My Shows

Big Top

Book & Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Nathan Wang

Big Top

Sometimes, it takes losing all your dreams before you can discover the one dream that truly matters.“Big Top” is a love story amidst the mayhem, attempted murder, passion, and undaunted determination at a struggling traveling circus. BILL, a talented hick from Homefork, population 23, arrives at the circus determined to fly under the big top with the trapeze artists, “THE FLYING  RATCHADENIVEJS”, IGOR, REX and IVAN.    As with all the men who see her, Bill is immediately smitten with SANDY, the beautiful, young tightrope walker,...

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The Spark, Hannah Senesh

Book and Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Sandra Shanin

The Spark, Hannah Senesh

Stark reality and memories surround Hannah Senesh, a strong-willed, young Jewish Hungarian woman who has been captured by the Nazis after parachuting behind enemy lines in an attempt to rescue both British pilots and Hungarian Jews.  She is determined to withstand the frequent interrogations of the Warden, who is equally as determined that Hannah reveal the secret code to her military radio. Based on the life of Israel ’s most beloved heroine and poet, “Hannah Senesh” shows Hannah recalling meaningful, often joyous, events from her past as a...

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Miss Vulcan, the Belle of Birmingham (Miss Vulcan 1939)

Book by Marian Partee, Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Jan Powell

Miss Vulcan, the Belle of Birmingham (Miss Vulcan 1939)

Move over American Idol, step aside Dancing with the Stars. It’s the competition that’ll have everyone talking! Roman mythology and 1930’s Birmingham collide in this zany musical romp, where “ugly” is only in the eye of the beholder! (Cast: 4W, 3M, plus unsuspecting victims from the crowd) The citizens of Birmingham, Alabama, take great pride in their statue of the bare-assed god Vulcan. The year is 1939, and a stranger named John Doe announces a beauty contest to crown Vulcan’s Queen. Evelyn Tully, a bookish...

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Tales from the Forbidden City

Book by Sachi Oyama, Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Nathan Wang

Tales from the Forbidden City

A young boy, hugging his pet doll, fulfills the requirement to enter the fabled Forbidden City, there to find a world of secret loves, passions, hatreds, and conspiracies.  As he begins his journey, An-Li, newly made eunuch, is armed with the knowledge that his doll is blessed with his mother’s tears and thus empowered to grant a magical wish. Upon entry, he is guided toward Yi Po, the main actor and director of operas for the Dowager Empress of China.    Po, the young eunuch is told, will help him in his journey to perform an act of bravery...

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The Revolution of Betsy Loring

Book and Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Denise Wright, based on a story by Noelle Donfeld and Sue Warford

The Revolution of Betsy Loring

Set against the backdrop of America’s Revolutionary War, The Revolution of Betsy Loring follows a trail of romance and rueful treachery, as BETSY LORING, a Colonial Patriot, is torn between her love of country and her growing love for the enemy.  When Betsy’s husband, JOSHUA, sells her Boston area farm and collaborates with the British, Betsy seeks refuge with her best friend, REBECCA DAWES, whose husband, BILLY, is an actor and a rebel spy. Using his relationship with the dilettante playwright, GENERAL JOHN BURGOYNE, Billy introduces the...

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Hands

Book, Lyrics and Co-Music: Noelle Donfeld, Co-Music and Arrangements: Nathan Wang

Hands

Presented at Theatre Building Chicago’s Stages Festival, Hands is a suspenseful adaptation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.   The story follows the journey of a courageous slave, Tom Shelby, as he struggles to counter the inhumane influence and power of a heinous slave trader over his fellow slaves. Act 1:  It is the 1830’s and Tom Shelby, the enslaved overseer on a failing Kentucky farm, allows himself to be sold to a sinister slave trader, Simon Legree, rather than escape, to protect his fellow slaves.  As a young boy is...

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Powder Puff Pilots

By Marian Partee, Noelle Donfeld, and Cindy O'Connor

Powder Puff Pilots

In the summer of 1929, Will Rogers hosts the first Women’s National Air Derby, a dangerous cross-country race. Exuberant Marvel Crosson participates for the pure joy of flying; strong-minded Louise Thaden wants to maintain her first place status; foul-mouthed, cigar-smoking, hard-drinking heiress Pancho Barnes loves a good adventure, and surprisingly insecure Amelia Earhart longs to prove that she is worthy of her fame. The aviatrixes are eager to achieve equality in the air with their male counterparts, and as an extension, in society as a...

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Corked! A Shipboard Musical

Book by Noelle Donfeld and Norman L. Berman, Lyrics by Noelle Donfeld, Music by Norman L. Berman

Corked!  A Shipboard Musical

 Aboard the SS Bon Vin on the Annual Champagne New Years Cruise, Sommelier Marc Le  Blanc and champagne representatives and enthusiasts are shocked to learn that Tampo Tampo, a tiny island nation, is globally marketing “tampagne”,  to the eager masses for 99¢ a bottle.  Love affairs and friendships on board change with intoxicating speed as the passengers cope with a whole new world in an uncertain future.  Can albatrosses really bring good luck?  Is the Bon Vin the Love Boat or the next Titanic? A santé! Setting: Aboard the Bon Vin  with...

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PURITANICAL!

Book & lyrics: Noelle Donfeld Music: Brian Leader

PURITANICAL!

Prejudice is in the eye of the beholder in this farce about the challenges facing lovers in a mixed marriage (one living and one undead). Goody Mercer’s husband has died of cholera, and his body is rotting in her living room, as the Church of England has forbidden the burial of Puritans in its churchyard.  To escape such prejudice, Father Emden convinces Goody and her devoted son Degory to accompany other Puritans to the New World on the Mayflower.  Degory wants Emily, whom he loves, to go with them, but Goody, while lambasting Episcopal...

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Shahrazad, Heads or Tales?

Co-book: Stephen Oles; Lyrics & co-book: Noelle Donfeld; Music: Sandy Shanin

Shahrazad, Heads or Tales?

Magic leads to mayhem in this tragic-comic musical tale of love, lust, power and madness, adapted from the classic 1001 NIGHTS. Fourteen year-old SHAHRAZAD, a renowned story teller, has been in love with the young SULTAN since earliest childhood.  When the Sultan’s wife betrays him, he becomes a maniac, wedding, bedding and beheading 45 virgins on 45 successive nights.  Hoping to cure his madness through the power of her love, Shahrazad weds him and is about to be beheaded herself, when her feisty fortune-telling sister, DINARZAD, pops...

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Mita, the Magnificent!

Book, lyrics and music by Noelle Donfeld; additional arrangements by Peggy Sandvig

Walnut Street Theatre production Photo:  Mark Garvin “Mita, the Magnificent” is a new, bi-lingual children’s musical that includes possibilities for puppetry, interaction with the audience and a funny and touching score. In a nutshell, or actually in a dry garden, four insects face the results of a drought, and all but Mita, the sweet but misunderstood underground termite (termita) who finds all kinds of surprising sources of wood to eat, are very hungry. Mariposa, the butterfly, has just flown up from Mexico to stop at the garden...

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SQUEAK!!

Book: Sachi Oyama Lyrics: Noelle Donfeld Music: Brian Leader

  Can a Mouse Matcher make a mixed-up mouse who is mooning over a microbiologist  match up with her meek mouse brother who is mad about her?  A whimsical tale of interspecies misunderstanding and almost-missed romance. If true love means sacrifice, then Susanna, a long-suffering laboratory mouse, has mastered love, even as she has mastered ignoring Brutus, the laundry room mouse who pines for her.   However, Yuri, the scientist who is the object of her affection, doesn’t speak “squeak”, and, regardless, he has lost his heart to Phoebe,...

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