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.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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.
BABES IN TOYLAND
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:
BABES IN TOYLAND
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
2 Violin I
1 Violin II
1 Flute and Piccolo
1 Clarinet I & II (Bb)
1 Horn I & II (F)
1 Trumpet I & II (Bb) — includes Stage & Toy Trumpet cues
Timpani (2 drums)
Bass Drum & Cymbals
Snare Drum & Triangle
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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