Snow White Goes West
Adaptation and lyrics by Jim Eiler, based on the Brothers Grimm fairy-tale, music by Jim Eiler and Jeanne Bargy
Everyone in this Prince Street Players show catches gold-rush fever as the '49ers meet a classic fairy-tale. With the raucous saloon hall owner, Queenie, handsome Marshall Prince, the Seven Dwarf brothers (miners in "them thar hills") and lovely Miss Snow White herself, can anyone think of a better way to pan for gold? Songs include "Gold in California", "Comin' Home", "An Apple a Day" and "Snow White".
It’s Snow White with a Stetson! Set during the California Gold Rush, this rambunctious tongue-in-cheek retelling of the timeless classic pits the hapless heroine against an ill-tempered saloon hall owner named Queenie and her assistant Sneaky Sam. In true fairy tale fashion, all ends well, thanks to handsome marshal Joe Prince and the seven prospecting Dwarf Brothers.
The Narrator, in full Western get up, enters and sings an old country tune. He explains that there have been many versions of the Fairy Tale of Snow White. Even back in the gold rush days they had their own version of the tale, only it was a Western version. He presents Queenie who owns a saloon: The Crystal Palace. She loves money and gold, but more than anything, she loves herself. She has a magic mirror to which she always asks, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" There are also the seven dwarfs, although in this story, they are seven brothers whose last name is Dwarf. They own and run a gold mine in the Sacramento Mountains. Then there is the Prince; in this story, Joe Prince. His father struck the richest vein in those parts and named it the Prince Mines. He died soon after though and Joe was left everything. He is the richest and most handsome miner in all of California. Snow White and her father, Mr. White come along in search of gold. Her mother died and she never knew her, but her father tells her she looks just like her. She looks at her reflection in the river and finds some gold! They are going to find the nearest town and stake their claim. The nearest town is Vulture Gulch, which is where Queenie runs Crystal Palace. Mr. White tells everyone of his fortune and Queenie swindles him into marrying her and steals all of his property. Soon after, Mr. White dies of a broken heart, leaving Snow White alone to care for her stepmother Queenie.
Queenie puts Snow White to work and treats her as a slave. One day as she is cleaning, Joe comes in and they introduce themselves. Joe had been away for a while and did not even know Queenie had married or who Snow White was. Joe is the newly appointed Marshal of the territory, and was stopping in to tell Queenie she better mend her ways. As he walks away, he realizes that he is quite taken with Snow White. He wishes to get her away from Queenie and to marry her. Queenie asks her mirror again who is the fairest. This time, its response is Snow White. She cannot have this so she decides she must get rid of Snow White. She employs Sneaky Sam to come in after the saloon is closed to kidnap Snow White. He is to take her into the mountains and lose her. He does as he is ordered. Snow White is frightened and runs through the woods and mountains. Finally, she finds refuge in a cave where she collapses from exhaustion. The next morning she wanders and finds her way to a cabin. In it she discovers there must be a family of 7. She crawls into one of the beds and falls into a deep sleep, and is still there when the Dwarf Brothers return. The boys wake her and she tells them her story. They invite her to stay for dinner and she insists that she do the cooking. Meanwhile, Joe has come looking for Snow White and Queenie tells him that she ran off. He does not believe her and warns that he will find her. He tells her that if he finds out she had anything to do with Snow White disappearing, he will close down her saloon and run her out of town. She consults her mirror again sure that she is the fairest now. The mirror tells her that Snow White who is in the cabin of the Dwarf Brothers is still the fairest. Meanwhile, Snow White and the brothers are getting along so well that they decide she should stay with them.
Queenie has consulted her book of magic spells and has come up with a plan on how to deal with Snow White. She disguises herself as a Spanish Peddler who is selling combs, and plans to sell Snow White a comb that contains a magic sleeping potion. The next morning the brothers go off to work and Snow White stays behind to tidy up the cabin. They warn her not to talk to any strangers. After a few hours, Queenie, in her disguise, shows up. At first Snow White will not talk with her, and she does not recognize that it is Queenie. After some work, Queenie persuades Snow White to wear the comb and she faints from the potion. Soon, Joe comes around looking for Snow White. Queenie drags her inside to hide her and resumes her disguise. Joe asks about Snow White and Queenie sends him away saying she has not seen her. The only way to get the comb out of Snow White's hair is for someone to say the magic words, "El gnat nu" which is untangle backwards. She is sure that no one will ever think of this though.
When the brothers get home they find Snow White passed out in the cabin. After some thinking they realize she must be under a spell and they must remove the comb. They figure out the magic words and Snow White wakes up. The next day, after asking her mirror, Queenie finds out that Snow White has been saved! She comes up with another plan. This time, she will use a magic apple and show up disguised as an Indian woman. The brothers go off to work but leave Shorty behind to protect Snow White. She has only poisoned half of the apple so she gets Shorty to taste one side and say it is OK, then she poisons Snow White. The other brothers come home for lunch and find Snow White under another spell! They chase after Queenie, and finally manage to catch her. Joe hears all the commotion and catches up with them. The boys realize this is the Prince that Snow White had told them about. They show him what has happened to Snow White. Queenie insists that this is the only spell she does not know how to undo.Shorty thinks hard and realizes that Snow White is sick. With his poor spelling, he says that sick backwards is kis. If someone kisses her she will wake up. Joe does just that and she indeed wakes up. He asks Snow White to marry him and she accepts. They forgive Queenie for what she has done and the narrator steps into the story as the Minister and marries them.
10 men, 2 women, Chorus
- Joe Prince (lyric baritone): Juvenile lead. Handsome Western hero.
- Mr. White (baritone or bass): Character actor. Kindly and spry old prospector. (can double as Sneaky Sam).
- Narrator (baritone or tenor): Male character actor. It is desirable if the actor can play either a guitar or banjo, as well as a harmonica, but this is optional and not essential to his role.
- Queenie (mezzo): Character comedienne with a lusty belt quality. >
- Sneaky Sam (baritone): Character actor. Queenie's henchman. (can double as Sneaky Sam).
- Snow White (Soprano): Ingenue lead. Very pretty, with long hair.
The Dwarf Brothers - "Hank," "Jake," "Mike," "Chuck," "Pete," "Slim," "Shorty." (any combination of tenors, baritones and basses) The first six brothers should preferably be around 5'8" in height. Shorts should be at least 6' or over.
- Gold In California - Narrator
- Joe Prince - Joe Prince
- Eldorado - Snow White
- Snow White - Joe Prince, Dwarf Brothers
- Kidnapped - Meany
- Seven - Snow White
- Comin' Home - Dwarf Brothers
- Goodnight - Snow White, Dwarf Brothers
- Giddy-up - Dwarf Brothers
- Rita & Spanish Comb - Snow White, Queenie, Meany
- Which Way Did They Go? - Dwarf Brothers
- An Apple A Day - Snow White, Queenie
- The Wedding - Meany