\'Tart\' is an original musical which premiered in New York City in September 1999 and subsequently ran in 2001, also in New York City. The musical starred notable performers Erin K. Shields, Nicholas Sattinger, Ellen Bullinger, and others.
Original music by David Shenton: Book & Lyrics by Stanley Eisenberg.
THE STORY OF TART
It is 1890. England is under the rule of Queen Victoria. In the squalor of Whitechapel the poorest and most desolate live. The downcast yearn for a better life, to be taken to Higher Ground. Gloriana, a young prostitute by circumstances, stands at her station in an alleyway next to a tavern. To calm her desperate thoughts she must Steal Away. Gloriana is joined by two older tarts, who share a growing concern, One Petticoat Less. Blokes enter the scene. Along with the tarts they dream of Half Moon Street, a place that represents a step above their current situation. Gloriana entices Nathan, a servant in the tavern, to let her sleep in the back room for the night, Nathan Dear Nathan.
The people of Whitechapel awaken to a new day, more of the same desperation, Whitechapel. A beggar of Whitechapel intones, Time Slips By.
A hansom carriage pulls up to the tavern and out steps an elegant gentleman, Andrew. Andrew persuades Gloriana to take a ride with him to his estate in Brentwood. Gloriana sits alone in the garden at Brentwood contemplating amid the lush surroundings, Still Water, Tall Tree. Andrew tells Gloriana he needs a son to carry on his line. He wants her to give birth to his child. He in return will provide Gloriana with a small fortune to start her life anew, I Want It All. The bargain is struck. All of Gloriana is for sale, Born To Be Bought.
It is 1912. Victoria’s reign has waned. A raucous nightclub in Soho. The band plays and the customers dance. Anne, Andrew’s (and Gloriana’s daughter), confronts her father in the club. He, a man of particular tastes, rues that Something Wasn’t There.
Gloriana, now Gloria, has risen to a higher station in life. She thinks of the past, and of the Choices she has made. She becomes increasingly reflective, I Cry.
Back in Whitechapel tarts, still existing in muck, reinstate the Same Damn Tune. Anne, disillusioned with life, is confronted by Gloria, Soon Comes Night.
It has all come down to a matter of circumstance…