Titanic

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The sinking of the TITANIC in the early hours of April 15, 1912, remains the quintessential disaster of the twentieth century. A total of 1,517 souls—men, women and children—lost their lives (only 711 survived). The fact that the finest, largest, strongest ship in the world-called, in fact, the “unsinkable” ship-should have been lost during its maiden voyage is so incredible that, had it not actually happened, no author would have dared to contrive it.
But the catastrophe had social ramifications that went far beyond that night’s events. For the first time since the beginning of the industrial revolution early in the 19th Century, bigger, faster and stronger did not prove automatically to be better. Suddenly the very essence of “progress” had to be questioned; might the advancement of technology not always be progress?
Nor was this the only question arising from the disaster. The accommodations of the ship, divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Classes, mirrored almost exactly the class structure (upper, middle and lower) of the English-speaking world. But when the wide discrepancy between the number of survivors from each of the ship’s classes was revealed—all but two of the women in 1st Class were saved while 155 women and children from 2nd and 3rd (mostly 3rd) drowned—there was a new, long-overdue scrutiny of the prevailing social system and its values.
It is not an exaggeration to state that the 19th Century, with its social stricture, its extravagant codes of honor and sacrifice, and its unswerving belief that God favored the rich, ended that night.
The musical play TITANIC examines the causes, the conditions and the characters involved in this ever-fascinating drama. This is the factual story of that ship—of her officers, crew and passengers, to be sure—but she will not, as has happened so many times before, serve as merely the background against which fictional, melodramatic narratives are recounted. The central character of our TITANIC is the TITANIC herself.

— Peter Stone

Music samples provided courtesy of Masterworks Broadway and Yeston Music Limited.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • TITANIC begins —Prologue as Thomas Andrews, the architect of the great ship, pores over the blueprints of his design —In Every Age. The curtain then rises to reveal the Ocean Dock in Southampton, England, where people are gathering to wonder at and to board the ship on sailing day: first a stoker —How Did They Build Titanic?, then additional crewmen —There She Is, officers and stevedores —Loading Inventory, the owner, the architect and the captain —The Largest Moving Object, the Third and Second Class passengers —I Must Get On That Ship, and finally the First Class passengers —The 1st Class Roster. Now fully boarded, the ship pulls out as the company sings a prayerful farewell —Godspeed Titanic.
    One by one, the dreams and aspirations of key characters are presented: Barrett, the stoker who wanted to get away from the coal mines —Barrett’s Song; Murdoch, the ship’s officer contemplating the responsibility of command —To Be a Captain; Kate McGowan and the Third Class passengers who yearn for a better life in America —Lady’s Maid; Chief Steward Etches and the millionaires he serves who exult in the wonders of their world —What a Remarkable Age This Is!
    Barrett finds his way to the Telegraph Room where he dictates a proposal of marriage to his sweetheart back home —The Proposal in a telegram transmitted by Harold Bride, a young telegraph operator smitten with the possibilities of the new radio technology —The Night Was Alive.
    The next day, April 14, after Sunday morning church service, the First Class attends the shipboard band’s spirited out-of-doors dance-concert —Hymn/Doing the Latest Rag, an exclusive event crashed by Second Class passenger Alice Beane, a hardware store owner’s wife who wants more out of life —I Have Danced. That evening, as Fleet the lookout scans the horizon —No Moon and bandsman Hartley regales the First Class Smoking Room with a new song —Autumn, the ship sails inexorably towards her collision, which ends Act One.
    Act Two opens as the suddenly awakened First and Second Class passengers are assembled in the Grand Salon —Dressed In Your Pajamas In The Grand Salon for life-belt instruction by Chief Steward Etches, before being sent up to the Boat Deck to board the lifeboats. In the Telegraph Room, Captain Smith, Mr. Andrews and Mr. Ismay, the owner, argue over who is responsible for the disaster —The Blame while Mr. Bride tirelessly sends out the S.O.S. Up on the Boat Deck, the male passengers are separated from their families —To the Lifeboats, and all express hopes of being reunited —We’ll Meet Tomorrow as the final boat is lowered. Isidor Straus (the owner of Macy’s) and his wife Ida remain behind together, as she refuses to leave his side after 40 years of marriage —Still and Mr. Etches utters a prayer —To Be a Captain (reprise). In the abandoned Smoking Room, Thomas Andrews desperately redesigns his ship to correct its fatal flaws until the futility of his actions leads him to predict, in horrifying detail, the end of TITANIC just as she begins her now-inevitable descent —Mr. Andrews’ Vision.
    In an Epilogue, the survivors picked up by the CARPATHIA numbly retell what had once been Mr. Andrews’ dream —In Every Age (reprise). The living are joined by their lost loved-ones in a tableau recapturing the optimistic spirit of the Ocean Dock on sailing day —Finale.

    —Peter Stone

  • Story and Book by Peter Stone
    Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston

  • Full Orchestration

    3 Violins I & II (2 vol. each)
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Reed I: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute (or Clarinet) and Clarinet
    1 Reed II: Oboe and English Horn (or Clarinet)
    1 Reed III: Clarinet
    1 Reed IV: Flute and Clarinet
    1 Reed V: Bassoon and E-flat Contrabass Clarinet (or Bassoon)

    1 Horn I & II
    1 Trumpets I & II (both double B-flat Piccolo Trumpet -8 measures only)
    1 Trombone I (tenor)
    1 Trombone II (bass)

    1 Keyboard Synthesizer I – principally Harp.
    Additional registrations for: Glockenspiel, Piano, Steel Guitar, Harpsichord, Vibraphone, Tuba and optional Bass Trombone. (2 vol.)

    2 Keyboard Synthesizer II – principally Strings.
    Additional registrations for: Marcato Strings, Fast Strings, Pizz. Strings, Trem. Strings, Double Basses, Celeste, Celeste + Vibes, Harmonium & Harp. (2 vol.)

    2 Percussion I & II: (trap drum set & mallet instruments)

    (I – mallet instruments)
    Tubaphone (or Bells)
    Xylophone
    Timpani (2 pedal drums)
    Bells
    Gran Cassa (2 drums)
    Anvil (2 sizes)
    Piatti (Hand Cymbals)
    Small Triangle (share w/Perc. 2)
    Even Smaller Triangle
    (II- trap drum set)
    Snare Drum
    Bass Drum
    Wood Blocks (hi and low)
    Cow Bells (hi and low)
    Bell Tree
    Xylophone (share w/Perc. 2)
    Crotales
    Triangles (2 sizes)
    Tam-Tam
    Cymbals:
    several suspended
    Crash
    Crash Hi-Hat
    Hand

    1 Cued Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with orchestration (3 vol.)
    Solo Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material. (3 vol.)

  • 1       Solo Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Prompt Book
    35     Prompt Books for Principal Characters
    1       Original Cast CD
    40     Chorus-Vocal Parts

  • Principals

    (3 female; 10 male)

    Thomas Andrews — the ship’s designer and builder
    J. Bruce Ismay — the ship’s owner
    E.J. Smith — captain of the Titanic
    Murdoch — first officer; doubles as 2nd-Class Passenger
    Harold Bride — radioman
    Frederick Barrett — stoker
    Frederick Fleet — lookout; doubles as 1st-Class Passenger & 2nd-Class Passenger
    Henry Etches — senior 1st-Class Steward; doubles as 3rd-Class Steward
    Joseph Bell — doubles as bandmaster Wallace Hartley & 3rd-Class Passenger
    Isidor Straus — 1st-Class Passenger; doubles as 3rd-Class Passenger
    Ida Straus — Mrs. Isidor Straus; doubles as 3rd-Class Passenger
    Alice Beane — 2nd-Class passenger
    Kate McGowan — a young Irish girl

    Officers & Crew

    Lightoller — second officer; doubles as 2nd-Class Passenger
    Pitman — third officer; doubles aws The Major & Fourth Man
    Boxhall — fourth officer; doubles as Taylor, Rogers & 3rd-Class Passenger
    Hitchens — quartermaster; doubles as Bricoux & 3rd-Class Passenger
    Bellboy — doubles as 3rd-Class Passenger

    First-Class Passengers

    (all double as 3rd-Class Passengers)

    John Jacob Astor
    Madeleine Astor — the very young Mrs. Astor
    Benjamin Guggenheim — an American millionaire
    Mme. Aubert — Guggenheim’s French mistress
    John B. Thayer
    Marion Thayer — John’s wife
    Jack Thayer — their nine-year-old son
    George Widener — doubles as Carlson
    Eleanor Widener — George’s wife
    Charlotte Cardoza
    Edith Corse Evans — doubles as 2nd-Class Passenger
    J.H. Rogers — doubles as Boxhall
    The Major — doubles as Pitman

    Second-Class Passengers

    Edgar Beane — husband of Alice
    Charles Clark — young, British and middle-class
    Caroline Neville — young, British and aristocratic

    Third-Class Passengers

    (all double as 1st-Class Passengers)

    Jim Farrell
    Kate Mullins
    Kate Murphey

    Others

    Frank Carlson — an American on shore; doubles as Widener
    Andrew Latimer — steward in First Class
    Stewardess Robinson
    Stewardess Hutchinson
    The DaMicos — professional dancers
    Taylor — bandsman; doubles as Boxhall
    Bricoux — bandsman; doubles as Hitchens
    Stevedore
    Stokers
    Sailors
    Stewards — for all three Classes
    Additional 1st-Class Passengers
    Additional 2nd-Class Passengers
    First Man — from 3rd Class; doubles as Thayer
    Second Man — from 3rd Class; doubles as Widener
    Third Man — from 3rd Class; doubles as Guggenheim
    Fourth Man — from 3rd Class; doubles as Pitman
    German Man — from 3rd Class; doubles as Isidor
    Italian Couple — from 3rd Class; double as Mr. & Mrs. Astor
    Additional 3rd-Class Passengers

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 37 performers, including chorus. Doubling was employed in almost all parts.

  • TITANIC opened on Broadway, March 29, 1997 and played for 804 performances at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.

    Awards (1997)

    5 Tony Awards for Musical, Book, Original Musical Score, Orchestrations and Scenic Designer
    2 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Set Design (tie) and Lighting Design (tie)
    The Drama Desk Award for Orchestration