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Come ALONG on The New Romantic Musical Comedy Ride

Book and Lyrics by


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Music and Additional Lyrics by


Six-time Emmy Award Winner

Conceived and Directed by


"Robert Olen Butler is, in short, the type

of writer one not only hopes to celebrate,

but wishes to protect."


- The New York Times

"As good a time at the theater as one with an

eye and ear for musical comedy might wish...

simply sparkles with fun and music...

by Lanny Meyers."

(Yiddle with a Fiddle) 


- The New York Times

"What a wonderful journey. I only hope Michael Simon Hall will take me along

for another ride."

 -  Andre De Shields

Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award Winner

"The Ironworkers' Hayride is truly a unique theatrical experience. I love being able to blend the best elements of what you might call classic romantic musical comedy with authentic,  intimate storytelling in an immersive setting. Transporting us to a factory saloon in the year 1911, the synergy of characters, story and the sung-through musical score by these world-class artists is unmatched and in a word, enchanting. Based on the success of our workshop production, we know audiences love it! We're eager to share this new, very fun immersive musical experience in our beautiful one-of-a-kind venue in the heart of  Times Square, and we hope you will come along for the ride."                                                 

                                                                                      - Director Michael Simon Hall


“Robert Olen Butler may be our

pre-eminent practitioner of first-person narrative...Butler [gives] eloquent voice to characters scarcely heard from otherwise...The result [is] original,

funny, bizarrely haunting.”

     - Chicago Tribune

Teaser  from the original workshop production at Theater for the New City with Michael Simon Hall and Stacylynn Bennett. Directed by Eric Michael Gillette, produced by Michael Simon Hall

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Book and Lyrics by



Conceived and Directed by


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Milton, an introverted bachelor   accountant, an "irregular fellow", is coerced into a blind

date, with...

"Minnie of the cork leg ...this very progressive girl..."

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Seen here is the true-life setting where our story begins: the HENDY IRONWORKS, erected in the middle of an apricot orchard in Sunnyvale, California. The quaint town is also known for their beautiful orange poppies.  The year is 1911...

The moment the audience enters this factory setting, they are stepping back a century in time, and are invited to join the ironworkers at their on-site watering hole, appropriately named the  IRONMAN SALOON...



High spirits of turn-of-the-century ragtime jazz and good cheer fill the air, performed by an appropriately ragtag gang of ironworkers jamming in the corner.  Everyone receives a warm welcome from the local folk and settles in to savor a comfy farm-fresh meal and drinks as we enjoy the infectious tunes of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Eubie Blake and Irving Berlin.









Enveloping the audience in a dazzling original musical landscape, the laughs begin as we meet Milton, a socially awkward bachelor accountant who works in the back office keeping the books for the ironworks. We learn Milton has an obsession for numbers and a repressed, overactive imagination...







"I'm sitting on a stool at the bar counting the smoked almonds I'm eating and sort of working the numbers out, how many I need to eat to cover the cost of the beer in front of me and wishing I could dare pull out a scrap of paper and do some downright figuring. But that would undercut my standing among these fellows around me, who I'm here trying to be part of, the sorts of fellows who used to daily snap my suspenders and tweak my nose when we were all boys."







Despite being treated by all the ironworkers like "a hapless little brother" or possibly because of it, Milton has been coerced by an intimidating ironworker named Zack to take his sister-in-law Minnie on a blind date, in the form of a hayride. There is a catch... The mysterious Minnie has a wooden leg..
















Milton and Minnie meet.  Milton  confides with the audience: 

"She is swell looking....Her mouth is a sweet painted butterfly." 


With a mix of trepidation and sweet hilarity, they depart the Ironman Saloon on their hayride with the audience in tow...As the ravishing musical landscape expands, the space transforms, immersing everyone in a beautiful apricot orchard beneath the setting sun...








We learn Minnie is far from a wall flower - she is quite progressive, and has plans to be a suffragette...





Together with the band, everyone sings the popular songs of the day...including "Waltz Me Around Again Willie"...and Milton fantasizes he is dancing with "Minnie of the willow leg"...



...Milton creates his own private ballet as Minnie transforms the popular song into a ravishing coloratura aria...














He yearns to touch her, and wonders what would happen if he caressed her wooden appendage...



As the shimmering constellations reveal themselves in the night sky, this very special, self-confident young lady brings out something in Milton that he's never felt before...What will happen next?

Workshop production -

 "But that would undercut my standing among these fellows around me, who I'm trying to be part of..."

Workshop production - 

 "I figure I'm in trouble."

The Joshua Hendy Ironworks

Sunnyvale, California, 1911

The Ironworkers ' Hayride SCENE 1Lyrics - Robert Olen Butler, Music - Lanny Meyers
00:00 / 12:42

Stacylynn Bennett

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"Look. Noboby but you knows about this leg thing. She walks real good. And she dresses up nice. The others will think you're a regular fellow."

"You're going to cast your ballot in October, right Milton? For the women's vote in California?"

"Of course." says Milton, "You've educated me...You've exhorted me."

"It sounds like Minnie beseeching me. Waltz me, Milton, don't let my feet touch the ground. That's what I would need to do. I see myself sweeping her up and it makes no difference what her legs are made of, with me she need never touch the ground."

Workshop production - "Waltz me, Milton."

" stands to reason that a touch there would not constitute an actual offense..." 


Stacylynn Bennett

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As the sun sets, Minnie and Milton embark on a hayride

into an apricot orchard with the audience in tow...

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 from workshop production

with Staceylynn Bennett

and Michael Simon Hall

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