Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Burton Lane
based loosely on the play Berkley Square, by John L. Balderston

INFO:
Opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre    June 11, 1966    280 performances
Original Director: Robert Lewis
Original Choreographer: Herbert Ross
Original Producer: Lerner, with Rogo Productions (Robert Goulet)
Original Leads: Daisy: Barbara Harris    Dr. Bruckner: John Cullum
Cast Size:  Male: 7    Female: 3    Ensemble: Can be done with perhaps around 12,usually uses more.    Total Cast Size: 22-30
Orchestra: 22 (Could be done with a smaller grouping, probably under 10.)
Published Script: None
Production Rights: Tams Witmark
Recordings: The original Broadway, the movie (with Streisand). The Broadway has more of the score.
Film: With Streisand and Yves Montand, mediocre with some high points, including a young Jack Nicholson. Much of the score vanished.
Other shows by the authors: Lane: Finian’s Rainbow  Lerner: Brigadoon, Love Life, Paint Your Wagon, My Fair Lady, Gigi, Camelot
Awards:3 Tony nominations, no wins.

WHO SHOULD DO THIS SHOW:
A fun, different show for a large Little Theater, colleges, universities, dinner theaters, and perhaps for a seriously considered professional revival in a regional house, or in NYC.

Be Warned:
An unusual show, given its subject matter. You’ll need an audience that is fairly open-minded about reincarnation and ESP, that sort of thing. They have to at least be willing to discuss it.

Your female lead must be extremely strong, and your male lead a fine actor, or this won’t work.

The costume and set demands, as this takes place in two periods, can be significant. It will require expert direction, as well, as the book can be somewhat problematic.

THE STORY: (The original 1966 story line)

ACT ONE: The office of Dr. Mark Bruckner, psychiatrist. Currently he has a patient in the large chair he uses for hypnosis sessions. Several students observe as the young man is put under. One of the observers, a young woman named Daisy Gamble, also has accidentally been put under, which they quickly discovers when she’s regressed to age five and loudly complies. He brings her out, and embarrassed, she immediately reaches for a cigarette. But she almost immediately passes into hypnosis again, a more than ideal subject. The class, having had an interesting lesson, is dismissed.

Alone with Bruckner, Daisy asks if someone can be hypnotized out of a bad habit, and he tells her it’s possible. She is engaged to marry a young man named Warren, upwardly mobile is a company called Chemical Foods – and his bosses don’t like addicts. She is addicted to cigarettes. As she explains, Bruckner is looking for a piece of paper he can’t find, and Daisy absently suggests that the paper with a phone number on it is in his dictionary, under “x”. And so it is! It seems she has some extraordinary abilities. He wonders what else she can do. She says she gets a feeling before a phone rings. Or when someone is thinking about her. He pushes, and she admits she can make flowers grow by talking to them, and she demonstrates. (“Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here”) Fascinated, he agrees to help her end her smoking, if she agrees to be regresses to discover when she started talking to flowers.

He starts to put her under, but since she has a knack for seeing the future, she knows what he’s going to say and falls almost instantly. He provides her some help with thew smoking, and then breaks out his tape recorder. Under, he gets her to recall the first flower she spoke to. When was it? When she was five? No? Four? No. It was while she was in London…to meet her husband. He thinks he’s being fooled, now, as she’s never been married. When he asks if her husband was four years old, she says he was 28, and going to be her husband. Catching on, he asks the year she’s remembering, and it’s 1794. mark does not believe her, and thinks its all a delusion or lie. He insists she’s remembering, so being an unbeliever, he insists she relive the memory, not merely look at it.

She is suddenly British. Her voice changes, grow in stature and clarity. And she recalls her name, it was Melinda Welles. And she recalls dying at age 29. Her marriage was to be an arranged one, to Sr Hubert. But she married a man named Edward. After some confusion, she can see her intended, Sir Hubert Insdale. He will wed into money, she, into society.

We see her thrilled father and mother in that distant time. (“Ring Out The Bells”) Daisy/Melinda describes the two families gathering, the signing of the contract. But she refused to wed the man. Mark asks why, and she describes Hubert as a “simian tree-dweller” and the whole “daughter-disposal system” as “primitive.” She was then inundated with London suitors. In an unheard of manner, she turned them all down. She wanted a mate who made her feel “Tosy and Cosh”. And that, as it turned out, was Sir Edward Moncrief, a great painter and eventually, her husband. Yet, at the signing of this new contract, she again refused to marry, and refused to buy a husband. She was a woman ahead of her time. She grows tired, and he has Daisy sleep. He turns off the recorder, unsure of what it is he is hearing from her. Is this all a tale constructed from fragments Daisy has read somewhere? Or did she live before? He wakens her. He offers to drop her off at her date with her fiancé’, Warren, on his way to the Frick art collection. They are showing British portraits. And where are his keys. He waits, and she answers correctly, telling him where they’ve been lost to. She thinks she’s a freak, but he tries to explain ESP to her, and how wonderfully different she is. (“On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever”)

The rooftop of Daisy’s rooming house, late that night. A young student, Muriel, dances by herself. Two twenty-ish business students, Millard, and Preston, watch her dance. Warren, Daisy’s fiancé, enters. He’s forgotten to tell her the meeting with his boss was canceled, but doesn’t care too much. He talks about how he’ll get a plum job if “Daisy passes,” and goes on and on about the perks. They all stare at the rapidly-growing plants on the roof. How does Daisy do it? Warren worries. If Daisy is strange, it will hurt his business chances. Daisy arrives, and fortunately, she forgot to go to the meeting. Warren is displeased. She says goodnight and kicks him out. Her friends ask where she was. She went to the Frick, with Bruckner, and then “On The S.S. Bernard Cohn”, which circles Manhattan. Her life is changing, and she celebrates the time spent with Bruckner.

Bruckner’s office, he dictates to his secretary, Mrs. Hatch. He apparently questioned Daisy during the “interminable: two hour sail, trying to get to the truth. Both he and Mrs. Hatch fear they may be losing their minds. Daisy arrives. She’s still smoking. She asks about his day, but he does not want things to get personal between them, and quickly changes the subject to the 18th century, which Daisy says she knows nothing about. But she does mention that she can hear Bruckner’s thoughts at times. He wonders if he can then hypnotize her telepathically and poof! She’s under. He briefly addresses her smoking, and gets back to Melinda.

Where did she meet Sir Edward, the painter she wed? She becomes Melinda, and announces they met at the Hellraker’s Club, in London. Reliving the moment, she is “rescued” from Sir Hubert by Edward, who pretends that Melinda is family, and demands that Hubert remove his hands from her at once. (“Don’t Tamper With My Sister”) Then, suddenly, Daisy/Melinda is with Edward, in his flat, and another woman is there with Edward, Flora. When Melinda announces she is Edward’s fiancé, Flora happily departs – it was just sex. Edward immediately makes a pass at Melinda. Bruckner is jealous in spite of himself, and puts her to sleep. He has a brief tirade about women in general, and then asks her to continue. In her past, Edward admits that, though he’s loved other women, they were not special as Melinda is. (“She Wasn’t You”) Edward asks Melinda to marry him. She asks if he’ll accept her without dowry, and he’s appalled. They spat, as Bruckner listens in disdainfully. Melinda and Edward’s relationship progresses, and he sleeps with the women he paints. As Bruckner and Melinda talk…

The scene transitions to his office, now filled with 18th century British clothes, prints, etc. Flowers bloom in his window box, courtesy, no doubt, of Daisy. Listening to the recording of the scene we just saw is Mark and his brother, Dr. Conrad Bruckner. Why, demands Mark, is his brother there? Because, Conrad asserts, a phone message accidentally arrived at his office, intended for Mark, inviting him to a séance with Victor Hugo, Longfellow, and John Phillip Sousa (all dead). Conrad wants to know why this case has been kept from meetings. Mark says he’s still researching it. Conrad would like to know why Mark would research a fantasy. Mark says that people do not agree on what reality is, and that he’s following through with the patient. Angrily, Conrad points out that Mark is using terms like “present life” and “past life” – he has already made up his mind. And there is no scientific proof of past lives, after thousands of years. Conrad fears for the Bruckner Clinic.

Alone, Mark sings a hymn to the dream that is “Melinda”. Crestfallen, he turns the papers over to the authorities that be. Daisy arrives with a huge stack of prints. She did not go to her meeting with Warren (her fiancé) and his bosses at Chemical Foods. She starts to talk about him taking her out, but he silently hypnotizes her and asks an unheard question. She is again Melinda, and Bruckner is thrilled. He’s asked her (silently) about her anniversaries, and she talks about her fourth one with Edward. She asks him to stay near as she remembers that time, and seeing her mother.

Mrs. Welles cannot understand why Melinda is taking Edward’s indiscretions personally. Mark points out, alone with Melinda, that the fact Edward has had seven affairs in two years means none of them have lasted – he must love her. Edward, in memory, is angry that she mistrusted him at all (though he completely merits the distrust). She decides to leave England for the colonies, on a ship called the Trelawney. He demands to know when she arrived in Boston, and she begs him, shouting back, to stop her from boarding. Upset, he wakes her.

ACT TWO: The solarium in the clinic. Conrad and Mrs. Hatch are reading newspapers. The case has become public, the clinic receiving hundreds of calls and requests. The “industry” has come out squarely against Mark. Mark is fired. But at that moment, enter Evans Bolagard, the perfect male secretary, looking for Mark. He is working for a Greek millionaire, Themistocles Kriakos. Kriakos, one of the world’s richest men, asks for an urgent meeting, in fact, he’s in the hall. Kriakos is sad to announce there is no record of a Melinda Wells having been married to Edward Moncrief, and no painters named Moncrief in the history of the Royal Academy. Why is he here? He has hired 50 detectives to follow up on the case since it went public. Conrad, delighted, says this proves there’s no evidence of the truth of Melinda.

Kriakos begs to differ. He has found in the College of Herals a record of the family Insdale, as well as proof of Hubert’s life, and of the ship Trelawney…which sank. Kriakos is growing older, and needs to know if reincarnation is true. He’s ready to put him money into the case. If he can find out not who he has been, but who he will be next lifetime, Kriakos can leave his fortune to himself and take it with him. Mark happily accepts, and Kriakos celebrates their arrangement. (“When I’m Being Born Again”)

Mark’s office, now filled with long-stemmed flowers. Daisy waits for the good doctor, speaks to Mrs. Hatch. Daisy reads a newspaper filled with reports about Dr. Bruckner’s mystery patient, and wonders what kind of idiot could believe in a past life. Alone, Daisy accidentally hits a button on Bruckner’s recorder, and listens to a session she had as Melinda. Terrified, she starts to smoke. As she listens, Melinda speaks of her own memorial service, after her ship sank. And there is Dr. Mark, on the tape – protesting how horrible Daisy is by comparison to Melinda. She is stunned, and wonders “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?” Mark is in love with who she was.

Daisy’s rooftop. Daisy cares for her flowers as her friends ask if the Dr. Bruckner in the papers is her doctor. Warren speaks to their friends about his marriage plans, all tidily middle class. (“Wait Till We’re Sixty Five”) As they all leave to get pizza except Daisy, Bruckner arrives. He’s angry she vanished, missed a session. And she’s furious that Bruckner has been courting her long dead iteration. He cannot understand her anger, even after she tells him about the recording she overheard. They argue, and he furiously declares that Melinda’s soul inside her is signs of a housing shortage. He tries to hypnotize her but she flees.

In his office, the plants have all died. Furiously, he sings “telepathically” to her to “Come Back To Me”. At the end of the song, it’s Warren who shows up at the office, looking for Daisy. Daisy kicked Warren from her roof two days ago. And all Warren was doing was telling Daisy what to wear…and say…and do…when she met his new employers. Mark is thrilled – Daisy is becoming more like Melinda. He informs Warren that Daisy is psychic, and special, and not for him, he’s better off without her. Mark again sings to Daisy to “Come Back To Me”, and she appears, furious with him for bothering her constantly. Mark is amazed he got through and she says “like the United States mail!”

Daisy frantically denies ever having been Melinda Welles, they are nothing alike. Daisy Gamble is common. She demands to know if, looking at Daisy, Mark feels any of the “big feelings” he feels for Melinda. And he does. Because as he says, “There is no Melinda, and there’s no Daisy. There’s only you.” But she thinks he’s desperate, and she leaves.

An airport terminal. Muriel, Daisy’s friend, is there and dressed to travel, and Daisy joins her. But Daisy has a feeling about the flight, and thinks it should not take off. An official asks if she’s trying to start a riot. Mark shows up, and Daisy begs him to support her assertion about the plane. And suddenly, she recalls the ship named as this plane is named, and that she was Melinda. And Mark gets them to stop the plane. A technical malfunction was located, the wheels would not have been able to drop. Together, they walk off, arm in arm.

THE SONGS:
(original production)
“Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here!”, “Ring Out the Bells”, “Tosy and Cosh”, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever”, “On the S.S. Bernard Cohn”, “At the Hellrakers” (Ballet)”, “Don’t Tamper with My Sister”, “She Wasn’t You”, “Melinda”, “When I’m Being Born Again”, “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have”, “Wait Till We’re Sixty-Five”, “Come Back to Me”, “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Reprise)”

(2011 Broadway revival, which I would not consider doing, sorry.)
“Hurry! It’s Lovely Up Here!”, “She Isn’t You”, “Open Your Eyes” †, “Wait ‘Til We’re 65″, “You’re All the World To Me” †, “Who Is There Among Us Who Knows”, “On the S.S. Bernard Cohn”, “Love With All The Trimmings”, “Melinda”, “Go To Sleep”, “Ev’ry Night at Seven” †, “Too Late Now” †, “When I’m Being Born Again”, “He Wasn’t You”, “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have”, “Come Back to Me”, “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” († – taken from the Lerner/Lane movie, Royal Wedding.)

Hits include “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have”, “Melinda”, “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here”, “Come Back To Me”, “On A Clear Day, You Can See Forever”.

MY OPINIONS:
As always, feel free to ignore or skip my opinions and rating. Don’t be surprised, if you do, if you cannot see your way through the project, no matter how clear the day gets.

Lerner is my favorite theatrical lyricist, and this show offers several of the reasons. I think “Hurry, It’s Lovely Up Here” is as good a charm song, as good an introduction to both a character and the theme of a show, as any I’ve ever heard. I love the way the lyric arrives at the clever, lovely, even silly rhymes, and makes us smile. The music is, of course, sweet and memorable as was often true of Mr. Lane’s work, but Mr. Lerner’s contribution to this song is the work of an extraordinary craftsman. This is one of my absolute favorite show tunes. “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have” is almost as clever, as interesting, as revealing of character and situation, and as tuneful. And there’s the evergreen title song, with its ravishing melody and again, a lyric that digs into the theme of the piece. “Melinda” is a haunting waltz in minor key (for the most part), a love song to a woman long dead, again unique to this show. I even like “Don’t Tamper With My Sister” for its dry, worldly wit. This score sports quite a few wonderful theatrical songs, and in that sense, is a cut or two above most scores.

You’ll notice that Mr. Lerner produced this show (along with Robert Goulet, who he’d helped turn into a star with Camelot). Rodgers & Hammerstein also produced most of their own shows, once they’d achieved financial success. This is an indication that the writer believed in a show enough to put him money where his pen was. This is both a good and bad thing. One advantage to having a producer be someone not the writer is that there is a person with some power over the production who can fold their arms and complain if the show is too long, too short, too strange, to anything-counter-survival to that production. I think it can be rather easily argued that just about everything R&H wrote after The King & I could have benefited from the eye of an experienced and independent producer able to hold a position. Cy Coleman had become a producer as well by the time he wrote Barnum, Will Rogers Follies, and The Life. All of these shows could have used some trimming, especially The Life. But there was no one around with the muscle to tell the composer/producer to cut some songs.

There are “hands-on” producers who show up at rehearsals, throw tirades and generally terrorize a production. There are other producers who may show up for opening night, if that, and who leave a production to the experts that have been employed to mount it. And there are producers who find a balance, keep their eyes and perhaps a hand on a show as it develops, and provide another view that can moderate those of the artists involved. There have been producers of each of these kinds who have been spectacularly successful, and others who were breathtaking failures. Writers hate producers who limit them, producers hate writers who don’t understand where the money is coming from to do their show, and that’s what I like about the South.

Alan Jay Lerner refused generally to adapt established ideas and material into musicals, as has long been the tradition in Musical Theater. He wanted to write original libretos, and of course, he had skill in this regard. But his greatest success (I am loath to admit, being a fan of original librettos) by far was an adaptation. My Fair Lady was brilliantly adapted from George Bernard Shaw’s play, Pygmalion. Now, unlike a teacher of Musical Theater writers I knew long ago who claimed only adapted works could work (I won’t mention any names, Lehman Engel), I think original material can and sometimes does work just fine. And I think On A Clear Day works far better than the critics apparently did. Besides the fact of a superior score, overall, the idea for the book is original and interesting. The design of the story is generally theatrical, logical, and well-crafted. The dialogue is often sharp, amusing, and sometimes funny. But the second act ends weakly, and the ending of the film version is more memorable, so if you can graft that to your production, consider it. It’s also be Lerner.

The 2011 revision changed Daisy to “David”, a gay florist. Sorry, I don’t see the point, not at all. It in no way makes this a better piece, but it does make it more confusing, something Clear Day does not need to be.

Reincarnation is a touchy subject with which to engage polite company. Religion always is. Other musicals have been successful with religious themes, but they were distinctly western in that they were either Christian (Jesus Christ Superstar, Godspell, Amahl & The Night Visitors by Menotti), or Jewish (Fiddler On The Roof, Milk & Honey). Reincarnation as an idea belongs to Hinduism, an Eatern faith far older than any western religion, and to Buddhism. Reincarnation is therefore a bit foreign of a subject to many Western audiences, and it was very daring of Lerner to create a musical entertainment both based on an original idea rather than adapted, and one employing Eastern philosophy. Add to it various displays on Daisy’s part of ESP, another questionable subject certainly for a musical, and in attempting to create a popular musical for Broadway, you have a tightrope act displaying either great courage or foolishness. As I admire the results as well as the concepts involved, I credit Lerner with courage and expertise. Would this show have ever seen the light of day if Alan Jay Lerner had not himself produced it? Unlikely. So bless him for bringing this fascinating show to our attention.

Will your audience accept the premise of this show – that a girl can have remarkable powers of mind even she is unaware of, and can have lived other lives before the current one? If not, this show is not for you.

And the show is a bit long. It could use some trimming. There are a few scenes that seem to run on a bit, particularly in Act II, and occasionally numbers seem pretty far apart in time. These are easily correctable concerns, though, with simple edits in excessive dialogue intended to “sell” the audience on the unusual ideas behind the show. Or cut elsewhere, in Warren’s rather pointless story arc, perhaps. Or leave everything there, as Lerner called this “A Musical Play”, rather than a Musical. And do think about adopting the film’s ending in lieu of the final scene of the stage show, it’s an improvement.

By the way, the show sports three Dr. Bruckners, as theirs is a family business. Early drafts had more of the family! I’d condense the remaining two brothers of Mark to one role, to lower cast size and save confusion.

Over all, a very worthy show to consider, especially if you have a particularly strong leading lady, capable of comic invention, New York and high British accents, with a considerable and impressive theatrical voice. (Always remember that Streisand did the film.)

MY RATING: * (A better-than-average and interesting show, right for many groups.)

PRODUCTION CONCERNS AND IDEAS:

DIFFICULTY OF MUSIC:
Lane likes to create melodies that move through keys and intervals in unexpected ways. This is particularly true of his ballads, which are often beautiful, but which can be difficult to learn. His music is rarely less than charming, and is often vital, catchy and fun. But it can take some time to learn. You’ll want to work with a Musical Director who is very good at handling solos and duets, and who is a fine musician. Also, it would be best if your Musical Director knew how to work with trained male voices.

Not the hardest job in the Musical Theater, but not the easiest, and one requiring a decent and fairly experienced Musical Director.

Daisy Gamble – Mezzo with a fine belt, and an ability to really change her vocal quality from straight-forward mid-range NYC belt, to high British with sophistication, clarity and some high notes.

Dr. Mark Bruckner – Baritone, of the more legit baritone school of the 1940s-60s. A fine, large, warm voice with some ability to belt. Needs a trained vocal quality.

Warren Smith – Lyric baritone or tenor with some low notes. Comic, character-driven vocals.

Edward Moncrief – Lyric baritone with some fine upper notes, clear and supported. A trained voice would be a plus.

Themistocles Kriakos – Baritone, a mature, older man able to sing with a strong Greek accent, in character.

Dr. Conrad Bruckner – Spoken role.

Mrs. Hatch – Spoken role.

Ensemble -

DIFFICULTY OF DANCE, CHOREOGRAPHIC CONCERNS:
This show is not particularly inviting to a Choreographer. There just isn’t much there to do, and the two numbers a Choreographer might stage are, I believe, the two that should be cut. They are “On the S.S. Bernard Cohn”, and “At the Hellrakers” (Ballet). In cutting these, the cast size can be dropped to about 20, Act I can be made 7-8 minutes shorter, and the action is focused on the story instead of removed from it. Yes, that only leaves 11 numbers, but Lerner did call this show a “play with music.” Most of the remaining songs are solos and duets. While there can (and should) be some movement in some of them, there just isn’t much there for dance.

“On The S.S. Bernard Cohn” is one of those 1950s-ish celebrations of life in NYC, a romanticized view of the Big Apple you might have found in Bells Are Ringing. If you keep it, use it as relief, get some movement in, and remember it’s about being on a boat. This opens up some interesting movement possibilities. Boats rock and roll. Keep the number focused on Daisy and Mark, or Daisy’s vision of him, as romanticized perhaps as New York is in the number.

“At The Hellrakers” is intended to plunge us into the past visually. There’s always been a debate by people who know and have worked on this show, whether the past, Daisy’s past life, should be presented literally, or in a more impressionistic manner. Your Director’s decision will determine how (or possibly if) this number is done. If used, it will need to either literally or mistily create the world of the past. There are paintings to provide clues as to the look. The past in Lerner’s view is somewhat libertine.

A Choreographer may also need to be involved with staging “Don’t Tamper with My Sister”, “When I’m Being Born Again”, “Wait Till We’re Sixty-Five”, and “Come Back to Me”. This will certainly be true if the Director is not adept at putting theatrical dance-like movement onto small numbers.

“Don’t Tamper With My Sister” is essentially a solo where one man gets rid of another in merry olde England. He does so with style, grace, and without need of force. The number essentially introduces the past love interest, should be lightly comic and lightly staged. Keep some of the focus on Melinda and her response to Edward, admiring on several levels.

“When I’m Being Born Again” is, well, Greek. It’s Zorba lite. A character-driven solo sung by an elderly man who is Greek to his bones, the number should be charming, and a sort of contained celebration of the man’s life and roots and dreams. It’s his moment, let him shine. Not sure of the movement, watch the film Zorba The Greek.

“Come Back To Me” had an interesting idea behind it in the film. Staged straight, it’s a solo by Mark, standing and singing at the world in an attempt to “get through” and be heard in Daisy’s mind, wherever she is. A good song, visually boring. The film did a fun thing, I thought. (Others may disagree…) They showed Daisy walking through NYC, and everyone she saw spoke/sang at her with Bruckner’s voice, allowing no escape. This could be done on stage, but there is a structural problem. It’s Warren who first enters Mark’s office, and why? Heaven’s knows. I’d cut the warren scene, interpolate a little of the dialogue from it into the next scene, after the song’s double ending, where Daisy does burst into Mark’s office. Let that scene communicate her break-up with Warren. This will allow you to play with the sort of staging used in the film, which I think will help bring the number to life. It is the 11:00 number, after all, intended to wake up the audience and let them know that the end of the show is coming soon. It is also a hit song, and should be provided as much of a life as possible. Here’s a chance to get some movement in, use your ensemble, and have some comic fun. Just do keep Mark somehow at the focus of the stream of forceful communication headed Daisy’s way.

If you keep the two “dance” numbers, then you’ll need a reasonably experienced Choreographer, one who can do several periods of movement and get comedy from both. Diversity would be the key to doing a good job choreographing this show.

CASTING CONCERNS:
Daisy Gamble – In her 20s. Attractive if gawky, with a New York accent as Daisy. As Daisy, she is a bit raw about the edges, unrefined, sweet, filled with longings and talents she does not understand. She works hard to conform and be “normal,” something she simply cannot be. Bursting with humor and love, she makes flowers grow by singing to them. She reads minds, finds lost objects, sees the future, has lived other lives in the past, and is an extraordinarily apt subject for hypnosis. As Melinda, she is High British of a century past, sophisticated, intelligent, worldly, humorous, deeply appealing, sexual. The two women must be quite different in more than just their accent, but also in the way they carry themselves, gesture, sit, stand, you name it. This role requires an exceptionally skilled actress with strong comic chops, and a truly good and appealing voice. Cast (in order) for acting, voice, type, some movement. A star.

Dr. Mark Bruckner – 30s-40s, a driven, somewhat charismatic psychiatrist and teacher. He has a passion for the truth and, even when the truth is a somewhat fearful thing, the courage to follow through. Probably needs to be tall, dark and handsome. Needs to act and sing with enthusiasm, energy, real commitment. Cast for voice, acting, type, perhaps some movement.

Warren Smith – 20s, recently out of college. As middle class as it’s possible to be. He’s reasonably bright, reasonably driven, deeply self-involved, and sees Daisy more as a necessary appendage to an up-and-coming executive, rather than as a woman or a possible wife. Cast for acting, type, some voice, perhaps some movement.

Edward Moncrief – 20s-30s, High British with low morals, stunningly handsome, charismatic, a vile. Cast for type, voice, acting.

Themistocles Kriakos – 50s-70s. Greek, a tycoon, and a self-made man. The sort who never gives up. Not without a sense of humor, persuasive and charming. Cast for type, accent, voice, acting, a little movement.

Dr. Conrad Bruckner – Mark’s somewhat older brother, a psychiatrist as well. More staid, reserved, professional, but not a stereotype. Cast for acting, type.

Mrs. Hatch – 30s-60s, Mark’s long-suffering and devoted secretary. Intelligent, interested, diligent. Cast for acting, type.

Muriel Bunson – About Daisy’s age, attractive, a bit of an air-head perhaps, fun-loving. Cast for type, acting, movement.

James Preston – About Daisy’s age, young and impressionable, typical. Cast for acting, type.

Evans Bolagard – Anywhere from 30-40s, Themistocles’ personal assistant. Sophisticated, amusing, smart as a whip, good at his job. Cast for acting, type.

Ensemble – Must play Brits from a century past, and probably must play modern New Yorkers. Cast decent voices, though much of their material may be cut.

SETS:
There are essentially two sets required for this show. One is Bruckner’s office, the other is Daisy’s rooftop garden. These two sets account for all of Act I, and three of the five scenes in Act II. The only other sets used are the solarium in the clinic (to be discussed), and an airport terminal.

Mark’s office is large enough to house a class he teaches. It is comfortable, and masculine. Books, a desk with a modern phone (for whatever period “modern” is going to be in your production), comfortable chairs and a couch. But there must be open space for the past to intrude into. Depending on the Director, either the past should overwhelm the office, or the office should ever be present, and that decision will be important to design. There needs to be a hint of an outer office, where Hatch works.

When it intrudes, I’d suggest the past consist visually of partial images. Part of a lamppost on a London street, fragments of places remembered through a fog of lives and time. I would not go literal, as if we were there. Let the audience decide what to think – it’s real, it’s not. More fun for them.

The rooftop set should be open with a sky implied above, alive with plants and people and the touch of a woman who brings life wherever she goes. It is a rooftop in NYC, an inexpensive neighborhood, and there are plenty of those to draw inspiration from.

The majority of the show takes place in Mark’s office, and that will need to be your main set. The rooftop could perhaps be lowered from the rafters or rolled in, to cut across center stage, hiding the office set behind it.

As to the solarium, I’d either p[lay this with a few chairs “in one”, on the apron, to then open the main drape and reveal the second scene in Act II, or place the scene in Mark’s office. Keep it very simple!

The airport terminal can largely be suggested, and should be played downstage, as it ends the show. You can drop a set further downstage across center than the rooftop set, or play this again in one with a suggested set.

The two sets are somewhat difficult, and should feel quite real. A job for an experienced Set designer, but he does not need to be a master – unless the past is to be presented very creatively or realistically. Then find yourself an experienced and creative designer.

COSTUMES:
There are two time periods to be dressed. Modern NYC, with psychiatrists in suits, and younger people like Daisy and Warren dressed nicely and appropriately for their “station.” Easy, and can be costumed off the rack, or out of closets.

And then, the past. How much do we see? You can’t change Daisy into Melinda, she never leaves stage! She must make the transition as an actress, with perhaps the addition of a long, flowing shawl, a hat, gloves she puts on – but these may also look lame placed atop modern dress.

Again, I think the past should be fragmentary in every regard. This will allow a partial change for Daisy into Melinda, as described, to make some sense. We are in both places, both times, at once. So, period gowns, but lacking detail? Period suits for the men, also lacking specifics? Colors that are indicative of that period and a contrast to the professional and workman-like office? There are creative decisions to be made along with the Director that will determine what you do with the period costuming. The period costuming is likely to need top be rented or built.

A job for someone with experience and expertise.

PROPS:
Two periods, again, so this could get complicated. Modern flower pots wherein flowers rapidly grow is a specialty that may need to be built. But the modern props are otherwise simple. Keep the period props to a minimum, the show doesn’t call for many. But could be a tough job.

LIGHTING:
Two periods. Mark’s office is warm but simple. Daisy’s rooftop is open, airy, bathed in sunlight. The contrast should be significant. And the past? Up to the Director. If it’s literal, than there will be locations like Hellrakers to be specially lit. If its to be surreal, lighting can get creative, use saturated colors, and unexpected effects. Could be a fun job! Probably needs an experienced hand.

MAKE-UP:
Unobtrusive. The past may or may not be more made up, depending on your director.

KEY PERSONNEL (The ones you MUST get right.):
Director, Musical Director, Choreographer, Set Designer, Costume Designer, Lighting Designer, Daisy, Bruckner

MY THOUGHTS:
This is a star vehicle for Daisy. You know this is so, or Streisand would not have done the film. I think it’s a fun and challenging show with a fine score, some very effective scenes, and a need to be edited to some extent. This show needs an expert directorial hand, more than most as it straddles time and space, reality and imagination. The pacing will be important – don’t sit on things too long. Keep this one moving. Certainly worth considering – a show from the authors of Finain’s rainbow, Camelot, My Fair Lady, Gigi, The Royal Wedding…