Book and Lyrics by Kenward Elmslie | Music by Claibe Richardson | Based on the novel by Truman Capote
This 1971 musical has long been considered among enthusiasts as one of the lost treasures of the musical theater. Kept alive largely thanks to the extraordinary cast recording featuring an incandescent Barbara Cook, THE GRASS HARP is an intimate tale of fascinating characters carried on the wings of a ravishing score. The title refers to the wind rustling though fields of tall grass - 'a harp of voices telling stories.' This story tells of Dollyheart, a sweet-natured spinster with a secret receipe for an elixir cure, and her demanding sister, Verena, who is determined to exploit the recipe for her own purposes. When tensions rise, Dollyheart leaves her sister's house with their orphaned teenage nephew and black housekeeper in tow to take up residence in a tree house. It isn't long before other outcasts join their extended family including the revivalist Babylove and the children who comprise her Miracle Show, and the dearly eccentric Judge Cool. The deep emotional currents of these shifting relationships lead to an uplifting, compelling reconciliation. THE GRASS HARP is a Broadway cult favorite and anyone who has experienced its emotional tug and exhilarating score easily understands why.
If you really like theater, there are few experiences as cool as standing off stage in the wings during a curtain call. If that moment marks the end of a limited run of a production that has clearly energized the theater, it becomes all the more remarkable. Read more →
In 1971, THE GRASS HARP premiered at New York's Martin Beck Theatre.
"A charming little story." — David Horiuchi, Amazon.com
"One of my most favorite Broadway scores. It is a delightful score with some memorable numbers such as “If There’s Love Enough” and the sly “Marry With Me”. “Yellow Drum” is especially catchy and downright hummable." — Richard Connema, TalkinBroadway.com, January 01, 2003
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Rehearsal Set (22 Books)
20 – Libretto/Vocal Books
1 – Logo CD
2 – Piano Conductor Scores
0 – Digital Logo
Libretto/Vocal Books 10 pack
10 – Libretto/Vocal Books
GRASS HARP - PRE-PRODUCTION PACKAGE
1 – Libretto/Vocal Books
1 – Piano Conductor Scores
1 Teenage Girl
1 Teenage Boy
3 Boys (ages 8-14)
2 Girls (ages 8-14)
Dollyheart Talbo - A quirky but feisty woman in her forties.
Verena Talbo - Dollyheart's older sister; a bossy, demanding, self-assured businesswoman.
Collin - The Talbo sisters' teenage nephew.
Catherine Creek - Dollyheart's lifelong companion; a grouchy but practical woman in her forties.
Judge Cool - A good-natured retired circuit judge in his fifties.
Dr. Morris Ritz - A bombastic, narcissistic drifter.
Maudi Riordan - An extremely pretty, mature teenage girl.
Babylove - A sexy and resilient woman in her thirties.
Sherriff Amos Legrand - An unkempt and paranoid man in his thirties.
The Heavenly Pride-'n-Joys -Babylove's children, ranging in age from eight to fourteen:
Burmashave - The oldest, a son.
Dr. Pepper - The next-to-oldest, a son.
Dixiecup - Gangly and shy, a daughter.
Bubber Texaco - Wears glasses, a son.
Juicyfruit - The youngest and shortest, a daughter.
THE GRASS HARP takes place in various locations in and on the outskirts of Joy City, a Southern town.
The Talbo Backyard in Joy City
The Talbo House
A Tree-House in River Woods
The Front Entrance of the Joy City Jail
Joy City Jail - inside the pokey
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