Babes In Toyland


The operetta BABES IN TOYLAND weaves together characters and themes from the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, creating a spectacular, Christmas-themed musical extravaganza. It features many of Victor Herbert’s most beloved songs, including Toyland; March of the Toys; Go to Sleep, Slumber Deep; and The Toymaker’s Workshop.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • 1903 Version

    Orphans Alan and Jane are the wards of their wicked Uncle Barnaby, who wants to steal their inheritance. He arranges with two sailors, Gonzorgo and Roderigo, for them to be shipwrecked and lost at sea, but they are rescued by gypsies and returned to Contrary Mary’s garden. Contrary Mary, the eldest daughter of the Widow Piper, believing her beloved Alan is dead, has run away with her brother, Tom-Tom, rather than agree to marry Barnaby. After a second attempt on their lives, Alan and Jane are abandoned in the Forest of No Return. In the Spider’s Den, they are protected by the Moth Queen. Old Mother Hubbard’s shoe is threatened with foreclosure by Barnaby.

    Alan and Jane arrive in Toyland, where they find Contrary Mary and Tom-Tom and seek protection from the Master Toymaker, an evil genius who plots with Barnaby to create toys that kill and maim. The demonically possessed dolls turn on the Toymaker, killing him, and Barnaby uses the information to have Alan sentenced to death. Contrary Mary agrees to marry Barnaby in exchange for Alan’s pardon, but after he marries her, Barnaby denounces Alan again. Barnaby dies after drinking a wine glass filled with poison meant for Alan. Tom-Tom reveals that an old law of Toyland permitting marriage between a widow and a condemned man on condition that he supports her may save Alan from the gallows. Alan is now free to marry Contrary Mary.

    Music by Victor Herbert
    Book and Lyrics by Glen MacDonough

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:

    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022

  • Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute and Piccolo
    1 Oboe
    1 Clarinet I & II (Bb)
    1 Bassoon

    1 Horn I & II (F)
    1 Trumpet I & II (Bb) — includes Stage & Toy Trumpet cues
    1 Trombone

    2 Percussion:
    Timpani (2 drums)
    Bass Drum & Cymbals
    Snare Drum & Triangle
    Sandpaper Blocks
    Baby Cry
    Stage cues for: Toy Drum, Toy Cymbal, miscellaneous Toy Instruments, Rooster, Cuckoo, Doll, Rattle, Cow, Duck, Dog & Whistle.

    1 Harp (three numbers only)
    2 Stage Instruments:
    I: Trumpet, 3 Toy Trumpets, Toy Drum, Toy Cymbal, Whistle, Dog & Duck
    II: Miscellaneous Toy Instruments, Cow, Doll, Rattle, Cuckoo & Rooster

    Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    30     Additional Prompt Books
    31     Chorus-Vocal Parts

  • Uncle Barnaby — a rich miser in love with Contrary Mary
    Alan — Uncle Barnaby’s nephew
    Jane — Uncle Barnaby’s niece
    Hilda —maid of all work in the Piper household
    Roderigo —a sentimental ruffian
    Gonzorgo — Roderigo’s hard-hearted partner
    The Widow Piper — a lonely widow with fourteen children
    Tom Tom — The Widow Piper’s eldest son
    Simple Simon — who is fond of fairs
    Peter — who has a passion for pumpkin pie
    Tommy Tucker — who sings for his supper and everything else
    Jack — who does chores
    Boy Blue — who wants to be a farmer
    Bobby Shaftoe — who wants to be a sailor
    Contrary Mary —The Widow Piper’s eldest daughter
    Bo-Peep — who is a careless shepherdess
    Jill —who helps Jack
    Sallie Waters —who wants to get married
    Miss Muffet —who is afraid of spiders
    Curly Locks — who wants to wed a title
    Red Riding Hood — who is devoted to her grandmother
    The Brown Bear
    The Giant Spider
    The Master Toymaker — who designs the toys of the world
    Grumio —apprentice at The Master Toymaker’s workshop
    Inspector Marmaduke — of the Toyland Police

  • BABES IN TOYLAND was first shown at the Grand Opera House in Chicago in June, 1903, before it moved on to Broadway for its October 13 opening at the Majestic Theatre, where it played for 192 performances. The show returned to Broadway already in 1905, and it has been revived there several times. Although many versions with interpolated numbers existed during the initial productions of the show, this version is the only one sanctioned for stock and amateur performance by its composer, Victor Herbert.

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