A TAMS-WITMARK TITLE

The Gift of the Magi

Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  1f, 2m

Music and Lyrics by Richard Adler / Book by Wilson Lehr

O. Henry’s classic Christmas story vividly comes to life in this romantic musical adaptation, originally presented as a network television special.
  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1f, 2m
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Adaptations (Literature), Christmas/Holiday, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
The Gift of the Magi

Details

Summary
In turn-of-the-century New York, newlyweds Jim and Ella struggle to make ends meet. Despite their bleak circumstances, they each sacrifice to make Christmas special, leading to an ironic but heartwarming conclusion.
History
The Gift of the Magi originated as a 1958 broadcast on CBS television. The broadcast starred Sally Ann Howes and Gordon MacRae as the Youngs and Eli Wallach as the narrator.
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Keywords
Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
  • Church / Religious Groups
  • Youth/Camp Programs

It's Christmas in New York, but for two young lovers, Jim and Della, the prospects are bleak, as both are out of work and penniless. But as those familiar with the famous O. Henry story are aware, their dilemma is solved when both part with their most precious possessions, (she her beautiful long hair, he his heirloom pocket watch) in order to buy presents for each outer thereby creating, at least for a magical moment, an aura of warmth and giving in the cold, impersonal winter city.

In addition to their story, there are glimpses of various city folk (played by the same two performers) going about their holiday business, and the hilarious plight of a cheerful bum named Soapy, who wants only to get arrested so he can spend the night in a cozy cell, all gracefully enhanced by tuneful songs and neatly tied together by a newsboy narrator, Willy, who adds his own melodious contribution and informative observations to the delightful proceeding.

Principals
(1 female; 2 male)

Narrator
Jim Young – a young working man
Della Young – his wife of one month

Supporting

Madame Sofronie
Boss

Others

Mrs. Abercrombie
Soapy, a panhandler
Mr. Gerken
Skidder, Jim’s buddy
Clara
Policeman
Miss Peaslee, switchboard operator
Miss Asher, typist
Miss Grattan, bookkeeper
Danny, office boy
Chirs
Gordon
McBurney
Mr.Spiegel
1st Man
Bass solo
Woman solo
2nd Man
Young Mr. Livingston
Drunk No. 1
Hazel
Ethel
Manager
Tenor I
Tenor II
Clerk
Vice-President of a bank
Woman
Pawnbroker

  • Time Period 1900-1910
  • Setting New York City, 1905.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)

Music

Act I

1. Magical Prologue – Orchestra
2. Opening Incidental – Narrator
3. “The Name’s The Same” – Jim & Della
4. Scene Change: Never – Orchestra
5. Scene Change: Blackout – Orchestra
6. “Company Man” – Boss & Ensemble
7. Change Music to Salvation Army Quartet – Quartet
8. “Christmas In Your Heart” – Della
9. Underplay: Sugar Is The Salt Of The Earth – Orchestra
10. “My Sugar Is The Salt Of The Earth” – Jim & Della
11. “A Better Word Than Love” – Jim

Act II

12. Entr’acte – Orchestra
13. Underplay: Morning Music – Orchestra
14. Reprise: “The Name’s The Same” – Jim & Della
15. Bridge To Office – Orchestra
16. Bridge To Bank – Orchestra
17. “What To Do?” – Della
18. “It’s Much Too Nice To Cut” – Della & Mme. Sofronie
19. The Pawnshop – Orchestra
20. The Watch – Orchestra
21. The Flat – Orchestra
22. Finale: “Christmas In Your Heart” – Chorus

Full Orchestration

Violins
Viola
Cello
Bass
Reed 1: Piccolo, Flute, Alto Flute & Clarinet
Reed 2: Oboe, English Horn & Clarinet
Reed 3: Flute & Clarinet
Reed 4: Flute, Clarinet & Bassoon
Horn 1
Horn 2
Percussion (Timpani (2 drums), Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Cymbals: Suspended, Hi-hat, Chimes, Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Wood Block, Ratchet)
Harp
Guitar
  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsEasy
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeLarge

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
1 Piano-Conductor
35 Libretto-Vocal
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Horn 1
1 Horn 2
2 Trumpet 1 & 2
1 Percussion
1 Piano Celeste Organ
1 Guitar
1 Harp
3 Violins
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Piano-Conductor
35 Libretto-Vocal

Authors

Richard Adler

RICHARD ADLER Best known for his work with Jerry Ross, Richard Adler was a lyricist, writer, composer and producer of a number of Broadway shows and revues. Together they wrote music and lyrics for such hits as John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, The Pajama Game (1955 Tony Award ...

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