The Unsinkable Molly Brown
This legendary American original rises above her impoverished beginnings and proves you can't keep a good woman down in a revitalized version of the classic tale.
Available in the US only
Show Essentials
+ Ensemble

Full Synopsis

Act One

Prologue: On May 29 1912, Mrs. Margaret "Call Me Molly" Brown is testifying before the United States Senate about the sinking of the Titanic, which took place six weeks earlier. As Molly challenges the Senators, the hearing descends into chaos. The scene changes as we journey back in time through Molly's memory…

We are now in the small mining town of Leadville, Colorado in 1886. Molly is arguing with the miners, who claim women bring back luck to the mine ("I Ain't Down Yet"). J.J. Brown, the mine manager, faces off with Molly, only for their confrontation to be interrupted by an explosion in the mine.

Molly visits Julia Gerrard, the pregnant widow of a miner who died in the explosion. Guilt-ridden over bringing "bad luck" to the mine, Molly offers to help Julia and the baby ("The Wonderful Plan"), and Julia promises to teach her to read and write. J.J. arrives with money from the mine to assist Julia. He and Molly almost make amends, only for her to infuriate him all over again. As months pass, Molly and J.J. continue to bicker as Julia gives birth to a baby boy, and they attend his baptism as his godparents ("Just Becuz"). Obvious to everyone but Molly, a bond is growing between the two.

At Christmastime, Molly tells J.J. she's planning to leave soon for Denver. To convince her to stay, J.J. tells her she can't miss the mining company Tea Party. Molly agrees to go if J.J. escorts Julia, thinking that he has a sweet spot for her. Molly has a miner Vincenzo as her escort (unbeknownst to her, he is the one who pines for Julia) ("I've Already Started In").

At the Saddle Rock Saloon, the Tea Party is in full swing. Molly gets everyone to join in a song and dance with her ("Belly up to the Bar, Boys"). Molly meets the mine owner Horace Tabor and his wife Baby Doe. She thanks him for financially supporting Julia. When Tabor reacts with shock, Molly realizes that J.J. was behind the money all along. She chases after J.J., leaving Vincenzo to escort Julia home ("I've Already Started In - Reprise").

Molly finds J.J. at his house to apologize. She sees that J.J. has bought her a silk red dress and the books that Julia said she should read. He confesses his feelings for her and asks Molly to marry him ("I'll Never Say No / Brass Bed / Duet "). She says yes.

A year later, everyone dotes on Molly and J.J.'s baby boy Larry ("He's My Friend"). More time passes, and Molly has given birth to a baby girl. Tabor is rallying the miners to register to vote so James Weaver can be elected president. With Weaver in the White House, Tabor believes he will keep the Gold Standard from wiping silver mines like his out of business.

Julia tells Vincenzo, now her husband, that they're expecting their first child. Vincenzo is ecstatic but is worried about how to support their growing family. Silver-mining work is hard to find in America. Julia convinces him they can go to England for him to find work. Fellow miners Erich and Arthur are planning to leave as well. Molly convinces them and J.J. to pivot to gold mining ("Are You Sure?"). Molly and J.J. pitch the idea to Tabor, who agrees with some hesitations. Tabor and J.J. both warn Molly that mining for gold is very dangerous.

J.J. and the miners descend into the mine and return victorious with gold. Impressed, Tabor gives J.J. 12.5% interest in the mining company (thanks to Molly's bargaining). Molly declares it's time for them to settle down in a place she's long dreamed of: Denver.

Act Two

Now in sophisticated attire, Molly and J.J. are adjusting to a new life and high society in Denver ("Beautiful People of Denver / The Sacred 36"). Molly attempts to cozy up with The Sacred 36, Denver's most elite families, led by Louise Sneed-Hill, only to get an icy reception.

Molly, J.J., and their maid Mary Nevin sit at their very empty table after everyone has declined their invitation to dine with them. Refusing to get her spirits down, Molly devotes herself to using her wealth to help others in Denver ("Share the Luck / He's My Friend - Reprise"). She joins the suffrage movement and moves a judge to petition the governor for juvenile offenders to receive different treatment.

When the local paper publishes a rumor that Molly plans to run for Congress, J.J. confronts her about neglecting their marriage and children. Molly fires back, telling him he needs to be less competitive with her ("I'd Like to Change Everything About You"). Julia, Vincenzo, Arthur, and Erich surprise them with a visit - just as Mrs. Sneed-Hill and the other women of The Sacred 36 arrive for tea with Molly. Mrs. Sneed-Hill is horrified by the lowly company Molly keeps. J.J. accuses her of hypocrisy and reveals that her father was a smelter. Julia calms Mrs. Sneed-Hill's nerves with a "Cuppa Tea" that has a secret ingredient - whiskey. The tea party is a great success. After the high society ladies leave, J.J., Erich, Arthur, and Vincenzo argue over the miners forming a union, which J.J. staunchly opposes. Molly sides with the union, further enraging J.J.

J.J. complains about his disobedient wife in an exclusive business club and gets introduced to a woman named Maud Call by Fred Bonfils, the editor of the Denver Post("If We Can-Can"). Meanwhile, Molly goes to Leadville to support the miners on strike. When she and J.J. meet each other at their old house in Leadville, J.J. reveals that he was unfaithful to her with Maud - and the Denver Post has published the details. Molly leaves, saying she will get as far away from him as she can.

As a judge declares the custody and financial arrangements between Molly and J.J., a trio of European noblemen sing in adoration of her ("Dolce Trio"). J.J. writes to Molly, who is traveling through Europe. Years pass as they write to each other. Molly is still in Europe, and their children are grown. The memory of J.J., and her desire to be with him, sends her back home. She books passage for the Titanic on its maiden voyage ("To the Boat").

The scene changes to Molly and other survivors rowing a lifeboat on that fateful night in April 1912. She comforts Maureen, a shaken survivor, after standing up to their callous ship officer Hitchens. Molly tells Maureen that she has received word that J.J. is unwell. With help from Maureen, Molly finds her determination again and vows to J.J. that she's coming back to him ("Wait For Me").

Molly reunites with her children and friends in New York City - but not J.J. Ill and on bedrest, he could not make the trip. Molly urgently needs to get back to Colorado. Maureen begs Molly for help with an immigration officer who is about to deport her. Molly implores him to think of the Statue of Liberty and what she stands for ("Share the Luck (Reprise)"). J.J. enters, walking with a cane. They bicker before tenderly embracing. Moved, the immigration officer lets Maureen go. Molly tells the audience "Be calm, never settle… we ain't down yet."

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Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast

Character Breakdown

Molly Brown

A simple country girl who leaves home in search of a new life. She is stubborn, independent, determined and, above all, always true to herself. Spirited with a deep kindness and compassion for others.

Gender: female
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: F3
JJ Brown

A strong willed man. He is often gruff, but has a sweet, tender side, especially where Molly is concerned. A simple man at heart.

Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: F2

An Asian miner with a strong sense of fun and humor.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2

An Italian miner who falls in love with Julia.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: Bb4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Julia Gerrard

Earthy, grounded, practical, good hearted. Lives in the mining town and becomes best friends with Molly.

Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3

A German miner. Passionate and principled.

Gender: male
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: Ab2
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Doc Morris
Father Robinson
Emma Stetson
Vocal range top: Bb4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Baby Doe Tabor
Vocal range top: Db5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Horace Tabor
Vocal range top: Db4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Louise Sneed-Hill
Vocal range top: B5
Vocal range bottom: G4
Vocal range top: G#4
Vocal range bottom: G3
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Vocal range top: G#5
Vocal range bottom: B4
Mrs. Sneed-Hill
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Gender: female
Mary Nevin
Gender: female
Senator Bourne
Senator Smith
Senator Burton
Senator Perkins
Senator Simmons
Senator Newland
Senator Nelson
Senator Fletcher
Desperate Mother
Gender: female
Young Streetwalker
Gender: female
Impoverished Student
Gender: female
Concerned Mother
Gender: female
Criminal 1
Criminal 2
Juvenile Delinquent
Judge Ben Lindsey
Fred Bonfils
Dolce Trio Men

A trio of singers, one each sings in French, English, and Italian

Gender: male
Maureen O'Shaughnessy
Gender: female
Immigration Officer
Full Song List
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : I Ain't Down Yet
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : The Wonderful Plan
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Just Becuz
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : I've A'ready Started In
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : A Dancing to the Saddle Rock
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Belly Up to the Bar, Boys
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : I've A'ready Started In (Reprise)
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : I'll Never Say No / My Own Brass Bed
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : He's My Friend
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Are You Sure?
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Beautiful People of Denver / The Sacred 36
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Share the Luck / He's My Friend (Reprise)
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : I'd Like to Change Everything About You
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Cuppa Tea
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : If We Can-Can
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : The Dolce Trio
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Wait for Me
Unsinkable Molly Brown 2, The : Share the Luck (Reprise) / Finale



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.
A Musical*
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Book and Additional Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris
Meredith Willson's music adapted by Michael Rafter
*Optional tagline.
**Rafter billing is optional in advertising and publicity.
Willson’s, Scanlan’s and Morris’ billing shall be immediately following the title of the Play in equal size and style of type, their names to appear in a size no less than fifty (50%) percent of the title, on a line on which no other billing or matter appears, wherever and whenever the title appears, including without limitation in all programs, houseboards, billboards, displays, advertising, throwaways and paid announcements of the Play. No other person or entity will receive billing in larger size of type or more prominent than the Willson, Scanlan and Morris billing or receive billing if Willson, Scanlan and Morris do not receive billing. Rafter’s name in his billing must be in a size of type no less than fifty (50%) percent of the size of type used for Willson’s, Scanlan’s and Morris’ names. Note: If space limitations make it impracticable to use the above stacked billing for the Authors, the following form is acceptable, with the credit for Rafter appearing on a line below the line for Willson, Scanlan and Morris. Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson Book and Additional Lyrics by Dick Scanlan Based on the Original Book Richard Morris 50% Meredith Willson's music adapted by Michael Rafter 25% Credits continued on next page  ADDITIONAL TITLE PAGE CREDITS: MTI will contractually require its licensees to include the following credits on the title page of all programs for the Play: Originally developed in the Colorado New Play Summit and produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company Kent Thompson, Producing Artistic Director Subsequent developmental production at The Muny, St. Louis Mike Isaacson, Artistic Director The New York City Premiere was produced by Transport Group Theatre Company Jack Cummings III, Artistic Director; Lori Fineman, Executive Director In Association with Elizabeth Armstrong and Mike Isaacson SHORTENED BILLING: Provided no other person is billed, the following “shortened billing” is permissible in advertisements of 1/8 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees: THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN

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