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HIERONYMUS
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PMG HOME

Little Black Boxes
HIERONYMUS
LINKS:
Hieronymus
Plot and Songs
Production Photos
Video Clips
More Photos
Specifications
Lyrics
Download Perusal Script
About H. Bosch
CONTACT INFO:
Order Form
Contact Us
Playwright's
Web Site

  HIERONYMUS  ™
Detailed synopsis of
scenes and music numbers

CLICK THE BLUE PLAY BUTTONS TO HEAR BRIEF SONG CLIPS.
IF PLAY BUTTONS DON'T WORK ON YOUR DEVICE, CLICK THE SONG TITLES.

ACT ONE
While details from Hieronymus Bosch’s mysterious "Garden of Delights" painting are projected, the Narrator starts a tale from the recently discovered diary of Hieronymus’ wife Anna  (INTRODUCTION).
It begins in the year 1475 in Flanders on the front steps of the great gargoyle-encrusted cathedral of St. John’s (OVERTURE).
As service lets out Goyart VanMeer, a wealthy art patron, widower, and member of the ‘Brotherhood’, notices Hieronymus studying the gargoyles. He introduces his daughter Anna and then sings the praises of Hieronymus (HIERONYMUS) the promising new artist. The women add that he is single, young, and handsome too, and Anna is clearly attracted to him.
  VanMeer asks if he and his daughter may inspect the progress of the new altarpiece that the Brotherhood has commissioned from Hieronymus. They agree on a visit later that afternoon. Erasmus, a young man who has designs on Anna, is jealous and he speaks to her. He suggests that Anna stay away from Hieronymus, for his paintings are dark and demonic. Anna is noticeably uncomfortable around Erasmus.
 
Anna and her friends go to the Spring festival. There is merry dancing (SKIPPING) and Anna tells her friends about the charming artist she met. Erasmus pays some local boys (the Grimm brothers) to tell Anna a story of creatures living in Hieronymus' house who eat up the visitors (DRAGONS & BOOGEYMEN). Of course, the story is so fantastic that she doesn’t believe a word of it, but when her father arrives and they knock on Hieronymus’ door she let’s out a scream.
 
Anna has fainted. She is embarrassed because she thought she saw a creature in the house, but she is convinced that she imagined it because of the boy’s wild stories. In fact, there are creatures living there and Hieronymus makes certain they stay out of view. Everyone is impressed with the new painting. Anna asks where the ideas come from, and Hieronymus explains (IMAGINATION).
Anna had expressed interest in learning to paint and Hieronymus gives her lessons (COLORS). Hieronymus and Anna are falling in love.
 
Erasmus speaks to the Brotherhood about Hieronymus’ painting commission. He says the new altarpiece will bring shame to St. John’s and states that Bosch is a heretic and that his images are lewd, demonic, and contain hidden meanings (BROTHERS!). Although they dismiss Erasmus, the Brotherhood decides it would be prudent to ask Hieronymus to explain his symbols before payment is made. They send an urgent letter to Hieronymus, but being busy, he puts it aside and forgets about it (NARRATION).
 
Hieronymus has hidden the existence of his creatures all this time fearing that Anna would not understand. When Anna completes her first painting, she rushes to Hieronymus' house to show him, but she becomes caught in a terrible blizzard (WINTER) unknowingly caused by Hieronymus during a furious session of painting. Hieronymus’ apprentices gossip among themselves that Hieronymus is headed for trouble because of his deception about the creatures (TROUBLE).
When Anna arrives unannounced, assorted creatures are milling about. She thinks that perhaps Erasmus was right after all. She is angry and confused and she wishes to leave immediately, but the severity of the storm prevents this. In fact, she will have to stay the night. A short, cute, female creature named Sophie approaches Anna and says that she has been wanting to meet Anna for a long time. She wins Anna’s heart immediately, as do Otto and Gregor, a pair of Laurel & Hardy-type creatures, who are always pushing and getting into trouble. Anna asks Hieronymus to explain where the creatures come from. He says that they have somehow come alive because of his powerful imagination, and he teaches her the power of her own imagination (IMAGINATION—REPRISE).
In the evening Anna is found staring out the window at the moonlit snow. Hieronymus notes how beautiful she looks in the moonlight. He gives her a music box. They dance and express their love for one another (IT'S A FUNNY FEELING). As they are about to kiss, Gregor drops some pots he has been carrying. Anna is startled, and being reminded of the awkward situation she is in, she rushes off to bed. Concerned about creatures, she says her prayers (THE PRAYER). Other creatures crawl in and around the bed during the night and make bizarre snoring noises. When morning arrives Anna at first believes it was all a bad dream, but when she comes to her senses she jumps out of bed determined to make the best of it, teasing Sophie, and Otto & Gregor (YO HO).
Emboldened now, Hieronymus asks Anna to come to a party that he is giving for all of his creature friends. Sophie is quite in awe of the many odd creatures. Erasmus too is in awe as he peeks in the windows. The creatures dance and celebrate (THE CREATURE’S WALTZ). Anna is hurt because Hieronymus treats her more as a serving girl than his fiancé—always calling, "Anna, we need more of [this and that]" She finally tells him off (WHAT ABOUT). Worse, she tells Hieronymus that his imagination is too large and she threatens to leave him. She does not wish to live a life like this, nor to raise a family in such an environment. He reluctantly promises to paint "ordinary" things and ordinary people, so that the house will become calm and normal again. Anna says she will bring some models for him to paint.

ACT TWO

 
Hieronymus half-heartedly paints an ordinary landscape in fulfillment of his promise. Anna arrives with an extraordinarily unattractive pair of models. Hieronymus begins to sketch them but finds it necessary to decorate them in order to make them more interesting. Anna huffs and protests. Hieronymus suggests that if he cannot sketch them with interesting costumes, he might as well sketch them with nothing on at all. At this, one of the models begins ripping her clothes off, but Hieronymus stops her in time and sends them both away. He gives up. He must be true to himself (I’M WHAT I AM). Anna says it is over then, and she storms out. Sophie thinks it is her fault and asks Hieronymus why Anna doesn’t like her.
 

Meanwhile, Erasmus goes again to the Brotherhood, telling of the strange creatures he saw at the party, and he insists that Hieronymus practices sorcery. The Brothers suggest that Erasmus was drunk. Offended, Erasmus vows to return with proof. Since Hieronymus has failed to appear before the Brotherhood to explain his symbols, they discuss whether to cancel the commission.

Anna’ tells her girlfriends of the breakup. They tell her the awful rumors they heard about Hieronymus. Later, alone in her bedroom, Anna begins to have regrets (ALONE). Hieronymus also laments the breakup and he brings out a secret portrait of Anna. He discovers the forgotten "urgent" letter from the Brotherhood. Having missed the date, he assumes that his career is ruined. Finally, he even denies the existence of his creatures Sophie, Otto, and Gregor, saying that he only imagines them. They go away very hurt.
Although Erasmus now knows that Hieronymus and Anna have split up, he is determined to finish Hieronymus off. At night he breaks into the studio. The doorway gargoyles wish to stop him but alas they are only made of stone. Erasmus encounters Sophie who was in the kitchen getting milk. She would be the perfect evidence he needed (COME WITH ME, COME). He corrals her toward the door and kidnaps her. She let’s out a scream. He suggests a burning at the stake would make her feel at home. A brave stone Gargoyle drops and breaks, missing Erasmus. The household awakens.
Anna, was out walking and witnessed the kidnapping. She rushes to awaken Hieronymus, but he has given up on his imagination. "You were right Anna. My imagination only leads me to trouble—it is a useless thing to have." Anna pleads with Hieronymus to use his imagination again, in order to save Sophie. It takes some doing Hieronymus finally comes to his senses. "Then you do believe in us, Master?" asks Otto. Hieronymus summons all his creatures. Even the tables, chairs, and the kitchen stove become alive (MAGIC). The skies are buzzing with creatures. This is such a frightening scene and we begin to wonder if Hieronymus does indeed have a dark side. Everyone goes out to rescue Sophie.
Erasmus has brought Sophie to St. John’s. He intends to show her to the priest. He is taken aback when the cathedral gargoyles jump off the building and block his entrance, forcing him back into the square to scuffle with all the rescuers (WINTER—REPRISE). Everyone stops in silence, when Father Albert comes out, with members of the Brotherhood. "You see," says Erasmus and he presents Sophie as evidence of Hieronymus' sorcery. But, Father Albert happens to know Sophie—and Otto and Gregor too! They visit the cathedral often, at night, when the church gargoyles come down to frolic. Erasmus is shocked, "You know these hideous creatures?!" Father Albert scolds Erasmus for being unkind to creatures who are less blessed (appearance-wise) than himself, and the Brothers (who don't actually see the creatures) take Erasmus away.
Anna cuddles Sophie and expresses that she missed everyone. "Even us creatures?!" asks Sophie. Anna promises that she will never leave again and they skip happily home (YOHO—REPRISE). Along the way they meet Anna’s father, arm in arm with the Widow Bachman, and he announces that they are to be married. Anna announces the same for herself.
         There is a grand wedding at St. John’s and all of the creatures are in attendance (TENDER LOVE). Later that evening, Anna and Hieronymus reflect on their courtship, marriage, and the creatures (WEDDING NIGHT HYMN). Erasmus has been made into a gargoyle, and he now decorates the cathedral. Finale (HIERONYMUS—REPRISE). (IT'S A FUNNY FEELING—REPRISE).

THE END     

Copyright 1999-2008 T. E. Breitenbach. All rights reserved. No part of the music, lyrics, dialogue, pictures, or logos may be reproduced or utilized in any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from: T. E. Breitenbach c/o Premiere Musicals Guild, 809 Township Road, Altamont NY 12009  USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 1999, 2000
T. E. Breitenbach
All rights reserved.
No part of the music, lyrics, dialogue, pictures, or logos may be reproduced or utilized in any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from:
T. E. Breitenbach
c/o Premiere Musicals Guild, PO Box 538,
Altamont NY 12009  USA