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THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL A Musical Adventure in 2 Acts. Book and lyrics by Nan Knighton. Based on the novel of the same name by Baroness Orczy. Music by Frank Wildhorn. Minskoff Theatre, New York - 9 November 1997 (640 perfs) SYNOPSIS ACT I - Paris. May of 1794. At the bloody peak of the French Revolution, the beautiful actress, Marguerite St. Just, falls in love with an Englishman, Sir Percival Blakeney. After a whirlwind courtship, she announces her engagement to Percy during her farewell performance at the Comédie-Française. Chauvelin, a high-ranking revolutionary official and Marguerite's former lover, is furious. On the night Marguerite leaves for England with Percy and her brother, Armand, Chauvelin blackmails her into delivering him secret information about the Marquis de St. Cyr, a friend of Percy's whom Chauvelin promises will not be harmed. But in no time, Chauvelin uses this information to trap St. Cyr, and oversees his death by guillotine, along with his family and scores of other innocent Frenchmen. In England, Percy and Marguerite are married but Percy's happiness is abruptly dashed when he learns his new bride was responsible for the death of his friend, St. Cyr. He has apparently married a French spy and sends a confused Marguerite off to bed alone on their wedding night. Determined, somehow, to right the wrong his wife has done, Percy gathers his friends around him and persuades them to join him in a "private war" against the inhumanities of the bloody French regime. They will call themselves The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel and work through disguise and diversion to save as many innocent lives as they can. The men board a schooner to sail to France. By early July, Percy (a.k.a. The Scarlet Pimpernel) has managed, with his men, to pull off one clever rescue after another, and Chauvelin responds with a fiery determination to catch this mysterious Pimpernel. Back in England, Percy and his men have now become virtual caricatures of their dandified, foppish selves in order to deflect suspicion from their heroic activities in France. Continuing his "fop act," Percy entertains one and all as they speculate about the identity of their new British hero. Marguerite has no idea why Percy has become so distant and inane, and their marital estrangement is a source of constant pain for her. Chauvelin arrives in England and pays a visit to Marguerite. He asks her to work with him again and help discover the identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel. She angrily refuses, but realising that Marguerite is unhappy in her marriage, Chauvelin tries to win her to his side, reminding her of the passions they shared early in the revolution. Marguerite sends Chauvelin away, determined never to fall into his clutches again. As for Percy, although he now regards his wife as a stranger he continues secretly to love her. Percy and his men are summoned to the Royal Palace by the Prince of Wales, who suspects they may have something to do with the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel. They are able to persuade the Prince, however, that their frequent trips to France are merely to buy frills and frou-frou. After all, their only duty as men is to "uphold the banner of beauty". Meanwhile, Chauvelin meets secretly with Marguerite, informing her that her beloved brother, Armand, has been arrested in Paris as a member of the Pimpernel's League. He insists she spy for him at the Royal Ball that night. If she fails to come up with information about the Pimpernel, Armand will be guillotined. Marguerite, Chauvelin and Percy eye one another warily, as all three wonder who exactly can be trusted in this slippery world! ACT II That night, at the Royal Ball, Percy continues his public disguise as England's greatest fool, joking about the elusive Pimpernel and mocking the stony-faced Chauvelin. Undeterred, Chauvelin commands Marguerite to