The War Years and Beyond (1940 - 1950)

Guys and Dolls

1959 - 1960

Guys and Dolls has been called the quintessential Broadway musical. It sets wonderful Loesser music to Damon Runyonland, the Broadway of the 1940's inhabited by gamblers, nightclub performers, and Salvation Army members trying to cure the sins of the Times Square population. The rich plot revolves around a bet made by gambler Sky Masterson with Nathan Detroit, organizer of a floating crap game.


Sky bets Nathan that he can woo any doll Nathan chooses and take her to a romantic Havana getaway. Nathan chooses none other than straight laced Sarah Brown of the Salvation Army.


The status of the bet, the crap game, and the end of the 14-year engagement of Nathan and his girl, Adelaide, result in confusion amidst great song and dance.

Finian's Rainbow

1959 - 1960

Damn Yankees

1958 - 1959

Damn Yankees is about a fanatic, middle-aged, Washington Senators' fan who keeps glued to his T.V. set during the baseball season. The distraught real estate agent rants against the Yankees who are clobbering the league's clubs, including his beloved Senators. In an impulsive oath, he says he would sell his soul if he could just stop those Yankees. A happily cynical Devil appears and the fan is transformed into something the Senators need: a young, phenomenal, long-ball hitter.


Joe Boyd becomes Joe Hardy, the sensation of the leagues, leading his team as they rise in the league standings. This newcomer with his success is the target for speculation by the press. As a safety precaution to keep Joe in line and to cure his unexpected loneliness for his wife, the Devil introduces Joe to Lola, his prize powerful weapon. However, when the Devil is ready for Joe to live up to his end of the bargain, Joe outwits him in the final moments of the big game.

Fanny

1958 - 1959

The teen-age love of Marius and Fanny has matured under the rueful guidance and encouragement of Cesar, Marius' arrogant yet appealing tavern-keeper father. Fanny loves Marius with all her heart, but he cannot fully accept her devotion. He is continually torn between his yearning for Fanny, his duty as an only son, and adventure calling him to sea. Marius gives in to the mystery of the sea and signs for a five-year voyage. His father disowns him, but Fanny bravely gives in to her rival. In the passion of their goodbye Marius almost changes his mind. However, Fanny sends him on his way, knowing it is the only way to save their love. Soon thereafter Fanny discovers she is to bear a child.


Panisse, an older man and wealthy sail maker, has made previous marriage proposals to Fanny. In desperation she turns to him, and they are married. Having suspected the situation all along, Panisse is delighted at the prospect of the child's arrival. Convinced it will be a boy, Panisse digs out letters to make his shop-front sign read "& Son."


Cesar and Panisse, dedicated old-world (often fiery) friends, band together to see to the boy's upbringing. On Cesario's first birthday, Marius returns and attempts to claim both Fanny and his son. Fanny finds it difficult to spurn her lover once more, but Cesar discovers them and drives him off.


It is twelve years later. Like his true father before him, Cesario yearns for the sea and runs away to join Marius. This proves to be a final blow to an ageing and ill Panisse. Marius returns the boy to the Panisse home. The final moments are happy, and Panisse's dying wish is that Fanny and Marius be reunited.


Dramatic Director: Bill Glenn

Musical Director: E.J. (Ted) Robbins, L.G.S.M.

Choreographer: Nesta Toumine

The Pajama Game

1957 - 1958

The workers at Mr. Hasler's Sleep-Tite pajama factory are pushing for a 7 1/2-cent raise. The new superintendent, Sid Sorokin, is trying to get the plant into peak production. In the process he falls in love with Babe Williams, a member of the union's grievance committee. Vernon Hines, the plant's jealous time-study man, is similarly inclined towards Gladys, Mr. Hasler's secretary. The romance between Babe and Sid has built concurrently with union ferment over wage demands. Events surrounding the company picnic give evidence wedding bells are in the air. But the union has decided on a slowdown. When Sid manages to get things speeded up, Babe short circuits the machines in her department. It's a blatant act that forces Sid to fire her. In an attempt to reconcile their differences and head off a strike, Sid takes Gladys out and gets her drunk in order to get the key to Mr. Hasler's private files. Meanwhile a strike vote is affirmed at a union meeting. Babe sees Sid out with Gladys and is even more inflamed. Sid's research pays off. He calls the union delegation to his office and asks them to hold off the union rally until they hear from him. Babe sees that he is trying to get to the bottom of things and agrees to cancel a previous date in order to meet Sid after the rally. Sid has found that Hasler had added the 7 1/2-cent raise to costs six months before. When he confronts Hasler, he agrees to a settlement. Everyone is reunited and Hasler throws an employeerelations party where the latest styles of pajamas are modeled.

Carousel

1957 - 1958

New England 1873, and 15 years later

Billy Bigelow is a carousel barker at a New England amusement park. Julie Jordan, shyest of the local millworkers and Carrie Pipperidge, her best friend, visit the park and ride on the carousel. Carrie is blissfully happy because she is engaged to the worthy Enoch Snow. Julie is strangely attracted to the rough and lonely Billy, and the two are soon married. Shortly after, Billy loses his job, becomes desperate, and bullies his wife, until he learns that he is to become a father. In order to get money to bring up the forthcoming child, Billy is persuaded by Jigger Craigin to take part in a robbery. Their ill-laid plans go awry, and while Jigger escapes, Billy kills himself to avoid capture.

After 15 years in purgatory, Billy learns that he will never get into heaven unless his soul is redeemed. He is given one final chance to return to earth and perform a good deed. At his unhappy daughter's school graduation, Billy manages to whisper words of comfort and hope to her that free her from her ongoing unhappiness.

South Pacific

1956 - 1957

South Pacific is a World War II story of a Navy nurse who falls in love with a French planter many years her senior. It is also the story of a young Marine Lieutenant’s poignant attachment to a Tonkinese girl which is ruined by his inability to lose his Princeton background prejudices. Both romances are flavoured with the accents of two worlds meeting, of alien individuals thrown together in a remote part of the world against the background of war’s boredom and violence.


Dramatic Director: Bill Glenn

Musical Director: E.J. Robbins, L.G.S.M.

Brigadoon

1956 - 1957

Deep in the Scottish highlands, two young American tourists, Tommy Albright and his friend Jeff Douglass, lose their way. Suddenly, they stumble across a village which they are unable to find on their map. Tommy and Jeff enter the village fair where they meet the lovely Fiona MacLaren and the bubbly Meg Brockie. Preparations are being made for the wedding of Fiona's sister Jean and Charlie Dalrymple. As the two Americans become increasingly wrapped up in the festivities, Tommy, who has just left an unhappy love affair in New York, grows increasingly fond of Fiona, but the quaint little village of Brigadoon and its townspeople are a puzzle to him. The people don't recognize American money, and they don't seem to know what a telephone is. Tommy's curiosity increases when he finds that Charlie has signed the MacLaren family Bible with the year "1746".


Tommy and Fiona spend the day together, growing ever closer, but soon Tommy presses Fiona for an explanation about the town. She decides that Jeff and Tommy should meet Mr. Lundie, the old schoolmaster, who would be better able to explain the situation in Brigadoon. What he tells the two visitors is that, fearing evil from the outside world, he asked God "to make Brigadoon an' all its people in it vanish into the Highland mist. Vanish, but not for always. It would return jus' as it was for one day every hundred years." No villager is allowed to leave, or the spell would be broken and Brigadoon would disappear forever, but a stranger would be able to remain if he fell in love.


As it turns out, the wedding of Charlie and Jean triggers a crisis which threatens the very existence of Brigadoon. Harry Beaton, in love with Jean and heartbroken at the thought of ther marrying another man, decides to leave town to break the spell. The villagers chase after him, but when Jeff trips Harry, the man strikes his head and dies.


Meanwhile, Tommy decides that he loves Fiona and that he wishes to stay in Brigadoon, but when he hears of Harry's death and the role that Jeff has played in it, Tommy is convinced that Brigadoon must just be a dream and he decides to return to New York.


Back in New York, Tommy can't get the thought of Fiona out of his mind. Accompanied by Jeff, he returns to Scotland hoping that Brigadoon might once again reappear. As they wonder if maybe it all really was a dream, the highland mists part to reveal the bridge that leads to the heart of Brigadoon. Tommy is reunited with Fiona, to remain with her forever in Brigadoon.

Kiss Me, Kate

1955 - 1956

Cole Porter was once asked who had written "Some Enchanted Evening". "Rodgers and Hammerstein," he replied, "if you can imagine it taking two people to write a song!" This was the essence of Cole Porter: witty, a little cynical but a master of the chic cocktail party retort and the irreverant sophisticated lyric. In the 1930s he attempted to perpetuate the glamour and sophistication of the twenties. When other Broadway writers were reacting to the Depression and incorporating social comment in their shows, Porter's response was to set "Anything Goes" (1934) on a luxurious cruise ship. It was one of his most successful productions and continues to enjoy numerous revivals. But during the mid-forties, he had three failures in a row. Thus, when Bella Spewack came to him with the idea for "Kiss Me, Kate", his initial response was "I don't think I could do it". He was finally convinced and went on to produce not only his most memorable score but his longest-running hit (1077 performances). The idea for the show began germinating in 1935 when producer Saint Subber, then a stagehand for the Theatre Guild's production of "The Taming Of The Shrew", became aware that its stars, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne, quarreled in private almost as much as did the characters they were portraying in the play. "Kiss Me, Kate" takes place backstage and onstage at Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, from five P.M. to midnight during one day of a tryout of a musical version of "The Taming of the Shrew". In the plot, egotistical actor-producer Fred Graham and his temperamental co-star and ex-wife, Lille Vanessi, fight and make up and eventually demonstrate their enduring affection for each other -- just like Shakespeare's Petruchio and Kate. A subplot involves Lois Lane, whose romance with actor Bill Calhoun is complicated by Bill's weakness for gambling. The personal interrelationships of these actors make for delightful fun and are eventually resolved during the somewhat chaotic opening night performance of the Shakespeare classic.


Dramatic Director: Michael McKay

Musical Director: E.J. Robbins, L.G.S.M.

Choregraphy: Nesta Toumine

Oklahoma!

1955 - 1956

Indian Territory (soon to be Oklahoma)  early 1900s


The story of Oklahoma! concerns the romance of a young cowman, Curly McLain, who is in love with Laurey Williams, who lives on a Territory farm with her Aunt Eller. The two women operate the farm with the aid of a hired hand, Judy Fry, whose warped passion for Laurey is a cloud in her otherwise sunny existence. Also of some concern to Laurey are the machinations of Gertie Cummings, her chief rival for Curly’s affections.


Laurey’s friend, Ado Annie Carnes, is promised to another young cowman, Will Parker, but has great difficulty in making up her mind, even with the help of her strong-minded father. The current visit of Ali Hakim, a traveling salesman, has made Ado Annie even more uncertain.

Rose Marie

1954 - 1955

ACT I


The scene depicts the salon in Lady Jane's Hotel where the inhabitants of the northern town of Fond du Lac are accustomed to gather for an evening's entertainment. In attendance on Lady Jane is Sergeant "Bull-dog" Malone of the RCMP, who has been trying unsuccessfully to persuade her to marry him for some time. In town are two prospectors, Jim Kenyon and his partner, Hardboiled Herman. Jim is in love with Rose Marie La Flamme, whose fur trader brother, Emile, has more ambitious matrimonial plans for her in the form of the wealthy and unscrupulous Edward Hawley. Hawley is genuinely in love with Rose Marie, and is attempting to end his affair with Wanda, half-breed wife of Black Eagle, and Indian prospector, whose land borders on that of Jim Kenyon. Rose Marie and Jim have a few moments alone, and agree to see each other again at her summer home near Koontenay Pass the following week. The act ends as Rose Marie teaches Jim a traditional Indian love-call.


ACT II


That night, Jim arrives at Black Eagle's cabin hoping to settle a boundary dispute, and finding Black Eagle absent, leaves an explanatory map with Wanda. Later Black Eagle discovers Wanda and Hawley alone together in his cabin and, in the ensuing fight, Wanda saves her lover by stabbing her husband. The following week, Rose Marie, Emile and Hawley have arrived at Kootenay Pass. Hawley enlists the aid of his friend Ethel Brander to try to persuade Rose Marie to come to Quebec with him, in the hope that a taste of luxury may bring her to feel more favourably towards him. Wanda, who has followed Hawley to the Totem Pole Hotel, informs him that she has accused Jim Kenyon of the murder of Black Eagle. Meanwhile, Lady Jane, who has fallen in love with Herman, has followed him and Jim Kenyon south to Kootenay Pass. This romance develops, and Lady Jane and Herman decided to get married. Jim receives a long-awaited telegram offering him a mining job in Brazil which requires him to leave at once if he is to accept. He asks Rose Marie to come with him and she joyfully consents. However, because he is aware of Hawley's offer, as he goes to his cabin to pack, he tells Rose Marie that if she should change her mind, she need only sing to him the Indian love-call and he would understand, and go away alone. Sergeant Malone arrives, looking for Jim to arrest him for the murder of Black Eagle. Emile threatens Rose Marie that he will reveal Jim's whereabouts unless she goes to Quebec with Hawley. As the act ends, Rose Marie sings the Indian love-call ostensibly to Hawley, knowing that when Jim hears it, he will go away to safety.


ACT III


One year later, at Quebec, the scene is the newly-acquired dress salon of Herman and LadyJane, who has become Mrs. Herman. Preparations for Rose Marie's wedding to Hawley are in full swing. Jim arrives on the scene unexpectedly, bringing Wanda with him in the hope that she might be persuaded to clear his name. Rose Marie, overjoyed at first, misunderstands Wanda's presence, and sends Jim away, reaffirming her decision to marry Hawley. Later, as the wedding is about to take place, Wanda, in her anger at Hawley, reveals the truth about the killing, absolving Jim of all guilt. As the curtain falls, Jim and Rose Marie are reunited at last.

Florodora

1954 - 1955

Florodora, a tropical island in the Philippines; 1900

A wealthy British aristocrat, Cyrus W. Gilfain, stole the secret recipe for the perfume Florodora from the family of one of his farm girls, Dolores. He plans to marry her to remove any doubt about his ownership of the business, but Dolores has fallen in love with Frank Abercoed, Gilfain’s head clerk, who is actually a British aristocrat who fled to the island to avoid an undesirable arranged marriage. Into all of this arrives a comic mystic named Tweedlepunch, who uses the pseudoscience of phrenology to arrange marriages for all the men and women on the island based on the bumps on their heads. Gilfain bribes him to decree that Dolores should marry him, and his daughter, Angela, should marry Abercoed (thereby legitimatizing both his business and aristocratic credentials). Of course, Gilfain is the only one on the island happy with this arrangement, so nearly everyone (including, eventually Gilfain) flees Florodora for England, where they all end up at Abercoed Castle in Wales. After further complications and confusion, all is finally resolved by some additional trickery by Tweedlepunch.


Musical Director: Joseph B. Herdman

Dramatic Director: Arthur Clare

Gypsy Love

1953 - 1954

Zorika, daughther of Niklas a wealthy proprietor, is to be married to Fedor, a half brother of Jozsi, a Gypsy violinist. She meets Jozsi in the Chateau Park and is fascinated by his violin playing. Niklas is anxious to marry Ilma, a young widow, and has placed himself in the hands of Moschu, a beauty specialist to be rejuvenated. The wedding guest arrive and Fedor is about to kiss his bride when Jozsi appears and interferes with a Gypsy warning. A quarrel ensues and the guests depart for the Banquet Hall. Lilia wants her uncle to find her a husband also. Niklas refuses but Moschu promises her one; Kaspar arrives and Lilia proceeds to cure him of his bashfulness. Ilma helps which ends in Kaspar declaring he loves Lilia. Zorika meest Jozsi and asks him to take her away with him. This is overheard by Sacha, her nurse, who reminds her it is St. Agnes's Eve and implores her to drink of the magic waters of Czerna that she may see the future more clearly. She accepts the goblets and after drinking lets it drop in the stream as she sinks back to slumber in which she hears Jozsi's violin which changes to the song of the Water Sprites as the curtain slowly falls.


The scene changes to the Czarda a Hungarian Inn. Andor is deploring his bad business when he suddenly hears Jozsi playing outside and calls him in. Jozsi enters and entertains the guests. Zorika who has followed him for two years now desires she shall be married by a clergyman and in a Church. They pledge the wedding in Tokay and leave the room. As they do, Niklas offers to sing for Ilma. She laughs at him and confesses it is Jozsi's music which alone has captured her heart. Jozsi assures Ilma he loves her and desires to embrace her. She tells him to wait as a Gypsy wedding is to take place. He tells her he is the bridegroom. Ilma shows anger at the news and runs away followed by Jozsi. The wedding is about to take place and Zorika implores Jozsi to be married in Church. He declares he will have a Gypsy marriage or none. Seeing her father she appeals to him, but Niklas repulses her. Overcome with emotion as Ilma embrases Jozsi, her despair changes to anger and seizing his violin rushes toward him to strike him as the curtain closes the scene.


The third act opens in the Chateau Park. Jozsi enters calling for Zorika and is answered by Ilma. Jozsi invites her to elope with him and they leave the Park as Fedor enters looking for Zorika who in her sleep dreams of stabbing Jozsi, and awakes to find herself in Fedor's arms and all her previous suffering was a dream. Filled with joy they enter the Chateau. Lilia makes Kaspar compromise her with a kiss before a witness. Ilma accepts Niklas, and Kaspar marries the persistent Lilia as the curtain descends on the happy couples.

The Red Mill

1953 - 1954

ACT I - At the Sign of the Red Mill


"Con" Kiddler and "Kid" Conner, two American Tourists, become stranded at an inn in a small town in Holland. To avoid paying their board bill, they attempt to escape from the inn, but are caught in the act by the Burgomaster, who orders their imprisonment, but the innkeeper agrees to let them work out their indebtedness by replacing some of the inn servants. Con is made an interpreter and Kid is given a job as a waiter. The two Americans contrive a scheme to save the Burgomaster's daughter from a distasteful marriage with the Governor, and to help her elope with her lover, Captain Karl Van Damm. The innkeeper overhears the plot and informs the Burgomaster who locks his daughter in the Red Mill, and places Franz, the Sheriff, to guard the door. The two Americans effect the rescue of Gretchen. This ends the first act.


ACT II - Hall of the Burgomaster's House


Act Two shows the Hall at the Burgomaster's house, on the day set for the wedding. The bride is missing and the Burgomaster offers a reward of innumerable gulden for her discovery. He even telegraphs to Hague for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to assist in the search. Con and Kid, disguised as Italian organ grinders, discover the telegram and soon arrive on the scene as the famous detective and his biographer. They order the arrest of the Sheriff for political reasons, and insist upon the release of Captain Karl, Gretchen's lover. In the meantime the Governor has arrived, and finding his intended bride missing, is perfectly satisfied to marry her aunt who is equally wealthy. The two Americans then restore Gretchen to her lover, who is found to be heir to a large English estate. The real identity of the detective and the doctor is discovered. Con wins the innkeeper's daughter, Tina, and all ends happily.

Merrie England

1952 - 1953

As 1953 progresses the thoughts of the Canadian people and of many people abroad turn increasingly to the Coronation to take place in June.  It is everyone's hope that it will inaugurate a long, peaceful and prosperous reign.  Therefore, the Directors of the Orpheus Society, offering their loyal duty to our new Queen, consider that they can most fittingly celebrate the occasion by presenting as their Spring Production, Edward German's Merrie England.


Sir Walter Raleigh loves Bessie Throckmorton, Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting.  He sends her a love letter, but Bessie loses it.  The lost letter is found by Jill-all-alone, a forest dweller, whose constant companion is a black cat.  Living in the forest with a black cat necessarily points to Jill as a witch. She ventures to the castle to restore the letter to its owner, but runs afoul of the worthy citizens of Windsor intent on their May Day revels. What could be better than a witch hunt?  When she is being hunted and harried, the Royal Forester, Long Tom, comes to her aid and is supported by the Earl of Essex, to whom Jill hands Bessie's letter.  Essex, thinking that Raleigh is his rival for royal favour, accepts the letter as his opportunity to arouse Eliizabeth's jealousy and he hands the letter to the Queen.  Elizabeth mistakens the letter as an avowal of Ralph's love for her but Raleigh is not the man to allow the Queen to be under a misapprehension and explains that the letter belongs to Bessie Throckmorton.  The Queen is furious and orders Raleigh to be banished, Bessie imprisoned, and Jill, who mocked the Queen's distress, to be burnt as a witch.


In the opening of the second act, Jill is seen to escape and to rescue Bessie from the Castle by a secret passage; they hide in Herne the Hunter's oak in the forest.  Essex now determines to make amends for the harm he has done Raleigh and is assisted in his plans by Walter Wilkins.  Essex plans to work on the Queen's superstitious fears and to stage an appearance of Herne the Hunter during a masque presented by Walter Wilkins.  According to tradition, the ghostly huntsman only appears in the forest when the monarch contemplates a crime.  The Queen is terrified at the apparition and pardons the lovers and Jill-all-alone. The populace are delighted and the joyful strains of Robin Hood's Wedding brings the story to a "happy ever after" conclusion.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Count of Luxembourg

1952 - 1953

The Count of Luxembourg is an operetta in two acts with English lyrics and libretto by Basil Hood and Adrian Ross, music by Franz Lehár, based on Lehár's three-act German operetta Der Graf von Luxemburg which had premiered in Vienna in 1909.


The Grand Duke Rutzinov may not marry Angèle, an opera singer with whom he is infatuated, unless she bears a title. He therefore arranges for the penniless bohemian spendthrift, Count René, to marry a lady whose face he is not to see, and to agree to a divorce in three months. For this the Count receives the sum of £20,000 (half a million francs). As she will then bear a title, Rutzinov can then marry her. At the wedding ceremony, at the studio of Rutzinov's artist friend Brissard, the Count and his mystery bride are separated by a canvas – but when they touch hands to exchange the rings, they fall in love.


Months later, Angèle gives a party at which the Count attends. They are immediately attracted to each other, but not knowing that they are already husband and wife, they believe their romance is hopeless. To prevent things from going further, Rutzinov announces his engagement to Angèle. But Brissard notes that the Count has not yet divorced and reveals that the two are still married. Secretly delighted, Angèle denounces the Count's act in marrying for money. The Count storms off angrily. Meanwhile, Rutzinov decides to marry a Russian countess instead, and the Count comes into some money, which he uses to pay Rutzinov back the £20,000. But he is miserable without Angèle and eventually tells her that he loves her. All ends happily.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Director, Producer: A.D. Camp

The Chocolate Soldier

1951 - 1952

The scene of the opera is laid near the Dragoman Pass, Bulgaria, 1885.  Servia and Bulgaria are at war.  The family of Col. Popoff, of the Bulgarian Army consisting of the daughter Nadina, Aurelia, the mother, and Mascha, Aurelia's cousin, are ensconced in their home, fearful of the approaching engagement between the conflicting armies.  Nadina, a romantic maiden, is in love with Alexius, a young Bulgarian who has become a hero amongst his countrymen for his brilliant Cavalry charge against the Servians.  This young officer is idealized by Nadina, and she is filled with complete admiration for this conquests.


Lieut. Bumerli, a young Swiss officer, attached to the commissary department of the Servian forces, is attacked by the patrol, whom he eludes by climbing into Nadina's boudoir.  His suave manners, compelling arguments and quick wit under difficulties force Nadina to conceal him, against her will, and he is saved by the three women who greatly admire his youthful mien and carriage.  Later Bumerli, who has engaged in this flirtation with Nadina to save his life, falls in love with her and she, almost against her will, yields her affections to the business-like, scientific Swiss soldier, who shows the half-savage Bulgarians what training and education accomplish against their bombast and mock heroics.


The sentiment of The Chocolate Soldier is evoked by the love affairs of Bumerli and Nadina, Massha and Alexius. The comedy is furnished by the episode of Col. Popoff's house coat which is loaned to Bumerli in order to make his escape, its return, and the fact that the photographs of the three women are hidden in the pockets.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Vagabond King

1951 - 1952

The Vagabond King is concerned with the amours and adventures of the 15th Century outlaw Francois Villon during the reign of King Louis XI. In this attractively mounted, picaresque tale, the poet-vagabond is appointed King of France for a day (it was a week in the original story) in order to save both his neck and Paris by leading his rabble of low degree against the Duke of Burgundy's forces. As a fitting capper to his successful endeavors, Villon even wins the hand of the aristocratic Katherine de Vaucelles.


Producer and Director: Joseph E. Webb

Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Choreography: Nesta Toumine

The Quaker Girl

1950 - 1951

The quiet of a humdrum English village with a considerable Quaker population is disturbed by the arrival of the Princess Mathilde, an exiled Bonapartist, whose purpose is to secretly marry captain Charteris, a King's Messenger, in spite of her family's decision that she shall wed a certain Prince Carlo, to whom they have engaged her. She stays at the "Chequers" Inn and engages as her maid Phoebe, a village girl in love with Jeremiah, a Quaker, somewhat slow to respond. There is, naturally, much curiosity and speculation among the villagers as to who the Princess is, but Mrs Lukyn, the landlady of the Chequers remains mum on the matter.

Prudence, a charming Quaker Girl, strikes up an intimate friendship with the Princess, visiting her daily at the Inn. Apart from Jeremiah, the Quakers sternly disapprove of this, but Prudence continues the friendship. Charteris duly arrives from Paris, accompanied by Tony Chute, an American naval attache in Paris, and Madame Blum, a Parisian Modiste. Arrangements are completed for the wedding, to which the Princess invites Prudence.


After the wedding the Princess desires Prudence to go to Paris with her, a desire which is earnestly shared by Madame Blum, who feels that the Quaker costume will create a new mode. And so the Princess, Charteris, Madame Blum and Tony return to Paris accompanied by Prudence, Phoebe and Jeremiah. The Quaker costume takes Paris by storm and the Maison Blum becomes a hive of bustling activity and confusion, into which, in various disguises, the Chief of Police penetrates, seeking information regarding the Princess whom Madame Blum is - rightly enough - suspected of hiding. Whilst the Princess is at Maison Blum, disguised as a shop girl, with Charteris always haunting the place in consequence, Prudence has become a model and incurred the wrath of Diane, a Parisian Actress, because of her association with Tony Chute. Meanwhile, the Prince visits the Maison Blum and is so captivated by Prudence that he decides to hold a Ball in her honour. Tony, much in love with Prudence, objects to her associating with the Prince and requests her not to attend the Ball, but she eventually goes in order to save the Princess from arrest. At the Ball, Duhamel, Minister of State, announces that the Princess' marriage in England to Charteris is quite legal, and that she has permission now to reside in Paris. As is only to be expected the play therefore ends happily for all; Tony marrying his Quaker girl and Phoebe finally succeeding in bringing Jeremiah to the point.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Dance Arrangement: Nesta Toumine

The Merry Widow

1950 - 1951

Sonia is a pretty young widow residing in Paris in the early 20th century. She is heiress to twenty million francs and looking for a new husband. Popoff, the Marsovian Ambassador of her native state, has received instructions from his Royal Master that Sonia must marry one of her own countrymen so that her inheritance remains in Marsovia. Popoff has selected Prince Danilo, the Embassy attaché, to be her husband. But the Prince, a former lover of Sonia, now prefers to spend his time at Maxim’s with Zo-Zo, Lo-Lo, Do-Do and their friends and is not interested in Sonia’s wealth.


Natalie, Ambassador Popoff’s wife, has been having an affair with Vicomte Camille de Jolidon. At Sonia’s garden party, as the Ambassador is about to discover his wife’s infidelity, Sonia rescues Natalie from this difficult situation. Danilo, thinking that Sonia wishes to become engaged to Camille, realizes that he may once again be in love with Sonia; disappointed, he leaves for Maxim’s.


Sonia follows Danilo to the Café Maxim, where Baron Popoff in desperation endeavours to win her for himself if he is losing Natalie to Camille. Prince Danilo successfully eliminates his rivals and is finally free to marry Sonia. Even though she will lose her fortune on marriage, it will, she soon discovers, go to her husband.


Producer (Director): Joseph E. Webb

Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Choreographer: Nesta Toumine

The Firefly

1949 - 1950

In the annals of music in America, the name of Rudolf Friml has long stood out as a symbol of robust musical scores. With more than twenty-five hit shows to his credit, Friml has given to this continent memorable productions including Rose Marie, The Three Musketeers, Katinka, The Vagabond King and this production, The Firefly. Born in Prague and trained in Europe, Friml has done most of his composing in the United States. he came to America for the first time in 1903 as accompanist for Kubelik, the violinist. Later he toured America as a concert pianist, introducing many of his own works. His success was such that he remained in America to become one of its greatest composers of light classics.


To those who have seen only the motion picture version of The Firefly a word of explanation is due. For reasons best known to Hollywood, the story and locale were so changed in the picture as to be scarcely recognizable. In our production we have adhered closely to the original play, although we have introduced "The Donkey Serenade" in response to many requests.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Iolanthe

1949 - 1950

ACT I - An Arcadian Landscape


Iolanthe, a fairy, has been banished by the Queen of Fairies because she has married a mortal, but at the intercession of her sister fairies, the Queen is persuaded to recall her. It appears that she had a son, Strephon, a "Shepherd of Arcadee", now about twenty-five years old, who is engaged to Phyllis, a Ward in Chancery. But the Lord Chancellor has other views about the disposition of his ward, and confesses to the other Peers that he is himself in love with Phyllis. The latter is summoned and confesses that she is in love with the "Shepherd of Arcadee", and Strephon, having been refused permission by the Lord Chancellor to marry his sweetheart, takes his sad case to his mother. In the interview, Iolanthe vaguely hints that there is a misty connection between her son and the Lord Chancellor. As Iolanthe and her son talk together, Lord Tolloller and Lord Mountararat, rivals for Phyllis' hand, appear with Phyllis between them. She listens in jealous dismay to the conversation between her lover and his fairymother, who appears to be about seventeen. In despair, she says that she will marry either of the two lords, Mountararat or Tolloller, leaving to them the decision as to which is shall be. There follows a chorus of the Peers who scoff at Strephon's absurd story that he, a man of twenty-five, has a mother who is only seventeen; but the Queen, furious at the Peers' incredulity, announces to them her fairyhood, and declares that Strephon shall avenge the insult to herself and to her subjects by going into Parliament.


ACT II - Palace Yard, Westminster


The second act opens with Private Willis on sentry duty before Westminster Hall. The fairies enter singing.


The Lord Chancellor meanwhile has allowed his legal mind to persuade his conscience that he himself may propose to one of his own wards; but at this point, Iolanthe makes an appeal on behalf of her son, reveals herself as the former wife of the Lord Chancellor, and Strephon is found to be his son. The complications arising out of this announcement are speedily and happily resolved by the legal dexterity of the Lord Chancellor.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Florodora

1948 - 1949

Florodora, a tropical island in the Philippines; 1900

A wealthy British aristocrat, Cyrus W. Gilfain, stole the secret recipe for the perfume Florodora from the family of one of his farm girls, Dolores. He plans to marry her to remove any doubt about his ownership of the business, but Dolores has fallen in love with Frank Abercoed, Gilfain’s head clerk, who is actually a British aristocrat who fled to the island to avoid an undesirable arranged marriage. Into all of this arrives a comic mystic named Tweedlepunch, who uses the pseudoscience of phrenology to arrange marriages for all the men and women on the island based on the bumps on their heads. Gilfain bribes him to decree that Dolores should marry him, and his daughter, Angela, should marry Abercoed (thereby legitimatizing both his business and aristocratic credentials). Of course, Gilfain is the only one on the island happy with this arrangement, so nearly everyone (including, eventually Gilfain) flees Florodora for England, where they all end up at Abercoed Castle in Wales. After further complications and confusion, all is finally resolved by some additional trickery by Tweedlepunch.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Dance arrangement: Jack Neil

The Pirates of Penzance

1948 - 1949

Cornwall, England c 1870

When Frederic was a boy, his nurse Ruth was told to apprentice him to a pilot. Instead she apprenticed him to a pirate. Realizing her mistake, she also joined the pirates as a "piratical maid-of-all-work". Although Frederic loathed piracy, he dutifully served; and, as the curtain rises, his indentures are up and he is preparing to leave the pirate band and devote himself to their extermination.

He urges the pirates to join in embracing a more lawful calling, but they refuse. Ruth, however, wishes to become his wife. Having seen but few women he does not know whether she is really as pretty as she says she is; but he finally consents to take her.

Just then, the daughters and wards of Major-General Stanley happen upon the scene. Frederic sees their beauty—and Ruth's plainness—and renounces Ruth. Mabel takes a particular interest in Frederic, and he in her. The other girls are seized by the pirates and threatened with immediate marriage. When the Major-General arrives, he dissuades the pirates by telling them that he is an orphan — knowing that they don’t capture orphans.

Meanwhile the Pirate King and Ruth have discovered that Frederic’s indentures were to run until his twenty-first birthday, and—as he was born on February 29—he has so far had only five birthdays. Obeying the dictates of his strong sense of duty, Frederic immediately rejoins the pirates and tells them that Major-General Stanley is not an orphan so the pirates seize the Major-General.

But the police come to the rescue and charge the pirates to yield, "in Queen Victoria’s name". This they do. Ruth explains that the pirates are really all "noblemen who have gone wrong", and they are pardoned by the Major-General and allowed to marry his daughters and wards.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Sweethearts

1947 - 1948

Bruges, Belgium; Zilania; early 20th century

Years ago, diplomat Mikel Mikeloviz brought Princess Jeanne, the infant daughter of King René of the kingdom of Zilania, to Bruges to wait in safety during a war. Dame Paula, who runs the Laundry of the White Geese and is known as Mother Goose, takes the princess in secret to raise as her own daughter under the name of Sylvia.

Years later, as the people of Zilania are demanding the restoration of the monarchy, Mikel is conspiring to restore Princess Jeanne to the throne, which is about to be offered to Prince Franz, the heir presumptive. Franz, while travelling in disguise, has fallen in love with Sylvia. But Sylvia, who does not know that she is really a princess, is bethrothed to Lieutenant Karl, a military lothario. Mikel's plans are endangered by the schemes of Hon. Percy Algernon Slingsby, Petros Van Tromp and Aristide Caniche, who, for their own purposes, wish to purchase Prince Franz's estates in Zilania. Liane. a milliner, has sought temporary employment in the laundry of the White Geese and is mistaken by Mikel and Slingsby for the lost Princess. Sylvia finds that Karl is untrue to her so she agrees to marry Franz

When Sylvia is formally presented to the court of Zilania as the fiancee of the Prince, complications arise when Mikel, Slingsby, Van Tromp, and Caniche each disguises himself as the monk who abducted the princess. When the throne is about to be offered to Franz, Mikel dramatically halts the proceedings by announcing that the real successor to the throne is not a Prince but a Princess, whom he believes to be Liane. However, Dame Paula identifies Sylvia as the true lost Princess. Sylvia is willing to renounce her claim to the throne, but she and Franz agree to rule jointly. Liane accepts Karl, and all ends well in the typical light opera manner.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Gondoliers

1947 - 1948

Venice; Kingdom of Barataria; c 1750

Casilda of Barataria, arrives in Venice with her father, the Duke of Plaza-Toro, to join her husband the heir to the throne of Barataria, to whom she was wedded as an infant in an arranged marriage. But there is a problem: as an infant the Prince was smuggled out of Barataria and entrusted to a drunken gondolier who confused him with his own son. Which one of the two young gondoliers is the husband and heir to the throne? As the King of Barataria has just been killed, both must rule jointly for the time being until Inez, the prince’s former nurse, can be summoned to see which is the rightful king. To complicate the situation, the gondoliers, Marco and Guiseppe, are married to local girls Tessa and Gianetta. Meanwhile, Casilda has fallen in love with her family’s attendant, Luiz. Inez eventually reveals that Luiz was spirited away as an infant and is actually the real king. The gondoliers are happy to step down as co-rulers; Casilda and Luiz are now ready to marry and assume the throne.


Musical Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

Dances: Evelyn Williams

Naughty Marietta

1946 - 1947

New Orleans, c 1780….

Countess Marietta, the young daughter of a noble Italian family residing in France, being unhappy at home, runs away and disguises herself as one of a number of marriageable 'casquette' girls sent by the King of France to the French settlement of New Orleans.

Upon her arrival, Marietta is befriended by an American frontiersman, Captain Richard Warrington, and falls in love with him. She also arouses the affection of the Lieutenant-Governor's son, Etienne Grandet, a polished young villain also known as 'Bras Piqué', the leader of a movement to establish Louisiana as an autonomous territory, separate from both France and the burgeoning United States of America. He has recognized Marietta as the missing Countess and is anxious to win her hand, but he has troubles of his own in getting rid of a former attachment, the quadroon Adah.

Marietta, in order to escape detection, with the connivance of Captain Warrington, disguises herself as the daughter of Rudolfo, keeper of a theatre. Here Etienne visits her and she is persuaded by him to attend a masked ball, where she is on the point of accepting his hand in marriage when Captain Warrington arrives on the scene with his men, reveals Etienne as the notorious 'Bras Piqué', and ... well, it’s an operetta!


Music Director: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Yeomen of the Guard

1946 - 1947

Tower of London, 16th Century

Colonel Fairfax, wrongfully accused of sorcery, is a prisoner in the Tower of London, condemned to be beheaded. If he dies unmarried, his estates will fall to a wicked kinsman so he requests the Lieutenant of the Tower to find him a wife before he dies. The Lieutenant persuades Elsie, a strolling singer, to secretly marry Fairfax without seeing him, though by so doing she forsakes her partner, the jester Jack Point.

In the meantime, Sergeant Meryll of the Yeomen and his daughter, Phoebe, have arranged Fairfax’s escape. Fairfax, then appears in Yeomen’s uniform disguised as Meryll’s son Leonard. The escape is discovered, but Fairfax cannot be found and Elsie is now married to a man she has never seen.

Fairfax, discovering that Elsie is his unknown bride, woos her (as Leonard) and wins her love, leaving Point still bereft. The real Leonard then appears with a pardon for Fairfax. Elsie, preparing to marry the supposed Leonard, is confronted with her newly-freed unknown husband but then recognizes him as her true love, and everybody is happy — except poor Jack Point.


Producer: Mark Brooks

Musical Direcror: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Mikado

1945 - 1946

Town of Titipu, Japan

Nanki-Poo has fled from the court of his father, the Mikado of Japan, to escape marriage with Katisha, an elderly lady of the court. Disguised as a musician, he has fallen in love with Yum-Yum; but he has been prevented from marrying her by her guardian, Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry her himself. Ko-Ko, however, was condemned to death for flirting. Nanki-Poo learns that Ko-Ko has, instead, become Lord High Executioner, thus preventing the sentence of decapitation from being carried out and that Ko-Ko is, in fact, going to marry Yum-Yum that very afternoon. Suddenly a letter comes from the Mikado ordering Ko-Ko to execute somebody or lose his position of Lord High Executioner. He is looking for someone to execute when Nanki-Poo appears, bent upon suicide because he cannot marry Yum-Yum. By allowing Nanki-Poo to marry Yum-Yum for a month, Ko-Ko persuades Nanki-Poo to be the subject of a public execution when that month is up.

It is then discovered that the law is that when a married man is executed, his wife must be buried alive. To save Yum-Yum from that fate, Nanki-Poo cancels his agreement with Ko-Ko and plans to kill himself at once. However, to solve Ko-Ko’s problem, Nanki-Poo magnanimously offers himself for immediate decapitation, but Ko-Ko is unable to perform the act without some practice. To get out of his difficulties, Ko-Ko has Pooh-Bah make a false affidavit that Nanki-Poo has been executed, and orders Nanki-Poo and Yum-Yum to immediately marry and leave the country. When the Mikado arrives, Ko-Ko produces the affidavit and describes the execution, but it transpires that the Mikado’s visit is, in fact, in search of his son. When it emerges that the person supposedly executed is really the Mikado's son, Ko-Ko and his accomplices are sentenced to a grisly fate. The only hope for them is to admit the falsehood of the affidavit and produce Nanki-Poo alive. But, as Nanki-Poo has already married Yum-Yum and so cannot marry Katisha, Katisha will surely insist on his execution. Ko-Ko is forced to solve the problem by marrying Katisha himself, thus allowing Nanki-Poo to safely re-appear.


Producer: Purvis Wood   

Musical Direcror: H. Bramwell Bailey

The Red Mill

1945 - 1946

ACT I - At the Sign of the Red Mill


"Con" Kiddler and "Kid" Conner, two American Tourists, become stranded at an inn in a small town in Holland. To avoid paying their board bill, they attempt to escape from the inn, but are caught in the act by the Burgomaster, who orders their imprisonment, but the innkeeper agrees to let them work out their indebtedness by replacing some of the inn servants. Con is made an interpreter and Kid is given a job as a waiter. The two Americans contrive a scheme to save the Burgomaster's daughter from a distasteful marriage with the Governor, and to help her elope with her lover, Captain Karl Van Damm. The innkeeper overhears the plot and informs the Burgomaster who locks his daughter in the Red Mill, and places Franz, the Sheriff, to guard the door. The two Americans effect the rescue of Gretchen. This ends the first act.


ACT II - Hall of the Burgomaster's House


Act Two shows the Hall at the Burgomaster's house, on the day set for the wedding. The bride is missing and the Burgomaster offers a reward of innumerable gulden for her discovery. He even telegraphs to Hague for Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson to assist in the search. Con and Kid, disguised as Italian organ grinders, discover the telegram and soon arrive on the scene as the famous detective and his biographer. They order the arrest of the Sheriff for political reasons, and insist upon the release of Captain Karl, Gretchen's lover. In the meantime the Governor has arrived, and finding his intended bride missing, is perfectly satisfied to marry her aunt who is equally wealthy. The two Americans then restore Gretchen to her lover, who is found to be heir to a large English estate. The real identity of the detective and the doctor is discovered. Con wins the innkeeper's daughter, Tina, and all ends happily.

The Quaker Girl

1944 - 1945

The quiet of a humdrum English village with a considerable Quaker population is disturbed by the arrival of the Princess Mathilde, an exiled Bonapartist, whose purpose is to secretly marry captain Charteris, a King's Messenger, in spite of her family's decision that she shall wed a certain Prince Carlo, to whom they have engaged her. She stays at the "Chequers" Inn and engages as her maid Phoebe, a village girl in love with Jeremiah, a Quaker, somewhat slow to respond. There is, naturally, much curiosity and speculation among the villagers as to who the Princess is, but Mrs Lukyn, the landlady of the Chequers remains mum on the matter.

Prudence, a charming Quaker Girl, strikes up an intimate friendship with the Princess, visiting her daily at the Inn. Apart from Jeremiah, the Quakers sternly disapprove of this, but Prudence continues the friendship. Charteris duly arrives from Paris, accompanied by Tony Chute, an American naval attache in Paris, and Madame Blum, a Parisian Modiste. Arrangements are completed for the wedding, to which the Princess invites Prudence.


After the wedding the Princess desires Prudence to go to Paris with her, a desire which is earnestly shared by Madame Blum, who feels that the Quaker costume will create a new mode. And so the Princess, Charteris, Madame Blum and Tony return to Paris accompanied by Prudence, Phoebe and Jeremiah. The Quaker costume takes Paris by storm and the Maison Blum becomes a hive of bustling activity and confusion, into which, in various disguises, the Chief of Police penetrates, seeking information regarding the Princess whom Madame Blum is - rightly enough - suspected of hiding. Whilst the Princess is at Maison Blum, disguised as a shop girl, with Charteris always haunting the place in consequence, Prudence has become a model and incurred the wrath of Diane, a Parisian Actress, because of her association with Tony Chute. Meanwhile, the Prince visits the Maison Blum and is so captivated by Prudence that he decides to hold a Ball in her honour. Tony, much in love with Prudence, objects to her associating with the Prince and requests her not to attend the Ball, but she eventually goes in order to save the Princess from arrest. At the Ball, Duhamel, Minister of State, announces that the Princess' marriage in England to Charteris is quite legal, and that she has permission now to reside in Paris. As is only to be expected the play therefore ends happily for all; Tony marrying his Quaker girl and Phoebe finally succeeding in bringing Jeremiah to the point.


Producer: Mark Brooks

Musical Direcror: H. Bramwell Bailey

Miss Hook of Holland

1944 - 1945

Tom Jones

1943 - 1944

The Yeomen of the Guard

1943 - 1944

Based on the French play Don César de Bazan, The Yeomen of the Guard is the story of a blindfolded young woman who is married to a man condemnded to die, but who conveniently does not succumb to this fate.

H.M.S. Pinafore 

1942 - 1943

Merrie England

1941 - 1942

Sir Walter Raleigh loves Bessie Throckmorton, Elizabeth's lady-in-waiting.  He sends her a love letter, but Bessie loses it.  The lost letter is found by Jill-all-alone, a forest dweller, whose constant companion is a black cat.  Living in the forest with a black cat necessarily points to Jill as a witch. She ventures to the castle to restore the letter to its owner, but runs afoul of the worthy citizens of Windsor intent on their May Day revels. What could be better than a witch hunt?  When she is being hunted and harried, the Royal Forester, Long Tom, comes to her aid and is supported by the Earl of Essex, to whom Jill hands Bessie's letter.  Essex, thinking that Raleigh is his rival for royal favour, accepts the letter as his opportunity to arouse Eliizabeth's jealousy and he hands the letter to the Queen.  Elizabeth mistakens the letter as an avowal of Ralph's love for her but Raleigh is not the man to allow the Queen to be under a misapprehension and explains that the letter belongs to Bessie Throckmorton.  The Queen is furious and orders Raleigh to be banished, Bessie imprisoned, and Jill, who mocked the Queen's distress, to be burnt as a witch.


In the opening of the second act, Jill is seen to escape and to rescue Bessie from the Castle by a secret passage; they hide in Herne the Hunter's oak in the forest.  Essex now determines to make amends for the harm he has done Raleigh and is assisted in his plans by Walter Wilkins.  Essex plans to work on the Queen's superstitious fears and to stage an appearance of Herne the Hunter during a masque presented by Walter Wilkins.  According to tradition, the ghostly huntsman only appears in the forest when the monarch contemplates a crime.  The Queen is terrified at the apparition and pardons the lovers and Jill-all-alone. The populace are delighted and the joyful strains of Robin Hood's Wedding brings the story to a "happy ever after" conclusion.

Glee Club Concert

1940 - 1941

© 2019, Orpheus Musical Theatre Society 

A not-for-profit registered charity
No. 11907 0415 RR0001

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