Queen Of The Mist

Full-Length Musical, Drama  /  3w, 4m

Words and Music by Michael John LaChiusa

Based on an astounding and outrageous true story: Anna Edson Taylor, who, in 1901 at the age of 63, set out to be the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 4m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Queen Of The Mist


Based on an astounding and outrageous true story, Anna Edson Taylor, who, in 1901 at the age of 63, set out to be the first woman to shoot Niagara Falls in a barrel of her own design. Navigating both the treacherous Falls and a fickle public with a ravenous appetite for sensationalism, this unconventional heroine vies for her legacy in a world clamoring with swindling managers, assassins, revolutionaries, moralizing family, anarchists and activists. Convinced that there is greatness in her and determined not to live as ordinary, she sets out to battle her fear and tempt her fate. With a soaring score that incorporates turn of the century themes with LaChiusa's signature complexity and insight, Queen of the Mist is the story of a single great fall, and how one woman risked death so that she could live.
1 Woman

4 Men
2 Women

Anna ("Annie") Edson Taylor
Mr. Frank "Tussy" Russell - Anna's manager
Quintet (two women and three men to play the following:)
Jane - Anna's Sister (Soprano*)
Carrie Nation (Alto*)
A Young Soldier (Mike Taylor) (Tenor*)
Man With His Hand Wrapped In A Handkerchief (Baritone*)
A New Manager (Bass*)

Other roles played by the Quintet: Mr. Mallardo, Mrs. Gumstock, Officer Darling, Panhandlers, a Train Conductor, a Carnival Barker, Blondin, Captain Nissen, Maud Willard, T.J. Preston, Ellen King, Charles Mason Dow, Mr. Rudetsky (a barrel copper), River Man, River Boy, Woman Reporter, a Spectator, A Blonde (Martha Frankenfuhrer), A New Manager, A Stage Manager.

*Vocal breakdown:
Soprano: high g's, h's legit
Alto: high mix to d, some belt
Tenor: high a, b's legit
Baritone: to f
Bass: to low G
  • Time Period 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910
  • Setting Various locations in and around Niagara Falls. 1900–1922.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)


“A very original and intelligent new musical.” – The Examiner

Queen of the Mist is a thrilling work... ingenious orchestrations... brilliant.” – Capital

“The gifted LaChiusa continue[s] to treat the musical as an American art form.” – Backstage

“Smarter than most musicals and certainly more musically engaging.” – Exeunt

"Gorgeously haunting score… Pretty damn devastating and unquestionably beautiful.” – NYTheatre.com

“An imaginative new musical that is smartly crafted and distinctively composed... beautifully orchestrated.” – New Jersey News Room

"Spirited, witty melodrama.” – Associated Press

“Rich arrangements... surges to life with only imagination, a few props and a talented cast.” – The Daily News


Music Samples

1. "Act One Opening" - Ensemble
2. "There Is Greatness In Me (Part 1)" - Anna & Ensemble
2.5. "There Is Greatness In Me (Part 1)" - Anna & Ensemble
3. "Letter To Jane/The Tiger" - Jane & Anna
4. "Charity" - Panhandlers & Anna
5. "Glorious Devil/The Waters" - Barker
6. "The Barrel/Cradle Or Coffin" - Anna
7. "Types Like You" - Mr. Russell & Anna
8. "Do The Pan" - Anna
9. "Floating Cloud" - Anna
10. "Laugh At The Tiger" - Anna & Ensemble
11. "On The Other Side" - Mr. Russell
12. "Act One Finale" - Mr. Russell
13. "The Quintessential Hero" - Ensemble
14. "Million Dolla’ Momma" - Mr. Russell
15. "Expectations" - Mr. Russell
16. "Bookings (Part One)" - New Manager
17. "Break Down The Door" - Carrie & Ensemble
18. "The Green" - Anna
19. "Bookings (Part Two)" - New Manager & Anna
20. "Postcards" - Anna & Ensemble
21. "The Fall/Act Two Finale" - Anna

Full Orchestration

Keyboard I (Synth)
Keyboard II (Synth)
Reed (Flute, Piccolo, Soprano Sax, Bb Clarinet, Bass Clarinet)
French Horn
Bass (Acoustic)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Country/Western, Contemporary Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Minimal
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Medium
  • Chorus Size Small

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
Queen of the Mist takes place at the beginning of the 20th century, from 1900 to 1922. A minimal setting is suggested, to accommodate a variety of locale: the Niagara River, a lecture hall, Anna's kitchen, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo (1901), a burlesque house, etc. An Important Note: It's advised that Anna's "barrel" not be a literal object, but suggested with lighting or projection. An onstage piano, to be played occasionally, is suggested. For the New York production the onstage piano was used in various ways as a set piece: as a kiosk, a vaudeville backdrop, etc.
9 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal
1 Reed
1 Horn
1 Keyboard 1
1 Keyboard 2
1 Violin
1 Cello
1 Bass

Additional Material:
A Full Score is available for this title for an additional fee. Please contact your licensing representative for additional information.
9 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Vocal


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Michael John LaChiusa

Michael John LaChiusa – composer, lyricist and librettist – established himself as a powerful presence on the American musical theatre scene after winning Off-Broadway’s 1993 Obie Award for his musicals First Lady Suite and Hello Again. Six years later, LaChiusa was represent ...

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