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Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo

Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo lyrics

Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo

(The band is heard in the distance)

BOY
Here comes the Show Boat parade!

(The CROWD gathers, shouting and waving their hats. Some
coloured children run on, leaping, dancing, throwing their
hats in the air. CAPTAIN ANDY enters from stage R., with a
girl on each arm, behind him the brass band and balance of
the troupe and followers. He finishes stage C.)

GIRLS
(presenting candy, etc., to ANDY)
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
Here's your lemon cake and homemade candy.
Quince preserve and apple brandy;
Mama sends her best regards to you.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy,
We've been hearing all about your dandy Show.
Is this year's good as last year?
Won't you tell us what is new?

ANDY
Ladies and Gentlemen - I want you to meet some of the greatest
artistes that ever played the river town... Miss Ellie May Chipley,
the toast of Cairo, Illinois.
(applause)
C'mon, Ellie!
(He pulls her by the hand to the center.
All applaud. ELLIE simpers)
Next, I want y'all to meet Frank Schultz
(FRANK steps out - applause)
Mr. Schultz is the villain in our play - but off the stage, he's
as meek as a lamb, and wouldn't hurt a fly - and he's stuck on Ellie.
(All laugh lightly - but ANDY laughs the loudest)
That's they way they are, folks - jest one big happy family! And I'm
their father -
Ha! Ha!

(GIRLS laugh)
And Parthy here is the mother -
Ha! Ha!

(All laugh)
What about that, Parthy?

PARTHY
Oh, y' make me sick!

ANDY
(coughing)
Jest one big happy family! Now, folks I want you to meet the little
sweetheart of the South - Miss Julia LaVerne, our leading lady
(applause)
Y'all know her, and y'all love her - what more can say? And we have
another famous ornament of the stage with us - Mr. Stephen Baker! The
handsomest leading man in the middle west!
(STEVE, who has been scowling at PETE, achieves a prop smile. The
GIRLS gasp admiringly)
So here we are, folks - jest one big happy family!

ANDY
Look't we got! Look't we got!
How can we fail? How can we fail?
You never seen a show like this before!
We'll try to make the evening bright,
And if you come around tonight,
Tomorrer night you'll come around for more.

GIRLS & BOYS
Captain Andy, Captain Andy
You know how to make a show sound dandy.

ANDY
Frank and Ellie,
C'mon, let's show 'em
Jest a sample of your soft-shoe dance!

PARTHY
(the note of warning - she has stood enough)
Captain Andy! Captain Andy!

ANDY
(pleading)
Jest a sample

PARTHY
What a man! My land, he
Gives away his show for nuthin'!

ANDY
(to FRANK and ELLIE)
Jest a sample of the dance!

(He signals the band, turns to the crowd and beams as the dance
begins. At the finish of the dance FRANK and ELLIE strike a pose)
Looking out to sea!
(At the end of the dance ANDY applauds with so much gusto
that the crowd would be ashamed not to follow suit. ANDY
begins passing out handbills)
Well, folks, that was jest a sample - don't forget the bill tonight -
"Tempest and Sunshine" - that beautiful melerdrammer of tears and
laughter concert after the show - Bring the children - come one, come all!

(ANDY works upstage among the crowd - part of the CROWD gathers
around JULIE and STEVE, the BOYS around JULIE, and GIRLS around STEVE,
so they are temporarily separated. These admirers, however, keep at
some little distance as they stand and worship their idols of the stage.
PETE slinks up to JULIE)

PETE
Hey, Julie! That's hell of a thing to do - giving my present to a nigger -

JULIE
(nervously)
Pete - if Steve ever knew about you sending me that brooch, I declare
he'd just about beat you to death -
(STEVE sees PETE and JULIE together)

PETE
Well, he'd better not try, and you better be pretty nice to me -
or you'll be mighty sorry -
(STEVE has come up to PETE- he takes his arm
and swings him around so that he faces him)

STEVE
I told you to keep away from my wife. I reckon I won't do
any more talkin' about it.
(Holding PETE's arm, he strikes him and
knocks him down. JULIE screams)

JULIE
Steve! Don't!
(The men clinch - PARTHY sees them)

PARTHY
Andy!
(PETE and STEVE struggle - GIRLS shriek, the crowd
mills around the two men as they wrestle. ANDY hops
about ineffectually. PETE falls - ANDY rushes in and
holds STEVE)

STEVE
I'll kill him!!!

ANDY
Get on that boat!
(FRANK runs up - ANDY sort of passes STEVE to FRANK, who
leads him back into the boat STEVE, half dazed with anger,
and weakened by the nervous outburst, follows meekly, dimly
realizing he has done something wrong. ELLIE helps PETE to
his feet. ANDY looks around - the CROWD looks puzzled - he
must say something. Suddenly he becomes inspired)

ANDY
Well, folks - that was jest a sample. The boys jest showed
you a scene from one of our bills - that's the way they are,
folks... always skylarking, always playing pranks.
(He looks around at a horrified PARTHY and ELLIE,
solemn JULIE, and PETE, just coming to)
...Jest one big happy family!

(He gives the band the high sign - they strike up a tune -
"Cotton Blossom". He cheers and throws his hat in the air -
his good spirits infect the CROWD. who follow suit and join
in singing "Cotton Blossom" as they exit)

ALL
Cotton Blossom, Cotton Blossom,
Captain Andy's floating show!
Thrills and laughter,
Concert after,
Get your girl and go!
(This exit masks the entrance of a gentleman in
elegant but frayed clothes, who has paused up C.
This is GAYLORD RAVENAL. He leans against the
bulkhead and looks out over the river. His face is
not yet seen. ANDY, ELLIE, PARTHY and JULIE are
left on stage. PETE confronts JULIE)

PETE
Just wait! I'll get you two for this, and I know how I can do it -
and when I start in, you'll be sorry you were ever born -

ANDY
You get away from here, you little no-account river rat!
You're fired!
(PETE exits)
An' if y'ever come near my show boat again, I'll pitch you right
into the river! And don't try to get on the towboat either...
(looking up to WINDY)
Y'hear that, Windy?
(WINDY nods)
Throw him right off the boat.
(WINDY nods)
We'll pick up a new engineer in Fort Adams.

PARTHY
(Looking hard at JULIE)
Humph - nice goin's on!

ANDY
(looking sympathetically towards JULIE)
It wasn't Julie's fault, Parthy -

PARTHY
'N you protectin' her!

JULIE
The one thing I'm grateful fer is that Magnolia wasn't here -

PARTHY
So am I - an' I'll be grateful for somethin' else, Miss LaVerne -
I'll have to ask you to stop givin' Magnolia pianner lessons.
In fact, I don't want my daughter mixed up with you - or anybody
like you -

JULIE
Mrs. Hawks - please don't say that - Nola is like a little sister
to me - outside of Steve, I don't love anybody like I love Nola -
(crossing to ANDY)
Mr. Hawks - if I have to stop seeing her - I can't stay on the
Cotton Blossom - I just can't!
(She runs into the show boat as the tears come rushing to her eyes)

ANDY
Now you done it - now you done it!
The best leading lady on the river!

ELLIE
(coyly snuggling up to ANDY)
Oh, Cap'n Andy, if Julie goes, will you give me a chance
at the leads? I'd love to get a crack at a serious part -
I'd be a sensation in drammer.

ANDY
Why, Ellie! There ain't a funnier girl on the river 'n you are!

ELLIE
(anxiously clutching his arm and kneeling)
Oh, Captain Andy, don't! Don't stamp your foot down
on real actin' ability!

PARTHY
(grimly)
Leave go my husband's arm -
(ELLIE edges away gingerly. PARTHY turns her attentions
to ANDY. During the following tirade he doesn't dare answer.
He stands meek and still)
An' you - you think more of your show boat troupe than you
do of your own daughter's upbringing - Well, thank God, her
mother had a good Christian bringin' up in Massachussetts.
Where I come from, no decent body'd touch this show boat
riff-raff with a ten foot pole - let alone have their
daughters mixed up with them - I'll have more to say to
you, later!

(She exits into the boat. ANDY waits until she's gone -
then, oblivious to ELLIE'S presence, he answers PARTHY back)

ANDY
(walking up and down and arguing
with his imaginary adversary)
Oh, you will, will you? Well, maybe I'll have somethin' to say
to you, too - 's far as that goes I'd just as soon have her be
friends with Julie as any gal I know - yes - Julie! You heard me!
(He sees ELLIE)
My God - I'll tell her!

PARTHY]
(off stage)
Andy!!!

ELLIE
Are you going to tell her all that now?

ANDY
No - I'll tell her tonight - late. I don't want any more trouble
before the show. Jest one big happy family - bah!!

(ANDY exits into the show boat ELLIE turns away
from the boat and sees RAVENAL-)

ELLIE
It's a man...
(RAVENAL turns, and we see him for the first time - so does
ELLIE. He strides down-stage, nonchalantly swinging his cane.
She thinks he's grand - she drops her handkerchief. RAVENAL
picks up her handkerchief and hands it to her with courtesy)

ELLIE
Thank you so much.

RAVENAL
Delighted to be of service, Ma'am.

(ELLIE gives him a flirtatious glance and crosses left.
RAVENAL looks after her, mildly amused. He takes the long
cheroot from his mouth and looks at it reflectively. VALLON
enters from stage R. RAVENAL sees him. They regard each
other coolly for a moment)

VALLON
Back in town, Gay?

RAVENAL
For a short stay...

VALLON
Can't be more than twenty-four hours, you know.

RAVENAL
Give me time, can't you? I haven't been twenty-four
hours stepping off the gangplank onto this wharf,
have I? I can get back on just as quickly.

(With impulsive irritation, he throws his
half smoked cheroot to the ground)

VALLON
No offense, Gay - just thought I'd remind you in case
of trouble. It'd be terrible to have you locked up -
all the purty gals on the river front'd be cryin'
their eyes out. Where you aim to go from here?

RAVENAL
Who cares? Who cares where I go?

VALLON
Seegar?

(As he proffers a cigar, RAVENAL raises
his eyebrows disdainfully)

RAVENAL
What did you call it?

VALLON
See-gar.

RAVENAL
Optimist. .
(VALLON shrugs his shoulders and walks off R. RAVENAL
swings his cane airily and strolls up and down as he sings:)
Last Update: December, 16th 2013


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Musical: Show Boat. Song: Cap'n Andy's Ballyhoo. Broadway musical soundtrack lyrics. Song lyrics from theatre show/film are property & copyright of their owners, provided for educational purposes