Shows H

HALLELUJAH BABY Musical in 2 Acts, Prologue and 6 scenes: Book by Arthur Laurents: Music by Jules Styne: Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green Martin Beck Theatre, Broadway - 26 April, 1967 (293 perfs) SYNOPSIS ACT I From underneath an open umbrella, Georgina, an attractive, contemporary black woman, appears and greets us. She tells us that while the show we are about to see will cover sixty years, she will always remain twenty-five - That's nice for a girl, she states. Georgina's mother, her fiancé Clem and her devoted friend Harvey will also remain the same age throughout the show. In the 1900s, Georgina and Momma are employed as maids on a Southern plantation. Momma tries to convince Georgina that she should be content with her lot in life. But Georgina wants more. Boyfriend Clem, a Pullman porter, arrives and explains how the down payment on a home for Georgina and him was lost when white cops confiscated his poker game winnings. Harvey, a young white theatrical producer, hires Georgina to play a maid in a Civil War play, despite the fact that blacks and whites are not allowed to appear on stage together. Georgina finds she prefers playing a maid to actually being one and is more determined than ever not to go back to the kitchen. In the twenties, Harvey manages a Harlem nightclub where Georgina performs as one of several Congo Cuties and Clem works as a waiter. A foreign prince, who doesn't understand the bigoted local bylaws prohibiting Georgina from joining him at his table, starts a fight, and when a brawl ensues, Georgina and Clem are fired, and Harvey resigns in support of his friends. Clem resolves to pull himself together and make Georgina proud. Once more Georgina and Momma are maids and Clem sports a Pullman uniform. All three ironically acknowledge that it pays to keep one's place and fulfil the expectations of white people about how black people are supposed to behave. Then the stock market crashes, and the three find themselves out of work again. To escape the bread lines of the '30s, Georgina returns to the stage, taking on the role of a witch in a politically correct, voodoo version of Macbeth, sponsored by the Federal Theatre. Considered subversive, the show is shut down and Clem, Harvey and a friend named Mary attempt to cheer Georgina up. Clem is drawn to the Communist cause, where they call him comrade, not boy. Georgina declares that this is not the solution to their problems: Nobody can help you and me but you and me. They clash, Clem walks out, and Georgina expresses the irony of her situation. Harvey makes Georgina aware of his feelings for her, but neither has come far enough along for a relationship. Alone, Georgina realises that, although she's better than ever, she's not much closer to her dreams than she was at the beginning. She resolves to be the best she can be. ACT II It's the '40s and Georgina is doing her bit for the war effort by performing with a USO troop, while Clem has become a sergeant and Harvey a second lieutenant. All three members of this triangle are too confused about their feelings and too full of pride to act