Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town - the musical. Read about all aspects of this new show.

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"I don't know whether you know Mariposa. If not, it is of no consequence, for if you know Canada at all, you are probably well acquainted with a dozen towns just like it." - Stephen Leacock

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town - The Story


1. Mariposa – During this scene, mostly in song, the ensemble introduces the audience to Mariposa, its buildings and residents, Lake Wissanotti, and small-town life.

2. Train Station Platform - Judge and Mrs. Pepperleigh are there to meet their daughter Zena, arriving home from boarding school. Mallory Tompkins, reporter for the Newspaper Packet, is there to cover the story, and has brought along Peter Pupkin to help. Peter is his roommate and works as a bank teller. Their living quarters are above the bank. Peter, who the previous summer was testing out a courtship with Zena, hides under the cover of the camera to avoid being seen by the Pepperleighs, and when nudged by Mallory, takes the family’s photograph. He denies to Mallory that there is anything more than friendship between him and Zena.

3. The Pepperleigh House – The Mariposa Women’s Auxiliary is meeting, chaired by Mrs. Pepperleigh. The guest speaker is Rev. Dean Drone who has come to ask for a donation toward the cost of the new church. Then, as the women are discussion new membership, Zena interrupts the meeting and is immediately enrolled as the newest member. The women perform their ritual to make it official. Alone, Zena sings, wondering if she has changed while away at school, where she has witnessed the suffragette movement. She wonders if she still fits into the Mariposa mould.

4. The Barbershop – Peter is getting a haircut from Jefferson Thorpe, while other townsmen sit around reading the paper and discussing topics from new cars to the federal election to the photograph of the Pepperleighs. The men speculate about Peter and Zena. Peter denies everything. There is talk of The Mariposa Belle excursion the following day, Dominion Day, and Josh Smith assures the men there will be an ample supply of libations in his picnic basket that tinkles! The men cheer and sing about the amazing Jos. Smith. Christie Johnson and Dr. Gallagher speculate about the rumour that Smith could be running for the Conserative party in the election, against long-time Liberal member of parliament, John Henry Bagshaw.

5. A Park Bench – Nora Gallagher and Lilian Drone are discussing their friend Zena and where things are at this summer with Peter. Mallory is sitting between them and trying to get a word in. The three sing about how Peter and Zena first met, and conclude it may just not work out.

6. Smith’s Hotel Restaurant – Rev. Drone has stopped in for his usual cup of “tea”, and confides in Smith, the hotel owner, about the financial woes of the church. Billy, Smith’s right-hand man, announces that Mallory has arrived for his interview regarding running as a candidate in the election – an interview that was obviously prearranged but that Smith pretends to know nothing about. Mallory gets the scoop.

7. Peter and Mallory’s Room above the Bank – Mallory tells Peter about his scoop with Smith. They talk about Peter’s dilemma with Zena and what he should do. They recap last summer’s activities and Peter’s investments in the relationship, and that it all must count for something.

8. The Wharf - The Mariposa Belle Excursion – It’s Dominion Day, and the whole town has turned out for the excursion. Mallory, again with Peter’s help, is giving away newspapers, with his headline story that Smith is running for the Conservatives. Peter encounters Mrs. Pepperleigh who suggested he keep his distance from Zena. She disapproves of her daughter befriending such a scallywag. As the boat departs, Peter tells Mallory he’s not going, but he vows that he is not giving up on Zena.

9. On the Mariposa Belle – As the boat sails, Lilian, Nora and Zena have their picture taken by Mallory. Zena encounters Smith and challenges him on some international political topics. Smith doesn’t have a clue what she is talking about, but offers her a cigar.

10. On the Mariposa Belle – evening – Smith and Bagshaw use the opportunity to do some campaigning. Bagshaw goes into a tirade about all that is bad about Smith running in the election. Smith sings to the crowd, asking them to believe in him.

11. On the Bow of the Belle – Zena is consoled by Lilian and Nora as she regrets that Peter isn’t with them. Along with Mallory, the friends try to convince Zena that she should tell Peter how she feels about him, because he just doesn’t know. They leave her to ponder, and she sings about Peter. On the wharf, Peter sings about her, and their duet ends ACT I.

Sunshine Sketches - Act Two

1. On the Mariposa Belle – The day is coming to a close as the boat prepares to head home, and the passengers are reminiscing about how perfect the excursion has been. They begin to sing “O Canada” when suddenly there is a jolt and the boat shifts. It’s obvious that the Mariposa Belle is sinking! Through song the passengers recount the whole ordeal. Coincidentally prepared with rope and mallet, Smith comes to the rescue, and as they sail into the wharf they sing “O Canada”.

2. The Rectory - late that night – Rev. Drone is stewing over how to best write his letter of resignation, as he feels the situation with the debt is hopeless. As he is writing he notices flames out his window.

3. The Church Fire – Through song, the townspeople tell the story of the church burning down, and in the end how it was a blessing as the building was doubly insured, and how again, coincidentally, Smith was there to be the hero.

4. The Pepperleigh House - the next day – The Women’s Auxiliary is meeting, with the guest speaker being Smith. Zena challenges him on women’s right to vote. Mrs. Pepperleigh tells Zena she is out of line. Smith says he’ll give it some sober thought.

5. Peter and Mallory’s Room – the same day – Peter and Mallory both have stories to tell. Peter writes in his diary about how he encountered a bank robber in the bank below them overnight, and Mallory is just returning from covering the church fire. They tell their stories simultaneously, not listening to what the other is saying.

6. The Bank Robbery Hero – The men of Mariposa recount the hourly events surrounding the bank robbery, while the women recap in gossip fashion all the details about Peter and his changing condition over the hours. This all leads to the conclusion that there will be nuptial vows soon.

7. A Park Bench - one month later – Christie Johnson and Dr. Gallagher read in the newspaper about Smith winning the election, with a victory dance Saturday night.

8. The Election Victory Dance – As folks dance, there is discussion about recent coincidences in Mariposa – how Smith was the hero on the Mariposa Belle where he just happened to have been prepared with rope and mallet, ready to cork the boat; how, on the night of the church fire, someone of Smith’s size and shape was seen walking towards the church with cans of kerosene; how the church was doubly insured, and Rev. Drone didn’t have to resign after all; and how, during the robbery, Peter and the bank caretaker both had guns and shot at the same time and were both injured. All coincidences! It is revealed that Peter is the son of an old lawyer friend of the judge; he’s actually from a wealthy family, much to Mrs. Pepperleigh’s relief. Peter has been under the watchful eye of the Judge all this time. Peter’s father had hoped he would join the firm back home to make it Pupkin, Pupkin, Pupkin and Pupkin. Peter and Zena make it a happy ending as he proposes and she accepts.