Click on picture to see a larger image.
Angela hates history and doesn't mind saying so. One day, after shouting how boring history is, the magical Mr. History suddenly appears. He, the world's greatest ham, sings HISTORY IS HIP!, regaling Angela with a succession of exciting historical characters, including Columbus, Beethoven, and Johnny Appleseed. An avid collector of hats, Mr. History admires Angela's, and bets her that she'll be singing history's praises before the day is through, if she'll only come along with him on a trip back through time. He gives her a tri-corne and they do the Time-Warp Spin back through time to a town meeting in Boston, Massachusetts, where Sam and John Adams, John Hancock, and James Otis wonder how in the world they can pull off a revolt against the mighty British nation.

Sam Adams answers that question in RECIPE FOR REVOLUTION, a stirring song that ends with Angela whipping her hat in the air and congratulating the colonists with "Gimme five!" and "Right on, Brother!" The colonists wonder what alien has entered their midst, but Mr. History, frantically grabbing History Hats from his History Trunk, plunks them on her head, transforming her first into Mother Goose, then a baseball player, and finally into a messenger sent by the Massachusetts Governor, Thomas Hutchinson.. When the colonists rush out to dump the tea into the harbor, Angela wants to join them, but Mr. History restrains her.

She is definitely developing a case of "Historical Curiosity," however, which only grows when Paul Revere's horse, played by two actors in a costume, a la vaudeville, wanders on complaining that Revere gets all the credit while he does all the work. In a hilarious soft-shoe for four feet, called WHERE WOULD MANKIND BE WITHOUT THE HORSE(I'D LIKE TO KNOW), he makes his case for the horse as man's best and most helpful friend.

Set design for the production of PAUL REVERE
Click on picture to see a larger image.

He is interrupted by the appearance of Paul Revere, who tries to ride his horse. The horse will have none of it, however, and a chase ensues through the audience-including the horse's front and rear ends running in different directions!--, but finally Revere catches his horse and off they go.

Angela is even more swept up in the excitement of history this time, but she still won't sing "History Is Hip" to Mr. History and lose the bet-and her hat. So he spins them to another time way back when: a military drill of some would-be colonial recruits led by John Sullivan. Somewhat like the Mechanicals in "A Mid-Summer Night's Dream," this group of misfits shows how ill-equipped America was with men who knew how to fight. They sing YOU GOTTA FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT, and while they don't lack for spirit, they do lack for direction-continually bumping into each other and tripping over their muskets. When Revere enters with word that the British are sending reinforcements to for William and Mary, the "militia" dash off to attack the fort.

Mr. History and Angela spin back to Boston for the beginning of the famous ride. Using Longfellow's famous poem, Mr. History unfolds the tale of this momentous moment in American history, with Revere speaking the words Longfellow wrote for him. Chased by a British officer, Revere "rides" into the audience, where Angela and Mr. History help him escape. At house after house, he shouts "The Redcoats are coming!" until he finally reaches John Hancock and Sam Adams, who have been hiding in Lexington. When they praise Revere for saving the whole American cause, he modestly replies that all he did was "take a little ride." Hancock and Adams show how much more it was than that in LITTLE RIDE, at the end of which Mr. History and Angela spin back to the present.

Angela, who has thoroughly enjoyed her trip back through time, is caught singing LITTLE RIDE by Mr. History, who thinks he has won the bet. But Angela stubbornly refuses to concede that history is hip, so Mr. History finally has to turn over his trunk full of hats to her. Alone onstage, Angela watches the Historical Characters she has just encountered slowly enter and lay their hats at her feet. Convinced at last, she sings HISTORY IS HIP with the entire company as the show ends.


Mr. History hits the scene!
Click on picture to see a larger image.


MR. HISTORY: a totally zany song-and-dance man who thinks he is the world's greatest magician-though, of course, he is not. Male, 30's or older.

ANGELA: a tough 12-year-old girl, African American in the original, but of any ethnicity.

CHORUS: four males of any age play all of the remaining characters: Christopher Columbus, Johnny Appleseed, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Sam Adams, John Adams, James Otis, John Hancock, Revere's horse(two people), Thomas Hutchinson, John Sullivan, Peter Peabody, Edward Everett, a British officer, and an American sergeant.

NOTES ON PRODUCTION: This musical does not need much in the way of sets besides Mr. History's History Trunk. The costume of the horse may have to be built. Mr. History and Angela need only hats to make their magical transformations to various characters. The show is designed to easily tour.