Jack and the Beanstalk
(Music by Jeanne Bargy and Jim Eiler: Book and Lyrics by Jim Eiler)
A new twist on the old pantomime story wherein Jack climbs the beanstalk to find a good giant and a tap-dancing Golden Goose. Along the way, he encounters his long-lost father (a victim of – what else? –amnesia) and a villainous Baron. This delightful zany cartoon adaptation of a favourite story will enhance the repertoire of any performing company and is sure to delight even the most jaded of audiences!
Jack Sprague is milking his cow, Betsy, as his morning comes to an end. His mother joins him outside with some mending and, with their neighbours, they observe what a beautiful day it is.
Moments later, the evil Baron shows up, asking for the Sprague's annual tax money. They reveal that they do not have it. He offers to assist them by proposing to Mother, who promptly spurns his advances, claiming her husband, and Jack's father, will eventually return. The Baron gives them until the next day to come up with the tax money or else he will throw the two into jail. When Jack tries to refuse, the Baron puts both Jack and his mother in a trance, revealing his magic powers. He releases them from the trance and leaves them to come up with the money.
Jack and his mother are at a loss for what to do. They decide the only way to pay their taxes is to sell their cow, Betsy. Mother says goodbye to Betsy, and sends Jack and the cow to the market to get a good price. The Baron overhears their conversation and quickly forms a plan. He disguises himself as a peddler, approaches Jack and offers to sell him magic beans in exchange for the cow. The Baron explains that once planted and watered, the beanstalk will grow while Jack is asleep. He claims that atop the beanstalk there is a castle with a golden goose which lays golden eggs, and that this goose will make Jack rich. Jack accepts the trade.
Back at the Sprague's house, Jack's mother is furious with him for trading his cow for beans. She is sure they will be thrown into jail. Jack tries to comfort her as he plants the beans. The next morning there is a beanstalk leading up to the sky; Jack and his mother are in disbelief but he decides to climb the beanstalk and get the goose. His mother desperately begs him not to go, worried he might never return. Jack bids his mother goodbye and assures her that he will return.
Jack makes it to the top of the beanstalk into a strange land where everything is bigger. A housekeeper, assistant, and natives of the land find him and insist that he leave, for he is in the land of the giant. Jack, who insists he must find the golden goose, becomes trapped when the giant appears from inside of the castle. The Giant finds him hiding amongst the flowers. When Jack tries to explain his intentions, the Giant becomes infuriated.
Now, within the Giant's laboratory, Jack has been taken prisoner and strapped into an experimental chair. The Giant explains that he is not only a great Giant, but also a great scientific inventor. The Giant uses his inventions to calm Jack down, then injects him with Giant Truth Serum to learn if he is really a spy. Under the effects of the serum, Jack explains that he learned of the golden goose from an old peddler, and came to take it to help pay for his family's taxes. The Giant feels sorry for Jack, gives him food and shows him his golden harp, which plays on its own.
After the harp's performance, the Giant shows Jack his greatest invention: the Golden Goose. Not only does the Goose lay golden eggs, but it also talks and sings. After the Goose's performance, the Giant tells Jack that he will be his new assistant and stay there forever. Jack says he must go home for his mother, but the Giant explains that he will be given 'Forget Who You Are' Formula. The Giant asks his current Assistant to deliver the Formula to Jack and leaves to inspect the castle. The Assistant pulls Jack aside and tells him if Jack pretends to have been given the Formula, they can escape during the night. In return, the Assistant asks that Jack help him find out who he is. The Giant returns and convinced the Formula has worked, the Giant goes to bed.
Once asleep, the Assistant wakes up Jack and they make their escape. While trying to escape, Jack accidentally bumps into the goose, which honks, raising the alarm. The Housekeeper enters, but Jack and the Assistant are able to fool her into thinking the wind woke up the goose. After all has settled down, they attempt to escape again but Jack decides he must take a golden egg. The alarm starts again and Jack and the Assistant make a run for it, followed by the Housekeeper, the Goose, the Harp and the Giant.
Back on the ground, the Baron chases Jack's Mother around her house. He puts her under a spell to make her agree to be his wife. Jack returns with the Assistant and a golden egg, but the Baron puts a spell on them and steals the egg. He then sees the Giant coming down the beanstalk with the Goose, and cuts down the beanstalk with an axe to get to the Goose. But when The Baron tries to steal it, the Giant subdues him with one of his formulas. Once the Baron is knocked out, the Giant wakes up Jack, the Assistant, and Jack's Mother. Jack's mother discovers that the Assistant is her husband.
The Giant, realizing that the Baron is the one who keeps going for his Goose, gives him a Sweetness and Light Formula which transforms him into a sweet angel. After all has been fixed, the Giant realizes he cannot go home because his beanstalk has been chopped down. The now friendly Baron offers for the Giant to stay in his castle, as it has room for him and all his inventions, including, of course, the Golden Goose.
Scenes and Settings
Scene 1: Jack's Farm, morning.
Scene 2: Top Of The Beanstalk, Immediately following.
Scene 1: The Giant's Laboratory, Afternoon, then Evening
Scene 2: Jack's Farm, The Next Morning
4-5 Male, 3-4 Female, Cow.
- Jack Sprague - Juvenile. He needs to move well and be able to dance. Mid-teens (Baritone)
- Mrs. Sprague - Jack's mother. Mid-thirties (Soprano)
- The Assistant - A fatherly type and actually Jack's father suffering from anmesia. Mid-thirties (Baritone)
- The Baron - The baronial villain, powerful and dynamic. (Baritone)
- The Giant - Should be as tall as possible; In this version he is not the villian, but a loveable,comedic character. Should be able to dance and move well and have a good sense of timing and farce. (Baritone)
- The Golden Goose - Should be a farcical actress with ability to perform all the old vaudeville style moves. (Mezzo or Pop Voice)
- The Golden Harp (Male or Female) - A mechanical, robot-like creation of the Giant. (Tenor or Soprano)
- The Housekeeper - Should be as small as possible in contrast to the Giant (Soprano)
Chorus - Neighbours and Beanstalk People
- A Magical Musical Day - Jack, Mother, Cow, Neighbours
- Goodbye Little Cow - Mother, Cow
- Magic Beans - Baron, Jack
- Gonna Climb Up -Jack, Mother
- Go 'Way - Housekeeper, Beanstalk People
- Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum - Giant, Beanstalk People, Jack
- Giant's Tango - Giant
- Plink-a, Plunk-a - Harp
- Goose - Goose
- We Must Get Out Of Here - Housekeeper, Jack