Composers and their stage works 


The Lady and the Clarinet

Comedy. Michael Cristofer.
3 men, 1 woman, plus a non-speaking musician. Interior

The scene is the chic New York apartment of Luba, a woman successful in business but less fortunate in her private life. She is awaiting a male dinner guest and has engaged a clarinet player to provide romantic background music. Falling into a reverie, Luba begins to reminisce about the three men who have meant the most to her in her life thus far - which leads to a series of intriguing flashbacks. In the first Luba is sixteen and meets Paul, a young employee of her father's, who initiates her into the mysteries of sex, but bores her otherwise. Then comes Jack, a high-powered television producer who is successful, exciting and funny, but also married to someone else. Finally there is George, a rich widower who keeps the house for her but looks elsewhere for love. As the play ends the unanswered question is whether her new dinner companion will, at last, be "the man" she has been searching for - but, as the nonspeaking clarinet player so eloquently suggests with smiles, shrugs and instrumental trills, the prospects (measured by the past) are not too promising.
ISBN: 0-8222-0627-7

Lady Audley's Secret, or Death in Lime Tree Walk.

Melodrama. Brian J. Burton, based on the novel by Mary Braddon
M4 (20s, 60s) F4 (20s) Various settings.

Lady Audley has recently married a rich old man and is secure in wealth at last. A visitor from Australia is distraught to find his wife died during his absence. But lo! yet she lives! This same Lady Audley is the wife reported dead. Fearing her ex-husband might upset the apple cart she cracks him on the head and drops his body in the well. Period 1850s

The Lady From Dubuque

Play. Edward Albee. 4 men, 4 women. Interior.

Three young couples are playing Twenty Questions. The drinks have been flowing, so the mood has gone from good to bad in a very short time. As it happens, the hostess, who has the most abrasive tongue of all, is dying of cancer, and the party ends when her pain becomes so intense her husband must carry her to bed. After the stage is empty, a handsome, mysterious woman, accompanied by an equally handsome man, enter the house and settle in for the night. In the morning they are still there to greet the baffled young husband and his ailing wife when they come down for breakfast. Unruffled by the young couples questions, the two must also confront the guests of the previous evening. While claims are accepted that the mysterious woman is the mother of the dying wife, intriguing inconsistencies remain: Is she, in truth, the angel of death? In the end there are no neat answers, but questions raised, and debated, will reverberate in the mind long after the play itself has ended.
ISBN: 0-8222-0628-5

The Lady From Havana

Comedy. Luis Santeiro. 3 women. Unit Set

In Act I, Mama, an elegant older woman from Cuba, arrives at the Miami home of her daughter, Marita, with her former maid, Zoila, in tow as well as a host of misgivings about living in exile in the United States. As the mother and daughter circle each other warily, the clash of cultures, generations and character create one confrontation after another. But there's little doubt that Mama is beginning to assimilate, even attempting to work the new system as an Avon lady. Act II opens in a funeral parlor, with three elderly Cuban American ladies sitting watch over a corpse which is gradually revealed to be Mama. It is ten years later and, in one of the funniest funeral scenes ever written, a great deal is revealed about survival and the amazing, and often comical, resilience of the human spirit.
ISBN: 0-8222-0629-3

The Lady From the Sea

Drama. Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer.
5 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

Set in late summer on a west Norway fjord, this five-act drama relies principally on subtle character development and a poetically evocative mood. Ellida, the second wife of Dr. Wangel, is restlessly dissatisfied with her marriage because she is haunted by a love vow she made to a sailor years earlier. Fascinated by the sea, she is still waiting for the mysterious sailor who swore to come back one day and claim her. When a stranger suddenly appears, Ellida realises that the sailor has indeed returned. She is torn between her husband and the demonic spell of this man, who both terrifies and fascinates her. When Dr. Wangel finally releases her from her marriage vows, allowing her full freedom of choice, she realises the depth of his love for her and finds the will to reject the stranger and wholeheartedly accept her marriage.
ISBN: 0-41340350-8

A Lady Mislaid

Kenneth Horne : Comedy 3M 4F Interior set

Two unmarried sisters have rented an isolated country house in search of peace and quiet to aid the younger sister's recovery from a recent nervous breakdown. They have hardly arrived before the police come and start digging in the garden for the dismembered body of the wife of the previous tenant who has mysteriously disappeared. Their peace is shattered, the quiet country atmosphere they longed for becomes chaotic and when the husband of the supposed victim turns up in the shape of a very meek and timid little man, the twists and complications which follow lead to hilarious surprises for everyone.

The Lady's Not For Burning

Poetic Comedy. Christopher Fry. 8 men, 3 women. Interior.

Thomas Mendip, a discharged, soldier, weary of the world and eager to leave it, comes to a small town, announces he has committed murder, and demands to be hanged. A philosophical humorist, Thomas is annoyed when the officials oppose his request, even believing he is not guilty of the crime he suggests. Shortly afterward, a young woman, Jennet, is brought before the Mayor for witchcraft, but for some strange reason she has no wish to be put to death! Thomas tries, in his own way, to prove to the official how absurd it would be to refuse to hang a man who wants to be hanged, and at the same time to kill an attractive woman who is not only guiltless, but doesn't want to die. Jennet enjoys the banter and soon sees the merit in Thomas the man. The Mayor's family members, clerks and officials gather for an impending wedding and seem to be stuck with the dilemma of two uninvited people - who may or may not be hanged in the morning - who must be included in the prenuptial activities. Through the party and the night, the intended bride slips off with the orphan clerk, two brothers fight over the bride and later become bored over her, the Mayor gets the vapours, Jennet becomes the guest of honour and poor Thomas falls helplessly in love. Luckily, Jennet has fallen for him too and when the so called murder victim is found alive and inebriated, Thomas can't be hanged. The family, having grown fond of Jennet and with no proof of her witchcraft, leaves the question of hanging until morning. Justice Tappercoom indicates he will turn a blind eye if she escapes. Jennet convinces Thomas that a life with her is worth putting off his hanging, and they run away together as dawn rises.
ISBN: 0-8222-1431-8