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A Musical without intermission. Music and lyrics by Stephin Merritt, book by David Greenspan, based on the novel by Neil Gaiman.

The Lucille Lortel Theatre, off-Broadway - 8th May, 2009 - 5th July, 2009 (26 previews, 35 performances)


(based on the novel)

As the tale begins, Coraline and her parents move into an old Queen Anne style house that has been subdivided into three flats. Coraline's parents are always busy with their work and pay her little attention. Isolated, Coraline goes off to explore. She meets the other inhabitants of the house, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, two elderly women retired from the stage, and an even older crazy man, Mr Bobo, who says he is training a jumping mouse circus which Coraline does not believe. She also encounters a strange black cat. Miss Spink, after reading Coraline's future in tea leaves and seeing something grim, gives her The Eye Candy to protect herself.

Book coverCoraline finds a locked door in the drawing room and, after finding the key and unlocking it, sees that the passage has been bricked. The next day she takes the key to the door, opens it, and finds a dark corridor leading to an apartment almost identical to her own. This alternate world is inhabited by her "Other Mother" and "Other Father", who are replicas of her real parents, the only difference being that they have buttons for eyes. She also sees the cat, who speaks after entering this world. The other parents at first seem more interesting, fun and caring than her real parents. After a few days, the Other Mother offers her a chance to stay in this world forever if Coraline will allow buttons to be sewn into her eyes. Coraline is horrified and dashes back through the door to go home, much to the disappointment of the Other Mother.

Upon her return to her apartment, Coraline finds that her real parents are missing. They don't return by the next day, and Coraline, discovering that they were kidnapped by the Other Mother, goes back to the Other World to rescue them.

The Other Mother becomes angry when Coraline refuses to accept gifts or love, and she imprisons Coraline behind a mirror as punishment. There she meets three children from different eras who had decided to stay in the Other World. These children tell Coraline that after they let the Other Mother sew buttons in their eyes, she eventually grew weary and tired of them. She then devoured their bodies and cast their spirits aside, and as the children inform her, the same will happen to Coraline if she doesn't escape.

Coraline challenges the Other Mother in a game to find the children's souls and her parents within the Other world, using her wits and the Eye Candy. After finding the children's souls and discovering that her parents have been imprisoned in a snow globe, she throws the cat at the Other Mother (much to the cat's dismay, though he later forgives her), grabs the snow globe, and escapes to the real world. In doing so, she forces the door shut on the Other Mother's hand, severing it. Back in her apartment, Coraline finds her parents safe and sound.

That night, Coraline discovers that her task is still not done: the Other Mother's severed hand is still in Coraline's world, attempting to steal the key that opens the door that connects the two worlds. Coraline allows the hand to follow her to a disused well and tricks it into falling into the well along with the key, ridding the world of the danger of the Other Mother.


Musical Numbers

  1. Overture - Other Father; Mr Bobo; Cat; Mother; Father;
  2. A New House - Coraline; Cat
  3. Am Miss Spink (And I Am Miss Forcible) - Mother; Father
  4. A Mouse Circus - Coraline; Mr Bobo;Ensemble
  5. Mum And Dad - Coraline; Father;Mother
  6. At The Other End - Cat; Coraline
  7. Song Of The Rats - Ensemble
  8. When We Were Young And Trod The Boards - Father;Mother
  9. Fluorescent Green Gloves - Coraline
  10. Welcome Home - Other Mother; Other Father; Ensemble
  11. A Lot Of Noise - Ensemble
  12. Song Of The Rats - Ensemble
  13. Theatre Is Fun - Father;Mother
  14. Stay With Us - Other Mother; Other Father; Ensemble
  15. The Ballad Of The Wasps - Coraline
  16. O What A Lovely Trip - Father;Mother; Coraline
  17. Go To Sleep - Other Mother
  18. We Were Children Once - Ensemble
  19. When You're A Cat - Cat
  20. Song Of The Rats - Ensemble
  21. Recollections - Other Father; Mr Bobo; Father
  22. Whatever You Want - Mr Bobo
  23. Song Of The Rats - Ensemble
  24. The World Goes Flat - Ensemble
  25. I Saw A Show On Telly Once - Coraline
  26. Falling... Falling... - Other Mother; Ensemble
  27. One Long Fairytale - Other Mother; Cat; Father;Mother; Mr Bobo; Other Father; Ensemble