(Now rare. While still available on CD, we are nearly through our production run of CDs. Supplies are limited.)
Now Available for Digital Download (with Audio Samples) at CD Baby, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk, – and all amazon stores worldwide – iTunes, 7digital, Shazam, 24-7 Entertainment, Google Play Music Store and other online retailers!
Original Broadway Cast Recording! Starring Barry Bostwick, Rhonda Coullet and Barbara Lang! Includes the songs, “Sleepy Man” (a classic), “Little Piece of Sugar Cane”, “Poor Tied Up Darlin'”, “Goodbye Salome”, “That’s the Way the People Blend”, “Grab Your Mate and Skedaddle All” and the remarkable Barbara Lang’s rendition of “The Pricklepear Bloom” and more!
1. Once Upon The Natchez – Barry Bostwick, Rhonda Coullet, Steven Vinovich, Barbara Lang, Lawrence John Moss, Trip Plymale, Ernie Sabella, The Company
2. Sudden The Day Looks Sunny/ Two Heads – Barry Bostwick/ Lawrence John Moss, Ernie Sabella, The Company
3. Steal With Style – Barry Bostwick, The Company
4. Rosamund’s Dream – Rhonda Coullet, Barry Bostwick
5. The Pricklepear Bloom – Barbara Lang, The Company
6. Nothin’ Up – Rhonda Coullet, The Company
7. Deeper In The Woods – The Company (Featuring Tom Westerman, Dennis Warning
8. Riches – Steven Vinovich, Barry Bostwick, Barbara Lang, Rhonda Coullet
9. Little Piece Of Sugar Cane – Barry Bostwick, Rhonda Coullet, The Company
10. Love Stolen – Barry Bostwick, The Company
11. Poor Tied Up Darlin’ – Lawrence John Moss, Trip Plymale, The Company
12. Mean As A Snake – Carolyn McCurry, The Company
13. Goodbye Salome – Lawrence John Moss, Barbara Lang, The Company
14. Sleepy Man – Rhonda Coullet, The Company
15. Where Oh Where Is My Baby Darlin’?/ Pass Her Along/ Wedding Ceremony/ Finale – Barry Bostwick, Steven Vinovich, Rhonda Coullet, The Company/ The Company/ Dennis Warning/ Barry Bostwick, The Company
16. Company’s Comin’ – Townspeople
17. There’s The Way The People Blend – Dennis Warning
18. Gallop To Your Treasure Thy Wife – Dennis Warning
19. Grab Your Mate And Skedaddle All – Trip Plymale
20. You Got You A Suckling Pig – Barbara Lang, Susan Berger, Trip Plymale
21. Poor Little Baby Darlin’ – Townspeople
A NOTE ABOUT THE BONUS TRACKS: There was talk of making THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM into a “Story Theatre” LP (at the time of its original release) with dialogue to be added connecting the songs and the addition of a narrator. It would have been a gatefold 2-LP set. The additional songs were recorded, in case that project ever came about, during the original (and only) Robber Bridegroom recording session but there was not enough room for them on the original (single) LP (even as bonus tracks) and, as you are well aware, the larger ‘Story Theatre’ edition never materialized. The songs are a bit of a curiosity now. We here at Original Cast Records were thrilled to be able to present the additional material for the CD and now the Digital Download.
HISTORY OF “THE ROBBER BRIDEGROOM”
The show started with an early 1970s production at St Clements Theatre in producer Stuart Ostrow’s Musical Theatre Lab, which invented the concept of the “workshop” development process for musicals. Raul Julia starred as Lockhart.. Other cast members included Steve Vinovich (Clemment Musgrove), Rhonda Coullet (Rosamund), John Getz (Little Harp), Ernie Sabella (Big Harp), Trip Plymale (Goat), Dana Kyle (Airie), Susan Berger (Salome), John Houseman bought the show for his group, The Acting Company and took it to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York with Kevin Kline replacing Julia, Patti LuPone as Rosamund, and Mary Lou Rosato as Salome. It then was staged at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago in the summer of 1975.
The first Broadway production, with the same Ravinia cast directed by Gerald Freedman and choreographed by Donald Saddler, opened in a limited engagement on October 7, 1975 at the Harkness Theatre, where it ran for 14 performances and 1 preview before setting out on a one-year US national tour. Its success on the road convinced the producers to mount a revamped Broadway production with an extended book and expanded, heavily bluegrass-tinged score.
The music was arranged for guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bass and banjo, deemed “country and Southern” by Clive Barnes.
The second Broadway production opened on October 9, 1976 at the Biltmore Theatre, where it ran for 145 performances and 12 previews. The show was directed by Freedman, choreographed by Saddler, scenery Douglas W. Schmidt, costumes Jeanne Button, lighting David F. Segal, associate producer Porter Van Zandt, production stage manager Mary Porter Hall, stage manager Bethe Ward, and press by Sandra Manley and The Merlin Group, Ltd. The band, or the “McVourie River Volunteers”, consisted of Bob Jones (guitar, fiddle), Alan Kaufman (fiddle, mandolin), Steve Mandell (guitar, banjo), Roger Mason (acoustic and electric bass), Evan Stover (fiddle), and Tony Trischka (banjo, bandleader).
The cast included Barry Bostwick (Lockhart), Steve Vinovich (Clemment Musgrove), Rhonda Coullet (Rosamund), Lawrence John Moss (Little Harp), Ernie Sabella (Big Harp), Trip Plymale (Goat), Susan Berger (Goat’s Mother), Jana Schneider (Airie), Carolyn McCurry (Raven), and the great Barbara Lang (Salome). The residents of Rodney included George DeLoy (Kyle Nunnery), Gary Epp (Harmon Harper), B.J. Hardin (Norman Ogelsby), Mary Murray (Queenie Brenner), Melinda Tanner (Rose Otto), Dennis Warning (Gerry G. Summers), and Tom Westerman (K.K. Pone).
An original cast recording of the 1976 production was released on LP by CBS and subsequently on CD by Bruce Yeko’s Original Cast Records.
Since its inception, the show has been staged regularly by regional theatres throughout the country.
In modern times, Jamie and the other people involved tell of their ancestors, and the time dissolves to 18th century Mississippi.
Robin Hood-like Jamie Lockhart, a legendary character in Mississippi folklore, rescues Clemment Musgrove, who is the wealthiest plantation owner in Natchez Trace from the Harp gang and attempts to woo and win his daughter Rosamond. Standing in his way is her stepmother Salome, whose romantic designs on the gentleman robber lead her to plot the girl’s murder. Her scheme falls apart when the clueless henchman she hires to do the deed mistakenly kidnaps Salome instead.
What ensues is a series of escapades worthy of a Grimm fairy tale…
As the show opens, the cast appears in modern dress. Jamie and the other actors sing of their ancestors and the story that’s about to unfold (“One Upon the Natchez Trace”). By the end of the number they have shed their modern garb to reveal their 1795 period costumes and the characters they will portray.
As the number ends Clemment Musgrove, a wealthy planter, arrives fresh off the boat from New Orleans with a bag full of gold he’s received for his cotton crop. He’s afraid someone’s going to steal his money before he makes it home; nevertheless, he’s too exhausted to travel and takes an exorbitant room the Golden Fleece. Meanwhile, Little Harp has been skulking in the shadows his pet Raven and a box containing his brother Big Harp’s talking head (Big Harp was beheaded for stealing a while back and Little Harp has been the keeper of his noggin ever since).
It quickly becomes clear that Little Harp is the brawn and Big Harp is the brain of this operation (“Two Heads”), as they prepare to steal Musgrove’s bag of gold. But as they enter Musgrove’s room (he’s sleeping), Jamie Lockhart is already there.
They all pretend to fall asleep, at which point Musgrove wakes up. At knifepoint, Jamie lures him into the closet telling him that Little Harp, who is now asleep on the floor, is going to kill him. They replace themselves in the bed with sugar cane stalks and hide out. Little Harp wakes up, pummels the bed with a plank, takes the moneybag, puts it under his pillow and goes back to sleep.
In the morning, when he arises to an unscathed Musgrove, he’s convinced Musgrove is a ghost and hightails it, leaving behind his bird and Big Harp. Musgrove’s grateful to Jamie for saving his life and offers him a reward. When Jamie won’t take his money, Musgrove invites him back to his plantation to meet his second wife, Salome, and his beautiful daughter, Rosamund.
Although he has numerous opportunities to steal Musgrove’s bag of gold, Jamie opts to play the honest man for now because he believes there will be greater treasure to steal at the plantation (“Steal With Style”). He does, however, steal Little Harp’s raven – and Little Harp vows revenge.
Back at the plantation, Salome is waiting for her husband to return home and Rosamund is waiting for her knight in shining armor to carry her away (“Rosamund’s Dream”). Salome sends Rosamund out to the indigo field to fetch fresh herbs, hoping, as she always does, that the girl will come to ruin. When Musgrove arrives, it’s clear the only thing Salome was waiting for was the cash from his crop and the muscadine wine.
She’s enraged when he shows her the beautiful dress and petticoat he’s brought for Rosamund, for she feels her own beauty goes constantly unrecognized. (“Prickle Pear and Lilybud”).
Vowing to bring about Rosamund’s doom she enlists the help of Goat, a half-witted boy from town. For a basket of peaches and a suckling pig, Goat agrees to push Rosamund into the ravine as she’s picking herbs. He skulks behind her, waiting to strike, as she, oblivious, gathers in her brand new dress (“Ain’t Nothin’ Up”). But Goat never gets a chance; for Jamie appears, disguised as a bandit with a berry-stained face and steals all her clothes.
Rosamund returns home naked.
Salome’s shocked she isn’t dead. She and Musgrove disbelieve her story of being robbed by the Bandit of the Woods. After retelling the events 32 times they are finally won over and Musgrove vows to send Jamie Lockhart, to catch the fiend and avenge Rosamund’s honor.
Meanwhile, Rosamund goes back to the woods to meet her Bandit once again. In a romantic number, narrated as a well-loved old piece of ancestral lore by the ensemble, Rosamund and Jamie consummate their relationship (“Deeper in the Woods”).
Meanwhile, Salome is preparing the house for Jamie Lockhart’s arrival. Rosamund, now in love with her bandit, wants no part of him. She covers herself in dirt and pretends to be a goofy simpleton. Musgrove offers Jamie her hand in marriage should he catch the Bandit of the Woods (“Marriage is Riches”).
Jamie asks to have until Wednesday to ponder the offer, for he’s in love with the girl he met in the woods (whom he doesn’t recognize as Rosamund). Meanwhile, Goat is still following Rosamund as she goes to Jamie’s cabin. She cleans, makes cornbread and changes the sheets, but when Jamie arrives, he’s not at all happy to see her there and knocks her unconscious for he prefers to chase women and not have them come to him (“Love Stolen”).
As the second act opens, Rosamund is trying to get the berry stains off of Jamie’s face. He tells her, however, that their love must always remain anonymous. He also tells her he’s been offered the hand of a “knock-kneed, cross-eyed” heiress and plans to marry her for “business reasons” and keep his girl from the woods as his lover on the side.
Jamie then goes to tell Musgrove he’ll marry Rosamund, only to find that she’s been kidnapped by the Bandit of the Woods. Distraught, Musgrove offers him his entire fortune for Rosamund’s safe return. Distraught that Musgrove has promised away his money, Salome once again enlists Goat to find where the bandit is hiding Rosamund.
Meanwhile, Little Harp and Big Harp are hankering for some female company when they come across Goat going to fetch Rosamund for the price of Salome’s suckling pig. Little Harp offers him everything he can think of, including his Big Harp’s head, if Goat will bring the girl to them (“Poor Tied Up Darlin'”). Goat decides to double deal and brings Little Harp his unwed sister Airie covered in a burlap sack.
Just then, Jamie, disguised as the Bandit, appears. As they tussle over the girl in the bag, Little Harp sees the berry-stained side of Jamie’s face and realizes Jamie and the Bandit of the Woods are one in the same.
Jamie knocks Little Harp out and turns to take the girl in the bag to be married; only she’s escaped. He runs off to find her.
Salome decides to take matters in her own hands and goes to Rosamund who is hiding out in the Bandit’s cabin in the woods. She’s shocked that Rosamund doesn’t know the true identity of her lover and gives her a recipe to remove the berry stains from the Bandit’s face.
As Rosamund departs to find ingredients for the potion leaving Salome alone in the cabin, Little Harp arrives with revenge on his mind – he’s going to take Jamie Lockhart’s girl and throw her into the ravine. He tells Salome however, he’s on an errand to fetch Jamie’s girl for him and bring her to him so they can make love deep in the woods.
Salome offers herself up for the task. Dressed by the ensemble in her dazzling finery, she climbs into the burlap sack and Little Harp throws her into the ravine (“Salome”).
But Little Harp thinks he’s made a mistake and returns to the cabin to greet Rosamund. As Little Harp pulls her to the ground, Jamie arrives and kills him.
Rosamund soothes Jamie, coaxes him to sleep and wipes off his berry stains (“Sleepy Man”).
Realizing her Bandit is Jamie Lockhart, she reveals herself as the heiress. Rosamund wants to get married, but Jamie wants anonymous love. They fight and he leaves telling her to be gone by the time he returns. Just as she leaves to find him, however, he returns, having changed his mind (“Where Oh Where”).
When he can’t find her, he decides to go to New Orleans to begin anew.
Meanwhile, Rosamund, pregnant, is still looking for Jamie. Ferried by the ensemble along on her journey and giving birth to twins along the way, she finds Jamie, now a Ship’s Captain on the Mississippi.
With the blessing of Musgrove, they decide to get married.
Rich and prosperous, THEY ALL LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER! (“Finale”).
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