Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Lights up on five young women in London, England, during the swinging 1960s. They are swept up in the enthusiasm of the city and the era, looking for excitement around every corner ("Shout Opening: England Swings / Round Every Corner / I Know a Place"). The women are all subscribers to the fictional Shout! magazine, which identifies them with colors based on their personalities. Orange is domestic and maternal... completely content and in denial; Red is an exciting blend of youthful contradictions; Blue has poise and beauty... and no friends; Green is a bit of a slut; Yellow is driven by her emotions... otherwise known as American. Although they are all very different, they have one thing in common – they're looking for love ("Talk about Love").

Shout!'s advice columnist, Gwendolyn Holmes, answers the women's letters. Orange asks if she should rush into marriage, and Gwendolyn tells her that it is never a mistake to get married. Orange only has eyes for her new man, Miles, and she wants to make sure that everyone knows it ("I Only Want to Be with You / Tell the Boys").

The 1964 edition of Shout! comes out, and the women gab about their new fashion choices, which are chic but not quite functional. Red writes to Gwendolyn Holmes, explaining that she is not traditionally pretty, and asks if she should be suspect of her new beau's affection. Gwendolyn sends her to a beauty salon. The women wonder how you know if a guy is in to you and strategize how to get their men ("How Can You Tell / Wishin' and Hopin'").

An advertisement for the skin product, Ectocil, which pushes dead skin cells right off of your face, transitions us to outside of Paul McCartney's house. Yellow is waiting in the bushes for him to emerge; she's come all the way from Ohio. When he brings out the trash, other women who are also hiding in the bushes, rush toward his garbage. Yellow, however, manages to wrestle away his comb ("One Two Three / Paul McCartney's Comb / To Sir with Love"). Then, Green enters and explains her many tactics for breaking up with men.

We now see Orange, waiting for her husband to come home for their second wedding anniversary. She remembers their time together fondly, until it becomes clear that Miles is stuck at the office again ("Wives and Lovers – My Handsome Prince"). Blue, meanwhile, performs a song and dance number that expresses her malaise for her many suitors ("Don't Sleep in the Subway").

The Shout! 1965 is released with a new round of advice and gossip tidbits. An ad comes on for the pill, advising the women of this new miracle drug and its long list of unpleasant side effects.*

Yellow takes to the stage to explain how the only man who could ever reach her was Billy Ray, a preacher's son ("Son of a Preacher Man"). The magazine then has a section that addresses the "devil's weed," or the truth about marijuana. The women promptly smoke up and go on a titillating trip.**

This leads the women into a rumination on the man with the pleasing, but also freezing, touch ("Goldfinger").

Next, the 1966 edition of Shout! comes out with even more news and advice. Orange has become even more frustrated with Miles, whom she implores to stay close to her, even if he isn't as affectionate as he once was ("You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"). Green writes to Gwendolyn about breaking up with her boyfriend because he was bad in bed, but Gwendolyn advises her that carnal joys are less important for women, and tells her to go to Harrod's. However, times are changing, and the women are not satisfied with old ideas ("Winds of Change Medley").

The years begin to fly by. In 1967, Red tries to impress her boyfriend by singing in a talent contest, but she makes a fool of herself and forgets the words; her boyfriend is nevertheless impressed. In 1968, Paul McCartney is getting married, and Yellow is devastated ("I Just Don't Know What to Do"). The girls check out their horoscopes ("Fashion Show – Sign of the Times"). They transition into an empowered decision to kick out an old flame ("These Boots Are Made for Walking").

Blue writes to Gwendolyn Holmes, explaining that she doesn't feel sparks with her new beau. Holmes offers no substantial help. The women all take a test to find out of their man is the right one for them, and it turns out that Blue's secret desire is Penelope! Green also makes a shocking discovery about her secret desire: it's just one man! ("I Couldn't Live without Your Love"). Yellow then writes to Gwendolyn about her recent marriage and how her husband hits her. Gwendolyn advises Yellow to see a marriage counselor instead of leaving. Blue deals with her revelation and is joined by Orange ("You're My World / All I See Is You").

As the 1970s begin, Red enters as a hippie. She is soon joined by the other women, all dressed in '70s garb ("Those Were the Days"). Orange writes an empowered note to Gwendolyn, telling her that she's been giving her terrible advice and that her way of seeing the world is dead; Gwendolyn implodes, and her column is discontinued. The women celebrate their freedom ("Shout!").

In the Epilogue, the women reveal their ultimate fate ("Epilogue: Pictures from the Past / Downtown"). They all have experienced a wide array of life's moments, thus shaping who they became. They are able to appreciate that they're representative of the era. The curtain falls.

Alternate Scenes

In an effort to make the show more age-appropriate and family-friendly for schools, the authors have provided the following alternate scenes in place of "The Pill" and "Smoking."

*   An ad comes on for Reduce-a-Lot, the magical weight loss treatment, advising the women of this new miracle drug and its very long list of unpleasant side effects.

** The magazine then has a section on new spirituality and sances. The girls hold a seance that leads all of them to become possessed by Ian Fleming!