A Pocketful of Rhymes (Prince Street Players Version)
Mother Goose is back in this musical revue featuring the greatest nursery rhymes set to the catchiest tunes.
Show Essentials
8
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

A rocking chair sits onstage; on it are a bell and a book of Mother Goose rhymes. Suddenly, seven lively boys and girls greet us with a welcome to a hootenanny of swingin' Mother Goose rhymes. Nobody really knows the true identity of Mother Goose, so the children present several theories. In the end, it doesn't matter who Mother Goose was, as her stories – which come from all over the world – have a universal, timeless appeal ("Pocketful of Rhymes").

Mother Goose enters and rings the bell, calling the Pocketful of Rhymes to order. She takes roll call, introducing the cast. Then, she explains all of the different kinds of nursery rhymes: there are: lullabies, prayers, love songs, wise sayings, riddles, tongue twisters, teaching rhymes and games. The boys and girls play tag, bounce balls, ride a seesaw and hobbyhorses, all to Mother Goose rhymes ("Games, Riddles and Rhymes").

The kids beg Mother Goose to sing them a lullaby, and she sets the scene of a farmhouse at nightfall, a young boy in blue jeans and a blue shirt falls asleep ("Little Boy Blue"). With the help of the boys and girls, Mother Goose explains the origins of some of her most famous rhymes. In the first, they learn about old-fashioned British money and blackbirds baked in a pie ("Sing a Song of Sixpence"). In the second, she explains an old American favorite about a dunce who got all dressed up and put trim on his hat while riding a pony ("Yankee Doodle Dandy"). While she's in a patriotic mood, Mother Goose wonders aloud if Betsy Ross, sewing the American flag, might have sung about the stars ("Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star").

Next, Mother Goose and the kids dramatize the tale about a wicked spider who lures a naïve fly into its web with false flattery ("The Spider and the Fly"). They then perform another favorite as the mechanical figures of a musical clock, playing on percussion instruments and whistles ("Hickory, Dickory, Dock").

Mother Goose introduces the next segment, where she will use her nursery rhymes to tell the story of thousands of years of human civilization. With the help of the boys and girls, she imagines cavemen paying homage to "Old King Cole;" the cat-worshipping Egyptians looking for "Pussy Cat" and "Jack and Jill" in ancient Greece, climbing the Acropolis. She travels around the world: "Mary Had a Little Lamb" takes on a Far Eastern flavor and "There Was an Old Woman" becomes a hora. In Europe, "Little Bo Peep" and "Simple Simon" become characters in a Louis XIV-era music box; "Jack Be Nimble" dances a flamenco; "Little Jack Horner" does a tarantella; the English make fun of "The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker;" "Tom the Piper's Son" plays the Scottish bagpipes; Russian boatmen dance to "Hi Diddle Diddle" and Austrians waltz to "Jack Sprat." Coming back home to America, Mother Goose and company charge through the ages: "Little Miss Muffet" is a flapper, "Humpty Dumpty" swings and Elvis croons the "Little Girl Blues." Here, civilization comes to a rousing, dancing, rapping, aerobic fin-de-siècle finale ("Civilization and the Nursery Rhyme").

Finally, Mother Goose offers a new rhyme for her collection: a vision of the world in peace and harmony. All of the boys and girls agree and join in ("One Big Happy Family").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible Cast Size
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Mother Goose
A skilled, motherly storyteller with great vitality. Lively and playful. Wise, sharing, energetic.
Gender: female
Age: 40 to 70
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Boys
A minimum of at least four boys. Curious, excited, and playful.
Age: 7 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C2
Girls
A minimum of at least three girls. Curious, excited, and playful.
Age: 7 to 18
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Full Song List
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Games, Riddles, and Rhymes
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Little Boy Blue
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Sing a Song of Sixpence
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Yankee Doodle
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Twinkle Little Star
A Pocketful of Rhymes: The Spider and the Fly
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Hickery, Dickery Dock
A Pocketful of Rhymes: Civilization and the Nursery Rhyme
A Pocketful of Rhymes: One Big Happy Family

Show History

Founded in 1965 by Jim Eiler, The Prince Street Players, Ltd., began a new era in family theatre. Starting in a loft on Prince Street in New York City as a repertory company and then expanding rapidly to include several touring companies playing East Coast "stock" theatres and schools, their reputation quickly spread, and The Prince Street Players became a leading name in quality family theatre on Broadway and network television.

That reputation has been upheld for over thirty years as the Company performed to great acclaim, both nationally and internationally. Although no longer touring, their eleven musical shows are being performed worldwide. Scripts and scores are available to be leased for performance by schools and theatres through Music Theatre International. Each script sent out by MTI includes production notes, costume and set sketches, and a wealth of information to help each presenter produce a polished theatre event. These musicals are designed to be performed by adults or young adults for family audiences, and are considered by many to be "simply the best around."

Billing

Based on the traditional rhymes of Mother Goose

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.
THE PRINCE STREET PLAYER'S LTD.
production of
 
A POCKETFUL OF RHYMES
 
a musical revue
Based on the Traditional Rhymes of Mother Goose
 
Book & Original Lyrics by
JIM EILER
Music by
JIM EILER and JEANNE BARGY
Including some traditional airs and folk songs
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK20
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
REFERENCE RECORDING
STREAMING & REMOTE LICENSE