artwork by Mikyong Rodgers http://www.mikyong.com


Renowned Canadian Playwright
Morley Shulman 

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Infinity Stage
A publishing House for modern plays and musicals

                 
                                               
                                                                 

Revolutionary Gentleman
                          a rock opera

 cast of 8 (4m,4w)         110-minute running time        25 songs

                    book, music & lyrics by
                          Steven W Rodgers



A tongue-in-cheek, behind-the-scenes look at the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of Benedict Arnold.  A cross between Little Shop of Horrors and Jesus Christ Superstar. Based on true events.

 slide show with music samples

full script
Synopsis

 Scroll Down to hear musical score (with lyrics)

 contact:  Steven W Rodgers     [email protected] gmail.com      703-785-4141

                                          
             Musical Numbers

                                             Act One
Revolutionary Gentleman…………….……….…..Company
Despicable……………………….…………...…...…..… Emily
I Can Live With That …...…Reed, Josephine, Emily & Mary
Sleepwalker [instrumental]  ................................Orchestra
Just Another Pretty Face ...Wash, Jos, Reed, Emily & Mary
Back Up Lover …………..……….…...... Emily, Ben & Mary
Flame in the Dark  …………….……………..…Ben & Emily
We Have a Crisis  …..........Reed, Josephine & Washington
The Honeymoon …………………..…. Emily, Ben & Peggy
Day of Reckoning................................................. Josephine
When the Moment if Right............................John & Peggy
Alternative Facts ……………….... Reed, Josephine & Ben
Remorse ……………....….…............… Ben, Emily & Mary
The American Way  ………………...….Ben, Peggy & John
 
                                       Act Two
Up A Creek ……………………... Emily, Peggy, Ben & John
Midnight Ride / …………………………….… Peggy & John
Gimme That Address …..……............ John, Emily & Mary
General Arnold’s Demise  …………......Reed & Josephine
Without Him …………..……..…....………...…….…. Peggy
Downward Spiral…..................Ben, Peggy, Emily & Mary
Who’s To Say? ………..…..………....………..…….…. Emily
Rather Be in Jamaica  ………………………Peggy & Emily
Inescapable.........Washington, Reed, Peggy & Josephine
I've Come Undone................Ben, Reed, Emily, Josephine
The Greatest Hero …………….…......……….....Company
 
 All songs
music and lyrics by Steven W Rodgers

except: Without Him  & Flame in the Dark,  
lyrics by Wendy Christopher
Remorse & When the Moment is Right,
additional lyrics by Wendy Christopher;

Who's to Say,
additional lyrics by Carolyn Tracy

Based on an original story by
Steven W Rodgers & Carolyn Tracy
 
Recorded at Threshold Recording Studios, New York City
Mixed and recorded at Cue Recording Studios, Falls Church, Virginia & Stillwaters Studios, Marshall, Virginia;  
                      
Producer: Steven W Rodgers
Sound Engineers: Ken Schubert and Jeff Wolf
Vocal Coach: Juanita Blankumsee
 
Contact:  Steven W Rodgers:  [email protected]   703-785-4141  
 
                         © 1990  © 2002 © 2017

                                          
             Cast of Characters 
                                                (4m, 4w)
                                     
Benedict Arnold, a Revolutionary Gentleman
Emily, Ben's English nurse in 19th century London.
Mr. Reed, the president of the supreme council
Peggy Shippen Arnold, Ben's wife, and John's lover 
Josephine, Mr. Reed's Chief Advisor
Maj. John André  England's Chief Intelligence Officer, and Peggy's lover
George Washington, head of the Continental army
Mary, Ben's Cockney maid
                                                                      


Revolutionary Gentleman

                                          
                                              
                       
                                     Ben
It’s time to start a revolution, If I just knew how
All I see surrounding me are faces of despair
Is it possible for me to keep their hopes alive
When death is everywhere?
 
Am I a revolutionary gentleman
Just like all the papers say,
Or can it be I’m just an ordinary man?
Can I carve us out a nation one day?
 
Would these sunshine patriots know how to fight a war?
Or at the sound of English cannon would they all retreat?
Who am I to lead them all against a mighty power
And save this nation from defeat?
                               
I’m not a revolutionary gentleman,
As all the history books will say
I’m nothing more than just a man content to know
A grateful nation will remember him some day.
 
                         Company
We would not have survived without you
None of us here would be alive without you
Just look at where we are—
we never would’ve made it this far
Without you….without you…                            
                               
We would not have survived without you          
(never would’ve made it without you)
None of us here would be alive without you                      
(Never would’ve made it without you)
                                                                               
Just look at where we are—
we never would’ve made it this far
Without you…without you…
                                                                                               
Never would’ve made it, never would’ve made it
Never would’ve made it without you, etc.
 
…’Cause you’re a revolutionary gentleman,
Just like all the papers say
With you to lead us, we know we’ll soon be free
You’ll be known throughout the world some day.  

Play Song
Ben questions his own ability to lead the men and women through Quebec in the dead of winter.           photo by Julia MacInnis

Despicable

                                          
                                              
                       
                                 Emily     
You likely think that Ben’s a traitor,
But all of that would come much later
He’d not yet begun to hatch his plan
You might be surprised to find
Benedict had been assigned                 
To become the military’s second-in-command
 
Still some people came to hate him,
Wanted to annihilate him
Always hateful things to say.
Didn’t want him standing in their way
Envy and greed were all pervasive.
Many had hoped to take the place of
This future commander-in-chief
Gave him nothing but grief
 
Ben could be unsavory, too,
But what’s all that to do with you?
He surely wasn’t loyal to the king!
 
Furthermore, here’s the latest:
Ben could have been the greatest        
Patriot this country had ever seen, but…
The local head authority
Made it his priority
To undermine the man
Didn’t want him in command at all
Reed was the master of corruption
He wouldn’t tolerate disruptions
To his master plan—a despicable man.
Play Song
Emily suggests that the audience keep an open mind about Benedict Arnold. 
photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                              
                       
                                     Reed
What have you got in the papers?
You never have anything good
 
                                     Josephine
Sir, don’t blame the messenger! I did the best that I could!
General Arnold’s horse was shot                        
 
                                     Reed
Is that all you’ve got? If you’d only tell me
Arnold was shot too!                                                                   

                                     Josephine
The general survived the encounter
 
                                     Reed
Just my luck, of course
 
                                     Josephine
He was shot, too
 
                                     Reed (hopeful)
Was it fatal?
 
                                     Josephine
At least it was for the horse!
 
                                     Reed
This is all so devastating! 
No one is cooperating
 
                                     Josephine
But he may never walk again!
 
                                     Reed
Not dead, but crippled!  I can live with that!
 
                                      Josephine
Your generosity is where it’s at!
 
                                     Reed
I can live with that
                                               
                                     Josephine
Maybe now people won’t treat you like a doormat
 
                                    Reed
Josephine, have you seen how I never get a break?
How much more’s a man to take, but
I can live with that
 
                                     Josephine
Watching people suffer is where it’s at!
 
                                     Reed
General Arnold’s down and out!
 
                                     Josephine
Survival of the fittest is what it’s all about
 
                                    Reed
Josephine, if you could see how hard this war has been on me!
 
                                    Josephine , Mary & Emily
If you hadn’t gotten older, you might still be a soldier
Think of all that they go through and be glad
It’s not still happening to you!
 
                                     Reed
Some men are just born lucky. For me, life is so unfair
When they signed that famous declaration,
Sadly, I wasn’t there.
They forgot to invite me, and then, just to spite me
John Hancock signed his name so big
There was no room left for mine!  
But I can live with that, all my life,
I have been rejected
 
                                    Josephine , Emily & Mary
Don’t complain,
Someday you’d like a statue of you to be erected   
 
                                    Reed
Josephine, do you feel I have an irresistible appeal?
               
                                    Josephine (laughing hysterically)
Oh, you were serious?
 
                                    Reed (shrugging)
I can live with that
 
                                    Mary & Emily
Even though he’s feeling quite dejected
 
                                     Reed
I can live with that
 
                                     Mary & Emily
After all, he’s come to expect it
 
                                      Reed
Josephine, if you could see how hard my life has been for me
 
                                      Josephine
You must be optimistic
 
                                      Emily
…and a little less sadistic
               
                                      Reed, Josephine, Mary & Emily
Then somewhat better days may be on their way!


I Can Live With That

Play Song
Reed is distraught to learn that Benedict Arnold is still so popular, while his own popularity is on the decline.           photo by Julia MacInnis
    
                         Washington
General Arnold’s the man of the hour,
Thanks to him, we're firmly back in power
I’m pleased to honor him tonight,
He may be down and out
But he’ll soon rejoin the fight
 
Don’t be fooled,
Ben needs no consolation,
Watch him rebound             
He’s the future of our nation
Some day, this man in front of you
May well be livin’ on Pennsylvania Avenue! 
 
                       Emily & Mary
We think that you
Should have a statue                             
Yet how could they capture
Someone of your stature?
…it’s a mystery!
 
                      Josephine
Such great reviews!

                     Reed
For him!

                     Josephine
It’s really kinda funny
Look at you! 

                    Reed
It's rather grim!

                    Josephine
They only praise you for your money
We must keep him in his place,
It’s time they found out
He is nothing but another pretty face!
 
                    Emily & Mary
And we trust you
But if you must, you
Will rejoin the fight,
You’re our guiding light!  
We admire your loyalty!
He’ll soon be back in the heat of battle.

Just Another Pretty Face

Play Song
When Benedict Arnold is wounded in battle, George Washington gives him command of the city of Philadelphia as military governor, much to the delight of its citizens.      photo by Julia MacInnis

Sleepwalker   (instrumental)

Play Instrumental
                       
                        Emily
Peggy’s over there,
Always been so glamorous
She’s with John,
They’re both acting awfully amorous
 
                        Ben
That was long before the two of us had met
Even I was known to have my tete-a-tetes
When my wife died
I was beside myself with grief
Filled with gloom.
Locked up in my room
 
                       Emily & Mary
Wouldn’t come out till dinner time.
Yeah yeah yeah
 
                       Ben
Then she appeared
Betsy Dubois was the answer to my prayers
 
                       Emily
As if she cares!
 
                       Ben
I spent days on a letter sure to win her heart
Your charms, madam,
have lighted a flame in my heart
 
                      Emily & Mary
Shoo be doo wah  wah shoo be doo wah
 
                      Ben
Don’t wanna spend another moment apart!
When will our courtship finally start?
 
                      Mary
Well that’s so sweet,
but he’ll have to take a back seat
 
                      Emily
He’s all the rage
 
                      Mary
But he’s twice my age
You’ve heard the talk
he can hardly walk
And may stay that way
                                               
                     Ben
Thank goodness, this letter still is intact
 
                     Emily & Mary
Shoo be do wah, wah, shoo be do wah
 Just don’t give it to another
Only an ass would be so crass
To use the same lines on a back up lover

Back Up Lover

Play Song
Flattered, yet bemused, Betsy Dubois reads Ben's latest love letter as her friend looks on: "Your charms, madam, have lighted an inextinguishable flame in my heart..." photo by Julia MacInnis
                       
                          Peggy
Is this how it starts,
With a game of hearts
Passed like a gift of good will between men?
Our love’s so unorthodox,
I’m like my little music box
 Open up my heart and I will play for you again
 
                           Ben
You run from the nights full of shadows,
I am your flame in the dark
 
                          Peggy & Ben
Close all the doors and hold in the light
The rest of the world cannot touch us tonight
Someday you’ll be…forever with me
 
                           Peggy
I know all too well
Morning will break the spell
Duty will call and then I will let you go
Yet here you’re safe from all the lies
And when I look into your eyes
There they are those secrets
Only we will ever know
 
                            Ben
When the day is over and the sun goes down
Look for a flame in the dark
 
                            Peggy and Ben
Close all the doors and hold in the light
The rest of the world cannot touch us tonight
Someday you’ll be forever with me      
 
                             Peggy
You will stay safe and warm,
Lying here in my arms
Nobody sees through the windows
We are just flames in the dark…in the dark
 
                             Peggy and Ben
Close all the doors and hold in the light
The rest of the world cannot touch us tonight
 Someday you’ll be forever with me


Flame in the Dark

Play Song
Ben assures Peggy that he will always be there for her.
photo by Julia MacInnis
                       
                          Reed
We have a crisis,
Its name is Benedict
What rock did he crawl out from under?
He is nothing but a derelict
He’s getting married to an ally of the king
Rumor now has it
she’s already even had a fling
 
                          Josephine
She’s been sneaking out late at night
To some English officer’s delight
How long before he wants even more
Hold onto your seats
the sparks are about to ignite
 
                             Washington
You can’t be serious
 
                            Reed
You must be delirious
 
                           Washington
These rumors are slander,
He’s our best commander
 
                            Reed
Stave off the bleeding,
Save this nation while you can
 
                            Washington
I’ve never doubted him
He has always been my right hand man!
 
                            Reed
But we have a crisis,
As of now, it’s not too late
When your right hand’s diseased
You have no choice but to amputate!
 
                             Josephine
He entertains the English every night,
For enemies they seem rather tight
What undeniable rapport!
Someone needs to tell them
We’re supposed to be at war!
 
                            Reed
You are naïve
If you believe
This suspicious behavior means
 
                           Reed + Josephine
Nothing at all….
With him around we are all doomed to fall

We Have a Crisis

Play Song
Long before Benedict Arnold had considered defecting, Reed and Josephine plant seeds of doubt in Washignton's mind about his loyalty to the cause. photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                             Emily
On the day Ben and Peggy wed
They came home to find

John asleep in their bed,
And although she said:

 
                              Peggy
He means nothing to me
 
                              Ben (aside)
Still I couldn’t get it out of my head
 
                              Emily
More than once, he saw her write
A letter to John in the dead of night; she said:
 
                               Peggy
It’s my mother, poor dear is dying
 
                               Ben  (aside)
But since she was already dead
I knew she must be lying!
 
                               Emily
Still, he tried his best to please her
 
                               All
 Which wasn’t an easy thing to do
 
                              Ben
This house cost more than I can afford
 
                             Peggy & Emily
And every day she’d/I’d buy
another pair of shoes
               
                             Emily
Though Peggy felt she had it bad
They did what they could
on what little they had
 
                             All
If we/they ran out of money
we’d/they’d borrow more
 
                             Emily
Till the creditors came knocking at their door

The Honeymoon

Play Song
Benedict Arnold doesn't have quite the honeymoon he'd envisioned, when John Andre, his young bride's lover (and British intelligence officer) crashes the party.    photo by Julia MacInnis

Day of Reckoning


                                                       
 
                             Josephine
We're not interested in extending
Loans to fools like you!
Don't mean to be so unbending
But your bills are all past due
You've been spending twice what you earn
Ya gotta pay up now
or you're gonna get burned
Some folks never learn
                                                                       
When ya can't pay up
We're gonna make a fuss
'scuse me, honey
any money
Now belongs to us!

It won't work to play the martyr
Next time, you'll have to play it smarter
                                               
We don't really mean to seem too overeager
Rudely barging in like this to repossess!
Though your furnishing may not be new
We'll make do!
We'll sell what we can 
And then we'll burn the rest!

When ya can't pay up,
We're gonna bring ya down
We don't sell many tickets
But it's the hottest show in town
Ya work all your lives, collect your pay
Just to see it vanish a day.
                
Normally, we'd all be terribly ecstatic
Seeing fools like you
Spending more than they earn
But there comes a day of reckoning
And you must pay
When will you learn
You can't spend twice as much as you earn?                 
When ya can't pay up, we're gonna make a fuss
Sorry sir, but all the furniture belongs to us!        
Ya work all your lives for a bit of cash
Just to see it vanish in a flash!

Play Song
The Arnolds' belonging are repossessed as Josephine celebrates their misfortune.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                      
 
                                 Peggy
I never thought I’d see
A life of misery
Do you dream as I do how our lives could be?
 
                                 John
Don’t think about what might
Have happened on that night
I was forced to flee
 
                                 Peggy
But you didn’t take me
 
                                 John
Rebels had us on the run
 
                                 Peggy
So I married ben
I knew even then
I likely wouldn’t see you again
 
                                 John
But I knew when the moment was right
I’d be right back where i belong
Now that you are there, by his side
Perhaps you can persuade him
To help us turn the tide
 
                                Pggy
H’d never agree such disloyalty
You can’t imagine how,
In my dreams, I've tried
 
                               John
Who’s to say that today
What he thinks is wrong
May well be finally
What he was thinking all along?
When the moment is right
He will show us all
 
                             John & Peggy
The man he longs to be!



When the Moment is Right
backing track only

Play Instrumental version
John and Peggy set the wheels in motion.    photo by Julia MacInnis

Alternative Facts

Play Song
Reed and Josephine conjure up exaggerated charges against their nemesis, Benedict Arnold, in an attempt to destroy his stellar reputation.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                          
                             Reed & Josephine
We must find a way to bring him down
Tired of playing second fiddle
While he’s the talk of the town
               
                             Josephine
Sir, we might have to face facts
Arnold may be above reproach
 
                             Reed
Luckily there are qualities of evil
To be found in every man
 
                             Josephine
He borrowed an army wagon
 
                             Reed
In my book, that’s called  ‘theft’
 
                             Josephine
Soldiers died under his command
Leaving so many young widows bereft
 
                             Reed
Anything can seem underhanded
 
                            Reed & Josephine
….if you only try!!!
 
                             Josephine
 He went out one night, to have a drink
 
                             Reed
We’ll tell everyone he’s a drunk!
His followers will turn against him
When they see how low he’s sunk
 
                             Josephine
You are the most deliciously evil man I’ve ever known
 
                             Reed
No time for compliments right now...I’m on a roll
 
                            Josephine
He let a ship’s captain enter port
without a current pass

                             Reed
He’s endangering all of us! 
What a depraved, diabolical ass!
 
                             Ben (angrily entering)
Reed, these charges are trumped up!
Fake media’s at it again!
 
                              Reed
See how he acts? 
Why,  they’re not lies—they’re just…. uh…
 
                              Josephine
…. Alternative facts!
 
                              Reed and Josephine
You are the one who demanded
a hearing for your crimes
 
                              Reed
Couldn’t stand to think what we’d be saying
Behind your back all the time
 
                              Josephine
You wanted this trial, you couldn’t let it rest
That wouldn’t be your style,
so now you’re our captive guest
 
                               Ben
I couldn’t let it go without putting up a fight
My silence would be deafening!
People might start to believe you were right
                                                                                    
                               Josephine
Your honor, this man was offered command
Of the left wing of the army
It really alarmed me!
 
                              Reed & Josephine
We must work diligently to prevent
General Arnold from becoming our first president!
Though  it seems unlikely, can you just imagine?
Some day in the future
Even stranger things may happen!
                                          
                                              
                               
                                 Ben
Reed, you’ve always harrassed me
What are you afraid they’ll see?
Could it be without me as your scapegoat
They’d see you quite differently?
We know your type of politician
On a mercenary mission
If you could, you’d charge admission
To your funeral
 
                                Reed
The prosecution rests, your honor.
 
                                Emily
I'm sure they’ll soon proclaim
You’re not to blame at all
 
                                Ben
But I should be out there leading my men
 
                                 Emily
And you could with enough alcohol
 
                                 Mary
General Arnold, please rise
 
                                  Ben
I don’t mean to criticize
But I haven’t had my turn just yet
 
                                  Mary
I’m afraid that’s all you get
If it’s all the same,
You’ve had your fifteen minutes of fame      
The jury’s found that you’re to blame
Your career will never be the same     
 
                                 Washington
General we’re all in your debt
So I say this with regret:         
This is not a game
This trial has disgraced your name
 
                                 Mary
We can’t find someone else on whom to blame it
                                                      
                                  Emily
Even though you almost overcame it
 
                                  Washington
Publicly, I have to state
Your promotion now will have to wait
You didn’t have to do this
I wouldn’t have put you through this
 
                                 Emily, Mary & Washington
We know you’ve done your best
But Congress is unimpressed                           


The Verdict

reprise of I Can Live With That

Play instrumental version
Ben is brought to trial on charges so trivial as that he once borrowed an old army wagon to haul furniture.    
photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                              
                                Ben
If you only knew what I would do
You might not have been quite so quick to condemn
 
                                Emily & Mary
A curious sight, you coming here today to fight
The charges were such trivialities
 
                                Ben
I was certain that you would be on my side. 
You didn’t find me innocent
 
                                Emily & Mary
Oh well, we tried!
Yet everyone here (everyone here)
Is wondering why  (wondering why)
 
                               Ben
I’m left wondering why you chose me to crucify
 
                                Emily & Mary (overlapping)
You allowed yourself to be crucified
If you let it go                       
Everyone will know
You’re the hero that you’ve longed to be
 
                                Ben
That’s not done so easily.
 
                                Emily & Mary
But if this is a reason
To commit some kind of treason
 
                                Ben, Emily & Mary
A redcoat is the only thing they’ll see.


Jurors' Remorse

Play Song
Ben laments the jury's decision.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                              
                             Peggy
I think I sense some hesitation
Tell me, what’s the complication?
 
                              Ben
It’s not that easy to agree
to betray a man who’s put his trust in me
                                                                                                                       Peggy
This is no time for sentiment, you know that he...
 Must be put down so that we all can stay standing
 So that we all can stay standing
 
                            John
Now that West Point is under your command
It’s time for you to lend a helping hand
 
                            Peggy
Now with you firmly in place there
The British wouldn’t have any danger to face there
 
                            John
Before the first shot’s fired
You can just announce that
You’re so horribly outnumbered,
Your men wouldn’t stand a chance!
 
                            Peggy
Just remember that we’re all in this together
We can weather the storm if we hang together
 
                            John
 …or surely we will all hang separately
 
                            Peggy
…from a tree
 
                            John and peggy
Yes, surely we will all hang separately…
From a tree…eee…..eee…hee!
 
                            Peggy
And in a hundred years or so
Just think of all the stories that will be told
About a man who agreed to help his country out…
                                                                                                                          Ben
…for ten thousand pounds in gold!
 
                               John
Just surrender west point—we’ll pay!
Don’t you know?—
 
                              Peggy
That’s the american way
 
                             Peggy & John
Yeah, that’s the american way!
                                                           
                             John
We caught on fast,
We learned just how it’s done
In fact, nearly all our under-handed ways,
We learned from Americans!
 
                             Peggy
You’ll be some kind of hero
               
                             Ben
...With pay!!
 
                             Peggy 
You catch on fast!
 
                             Peggy & John
That’s the American way!
Yeah, that’s the American way!
                                                                                                                        John
Our day for retribution’s come at last
 
                             Ben
The day I dread, I fear will come too fast.
 
                             Peggy
This is our greatest moment yet
The king will be forever in our debt!
 
                             Ben
But when it’s over how will I forget?
Will I be doomed, always to remember
I turned my back on my nation…. forever?
                                                                                                                                                                   
 


The American Way

Play Song
 Peggy and John attempt to persuade Ben to switch sides in the war.    
  photo by Julia MacInnis
                                                                      Emily
Well finally came the day
When treason would pay
And John dropped in on Ben for a final meeting
Then Peggy joined the boys
And they all heard a noise
And they looked out the window
to see John’s ship retreating
 
                                Emily & Peggy
Americans were firing on them
Their sense of timing couldn’t have been worse!
                               
                                Emily
Americans were strutting their stuff
Decided it was time to finally get tough
And now they were clearly engaging the English
in battle
John’s ship was hit, and it went down
 
                                Peggy  (to John)
That ship was your ride outta town!
 
                                Emily
Now he was up a creek without a paddle!
John had no choice but to go by land,
He hoped Peggy would understand
But he clearly heard the battle cry,
And public transit was in short supply
                               
                                Ben (to John)
Now there is just one thing left to decide:
What color coat you should wear on your ride
That red coat will be seen a mile away!
 
                                Peggy
Why not wear one of Ben’s coats instead?
You’re a sitting duck …wearing bright red! 
I don’t want you to
 
                               Peggy & Emily
…lose your head!
               
                               John
 It may be true
That if I wear blue
Ben’s uniform will help me to get by…
 
                               Peggy and Emily
 …the Americans!
 
                                John
But if instead
I wear red
Then if I’m caught
I won’t be thought … a spy
 
                                 All
 …and we all know the penalty for that!
 
                                 John & Ben
 When you’re caught by the charms
Of a beautiful woman in your arms
 There’s no refusing anything she asks of you!
Who could resist a girl with such pretty eyes?
 
                                Ben
Even if it meant his early demise
 
                                 All
 So John gave in and wore Ben’s coat of blue
 
                                John
 She wanted me to!
 
                                Ben
Yet I can’t help but wonder what role I played
 Or how I’ll be portrayed.

Up a Creek

play song
Emily narrates the important final meeting between Ben and John, before putting their plan into action.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                Peggy
The midnight ride is drawing near
The moment I feared is suddenly here
 
                                John
Suddenly here
 
                                Peggy
And what will history have to say
When you have long since
 
                               Peggy & John
Gone away….         
 
                                John
When I’ve gone away.
 
                                Peggy
What were we dreaming of?
How can we keep our world from closing in so fast?
Life is such a sad dream
Illusions that were never made to last
 
                                John
The midnight ride may be my last,
The moment I feared has now come to pass
 
                                Peggy
It’s come at last.
 
                                John
Ironically this night will only be
a minor footnote
 
                                Peggy & John
…in history
 
                                Peggy
...but not for me
Honey it’s funny, it seems almost
like I’m sayin’ goodbye for the last time
But it’s past time
 
                               Peggy & John
To go…so…goodbye

                               Peggy
I hope I see you some day soon
Well here’s your lunch,
Now don’t forget to stop and eat at noon
And don’t you talk to strangers on the way
No, don’t you talk to no strangers, oh, yeah.
 Don't let me catch you talkin’ to no strangers,
oh ho, oh ho….
 
                              John
It's gonna be a long and lonely ride
Lord, I only wish I knew which side
You were on, in this war
They say that England will win but who really knows?
Only you can guarantee how it goes,
Who are you fighting for?
                                        
I’m just a redcoat who could use a little rest             
if you know a place I can go                                   
To escape this hellish mess
Then give me that address,
Whoa, yeah gimme that address, whoa                   

                              Emily & Mary
What’s that address?
What’s that address?               
What a mess
Give him that address
Too much stress!
He could use a holiday!  

                             John   
If you could find another poor soul        
Who'd make the ride and who'd do what he's told  
Well then, I’d hardly object                                    

                            Muses
No one would object
              
                            John
 Just say the word and I'll step aside
I’d let my own grandmother
make this long ride!  I'm an emotional wreck!

                            Emily & Mary
Find his grandma!

                            John
I’m just a poor man who could use a little rest       
If you know a place I can go                                   
To escape this hellish mess                                      
Then give me that address
Gimme that address, oh yeah , etc.             

oh, dear lord, God above                                         
Only you know what a man will do for love
I didn't have to come here tonight          
But what else could I do?                                                
She was the love of my life   
                     
I've never minded                                                    
Helping damsels in distress                                     
But saving a nation                                                 
Is just a little bit harder, I’d guess      

                              Emily & Mary
 Gives him too much stress
Shoo bop, shoo ding-a-ling!

                               John
I’m still waitin' for that address!
Gimme that address, whoa                                     
Shoo bop, shoo ding-a-ling 
                                                                                                                              John, Emily & Mary
Give me/him that address!

The Midnight Ride / Gimme That Address

Play Song
Reed is consoled by the Muses as he travels through enemy territory, wearing Ben's Continental Army uniform.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                 Josephine
Sir, I don’t mean to disturb you
 
                                Reed
This had better be good,
I need my sleep to look enchanting
 
                                Josephine
Oh, if only you could!
We  caught a redcoat on the border,
General Arnold signed the order
No more can they turn a blind eye
We’ve captured a spy!
 
                                Reed
Can it be true?—
I stumbled on a way to sabotage their rendevous?
General Arnold’s demise…is long overdue
And best of all,
Washington will have to pay me a little call
When he finds out I was right after all
What a thrill it’ll be to see him crawl!
                               
                             Josephine (to Reed)
And let’s not kid ourselves—
Things aren’t looking better for you
We don’t often put English spies to death
But there’s always an exception to the rule
And we’d be happy to make the exception…for you.
 
                              Reed
These papers that you've got
Are the only things that we need
to abort this sordid plot
We finally have the chance to watch you bleed      
 
                              Josephine
What a lucky break for us that you’ve been caught
                               
                              Reed
And now it’s clear
Arnold’s not a risk to my once flourishing career
They may name the capital for me
What a thrill to visit Reed, D.C.!           
                                               
                             Josephine
People will be stopping you on the street
just to get your autograph
You can say you’re undeserving of all of this fame
 
                             Reed
But I’ll charge them fifteen shillings, all the same
Oh lah dee day, etc.
 
                             Reed & Josephine
General Arnold’s demise is overdue!   Ole!

General Arnold's Demise

Play Song
Reed and Josephine gleefully inform Reed that he will hang as a spy, after he is captured, carrying a pass signed by Benedict Arnold, and wearing Ben's Continental uniform.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                        
                   Peggy
 No tears tonight,
No strength to fight,
Another night….without him
I loved him so,
He scared me, though,
What did I know……about him?
 
He took all the love I could give
But what did that leave me with?
 
I must be strong,
Was I so wrong?
The nights are long….without him         
                               
I’ll live this lie
Until I die,
Yet here am I….without him
 
 Shared love is half a love
And half a love’s not good enough
                                                          
He said he loved me
But could not see I’d always be……without him
                                                              
And now it’s late,
Yet still I wait,
This is my fate…without him
Where can I go,
Now that I know
 I’ll always be…so lost without…..his love?
                                              

Without Him

Play Song
 Peggy laments the death of her lover, John, after he hangs for treason.    
  photo by Julia MacInnis
                                              
                            Emily
Come gather round, listen to a sad tale
The day Ben found out his plans had all failed
It’s not always easy to admit defeat
When you become obsolete!
If things are as bleak as they appear
He really should choose another career
Who wants to be hangin’ around
A man who’s been crowned
“traitor of the year”
 
                        Ben (to Peggy) 
I must confess, dear, that things aren't looking good
And I fear nothing’s turned out as it should
Americans have won                                       
They've got us on the run                 
We have no time to lose                                
I fear john andre’s somehow been found out
His part in this seems no longer in doubt
Now Washington’s men are on their way
to see… if they can pin this on me
                                                                  
                        Peggy
We won’t stand a chance, surely they will know

                         Ben
So for now, pack your bags, it’s time to go             
                       
                        Peggy                                                             
But john could well be dead              
 
                        Ben                                                                 
Let’s think of us, instead                                             
 
                        Peggy                                                             
My God, what lies ahead!?                       
 
                       Ben
It’s not the kind of life
I was always dreaming of for you
I only did what i had to do
Sleep now, my love, until another day        
Surely no one will suspect the role you played    
But I wouldn’t be  treated mercifully if I stayed 
                                                           
                        Emily & Mary                                               
What kind of general would leave his troops behind?                   
                        Ben
It will be all right,  I’m the one they wish to find
 
                       Emily & Mary 
And john’s already dead                                 
 
                        Ben
So I'll save me, instead to fight another day                
I once knew a man who’d always choose                         
To die many deaths but never to lose                      
God only knows how I could have done any more 
But now, what was everything for?                              
 
                        Emily & Mary
What will you do now?
you may be through now.


Downward Spiral

Play Song
 Peggy The crowd chastises Ben for his leaving his wife behind.    
photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                              
                                Emily
What makes someone decide to switch
from one team to the next?
The reasons for it sometimes can be quite complex
But if you coach the winning team
Yet nobody holds you in high esteem     
It may finally seem
The time’s come to say goodbye
 
Try not to let it get you down,
Put out your chin and stand your ground
After all, you must have had a reason,
Even the best of us may find
Often it’s best to change our minds
Who’s to say what is or isn’t treason?
                                                               
You’ve been set up and been put down,
Nobody’s  been more pushed around
Who reveres you for your achievements?
                                                                                               
You won the battles that you fought,
You dared to go where most would not
How could it be they refuse to believe in you?
                                                                               
Try not to let it get you down,
Put out your chin and stand your ground
After all, you must have had a reason
Even the best of us may find
Often it’s best to change our minds
 Who’s to say what is or isn’t treason?
                                                                                               
Well suppose a bride has made a promise to be wed
But he’s broke and so she leaves him
For a wealthy man, instead            
Or she needs a better job
So she quits the one she’s got
Don’t think that you’d do any differently ‘cause….
You would not!
                                                                                               
Well who is wrong and who is right?
Things don’t always come in  black and white
Often it’s a matter….of  perspective
                                               
So if you think you’re off the hook,
Go to the mirror and take a look
Don’t slander someone's name
Unless you know you know you’d  never do the same!
                               


Who's to Say?

Play Song
Emily admonishes onlookers not to be overly judgmental about Benedict Arnold.    photo by Julia MacInnis
                                          
                                              
                                Emily
Say have you heard the news?
Washington’s not amused
Ben caught the last boat out of town
You must fend for yourself, he’s left you on the shelf
Ben’s the captain of the ship but
 
                                Both
He’s not goin’ down!
 
                               Peggy
If they should ask me deep, probing questions
They won’t get my confessions!
I’ll say that I was shocked and disillusioned
That my husband could have done this to me!
If they come for me, it won’t be a tragedy
I’ll try to keep my composure
 
                               Emily
Somehow make it plain,
You’ve merely gone insane
               
                                Both
One of many loyal patriots who just went nuts!      
 
                               Emily                                                      
In the eighteenth century                                        

                              Peggy
Long time, no see

                              Emily
Women weren’t supposed to know much                               
                              Peggy
Out of touch                           

                              Emily
They had to act naïve, uneducated                         

                             Peggy
Out to lunch                 

                            Emily
Even if it’s true that such behavior                                                                                         
                            Both
Makes us nauseated
                                                                  
                            Emily
If they accuse you,  tell them how he used you

                            Peggy
I never wanted to betray anyone
This is what I’ll gladly confess to anyone: 

                            Both
 I love my country  / You love your country                 
More than life itself                                      

                            Peggy
If I had gone away, I’d be the first to say
“Good-bye, best regards, from Jamaica”
I’d rather get a tan, find me the kind of man,
Who would be
 
                            Both
Content to come along and say “I’ll take ya!”
 
                                Peggy
All things considered, if it were up to me
 
                                                Both
I’d/you’d rather be in Jamaica!


Rather Be in Jamaica

Play Song
Emily helps Peggy pack to make her escape, as Peggy imagines a life without Ben.    photo by Julia MacInnis

Inescapable

Play Instrumental Backing Track 
                                   
                                    Peggy
I know how this must look to you
 
                                    Washington
To think of all he’s put you through
             
                                     Peggy
I admit that I was beside myself with grief
Didn’t think
That my husband was capable
Is my fate inescapable?
 
                                      Washington
At least, I am pleased to say
We’ve captured john andre
Though it won’t help much
I'm sure you’re relieved
 
                                     Peggy (aside)
Did my ears deceive me now
I've got to make it through, somehow
What must I do to ensure I’m believed?
 

                                     Washington
I can see clearly you are stunned
But he will pay for what he’s done
 
                                    Reed                                                    
What a sight this is!                
I never would have known
The things you do when you’re alone
 
                                    Josephine       
Does her husband know
Of your devotion to her?
 
                                    Reed
At least i’m pleased to say
John andre’s confessed today
 
                                    Washington & Peggy
We’re both aware of his participation!
 
                                     Reed
But did you also know…
 
                                     Josephine
…What she’s tried not to show
 
                                     Reed & Kosephine
She has colluded each step of the way?!
 
                                     Peggy
that’s a lie!
 
                                     Josephine
If you don’t believe what we say
You can ask him on visiting day
 
                                     Reed
But don’t delay
There’s no time like today
 
                                     Josephine
You won’t have long
 
                                    Reed & Josephine
For soon he will be gone!



Josephine verifies the order to execute John Andre
    photo by Julia MacInnis

I've Come Undone
reprise of Alternative Facts

Instrumental backing track
                                   
                                   
                                    Ben
It’s now been three weeks
What’s taking them so long?
I can’t help wondering if
Something has gone wrong!
 
                                     Emily
I’m sure he’s just busy
General Burgoyne’s an important man
 
                                      Ben
And I’m not?
the man who fought
So valliantly they all should fall at my feet
 
(knock on door)
 
                                     Emily
There!  you see?  that must be him, now.  what did I tell you?  You were worried for nothing!  Everything will be all right now, sir.

 (reed, in a red coat, and josephine enter, arm-in-arm)
 
                                    Ben
Reed!  What the hell?!
 
                                    Reed
I’m sorry, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I am General Burgoyne of his Majesty’s armed forces.
 
                                    Ben (rubbing his eyes in disbelief)
Forgive me, Your Excellency, I thought for a moment…that is, I….
 
                                    Reed
Yes, I understand.  you’re…overwrought.  These past few weeks must have been….difficult.
 
                                     Ben
Oh, Your Excellency, if you only knew. I'll tell you, I….
 
                                     Reed (impatiently)
Yes, yes, yes!!  Why did you want to see me?
 
                                     Ben
I’m anxious for a command
 
                                     Josephine
It’s hard to see that happening
You don’t have too many fans
 
                                    Reed
No one seems willing to lower himself
To fight under someone like you.
Five hundred soldiers suddenly
Came down with a bad case of the flu
 
                                    Josephine
It’s a veritable epidemic is what that is!
 
                                    Ben
I don’t understand why no one will serve!
 
                                     Reed
I’m afraid that’s rather complex
No one knows exactly whom
You may turn your back on next
 
                                    Reed & Josephine
You’ve been blacklisted, given the brush off!
You seem to have lost your allure!
 
                                    Reed
You can’t erase your past mistakes
They’re all detailed in our full color brochure
Oh!  they’ve captured my good side, too!  how lovely!
 
                                    Ben
I can’t go forward and I can’t go back!
 
                                    Emily
At least it’s fortunate you haven’t yet unpacked
 
                                    Ben
I’m as good as homeless
 
                                    Reed
Clearly you have been dethroned!
 
                                    Ben
I’m in a haze
 
                                    Emily
Seen better days
 
                                    Ben & Emily
No country ….
 
                                    Ben
To call my own!
 
                                    Reed
It’s a right awful predicament!
 
                                    Josephine
Americans would hang you
As soon as you walked through the door
The British just ignore you
 
                                     Reed
Your wife doesn’t need you anymore
 
                                     Ben
As leader, I was next to none
 
                                     Josephine
But now they’ve got you on the run
 
                                     Ben
I’ve come undone!!  yeah!!
What about my money?
10,000 pounds in gold!
 
                                     Reed (laughing)
Those recruting officers will say anything, i’m told!
                                                           
                                      Josephine
You’re lucky you’ll get anything!
 
                                      Reed
How cheeky!
 
                                      Josephine
What gall!
 
                                      Reed & Josephine
Quite a princely sum for doing nothing much at all


Ben comforts Peggy as the world falls apart around him.
    photo by Julia MacInnis

The Greatest Hero

Play Song
                                   
                                Ben
Now I find no one really wants me
It seems as if my friends
Have all abandoned me forever          
 
                              Company
Well who could blame them considering your crime
No one wants to be seen
With the greatest traitor of our time
 
You’re nothing but a Benedict Arnold
A traitor, through and through
That’s all you’ll ever be, that’s all anyone will see
 
                                    Ben
Why is it no one can recall
I was the greatest hero of them all?
I was a Revolutionary Gentleman
Just like all the papers said
But now it looks as though no one will recall
That I was the greatest hero of them all!



Emily The ghosts of Ben's past gather round him as he realizes that no one will remember him for the hero that he was.    photo by Julia MacInnis