Paint Your Wagon


PAINT YOUR WAGON takes us to Northern California during the heady days of the Gold Rush, where too many men compete for the affections of too few women.

Photos by Joan Marcus, courtesy of New York City Center

*Music samples courtesy of Sepia Records and Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • PAINT YOUR WAGON brings us the story of the wandering gold miner in the Old West. Ben Rumson discovers gold, and soon builds a community that bears his name. After much hesitation, Ben is finally convinced to send the only woman in Rumson, his daughter Jennifer, east to school. He takes this step too late, though, as Jennifer has already fallen in love with a Mexican miner, Julio.

    Jacob Woodling, a Mormon, arrives in town with his two wives. He is prompted to auction his wife Elizabeth to the highest bidder, who is Ben. Some time later, Jennifer runs away from school and goes home to find Rumson a poor, busted town. Even Julio has left to look for a lake of gold. Jennifer and Julio are finally reunited. Ben begins to dream, preparing to once again roam after his wand’rin’ star.

    The book and lyrics are fresh, imaginative, and entertaining in their brightness. The music captures the spirit of the dreamy, hopeful, weary gold-seeker– uncertain of his future, but always ready to paint his wagon and go. Hit songs include “Wand’rin’ Star,””They Call The Wind Maria,””I Still See Elisa,” “I Talk To The Trees,” “Another Autumn,” and “Hand Me Down That Can O’ Beans.”

    A Musical Play
    Book and Lyrics by                   Music by
    Alan Jay Lerner               Frederick Loewe

    Such credits for all purposes shall be in a type size equal to that of any other credits except for those of the producer and star(s) above the title. The credit for the authors shall be in a type size at least 75 percent of the size of the title of the play; and wherever the name of one of the authors appears, the other name(s) shall also appear. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.


    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 (One Player Doubling Mandolin)
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: Oboe, Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed V: Bassoon, Clarinet & Baritone Saxophone

    2 Horn I & II
    1 Horn III
    2 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trumpet III
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II

    1 Guitar/Banjo (includes Stage Guitar)
    1 Percussion:

    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Tom Tom
    Wood Block
    Slap Stick
    Pop Gun
    Coach Bell
    Timpani (2 Pedal Drums)
    Temple Blocks

      Piano-Celeste (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)

  • 1       Piano Conductor’s Score (Two Volume Set)
    1       Prompt Book for Director
    28     Prompt Books for Cast
    30     Chorus-Vocal Parts

  • (principal singers)
    Ben Rumson – An affable, middle aged man, he is Mayer, Founder, Judge, Land Commissioner, and County Clerk of Rumson Town. Ben is given to long digressive, exaggerated speeches; he also plays the guitar. (All stage guitar music is cued in the pit orchestra guitar part.) A gold miner of long experience, also the father of Jennifer.
    Jennifer Rumson – The pretty eighteen-year-old daughter of Ben. Quite a tomboy at first, she develops into a fine young woman. She is in love with Julio.
    Julio Valveras – A man of Mexican heritage, in his middle twenties. He is kind and sensitive but his eyes burn intensely with dreams. He is in love with Jennifer.
    Steve Bullnack – A miner.
    Jake Whippany – A miner, about thirty but with a touching boyishness about him. He plays the banjo. (All stage banjo music is ad libitum, there is no written part.) Jake becomes the proprietor of “Jake’s Palace,” a gaudy music hall.
    Elizabeth Woodling – A wife of Jacob, about thirty. She is attractive but not very bright.
    Sarah Woodling – Another wife of Jacob, about thirty. She is a smug patronizing little woman with cold and relentless eyes.
    Jacob Woodling – In his mid-thirties, a large monotonous fellow. He dresses like an itinerant preacher. His face is framed by a neat but singularly unattractive beard going from ear to chin to ear.

    (characters from the chorus who also sing solo lines)
    Sandy Twist – A miner in his early forties, he appears pinched and bespectacled.
    Reuben Sloan – A miner, shaggy and grimy. He is the town crook.
    Edgar Crocker – A miner, a Cockney in his late thirties. He is clean-shaven and wears a bowler hat, not dressed better than the others, but an obvious “dandy” who makes an effort to appear a fastidious gent.
    Sam – A bewhiskered miner.
    Joe – A miner and a card player.
    Bill – A miner.
    Ed – A miner.
    Jack – A miner.
    non-speaking: Walt – A miner, solo line in “Movin” number
    non-speaking: Johansen – A Swedish miner who sings his solo lines with strong accent. In “Movin” number.
    non-speaking: Third Man – A miner, solo lines in “The Strike” number.

    (principal dancers)
    Pete Billings – A miner. Principal dancer in the “Lonely Men” number, and with Yvonne in the “Rope Dance” and “Another Autumn” numbers.
    Yvonne Sorel – One of the Fandango Girls, she is a principal dancer in the “Fandangos’ Entrance and Dance” number and with Pete in the “Rope Dance” and “Another Autumn.”
    non-speaking: Suzanne Duval – A Fandango Girl who is really French, and the principal dancer in the “Can-Can.”
    non-speaking: Rocky – An ungainly youth, Suzanne’s choice partner for part of the “Can-Can” number.

    (other characters)
    Salem Trumbull – A miner, he becomes the owner/operator of the Rumson Town General Store. He is a literate practical New England Yankee in his late forties.
    Cherry Jourdel – She is in her late twenties but seems older; dark, bright eyed, and has a decided French accent. Cherry is Kale’s friend and the organizer of the Fandango Girls for the music hall.
    Mike Mooney – A miner, he is a young Irishman with a very thick brogue.
    Hank – A miner. He is the Hiram Henry from whom Reuben took gold.
    Raymond Janney – A professional gambler and a very sharp dresser.
    Elsie Smith – A Fandango Girl.
    Mary – A girl on the street.
    Jane – A girl on the street.
    First Man – A miner.
    Second Man – A miner.
    Jasper – A bewhiskered miner.
    non-speaking: Dutchie – Owner/bartender at “Dutchie’s Saloon”.
    non-speaking: Coachman – The stage coach driver.

    Miners, Fandangos and Townspeople.

  • PAINT YOUR WAGON opened on Broadway on November 12, 1951 at the Shubert Theatre, where it played for 289 performances. The original Broadway cast included James Barton, Tony Bavaar and Olga San Juan.

    AWARDS (1951-52)

    Theatre World Award for outstanding stage performance by Tony Bavaar.

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    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Ojai Valley School OJAI, CA 03/25/2017 03/25/2017