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A Musical (Revue) in Two Acts, 13 Scenes. Conceived by Mary Kyte, Mel Marvin and Gary Pearle. Orchestrations and vocal arrangements by John McKinney.

Originally produced in New York Off-Broadway 17 April 1980 at the Theater at St. Peter's Church for 137 performances. Originally produced by the Arena Stage, Washington, D.C. - Opened 23 October 1980 at the John Golden Theatre and closed 11 January 1981 after 93 performances. Total, including Off-Broadway, 230 performances.

by Steve Lawson

I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger/A-travellin' through this world of woe, but there's no sickness, toil, or danger/In that fair land to which I go.

THE WORLD OF TINTYPES IS THE CURIOUS HALF-CENTURY BETWEEN THE CIVIL WAR AND the Roaring Twenties, one of the most tumultuous eras in American history. Yellow press, Whisky Ring, and conspicuous consumption entered the language, the transcontinental railroad and Carnegie Hall were built, roller-skating became the rage, and such disparate politicians as William Jennings (Cross of Gold) Bryan and Theodore (Bully!) Roosevelt gave Wall Street conservatives heart failure. (Now look! moaned one senator when McKinley's death thrust TR. into the Oval Office. That damned cowboy is President of the United States!)

It was a time of explosive growth: America's population doubled in thirty years, and one-third of the leap came from abroad. A million Irish after the potato famine; three million Germans fleeing Bismarck's blood and iron; nine million Jews, Slavs, and Italians between 1900 and World War I. The opening mime of TINTYPES presents a quintessential immigrant, complete with weatherbeaten cap and sack-a kind of Yiddish Charlie Chaplin-and introduces him to a small gallery of American figures. There's a bluff swell who flips the newcomer a coin and later turns into a toothy, bespectacled Roosevelt. An elegant society lady becomes chanteuse Anna Held. A black woman (whose skin color baffles the immigrant) evolves into the upwardly-mobile hired girl of the time. And a female drifter metamorphosizes into radical Emma Goldman.

Immigrants have a tough time; the gap between the America of their dreams and the reality they faced was often wide. My people do not live in America quipped a bitter Slav in lower Manhattan. They live underneath it In a government run by incompetents who were, in turn, run by tycoons, it's small wonder many were tempted by labor unions, Socialism, or anarchy.

On the average workday, Andrew Carnegie's pension was $44,000-and two million children earned 25 cents. (The most beautiful sight we see anywhere, rhapsodized the founder of Coca-Cola, is the child at labor) Early in TINTYPES, the immigrant dozes off at work and successively dreams of a romantic fling to the waltz tempo of a bicycle wheel, the driving beat of a locomotive, and the reckless abandon of a drive in an automobile. Then he wakes up, dreams shattered, to the ominous minor key of factory labor and the plaintive stories of working girls, their only relief found in letters to neighborhood editors. A popular lyric of the day, And all I want is fifty million dollars, pretty well summed things up: what else should the poor think when John D. Rockefeller claimed that God gave him his money? Could the haves and have-nots share anything of the American experience?

Taken from the notes accompanying the Original Cast Recording.

Scenes and Settings:

Act 1

Scene 1: Arrivals.
Scene 2: Ingenuity and Inventions.
Scene 3: TR (Teddy Roosevelt).
Scene 4: Wheels.
Scene 5: The Factory.
Scene 6: Anna Held.
Scene 7: Outside Looking In.
Scene 8: Fitting In.

Act 2

Scene 1: Panama.
Scene 2; The Ladies.
Scene 3: Rich and Poor.
Scene 4: Vaudeville.
Scene 5: Finale.

Musical Numbers:

Act I

  1. Ragtime Nightingale (Music and Lyrics by Joseph F. Lamb.) (1915)
  2. The Yankee Doodle Boy (from LITTLE JOHNNY JONES, 1904) (Music and Lyrics by George M. Cohan.)
  3. Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay! (Music and Lyrics by Henry J. Sayers.) (1891)
  4. I Don't Care (Music by Harry O. Sutton. Lyrics by lean Lenox.) (1905)
  5. Come Take a Trip in My Airship (Music and Lyrics by George Evans and Ren Shields.) (1904)
  6. Kentucky Babe (Music and Lyrics by Richard H. Buck and Adam Geibel.) (1896)
  7. A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight (Music by Theodore H. Metz. Lyrics by Joe Hayden.) (1896)
  8. Stars and Stripes Forever (Music by John Philip Sousa.) (1897)
  9. Electricity (Music by Karl Hoschna. Lyrics by Harry B. Smith.) (1905)
  10. El Capitan (from EL CAPITAN, 1896) (Music by John Philip Sousa.)
  11. Pastime Rag (Music by Artie Matthews.) (1920)
  12. Meet Me in St. Louis (Music by Kerry Mills. Lyrics by Andrew B. Sterling.) (1904)
  13. Solace (Music by Scott Joplin.)
  14. Waltz Me Around Again Willie (from HIS HONOR, THE MAYOR, 1906) (Music by Ren Shields. Lyrics by Will D. Cobb.)
  15. Wabash Cannonball (traditional)
  16. In My Merry Oldsmobile (Music by Gus Edwards. Lyrics by Vincent P. Bryan.) (1905)
  17. Wayfaring Stranger (traditional)
  18. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child (traditional)
  19. Aye, Lye, Lyu Lye (traditional)
  20. I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (Music and Lyrics by Thomas P. Westendorf) (1876)
  21. America the Beautiful (Music and Lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates and Samuel Ward.) (1910)
  22. Wait for the Wagon (traditional)
  23. What It Takes to Make Me Love You-You've Got It (Music and Lyrics by J. W. Johnson and James Reese Europe.) (1914)
  24. The Maiden With the Dreamy Eyes (from THE LITTLE DUCHESS, 1901) (Music by Bob Cole. Lyrics by James Weldon Johnson.)
  25. If I Were on the Stage (Kiss Me Again) (from MADEMOSIELLE MODISTE, 1905) (Music by Victor Herbert. Lyrics by Henry Blossom.)
  26. Shortnin' Bread (traditional; Music by Reese 'Pree.) (1905)
  27. Nobody (Music by Alex Rogers. Lyrics by Bert Williams.) (interpolated into ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1910)
  28. Elite Syncopations - (Music by Scott Joplin.) (1902)
  29. I'm Goin' to Live Anyhow, 'Til I Die (Music and Lyrics by Shepard N. Edmonds.) (1900)


  1. The Ragtime Dance (Music by Scott Joplin.) (1902)
  2. I Want What I Want When I Want It (from MADEMOISELLE MODISTE, 1905) (Music by Victor Herbert. Lyrics by Henry Blossom.)
  3. It's Delightful to Be Married (from A PARISIAN MODEL, 1907) (Music by Vincent Scotto. Lyrics by Anna Held.)
  4. Fifty-Fifty (Music and Lyrics by Jim Burris and Chris Smith.) (1914)
  5. American Beauty (Music and Lyrics by Joseph F. Lamb.) (1913)
  6. Then I'd Be Satisfied With Life (from RUNNING FOR OFFICE, 1903) (Music and Lyrics by George M. Cohan.)
  7. Narcissus (Music by Ethelbert Nevin.) (1891)
  8. Jonah Man (Music and Lyrics by Alex Rogers.) (1903)
  9. When It's All Goin' Out and Nothin' Comin' In (from SALLY IN OUR ALLEY, 1902) (Music and Lyrics by Bert Williams and George Walker.)
  10. We Shall Not Be Moved (traditional)
  11. Hello, Ma Baby (Music by Joseph E. Howard. Lyrics by Ida Emerson.) (1899)
  12. Teddy Da Roose (Music and Lyrics by Ed Moran and J. Fred Helf.) (1910)
  13. A Bird in a Gilded Cage (Music by Arthur J. Lamb and Harry von Tilzer.) (1900)
  14. Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home? (Music and Lyrics by Hughie Cannon.) (1902)
  15. She's Gettin' More Like the White Folks Every Day (Music and Lyrics by Bert Williams and George Walker.) (1901)
  16. You're a Grand Old Flag (frm GEORGE WASHINGTON, JR.) (1906) (Music and Lyrics by George M. Cohan.)
  17. The Yankee Doodle Boy (reprise)
  18. Toyland (from BABES IN TOYLAND, 1903) (Music by Victor Herbert. Lyrics by Glen MacDonough.)
  19. Smiles (from THE PASSING SHOW OF 1918) (Music by Lee G. Roberts. Lyrics by J. Will Callahan.)