Shows P

THE PRINCE AND THE PAUPER Musical in 1 Act. Music: George Fischoff; Lyrics: Verna Tomasson; Book: Verna Tomasson Judson Hall Theatre, (New York) 11th March, 1962 (Perfs: 158) SYNOPSIS John Canty, Tom Canty, Hodge, and Hugo introduce themselves as the Lads of the Garbage Court and warn people to stay away from them. Canty then chases Hugo offstage and takes Tom by the ear, demanding to see the money Tom brought home…but Tom insists his begging didn’t even get him a penny. Canty accuses Tom of holding the money back, but all he finds is a small book. Tom admits that he’s trying to teach himself to read. When Canty doesn’t understand why Tom needs to read, Tom explains that there are wonderful things in stories—things he imagines experiencing one day. Canty dismisses Tom’s dreams as useless and orders him to go out and not come back until he finds money. Canty leaves; Tom begins begging. Meanwhile, Prince Edward is at his desk in the palace, with Lord Hertford nearby. Tom approaches a soldier at the gate, asking what neighbourhood he’s in. The guard snobbily tells him that Tom is standing in front of the palace and orders him away. Edward spots Tom and asks Lord Hertford if they can give him some pennies. Lord Hertford snobbily refuses, insisting that people like Tom are poor because of their own faults. Edward calls out the window to Edward, inviting him in. When Tom enters, Edward gives him some fruit and asks for his name. Tom explains that his mother is sick and his father is mean to everyone. Edward admits that his father isn’t nice, either, and shows Edward a photo of his family. As Tom tells Edward about life in Garbage Court, Edward becomes more and more envious, wishing he could experience just one day of such freedom. Tom, however, wishes he could live as comfortably as Edward…giving Edward the idea to switch places (“Why Don’t We Switch”). As they exchange clothing, Edward notices that they look almost exactly alike. He tells Tom he’ll just be gone for an hour, and they can change back when he returns. Tom isn’t crazy about this idea, but he warms up to it after seeing how comfortable Edward’s chairs are. A soldier then enters with a document for Tom. Tom orders the soldier to do something nice to three poor people. The soldier thinks it’s pointless, but he agrees anyway. Once he leaves, Tom marvels at his newfound power. Edward’s cousin, Lady Anne, enters, causing Tom to freak out. She tries to practice dancing with him, and is confused when he seems to not remember what she taught him the day before. She remarks that he’s very strange today. Lord Hertford, entering, agrees. He asks Tom if he’s signed the execution papers yet. Tom’s weird behaviour makes Lord Hertford suggest he take a nap. Tom leaves to do so. Lord Hertford decides that the prince must be crazy. Back in Garbage Court, Hugo is delighted that he’s stolen so many nice necklaces. Canty hassles Edward for not bringing back any money, but Edward tries to explain that he’s the prince, and not Canty’s son. Canty isn’t having any of Edward’s sass (“Pity The Man”). Canty has Hodge show Edward how to steal. Edward notes that Hodge looks more like a farmer than a beggar. Hodge admits that he was a farmer, but since landlords took all the common land, he has nowhere to farm and is homeless. Edward doesn’t understand how his father could allow homelessness…but Edward’s father passed the laws that made Hodge homeless. Edward, enraged, vows to overturn those laws as soon as possible. Of course, nobody believes him. He shows them his locket as proof, but it only makes Canty think Edward was holding out on him. He starts to beat Edward. Miles, a knight, sees this happening and intervenes. Canty demands to know who Miles thinks he is; he tells Canty that he’s a knight who goes around helping people (“My Name Is Miles Hendon”). Miles tells Edward to come with him for protection, and the two of them leave, with Canty threatening revenge. Edward thanks Miles for rescuing him, but he annoys Miles when he expects him to do all the work setting