Polly: A One Woman Musical
POLLY is a musical tour de force that has brought audiences to their feet night after night since a standing-room only premiere at BYU. It's humorous, it's touching, and best of all . . . it's true! • • • • • • • • • • ACT I (Overture) Polly, age 76, is reminiscing on the unusual people and events of her time (Remarkable). As she reflects on her girlhood, the years begin to fall away one by one until . . . The early 1800's in Shelby, Michigan. Young Polly Merrill feels trapped by the daily demands of farm life, especially caring for her family's cow, Constance (Milking a Cow). She longs to do something lasting, something folks could remember (The Ladies In the Carriages), but even her Mama doesn't seem to understand. "Just live one day at a time," she says. "Live ac-cord-ing to your light." (Women's Work #1) (Movers and Shakers) Marriage seems like the only escape, but none of the local boys will do (You Can't Kiss Polly!) until the brickmaker's apprentice makes an uncommon introduction (From Out of the Blue). Their courtship and wedding go according to plan except for a surprise gift from Papa---Constance! (Women's Work #2) Intrigued by the words of a traveling preacher named Parley P. Pratt, Polly and Philander make the painful choice between the life they had planned or another, unexpected future (According to Your Light). Every-thing seems to change for the better in their new home with the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois (We Built a House / The Spirit of God) until the sudden loss of a son (Rocking Chair Lullaby). But life leaves little time for sorrow (Women's Work #3), especially when misunderstanding and mounting intolerance force the Coltons and the other Latter-day Saints into leaving behind all they have built (Thirty Days). Looking back across the Missis-sippi, Polly mourns the loss of her son, George Philander, and her home (Thirty Days reprise). She tries to put on a brave face when Philander is one of 500 men called into the army for a year in the "Mormon Bat-talion" (The Little Things), but worries how they will fare without him (Women's Work #4 / Will He Miss Polly?). With everything coming apart at the seams, Polly wonders how things might have been if she had chosen differently (The Other Lives). ACT II An older Polly and Philander have reunited and settled in the new western Zion they call home, in spite of it's "unique" attributes (Salt Lake City!). When her eldest daughter, Emily, marries, and her mother dies, Polly feels the passing of time and tries to come to terms with her changing position in life (The Way of Things), but not until she and Philander travel to Ashley, where their sons have built them a home for their old age, does she begin to accept the legacy she will leave. Not in bricks, walls, or houses--and not the way she had planned-but in the living, breathing work of her heart and hands (At the Campfire / Women's Work #5). When a letter from a grandson brings news of Emily's accidental death, Polly is heartbroken. She struggles to reconcile her grief with an equally strong conviction that, in spite of the outcome, she chose right (Make a Space For Joy). August, 1891-the present. Through memories both bitter and sweet, Polly looks back on the life she has lived (Lead Kindly Light / Ashley) and forward to the life to come.