The Merry Widow from Bluegum Creek
Music By Franz Lehár. New Words and Lyrics by Frank Hatherley.
World Premiere Dubbo Theatrical Society December 1999.
This production was an enormous success with large houses and lots of laughs.
The Merry Widow is unchallenged the most popular Operetta of the 20th Century. Now the soaring, pulsating, sexy music has been lifted by a magnificent, hilarious new libretto. This new work is so good it has been endorsed by the estate of Franz Lehár and may be published soon by the Lehár Family's world wide agent Josef Weinberger.
FRANK HATHERLEY, writer and BBC TV producer, has completely re-written The Merry Widow. Instead of it being the Pontevedrinian Embassy in Paris, it is the newly installed Australian Embassy, in Paris the first from the new Commonwealth in 1901. It is very very funny. The Embassy is told if the Merry Widow ,a young Blond bombshell the widow of a Wool Baron, does not marry an Aussie, the new Commonwealth of Oz will go broke.
PLEASE NOTE NO MUSIC IS CHANGED. WE CANT IMPROVE ON THIS. It's also the same basic plot, but with a twist. Its full of great jokes: for instance, the new Embassy has a flag design competition for Australia - with hilarious consequences.
"Zack: Our French guests mightn't be aware that our new born nation, only Federated this year, is holding a grand competition to design a new flag...I myself have come up with a pretty fair design, even if I say so myself (He inclines his head towards the nearest six-tailed Kangaroo) It attempts to show the coming together of our six great colonial states... you've got to be in it to win it... my staff have made available over here some coloured cards and some crayons."
For the Ball everyone has to come fancy dress as an Aussie! The Merry Widow instead of singing about VILIA sings about the Australian bush.
I still see that gumtree, whose one earthly goal
Was shading the rocks by a deep waterhole.
The fall of its bark showed a trunk gleaming new.
A comfort to strangers who daily passed through.
Wallabies and Cockatoos.
Loved that tree, Stood in wonder just like me.
Bluegum old Bluegum, so proud and so strong.
Shadowing Guarding the old Billabong.
Bluegum old Bluegum you ghost of the night,
Deep in my heart shining bright.
( repeat )
There came a great bushfire that followed the creek. And
blazed through the bushland for many a week. The birds
flew to safety, and each native soul... The Blue gum was
trapped by the seared waterhole.
When at last we all came back
Gleaming Blue was charred jet black.
Still it stands, Symbol of a proud tough land.
Chorus: Bluegum old Blue Gum etc.
3. The seasons revolved and the bushland revived.
The blackened old gumtree with honour survived.
New branches of life sprouted blue every one,
And green were the leaves that filtered the sun.
Not prepared to bow to fate.
Bluegum did regenerate.
Love renewed, That's the Bushlands attitude.
10 Aussie principals, 4 French Principals. 6 French Dancing girls.
Chorus: Guests, suitors, Raoul and band.
A brand new orchestrations is being completed by Stephen Gray, Assistant MD for Les Misérables. It will be set around a string quartet and can be used by an orchestra of between 5 and 10 instruments.