A Kiss in Xanadu
Music by H. Leslie Adams
The Crown Prince of Xanadu
The Crown Princess of Xanadu
First Lady in Waiting
First Lord of the Bedchamber
Spirits of the Night (Corps de Ballet)
The Setting is the Royal Palace in
Xanadu on a lovely spring night.
Act One The scene is the Royal Bedchamber. The Lord and Lady of the Bedchamber enter, followed by two small Pages, who prepare the room for the royal pair, and depart. The Princess enters, very beautiful buy very bored. The lovely Night lures her to the window, but she sighs, for she is a married Princess. After the Lady undresses her, she goes to bed. Soon after the Prince enters. He, too, longs for Romance again. As he prepares to retire, he is lured by the Night. He tries to do his Nightly Dozen, but the Night is too powerful — he will go out to Adventure! After disguising himself and making certain the Princess is asleep, he leaps out the window. The moonbeams steal in and fall on the Princess' bed. She, thinking the Prince is asleep, also decides to go out to find Romance and, after disguising herself — rushes into the Night, as the curtain falls.
Act Two After the masked pair are seen racing across the stage, the curtain rises on a public park in Xanadu. The Prince enters and sits on a park bench. A Lamplighter enters and lights the street lamp, as a patrolman strolls by. The Princess comes into the park. When she drops her handkerchief, the Prince springs to her aid. She sits beside him on the bench. He plucks a rose from the bush behind them and offers it timidly. She tosses it away. The light in the lamp is much too bright. A mighty puff from the Prince and it goes out. But the Watch returns and the lamp is re-lighted. The Prince and Princess sit closer. He offers another rose. This time she accepts. But that lamp! He has a permanent solution: he breaks the lamp in two. When the moon comes up, he waves it away. She kisses him. A clock strikes five — she runs away — he calls, but she does not answer. He picks up the rose she spurned, and walks slowly into the darkness.
Act Three Once more it is the Royal Bedchamber. The Princess, followed shortly by the Prince, creeps in and goes to bed. The clock strikes nine. The Lord and Lady arrive. The Pages fetch a breakfast table. The royal pair is awakened, and sits down to eat. She offers a cheek to be kissed — he mechanically obliges. They cannot eat; the music of the Night is still with them. As they gaze out the window they recall wistfully their evening of adventure. The Princess looks at the rose he gave her.' The Prince looks at the one she refused. They let the flowers fall to the floor. It is the humdrum life once more. They rise and slowly exit through opposite doors. The curtain falls.
N.B. Optional: In Act Two the Prince and Princess meet their "doubles" and, face to face, mirror their movements. The dancers from the First Act back offstage, leaving their alter egos to dance the Second Act. At the end of the Second Act, the reverse transpires, leaving the original dancers to appear in Act Three. In Act Three, as the Night music is heard, the Act Two dancers are seen silhouetted out the window briefly, and then fade away.