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THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is a swashbuckling action/adventure musical, based on Baroness Orczy’s famous 20th-century novel about the French Revolution and the battle for Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. With an epic, sweeping book by Nan Knighton and a rousing and passionate score by Knighton and Frank Wildhorn, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL is a glorious window into 18th century French and British history.
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
Paris. May of 1794. At the bloody peak of the French Revolution, the beautiful actress Marguerite St. Just falls in love with an Englishman, Sir Percival “Percy” Blakeney. After a whirlwind courtship, she announces their engagement at her farewell performance at the Comedie Francaise (“Storybook”). Chauvelin, a high-ranking revolutionary official and Marguerite’s former lover, is furious. On the night Marguerite leaves for England with Percy and her brother, Armand, Chauvelin blackmails her into giving him secret information about the Marquis de St. Cyr, a friend of Percy’s whom Chauvelin promises will not be harmed. But Chauvelin uses this information to trap and execute St. Cyr and his family, along with scores of other innocent Frenchmen (“Madame Guillotine”).
In England, Percy and Marguerite are married (“You Are My Home”), but Percy’ is appalled to discover his new bride was responsible for the death of his friend, St. Cyr. Fearing he has married a French spy, Percy sends a confused Marguerite off to bed alone on their wedding night (“Prayer”).
Determined to somehow right the wrong his wife has done, Percy persuades his friends to join him in a private war against the inhumanities of the bloody French regime. As The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, they’ll work through disguise and diversion to save as many innocent lives as they can. Boarding a schooner to sail to France, Percy and his men fight back their fears (“Into The Fire”). By early July, Percy (a.k.a. The Scarlet Pimpernel) has pulled off one clever rescue after another, and Chauvelin responds with a fiery determination to catch this mysterious rebel (“Falcon In The Dive”).
Back in England, Percy and his men have now become virtual caricatures of their dandified, foppish selves in order to deflect suspicion from their heroic activities in France. They facetiously speculate about the identity of their new British hero, “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Marguerite, baffled by this new distant and inane Percy, laments their marital estrangement (“When I Look At You”).
Chauvelin arrives in England and asks Marguerite to help him discover the identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel, but she angrily refuses. Realizing that Marguerite is unhappy in her marriage, Chauvelin reminds her of the passions they shared early in the revolution (“Where’s The Girl?”). Marguerite rejects his advances. Meanwhile, despite a lack of trust in her, Percy continues to secretly love his wife.
Percy and his men are summoned to the Royal Palace by the Prince of Wales, who suspects they may have something to do with the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel. They persuade the Prince, however, that their frequent trips to France are merely to buy frills and frou-frou (“The Creation of Man”). Meanwhile, Chauvelin meets secretly with Marguerite, informing her that her beloved brother, Armand, has been arrested in Paris as a member of the Pimpernel’s League. He insists she spy for him at the Royal Ball that night. If she fails to come up with information about the Pimpernel, Armand will be guillotined. Marguerite, Chauvelin and Percy eye one another warily, as all three wonder who exactly can be trusted in this slippery world (“The Riddle”).
That night, at the Royal Ball, Percy continues his public disguise as England’s greatest fool, joking about the elusive Pimpernel and mocking the stony-faced Chauvelin (“They Seek Him Here”). Undeterred, Chauvelin commands Marguerite to uncover the identity of the Pimpernel, and she arranges to meet the Pimpernel outside on the footbridge. When Percy arrives, disguising his voice and keeping in the shadows, Marguerite confesses that she spied and attempted to expose him, but it all stemmed from Chauvelin’s coercion and blackmail. She warns the Pimpernel to run from Chauvelin, and begs him to help her save her brother. Percy sends his wife away, and releases his great joy at discovering that she has only been an innocent victim (“She Was There”).
Percy and his men set off for France to save Armand, but Marguerite also secretly travels to Paris. Disguising herself as a French tart, she tries to cajole information about her imprisoned brother from two soldiers. Chauvelin, however, instantly sees through her disguise, and orders both Armand and Marguerite to be sentenced to the guillotine. Embittered at his realization that Marguerite will never return his love, Chauvelin finally drives her out of his heart (“Where’s The Girl – Reprise”).
In prison, Marguerite tries hard not to think of Percy (“I’ll Forget You”). Resolved to catch the Pimpernel, Chauvelin allows Marguerite and Armand to escape and sets a trap for all of them.
As everyone converges on stage at the now-abandoned Comedie Francaise, Marguerite finally learns that the Scarlet Pimpernel is actually her own husband, Percy. Percy and Chauvelin confront each other in the ultimate swordfight and showdown, and although Percy seems certainly doomed to death, he manages to outwit Chauvelin one last time. Finally, Percy and Marguerite are reunited and able to trust one another (“When I Look At You – Reprise”). The full company joins in to celebrate this triumph of the human spirit (“Into The Fire – Reprise”).
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
Book and Lyrics by Music by
Nan Knighton Frank Wildhorn
Based on the Novel “The Scarlet Pimpernel” by Baroness Orczy
Original Broadway Production Produced by
Radio City Entertainment and Ted Forstmann
With Pierre Cossette, Bill Haber, Hallmark Entertainment and Kathleen Raitt
The following credit shall appear in all programs for the PLAY:
Orchestrations by Kim Scharnberg
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in the same type size and shall in no event be less than fifty percent (50%) of the type size used for the title of the play, and the size of the billing given to Baroness Orczy shall be fifty percent (50%) of the type size used for the billing to the authors. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the authors, except for the title of the play, and only stars billed above the title may receive billing as large or prominent as the authors. No billing box may be used. No person or entity shall be accorded possessory credit (i.e., “Director’s Production Of” or “Producer’s Production Of”) with the title of the play. The billing for the authors shall appear immediately following the title of the play. 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:
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL
is presented by arrangement with
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute & Soprano Saxophone
(Alto Flute music w/ interlinear transposition for Flute)
1 Reed II: Oboe & English Horn
(English Horn w/ interlinear transposition for Clarinet)
1 Reed III: Flute, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
1 Reed IV: Bassoon & Contrabassoon
1 Horn I
1 Horn II
1 Trumpet I (doubling Piccolo Trumpet)
1 Trumpet II
1 Trombone I (Tenor Trombone & Euphonium)
1 Trombone II (Bass Trombone)
1 Percussion I (Trap Drum Set)
1 Percussion II (Mallet Instruments)
1 Keyboard I (Synthesizer, principally piano)
1 Keyboard II (Synthesizer, Principally string substitute)
3 Violin (6 players)
1 Viola (2 players)
1 Cello (2 players)
1 Bass (Acoustic & Electric)
Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material.
The orchestration requires 25 players unless the parts for violin, viola and cello are left entirely to the Keyboard II (Synthesizer – string substitute), then the minimum number of players required is 15.
1 Piano Conductor’s Score (Two Volume Set)
1 Prompt Book for Director
19 Prompt Books for Cast
38 Chorus-Vocal Parts
(2 female; 3 male)
**Marguerite St. Just
**Percy Blakeney (Grappin and The Scarlet Pimpernel)
**Armand St. Just
*Ozzy — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Dewhurst — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Elton — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Farleigh — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Hal — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Ben — one of Percy’s Bounders
*Prince of Wales
** five principal vocal parts
* eight sub-principal vocal parts
Mercier — aide to Chauvelin
Coupeau — aide to Chauvelin
Jessup — butler to Percy
Sentry — at the Royal Palace
Cupids of the Comédie Française
Paris Street Mob
Royal Ball Guests
6 Girl Servants at the Blakeney Estate
The original Broadway production had a cast of 36 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.
THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL played on Broadway in a progressive series of three different versions for a total of 772 performances at the Minskoff and Neil Simon Theatres starring Christine Andreas, Terrence Mann and Douglas Sills. The third and final version was authorized to be made available for our customers.
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Beverly's Terrace Plaza Playhouse LAYTON, UT 02/24/2017 04/08/2017 Little Theatre Off Broadway GROVE CITY, OH 05/05/2017 05/21/2017 Hale Centre Theatre WEST VALLEY CITY, UT 09/17/2018 11/20/2018