Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Act One

We open on an old-fashioned traveling tent show. Uncle Billy commands the stage and prepares us for the impending story, a tale of the Old West. He introduces himself and the cast: Hannie, a beautiful young woman who plays his daughter; The Marshal who represents the Law; Amos K. "Buzzey" Hale, hopelessly in love with Hannie; Red Ike and Black Ike, the county comics; and Neb and Miz Foster, the stern citizens of Verdigree ("Uncle Billy's Travellin' Show").

Uncle Billy then assumes the role of Pap, Hannie's father, and mounts a covered wagon to drive his horses on the road heading West ("Roadside"). Buzzey has been following their wagon on foot in hopes of getting Hannie to marry him. When Pap leaves to steal oats from the neighbors for his horses, Buzzey tries to woo Hannie to come live on his farm. She does long for a life off of the road; however, she also longs for a husband other than Buzzey ("Here I Am"). Buzzey again begs her to marry him.

Just as she is about to answer, they are interrupted by the Ikes and Pap. The Ikes heatedly tell the story of a crazy, big cowboy named Texas who beat up a judge and broke out of jail in the nearby town of Verdigree. Texas arrives, and everyone finds a place in the campsite to hide ("I Don't Want to Bother Nobody"). Despite Texas' reputation, Texas and Pap find a kindship. Hannie reappears from the wagon, primped, pretty and ready to catch Texas' eye. Pap makes sure that Texas and Hannie are alone. She flirts with him ("Smellagoody Perfume") as Buzzey reenters to try to distract their courtship, with little success. Texas boasts about his fighting prowess, and Pap reenters to ask if Texas will stay for the night. He will. Hannie and Pap exit, and Texas calls for the Ikes to keep a lookout for the Verdigree Marshall, who is still after him.

All settle down for the night ("Looking at the Moon") with Pap, Texas and the Ikes on the ground around the campfire. Morning comes with Buzzey and the Marshall arriving to arrest Texas, Pap and the Ikes. Hannie tries to incite Texas into action. All that the hungover Texas can do is heave into a stewpot. Hannie claims that he's not the big man that he boasted to be, and she wants nothing to do with him anymore. He claims to be equally disillusioned with her ( "I'm through with You"). That makes Hannie so mad that she considers marrying Buzzey.

Texas is arrested. As the Marshall brings the defeated Texas into Verdigree, his deputy, Neb, and Miz Foster celebrate Texas' recapture ("Peaceful Little Town"). In the courtroom, the Marshall and the judge try to convince Texas that he should settle down; the West is no longer wild... and nor should he be. Texas is close to conceding when Pap and the Ikes burst in to rescue him. Now Texas is back to his ornery, lawless self. As he makes his escape, he runs smack into Hattie and Buzzey. Texas and Hannie restate their mutual distaste ("Through with You – Reprise"), ending up with Hattie socking Texas in the jaw and dragging Buzzey off to find a preacher.

Act Two

Uncle Billy speaks out to the audience and introduces the band members, one by one. He then draws us back into the story ("Back to the Story"), where Buzzey's dressing in new duds for his wedding to Hannie ("Personality Plus").

Meanwhile, Texas sits chained in jail. Neb taunts him about being clobbered by a woman. Texas feels defeated. He has big dreams for freedom, which he's only brave enough to feel when he's drunk. ("Another Drunken Cowboy"). Pap arrives to tell Texas that Hannie is marrying Buzzey. Neither wants this to happen but neither can stop it. Pap tells Texas of his happy days with Hannie's mother, when they traveled together in the covered wagon ("The Way It Should Be"). He inspires Texas to throw away his whiskey bottle and reclaim Hannie. Texas breaks his chains and busts out of jail.

The Ikes command the stage to express Texas' revelation of feeling ("My Little Prairie Flower"), leading us to Hannie, in a foul mood, wanting to pack up the wagon and leave. The Ikes remind her that she's completely forgotten about her impending marriage to Buzzey, but, in fact, she's not too happy with men in general ("All Men Are Crazy"). She sends the Ikes to find Pap. Texas arrives. He expounds that they are two of a kind and belong together ("Ain't No Womern but You"). They have a fiery battle of words that ends with a kiss of passion.

Pap interrupts them with news that the Marshall, Buzzey and the townspeople are on their way to arrest Texas. Texas wants Pap and Hannie to find safety, but Hannie won't leave without her man. The Marshall arrives, ready to hang Texas on the spot. For his "last words," Texas tells the tale of his miraculous origins ("Borned in Texas") and shows the Marshall and the townspeople that he is made of the same stuff as they are ("Wild and Reckless"). The Marshall is convinced, not only to set Texas free but, to marry Hannie and him. Hannie rushes to change, Pap cleans up Texas for his wedding and the Marshall and townspeople celebrate the couple leaving town ("Peaceful Little Town – Reprise").

Texas and Hannie are joined in matrimony ("The Way It Should Be – Reprise"), and Uncle Billy/Pap bids farewell to the audience ("Roadside – Reprise").