Shows M

Act Two The Act opens with Twain and Livy in London at a performance of his A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court before Queen Victoria. After the singing and dancing of The Camelot Rag, the Queen admits that she has been really “quite amused”, and Livy tells her husband that God is the only famous person he has yet to meet. Their spirits are high though a telegram from the States arrives telling them that Susy had fallen ill. It is not thought to be serious, but suddenly the newsboys hawking their newspapers call out that “Mark Twain’s daughter dies of spinal meningitis.” The family is devastated. They long to return home, but Livy insists that they stay abroad until all their debts are paid. Twain reluctantly embarks on a world-wide lecture tour. One of his stops involves Russia, where he is meets the Czar and is entertained by a folk troupe performing a Russian Dance. Jack Waddell as "Jim" and Adam Bennett as "Huck" At the age of sixty, now free of debt, he returns home a hero and internationally recognized as a man of letters. His love for Livy is as strong as ever, which he expresses in a tender scene with her when he recognizes the huge contribution she has made to his life. She asks what he is most proud of, and he tells her that it is Huckleberry Finn. As she moves into the house leaving him to reminisce, the raft bearing Jim and Huck reappears. Together they sing When Out on the River. The peace of the Mississippi is soon shattered by the appearance of the King and the Duke who are escaping from irate townsfolk. Huck lets them take shelter on the raft but soon realizes that he has provided haven for a couple of scoundrels. Without further ado, in a riotous song entitled Let’s Give the Folks a Taste of Royalty, they devise their plans for hoaxing the citizens of the next community they come to. Twain abandons his reverie as the King and the Duke are once again driven out of town. Twain’s thoughts return to Livy and her obviously failing health. Hoping that the warm climate of Italy might help her, he sets up house in Florence. But she is suffering from a heart disease. Fragile and exhausted, she dies in his arms. He remembers the first song he sang during their days of courtship, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot. She is buried next to Susy in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira. Grief-stricken, Twain retreats to Quarry Farm. His comfort comes in the form of an invitation to go to Oxford University in England to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters. This long-cherished dream sends Twain off on his last overseas journey. Along with Auguste Rodin, Camille Saint-Saens and Rudyard Kipling, Twain receives his honor as the graduation students sing Men of Oxford. Twain steps off the podium and makes his way through the students who discard their gowns and reveal themselves as the characters from his books. One by one they greet him with the words he placed in their mouths. The final character is Jim who reprises I Know There’s a Place. As the mists of time begin to swirl, Twain mounts the steps of Quarry Farm where Livy is waiting with outstretched arms. They go inside as the chorus sings Homeward Bound. The house slowly begins to turn, and a great Mississippi Riverboat swings into view. Twain is in the pilot house, home at last. MUSICAL NUMBERS 1. Orchestral Prelude: "When Out on the River" 2. We're Goin' Fishin' 3. A Pilot on the Mississippi 4. Welcome to Paris 5. The Can-Can 6. Roughing It 7. National Lecture Tour 8. The Skating Madrigal 9. I Know There's a Place 10. The House on the Hill 11. The Camelot Rag 12. Round the World Lecture Tour 13. Russian Dance 14. When Out on the River 15. Let's Give the Folks a Taste of Royalty 16. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot 17. Men of Oxford 18. Finale: I Know There's a Place; Homeward Bound