Railroad John And The Red Rock Run
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Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

A fun musical melodrama.

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Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

A fun musical melodrama.


Author/Lyricist:    Tony Crunk

Composer/Lyricist:    John Stallsmith

Synopsis:

Railroad John and the Red Rock Run is a stage musical based upon the children’s book of the same name by Tony Crunk. John is the proud engineer of the Sagebrush Flyer, his fast and reliable steam engine with Conductor Clem (or Clementine) who helps to tell the story. Lonesome Bob boards the train for Red Rock where he plans to marry Wildcat Annie. Fastidia and Dandy also board the Flyer and provide delightful banter with each other and the other travelers. The trip is interrupted by Bad Bill, his horse Flame, and his gang who make off with the coal and leave the train stranded. Granny Apple Fritter, the feisty traveling companion to Lonesome, gets the train rolling again by stoking the fires with her special recipe muffins. Some nifty lariat-work by Lonesome gets the train across a washed-out bridge and into Sulfur Flats.

The journey seems helpless when the muffins run out and the Flyer comes to a stop. Lonesome is desperate to get to Red Rock and has almost given up when a tornado lifts them off the track only to set them down at Red Rock station.

Wildcat Annie arrives with Bad Bill and his gang in ropes. The whole drama leads to the wedding scene and dance bringing all of the characters into the mix for a happy ending.

Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

Book by Tony Crunk

Music by John Stallsmith


Lyrics by John Stallsmith & Tony Crunk


RAILROAD JOHN AND THE RED ROCK RUN

 Copyright 2009  

by Tony Crunk and John Stallsmith

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that RAILROAD JOHN AND THE RED ROCK RUN is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to RAILROAD JOHN AND THE RED ROCK RUN  are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.


No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, by any means, now known or yet to be invented, including mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording, videotaping or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.



Cast in order of appearance

Conductor Clem (or Clementine) – dressed in a traditional blue conductor’s suit, Clem is the storyteller who engages the audience.

Railroad John – dressed in striped overalls, John is confident and proud and maintains a calm leadership throughout.

Coot – dressed as a ragged prospector-type, Coot is ardently country and has a clear disdain for Dandy.

Farmella – dressed as a country farm girl, Farmella talks with a slow, southern drawl and takes an immediate liking to Dandy.

Fastidia – dressed in a long-sleeved, frilly dress and skirt with gloves and hat, Fastidia is a refined southern lady who is easily terrified by the events onboard the train.

Dandy – dressed in a brown suit, Dandy is an overly confident city slicker who finds himself at odds with the various other characters.

Granny Apple Fritter – dressed in her Sunday finest, Granny is a loud, pushy, feisty lady who aims to get to Red Rock on time.

Lonesome Bob – dressed in a Sunday suit, Bob is shy and insecure and is going to marry his opposite.

Bad Bill – dressed in black and visually intimidating, Bill is a gang leader who enjoys being the villain.

Bad Bill’s Gang – dressed in black with bandanas, the gang members accompany Bill, but are clearly less intelligent than their leader.

Flame – Bill’s horse and object of his affection.

Cow – runs across stage or throughout the audience during the tornado scene

Wildcat Annie – dressed in bright yellow, Annie is a strong-willed western gal who marries Lonesome Bob.

Wildcat Annie’s Gang – dressed brightly, Annie’s gang accompanies her onstage and handles Bad Bill’s gang.

Grampa Crusty Huckaback – dressed in old country clothes, Grampa is unclean but kindly old gentlemen who takes a shine to Granny.


Author’s Note:  When performed for a children’s audience, the director may instruct the audience to join the cast each time the phrase “HE’S NEVER BEEN LATE ONCE YET” is heard.


Performance History


Railroad John and the Red Rock Run was premiered by the Bevill State Community College Music Department in Jasper, Alabama in March of 2007.  Three performances were given for school children who were brought to the college campus during school hours.  One evening performance was given for the public.


The success of the show and its performances can be measured by the immense enthusiasm of the audience.  Children enjoyed not only the performance itself, but their own participation. The production used the entire hall as well as the stage in an effort to reach the audience in direct and entertaining ways.


Special thanks to Becki Stallsmith for her help and support in the creation and production of “Railroad John”.


Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

(Train station platform.  Passengers arriving with belongings — excitement, anticipation.  Fade in sound of train chuffing in from a distance.  Enter uniformed CONDUCTOR, carrying a copy of the book and looking at very oversized pocket watch.)


CONDUCTOR

(With high officiousness)  At-ten-tion passengers!  The Sagebrush Flyer now ar-riving, 1:03, from Cow Town!  With connections from River City, Blue Sky Gulch, and all points east!  De-parting 1:13 for Red Rock, arriving at 1:59, with connections for Cactus Canyon, Gold Rush Station and all points west! Please have your tickets ready before boarding!  (Train whistle fading in.  CONDUCTOR addresses audience.)  You hear that whistle rising over the hill? You see that smoke coming round the bend?  Well, that (with great pride) that is the Sagebrush Flyer — the fastest train there is.  Why, that train is so fast, it takes two people to see it:  one to holler, “”Here she comes!”” and one to holler, “”Thar-r-r she goes!””  And sitting at the switch is Railroad John, the greatest engineer OF ALL TIME!!  Why, Railroad John’s been driving the Sagebrush Flyer for FORTY YEARS!  And they’ve NEVER BEEN LATE ONCE YET!  And you folks are in for a real treat.  Because this (with great pride) this is the story of Railroad John’s greatest adventure of ALL TIME!  It’s the story of Railroad John and the Red Rock Run!

(Train pulls in.  Much noise and excitement.  RAILROAD JOHN waving, tooting whistle for crowd.  Crowd waving, calling hellos to him.)  


[SONG – RAILROAD JOHN]

ALL (singing) It’s Railroad John and the Red Rock Run; 

they’ll be on time you can bet!

He’s been drivin’ this train for forty years 

and he’s never been late once yet!

Men (saying) Here She Comes

Women (saying)  Thar She Goes

ALL (singing)    Horses get the speed they need by munching hay and

grass;

This train she gulps down mounds of coal to make her

lightning fast.

Ships they catch the speed of wind by setting high their sails.

The Sagebrush leaves the wind behind, she’s the fastest thing on rails.

It’s Railroad John and the Red Rock Run; 

they’ll be on time you can bet!

He’s been drivin’ this train for forty years 

and he’s never been late once yet!

Men (saying) Here She Comes

Women (saying)   Thar She Goes

Railroad John (singing) Cowboys have their horses, and farmers have

their crops.

Lawmen have their outlaws, and merchants have    their shops.

Me, I’ve got the Flyer, my lady strong and fine.

But unlike any woman I know, she’s always been on time.

ALL (singing)   It’s Railroad John and the Red Rock Run; 

they’ll be on time you can bet!

He’s been drivin’ this train for forty years 

And he’s never been late once yet!

He’s been drivin’ this train for forty years 

and he’s never been late once yet!


           (Passengers gather belongings, line up to board.  CONDUCTOR at door/steps to assist them on.  RAILROAD JOHN comes to stand beside him.)

CONDUCTOR

Howdy, Railroad John.

RAILROAD JOHN

Howdy, Conductor Clem.  How’s it looking today?

CONDUCTOR

Looks like a full load, Railroad.

RAILROAD JOHN

Good, good.

CONDUCTOR

Weather looks fine.  Maybe a little rain shower around Sulphur Flats, but otherwise it’s clear skies and clear tracks ahead.

RAILROAD JOHN

Good, good.  (Pulls out, looks at very oversized pocket watch) Well, load ’em up.  This train pulls out in 4 minutes and 18 seconds. 

  (Passengers board and begin settling into facing bench seats.  COOT sits first, FARMELLA beside him,  FASTIDIA opposite.  DANDY, with hat raised to the ladies, is politely last to sit.)

DANDY

Well, isn’t this delightful?  Allow me – (offers hand to Fastidia) – Sir Dandy Puffenwhiff Giles St.-John Castlebury, the third.

FASTIDIA

Oh my! (offers hand) Fastidia. . . Miss Fastidia Periwinkle Powderstockings. . . the first (titters).

DANDY

Ah! Miss Fastidia (kisses her hand).  Charmed.  And what a charming name.FASTIDIA

(Atwitter) Oh, Mr. Dandy.  How gracious of you.  

FARMELLA

(Abruptly thrusts her hand out) I’m Farmella.

DANDY

Ah!  Miss Farmella (takes her hand).  Farmella. . . (waiting the rest of her name). . .FARMELLA

That’s right.  Farmella.

DANDY

Ah!  Indeed! (kisses her hand).  Charmed.  (Turns, offers his hand to COOT.)  And you, sir. . .?

COOT

(Demurs from taking DANDY’s hand – doesn’t want to get his own kissed) Most folks ‘round these parts just calls me Coot.

DANDY

Well, Mr. Coot (tipping his hat).  A pleasure, I’m sure.  Well!  Isn’t this just so exciting?  A real train ride!  A real wild west adventure, at last!  This is smashing!  Simply smashing!

COOT

(Eyeing DANDY incredulously, suspiciously) You ain’t from around here, are you?DANDY

Oh no, Mr. Coot.  Far from it!  But this trip is a life-long dream for me.  Finally!  The great, wild west.  The cows, the rodeos, the stern, hardy cowpokes!  The fearless pioneers, the vile, ornery outlaws!  Oh, I can’t wait!  

(COOT rolls his eyes in incredulous disdain.)

FASTIDIA

Well, welcome Mr. Dandy.  I so hope you enjoy your time here.

DANDY

Why thank you, Miss Fastidia.  I’m quite sure I shall.  It’s just smashing to be here!  Simply smashing!

FARMELLA

(Flatly, abruptly) I like train rides.

DANDY

Oh, and do you, Miss Farmella?  

FARMELLA

Yeah, I do.  You go fast and you get to see things.

DANDY

Why, that’s so.  And tell me, do you travel often. . . ?


           (Conversation continues in pantomime, as following action unfolds fore-stage:  GRANNY APPLE FRITTER and LONESOME BOB, baggage in tow, come hustling up to RAILROAD JOHN and CONDUCTOR, still standing at passenger car door.)

RAILROAD JOHN

Well, well!  Look who’s coming here!  If it ain’t my old friends Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter!  Slow down there folks!  Slow down!  Howdy Lonesome!  Howdy Granny!

LONESOME BOB / GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

(Panting) Howdy Railroad!

RAILROAD JOHN

It’s good to see you.

LONESOME BOB / GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Good to see you, too, Railroad.

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

We’re so glad you haven’t left yet.

RAILROAD JOHN

Oh no, no.  We don’t leave for another minute and twelve seconds.  You’ve got plenty of time.  But where are you folks off to today, all dressed up in your Sunday finery?

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

(Elbowing LONESOME BOB, excited, busting with the news)  Tell ‘im Lonesome!  Tell ‘im!

LONESOME BOB

(Mumbles)  I’m going to get married today.

RAILROAD JOHN

(Acting as though he’s fully understood, but still a bit puzzled) Oh!  So, you’re going to be carried someplace.  I see, I see. . .

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

No, no!  (elbowing LONESOME BOB again) Tell ‘im again Lonesome!  Tell ‘im again! 

LONESOME BOB

(Mumbles again)  I’m going to get married today.

RAILROAD JOHN

(Again acting as though he’s fully understood, but puzzled)  Oh!  You’re going to meet Larry some day!  I see, I see. . 


GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

(Unable to contain herself any longer)  No! No!  Lonesome’s going to get MARRIED TODAY!  


(LONESOME BOB looking especially hangdog bashful.)  

RAILROAD JOHN

Going to get married today!?!  Well!  Well!  That’s mighty big news!  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yes!  Mighty big!  Mighty big!  

RAILROAD JOHN

Well congratulations, Lonesome.  I’m mighty proud for you.  And it’s a mighty fine day for marrying, too.  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yes!  Mighty fine!  Mighty fine!  Now Railroad, the wedding’s at Red Rock at two o’clock sharp.  And we can’t be a minute late. 

RAILROAD JOHN

Well that’s just fine.  The Sagebrush Flyer hits Red Rock at exactly 1:59.  We’ll get you there in plenty of time.  You know, I’ve driven this train for forty years and we haven’t been late once yet.  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

I know, Railroad.  We’re counting on you now.  And I know you won’t let us down.

RAILROAD JOHN

Well thank you Granny.  I appreciate that.  I can’t wait to hear all about the big doings.  But right now, I’ve got to get this train a-rollin’.  We’ll visit some more in a little bit.  Welcome aboard!


(They board, settle in.  RAILROAD JOHN boards engine, fiddles with knobs, levers.)


CONDUCTOR

(Taking a last officious pace up and down the platform, pocket watch in hand, calling out)  ALL-L-L A-BOARD!!   LAST CALL!  THE SAGE-BRUSH FLYER NOW DE-PARTING FOR R-R-RED ROCK AND ALL POINTS WEST!  ALL-L-L A-BOARD!  LAST CALL!   (Then to RAILROAD JOHN) 1:13 on the dot, Railroad.  Let ‘er roll!  

RAILROAD JOHN

Yes sir!  (He pulls whistle for a couple of loud toots.  Fade in sound of train chuffing away.)

CONDUCTOR

(To audience)  Well, on that fateful day, the Sagebrush Flyer pulled out of the station right on time, just like always.  So, off we dartled, rockety-pop and poppety-rock — a beautiful day for a ride!  We flew up Tombstone Mesa, and down through Buzzard Pass.. . (He has gradually turned to address passengers, in a kind of tour-guide voice) and, as we make our way through Buzzard Pass, you will see, on my left the sleepy village of Drybone, home of the legendary tall tale hero, Wild Bill Hickock.  Now Wild Bill Hickock was so wild, he wore a rattlesnake for a necktie and rode a grizzly bear instead of a horse.  Well, one day, a mean-looking tornado come bearing down on Drybone; stormin’ and blowin’; and Wild Bill went out to meet it.  He jumped up on back of that tornado, wrestled it to the ground, and squeezed every bit of the rainwater out of it – creating beautiful Drybone Lake, which you see now directly to my right. (He moves to engine.  RAILROAD JOHN turns controls over to him, then goes back to visit with passengers.)

RAILROAD JOHN

(With a slap on the back to LONESOME BOB)  Well, well, well!  My old friend Lonesome Bob’s finally getting hitched!  Congratulations, again, Lonesome!  It’s a mighty big day, isn’t it?


LONESOME BOB

(Hangdog, barely audible) Yup.

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER  

Oh yessir!  Mighty big!  Mighty big!

RAILROAD JOHN

You must be pretty excited, eh?

LONESOME BOB

Yup.

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yes-sir-ee!  Mighty, mighty excited!

RAILROAD JOHN

(Beginning to feel awkward at not getting much response from LONESOME BOB)  I see. . . pretty. . pretty excited. . . hm-m-m.  Going to be a big wedding, I reckon?

LONESOME BOB  

Yup.  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yessir!  Mighty big!  Mighty big!

RAILROAD JOHN

I see. . . big wedding. . . lots of. . . lots of people there. . . I reckon. . . hm-m-m.  Well, now tell me the biggest news:  who is the lucky lady?

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

(Elbowing Lonesome Bob) Tell ‘im Lonesome!  Tell ‘im!

LONESOME BOB

(Mumbles inaudibly)

RAILROAD JOHN

(Struggling to understand him)  Who’s that you say. . . ?  Wilma. . . ?  Wilma . . . Flintstone?

LONESOME BOB

(GRANNY APPLE FRITTER gives him an extra-hard nudge, knocking the blurt out of him)  WILDCAT ANNIE!  I AIM TO MARRY WILDCAT ANNIE!  

RAILROAD JOHN

Wildcat Annie!  Well my goodness gracious!  Good for you!  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

That’s right!  My Lonesome’s marrying Wildcat Annie!  Heh-heh!  Why that gal is wild as a panther!

LONESOME BOB

(Blurting again) BUT GRANNY, SHE’S SWEET AS A HONEY BEE’S GOLD TOOTH, TOO!

RAILROAD JOHN

Well, she is that for a fact.  You’re right there, Lonesome.

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yes, she’s mighty sweet.  Mighty, mighty sweet.

RAILROAD JOHN

Well, I guess you’re feeling pretty good right now?  Maybe a little light-headed even . . .? 

LONESOME BOB

(Mumbles)  I wrote a song about her.

RAILROAD JOHN

(Struggling to understand, yet again) What’s that you say?  You say you. . . you rode a donkey backward?


LONESOME BOB

I WROTE A SONG ABOUT HER!

RAILROAD JOHN

Oh-h-h! You wrote a song about her!  

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

Oh yes-sir-ee!  And it’s a mighty fine song, too!  Mighty fine!


RAILROAD JOHN

Well I sure would like to hear it, if you’d like to sing it.

LONESOME BOB

(Mumbles inarticulately, pulls out guitar, tunes a few strings, mumbles a bit more. But when he launches into song, his voice is clear, crisp, melodious — clearly a singer, not a talker. . . ) 

[SONG– LONESOME]

Lonesome (sings) It’s lonesome to be the only pea in a pod.

It’s lonesome to be the only pea in a pod.

A Jack with no Jill; alone on a hill.  

It’s lonesome to be just me.

It’s lonesome to be the only bird of a feather.

It’s lonesome to be the only bird of a feather.

The only foot tapping; the only hand clapping.  

It’s lonesome to be just me.

It’s lonesome to be the only voice in a song.

It’s lonesome to be the only voice in a song.

A hand with no glove; with no one to love.

It’s lonesome to be just me.

I been lonesome all my life, but I’ll nevermore lonesome be.

I’m headin’ to Red Rock to meet my bride.

Wildcat Annie’s the girl fo me.

There’s gonna be a marryin’ a marryin’ today.

There’s gonna be a marryin’ a marryin’ today.

I love that Wildcat Annie.  She’s chased all my blues away.

ALL (singing) There’s gonna be a marryin’ a marryin’ today.

There’s gonna be a marryin’ a marryin’ today.

He loves that Wildcat Annie.  She’s chased all his blues away.

He loves that Wildcat Annie.  She’s chased all his blues away.


(As song ends, congratulations to LONESOME BOB all around — general festiveness.  RAILROAD JOHN returns to tending engine, whistling chorus of LONESOME’s song.  Passengers settle back into seats.)

GRANNY APPLE FRITTER

You’re a good boy, Lonesome.

FASTIDIA

Oh, a wedding!  I think that is just so darling!  (Then, flirtatiously) Don’t you find that just darling, Mr.Dandy?

FARMELLA

(Eyeing DANDY pointedly, clearly taken with him, but still very flat, deadpan, not at all overtly flirtatious or suggestive).  I wish I had me a man.

FASTIDIA

Why, yes Miss Farmella?

FARMELLA

Yeah I do.  It gets lonesome out on the ranch, a-herding cows and mending fences and cooking beans.  I sure could use some help sometimes.  (sympathetic nods all around) Do you like ranches Mr. Dandy?

DANDY

(A bit taken aback, but impeccably polite) Oh?  Well. . . I suppose I’d never really thought about it actually.  Do tell me more. . . (conversation fades to pantomime, as before)

CONDUCTOR

(To audience) Well, it was indeed a beautiful day for a ride!  It was a big day for Lonesome Bob, and we were all just pleased as punch to be part of the wedding train.  So, the Sagebrush Flyer went calahooting down the tracks, mickety-tuck and tuckety-mick, and (slowly turning to address passengers, resuming tour guide role) as we skirt past Rustler’s Ridge, if you will look directly to my left, you’ll see the infamous Badlands Territory, which, at one time, was home to the meanest, baddest outlaws ever to roam the wild west (excited titters among passengers.)  Including the best-known outlaw of all, Billy the Kid.  Why, Billy the Kid was only four years old when he robbed his first stagecoach.  

FASTIDIA

(Al

Railroad John And The Red Rock Run

Author: John Stallsmith
Author: Tony Crunk

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