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From Chelsea in Wichita:
A while back I played in the orchestra pit for a high school production of the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. And I must say, for being a highschool group they performed it very well. After the last performance I realized that The Scarlet Pimpernel had become one of my favorite musicals. (Personally I would rather watch a production of The Scarlet Pimpernel than the movie "Titanic"). Anyway, I have bits and pieces of the songs and dialogue still stuck in my head. I frequently find myself reciting some of the dialogue or humming or singing some of the songs. I have looked on the internet several times for the exact script and score used in the performance I played for, but there are so many variations I don't know which one it is. Is there any way of finding out which version I should be looking for, and where I can find it?

Thursday, 13 October 2005

Dear Chelsea,

I am so sorry it's taken me this long to answer your question. If you can believe it, both of my daughters got married this past year and I've been so busy with weddings that I haven't answered any letters. As to your question, the only people who have the official script of The Scarlet Pimpernel are the publishers at Tams-Witmark. When a theatre or a school (such as the high school you mentioned) produces The Scarlet Pimpernel, they must first pay royalties to Tams, and in return they are sent copies of the original script and score. Tams is the only organization legally licensed to provide the accurate and final script and score of the show. If you see any other version, be skeptical. As you mentioned, there were many versions of the show and I'm sure by now other people have fiddled or tampered with it on the web in some way or another. Do not pay any attention to any script you see on the web - it would be unauthorized, illegal and undoubtedly inaccurate. Perhaps you could borrow an official script from someone at the high school where you played in the orchestra. Lastly, I just want to say that I am highly flattered that you'd rather watch The Scarlet Pimpernel than the movie "Titanic" - I view "Titanic" as quite a riveting epic, and so I take this as a very nice compliment. Thanks so much for writing, Chelsea, and again I apologize for the delay.


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