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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Cover to original London Cast Recording

A musical based on the MGM/United Artists film. Music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. Adapted for the stage by Jeremy Sands.

London Palladium - 16 April 2002. Closed 4th September, 2005
Hilton Theatre, New York - 28th April, 2005. Closed 31 December, 2005 (285 perfs)

Synopsis

ACT ONE

As the lights dim in the auditorium the Overture begins after which the blue sky and white clouds melt to reveal the crowds cheering the Monaco Grand Prix of 1909. As the crowds disperse after the horrendous crash, years later our former champion car is revealed on a junk pile being driven by Jeremy and Jemima Potts who want to save the Paragon Panther from being melted down for scrap. Mr Coggins promises the car is theirs if their father can raise forty shillings in two days time. After meeting Jeremy and Jemima, Truly Scrumptious takes the two children home in her motorcycle and side car to the windmill in which the Potts family reside among the various failed inventions. Caractacus Potts, the inventor, tells his children how important they are to him. The children explain they need forty shillings to save their old car. Grandpa Potts tells his son he will invent something that will work ... one day and then discovers the sweets he has just made have a unique quality.

Caractacus and the children request an audience with Lord Scrumptious at the Scrumptious Sweet Factory. After meeting Truly Scrumptious again ... she gets Caractacus the vital break he needs .... an introduction. However, the piercing whistles from the toot sweets attracts dogs from around the area which break into the factory and cause havoc.

Meanwhile Boris and Goran, the two spies working for the Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria, determined to steal the secret mechanism rumoured to be responsible for the success of the Paragon Panther racing car... watch over the Potts family ... knowing the children want the car for themselves. They discuss how to blend into English Society so as not to stand out in a crowd.

It is night time and Caractacus assures Jeremy and Jemima he will find a way to get forty shillings to save their car from being destroyed. He sings the children to sleep. The children fall asleep floating off into a land of dreams as Caractacus leaves the mill with his hair cutting machine to join the fun fair which has just arrived in town. It is not a success and in order to avoid a physical confrontation with a dissatisfied customer... now bald, he hides himself as a performer amongst the local Morris dancers. The local turkey farmer pays Caractacus for his machine as he sees other uses for the invention.

Having now purchased the wreck, Caractacus works around the clock whilst the children and Grandpa busy themselves with the housework.

The day of reckoning arrives and the new car, sparkling and gleaming is revealed to all. They decide to go on a picnic with Truly so "the family" jump into the newly named CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG and drive to the beach.

The children comment on how delighted they are with their new friend and at the end of a day in which bonds are made and romance begins to blossom, they all head off back home but discover they are trapped by the incoming tide. Baron Bomburst's warship descends upon Chitty ready to capture her and take her back to Vulgaria, but again the car surprises everyone with its ability to transform into a floating car!

By mistake the Baron's airship captures Grandpa Potts to take him to Vulgaria thinking he is the famous inventor capable of creating magical cars. However Chitty makes chase unfortunately driving over Beachy Head only to reveal another hidden asset saving Caractacus and family once again. They head towards Vulgaria to rescue Grandpa.

ACT TWO

It is the Vulgarian Town Square where the townspeople along with the Baron and Baroness welcome the arrival of Mr Potts, the inventor - or so they think. Grandpa is somewhat confused but soon realises he is in a place that does not tolerate children nor failure. To test his knowledge of inventions the Baron insists Grandpa Potts makes the Royal Car a magical one with the help of the local inventors. Chitty flies overhead just before the Baron attempts to have Grandpa shot and a welcoming party is sent to find the car and its passengers.

Caractacus, Truly, Jeremy and Jemima befriend the Toymaker who warns them children are forbidden in Vulgaria ... they have all been captured by the Childcatcher who patrols the streets. The Toymaker hides the family in his toy shop in which he is building the toys for the Baron's birthday. The Childcatcher however tricks Jeremy and Jemima and captures them whilst Caractacus and the Toymaker visit the Vulgarian children that have been saved and hidden away from the evil henchman.

Under the town, in the sewers, Caractacus meets the pathetic creatures, hungry and cold. He is interrupted by Truly who has climbed down into the sewers to tell everyone of Jeremy and Jemima's impending fate. They all decide to band together to save the day and together hatch a plan.

The Baron and Baroness get ready for the birthday party swiftly followed by Bombie's birthday surprise. After infiltrating the party Caractacus and Truly disguised as dolls lead the attack on the Palace guards. After finding Jeremy, Jemima and Grandpa with the help of Chitty, the family fly off into the night with Vulgaria a happier place without the forces of evil ruling over the people and everyone lives happily ever after!

Musical Numbers

  1. Overture - Orchestra
  2. Opening - Commentator & Company
  3. You Two Them Three - Caratacus, Jermey and Jemima
  4. Toot Sweets - Caratacus, Truly Scrumptious, Lord Scrumptious & Ensemble
  5. Think Vulgar! - Boris & Goran
  6. Hushabye Mountain - Caratacus
  7. Come to the Funfair - Company
  8. Me Ol' Bamboo - Caratacus & Company
  9. Posh - Grandpa Potts, Jeremy and Jemima
  10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - Caratacus, Truly, Jeremy and Jemima
  11. Truly Scrumptious - Jeremy, Jemima & Truly
  12. Chitty Chitty Bang Ban (Nautical reprise) - Caratacus, Truly Jeremy & Jemima
  13. Finale Act 1 - Chitty Takes Flight - Company
  14. Vulgarian National Anthem - Company
  15. The Roses of Success - Grandpa Potts & Inventors
  16. Kiddy-Widdy-Winkies - Childcatcher
  17. Teamwork - Caratacus, Toymaker, Truly & Children
  18. Chi-Chi Face - Baron & Baroness
  19. The Bombie Samba - Baroness, Baron and Ensemble
  20. Doll on a Music Box / Truly Scrumptious (Reprise) - Truly & Caratacus
  21. You Two / Chitty Prayer - Jermey & Jemima
  22. Finale - Chitty Flies Home - Company

Cast of Characters

Instrumentation

Discography

Original London Cast Recording - Mr Bang Bang Records MRBB001