Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby VinnieRattolle » Fri Jun 07, 2013 8:29 am

That opening lyric is actually, "First came the light in Marcella's room..." (A callback to the song "The Light.")

Yeah, I ripped the movie LP and had it posted on my now-defunct blog. It was the first time I'd used Adobe Audition to clean up vinyl, and I kinda wished I'd waited until I got to know the program before doing that particular rip... but the album's pretty beaten and it was such a nightmare that I'm not doing it again! I added "What's in the Box" and "Really Scary" from Garrett's dub of the film (since the Penny twins were virtually omitted from the LP), and there's a bizarre audio-doubling during the finale which plays that way on my LP (I think somebody must've played the disc with an old needle and messed up the grooves on that track). It does differ from the film in that the pirate songs "A Miracle," "Hooray for Me" and "Hi-Yo" are heard more prominently. Here's a download.


Back to the play, it was first staged in Albany in 1984... and, unsurprisingly, a controversy ensued over the dark subject matter...

SIMPLY BECAUSE A PERSON is physically capable of bearing children, that person isn’t accorded a divine right to determine what’s best for a child’s welfare. You and I believed that when we were kids, smarting under yet another seemingly arbitrary ruling by our parents. But have you ever occasioned to thank them for the punishment they inflicted while promising you that someday you’d thank them for it?

During the preview week of ESIPA’s production of Raggedy Ann, a surprising controversy erupted, sparked by a combination of a parent’s hysteria and overzealous TV journalism. This snowballed into the sort of thing which, if allowed to go unchecked, could create an unnecessarily restrictive climate in the arts community. This is particularly terrible when it involves an organization dedicated to arts education, as is ESIPA.

After one of the show’s previews, a woman complained to Patricia Snyder, ESIPA’s producing director, that the musical was unfit for children. The woman then took her complaint to a local television station, which put her on camera the following night to repeat her complaint. Over a shot of the woman, Ellen Allen of Albany, at home with her children, the reporter summd it up for her: “She says there were portrayals of gruesome characters, a mother deserting her child, death and even suicide.”

No response from ESIPA was included in the clip: the reporter was told that a spokeswoman “was busy backstage with the production and could not talk to us.”

Two minutes of TV time packs more authority than a day’s worth of newspapers; rarely is TV challenged and never is TV news. There used to be a time when an informed source was so labeled: “Ed Smith, college professor,” for example. If anyone were to speak on the subject of Raggedy Ann and its effect on children, I would prefer someone acknowledged as an authority in that field; for example, Bruno Bettelhelm, child psychologist.

And address that subject Bettelhelm did, in his book The Uses of Enchantment (Random House, 1975). He argues that through fairy tales, a child is enabled to come to terms with a problem that dogs us all: the workings of the unconscious. “However, the prevalent parental belief is that a child must be diverted from what troubles him most: his formless, nameless anxieties and her chaotic, angry, and even violent fantasies. Many parents believe that only conscious reality or pleasant and wish-fulfilling images should be presented to the child – that he should be exposed only to the sunny side of things. But such one-sided fare nourishes the mind only in a one-sided way, and real life is not all sunny.”

In Raggedy Ann, playwright William Gibson has tackled the most elusive of subjects: death and dying. Literally, the show is a dream; at times it’s a nightmare, and thus frightening. But I suspect that it’s the parents who are frightened the most: only as adults do we begin to fear death and repeatedly witness its reality. A child’s conception of it is different, much simpler, And who said being frightened is such a terrible thing? All of the best stories offer tension: it makes the release more satisfying. The same goes for music and for sex.

What’s really frightening is that this hysteria was taken up by such supposedly responsible people as David Brown, superintendent of Albany schools, and Nancy Sartore, director of instructional services at the Rennselaer-Columbia-Greene County BOCES. Brown canceled the Albany public schools’ reservations for the show. Sartore was quoted as saying that “the themes of alcoholism, suicide and murder were not appropriate for children.” Non-school audiences, however, did not diminish, according to an ESIPA spokesman.

Should either of the two education officials crack the volumes of Grimm or Andersen – which, it is hoped, their children own and which, in fact, the parents should be reading aloud – they’ll be in for some shocks. Horrible happenings abound.

The gut reaction of wishing to protect your kid from adversity is not to be sneered at, but to carry it into a field of literature that achieves a valuable psychological function is damaging. Bettelheim’s argument is a good one, and should be considered before reacting to works like Raggedy Ann on purely a gut level.

-- Metroland Magazine, Dec. 20, 1984.

I think the demos Garrett posted above are actually from the Albany production, as the set list had changed by the time it hit Broadway. Here's those demos again:


There's an audience recording of one of the Broadway performances in circulation too, but I can't seem to find a copy.

After Albany, the title was switched to "Rag Dolly" in Moscow, where it was very well received...

Raggedy Ann Musical Wins Soviet Hearts
January 09, 1986|WILLIAM J. EATON | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — The first American performing group to visit the Soviet Union under a new cultural exchange agreement is winning ovations with a musical about Raggedy Ann, the doll loved by generations of American children.

The group, the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts of Albany, N.Y., appears to be overwhelmed by the friendly and favorable reaction.

"It's a thrill because the audiences are, to put it mildly, wildly enthusiastic," Patricia B. Snyder, the group's producing director, told a reporter.

An audience of 1,000 Soviet adults and children gave a three-minute standing ovation to Ivy Austin, who plays the red-headed doll, after she sang the title song of the musical, "Rag Dolly," in Russian.

The troupe also caused a sensation at intermission by passing out letters from schoolchildren in the Albany area. The actors were surrounded by Soviet youngsters eager for American pen pals.

A 9-year-old boy named Volodya stood in line for autographs after one performance and said, "I love this American theater. I especially liked the dolly."

"We just loved it, loved it!" Tamara Derevyanshchikova told the Associated Press. "I am only unhappy that I don't speak English. I've never seen a musical before, but I can say that I really like this kind of theater." Her 12-year-old son, Alyosha, said he wanted to see "lots and lots more" American shows.

"We are having a ball," William Gibson, the playwright, said. His earlier play, "Two for the Seesaw," has already been produced in Soviet theaters; he is also the author of "The Miracle Worker." The music was composed by Joe Raposo of "Half a Sixpence" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

Scott Schafer, a Chicago actor who plays the part of Raggedy Andy, said, "These are the most appreciative audiences I ever worked in front of."

The cultural agreement was signed last Nov. 21 at the Geneva summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. The Empire State group had been chosen to take part more than a year before the agreement came into force on Jan. 1.

Snyder and Natalia Satz, director of the Children's Musical Theater of Moscow, where the American production is being staged, have been discussing an exchange for more than a decade. In 1974, Snyder directed a stage version of "The Wizard of Oz" in the Soviet Union, and its success helped nail down this year's visit.

Eighty-eight American actors, singers, dancers, musicians, stagehands and other personnel made the trip to Moscow and are giving eight performances. All the actors are Americans, but half the stage crew and 14 of the 20 musicians are Soviet citizens, who work with their American counterparts through interpreters and sign language.

Two of the songs have been translated into Russian, a few Russian words and phrases have been added in key places, and an announcer gives a preview in Russian before the first and second acts.

The story of how Raggedy Ann helps to save a little girl from an early death with the aid of other dolls appeals to adults as well as children. Audiences have reacted with resounding applause, in the form of rhythmic single claps that show a Soviet audience is especially pleased by a performance.

"They are not used to American musical theater, where performers not only act but sing and dance as well," a spokesman for the company said.

Schafer said, "We use trapdoors and even fireworks on stage, and it's more of a spectacle than they are accustomed to seeing."

Mark Baird and Peter Davis, two of the technical supervisors for the group, described the Soviet cooperation as "fantastic," even though extensive work was required for the staging here.

"We hope to exchange the same courtesies when their theater visits us in Albany," Baird said.

Soviet performers are scheduled to do the ballets "Blue Bird" and "Peter and the Wolf" next June in Albany.

Can't seem to find it, but I read in some old newspaper that they shot a video of the Moscow production which was supposed to be featured in a Russian museum. I'd kill to see that tape. As an aside, there's a 4 minute story about the Moscow staging that ran on "The Today Show" which is listed in the NBC/Universal Archives (shame that they don't offer videos to watch on their site):

http://www.nbcuniversalarchives.com/nbc ... 149_s25.do

Then came the Broadway run, which was such a dismal failure that it closed after 5 performances (plus 15 previews -- don't ask me why they don't count previews in the Broadway world; I still don't get it)...

'Raggedy Ann,' A New Musical, Opens On Broadway
MICHAEL KUCHWARA , Associated Press
Oct. 17, 1986

NEW YORK (AP) _ Enter the Nederlander Theater and the first thing you notice is a Raggedy Ann doll, sitting alone on stage in a pool of light that cascades from the proscenium arch.

It's a simple and charming image, one that heightens expectations about the musical to follow. But simplicity and charm are two commodities difficult to discern in ''Raggedy Ann,'' a cluttered, schizophrenic song-and-dance extravaganza that opened Thursday night.

The show has more on its mind than being just another children's musical, but what it wants to do and where it wants to go never is made clear. The authors seem a little nervous about their material, and you can't blame them.

The story, written by William Gibson, is dark, forbidding and even scary, especially in its numerous confrontations with death. Little Marcella (Lisa Rieffel), the child of a broken home, is dying. Her mother has run off with a cad who drives a Rolls-Royce. Her father is an alcoholic. He gives his daughter a rag doll for comfort. It turns out to be our heroine, that carrot- topped cutie with the valentine heart. All this, believe it or not, is established in the first few minutes of the show during a tinkly, cheery song called ''Gingham and Yarn,'' one of composer Joe Raposo's better melodies.

Raggedy Ann proceeds to come to life as do Raggedy Andy and a trio of accomplices named Baby Doll, who wets her pants at inapppropriate times; Panda, a bear who talks like a Chinese fortune cookie, and Camel, a giant blue creature with wrinkled knees.

They have to battle General D - the D stands for doom, dissolution, decay and death - for the fading Marcella. He's a fierce-looking fellow who resembles George C. Scott in a fright wig. The general and his minions - they include a wolf and a sexy bat with a punk-rock haircut - plan to carry Marcella off to the grave.

That's when Raggedy Ann and her gang step in, and the story gets going. They decide to transport Marcella to Los Angeles for a visit with the Doll Doctor who apparently can give the little girl a new heart.

Much of the musical is taken up with their journey. In between Marcella talks a great deal about dying and about her parents, while Raggedy Ann tries to keep everybody one step ahead of the general.

To dilute the drearies, director Patricia Birch and her production crew have concocted a series of lavish tableaux. When Marcella and her friends sail off to California, they float in a bed that rises above the stage. They get lost in the Grisly Woods, a gnarled and forbidding parade of trees. They even end up in a colorful Hollywood version of a doll hospital staffed by nurses who look like leggy chorines and a collection of mellowed-out doctors.

Designers Gerry Hariton and Vicki Baral have piled on set after lavish set but the effect is one of overkill that eventually works against the seriousness of the material.

Raposo, who has written both music and lyrics, does his job admirably. He's best with the happy, upbeat songs, particularly a hypnotic ragtime number called ''Rag Dolly'' that Ivy Austin as Raggedy Ann belts to the balcony.

Miss Austin is the one standout in a lackluster cast. Whatever distinctivenes s the other performers have comes from externals like Carrie Robbins' eye-popping costumes or the hair and makeup designs by Hiram Ortiz. But then it's not clear whether we should like these characters or not. That uncertainty is symptomatic of everything that's wrong with ''Raggedy Ann.''

''We're wandering way too far from where we should be, and how we'll ever get there's a mystery,'' sings Raggedy Ann in her big song that closes the first act. She could be singing about the show itself.

Clive Barnes, viewing the show for the New York Post, said it ''was really rather awful.''

Barnes said the show was primarily aimed at people who are ''emotionally retarded.'' The music, he said, is ''totally forgettable,'' the performances vary and the concept behind the the show ''mawkish ... and potentially offensive to the sensitive.''

Howard Kissel of the Daily News said the show was ''limp,'' like a rag doll. He described the direction and choreography as haphazard.

''Any little girl who prizes her own Raggedy Ann doll can probably tell better stories,'' Kissel wrote.

Frank Rich of The New York Times called the script ''unpalatable'' and said the show was frail.

Rich said the audience is inundated with sickly songs about love, hearts and making believe.

And here's the Playbill:

http://www.playbillvault.com/Show/Detai ... aggedy-Ann

Now, apparently the film itself was adapted into another stage incarnation in 2004/2006, written by Patricia Thackray, who wrote the screenplay. No mention is made of Joe Raposo's songs.

Raggedy Ann, America’s most endearing folk doll, comes to life in this stage adaptation that captures the imagination and hearts of children of all ages. This freewheeling romp combines an action-packed plot with lively audience participation. Through it all shines the gentle, loving spirit of Raggedy Ann. The story unfolds in a special playroom where wonderful, magical events transpire. A newcomer has arrived in the playroom, a fancy French doll named Babette. But that very evening, a certain prince, Leonard-the-Looney-Hearted, comes riding by on his hobbyhorse and whisks her away to Looney-land. Raggedy Ann knows what she must do! She and Andy climb out the window into the “deep, deep woods” to rescue Babette.

Here's two links to articles for that incarnation:
http://www.myspace.com/lakesidecommunit ... s/49772292
Last edited by VinnieRattolle on Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:15 am

Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sat Jun 08, 2013 8:48 pm

Great post!

http://cf2.imgobject.com/t/p/original/4 ... iNhE5l.jpg
http://drelium.files.wordpress.com/2013 ... edyann.jpg

For nine dollars, you can buy the script for Patricia Thackray's later play, intended for a very young audience:
http://www.dramaticpublishing.com/p1237 ... _info.html
http://www.thattheatresite.com/library/ ... _6404.html

And here's an excerpt:
http://www.freeworldu.org/text%20passag ... xcerpt.pdf

Excerpt from Raggedy Ann & Andy by Patricia Thackray

Thackary, Patricia. Raggedy Ann & Andy. The Bobbs-Merill Company, Inc., 1981. 7-8


THE HOUSELIGHTS DIM. The light comes up in front of a patchwork
curtain. RAGGEDY ANN pokes her head out and looks L and R, grinning broadly.

ANN. Hi…

ANDY. (anxiously, from behind curtain). Hey, Raggedy Ann, is anybody out there yet?

ANN. (nodding happily) Lots, Andy!

(ANN bends down so that ANDY’S head pops out directly above hers. ANDY sticks his head out of the curtain over ANN’S. His sailor’s hat is set rakishly over one eye.)

ANDY. Wow!

(ANN and ANDY both bop their heads behind the curtain. They then reappear in front, ANN leading ANDY by the hand. She is perfectly at ease, but Andy’s knees are knocking. He nervously straightens his cap)

Gosh. I never saw so many real-for sure people in one place! What’ll we do now, Ann?

(ANN thinks hard,scratches her head, then pushes her forehead into a wrinkled frown with her hands.)

ANN. Ummmmm … why don’t you bow, Andy? And I’ll make a nice curtsy!

(ANDY removes his cap and bows low, ANN curtsies, then throws out her floppy arms.)

Welcome one and all! I hope you’re all ready for the adventures of Raggedy Ann – that’s me, o’ course, and my brother –

(She nudges ANDY, who is still bowing.)

‘S okay. You can come up now.

(ANDY does so.)

Raggedy Andy! (She laughs.) That’s him, o’ course.

(ANDY clasps his hands over his head like a championship fighter.)

ANDY. You bet!

ANN. Just in case you don’t know already, we’re a couple of rag dolls who…

(Pause. She notices ANDY striking “Mr. America” poses.)

Goodness, Andy, what are you doing?

ANDY. Pumping cotton.

(He flexes an arm under her nose.)

Just feel this stuffed muscle, come on…

ANN (doing so, gingerly). It’s very nice, Andy. (To audience with motherly pride.) We belong to Marcella. She’s the most wonderful little girl. We love her a whole lot. Don’t we, Andy? (Pause.) Andy?

(ANDY is now busy doing pushups, handstands, cartwheels –whatever the actor wants to do.)

ANDY (preoccupied). Yeah … she’s okay.

ANN. An’ we live in a nice cozy playroom with…

ANDY (breaking in). When we’re not out having terrific adventures!

ANN. With, um, let’s see now…

(She counts on her non-existent fingers)

…There’s Suzy Pincushion, and the Twin Baby Dolls, and Bruin Bear, and Grandpa, and Mechanico the Robot, and…

ANDY (on a rush). Rescuing dolls in distress, chasing wicked witches, wrestling hairy scary monsters… (He hugs himself fiercely.) …Mmmmmmph! (Now shadow boxing.) Take this and some of that.

(He executes a karate kick, then grabs hold of ANN and starts to pull her off R.)

Hey, come on, Ann. It’s time to start our adventures. (He waves to the audience.) Be seeing you!

(He runs off, pulling ANN after him.)

ANN (waving). ‘Bye!

This play is still being produced as I type this:

With photo!
http://eedition.westniagaranews.ca/doc/ ... 15.html#14

http://crossville-chronicle.com/feature ... ce-Theatre
http://www.astate.edu/college/fine-arts ... e/details/
http://articles.mcall.com/1988-03-13/en ... production
http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/new ... /calendar/
http://www.stcharlesmd.com/arts-and-cul ... arles.html

Meanwhile, the Gibson/Raposo play ...

There's a record here of it being produced March 21-29, 2009:"Raggedy Ann," book by William Gibson, music and lyrics by Joe Raposo.
http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2008 ... k-hollmann
(301-299-8571; http://www.potomactheatreco.org )
Blair Family Center for the Arts, The Bullis School, 10601 Falls Rd., Potomac.

Current info:
© Potomac Theatre Company, Inc.
P.O. Box 61248
Potomac, MD 20859
(301) 299-8571

March 26, 2009
"THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF RAGGEDY ANN & ANDY" -- 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Potomac Theatre Company performs the musical about yarn-haired dolls that come to life when their owners leave the room. Bullis School, Blair Family Center for the Arts, 10601 Falls Road, Potomac. $12; discounts for groups of 10 or more. 301-299-8571 or http://www.potomactheatreco.org.

http://harveylevine.smugmug.com/Theater ... &k=dvv7wgK

The photos suggest that this production is based on the feature film rather than the Gibson play. There are 70 photos, all of which fit the movie perfectly and suggest nothing from the Gibson play. However, the play is still credited to Gibson and Raposo in the newspapers above.

http://connectionarchives.com/PDF/2009/ ... otomac.pdf

In “Raggedy Ann and Andy, A Musical Adventure,” the two iconic dolls embark on the adventure of a lifetime, leaving their playhouse environs and the 7-year-old girl to whom they belong to rescue their friend Babette, a French doll who has been kidnapped by a lovesmitten snow globe pirate. Along the way they meet characters of all kinds, and their adventure is both comedic and uplifting, said Marilyn Shockey of the Potomac Theatre Company. The show features a host of local talent, including Walt Whitman High School junior Katie Mayo as Raggedy Andy, Bullis teacher and Winston Churchill High School graduate Liberty Okulski as Babette and Churchill senior Kendall Forward in three different roles.

It is very likely that the Potomac musical was a new version. I've just found Marilyn Shockey on Facebook so I'm writing her.


This musical for young children is based on Johnny Gruelle's classic rag doll characters. With music from the 1977 feature film, this delightful play follows the adventures of yarn-haired Raggedy Ann and Andy, who come to life when their owner leaves the room.

Adapted for the stage by Lynn Sharp Spears, based on the stories by Johnny Gruell. Music and lyrics by Joe Raposo. Directed by Lynn Sharp Spears. Music Director, Alvin Smithson. Produced by Barry Hoffman.

Everyone's favorite rag dolls come to life in this delightful musical. Suitable for tiny tots through elementary ages.

About the Ticket Supplier: Potomac Theatre Company
The Potomac Theatre Company is community based theater producing shows as the resident theater company at the Blair Family Center for the Arts, Bullis School, Potomac, MD.

http://www.goldstar.com/events/potomac- ... n-and-andy

So it was adapted for the stage by Lynn Sharp Spears.

I've just emailed Lynn Sharp Spears!

So let's talk the real musical, the dark one by Gibson and Raposo ...

http://www.guidetomusicaltheatre.com/sh ... dyann.html
http://thebroadwaymerman.blogspot.com/2 ... sical.html
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 21,5354218

There's a photo here from Moscow:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2 ... 84,3478617


Ivy Austin played Raggedy Ann, and I've just written her an email. And she's written me back on FB.

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 47,3642781
http://m.st.louis.talkcomedyworld.com/s ... howid=9888
http://books.google.com/books/about/Rag ... CQGwAACAAJ

Buy the playbill:
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Raggedy-Ann-FLOP ... 0829027042?
http://www.biblio.com/william-gibson/ra ... 9960~title

Debra Rathwell remembers:
The puppet version of “The Lord of the Rings” was (Montreal impresario) Sam Gesser which we didn’t invest in. “Raggedy Ann” was really amazing. It was written by William Gibson (with music by Joe Raposo). It opened and closed (on Broadway). They (the producers) wouldn’t make any of the changes (needed). It started at the Kennedy Centre (in Washington, D.C.). Everybody got stuck (in the concept of the show), and loved everything that they had. That’s how a lot of things fail. Nobody will dig back in, and give and re-create. That’s really where Donald’s heart was. This was people working him over for some money. Those were just investments. We didn’t have any control. The ones we had control over were Argentina Tango,” “Black and Blue” and “Flamenco Puro,” they were all with the same directing team.

An anonymous writer remembers:
[The script?] Which one? The damn show changed so much. The show was licensed by Bobbs-Merril because they were selling the company and they wanted to inflate the value of the Raggedy Ann license. The buyer, Macmillian publishing was horrified by the Gibson script, but apparently they could not pull the plug on the whole thing. They did demand some rewrites. Then the owners of the license for the dolls got involved. I have a couple of scripts in storage, but I should probably burn them rather than let them see the light of day.

by: Anonymous reply 9 09/02/2012 @ 06:40PM

http://www.datalounge.com/cgi-bin/iowa/ ... d,11681552

A rare positive review:

'Ann': A Ragging Most Unfair

By NELS NELSON, Daily News Theater Critic
POSTED: October 20, 1986
Far be it from me to risk life and limb defending the New York theatrical producing establishment from the sharks of the New York reviewing cabal. The former is but a high-stakes crap shoot and the latter are messenger boys who, like the corporals and second lieutenants of any social system, tend to be sozzled by the errant power squeezings that drip to their level.

Nonetheless, I deem it undignified to suffer in silence in the face of injustice. As this was written, the new musical "Raggedy Ann" was foundering perilously after catching a vicious broadside from the combined pencil power of the Gotham press corps, and by now may have disappeared in the briny.

Which I think is a crying shame, for the show I saw at the Nederlander Theatre last week was bright, tuneful, funny and such wonderful nonsense that I would happily have sat through it again.

To be sure, "Raggedy Ann," albeit authored by the same William Gibson who was responsible for "The Miracle Worker" and "Two for the Seesaw," borrowed various components from "Oz," "Peter Pan" and Lewis Carroll, and dipped freely into "Cats" for inspiration. But who objects to such innocent thievery?

The fact is that the flimsy premise of a loveless little girl, in the company of two rag dolls, a mama doll, a panda and a preposterous blue camel, riding the night through on a bedstead that converts to either a flying machine or a seagoing vessel before our very eyes, is overlaid by an adult sensibility that lurks somewhere between a leer and a wink.

The dream voyage takes the party to an abatoir in Omaha and a doll hospital in Hollywood. The nurses at the latter are outfitted like sex kittens and behave accordingly, and the abatoir is the headquarters of an intergalactic bully and his pals, who include an acrobatic wolf and a batwoman with the attributes of a Dragon Lady and a common tart. Snubbed by the all-powerful bully, the batlady propositions Raggedy Andy, of all people, who has the good sense to recognize her basic insincerity and scurries away in the nick of time.

That will suffice for the general tenor of the piece, lest I am hoisted by my own petard.

Incredulously, the young man at The Times called it a "kiddies' entertainment." I ask you, what manner of kiddies does he know?

(This genuinely nasty specimen also held that Joe Raposo's songs "are so generic that they could have been written for any mediocre musical, not just this specific one." That's one for Joe to answer, and I wish I could be there when he does. His cheapest shot, among many, was to suggest that if this entertainment had visited Moscow a bit later than it did earlier this year as the opening gun in the new cultural exchange, "the Americans could have offered to take the show back in exchange for the release of Nicholas Daniloff.")

Those of us who have outgrown bubble gum and trick-or-treat may be still mildly fascinated by nocturnal flights of fancy, exploding houses and other special effects (at which "Raggedy Ann" excels, by the way), but it benefits the intellectual equilibrium if there is more than a mere suggestion of the seamy underside of the universe. That, of course, is where this show makes an attempt to break new ground. Gail Benedict (the bat) is nothing if not an adult entertainer, and the same certainly can be said about the swivel- hipped female chorus. And then there is the sequence in the Grisly Woods National Park, with its skeletonized vegetation and intimations that man has a darker identity of unplumbed depths.

The closest parallel that comes to mind is "Candide," a charmer of the highest order whose attraction was enhanced immeasurably by its unquestioning acceptance of the other side of the coin. I am not proposing that "Raggedy Ann" is another "Candide," but I submit that it is the kind of show that could brighten the Broadway season by untold lumens, and one that even the professional nay-sayers could learn to cherish.

Megan Rosenfeld Washington Post
Section: LIVING TODAY, Page: C6
Date: Wednesday, September 24, 1986

For most of this century, children and adults alike have been touched by the sentimental story of Raggedy Ann, America's (and Albany's) most famous rag doll, who is now about to hit the Broadway stage.

It seems that Johnny Gruelle, the artist and illustrator who created her near the turn of the century, had a little girl who was dying, and he made up stories about her rag doll to entertain her as she lay in pain. It was that piece of information that seduced playwright William Gibson and became the germ of his new musical "Raggedy Ann, the Musical Adventure."

Licensing agents for Raggedy Ann books and products have used the dying daughter story for well over half a century in their promotion material, and it has been printed as fact in numerous publications.

Unfortunately, it's not quite true.

Gruelle did have a daughter, Marcella, who died in 1916 of mysterious complications from a smallpox vaccination. But she was 14 then and long past being interested in fairy stories.

Johnny Gruelle had patented his doll - who did not look much like Raggedy Ann and did not bear that name - the year before, although his first book and dolls did not appear on the market until 1918.

The first appearance of the creature we think of as Raggedy Ann had come earlier, in 19l0, but only in the background of a drawing of another Gruelle character, Mr. Twee Deedle.

"History is one level of truth and art is another," said Gibson sagely, on hearing that the dying Marcella story was less than factual.

The musical had its genesis 12 years ago as a television special that never happened. Composer Joe Raposo, best known for his music for "Sesame Street," then sold his idea for an animated show to ITT Corp., which made a movie called "Raggedy Ann and Andy" that included four songs.

"It was the most fun thing," said Raposo. "20th Century Fox was ecstatic. It was going to be the kids movie of the season. It opened on Sunday, May 7th, 1977, and on Wednesday a movie opened called 'Star Wars.' The rest is history. Somewhere in a vault in California are 750 prints of 'Raggedy Ann' .... "

But, true to the circuitous paths of show business, all was not lost. A few years later Raposo joined the board of the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts in Albany. At the instigation of producing director, Patricia Snyder, he wrote a musical called "Rag Dolly," which they produced.

"It simply didn't work," Raposo said.

Enter Bill Gibson, author of "The Miracle Worker," "Two for the Seesaw" and "Butterfingers Angel," his only other work for children as well as adults. Gibson was intrigued by the dying Marcella legend, and this kernel produced a plot that sounds as far from Gruelle's trolls and fairies as a pinafore from a miniskirt.

"This Marcella has a father who's a drunk," said Gibson, 71. "She lives with her father because her mother has run away with someone else. She is sick, and if she sleeps maybe she'll get better. While she sleeps the dolls come to life and conspire with her to outwit death."

A character called "General D." (for doom) is the figure of death, and "an intimation of the thermo- nuclear age in which we live," he said. And this Raggedy Ann is "much brighter" than the storybook character, "she's a zippy, street-kid kind of character." Through the dream sequences, in which the dolls come to life, Marcella confronts "the personal griefs in her life," with the doll's help.

Of course, Gibson said, all this is there for the adults to see if they want; it is not, as far as he's concerned, "really serious writing. ... It's really the Marx Brothers among the tombstones," he said.

"The style is for children, the content is for me." There is scary stuff in the second act, which prompted a few complaints from parents - not children - in Albany, Gibson said.

Raposo, 48, said he was reinvigorated by Gibson's concept, although virtually all of his original songs had to be tossed out and he faced the daunting prospect of writing the show for the third time.

Raposo and Gibson found the original stories too bland, too simple for a modern musical.

Through Snyder's efforts, "Rag Dolly" became the first ambassador in the cultural exchange thaw that began late last year between the United Staes and Soviet Union, playing to full houses at the Moscow Music Theater. (Giving rise to its current advertising campaign: "The musical that melted the Russian winter. ... ")

Kennedy Center director Roger Stevens had seen the show in Albany, and plans were made to transfer it from the Soviet Union to the big time. The title was changed, at Rogers' suggestion, from "Rag Dolly" to "Raggedy Ann."

Dear old Raggedy Ann and her dear old brother Andy, have seen a lot in their 70-odd years.

The first stories were pretty simple. Raggedy Ann gets washed and put through the wringer, Raggedy Ann gets dropped off a kite, Raggedy Ann falls in a bucket of paint.

In later books the plots become more complicated, with magic a strong element. Ann and Andy rescue children, find secret castles, get captured by pirates. They live in a playhouse made out of an old packing crate, and only come alive when their mistress, Marcella, is asleep.

The stories always had a moral, usually dealing with unselfishness or kindness, and Raggedy Ann was always loving and cheerful - her heart, made of candy, was always sweet, and her painted-on smile shined forever.Her owners have changed from family companies to conglomerates: Gruelle got himself into trouble by creating another legend in a prefatory letter to the first book of "Raggedy Ann Stories."

Marcella's doll, he wrote, "was the same Raggedy Ann with which my mother played as a child." The first Raggedy Ann had been made in connection with the first book, sewn probably by Gruelle's sister Prudence. It was not, as he wrote, found by Marcella in a barrel in her grandmother's attic.

But an entrepreneurial woman named Molly Goldman decided to take him at his word. If the doll was that old, she reasoned, it must be in the public domain, so she began manufacturing Raggedy Ann dolls herself in 1934 without Gruelle's permission. The ensuing lawsuit took four years to resolve. Gruelle won it, but died within weeks of the settlement. "It really broke his health as well as his finances," said Jonathan Green, a 27-year-old New Yorker who has made a career of collecting Raggedy dolls and knowing everything about them.

Gruelle himself wrote and illustrated 16 books. After his death in 1938, his brother Justin and son Worth took over for a while and produced about 29 more.


Albany Times Union (Albany, NY)
September 11, 1986 | Copyright

Byline: Martin P. Kelly

A show that cost $150,000 to produce over 2 seasons in Albany, including a trip to Moscow, is now budgeted for $2.6 million as it moves toward a Broadway opening.

"Rag Dolly," the musical written by Bill Gibson with a score by Joe Raposo, had premiered at the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts in Albany.

It now sports a new, more commercial title, "Raggedy Ann," for its current run at Washington, D.C.'s Kennedy Center. Following its final performance there next week, the show will be trucked to the Nederlander Theater in New York. The official opening is slated for Oct. 16. Previews begin Oct. 3.

U.S. Musical Sold Out : Raggedy Ann Snuggles Into Hearts of Muscovites
January 07, 1986|Associated Press

MOSCOW — Muscovites are enchanted by the inaugural visitor in the new U.S.-Soviet cultural exchange program--a singing and dancing personification of Raggedy Ann, the rag doll beloved by generations of American children.

The first American theater troupe to visit the Soviet Union since 1979 is doing eight sold-out performances of a musical based on the Raggedy Ann tales.

The official premiere of "Rag Dolly" is Wednesday night at the Children's Musical Theater, a large modern complex in Moscow's Lenin Hills, but the second public performance was this afternoon.

About 1,000 Soviet adults and children packed the hall for the Broadway-style musical, a form of theater that is rare here.

The crowd gave a three-minute standing ovation to Ivy Austin, who plays the red-haired doll, after she sang the title song in Russian. She also received loud applause for translating occasional words into Russian with dramatic asides.

A narrator gave the audience an oral synopsis in Russian before each of the two acts.

"We just loved it, loved it!" said Tamara Derevyanshchikova. "I am only unhappy that I don't speak English. I've never seen a musical before, but I can say that I really like this kind of theater."

Her 12-year-old son, Alyosha, said he wanted to see "lots and lots more" American shows.

A 9-year-old boy named Volodya stood in line for autographs. "I love this American theater," he said. "I especially liked the dolly."

Members of the 90-person troupe caused a sensation at intermission when they passed out letters from schoolchildren in the Albany, N.Y., area and were surrounded by Soviet youngsters eager for American pen pals.

"Rag Dolly" is a production of Albany's Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts. No other troupe has staged it.

William Gibson, author of "The Miracle Worker," wrote the musical and Joe Raposo of "Half a Sixpence" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is the composer.

The Americans say they have had a warm reception. "I haven't been so well taken care of since I left my mother," Raposo said.

Some complained, however, of being unable to mix with Soviet colleagues.

"I get the feeling the Big Eye is on us all the time," said Sam Farkis, one of the American musicians.

Moscow Debut American Troupe Performs On Soviet Stage
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From Inquirer Wire Services
POSTED: January 08, 1986
MOSCOW — An American theater company sang and danced on the Soviet stage before an ebullient audience this week, ending a U.S. boycott of Soviet theater that began in 1979 in response to the invasion of Afghanistan.

Rag Dolly, an American musical reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, opened Monday to a packed house of more than 1,000 people, mostly children, at the Children's Musical Theater. "The singing," said 8-year-old Tanya, a Muscovite, "was just wonderful."

The Soviet news agency Tass concurred, billing the show "a great success." "The travel of American actors across the ocean is a mission of peace and love," it said.

It was the first of eight scheduled Rag Dolly performances here by the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts, a professional theater company

from Albany, N.Y.

The first two performances, Monday and yesterday, were previews; the premiere is tonight.

The show was written by William Gibson, playwright of The Miracle Worker and Two for the Seesaw, and Joe Raposo is the composer. He wrote the music for the plays Half a Sixpence and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Rag Dolly is the first production under the new Soviet-American cultural exchange, signed at the November summit in Geneva between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

"If you were going to start a theater exchange between the two countries," said one Moscow director, "you could not have chosen a safer way to do it."

The play, a story about a young girl suffering from an illness who goes off in search of the doll doctor with a motley entourage of dolls, was performed almost completely in English but adapted for the Soviet stage. The main character is Raggedy Ann, played by Ivy Austin.

Raggedy Ann occasionally turns to the audience for quick translations of words and phrases into Russian, each time drawing smiles and applause from the crowd. At yesterday's show, the crowd gave Austin a three-minute standing ovation.

A narrator gave the audience an oral synopsis in Russian before each of the two acts. The play is full of American colloquialisms, many of which the audience did not seem to understand.

But on the whole, the elaborate costumes and sets and the catchy tunes swept the audience and the troupe along.

Several young Russians left the play singing the Russian version of Raggedy Ann.

"We just loved it, loved it!" said Tamara Derevyanshchikova. "I am only unhappy that I don't speak English. I've never seen a musical before, but I can say that I really like this kind of theater."

Her 12-year-old son, Alyosha, said he wanted to see "lots and lots more" American shows.

Director Patricia Snyder said she began discussing a visit to Moscow two years ago with Natalya Sats, director of the Moscow children's theater.

The arrangements could not be concluded until the new cultural agreement was signed, replacing one that expired in 1979.

Sats will take her company to the United States in June, Snyder said.

Traveling expenses and artists' fees were underwritten by the CBS Broadcast Group, and the Soviet government is paying for the troupe's stay in Moscow. Snyder would not say how much the trip cost.

All the actors are Americans, but half the stage crew and 14 of the 20 musicians are Soviets.

The Americans said they were happy with their reception. "I haven't been so well taken care of since I left my mother," said Raposo, the composer.

Some complained, however, of not being able to mingle with Soviet colleagues.

"I get the feeling the 'big eye' is on us all the time," said Sam Farkis, one of the American musicians.

Actor Gibby Brand said: "I came here to find out how Soviet actors work, how they live, but I haven't had a chance to do that. So far, the only Soviet people I've really talked to are our interpreters."

Raggedy Ann

The Musical Adventure

Nederlander Theatre , (10/16/1986 - 10/19/1986)
First Preview: Oct 03, 1986 Total Previews: 15
Opening Date: Oct 16, 1986
Closing Date: Oct 19, 1986 Total Performances: 5

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway
Setting: A New York Riverfront. Sometime Earlier This Century.

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Messrs. Nederlander
Produced by Jon Silverman Associates, Ltd., The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts (Patricia B. Snyder, Producing Director) and Donald K. Donald; Produced in association with CBS
Originally produced for the stage by Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts (Patricia B. Snyder, Producing Director); Producing Consultant: Alan Wasser
Book by William Gibson; Music by Joe Raposo; Lyrics by Joe Raposo; Dance arrangements by Louis St. Louis; Music orchestrated by Stan Applebaum; Musical Director: Ross Allen and Roy Rogosin
Directed by Patricia Birch; Choreographed by Patricia Birch; Assistant Choreographer: Helena Andreyko
Scenic Design by Gerry Hariton and Vicki Baral; Costume Design by Carrie Robbins; Lighting Design by Marc B. Weiss; Sound Design by Abe Jacob; Hair Design by Hiram Ortiz; Make-Up Design by Hiram Ortiz; Assistant Lighting Design: Susan A. White
General Manager: Ralph Roseman; Company Manager: Marion Finkler
Production Stage Manager: Peggy Peterson; Technical Director: Jeremiah J. Harris Associates; Stage Manager: Franklin Keysar and Amy Pell
Musical Supervisor: Louis St. Louis; Conducted by Ross Allen; Assistant Conductor: Lawrence Yurman
Flying by Foy; Special Effects by Joseph Lynch
Casting: Johnson-Liff Associates and Albert Tavares; General Press Representative: Shirley Herz Associates; Assistant to the Director: Helena Andreyko; Dance Captain: Steve Owsley; Advertising: Serino, Coyne & Nappi; Poster Design by Winslow Pinney Pels
In fond memory of Larry Ropp
Joel Aroeste Camel with the Wrinkled Knees
Elizabeth Austin Mommy
Ivy Austin Raggedy Ann
Joe Barrett Doctor
Gail Benedict Bat
Melinda Buckley Ensemble
Leo Burmester General D.
Gregory Butler Ensemble
Anny De Gange Ensemble
Dick Decareau Doctor
Susann Fletcher Ensemble
Michaela Hughes Ensemble
Carolyn Marble Baby Doll
Bob Morrisey Poppa
Steve Owsley Ensemble
Lisa Rieffel Marcella
Richard Ryder Doctor
Scott Schafer Raggedy Andy
Michelan Sisti Panda
Gordon Weiss Wolf
Andrea Wright Ensemble
Swings: Helena Andreyko (Swing) and Kenneth Boys (Swing)
Understudies: Joe Barrett (Wolf), Kenneth Boys (Panda, Raggedy Andy), Melinda Buckley (Bat), Sara Carbone (Marcella), Anny De Gange (Mommy), Dick Decareau (Poppa), Susann Fletcher (Raggedy Ann), Steve Owsley (Doctor), Richard Ryder (Camel with the Wrinkled Knees), Gordon Weiss (General D.) and Andrea Wright (Baby Doll)

U.s. Troupe Travels To Russia With Love
Moscow Meets Raggedy Ann
January 10, 1986|By Thom Shanker, Chicago Tribune.

MOSCOW — They are the newest emissaries from America: an ailing young girl, a camel with wrinkled knees, an assortment of witches and bats and other bad guys, and a doll made of rags.

They received an extended standing ovation Wednesday night, in the premiere performance of the first U.S.-Soviet cultural exchange made possible by the Geneva summit.

Delivering a universal lesson that love is the antidote to death`s terror, the troupe performed a new musical entitled "Rag Dolly," a Broadway- style rendition of the Raggedy Ann story.

The three-hour musical has ideal ingredients to inform Soviet audiences about American theater.

It was written by William Gibson, noted for his drama "The Miracle Worker." Another of his works, "Two for the Seesaw," is, coincidentally, playing in Russian at a Moscow theater.

Music and lyrics for "Rag Dolly" were written by Joe Raposo, who has composed songs for such American cultural giants as Frank Sinatra and Kermit the Frog.

"What a reception!" Raposo said after the actors completed their half-dozen curtain calls. Flowers were scattered across the stage, delivered by young children in the standard conclusion to all Moscow theater presentations. Tickets for the eight-performance run are being distributed at the box office and through schools, said officials of the Natalya Sats Children`s Music Theater, which will bring its company to the U.S. next summer.

During the performance, actors deliver certain key phrases in Russian, and a synopsis of the play is recited in Russian at the beginning of each act. "We feel an awesome responsibility, being the first cultural exchange to the Soviet Union," said Patricia Snyder, producing director for the Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts (ESIPA).

Although ESIPA, based in Albany, N.Y., is a privately funded dramatic theater, future American cultural offerings to the Soviet Union will be underwritten by the U.S. government.

Snyder described artistic exchanges as "preventive medicine" for bilateral affairs, adding, "We are here to build a cultural bridge."

While the cast is entirely American, the orchestra and technical crews have Americans and Soviet citizens working side by side.

At last Saturday`s rehearsal, Raposo was busy explaining to the Soviet musicians how it is natural for Raggedy Ann`s melodies to flow seamlessly from cornball country to ragtime to mariachi to jazz.

"That`s Broadway style," he said. "It`s eclectic. It`s exciting. It changes every 16 bars."

There was no comprehension gap Tuesday night, when Raposo gave a semiprivate recital to 200 theater guests. His repertoire included melodies he composed for "Sesame Street" and "The Muppets."

Raposo, a four-time Grammy award winner commissioned to compose the official anthem for the Statue of Liberty centennial restoration, also performed his popular "(Sing a) Song."

After his show, Raposo, was surrounded by Russian schoolchildren. The children sang songs they had been taught in English, including Woody Guthrie`s "This Land Is Your Land" and the gospel-cum-protest standard "We Shall Overcome."

For cast member Joel Aroeste, who plays the camel with wrinkled knees, a performance in "Rag Dolly" was a return to the Moscow stage. He played the cowardly lion in a 1974 exchange of "The Wizard of Oz."

"I had just gotten out of school, and that was my first professional theater job," he said. "I got paid about three rubles a day," which equals approximately $3.90.

Although the story of Dorothy`s adventures in Oz is better known in the Soviet Union than Raggedy Ann`s sojourn to save the life of young Marcella in "Rag Dolly," Aroeste said the language barrier presents few problems.

"If a play is well acted, the audience can get a great deal of pleasure, if not the nuance," he said.

Even so, Russian phrase books appeared to be standard issue among the cast, crew and musicians, although few said they had much time for sightseeing before Wednesday`s opening.

Scott Schafer, a native of Hazel Crest, Ill., whose Chicago theater credits include "Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up?" plays Raggedy Andy to Ivy Austin`s Raggedy Ann. His time in the Soviet Union has been "fabulous," he said, and Soviet audiences--for this production--have been more receptive than hometown crowds.

"All you have to do is say your one word in Russian, and you get an ovation," he said. After Wednesday night`s extended applause, he added,

"It`s never been like this."

That the 72-member ESIPA production became the first U.S.-Soviet cultural exchange is a tribute to producer Snyder`s stamina and to the precedence given children`s theater in the Soviet Union.

Snyder said her first contacts with the Soviet Ministry of Culture were made during a 1972 international theater festival that brought productions from 50 nations to New York.

She produced the 1974 "Wizard of Oz" performances in Moscow and was instrumental in bringing the Sats theater to the U.S. in 1977 and 1978.

Plans for additional theater exchanges were canceled by decaying bilateral relations in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

When President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev completed their November summit in Geneva, the two sides formally agreed to expand cultural, educational and scientific exchanges.

"After the agreement was signed, there was a lot of talk about what would be first," Snyder said. "`They decided it would be a show for kids."

More stuff:
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1 ... 82,2745243
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby VinnieRattolle » Sun Jun 09, 2013 2:53 am

"Raggedy Ann & Andy" was unquestionably my favorite animated movie when I was a kid, cuz it's so weird and wild -- and there wasn't anything else quite like it. From an adult perspective, some of the songs are grating (though I always hated "Poor Babbette"), the animation is tragically inconsistent, and there's virtually no character development (excluding The Captain), but there's many mind-boggling visuals (best viewed in widescreen -- thanks, guys!) and such depravity running rampant under the surface that it's still entertaining.

But the Gibson play... now that really piques my adult curiosity because it sounds like the depravity wasn't lurking under the surface, it was center stage for all to see -- and God, I wish I could see it! (...though again, some of the songs are abysmal.) Ken Mandelbaum, the theatre critic who wrote "Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops" (in which "Raggedy Ann" was briefly mentioned -- how I found out about it to begin with) was notorious for showing up at plays with a bulky camcorder and tripod in tow (since he was an influential critic, no one stopped him), so there was at least one Broadway performance captured on video... but he's also known for not sharing the tapes with anyone. When he dies, whoever inherits his stuff will be sitting on a bootleg goldmine, and here's hoping that tape still exists and gets out!

I posted the demos on You Tube a few weeks ago and went looking for more info on the play that virtually nobody knew existed... but I didn't find all that stuff that you found! Thanks to our shared obsessive trait, Garrett, there's little doubt I'll wind up starting a Wikipedia page soon... and I'll wind up getting that other recording that someone shared on imdb (which I'm certain I had at one time, but I can't find). Since you're even more obsessive about contacting people than I am, I probably should point out that Lisa Rieffel, who played Marcella in the Broadway version, continued acting in movies and TV (she's probably best known as the youngest daughter on "Empty Nest") and now she's got a band called Killola. Looks like she's pretty easy to find online.

A 1981 copyright on the Patricia Thackray version? Weird that it isn't mentioned in any of the press for the Gibson version. I wouldn't have even known it existed if I hadn't been looking for info on the latter. And if that dog creature in the photos is supposed to be the Camel... well, the costume is even sadder than the emo Camel himself!
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Shamanic Shaymin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 5:02 am

I remember reading more excerpts of the Patricia Thackray version somewhere long ago, I think on a preview of the book. There's yet another obscure Raggedy Ann musical, this time from the 1920s:

http://www.emovieposter.com/agallery/ar ... 86712.html

"Johnny Gruelle, the creator of Raggedy Ann, was a fan of Fred Stone and L. Frank Baum. Gruelle wrote a scenario for a stage show, which was never produced, in which the Scarecrow of Oz, played by Fred Stone, met Raggedy Ann. When stars Fred and his daughter Dorothy Stone loped onstage as Raggedy Ann and Andy in the 1923 Broadway musical "Stepping Stones," Gruelle's little rag dolls were an instant hit. By 1924, "Stepping Stones" was playing to capacity crowds across the U.S., and Raggedy Ann and Andy had endeared themselves to an avid, theater-going audience. The production's catchy songs, written by Anne Caldwell and Jerome Kern, were published as sheet music and even inspired a fashionable foxtrot-style dance known as "the Raggedy Ann." All this activity gave an added boost to already-brisk sales of Gruelle's books and dolls.

Like other children's authors before him (including L. Frank Baum of Oz fame), Gruelle relished seeing his book characters brought to life on the stage. However, "Stepping Stones" was neiher the first nor the last time the Raggedys were invited to star in a theater production.

Less than a year after Raggedy Ann had made her 1918 book debut, Joseph M. Gates had approached Gruelle, asking him to consider a Raggedy Ann musical. "Stepping Stones" grew from this seed, and following its success, Gruelle would continue to receive requests to use his Raggedy characters in everything from elaborate stage productions to modest puppet plays. He usually granted permission.

Where the Volland Company was concerned, however, Gruelle was more protective. Having agreed to share dramatic and moving picture rights with Volland for anything based on his Raggedy Ann Stories, Gruelle wisely retained exclusively for himself the rights to all subsequent Raggedy Ann and Andy books. Gruelle remained hopeful that he would someday collaborate with a famous composer to create the quintessential Raggedy Ann stage production." ~Raggedy Ann and More: Johnny Gruelle's Dolls and Merchandise by Patricia Hall. p. 78

Jerome Kern is best known today for "Show Boat" and songs such as "Ol' Man River", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", and "The Way You Look Tonight."

I can't find anything else about "Stepping Stone" other than it's supposed to be a comedic take on "Little Red Riding Hood," but I managed to find music files for the "Raggedy Ann" song:


I'm looking forward to seeing that Wiki page, Vinnie!
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby VinnieRattolle » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:49 am

Three stage plays? Wow, that raggedy little girl sure got around! As for the Wikipedia page, nothing bugs me more than when I have to dig for information, and the plays are pretty obscure. Since we now have a wealth of info right here in one place, might as well put it to use by streamlining it.

And since we seem to be building a little Raggedy-Archive in this thread, I figured I’d add the song lyrics, starting with the ones from the movie. I’m shocked that the words to “Blue” aren’t simple to find (though that’s thanks in part to Leann Rimes and Eiffel 65), and most of the lyrics don’t seem to be posted anywhere online. I went off the LP, which features longer versions of several songs, and was iffy in a few instances (most notably the pirate songs), so I denoted those lyrics with a (?). Again, here's that download:


Garrett, if someone has a lyric correction and I don’t catch it ( :thief: I’m schizo and it’s your site!), you’re welcome to edit this monstrous post.

So I now present: Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure song lyrics!
(Have to make it easy for googlers!)


Where’d you go?
Where’d you go?
What did you do and why?
Tell us what you saw, dear Raggedy!
We’re so, oh so curious we could die!


Most times it’s only the simple everyday things,
Like ribbon bows or puppies and boys or games to play on swings.
But sometimes, hanging upside down from Marcella’s hand,
By myself I see a very special land.

I look and what do I see?
Looking out with two brand-new shoebutton eyes, here’s what appears to me:
I see lots of pretty, and a lot of happy,
And a bit of everything that’s there inside of me!

I look and what do I see?
From a head all filled with thread and linen in a raggy jamboree,
I see lots of smiling and a lot of singing,
And a lot of something else that no one else can see!

Lots of butterflies in the air,
Lots of honeycomb everywhere,
All the pretty things we could share

I look and what do I see?
It’s a face as smiling and as hopeful as my own face has to be.
Sing something pretty, all lit up and shining,
Sing something everyone could be if they were me.
When I look, that’s what I see!

You really see it that way?
Just that lovely?
With the butterflies in the air?
Every single day?
With the honeycomb everywhere?
With a happiness we could share,

I look and what do I see?
It’s a face as smiling and as hopeful as I know a face could be!
Sing something pretty, all lit up and shining;
Sing something everyone could be the same as me!
When I look
When I look
When I look
When I look
That’s what I see!


What’s in the box?
What’s in the box?
Gotta find out what’s in the box!


Well, you can push me, shove me, turn me around, but I’m no girl’s toy!
You can tie me, toss me, upside or down, but I’m no girl’s toy!
I sing my own sweet melody, I go my own sweet way.
I won’t beg ‘round tomorrow for the kind of affection that was free today!

Oh, you can squeeze me, tease me; say I’m your own but I’m no girl’s toy!
You can charm me, chase me, follow me home; I won’t be coy!
You may not like it much but I’m my own best boy,
And not some sugar and spicy, lacy and nicey, sissy you’re gonna enjoy!
No, I’m no girl’s toy!

[Dialogue sequence]

You’re just crazy!
I’m no girl’s toy!
Maybe lazy.
Watch it, sister.

You say I’m heaps of trouble and I’m headin’ for a fall,
Well no rag, no bow, no hank a hair
Is gonna make me do what I don’t wanna do at all!
So squeeze me, tease me; say I’m your own but I’m no girl’s toy!
Oh, charm me, chase me, follow me home… forget it, sweetie!
You may not like it much but I’m my own best boy,
And not some sugar and spicy, lacy and nicey, sissy you’re gonna enjoy!
No, I’m no girl’s toy!
Not me!


All of us live in the nursery,
All of us different as we can be.
Some of us plump, some of us thin,
Some who are sad and some who always grin.

Everyone here to welcome you,
And all I want to say is really simple, plain and true.
I’m just a rag dolly, happy and smilin’ all day,
A little rag dolly, wishing your worries away.
I stop and say, “Golly, this is too good to be true,
A little rag dolly, plain as can be, has a friend who’s as lovely as you.”

She’s just a rag dolly, happy and smilin’ all day,
A lovey rag dolly, wishin’ your worries away.
And I get so jolly, knowing it’s funny but true,
A little rag dolly, sweet as can be, could be friends with a dolly like you.

She’s just a rag dolly, happy and smilin’ all day.
A little rag dolly, wishin’ your worries away.
And we say, “Oh golly, this is too good to be true,
A lovey rag dolly, sweet as can be, has a friend who’s as lovely as you.”


Poor Babette, poor Babette, so far from Paris.
Poor Babette, can’t you see how miserable she can be?
Like a bird in a cage with no wing to go free,
Ah Babette, poor Babette, that’s me.

Always she dreams of the life by the sand.
I do not think she will see Paris again.
Poor Babette, now she tries to be happy and gay.
But Babette has no way to get away,
So Babette, poor Babette, will stay.


A miracle, everything I’ve waited for!
Now at last my lonely heart has found the shore!
A miracle, all I’ve been (?) has come to me!
My true love, I’ve found my heart’s no more at sea!

Precious blessing from above!
Ah, sweet mystery of love!

A miracle, sharing paradise with me!
Now at last, my love, the fates will intertwine!
The miracle, all I’ve been has come to me!
My true love, I’ve found my heart’s no more at sea!
Sweet miracle, at last you’re mine!


Pullin’ me hardies away!
Put ‘em to sea today!
Hi-yo! Hi-yo?
Hi-yo! Hi-yo!
Hi-yo! Hi-yo!
Hi-yo! Hi-yo!
Hi-yo! Hi-yo?

Hi-yo, for the life of a pirate!
Trim the mizzen and shiver the timbers and hoist the main!
Hi-yo for the life of a pirate!
We’ll be many a moon ‘til soon we’re seen again!

Think of all the people tremblin’ to the core,
Their backbones turn to jelly and faces slag,
Knowing all the terrible looting and plundering that’s in store,
The minute we tie (?) the ocean and attack.

Hi-yo, for the life of a pirate!
Pound the compass and scan the lanyard from here to the Caribbea
Oh, the pirate life’s the only life for me!

Hi-yo, for the life of a pirate!
Trim the mizzen and shiver the timbers and hoist the main!
Hi-yo for the life of a pirate!
We’ll be many a moon ‘til soon we’re seen again!

Think of all the people tremblin’ to the core,
Their backbones turn to jelly and faces slag,
Knowing all the terrible looting and plundering that’s in store,
The minute we tie the ocean and attack…


Really scary! Really scary!
Deep, deep woods get really scary-ee!


Times when you’re real down and low,
Every lonely place I go,
There's a way I always know
We're always together.

Paper daisies to explain,
Sunshine always follows rain,
And a heart that's sweet and true will help us weather the weather.
That's what keeps us together.

Candy hearts and paper flowers,
Sunshine days and skies of blue,
Rhymes and songs we sing for hours,
Words to say I love you true.

Times get bad and then I worry
How I'll ever see it through.
But candy hearts and paper flowers
Will always keep me close to you,
Will always keep me close to you.

[Dialogue sequence]

If the night is gloomy and I'd like to hide
Or a chill goes through me cuz I'm scared inside,
That's when I remember all the things you've done,
Little things that warm me like a morning sun.
And I feel so happy, don't you see,
Cuz I start to thinkin’ just how much you mean to me
(Oh, Andrew, that’s nice.)
So let the night get gloomy any place I go.
I got you beside me, that's a fact you should know.
It's because I love you so!

If the night is gloomy and I'd like to hide
(Candy hearts and paper flowers)
Or a chill goes through me cuz I'm scared inside
(Sunshine days and skies of blue)
That's when I remember all the things you've done
(Rhymes and songs we sing for hours)
Little things that warm me like a morning sun
(Words to say I love you true)
And I feel so happy, don't you see
(Times get bad but I don’t worry)
Cuz I start to thinkin’ just how much you mean to me
(Cuz I know you’ll see me through)
So let the night get gloomy any place I go
(And candy hearts and paper flowers)
I got you beside me, that's a fact you should know
(Will always keep me close to you)
It's because I love you so
(Candy hearts and paper flowers)
Will always keep me close to you


When you can’t find a friend,
And the road doesn’t seem to end,
And you’re lonesome the whole day through,
How can you be happy?
How can you be smilin’?
How can you be anything but low-down, saggy and blue?

When there’s nothin’ to share,
And you don’t have a dime to spare,
And there’s no one to comfort you,
How can you be smilin’?
How can you be singin’?
How can you be anythin’ but low-down, saggy and blue?

I look around and see the sweet life everywhere,
I watch the cookie bushes shinin’ in the sun.
The smell of sweet vanilla livin’ blows in every breath of air.
Doesn’t anybody want me? Doesn’t anybody care?

When you’re wrinkled and cold,
And your fortune has all been told,
And you’re nobody’s I-love-you,
How can you be happy?
How can you be smilin’?
How can you be anything but low-down, saggy and blue?
Sad but true!
How can you be happy?
How can you be singin’?
How can you be anything but low-down, saggy,
And ragbag-baggy
And blue?


Home, oh home, we’re going home.
To paradise, we’re calling you.
Ho-ome! Ho-ome! Home!
Ho-ome! Ho-ome! Home!


You can give me candy, cotton candy, chocolate bar or lollipop.
Fill me up on ice cream, dripping fudge sauce, butterscotch and nuts that never stop!
Feed me gobs and gushes of your most de-luscious stuff,
But without a sweetheart, I never get enough.

Oh, squash me a banana drowned in jelly, tutti-fruity by the score,
Marzipan and pastry drenched in butter, caramel and gingerbread galore!
I can gorge forever but I’m just an empty shell,
And without a sweetheart, I don’t feel so well.

[Dialogue sequence]

I cannot go on living like this, oozing!
Where’s the sugarpop to stop this misery? Oh, Oozing!
Is this endless eating all there is to be… or not to be?

Melt me a tortoni, zabaoni, glazed with soggy halivah!
Peanut butter custard, baked Alaska, miracles of food from near and far!
There’s not one delight I haven’t tried, but life’s too rough,
Cuz without a sweetheart, I never get enough.
Never get enough.
Never get enough.


The reason that I… is cuz I love you!
The reason that I… is cuz I care!
And every mad invention I bring to your attention
Is just to show how much I need you there!

The fact that I go… means I adore you!
I’ll show you every crazy way I do!
You may be all a tatters, but laughter’s all that matters,
And that’s how I love you!


Hail to our glorious king!
Hail to a glorious man!
Hail glorious anything!
But especially hail the king!

Hail to our glorious king!
Hail to a glorious man!
Hail glorious anything!
But especially hail the king!


It’s not easy being king when you’re short.
It’s not easy being big when you’re small.
It’s impossible to be lord of everything you see
When you’re down so far you can’t see far at all!

But who could ever be the boss when he’s teeny?
No, your life’s a total loss when you’re a runt.
Oh, just think what I could do if I was big like you,
And I didn’t have to put up all this front.

Imagine me, an enormous king.
How they’d bow, how they’d cheer.
I’d be the emperor of everything,
But now they hardly know I’m even here!

I can never hope to lead, I’m just a grump.
Did Napoleon succeed? Don’t be dumb.
And if he was here, you’d see he was tall compared to me!
I can hardly stand myself, do you know why?
It’s not easy being king when you’re short!
And I could die!


Topsail rigged!
Mainsail jibbed!
Many bumps and oars! (?)
Sails trimmed and mizzened, Captain Babette!

That’s the spirit boys!
Soon we will be in Paris and I will show you some real high life!

Hooray for me, Babette of Gay Paris!
Hooray for me, I’m Captain now, you see!
Hooray for she, Babette of Gay Paris!
What joy! What glee!
We’re headed, we’re headed for Paris!

Hooray for she, Babette of Gay Paris!
Hooray for she, she’s Captain now, you see!
Hooray for she, Babette of Gay Paris!
What joy! What glee!
We’re headed, we’re headed for Paris!


You’re my friend
You’re my friend
I like you
I like you
I like you
I like you
Cuz you’re my friend
You’re my friend
Through thick and thin
Thick and thin
You’re my friend
You’re my friend
Lose or win
Lose or win
To the end
To the end
To the end
To the end

I’m your friend
I’m your friend
You like me
You like me
You like me
You like me
Cuz I’m your friend
Cuz I’m your friend

And when my voyage ends
And one last time I sail to sea
You’ll be with me
You’ll be with me
Cuz you’re my friend
Polly want a cracker


Quiet fireside, doors that open wide,
Smiles to welcome me home!
Hands to take my hand, hearts to understand
What it means to be home!

All the wandering and the wondering, where would I find
That little world of love I saw so clear in my mind?
Now it’s here at last, all my troubles past,
Never more I’ll have to roam!
I’m home! I’m home.

All the happiness with those you care for
When you finally know what you’re there for,
And it’s wonderful how suddenly you’re
In the place where you belong.

All the sharing to make life worth living,
And the pleasure you get cuz you’re givin’.
Ain’t it wonderful how all at once you’re
Where you wished for all along?

Quiet fireside
(All the happiness with those you care for)
Doors that open wide
(When you finally know what you’re there for)
Smiles to welcome me
(And it’s wonderful how suddenly you’re)
(In the place where you belong)

Hands to take my hand
(All the sharing to make life worth living)
Hearts to understand
(And the pleasure you get cuz you’re givin’)
What it means to be
(Ain’t it wonderful how all at once you’re)
(Where you wished for all along)

All the wandering and the wondering and now I know
I’m holding something real and I won’t ever let go!
Now you’re here at last, all your troubles past,
Never more you’ll have to roam!
You’re home!
I’m home!

Times get bad but I don’t worry
Cuz I know you’d see me through.
And candy hearts and paper flowers
Will always keep me close to you,
Will always keep me close to you.

Lyrics to Raggedy Ann: The Broadway Musical coming soon!
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Sun Jun 09, 2013 3:48 pm

Here's a Killola video with Lisa Rieffel [play Marcella]:

She's on Twitter but I'm not sure she'll get my tweet. Hm.

Ivy Austin [play Raggedy Ann] replied to me on FB but waiting for a proper email from her.

Since the 1923 Broadway musical "Stepping Stones" starred Fred Stone and his daughter Dorothy Stone, it's fair to say it was probably a musical/dancing revue designed to show off their talents, and that there was probably only one number where they appeared as Raggedy Ann & Andy.

The 2009 local-theater Potomac production was clearly adapted from the movie, but early newspaper articles credited it to Gibson/Raposo, suggesting that they considered producing the original play before producing a version of the film instead. It's possible that Lynn Sharp Spears never had a copy of the Gibson/Raposo script. It's possible that she tried to order it and got the film's screenplay instead. I'm waiting to hear back about that one. It's not a bad idea to adapt the movie to a local-theater stage.
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Shamanic Shaymin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:06 pm

Yeah, I didn't find much on Ann & Andy in "Stepping Stones," so it's likely that they were the Ensemble Darkhorse of the production.

Always she dreams of the life by the sand.

"Sand" is actually "Seine," referring to the River Seine. :)
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Shamanic Shaymin » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:26 pm

While we're still on the movie, Michael Sporn was an assistant animation supervisor for Raggedy Ann and has posted a lot of his experiences working on the film on his blog, including notes, photographs, and model sheets. He was also close friends with Tissa David, who animated Ann herself.

http://www.michaelspornanimation.com/sp ... mit=Search

- Last week, I posted a stash of photos taken by John Canemaker for the book he wrote called, “The Animated Raggedy Ann and Andy.”

John Canemaker took all the photos, himself, which led to a more intimate look at an animated film. There were no photo decisions by committee; it was decided to use a photo if it told the story John was trying to relay. For that reason, the book really is one of the best “Art of . . .” type books on the market. (I’m not just saying that because there were photos of me in there – though that would be a good reason, too.)

The book was as exciting – in the making – as was the film. Too bad at the last minute the train of a film ran wildly off the tracks. In a way, I wish the book were written after the film was completed so that we could read the true story of what happened in those last six months of chaos.

The decision was slow in growing and fast when it finally fell, that the movie was enormously over budget. I was in on all the morning production meetings where managers and supervisors and directors would all meet. Those had started off nicely, at the beginning of the film, and went insanely wrong before long. There was the time when I was ordered to fire – that day – two inbetweeners. I was told that we had to give the staff a lesson that they had to work harder. (That might have been hard to do since everyone was giving it their all.) It so happened that one new inbetweener, on her first scene, ignored my instructions (and her immediate supervisor’s) by erasing all of Jack Schnerk‘s drawings. She felt she could animate the scene better, and she set out to prove that.

One down. The second person to fire was someone I was told (by Dick Williams, himself,) that I had to fire. It was obvious that there was a personality conflict since the guy was a great artist and definitely someone who should have stayed on. I was able to arrange for him to be switched to the BG department, thus fired by me from doing inbetweens and hired by them, in the same day, to do watercolors. He continues on, even today, working at a top position in design at Blue Sky. I don’t know about the woman, but I hope she gained a little humility that day 30-something years ago. That story didn’t make it into the book.

What there was in the production was a great first year of production where the art of animation was treated in its highest form. We were all out to make the greatest film of all time and bring it to the big screen. We had some of animation’s finest animators gathered to work on it. Assistants and Inbetweeners in New York were offered classes, after hours, which tried to teach animation to the new. With teachers like Tissa David and Art Babbitt and more experienced Assistants; a lot was conveyed. I was usually too busy to make it to many of these classes, but I always kept a close eye on what was taught. It really was fun and incredibly valuable to many of us.

At some point along the way, the LA studio was closed and key people from there came here. All of our space was overcrowded and uncomfortable. The Xeroxing in NY, a sweet grey line that took a while to construct, was replaced by a thick back line, when management sent work to Hanna-Barbera to outsource the xerography and some of the painting. Shadows were eliminated. Color copiers were rented. Scenes that had been animated in a non-photo blue pencil on 16 fld paper were being copied and reduced, at the same time, in B&W so that they could use 12 fld cels to color the art. A penny saved is a penny gained; I guess. This meant that a number of my inbetweeners were used to put 4 sets of crosses on the animation drawings so that there’d be some form of registration on the reduced artwork. Certainly the registration went all to hell in the process, thus allowing the latter half of the film to have a lot of slippage on the big screen. Lots of weaving animation in scenes that were rushed.

Emery Hawkins‘ amazing taffy pit took a big hit when it was animated more like a limited animation movie. All that beautiful rolling motion Emery had created on the cinemascope screen suddenly hits the wall and stasis sets in. The film was never going to be a classic of the silver screen, but it should have been a hell of a lot better.

By the lime “Raggedy Ann and Andy” was completed, and ready for release by 20lh Century Fox more than five years had passed from the date on which Osterman and Horner first solicited the rights from Bobbs-Merrill. More than two years had been spent in production.

Richard Williams summed up the feelings of everyone involved by quoting Johnny Gruelle. “It does pay to do more work than you are paid for, after all,” Gruelle once told an interviewer. “Someone, somewhere, sometime will see it and appreciate it.”
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:36 am

Myself: I'm looking for more info on the Raggedy Ann musical (a script?) I run an archive dedicated to animator Richard Williams...

Lisa Rieffel [play Marcella]: I don’t have one, I’m sorry! Best of luck tho!
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Re: Raggedy Ann & Andy Thread

Postby Garrett Gilchrist » Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:19 pm

Here are the soundtrack MP3s we have ... a recreation of the Raggedy Ann & Andy 1977 film's soundtrack LP, and three sets of demos of the songs from the Raposo/Gibson Broadway musical.
https://mega.co.nz/#!lEkVmC5K!CjDvX2X_h ... I7TV3Emtgs
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