In Dahomey: A Negro Musical Comedy was a landmark American musical comedy, "the first full-length musical written and played by blacks to be performed at a major Broadway house." It featured music by Will Marion Cook, book by Jesse A. Shipp, and lyrics by poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Producedd at the New York Theatre, New York, on 18 February 1903.
| JE-JE (a caboceer)
|| Charles Moore
| MENUKI (Messenger of the King)
|| William Elkins
| SHYLOCK HOMESTEAD (called "Shy" by his friends)
|| Bert A. Williams
| RAREBACK PINKERTON ("Shy's" personal friend and adviser)
|| George W. Walker
| HAMILTON LIGHTFOOT (president of a colonization society)
|| Pete Hampton
| DR. STRAIGHT (in name only, a street fakir)
|| Fred Douglas
| MOSE LIGHTFOOT
|| William Barker
||(brother of Hamilton, thinks Dahomey a land of great promise)
| GEORGE REEDER (proprietor of an intelligence office)
|| Alex Rogers
|| (letter carrier, with an argument against immigration)
| ME SING (a Chinese cook)
|| George Catlin
| HUSTLING CHARLEY (promoter of Get-the-Coin Syndicate)
|| J. A. Shipp
| LEATHER (a bootblack)
|| Richard Connors
| OFFICER STILL
|| J. Leubrie Hill
| WHITE WASH MAN
|| Green Tapley
| MESSENGER RUSH (but not often)
|| Theodore Pankey
| PANSY (Daughter of Cecilia Lightfoot, in love with Leather)
|| Abbie Mitchell
| CECILIA LIGHTFOOT (Hamilton's wife)
|| Mrs. Hattie McIntosh
| MRS. STRINGER
|| Mrs. Lottie Williams
||(dealer in forsaken patterns, also editor of fashion notes in "Beanville Agitator")
| ROSETTA LIGHTFOOT (a troublesome young thing)
|| Aida Overton Walker
PROLOGUE - Garden of the Caboceer (Governor of a Province).
- No. 1 - Opening Song and Chorus - "In Dahomey so grand, just alongside the strand, lives a Moorish maid so near and dear to me..." (soloist unspecified)
- No. 2 - Caboceers' Entrance - "Hm...... We are the loyal subjects of King Eat-em-All, the ruler over all our states, both great and small..."
ACT I - Public Square, Boston. Three months later.
- No. 3 - Opening Chorus - "Swing along, chillun, swing along de lane; lif' yo' head and yo' heels mighty high. Swing along, chillun, 'taint a-goin' to rain..."
- No. 4 - Ensemble Song - "There's a bright ray of sunshine, Molly Green; pure as the light of day time, she's a dream..."
- No. 5 - Song - Shylock, Pinkerton and Chorus - "If we went to Dahomey, suppose the King would say, we want a Broadway built for us, we want it right away..."
ACT II - (1) Exterior of Lightfoot's Home, Gatorville, Florida.
(2) Road, one and a half miles from Gatorville. (3) Interior of Lightfoot's Home.
- No. 6 - Song and Chorus - "Crazy for the stage was Carrie Brown, she work'd in a dry goods store up town. Ev'ry time a play open'd on Broadway..."
- No. 7 - Song and Chorus - "Dar's a charmin' dark eyed little lassie dat I know, who wid' tender teasin' glances sets my heart a glow..."
- No. 8 - Song - Cecilia and Chorus - "To be the leader of the color'd aristocracy is my ambition ... I have a longing just the same as all the quality for recognition..."
- No. 9 - Ensemble - Hamilton, Pansy, Leather and Chorus - "To get in high society you need a great reputation, don't cultivate sobriety but rather ostentation..."
- No. 10 - Song - Shylock - "My hard luck started when I was born, leas' so the old folks say. Dat same hard luck been my bes' fren' up to dis very day..."
- No. 11 - Chorus and Solo - Pinkerton - "He is the greatest thing, and known afar; the black folks always sing, he is the Czar..."
- No. 12 - Song and Chorus - "Streets are gay, on dey way, all de alleys done turn'd out, Mistah Giles wid Miss Liles make a figure widout doubt..."
- No. 13 - March - "On Emancipation Day"
- No. 14 - Cake Walk - "Chocolate Drops"
- No. 15 - Jig
- No. 16 - Cake Walk - "Happy Jim"
- External Link
- In Dahomey at Wikipedia
American Musical Theatre
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