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and position are mere “accidents of birth,” and Becky is willing to agree that, even if it were the other way around, she and Sara would have wound up friends (“The Tables Were Turned”). Time passes, and Sara’s birthday arrives. Miss Minchin is a bit more disposed to be kind to the girl; rumours have reached London that Captain Crewe made it to Timbuktu. Minchin has made a small fortune on the resultant stock market speculation. Sara’s classmates are fascinated by a large box from the London docks that turns out to be full of presents that Sara has ordered for the other girls. There is no time to enjoy them. A barrister brings news that, not only did Crewe never make it to Timbuktu, he died in disgrace. At a stroke, Sara is left a penniless orphan, and Miss Minchin’s own fortune disappears. She decides, rather than put Sara out on the street, to make her a serving girl, sell all her things and house her in a dark attic room. Sara does not believe what she has been told and is determined to find out the truth (“Soldier On”). Act Two Lottie visits Sara in her new room just before the Christmas holiday. She is shocked by the drab, cold attic. Sara comforts her by describing it as a new, exciting place full of unexpected magic (“Another World”), although, once Lottie leaves, the depressing reality of it returns. Downstairs, the schoolgirls are dressed in their best, ready for a holiday. It is almost Christmas (“Almost Christmas”), and all that they can think of are the presents awaiting them at home. Sara is sent out on a cold Christmas Eve to buy a goose for Miss Minchin. She hurries past the happy, last-minute shoppers, wondering where her father might be. She imagines that she hears Pasko, a friend from St. Louis. That she does find a goose, and at the last minute, is quite impressive to Miss Amelia. She suggests sharing the holiday meal with Sara, who angers Miss Minchin. Miss Amelia resolves to leave the school and find a way to have Sara released; she tells the child how she and her sister once played at being virtuous little princesses too (“Once upon a Time”). Miss Amelia leaves. Miss Minchin sends Sara to her room but mourns her hollow victory over the girl (“Lucky – Reprise”). She locks Sara and Becky in the attic for the night. Sara is disconsolate. Becky tries to use Sara’s doll to invoke the magic of the imagination, to comfort Sara the way that she has been comforted, herself; nothing happens. Sara goes to sleep while Becky mourns the powerlessness of the broken doll (“Broken Old Doll”). The two girls sleep. Pasko sneaks in through the window, bringing food, firewood, and blankets to the girls. While he does so, Sara and Becky dream of fantasy Africans bearing more exotic objects and luxuries... and of Captain Crewe becoming a hero by reaching his destination (“Timbuktu”). Becky and Sara awake from the dream, smelling the breakfast that Pasko has left them. They are startled to see him. Becky screams. Miss Minchin comes up to investigate. Pasko promises that things will get better as he and Sara escape over the rooftops (“Soon”). Becky, afraid of heights, stays behind but promises to meet them later. When Becky doesn’t show up at the appointed meeting place, Sara and Pasko return to the school for her... but Becky has managed to escape the school. Miss Minchin seizes Sara and determines to have her and Pasko arrested. Becky arrives with the highest authority in the land, Queen Victoria, whom she has waylaid and regaled with stories of the cruel headmistress. It is Minchin who is arrested. Victoria acknowledges, just before Sara returns to Africa, that anyone can be a princess if their hearts are open and their actions true (“Finale”). MUSICAL NUMBERS Act 1 1. Overture 2. Good Luck- Bonne Chance- Sara and Chorus 3. Soon, My Love- Captain Crewe 4. Live Out Loud- Sara 5. Let Your Heart Be Your Compass- Sara, Becky, School Girls and Chorus 6. The Widow Zuma- Ermengarde, Sara, Lottie