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Stage Plays, Musicals by John C. Kline & Christine M. Kline
The year 1860. Italy.
Pagliacci is a twelve-year-old boy living with his abusive father, Giovanni, who owns a traveling carnival. After Pagliacci's father dies, he travels to America and starts his own traveling carnival.
The year 1900. Saint Clair, Pennsylvania.
Destiny is an eight-year-old girl who lives with her father, Jake. Her mother left when Destiny was just a baby; Destiny always wears a red ribbon in her hair, made from one of her mother's old dresses. Jake is an alcoholic with a gambling problem. Most of the town-children exclude Destiny, except Jamie who always looks out for her.
When the people of Saint Clair hear that a carnival is coming the adults are wary; however, the children are excited, including Destiny and Jamie (Horses and Monkeys [music]). The carnival brings fun for the children and gambling for the men with "bricks in their hats". Jake is immediately drawn to the card table, breaking Destiny's heart. Jamie comforts her by giving her a little wooden seagull, and by singing her a special song (The Girl and the Seagull [music]). Destiny and Jamie's sweet exchange is witnessed by Nettie, Eleanor, and Martha who are the town gossips. The three convince Jamie's mother, Bonnie, that her son should not associate with girls like Destiny. Bonnie immediately takes Jamie home. Destiny is left alone to handle her drunken father at the card table. He has run out of money angering the carnival owner, Pagliacci. Jake continues to gamble using Destiny as collateral. He loses the game and Destiny is dragged away...