Theatre / The Scarlet Pimpernel

The Scarlet Pimpernel is a musical based on the novel by Baroness Orczy. The music is by Frank Wildhorn (Jekyll & Hyde), book and lyrics by Nan Knighton. It debuted on Broadway in 1997, going through several revisions over the next few years before settling on version 4 in 2000.

In additional to various tropes inherited from the novels, this musical provides examples of:

  • Ascended Extra: Dewhurst, here The Lancer instead of just another league member.
  • B.S.O.D. Song: Plenty of them. Percy has "Prayer", Chauvelin has the reprise of "Where's the Girl?", and later versions give Marguerite "I'll Forget You".
  • Celibate Hero: Although Percy is madly in love with his wife, he shuns her because of her apparent crime and has yet to consummate their marriage. Also, given his profession, he probably doesn't have the time to be anything else.
  • Composite Character: The eighteen strong League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, aside from Percy and Armand, were folded into Dewhurstnote , Elton, Farleigh, Ben, Hal, Ozzy, Hastings, Neville, and Leggett. Later revisions cut the later three men out and give their lines to the first six.
    • The Takarazuka production merged Armand's character with Tussaud, making the former the love interest of Marie.
  • Dare to Be Badass: "Into the Fire".
  • Dark Reprise:
    • Chauvelin sings "Where's The Girl?" as a love song to Marguerite, then later renounces her in a snarling reprise.
    • Shortly after "When I Look at You", it is repeated by a second character with exactly the same lyrics.
    • A reprise of Madame Guillotine. While hard to make darker, it is a declaration of determination to hunt by Chauvelin and is in some cases referred to as The Riddle: Part 1. While not on most albums, it's on the German cast album as "Das Verwirrspiel: Teil 1"
  • Decomposite Character: The Takarazuka production restores Ffoulkes as a separate character.
  • Foe Yay/Promoted to Love Interest: Marguerite and Chauvelin have a history that keeps repeating itself.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Marguerite's best friend Marie Grosholtz, later Marie Tussaud. Yes, that Madame Tussaud.
  • "I Want" Song: "Home Again" and "When I Look At You" — In the latter, Marguerite wants the man she fell in love with back, please.
  • Insistent Terminology: Percy prefers to call Chauvelin "Mr. Shoovelin."
    • The Takarazuka production had characters find new ways of botching Chauvelin's name. Percy himself corrects one instance.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Chauvelin was Marguerite's lover for a brief time before she met Percy; she's so afraid that Percy will leave her if he learns about her past and thinks her to be a loose woman that Chauvelin is able to blackmail her.
  • Opening Chorus: "Madame Guillotine"
  • Sarcastic Confession: At one point, Sir Percy cheerfully confesses to being the Scarlet Pimpernel, getting an And I'm the Queen of Sheba in response.