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Come ALONG on The New Romantic Musical Comedy Ride

Book and Lyrics by

ROBERT OLEN BUTLER

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Music and Additional Lyrics by

 LANNY MEYERS

Six-time Emmy Award Winner

Conceived and Directed by

MICHAEL SIMON HALL

"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."

 - Emmy, Grammy and

Tony Award Winner Andre De Shields

Original workshop production at Theater for the New City

with Michael Simon Hall and Stacylynn Bennett 

Milton, an introverted bachelor    accountant, is coerced into a

blind date, with...

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

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Seen above is the true-life setting where our story begins, the Hendy Ironworks - a national historic landmark in Sunnyvale, California, also known for their beautiful poppies and apricot orchards. 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 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...

 

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 trying to work the numbers out, how many I need to eat to cover the cost of the beer in front of me." 

 

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. "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."

Milton and Minnie meet. "She is swell looking.", he confides with the audience. "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... "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." Together with the band, they sing the popular songs of the day, and Milton fantasizes he is dancing with "Minnie of the willow leg." He yearns to touch her, and wonders what would happen if he caressed her wooden appendage."...it stands a reason that a touch there would not constitute an actual offense..." 

 

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?

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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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Song

CONSTELLATIONS

 from workshop production

with Staceylynn Bennett

and Michael Simon Hall

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