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Paint Your Wagon – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1951

Paint Your Wagon – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1951

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Synopsis

Act I – The California Wilderness. May 1853. While Ben Rumson, a crusty old miner, is conducting a make-shift funeral for a friend, his sixteen-year-old daughter Jennifer discovers gold dust in the dirt. Instantly Ben claims the land as his own. Soon word has reached out across the land to other prospectors who’ll find their way to the brand new town of Rumson – I’m On My Way. In two months’ time the population of the town has swelled to 400 – all men! With one exception, the young and innocent Jennifer. Jake Whippany, a prospector waiting to save enough money to send for his dear female companion Cherry and her Fandango girls, relates the situation – Rumson. Jennifer senses the tension in the town around her. What’s Goin’ On Here? As if this isn’t enough, it’s been two months since the men have had clean laundry. They sent it out two months ago and the Indian that does it has come and told them it’ll be another month until it is returned to them. Julio Valveras, a handsome young miner, who is forced to live and mine outside of town because he’s Mexican, enters with dirty laundry. He discovers, much to his dismay, the Indian has already left. In Julio’s haste to get to town he has injured his foot. Jennifer helps him dress the wound and offers to do his laundry. They talk to one another and, more importantly, they also listen – I Talk To The Trees. The isolation is really getting to the men, especially Steve Bulmack. While Jake plays his banjo, Steve and the other men ponder the lonely nomadic life they lead – They Call The Wind Maria. Two months later, Jennifer’s presence is proving to be a continual source of exasperation to the miners. They tell Ben that they can’t be responsible for their actions, at least as far as Jennifer is concerned, and ask Ben to send her away. Ben berates Jennifer for doing Julio’s laundry. She explains that Julio’s laundry keeps her occupied. Ben wishes that Jennifer’s mother were still alive, for she would know how to handle this. Jennifer asks him to tell her more about her mother – I Still See Elisa. Ben leaves to go into town for a drink. Jennifer, while sorting Julio’s laundry, can’t help but think about him – How Can I Wait? Ben returns unexpectedly and sees Jennifer dancing with Julio’s clothes. He announces that she is going East on the next coach! Meanwhile just outside of Rumson, a Mormon man, Jacob Woodling, and his two wives, Sarah and Elizabeth, are wandering the countryside looking for a place to settle down. But so far no town has been willing to allow them to stay. Sarah has a newborn baby, and relations between Sarah and Elizabeth are quite strained. When they arrive in Rumson hoping to be allowed to settle there, Ben and the rest of the miners demand that Jacob sell one of his wives. After all, there are 400 of them and no women, and Jacob is one man with two wives. Jacob doesn’t want to, but Elizabeth pleads to be auctioned off. Much to Ben’s surprise, he finds himself wooing Elizabeth with an even-handed, fair-minded description of himself – In Between. Later, having won Elizabeth for $500, Ben is feted by the other miners – Whoop-Ti-Yay. Disgusted by her father’s actions, Jennifer runs away. Just before dawn she finds herself at Julio’s cabin. She has come to tell him good-bye and vows to be reunited with him in a year’s time – Carino Mio. Later that day the men are eagerly anticipating the arrival of the coach upon which Jake has promised will be Cherry and her Fandango girls – There’s A Coach Comin’ In. With a great deal of fanfare, the Fandango girls arrive, and Jennifer, besides leaving her father behind with his new wife, leaves Julio, who dreams of the better life they will make for themselves when she returns. As the coach pulls away, another miner tells Julio that his claim is running dry. Julio realizes that the time has come for him to move on or else he will be broke and have nothing when Jennifer returns home. He is in despair at the thought of not being there to greet her and explain what has happened. Act II – A Year Later. October. At Jake’s saloon, Jake and the miners celebrate the high times in Rumson and life with the Fandango girls – Hand Me Down That Can O’ Beans. Edgar Crocker, a miner who has been smart enough to save his money, has his eye on Elizabeth, and the feeling is mutual. Ben, however, is blind to their attraction. Instead he suspects, and quite rightly, that Raymond Janney is after her. Another miner, Mike Mooney, tells a depressed and broke Julio about a lake upstate that is all gold dust at the bottom. Julio tells him he’s heard of it but that he thinks it’s only a fable. Besides, no one has ever come back from there alive. Julio’s spirits are so low that he considers Mike’s offer to go looking for the lake, as it’s his only hope – Another Autumn. The mines go dry and the miners pack up and leave Rumson, searching for another strike. Ben’s town is fast becoming a ghost town. In December, Jennifer, more mature and ladylike than before, arrives, much to the surprise of Elizabeth. When Elizabeth tells her how glad she will be to have Jennifer living with them, Jennifer tells her that she won’t be staying on. She’s getting married. That’s the reason she went East and learned civilized ways – All For Him. Ben is angry upon seeing her, but then is glad. She neglects to mention that the reason she came back was for Julio. She asks Ben what his plans are now that the town is folding up around him. He replies he wasn’t meant to stay in one place very long – Wand’rin’ Star. The next day, as Cherry and the girls are packing to leave Rumson, Jennifer asks them about Julio. They remember that he left town awhile ago in search of a lake with a bottom of gold. Jennifer is angry at this news, but then she remembers how much she loves Julio and her anger subsides. Raymond Janney offers to buy Elizabeth from Ben – after all that’s how he got her – and Rumson sells her to him for $3,000. During this transaction, much to Ben’s surprise and Janney’s dismay, Elizabeth runs off with Edgar Crocker. Word reaches the now sparsely populated town that there’s been another strike forty miles south of Rumson. Just about everyone who is left packs up to go. A few people stay behind. One of them is Jennifer, who hopes for Julio’s return. Another is Ben, who realizes that for better or worse Rumson is his town. He can’t leave. Late in April. Julio appears. He is tired and spiritually defeated. Ben welcomes him and tells him that Jennifer is in the store. Julio is amazed to hear that she is there. Ben tells him that she never gave up hope. Jennifer sees Julio and stares at him in disbelief. Behind them, as they move toward one another, the whole expanse of California is revealed with wagons and people on the move.

Credits

Walt: Bert Matthews Jennifer Rumson: Olga San Juan Salem Trumbull: Ralph Bunker Jasper: Ted Thurston Ben Rumson: James Barton Steve Bullnack: Rufus Smith Pete Billings: James Mitchell Cherry: Kay Medford Jake Whippany: Robert Penn Mike Mooney: John Randolph Doctor Newcomb: David Thomas Sing Yuy: Tom Ai Lee Zen: Chun-Tao Cheng Edgar Crocker: Richard Aherne Sandy Twist: Jared Reed Reuben Sloane: Gordon Dilworth Julio Valveras: Tony Bavaar Jacob Woodling: Josh Wheeler Elizabeth Woodling: Marijane Maricle Sarah Woodling: Jan Sherwood Dutchie: Bert Matthews Carmelita: Lorraine Havercroft Yvonne Sorel: Gemze De Lappe Suzanne Duval: Mary Burr Elsie: Gisella Svetlik Raymond Janney: Gordon Dilworth Rocky: James Tarbutton Joe: Delbert Anderson Ed: Edgar Thompson Bill: Newton Sullivan Sam: Feodore Tedick Johansen: John Anderson Ensemble: Gino Baldi, Edward Becker, Jack Dabdoub, John Faulkner, Robert Flavelle, John Schickling, John Schmidt, John Spach, Newton Sullivan, Tamara Chapman, Joan Djorup, Katia Geleznova, Dorothy Hill, Stuart Hodes, Jean Houloose, Carmelita Lanza, Robert Morrow, Ilona Murai, Paul Olson, Dick Price, Charlotte Ray, Mavis Ray, Frederick Schaeffen, John Smolko