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B o o k b y B e n T a r v e r
M u s i c a n d L y r i c s b y J o h n C l i f t o n
It's corruption, blackmail and adultery -- gone bad -- when the Judge turns the whole town into one big guilty party! What old letch was up in Penny Fay's room after midnight? We know it was the Judge himself (!) -- but will he be found out? Something definitely goes bump in the night in this tuneful romp, only to land up in court the next day. And, oh yes, it just happens that's the day the Court Inspector pays his official visit. Adapted from the hilarious classic The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist, this is a musical with more comic twists and turns than a back road in the Smoky Mountains.
A P P A L A C H I A N F L I N G
K i m C e a J o h n
C l i f t o n
S o m e t h i n g W e n t B u m p
L o v i n ' I n T h e M o r n i n '
E x p e c t i n g A
n I n s p e c t o r /
T r a m p S t e a m e r
N o, T h a n k Y o u!
R i c h m o n d
D e m o n s
H o l l y a n d M e
G u i l t y o f L o v e
Y o u r M a m a' s E y e s
M a y b e I t ' s N o t T o o L a t e / F i n a l e
P P A L A C H I A N F L I N G
Picture a tiny town called Greenmore, tucked away in the mountains of Appalachia. The local (corrupt!) judge is one Adam Culpeper. He's a sly old coot, still after the young ladies.
One night there is a disturbance in the bedroom of one of the town's attractive young women, Penny Fay [Something Went Bump]. Her boyfriend, Willie Bob, a gas station attendant, is passing by her house and hears a commotion up in her room. He climbs up to her window and enters the room. There is a man in the room with Penny Fay, but it's too dark to identify him. There is a tussle, and the man escapes out the window. Penny's boisterous mother, Myrtle Harrigan, enters the room to find Willie Bob with her daughter. She accuses Willie of molesting her daughter and vows to sue him for breaking a "priceless" jug, a family heirloom. She will haul everybody into Culpeper's court first thing in the morning. What we discover, however, is that the man in the room was none other than the Judge himself. But only Penny Fay knows this.
The next morning, the handsome and cocky county Sheriff (Randolph) is flirting with the Judge's housekeeper Holly [Lovin' In The Mornin']. The fidgety court clerk, Cyrus, bursts in with news of an Inspector from the state capitol arriving to write a report on Greenmore's court. The Judge is nowhere to be found. We discover him in his bedroom, a lump on his head and looking like he's been through a battle. He explains his somewhat casual outlook on the law and his approach to life [Expecting An Inspector / Whereas].
We learn that the comely Holly is the object of desire of not only the Sheriff and Cyrus, but has also been cozy with the Judge in the past. All three men propose marriage to her. But Holly isn't interested [Tramp Steamer].
The Inspector, a young, formality-obsessed official who's a stickler about procedure in both the law and life, arrives [No, Thank You!]. The Judge, being the actual guilty party, must delay Myrtle's case to avoid the disastrous possibility of having the Inspector witness the trial. But there is no stopping the indomitable Myrtle. Holly, in an attempt to distract the Inspector, gets friendly with him, playing on the fact that he was originally from Richmond, Virginia [Richmond].
It becomes apparent that the trial will go on, and impending doom pervades the Judge and his court. The Judge summons Penny Fay and he proceeds to coach her on her upcoming testimony. Penny Fay, a little dense, does her best to comprehend [Demons].
A plot is hatched whereby Holly will compromise the Inspector, in order that he not witness the trial. In his motel room, she puts a romantic squeeze on him. As was prearranged, the Judge bursts into the room at just the right moment, feigning shock and accusing the Inspector of sexual harassment, conduct unbecoming, etc. But the Inspector sees through the scheme, and is more determined than ever to proceed with the inspection. Myrtle bursts in and perceives the scene as group sex in a cheap motel. Act one ends with Myrtle on the march, vowing to get justice and warning all not to stand in her way.
Act Two opens with the Sheriff, the Judge and Cyrus each dreaming of the day when he will marry Holly [Holly and Me].
The trial begins. Myrtle gives her charges against Willie Bob. Penny Fay testifies, while trying to remember the lies the Judge instructed her to repeat. The focus turns to Willie, whom all consider guilty, an opinion encouraged by the Judge. Willie, in an outburst, declares his innocence [Guilty of Love].
As the trial continues, the Judge comes more and more under suspicion. Evidence is produced that points the finger of guilt directly at the Judge, and there is a great upheaval. The Judge runs off and hides in a woodshed. Holly finds him, and they discuss what to do next. He proposes that they run away together [Your Mama's Eyes]. She confesses to him that she has fallen in love with the Inspector - for real. The Inspector, who had concealed himself, overhears her and steps out, revealing that he also loves Holly, and the inspection will be called off. Holly and the Inspector run off, seeking a new life together. Myrtle, Penny Fay, and Willie Bob enter. Amends are made as Willie is declared innocent, and reunited with Penny Fay, the Judge being instrumental in resolving all.
Left alone, the Judge decides to turn over a new leaf, reform his sinful ways, etc. [Maybe It's Not Too Late!] By the end of the song, however, he decides that, in fact it is too late. He ponders replacing Holly with a new housekeeper, going through his list of young attractive girls, and we know that he will never change. For a finale, the Company joins him in a reprise of Whereas, the message being to live to the fullest, that life is renewed by enjoying its pleasures.
Co p y r i g h t e d M a t e r i a