Paul Revere Rides Again
The World’s Most Famous Ride
Five students are studying together for a test on Paul Revere. Their mounting complaints are interrupted by the magical arrival of Mr. History and his History Trunk. He distributes costume pieces and tells the students that history will be a lot more fun if they’ll just use their imaginations. He plops Revere’s hat on Carlos, who begins exhorting his fellow Sons of Liberty to take action against the British. Singing “Time Travellin’”, Mr. History transports the students back in time.
They discover themselves inside Revere’s shop, April 18, 1775, awaiting the arrival of the British Colonel Smith, who has come to have his tooth removed. (Although we remember Revere chiefly for his riding skills, he was also a dentist, silversmith, engraver, printmaker, and father of eleven children!) The patriots are concerned that they do not know where the British plan to attack, or when. In a comical tug-of-war, Revere and his assistants struggle to yank the tooth, inflicting so much pain that Colonel Smith swears he’ll have his revenge “tomorrow in Lexington!” Revere has saved the day: they now have the vital information about British plans.
But Revere’s horse, Revolution, is not sure he wants to ride. Played a la vaudeville by two actors doing a soft-shoe as the front and rear ends of a horse, Revolutions sings “You Gotta Give Credit Where Credit Is Due,” in which he complains that Revere gets all the credit while he does all the work. “He” then breaks into a soft-shoe dance, the two ends alternatively separating and joining as they tell a series of horse jokes. Talk about using your imaginations!
With music, actions, and imagination, the students re-enact the famous ride. At the end, John Hancock congratulates Revere for his bravery, but ignores Revolution’s crucial role, much to the horse’s annoyance.
Spinning back to the present, the kids are excited about what they have learned through using their imaginations, and beg Mr. History to come back to them soon—which, of course, he will!
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.