dolly, Catherine and Collin, hand in hand, approach the foliage. Some of the foliage lifts slowly, so that more and more of the tree structure is revealed the closer they get to it. The three of them climb up into the tree, and settle onto a raised tree house platform.
        As scene three begins, the three arrange their possessions while Catherine worries about being "homeless people" and Dolly thinks about her grandfather. Suddenly Judge Cool, a fifty-year old retired Judge enters. He stops when he sees the three and then joins them for lunch. The Judge talks about the first time he saw Dolly when she was a girl, then speaks about the regrettable things that he did in the past and how he wants to change. Catherine remarks that his regrets are inconsequential compared to hers (MARRY WITH ME- F Solo). Collin joins the conversation, trying to get the Judge to advise him about his feelings for Maude Riordan, his special girl. Dolly, taken with the subjects, says that she has never had the opportunity to love anyone but Papa (CHAIN OF LOVE- F Solo). The Judge decides to stay the night in the tree house with the others and it becomes apparent how he feels for Dolly (THE ONE PERSON IN THE WORLD- M Solo). They sleep.
        A musical interlude evokes a sense of night and of the passing time. Collin gets up and begins to roam restlessly about with pent-up animal energy; he shimmies down a root branch and leaps through the shadows, pausing to stare at Judge Cool and Dolly asleep. As dawn begins to break, he lies down on the ground and falls asleep.
        Maude Riordan enters. She quickly spies Collin and wakes him up and he begs her to stay the day with him (THIS ONE DAY- M Solo). They dance playfully during the number. Abruptly their mood changes from pleasure at the physical release of dancing to desire for each other. Suddenly motionless, they look at each other. Maude reaches out, takes Collin’s hand and puts it on her breast. Catherine, waking and not finding Collin, looks down and sees the two. She is aghast at what is happening and yells at Maude to stop tempting Collin. Maude says that she has to leave before her father finds out where she’s been. Catherine is angry about the accommodations and wants to go home, while the Judge is pleased that he and Dolly are free spirits. The chatter abruptly stops when Babylove and the Pride-n-Joys, her five children, who have run out of gas, enter the scene.
        After the introductions, Babylove tells them about the Babylove Miracle Show (THE BABYLOVE MIRACLE SHOW- Mixed Chorus) and she tells them a little about her life (WALK INTO HEAVEN- F Solo). During the previous songs, which come right after each other Babylove creates a mystical atmosphere. She heals Catherine’s back and puts the Judge and Dolly closer together. The residents of the tree house immediately like Babylove and the Pride-n-Joys. Suddenly, Verena and Dr. Ritz enter, completely changing the happy mood to a tense one. Verena is extremely upset at them for making spectacles of themselves. Also, Maude’s father has been calling her, hysterically, all day, accusing Collin of abducting his daughter. To make matters worse, she becomes terrified of Babylove, who begins following Verena around. Amos Legrand, the sheriff, enters and arrests Babylove and her children. Then, after a fight between Collin, Catherine, Maude and Dr. Ritz, he arrests all but Verena and Dr. Ritz. Ritz tells Verena to get that recipe from Dolly in jail and she exits right after the others. He stands alone, jauntily thinking about his plan (SOMETHING FOR NOTHING- M Solo) and dances off, executing a vaudeville hoofer routine.
        Scene four takes place in the town jail where the whole bunch have been put into one cell. They begin to pass around the dropsy medicine, which packs quite a wallop for all. Catherine becomes upset at the loss of her freedom comparing their situation to the Indians (THE INDIAN BLUES- Mixed Chorus). Amos enters the jail with Verena, who makes another try at getting the recipe from Dolly, but Dolly tells her that she is ashamed of her behavior and Verena leaves in a rage. Amos says that all this "aggravation" isn’t good for his palpitations. They offer him some dropsy cure (TAKE A LITTLE SIP- Mixed Chorus). By the end of the number, Amos is dead drunk and the prisoners have the jail keys. They leave, singing Grandpa’s song (YELLOW DRUM [REPRISE]- Mixed Chorus).
        Scene five opens at the Talbo house where Verena has gone after her visit with Dolly. She holds a note from Dr. Ritz, who has left her (WHAT DO I DO NOW THAT HE’S GONE- F Solo).
        Scene six is set in the tree house in River Woods where the escapees have returned to. They all carry wild flowers of different sorts and Babylove turns to Collin and holds out the flowers she’s picked, improvising a fortune telling game (PICK YOURSELF A FLOWER- Mixed Chorus). They all dance and celebrate together but, after the number, Amos enters. He has arrived to return them to jail. Verena then enters and tells Amos to arrest Dr. Ritz, who has ransacked her safe. She breaks down, telling Dolly that she has been jealous of her for having loyal friends and for being so at home in their house. As she sobs, Dolly goes to her (REACH OUT- Mixed Chorus). Verena joins them in their tree house. Amos is shocked at Verena’s behavior but watches intently and doesn’t leave. They all, one by one, hold hands or touch each other, showing their love for one another. Soon the lights shift, so that everyone becomes silhouetted. Now they are memories.
        The lights brighten and the company takes its bows from various vantage points in the tree and on the ground (YELLOW DRUM [FINALE]- Company).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

  

 

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

Instrumentation:
Script: Samuel French
Score:
Record/CD: Painted Smiles Records
Rights: Samuel French

GREASE

Book, Music and Lyrics: Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Broadway Theatre, June 7, 1972 (3,388 perf.)
Director: Tom Moore
Choreographer: Patricia Birch
Musical Director/Arrangements: Louis St. Louis
 
Principals:
Rizzo- Adrienne Barbeau- Alto
Danny Zuko- Barry Bostwick- Tenor
Sandy- Carole Demas- Mezzo
Kenickie- Timothy Meyers- Baritone
Frenchy- Marya Small- Soprano
Doody- James Canning- Tenor
Marty- Katie Hanley- Alto
Jan- Garn Stephens- Mezzo
Teen Angel- Alan Paul- High Baritone
Roger- Walter Bobbie- High Tenor
Johnny Casino- Alan Paul- Tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 3M/4F

SYNOPSIS

        The lights rise on a Rydell High School class reunion (ALMA MATER- Mixed Chorus). Miss Lynch, the old English teacher, Patty, a former cheerleader, and Eugene Florcayk, former class valedictorian, enter the room. They make short speeches, which lead to the years gone by. The scene switches to 1959 where the "Greaser" parody the school song (ALMA MATER- Mixed Chorus).
        It is the first day of school and, in the cafeteria, the "Pink Ladies" meet Sandy, a typical "Sandra Dee," type who has moved to town. Patty Simcox, a snobbish honor student, joins the girls and tells them she is running for class vice-president.
        The lights cross fade to the boys who eagerly greet Danny, the gang leader, and ask him about his summer. The lights rise on the cafeteria where Sandy is telling the girls about a boy she met over vacation. (SUMMER NIGHTS- M/F Linear Duet with Mixed Chorus). The two songs are performed in separate areas of the stage, but the audience realizes the different stories are about the same people. Danny, followed by the boys, sees Sandy and decides to act cool, a drastic change from their summer romance. In the school, Doody, one of the "Burger Palace" boys, shows off his new guitar a la Elvis style (THOSE MAGIC CHANGES- M Solo to M Chorus).
        The girls, at a slumber party at Marty’s, start to smoke and drink. Trying to force Sandy to conform, they pierce her ears, but she gets sick. Marty tells the girls about her new boyfriend in the marines (FREDDY, MY LOVE- F Quartet). The girls all fall asleep except Rizzo who climbs out the window to meet her boyfriend, Kenickie.
        The scene changes to the gang and Kenickie who enters driving a beat up, `51 Ford Convertible. Kenickie sings of the potential greatness of the car (GREASED LIGHTNIN’- M Solo and M Chorus). Rizzo enters and drives off with Kenickie.
        The scene changes to Sandy, now a member of the cheerleading squad, practicing. Danny enters to invites her to a party, but the two argue about sports and Sandy ends up forcing him into joining the track team.
        The play moves to a deserted part of a park where the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace boys are sitting. Roger, the king of the mooners, sings to Jan about caring for her (MOONING- M/F Duet). Rizzo, upset by all the attention the boys have been giving Sandy, parodies Sandra Dee, the clean living movie star of the 50s (LOOK AT ME, I’M SANDRA DEE- F Solo). Sandy enters and the two girls fight. When Sandy shuns Danny, he spitefully asks Rizzo to the school dance. The rest of the kids pick dates and comment on the way out that the Burger Palace boys and the Pink Ladies go together (WE GO TOGETHER- Mixed Chorus).
        The Greasers and the Pink Ladies prepare for the high school dance (SHAKIN’ AT THE HIGH SCHOOL HOP- Mixed Chorus), while Sandy sits mournfully at home with her radio (IT’S RAINING ON PROM NIGHT- F Solo).
        At the dance, Johnny Casino, disc jockey and teen idol, prepares the group for the dance contest (BORN TO HAND JIVE- M Solo and Mixed Chorus). Danny and Cha-Cha, a girl from another school, win the dance contest.
        Several days later, Frenchy, who dropped out of high school to attend beauty school, drops out of beauty school. She desperately wishes for a guardian angel to advise her. He appears, complete with a chorus of angels (BEAUTY SCHOOL DROPOUT- M Solo and F Choir), and tells her to finish high school.
        At the drive-in movie theatre, Danny gives Sandy his ring, which she accepts. He instantly tries to make-out with her and she angrily walks home, despite his argument that no one walks home from a drive-in. He sits alone in the car and sings (ALONE AT A DRIVE-IN MOVIE- M Solo and Mixed Chorus).
        At a party in Jan’s basement, Roger and Doody perform (ROCK ’N ROLL PARTY QUEEN- M Duet). Everyone learns Rizzo might be pregnant and Sandy privately offers some advice. Rizzo angrily comments on the difference in their lifestyles (THERE ARE WORSE THINGS I COULD DO- L to F Solo). Sandy decides to change her "Sandra Dee" image and returns in the final scene dressed as a Greaser. Danny is overwhelmed and comments on her new look (ALL CHOKED UP- Mixed Chorus).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Grease is another Off-Broadway musical that found a home on Broadway. The show moved in June of 1972 to the Broadhurst Theatre and played to enthusiastic crowds until 1978 when attendance started to fall off. The producers were able to keep the show going by inexpensive ticket prices and low operating costs. The release of the film buoyed attendance and, in 1980, Grease surpassed Fiddler on the Roof as the longest running Broadway musical. It was subsequently replaced in 1984 by A Chorus Line.
        The show is popular among high schools and community groups as it is a spoof on the "Greasers" of the 50s, inexpensive to costume and only requires one unit set of platforms and levels to represent various locations. The plot is thin, but the music is catchy, and energetic. Although the cast needs are small, some schools wishing to involve more students have added a very large chorus as fillers on the full company numbers.
        It is a rock musical and the singers should be "miked" for the numbers. They may have hand held mikes with cords, but the choreographer should have substitute microphones and chords for the staging of musical numbers. It is possible to have several sets of microphones on stands permanently set, stage left and right. The actors just cross to the instrument when needed and return it when the number is completed.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Summer Nights," Split male, female chorus number, heavily styled in 50s
    "There Are Worse Things I Could Do," Dramatic, alto, rock rhythm
    "We Go Together," Suitable for revue finale or sing-a-long, hand jive movements
 
Instrumentation: 2 saxophones, 2 guitars, 1 bass, drums, piano/conductor, electric piano (optional)
Script: Pocket
Vocal Selections: Morris
Record/CD: MGM
Rights: Samuel French

GUYS AND DOLLS

Book: Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling
Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser
    (Based on Damon Runyon’s short story, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown")

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

The 46th Street Theatre, November 24, 1950 (1,200 perf.)
Director: George S. Kaufman
Choreographer: Michael Kidd
Musical Director: Irving Actman
Orchestration: George Bassman and Ted Royal
 
Principals:
Sky Masterson- Robert Alda- Tenor
Sarah Brown- Isabel Bigley- Soprano
Adelaide- Vivian Blaine- Alto
Nicely-Nicely- Stubby Kaye- Tenor
Nathan Detroit- Sam Levene- Baritone
Benny Southstreet- Johnny Silver- Baritone
Rusty Charlie- Douglas Deane- Bass
Arvide- Pat Rooney Sr.- Tenor
Harry the Horse- Tom Pedi- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 12M/8F

SYNOPSIS

        The show opens with a brief introduction to the various New York characters which author Damon Runyon depicted in his famous stories. The focus centers on Nicely-Nicely, Benny Southstreet and Rusty Charlie, three gamblers with racing forms who try and choose a winner (A FUGUE FOR TINHORNS- M Trio). Sarah enters with the mission band (FOLLOW THE FOLD-Chorus, the two songs are partially sung together) and begins to give a speech about sin, but quickly loses her listeners.
        Some men come to Nicely-Nicely and ask if he has seen Nathan Detroit, who earns his living by arranging places for illegal crap games. Brannigan, a tough detective, tells Nicely-Nicely that he is going to close Nathan’s crap game down. Nathan enters to comment to Benny and Nicely-Nicely on the difficulties of finding a safe place to hold their forthcoming game (THE OLDEST ESTABLISHED- Sc to M Trio to M Chorus).
        The only place Nathan can find to use is Biltmore’s garage, but it will cost $1,000 and Nathan doesn’t have that much money. He learns that Sky Masterson, a good looking gambler in his thirties, is in town looking for some action and decides to con Masterson out of $1,000 by making a can’t lose bet with him.
        Adelaide, Nathan’s fiancé for the past 14 years, meets him at the newsstand and tells him she’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t start a crap game again. Nathan sees Sky approaching and sends Benny and Nicely, to take Adelaide to lunch.
        Nathan, hoping to get money from Sky bets a $1,000 that he can’t get Sarah, the mission group leader, to go to Havana with him the next day. Sky proceeds to the mission and offers Sarah twelve sinners in exchange for accompanying him to Cuba. When she refuses he accuses her of being afraid of romance, which causes her to tell him her imaginings of love (I’LL KNOW- Sc to M/F Duet).
        In the Hot Box Night Club, Adelaide and the dancing girls perform (A BUSHEL AND A PECK- F Chorus). When Adelaide discovers Nathan is running a crap game she also discovers her perpetual cold is due to his stalling their wedding date (ADELAIDE’S LAMENT- Sc to F Solo).
        Benny and Nicely observe Sky following Sarah as she performs her mission work and comment on the weakness men have for women (GUYS AND DOLLS- Sc to M Duet).
        Outside the mission the discouraged army workers are interrupted by General Cartwright who informs Sarah that she must close the mission, which has a poor convert record. Sarah decides to go to Havana with Sky who has guaranteed her twelve sinners at the next meeting.
        On a street corner, the crapshooters waiting for the game location to be announced are interrupted by Brannigan, who is certain they are preparing for a game. They quickly announce that they are gathered to honor Nathan who is marrying Adelaide the next night. Adelaide arrives and is ecstatic to hear the news.
        Down in Havana, Sarah and Sky find a place to eat. Sky orders drinks and Sarah, a teetotaler, soon becomes tipsy enters into a fight. Sky carries her out of the bar and, outside, Sarah drunkenly expresses her love (IF I WERE A BELL- Sc to F Solo).
        At 4:00 am, outside the mission, Sky tells Sarah it is his favorite time of day (MY TIME OF DAY- Sc to M Solo) and both realize they are in love (I’VE NEVER BEEN IN LOVE BEFORE [REPRISE]- Sc to M/F Duet). Suddenly a police car is heard and Nathan and the crapshooters run from the mission. Sarah assumes Sky falsely engineered her absence from New York so they could gamble in the mission and she orders him away as the curtain falls.
        Act II opens the next night in the Hot Box Nightclub where Adelaide and the girls perform (TAKE BACK YOUR MINK- F Chorus). At the end of the song the lights rise on an empty table which Sky moves to as Nicely comes in and informs him the crap game is still on if he wants some of the action. Adelaide, furious that Nathan is running a game, sadly sings (ADELAIDE’S LAMENT [REPRISE]- F Solo).
        Out in the street, Sarah is walking with her grandfather, Arvide, who tries to comfort her with some good wishes (MORE I CANNOT WISH YOU- Sc to M Solo).
        The scene changes to a sewer where the crap game is in progress. Big Jule, a tough gambler from Chicago, has lost and won’t let anyone leave until he wins the money back.
        Sky arrives at the game, and rolls the dice in hopes of winning twelve sinners for Sarah’s mission (LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT- M Solo to M Chorus). He wins and the gamblers, including Nathan, head for the mission. When Adelaide spies Nathan, who tells her he is going to a prayer meeting, she accuses him of lying again (SUE ME- Sc to M/F Duet).
        The men enter the mission and begin to tell of their sins. Nicely joins in (SIT DOWN YOU’RE ROCKIN’ THE BOAT- M Solo and Mixed Chorus).
        Adelaide and Sarah and discuss their mutual problems with men. They decide to marry now and change them later (MARRY THE MAN TODAY- Sc to F Duet). The play ends with both girls getting their guys and changing them to fit their ideal.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Guys and Dolls won the 1951 Tony Awards for Best Actor (Robert Alda), Supporting Actress (Isabel Bigley), Choreographer, Director, Libretto, Composer and Lyricist, Best Musical, and Producer.
        A blockbuster musical that has since become a classic, Guys and Dolls boasts soaring, memorable music, excellent characters and comic treatment. All these traits combine to make this show an assured winner financially and artistically. Although there are numerous set requirements it is possible to utilize drops and wagons effectively, or a revolving unit set that is manually controlled. The costumes are not complicated and can usually be pulled from attics. The opening sequence depicting various Runyon characters gets somewhat complex in so far as props are concerned, but it is possible to focus attention on the easier pieces. However there are quite a few realistic props which might be time consuming to obtain.
        The gamblers dance, while brilliantly executed and choreographed on Broadway, is extremely difficult to perform effectively in its entirety by non-dancers. Some groups have trimmed the number without losing the mood.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Adelaide’s Lament," Showstopper, Alto story song, comedic, excellent for character study or revue
    "Fugue for Tinhorns," M Trio, tight harmony, good vocal exercise, and strong characters
    "Guys and Dolls," Tenor/Baritone duet, contrasting characters, comedic up-tempo, revue material
    "If I Were a Bell," Audition potential, requires some movement, shows comedic ability from a soprano
    "I’ll Know," Strong Tenor/Soprano duet, romantic and antagonistic, good characters, much underlies the accompanying      scene
    "Marry the Man Today," Soprano/Alto, comic clever lyrics, needs strong relationships and characters to pull off, movement must cover the musical interludes
    "More I Cannot Wish You," Tenor, charm song
    "Sue Me," Alto/Baritone, comic scene to duet, requires good timing and strong characters
 
Instrumentation: 5 reeds, 3 trumpets, trombone, horn percussion, 4 violins, cello, bass, piano
Script: Modern Theatre, Vol. 4
Score: Frank
Record: Decca
Rights: MTI

GYPSY

Book: Arthur Laurents
Music: Jule Styne
Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
    (Suggested by the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Broadway Theatre, May 21, 1959 (702 perf.)
Director and Choreographer: Jerome Robbins
Musical Direction: Milton Rosenstock
Orchestration: Sid Ramin and Robert Ginzler
 
Principals:
Rose- Ethel Merman- Alto with Belt
Louise- Sandra Church- Mezzo
June- Lane Bradbury- Alto
Tulsa- Paul Wallace- Baritone
Baby June- Jaqueline Mayro- Child Belt
Baby Louise- Karen Moore- VTNE
Herbie- Jack Klugman- Baritone
Tessie Tura- Maria Karnilova- Mezzo
Mazeppa- Faith Dane- Alto
Electra- Chotzi Foley- Mezzo
Miss Cratchitt- Peg Murray- VTNE
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 6 young girls, 8 young males, 2 children, 8 character males, 6 showgirls (optional)

SYNOPSIS

        The action takes place from the early 20s to the early 30s in various American cities. The curtain rises on a Seattle, Washington vaudeville theatre, where Uncle Jocko, the oily emcee, is holding auditions for his kiddie show. The talented Baby June performs with her sister, Louise, as their mother, Rose, shouts out directions from the rear of the audience (MAY WE ENTERTAIN YOU- F Ch Duet). She enters carrying Chowsee, her little dog, and a very large handbag. Rose is terrifying and demanding as she charms, cajoles and threatens Uncle Jocko into letting the girls finish their performance.
        The scene switches to the kitchen of a simple home in Seattle, Washington. Rose, who has plans for June to headline on the famous Orpheum Circuit, attempts to convince her overly practical father, a retired railroad worker, to give her the money for a new act (SOME PEOPLE- Sc to F Solo). When he refuses to listen she hocks his gold plaque, honoring fifty years of company service, takes the girls, rounds up four boys for the act and heads for California.
        Backstage at a vaudeville house in Los Angeles, Rose is unsuccessfully trying to convince Mr. Weber, the theatre owner, to get her a booking when Herbie, a former agent turned candy salesmen, arrives. Rose enlists his aid, which he readily gives by convincing Weber the act is terrific. Herbie tells Rose he used to be an agent until he developed ulcers and became a candy salesman to theatres. When Rose discovers he isn’t married but loves children, she wins him over by showing him how they complement each other (SMALL WORLD- Sc to F Solo). He agrees to represent them and the act is booked.
        A vaudeville placard announces Baby June and her Newsboys as the curtains open on a vaudeville street drop with a newspaper kiosk in front. (BABY JUNE AND HER NEWSBOYS- F Solo with M Chorus). Three young boys and Louise, all dressed as newsboys, loudly perform and introduce Baby June who tap dances, sings and performs everything she can before the boys return in military outfits accompanied by Louise, as Uncle Sam. June re-enters, dressed as the Statue of Liberty, wearing toe shoes and twirling batons. As she twirls to the big finale, an American Eagle pops up over the kiosk and the boys fire the rifles they carry and American flags pop out. The audience goes wild and June steps forward for her bow. At the end of the bow the orchestra strikes up, the music builds, a strobe light is turned on and the act seems to dance faster and faster as they move off stage and are gradually replaced by their older counterparts. The lights rise on the older group who take a final bow before the blackout.
        The lights rise on two rooms in a fourth class hotel. In one of the rooms the boys and Louise are sleeping in various locations, while the other room contains a large bed, a table, and some chairs.
        It is Louise’s birthday and everyone celebrates with presents and egg rolls. Rose announces her idea for a new act but is interrupted by Mr Kringelein, the hotel manager, who smells the food and threatens eviction. Rose throws herself at him, attempting to get him in a compromising situation, but Herbie arrives to smooth things over. He introduces Mr. Goldstone, a booking agent for the Orpheum Circuit. Rose excitedly offers the overwhelmed man an egg roll and bursts into song as the kids join in (MR GOLDSTONE, I LOVE YOU- Sc to F Solo to Mix Chorus).
        A forgotten Louise, her birthday superseded by the arrival of Goldstone, moves quietly into the bedroom, cuddles her birthday present from Rose, a live lamb, and wistfully sings to the lamb and her stuffed animals (LITTLE LAMB- F Solo).
        In a gaudy Chinese restaurant, Rose is scraping leftovers into cartons as Herbie moodily watches. She sends the girls to the hotel and Herbie uses the opportunity to bring up the subjects of marriage, the decline of vaudeville and the need for June and Louise to have a home and schooling. Rose angrily lashes out, afraid of losing them and of sitting at home, doing nothing. Herbie tells Rose he is afraid of losing his temper and walking out but she confidently tells him he can never leave her and promises to marry him after June is a bona fide star (YOU’LL NEVER GET AWAY FROM ME- Sc to F/M Duet).
        On the stage of the famous Grantziger’s Palace Theatre, Mr. Grantziger’s businesslike secretary, Miss Cratchitt, rushes on to answer the stage manager’s phone. She tells the impatient Mr. Grantziger, who is in the light booth, that Rose’s act is almost ready. The lights dim and the curtains open on a vaudeville style barnyard and a chorus of farmboys who introduce Dainty June and her dancing cow (DAINTY JUNE AND HER FARMBOYS- F Solo and Male Chorus). The show resembles the old newsboy show but the big finish is performed by the farmboys who now sport top hats, tails and canes that shoot American flags; a train replaces the kiosk and there is a tap dancing cow with Louise in the front half. During this splashy ending, Rose has been running around picking up a dropped hat and loudly commenting to Mr. Grantziger about how great everything is. Grantziger phones down to Cratchitt that he liked it and the surprised secretary takes Rose, Herbie, Louise and June to his office to sign a contract.
        Louise and June, left alone in the outer office, are excitedly dancing about and playing the piano when Cratchitt enters with Herbie and Rose following her onstage. Rose is visibly upset that the contract is for the downtown theatre instead of the Broadway one. Cratchitt caustically comments and tells Rose and Herbie that her boss is willing to give June free acting lessons if Rose will stay away. Rose angrily refuses to listen to June’s pleas and rushes out of the room, followed by Herbie and Cratchitt.
        Left alone in the office, Louise attempts to comfort June, who confesses to Louise that she hates the act and wishes her mother would marry Herbie and leave her alone. The two agree that life would be better if Rose married (IF MAMA WAS MARRIED- Sc to F Duet).
        Backstage at a theatre in Buffalo, Tulsa, the handsomest boy in the act, is practicing a dance routine as Louise watches. As he confides to Louise about the girl he envisions as his partner, he begins to outline the act (ALL I NEED IS THE GIRL- Sc to M Solo). As he performs the number, she becomes involved and it is apparent that she likes him very much.
        Late one misty night, at a train terminal in Omaha, as Yonkers and Angie are asking Herbie for train tickets for all the boys, Louise enters with a note telling Rose that June has married Tulsa and run off. Herbie gives the boys their tickets and moves to Rose, who stares in shocked silence. He urges her to marry him and Louise begs her to agree, but Rose rips up June’s letter and turns toward Louise, vowing to make her a star. Her voice rises in determination, she violently bursts into song as Herbie and Louise watch in horrified silence (EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES- L to F Solo).
        Act II opens in the Texas desert with a tent on one side of the stage and the back end of a touring car on the other. A rehearsal for Madame Rose’s Toreadorables is in progress. It is a terribly tacky version of the newsboys act, only this time it stars Louise in a blonde wig (MADAME ROSE’S TOREADORABLES- F Chorus). Herbie enters at the end of the number to tell Rose he has been unable to get a booking, but she is convinced something will turn up. A disheartened Louise, realizing she can never replace June as a performer, confronts her mother who promises to find something Louise can do well. She valiantly tells her that everything will work out as long as they have each other (TOGETHER WHEREVER WE GO- Sc to 2F/M Trio).
        Agnes, one of the toreadorables, enters with the girls’ letters home asking for money and, when Louise gives her the blonde wig, Herbie decides that the girls should all be blonde, except Louise. They decide to redo the act, and book them as Rose Louise and her Hollywood Blondes, a name Herbie is sure will sell.
        The scene shifts to the backstage and dressing rooms of a Wichita burlesque house where the girls arrive for their first booking as the new act. They are awed by everything, but Rose is appalled that they have fallen so low and orders everyone out. However, before she can repack, Louise forces her to realize they must play out the booking because they are broke and stranded. Herbie enters apologetically, but Rose forgives him and finally admits that vaudeville is dead and there will be no more bookings. She asks Herbie to marry her after they are no longer in burlesque.
        Herbie goes off to cue the stage manager as Tessie Tura, one of the star strippers who has a background in ballet, enters her dressing room. Rose huffily exits as Cigar, the theatre manager enters to ask Tessie to play a scene. Tessie refuses but Louise volunteers for the extra salary. Two other strippers, Mazeppa, who "bumps it with a trumpet," and Electra, whose strip is accentuated with lights, enter the dressing room and Tessie introduces them to Louise. The three advise her on the art of burlesque (YOU GOTTA GET A GIMMICK- Sc to F Trio).
        It is the end of the booking and Rose’s wedding day. Herbie is excited and Rose is on edge. When the star stripper gets arrested, Rose volunteers Louise, who is terrified at the prospect but does Rose’s bidding. Herbie confronts Rose in a dramatic scene and walks out; he has finally gotten angry and can take no more.
        Alone in the dressing room, before her entrance, Louise looks into a mirror and realizes she is beautiful. She proudly walks to the stage where everyone is waiting to wish her luck. She does a slow burlesque walk to June’s "Entertain You" number and quietly sings out, ever the lady (LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU [REPRISE]- F Solo).
        A series of performances follow which show Louise, now renamed Gypsy Rose Lee, gaining confidence and poise with each booking. The sequence ends at a Christmas holiday show at Minsky’s, years later.
        Backstage at Minsky’s, in Louise’s opulant dressing room, a French maid, Renee, is straightening up as Rose, determined to remind Louise of her roots, hammers a spike in the wall and hangs up a cow’s head. Louise enters, preparing to pose for a photographer from Vogue, and orders Renee to remove the head. After an extremely bitter argument with Louise, Rose realizes that she is no longer needed. She crosses onto the empty burlesque stage and soliloquizes. It is as if her entire life parades before her. She is fighting an emotional breakdown and vents her needs, agony and emotion as she parades across the stage of the empty theatre (ROSE’S TURN- L to F Solo).
        Louise quietly enters the stage and Rose smiles in embarrassment and attempting to ease the moment. Rose finally admits she fought her whole life for both her kids because she wanted to be noticed and Louise embraces her while admitting she always wanted Rose to notice her and still does. The two exit arm in arm as the curtain falls.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        The original production of Gypsy opened after the cut-off date for Tony Award nominations; however, Angela Lansbury received a Tony Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Rose in the 1975 revival.
        The script is well written, the characters well drawn and the relationships artfully developed. The music and lyrics enhance the book and are outstanding examples of musical theatre. Most of the songs were hits and have become standards. The show is more than the story of a stage mother who develops both her children into stars; it is the story of human relationships and the need for recognition.
        In order to develop this script into the fine production it merits, it requires a strong director who understands human relationships and can help the actors develop their characters into three-dimensional human beings, instead of conventional stereotypes. The relationship between Herbie and Rose must be carefully developed through the unspoken moments and Herbie’s reactions if he is going to be stronger than the henpecked boyfriend Rose almost marries. Rose must be played on a variety of levels or the final numbers in Act I and II can never be fully realized.
        Gypsy is a technical nightmare because it requires several vaudeville style drops, tacky yet showy costumes for Rose’s production numbers, a stripper’s costume (operated by a battery pack) that lights up, guns and canes that shoot American flags. There are also two realistic hotel rooms loaded with props, which include a live lamb, a touring car, and a small pet dog. It also requires a variety of wagon sets, which represent a Chinese restaurant, a producer’s office, a dressing room and a kitchen in Seattle. There isn’t much that can be done to combine or cut down on the show’s technical requirements if it is presented in a large proscenium theatre, for an audience is justified in expecting an elaborate production for this theatrically oriented musical.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Rose’s Turn," introspective, powerfully dramatic, intense, character oriented, excellent for class study or showcase "If Mama Was Married," fun duet, requires strong relationship and understanding of script before staging, character and situation oriented
    "Everything’s Coming Up Roses," may be performed as a solo but works better in class study if someone portrays Louise, intensely dramatic, determined, a variety of levels, good for class, revue or club
    "All I Need Is the Girl," good for class study for male dancer, requires good movement
    "Small World," charm ballad for an alto, last verse possible audition if well acted and sung
    "You Gotta Get a Gimmick," character oriented, requires comedic timing, showstopper, good for class, revue or showcase, movement
    "Some People," club, good for class study when combined with scene
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, viola, cello, bass, 4 reeds, 1 horn, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 percussion, piano/conductor
Script: Random Ten Great Musicals
Score: Chappell
Record: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HAIR

Book and Lyrics: Gerome Ragni and James Rado
Music: Galt MacDermot

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

The Biltmore Theatre, April 29, 1968 (1,742 perf.)
Director: Tom O’Horgan
Choreographer: Julie Arenal
Musical Director: Galt MacDermot
 
Principals:
Claude- James Rado- Tenor
Sheila- Lynn Kellogg- Alto
Berger- Gerome Ragni- Tenor
Dionne- Melba Moore- Mezzo
Crissy- Shelley Plimpton- Mezzo
Hud- LaMont Washington- Baritone
Woof- Steve Curry- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 6M/6F

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        The play opens at a "Hippie Tribe" gathering, complete with incense and psychedelic trappings. The various members of the Tribe and musically introduced. The individual and group songs reflect the tribal life style, generation differences, and the philosophy of the youth of the late sixties.
        The rather thin plot revolves around Berger, a social activist, Claude, his best friend who gets drafted, and Sheila, an anti war activist who loves Berger but is having Claude’s baby. Act I ends at a traditional Be-In where the Tribe gathers in a park to embrace the Hare Krishna and symbolically burn their draft cards. Claude, who dearly loves his country despite things he feels are politically wrong, is unable to burn the card. The play ends as Claude goes off in uniform, and Berger and Sheila part, leaving a section of their lives behind.
        This tribal rock musical that captured the mood of the era for which it was intended was hailed as spontaneous, fresh and original. The show took young New York audiences by storm and ran until 1972. An August 1978 revival, lasting 108 performances, demonstrated that the fervor of the sixties had receded and the show had become passé.
        There is some wonderful music in the score that is still worthy of production, but a director considering the show must have a fun loving, talented cast and be prepared to do some judicious editing, i.e. the nude scene. The scene is totally unnecessary to the script and was only utilized for shock value.
        Hair only works as a period piece and, in fact, is almost a spoof on the stereotypes of the period. If a company approaches the show with that attitude and can recapture the vitality of the original the production should do well at the box office.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Aquarius," Mixed Chorus, good for opening of a revue section of the sixties, modern dance style and open movement, combined with disco make this visually interesting, the hit song from the show
    "Easy to Be Hard," Rock Ballad sung by Sheila who is disgusted that her boyfriend wants to loan her to his best friend
    "Frank Mills," Mezzo ballad, charm song, story song about a girl who is waiting for a Hippie boy she met once and hopes to find again, simplistic character oriented lyrics
    "Hair," Mixed Chorus, rock beat, good for revue and beginning choreographer as it utilizes disco steps
 
Instrumentation: reed, 2 trumpets, electric bass, drums, percussion, 2 guitars (electric, acoustic, bass), electric piano/conductor
Script: Pocket, Great Rock Musicals
Selections: Big Three
Record: RCA
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HALF A SIXPENCE

        Synopsis by UNH alum Gene Lauze
 
Book: Beverley Cross
Music and Lyrics: David Heneker
    (Based on H.G. Wells’ Kipps)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Broadhurst Theatre, April 25, 1965 (512 perf.)
Director: Gene Saks
Choreographer: Onna White
Musical Director: Stanley Lebowsky
Orchestration: Jim Tyler
 
Principals:
Kipps- Tommy Steele-
Ann- Polly Jones-
Harry Chitterlow- James Grout-
Helen Walsingham- Carrie Nye-
Mrs. Walsingham- Ann Shoemaker-
Buggins- Norman Allen-
Chorus and Smaller Roles:
 
SYNOPSIS
        The musical opens in Shalford’s Emporium, where orphan, Arthur Kipps, lives and works with the other apprentices. A busy day at the store (SHOP BALLET- Mixed Chorus) finds Kipps, Pearce, Sid and Buggins bemoaning the cruelty of the shop owner, Mr. Shalford (ALL IN THE CAUSE OF ECONOMY- Sc to M Quartet). The boys leave for various appointments as Kipps waits to meet Sid’s sister, Ann. The two pledge their love and each takes half of a sixpence as a pledge (HALF A SIXPENCE- Sc to M/F Duet).
        Actor-playwright, Haryy Chitterlow, meets Kipps and is amazed to discover that the name he chose for his leading character is an actual person. He tells Kipps about a classified ad he read, searching for someone named Arthur Kipps. He is convinced Kipps is due for a lot of money and urges him to check the ad. His friends ask what he plans on doing with the money (MONEY TO BURN- Sc to M Solo to Chorus).
        Mr. Shalford drags Kipps to an evening class taught by Helen Walsingham, the daughter of one of his wealthiest customers. As a result, Ann waits hours for Kipps and refuses to believe the gossiping girls’ accusation that she has been stood up (I DON’T BELIEVE A WORD OF IT- Sc to Small F Chorus).
        Kipps has inherited the sum of £1200 a year, which causes him to quit Shalford’s shop. The chorus comments on his new lifestyle (A PROPER GENTLEMAN- Mixed Chorus).
        When Kipps regrets that he can’t see Helen Walsingham anymore, since he won’t be enrolled in the class, she invites him to her house for dinner. He readily accepts. He later worries that she is too cultured for him (SHE’S TOO FAR ABOVE ME- Sc to M Solo).
        Kipps tells Helen he would like to see her alone, which she agrees to- if he will come to her party the next night. Kipps prays for nice weather as he wants a romantic atmosphere (IF THE RAIN’S GOT TO FALL- Sc to M Solo).
        On Mrs. Botting’s houseboat, the guests are discussing the regatta (THE OLD MILITARY CANAL- Mixed Chorus).
        Helen agrees to marry Kipps, convinced she can educate him in the gentleman’s way of life and cognizant of the fact that her family desperately needs money in order to maintain their station. When Ann discovers that Kipps is going to marry Helen, she hurls his half a sixpence away, but she slowly retrieves it as the curtain falls.
        At the opening of Act II, Kipps feels badly about the way he has treated Ann, but Chitterlow assures him there are plenty of women in the world (THE ONE WHO’S RUN AWAY- Sc to M Duet). Kipps, realizing he prefers Ann to any of the upper crust, asks her to marry him. She agrees and confesses that she has always loved him (LONG AGO- Sc to M/F Duet).
        At the photographer’s studio, Kipps comments on weddings (FLASH BANG WALLOP- M Solo to Mixed Chorus).
        Kipps, anxious to be accepted by society, is upset when Ann disagrees with his goals because she doesn’t feel she belongs among the upper crust (I KNOW WHAT I AM- Sc to F Solo).
        Kipps takes his old friends to see the site of his new eleven-bedroom home, telling them of the fun they will have when the place is finished (THE PARTY’S ON THE HOUSE- M Solo to Chorus). But Kipps is quickly ruined financially, which doesn’t upset Ann in the least because all she has ever wanted is him, not his money (HALF A SIXPENCE- Sc to M/F Duet). He salvages enough money to build a small bookstore which he and Ann happily manage (FINALE- Company).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Half a Sixpence was nominated for nine Tony Awards, but won none, having had to compete with Fiddler on the Roof, which swept the awards.
        A British import that starred Tommy Steele, a vital and energetic performer. The show was pleasant, and some of the male songs are worth studying, but the production relied heavily on the talents of rock star, Tommy Steele.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "I Know What I Am," F Solo, obscure

Instrumentation:
Script: Chappell, DP Co.
Vocal Score: Chappell
Record: RCA
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HALLELUJAH, BABY!

Book: Arthur Laurents
Music: Jule Styne
Lyrics: Betty Comden and Adolph Green

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Martin Beck Theatre, April 26, 1967 (293 perf.)
Director: Burt Shevelove
Choreographer: Kevin Carlisle
Musical Director and Vocal Arranger: Buster Davis
Orchestration: Peter Matz
 
Principals:
Georgina- Leslie Uggams- Soprano
Clem- Robert Hooks- Baritone
Mary- Barbara Sharma- Mezzo
Prince- Bud Vest- VTNE
Princess- Carol Flemming- VTNE
Mama- Lillian Hayman- Alto
Harvey- Allen Case- Tenor
Mr. Charles- Frank Hamilton- VTNE
Mrs. Charles/Mistress/Ethel, Dorothy- Marilyn Cooper- VTNE
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 8F/8M mostly black, must include two black male tap dancers

SYNOPSIS

        Georgina, the star of the show, sets up the story line about a young girl’s rise to fame. Although the play covers a sixty-year time span, from 1900 to 1960, no one ages. As she exits, a 1900 style kitchen rolls on and Mama enters with a laundry basket, urging the offstage Georgina to get to work (BACK IN THE KITCHEN- F Solo). The two are employed as servants for wealthy whites.
        Georgina and her mother argue over Georgina’s desire to marry Clem whom her mother thinks is a lazy bum who will run off as Georgina’s Daddy and Grandpa did. As Mama polishes the silver Georgina tells her she wants an independent life in her own home (MY OWN MORNING- F Solo).
        Clem arrives and tells Georgina he won money from some white men in a poker game, but a white policeman insisted on his cut and Clem ended up the loser. He brings in four young blacks to corraborate his story (THE SLICE- M Solo with M Quartet).
        Georgina, resting on the porch outside the kitchen later, meets Harvey, a flashy dressing white who needs a black actress for the theatre he has just leased. He offers her the job, but she knows that blacks and whites aren’t allowed to appear on stage together. Harvey blithely tells her not to worry as the porch glides off and gas footlights come on, accompanied by a flat of a Southern plantation.
        The next scene depicts Georgina’s performance in a Civil War melodrama (FAREWELL, FAREWELL- Mixed Chorus). Despite her obvious success in the role, Georgina is fired by Mr. Charles, the nervous theatre owner who decides it is more prudent to cast a white actress as a black maid. Harvey advises her to go where there are more opportunities and the men and scenery move off as Georgina tells the audience she is moving up and out.
        The scene jumps to a 1920 nightclub where Tip and Tap are headlining and Georgina is performing in the chorus (FEET DO YO’ STUFF- Mixed Chorus). It seems that Harvey manages the prohibition gambling club and has employed Georgina and Clem. The three get fired over a racial issue, which centers around Georgina not being able to sit down with a royal patron.
        Georgina wonders where she should find another club job but Clem tells her he doesn’t want her performing as a chorus girl because he plans on making big money through bootlegging (WATCH MY DUST- M Solo). Mama enters, carrying a feather duster, and she and Georgina start for Mama’s new maid job. On the way they meet Clem, who is earning his living as a porter. The three comment on the way blacks must act in 1920 white America (SMILE, SMILE- Sc to 2F/M Trio). Unfortunately, their jobs don’t last because of the stock market crash.
        The scene moves to the heart of the Depression and a WPA theatre project where Georgina is playing a witch in a jazzed up "Macbeth" (WITCH’S BREW- F Trio). The show closes, due to suspected subversive material, but Clem, Georgina, Harvey and Mary, a white performer, look to the future (ANOTHER DAY- 2M/2F quartet).
        Georgina argues with Clem, now a communist and, after he leaves, she realizes she preferred the old Clem to this new radical thinker (I WANTED TO CHANGE HIM- F Solo). Harvey enters to boost her spirits and ends up kissing her, an uncomfortable situation for both of them. Georgina realizes she has to be the best if she is to win in a white folks’ world (BEING GOOD ISN'T ENOUGH- F Solo).
        The next scene is set in the1940s. Georgina and Mary are in a USO Show and performing at a camp where Clem and Harvey are officers. There is still tension in Clem’s and Georgina’s relationship (TALKING TO YOURSELF- 2M/F Trio).
        Harvey is furious because Georgina’s show is to play separate performances for white and black audiences. He convinces Georgina to quit the show and the three friends get on a bus and sit in the rear. The driver tells them Harvey can’t sit in the back and Georgina, anxious not to miss her train, sends him up front, but vows never to be in a position of insult again.
        In a club in the 1950s, with many of the same customers who appeared in the 1920s club, the lights dim on the dancing patrons who are performing the limbo and rise on the stage area where Havery announces his star attraction, Georgina Franklin in her new act (HALLELUJAH, BABY- F/2M Trio).
        Harvey asks Georgina to marry him but she avoids the issue. When Mary enters to tell them Clem, who has become an important civil rights leader, is in the audience, Georgina goes to change. Mary, who has always been attracted to Harvey and senses his mood, asks him to join her at a party, but he sadly refuses. Harvey realizes Georgina will never marry him (NOT MINE- M Solo). After the song Clem greets Harvey to tell him that he wants to stay friends, but is going to ask Georgina to marry him. Harvey toasts Clem as Mama enters, still amazed by Georgina’s overwhelming talent. She asks the boys about Georgina’s performing skills and demonstrates to everyone that Georgina got her talent from her Mama (I DON’T KNOW WHERE SHE GOT IT- F Solo). She exits, song and dance style.
        Clem asks Georgina to marry him but accuses her of trying to live in a white world. When the Prince, Princess and hostess enter and address her mother, who has arrived with Georgina’s purse, as her maid, Georgina is forced to realize he is right. She has finally grown up. As Mama exits, Georgina vows to become part of the real world (LITTLE ROOM- F Solo).
        This scene is set in the 60s. Partial set pieces reveal a large kitchen. Mary, Mama and Georgina are moving into Georgina’s new apartment in an all white building. They aren’t sure they’ll be legally accepted until Harvey arrives with official documents. Clem attacks Georgina’s dependency on Harvey and urges her to make it on her own and Georgina, realizing she still loves Clem despite the major adjustments they must make in their relationship, leaves Harvey (NOW’S THE TIME- Sc to Mixed Chorus).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        The show is a brief history of the change in attitudes toward blacks from 1900 to 1960. The songs are a showcase for a talented triple threat performer. At times the script becomes overly didactic to an audience of the 80s who have seen Roots and Jane Pittman, but a sensitive director could easily make the "preaching" sections more palatable.
        The sets may be made of minimal pieces and should flow on and off quickly to keep the much needed pace of the show. Some scenes may be relocated to trim the sets required by the script, i.e. the porch scene in Act I may be played in the kitchen. The costumes span from 1900 to 1960 and many of Georgina’s clothes are theatrical and stylish. Probably the bulk of the production budget should be allotted for costumes.
        The size of the company is flexible with mixed black and white performers. The earlier dance sequences, however, must be performed by black dancers to depict onstage segregation.
        The show will appeal to a relatively sophisticated and open-minded audience. The music is appealing but the book may need to be toned down in order to have more universal interest.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Another Day," 2M/2F Quartet, good for black or white performers in a revue situation, up-tempo, good for beginning choreographer
    "Being Good Isn’t Good Enough," strong, determined
    "I Wanted to Change Him," Soprano, semi dramatic, good range, possible club
    "I Don’t Know Where She Got It," Alto, up-tempo, song and dance, big voice, showstopper
    "Now’s the Time," Soprano/Mezzo, good for range, up-tempo, some movement
 
Instrumentation: 5 reeds, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 percussion, guitar or banjo, violin, cello, bass, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Selections: Chappell
Record: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark

THE HAPPY TIME

Book: N. Richard Nash
Music: John Kander
Lyrics: Fred Ebb
    (Suggested by characters in stories by Robert L. Fontaine)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Broadway Theatre, January 18, 1968 (286 perf.)
Director and Choreographer: Gower Champion
Musical Direction: Oscar Kosarin
Orchestration: Don Walker
 
Principals:
Jacques Bonnard- Robert Goulet- High Baritone
Bibi- Mike Rupert- Tenor
Grandpere- David Wayne- Baritone/Tenor
Laurie- Julie Gregg- Soprano
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 8F/2M, 4M teenagers

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        The Happy Time won Tony Awards in 1968 for Best Actor (Robert Goulet), Director, and Choreographer.
        Jacques Bonnard, a photographer who is also the narrator, invites the audience to return to the memory of his home in French Canada. He sets the stage and introduces his family, consisting of two brothers, their wives and daughters, his adolescent godson, Bibi, and the sprightly, Grandpere. No one but Bibi is happy that Jacques has returned, for he was always the black sheep of the family.
        As the play progresses, Jacques and Grandpere, introduce Bibi to some dance hall girls and life. Jacques remeets Laurie, his former girlfriend and music teacher at Bibi's school, who knows Jacques’ restless nature and urges him not to hurt Bibi, who idolizes him. Jacques is forced to admit to Bibi that the only reason he returned was because he was on a photographic assignment, not to see the family. Bibi cries in misery as Jacques heartlessly snaps his picture to use in a national magazine. The play ends with Jacques concluding the story, in narrative form, and relating the death of Grandpere, and his own eventual marriage and birth of a son.
        The play has the potential to be a charming one but the original production, produced for Broadway, employed photographs and large chorus dance numbers. If the show is kept small and the technical requirements trimmed to enable the audience to become involved in the reflective tone of the piece, it should be particularly appreciated by audiences over thirty years of age. It is suggested that the nieces’ roles be combined, the dance chorus be eliminated and the adolescent boys’ choir and friends of Bibi be trimmed to four.
        The music is sparkling, quality Kander and Ebb and the story is absorbing, family oriented and thought provoking. It is not a blockbuster musical and would best be produced by a company looking for a more intimate vehicle or for a workshop production of a little known show.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Catch My Garter," F Chorus, six dance hall girls of different characters and vocal types perform in a vaudeville show
    "The Happy Time," Opening High Baritone/Tenor Solo, sets the stage and introduces various characters, exciting and nostalgic, similar in tone to "Try to Remember," from The Fantasticks
    "The Life of the Party," Baritone Solo to Mixed Chorus, Grandpere, in a red top hat, has the solo section of this showstopper, vaudeville, audience oriented
    "Please Stay," Young Tenor Solo, Bib tries to convince his Uncle to stay in town but tries to be worldly by telling him he realizes there are obstacles song operates on two emotional levels, attention must be paid to subtext throughout
    "Seeing Things," Soprano, Tenor Duet, lovers confrontation when they realize their different philosophies will never allow them a permanent relationship, at the end of the song they say goodbye, semi-dramatic, vocally demanding, good for class study
 
Instrumentation: strings, piano/conductor, 4 reeds, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, percussion, harp
Script: Dramatic Publishing
Selections: Valando
Record: RCA
Rights: Dramatic Publishing

HELLO, DOLLY!

Book: Michael Stewart
Music and Lyrics: Jerry Herman
    (Based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

St. James Theatre, January 16, 1964 (2,844 perf.)
Director and Choreographer: Gower Champion
Musical Direction: Shepard Coleman
Orchestration: Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
Dolly Levi- Carol Channing- Low Alto
Horace- David Burns- Baritone
Cornelius- Charles Nelson Reilly- Tenor
Barnaby- Jerry Dodge- Baritone
Irene- Eileen Brennan- Mezzo with Low Belt
Minnie Fay- Sondra Lee- Soprano
Ambrose- Igors Gavon- Baritone
Ermengarde- Alice Playten- Mezzo
Rudolf- David Hartman- VTI
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 12M/12F minimum, at least six of the male chorus should dance, preferably eight, all should sing

SYNOPSIS

        The musical opens on a New York City street, at the turn of the century, with the neighborhood people talking about widow Dolly Levi, a woman who lives by her wits and serves a variety of needs (CALL ON DOLLY- Mixed Chorus). Dolly, brightly dressed, enters the scene passing out business cards telling of her varied services, which range from plugging pierced ears to matchmaking. When Ambrose Kemper, a young artist, asks her why she is so interested in everyone’s business she responds in song (I PUT MY HAND IN- F Solo with Mixed Chorus for Staging). She tells Ambrose to buy their tickets for Yonkers where she is going to meet Horace Vandergelder, the wealthy merchant widower who has hired her as a marriage broker. Dolly is tired of living alone and has plans to marry Vandergelder after she has changed him to a more fun loving man.
        The scene moves to Vandergelder’s Hay and Feed store in Yonkers, New York. Horace Vandergelder, the stuffy shopkeeper is ordering Cornelius, his chief clerk, and Barnaby, an assistant clerk, to watch the shop when he goes to New York to a meeting with his future wife, arranged by Dolly Levi (IT TAKES A WOMAN- M Solo with M chorus). Dolly arrives to convince Horace to let her take his niece, Ermengarde, to New York, where she intends to help Ambrose and the girl gain Vandergelder’s permission to marry. She goes upstairs to help Ermengarde and Ambrose make plans.
        When Vandergelder leaves for Manhattan, Cornelius convinces Barnaby to spend the day seeking adventure in New York. The scene ends with Cornelius and Barnaby planning their adventure and Dolly, Ambrose, and Ermengarde preparing to show Vandergelder "they mean business." (PUT ON YOUR SUNDAY CLOTHES- Sc to 2M Duet to Quintet to Mixed Chorus). The number moves to the Yonkers Train station where the chorus continues the song as a train chugs into the station and the principals board for New York.
        In widow, Irene Molloy’s New York hat shop, Irene confides to her naive clerk, Minnie Fay, that she will marry Horace Vandergelder and find a new life. She puts on a "provocative" hat and sings of the beauty she will find in her new freedom (RIBBONS DOWN MY BACK- Sc to F Solo).
        When Barnaby and Cornelius see Vandergelder on a New York street they seek refuge in Mrs. Molloy’s hat shop by pretending to be customers. Cornelius becomes infatuated with Irene and she is attracted to him, but an entering Vandergelder forces the two clerks to hide. A shocked Irene tries to keep Mr. Vandergelder from discovering them as Dolly enters to aid Irene in the ruse. Dolly attempts to change the subject by singing about American morals and motherhood. During the number the two men try and find different hiding places while avoiding Vandergelder’s suspicious searches. All end up at the end of the song in the same locations (MOTHERHOOD MARCH- Sc to 3F Trio with 3M needed for staging).
        As the song ends, Cornelius, hiding in the closet, sneezes and Irene admits that she is hiding two gentlemen and refuses to discuss the matter further. Vandergelder exits to march in the Fourteenth Street Parade.
        Dolly suggests that Cornelius and Barnaby, take Irene and Minnie Fay to the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant for dinner. When Cornelius protests that he can’t dance, Dolly proceeds to give everyone a lesson (DANCIN’- Sc to 2M/3F Quintet to Chorus) The set opens to the street as the chorus dances. Dolly wistfully watches all the young couples enjoying themselves and begs Ephraim, her dead husband, to give her a sign that she can remarry (BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY- L to F Solo). Dolly exits through the marchers as the parade arrives, complete with majorettes, bands and floats. Dolly returns to tell Vandergelder that the young, wealthy, Ernestina Money will meet him later that night outside the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant. He exits and Dolly confides to the audience that he soon will be hers (BEFORE THE PARADE PASSES BY [REPRISE]- F Solo).
        Act II opens with Cornelius and Barnaby on a street corner. They cleverly convince Irene and Minnie Fay that all elegant people walk to their destinations, and the four set out for the Harmonia Gardens (ELEGANCE- Sc to 2M/2F Quartet, Period). Vandergelder, waiting outside the restaurant, is appalled when an extremely large, boisterous Ernestina arrives. He reluctantly offers his arm and the two enter. Ambrose and Ermengarde enter the restaurant hoping to win the dance contest and shock Horace into realizing they are serious about marriage.
        The "in one" drop rises to reveal the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant, opulant in tones of red. The waiters, under the watchful eye of Rudolph, the disciplined Maitre d’, display their varied skills by performing a variety of athletic and acrobatic feats while serving the guests and setting the tables (WAITERS’ GALLOP- M Dance). Irene, Barnaby, Cornelius and Minnie, seated in a private dining room, are overwhelmed by the food, decor and prices. Vandergelder, in another private dining room, is appalled by the very loud Ernestina Money, whom he tries to keep in order.
        Stanley, a waiter, rushes down the long central stairway, to announce Dolly’s entrance and the waiters and cooks all line up to receive their favorite customer, who hasn’t vis\ited them in years (HELLO, DOLLY!- F Solo and M Chorus).
        Dolly joins Vandergelder, after signaling Ernestina to exit, and begins serving him luscious foods and discussing marriage. Vandergelder is more upset at each word, but she urges him to watch the Polka Contest. He discovers his clerks, his niece and Ermengarde all dancing and accidentally starts a riot.
        The scene quickly shifts to the courtroom where Dolly arrives and hands the judge her counselor at law card. Dolly turns to Cornelius, who sentimentally expresses his feelings about Irene Molloy (IT ONLY TAKES A MOMENT-L to M Solo to Mixed Chorus). The judge is so moved by Cornelius’ story that he frees everyone, except Horace.
        Vandergelder is taken to jail where Dolly enters to tell him she is leaving him to his own devices. She takes his hat and cane and gives a vaudeville style farewell (SO LONG DEARIE- Sc to F Solo).
        Vandergelder is released and returns to Yonkers, defeated and alone. Cornelius and Mrs. Molloy arrive to tell him they are opening a hay and feed store across the street and Barnaby demands his back pay. Ermangarde and Ambrose arrive to announce their marriage and they all go into the back room, where Vandergelder keeps their money.
        Dolly enters and asks Eprhaim to please give her the sign. A wallpaper hanger arrives and Vandergelder sends him upstairs to paper the room blue. He tells Dolly the young man is starting in business and he believes in spreading money around. When Vandergelder asks her to marry she agrees, for Ephraim also believed that money should be spread around. She urges Horace to take Cornelius in as a partner and Barnaby as chief clerk so they can all dance at Ermengarde’s wedding. He agrees and tells her she is wonderful (FINALE- Mixed Chorus).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Hello, Dolly! Won nine 1964 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Actress (Carol Channing), Composer and Lyricist, Libretto, Director, Choreographer, Conductor and Musical Director, Scenic Designer and Producer. The show held the record for most Tony Awards won by a production in a single season until 2001 when The Producers swept the awards.
        The initial success of the show was constantly revitalized by the various stars who performed the title role on Broadway. The stars included Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Bibi Osterwald, Pearl Bailey, Phyllis Diller, and Ethel Merman. Two new songs were added for Miss Merman; Jerry Herman had written the show with her in mind, but she turned it down, wanting to avoid a long run in a musical. She later accepted the role for a limited engagement.
        The show is expensive to produce and should be given a large scale production for the success of the vehicle lies in the total look. Without a degree of lavishness, the production never reaches the peaks it had on the New York stage. It survives on pace, lavishness, and gimmicks; each scene overwhelms the previous one, and each new spectacle causes the audience to wonder how anything can be bigger or better. Dolly’s entrance, dressed in red, on the top step of the Harmonia Gardens is a high point of the show, which is only slightly topped by her curtain call in an unexpected wedding dress. If a company cannot afford to properly mount this lavish production, they should consider The Matchmaker.
        The original was designed to be performed with a runway, at least two costumes for each chorus member, a full sized railroad train, five costumes for Dolly and a long stairway for Dolly’s entrance to the Harmonia Gardens. On stages with limited wing space, the production can be managed with a 14th Street drop and three 8x8 four-sided wagons that revolve for various scenes.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Before the Parade Passes By," Alto, decision making, character-oriented, semi-dramatic march tempo
    "Elegance," An "in one" quartet, emphasis is on relationships and period style, movement is minimal, though clean and simple
    "Put on Your Sunday Clothes," Baritone/Tenor Duet, character oriented, short scene to song make it ideal for classroom      work
    "So Long, Dearie," Low Alto, soft shoe, up-tempo with hat and cane, vaudeville style
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, cello, bass, 4 reeds, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 percussion, guitar/banjo, piano-celeste/conductor
Script: DBS, Signet
Score: Morris
Record/CD: RCA
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HIGH BUTTON SHOES

Book: George Abbott
Music: Jule Styne
Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
(Based on Stephen Longstreet’s The Sisters Liked Them Handsome)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

New Century Theatre, October 9, l947 (727 perf.)
Director: George Abbott
Choreography: Jerome Robbins
Music Director: Milton Rosenstock
Orchestration: Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
Harrison Floy- Phil Silvers- Baritone
Mama Longstreet- Nanette Fabray- Soprano
Oggle Ogglethorpe- Mark Dawson- Baritone
Mr. Pontdue- Joey Faye- Baritone
Fran- Lois Lee- Soprano
Nancy- Helen Gallagher- Mezzo
Uncle Willie- Paul Godkin- Tenor
Elmer Simpkins- Nathaniel Frey- Tenor
Stevie Longstreet- Johnny Stewart- Boy Soprano
Papa Longstreet- Arthur Partington- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 12M/12F minimum, a separate singing and dancing chorus of 8M/8F each would be preferred if a tight rehearsal schedule is anticipated

SYNOPSIS

        The play, set in the year 1913, opens with a song by a male quartet introducing the main character, Harrison Floy (HE TRIED TO MAKE A DOLLAR- M Quartet). Floy and his sidekick, Mr. Pontdue, go through a number of "snake oil" type con games, only to be run out of town in the end by "Keystone" style cops. Floy decides to go back to his hometown of New Brunswick, NJ where people remember him as an honest boy. Floy and Pontdue decide that acting successful and refined is the best way to con the townspeople of New Brunswick. So, with the police on their tail, they flee to New Jersey.
        The next scene takes place in the living room of the Longstreet family where Willie, Papa and Stevie are all talking about the "successful" Harrison Floy’s return. Mama Longstreet thinks that he is a good catch for her sister Fran. During this conversation a football flies through the window and Oggle, the handsome Rutger’s football hero, comes in after it. Oggle tells Fran that she should marry him, not Floy, and move to Texas after the wedding (CAN’T YOU JUST SEE YOURSELF?- Sc to M/F Duet). Mr. Floy, who has been eavesdropping, cons Papa Longstreet into signing a paper that supposedly gives Papa an automobile for only $100. They all then go out to see their new car (THERE’S NOTHING LIKE A MODEL T- Mixed Chorus).
        The scene switches to Rutger’s football field where Fran is watching Oggle play. After practice, Oggle confesses to Fran that, although he loves her, he loves his home state of Texas more (NEXT TO TEXAS I LOVE YOU- Sc to M Solo). The Model T is pushed on to the scene by Floy and the rest of the Longstreet family. When Floy asks Fran to go for a walk while her father gets gas, Oggle challenges Floy to a fight. By now, more football players have gathered around for the fight and Floy tries to calm Oggle down by getting all the players to sing Rutger’s Alma Mater (ON THE BANKS OF OLD RARITAN- M Chorus). This plan doesn’t work, so Floy knocks Oggle out with a pair of brass knuckles, hidden from everyone but the audience. This show of strength impresses Mama Longstreet who urges Fran to marry Mr. Floy for security (SECURITY- F Chorus).
        Uncle Willie and Nancy, the Longstreet’s maid, are dancing in the parlor when Mama and the Ladies Walking Society enter (BIRD WATCHER’S SONG- F Chorus). Harrison enters and gives the ladies a pitch for his new real-estate con and the women leave determined to have their husband’s invest in the real estate swindle.
        Outdoors once again, Floy convinces Pontdue that a day away from the city will do him good (GET AWAY FOR A DAY IN THE COUNTRY- M Solo to Mixed Chorus). The Longstreets and other families that are interested in buying the land show up for a picnic. Mama Longstreet dances with her husband (PAPA, WON’T YOU DANCE WITH ME?- F Solo). In the course of the picnic, some of the investors realize they have paid for worthless swampland. Floy tries to skip town, but first must win over Fran, his appointed treasurer, who refuses to let the money leave her side (CAN’T YOU JUST SEE YOURSELF? [REPRISE]- M Solo). Fran falls for him, so she, Floy and Pontdue leave town with the investor’s cash. Papa Longstreet goes after them in the Model T (MODEL T [REPRISE]- M Solo).
        Act II begins with Floy and Fran in a bathhouse in Atlantic City (ON A SUNDAY BY THE SEA- Mixed Chorus). A hilarious Keystone Kops style chase involving Fran, Pontdue, a gorilla, and Floy takes place and the police arrest Floy, who manages to escape.
        Back in New Brunswick the next day, Fran apologizes to Oggle, who still proclaims his love (YOU’RE MY GIRL- M/F Duet). Floy returns to the Longstreet living room, blames Pontdue for cheating everyone and promises to return all the money he spent by betting on the Rutger’s big game. Papa Longstreet doubts his honesty, but Mama is taken in (I STILL GET JEALOUS- M/F Duet).
        At the game, Floy meets up with Pontdue, who is upset about taking all the blame for the real estate scheme. Floy assures Pontdue of his loyalty (YOU’RE MY BOY- M Duet). Pontdue and Floy bet on Princeton over Rutgers, but at half-time Princeton is losing. Floy goes to the Rutger’s locker room to get the team to not try so hard to win (NOBODY EVER DIED FOR RUTGERS- M Solo), but his plea fails and Rutgers wins.
        Back at the Longstreet home, the family waits for the arrival of Harrison Floy with the money he promised to return. Floy tells the now highly skeptical family of using the real estate land swamp mud as a new beauty clay product. Oggle is the only one not taken in by this new con game and runs Floy out of the house. The play ends with Harrison Floy and Pontdue selling the mud as beauty clay to the audience until the "Keystone Kops" chase them out of sight (HE TRIED TO MAKE A DOLLAR [REPRISE]- M Quartet).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        A 1948 Tony Award went to Jerome Robbins for his choreography of High Button Shoes. The show established the careers of Phil Silvers, Nanette Fabray and Jerome Robbins. It also marked Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn’s Broadway debuts. Those who saw the original production still comment on Jerome Robbins’ marvelous "Keystone Kops Chase" ballet, which is fun to re-create.
        An excellent vehicle for a male comic and his stooge, the show affords good vignette character opportunities and is an excellent choice for a company looking for a variety of featured roles. In addition to principals there are good roles for the barbershop style quartet and the Ladies Walking Society.
        Although it is a period piece that must be played with an air of charm and innocence, it is not a spoof on the era and shouldn’t be "camped." In order to maintain the pace modern audiences prefer, the director should not be afraid to edit some of the longer musical and dance oriented numbers. It is difficult, in an amateur situation, to achieve the long dance numbers that were written for professional dancers. Audiences would rather see a shortened rendition that captures the flavor of the piece than the full song weakly performed.
        The sets may be trimmed, combined and relatively skeletal to keep the pace flowing. The costumes are period but not complex. The car may be a flat cut out, "driven" on by Uncle Willie. It should be properly proportioned and is necessary to the Model T number. The beach sequence needs dressing "tent" bathhouses for the chase sequence to be effective. It should be styled after the original Max Sennett silent film chases, which consisted of running in and out of doors and mistaken identities.
        The music is tuneful and varied. Since scenes often require different performers, a director with limited rehearsal time should have a good choreographer for the dance numbers and an assistant choreographer or assistant director to stage the non-dance oriented numbers. It is possible to rehearse the separate scenes/songs simultaneously if separate dancing and singing choruses are utilized.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "I Still Get Jealous," Baritone/Soprano Duet, middle-aged character number, charm duet
    "Papa, Won’t You Dance With Me?," Baritone/Soprano Duet, up-tempo, charm, polka, revue potential for middle age performers
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, cello, bass, 5 reeds, 3 trumpets, trombone, percussion, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Score: NP
Record: Camden
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HIGH SPIRITS

Book, Music and Lyrics: Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray
    (Based on the Noel Coward play, Blithe Spirit)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Alvin Theatre, April 7, 1964 (375 perf.)
Director: Noel Coward
Choreographer: Danny Daniels
Vocal Direction and Arrangements: Hugh Martin and Timothy Gray
Orchestration: Harry Zimmerman
 
Principals:
Madame Arcati- Beatrice Lillie- Mezzo
Elvira- Tammy Grimes- Alto
Charles Condomine- Edward Woodward- Baritone
Ruth Condomine- Louise Troy- Mezzo
Edith- Carol Arthur- VTNE
Mrs. Bradman- Margaret Hall- VTNE
Dr. Bradman- Lawrence Keith- VTNE
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 4M/4F minimum

SYNOPSIS

        British mystery novelist, Charles Condomine, and his second wife, Ruth, are preparing for an evening of research for Charles' latest book, dealing with mediums and seances. They discuss Elvira, Charles' first wife who Charles remembers with mixed emotions. When he leaves, Ruth wonders about Elvira (WAS SHE PRETTIER THAN I?- L to F Solo).
        Madame Arcati, the whacky medium hired to perform the seance at the Condomines that evening, hurries to the home on her bicycle (THE BICYCLE SONG- F Solo to Mixed Chorus).
        At the seance, Dr. Bradman, his wife and the maid, Edith, are astounded when Madame Arcati makes contact with the other world. Strange happenings occur with increasing intensity until all activity comes to an abrupt halt and Arcati falls to the floor in a dead faint. Charles is appalled to learn that Elvira has returned from beyond. Later that evening, Ruth is upset by Charles’ seemingly abusive behavior to her. He is actually berating Elvira whom Ruth cannot see, but Ruth storms from the room without realizing it. Elvira takes advantage of her time alone with Charles by seductively warning him (YOU'D BETTER LOVE ME- Sc to F Solo).
        The next morning, at the terrace breakfast table, Ruth and Charles argue over the previous evening's events (WHERE IS THE MAN I MARRIED?- Sc to M/F Duet). Elvira shows up and Charles persuades her to show Ruth some tricks to prove her existence, but Ruth only becomes more upset and seeks out Madame Arcati for assistance in getting rid of the bothersome Elvira. She finds her in her coffee house, "The Inner Circle," surrounded by enthusiastic students (GO INTO YOUR TRANCE- F Solo and Mixed Chorus).
        Madame Arcati tells Ruth she has no idea of how to get rid of Elvira, and Ruth angrily accuses Arcati of irresponsibility and leaves.
        At home, Elvira and Charles romantically remember their wedding night (FOREVER AND A DAY- Sc to M/F Duet). He later promises to take her dancing, which she feels is a positive sign (SOMETHING TELLS ME- F Solo).
        Charles and Elvira visit the Penthouse Club. As Charles remembers her conniving ways, Elvira continually sets him up in high-risk situations, hoping he will eventually "accidentally" kill himself (I KNOW YOUR HEART- Sc to M/F Duet). She attempts to teach him how to fly (FASTER THAN SOUND- L to F Solo and Mixed Chorus) and the act ends as Charles climbs to the roof and leaps off with his arms outstretched.
        Act II reveals that Charles landed on a parapet and suffered only a minor sprain. Ruth manages to convince Charles that Elvira is trying to kill him, and the two decide to enlist Madame Arcati's help in exorcising Elvira. They reminisce about Charles' proposal to Ruth (IF I GAVE YOU- Sc to M/F Duet).
        Elvira tries to manipulate Charles into taking her for a drive, but he tells her Ruth has taken the car and she has a fit of hysterics. It seems Elvira tampered with the car, and killed Ruth, whose spirit returns to cause them both trouble.
        In her bedroom, Arcati, clad in bathrobe and white bunny slippers, happily caresses her ouija board (TALKING TO YOU- F Solo) which lovingly responds by telling her of Ruth's death. She calls Charles and offers to help.
        Elvira, bored by life on Earth, tells Charles about her famous friends on the other side (HOME SWEET HEAVEN- F Solo). When she agrees to go home, she and Charles hurry to Madame Arcati, who is excited by the prospect of entertaining a genuine ectoplasm (SOMETHING IS COMING TO TEA- F Solo with M Chorus). Madame Arcati vainly tries to dematerialize Elvira (THE EXORCISM- Mixed Chorus) but only succeeds in materializing Ruth.
        At home, the two spirits, not anxious to spend eternity on earth or without Charles, poison his brandy. When he arrives, they argue and examine their respective marriages (WHAT IN THE WORLD DID YOU WANT?- Sc to M/2F Trio).
        Arcati arrives and, with the help of Edith, succeeds in dematerializing both Ruth and Elvira, but, as she and Charles toast their success, they succumb to the poisoned brandy. Now all four are locked in the spirit world forever (FASTER THAN SOUND [REPRISE]- Mixed Chorus).

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        There are some difficult technical aspects of the production which need to be worked out before the show is chosen, i.e. the set falling apart in the final scene and the explosive shaking of the seance table in the first scene. Rigging is required to fly Elvira, but there are some companies who have deleted Elvira's flying sequences.
        The music is good, the main characters extremely well developed, the situation hilarious, the dialogue marvelously witty and the evening entertaining. If trimmed in size, it is perfect dinner theatre fare and can be successfully performed on a small stage. The most essential sets are the Condomines’ parlor and a space for Arcati's tearoom.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Home Sweet Heaven," Alto, clever lyrics and rhythm, make this a wonderful number for a revue or showcase situation
    "Talking to You," Strong alto character song, not much range or vocal quality required, takes a comedienne to make the number successful
    "What In the World Did You Want?," Trio, clever lyrics, relationships and characters emphasized, good for classroom study
 
Instrumentation: 3 violins, viola, cello, bass, 5 reeds, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 percussion, harp, guitar/bass guitar, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Selections: Cromwell
Record: ABC/Paramount
Rights: Tams-Witmark

HONK!

    Synopsis by UNH alum Brian Swasey who appeared in the ???????? American Premiere at ???????
 
Book and Lyrics: Anthony Drewe
Music: George Stiles
(Based on The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen)

ORIGINAL SCARBOROUGH PRODUCTION

******BRIAN- Was your company the first American premiere? If so, let’s use your cast, otherwise we’ll keep it London*********** 

The Stephen Joseph Theatre, date (# perf.)
Director: Julia McKenzie
Choreographer: Aletta Collins
Musical Director: Michael Haslam
Orchestration: John Cameron
 
Principals:
Drake, Greylag- Michael McLean-
Turkey, Barnacles, Bullfrog- Nicholas Colicos-
Henrietta, Pinkfoot, Penny- Elizabeth Renihan-
Ida- Kristin Marks-
Maureen, Snowy, Queenie- Leigh McDonald-
Grace, Dot, Lowbutt- Marilyn Cutts-
Cat- Paul Sharma-
Ugly Duckling- Richard Dempsey-
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 3M/3F

SYNOPSIS

Smoke is seen fog as seen uses on painted drop of barn yard
Patch behind farmhouse
Man with leather jacket plaid plaid pants
Baseball hat- puts on dark glasses and eaterdeees other characters
(A POULTRY TALE- 3F/2M, modern beat)
his wife in yellow and orange
cat arrives
4 the grand flowered hat f grand flowers
2M/4F at end- [blocking diagram]
fence
she sits on the nest as he goes off- drake leaves after a typical human type argument, lyrics are clever (THE JOY OF MOTHERHOOD- M/F Duet)
Ida and
Sing duet about being motherhood as ducks hatch
See orange sneakers, then hands then orange hands then orange hats, then butts of ducks
Auntie mor mor goes off to find drake
Ma lays down the rules-
Dad gives the 4 hatched kid 2g 2b with little inner tables?
Ida stays to stay on the big egg
She knows this one is different (DIFFERENT [PRE-REPRISE]- F/M Duet?)
The egg starts banging and appears and breaks the nest
Honk
Focus shifts L as other kids take off nest
She tries to teach him to fly (HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH- M/F Duet and Company)
Kids men on with cloth as if in lalse then go off as gabo tells fly around
Father is upset and embarrassed- 4 kids poke fun at kid (LOOK AT HIM- Company)
Aunt man comes on and screams-
Lyrics are great
in school teacher and other students girl poke fun
friend-
Cat is anxious to get his hands on xxxxxxxxxx
Introduced to the mateen ducks, everyone makes fun of him, look at him
The father drake asks turkey- ugly tries to quack but just honks
Sadly sings of being different (DIFFERENT- M Solo)
Ducks them blackboard?
W logo and YUK was CAT before
Cat enters, invites him to xxxxxx off with cat
Ida faces the gossips
Ida panics when she can’t find him
Ugly goes into cat home, cat has cookbook upsyed and an apron and cook’s hat on top of 3 bones [blocking diagram]
Cat sings (YOU CAN PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD- M Solo into M Duet)
Cat has oversyed tender 1rer and towels
Ugle
Then gets salt and pepper, shakes salt and pepper on him-
Then pulls out axe
Ties him up and puts him in large laundry tub- ugly asks what people are-
Cat gets hit with large ball thrown from off stage
Ugly says goodbye and tries to find his way back home
Chorus enters with lanterns (ELEGY)
Ida is sad and cries as others sing
He’s been gone for a week-
TV reporter arrives
Maggie pie, mother sings- Expect to appear (EVERY TEAR A MOTHER CRIES- F Solo)
Ida goes looking for him puts on coat and gets suitcase
Scene switches to geese, military types
(THE WILD GOOSE CHASE- M/F Solos and Chorus??)
[BIG blocking diagram with directing notes]
ACT II
(HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH [REPRISE]- M/F Duet)
Ugly duckling hides in the hen on cat
Hen house 2F hens
Queenie cat are domesticated
It takes all sorts to make a world- snobs having tear (IT TAKES ALL SORTS- F Duet)
Turns on TV, we see the mother and news TV person
He sees his mom on TV, cat arrives
The two cats see each other- he verys the F cat (TOGETHER- M/2F Trio??)
At Drake home father has the apron on
Xxxxyellow rolover glory
Kids go off with barrels
Where’s the joy in motherhood- mom continues her quest
(THE COLLAGE- Linear M/F Duet with Company)???????
He meets a swan who is tangled in a rope-
He frees penny and she flies off with a honk- he repeats after her honk and bursts into song (NOW I’VE SEEN YOU- M Solo)
A frog enters- out mage isn’t in vogue
Lily pads moved on by the kids in green jump suits
Honk gets hatted- (WARTS AND ALL- M Solo into M Duet with Company)
Cat arrives and takes him back home
Snow falls-
Promises that he will see his mother once more before he eats him-
White umbrellas open and closing as snow falls the ugly and cat go back and forth among the umbrellas and off- new patterns (THE BLIZZARD- F Solo and Company)
White sukish curtain drops from proscenium and is pulled down on top of
To make a drift
Mother duck comes on and sees his hat
She thinks he is dead
Water the frost she cries and the curtain moves and is pulled back revealing xxxxxin a white suite and white shoes saying I’m not a duck, I’m a swan, he puts on dark glasses as yells honk
Sees his mom, just knowing u are out there (THE TRANSFORMATION- M/F Duet and Company?????- Linear?)
Swan plang arrives and inlodeeces him
Is her father as swan who saved her life
Cat sees he is a swan
(LOOK AT HIM [REPRISE]- Company)

 NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

Olwer Award winner, beat out the Lion King

 SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

Instrumentation: Keyboards, alto saxophone/flute/clarinet, guitars, bass, drums and percussion
Script:
Score:
Record/CD: Dress Circle
Rights: Joseph Weinberger Ltd.


HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING

Book: Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert
Music and Lyrics: Frank Loesser
    (Based on the book by Shepard Mead)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

46th Street Theatre, October 14, 1961 (1,417 perf.)
Director: Abe Burrows and Bob Fosse
Choreographer: Hugh Lambert
Musical Director: Elliott Lawrence
Orchestrations: Robert Ginzler
 
Principals:
J. Pierpont Finch- Robert Morse- Baritone
Hedy- Virginia Martin- Mezzo
J.B. Biggley- Rudy Vallee- Baritone
Frump- Charles Nelson Reilly- Tenor
Rosemary- Bonnie Scott- Mezzo
Smitty- Claudette Sutherland- Alto
Miss Jones- Ruth Kobart- Soprano
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 8F/12M minimum, male chorus must be vocally balanced

SYNOPSIS

        The play opens in front of the Worldwide Wicket Company, where J. Pierpont Finch, an enthusiastic young window washer, intent on quick advancement, is studying a book on business (HOW TO- L to M Solo).
        In the office lobby, Finch bumps into J.B. Biggley, the President of the Worldwide Wicket Company. When he apologizes and tells him he is looking for a job the irritated Biggley sends him to personnel. Rosemary, an attractive secretary, offers to introduce "Ponty" to Smitty, a friend of hers who is secretary to Mr. Bratt, the head of personnel but Finch brashly enters Mr. Bratt’s office and tells him Biggley sent him for a job. Bratt quickly offers him a job in the mailroom. Smitty, soon discovers that her steno pool friend, Rosemary, has plans for Finch (HAPPY TO KEEP HIS DINNER WARM- Sc to F Solo).
        In the outer office, the office personnel are desperately waiting in line for their morning coffee, when they discover the machine is empty (COFFEE BREAK- Mixed Chorus). The group collapses in dramatic agony.
        Rosemary encounters Finch who is delivering mail to the executive offices. He is stopped by the wimpy Bud Frump, Mr. Biggley’s nephew, who takes the mail into the offices in hopes of being promoted. Finch, seeing Miss Jones, Mr. Biggley’s secretary, introduces himself and flatters her in hopes of getting in her favor. She introduces him to an important man in the company, Mr. Gatch.
        Finch quickly befriends the soon-to-be promoted head of the mailroom, Mr. Twimble, by asking him the key to his success (THE COMPANY WAY- Sc to M Duet). When Twimble offers him the job, Finch quickly consults his book and realizes the mailroom is a dead-end job so he suggests Bud Frump. Bud accepts and promises to play it the company way (THE COMPANY WAY [REPRISE]- Sc to M Solo to Mixed Chorus). Bratt, who has witnessed the scene, is so impressed with Finch’s integrity that he promotes him to a junior executive.
        Hedy LaRue, Biggley’s sexy redheaded girlfriend, arrives in the corridor looking for Mr. Bratt who has been instructed to give her a job in the steno pool. The junior executives, attracted by Hedy’s looks, desire her to be their own secretaries, but Mr. Bratt reminds them of the secretary code (A SECRETARY IS NOT A TOY- M Solo to M Chorus).
        Finch waits in front of the elevators as Miss Jones walks on with Mr. Biggley and reminds him he is playing golf the next day with the chairman of the board. Finch pumps Miss Jones for information about Biggley’s alma mater, his hobbies and his schedule. Impressed by his interest, she answers his questions and returns to her office.
        Smitty and Rosemary arrive at the elevators and Smitty manipulates Finch into asking Rosemary for dinner (BEEN A LONG DAY- Sc to 2F/M Trio). At the end of the number the elevator doors open and they enter as the chorus within completes the song. Bud, seeing Biggley talking to Hedy, blackmails him into a higher promotion (BEEN A LONG DAY [REPRISE]- M Duet)
        On a Saturday morning, Finch arrives at the office early and sets the stage to look as if he had been working all night. J.B. Biggley is impressed at his enthusiasm and more impressed when he hums a few bars of J.B.’s alma mater in his sleep. Biggley, after running through the groundhog cheer, with Finch imitating (GRAND OLD IVY- Sc to M Duet) tells him he will remember him when the right job comes along.
        The following Monday, Hedy arrives in Ponty’s office and announces she has been assigned to him. When she flunks her secretarial skills test he realizes she is involved with Biggley and sends her to see his boss, Mr. Gatch, who invites her out. Gatch is instantly transferred to Venezuela and Finch promoted to Gatch’s job.
        Rosemary, the newly promoted advertising manager’s secretary arrives at a company reception dressed in the same exclusive "original" designer dress as the other secretaries (PARIS ORIGINAL- F Chorus).
        At the reception, a drunken Hedy decides to take a shower in Biggley’s private bath. Bud, wanting revenge on Finch, calls him to Biggley’s office and goes to get Biggley. As he discovers Hedy wearing only a towel he realizes he has been set up. He tries to escape but Hedy kisses him and the sound of choral music sounding Rosemary’s name is heard. He realizes he is in love with Rosemary who enters to tell him Bud and Biggley are on the way. He asks her to marry him and she also hears music (ROSEMARY- M/F Duet). Biggley arrives but never discovers Hedy. When Finch points out that the newly hired head of advertising played football against Biggley’s Alama Mater, Biggley has him fired and Finch promoted.
        Finch asks Rosemary to be his secretary and begins working on his new advertising campaign. He is so involved that he forgets about his proposal (ROSEMARY [REPRISE]- 2M/F Trio), much to her disappointment. Bud Frump swears to stop him as the curtain falls.
        Act II begins in the outer office. Rosemary tells the secretaries she is quitting but they urge her to stay so that they can continue to believe a secretary might marry her boss (CINDERELLA DARLING- Sc to F Chorus).
        Bud comes to Ponty’s office with an idea for an advertising campaign treasure hunt, which Finch decides to enhance by giving away stock in the company.
        Hedy tells J.B., in the privacy of his office, that she is returning to Los Angeles because she isn’t having any fun. Biggley tells her he can’t live without her and romantically woos her (LOVE FROM A HEART OF GOLD- Sc to M/F Duet) Hedy agrees to stay for one more day.
        In the executive wash room the vice presidents are inwardly wondering how to stop Finch who confidently sings to his mirrored image (I BELIEVE IN YOU- M Solo with M Chorus).
        Finch has concocted a TV Treasure Stock Give-Away scheme, which backfires when Hedy, the treasure girl, reveals the hiding place of the treasure as the Worldwide Wicket Buildings. The buildings are invaded and destroyed by an enthusiastic public searching for the treasure. In the boardroom, Finch faces Mr. Womper, the Chairman of the Board, and tells him that he is ready to return to being a window washer. Womper excitedly tells him that he too began as a window washer and urges him to disclose the entire story. Finch cleverly shifts the blame and urges Womper not to fire Bud and his Uncle, Mr. Biggley (BROTHERHOOD OF MAN- M Solo to M Chorus with Miss Jones as a Featured Performer).
        The play is quickly resolved as Biggley announces that Womper has married Hedy and made Finch, who has married Rosemary, Chairman of the Board. Biggley sends a letter to the White House to beware as the company sings (COMPANY WAY/FINALE- Mixed Chorus)

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        How to Succeed won seven 1962 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Actor (Robert Morse), Supporting Actor (Charles Nelson Reilly), Director, Conductor and Musical Director, Producer and Author. It also received the Pulitzer Prize.
        The show was warmly received and well performed. Rudy Valee, a singing star of the 20s and 30s revitalized his career as an excellent J.B. Biggley. Bobby Morse, a charming, impish type made all of Finch’s conniving, quite enjoyable while Charles Nelson Reilly, who won the Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor, had a melodramatic comedic touch, which was perfect for Frump. All three repeated their roles in the musical film version, which should be seen by anyone interested in studying comic timing and clearly defined acting styles.
        The male and female leads were supposed to represent the Kennedys and were dressed and hair styled accordingly. This parallel has been lost in subsequent performances and it is up to the individual director to determine if the show will be enhanced by the addition. The costumes originally represented the early 60s but may be updated.
        The original production had ten large sets and several partial sets and drops. This configuration may prove limiting to theatres with no fly or wing space. It is possible to combine the location of several scenes. In the original production Finch sings from atop scaffolding where he is washing windows. This scene could be performed in a neutral area in front of the main curtain. The corridor scenes and outer office scenes could be combined. In fact, the bulk of the set could be permanently onstage and encompass the outer office with the elevator doors at an angle off left (just out of view of the audience). Biggley’s office would be stage right, with a space down stage left as an office area to depict the mailroom, Finch’s offices, and the television show. The boardroom scene could take place in Biggley’s office. If at all possible, the washroom sequence should consist of several cartoon style washbowl cut outs with a large mirror frame in front. This could be rolled on in front of the act curtain or even in front of the outer office set.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Been a Long Day," nice trio scene for Alto, Soprano, and Baritone, easy to stage, characters and situation make this a nice showcase number
    "Brotherhood of Man," A showstopper number, big, character oriented, gospel style, works well in a revue situation, need strong vocals for harmony
    "Coffee Break," Comic chorus number which is a hit in a revue or class situation, good for a beginning choreographer as it utilizes a large cast but the characters and situation "make the number"
    "The Company Way," Baritone Duet, good for character study, game and role-playing exercise and inter relationship
    "Grand Old Ivy," Baritone Duet, wonderful scene to song, a real showstopper, almost actor proof
 
Instrumentation: 5 reeds, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, horn, 2 percussion, guitar, harp, 4 violins, cello, bass
Script: Frank
Score: Frank
Record: RCA
Rights: MTI

I CAN GET IT FOR YOU WHOLESALE

Book: Jerome Weidman
Music and Lyrics: Harold Rome

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Shubert Theatre, March 22, 1962 (300 perf.)
Director: Arthur Laurents
Choreographer: Herbert Ross
Musical Director: Lehman Engel
Orchestration: Sid Ramin
 
Principals:
Miss Marmelstein- Barbra Streisand- Mezzo
Harry Bogen- Elliot Gould- Baritone
Mrs. Bogen- Lillian Roth- Mezzo
Ruthie- Marilyn Cooper- Alto
Maurice Pulvermacher- Jack Kruschen- Baritone
Mitzi- Barbara Monte- VTNE
Martha- Sheree North- Mezzo
Teddy- Harold Lang- High Baritone
Blanche- Bambi Linn- Mezzo
Meyer- Ken LeRoy- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 6M/6F

SYNOPSIS

        The play opens in the 1937 New York garment district office of Maurice Pulvermacher. We are in the middle of a shipping clerk strike and the office is in chaos. Pulvermacher’s secretary, Miss Marmelstein, and his manager, Meyer, are begging their boss for advice on how to handle the orders. Pulvermacher just stares out the window (HE’S NOT A WELL MAN- Sc to M/F Duet).
        Harry Bogen, a bright, energetic shipping clerk, convinces Pulvermacher that he will move the garments and break the strike if Pulvermacher will sign an exclusive contract with him. Harry tells his partner, Tootsie, about his brilliant future, but Tootsie is too worried about Harry’s lack of ethics to join in his elation (THE WAY THINGS ARE- L to M Solo).
        Harry goes to visit Ruthie, a sweet girl who is very much in love with him. She tells him that she knew he was coming because it was predicted in her horoscope (WHEN GEMINI MEETS CAPRICORN- Sc to M/F Duet) and loans him some money to start his new business.
        Harry rushes home to tell his mother that he is president of his own company and professes his love for her (MOMA, MOMA- M/F Duet). This song is used to show time passing because Harry keeps re-entering with more lavish clothes for his mother and himself. He finally owns his own garment manufacturing company and guarantees his success by hiring Meyer and Teddy away from Pulvermacher.
        Harry tries to impress Martha, a blonde showgirl, by entertaining Mitzi, Meyer and Eddie at the club where she works, but Martha is only interested in him if he keeps her in diamonds (THE SOUND OF MONEY- Sc to M/F Duet).
        At Mrs. Bogen’s home, after a large Jewish dinner, Meyer and Teddy sign a partnership agreement with Harry (FAMILY WAY- Mixed Chorus). When Harry leaves with his partners, Mrs. Bogen urges Ruthie not to fall in love with Harry (TOO SOON- Sc to Solo).
        While Harry escorts Ruthie home, she tells him of her interests in cultural events (WHO KNOWS- Sc to F Solo), but he isn’t interested in arts and music, only in money and rising to the top.
        At the opening of "Acme/Apex Modes, Inc." Harry’s new company, Meyer lovingly sings to his wife, Blanche (HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY- Sc to M/F Duet). The customers arrive and the fashion show takes place during the next song (BALLAD OF THE GARMENT TRADE- Mixed Chorus). The Acme/Apex Company is a success and Harry gains the key to Martha’s apartment.
        Act II opens at Harry’s new penthouse, where everyone has gathered for the Bar Mitzvah of Blanche Meyer’s son, Sheldon. The group celebrates the event (A GIFT TODAY- Mixed Chorus).
        In the Acme/Apex Modes, Inc. loft, everyone is yelling at Harry’s bookkeeper, Miss Marmelstein, to do a variety of tasks. She exhaustedly collapses in a wheeled chair (MISS MARMELSTEIN- F Solo).
        Everyone discovers that Harry has been misusing company money and Ruthie begs him to pay off his creditors, but he refuses to listen. She accuses him of changing from the Harry she once knew (A FUNNY THING HAPPENED- F Solo to M/F Duet).
        Teddy meets Martha at the club and shows an interest in her and she willingly obliges him (WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?- Sc to M/F Duet).
        The company is in a shambles and the staff wonders what their future will be (WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO US?- Mixed Chorus). During the number, workmen carry away the furniture and a man puts up a "Bankrupt" sign.
        Mrs. Bogen tries to cheer up Harry by forcing him to dine (EAT A LITTLE SOMETHING- M/F Duet). During this song, he tells her that all the money was in Meyer’s name and he is in the clear. She bitterly asks him who is the next Meyer in his future and he doesn’t respond. Harry realizes he is wrong and goes to borrow money from Mr. Pulvermacher, who agrees to the loan if Harry will work for him. Harry goes to work for Pulvermacher, and Ruthie invites him to dinner as the curtain descends.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

 

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Miss Marmelstein," F Solo, comic

Instrumentation:
Script:
Vocal Score: Chappell
Record/CD: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark


I DO! I DO!

Book and Lyrics: Tom Jones
Music: Harvey Schmidt
    (Based on The Fourposter by Jan De Hartog)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Forty Sixth Street Theatre, December 5, 1966 (560 perf.)
Director and Choreographer: Gower Champion
Musical Director: John Lesko
Orchestration: Philip J. Lang
 
Principals:
Agnes- Mary Martin- Mezzo
Michael- Robert Preston- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: None

SYNOPSIS

        As the play opens, the young couple is preparing for the wedding ceremony, which is quickly enacted in the title song (I DO- M/F Duet).
        The newlyweds prepare for their wedding night and greet each other as any shy, young couple might. Agnes realizes she doesn’t know much about Michael and begins to question him about his prior knowledge of women (GOOD NIGHT- Sc to M/F Duet).
        The next day, Michael realizes the meaning of love and announces to the world that he loves Agnes (I LOVE MY WIFE- M Solo). A pregnant Agnes realizes why Michael is overcome with false labor pains and assures him that the baby won’t ever take his place in her heart (MY CUP RUNNETH OVER WITH LOVE- Sc to M/F Duet).
        After the baby is born, Michael clutters the household with toys and Agnes spends most of the day devoted to feedings and diapers. They realize that life is more than love (LOVE ISN’T EVERYTHING- M/F Duet). Twelve years pass and certain irritating habits begin to fray on their nerves. One evening, as the couple prepares for a party, they bitingly comment on the other’s idiosyncrasies and the scene ends on an ugly note (NOBODY’S PERFECT- Sc to M/F Duet).
        After the party, Michael tries to explain to Agnes that he loves someone else. He tells her that a 41 year old man is more irresistible than a 39-year old woman and it is perfectly normal for a younger woman to find him attractive (A WELL KNOWN FACT- M Solo). Agnes is furious at his pompous manner and privately opens up a storage trunk to produce an $85 hat she has been saving for just such an occasion (FLAMING AGNES- L to F Solo). She is in the process of packing to leave when Michael returns home and forces her to unpack. They angrily express their feelings (THE HONEYMOON IS OVER- Sc to M/F Duet). She leaves, but he rushes after her and brings her back. He decides that they still need each other and forgets about the other woman.
        When Act II begins, Agnes and Michael, now middle aged, are in bed celebrating New Year’s Eve while waiting for their sixteen-year old son to return home (WHERE ARE THE SNOWS OF YESTERYEAR- Sc to M/F Duet). Michael discovers a bottle of bourbon in Michael Jr.’s drawer, gets upset and tells Agnes, who suggests they have some tea. Michael takes a swig of bourbon instead and discovers it is an accumulation of all the cod liver oil Junior was supposed to take when he was younger. Michael, upset by his son’s deceit, angrily awaits his arrival. The boy arrives home quite tipsy, wearing a top hat and Michael doesn’t have the heart to yell at him. The Top hat reminds Michael of marriage and the couple realizes how much their lives will change when the children are married (WHEN THE KIDS GET MARRIED- Sc to M/F Duet; He plays sax and she plays the violin).
        The time has come for their daughter’s wedding, which Michael dreads. As he prepares for the wedding, he angrily comments on the man his daughter has chosen (THE FATHER OF THE BRIDE- Sc to M Solo). After the wedding, Agnes feels extremely alone and questions the reasons for life (WHAT IS A WOMAN?- Sc to F Solo). When she tells Michael she is leaving him to discover the meaning of her life, he convinces her that he needs her to inspire him. She is touched (SOMEONE NEEDS ME- Sc to M/F Duet).
        Agnes and Michael are moving out of the house and into a small apartment (ROLL UP THE RIBBONS/THIS HOUSE- Sc to M/F Duet). As Michael carries Agnes out of their old bedroom, they agree that marriage is a very good thing.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

 
        Robert Preston received the 1967 Tony Award for Best Actor, but Cabaret received most of the other Tony’s. Mary Martin lost out to Barbara Harris of The Apple Tree.
        I Do! I Do! is a two character musical about married life, its happiness and its problems. The musical is often performed in summer stock due to its one set, two-character, low budget appeal. It can be quite charming, but relies heavily on the talents of Agnes and Michael. There are a lot of props which denote the passage of time and they must be moved quickly on and off to keep the flow of the script.
        The show, although originally performed with a full orchestra still works with a smaller combo which includes a saxophone and violin if the onstage performers do not play those instruments. It may be possible to substitute other instruments and is certainly worth searching out actors who play instruments because the "married" number, done live, is outstanding.
        There are different costumes for each scene which depict the period and changing styles. These must be impeccably accurate.
        The success of the original was due to its two stars and the talents of Director/Choreographer Gower Champion who was a genius at heightening interest in musical numbers. It is important to have an excellent Choreographer/Director who can keep the flow from scene to song and give the musical numbers heightened reality.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "The Father of the Bride," baritone, semi dramatic, poignant, good for class
    "Flaming Agnes," mezzo, good for getting a stiff actress to have more freedom of movement and abandonment, comic, angry
    "Good Night," Mezzo/Baritone comic, reaction oriented, good for showcase, audience pleaser, nearly actor-proof.
    "The Honeymoon Is Over," mezzo, angry, bitter, quarrel, good for class work and reaction
    "Nobody’s Perfect," mezzo/baritone, excellent, dramatic, angry biting, good for actors in the 30s, younger performers have trouble with the game playing
    "What Is a Woman," mezzo, introspective, older woman, questioning life, semi dramatic, mezzo
 
Instrumentation: 4 reeds, 2 trumpets, trombone, 2 horns, 2 percussion, 2 pianos, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Score: Chappell
Record: RCA
Rights: MTI

I LOVE MY WIFE

Book and Lyrics: Michael Stewart
Music: Cy Coleman
    (Based on a play by Luis Rego)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Ethel Barrymore Theatre, April 17, 1977 (857 perf.)
Director: Gene Saks
Choreographer: Onna White
Musical Director: John Miller
Orchestration: Cy Coleman
 
Principals:
Cleo- Ilene Graff- Mezzo
Monica- Joanna Gleason- Alto
Alvin- Lenny Baker- Baritone
Wally- James Naughton- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 4M vocal back-up and onstage musicians

SYNOPSIS

        Act I opens with the cast and musicians onstage in a line. The orchestra conductor enters, a cast member hits a note on the pitch pipe and the small company of eight (4 actors, 4 actor/musicians) burst into an a cappella choral ode to Trenton, NJ. This leads into the musically accompanied opening song that tells how all eight grew up together in Trenton. (WE’RE STILL FRIENDS- Mixed Chorus). The song ends and the musicians, dressed as moving men, join the stagehands in setting the stage as a diner.
        At the diner, Alvin, a moving man by trade, asks his wife’s friend, Monica, about the sex test she is taking from her women’s magazine. When he takes the test he discovers he is thirty years behind the new sexual revolution. He rejoins his fellow movers who inquire about his sexual feelings toward Monica. Alvin, who has been friends with Monica since childhood begins to consider the matter (MONICA- M Chorus and F Dancer). As the men sing about her, Monica removes her outer jacket, scarf and hat and dances wildly around in jeans and leotard top; the lighting demonstrates it is all in Alvin’s imagination.
        At the end of the number Monica returns, fully clothed, to her magazine as Wally, her husband, and Cleo, Alvin’s wife, enter the diner. The girls go off to finish their Christmas shopping and the two men discuss Wally’s multiple love experiences (BY THREES- Sc to M Trio). The piano player is essential to the success of the number because Wally and Alvin mime piano playing during much of the song. Alvin promises Wally he will sound out Cleo on the possibility of a multiple love experience with Alvin, Cleo and Monica.
        Alvin and the moving men sing as they set the stage to represent Alvin’s bedroom and living room (A MOVER’S LIFE- M Solo to M Chorus). Cleo, at first appalled by Alvin’s suggestion, begins to consider the proposal as the band enters, dressed as devils (LOVE REVOLUTION- Sc to F Solo). However, when she agrees to play the game with two men instead of two women (she mentions Wally as a possible third) Alvin is shocked.
        When Wally and Monica arrive to invite them to a Christmas Eve Party, Cleo and Monica, Nashville style, wonder if, by limiting themselves to their spouses, they missed something (SOMEONE WONDERFUL I MISSED- F Duet).
        Wally, Cleo and Alvin decide to invite Monica to join them in a foursome on Christmas Eve. The orchestra enters in togas and all proclaim they are sexually free as the leads demonstrate a series of confused sex poses (SEXUALLY FREE- Sc to 2M/F Trio).
        When Act II begins it is snowing and the orchestra enters in Santa Claus suits to comment on the proposed evening’s event (HEY THERE, GOOD TIMES- M Quartet). They quickly set the stage to Wally and Monica’s living/dining room where Wally and Monica, in a comic scene, open their horrible Christmas presents. Monica comments on her feelings for Wally and her favorite holiday (LOVERS ON CHRISTMAS EVE- Sc to M/F Duet); the two perform a la Fred and Ginger.
         When Wally tells Monica about the evening’s planned marital exchange she furiously serves the turkey and slams the food down. The four are uncomfortably seated at the table as the band marches on and advises the four to let loose (SCREAM- M Quartet).
        In an attempt to ease the situation, Wally passes around some $80.00 hash and the girls proceed to get high. Alvin and Wally later discover it is nothing more than modeling clay and comment on the fact that people turn on to anything (EVERYBODY TODAY IS TURNING ON- Sc to M Duet, Period).
        The four finally strip to their underwear and get into bed, but Alvin is extremely uncomfortable and attempts to bide for time. Wally informs Alvin that they are only attempting today’s norm and refers to the newspaper’s personal section (MARRIED COUPLE SEEKS MARRIED COUPLE- 2M/2F Chorus with Band in Pajamas).
        The attempted orgy fails when both men end up next to their own wife. The band enters in Santa Claus suits and comments on the lack of excitement in the room. The men proclaim that they love their wives (I LOVE MY WIFE- M Duet).
        The couples say farewell and agree to meet the next night at the diner; the boys will have a few drinks while the girls return Christmas gifts.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        I Love My Wife won 1977 Tony Awards for Director (Gene Saks) and Featured Actor (Lenny Baker).
        This small cast production needs a male lead in the part of Alvin who has excellent comedic talents and impeccable timing. Since some audience members may find the subject matter distasteful, it is important that the production be impeccably mounted and the leading man have tremendous warmth and charm.
        The costumes and sets are minimal and the music is mostly contemporary and fun to perform on stage. This show is a good choice for a small, low budget company or dinner theatre. The band is costumed in a variety of clothes and must be able to make quick changes offstage. It is important to obtain "performing musicians" who can relate to the action onstage, their music and the audience. The success of the casting of the musicians may affect the entire success of the show.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Everybody Today is Turning On," baritone duet, revue or class showcase, modern vaudeville style number, possible for two females in revue situation
    "Love Revolution," mezzo, good for developing abandon in a usually inhibited performer, movement required
 
Instrumentation: onstage musicians: piano/conductor, bass (acoustic and fender), guitar (banjo/clarinet), drums offstage musicians: 2 drums, 2 piano
Script: Samuel French
Selections: Big 3
Record: Atlantic
Rights: Samuel French

I’D RATHER BE RIGHT

Book: George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart
Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics:

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Alvin Theatre, November 2, 1937 (# perf.) nine month run
Director: Sam H. Harris
Choreographer: Charles Weidman
Modern Dance Choreographer: Ned McGurn
Musical Director:
Orchestration:
 
Principals:
Peggy Jones- Joy Hodges-
Phil Barker- Austin Marshall-
Franklin D. Roosevelt- George M. Cohan-
Alf Landon- Joseph Allen-
Frances Perkins- Bijou Fernandez-
Chorus and Smaller Roles:

SYNOPSIS

        Act I begins in the dusk of a summery July 4th evening. In a corner of Central Park, with the 59th Street Bridge in the background and Sherry-Netherland, The Plaza and Radio City silhouetted, a park concert strikes up. We see various latecomers hurrying in. A policeman chastises someone offstage to "Keep off the grass!" Two millionaires complain about high taxes. Two girls gossip about a sugar daddy’s $100 bill dropping from a napkin. A balloon man attempts to sell his wares. Two sailors enter. One sailor complains that, now, both he and his civilian brother are working for the government. The other sailor only wants to talk about dames. A young man’s girls worries that she would become pregnant before marriage if . . .
        Mendelssohn’s "Nocturne" is heard. Peggy and Phil enter. Phil is worried. He didn’t get a new job due to the country’s economic distress. His boss won’t open a new place until the country’s budget is balanced. Obviously, this postpones their marriage. Peggy bitterly complains that "it isn’t the Montagues and the Capulets that keep you apart anymore; it’s the budget." Phil’s reaction: "Aw, the hell with it." He puts his head on her lap and she strokes it.
        An impressive looking stranger in a frock coat and top hat enters. He asks Peggy and Phil, if this path leads to 72nd Street. They immediately recognize him as President Roosevelt and get up to greet him properly. They tell him that they are worried about the country and ask him what’s going to happen. The President admits that he is worried too. Phil asks if he will balance the budget. The President notices a picture of Walter Lippman in Phil’s newspaper, which is laying on the ground and sits on the paper with pleasure. The President buys them all ice cream from an ice cream man. He enters the price of the ice cream in a little book he keeps on National expenditures and explains the National budget. He promises to try to balance the budget so that they can get married.
        McIntyre, the President’s secretary, enters and asks if the President is ready to receive his Cabinet. Exasperated, the President tells him to send them in. The Cabinet enters singing (for "it’s a well-known fact that the Cabinet always sings when it gets together for a meeting") about their homogenous attitude and how they know all of our business. Individual secretaries tell of how their jobs spark fraud, loss of jobs, and "the biggest goddam deficit" (M Chorus with Solos and F Solo: 2M- Farley, Morgenthau and 1F- Perkins). During the Cabinet’s song, the traditional, long Cabinet table has been brought onto the stage. Their agenda is jobs for all deserving Democrats (a six-foot long list) whether or not they know the difference between Brazil and brassieres is of no importance. Also, the secretary of Treasury is running short of money again; he has already spent the $300 million given him the previous week. The Cabinet is most interested in seeing the new Marx Brothers movie opening that day. However, the President presses them all about balancing the budget, concerned by how it affects Peggy and Phil. In fact, he orders Peggy and Phil to tell the Cabinet their story themselves. Phil breaks into a sentimental song about how the two of them met (HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES?- M/F Solos). The Cabinet agrees that if they can’t do anything for these two lovebirds, they are just a bunch of dirty Republicans. Peggy and Phil are thrilled.
        To balance the budget, the President opens up suggestions for new taxes. Farley suggests airmail postage for all letters. Perkins suggests taxing government property such as the Capitol Building and the White House. Morgenthau suggests Government pickpockets to disburse crowds. The Cabinet likes this idea, but the President reminds them that the Supreme Court wouldn’t stand for it, for "you know how conservative they are." The Cabinet just wouldn’t let the Court know what was happening. The President starts dictating a law. As soon as he utters the words "new law," all nine members of the Supreme Court pop out of the bushes, quickly say "NO!" and disappear. Discouraged, Peggy thinks that there is no way out. She and Phil will never get married.
        The President is darned if the Supreme Court, or anything, will keep Peggy and Phil from being married. He and the Cabinet try to balance the budget again. Peggy throws into the discussion that American women spend $3 billion a year on beauty treatments. She wonders if that is taxed. The President replies that it is taxed, but, if women would give up beauty for a year and send the money saved to the US government, the national budget would be balanced. After all, the Italian women gave up their wedding rings to the government. Now, how to convince the American women? Why, a fireside chat!
        The Cabinet table is whisked away and a fireplace and easy chair quickly replace it. The President makes an impassioned speech to the women of America to let their natural beauty come forth and to send the money saved to Secretary of the Treasury Morgenthau. As a thank you, each woman will receive a Little Blue Eagle emblem to wear on their lapel. He’ll ask the registered Democrats to only go out with women wearing the Blur Eagles. "Ladies, if you’ve never gone out with a registered Democrat, you’ve never gone out at all." His Cabinet praises the speech. The Women of America, on the other hand, storm the stage. They are dressed right out of the Elizabeth Arden salon and are accompanied by a battalion of male beauty specialists with little waxed mustaches who wear curlers as if they were bayonets. The women sing of how they will not give their beauty away (NOT FOR A DAY WILL WE GIVE BEAUTY AWAY- F Chorus with M Chorus for back up). The women and their beauticians exit.
        A balloon vendor enters who happens to be Phil’s boss, Mr. Maxwell. Maxwell demonstrates to the President how he can’t open a new store because of all the taxes. He illustrates his point by popping one balloon for each kind of tax. The inheritance tax pops the last balloon. Maxwell leaves the stage in a big huff. A band of strolling players (a dozen or more beautiful girls and their seedy director) enter. These people are the Federal Theatre Unit No. 864. Whenever they see three or more people together, they are supposed to give a show. The Director complains of the shoestring budget the government gave them of only $675,000. The President muses that this money spent is okay,if it is a show about the government. But, no, it is a show entitled "Spring in Vienna" (F Chorus and Ballet). After seeing the show, the President sends them to perform at the Centre Theatre and tells them to let the Rockefellers pay for it, since the Rockkefellers have more money than the US Government. As the troupe exits, the President enters $675,000 in his expenditure book. President Roosevelt suggests the budget could be balanced, if the Supreme Court said that it was balanced. Phil urges him to ask them. The President flushes the Supreme Court out of the bushes with the words "I am going to pass a law."
        President Roosevelt tries to sweet talk the Supreme Court into doing him a favor of declaring the national budget balanced. They are still irked with him about calling them nine old men. The Chief Justice says Roosevelt doesn’t know anything. To validate this point, the Justice whistle and beckon onto the stage nine young, scantily clad girls who link arms with the Justices and sing of how the Justices deserve some Constitutional fun (F Chorus and Dance). The Girls quickly disappear into the bushes with the Justices.
        President Franklin D. Roosevelt despairs about his current lack of popularity. Peggy and Phil assure him that they both voted for him. The President’s mother enters and exits, accompanied by a Butler carrying a cake to Franklin’s Birthday Ball (The Butler happens to be Landon, the man who ran against Roosevelt). Seeing Landon, the President pursues the Chief Justice stating that Landon was the better man. The Chief Justice quite agrees. Another man enters and gives Social Security cards to Peggy and Phil. Phil thinks Social Security will solve everything because at age sixty five, in forty years, there’ll be nothing to worry about. He and Peggy sing a "lyric celebrating the somewhat doubtful pleasures of being sixty five years old (M/F Duet).
        The Cabinet enters with an idea of how to balance the budget: take the gold out of Fort Knox and put it in a hole in Washington D.C. The President agrees (WE’RE GOING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET- M Solo into Full Chorus) However, Newsboys enter with the news that there’s been a stock market crash. The headline reads "Wall Street Paralyzed as Government Moves Gold." Peggy breaks down and sobs. The President orders the doors of Fort Knox to be closed. The previous song’s music is heard in a funereal tempo, but the optimistic President cheers the crying Peggy with a dance. Soon the whole crowd is singing and dancing as happy as can be (WE’RE GOING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET {REPRISE]- Full Chorus).
        At the opening of Act II, President Roosevelt, Peggy and Phil are still sitting on a rock in Central Park. Peggy is sleeping on Roosevelt’s shoulder. She is smiling and Roosevelt wonders what she is dreaming of. Phil thinks he knows and, as we shall see, he’s right. Peggy is dreaming of her wedding to Phil. (The story of Peggy and Phil’s marriage. Their homecoming, progression through life, children born and grown, even their old age where they are still happily dancing- Ballet). Roosevelt and Phil watch as Peggy sleeps.
        After Peggy awakens, a PWA group of top American businessmen enters. All expensively attired. They are led by Mr. Maxwell. They sing about the easy toils of their daily work. During this song, all they accomplish is moving a single twig about ten feet (WE WORK ALL DAY FOR THE PWA- M Chorus). They exit to go to their next task which is digging up a dandelion. Before Roosevelt can reproach them, two children, Sistie and Buzzie, his grandchildren, enter. They are sad because the merry-go-round man is on strike. Roosevelt says that the Wagner Act covers the disagreement between the owner, Joe, and the operator, Tony, of the merry-go-round. He calls for the Wagner Act. Two versatile acrobats tumble onto the stage and begin to perform. They are the Wagners, Federal Theatre Project No. 34,268. Of course, Roosevelt meant the Wagner Labor Relations Act. The grandchildren forget about the merry-go-round and exit with the Wagners to see their act. McIntyre brings a copy of the law for Roosevelt to see. Collective bargaining between Joe and Tony fails, resulting in both of them quitting, thereby leaving the merry-go-round for the government to take over. The Government hires Joe as the manager and Tony as the worker. They are both very happy to be working for the government.
        Mother Roosevelt enters with Landon, the Butler, and the cake again. She asks her son to fix a friend’s daughter’s traffic ticket. She notices Roosevelt’s despondency and worms out of him that he can’t balance the budget. Mother notes that as Governor of Kansas, Landon balanced the state budget. Landon refuses to say how he did this and runs offstage. Roosevelt wonders whose butler he will be in a couple of years. He confides to Peggy and Phil that he enjoys being President with all of its special perks (OFF THE RECORD- M Solo).
        A very sad Cabinet reenters. They can’t come up with a way to balance the budget with the time remaining in Roosevelt’s term. Roosevelt comes up with an idea. They can gain time if he runs for a third term. Time for another Fireside Chat. This time, an entertaining one. The White House Hotel, with the Cabinet as FDR’s Hillbilly Swing Orchestra (Medley of American airs done to swing). The "chat" includes one cabinet member as a stand up comic. Frances Perkins is the DC gossip reporter. Morgenthau croons a la Crosby about buying US Bonds (M Solo). FDR is introduced (HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN [SWING STYLE]- Orchestra). Roosevelt introduces Peggy and Phil to explain the purpose of this White House Jamboree (HAVE YOU MET MISS JONES? [REPRISE]- M/F Duet). FDR asks his listeners to help him keep his promise to Peggy and Phil by giving him a third term in office as their President.
        Immediately after the broadcast, the Supreme Court enters to denounce Roosevelt’s intentions as unconstitutional. Questioned by FDR, they agree that the only thing that is constitutional is the Supreme Court itself. The Court exits and FDR sends the Cabinet home. He apologizes to Peggy and Phil. Phil tells the President that all they want is "the right to work and be married to each other and bring up our kids. We don’t want much." Bingo! FDR has his Fourth of July speech (DIXIE- Orchestra). FDR tells the crowd who has gathered that "It’s we, the people, who are important and who really matter." The crowd applauds. After the speech, the President leans to Peggy and Phil and advises them to get married. They’ll manage. Children are born each minute, whether the budget is balanced or not. FDR reprises his song as he exits (WE’RE GOING TO BALANCE THE BUDGET- M Solo into Chorus).
        The stage is suddenly black and silent. Slowly, the lights come up and we discover we are now at the end of the Central Park concert. Peggy and Phil are as we first saw them (Phil is asleep in Peggy’s lap). Phil denies that he was sleeping, but blurts out, "Let’s get married tomorrow!" Peggy immediately agrees. The policeman enters and admonishes them for their public display of affection. He snaps at Peggy and Phil, "Where do you think you are, Russia?" Phil calmly responds, "No, Officer. We’re in America, and doing very nicely, thank you!" Curtain.

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        A highly stylized spoof of the political scene . . . Poking fun at FDR’s administration. First time a musical centered around the incumbent president. Warm-hearted. Touch of vaudeville. One of the last Broadway shows to use a single set for an entire evening. Owes length of run to fact that it was only competing with Babes in Arms, another Rodgers and Hart musical.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

 

Instrumentation:
Script:
Score:
Record/CD:
Rights:

I'M GETTING MY ACT TOGETHER AND TAKING IT ON THE ROAD

Book: Gretchen Cryer
Music: Nancy Ford
Lyrics: Gretchen Cryer

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Public/Anspacher Theatre, June 14,1978 (1,165 perf.)
Director: Word Baker
Choreographer: Tina Johnson
Orchestration: Nancy Ford and The Band
 
Principals:
Joe- Joel Fabiani- VTNE
Heather- Gretchen Cryer- Mezzo
Alice- Margot Rose- Alto
Cheryl- Better Aberlin- Mezzo
Jake (guitar)- Don Scardino- Tenor
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 4 Onstage Musicians

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        Successful, rock singer, thirty-nine year old Heather Jones, astounds Joe, her manager and friend, when she privately showcases her new act. The act demonstrates a new direction for Heather, her backup singers Alice and Cheryl, and the male band. All want to make a statement about women and their relationships with men. Joe urges her to tone things down but Heather is determined to present herself as she really is, not as her audience would like to see her. Jake, her young acoustic guitarist, supports her and convinces her that he loves her.
        The show is dramatically powerful, the music energetic and the lyrics and dialogue thought provoking. It is a quality cabaret show with few costume and set requirements that would be best produced on a college campus where an audience could accept, understand and appreciate the issues at hand.
        Microphones, atmospheric lighting and a strong band to back-up are necessary to the success of the show.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Dear Tom," dramatic, comedic, and poignant when coupled with monologue, story about a woman who was Mrs. Perfect and her failing relationship with her husband, demonstrates a range of emotions, good to work on in a class situation, possible audition
    "Old Friend," Charm ballad about a friendship between two people of the opposite sex, who are close friends
    "Put In a Package and Sold," F Trio, strong statement, solid, emphatic song about women who want to be noticed for what lies inside
    "Smile," Strong Alto/Mezzo number, F featured, Mixed Trio backup, may be done as a solo, dramatically powerful, story song about a young woman, trained from childhood to be nice to men. Traces her life from smiling for her father to her husband and through her subsequent divorce, transitions and emotions are essential
 
Instrumentation: guitars (acoustic, electric), drums, percussion, bass, piano/conductor (synthesizer and fender piano optional)
Script: Samuel French
Selections: Valando
Record: CBS
Rights: Samuel French

INTO THE WOODS

Book: James Lapine
Music and Lyrics: Stephen Sondheim

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Martin Beck Theatre, November 5, 1987 (764 perf.)
Director: James Lapine
Musical Staging: Lar Ubovitch
Musical Director: Paul Gemignani
Orchestration: Jonathan Tunick
 
Principals:
Witch- Bernadette Peters- Mezzo
Baker’s Wife- Joanna Gleason- Mezzo
Baker- Chip Zien- Baritone
Narrator/ Mysterious Man- Tom Aldredge- Baritone
Wolf/ Cinderella’s Prince- Robert Westenberg- Baritone
Jack’s Mother- Barbara Bryne- Mezzo
Cinderella- Kim Crosby- Soprano
Little Red Riding Hood- Danielle Ferland- Mezzo
Cinderella’s Mother/Grandmother/Giant- Merle Louise- Alto
Jack- Ben Wright- Tenor
Cinderella’s Stepmother- Joy Franz- VTNE
Cinderella’s Father- Edmund Lyndeck- VTNE
Florinda- Kay McClelland- Mezzo
Lucinda- Lauren Mitchell- Mezzo
Rapunzel- Pamela Winslow- Soprano
Rapunzel’s Prince- Chuck Wagner- Baritone
Steward- Philip Hoffman- VTNE
Sleeping Beauty- Maureen Davis- VTNE
Snow White- Jean Kelly- VTNE
Chorus and Smaller Roles: None

SYNOPSIS

        The stage lights rise on the actors in a frozen pose as the audience sees three distinctly different home areas. SR is the narrator who tells the tale. Next to him is Cinderella’s home; a funny looking cutout house center stage, which represents Jack (of Beanstalk fame) and his mother’s house; and SL is the home of the Baker. Each house marks the location of the action for each of the stories. The audience is introduced to a bespectacled Cinderella who speaks to birds, a slow-witted, but loving, Jack and his pet cow, Milky White, and his concerned but sharp-tongued mother, and eventually the baker and his wife. (PROLOGUE-INTO THE WOODS- Company). The story of Cinderella and Jack and The Beanstalk are familiar ones to the audience but the center focus of the musical revolves around the Baker and his Wife and their interactions with the more familiar characters. A knock on the Baker’s door brings Red Riding Hood who is heading into the woods to visit her aged and ill granny and wants to purchase some food to bring along. Her character as a headstrong, selfish little girl is apparent. She leaves as the Bakers urge her to be careful and to save some of the food for Granny.
        The focus shifts to Cinderella who is berated by her stepsisters and wonders why (INTO THE WOODS [CONTINUING]- F Solo).
        A sudden knock on the door of the Baker’s house shifts the action to a bent over, aged witch who tells the two that she has placed a spell on their house (INTO THE WOODS- BEAN/GREENS SECTION- F Solo, Patter).
        The lights move to Jack’s mother who orders him to sell Milky White because they desperately need the food. She attempts to explain their problems to the befuddled lad (INTO THE WOODS- JACK, JACK, JACK SECTION- Mezzo) She dresses him in scarf and hat before sending him off with the 3 foot high, wooden cutout style, cow.
        The witch tells the Baker that they need to help her in order to undo the spell that leaves them childless. In fear and desperation they agree. In song she tells them what they must bring to her in three days time (INTO THE WOODS- GO TO THE WOODS SECTION- Mezzo).
        In Cinderella’s humble home the stepmother and stepsisters are leaving for the ball and order Cinderella to stay home and to disgrace them in her rags. The tearful girl determines that she will go to the festival as the Baker leaves on his quest, followed by his worried wife, and Jack, Red, and the stepfamily all head on their respective journeys. (INTO THE WOODS- Company)
        The houses disappear and we are deep in the woods. Cinderella is seen at the gravetree side of her dead mother asking for advice (CINDERELLA AT THE GRAVE- Soprano Duet). Cinderella’s mother promises to fulfill her wish to go to the ball and a lovely ball gown falls from the tree. Cinderella rushes off to attend the festival.
        Jack is cautiously venturing forth when a "mysterious man" jumps out to spook him further. He dashes off with his cow.
        Red ventures on her journey followed by a lascivious and hungry wolf, who envisions her in his clutches. In a tightly choreographed comedic number he introduces himself (HELLO, LITTLE GIRL- Sc to M/F Duet). She dashes off as he howls in anticipation and takes a shortcut to Granny’s.
        The Baker enters, distraught at his failure to find any of the witch’s items. The witch orders him to get the cape from the little girl and, hearing Rapunzel’s voice, hurries off in her direction. The Baker is confused and angered as his wife enters to remind him of his objective. Her orders her home but she realizes that it will take two to break the spell and have the child. They cease their arguing when Jack enters with Milky White, one of the items on their list. The wife pushes the Baker to convince Jack to sell the cow for some magic beans. Jack agrees if he can someday buy the cow back and tearfully laments (I GUESS THIS IS GOODBYE- Sc to M Solo). He exits as the Baker admonishes his wife for duping Jack with a lie. The wife is convinced that the end justifies the means (MAYBE THEY’RE MAGIC- Sc to F Solo). They exit in opposite directions.
        Rapunzel is heard singing as a tower appears and the narrator explains the reasons that the witch locked the poor girl in a tower. The witch climbs up Rapunzel’s hair as a handsome prince watches and yearns for the girl.
        In another part of the woods the Baker comes upon red Riding Hood and
        Steals her cape but his conscience gets the better of him as she wails at her loss and he returns the cape to her. She kicks him and dashes off as he tries to convince himself that he must be of stronger will. (MAYBE THEY’RE MAGIC-REPRISE- M Solo). He sets off to obtain the cloak.
        Meanwhile, Red has reached Granny’s house and nervously surveys the situation. She enters to discover the wolf in Granny’s bed and he promptly attacks as the lights black out. The Baker comes upon the cottage and sees a red cloth hanging from the wolf’s mouth. He takes his hunting knife and frees Red and Granny. Granny pulls the Baker inside to skin the wolf and Red sings of her newfound knowledge gained knowledge from her experience (I KNOW THINGS NOW- F Solo). Red spies the Baker and in appreciation gives him red cape.
        Jack’s mother is seen in a brief scene hurling the beans to the ground and admonishing Jack.
        The Baker’s wife is leading the cow through the woods as Cinderella trips into the scene. She begs the wife to send her pursuers off and the Baker’s wife is astounded to discover the girl is running from royalty. As the prince and steward leave Cinderella returns to explain herself (A VERY NICE PRINCE- Sc to F Solo). Cinderella, realizing it is midnight sets out for home and the Baker’s wife chases the cow, which runs off. Throughout the night we see the characters in various spots in the woods. Dawn breaks. (FIRST MIDNIGHT- Company).
        Jack races onto the stage. He has just returned from his first trip up the beanstalk and is ecstatic and conveys his story to the audience (GIANTS IN THE SKY- M Solo). Jack spies the Baker and gives him the money he got from the sky but the Baker isn’t ready to give up Milky White. Jack mistakes his hesitancy as a request for more money and returns to the sky. A mysterious man appears to chastise the Baker about what is important to him. His wife arrives, he discovers she has lost the cow and the two argue. The witch jumps into the scene to tell them to get busy that time is running out. The three exit in haste as both Cinderella’s and Rapunzel’s princes enter.
        The handsome princes are brothers and each describes the pain of failing in their female quest (AGONY- Sc to M Duet).
        After some confusion the Baker’s Wife and Baker finally obtain three of the four items. They have learned about sharing and working together from their woodland experiences (IT TAKES TWO- Sc to M/F Duet). But their hopes are dashed as Milky White falls over dead.
        As night changes into dawn the various characters are seen in the woodland shadows (TWO MIDNIGHTS GONE- Company).
        The witch drags Rapunzel on, angered that she has disobeyed and gone out into the world. The witch tells her there is danger in the world (STAY WITH ME- F Solo). Since Rapunzel does not want to stay with the witch but to see the world, the witch cuts her hair and sends her into the horrors of the world. She subsequently causes the prince to blind himself on a thorny patch while looking for Rapunzel.
        Cinderella enters holding one shoe. She has returned from her last visit to the festival and ponders the cleverness of the prince in his effort to discover her identity (ON THE STEPS OF THE PALACE- F Solo).
        The Baker’s wife enters to obtain Cinderella’s slipper and a giant crash is heard. Jack’s beanstalk has come crashing to the ground complete with the giant. Various cast members begin to assemble as the witch appears, worrying that the last midnight is near. She revives Milky White and begins the spell, which turns the witch into a beautiful young woman.
        The final scene in which Cinderella’s prince discovers that her stepsisters Lucinda and Florinda are frauds and finds his true love who fits the slipper. All the characters enter for the Act I finale (INTO THE WOODS- Company).
        Act II opens with three living areas- Cinderella now lives in a castle so we see a throne SR, Jack’s house is a bit more upscale and the Baker and his Wife have baby things in their home. Things seemed perfect at the end of Act I but reality is setting in. Cinderella isn’t happy in her role as princess, the Baker’s wife yearns for a large home and their happiness is completely ruined by a crashing sound as the Baker’s house semi collapses. The witch rushes in and they determine that there is a giant in the land. The Baker goes off to tell the Prince, sure that he will know what to do.
        (ACT II OPENING-INTO THE WOODS- Company). The company heads for the woods and answers to their newest problem. The prince’s meet in the woods, they are bored with their lives and their wives and describe the new girls (Sleeping Beauty and Snow White) they have met (AGONY [REPRISE]- Sc to M Duet).
        The company has gathered in the woods and the angry, booming voice of the Giantess is heard. She wants them to give up Jack but they throw her the narrator instead. Jack’s mother argues with the giantess and the steward, in fear, knocks her with his staff and she dies. Rapunzel runs offstage and is squashed by the giantess. The witch returns after discovering that Rapunzel is dead and is heartbroken (STAY WITH ME [REPRISE]- F Solo). The witch decides to find Jack and give him to the Giant. The Baker and his Wife set off in separate directions to find him first.
        The Baker’s Wife runs into Cinderella’s prince, who seduces her (ANY MOMENT- Sc to M/F Duet). Meanwhile, Cinderella meets the Baker who begs her to join them so that, together, they may rid the country of the Giantess, and she reluctantly she agrees. The prince, finished with his dalliance, informs the Baker’s wife that they shall probably not meet again. He exits and she ponders her life and her dalliance until reality hits and she comes back to the present and focuses on finding Jack (MOMENTS IN THE WOODS- F Solo).
        The scene shifts to Little Red, Cinderella and The Baker. The witch enters with Jack in tow, she is prepared to give him to the giantess, but the rest disagree. She admonishes them and the Baker agrees that it was Jack’s fault. Jack quickly finds someone else to blame and everyone subsequently accuses everyone else (YOUR FAULT- Sc to Quartet). The witch urges them to be quiet because the last midnight is approaching and she cannot stand being with them anymore. She begs her mother to remove her from the world (LAST MIDNIGHT- F Solo).
        She disappears in blackout and the four remaining characters begin to take responsibility for their actions. The Baker decides that he too must leave, but runs into the mysterious man and discovers that this odd fellow is actually his father (NO MORE- M Duet). He urges the Baker to run away with him and avoid the troubles of the world, but the Baker realizes that he cannot live his life alone and he returns to Red, Cinderella, Jack and his child. Together they devise a plan and, as the Baker and Jack climb into a tall tree, Cinderella’s Prince arrives and she explains that she wants him to consider that she is a victim of the giant and to leave. They both admit that they will always love the "girl who ran away" and "the faraway prince." He leaves as Red returns to tell Cinderella that everything is ready, but that she misses her grandmother and her mother and that they would be disappointed in her waiting to kill someone. Cinderella tells her that she must make her own decisions, but also that she and no one else is alone, In the tree, the Baker comforts Jack (NO ONE IS ALONE- Sc to F Solo to M Solo to 2M/2F Quartet).
        Working together, they overcome the giantess as the entire company enters, each with a moral statement as we segue into the finale (INTO THE WOODS [FINALE]- Company.)

NOTES ON THE PRODUCTION

        Into the Woods won Tony Awards for Best Book, Original Score, and Leading Actress in a Musical (Joanna Gleason).
        A revival of Into the Woods is currently being performed on Broadway. The play has been rewritten and reshaped by Stephen Sondheim himself. This is a favorite for school and community groups because this ensemble piece boasts a cast of more females than males. The characters are solid, the relationships clearly defined and the music is not as musically difficult as other Sondheim pieces. It may be performed with a unit set and a few wagons and there is little required choreography. It works well for class scene studies and some of the songs have been used in cabaret performances.
        Productions have been successfully done from middle school levels up and MTI lists a middle school shorter version for rental.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "Into the Woods," an ensemble piece that is excellent for a class study as all the characters have featured parts and the      balance of male to female is excellent
    "Hello, Little Girl," Baritone/Mezzo Duet, character oriented "wolf" song that needs clever staging to work in the true comedy inherent in the number, Red’s reactions to the Wolf’s actions are highlighted by the action
    "I Know Things Now," Mezzo Solo, Red’s song about life and newfound knowledge, requires lost of mental and emotional understanding, good acting focused song, very precise, requires good diction, almost patter quality in diction requirements
    "Giants In the Sky," Jack’s solo song that shows off a light tenor voice beautifully, a portion could be considered for an audition song that shows off the voice, as a classroom study it is an excellent character song that requires not only a good voice but acting as well
    "Agony," Comic Baritone Duet for the princes, calls for high quality of interaction and reaction, excellent song for learning how to play comedy with the set up and punch line, competition between the two brothers and melodrama of their feelings as they outdo each other is a joy for the audience, wonderful scene study
    "It Takes Two," Ballad M/F Duet that requires loving interaction and strong characterization and understanding of the lyrics and prior situation and relationship, growth song, excellent for class study
    "No More," Baritone Duet, good for a cabaret, ballad
    "Children Will Listen," into portion of "No One is Alone," Good for cabaret
    "Moments In the Woods," Solo, great character oriented, thoughtful number, up-tempo, allows physical characterization and gesture to enhance the situation aspect of the song

Instrumentation: 2 violins, 2 violas, cello, bass, flute/piccolo, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet/piccolo trumpet, 2 horns, piano, synthesizer, percussion
Script: MTI
Score: CALL LIBRARY TO FIND OUT WHO PUBLISHED IT
Record/CD: RCA Victor
Rights: MTI


IRENE

Book: Hugh Wheeler and Joseph Stein
Music: Harry Tierney
Lyrics: Joseph McCarthy
Additional Lyrics and Music: Charles Gaynor, Jack Lloyd, Wally Harper, and Otis Clements
    (From an adaptation by Harry Rigby, based on the original play by James Montgomery)

ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

Vanderbilt Theatre, Nov 18,1919 (670 perf.)

REVIVAL PRODUCTION

Minskoff Theatre, March 13,1973 (605 perf.)
Director: Gower Champion
Choreographer: Peter Gennaro
Musical Director: Jack Lee
Orchestration: Ralph Burns
 
Principals:
Mrs. O’Dare- Patcy Kelly- Character Alto
Jane Burke- Janie Sell- Character Alto
Irene O’Dare- Debbie Reynolds- Mezzo
Helen McFudd- Carmen Alvarez- Character Mezzo
Emmeline Marshall- Ruth Warwick- Soprano
Ozzie Babson- Ted Pugh- Tenor
Madame Lucy- George S. Irving- Baritone
Donald Marshall- Monte Markham- Baritone
Chorus and Smaller Roles: 8M/8F who sing and dance well

SUMMARY AND NOTES

        We find ourselves in New York City in 1919. Irene O’Dare, a ninth Avenue Irish American who runs a piano store, is called to the home of the snobby and wealthy Mrs. Marshall to tune her piano. Irene meets the Marshalls’ son, Donald, and the two fall in love. Donald, anxious to help Irene and give her enough social standing so his mother will approve of a marriage, becomes involved in cousin Ozzie’s latest venture. Cousin Ozzie, wants to promote Madame Lucy’s designer fashions in the United States and Donald agrees to add financial backing if Irene can manage the stores. Irene agrees and hires her friends Jane and Helen to model. The eccentric Madame Lucy turns out to be none other than an eccentric male with a European flare who once was romantically involved with Irene’s mother.
        Irene, under a phony title and complete with European accent, is accepted by Society and Mrs. Marshall, but returns to ninth avenue, determined to be herself. All ends well as Donald returns to Irene, admitting he loves her the way she is, and Mrs. O’Dare renews her old romance with Madame Lucy.
        This tuneful, nostalgic hit show, both in 1919 and 1973, is a wise choice for community groups looking for a vehicle that will appeal to all ages. The are a large number of featured female roles which include the two comedic friends of Irene, Irene herself, and Mrs. O’Dare, and Mrs. Marshall is also a strong consideration.
        George S. Irving won a Tony Award for his role in Irene in 1973.

SONGS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

    "I’m Always Chasing Rainbows," Alto/Mezzo shows sensitivity, nice contrast piece, ballad, possible for an audition, poignant standard
    "The Great Lover Tango," 2 Mezzo/Alto/ Baritone Trio, the young male lead is convinced by two character friends of his girl that he can break out and be like the film lover Valentino. They lead him through this comedic Tango which he finally learns, good to loosen up a stiff male singer. Interactions and style important
    "They Go Wild Over Me," Baritone Solo, male dressmaker, Madame Lucy, eccentric character, character introduction song, good for flamboyant and comedic movement
 
Instrumentation: 5 reeds, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 percussion, harp, guitar/banjo, organ/piano, 2 violins, cello, bass, piano/conductor
Script: NP
Selections: Big Three
Record: Columbia
Rights: Tams-Witmark