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Book by Peter Webb, Music by Stephen Hoffman, Lyrics by Mark Campbell. Based on the 1978 novel by Edward Swift

American Place Theater, New York - 11th November, 1995


The favourite pastime in Splendora, a small East Texas town, is gossip. People were still talking about outcast Timothy-John Coldridge - who ran away fifteen years ago and was never heard from again - until Miss Jessica Gatewood came to town. The exotic and beautiful Miss Jessie, a lady of Victorian bearing and lofty literary ideals, was hired to run the county mobile library. As if she weren't enough to talk about on her own, she moved into the very house in which Timothy-John once lived with his grandmother. Miss Jessie's refined ways and charismatic civic pride captivates the entire town, particularly Brother Leggett, but leaves Sue Ella Lightfoot slightly suspicious.

When Miss Jessie and Leggett begin working together on the courthouse restoration project, inspiring others to make Splendora a better place to live, Sue Ella begins to figure out Jessie's secret. Paying a visit to the town's newest, most popular citizen, Sue Ella tells her that she knows Miss Jessica Gatewood is really Timothy-John Coldridge, but Sue Ella vows she'll keep the secret.

Miss Jessie, thankful, confides that she's fallen in love with Leggett and is assured that Sue Ella understands. Feeling confident, the Timothy-John side of Miss Jessie becomes more forceful, almost careless. At a fund raising event, Jessie is crowned Miss Crêpe Myrtle, and stunned, is asked to name her Cavalier, Leggett, who proposes to her on the spot. Jessie runs off and the battle of wills explodes in Jessie/Timothy-John's mind - and Timothy-John wins.

When Leggett finds Timothy-John and not Jessie, he realises the truth which sends him into a religious fit forcing Timothy-John to run him off. Agonised and feeling the way he did fifteen years ago, Timothy-John vows to destroy the painful memories and sets his house on fire. With the house up in flames, Sue Ella rushes over to find Timothy-John unharmed, as does Leggett, fearing he's caused Timothy-John's death. The two realise they are meant to be together, but, as Sue Ella wisely points out, not in Splendora, so she helps the two escape and blames Miss Jessie's disappearance on the tragic fire.


Musical Numbers

  1. In Our Hearts
  2. How Like Heaven
  3. Don't Get Me Started
  4. Pretty Boy
  5. Home/Say Goodnight
  6. Poor Sad Thing
  7. A Hymn to Her
  8. Up at Dawn
  9. In Small and Simple Ways
  10. Warms My Soul
  11. Dear Heart
  12. How Little I Know/Had He Kissed Me Tonight/If He Knew
  13. Good Hearts, Rejoice
  14. What Is, Ain't
  15. Promise Me One Thing
  16. I Got Faith in You
  17. All the Time in the World
  18. A Man Named Dewey
  19. I Am Beauty
  20. Miss Crepe Myrtle
  21. Grateful
  22. My Name Is Timothy John


Piano/Conductor, Cello, Woodwinds (B-flat clarinet, A clarinet, flute and tenor sax)