alphabetical author index

Charlotte Sweet

CHARLOTTE SWEET is an ideal vehicle for the already inherent steampunk aesthetic, now a hot production style in some forward-thinking theatre communities.

From the cinematic re-boot of The Wild, Wild West and any number of Tim Burton's magnificent film fantasies, to the current SP-infused productions of classic musicals around the world, audiences are coming out in droves to see the genre come alive.

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama, Comedy

  • Target Audience: Appropriate for all audiences

  • Performance Group:
  • High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre
An ensemble of music hall performers gather to enact "The Story of Charlotte Sweet".

In turn-of-the-20th-century England, we meet Charlotte Sweet, the darling of Liverpool. Charlotte's beau is the equally cute Ludlow Ladd Grimble. Exchanging keepsakes, Charlotte gives her sweetheart a heart-shaped locket, while Ludlow give Charlotte a Christmas log cake.

Meanwhile at home, Charlotte's poor mother—a chronic shiverer—has suffocated under the massive "Layers Of Underwear" it took to warm her. The chilly details are recounted by Charlotte's father, Bob Sweet, and the evil visitors, Barnaby and Katinka Bugaboo.

Barnaby is the impresario of a music-hall troupe featuring Katinka, his buxom wife. The couple has arrived to collect on Bob's debts, incurred from the tremendous cost of his late wife's underwear. Bob backs up the Bugaboos' proposal that they liquidate all debts if Charlotte joins their troupe, and Charlotte reluctantly consents. Barnaby is particularly pleased since he has a secret lust for the thrush.

Next we meet Barnaby's freaky music-hall troupe: "The Circus Of Voices". During a performance, Ludlow waits backstage, only to be kicked out by Barnaby. When the troupe takes a backstage break, Barnaby raves about Charlotte, provoking Katinka to make jealous remarks.

Charlotte rises to fame "a-weaving" sizeable success for the Circus of Voices. However, doing six shows a night takes its toll. Charlotte has a vocal breakdown and loses her high note. The Bugaboos concoct a cunning scheme to restore Charlotte's upper register: they addict her to helium balloons.

As Act 1 concludes, Barnaby dangles a helium balloon in front of the totally dependent Charlotte.

ACT TWO: It is December 31, and the Bugaboos have enlisted the guard duties of a whistling, Scotland Yard bobby, Patrick O'Toole. To distract him from noticing Charlotte's balloon habit, the Bugaboos invite Patrick to actually perform in their troupe.

Cecily, Harry, and Skitzy share Charlotte's delight as she opens a gift and discovers "A Christmas Bûche" from Ludlow. A message is inside describing his vain attempts to visit Charlotte. Charlotte invites her friends to flee with her whenever Ludlow shows up. They refuse, still, the ever-optimistic Cecily cheers the air, reassuring Charlotte that "Good Things Come" to the deserving.

The entire Circus of Voices prepares for its New Year's Eve performance. As Charlotte is about to go on, the Bugaboos crush her hopes of escape and feed her a gigantic whiff of helium. Charlotte drifts on-stage to chant, "I'm Only A Lonely Canary"." Her rendition is a triumph. Backstage, she and the Bugaboos receive the ultimate honor: they are visited by England's Queen. The Queen showers Charlotte with praise, requesting to be left alone with Charlotte and Patrick. The Queen takes off her outer garments and turns out to be Ludlow.

Patrick slaps his beard back on and turns out to be Bob Sweet. When the two men slip out momentarily, Barnaby slinks in—aware of what has transpired. The lascivious cur tries to seduce Charlotte, who threatens to "sing" to the police of his villainy. The jealous Katinka appears and convinces Barnaby to feed Charlotte a black balloon filled with lethal gas. Just as the Bugaboos are about to kill Charlotte, Skitzy bolts in to the rescue. Brandishing a gun, she scares off the Bugaboos. Barnaby grabs the weapon and shoots Skitzy to the floor. As the stunned Charlotte watches, Ludlow leaps back in—only to be likewise shot by Barnaby.

But the tables turn on the Bugaboos. The locket Charlotte gave Ludlow, which he has kept by his heart, has deflected Barnaby's bullet and saved Ludlow. Our hero springs up and seizes the guns from Barnaby, as bobby Bob Sweet returns to arrest the Bugaboos. Barnaby grabs Katinka's lethal balloon, jumps onto the music-hall stage, and threatens to blow everyone to kingdom come. At this point Charlotte hits a high note that detonates the balloon. Then the New Year bells ring, and everyone celebrates the joyous turn of events. As heart-shaped confetti is hurled, the valentines—Charlotte and Ludlow—are reunited with a kiss

  • Casting: 4M, 4F

BOB SWEET (35-45; baritone to bass): Charlotte's tall, husky father; John Cullum/Fred Gwynne type; must whistle loudly and amusingly; must affect an Irish accent; kindly and slightly obtuse.
CHARLOTTE SWEET (18-25; coloratura soprano with high upper register to upper E, if possible): pretty and petite ingenue has great comic innocence; optional bird-calling talents.
LUDLOW LADD GRIMBLE (18-26; heroic, boyish tenor; rangy voice and thin): medium frame; noble and athletic; must imitate Queen Victoria.
BARNABY BUGABOO (35-50; character-voiced baritone with wide vocal range): malicious, licentious impresario; a flashy, creepy cur.
KATINKA BUGABOO (25-50; alto with an almost unnaturally low range): Baranby's equally evil wife; buxom red-hot mama; can be a gaunt wicked stepmother type or a chubby harpy.
HARRY HOST (25-35; tenor to baritone): Cockney music-hall emcee; seedy, rowdy; must do lightning-fast patter.
CECILY MacINTOSH (25-40; bubble-voiced soprano a la Billie Burker or Betty Boop): warm, motherly, and daffy; not all there.
SKITZY SCOFIELD (25-35): improvisational female who can suggest being "half-man, half-woman;" somewhat mank; and able to change personalities in a blink; must "duet" with herself.

Name Price
Perusal Material Shipped immediately. This is optional. Order Now

1 x Script / Vocal Book / Score Sampler

Digital Perusal Material Shipped immediately. This is optional. Order Now

1 x Script / Vocal Book / Score Sampler
Once purchased a link will be emailed to you allowing the download to take place.

Pre-Production Pack Shipped upon receipt of a signed License Agreement and full payment of all invoices. This is optional.

1 x Director's Script
1 x Cast Script
1 x Vocal Book
1 x Piano-Vocal Score

Rehearsal Material Shipped a minimum of 3 months before the last performance. This must be hired as a condition of the License to produce this show.

8 x Cast Scripts
8 x Vocal Books
3 x Director's Scripts
2 x Piano-Conductor's Scores

$550.00 +$135.00/pm
Orchestral Material Shipped a minimum of 1 month before the last performance. This is optional.

1 x Piano-Conductor
1 x Reed I (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
1 x Reed II (Clarinet, Bassoon)
1 x Percussion

$350.00 +$135.00/pm
Video Licence Shipped upon receipt of a signed License Agreement and full payment of all invoices. This is optional.

* Up to 100 copies
* Separate video licence required