Allegro is a stage musical.



Marjorie Taylor is the wife of small town doctor Joseph Taylor, who has just had a son. The people of the town predict great things for Joseph Taylor, Jr., or Joe as he will come to be called. Joe learns what a baby learns: the comforting presence of his mother, the presence of another figure, who does not smell as nice, and who always leaves as soon as he picks up his black bag. Joe is seen as a baby and then not again as a child; the audience takes his perspective. Joe's Grandma notices him trying to walk, calls for Marjorie to witness the first steps, and once he takes them, as the chorus states, "the world belongs to Joe". Joe grows to school age, and loses his beloved Grandma. He is comforted by Jennie Brinker, a businessman's daughter. The two grow to high school age and date, though Joe lacks the nerve to kiss her, to Jennie's frustration. As Joe prepares to leave for college, Dr. Taylor hopes that his son will help him in his medical practice, and he and Marjorie wonder if Joe will marry Jennie.

At the freshman mixer the audience finally sees Joe onstage. He marvels at his new world, in which he is a loner. Joe serves ineffectively as a cheerleader, rooting for the Wildcats, whose star player is Joe's freshman classmate Charlie Townsend. Both are pre-medical students and soon become close friends. The friendship helps both; Joe gains entrance to Charlie's fraternity and social circles, while Charlie is allowed to copy Joe's conscientious schoolwork.

While Joe is at college, Jennie remains at home, and her wealthy father, Ned Brinker, who disapproves of Joe for spending so many years in school before earning a living, encourages her to find other boyfriends. Jennie does not bother to conceal these romances in her letters; Joe is finally fed up, and goes on a double date with Charlie and two girls. Beulah, Joe's date, is initially enthusiastic about the budding romance but walks away in disgust when Joe, who is unable to keep thoughts of Jennie from his mind, falls asleep after a passionate kiss. Jennie breaks up with the boy that Joe was afraid would marry her, and she is waiting for Joe when he returns home. Marjorie Taylor is convinced that Jennie is the wrong girl for Joe, and after a confrontation with Jennie when she tells her this, Marjorie dies of a heart attack. Despite the disapproval of both families, Joe and Jennie marry, a wedding observed by the unhappy ghosts of Marjorie and Grandma.

It is the Depression. Joe makes a bare living as assistant to his father. Mr. Brinker's business has failed, and he lives with the couple, who are experiencing poverty for the first time in their lives. The poverty affects Jennie more than Joe—the new Mrs. Taylor dislikes life as an impoverished housewife. When she learns that Joe turned down a lucrative offer from a prominent Chicago physician, who is Charlie's uncle, Jennie at first rages. When she finds that is not effective, she gets him to change his mind through guilt—if he accepts Dr. Denby's offer, he can earn the money to start the small hospital of which his father dreams and they will have the money to bring up a child properly.

Joe accepts the job, and sadly leaves his father. He soon finds himself ministering to hypochondriacs; he is required to spend time at cocktail parties marked by useless conversation. Charlie is also part of the practice, but the former football star has turned to drink. Joe himself is becoming careless due to the distractions; one mistake is caught by his nurse, Emily, who greatly admires the physician Joe could be. Denby congratulates Joe on his skills, both medical and social. The elder doctor has less time for a nurse, Carrie Middleton, who has worked at his hospital for thirty years and once dated him, but who is involved in a labor protest—Denby orders her fired at the request of Lansdale, an influential trustee and soap manufacturer. Charlie, Joe and Emily comment on the frenetic pace of the Chicago world in which they live.

Joe has become increasingly disillusioned by his life in the city, and worries about his former patients in his home town. He learns that Jennie is having an affair with Lansdale. As Joe sits, head in hands, his late mother and a chorus of the friends he left behind appeal to him to return. Joe has been offered the position of physician-in-chief at the Chicago hospital, replacing Denby, who is taking an executive position, or as the elder doctor terms it, being "kicked upstairs". At a dedication of a new pavilion at the hospital, Joe has a revelation and shifts the path of his life; as he does so, Grandma appears and calls for Marjorie to come watch, an echo of the scene in which he learned to walk. Joe refuses the position, and will return to his small town to assist his father, accompanied by Emily and Charlie, but not by Jennie.

Musical numbers Edit

Act I

  • "Joseph Taylor, Jr." - Ensemble
  • "I Know It Can Happen Again" – Grandma Taylor
  • "Pudgy Legs" - Ensemble
  • "One Foot, Other Foot" – Ensemble
  • "Grandmother's Death: I Know It Can Happen Again (Reprise)" - Grandma Taylor
  • "Winters Go By" - Ensemble
  • "Poor Joe" - Ensemble
  • "Diploma" - Ensemble
  • "A Fellow Needs a Girl" – Dr. Taylor and Marjorie Taylor
  • "A Darn Nice Campus" – Joe Taylor
  • "Wildcats" – Ensemble and Joe Taylor
  • "Jennie Reads Letter: A Darn Nice Campus (Reprise)" - Jennie Brinker
  • "Scene of Professors" - Professors, Joe Taylor, Jennie Brinker, and Ensemble
  • "So Far" – Beulah
  • "You Are Never Away" – Joe Taylor and Ensemble
  • "You Are Never Away (Encore)" - Joe Taylor and Ensemble
  • "Poor Joe (Reprise)" - Ensemble
  • "What a Lovely Day for a Wedding" – Ensemble and Mr. Brinker
  • "It May Be a Good Idea for Joe" – Charlie Townsend
  • "Finale Act I: I Know It Can Happen Again/To Have and To Hold/Wish Them Well" - Ensemble

Act II

  • "Money Isn't Everything" – Jennie Brinker and Other Wives
  • "Dance: Money Isn't Everything" - Orchestra
  • "Poor Joe (Reprise)" - Ensemble
  • "You Are Never Away (Reprise)" - Joe Taylor
  • "A Fellow Needs a Girl (Reprise)" - Majorie Taylor
  • "Ya-ta-ta" – Charlie Townsend and Ensemble
  • "The Gentleman Is a Dope" – Emily
  • "Allegro" – Charlie Townsend, Joe Taylor, Emily and Ensemble
  • "Come Home" – Marjorie Taylor and Ensemble
  • "Finale Ultimo: Ya-ta-ta/Come Home/One Foot, Other Foot" – Ensemble

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