|The Follies of 1907
Libretto by Harry B. Smith
Act Two, Scene 11
Follies of 1907, the beginning of a Broadway legend.
Editors Note: Ziegfeld's first Follies was designed as a
summertime entertainment, presenting lighthearted musical numbers and topical
comedy skits in a breezy rooftop theatre. Although it was not the first revue in Broadway history, it
marked the beginning of an annual series that eventually redefined the stage revue as an art form.
The Set-up: The ghosts of Captain John Smith and Pocohontas visit
1907 New York, meeting numerous prominent figures of the day such
as Enrico Caruso and Theodore Roosevelt. The second act included this confrontation between
industrialists John D.
Rockefeller (whose religious philanthropy included building Manhattan's
Riverside Church) and Andrew Carnegie (a Scottish immigrant who built
public libraries all across the USA). This scene was
performed "drop in one" which means it took place in the
front area of the stage before a painted backdrop.
The text below comes from the original typescript. I have adjusted a few of the stage directions for the sake of clarity.
Setting: Drop in one. The New Library.
(Enter JOHN D. and ANDY C. John has wings sprouting and wears
a halo. ANDY is dressed in Scotch costume. They enter Right and Left.
"The Sweet By and By" is played for JOHN D. to enter; he
comes on singing from a hymn book. "Highland Fling" music
for ANDY's entrance. He dances on.)
What! Andy, my dear friend dancing?
(Broad Scotch dialect)
Hoot mon, sure! I dance every time I open a new library.
Very wrong, my dear friend! I never dance!
Vura true, mon, vurra true; but ye mak the public dance.
Did you ever think, Andy, what a wicked world this would be if it wasn't
Ay, John, ay. We're a couple of braw and bonnie laddies and good golf
(Enter a BEGGAR)
Say, gents, would you give a fellow a nickel for a cup of coffee?
ANDY & JOHN
Oh! Money! Always money!
I'm hungry, boss. For three days nothing has passed my lips but my
Hungry, eh? Well, here my poor man.
(Gives BEGGAR a hymn book.)
There's a very sweet hymn there called "In Thee I Put My
Hungry, are you? Well, here's a copper. Go into the library and weigh
Say, gents, I'll never forget your kindness.
(Bites piece out of the hymn book and exits.)
I love to do the people good.
(Enter a MESSENGER BOY with a very large head.)
Telegram from the United States Senate.
Here! Give it to me.
(Opens it reads.)
"Telegram instructions at once." Now isn't that careless of
me? I forgot to tell the boys how to vote.
Say, John, that's a bright-looking boy.
I'll match you to see which of us educates him.
(Takes BOY's hat off, showing very big head; stamps back of boy's head.
BOY turns around and shows sign on head "Educated by John D.")
Thank you, sir.
(Takes out a Nickel Library edition, reads and starts to walk off
Nice, bright little boy. Who is your father, my boy?
ANDY & JOHN
Here! Come back here!!!
Oh, I do love to do the people good
ANDY & JOHN
(Both sing, to the tune of "Mary and John.")
"I DO 'EM ALL GOOD," SAYS ANDY,
"I DO 'EM TOO," SAYS JOHN.
"I TAKE ALL THERE IS," SAYS ANDY,
"I TAKE THE SAME," SAYS JOHN.
"YOU MUSTN'T DIE RICH," SAYS ANDY,
"I'LL MAKE YOU DIE POOR, YOU BET.
IT'S REALLY UNHEALTHY
TO BE VERY WEALTHY
SO SPEND ALL YOU GET."
(They do an eccentric dance to make music with the chink of money.
The audience throws money on the stage. John and Andy scramble for it.)
Return to: Sample Scenes
Return to: Ziegfeld 101