Shows B

"Now all we need is some dame with life savings. A sweet, silly, middle-aged woman with ...: " And enter Mrs. Kirsten, Emily's mother, looking for her daughter. Under Anyanka's insinuating charm, she confides the loneliness of her widowhood, which not even the $75,000 worth of insurance her husband left has made bearable. Returning to the ofisa, Momma is further ensnared in the swindle. Anyanka convinces her that the insurance money is tainted with a curse laid on it by her late husband. If she will bring her $10,000 - all Momma has in cash - Anyanka will remove the evil spell. After the gajo leaves, all the Dembeschti burst into song and dance celebrating the big bajour. When Dembo casually mentions the impending bajour to Emily, she begs to be allowed to watch. Lou guesses what is going on, but Emily, a true scientist, refuses to help him prevent what to her is a folk ritual. Emily, meanwhile, goes native, dressing as a gypsy, even studying shoplifting techniques. Lou begins to worry about her, and Emily is touched by his growing affection. After he impulsively kisses her, she wonders whether or not this could be the love she has been promised. ACT II On the telephone, Momma Kirsten leaves word for Dembo to tell Anyanka not to worry about the cursed money; she has decided to give it to the Gray Ladies' Guild at a fund-raising tea that afternoon at the Guggenheim Museum. Dembo whispers to Anyanka about Momma's plans to give away the money, and Anyanka realises she must somehow get to Momma quickly. She tells a disappointed Emily that her powers have failed her; there will be no bajour. Emily reassures her: "You must keep telling yourself , I can!" "Maybe I'd feel better if I could go to a party," prompts Anyanka. Thus Emily offers to take her to the benefit tea. At the police station, Lou warns Emily that if the bajour succeeds, she will be criminally involved. She should give up her romantic notions about these gypsies and their customs and rituals. Later, the King of Newark, afraid that he will lose his moneymaking daughter, informs Lou of the impending swindle and that the victim is to be Emily's mother. In the midst of the elegant tea party, just as Momma is about to pledge her $10,000, the Dembeschti crash the party and escort her right out of the museum. Anyanka then tells her that she nearly passed the curse on to the Gray Ladies. The only way to rid the money of the curse is to bring it to the ofisa - in small bills - to break the curse into little pieces. Later on, Newark reminds Dembo that the balance of the bride-money is soon due, but Dembo confidently promises he will have the money. Clearly, neither trusts the other. When Emily tells her mother that gypsies sometimes swindle women, Momma insists, rightly, that the gypsies have asked for no money at all. On the other hand, Momma worries that Emily is still unmarried and tells her that life has to be taken on faith: it offers no guarantees. Emily agrees that love is a chance. At the ofisa, now decked out as an Egyptian temple, Anyanka presides in an air of eerie and unassailable authority. When Momma places the money in an embroidered purse, Anyanka begins a mysterious incantation, enters into a dervish-like trance, switches the purse holding the money with a decoy, and sends Momma off with the admonition that, if she opens the sack within seven days, the money will change to blank paper. The bajour has succeeded! Later, when Lou and Emily rush into the now empty store, he explains to a disillusioned Emily that the swindle is just part of the gypsy way of life. The King of Newark bursts in, infuriated. His own daughter has pulled a bajour on him and has presented him with another purse also filled with worthless paper. And so the Dembeschti at least have money and a first-class bajour woman. They start off across New Jersey in the happy anticipation of fifty states to choose from, every one a prospect for a great bajour. Curtis Brown MUSICAL NUMBERS: 1. Move Over, New York - Johnny Dembo, Ensemble 2. Where Is the Tribe For Me? - Emily Kirsten 3. The Haggle - Anyanka. Steve, Ensemble 4. Love-Line - Anyanka 5. 'Words, Words, Words - Emily Kirsten, Johnny Dembo 6. Mean - Anyanka