The Magic Toyshop

A musical play based on ‘La Boutique Fantasque’, originally a ballet in one act conceived by Léonide Massine

music and lyrics by Julie Argyle-Cross

mt_image2 Synopsis

Characters

Setting

Sample Teaching Tracks

Sample Backing Tracks

Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
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SYNOPSIS

The story is set in France, in the late 1920’s.

Monsieur Pierre is the owner of a toyshop and makes all the toys which are sold there. He has some favourites – a matching pair of Can-Can dolls that he does not want to sell, but he has not put a notice on them to warn prospective customers.

One day the shop is visited first by two English ladies, and then by two families, one American and one Russian. When Monsieur Pierre winds the toys up they perform dances for all the customers. He is very upset when they ask to see the special Can-Can dolls, for he knows that they will weave their magic and the families will fall in love with them.

The families select the toys they would like to buy, and, inevitably, it includes the special Can-Can dolls. One is chosen by the Russian family and the other by the American family. Monsieur Pierre is devastated, but he does not know what to do about it. He makes an excuse that he will have to wrap the dolls in special packaging, and therefore they will need to be collected the following day. He walks home feeling very dejected and with no plan in mind.

After he has gone the toys come to life in the shop! They have an important meeting to see how they can help Monsieur Pierre not to lose the Can-Can dolls. They come up with a plan and go back on to their shelves to await the arrival of the customers the next morning.

The families arrive, only to find that the Can-Can dolls have disappeared. They search high and low, but cannot find them. Meanwhile the toys come to life, gradually closing in on the scared family members. Monsieur Pierre realises what the toys’ plan must be, and stops them before they turn the customers out of the shop, empty-handed! By now he has come up with the perfect idea, which he puts to the two families. He will make two more matching Can-Can dolls – one for each family – and send them by special delivery as soon as they are ready. The families discuss the matter and agree to accept Monsieur Pierre’s offer. Everyone celebrates the happy ending – toys and people alike!

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

CHARACTERS

Narrators
Monsieur Pierre, the toyshop owner
Daisy – an English doll collector, sister of Rose
Rose – an English doll collector, sister of Daisy

The American family:
Mr Brewster
Mrs Brewster
Jack Brewster
Martha Brewster

The Russian family:
Mr Petrov
Mrs Petrov
Ivan Petrov
Olga Petrov

China dolls
Rag dolls
Tin soldiers
Edward B. Bear 1
Edward B. Bear 2
Other Teddy bears
2 musical box ballerinas
A pair of special Can-Can dolls
Other Can-Can dolls
Captain of the Tin Soldiers

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SETTING

The interior of a Parisienne toyshop in the 1920’s

DURATION

Approx. 40 minutes

SET

All props, toys and stage decoration need to be authentic to the 1920’s:

  • Shelves to display toys
  • A counter with an old-fashioned till
  • A door (or suggestion of a door) with a jangly bell

PROPS

The following toys could be included:

  • Hoops, spinning tops, ball catchers, yo-yo’s, skipping ropes
  • Cards, board games such as chess or draughts, jigsaws
  • Dolls clothes
  • Puppets – finger, hand & string
  • Tea-sets (not plastic)
  • Cooking sets (not plastic)

This list of toys definitely needs to be included. These items are referred to in songs:

  • Doll’s house (old-fashioned!)
  • Boats (1920’s)
  • Cars (1920’s)
  • Carved animals
  • Teddy bears (old-fashioned!)
  • Doll’s pram (1920’s style)
  • Doll’s Cot (wooden)
  • Musical boxes (wooden)
  • Fairy doll

COSTUMES

Once again, everything needs to be in keeping with the 1920’s. The families will need clothes of that era and will be smartly dressed, as they have plenty of money!

  • Men – 3 piece suit, jacket with wide lapels. High collared shirt & tie
  • Women – see fashions of the 1920’s on the internet (try http://fashion-era.com/C20th_costume_history_silhouettes_1.htm)
  • Boys – short pants suits with knee-high socks
  • Girls – Knee-length skirts with knitted sweaters, or Knee-length dresses in bright fabrics with flowers, spots or stripes
  • All children had short hair
  • Toyshop owner – tweed jacket, trousers, shirt & cravat or tie
  • The toys costumes are fairly self-explanatory – the songs of the China dolls & the Rag dolls should be of some assistance
  • The China dolls’ hair styles need to be as they are described in the China dolls’ song

USE OF TEACHING AND BACKING TRACKS

We recommend that during the rehearsal period the performers become less and less dependent on the teaching tracks, so that they are ready to perform the show with the backing tracks only.

The teaching tracks have all the individual vocal musical numbers provided, but do not include incidental music or reprises. As such, the teaching tracks cannot be used for a performance.

The backing tracks have all the musical numbers, plus incidental music, separately provided in order, allowing the tracks to be run through sequentially, with appropriate pauses for dialogue.

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE TEACHING TRACKS

1. “Toys toys”

2. “March of the tin soldiers”

3. “Song of the bears”

4. “Friends do”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE

SAMPLE BACKING TRACKS

1. “Toys toys”

2. “March of the tin soldiers”

3. “Song of the bears”

4. “Friends do”

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Script, Score, Teaching and Backing Tracks,
Copying and Performing Rights
ALL AVAILABLE NOW – SHOP HERE