Shows B

ACT 2 Five years later: the scene is Schlick’s café in Vienna, a lively but low gathering place for the ladies of the town and their customers. A chorus of waiters and cleaners opens the act as four professional ladies discuss business and bandy insults. Carl is the conductor of the café’s orchestra which provides the backing for the singing star, Manon la Crevette. Manon had an affair with Carl in the days before he met and married Sarah and, although a woman of the world, she is still clearly in love with him. Fortune has not treated Carl and Sarah well. Times are very hard and Sarah, now known as Sari, has had to go to work as a hostess in the café to supplement their income. Her job swiftly cause her trouble for when an officer, Captain August Lutte’s invitation to dinner is turned down by Sari he complains to the café owner. Sari and Carl have had enough and sustained by their love for each other, they escape from the unpleasantness of the present into dreams of the future when they hope to own their own café. That night the café is filled with officers partaking of the women and the wine as Manon entertains the company. For a while, Sari succeeds in eluding the attentions of Captain Lutte. Schlick angrily demands that she stop offending the Captain or take the consequences. She cannot afford to lose the little money her employment brings and, as Carl watches anxiously, she takes the dance floor in Lutte’s arms. The soldier is not slow to become amorously aggressive and finally he stops in the middle of the dance floor to kiss her long and hard. Carl leaps from the bandstand and strikes the loutish Captain who responds by drawing his sword. Blades clash and within minutes the professional soldier inevitably fells the musician. As he lies dying, cradled in Sari’s arms, Carl whispers his eternal love to her. ACT 3 1895 - the London drawing room of the home of the Marquis of Shayne. A large gathering of the à-la-mode society people is in evidence, among them, the six girls who would have been Sarah’s bridesmaids. They are now middle-aged matrons who regret their youth. They are waiting to meet the much talked-about Hungarian singer whom Lord Shayne, it is said, has pursued for years, from capital to capital. When the lady arrives it is Sarah, whom they had ail thought was dead. Lord Shayne once more asks Sari to become his wife. He knows that her heart can never be healed, but he is willing to accept however little or much she can give in return for his own devotion. Sari asks again for time to consider his offer. Her life she felt had ended fifteen years earlier when Carl died, but she acknowledges, with a wordless gift of a bunch of violets, that she will wed the kindly Shayne. The scene changes, it is once again 1929 and Sarah, Lady Shayne, is an old woman singing of her past and, perhaps, of Dolly’s future. As the youngsters charleston off into the night, the old lady begins to laugh, then rising to her feet sings her undying love to her always remembered Carl. For the Chorus There are a number of opportunities for lively chorus work and part singing, but the great attraction of this work is the opportunity it provides for chorus members to develop characters. Not only are there many small roles, complete with a share in their own musical number, but each member of the general company must make clear distinction between sedate London high society (1875), the gaiety of Vienna (1880), and the frenzied bright young things of the twenties.