Full Length Musical
120 minutes (2 hours)
Time Period - Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
Settings Of Play - The Frog Pad, a friendly watering hole in the south Georgia town of Tippo. Much loved over the years, its walls show the passage of time in music posters, old instruments, quirky signs and the like. Flexible design allows the Frog Pad to become the courtroom and other locales, and its denizens to become courtroom characters.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Audience Participation/Interactive, Physical Comedy
Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set
Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
Mild Adult Themes, No Special Cautions
Appropriate for all audiences, Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)
High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Outdoor, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
The People vs. Mona is a love story, murder mystery, courtroom shenanigans, fate-of-a-small-town-hanging-on-the-verdict musical.For professional companies: seven actor/singers play all the roles in a multicultural cast, accompanied by three onstage musicians. For high schools, colleges, and community theatre: the cast may be expanded by having one actor in each witness role, and a chorus of townspeople in the larger numbers.The music combines folk, blues, gospel, jazz, rock, musical comedy, school anthem, marching band and bossa nova with a theatrical sensibility.
Mona Mae Katt, a third-generation Latina-American, owns the Frog Pad, the long-time musical heart of Tippo, GA, a town in need of a plan to revive itself. She is accused of killing C.C. Katt, recording studio operator and her husband of ten hours, by hitting him over the head with her Stratocaster guitar. She is defended by Jim Summerford, a Southern gentleman who’s never won a case against prosecutor and Mayoral candidate Mavis Frye—his fiancé. As Jim tries to prove Mona’s innocence, he becomes attracted to her, and Mavis ups the stakes: she wants to convict Mona, marry Jim, take office, tear down the Frog Pad, and put up a Casino—bringing in bucks, but taking away Tippo’s artistic and social traditions in the process. And if Mona is found guilty, the odds are Mavis will get her way.
Several of the actors play multiple roles in a parade of witnesses on the way to a sequence of surprise endings. MONA manages to combine a love triangle, courtroom drama, and character-driven comedy in an original book musical, with a light-hearted message about the importance of cultural heritage in America’s towns. Keep the Frog Pad alive!
More artwork images for The People Vs. Mona are available for groups licensed for this show! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“A diverting musical confection by Jim Wann and Patricia Miller. Mr. Wann was the main composer of ‘Pump Boys And Dinettes,’ a theatrical phenomenon that won the hearts of audiences around the world. (‘Mona’) captures the same spirit of good-natured down-home fun. There is something for everybody!” – The New York Times
“Plenty of laughs! The jaunty score has a strong country feel but also displays plenty of musical variety. Consistently inventive!” – The New York Post
“Delivers a HOOTIN’ good time! Book and score are all of a piece. Cheerfully endearing!” – Variety
“A three-piece onstage band keeps the trial scenes thumping, and each member of the spunky ensemble (some in multiple roles) gets a moment in the Southern sun.” – The New Yorker
"The authors soon had me figuratively tappin' my toes at Tippo...The piece is a cascade of laughs; down-home corn, yes, but funny. This is very much reflected in Wann's happy and freewheeling score...And let us simultaneously recommend it to producers and directors looking for unassuming, small-scale musical crowd-pleasers that aren't overexposed." -- On The Record by Steven Suskin, Playbill.com
“Infectious tunes! (And compared to ‘Pump Boys’) a different, fuller meal, served with just as much down-home sweetness and extra helpings of story line.” – BackStage
“This off-Broadway property has potential legs! A bouncy country and western musical with blues and show tunes thrown in. Tasty gumbo!” – Time Out NY
“Theatres coast to coast will likely soon be producing it.” – Variety (L.A.)
“MONA wins on appeal.” – The Los Angeles Times
“Fresh, funny, unpretentious musical theatre.” – Hollywood Reporter
RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER
Representing the New South on Stage: THE PEOPLE VS. MONA Offers a Fresh Take
by Daniel Jones
July 19, 2012
THE PEOPLE VS. MONA was presented by the Pasadena Playhouse (Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director) in a world premiere production, March 12, 2000. The book co-author was Ernest Chambers and the director was Paul Lazarus.
Several small-cast professional productions, and large-scale university and amateur productions followed, culminating in MONA's New York limited run off-Broadway, presented by GROUND UP Productions, July 14-August 4, 2007. Kate Middleton was the Artistic Director and Director.