Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Act One

In the midst of the California Gold Rush, a widowed miner, Ben Rumson, and his 16-year-old daughter, Jennifer, discover gold dust. Ben lays claim to the land and soon scores of fortune-seeking prospectors arrive to Rumson ("I'm On My Way"). Soon the entire male population, except Jennifer, reaches 400 and the prospectors plan to send for Cherry and her Fandango Girls ("Rumson").

Jennifer wonders "What's Going On Here?" when a handsome Mexican miner, Julio, arrives from just outside of town and the two connect ("I Talk To Trees"). The prospectors pontificate their wandering lifestyle ("They Call The Wind Maria"). 

Ben wishes his wife were alive during these tumultous times ("I Still See Elisa") as the all-male population pressures Ben to send Jennifer away. Ben decides to send her east when he discovers her love for Julio ("How Can I Wait?"). A Mormon newcomer, Jacob Woodling, arrives and the prospectors immediately pressure him into bidding one of his two wives, Sarah and Elizabeth ("Trio"). Surprisingly, Ben finds himself attracted to Elizabeth ("In Between"), and bids the highest ("Whoop-Ti-Yay"). A devastated Jennifer is appalled by her father and runs away, promising to reunite with Julio in a year ("Carino Mio"). Cherry and her Fandango Girls arrive to Rumson ("There's A Coach A Comin' In"). Julio discovers his mining is running dry, and must move on from Rumson. 

Act Two

A year passes, and now that the Fandango Girls have arrived, the prospectors of Rumson celebrate ("Hand Me Down That Can o' Beans"). Ben is unaware of other miners interest in Elizabeth, and Julio considers investigating a lake rumoured to have gold dust at the bottom ("Another Autumn"). A freshly educated Jennifer returns to Rumson ("All For Him"). Ben explains to Jennifer his desire to move on from Rumson ("Wandrin' Star"). Jennifer learns from the departing Fandango girls of Julio's plan to search for new gold and Elizabeth runs off with another miner, leaving Ben alone. 

News of a new strike reaches Rumson and the prospectors pack up and leave. All that remain are Jennifer, waiting for Julio, and Ben, who understands that Rumson is indeed the place for him. Months pass, and a haggard Julio returns to Rumson, surprised to find Jennifer still there. An ailing Ben welcomes him and he and Jennifer are reunited.