The Gift Of The Magi


THE GIFT OF THE MAGI is based on a short story by O. Henry, about a young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • It is Christmas in New York, but for two young lovers, Jim and Della, the prospects are bleak, as both are out of work and penniless. But as those familiar with the famous O. Henry story are aware, their dilemma is solved when both part with their most precious possessions, (she her beautiful long hair, he his heirloom pocket watch) in order to buy presents for each outer thereby creating, at least for a magical moment, an aura of warmth and giving in the cold, impersonal winter city.

    In addition to their story, there are glimpses of various city folk (played by the same two performers) going about their holiday business, and the hilarious plight of a cheerful bum named Soapy, who wants only to get arrested so he can spend the night in a cozy cell, all gracefully enhanced by tuneful songs and neatly tied together by a newsboy narrator, Willy, who adds his own melodious contribution and informative observations to the delightful proceeding.

  • Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler
    Book by Wilson Lehr

  • Instrumentation: 15 Parts

    3 Violins
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass
    1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed II: Oboe, English Horn & Clarinet
    1 Reed III: Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed IV: Flute, Clarinet & Bassoon
    1 Horn
    1 Horn II
    1 Percussion
    Timpani (2 drums)
    Bass Drum
    Snare Drum
    Cymbals: Suspended, hi-hat
    Wood Block
    1 Harp
    1 Guitar
    Piano, Celeste & Organ

  • 1        Piano Conductor’s Score
    1        Prompt Book for Director
    20      Prompt Books for Cast
    25      Chorus Parts
    4        Conductor’s Scores for Principal Characters

  • Narrator
    Jim Young – a young working man
    Della Young – his wife of one month
    Mr. Gerken
    Skidder, Jim’s buddy
    Mrs. Abercrombie
    Miss Peaslee, switchboard operator
    Miss Asher, typist
    Miss Grattan, bookkeeper
    Danny, office boy
    1st Man
    Bass solo
    Woman solo
    2nd Man
    Young Mr. Livingston
    Drunk No. 1
    Tenor I
    Tenor II
    Soapy, panhandler
    Vice-President of a bank

  • THE GIFT OF THE MAGI originated as a 1958 broadcast on CBS television. The broadcast starred Sally Ann Howes and Eli Wallach.

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