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Viva, Mexico!

Latin-American Music adapted by Ronald Hanmer, book by Phil Park and Bernard Dunn, lyrics by Phil Park

A great favourite with amateur societies, this tongue-in-cheek romantic comedy melodrama involves bandits, American tourists and revolutionaries - and features a highly colourful Aztec ceremonial. The score is a feast of world-famous melodies and dances including "A Media Luz", "El Rancho Grande", "La Cucaracha" and "The Mexican Hat Dance". Theatrically very effective: a show that has pace, impact and lots of laughs.


Mendoza, Mexico's maddest revolutionary, has heard that a stage coach due to pass by El Rancho Grande carries a million American dollars on their way to support the tyrannical rule of the current Presidente. Escorting the fortune is the pompous Senator K. Vanders, of Washington DC, accompanied by his charming daughter Lucille. Since El Rancho Grande is owned by Mama Inez, whose son, Ramon, is one of Mexico's promising young bandits, what is more natural than for Mendoza to despatch Ramon to rob the coach. With the mission accomplished, Pablo and Pepe, who seldom do anything right, are left to bring the stolen luggage back to the Rancho.

Lopez, the villainous chief of the local police, suggests to the outraged Senator that he and his daughter could best recover from their alarming experience by resting a few days at El Rancho Grande. Lucille, overawed by her experience, recognises Ramon as Zorro, the bandit behind the mask! This considerably disturbs his fiancee Raquelita and her fiery friend Lola. Will Lucille betray him, or must an unacceptably high price be paid for her silence?

Bernardo, the sergeant of police offers no threat, as he is more concerned in the musicianship of the police band rather than anything as dull as catching outlaws, but Mama cannot suppress the creepy premonition she has about his Chief of Police, the sinister Lopez.

The story reaches a tense climax during the colourful Aztec ceremony held in a ruined temple where exactly ten years ago Ramon's father was shot dead by Lopez. Will the fate of Ramon be the same as his father's or will he be revenged on Lopez?

Musical Numbers:

  1. El Rancho Grande - Mama Inez, Ramon & Chorus
  2. Mañana - Pablo & Pepe
  3. Love, Stay My Heart - Raquelita & Ramon
  4. Oh, What A Shame - Lucille, Mama, Bernardo & Senator
  5. The Sergeant's Song - Bernardo, Dancers and Chorus
  6. La Cucaracha - Mendoza & Chorus
  7. The Clapping Song - Raquelita, Casilda, Lola, Ramon, Mendoza and Chorus
  8. O Foolish Moon - Lucille
  9. It's Aztec Night Tonight - Chorus
  10. Ay-Ay-Ay - Priestess, Dancers and Chrous
  11. Ritual of the Rising Sun - Priestess, Dancers and Chrous
  12. Tango For Two - Mama and Pepe
  13. Toreadors - Pablo, Pepe, Dancers & Chorus
  14. In Love - Raquelita

Principals: 6 female, 7 male


Raquelita - a Bella Senorita
Lucille - The Senator's daughter
Mama Inez - Owner of El Rancho Grande
Casilda - Friend of Raquelita
Lola - Friend of Raquelita
Priestess - a Mexican singer
Ramon - otherwise the bandit leader El Zorro
Bernardo - Sergeant of Police
Lopez - Chief of Police
Pepe - Ramon's handyman
Pablo - Ramon's handyman
Mendoza - Mexican Revolutionary





Outside 'El Rancho Grande'


Scene 1 Lucille s Bedroom
Scene 2 Cantina
Scene 3 The Site of an Aztec Temple


Village Market Place


flute, oboe, 2 clarinets, bassoon, horn, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, percussion, 5 guitars, reduced brass band, strings