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Showboat

SHOW BOAT (LIBRETTO)
BOOK AND LYRICS BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
MUSIC BY JEROME KERN
ADAPTED FROM THE NOVEL
"SHOW BOAT"
BY EDNA FERBER


Act One
1.Overture
2.Cotton Blossom
3.Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo
4.Where's The Mate For Me?
5.Make Believe
6.Ol' Man Rive
7.Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
8.Life on the Wicked Stage
9.Till Good Luck Comes My Way
10.Mis'ry's Comin' Aroun'
11.I Would Like To Play a Lover's Part
12.I Might Fall Back on You
13.Queenie's Ballyhoo
14.Villain Dance
15.You Are Love
16.Finale Act One

Act Two
17.At the Fair
18.Why Do I Love You?
19.In Dahomey
20.Convent Scene
21.Make Believe (Reprise)
22.Bill
23.Magnolia's Audition: Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (Reprise)
24.Trocadero Opening Chorus
25.Appache Dance
26.Goodbye, My Lady Love
27.After the Ball
28.Ol' Man River (Reprise)
29.Hey, Feller!
30.You Are Love (Reprise)
31.Cotton Blossom (Reprise)
32.It's Getting Hotter in the North

APPENDIX
33.Pantry Scene
34.Waterfront Saloon Scene
35.Yes, Ma'am!
36.Kim's Imitations (Why Do I Love You?)
37.Dance Away the Night
38.A Pack of Cards
39.The Creole Love Song
40.Out There in an Orchard
41.Gallivantin' Aroun'
42.I Have the Room Above Her
43.Nobody Else But Me



Act One


1.Overture
[The Orchestra]


2.Cotton Blossom
SCENE ONE
Opening Scene
(The levee at Natchez on the Mississippi. About 1890. The towboat
"Mollie Able" is up R. The show boat "Cotton Blossom" is up L. STEVEDORES
are piling up bales of cotton at R. WINDY an old pilot, stands on the
Texas deck of the towboat, smoking his pipe and looking on)

STEVEDORES
Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play-
Loadin' up boats wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day.

GALS
Git yo'self a bran' new gal,
A lovin' baby who's de apple of yo' eye.
Coal black Rose or high brown Sal,
Dey all kin cook de sparrer grass an' chicken pie!
STEVEDORES
Hey! Git along, git along,
Git along, git along.
Hey! Git along, git along,
git along, hey!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play -
Loadin' up boats wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day!

Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' free.
When dey pack you on de levee
You're a heavy load to me!
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee you're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

(STEVE enters from the show boat and places a picture frame
left of the gangplank. PETE, the engineer, enters from the
towboat. Coming down C., PETE and STEVE exchange dirty looks.
STEVEDORES work upstoge to a pile of bales. GALS sit around
on bulkhead, leaving downstage clear. QUEENIE, the cook,
waddles on from market with a basket of provisions on her head)

QUEENIE
Lordy, mah feet shure is killin' me dis mornin'.
STEVE
Mornin', Queenie.
QUEENIE
Mornin', Mars' Steve.
PETE
Hey there, nigger! Where y'all git dat brooch you're wearin'?
(WINDY takes his pipe from his mouth)

QUEENIE
You mean dis scrumptious piece of jewelry?
PETE
Where'd you git it, nigger?

QUEENIE
It was give to me.

PETE
Who give it to you?

QUEENIE
Ax me no questions 'n ah'll tell y' no lies!
(to herself, as she walks towards the show boat)
Dat man! Axin' me where ah gets mah jewelry! Hm!
(QUEENIE exits. STEVE scowls at PETE and exits after QUEENIE.
PETE plunges his hand in his pockets and goes upstage. WINDY
replaces his pipe in his mouth)

STEVEDORES & GALS
Niggers all work on de Mississippi,
Niggers all work while de white folks play
Loadin' up boat wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day!
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee you're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

(A group of dainty, beruffled MINCING MISSES enter from R. and L.
They go over to the pictures. The GALS move upstage again, imitating
the white girls' mincing gait)

1st MINCING MISS
The center picture is Julia LaVerne, the leading lady.
(PETE turns and slouches downstage)

2nd MINCING MISS
My - isn't she beautiful!
(The local BEAUX make a dashing entrance from stage right,
like the young bucks they are - they stand off and ogle the
demure maidens. PETE hangs around the picture frames as the
GIRLS turn to be demure for the BEAUX)

BEAUX
What a pretty bevy!
Ah! There! Ah, there!
The fairest of the fair
To Southern beauty
Ev'ry beau must bow!

MINCING MISSES
How you love to flatter,
You rogues! You rogues!
(confiding to audience)
Oh, goodness gracious!
They're so flirtatious!
(to Beaux)
You naughty fellows
Seem to think you please us
When you tease us
So!
You're a reckless lot
We know!

BEAUX
Little women don't be timorous!
You will find acting thus
Only makes a man more bold!
These are not the days of old!

BEAUX
(each grabbing a Mincing One)
See! The show boat!
That's old Captain Andy's "Cotton Blossom,"
Will you go?
Let me take you to the show!

GALS
H'yah! Look live dere!

GIRLS
Twil1 be delightful,
But to rightfully accept I have to make Mama
Get permission from Papa!

STEVEDORES & GALS
H'yah! Look live dere!

GIRLS & BOYS
(reading handbills)
Captain Andy has gathered a troupe
In the greatest of drammers and jolly comedies.
Stephen Baker, the handsomest leading man
And beautiful Julie LaVerne as well!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Ho! Ho! Ho!

BOYS & GIRLS
"Cotton Blossom,"
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Ev'rybody's sure to go!
"Cotton Blossom," "Cotton Blossom,"
Captain Andy's floating show!

Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' free,
When dey pack you on de levee
You're a heavy load to me.
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee
You're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

BOYS & GIRLS
So get your girl and go!

STEVEDORES & GALS
So let dat whistle blow!
(PETE steals JULIE's picture from the frame. WINDY takes
his pipe from his mouth PETE hastily puts picture out of
sight as he slinks away and exits onto the towboat. PARTHY's
voice is heard off stage)

PARTHY
(off stage)
Andy!!!
(She enters)
Drat that man, he's never around!

(MAGNOLIA is heard practicing the piano on board
the "Cotton Blossom")

WINDY
(from the Texas deck)
Lookin' for Cap'n Andy?

PARTHY
Yes, Windy - have you seen him?

WINDY
Nope.
(He puts his pipe back in his mouth)

PARTHY
Well - if y' ain't seen him, why did you ask
me if I was lookin' for him?
(WINDY has an irritating way of not seeming to hear)

Y'old weather-beaten buzzard! I'm goin' to tell my husband
to get a new pilot...

1st MINCING MISS
Is that your little girl playing the piano?

PARTHY
Yep - ain't so little any more - eighteen this comin' August.

1st MINCING MISS
I've brought a chocolate cake for Captain Andy.

2nd MINCING MISS
And I have some plum jelly for him

PARTHY
Well, he ain't around and the Lord knows when he will be.


3.Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo

(The band is heard in the distance)

BOY
Here comes the Show Boat parade!

(The CROWD gathers, shouting and waving their hats. Some
coloured children run on, leaping, dancing, throwing their
hats in the air. CAPTAIN ANDY enters from stage R., with a
girl on each arm, behind him the brass band and balance of
the troupe and followers. He finishes stage C.)

GIRLS
(presenting candy, etc., to ANDY)
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
Here's your lemon cake and homemade candy.
Quince preserve and apple brandy;
Mama sends her best regards to you.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
We've been hearing all about your dandy Show.
Is this year's good as last year?
Won't you tell us what is new?

ANDY
Ladies and Gentlemen - I want you to meet some of the greatest
artistes that ever played the river town... Miss Ellie May Chipley,
the toast of Cairo, Illinois.
(applause)
C'mon, Ellie!
(He pulls her by the hand to the center.
All applaud. ELLIE simpers)
Next, I want y'all to meet Frank Schultz
(FRANK steps out - applause)
Mr. Schultz is the villain in our play - but off the stage, he's
as meek as a lamb, and wouldn't hurt a fly - and he's stuck on Ellie.
(All laugh lightly - but ANDY laughs the loudest)
That's they way they are, folks - jest one big happy family! And I'm
their father -
Ha! Ha!

(GIRLS laugh)
And Parthy here is the mother -
Ha! Ha!

(All laugh)
What about that, Parthy?

PARTHY
Oh, y' make me sick!

ANDY
(coughing)
Jest one big happy family! Now, folks I want you to meet the little
sweetheart of the South - Miss Julia LaVerne, our leading lady
(applause)
Y'all know her, and y'all love her - what more can say? And we have
another famous ornament of the stage with us - Mr. Stephen Baker! The
handsomest leading man in the middle west!
(STEVE, who has been scowling at PETE, achieves a prop smile. The
GIRLS gasp admiringly)
So here we are, folks - jest one big happy family!

ANDY
Look't we got! Look't we got!
How can we fail? How can we fail?
You never seen a show like this before!
We'll try to make the evening bright,
And if you come around tonight,
Tomorrer night you'll come around for more.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy
You know how to make a show sound dandy.

ANDY
Frank and Ellie,
C'mon, let's show 'em
Jest a sample of your soft-shoe dance!

PARTHY
(the note of warning - she has stood enough)
Captain Andy! Captain Andy!

ANDY
(pleading)
Jest a sample

PARTHY
What a man! My land, he
Gives away his show for nuthin'!

ANDY
(to FRANK and ELLIE)
Jest a sample of the dance!

(He signals the band, turns to the crowd and beams as the dance
begins. At the finish of the dance FRANK and ELLIE strike a pose)
Looking out to sea!
(At the end of the dance ANDY applauds with so much gusto
that the crowd would be ashamed not to follow suit. ANDY
begins passing out handbills)
Well, folks, that was jest a sample - don't forget the bill tonight -
"Tempest and Sunshine" - that beautiful melerdrammer of tears and
laughter concert after the show - Bring the children - come one, come all!

(ANDY works upstage among the crowd - part of the CROWD gathers
around JULIE and STEVE, the BOYS around JULIE, and GIRLS around STEVE,
so they are temporarily separated. These admirers, however, keep at
some little distance as they stand and worship their idols of the stage.
PETE slinks up to JULIE)

PETE
Hey, Julie! That's hell of a thing to do - giving my present to a nigger -

JULIE
(nervously)
Pete - if Steve ever knew about you sending me that brooch, I declare
he'd just about beat you to death -
(STEVE sees PETE and JULIE together)

PETE
Well, he'd better not try, and you better be pretty nice to me -
or you'll be mighty sorry -
(STEVE has come up to PETE- he takes his arm
and swings him around so that he faces him)

STEVE
I told you to keep away from my wife. I reckon I won't do
any more talkin' about it.
(Holding PETE's arm, he strikes him and
knocks him down. JULIE screams)

JULIE
Steve! Don't!
(The men clinch - PARTHY sees them)

PARTHY
Andy!
(PETE and STEVE struggle - GIRLS shriek, the crowd
mills around the two men as they wrestle. ANDY hops
about ineffectually. PETE falls - ANDY rushes in and
holds STEVE)

STEVE
I'll kill him!!!

ANDY
Get on that boat!
(FRANK runs up - ANDY sort of passes STEVE to FRANK, who
leads him back into the boat STEVE, half dazed with anger,
and weakened by the nervous outburst, follows meekly, dimly
realizing he has done something wrong. ELLIE helps PETE to
his feet. ANDY looks around - the CROWD looks puzzled - he
must say something. Suddenly he becomes inspired)

ANDY
Well, folks - that was jest a sample. The boys jest showed
you a scene from one of our bills - that's the way they are,
folks... always skylarking, always playing pranks.
(He looks around at a horrified PARTHY and ELLIE,
solemn JULIE, and PETE, just coming to)
...Jest one big happy family!

(He gives the band the high sign - they strike up a tune -
"Cotton Blossom". He cheers and throws his hat in the air -
his good spirits infect the CROWD. who follow suit and join
in singing "Cotton Blossom" as they exit)

ALL
Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom,
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!
(This exit masks the entrance of a gentleman in
elegant but frayed clothes, who has paused up C.
This is GAYLORD RAVENAL. He leans against the
bulkhead and looks out over the river. His face is
not yet seen. ANDY, ELLIE, PARTHY and JULIE are
left on stage. PETE confronts JULIE)

PETE
Just wait! I'll get you two for this, and I know how I can do it -
and when I start in, you'll be sorry you were ever born -

ANDY
You get away from here, you little no-account river rat!
You're fired!
(PETE exits)
An' if y'ever come near my show boat again, I'll pitch you right
into the river! And don't try to get on the towboat either...
(looking up to WINDY)
Y'hear that, Windy?
(WINDY nods)
Throw him right off the boat.
(WINDY nods)
We'll pick up a new engineer in Fort Adams.

PARTHY
(Looking hard at JULIE)
Humph - nice goin's on!

ANDY
(looking sympathetically towards JULIE)
It wasn't Julie's fault, Parthy -

PARTHY
'N you protectin' her!

JULIE
The one thing I'm grateful fer is that Magnolia wasn't here -

PARTHY
So am I - an' I'll be grateful for somethin' else, Miss LaVerne -
I'll have to ask you to stop givin' Magnolia pianner lessons.
In fact, I don't want my daughter mixed up with you - or anybody
like you -

JULIE
Mrs. Hawks - please don't say that - Nola is like a little sister
to me - outside of Steve, I don't love anybody like I love Nola -
(crossing to ANDY)
Mr. Hawks - if I have to stop seeing her - I can't stay on the
Cotton Blossom - I just can't!
(She runs into the show boat as the tears come rushing to her eyes)

ANDY
Now you done it - now you done it!
The best leading lady on the river!

ELLIE
(coyly snuggling up to ANDY)
Oh, Cap'n Andy, if Julie goes, will you give me a chance
at the leads? I'd love to get a crack at a serious part -
I'd be a sensation in drammer.

ANDY
Why, Ellie! There ain't a funnier girl on the river 'n you are!

ELLIE
(anxiously clutching his arm and kneeling)
Oh, Captain Andy, don't! Don't stamp your foot down
on real actin' ability!

PARTHY
(grimly)
Leave go my husband's arm -
(ELLIE edges away gingerly. PARTHY turns her attentions
to ANDY. During the following tirade he doesn't dare answer.
He stands meek and still)
An' you - you think more of your show boat troupe than you
do of your own daughter's upbringing - Well, thank God, her
mother had a good Christian bringin' up in Massachussetts.
Where I come from, no decent body'd touch this show boat
riff-raff with a ten foot pole - let alone have their
daughters mixed up with them - I'll have more to say to
you, later!

(She exits into the boat. ANDY waits until she's gone -
then, oblivious to ELLIE'S presence, he answers PARTHY back)

ANDY
(walking up and down and arguing
with his imaginary adversary)
Oh, you will, will you? Well, maybe I'll have somethin' to say
to you, too - 's far as that goes I'd just as soon have her be
friends with Julie as any gal I know - yes - Julie! You heard me!
(He sees ELLIE)
My God - I'll tell her!

PARTHY]
(off stage)
Andy!!!

ELLIE
Are you going to tell her all that now?

ANDY
No - I'll tell her tonight - late. I don't want any more trouble
before the show. Jest one big happy family - bah!!

(ANDY exits into the show boat ELLIE turns away
from the boat and sees RAVENAL-)

ELLIE
It's a man...
(RAVENAL turns, and we see him for the first time - so does
ELLIE. He strides down-stage, nonchalantly swinging his cane.
She thinks he's grand - she drops her handkerchief. RAVENAL
picks up her handkerchief and hands it to her with courtesy)

ELLIE
Thank you so much.

RAVENAL
Delighted to be of service, Ma'am.

(ELLIE gives him a flirtatious glance and crosses left.
RAVENAL looks after her, mildly amused. He takes the long
cheroot from his mouth and looks at it reflectively. VALLON
enters from stage R. RAVENAL sees him. They regard each
other coolly for a moment)

VALLON
Back in town, Gay?

RAVENAL
For a short stay...

VALLON
Can't be more than twenty-four hours, you know.

RAVENAL
Give me time, can't you? I haven't been twenty-four
hours stepping off the gangplank onto this wharf,
have I? I can get back on just as quickly.

(With impulsive irritation, he throws his
half smoked cheroot to the ground)

VALLON
No offense, Gay - just thought I'd remind you in case
of trouble. It'd be terrible to have you locked up -
all the purty gals on the river front'd be cryin'
their eyes out. Where you aim to go from here?

RAVENAL
Who cares? Who cares where I go?

VALLON
Seegar?

(As he proffers a cigar, RAVENAL raises
his eyebrows disdainfully)

RAVENAL
What did you call it?

VALLON
See-gar.

RAVENAL
Optimist. .
(VALLON shrugs his shoulders and walks off R. RAVENAL
swings his cane airily and strolls up and down as he sings:)


4.Where's The Mate For Me?

RAVENAL
Who cares if my boat goes upstream,
Or if the gale bids me go with the river's flow?
I drift along with my fancy
Sometimes I thank my lucky stars my heart is free -
And other times I wonder where's that mate for me?
(MAGNOLIA begins again on the piano, off stage. He looks up.
She hesitates in her fingering at a certain point. He pantomimes
the serious anxiety a listener always feels, hoping she'll hit
the right note. He sits on a cotton bale and goes on with his
musing, idly tapping his cane on the ground)

RAVENAL
The driftwood floating over the sea
Someday finds a sheltering lee,
So, somewhere there surely must be
A harbour meant for me -
(MAGNOLIA enters on the upper deck of the show boat)
I drift along with my fancy -
Sometimes I thank my lucky stars my heart is free,
And other times I wonder where's the mate -
(He turns and sees MAGNOLIA. What a picture! A very young
face, and a fluffy dress all pink with flowers and everything -
and she is becomingly shy - yet bold enough to return his gaze -
and to speak first)

MAGNOLIA
Hello...

RAVENAL
(taken by surprise - an unusual thing)
Er - how do you do?

MAGNOLIA
Do you live here?

RAVENAL
No - I'm just a way-farer along the river

MAGNOLIA
So am I - which way are you going?

RAVENAL
Either way - where are you going?

MAGNOLIA
Anywhere Papa gives shows.

RAVENAL
(a trifle jarred)
Oh - are you a player?

MAGNOLIA
You mean like on the pianner? Yes - I play a little.

RAVENAL
Oh - was that you I heard just now -?

MAGNOLIA
Yes - that was me!

RAVENAL
(under his breath)
What a pity!

MAGNOLIA
What did you say, Mister?

RAVENAL
Er - when I asked you if you were a player - I meant -
are you an actress?

MAGNOLIA
Oh - no - but I'd give anything if I could be.

RAVENAL
Why?

MAGNOLIA
Because you can make believe so many wonderful
things that never happen in real life.

RAVENAL
But wonderful things do happen - this very day
I was standing here on the levee - feeling blue -
and suddenly I looked up, and -

MAGNOLIA
I must go now -

RAVENAL
Why?

MAGNOLIA
Well, you see, you're talking to me - and I don't know you -

RAVENAL
Does that really matter so much?


MAGNOLIA
N-no - not to me - but they say it isn't nice.

RAVENAL
If you like to make believe things, why can't
we make believe we know each other?

MAGNOLIA
Oh, yes - and we haven't seen each other for seventy-five
years, and you're my long-lost nephew - there's a scene
like that in a play called "The Village Drunkard."

RAVENAL
No - seventy-five years is too long - besides, I don't
think I'd like the idea of being your nephew. Let us
imagine that we've just met -

MAGNOLIA
But we really have.

RAVENAL
Yes - but let's just suppose that we've fallen in love
at first sight.


5.Make Believe

(sings:)

Only make believe I love you,
Only make believe that you love me.
Others find peace of mind in pretending -
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss, or two, or three.
Might as well make believe I love you,
For to tell the truth, I do.
(He steps back)
Your pardon I pray,
'Twas too much to say
The words that betray my heart.

MAGNOLIA
We only pretend,
You do not offend
In playing a lover's part.
The game of just supposing
Is the sweetest game I know.
Our dreams are more romantic
Than the world we see

RAVENAL
And if the things we dream about
Don't happen to be so,
That's just an unimportant technicality.

MAGNOLIA
Though the cold and brutal fact is
You and I have never met,
We need not mind convention's P's and Q's.
If we put our thoughts in practice
We can banish all regret
Imagining most anything we choose.
We could make believe I love you,
We could make believe that you love me.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Others find peace of mind in pretending,
Couldn't you,
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?

RAVENAL
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss - or two - or three.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Might as well make believe I love you,

RAVENAL
For to tell the truth, I do...
(RAVENAL reaches up and kisses MAGNOLIA's hand.
They stand and gaze at each other. VALLON enters
from R. followed by JOE, who is carrying a sack
of flour, which he places on stage up C.)

VALLON
Ravenal - the Judge'd like to see you.

RAVENAL
What for?

VALLON
Nothin' serious - but I reckon you'd better come along
and have a talk with him.
(RAVENAL turns to MAGNOLIA)
You will excuse me, ma'am? I hope I'll see you again -
in a little while.
(He bows and exits grandly with VALLON, patting
the top of his hat with a flourish and swinging his
cane. MAGNOLIA looks after him adoringly. Then
she sees JOE looking at RAVENAL curiously)

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Joe! Did you see that young man I was talkin' to?
(JOE turns)

JOE
Mornin', Miss Nola... Yep - I seed him - seed a lot
like him on de river -

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Joe, he was such a gentleman! Have you seen Miss Julie?
I got to tell her - I got to ask her what she thinks -
(MAGNOLIA exits L.)

JOE
Better ask de ol' river what he thinks - he knows
all 'bout dem boys... he knows all 'bout everythin'...
(JOE sits on a box, takes out a knife, picks up a shaving
and starts to whittle, idly, as he sings:)


6.Ol' Man Rive

JOE
Dere's an ol' man called de Mississippi;
Dat's de ol' man dat I'd like to be!
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if de land ain't free?

Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River
He mus' know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.
He don' plant taters,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.
You an' me, we sweat an strain,
Body all achin' an' racked wid pain -
Tote dat barge!
Lift dat bale!
Git a little drunk,
An' you land in jail...
Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin';
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

(BARGE MEN enter, pulling rope, during the following
verse. The curtains close in, leaving JOE and MALE CHORUS
in front, in one)

Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play,
Pullin' dem boats from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day.

MEN
Don' look up
An' don' look down
You don' dast make
De white boss frown.
Bend your knees
An' bow your head,
An' pull dat rope
Until yo' dead.

JOE
Let me go 'way from the Mississippi
Let me go 'way from de white man boss;
Show me dat stream called de river Jordan,
Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross.

MEN
Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River,
He mus' know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.

JOE
Long ol' river forever keeps rollin' on...

MEN
He don' plant taters,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

JOE
Long ol' river keeps hearing dat song.
You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' and racked wid pain -
Tote dat barge!
Lift dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail...

JOE & MEN
Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin';
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!
(BLACKOUT)


ACT ONE, SCENE TWO

(The kitchen pantry of the "Cotton Blossom," a half hour later.
Chair and sugar barrel down L. Kitchen table up L. Cupboards and
shelves on back wall. Kitchen presumably off L. At rise, MAGNOLIA
is sitting on chair, right, day-dreaming. QUEENIE enters with a
pan of biscuits)

QUEENIE
What cher doin' all by yourself, Miss Nola?

MAGNOLIA
Nothin'. Just waitin'. I wish Julie would come -

QUEENIE
Ah declare, ef de kitchen pantry ain't de funniest place to be
meetin' people.

JULIE
(whispering off stage)
Nola! You there? Nola -

MAGNOLIA
(same tone)
C'm on in, Julie -

JULIE
(entering)
I had a hard time getting here - I just missed being caught
by Parthy. Oh, look at Queenie's biscuits!

QUEENIE
Now look here, Miss Julie. Dinner'll be in five minutes.

JULIE
Oh, let me take a bite. Joe'll help you make some more.

QUEENIE
Joe! Dat lazy nigger don't help me - he's always too ' tired -
ef dat feller ever tried to cook, he'd be puttin' popcorn in
flapjacks so dat dey'd turn over by demselves!

MAGNOLIA
Sit down, Julie - I got to tell you something.

JULIE
(sitting)
I'm just dying to hear what it is...
(MAGNOLIA climbs on sugar barrel next to JULIE's chair,
and squats, tailor fashion)

MAGNOLIA
Julie - I'm in love -

QUEENIE
(stopping in her action as she is reaching
to the shelf for a box of salt)
What's dat? You says in love...?
(She laughs - much too boisterously to suit MAGNOLIA )
Why yo' po' crazy little gal - you got your first long skirt
and you in love!
(QUEENIE laughs even louder than before - which seemed impossible -
and exits into the kitchen with her box of salt)

JULIE
(taking MAGNOLIA's hands in hers)
Tell me all about it, honey, who is he?

MAGNOLIA
I don't know - he was standing on the wharf - and I was
standing on the top deck, and he looked so different
from anybody else and so - so beautiful.

JULIE
(snuggling MAGNOLIA's head against her bosom)
Yo' poor little lamb -
(JULIE is thoughtful. MAGNOLIA can't wait for her comment,
and turns to her impulsively)

MAGNOLIA
Julie, he said he liked me - d'ye think he meant it?

JULIE
I don't know, child - I don't know as I like you to go fallin'
in love with some man that nobody ever heard of - suppose he
turned out to be a - be just a no-account river feller -

MAGNOLIA
But if I found out he was no-account, I'd stop lovin' him...

JULIE
Oh, no, you wouldn't - once a girl like you starts to love a man,
she don't stop so easy -

MAGNOLIA
Couldn't you stop lovin' Steve if he treated you mean?

JULIE
No, honey, no matter what he did -


MAGNOLIA
Why do you love Steve?

JULIE
I don't know - he's such a bad actor on the stage, and he thinks
he's so good - maybe that's why I love him - you see, child -
love's a funny thing - there's no sense to it - that's why you got
to be so careful when it comes creeping up on you -

MAGNOLIA
It's like that thing you always sing when we take our walks...

JULIE
I know...


7.Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

(sings:)
Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

MAGNOLIA
That's it...

(QUEENIE, re-entering, stops in her tracks and looks puzzled)

JULIE
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

QUEENIE
How come y'all know dat song?

(JULIE stops abruptly, a swift terror steals across her face, and
quickly vanishes - succeeded by an expression of stolid caution)

MAGNOLIA
Why? Do you know it, Queenie?

QUEENIE
F'sho' ah does - but ah didn't ever hear anybody but colored folks sing
dat song - sounds funny for Miss Julie to know it -

MAGNOLIA
Why, Julie sings it all the time.

QUEENIE
Kin y'sing de whole thing?

JULIE
'Course I can
(almost fiercely)
What's so funny about that?
(She starts to sing in an attitude of defiance,
then lapsing into the "blue" spirit of the song)
Oh, listen, sister,
I love my mister man,
And I can't tell yo' why.
Dere ain't no reason
Why I should love dat man -
It mus' be sumpin' dat de angels done plan.

Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)-
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away
Dat's a rainy day,
But when he comes back dat day is fine,
(carried away)
De sun will shine!
(QUEENIE goes on beating time with a spoon)
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

QUEENIE
(tickled to death)
Dat's beautiful, Miss Julie -

JOE
(entering, eating an apple)
Was dat you, Miss Julie? Dat's mah favorite song!

QUEENIE
(singing "at" Joe)
Mah man is shif'less
An' good for nuthin' too
(He's mah man jes' de same)
He's never round here
When dere is work to do -
(Looking hard at JOE. Two COLORED SERVANTS enter from R.)

He's never round here when dere's workin' to do.

JOE
He's never round yo' when dere's workin' to do.
(Another colored helper comes on from L. and listens, entranced)

QUEENIE
De chimbley's smokin',
De roof is leakin' in,
But he don' seem to care.
He kin be happy wid jes' a sip of gin -

JOE
Why you all talk 'bout gin?

QUEENIE
Ah even loves him when his kisses got gin!

JULIE, QUEENIE & SERVANTS
Fish got to swim and birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away, dat's a rainy day,
But when he comes back, dat day is fine,
De sun will shine!
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE
While de birds fly, till de world dies,
I'll love dat gal of mine
(Or else she ain't my gal!)
She's lazy and slow, crazy, I know.
Can't help lovin' dat gal.
(She's jes' as crazy 'bout me!)
When I goes away, all de rainy day,
An' when I comes back, dat day is fine,
Yes, sister.
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

TWO MALE SERVANTS
While de birds fly up in de sky
My gal loves me;
Dat's why she's true gal of mine
She may be lazy and slow as cold molasses, I know,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
When I goes away, dat's lovin'
all de rainy day, dat's lovin',
An' when I comes back dat day is fine,
Yes, sister!
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
(MAGNOLIA has started to do the shuffle)

JOE
Look at dat little gal shuffle!
(MAGNOLIA dances. QUEENIE and JOE egg her on, ad lib)

JULIE, QUEENIE & WOMEN
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE & MEN
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

(BLACKOUT)

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE


8.Life on the Wicked Stage

ELLIE
Why do stage struck maidens clamor
To be actin' in the drammer?

GIRLS
We've heard say
You are gay
Night and day.

ELLIE
Oh, go 'way!

GIRLS
We drink water from a dipper,
You drink champagne from a slipper.

ELLIE
Tho' it seems Crool to bust
All your dreams,
Still I must;
Here's the truth I tell you:
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't ever what a girl supposes;
Stage door Johnnies aren't rag-
Ing over you with gems and roses.
When you let a feller hold your hand (which
Means an extra beer or sandwich),
Ev'rybody whispers: "Ain't her life a whirl?"
Though you're warned against a roué
Ruining your reputation,
I have played around
The one night trade around
A great big nation:
Wild old men who give you jewels and sables
Only live in Aesop's Fables.
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't nothin' for a girl.

GIRLS
Though we've listened to you moan and grieve, you
Must pardon us if we do not believe you,
There is no doubt
You're crazy about
Your awful stage!

ELLIE
I admit it's fun
To smear my face with paint,
Causing ev'ryone
To think I'm what I ain't,
And I like to play a demi-mondy role
With soul!
Ask the hero does he
Like the way I lure
When I play a hussy
Or a paramour,
Yet when once the curtain's down
My life is pure,
And how I dread it!

GIRLS
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't ever what a girl supposes,
Stage door Johnnies aren't rag-
Ing over you with gems and roses.

ELLIE
If some gentleman would talk with reason
I would cancel all next season.
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't nothin' for a girl!

GIRLS
You'd be back the season after!
(DANCE)


9.Till Good Luck Comes My Way

(RAVENAL enters from the saloon, followed by MEN)
RAVENAL
The man who ventures with chance
Is the man who's adding the salt, romance,
To a world
That otherwise is dark and drear.
The sane conservative lot
Have their fate secure in a guarded spot
Of the world,
They're welcome to their drab career.

TENORS
It is all well enough to be grinning
While your winnings grow,
But when Fortune reverses her spinning,
Life is not a-glowing.

BASSES
It is easy to be grinning
While your stack is growing,
But when Fortune reverses her spinning
Life is not a-glowing.

ALL MEN
That is why we like to see
Someone who can be
Unconcerned and free
Like you.

RAVENAL
If I am losing today
I will take my loss and I'll pay
For I know that in time my luck will turn,
It's bound to turn.
Till good luck comes my way
I'll play along,
While there's a game on the highway
I'll stray along
With just the turn of a wheel
Or the flip of a card as my guide.
I let fate decide
If I walk or ride.
Why sit alone with your sorrow
And kill the day?
There may be sunshine tomorrow
To fill the day.
While I've a heart and a brain
And my ebony cane
I can borrow
Until the day when good luck comes my way.

MEN
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain.
Fortune will change like an April day,
So we will wait till good luck
Will come our way!

RAVENAL
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain,
Live in vain,
So I will wait till good luck
Will come my way!

ACT ONE, SCENE FOUR


10.Mis'ry's Comin' Aroun'

(After a short prelude, the curtain rises.
The auditorium of the "Cotton Blossom,"
QUEENIE and the COLORED CHORUS are sweeping and
cleaning in preparation for the rehearsal to come.
JOE is polishing the brass rails)

QUEENIE.
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
De mis'ry's comin' aroun',
I knows it's comin' aroun',
Don't know to who.

QUEENIE & WOMEN
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
De mis'ry's comin' aroun',
We knows it's comin' aroun'
Don't know to who.

JOE
Better hurry up dat cleanin'...
Cap'n Andy gonna rehearse soon.

QUEENIE
Who you givin' orders to, shif'less?

JOE
You heared me... say, what's a matter wif you
today, Queenie? You been snappin' back at me
lak an ol' mud turtle.

QUEENIE
I don' feel right today. You jes' lemme alone
an' keep polishin' yo' rails...

SOLO VOICE
Heaven keep dat devil away.

TWO VOICES
Keep dat misery far away.

TWO MORE VOICES
An' if he is a'comin' today

ALL
Heaven, don'cha let him stay!
(MAGNOLIA and JULIE enter)

MAGNOLIA
Pa ain't here yet.

JULIE
He will be in a minute - you get at your pianner.

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Julie, I hate to rehearse today. I'd rather
sit and talk to you about him.

JULIE
Well, you can't now, honey. I'm goin' to slip
backstage. I don't want your ma to know we
been talkin' together.

QUEENIE
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
So if you done any wrong
Den lift yo' feet off de groun'
An' fly away.

MEN
If you done any wrong
Jes lif' yo' feet off de groun'
An' fly away, An' fly away.

JULIE
Why you all singin' dat song, Queenie?

QUEENIE
When I got out a bed dis mornin',
ah knowed somethin' was goin' to happen.

JULIE
Well, what's happened?

QUEENIE
Nuthin'... yet.

(sings:)
I knows misery's near,
I don't know why it is here,
Don't know for who,
Don't know for why,
Why dat misery's near.

MEN
I only knows it's near,
Don't know for who,
I don't know for why
Dat misery's near.

SOLO BASS
I knows misery done come here.

(JULIE has by now walked up the steps to the stage. In spite
of herself, she has started rocking and swaying like the others)

JULIE
When I dies, let me rest
With a dish on my breast.
Some give nickel some give dime,
All dem folks is fren's o' mine.

ALL
On my back, in a hack,
In a fohty dollar hack.
No mo' gin, no mo' rum,
Oh, de misery's done come!

JULIE
(suddenly hysterical)
Stop that rotten song!
(Everybody looks at her, awe-struck)
It's enough to bring misery to us all if you
keep singing like that!
(There is silence. ANDY is heard off stage)

ANDY
Take her up, Rubberface!
(The roller curtain is raised revealing ANDY STEVE and
RUBBERFACE waiting for direction. PARTHY enters carrying
some costumes she is mending and takes a position on chair, L.)
What's the matter, Julie? Anything the matter?

JULIE
No, just nervous, I guess. Going to start rehearsal.

ANDY
Might as well. While we're waiting for Ellie and Frank
let's skip right down to Act Three - we'll take it from
where your sister just went out - that's your cue -
y' get up - got your part?

JULIE
I know it -
(JULIE rises and becomes an actress - totally artificial person)
"I wonder what can be keeping Parson Brown? He
promised to be here before dark, and the twilight
is fast fading into night."

STEVE
"Miss Lucy, although I wear the garb of a parson"
(STEVE now steps out of character)
May I make a suggestion here, Cap'n? I thought it'd
be a good idea if while we was talking here for Frank
to pass by and peek in through the window like this.
(He pantomimes Frank sneaking by, and peering through the window
with a blood-curdling expression on his face. MAGNOLIA rises, like a
bright pupil in a classroom)

MAGNOLIA
Y'can't do it! Room's supposed to be on the second floor - Frank
couldn't look in the window if it was on the second floor -

ANDY
I don't think it'd be any good anyway -

MAGNOLIA
Julie let me study her part - I know every line and
all the business - if you forget anything, ask me -

PARTHY
You stick to the pianner, young lady - no play-actin' for you -
(MAGNOLIA sits down at the piano. Enter ELLIE from stage L.)

ANDY
Here's Ellie. You're late!

ELLIE
I'll explain later.

ANDY
Where's Frank?

ELLIE
He's comin'. Steve, I've got somethin' to tell you.
(She runs over to STEVE. She seems nervous and worried.
She stands on tiptoe and whispers in STEVE's ear. He is
visibly affected)

ANDY
All right, Steve - as long as Frank's comin' we'll lead up
to the entrance - C'mon, Steve.

STEVE
(dazed, not able to think as fast as he'd like to)
Er - all right - er - "Miss Lucy - although
I wear the clothes -"

MAGNOLIA
Garb!

STEVE
(His voice seems detached from his thoughts)
"Garb of a parson" - "Beneath these sombre vestments there
is the heart of a man that beats for you alone."

JULIE
(rising)
"Hamilton!"
(They embrace. STEVE whispers in her ear, apparently
what ELLIE told him. She looks at STEVE, horrified. ELLIE
takes one step toward her sympathetically. JULIE looks
over at ELLIE questioningly)

ELLIE
(half whispering)
They'll be here in a minute.

ANDY
(reading script)
All right - embrace over - then what?

JULIE
Then - I say - I say -

ANDY
Prompt her, Nola -

MAGNOLIA
"Hamilton - my own, my own!" Papa! Look at Julie!
(JULIE has fallen limp in STEVE's arms.
He places her on the bench)

ANDY
(running over)
What's the matter?

STEVE
Julie's sick.

MAGNOLIA
(running to her)
What is it, Julie?

ANDY
(puzzled)
Well, you better stop rehearsin' an' rest, so's you'll
be all right tonight.

JULIE
(in terror)
No - no! I can't play tonight.
Don't ask me!
(STEVE is standing at JULIE's side and does not turn around.
His eyes are on JULIE, MAGNOLIA presses JULIE's hair back on
her forehead)

PARTHY
Huh! Playing Fort Adams tomorrow - good a stand as we got -
probably won't be able to open there neither if she's as
sick as all that.

JULIE
(in a high strained voice)
I'll be able to play tomorrow!

STEVE
(in desperation)
She'll be all right as soon as she gets out of this town.

PARTHY
That's a funny thing...

ANDY
Sure you won't be feeling better by night time?
(WINDY shambles on stage L.)

JULIE
(flinging herself into STEVE's arms - clinging to him, weeping)
No! No! Leave me alone, can't you? Leave me alone!

(MAGNOLIA jumps up, frightened by JULIE's sudden outburst)

ANDY
Sure - sure, we'll leave you alone, Julie.
Hello, Windy - what you doin' here?

(The little group turn toward WINDY. He takes his hat off
and rubs his head)

WINDY
Seems that skunk Pete's been up to something. skinned out an
hour back, streaking toward town like possessed. He yanked
that picture of Julie out of the frame on the levee. I seen him.

ELLIE
(to STEVE)
I told you!

STEVE
I'll kill him this time, the -

ANDY
Shut up.

WINDY
Just stepped down to warn you. I seen Pete coming along the
levee with the sheriff. He'll be along now any minute.

ANDY
Well, let him come aboard; our license is paid.

JULIE
What are we going to do?

STEVE
Stay right here - you know what I told you.

(JULIE springs up from the bench and clings to STEVE.
He looses her hold roughly and from his pocket he whips
out a large clasp knife and opens it - all the women scream
but Julie. ANDY springs at STEVE but is shaken off)

ANDY
Steve! What are you doing with that knife?

STEVE
I'm not going to hurt her, you fool - leave me be -
I know what I'm doing.
(MAGNOLIA instinctively seeks shelter in PARTHY's arms)
Somebody go out and keep them away a minute -
Hold out your hand, darling - it won't hurt much
(He seizes JULIE's hand in his left one and runs the
blade across the tip of her finger. He throws the knife
upstage. He bends his head and pressing his lips to the
wound, sucks it greedily. With a little moan JULIE falls
back onto the bench. STEVE looks off left. VALLON enters
left and goes up to the group. Some of the TOWNSPEOPLE
and COLORED SERVANTS have followed him in, and other
curiosity seekers edge in during the ensuing scene. JOE
appears in an upper box, wiping the rails)

VALLON
Hello, Windy. Captain Hawks do you acknowledge to be owner
of the show boat?
(ANDY clutching his whiskers steps forward. His voice
quivers in spite of an effort to be cool)

ANDY
'Course I do. What do you want?

VALLON
Well, Cap, I have an unpleasant duty. I understand there's
a miscegenation case on board -

MAGNOLIA
What's he mean, Mama?

ANDY
How's that?

VALLON
Case of a negro woman married to a white man.
Criminal offense in this state.

ANDY
No such thing - no such thing on board this boat!

VALLON
(producing paper)
Name of the white man is Steve Baker -
(All look at STEVE. He looks straight forward,
meeting no one's eyes)
Name of the negress
(He squints at the paper)
Name of the negress is Julie - Dozier.
(He looks at group)
Which one's them?

MAGNOLIA
(involuntarily)
Julie!
(She takes a step toward JULIE. but PARTHY holds her back)

STEVE
(stepping forward)
I'm Steve Baker
(points to JULIE)
This is my wife -

VALLON
Julie Dozier - my information says you were born in Mississippi.
Your pop was white, and your mammy black - that right?

JULIE
Yes - that's right.

MAGNOLIA
But Julie - you -

VALLON
You two better get your things and come along with me -
(STEVE throws an arm around JULIE's shoulder and faces VALLON)

STEVE
You wouldn't call a man a white man that's got
negro blood in him, would you?

VALLON
No, I wouldn't. Not in Mississippi. One drop of
nigger blood makes you a nigger in these parts.
(JOE stands looking on dumbly)

STEVE
Well, I got more than a drop of - nigger blood in me,
and that's a fact.

VALLON
You ready to swear to that in a court of law?

STEVE
I'll swear to it any place.
(takes a step forward, one hand outstretched)
I'll do more than that. Look at all these folks here.
Every one of them can swear I got nigger blood in me
this minute. That's how white I am.

VALLON
Well, I seen fairer men than you that was niggers...
still, you better tell that to the Judge.

WINDY
(clears his throat and steps forward)
Ike Vallon; guess you know'd me better part of
twenty-five years. I was keel boatin' time you
was runnin' aroun' barefoot on the landin'...
now I'm tellin' you, me, Windy McLain - that
that white man there's got nigger blood in him.
I'll take my oath to that -
(WINDY stands in silence)

VALLON
If it was anybody else but Windy - but I got this straight
from - well, from somebody who ought to know.

ELLIE
(all indignation)
From who? From a sooty-faced river rat named Pete -
and why? Because he's been stuck on Julie here - and
she wouldn't have anything to do with him.

ANDY
That's right, sheriff. That gal's telling the truth.
(VALLON waits quite a while before answering)

VALLON
Guess I got to take Windy's word against this other fella -
(to PARTHY)
Mrs. Hawks, you look like a respectable woman.

PARTHY
I am.

VALLON
Do you all stand by what Windy just said?

ANDY
Why, of course we do. Windy wouldn't tell a lie to save
his own life, you know that, sheriff -

VALLON
Well, I'll take his word for it...
(He starts to go, but stops at entrance)
Only let me tell you this - don't try to give your
show tonight with mixed blood in it - or you'll be
riding out of town on something that don't sit so
easy as a boat.

(VALLON turns deliberately, and exits off L. The eyes
of the crowd follow him, fascinated by the ominous
quality of his final speech. The heads then turn to
the central picture of the stage. JULIE's head is
buried in STEVE's shoulder. He keeps his arm around
her and stands immovable, with set expression on his
face, brave, grimly defiant. PARTHY looks on, contentedly
austere, waiting to see what ANDY will say about all this -
ANDY and MAGNOLIA, emotionally very much like each other,
find the situation quite beyond them - probably each has
a desire to run to the humiliated couple and join STEVE
in protecting JULIE - probably each is too afraid of
JULIE's sensibilities. How can one tell how she will
receive anything?)

STEVE
You needn't all look at us like we were a couple of
wild animals - we ain't goin' to hurt anybody - C'm
on, Julie. We'll pack up our things...

(He releases JULIE. Her shoulders straighten bravely,
but her eyes look down and meet no one's gaze as she
precedes STEVE to their tiny dressing room. R., and exits)

COLORED CHORUS
On my back in a hack,
In a fohty dollar hack,
No mo' gin, no mo' rum,
Oh de misery's done come!

ANDY
(he has to take it out on somebody)
Well, what're y'all standin' around fer like a lot of tree
stumps - clear out, the whole lot of you - go on!
(They turn slowly, as dispossessed crowds always do.
A mutter, a whisper - they are gone. So are the lowlier
members of the cast who retire discreetly to their rooms.
ANDY stops one of them)

ANDY
Rubberface, write out a sign and get it hung up at the post
office. No show tonight. Leave enough cash to refund the tickets.
(to WINDY)
Windy - we pull out o' here soon's Rubberface gets back.
(WINDY turns and exits L., silent and grim. RUBBERFACE exits.
Only PARTHY, MAGNOLIA, ELLIE and ANDY are left on stage and JOE
stands in the upper box, fixed and dumb. MAGNOLIA leaves her
mother and starts walking slowly off stage L.)

PARTHY
Nola! Where you goin'?

(JOE exits from upper box)

MAGNOLIA
I want to see Julie...

PARTHY
You come back here this instant! No daughter of mine's
goin' to talk to that - that -
(running over and grabbing MAGNOLIA's arm)

MAGNOLIA
(shaking her off almost savagely)
Let me go, mother! I'm goin' in to Julie!
(She goes up and exits into JULIE's room)

PARTHY
Well, Hawks, you see what your show boat has done to your daughter -

ANDY
I think the show boat's made a damn fine girl out of my daughter -

PARTHY
I'm goin' straight into that room and pull her away from that lyin',
deceivin' -

ANDY
(stopping her)
Now, wait a minute, Parthy - Julie'll be gone in a few minutes and
it'll all be over. Thing we got to do is figure out how we're going
to give a show tomorrer night without Steve...

PARTHY
You're just as bad off for a leadin' woman -

ELLIE
(rising)
How about me? "Beneath this mirthful mask burns a soul -"

ANDY
(trying to head her off)
No! You're a comedian. I was thinkin' we'd let Nola jump in -
she knows all the parts -

PARTHY
Over my dead body. There never was an actress in my family and
there ain't goin' to be.
(FRANK comes up on stage. His hair is a little mussed - he
walks with exaggerated straightness, like a man who is trying
to carry his liquor. He is a little overloaded and a bit dazed)

ANDY
I just meant to put her in temporary. She don't know much about
actin', but she's got a smile worth a million dollars.

ELLIE
Frank, where you been?

PARTHY
Tell Frank what a fine troupe he's in -

FRANK
You mean - Julie? Know all about it - I was with Pete when he
told the sheriff -

ANDY
Steve and Julie are leavin' - do you know any actor we could
pick up in Fort Adams to jump into the lead?

ELLIE
How about Frank?
(FRANK perks up involuntarily)

PARTHY
Fine leadin' man he'd make, with that face and those flat feet -

FRANK
I never asked to play a lead, did I?
(impressively)
But if you're lookin' for a beauty, I got one -

ANDY
Who?

FRANK
There's a feller I met in town - seems he's got to
leave tonight and there ain't no boats - he asked
me if we took passengers.

PARTHY
O'course we don't take passengers -

FRANK
So I brought him along - he's waitin' outside -
swell lookin' feller -

ANDY
Tell him to come in - let's see him.

FRANK
There he is, looking at the pictures - I'll bring him in.
(calling off L.)
Hey, Mister!... Will you come up here?

ANDY
Looks like a swell...

PARTHY
Looks like a river gambler to me -

ANDY
He's got manner - the gals'd like him - Parthy,
(slapping his knee)
- I believe I'll take a chance -

PARTHY
I declare, Andy Hawks, you'll wind up in a lunatic asylum -
(FRANK leads RAVENAL to the center of the stage)

FRANK
Meet Captain Andy Hawks - this is Mr... er...

RAVENAL
Ravenal is my name, suh - Gaylord Ravenal -
of the Tennessee Ravenals.
(PARTHY sniffs - a little louder than the word
"sniff" suggests. RAVENAL turns to her raises his
eyebrows and turns back to ANDY. If PARTHY doesn't
know her place now, she never will)
I thought, suh, if I could have a bed on your boat
tonight, I could pay you my fare tomorrow at Fort
Adams - I - er - expect a remittance, and -
(ANDY looks at PARTHY who nods a grudging affirmative.
ANDY acts on her endorsement)

ANDY
You ever acted?

RAVENAL
Acted!

ANDY
On the stage - acted - been an actor! We need a juvenile lead -
fifteen dollars a week - chance to see the world - no responsibility.

RAVENAL
Am I to understand that you are offering me the position of juvenile lead?

PARTHY
That's what he means, young man. We don't like to pick up actors
off the wharves, but we can't be choosy jest now -

RAVENAL
Madam, your courtesy is only exceeded by your charm -

ANDY
(delighted to see someone score off PARTHY)
Ha-ha! Better take the job. Fifteen dollars a weekfound money -
no responsibility - a chance to see life -

RAVENAL
I've seen it.
(He turns upstage to FRANK and ELLIE JOE appears in the upper box
and watches the proceedings. At this point JULIE's voice is heard
offstage R. MAGNOLIA runs down to center of the stage, followed by JULIE)

JULIE
Don't Magnolia, please -

MAGNOLIA
(She is very decisive - very brave, despite the tremor in her voice)
Father - half an hour ago Julie was my dearest friend -
And she hasn't changed a bit - to me -
(RAVENAL steps back. She doesn't see him)

ANDY
(quietly)
O'course not, Nola.

MAGNOLIA
Then why are you sending Julie away?

JULIE
He's not sending me, Nola dear - Steve and I want to go...

MAGNOLIA
If Julie goes, I go with her -

PARTHY
Well - that's a nice thing to say!

ANDY
Now don't talk nonsense, Nola - you've got to stay with your mother -
(RAVENAL turns, sees MAGNOLIA)
- no matter what - an' another thing - I'm dependin' on you to play
the leads till we get somebody -

JULIE
See, Nola - what a chance for you - I just know you can act.
(But MAGNOLIA has at last seen RAVENAL and she scarcely sees
or hears anything else. He bows slightly, not certain if
it is tactful to bow at all)

ANDY
An' if this young man'll play the juvenile lead - and if he's
a quick study and wants to act opposite you - we could get
you both ready by tomorrow night -
(to RAVENAL.)
You a quick study?

RAVENAL
(gazing at MAGNOLIA)
Lightning!
(MAGNOLIA bows her head. STEVE enters)

STEVE
Ready, Julie?
(to ANDY)
Didn't have time to get everything together, Cap'n -
if you'll just bundle up our trash and leave 'em at
the post-office in New Orleans, we'll pick it up -

ANDY
Need any money, Steve?

STEVE
No - guess we'll make out all right - thanks. Good-bye.

ANDY
Good-bye, Steve.
(He shakes hands with STEVE. As STEVE takes his hand away
he finds some money in it. He starts to thank ANDY, but
ANDY motions him to be quiet in front of PARTHY)

JULIE
(to MAGNOLIA)
Goodbye, dear -
(MAGNOLIA runs to kiss her. JULIE turns her head away,
but holds MAGNOLIA close to her)
I'll write to you - and you write to me
and tell me all about... everything.
(She looks straight over MAGNOLIA's shoulder at RAVENAL,
then, with sudden impulse she jerks herself away and
runs to STEVE. As JULIE and STEVE exit, JOE calls
timidly from the box)

JOE
Goodbye, Miss Julie - Goodbye, Mars' Steve -

JULIE
Goodbye, Joe
(JULIE and STEVE exit)

MAGNOLIA
Julie! Julie! Wait for me! Julie!

(ELLIE catches her. There is a dead pause. ANDY leads
her back. She looks up and sees PARTHY's bewildered face)

MAGNOLIA
Mama - I'm awfully sorry I talked to you like that -
I - I loved - Julie so -
(FRANK and ELLIE exit L.)

ANDY
(clearing his throat)
Well - well - we ain't got much time -
(picks up a manuscript of "East Lynne")
Here, take this, Mr. Ravenal - I'd like to hear how you
handle dialogue - now the idea of this character is -
you're in love with her, see? Now try it - jest a sample...
Come on, Nola -

MAGNOLIA
What'll I do, Papa?

ANDY
You jest smile, Nola, that'll get 'em.
(JOE, very thoughtful observer of the drama he has just
seen and is seeing - knowing in his wise old head that
this newcomer is going to change conditions on the
show boat, knowing there is nothing he can do to stop
the march of events in this puzzling river world,
falls back on his resigned philosophy, singing
softly to himself, "Ol' Man River", etc.)

RAVENAL
(reading mechanically)
Miss Lucy - will you be mine?

ANDY
No! Nothin' like it! Nothin' like it at all!
More feelin'! You love her! Goshamighty, man,
you love her. Now go on and tell her...

RAVENAL
I understand.
(This time he "feels" it - much more)
Miss Lucy... will you be mine?
(They look into each other's eyes, then with a sudden
mutual impulse, they are in each other's arms, in a long
kiss. ANDY chuckles, PARTHY paces the stage in a panic.
ANDY, noticing this, slaps his thigh and laughs even louder)

JOE
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!

(BLACKOUT)

ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE


11.I Would Like To Play a Lover's Part

(The Box Office on the foredeck of the "Cotton Blossom."
Three weeks later. Box office windows R. and L. Latter marked
"Colored." Wide arch C. leading to the inside of the boat.
Just R. of arch MAGNOLIA's picture - just L. of arch, RAVENAL's
picture, featuring them as leading man and woman. Gang plank L.,
extending off stage to higher level.
At rise, a V-shaped group of girls, with apex at RAVENAL's picture
and a corresponding group of boys at MAGNOLIA's picture. They are
adoring their stage idols)

BOYS
Her face is fair to look upon,
She wins a heart with ev'ry smile -
(sigh)
And one could write a book upon
Her talent, rare and versatile!

GIRLS
No wonder we are thronging at
The gate for seats upon the aisle -
(sigh)
To sit and gaze with longing at
Our fav'rite leading juvenile!

BOYS
We bet that she's in love with him -

GIRLS
We bet that he's in love with her

BOYS
(wisely)
A stage career is seldom prim,
And such romances do occur -

GIRLS
Oh, why should she be havin' all
The kisses of this gorgeous man?
The actor Gaylord Ravenal
Should lead a life Bohemian!

BOYS
Magnolia Hawks - enchanted name -
Your charm for me will never cease!
I'll put your picture in a frame
And keep it on my mantelpiece!

BOYS
Would that I could be he
Having her play opposite me!

GIRLS
Would that I could be she
Having him play opposite me!

ALL
How I would like to play a lover's part
With the girl/man I love with all my heart!

GIRLS
The kissing scene would be sublime,
We'd keep rehearsing all the time!

BOYS
To show my ardent fire
Would not require dramatic art!

GIRLS
Could I be his Ophelia for a day!

BOYS
If I could be her Hamlet -
What a play!
There'd be no melancholy Dane,
I'd make the role a jolly Dane.

BOYS
If I could only play her Lover's part!

GIRLS
If he could only play my Lover's part!
(short dance interlude, interrupted by ELLIE,
whose head appears in box office window)

ELLIE
Tickets on sale!
Better get 'em now!
Sellin' out fast!
Better get 'em now!

GIRLS
(tugging at boys' sleeves)
Tickets on sale!
Better get 'em now!
Sellin' out fast!
Better get 'em now!
(musical interlude - stage business:
BOYS line up at the window - the GIRLS go back to RAVENAL's
picture and stand there adoring it)

GIRLS
Would that I could be she,
Having him play opposite me!
Having him play opposite me!

(FRANK enters and sees the GIRLS. He is
sure he is going to make an impression)

FRANK
Misguided ladies, you will find
The haughty race of leading men
Are but a bane to womankind,
They're fickle and unheeding men!
A heavy man is what you seek,
A wealthy clubman type, like me -
A fellow with a wicked eye -
You're glad to meet me, so am I!
(He puts himself in the center,
in front of RAVENAL's picture)

GIRLS
(apparently singing up to him)
How I would like to play a lover's part
With the man I love with all my heart!
(FRANK smiles contentedly - he moves downstage.
But they, instead of turning with him, keep singing
up to RAVENAL's picture. FRANK, not realizing this,
keeps his satisfied smile)
His clothes all fit him to the quick,
His hair is shiny, soft and slick!

FRANK
It's always been my hobby
To look nobby, neat and smart.

GIRLS
(to RAVENAL's picture)
You're just the very fellow who will do!

FRANK
May I presume that's meant for me from you?

GIRLS
(angrily going over to their escorts)
You zany in a checkered suit,
You silly oaf, you mad galoot -
You'd never do to play a lover's part!
(GIRLS and BOYS dance off BOYS holding up the tickets
they have just bought. FRANK looks after them, humbled
chagrined. He goes up to the picture. He tries to strike
RAVENAL's pose and to arrange his few hairs in the same
formation as RAVENAL's luxurious locks. He strikes a
pose on the final chord)


12.I Might Fall Back on You

FRANK
Little girl, you are safe with me:
I can protect what's mine;
I am a sturdy maple tree
And you're my clinging vine!

ELLIE
Woods are just full of maple trees,
Cedar and oak and pine;
Let me look them over, please,
And then I'll let you know
If you have a show.
After I have looked around
The world for a mate,
Then, perhaps, I might fall back on you!
When I am convinced
That there is no better fate,
Then I might decide that you will do.

FRANK
I am just an average lad,
Though no gift to womanhood,
Some girls say I'm not so bad!

ELLIE
Others say you're not so good!
But if you are patient, dear,
And willing to wait,
There's a chance I might fall back on you!

FRANK & ELLIE
After I/you have looked around
The world for a mate
Then, perhaps, I/you might fall back on you/me!
When I/you are convinced
That there is no better fate,
Then I/you might decide that you/I will do!

FRANK
I am just an average lad,
Though no gift to womanhood,
Some girls say I'm not so bad!

ELLIE
Others say you're not so good!

FRANK & ELLIE
But if you are/I am patient, dear,
And willing to wait,
There's a chance I/you might fall back on you/me!
(Two groups of GIRLS dance on)

GROUP 1
(to FRANK)
After she has looked around
The world for a mate
Then, perhaps, she might fall back on you!
When she is convinced
That there is no better fate
Then she might decide that you will do!

GROUP 2
(to ELLIE)
He is just an average lad,
Though no gift to womanhood,
Some girls say he's not so bad,
Others say he's not so good!

ALL GIRLS
(to FRANK)
But if you are patient, dear,
And willing to wait
There's a chance she might fall back on you!
(DANCE)


13.Queenie's Ballyhoo

QUEENIE
Is de theatre fillin' up, Cap'n Andy?

ANDY
Yes, but there's nobody in the balcony.

QUEENIE
Dat's where de colored people sit.

ANDY
Well, why don't they come?

QUEENIE
'Cause you don't talk to 'em.

ANDY
Whaddaya mean don't talk to 'em? I ballyhooed
my lungs out this mornin'.

QUEENIE
People don't remember dat long.
Dis is how to get 'em!
(COLORED CHORUS gradually enters)
Hey!
Where yo' think you're goin'?
Don't yo' know dis show is startin' soon?
Hey!
Jes' a few seats left yere!
It's light inside an' outside dere's no moon.
What fo' you gals dressed up dicty?
Where's yo' all gwine?
Tell dose stingy men o' yourn
To step up here in line!
C'mon, folks, we're rarin' to go,
Is you or ain't you seein' dis show?
Get het up, dere'll be no let up, here!

CHORUS
Listen to dat gal talk!

QUEENIE
You'll be excited all night,
Grippin' yo' man an' holdin' him tight,
Two seats for twenty cents ain't so dear!
(drawing them to her confidentially)
Story's 'bout a lady in love,
Loves her man, but, Heavens above!
Dere's a villain bad as you ever see.

CHORUS
Um-um-um!

QUEENIE
White outside, but black in de heart,
Swears dose two young lovers to part,
He's de worstest scallawag dat can be.

CHORUS
Um-um-um!
(Her audience's eyes are beginning to pop out.
She becomes mysterious)

QUEENIE
He tries to get her alone,
You hear dat little gal moan, Ol' villain makin' her groan
Wid woe!

CHORUS
What does he do?
What does he do?
Tell us!

QUEENIE
He tries to choke her to death,
Den when she's almost out o' her breath,
Somebody comes a-rappin' at dat ol' door!

GIRLS
Open de door, oh, Lord!

MEN
How does de rest of it go?

QUEENIE
(chuckling)
Is you' or ain't yo' dyin' to know?
Step up an' buy yo' tickets
For' dis yere show!

(The chorus rushes to the box office window, L., buy
tickets from CAPTAIN ANDY. Presently he hangs up the
"Sold Out" sign. QUEENIE dances)
(BLACKOUT)

ACT ONE, SCENE SIX


14.Villain Dance

(Specialty dance by FRANK as the olio following "The Parson's Bride")

ACT ONE, SCENE SEVEN


15.You Are Love

(The upper deck of the "Cotton Blossom," Later that night.
It is moonlight, just after the storm clouds have broken.
RAVENAL stands near a water barrel. He looks about, anxiously
awaiting MAGNOLIA. He blows on his fingers, and moves about
a little to take off the chill that is characteristic of
southern nights. He hears a noise. He peers into the darkness
and calls eagerly off L.:)

RAVENAL
That you, Nola?

WINDY
(off stage)
Nope - it's me.

RAVENAL
(quickly filling dipper from water barrel to carry
on the illusion that he came out here to get a drink)
Hello, Windy -

WINDY
(entering)
Come over to take a look at the moorings -
(He crosses RAVENAL)
Kind o' cool for you to be stayin' out on deck, ain't it?

RAVENAL
(just finishing drink)
Er - no - not at all - I'm very thirsty, that's all.
(He fills the dipper again to prove it. WINDY exits, chuckling.
RAVENAL pours the balance of the dipper's contents into the fire
bucket. He hears a whistle off stage)
That you, Nola?
(MAGNOLIA enters. She carries a porcelain water pitcher.
He flings the dipper away and rushes to her impetuously.
He embraces her)
How did you get away?

MAGNOLIA
I can't stay long - I told Mother I'd fill her pitcher -
She's waiting -

RAVENAL
(speaking rapidly, excitedly, impulsive)
Nola - we haven't much time - listen,
I want to marry you - in Natchez tomorrow.

MAGNOLIA
But Mother -

RAVENAL
She's going to be in Fayette all morning -
she told me so herself - there's a lovely
little church in Natchez -

MAGNOLIA
But Father - what will he say?

RAVENAL
He will not oppose us - as a matter of fact,
he gave me the idea -

MAGNOLIA
What!

RAVENAL
Of getting married while your mother was away -
he knows how I feel - how much I love you - oh,
Nola, please - say you will -

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Gay - I want to -

RAVENAL
You can make me the happiest man in the world. I can't
stand it this way any longer - these stolen seconds,
these little snatches of you! I want you all to myself -
forever. Nola, dearest - I want you with me wherever I go.
I want to show you a world you've never dreamed of -
cities, theatres, restaurants, people - and you and I
always together, looking on - and living in our own
lovers' world.

MAGNOLIA
But Gay - you've seen everything in the world.

RAVENAL
I used to think so - until I looked into your eyes - and
then I knew that I had seen nothing - I hadn't even lived.

Once a wand'ring ne'er-do-well,
Just a vagrant roving fellow,
I went my way.
Life was just a joke to tell,
Like a lonely Punchinello
My role was gay.
But I knew the joke was aimless,
Time went on, I liked the game less,
For, you see,
Somewhere lurked a spark divine
And I kept wond'ring whether mine
Would come to me.
Then my fortune turned and I found you.
Here you are with my arms around you.
You will never know what you've meant to me.

MAGNOLIA
You're the prize that Heaven has sent to me.

RAVENAL
Here's a bright and beautiful world, all new,
Wrapped up in you.
You are love,
Here in my arms
Where you belong,
And here you will stay,
I'll not let you away;
I want day after day
With you.
You are spring,
Bud of romance unfurled;
You taught me to see
One truth forever true.
You are love,
Wonder of all the world.
Where you go with me,
Heaven will always be.

MAGNOLIA
You are love,
Here in my arms
Where you belong,
And here you will stay,
I'll not let you away;
I want day after day
With you.
You are Spring,
Bud of romance unfurled -
You taught me to see
One truth forever true.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
You are love,
Wonder of all the world.
Where you go with me,
Heaven will always be.
(MAGNOLIA looks up at him for a moment, then, of her
own accord, throws her arms around him. They kiss)

PARTHY
(off stage)
Nola!
(They break)

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Good night - dream if you can -

RAVENAL
My wife -

MAGNOLIA
My man -
(She exits. He's exultant. Fade out)

ACT ONE, SCENE EIGHT


16.Finale Act One

(The levee at Natchez. The next morning. This is a different
view of the same levee seen in Scene One. The "Cotton Blossom"
runs R. to L. across the back of the stage. There is some little
impromptu decoration adorning it. The stage is well crowded with
TOWNSPEOPLE who have come down to see the unusual spectacle of a
leading man and his leading lady being married. CAPTAIN ANDY,
with his fine flare for publicity has seen the value of this,
interest, and has placed an announcement in the town Post Office
issuing a public invitation to everyone to see the wedding -
so they all are here!)

GIRLS
Oh tell me, did you ever!
Did you ever hear of such a thing?

BOYS
The leading man's about to give the leading girl
A wedding ring!

GIRLS
Her father has neglected none,
He's asked us all to see the fun,
And since we are invited to
Attend, we are delighted to
Be there when these united two
Are plighted to
Be one!

BOYS
So, you see,
Romance can start
Upon the stage -
Romance like theirs
Is not for everyone!
(ANDY enters from the boat, all smiles
and dressed up to kill)

CHORUS
Captain Andy! Captain Andy!
My, but doesn't he look fine and dandy!
Now Magnolia's found her mate, you
Know we're happy to congratulate you!
Thank you for inviting us to
See the wedding - it was friendly thus to
Let us share your happy day
And see you give the bride away!

ANDY
Accordin' to the announcement you read in the post office you're
all invited to the wedding of my daughter, Miss Magnolia Hawks,
to her leading man, the Honorable Gaylord Ravenal.
(cheers)
Bein' as how y'all take such an interest in the doin's of show boat
folks, I thought you'd like to see the happy couple playin' their
own romance off the stage -
(cheers)
The bride and groom'll be out in a minute - then we will all march
down to the church!
(cheers)
(As the ensemble takes up the waltz refrain here,
the various characters of the show boat troupe march
out in their go-to-wedding clothes - FRANK and ELLIE
are particularly elegant)

ALL
Happy the day,
When the hand of a maid has been won
By swift pursuing;
Happy the way
He has chosen to win her by bold
And ardent wooing.
Their's a lucky fate
To be romantic,
We can hardly wait
To see the frantic
Looks of the bridegroom, and quakes
Of the bride whom he takes
Now or never, and makes
Her forever
The one and the only one
Who will take care
That his life's not a lonely one,
While she's the only one.
(MAGNOLIA and RAVENAL enter)
Happy the bride!
May the greatest of happiness,
Health and wealth attend you!

WOMEN
Lovely bride-to-be,
There are few
Wedded to anyone charming as you!

MEN
Lovely bride-to-be,
We'd take pride to be
Wedded to anyone charming as you!

NEGRO WOMEN
(coming forward, enthusiastic, but a trifle diffident)
Miss Magnolyer,
We always tol' yer
We knowed you'd find
Your man who'd be lovin' yer true!

MAGNOLIA
Can't I share some of my happiness,
Dear friends, with you?
(All do the levee shuffle)

ALL
Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly,
I gotta love one man till I die,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!
Tell me he's lazy,
Tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy,
Maybe I know.
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!
(buck-and-wing dance)

ALL
He can come home as late as can be,
Home without him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man -
(Just as MAGNOLIA and RAVENAL get to the carriage,
a wild hysterical shriek is heard off stage:)

PARTHY
(off stage)
Andy!
(PARTHY rushes on, followed by VALLON and PETE)

VALLON & PETE
Stop them! Stop them!

PARTHY
Don't talk to him! He's a murderer!

ANDY
(impatiently)
Who?

PARTHY
(pointing to RAVENAL)
That Ravenal - he killed a man!

ANDY
(really frightened now)
God-a-mighty - when?

PARTHY
Last year.
(pointing to VALLON)
Ask him!

VALLON
(embarrassed)
He got off on self-defense...

ANDY
(viciously turning on PARTHY)
Then he proved he had a right to kill!

PARTHY
Are you goin' to let your daughter stand there
and talk to a murderer?

ANDY
(exasperated)
Standin' murderer be damned!
I killed a man when I was nineteen!

PARTHY
(overcome)
You killed - ?

ANDY
Yes - me! Now - are you comin' with us -
or ain't you?

PARTHY
Where're ye goin'?

ANDY
To the church - they're goin' to be married.

PARTHY
Married to a murderer! Oh, my God!
(She faints)

VALLON
She's fainted.

ANDY
Are you sure?

VALLON
She's gone.

ANDY
Good! Now we can go on with the wedding!
(All cheer)

ALL
Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly,
I gotta love one man till I die,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!
(ANDY arranges the procession. The bridal couple
are locked in each other's arms as they march off
stage and the curtain falls)

Act Two

ACT TWO, SCENE ONE


17.At the Fair

(The Midway Plaisance at the Chicago World's Fair, 1893.
At rise an animated scene of VISITORS walking and looking
on at the wonders described by several BARKERS who stand
on platforms in front of their respective buildings and
booths. The famous Ferris Wheel is seen in the background
behind a building labelled: "World's Congress of Beauty."
Also can be seen famous features of the 1893 fair: the
MacMonnies fountain, Hagenback's Arena, the Dahomey Village,
the Streets of Cairo, etc.)

ALL
When we tell them about it all
They're likely to doubt it all,
But why should we care
Just as long as we've been to the fair?

1st BARKER
Ho, ho! Your kind attention
Bestow!

BOYS
Let's go near,
I can't hear,
Shall we go?

GIRLS
I don't know.

1st BARKER
The strongest little lady
Known to the world we'll show.

CHORUS
He's talking through his hat,
You bet,
I'm pretty sure of that.

1st BARKER
Come one and all,
Come up and feel the first of her!

CHORUS
Great Christopher!

1st BARKER
So just move along
And visit the queen of the strong.
Sixteen years of age!

CHORUS
If Sandow felt her hand how
He would stutter and mutter
And shiver and quiver with rage!
She's sixteen years of age!

2nd BARKER
Hey! Hey!
What have we here, what have we here?
A marvelous display.

CHORUS
Say, they're going to tell you
What they want to sell you
Now.

2nd BARKER
The beauties picked from all the world
In superfine array.

MEN
That's one show we must see!

GIRLS
Are you taking me?

1st BARKER
Get tickets this way!

2nd BARKER
Just step up and pay!

1st BARKER
Just step this way.
Hey!
Right up this way.
Hey!

2nd BARKER
Not much to pay
For such display.
Come on this way

BOTH BARKERS
And you will say
In all Chicago this is the best show!

GIRLS
We're in the face a great temptation,
In such a place to attempt flirtation,
I don't really know!

BOYS
Won't you let me take you in?
Do come!
The show will soon begin,
Do let me take you in!
(3rd BARKER appears in front of
"The Streets of Cairo" building)

3rd BARKER
Now for this special feature
I demand your close attention.
Step closer, gentlemen -
You notice "Ladies" I don't mention!

GIRLS
Goodness gracious me,
Whatever can it be?

3rd BARKER
My story's quickly told -
The world's sensation
Now behold!
(LA BELLE FATIMA appears. She was the world's first
"couchie-couchie" dancer. She does her famous
"belly dance." There is a scramble among the
men to follow her into "The Streets of Cairo"
building, where she will further exhibit her
charms)

3rd BARKER
Gather 'round, boys. See La Belle
Fatima - greatest feature of the
World's Fair. The only one
in her class, boys!

GIRLS
Hurry, hurry, let us run.

BOYS
What for? There's nothing wrong.
She's a princess,
From better folks than us, I guess.

GIRLS
You can stay, but I must run.

BOYS
All right! You always spoil my fun.

ALL
Belles and beaux
Dressed in the very latest style,
Here they come!
Goodness knows,
Aren't they swell?
Well, I should smile!
Look, dear!
Look here!
Ain't they gorgeous?
When the sports of gay Chicago
Pay a visit to the fair,
You can tell
Ev'ry swell
By his dashing air.
They do credit to Chicago
With their clothes all tailor-made.
All their country cousins gape and stare
When they see the dandies on parade.
(Now follows the parade of the Congress of Beauty. Tableau)


18.Why Do I Love You?

MAGNOLIA
I'm walking on the air, dear,
For life is fair, dear,
To lovers;
I'm in the seventh heaven
(There's more than seven,
My heart discovers).

RAVENAL
In this sweet, improbable and unreal world,
Finding you has given me my ideal world.

MAGNOLIA
Why do I love you?
Why do you love me?

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Why should there be two
Happy as we?

RAVENAL
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?

MAGNOLIA
You're a lucky boy,
I am lucky too.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true.
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you.

CHORUS
Why do I love you?
Why do you love me?
Why should there be two
Happy as we?
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?
You're a lucky boy,
I am lucky, too.
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true.
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you.

RAVENAL
Darling, I have only
Just an hour to play.

MAGNOLIA
I am always lonely
When you go away.

CHORUS
Hours are not like years,
So dry your tears!
What a pair of lovebirds!

RAVENAL
My darling,
I'll come home as early as I can,
Meanwhile be good and patient with your man.
Why do I love you?

MAGNOLIA
Why do you love me?
(RAVENAL exits)

CHORUS
Why should there be two
Happy as we?
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?
You're a lucky boy,
I am lucky, too.
All our dreams of joy,
Seem to come true.
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you!
(MAGNOLIA waltzes, then exits)

CHORUS
You're a lucky boy!
I am lucky, too,
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true.
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you!
(CAPTAIN ANDY and PARTHY enter)

ANDY
(to PARTHY)
Why do I love you?
Why do you love me?
Why should there be two
Happy as we?
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?
I'm a lucky boy,
You are lucky, too.
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true!
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you!
(ANDY dances, attempting to make PARTHY dance with him.
She sternly refuses. ANDY persists. Finally, a faint smile
flickering across her lips, she deigns to do a few little steps)

CHORUS
You're a lucky boy!
I am lucky too!
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true!
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why I love you!


19.In Dahomey

(DAHOMEY VILLAGERS come out of the Village and come down stage.
The crowd moves upstage and onto the steps of the buildings)

MEN
Dyunga doe!
Dyunga doe!
Dyunga hungy ung gunga,
hungy ung gunga go!
Kyooga chek,
Kyooga chek,
Kyooga chek a chek uncha,
chek a chek uncha chek!

WOMEN
Daringa doo!
Daringa dey da!

MEN
Daringa doo!
Daringa dey da!

WOMEN
Dyunga hungy ung gunga,
hungy ung gunga go!
Dyunga hungy ung gunga,
hungy ung gunga go!

ALL DAHOMEYS
Hoo go ga doo!
Hoo go ga doo!
Hoha hoga toga toga
Yogo togo doo!

WHITE CHORUS
Don't let us stay here,
For though they may play here,
They are acting vicious,
They might get malicious
And though I'm not fearful
I'll not be a spearful,
So you better show me
The way from Dahomey!

DAHOMEYS
(chanting)
Ah ah! Ah ah!
Ah ah ah ah ah ah!
Ah ah! Ah ah!
Ah ah ah ah ah ah!
(The CROWD exits in fear)

DAHOMEYS
We're glad to see them go!
We're glad to see those white folks go!
We've had enough
Of all this stuff -
We wish we'd never come here
To join a Dahomey show!

In Dahomey -
Let the Africans stay
In Dahomey -
Gimme Avenue A
Back in old New York
Where yo' knife and fork
Gently sink into juicy little chops
what's made of pork!
We are wild folks
When de ballyhoos bawl,
But we're mild folks
When we're back in de Kraal,
'Cause our home(our little home),
Our home ain't in Dahomey at all!
Oh, take me back today to Avenue A!

(ZULU DANCE)

In Dahomey -
Let the Africans stay
In Dahomey -
Gimme Avenue A
Back in old New York
Where yo' knife and fork
Gently sink into juicy little chops
what's made of pork!
We are wild folks
When de ballyhoos bawl,
But we're mild folks
When we're back in de Kraal,
'Cause our home (our little home),
Our home ain't in Dahomey at all!
Oh, take me back today to Avenue A!

ACT TWO, SCENE THREE


20.Convent Scene

(St. Agatha's Convent. Chicago, 1904)

NUNS
(off stage)
Alma Redemptoris Mater,
Alma Redemptoris Mater, etc.
Te Deum laudamus
Te Dominum confitemur.

(Convent girls cross the stage)
Te Deum laudamus
Te Dominum confitemur.
(RAVENAL enters slowly.
He looks around and then goes to a table, where the
MOTHER SUPERIOR motions him to sit)

MOTHER SUPERIOR
Your daughter's class will be coming through next.
(MOTHER SUPERIOR exits. RAVENAL quite cheerfully
listens to the choir)

NUNS
(off stage)
Te Deum laudamus
Te Dominum confitemur.
Venerandum Tuum verum
Et Unicum Filium.
(MOTHER SUPERIOR re-enters)
Venerandum Tuum verum
Et Unicum Filium.

MOTHER SUPERIOR
Here they come.
(RAVENAL waits for KIM's appearance with suppressed eagerness.
A procession of girls files in slowly from R. to L. KIM is on
the end of the line with a class of smaller children. RAVENAL
gives an involuntary start when he sees her)

RAVENAL
Kim!

KIM
Daddy!

(KIM hears hi, sees him, and rushes out of line. Suddenly
she realizes she has broken a rule, darts a quick look at
MOTHER SUPERIOR, who consent, and then continues her swift
course to RAVENAL's waiting arms. He kneels to meet her,
hugs her tight and kisses her. Then he holds her from him
at arms' length to get a good look at her)

KIM
Where's Mummy?

RAVENAL
Mummy couldn't come today.
Now listen, Kim, dear.
Daddy's in a great hurry.
He must catch a train.

KIM
(disappointed)
Where are you going?

RAVENAL
Away - for a little while - on business.
I just had a few minutes to rush in and - see you.

KIM
Can't I go with you?

RAVENAL
No, dear - not on this trip - but while I'm gone
I want you to think of me once in a while - will you?

KIM
Yes, I think of you all the time - and when I miss
you, I always do what you told me.

RAVENAL
What was that?

KIM
Don't you remember? Make believe.

RAVENAL
(laughing)
Oh yes, that's right. I gave you a
system for having anything you want.


21.Make Believe (Reprise)

(sings:)
Only make believe I'm near you,
Only make believe that you're with me.
Girls and boys find it fun just pretending -
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?
And if I'm a little late coming back - you
just remember - and pretend I've never gone away -
Will you, sweetheart?
Best of all, make believe I love you -
For to tell the truth, I -
(He breaks down. He grabs her in his arms and kisses her.
MOTHER SUPERIOR coughs gently)

MOTHER SUPERIOR
Her class has gone in.

RAVENAL
(rising)
Goodbye, darling.

KIM
(lightly)
G'bye.
(She runs to join the other girls in line until he stops her)

RAVENAL
Kim, dear - tell mother I came in to see you, will you?

KIM
I will. Goodbye, Daddy!
(She starts to march off and throws him a kiss. He
returns it. He stands there looking longingly at her.
MOTHER SUPERIOR and KIM exit. RAVENAL takes his hat
and cane from the table and exits through door, R.)

[THE SCENE CHANGES]

ACT TWO, SCENE FOUR

(The rehearsal room of the Trocadero Night Club. About five
o'clock in the afternoon. At rise JIM in his shirt sleeves is
standing R. of piano, watching six GIRLS dancing C. His coat
is over the back of the chair at R. of piano. JAKE, a pale boy
with a cigarette in his mouth, bangs on a piano downstage L.
He is playing Sousa's "Washington Post March" for the chorus
girls' dance. They dance a laborious, effective and well-executed
dance designed for legitimate applause. A woman sits dejectedly
in a chair, R. This is JULIE, a hollow-cheeked woman -looking
older than she really is - with all the earmarks of one who is
down-and-out - marks which she has desperately and pathetically
tried to hide by overdressing, by making use of too many odds
and ends of finery, by a too-anxious application of rouge and
lipstick and by dyeing her hair a wretched red. She sits there,
oblivious to all that is going on around her. From time to time
she opens her handbag and takes out a pint flask - typical of
the bottled goods of the time - and furtively takes a drink.
The chorus girls finish their routine)

JIM
All right, Jake - call 'em at twelve -

JAKE
O.K., girls! Twelve o'clock tomorrer!
(The girls exit)

JIM
Ready, Julie? You're next. I wanna hear that new song.
Got it all set?

JULIE
Leave me alone, Jim - I ain't feelin' so very good. Before
you know it I'll be off on a tear an' to hell with your show.

JIM
Oh, you ain't feelin' so good! Just you go off on a tear and
you'll never get back in this place again. When I told you
that the last time, I meant it. You go out that door and
you don't come back. Get me?

JULIE
All right, all right! I ain't in no mood to listen to long
speeches. I'll put your damn song over.

JIM
You better. I'm sick an' tired o' arguin' with yuh! You get
that number over or you're through. Come on now and see what
you can do - I gotta set this show!

JULIE
(rising from her chair)
All right, all right!
(She takes her position, ready to sing)
I'm ready Jake, whenever you are.


22.Bill

(JAKE pounds out the introduction on the piano)

JULIE
I used to dream that I would discover
The perfect lover someday.
I knew I'd recognize him if ever
He came 'round my way.
I always used to fancy then
He'd be one of the God-like kind of men
With a giant brain and a noble head
Like the heroes bold
In the books I've read.
But along came Bill
Who's not the type at all,
You'd meet him on the street
And never notice him.
His form and face,
His manly grace
Are not the kind that you
Would find in a statue,
And I can't explain,
It's surely not his brain
That makes me thrill -
I love him because he's wonderful,
Because he's just my Bill.
He can't play golf or tennis or polo,
Or sing a solo, or row.
He isn't half as handsome
As dozens of men that I know.
He isn't tall or straight or slim
And he dresses far worse than Ted or Jim.
And I can't explain why he should be
Just the one, one man in the world for me.
He's just my Bill an ordinary man,
He hasn't got a thing that I can brag about.
And yet to be
Upon his knee
So comfy and roomy
Seems natural to me.
Oh, I can't explain,
It's surely not his brain
That makes me thrill -
I love him because he's - I don't know...
Because he's just my Bill.


23.Magnolia's Audition: Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (Reprise)

(MAGNOLIA sits with her guitar across her knees, throws her head back,
closes her eyes and starts to sing "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man." At first
her voice falters, then she gets into it and sings it with fine feeling
and sincerity. JIM, JAKE and FRANK listen, spellbound. No-one moves an
inch. As MAGNOLIA sings, JULIE enters quietly up stage, passes behind the
piano, and recognizes MAGNOLIA. She takes a couple of steps up to her,
but directly behind her. She stands there during the song until the next to
last line, when she seems to arrive at a decision. She makes a shy, hesitant
little gesture, which is half throwing a kiss. She disappears quickly and
softly up stage. Nobody on stage has seen her. MAGNOLIA finishes the song)

MAGNOLIA
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,
I gotta love one man till I die,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy, maybe I know.
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away, dat's a rainy day,
And when he comes back dat day is fine,
De sun will shine!
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!
(There is a pause)

FRANK
Whaddaya say, boss?

JIM
Lousy! What kind of a coon song do you call that?
(to MAGNOLIA)
You don't sing bad - but that song -

MAGNOLIA
(her temper aroused)
That song is the most beautiful song I know. And if
you don't like it, I'm sorry for you.

JIM
You're sorry for me? Say!

FRANK
Say, Mr. Greene, this little girl ain't so bad.
Can't you use her?

JIM
I can't afford to take chances on amachoors with a two thousand
dollar production. Now wait a minute, will ya, lemme think!
(He stands pondering the problem and running his fingers
through his hair. He looks MAGNOLIA over appraisingly)
Her poisenality is all right - if we could only teach
her some up-to date numbers.

JAKE
Well, that song she sang ain't so bad, boss. Ya know,
we could trick that - like this -

(He plays and sings in ragtime tempo)
Da da da de dum dum dum
Dum dum dum de dum dum dum!

FRANK (eagerly)
Oh, you mean rag it!

JAKE
Yeah! 'Course, we gotta change the words too, see, and then,
near the finish, put in a couple o' gags, like this...
Dum dum dum de dum dum dum - catch line!
Dum dum dum de dum dum dum - 'nother catch line!
See what I mean?

JIM
Say, that's all right!

FRANK
Come on, Nolie, try it this way.

MAGNOLIA
(bewildered)
How do you mean?

FRANK
Follow Jake.
(JAKE and MAGNOLIA start the song together -
but he soon leaves her far behind)

JIM
(interrupting)
No - no!!! Rag it, he means.

FRANK
Rag it, honey, look...
(He sings to show her)
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly!

MAGNOLIA
(willing to try)
Oh, I know! Alright, go ahead.
(JAKE plays. As MAGNOLIA sings in ragtime, FRANK
starts to dance like mad)

FRANK
(dancing frantically)
What do you say, Boss, what do you say?

JIM
All right! FRANK
Does she get the job?

JIM
Sure!

FRANK
Great!

(FRANK falls to the stage dancing so fast and continues
twitching his head, body and legs with the music until
the curtain falls)

ACT TWO, SCENE SIX


24.Trocadero Opening Chorus

CHORUS
Let's make the new year
Far from a blue year,
No need to think,
Just sing and drink good cheer!
Drown all your sorrow,
Live for tomorrow,
Just drift along
With wine and song,
Tonight no folly could be wrong,
So drink and be merry,
Here's where we bury
All thought of gloom,
We have no room for killjoys!
New Year, we greet you,
Let us entreat you
To bring good luck, good cheer,
Good fortune to those
Who welcome you as we all do.
We have no room for thoughts of gloom,
Send them to an eternal doom!
For life keeps compelling us
And temptingly telling us
That youth can never last
As long as we'd like it to.
So we're persuading you
To stop its evading you
And let it not slip past,
Try to hold to it fast.
Why should we remember December?
The old year's done,
The happy new year has begun!
Just keep on dreaming and scheming
To make your life
A perfect round of wonderful fun!
Why should anyone be blue?
Life is full of things to do!
Let's just be jolly in folly,
Supremely gay
To speed the old year away!

BASSES
New Year's resolutions,
Dear old institutions,
E'er the dawn we make them,
In the morning break them.
Promises of virtue
Surely will not hurt you.
Whisper them discretely,
Earnestly and sweetly.

SOPRANOS, ALTOS & TENORS
Just tonight the whole world's bright
With sheer delight.

ALL
Bright with sheer delight!
Let's make the new year
Far from a blue year,
Just drift along with wine and song
And laughter!
Shout Happy New Year!
Happy day!


25.Appache Dance

(Danced by a specialty act, The Sidell Sisters)


26.Goodbye, My Lady Love
(Words & Music by Joseph E. Howard)

FRANK
So you're going away
Because your heart has gone astray.
And you promised me
That you would always faithful be.
But if you must go,
Remember, dear, I love you so.
Sure as stars do shine,
You'll think of when I called you mine.

FRANK & ELLIE
Goodbye, my lady love,
Farewell, my turtle dove,
You are the idol and darling of my heart,
But someday you will come back to me,
And love me tenderly,
So goodbye my lady love, goodbye!

(FRANK and ELLIE dance to the music of "At a Georgia Camp Meeting")
(Music by Kerry Mills)

FRANK & ELLIE
Goodbye, my lady love,
Farewell, my turtle dove,
You are the idol and darling of my heart,
But someday you will come back to me,
And love me tenderly,
So goodbye my lady love, goodbye!
Goodbye, my lady love,
Farewell, my turtle dove,
You are the idol and darling of my heart,
But someday you will come back to me,
And love me tenderly,
So goodbye my lady love, goodbye!


27.After the Ball
(Words & Music by Charles K. Harris)

JIM
(taking the floor)
Ladies and gentlemen - I regret to announce that Miss Julie Wandell
is indisposed and cannot appear tonight.
(The crowd groans its disappointment)
Now wait, wait please. We are fortunate, however in obtaining the
services of Miss Magnolia Ravenal, who will sing for you an old
favorite.
(more groans)

DRUNK
(at nearby table)
Magnolia Ravenal - who the hell is she?

ANDY
(getting up and starting to take his coat off)
I'll show you who the hell she is!
(MAGNOLIA enters and comes down stage. She starts to
sing rather timidly and is ill at ease)

MAGNOLIA
A little maiden
Climbed an old man's knee,
Begged for a story,
"Do, Uncle, please."
(CROWD murmurs)

ANDY
Quiet!

MAGNOLIA
Why are you single?
Why live alone?

ANDY
Quiet!

A MAN
Get the hook!

MAGNOLIA
Have you no babies?
Have you no home?

ANDY
Nola!
(She turns in the opposite direction to where he is
sitting, but is evidently trying to see who called her.
The CROWD grows noisier)

MAGNOLIA
I had a sweetheart,
Years, years ago,

ANDY
Nolie!
(She sees ANDY, and gains confidence)

MAGNOLIA
Where she is now, pet,
You will soon know.
(She has begun to sing quite well
and the CROWD grows quiet)
List to the story,
I'll tell it all,

ANDY
Smile, Nola!

MAGNOLIA
I believed her faithless
After the ball.
After the ball is over,
After the break of morn,
After the dancers leaving,
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball!

ANDY
Everybody!

ALL
After the ball is over,
After the break of morn,
After the dancers leaving,
After the stars are gone;
Many a heart is aching,
If you could read them all;
Many the hopes that have vanished
After the ball.
(Chimes ring midnight)

ANDY
Happy New Year!
(ANDY takes MAGNOLIA in his arms.
General merriment. Blackout)

ACT TWO, SCENE SEVEN


28.Ol' Man River (Reprise)

(Street corner outside the office of the Natchez Democrat,
showing a bulletin: LINDBERGH ARRIVES IN MEXICO CITY- this
to denote the passage of time to 1927. JOE, now grey-haired
and old, is sitting on a box before the window and whittling)

JOE
Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River,
He mus' know sumthin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.
He don't plant taters,
He don't plant cotton,
And dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.
New things come,
'N ol' things go,
But all things look de same to Joe -
Wars go on,
And some folks die,
The rest forget
De reason why.
Ah keeps laughin'
Instead of cryin',
Ah mus' keep livin'
Until I'm dyin',
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!


29.Hey, Feller!

QUEENIE
When you yen
For a gent,
Give him en-
Couragement,
Only den
Will he come to stay.
You must declare yourself,
Or you'll be
On the shelf;
If you wait too long
He'll get away.
Once you have picked your boy,
Waste no time in actin' coy;
Leave no room for doubt,
Step up and speak right out:
"Hey, feller, I think you're swell!
I took a look and den I fell!
Hey, feller! I've got to tell,
I can't deny what you know well:
I'm longin' to be baskin'
In your carressin'
Right now;
An if you'll do the askin',
I'll do the yessin'
An' how!
Say, feller! I must admit
That I suspect that you've got it.
Hey, feller! I'm yours to take,
So give a girl an even break!
An' if you love her, tell her, tell her!
Hey, feller!
Hey! Hey!

(QUEENIE and the CHORUS sing and dance two more refrains)

"Hey, feller, I think you're swell!
I took a look and den I fell!
Hey, feller! I've got to tell,
I can't deny what you know well:
I'm longin' to be baskin'
In your carressin'
Right now;
An if you'll do the askin',
I'll do the yessin'
An' how!
Say, feller! I must admit
That I suspect that you've got it.
Hey, feller! I'm yours to take,
So give a girl an even break!
An' if you love her, tell her, tell her!
Hey, feller!
Hey! Hey!
Hey! Hey! Hey!
I'm longin' to be baskin'
In your carressin'
Right now;
An if you'll do the askin',
I'll do the yessin'
An' how!
Say, feller! I must admit
That I suspect that you've got it.
Hey, feller! I'm yours to take,
So give a girl an even break!

An' if you love her, tell her, tell her!
Hey, feller!
Hey! Hey!

ACT TWO, SCENE EIGHT


30.You Are Love (Reprise)

(The top deck of the "Cotton Blossom." ANDY has left RAVENAL
alone on the top deck. RAVENAL, dreaming of the past, picks up
the dipper from the water barrel and speaks, as though to a vision)

RAVENAL
Is that you, Nola?

(sings:)
You taught me to see
One truth forever true -
You are Love,
Wonder of all the world,
Where you go with me
Heaven will always be.

(BLACKOUT)

ACT TWO, SCENE NINE

(The levee at Natchez in 1927, showing the modernized show boat
with electric lights, etc. There is a radio tower and a hydroplane
in the background. BOYS and GIRLS in evening dress are on stage
at rise)


31.Cotton Blossom (Reprise)

CHORUS
Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom,
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!


32.It's Getting Hotter in the North

KIM
Now
Up in the northern land
Wow!
They've started struttin' and
How!
Soon as they hear a band
Ev'ry man's daughter steps
To muddy water steps!
It's gettin' hotter in the north every day,
It's not the temp'rature that's makin' it that way,
It's 'cause they're dancin' all the time
The dances of a warmer clime.
If you want lovin', gals, you must learn to shut;
They leave you cold unless you do nothin' else but!
Up on the levees of Broadway
It's getting hotter ev'ry day!
The levee shuffle of the south
Has traveled north by hoof and mouth,
Makin' our feet slow down,
Doin' those neat, low-down
Twistin' and turnin' steps,
Blazin' and burnin' steps!
If you want lovin', gals, you must learn to strut;
They leave you cold unless you do nothin' else but!
Up on the levees of Broadway,
It's gettin' hotter every day!

KIM & CHORUS
If you want lovin', gals, you must learn to strut;
They leave you cold unless you do nothin' else but!
Up on the levees of Broadway
It's gettin' hotter every day!

(KIM exits)

CHORUS
It's gettin' hotter in the north every day,
It's not the temp'rature that's makin' it that way,
It's 'cause they're dancin' all the time
The dances of a warmer clime.
If you want lovin', gals, you must learn to shut;
They leave you cold unless you do nothin' else but!
Up on the levees of Broadway
It's getting hotter ev'ry day!
The levee shuffle of the south
Has traveled north by hoof and mouth,
Makin' our feet slow down,
Doin' those neat, low-down
Twistin' and turnin' steps,
Blazin' and burnin' steps!
If you want lovin', gals, you must learn to strut;
They leave you cold unless you do nothin' else but!
Up on the levees of Broadway,
It's gettin' hotter every day!
(Now follows an extended set of specialty dances:)

ECCENTRIC DANCE
BUCK DANCE
FRANK & ELLIE'S DANCE
CAP'N ANDY'S DANCE
ENSEMBLE DANCE
(After the number the ensemble exits.
FRANK and ELLIE enter from the boat with ANDY)

FRANK
Say, Cap'n Andy, sorry we couldn't stay for the end of the
concert; we have to make that eleven o'clock boat.

ELLIE
(very Ritz)
We hated to leave your little entertainment -
it was very amusing.

ANDY
I'm glad you liked it.

ELLIE
It's so quaint.

FRANK
You see - things are so different in Hollywood.

ELLIE
(with boastful hauteur)
Yes, being the parents of little Frankie Schultz...
the boy wonder of the screen - we have our social
position to maintain.

ANDY
And to think o' you two havin' the luck to adopt a kid
an' him turnin' out to be a screen knock-out... earnin'
a million dollars a year!

ELLIE
Well, Cap'n Andy, if you ever come out to beautiful
California, do look us up at our palatian villa.

ANDY
I sure will. I'm glad you two are doin' so well in pitchers.

FRANK
Yes of course, it's an exacting art and between you
and I the social life in Hollywood is pretty swift.

ELLIE
(coyly)
Oh, Frank, don't be so mid-Victrola!
(FRANK and ELLIE exit)

ANDY
Those movin' pitcher people are wonderful!

(The concert on the boat is over. The crowd starts
to come out. It is a corresponding crowd to the 1890
audience we saw in Act One - in modern guise. They
gather about in groups up stage discussing the show.
RAVENAL comes down stage R. JOE stands outside the
pilot house of the tug; other Negroes gather about
the deck of the tug and look on)

ANDY
Hello, Gay. She'll probably come out on the top deck.
(to GIRL)
Hello, Hope.

HOPE
'Lo, Cap'n Andy.

ANDY
(to RAVENAL)
Shall I call Nola?

RAVENAL
I don't know.

GIRL
(passing with her escort)
'Lo, Capt. Andy!

ANDY
Is your ma well?

GIRL
Fine, thanks.

ANDY
Thank her for the chocolate cake.

GIRL
I will.

MAN
Great show, Capt. Andy!

ANDY
Glad you like it. How're the kids?

MAN
All right. Little one's got a cold.

ANDY
Too bad. Change o' weather, I expect...
oh, I didn't see you, Nola.
(MAGNOLIA has entered quietly from the boat to
speak to her father and has seen RAVENAL before he
could turn. ANDY follows her gaze over his shoulder)

ANDY
Er... Nola... here... here's Gay...
(turning to RAVENAL)
Here's Nola, Gay.

MAGNOLIA
Gay...
(Neither knows what to say - the silence is embarrassing,
painful to all three. As JOE and CHORUS start to hum
"Ol' Man River" an old lady comes up to ANDY)

OLD LADY
Isn't that your daughter, Cap'n Hawks?

ANDY
Er - yes - that's Nola.

OLD LADY
(going over to MAGNOLIA)
How-do? I remember you when you were leading lady on this
boat - and - that's your husband, isn't it? How-do, Sir?

RAVENAL
How do you do?

OLD LADY
I thought I recognized you both - guess I ought to -
was here on this levee the day you were married.
My, my, how excited we all were! That was a real
love match! Well, glad to see it turned out well
and you're still happy together... Good-night.

MAGNOLIA
Good night, dear.
(The OLD LADY exits )
Father - this is a - a nice surprise -
(She goes over and takes RAVENAL's hand)
Gay - come - come up on the top deck -
we can talk there... will you?

RAVENAL
Nola...
(He slowly takes her in his arms - he hasn't quite
the courage to kiss her. She kisses him.
GIRLS and BOYS enter)

ANDY
(chuckling)
If you go up front, you'll find a water barrel -
ain't much different from the old one.
(MAGNOLIA and RAVENAL start to walk towards the boat)

MAGNOLIA
Look, Gay - there's Kim.

CHORUS
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!
(SLOW CURTAIN)


APPENDIX


33.Pantry Scene
(Act One, Scene Two; deleted - 1927)

(Kitchen pantry of the "Cotton Blossom." A half hour after
Scene One. MAGNOLIA is sitting on a chair, R., day-dreaming.
QUEENIE enters with a pan of biscuits)

QUEENIE
What cher doin' all by yourself, Miss Nola?

MAGNOLIA
Nothin'. Just waitin'. I wish Julie would come...

QUEENIE
Ah declare, ef de kitchen pantry ain't de funniest
place to be meetin' people.

JULIE
(off stage, whispering)
Nola! You there? Nola -

MAGNOLIA
(same tone)
C'm on in, Julie -

JULIE
(entering from R.)
I had a hard time getting here - I just missed bein'
caught by Parthy. Oh, look at Queenie's biscuits!

QUEENIE
Now look here, Miss Julie. Dinner'll be in five minutes.

JULIE
Oh, let me take a bite. Joe'll help you make some more.

QUEENIE
Joe! Dat lazy nigger don't help me - he's always too tired -
ef dat feller ever tried to cook, he'd be puttin' popcorn in
flapjacks so dat dey'd turn over by demselves!

MAGNOLIA
Sit down, Julie - I got to tell you somethin'.

JULIE (sitting)
I'm just dying to hear what it is...

(MAGNOLIA climbs on sugar barrel next to JULIE's chair,
and squats, tailor fashion)

MAGNOLIA
Julie - I'm in love -

QUEENIE
(stopping her action as she is reaching up for a box of salt)
What's dat? You says you in love?
(She laughs - much too boisterously to suit MAGNOLIA)
Why yo' po' crazy little gal - you got your first long
skirt and you in love!
(She laughs even louder than before - which seemed impossible -
and exits to the kitchen with her box of salt)

JULIE
(taking MAGNOLIA's hands in hers)
Tell me all about it, honey, who is he?

MAGNOLIA
I don't know - he was standing on the wharf -
and I was standing on the top deck, and - and he spoke to me.

JULIE
(rising)
He spoke to you? A strange man!
What right did he have to do that?

MAGNOLIA
I spoke to him first - oh, Julie - I don't know why
- I just couldn't help it - he - he looked so
different from anybody else, and so - so beautiful!

JULIE
(snuggling MAGNOLIA's head against her bosom)
Ya' poor little lamb - tell Julie all about it -
from start to finish.

MAGNOLIA
I looked down at him
And he looked up at me.
No one spoke for awhile.
I observed he was handsome
('Twas easy to see),
That is why I decided to smile...
For fear he might go,
I just murmured "Hello,"
And he said "How d'you do?"
Then I lowered my eyes,
And, to my great surprise,
I noticed a crack in his shoe!
And yet, his clothes were so gorgeous,
He carried a cane in his hand -
He just seemed to look
Like he stepped from a book;
The way that he talked sounded grand!
(JULIE smiles indulgently)
Don't laugh!
I know I'm in love with him truly!

JULIE
You dear!
Come tell the whole story to Julie!

MAGNOLIA
As we were talkin' a man appeared
And spoke to him mysteriously
That was the end! He left with his friend!
Partin' that way seemed wrong!

JULIE
(reassuringly)
You haven't known him so long!

MAGNOLIA
(in a gush of guileless enthusiasm)
But we pretended we met a hundred years ago today.
(with sentimental reminiscence)
That gave him a lovely excuse
To look in my eyes and say:
"Only make believe I love you,
Only make believe that you love me.
Others find peace of mind in pretending,
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss, or two, or three?
Might as well make believe I love you,
For, to tell the truth, I do."

Julie, d'ye think he meant it?

JULIE
I don't know, child - maybe it's better if he didn't.

MAGNOLIA
Why, Julie!

JULIE
I don't know as I like you to go fallin' in love with
some man nobody ever heard of.
Suppose he turned out to be a - be just a no-account
river feller?

MAGNOLIA
But if I found he was no-account, I'd stop lovin' him...

JULIE
Oh, no you wouldn't. Once a girl like you starts to love a man,
she don't stop so easy - it don't make much difference how he
turns out - you just naturally stick to him.

MAGNOLIA
Couldn't you stop lovin' Steve if he treated you mean?

JULIE
No, honey no matter what he did. When you love a man,
it don't make any difference what he does -

MAGNOLIA
Why do you love Steve?

JULIE
I don't know... he's such a bad actor on the stage and
he thinks he's so good - maybe that's why I love him.
You love a man for silly reasons... you may like your
young man because his hair looks all shiny and slick,
or maybe he's got a way of carrying that cane of his -

MAGNOLIA
He swings it, and I like his voice, too -

JULIE
All right, you like his voice, too - and he can go
out and rob a bank or commit murder... and just the
same, when he comes back swingin' that cane and
talkin' to you with that voice you like so much
- why, you just forgive him everything -
you can't help it.

MAGNOLIA
You really think that, Julie?

JULIE
I know it, honey...
(QUEENIE enters, grumbling)

QUEENIE
Ah'll have to put dose biscuits back in de oven to get warm -
don't seem to be no reg'lar hours for meals anymore on dis boat...
Hm-hm-hm!

JULIE
You see, child, love's a funny thing - there's no sense to it.
That's why you got to be so careful when it comes creeping up on you.

MAGNOLIA
It's like that thing you always sing when we take our walks.

JULIE
I know...
Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly,
I gotta love one man till I die,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

MAGNOLIA
That's it...
(QUEENIE, re-entering, stops in her tracks and looks puzzled.)

JULIE
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)-
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

QUEENIE
How come y'all know dat song?
(JULIE stops abruptly, a swift terror steals across her face,
and quickly vanishes - succeeded by an expression of stolid caution)

MAGNOLIA
Why? Do you know it, Queenie?

QUEENIE
F'sho' ah does - but ah didn't ever hear anybody but colored folks
sing dat song - sounds funny for Miss Julie to know it -

MAGNOLIA
Why, Julie sings it all the time.

QUEENIE
Kin y'sing de whole thing?

JULIE
'Course I can -
(almost fiercely)
What's so funny about that?
(She starts to sing in an attitude of defiance, then lapses
into the "blue" spirit of the song)
Oh, listen, sister,
I love my mister man,
And I can't tell yo' why.
Dere ain't no reason
Why I should love dat man -
It mus' be sumpin' dat de angels done plan.
Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)-
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away
Dat's a rainy day,
And when he comes back dat day is fine!
(carried away)
De sun will shine!
(QUEENIE goes on beating time with a spoon)
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

QUEENIE
(tickled to death)
Ooh, dat's beautiful, Miss Julie -

JOE
(entering, eating an apple)
Was dat you, Miss Julie?
Dat's mah favorite song!

QUEENIE
(singing "at" JOE)
Mah man is shif'less
An' good for nuthin' too
(He's mah man jes' de same)
He's never round here
When dere is work to do
(Looking hard at JOE. Two COLORED SERVANTS enter from R.)
He's never round here when dere's workin' to do.

JOE
He's never round yo' when dere's workin' to do.
(Another colored helper comes on from L. and listens, entranced)

QUEENIE
De chimbley's smokin',
De roof is leakin' in,
But he don' seem to care.
He kin be happy wid jes' a sip of gin -

JOE
Why you all talk 'bout gin?

QUEENIE
Ah even loves him when his kisses got gin!

JULIE, QUEENIE & SERVANTS
Fish got to swim and birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)-
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away, dat's a rainy day
But when he comes back, dat day is fine,
De sun will shine!
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE
While de birds fly, till de world dies,
I'll love dat gal of mine
(Or else she ain't my gal!)
She's lazy and slow crazy, I know.
Can't help lovin' dat gal.
(She's jes' as crazy 'bout me!)
When I goes away, all de rainy day
An' when I comes back, dat day is fine,
Yes, sister.
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

TWO MALE SERVANTS
While de birds fly up in de sky
My gal loves me;
Dat's why she's true gal of mine.
She may be lazy and slow as cold molasses, I know,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
When I goes away, dat's lovin'
all de rainy day, dat's lovin',
An' when I comes back dat day is fine,
Yes, sister!
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
(MAGNOLIA has started to do the shuffle)

JOE
Look at dat little gal shuffle!
(MAGNOLIA dances. QUEENIE and JOE egg her on, ad lib)

JULIE, QUEENIE & WOMEN
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE & MEN
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

(BLACKOUT)


34.Waterfront Saloon Scene
(Act One, Scene Thee; deleted - 1927)

(Outside the saloon, a group of loungers, "young bloods"
of the village, are loitering. Through a half opened door
can be heard the sounds of roulette play)

VOICE
(off)
Number four, black! Nobody's on it -
Make your bets, gents...

RAVENAL
(off)
Fifty on red! And that's my last -
I drift along with my fancy -

VOICE
Number eleven - black! You lose!

RAVENAL
I lose today, but then tomorrow, luck may change -

LOUNGERS
(nudging each other, amused at his philosophy)
He keeps on losing, but "tomorrow luck may change!"
(A GAMBLER enters from the saloon)

1st LOUNGER
Who's that sportin' gambler in there?

GAMBLER
That's Gaylord Ravenal.

2nd LOUNGER
Ravenal! Ain't that the one - ?

GAMBLER
Yep - got in a little fuss here 'bout a year ago. Proved it
was self-defense and got off. Chief jes' tol' him to clear
out o' town by nightfall -

1st LOUNGER
Don't seem to worry him none -

GAMBLER
Nuthin' worries him
(RAVENAL enters from the saloon followed by a few others)

RAVENAL
Can't be helped, gentlemen - I'll have better luck next time.

MEN
Sir, you have our sympathy,
You're as game as you can be.
A lad as brave as he
Deserves more good luck,
And should luck be false to him,
It would be strange to arrange things that way!

RAVENAL
Do not waste your sympathy,
Bad luck never worries me!
I know that fortune changes
Just like an April day!

The man who ventures with chance
Is the man who's adding the salt, romance,
To a world
That otherwise is dark and drear.
The sane conservative lot
Have their fate secure in a guarded spot
Of the world,
They're welcome to their drab career.

TENORS
It is all well enough to be grinning
While your winnings grow,
But when fortune reverses her spinning,
Life is not a-glowing.

BASSES
It is easy to be grinning
While your stack is growing,
But when fortune turns her spinning,
Life is not a-glowing.

ALL MEN
That is why we like to see
Someone who can be
Unconcerned and free
Like you.

RAVENAL
If I am losing today
I will take my loss and I'll pay
For I know that in time my luck will turn,
It's bound to turn.
Till good luck comes my way
I'll play along
While there's a game on the highway
I'll stray along
With just the turn of a wheel
Or the flip of a card as my guide.
I let fate decide
If I walk or ride.
Why sit alone with your sorrow
And kill the day?
There may be sunshine tomorrow
To fill the day.
While I've a heart and a brain
And my ebony cane
I can borrow
Until the day when good luck comes my way.

MEN
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain.

RAVENAL
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain,

MEN
Fortune will change like an April day,
So we will wait till good luck
Will come our way!

RAVENAL
Live in vain,
So I will wait till good luck
Will come my way!

* * *

35.Yes, Ma'am!
(Act One, Scene Three; unused - 1927)

GIRLS
Bet your hat
You're from the show boat!
Reckon that
Isn't a slow boat!
Stage life's giddy and gay,
We've heard actresses say
Some things out of the way,
Eh?

ELLIE
Yes, we sure do lead a bright life!

GIRLS
Quite a step from the polite life!

ELLIE
Lights and music and beautiful dresses
And men galore,
Yet you can't forget it's just a play!

GIRLS
Nights assured of sweet caresses
When the hero politely confesses his true love!

GIRLS
It is so thrilling to meet you!

ELLIE
Only too happy to treat you!

GIRLS
We'd just love your society,
Let us show you around!

ELLIE
What a shock to propriety!
Show an actress around!

GIRLS
We are just as swift as you are,
Dearie, few are
Swifter, I'll be bound!
Are we slow?
No, ma'am, we're not!
You don't yet know
Things that we forgot.
Were the life of the fairs and dances!

ELLIE
Devils on wheels with your flirting glances!

GIRLS
And we don't mind taking some chances!
Yes, ma'am, we'll show you what's what!
(DANCE and repeat refrain)

* * *


36.Kim's Imitations (Why Do I Love You?)
(Act Two, Scene Nine; Ziegfeld Production - 1927)

KIM
Why do I love you?
Why do you love me?
Why should there be two
Happy as we?
Can you see
The why or wherefore
I should be
The one you care for?
You're a lucky boy,
I am lucky, too.
All our dreams of joy
Seem to come true.
Maybe that's because you love me,
Maybe that's why l love you?
(The CHORUS applauds her)
Wait! Wait! That's the way my mother used to sing it -
here's the way we'd sing it today:
(KIM repeats the refrain in hot-jazz style.
She exits. The CHORUS repeats the jazz refrain.
Eccentric dance - buck dance - general dance)

* * *


37.Dance Away the Night
(Act Two, Scene Nine; unused - 1928)

KIM
Music in the air
And a crowd on the floor,
Stepping to the beat of the band,
We can bury care
In a tune we adore
In the sway of a gay wonderland!
Dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!
Blue will turn to grey,
And when the moon steals off without a warning
You can turn and say
You're very glad you met us
And then forget us,
But dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

ALL
Dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

GIRLS
Blue will turn to grey
And when the moon steals off without a warning
You can turn and say
You're very glad you met us
And then forget us,

ALL
But dance away the night,
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

BOYS
If you want to dance,
Here's one who's clever!
Have a cavalier
With style and tone!
If you're on your toes
And kind o' follow where he goes,
You'll find a rhythm that you
Feel you could do with him forever!

BOYS & GIRLS
Get the band to break
Into a fox-trot
Mean enough to make
The trees and rocks trot!
Then you won't stay still,
You'll dance against your will
And keep right on until
The break of day!
You'll pray to stay
To:

KIM
Dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

GIRLS
Blue will turn to grey
And when the moon steals off without a warning
You can turn and say
You're very glad you met us
And then forget us,

ALL
But dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!
(KIM exits. NEGRO DANCERS enter R. & L., dance down
front in line to music of the verse, and then exit R.)

ALL
Dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

GIRLS
Blue will turn to grey
And when the moon steals off without a warning
You can turn and say
You're very glad you met us
And then forget us,

ALL
But dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!
(WHITE DANCERS enter R. & L., dance down front in line
to last half of Patter Chorus, then exit, L.)

ALL
Dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

GIRLS
Blue will turn to grey
And when the moon steals off without a warning
You can turn and say
You're very glad you met us
And then forget us,

ALL
But dance away the night
And we can all be happy till the morning!
Dance away the night
And we can stick together till the dawn!

* * *


38.A Pack of Cards
(Act One, Scene Six [?]; unused - 1927)

MAGNOLIA
One night as I sat by my fireside so weary,
And dreaming of friends who were far, far away,
My memory brought me some thoughts sad and dreary,
Yet others came, too, that were cheerful and gay.
When all of a sudden I found my eyes resting
On something that brought many scenes to my mind;
'Twas an old pack of cards, and some tales interesting
I thought that I might in their history find.
The first scene that I saw that night
I thought was quite a pleasant sight,
A grand old room ablaze with light;
I whispered "Kind regards!"
Whilst all around sat young and old,
They played for love and not for gold,
Whilst joy and sorrow all untold
Was in that pack of cards.

The next scene I saw filled my heart with great pity,
It was a young man and his parents, I knew;
'Twas their only son whom they'd sent to the city
To study and grow up a gentleman true.
A weekly allowance they thought had sufficed him
To live on the best and for studies to pay;
They knew not that evil companies enticed him
Away from his studies at poker to play!
I saw him as he left his seat,
He never thought his pals would cheat,
Each time he played he met defeat,
And still he called them pards;
But there will come a reckoning day,
And he will through his foolish play
Bring sorrow in the old folks' way
All through that pack of cards!

The last scene of all I beheld with much sorrow,
For there was the scene of the gambler's black fate;
No thought had they got of the waking tomorrow,
Though then they'd repent, but to find it too late.
The bright gold was stacked by the side of each player,
The miser's black creed was in every man's heart
As quickly the bets passed 'twixt backer and layer,
And ruin was king in the devil's slave mart!

"I'll stake a hundred on this game!"
"I'll go you sir!" "I'll do the same!"
Who cares for misery and shame
As each his treasure guards?
"You lie! I saw you turn that ace!"
A smashing blow right in the face -
A pistol shot, and death's disgrace
Was in that pack of cards!

* * *


39.The Creole Love Song
(Act One, Scene Seven; unused - 1927)

(The upper deck of the "Cotton Blossom." At night, after the performance.
It is moonlight, just after the storm, clouds have broken. RAVENAL stands
near a waterbarrel. He looks about, anxiously awaiting MAGNOLIA. He blows
on his fingers, and moves about a little to take off the chill that is
characteristic of southern nights. He hears a noise. He peers into the
darkness and calls eagerly:)

RAVENAL
That you, Nola?

WINDY
(off stage)
Nope - it's me -

RAVENAL
(quickly filling the dipper from the waterbarrel to carry on the
illusion that he came out here to get a drink)
Hello, Windy -

WINDY
(entering)
Come over to take a look at the moorings
(He crosses RAVENAL)
Kind o' cool for you to be stayin' out on deck, ain't it?

RAVENAL
(just finishing his drink)
Er - No - Not at all - I'm very thirsty - that's all.
(He fills the dipper again to prove it. WINDY exits. RAVENAL pours
the balance of the dipper's contents in the fire bucket. He hears a
whistle off stage)
That you, Nola?
(MAGNOLIA enters. She carries a porcelain water pitcher. He flings
the dipper away and rushes to her impetuously. He embraces her)
How did you get away?

MAGNOLIA
I can't stay long - I told Mother I'd fill her pitcher -
she's waiting -

RAVENAL
Oh, I can't stand it this way any longer - these stolen seconds -
these little snatches of you - Nola, I want to take you away with me -
I want to show you a world you've never dreamed of - cities
- theatres - restaurants - people - and you and I always together -
enjoying all those things.

MAGNOLIA
Gay - don't be angry - but - but could you afford -

RAVENAL
(at the moment very much o "Ravenal of the Tennessee Ravenals")
Magnolia - it is not the place of a gentlewoman to
share her husband's business worries... I will provide
for you - you must trust me, dear -

MAGNOLIA
Oh, I do - I do

RAVENAL
(speaking rapidly, excited, impulsive)
Listen, Nola - I want to marry you in Natchez tomorrow -

MAGNOLIA
But Mother -

RAVENAL
She's going to be in Fayette all morning - she told me so
herself. There's a lovely little church in Natchez -

MAGNOLIA
But Father - what will he say?

RAVENAL
He will not oppose us - as a matter of fact, he gave me the idea -

MAGNOLIA
What!

RAVENAL
Of getting married while your mother was away -
he knows how I feel - how much I love you - oh, Nola,
Please - say you will...

(She turns away. A boy with a guitar sings off stage)
Listen... all over the world, under this same sky there are
lovers like you and me and their love is the only thing that
counts - oh, come Nola answer me - never mind words - See!
That Creole girl in the boat is kissing her serenader - Look at
them - Nola -

(sings:)

RAVENAL
When a Creole wants to woo a maid,
With a song he'll start -
If she be grateful for his love serenade
She'll pay him with her heart -

MAGNOLIA
Artful way of winning
Her whose head is spinning -
Easy victim of
The Creole song of love.

MAGNOLIA
Reckless maid is she who scorns to fear
The Creole and his song
For though she would repel the bold cavalier,
Her lips will yield ere long -

RAVENAL
Long as there's a chance of
Gaining such romance of
Swift adventure,
I will sing my song of love -
I'm feeling, too -
Let me sing it to you.
When you hear me whisper a yearning sigh,
That means I'm wanting you -
And if you see a longing in my eye,
It's all from wanting you -
That sigh will go,
That yearning eye will glow
When once you let me know
You love me, too -
But if that joy should be denied us,
And years and miles divide us,
Remember I'm rememb'ring you -
And wanting you!

BOTH
Good night - dream if you can -

RAVENAL
My wife -

MAGNOLIA
My man!

RAVENAL
It's the Creole song of love
Forever true
Let me sing it to you.
When you hear me whisper a yearning sigh,
That means I'm wanting you.
And if you see a longing in my eye,
It's all from wanting you.
That sigh will go,
That yearning eye will glow,
When once you let me know
You love me, too -
But if that joy should be denied us,
And years and miles divide us,
Remember I'm rememb'ring you -
And wanting you!

MAGNOLIA
(She exits. He's exultant. Fade out)


* * *


40.Out There in an Orchard
(Act Two, Scene Four; unused - 1927)

JULIE
There was a sun sinking slowly in the west
In a golden California sky,
There was a lad with the sweetheart he loved best,
He was bidding her goodbye.
He ne'er forgot that pretty rustic spot
Where they stood side by side that day.
Ev'ry night he wrote a loving note
He'd think about that happy day in May,
And sadly shed a tear as he would say:

"Out there in an orchard
There's a vision I can see;
That's where I met you, Jenny,
'Neath an orange tree.
Moonbeams saw me kiss you
When you said my bride you'd be,
Out there underneath an orange tree."

Years had gone by and the boy became a man,
He had won his way to wealth and fame.
Then he returned, as his heart did always plan,
To give to the girl his name.
When he arrived he found, to his surprise,
The family doctor by her bed
"What's the matter, Doctor? What is wrong?"
The doctor bowed his head.
"My friend, your future wife has passed away."
Her lover stood and wept as he did say:

"Out there in an orchard
There's a vision I can see;
That's where I met you, Jenny,
'Neath an orange tree.
Moonbeams saw me kiss you
When you said my bride you'd be,
Out there underneath an orange tree."

* * *


41.Gallivantin' Aroun'
(Universal Film 1936)

MAGNOLIA
Liza Matilda Hill
Visited friends in Louisville,
Den came back home.
Her man was waitin' at her front do',
Jealous and so',
Axin' questions.
"Liza Matilda Hill,
Whadidja do in Louisville,
So far from home?"
She said, "Hon,
I had fun!
Here's all dat I done done:
Been gallivantin' aroun',
Jes' gallivantin' aroun',
Mah feet been offen de groun',
Been gallivantin' aroun'.
Been dancin' all night long,
Gittin' home to bed I don' know when!
Dere ain't no tellin'
All the times I fell in
Love and out again!
Been gallivantin' aroun'.
But now I reckon I'm through,
'Cause now I reckon I foun'
It's more fun lovin' you!"
(DANCE)

CHORUS
Been gallivantin' aroun',
Jes' gallivantin' aroun',
Mah feet been offen de groun',
Been gallivantin' aroun'.
Been dancin' all night long,
Gittin' home to bed I don' know when!
Dere ain't no tellin'
All the times I fell in
Love and out again!
Been gallivantin' aroun'.
But now I reckon I'm through,
'Cause now I reckon I foun'
It's more fun lovin' you!"

* * *

42.I Have the Room Above Her
(Universal Film 1936)

(MAGNOLIA's room. It is night, after the performance. She is
undressing, and as she takes off the many superfluous and frilly
things they wore in those days, the effect is entertaining as
well as charming. She hums the while. Picking up a pair of
stockings that have been left soaking in a washbowl, she starts
to rinse them.
CLOSE UP: RAVENAL, sitting at his window, puffing his cheroot,
and gazing out over the moonlit water.
MEDIUM SHOT: Stem of the boat, showing two windows: his above hers.
She comes to her window and pins a stocking to the curtain, still
humming.
RAVENAL, hearing her, looks down. The stocking waves up at him in
a friendly manner)

RAVENAL
Seems to me I've seen that stocking someplace...
(MAGNOLIA pulls her head in quickly. The boldness of the man!)
Now, where could it have been? Don't you belong to
a Miss Magnolia Hawks?
(The stocking flutters in the breeze)
I thought so.
(MAGNOLIA blows out her lamp and hops into bed)
Next time you see her, will you give her a message for me?
(MAGNOLIA sits up. The reflection of the moon lights her face.
She cocks her ear to listen to the message)
I can talk to you better than I can talk to her.
I always get flustered when I try to say anything to her.
Tell her...

(MAGNOLIA listens)
Tell her you saw the young man who lives upstairs...
and... well, that's just the point:
I have the room above her.

(sings:)
She doesn't know I love her,
How could she know I love her,
Sitting in her room below?
Sitting in her room below
How could she dream how far a dream could go?
Sometimes we meet,
She smiles, and, oh, her smile's divine.
It's such a treat
To hear her say "Hasn't the weather been fine?"
I blush and stammer badly,
My heart is beating madly,
Then she goes into her room
And I go sadly up to mine.
(He reaches down with his cane and pulls up her stocking.
She makes a lunge for it but misses. She stifles a giggle
and pulls her head back into the room. He holds the stocking
tenderly as he sings:)

RAVENAL
A lover more impetuous than I
Would say his say or know the reason why,
But when I get my chance
I let my chance go by.
(He drops the stocking. She catches it, and pulls it inside
the window far enough for him not to see, and holds it close to
her as she listens to him)
I have the room above her,
She doesn't know I love her.
How could she know I love her,
Sitting in her room below?
Sitting in her room below
How could she dream how far a dream could go?

MAGNOLIA
Sometimes we meet,
He smiles, and, oh, his smile's divine.
It's such a treat
To hear him say "Hasn't the weather been fine?"
I blush and stammer badly,
My heart is beating madly,
Then he goes up to his room,
And I go sadly into mine.
(He hums softly. Her voice joins his. He looks down.
Both their voices are blended. There is ecstatic contentment
in the melody. She looks up. He is looking down. Their eyes
meet. The humming is over)

* * *

43.Ah Still Suits Me
(Universal Film 1936)

(The kitchen. JOE is shelling peas. The show boat is rocking
violently on the swollen river. A lurch of the boat sends the
boat of shelled peas to the floor. JOE looks down at them dubiously.
QUEENIE enters)

QUEENIE
Joe! Dere you go again! Look at dem peas all over de floor!

JOE
River done it...

QUEENIE
De river done it?!?

JOE
Ol' river can do mos' anything, Queenie.
Look out dere what it's doin' now - won't be letting us
give no show tonight.
(QUEENIE gets on her knees and proceeds
to put the peas back in the bowl)

QUEENIE
Show? Dat don't worry me none. Dere's
somethin' else on dis ol' boat worries me mo'.

JOE
Miss Nola?

QUEENIE
Dat's what...

JOE
She be all right.

QUEENIE
Dat's what you say 'bout ev'rythin'. You don't get excited.
Why? 'Cause you don't do nuthin'. You don' cook like me.
You don' act like the show folk. You don' work on the tow
boat. What do you do?

JOE
Well, I jes' shelled dem peas.

QUEENIE
(snorting)
You ain't pickin' dem up.

JOE
No, but I could've ef you didn't do it. I could do a lot of
things ef it wuz necessary.

QUEENIE
Den why don'cha?

JOE
It ain't necessary...
(He starts to sing, extemporaneously rhyming, stating his
mood of the moment. He sings as QUEENIE goes about her work)

JOE
Keep on a-naggin',
'n bullyraggin',
'n criticizin',
'n call me pizen,
Ah ain't apologizin', no siree!
No matter what you say,
Ah still suits me.
De rag you're chewin'
Mus' be a ruin,
Keep right on knockin',
Keep right on mockin',
Mah rockin' chair ain't rockin',
No siree!
No matter what you say,
Ah still suits me.

QUEENIE
(coming over to him, belligerently)
Does you ever wash the dishes?
Does you do the things I wishes?
Does you do dem?
No, you don't!
Will you do dem?
No, you won't!
When dere's any workin' to it
I'm de one dat's gotta do it!
When it's rainin' who's the feller
Uses up the whole umbreller?
Selfish as a man can be!

JOE
(looking up blandly)
No matter what you say,
Ah still suits me.

QUEENIE
You don' make money!

JOE
Ah know dat, honey!

QUEENIE
I never see none!

JOE
Ain't gonna be none,
But dat don' worry me none,
No siree!

QUEENIE
(spoken)
Shif'less! Lifeless! No good!

JOE
No matter what you say,
Ah still suits me.

I may be no good,
No good fo' yo' good,
I may be lifeless,
But wid one wife less
Mah life would be mo' strifeless,
Yes siree!
No matter what you say
Ah still suits me.

(imitating QUEENIE with falsetto exaggeration)
Does you ever wash de dishes?
Does you do de things ah wishes?
Does you do dem?
No you don't!
Will you do dem?
No, you won't!

QUEENIE
(interrupting)
Always imitatin' me
An' always aggravation' me!
Den in spite of ev'rything,
'Spite of all de grief you bring,
'Xpectin' me to love you true!

JOE
No matter what you say,
Ah thinks you do.
(He reaches out and pulls her to him affectionately.
She roars with glee)

* * *


44.Nobody Else But Me
(Act Two, Scene Nine; 1946 - Revival)

KIM
I was a shy, demure type,
Inhibited, insecure type
Of maid.
I stayed
Within my little shell
Till a certain cutie
Told me I was swell.
Now I'm smog and snooty,
Confident as hell.
I want to be
No one but me.
I am in love with a lover
Who likes me the way I am.
I have my faults -
He likes my faults.
I'm not very bright -
And he's not very bright.
He thinks I'm grand,
That's grand for me -
He may be wrong,
But if we get along,
What do we care, say we?
When he holds me close,
Close as we can be,
I tell the lad that
I'm grateful and I'm glad that
I'm nobody else but me!

CHORUS
I want to be
No one but me.
I am in love with a lover
Who likes me the way I am.
I have my faults,
He likes my faults -
I'm not very bright,
He's not very bright.

KIM
He thinks I'm grand,
That's grand for me.
I get a thrill
Knowing he gets a thrill
When I sit on his knee.
Walking on the shore,
Swimming in the sea,
When I am with him
I'm glad that girl who's with him
Is nobody else but me!

CHORUS
They are a modern couple,
They're sinuous, lithe and supple,
And so
They know
The dance that is up-to-date!

KIM
We can do the Charleston
In the lightest way.

CHORUS
Can they do the Charleston?

KIM
Boy, oh boy! Hey hey!
(KIM and her partner dance the Charleston.
KIM exits. General dance)


PLEASE NOTE: This libretto is for reading purposes only. Any
reproduction or performance of SHOW BOAT, in whole or in part,
must be licensed through the proprietors' representatives c/o
The Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatre Library, 598 Madison Avenue.
New York, New York 10022.

<!--StartFragment-->SHOW BOAT (LIBRETTO)
BOOK AND LYRICS BY OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
MUSIC BY JEROME KERN
ADAPTED FROM THE NOVEL
"SHOW BOAT"
BY EDNA FERBER


Act One
1.Overture
2.Cotton Blossom
3.Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo
4.Where's The Mate For Me?
5.Make Believe
6.Ol' Man Rive
7.Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man
8.Life on the Wicked Stage
9.Till Good Luck Comes My Way
10.Mis'ry's Comin' Aroun'
11.I Would Like To Play a Lover's Part
12.I Might Fall Back on You
13.Queenie's Ballyhoo
14.Villain Dance
15.You Are Love
16.Finale Act One

Act Two
17.At the Fair
18.Why Do I Love You?
19.In Dahomey
20.Convent Scene
21.Make Believe (Reprise)
22.Bill
23.Magnolia's Audition: Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man (Reprise)
24.Trocadero Opening Chorus
25.Appache Dance
26.Goodbye, My Lady Love
27.After the Ball
28.Ol' Man River (Reprise)
29.Hey, Feller!
30.You Are Love (Reprise)
31.Cotton Blossom (Reprise)
32.It's Getting Hotter in the North

APPENDIX
33.Pantry Scene
34.Waterfront Saloon Scene
35.Yes, Ma'am!
36.Kim's Imitations (Why Do I Love You?)
37.Dance Away the Night
38.A Pack of Cards
39.The Creole Love Song
40.Out There in an Orchard
41.Gallivantin' Aroun'
42.I Have the Room Above Her
43.Nobody Else But Me



Act One


1.Overture
[The Orchestra]


2.Cotton Blossom
SCENE ONE
Opening Scene
(The levee at Natchez on the Mississippi. About 1890. The towboat
"Mollie Able" is up R. The show boat "Cotton Blossom" is up L. STEVEDORES
are piling up bales of cotton at R. WINDY an old pilot, stands on the
Texas deck of the towboat, smoking his pipe and looking on)

STEVEDORES
Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play-
Loadin' up boats wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day.

GALS
Git yo'self a bran' new gal,
A lovin' baby who's de apple of yo' eye.
Coal black Rose or high brown Sal,
Dey all kin cook de sparrer grass an' chicken pie!
STEVEDORES
Hey! Git along, git along,
Git along, git along.
Hey! Git along, git along,
git along, hey!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play -
Loadin' up boats wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day!

Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' free.
When dey pack you on de levee
You're a heavy load to me!
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee you're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

(STEVE enters from the show boat and places a picture frame
left of the gangplank. PETE, the engineer, enters from the
towboat. Coming down C., PETE and STEVE exchange dirty looks.
STEVEDORES work upstoge to a pile of bales. GALS sit around
on bulkhead, leaving downstage clear. QUEENIE, the cook,
waddles on from market with a basket of provisions on her head)

QUEENIE
Lordy, mah feet shure is killin' me dis mornin'.
STEVE
Mornin', Queenie.
QUEENIE
Mornin', Mars' Steve.
PETE
Hey there, nigger! Where y'all git dat brooch you're wearin'?
(WINDY takes his pipe from his mouth)

QUEENIE
You mean dis scrumptious piece of jewelry?
PETE
Where'd you git it, nigger?

QUEENIE
It was give to me.

PETE
Who give it to you?

QUEENIE
Ax me no questions 'n ah'll tell y' no lies!
(to herself, as she walks towards the show boat)
Dat man! Axin' me where ah gets mah jewelry! Hm!
(QUEENIE exits. STEVE scowls at PETE and exits after QUEENIE.
PETE plunges his hand in his pockets and goes upstage. WINDY
replaces his pipe in his mouth)

STEVEDORES & GALS
Niggers all work on de Mississippi,
Niggers all work while de white folks play
Loadin' up boat wid de bales of cotton,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day!
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee you're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

(A group of dainty, beruffled MINCING MISSES enter from R. and L.
They go over to the pictures. The GALS move upstage again, imitating
the white girls' mincing gait)

1st MINCING MISS
The center picture is Julia LaVerne, the leading lady.
(PETE turns and slouches downstage)

2nd MINCING MISS
My - isn't she beautiful!
(The local BEAUX make a dashing entrance from stage right,
like the young bucks they are - they stand off and ogle the
demure maidens. PETE hangs around the picture frames as the
GIRLS turn to be demure for the BEAUX)

BEAUX
What a pretty bevy!
Ah! There! Ah, there!
The fairest of the fair
To Southern beauty
Ev'ry beau must bow!

MINCING MISSES
How you love to flatter,
You rogues! You rogues!
(confiding to audience)
Oh, goodness gracious!
They're so flirtatious!
(to Beaux)
You naughty fellows
Seem to think you please us
When you tease us
So!
You're a reckless lot
We know!

BEAUX
Little women don't be timorous!
You will find acting thus
Only makes a man more bold!
These are not the days of old!

BEAUX
(each grabbing a Mincing One)
See! The show boat!
That's old Captain Andy's "Cotton Blossom,"
Will you go?
Let me take you to the show!

GALS
H'yah! Look live dere!

GIRLS
Twil1 be delightful,
But to rightfully accept I have to make Mama
Get permission from Papa!

STEVEDORES & GALS
H'yah! Look live dere!

GIRLS & BOYS
(reading handbills)
Captain Andy has gathered a troupe
In the greatest of drammers and jolly comedies.
Stephen Baker, the handsomest leading man
And beautiful Julie LaVerne as well!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Ho! Ho! Ho!

BOYS & GIRLS
"Cotton Blossom,"
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Ev'rybody's sure to go!
"Cotton Blossom," "Cotton Blossom,"
Captain Andy's floating show!

Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!

STEVEDORES & GALS
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' free,
When dey pack you on de levee
You're a heavy load to me.
Cotton blossom, cotton blossom,
Love to see you growin' wild!
On de levee
You're too heavy
For dis po' black child!

BOYS & GIRLS
So get your girl and go!

STEVEDORES & GALS
So let dat whistle blow!
(PETE steals JULIE's picture from the frame. WINDY takes
his pipe from his mouth PETE hastily puts picture out of
sight as he slinks away and exits onto the towboat. PARTHY's
voice is heard off stage)

PARTHY
(off stage)
Andy!!!
(She enters)
Drat that man, he's never around!

(MAGNOLIA is heard practicing the piano on board
the "Cotton Blossom")

WINDY
(from the Texas deck)
Lookin' for Cap'n Andy?

PARTHY
Yes, Windy - have you seen him?

WINDY
Nope.
(He puts his pipe back in his mouth)

PARTHY
Well - if y' ain't seen him, why did you ask
me if I was lookin' for him?
(WINDY has an irritating way of not seeming to hear)

Y'old weather-beaten buzzard! I'm goin' to tell my husband
to get a new pilot...

1st MINCING MISS
Is that your little girl playing the piano?

PARTHY
Yep - ain't so little any more - eighteen this comin' August.

1st MINCING MISS
I've brought a chocolate cake for Captain Andy.

2nd MINCING MISS
And I have some plum jelly for him

PARTHY
Well, he ain't around and the Lord knows when he will be.


3.Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo

(The band is heard in the distance)

BOY
Here comes the Show Boat parade!

(The CROWD gathers, shouting and waving their hats. Some
coloured children run on, leaping, dancing, throwing their
hats in the air. CAPTAIN ANDY enters from stage R., with a
girl on each arm, behind him the brass band and balance of
the troupe and followers. He finishes stage C.)

GIRLS
(presenting candy, etc., to ANDY)
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
Here's your lemon cake and homemade candy.
Quince preserve and apple brandy;
Mama sends her best regards to you.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
We've been hearing all about your dandy Show.
Is this year's good as last year?
Won't you tell us what is new?

ANDY
Ladies and Gentlemen - I want you to meet some of the greatest
artistes that ever played the river town... Miss Ellie May Chipley,
the toast of Cairo, Illinois.
(applause)
C'mon, Ellie!
(He pulls her by the hand to the center.
All applaud. ELLIE simpers)
Next, I want y'all to meet Frank Schultz
(FRANK steps out - applause)
Mr. Schultz is the villain in our play - but off the stage, he's
as meek as a lamb, and wouldn't hurt a fly - and he's stuck on Ellie.
(All laugh lightly - but ANDY laughs the loudest)
That's they way they are, folks - jest one big happy family! And I'm
their father -
Ha! Ha!

(GIRLS laugh)
And Parthy here is the mother -
Ha! Ha!

(All laugh)
What about that, Parthy?

PARTHY
Oh, y' make me sick!

ANDY
(coughing)
Jest one big happy family! Now, folks I want you to meet the little
sweetheart of the South - Miss Julia LaVerne, our leading lady
(applause)
Y'all know her, and y'all love her - what more can say? And we have
another famous ornament of the stage with us - Mr. Stephen Baker! The
handsomest leading man in the middle west!
(STEVE, who has been scowling at PETE, achieves a prop smile. The
GIRLS gasp admiringly)
So here we are, folks - jest one big happy family!

ANDY
Look't we got! Look't we got!
How can we fail? How can we fail?
You never seen a show like this before!
We'll try to make the evening bright,
And if you come around tonight,
Tomorrer night you'll come around for more.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy
You know how to make a show sound dandy.

ANDY
Frank and Ellie,
C'mon, let's show 'em
Jest a sample of your soft-shoe dance!

PARTHY
(the note of warning - she has stood enough)
Captain Andy! Captain Andy!

ANDY
(pleading)
Jest a sample

PARTHY
What a man! My land, he
Gives away his show for nuthin'!

ANDY
(to FRANK and ELLIE)
Jest a sample of the dance!

(He signals the band, turns to the crowd and beams as the dance
begins. At the finish of the dance FRANK and ELLIE strike a pose)
Looking out to sea!
(At the end of the dance ANDY applauds with so much gusto
that the crowd would be ashamed not to follow suit. ANDY
begins passing out handbills)
Well, folks, that was jest a sample - don't forget the bill tonight -
"Tempest and Sunshine" - that beautiful melerdrammer of tears and
laughter concert after the show - Bring the children - come one, come all!

(ANDY works upstage among the crowd - part of the CROWD gathers
around JULIE and STEVE, the BOYS around JULIE, and GIRLS around STEVE,
so they are temporarily separated. These admirers, however, keep at
some little distance as they stand and worship their idols of the stage.
PETE slinks up to JULIE)

PETE
Hey, Julie! That's hell of a thing to do - giving my present to a nigger -

JULIE
(nervously)
Pete - if Steve ever knew about you sending me that brooch, I declare
he'd just about beat you to death -
(STEVE sees PETE and JULIE together)

PETE
Well, he'd better not try, and you better be pretty nice to me -
or you'll be mighty sorry -
(STEVE has come up to PETE- he takes his arm
and swings him around so that he faces him)

STEVE
I told you to keep away from my wife. I reckon I won't do
any more talkin' about it.
(Holding PETE's arm, he strikes him and
knocks him down. JULIE screams)

JULIE
Steve! Don't!
(The men clinch - PARTHY sees them)

PARTHY
Andy!
(PETE and STEVE struggle - GIRLS shriek, the crowd
mills around the two men as they wrestle. ANDY hops
about ineffectually. PETE falls - ANDY rushes in and
holds STEVE)

STEVE
I'll kill him!!!

ANDY
Get on that boat!
(FRANK runs up - ANDY sort of passes STEVE to FRANK, who
leads him back into the boat STEVE, half dazed with anger,
and weakened by the nervous outburst, follows meekly, dimly
realizing he has done something wrong. ELLIE helps PETE to
his feet. ANDY looks around - the CROWD looks puzzled - he
must say something. Suddenly he becomes inspired)

ANDY
Well, folks - that was jest a sample. The boys jest showed
you a scene from one of our bills - that's the way they are,
folks... always skylarking, always playing pranks.
(He looks around at a horrified PARTHY and ELLIE,
solemn JULIE, and PETE, just coming to)
...Jest one big happy family!

(He gives the band the high sign - they strike up a tune -
"Cotton Blossom". He cheers and throws his hat in the air -
his good spirits infect the CROWD. who follow suit and join
in singing "Cotton Blossom" as they exit)

ALL
Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom,
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!
(This exit masks the entrance of a gentleman in
elegant but frayed clothes, who has paused up C.
This is GAYLORD RAVENAL. He leans against the
bulkhead and looks out over the river. His face is
not yet seen. ANDY, ELLIE, PARTHY and JULIE are
left on stage. PETE confronts JULIE)

PETE
Just wait! I'll get you two for this, and I know how I can do it -
and when I start in, you'll be sorry you were ever born -

ANDY
You get away from here, you little no-account river rat!
You're fired!
(PETE exits)
An' if y'ever come near my show boat again, I'll pitch you right
into the river! And don't try to get on the towboat either...
(looking up to WINDY)
Y'hear that, Windy?
(WINDY nods)
Throw him right off the boat.
(WINDY nods)
We'll pick up a new engineer in Fort Adams.

PARTHY
(Looking hard at JULIE)
Humph - nice goin's on!

ANDY
(looking sympathetically towards JULIE)
It wasn't Julie's fault, Parthy -

PARTHY
'N you protectin' her!

JULIE
The one thing I'm grateful fer is that Magnolia wasn't here -

PARTHY
So am I - an' I'll be grateful for somethin' else, Miss LaVerne -
I'll have to ask you to stop givin' Magnolia pianner lessons.
In fact, I don't want my daughter mixed up with you - or anybody
like you -

JULIE
Mrs. Hawks - please don't say that - Nola is like a little sister
to me - outside of Steve, I don't love anybody like I love Nola -
(crossing to ANDY)
Mr. Hawks - if I have to stop seeing her - I can't stay on the
Cotton Blossom - I just can't!
(She runs into the show boat as the tears come rushing to her eyes)

ANDY
Now you done it - now you done it!
The best leading lady on the river!

ELLIE
(coyly snuggling up to ANDY)
Oh, Cap'n Andy, if Julie goes, will you give me a chance
at the leads? I'd love to get a crack at a serious part -
I'd be a sensation in drammer.

ANDY
Why, Ellie! There ain't a funnier girl on the river 'n you are!

ELLIE
(anxiously clutching his arm and kneeling)
Oh, Captain Andy, don't! Don't stamp your foot down
on real actin' ability!

PARTHY
(grimly)
Leave go my husband's arm -
(ELLIE edges away gingerly. PARTHY turns her attentions
to ANDY. During the following tirade he doesn't dare answer.
He stands meek and still)
An' you - you think more of your show boat troupe than you
do of your own daughter's upbringing - Well, thank God, her
mother had a good Christian bringin' up in Massachussetts.
Where I come from, no decent body'd touch this show boat
riff-raff with a ten foot pole - let alone have their
daughters mixed up with them - I'll have more to say to
you, later!

(She exits into the boat. ANDY waits until she's gone -
then, oblivious to ELLIE'S presence, he answers PARTHY back)

ANDY
(walking up and down and arguing
with his imaginary adversary)
Oh, you will, will you? Well, maybe I'll have somethin' to say
to you, too - 's far as that goes I'd just as soon have her be
friends with Julie as any gal I know - yes - Julie! You heard me!
(He sees ELLIE)
My God - I'll tell her!

PARTHY]
(off stage)
Andy!!!

ELLIE
Are you going to tell her all that now?

ANDY
No - I'll tell her tonight - late. I don't want any more trouble
before the show. Jest one big happy family - bah!!

(ANDY exits into the show boat ELLIE turns away
from the boat and sees RAVENAL-)

ELLIE
It's a man...
(RAVENAL turns, and we see him for the first time - so does
ELLIE. He strides down-stage, nonchalantly swinging his cane.
She thinks he's grand - she drops her handkerchief. RAVENAL
picks up her handkerchief and hands it to her with courtesy)

ELLIE
Thank you so much.

RAVENAL
Delighted to be of service, Ma'am.

(ELLIE gives him a flirtatious glance and crosses left.
RAVENAL looks after her, mildly amused. He takes the long
cheroot from his mouth and looks at it reflectively. VALLON
enters from stage R. RAVENAL sees him. They regard each
other coolly for a moment)

VALLON
Back in town, Gay?

RAVENAL
For a short stay...

VALLON
Can't be more than twenty-four hours, you know.

RAVENAL
Give me time, can't you? I haven't been twenty-four
hours stepping off the gangplank onto this wharf,
have I? I can get back on just as quickly.

(With impulsive irritation, he throws his
half smoked cheroot to the ground)

VALLON
No offense, Gay - just thought I'd remind you in case
of trouble. It'd be terrible to have you locked up -
all the purty gals on the river front'd be cryin'
their eyes out. Where you aim to go from here?

RAVENAL
Who cares? Who cares where I go?

VALLON
Seegar?

(As he proffers a cigar, RAVENAL raises
his eyebrows disdainfully)

RAVENAL
What did you call it?

VALLON
See-gar.

RAVENAL
Optimist. .
(VALLON shrugs his shoulders and walks off R. RAVENAL
swings his cane airily and strolls up and down as he sings:)


4.Where's The Mate For Me?

RAVENAL
Who cares if my boat goes upstream,
Or if the gale bids me go with the river's flow?
I drift along with my fancy
Sometimes I thank my lucky stars my heart is free -
And other times I wonder where's that mate for me?
(MAGNOLIA begins again on the piano, off stage. He looks up.
She hesitates in her fingering at a certain point. He pantomimes
the serious anxiety a listener always feels, hoping she'll hit
the right note. He sits on a cotton bale and goes on with his
musing, idly tapping his cane on the ground)

RAVENAL
The driftwood floating over the sea
Someday finds a sheltering lee,
So, somewhere there surely must be
A harbour meant for me -
(MAGNOLIA enters on the upper deck of the show boat)
I drift along with my fancy -
Sometimes I thank my lucky stars my heart is free,
And other times I wonder where's the mate -
(He turns and sees MAGNOLIA. What a picture! A very young
face, and a fluffy dress all pink with flowers and everything -
and she is becomingly shy - yet bold enough to return his gaze -
and to speak first)

MAGNOLIA
Hello...

RAVENAL
(taken by surprise - an unusual thing)
Er - how do you do?

MAGNOLIA
Do you live here?

RAVENAL
No - I'm just a way-farer along the river

MAGNOLIA
So am I - which way are you going?

RAVENAL
Either way - where are you going?

MAGNOLIA
Anywhere Papa gives shows.

RAVENAL
(a trifle jarred)
Oh - are you a player?

MAGNOLIA
You mean like on the pianner? Yes - I play a little.

RAVENAL
Oh - was that you I heard just now -?

MAGNOLIA
Yes - that was me!

RAVENAL
(under his breath)
What a pity!

MAGNOLIA
What did you say, Mister?

RAVENAL
Er - when I asked you if you were a player - I meant -
are you an actress?

MAGNOLIA
Oh - no - but I'd give anything if I could be.

RAVENAL
Why?

MAGNOLIA
Because you can make believe so many wonderful
things that never happen in real life.

RAVENAL
But wonderful things do happen - this very day
I was standing here on the levee - feeling blue -
and suddenly I looked up, and -

MAGNOLIA
I must go now -

RAVENAL
Why?

MAGNOLIA
Well, you see, you're talking to me - and I don't know you -

RAVENAL
Does that really matter so much?


MAGNOLIA
N-no - not to me - but they say it isn't nice.

RAVENAL
If you like to make believe things, why can't
we make believe we know each other?

MAGNOLIA
Oh, yes - and we haven't seen each other for seventy-five
years, and you're my long-lost nephew - there's a scene
like that in a play called "The Village Drunkard."

RAVENAL
No - seventy-five years is too long - besides, I don't
think I'd like the idea of being your nephew. Let us
imagine that we've just met -

MAGNOLIA
But we really have.

RAVENAL
Yes - but let's just suppose that we've fallen in love
at first sight.


5.Make Believe

(sings:)

Only make believe I love you,
Only make believe that you love me.
Others find peace of mind in pretending -
Couldn't you?
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss, or two, or three.
Might as well make believe I love you,
For to tell the truth, I do.
(He steps back)
Your pardon I pray,
'Twas too much to say
The words that betray my heart.

MAGNOLIA
We only pretend,
You do not offend
In playing a lover's part.
The game of just supposing
Is the sweetest game I know.
Our dreams are more romantic
Than the world we see

RAVENAL
And if the things we dream about
Don't happen to be so,
That's just an unimportant technicality.

MAGNOLIA
Though the cold and brutal fact is
You and I have never met,
We need not mind convention's P's and Q's.
If we put our thoughts in practice
We can banish all regret
Imagining most anything we choose.
We could make believe I love you,
We could make believe that you love me.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Others find peace of mind in pretending,
Couldn't you,
Couldn't I?
Couldn't we?

RAVENAL
Make believe our lips are blending
In a phantom kiss - or two - or three.

MAGNOLIA & RAVENAL
Might as well make believe I love you,

RAVENAL
For to tell the truth, I do...
(RAVENAL reaches up and kisses MAGNOLIA's hand.
They stand and gaze at each other. VALLON enters
from R. followed by JOE, who is carrying a sack
of flour, which he places on stage up C.)

VALLON
Ravenal - the Judge'd like to see you.

RAVENAL
What for?

VALLON
Nothin' serious - but I reckon you'd better come along
and have a talk with him.
(RAVENAL turns to MAGNOLIA)
You will excuse me, ma'am? I hope I'll see you again -
in a little while.
(He bows and exits grandly with VALLON, patting
the top of his hat with a flourish and swinging his
cane. MAGNOLIA looks after him adoringly. Then
she sees JOE looking at RAVENAL curiously)

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Joe! Did you see that young man I was talkin' to?
(JOE turns)

JOE
Mornin', Miss Nola... Yep - I seed him - seed a lot
like him on de river -

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Joe, he was such a gentleman! Have you seen Miss Julie?
I got to tell her - I got to ask her what she thinks -
(MAGNOLIA exits L.)

JOE
Better ask de ol' river what he thinks - he knows
all 'bout dem boys... he knows all 'bout everythin'...
(JOE sits on a box, takes out a knife, picks up a shaving
and starts to whittle, idly, as he sings:)


6.Ol' Man Rive

JOE
Dere's an ol' man called de Mississippi;
Dat's de ol' man dat I'd like to be!
What does he care if de world's got troubles?
What does he care if de land ain't free?

Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River
He mus' know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.
He don' plant taters,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.
You an' me, we sweat an strain,
Body all achin' an' racked wid pain -
Tote dat barge!
Lift dat bale!
Git a little drunk,
An' you land in jail...
Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin';
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

(BARGE MEN enter, pulling rope, during the following
verse. The curtains close in, leaving JOE and MALE CHORUS
in front, in one)

Niggers all work on de Mississippi
Niggers all work while de white folks play,
Pullin' dem boats from de dawn to sunset,
Gittin' no rest till de Judgement Day.

MEN
Don' look up
An' don' look down
You don' dast make
De white boss frown.
Bend your knees
An' bow your head,
An' pull dat rope
Until yo' dead.

JOE
Let me go 'way from the Mississippi
Let me go 'way from de white man boss;
Show me dat stream called de river Jordan,
Dat's de ol' stream dat I long to cross.

MEN
Ol' Man River,
Dat Ol' Man River,
He mus' know sumpin'
But don't say nuthin',
He jes' keeps rollin',
He keeps on rollin' along.

JOE
Long ol' river forever keeps rollin' on...

MEN
He don' plant taters,
He don' plant cotton,
An' dem dat plants 'em
Is soon forgotten,
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along.

JOE
Long ol' river keeps hearing dat song.
You an' me, we sweat an' strain,
Body all achin' and racked wid pain -
Tote dat barge!
Lift dat bale!
Git a little drunk
An' you land in jail...

JOE & MEN
Ah gits weary
An' sick of tryin';
Ah'm tired of livin'
An' skeered of dyin',
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!
(BLACKOUT)


ACT ONE, SCENE TWO

(The kitchen pantry of the "Cotton Blossom," a half hour later.
Chair and sugar barrel down L. Kitchen table up L. Cupboards and
shelves on back wall. Kitchen presumably off L. At rise, MAGNOLIA
is sitting on chair, right, day-dreaming. QUEENIE enters with a
pan of biscuits)

QUEENIE
What cher doin' all by yourself, Miss Nola?

MAGNOLIA
Nothin'. Just waitin'. I wish Julie would come -

QUEENIE
Ah declare, ef de kitchen pantry ain't de funniest place to be
meetin' people.

JULIE
(whispering off stage)
Nola! You there? Nola -

MAGNOLIA
(same tone)
C'm on in, Julie -

JULIE
(entering)
I had a hard time getting here - I just missed being caught
by Parthy. Oh, look at Queenie's biscuits!

QUEENIE
Now look here, Miss Julie. Dinner'll be in five minutes.

JULIE
Oh, let me take a bite. Joe'll help you make some more.

QUEENIE
Joe! Dat lazy nigger don't help me - he's always too ' tired -
ef dat feller ever tried to cook, he'd be puttin' popcorn in
flapjacks so dat dey'd turn over by demselves!

MAGNOLIA
Sit down, Julie - I got to tell you something.

JULIE
(sitting)
I'm just dying to hear what it is...
(MAGNOLIA climbs on sugar barrel next to JULIE's chair,
and squats, tailor fashion)

MAGNOLIA
Julie - I'm in love -

QUEENIE
(stopping in her action as she is reaching
to the shelf for a box of salt)
What's dat? You says in love...?
(She laughs - much too boisterously to suit MAGNOLIA )
Why yo' po' crazy little gal - you got your first long skirt
and you in love!
(QUEENIE laughs even louder than before - which seemed impossible -
and exits into the kitchen with her box of salt)

JULIE
(taking MAGNOLIA's hands in hers)
Tell me all about it, honey, who is he?

MAGNOLIA
I don't know - he was standing on the wharf - and I was
standing on the top deck, and he looked so different
from anybody else and so - so beautiful.

JULIE
(snuggling MAGNOLIA's head against her bosom)
Yo' poor little lamb -
(JULIE is thoughtful. MAGNOLIA can't wait for her comment,
and turns to her impulsively)

MAGNOLIA
Julie, he said he liked me - d'ye think he meant it?

JULIE
I don't know, child - I don't know as I like you to go fallin'
in love with some man that nobody ever heard of - suppose he
turned out to be a - be just a no-account river feller -

MAGNOLIA
But if I found out he was no-account, I'd stop lovin' him...

JULIE
Oh, no, you wouldn't - once a girl like you starts to love a man,
she don't stop so easy -

MAGNOLIA
Couldn't you stop lovin' Steve if he treated you mean?

JULIE
No, honey, no matter what he did -


MAGNOLIA
Why do you love Steve?

JULIE
I don't know - he's such a bad actor on the stage, and he thinks
he's so good - maybe that's why I love him - you see, child -
love's a funny thing - there's no sense to it - that's why you got
to be so careful when it comes creeping up on you -

MAGNOLIA
It's like that thing you always sing when we take our walks...

JULIE
I know...


7.Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man

(sings:)
Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

MAGNOLIA
That's it...

(QUEENIE, re-entering, stops in her tracks and looks puzzled)

JULIE
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.

QUEENIE
How come y'all know dat song?

(JULIE stops abruptly, a swift terror steals across her face, and
quickly vanishes - succeeded by an expression of stolid caution)

MAGNOLIA
Why? Do you know it, Queenie?

QUEENIE
F'sho' ah does - but ah didn't ever hear anybody but colored folks sing
dat song - sounds funny for Miss Julie to know it -

MAGNOLIA
Why, Julie sings it all the time.

QUEENIE
Kin y'sing de whole thing?

JULIE
'Course I can
(almost fiercely)
What's so funny about that?
(She starts to sing in an attitude of defiance,
then lapsing into the "blue" spirit of the song)
Oh, listen, sister,
I love my mister man,
And I can't tell yo' why.
Dere ain't no reason
Why I should love dat man -
It mus' be sumpin' dat de angels done plan.

Fish got to swim, birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)-
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away
Dat's a rainy day,
But when he comes back dat day is fine,
(carried away)
De sun will shine!
(QUEENIE goes on beating time with a spoon)
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

QUEENIE
(tickled to death)
Dat's beautiful, Miss Julie -

JOE
(entering, eating an apple)
Was dat you, Miss Julie? Dat's mah favorite song!

QUEENIE
(singing "at" Joe)
Mah man is shif'less
An' good for nuthin' too
(He's mah man jes' de same)
He's never round here
When dere is work to do -
(Looking hard at JOE. Two COLORED SERVANTS enter from R.)

He's never round here when dere's workin' to do.

JOE
He's never round yo' when dere's workin' to do.
(Another colored helper comes on from L. and listens, entranced)

QUEENIE
De chimbley's smokin',
De roof is leakin' in,
But he don' seem to care.
He kin be happy wid jes' a sip of gin -

JOE
Why you all talk 'bout gin?

QUEENIE
Ah even loves him when his kisses got gin!

JULIE, QUEENIE & SERVANTS
Fish got to swim and birds got to fly,
I got to love one man till I die -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
Tell me he's lazy, tell me he's slow,
Tell me I'm crazy (maybe I know)
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine.
When he goes away, dat's a rainy day,
But when he comes back, dat day is fine,
De sun will shine!
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me -
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE
While de birds fly, till de world dies,
I'll love dat gal of mine
(Or else she ain't my gal!)
She's lazy and slow, crazy, I know.
Can't help lovin' dat gal.
(She's jes' as crazy 'bout me!)
When I goes away, all de rainy day,
An' when I comes back, dat day is fine,
Yes, sister.
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

TWO MALE SERVANTS
While de birds fly up in de sky
My gal loves me;
Dat's why she's true gal of mine
She may be lazy and slow as cold molasses, I know,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
When I goes away, dat's lovin'
all de rainy day, dat's lovin',
An' when I comes back dat day is fine,
Yes, sister!
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!
(MAGNOLIA has started to do the shuffle)

JOE
Look at dat little gal shuffle!
(MAGNOLIA dances. QUEENIE and JOE egg her on, ad lib)

JULIE, QUEENIE & WOMEN
He kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout him ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat man of mine!

JOE & MEN
She kin come home as late as kin be,
Home widout her ain't no home to me,
Can't help lovin' dat gal of mine!

(BLACKOUT)

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE


8.Life on the Wicked Stage

ELLIE
Why do stage struck maidens clamor
To be actin' in the drammer?

GIRLS
We've heard say
You are gay
Night and day.

ELLIE
Oh, go 'way!

GIRLS
We drink water from a dipper,
You drink champagne from a slipper.

ELLIE
Tho' it seems Crool to bust
All your dreams,
Still I must;
Here's the truth I tell you:
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't ever what a girl supposes;
Stage door Johnnies aren't rag-
Ing over you with gems and roses.
When you let a feller hold your hand (which
Means an extra beer or sandwich),
Ev'rybody whispers: "Ain't her life a whirl?"
Though you're warned against a roué
Ruining your reputation,
I have played around
The one night trade around
A great big nation:
Wild old men who give you jewels and sables
Only live in Aesop's Fables.
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't nothin' for a girl.

GIRLS
Though we've listened to you moan and grieve, you
Must pardon us if we do not believe you,
There is no doubt
You're crazy about
Your awful stage!

ELLIE
I admit it's fun
To smear my face with paint,
Causing ev'ryone
To think I'm what I ain't,
And I like to play a demi-mondy role
With soul!
Ask the hero does he
Like the way I lure
When I play a hussy
Or a paramour,
Yet when once the curtain's down
My life is pure,
And how I dread it!

GIRLS
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't ever what a girl supposes,
Stage door Johnnies aren't rag-
Ing over you with gems and roses.

ELLIE
If some gentleman would talk with reason
I would cancel all next season.
Life upon the wicked stage
Ain't nothin' for a girl!

GIRLS
You'd be back the season after!
(DANCE)


9.Till Good Luck Comes My Way

(RAVENAL enters from the saloon, followed by MEN)
RAVENAL
The man who ventures with chance
Is the man who's adding the salt, romance,
To a world
That otherwise is dark and drear.
The sane conservative lot
Have their fate secure in a guarded spot
Of the world,
They're welcome to their drab career.

TENORS
It is all well enough to be grinning
While your winnings grow,
But when Fortune reverses her spinning,
Life is not a-glowing.

BASSES
It is easy to be grinning
While your stack is growing,
But when Fortune reverses her spinning
Life is not a-glowing.

ALL MEN
That is why we like to see
Someone who can be
Unconcerned and free
Like you.

RAVENAL
If I am losing today
I will take my loss and I'll pay
For I know that in time my luck will turn,
It's bound to turn.
Till good luck comes my way
I'll play along,
While there's a game on the highway
I'll stray along
With just the turn of a wheel
Or the flip of a card as my guide.
I let fate decide
If I walk or ride.
Why sit alone with your sorrow
And kill the day?
There may be sunshine tomorrow
To fill the day.
While I've a heart and a brain
And my ebony cane
I can borrow
Until the day when good luck comes my way.

MEN
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain.
Fortune will change like an April day,
So we will wait till good luck
Will come our way!

RAVENAL
Never venture, never gain;
Men of caution, it is plain,
Live in vain,
So I will wait till good luck
Will come my way!

ACT ONE, SCENE FOUR


10.Mis'ry's Comin' Aroun'

(After a short prelude, the curtain rises.
The auditorium of the "Cotton Blossom,"
QUEENIE and the COLORED CHORUS are sweeping and
cleaning in preparation for the rehearsal to come.
JOE is polishing the brass rails)

QUEENIE.
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
De mis'ry's comin' aroun',
I knows it's comin' aroun',
Don't know to who.

QUEENIE & WOMEN
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
De mis'ry's comin' aroun',
We knows it's comin' aroun'
Don't know to who.

JOE
Better hurry up dat cleanin'...
Cap'n Andy gonna rehearse soon.

QUEENIE
Who you givin' orders to, shif'less?

JOE
You heared me... say, what's a matter wif you
today, Queenie? You been snappin' back at me
lak an ol' mud turtle.

QUEENIE
I don' feel right today. You jes' lemme alone
an' keep polishin' yo' rails...

SOLO VOICE
Heaven keep dat devil away.

TWO VOICES
Keep dat misery far away.

TWO MORE VOICES
An' if he is a'comin' today

ALL
Heaven, don'cha let him stay!
(MAGNOLIA and JULIE enter)

MAGNOLIA
Pa ain't here yet.

JULIE
He will be in a minute - you get at your pianner.

MAGNOLIA
Oh, Julie, I hate to rehearse today. I'd rather
sit and talk to you about him.

JULIE
Well, you can't now, honey. I'm goin' to slip
backstage. I don't want your ma to know we
been talkin' together.

QUEENIE
Mis'ry's comin' aroun',
So if you done any wrong
Den lift yo' feet off de groun'
An' fly away.

MEN
If you done any wrong
Jes lif' yo' feet off de groun'
An' fly away, An' fly away.

JULIE
Why you all singin' dat song, Queenie?

QUEENIE
When I got out a bed dis mornin',
ah knowed somethin' was goin' to happen.

JULIE
Well, what's happened?

QUEENIE
Nuthin'... yet.

(sings:)
I knows misery's near,
I don't know why it is here,
Don't know for who,
Don't know for why,
Why dat misery's near.

MEN
I only knows it's near,
Don't know for who,
I don't know for why
Dat misery's near.

SOLO BASS
I knows misery done come here.

(JULIE has by now walked up the steps to the stage. In spite
of herself, she has started rocking and swaying like the others)

JULIE
When I dies, let me rest
With a dish on my breast.
Some give nickel some give dime,
All dem folks is fren's o' mine.

ALL
On my back, in a hack,
In a fohty dollar hack.
No mo' gin, no mo' rum,
Oh, de misery's done come!

JULIE
(suddenly hysterical)
Stop that rotten song!
(Everybody looks at her, awe-struck)
It's enough to bring misery to us all if you
keep singing like that!
(There is silence. ANDY is heard off stage)

ANDY
Take her up, Rubberface!
(The roller curtain is raised revealing ANDY STEVE and
RUBBERFACE waiting for direction. PARTHY enters carrying
some costumes she is mending and takes a position on chair, L.)
What's the matter, Julie? Anything the matter?

JULIE
No, just nervous, I guess. Going to start rehearsal.

ANDY
Might as well. While we're waiting for Ellie and Frank
let's skip right down to Act Three - we'll take it from
where your sister just went out - that's your cue -
y' get up - got your part?

JULIE
I know it -
(JULIE rises and becomes an actress - totally artificial person)
"I wonder what can be keeping Parson Brown? He
promised to be here before dark, and the twilight
is fast fading into night."

STEVE
"Miss Lucy, although I wear the garb of a parson"
(STEVE now steps out of character)
May I make a suggestion here, Cap'n? I thought it'd
be a good idea if while we was talking here for Frank
to pass by and peek in through the window like this.
(He pantomimes Frank sneaking by, and peering through the window
with a blood-curdling expression on his face. MAGNOLIA rises, like a
bright pupil in a classroom)

MAGNOLIA
Y'can't do it! Room's supposed to be on the second floor - Frank
couldn't look in the window if it was on the second floor -

ANDY
I don't think it'd be any good anyway -

MAGNOLIA
Julie let me study her part - I know every line and
all the business - if you forget anything, ask me -

PARTHY
You stick to the pianner, young lady - no play-actin' for you -
(MAGNOLIA sits down at the piano. Enter ELLIE from stage L.)

ANDY
Here's Ellie. You're late!

ELLIE
I'll explain later.

ANDY
Where's Frank?

ELLIE
He's comin'. Steve, I've got somethin' to tell you.
(She runs over to STEVE. She seems nervous and worried.
She stands on tiptoe and whispers in STEVE's ear. He is
visibly affected)

ANDY
All right, Steve - as long as Frank's comin' we'll lead up
to the entrance - C'mon, Steve.

STEVE
(dazed, not able to think as fast as he'd like to)
Er - all right - er - "Miss Lucy - although
I wear the clothes -"

MAGNOLIA
Garb!

STEVE
(His voice seems detached from his thoughts)
"Garb of a parson" - "Beneath these sombre vestments there
is the heart of a man that beats for you alone."

JULIE
(rising)
"Hamilton!"
(They embrace. STEVE whispers in her ear, apparently
what ELLIE told him. She looks at STEVE, horrified. ELLIE
takes one step toward her sympathetically. JULIE looks
over at ELLIE questioningly)

ELLIE
(half whispering)
They'll be here in a minute.

ANDY
(reading script)
All right - embrace over - then what?

JULIE
Then - I say - I say -

ANDY
Prompt her, Nola -

MAGNOLIA
"Hamilton - my own, my own!" Papa! Look at Julie!
(JULIE has fallen limp in STEVE's arms.
He places her on the bench)

ANDY
(running over)
What's the matter?

STEVE
Julie's sick.

MAGNOLIA
(running to her)
What is it, Julie?

ANDY
(puzzled)
Well, you better stop rehearsin' an' rest, so's you'll
be all right tonight.

JULIE
(in terror)
No - no! I can't play tonight.
Don't ask me!
(STEVE is standing at JULIE's side and does not turn around.
His eyes are on JULIE, MAGNOLIA presses JULIE's hair back on
her forehead)

PARTHY
Huh! Playing Fort Adams tomorrow - good a stand as we got -
probably won't be able to open there neither if she's as
sick as all that.

JULIE
(in a high strained voice)
I'll be able to play tomorrow!

STEVE
(in desperation)
She'll be all right as soon as she gets out of this town.

PARTHY
That's a funny thing...

ANDY
Sure you won't be feeling better by night time?
(WINDY shambles on stage L.)

JULIE
(flinging herself into STEVE's arms - clinging to him, weeping)
No! No! Leave me alone, can't you? Leave me alone!

(MAGNOLIA jumps up, frightened by JULIE's sudden outburst)

ANDY
Sure - sure, we'll leave you alone, Julie.
Hello, Windy - what you doin' here?

(The little group turn toward WINDY. He takes his hat off
and rubs his head)

WINDY
Seems that skunk Pete's been up to something. skinned out an
hour back, streaking toward town like possessed. He yanked
that picture of Julie out of the frame on the levee. I seen him.

ELLIE
(to STEVE)
I told you!

STEVE
I'll kill him this time, the -

ANDY
Shut up.

WINDY
Just stepped down to warn you. I seen Pete coming along the
levee with the sheriff. He'll be along now any minute.

ANDY
Well, let him come aboard; our license is paid.

JULIE
What are we going to do?

STEVE
Stay right here - you know what I told you.

(JULIE springs up from the bench and clings to STEVE.
He looses her hold roughly and from his pocket he whips
out a large clasp knife and opens it - all the women scream
but Julie. ANDY springs at STEVE but is shaken off)

ANDY
Steve! What are you doing with that knife?

STEVE
I'm not going to hurt her, you fool - leave me be -
I know what I'm doing.
(MAGNOLIA instinctively seeks shelter in PARTHY's arms)
Somebody go out and keep them away a minute -
Hold out your hand, darling - it won't hurt much
(He seizes JULIE's hand in his left one and runs the
blade across the tip of her finger. He throws the knife
upstage. He bends his head and pressing his lips to the
wound, sucks it greedily. With a little moan JULIE falls
back onto the bench. STEVE looks off left. VALLON enters
left and goes up to the group. Some of the TOWNSPEOPLE
and COLORED SERVANTS have followed him in, and other
curiosity seekers edge in during the ensuing scene. JOE
appears in an upper box, wiping the rails)

VALLON
Hello, Windy. Captain Hawks do you acknowledge to be owner
of the show boat?
(ANDY clutching his whiskers steps forward. His voice
quivers in spite of an effort to be cool)

ANDY
'Course I do. What do you want?

VALLON
Well, Cap, I have an unpleasant duty. I understand there's
a miscegenation case on board -

MAGNOLIA
What's he mean, Mama?

ANDY
How's that?

VALLON
Case of a negro woman married to a white man.
Criminal offense in this state.

ANDY
No such thing - no such thing on board this boat!

VALLON
(producing paper)
Name of the white man is Steve Baker -
(All look at STEVE. He looks straight forward,
meeting no one's eyes)
Name of the negress
(He squints at the paper)
Name of the negress is Julie - Dozier.
(He looks at group)
Which one's them?

MAGNOLIA
(involuntarily)
Julie!
(She takes a step toward JULIE. but PARTHY holds her back)

STEVE
(stepping forward)
I'm Steve Baker
(points to JULIE)
This is my wife -

VALLON
Julie Dozier - my information says you were born in Mississippi.
Your pop was white, and your mammy black - that right?

JULIE
Yes - that's right.

MAGNOLIA
But Julie - you -

VALLON
You two better get your things and come along with me -
(STEVE throws an arm around JULIE's shoulder and faces VALLON)

STEVE
You wouldn't call a man a white man that's got
negro blood in him, would you?

VALLON
No, I wouldn't. Not in Mississippi. One drop of
nigger blood makes you a nigger in these parts.
(JOE stands looking on dumbly)

STEVE
Well, I got more than a drop of - nigger blood in me,
and that's a fact.

VALLON
You ready to swear to that in a court of law?

STEVE
I'll swear to it any place.
(takes a step forward, one hand outstretched)
I'll do more than that. Look at all these folks here.
Every one of them can swear I got nigger blood in me
this minute. That's how white I am.

VALLON
Well, I seen fairer men than you that was niggers...
still, you better tell that to the Judge.

WINDY
(clears his throat and steps forward)
Ike Vallon; guess you know'd me better part of
twenty-five years. I was keel boatin' time you
was runnin' aroun' barefoot on the landin'...
now I'm tellin' you, me, Windy McLain - that
that white man there's got nigger blood in him.
I'll take my oath to that -
(WINDY stands in silence)

VALLON
If it was anybody else but Windy - but I got this straight
from - well, from somebody who ought to know.

ELLIE
(all indignation)
From who? From a sooty-faced river rat named Pete -
and why? Because he's been stuck on Julie here - and
she wouldn't have anything to do with him.

ANDY
That's right, sheriff. That gal's telling the truth.
(VALLON waits quite a while before answering)

VALLON
Guess I got to take Windy's word against this other fella -
(to PARTHY)
Mrs. Hawks, you look like a respectable woman.

PARTHY
I am.

VALLON
Do you all stand by what Windy just said?

ANDY
Why, of course we do. Windy wouldn't tell a lie to save
his own life, you know that, sheriff -

VALLON
Well, I'll take his word for it...
(He starts to go, but stops at entrance)
Only let me tell you this - don't try to give your
show tonight with mixed blood in it - or you'll be
riding out of town on something that don't sit so
easy as a boat.

(VALLON turns deliberately, and exits off L. The eyes
of the crowd follow him, fascinated by the ominous
quality of his final speech. The heads then turn to
the central picture of the stage. JULIE's head is
buried in STEVE's shoulder. He keeps his arm around
her and stands immovable, with set expression on his
face, brave, grimly defiant. PARTHY looks on, contentedly
austere, waiting to see what ANDY will say about all this -
ANDY and MAGNOLIA, emotionally very much like each other,
find the situation quite beyond them - probably each has
a desire to run to the humiliated couple and join STEVE
in protecting JULIE - probably each is too afraid of
JULIE's sensibilities. How can one tell how she will
receive anything?)

STEVE
You needn't all look at us like we were a couple of
wild animals - we ain't goin' to hurt anybody - C'm
on, Julie. We'll pack up our things...

(He releases JULIE. Her shoulders straighten bravely,
but her eyes look down and meet no one's gaze as she
precedes STEVE to their tiny dressing room. R., and exits)

COLORED CHORUS
On my back in a hack,
In a fohty dollar hack,
No mo' gin, no mo' rum,
Oh de misery's done come!

ANDY
(he has to take it out on somebody)
Well, what're y'all standin' around fer like a lot of tree
stumps - clear out, the whole lot of you - go on!
(They turn slowly, as dispossessed crowds always do.
A mutter, a whisper - they are gone. So are the lowlier
members of the cast who retire discreetly to their rooms.
ANDY stops one of them)

ANDY
Rubberface, write out a sign and get it hung up at the post
office. No show tonight. Leave enough cash to refund the tickets.
(to WINDY)
Windy - we pull out o' here soon's Rubberface gets back.
(WINDY turns and exits L., silent and grim. RUBBERFACE exits.
Only PARTHY, MAGNOLIA, ELLIE and ANDY are left on stage and JOE
stands in the upper box, fixed and dumb. MAGNOLIA leaves her
mother and starts walking slowly off stage L.)

PARTHY
Nola! Where you goin'?

(JOE exits from upper box)

MAGNOLIA
I want to see Julie...

PARTHY
You come back here this instant! No daughter of mine's
goin' to talk to that - that -
(running over and grabbing MAGNOLIA's arm)

MAGNOLIA
(shaking her off almost savagely)
Let me go, mother! I'm goin' in to Julie!
(She goes up and exits into JULIE's room)

PARTHY
Well, Hawks, you see what your show boat has done to your daughter -

ANDY
I think the show boat's made a damn fine girl out of my daughter -

PARTHY
I'm goin' straight into that room and pull her away from that lyin',
deceivin' -

ANDY
(stopping her)
Now, wait a minute, Parthy - Julie'll be gone in a few minutes and
it'll all be over. Thing we got to do is figure out how we're going
to give a show tomorrer night without Steve...

PARTHY
You're just as bad off for a leadin' woman -

ELLIE
(rising)
How about me? "Beneath this mirthful mask burns a soul -"

ANDY
(trying to head her off)
No! You're a comedian. I was thinkin' we'd let Nola jump in -
she knows all the parts -

PARTHY
Over my dead body. There never was an actress in my family and
there ain't goin' to be.
(FRANK comes up on stage. His hair is a little mussed - he
walks with exaggerated straightness, like a man who is trying
to carry his liquor. He is a little overloaded and a bit dazed)

ANDY
I just meant to put her in temporary. She don't know much about
actin', but she's got a smile worth a million dollars.

ELLIE
Frank, where you been?

PARTHY
Tell Frank what a fine troupe he's in -

FRANK
You mean - Julie? Know all about it - I was with Pete when he
told the sheriff -

ANDY
Steve and Julie are leavin' - do you know any actor we could
pick up in Fort Adams to jump into the lead?

ELLIE
How about Frank?
(FRANK perks up involuntarily)

PARTHY
Fine leadin' man he'd make, with that face and those flat feet -

FRANK
I never asked to play a lead, did I?
(impressively)
But if you're lookin' for a beauty, I got one -

ANDY
Who?

FRANK
There's a feller I met in town - seems he's got to
leave tonight and there ain't no boats - he asked
me if we took passengers.

PARTHY
O'course we don't take passengers -

FRANK
So I brought him along - he's waitin' outside -
swell lookin' feller -

ANDY
Tell him to come in - let's see him.

FRANK
There he is, looking at the pictures - I'll bring him in.
(calling off L.)
Hey, Mister!... Will you come up here?

ANDY
Looks like a swell...

PARTHY
Looks like a river gambler to me -

ANDY
He's got manner - the gals'd like him - Parthy,
(slapping his knee)
- I believe I'll take a chance -

PARTHY
I declare, Andy Hawks, you'll wind up in a lunatic asylum -
(FRANK leads RAVENAL to the center of the stage)

FRANK
Meet Captain Andy Hawks - this is Mr... er...

RAVENAL
Ravenal is my name, suh - Gaylord Ravenal -
of the Tennessee Ravenals.
(PARTHY sniffs - a little louder than the word
"sniff" suggests. RAVENAL turns to her raises his
eyebrows and turns back to ANDY. If PARTHY doesn't
know her place now, she never will)
I thought, suh, if I could have a bed on your boat
tonight, I could pay you my fare tomorrow at Fort
Adams - I - er - expect a remittance, and -
(ANDY looks at PARTHY who nods a grudging affirmative.
ANDY acts on her endorsement)

ANDY
You ever acted?

RAVENAL
Acted!

ANDY
On the stage - acted - been an actor! We need a juvenile lead -
fifteen dollars a week - chance to see the world - no responsibility.

RAVENAL
Am I to understand that you are offering me the position of juvenile lead?

PARTHY
That's what he means, young man. We don't like to pick up actors
off the wharves, but we can't be choosy jest now -

RAVENAL
Madam, your courtesy is only exceeded by your charm -

ANDY
(delighted to see someone score off PARTHY)
Ha-ha! Better take the job. Fifteen dollars a weekfound money -
no responsibility - a chance to see life -

RAVENAL
I've seen it.
(He turns upstage to FRANK and ELLIE JOE appears in the upper box
and watches the proceedings. At this point JULIE's voice is heard
offstage R. MAGNOLIA runs down to center of the stage, followed by JULIE)

JULIE
Don't Magnolia, please -

MAGNOLIA
(She is very decisive - very brave, despite the tremor in her voice)
Father - half an hour ago Julie was my dearest friend -
And she hasn't changed a bit - to me -
(RAVENAL steps back. She doesn't see him)

ANDY
(quietly)
O'course not, Nola.

MAGNOLIA
Then why are you sending Julie away?

JULIE
He's not sending me, Nola dear - Steve and I want to go...

MAGNOLIA
If Julie goes, I go with her -

PARTHY
Well - that's a nice thing to say!

ANDY
Now don't talk nonsense, Nola - you've got to stay with your mother -
(RAVENAL turns, sees MAGNOLIA)
- no matter what - an' another thing - I'm dependin' on you to play
the leads till we get somebody -

JULIE
See, Nola - what a chance for you - I just know you can act.
(But MAGNOLIA has at last seen RAVENAL and she scarcely sees
or hears anything else. He bows slightly, not certain if
it is tactful to bow at all)

ANDY
An' if this young man'll play the juvenile lead - and if he's
a quick study and wants to act opposite you - we could get
you both ready by tomorrow night -
(to RAVENAL.)
You a quick study?

RAVENAL
(gazing at MAGNOLIA)
Lightning!
(MAGNOLIA bows her head. STEVE enters)

STEVE
Ready, Julie?
(to ANDY)
Didn't have time to get everything together, Cap'n -
if you'll just bundle up our trash and leave 'em at
the post-office in New Orleans, we'll pick it up -

ANDY
Need any money, Steve?

STEVE
No - guess we'll make out all right - thanks. Good-bye.

ANDY
Good-bye, Steve.
(He shakes hands with STEVE. As STEVE takes his hand away
he finds some money in it. He starts to thank ANDY, but
ANDY motions him to be quiet in front of PARTHY)

JULIE
(to MAGNOLIA)
Goodbye, dear -
(MAGNOLIA runs to kiss her. JULIE turns her head away,
but holds MAGNOLIA close to her)
I'll write to you - and you write to me
and tell me all about... everything.
(She looks straight over MAGNOLIA's shoulder at RAVENAL,
then, with sudden impulse she jerks herself away and
runs to STEVE. As JULIE and STEVE exit, JOE calls
timidly from the box)

JOE
Goodbye, Miss Julie - Goodbye, Mars' Steve -

JULIE
Goodbye, Joe
(JULIE and STEVE exit)

MAGNOLIA
Julie! Julie! Wait for me! Julie!

(ELLIE catches her. There is a dead pause. ANDY leads
her back. She looks up and sees PARTHY's bewildered face)

MAGNOLIA
Mama - I'm awfully sorry I talked to you like that -
I - I loved - Julie so -
(FRANK and ELLIE exit L.)

ANDY
(clearing his throat)
Well - well - we ain't got much time -
(picks up a manuscript of "East Lynne")
Here, take this, Mr. Ravenal - I'd like to hear how you
handle dialogue - now the idea of this character is -
you're in love with her, see? Now try it - jest a sample...
Come on, Nola -

MAGNOLIA
What'll I do, Papa?

ANDY
You jest smile, Nola, that'll get 'em.
(JOE, very thoughtful observer of the drama he has just
seen and is seeing - knowing in his wise old head that
this newcomer is going to change conditions on the
show boat, knowing there is nothing he can do to stop
the march of events in this puzzling river world,
falls back on his resigned philosophy, singing
softly to himself, "Ol' Man River", etc.)

RAVENAL
(reading mechanically)
Miss Lucy - will you be mine?

ANDY
No! Nothin' like it! Nothin' like it at all!
More feelin'! You love her! Goshamighty, man,
you love her. Now go on and tell her...

RAVENAL
I understand.
(This time he "feels" it - much more)
Miss Lucy... will you be mine?
(They look into each other's eyes, then with a sudden
mutual impulse, they are in each other's arms, in a long
kiss. ANDY chuckles, PARTHY paces the stage in a panic.
ANDY, noticing this, slaps his thigh and laughs even louder)

JOE
But Ol' Man River,
He jes' keeps rollin' along!

(BLACKOUT)

ACT ONE, SCENE FIVE


11.I Would Like To Play a Lover's Part

(The Box Office on the foredeck of the "Cotton Blossom."
Three weeks later. Box office windows R. and L. Latter marked
"Colored." Wide arch C. leading to the inside of the boat.
Just R. of arch MAGNOLIA's picture - just L. of arch, RAVENAL's
picture, featuring them as leading man and woman. Gang plank L.,
extending off stage to higher level.
At rise, a V-shaped group of girls, with apex at RAVENAL's picture
and a corresponding group of boys at MAGNOLIA's picture. They are
adoring their stage idols)

BOYS
Her face is fair to look upon,
She wins a heart with ev'ry smile -
(sigh)
And one could write a book upon
Her talent, rare and versatile!

GIRLS
No wonder we are thronging at
The gate for seats upon the aisle -
(sigh)
To sit and gaze with longing at
Our fav'rite leading juvenile!

BOYS
We bet that she's in love with him -

GIRLS
We bet that he's in love with her

BOYS
(wisely)
A stage career is seldom prim,
And such romances do occur -

GIRLS
Oh, why should she be havin' all
The kisses of this gorgeous man?
The actor Gaylord Ravenal
Should lead a life Bohemian!

BOYS
Magnolia Hawks - enchanted name -
Your charm for me will never cease!
I'll put your picture in a frame
And keep it on my mantelpiece!

BOYS
Would that I could be he
Having her play opposite me!

GIRLS
Would that I could be she
Having him play opposite me!

ALL
How I would like to play a lover's part
With the girl/man I love with all my heart!

GIRLS
The kissing scene would be sublime,
We'd keep rehearsing all the time!

BOYS
To show my ardent fire
Would not require dramatic art!

GIRLS
Could I be his Ophelia for a day!

BOYS
If I could be her Hamlet -
What a play!
There'd be no melancholy Dane,
I'd make the role a jolly Dane.

BOYS
If I could only play her Lover's part!

GIRLS
If he could only play my Lover's part!
(short dance interlude, interrupted by ELLIE,
whose head appears in box office window)

ELLIE
Tickets on sale!
Better get 'em now!
Sellin' out fast!
Better get 'em now!

GIRLS
(tugging at boys' sleeves)
Tickets on sale!
Better get 'em now!
Sellin' out fast!
Better get 'em now!
(musical interlude - stage business:
BOYS line up at the window - the GIRLS go back to RAVENAL's
picture and stand there adoring it)

GIRLS
Would that I could be she,
Having him play opposite me!
Having him play opposite me!

(FRANK enters and sees the GIRLS. He is
sure he is going to make an impression)

FRANK
Misguided ladies, you will find
The haughty race of leading men
Are but a bane to womankind,
They're fickle and unheeding men!
A heavy man is what you seek,
A wealthy clubman type, like me -
A fellow with a wicked eye -
You're glad to meet me, so am I!
(He puts himself in the center,
in front of RAVENAL's picture)

GIRLS
(apparently singing up to him)
How I would like to play a lover's part
With the man I love with all my heart!
(FRANK smiles contentedly - he moves downstage.
But they, instead of turning with him, keep singing
up to RAVENAL's picture. FRANK, not realizing this,
keeps his satisfied smile)
His clothes all fit him to the quick,
His hair is shiny, soft and slick!

FRANK