Shows R

An automobile horn is heard and Mrs. Farrell excitedly runs out announcing that guests have arrived! She tells John to go and prepare one of the cabins. Louise Sumner, a pretty woman in her early forties, enters carrying a cosmetic case and fur piece, and goes right for Cabin D. It appears that she has been here before. In fact, seventeen years ago because of terrible rain she and her husband were forced to spend the first night of their honeymoon at Riverwind as they drove to Canada. Louise wants to surprise her husband by bringing him back here and wants to see if he remembers it. This also might bring some life back to their troubled marriage. ("Riverwind") Her husband, Fred, enters and looks around - proclaiming the place to be "a goddamn dump." He is now a doctor and would like nothing more than to drive the extra couple hours needed to get home from their vacation, but he reluctantly signs the register. Burt and Virginia notice Fred's reluctance and talk a while with Louise who tells them about her plan to come back to Riverwind. Watching Fred and Louise in their cabin getting ready for dinner, it's obvious that they are two people who really don't talk to each other anymore - a couple who stay together only out of habit. In fact, Louise tells Burt and Virginia that the most important thing for a couple is to stick together - no matter what. After Virginia and Burt watch Louise and Fred, they both sit alone and wonder if indeed this is the best plan after all. You see, the two of them have been living together out of wedlock for the past seven years. ("American Family Plan") After dinner, The two couples sit around outside drinking coffee while Mrs. Farrell cleans up. The two couples learn more about each other. Most important of all, Fred proclaims to be in the restaurant business. Actually, he's a maitre d' at Howard Johnson’s while he's finishing his doctoral philosophy dissertation - for the past fourteen years! Virginia dreams of being an actress, too. While Burt and Virginia go off for an evening stroll, Fred and Louise watch John and Jenny cleaning up after dinner. All four of them wish that they were somebody other than who they are right now. The youngsters want to be older and the oldsters want to be young. ("The Wishing Song") After all this wishing, Louise is left alone. Burt and Virginia return and apologize to Louise for fighting in front of her before. She says that it is okay - in fact, she thinks it's healthy for married couples to fight. That's when she learns that Burt and Virginia aren't married - they just live together. Burt has been promising to marry her as soon as he finishes his dissertation. In reality, Louise sees just how honest this couple is with each other. She goes off to watch some television while Burt and Virginia realize that they are actually happy being who they are. ("American Family Plan" - reprise) Walking along, Fred bumps into Jenny and learns that the girl wants desperately to see the world and get away from Riverwind. She's only been to Indianapolis - and she didn't even stay there overnight. She also tells Fred how glamorous his life as a doctor must be. Acting on an impulse, he creates an imaginary scene where the two of them are dining at the famous Maxim's in Paris. ("Pardon Me If I Dance") After whirling her around, he asks to kiss her and she obliges. Instead, he gives her a peck on the cheek and leaves full of new found feeling. John enters and touches Jenny on the arm. She tells him not to and runs off. The situation is getting a bit screwed up here! John leaves and Jenny re-enters and attempts to have a grown-up conversation with her mother - asking her when life is going to start happening for her. Mrs. Farrell just tells her to not try and force anything - life is right here in front of her. Jenny wants a little talk about "the facts of life"; unfortunately, Mrs. Farrell can only talk about the mundane chores she does at Riverwind. ("Sew the Buttons On") That's enough for her. When Jenny tries to ask about being kissed, Mrs. Farrell assumes that she means young John, but still doesn't offer any advice. She really isn't in touch with her feelings at all. Fred returns to his cabin and tells Louise that perhaps they should spend a few more days at Riverwind. Louise is a bit confused since this isn't the same man who before had to get back to the hospital so quickly. She tells him that they will talk about it in the morning. Right now, he goes off to take a shower. Mrs. Farrell brings in a quilt and compliments Louise on her beautiful nightgown. Louise tells her that things have never been better. In fact, she asks Mrs. Farrell to get her a bucket of ice - she wants to chill some champagne. It's obvious that she's trying to recreate the magic of her wedding night. Mrs. Farrell quickly sends Jenny in with a bucket of ice. As Jenny talks with Louise, we learn that she has never tasted champagne. Louise opens the bottle, gives her a taste, and talks a bit about being a woman. Jenny leaves, Fred returns, and Louise is ready for a night a fun. She is dressed in her new nightgown leaning against the post of the porch. Fred doesn't really notice his wife; instead, he sees Jenny folding laundry and is captivated by her. Louise is ready for something more. ("Riverwind" - reprise)