Bring in the Morning
A moving examination of race and class, based on the writings of students from New York's Poets in Public Service project.
Show Essentials
9
Roles
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Cougar, the central character of this piece, announces at the outset, "This is the ghetto of my mind." As such, this work represents a collage of impressions and a montage of emotions, evoking more of the inner lives of our characters and taking us beyond the familiar literal realities of both the TV Late News and audience preconceptions. He is joined by the rest of the cast, who comment on the sorry state of life as it exists today. They all wish that things could change and that they could get away from things like AIDS, crime, poverty, etc. All of the characters in this revue-like show dream of a better time and place – although they have to face the harsh realities of life around them. There is a great sense of irony with the situations here – a promising life for everyone, in contrast to the harsh realities at hand. These kids only have their imaginations to see them through – that is their only hope. However, in the end, imagination can do quite a lot!

Act One

"Come into My Jungle" Cougar / Company
"Bring in the Morning" Alicia / Company
Rap: "You Wake up in the Morning" Hector / Company
Rap: "You Go to Your Shower" Jamal
"Let It Rain" Alicia / Hector / Nelson / Cindy / Company
Rap: "Got up Late" Hector
Rap: "The Best-Kept Secret" Cougar
"Another Cry" Inez
"The Ghetto of My Mind" Cougar
"Nightingale" Cindy
"Funky Eyes" Hector / Company
"You (Tu)" Inez / Roberto
"Never Stop Believing" Company

Act Two

"Something Is Wrong with Everyone Today" Hector / Lakesha / Jamal / Company
"Call on Your Soul" Cougar / Company
Rap: "Awake and a Dream"* Jamal / Lakesha / Cougar / Company
"Missing Person" Nelson
"Not Your Cup of Tea" Cindy
"The Light of Your Love (La Luz de Tu Amor)" Roberto
Rap: "People Walkin' through the Night" Cougar
"Ghetto of My Mind – Reprise" Cougar
"Hector's Dream (Like Someone High on God)" Hector
"Trip" Jamal
"The Glory of Each Morning" Company
"Deliver My Soul" Lakesha / Company
"Walk in a Garden" Company

*by Bertin Rowser

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small 10
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Cougar
Strong, serious minded and sensitive loner. An older brother to Alica and boyfriend to Lakesha. He has a son in foster care and is active in the drug scene. He tries to help others from getting caught up in the process as well. African-American.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 21
Vocal range top: Ab5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Alicia
Sister to Cougar, a dreamer, and questioning if she is a kid anymore. A standout in the church choir and a playful and studious person. African-American.
Gender: female
Age: 15 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Lakesha
Spirited, talented and impulsive, she speaks her mind no matter what. She is determined 'to be somebody' and is not modest about proclaiming it. Girlfriend of Cougar who has sustained her need for flashy jewelry and clothes. African-American.
Gender: female
Age: 18 to 19
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Roberto
A street-smart dreamer, he will risk anything for his friends and girl who is pregnant with his child. He has trouble balancing his romantic life and his new life in the drug trafficking scene. Hispanic.
Gender: male
Age: 17 to 17
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Inez
Intense, gritty and seemingly tough. Pregnant with Roberto's child, she finds her self stuck between the demands of her family to stay away from him. Hispanic or White.
Gender: female
Age: 16 to 17
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Jamal
Finding escape from his family problems in drugs, Jamal has lost his bearings and quest to find him self again. His basic intelligence and artistic nature will be hidden by his easy cynicism. African-American.
Gender: male
Age: 18 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Hector
Trying to escape the kid stuff, he looks up to the older kids. He thinks about basketball, girls and dancing at the slightest opportunity and has a wacky charm. Hispanic.
Gender: male
Age: 15 to 16
Vocal range top: D6
Vocal range bottom: F3
Cindy
Sharp, observant, and a true friend. Often feeling isolated by her Asian ancestry, she persist on in discovering her own possibilities outside her family's idea of a women's role.
Gender: female
Age: 16 to 18
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Nelson
A clown and jokester who loves attention, he seems to be the stud. He talks a good game but uses his jokester qualities to mask his family problems including a lost father and retarded younger brother. White.
Gender: male
Age: 17 to 17
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Full Song List
Bring In The Morning: Let it Rain
Bring In The Morning: Nightingale
Bring In The Morning: Trip
Bring In The Morning: Deliver My Soul

Show History

Inspiration

In addition to being inspired by contributors to the Poets in Public Service, Inc., Bring in the Morning followed the 1970s smash musical, The Me Nobody Knows, which took a similarly written look at the urban problems facing America at the time.

Productions

Bring in the Morning is a musical that is based on, and inspired by, the contributors to Poets in Public Services, Inc., and other material, with adaptation and lyrics by Herb Schapiro and music by Gary William Friedman. It chronicles the lives of a multi-racial ensemble of adolescents and near-adolescents, from age thirteen to the early twenties, their joys and desires, as well as the pressures, burdens and all-too-early lessons in heartache.

Initially, Bring in the Morning was given a reading in New York City as a part of the Musical Theatre Network's Broadway Dozen series in early 1994. Then, impressed by what they saw, producers picked it up for an April opening at the Off-Broadway Variety Arts Theatre in Manhattan's East Village. It ran from April 29, 1994, to June 5, 1995.

In November 1994, a somewhat revised Bring in the Morning played the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem for a limited engagement.

Trivia

  • Bring in the Morning attracted many school groups during its Off-Broadway run. Students were bussed in to see the show on field trips and special evening events, with educators finding the musical's kind of self-expression and subject matter to be a positive role model.
  • The show was originally titled Me Too.

Connect

Billing

Based on the writings of young people participating in Poets in Public Service

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
BRING IN THE MORNING
 
Book by
HERB SCHAPIRO
Lyrics by
GARY WILLIAM FRIEDMAN
 Music by
GARY WILLIAM FRIEDMAN
Original New York Production directed by Sheldon Epps
 
Original New York Production produced by
Jeff G. Britton and Edgar M. Bronfman
 
The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of
Poets in Public Service, Inc.
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK15
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
REFERENCE RECORDING

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
DRUMSCABASA , CASTANETS , CONGA , KIT , TRIANGLE , TYMPANI , WHIPCRACK , WIND CHIMES
GUITAR
KEYBOARD 1
REED 1FLUTE , TENOR SAXOPHONE