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

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

3debsopeningwVulcan

Three Debutantes

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 cosmetics clerk at the five-and-dime, would love to win the contest for the college scholarship, but she has neither the money nor the self-confidence to enter. Soda jerk and aspiring inventor, Glenn Williams, tries to convince her to compete, to no avail. The shy nerd also tries to confess his love for her… to no avail.

Three conniving debutantes prepare for the contest, with the assistance of hapless audience members. Pearl, a wannabe anorexic, enlists the aid of her mama to make a dietetic cabbage soup. Ruby, a cheerleader who personally helps each member of the Crimson Tide score, seeks flirting tips from her mama. Self-righteous Opal blackmails her philandering mayor daddy into buying her a gown from Neiman Marcus.

J.C. Inglis, manager of the five-and-dime, buys Evelyn a lovely gown and pays her entrance fee. Evelyn feels beautiful in the dress, especially when she dances with Glenn. She is tempted to compete, but she decides against it when she discovers that she’ll have to appear in a swimsuit.

When the debutantes discover that Evelyn has been entered in the pageant, they try to convince her that someone from her class shouldn’t dare to enter such an elite contest. Outraged, Evelyn finally agrees to vie for the crown.

John Doe hosts the pageant, in which Evelyn, the debutantes, and two audience members demonstrate their domestic skills, intellectual ability, and artistic talents. When Evelyn wins, John Doe reveals that he is in fact the god Vulcan, who has chosen her for his queen! When he offers to make her an immortal goddess, Evelyn chooses Glenn instead. Vulcan settles for the runner-up, one of the audience contestants, to join him in a life of endless rapture on Mount Olympus.

For a promo, go to:   www.redmountaintheatre.org/1415-miss-vulcan-1939.html

Selected Lyrics

SHE'S GOIN' DOWN

A MINUTE AT A TIME

c) Donfeld/Powell

Debutantes

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN

UNBELIEVABLY, SHE’S ON AN EGO TRIP

BUT HER EGO’S GOING TO FALL

I CAN HEAR THE DEARIE BAWL

WHEN SHE SEES HER EGO’S ON A SINKING SHIP.

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN.

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN.

Opal

SHE WILL SINK LIKE THE TITANIC

I CAN SEE THE DARLING PANIC

WHEN SHE KNOWS THAT IN A MOMENT SHE WILL DROWN

Pearl

YES, HER FOOLISH EGOMANIA

IS LIKE THE LUSITANIA

AND BOUND TO BRING HER LITTLE DINGY DOWN, DOWN, DOWN,

All

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN

WE’LL HEAR “S O S” AND WATCH HER SONAR BLIP

Ruby

SHE’LL GO CRYIN’ THROUGH THE PARK

WHEN SHE SINKS LIKE NOAH’S ARK.

Opal

Wait…Noah’s ark didn’t sink. It got stuck, up high, on a mountain, on the top of a very high mountain.

RUBY

The very top?

OPAL

Yes.

(They all look at each other and shrug.)

ALL

Doesn’t matter.

All

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN, DOWN, DOWN,

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, DOWN

SHE’S GOIN’ DOWN, DOWN, DOWN, DOWN


WHO COULD WANT MORE?

WHO COULD WANT MORE?

c) Donfeld/Powell

Evelyn(Formerly Sarah)

WHEN IT COMES TO LIPSTICK

I’LL FIND THE PERFECT COLOR

AUTUMN BLOOMING PEACH OR DUSTY ROSE.

WHEN IT COMES TO LIVING

MY LIFE COULD NOT BE DULLER

WHO CARES ABOUT PERFUMES AND SWANKY CLOTHES?

 

I’M SURE THE BLUEBLOOD LADIES WOULD AGREE,

THE STUFF THEY BUY

DOESN’T APPLY TO ME.

 

CLOSE THE COUNTER, FIND YOUR HAT,

WANDER HOME AND FEED THE CAT.

LIFE SHOULD BE SIMPLE

WHO COULD WANT MORE?

 

GRAB THE PAPER FROM THE STOOP

OPEN UP SOME CAMPBELL ’S SOUP

LIFE SHOULD BE SIMPLE

WHO COULD WANT MORE? (J.C. re-enters, unnoticed by Evelyn.) KEEP IT SIMPLE NIGHT TO MORN

DON’T BE DISAPPOINTED

FACE THE FACT THAT YOU WEREN’T BORN

ONE OF LIFE’S ANOINTED.

 

UP AT DAWN TO FACE THE DAY.

EVERY DAY A SHADE OF GRAY

LIFE SHOULD BE SIMPLE

WHO NEEDS A WORLD TO EXPLORE?

DON’T GET YOUR HOPES UP.

WHO COULD WANT MORE?


THE BEST OF FRIENDS

THE BEST OF FRIENDS

c) Donfeld/Powell

(The debutantes)

Opal (to Pearl)

YOUR COOKING’S SO INCREDIBLE

Pearl (to Opal)

YOU’LL WIN ‘CAUSE YOU’RE SO PURE

Opal

MY OL’ FOOD IS BARELY EDIBLE,

SO I FEED THE FILTHY POOR.

Ruby (to Pearl)

YOUR PECAN PIE COULD MAKE YOU DIE

AND STILL YOU’RE ALMOST THIN.

Pearl(to Ruby)

YOUR ALLURE IS HARD TO CLASSIFY

WHICH IS WHY I’M SURE YOU’LL WIN.

All

HOW WILL THE VOTERS CHOOSE?

TWO OF US ARE BOUND TO LOSE

THOUGH, WHEN ALL THE HOOPLA ENDS

WE WILL STILL BE BEST OF FRIENDS.

RUBY (to PEARL)

I hope you win.

PEARL (to RUBY)

I hope you win.

OPAL

Well, we all can’t win.

Pearl (to Ruby)

THE CRIMSON TIDE WOULD DIE FOR YOU.

Opal (to Ruby)

I’M SURE YOU HELP THEM SCORE.

Pearl (to Ruby)

AND THE TIGERS ALSO VIE FOR YOU.

Opal (to Ruby)

THOUGH I’M SURE YOU’RE NOT A WHORE.

(short, stunned silence)

All

HOW WILL THE VOTERS CHOOSE?

TWO OF US ARE BOUND TO LOSE

THOUGH, WHEN ALL THE HOOPLA ENDS

WE WILL STILL BE BEST OF FRIENDS.

THE VERY BEST, THE VERY BEST

THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS!

(They dance.)

Ruby

HOW YOU DARLINGS LOVE TO TALK AND EAT.

Opal (to Pearl)

YOUR TALENT NEVER ENDS.

Pearl

LOOK AT US! WE’RE ALL SO DOGGONE SWEET

All

COULDN’T BE THREE BETTER FRIENDS.

THE VERY BEST, THE VERY BEST

THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS!

THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS!

Yeah!


(reprise, later on)

Ruby

I CAN’T BELIEVE THE MOUSE WOULD RUN

Opal

WHO’D THINK SHE HAD THE NERVE?

Pearl

SHE COULD GET THE TITLE WHEN SHE’S DONE,

All

AND A CROWN SHE WON’T DESERVE

HOW WILL THE VOTERS CHOOSE?

THERE’S A CHANCE WE ALL COULD LOSE.

THOUGH WHEN OUR CONNIVING ENDS,

WE WILL STILL BE BEST FRIENDS.

Pearl

I’LL COOK THE BEST.

Opal

BE BETTER DRESSED.

Ruby

I’LL BARE A BREAST.

(Opal and Pearl look at Ruby. Then:)

All

WE WILL STILL BE BEST OF FRIENDS.

THE VERY BEST OF FRIENDS.

Yeah!


WHO INVENTED LOVE?

WHO INVENTED LOVE?

c) Donfeld/Powell

Glenn

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN INSPIRED

BY ENTERPRISING MINDS.

INVENTING SOMETHING GREAT IS MY IDEAL.

 

AMONG MY MOST ADMIRED

ARE EDISON AND FORD

AND EVEN FERRIS; HE IMPROVED THE WHEEL.

 

THERE’S LEVI STRAUSS AND WHITNEY

AND ALEXANDER BELL.

DA VINCI’S MIND WAS ALWAYS HEADS ABOVE.

 

BUT THERE’S ONE I HONOR MOST.

YES, I’D LIKE TO RAISE A TOAST

TO THE GENIUS WHO INVENTED LOVE.

 

OH, WHO INVENTED THE FEELING

THAT SOMEHOW SOMEONE COULD SOAR,

FLYING UP TO THE CEILING,

WITH FEET STILL DOWN ON THE FLOOR?

WHO INVENTED ELATION,

THIS WINGING HIGH AS A DOVE?

WHO THOUGHT UP THIS SENSATION?

WHO INVENTED LOVE? (Glenn picks up a mop and starts singing to it.)

FRANKLIN ’S KITE IN A RAIN STORM

DREW LIGHTNING OUT OF THE SKY

BUT WHO WAS BLESSED WITH THE BRAIN STORM

THAT DRAWS A GIRL TO A GUY?

OTIS TOOK ELEVATION

TO FLOORS BELOW AND ABOVE.

THAT WAS QUITE A CREATION,

BUT WHO INVENTED LOVE?

J.C.

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS FLEW THROUGH THE BLUSTERY BLUE

BUT THEY HAD TO USE A PLANE.

AND ZEPPELIN, TOO, HAD HIS BLIMP DEBUT

BUT GAS PROVED TO BE A PAIN.

Glenn (still to the mop)

CHEERS TO LOU DAGUERRE’S SHUTTER.

HIS CAM’RA GOT OFF THE GROUND,

BUT WHO INVENTED THIS FLUTTER

THAT THRILLS ME WHEN YOU’RE AROUND?

FULTON FATHERED THE STEAMBOAT

THAT FLOATED BY WITH ITS CREW.

BUT WHO INVENTED THE DREAMBOAT

I SEE WHEN I LOOK AT YOU?

Glenn and J.C.

WHO DEVISED THIS EMOTION

FITTING AS SNUG AS A GLOVE?

Glenn

I LIKE HIM THE MOST,

J.C.

LET’S GIVE HIM A TOAST

Glenn

BUT WHO INVENTED LOVE?


FINALE, AN UGLY MAN

FINALE, AN UGLY MAN

c) Donfeld/Powell

Vulcan

DON’T YOU LEAVE A BIT OF LITTER,

FROM BANANA PEELS TO GLITTER,

EVERYTHING BELONGS THERE IN THE TRASH.

Jake and Sarah

IF WE FILLED YOUR HEART WITH LAUGHTER,

MAKE US HAPPY EVERAFTER

Jake, Sarah, J.C.

BUY MORE TICKETS. WE COULD USE THE CASH.

Debutantes

OUR THANKS TO THOSE WHO VOLUNTEERED

TO ACT ON OUR BEHALFS.

Jake, J.C., Tour Guide

YOU STOLE THE LIMELIGHT, AS WE FEARED,

AND GOT THE BIGGEST LAUGHS.

All

HAH! HAH! HAH!

HAH! HAH! HAH!

J.C.

THE PAPARAZZI OUT IN FRONT

WOULD LIKE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS.

All

HERE’S TO YOU!

CHEERS TO YOU!

 

IT WOULD REALLY BE A BUMMER

IF YOU DON’T COME BACK THIS SUMMER,

TELL YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN US WHEN THEY CAN.

 

MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE , AND

LOOK BEYOND A PERSON’S FACE.

CELEBRATE A TRULY UGLY MAN!

 

YES, EVEN IF YOUR LOVER’S GRUESOME,

YOU COULD MAKE AN AWESOME TWOSOME,

CELEBRATE A TRULY UGLY MAN!

(THE END.)