Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  5m, 1f

"Combine Monty Python and Tex Ritter, and you get a bloody funny singing buckaroo!" - Herald News

"Beautiful harmony...sparkling energy...exquisitely timed...an endearing production." - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    90 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce, Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Whoa, Brittania! Panic at the BBC! The year is 1944, America's favorite singing cowboy Tex Riley and his troupe are late for a special broadcast at the BBC in London. Out of desperation, Mabel, their tour manager, and Miles, the frantic young producer, grab whomever they can — a snobby announcer, an amiable sound man, a passing soap opera actor — slap them into costume, hand them scripts (after all, it's radio!) and shove them in front of the studio audience. The resulting performance is one England will never forget.

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Reviews

"Combine Monty Python and Tex Ritter, and you get a bloody funny singing buckaroo!" - Herald News

"Beautiful harmony...sparkling energy...exquisitely timed...an endearing production." - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, One of 2005's Top 10

"...ropes in the audience with plenty of laughs." - The San Diego Union-Tribune, Critics Choice

"Winning performances!" - Los Angeles Times

"...a rootin' tootin' good time... as wholesomely western as a festival of Gene Autry movies." - North County Times

"Just the ticket to take away the blues." - KPBS, San Diego

"Opening night standing ovation!" - The San Diego Reader

"...a hoot...entertaining hoedown." - Seattle Times, Critics' Pick Best Bets

"...rustles up a stampede of old-time radio nostalgia and campy humor." - Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"… you’ll find yourself humming along and laughing as sagebrush and longhorns join forces with a spot of tea and a stiff upper lip.” - Seattle Times

"… madcap comedy, serious drama, high adventure and wistful romance …”
 - The Weekly Herald

”Lassos the audience [and sends them] howling with laughter”
 - City Living Seattle

"We produced CHAPS! (at the Milwaukee Rep) to enormous success! Sold out the entire run, and if it had not been in a subscription series, we could have extended that show for months!" — Sandy Ernst, former Associate Artistic Director, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre

"Directing Chaps! at PCPA Theaterfest was not only a riot in the rehearsal hall, but a lovefest in performance. Audiences found the story engaging, the characters hilarious, and the music infectious. Chaps! is clever and inventive. A very good time was had by all – on both sides of the footlights." — Paul Barnes, Artistic Director Emeritus, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival

"What a hoot of a show! CHAPS has it all - suspense, romance, music, a wild sound effects table and a human puppet. Joyous, moving and very, very funny. We look forward to doing another production in the not too distant future.” — Deborah Gilmour Smyth, Associate Artistic Director, Lamb's Players Theatre

Videos

  • Chaps!
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Keywords

Friendship, War

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1940s / WWII
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The year is 1944. The setting — Studio B at the BBC in London.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: Country/Western, Folk
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Song Samples

Wahoo!
0:00
Jingle Jangle Jingle
0:00
I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart
0:00
Curley Joe from Idaho
0:00
Cattle Call
0:00
Tumblin' Tumbleweeds
0:00
Come 'n Get It
0:00
Gunslinger
0:00
Ride Cowboy Ride
0:00
White Cliffs / Texas in the Spring
0:00
Ragtime Cowboy Joe
0:00
Cool Water
0:00
Sioux City Sue
0:00
Cigareets and Whusky
0:00
Duelin' Divas
0:00

Casting

5m, 1f
ARCHIE LEITCH - Cockney sound engineer, down-to-earth and quick with a quip. Plays the guitar, loves cowboy songs — and knows quite a few of them.
MILES SHADWELL - Intense young producer responsible for bringing the Singing Cowboys to Great Britain. If this holiday broadcast doesn’t come off, he might as well kiss his job good-bye. If he wasn’t so neurotic, he’d be a nice guy.
LESLIE BRIGGS-STRATTON - Imperious, arrogant snob of a BBC announcer á la George Sanders. Loathes cowboy songs. Is convinced he is civilization’s last line of defense against the rise of vulgar populism on the radio. Nobody knows he was once a featured performer in music hall pantomime.
CLIVE COOPER - A radio personality of sorts, Clive IS the “Saltey’s Fish ‘n’ Chips Man.” An old school tie kind of guy, he really thinks of himself as a great AC-tor.
MABEL CARTER - Tex Riley’s stage manager. Mabel is used to being a behind-the-scenes wallfower. But once she steps up to the mike, she’s a rose in full bloom.
STAN - The sound effects man. Like Buster Keaton, this shell-shocked veteran is a man of few words.
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Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

10 Full Scores containing Rhythm (Guitar, Glockenspiel), Bass and Fiddle

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Authors

Jahnna Beecham

Jahnna Beechamis the co-writer of the musicals Chaps! and Chaps! A Jingle Jangle Christmas, Dogpark the Musical (all published by Samuel French) and They Came From Way Out There and Holmes and ...

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Malcolm Hillgartner

Malcolm Hillgartner is the co-writer and arranger of the musicals Chaps! and Chaps! A Jingle Jangle Christmas, and the co-writer and composer for Dogpark the Musical,They Came From Way Out There, and

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Chaps! had its world premiere at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Holland, Michigan, in May 1995
. Artistic Director, David Colacci. Producing Director, Mary Schakel. Directed by Jahnna Beecham & Malcolm Hillgartner. Musical Arrangements by Malcolm Hillgartner & Chip Duford.

 

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