The Old Maid and the Thief


Writers: Gian Carlo Menotti


Note: In the libretto, a 14-scene breakdown is included, to be introduced by an announcer. This is, however, only to be used in the radio production, and are omitted for the stage. Below are the scenes with their announcements.

  • Scene 1: Is is late afternoon in Miss Todd’s parlor. A visitor is just arriving.
  • Scene 2: The next morning Laetitia is busy with her pots and pans when Miss Todd comes into the kitchen.
  • Scene 3: Bob’s breakfast is ready and Laetitia proudly carries the heaping tray into the guest room where Bob lies drowsily in bed.
  • Scene 4: A few minutes later Miss Todd ventures out of the house, to do some marketing. Down the block whom does she see approaching, but her friend, Miss Pinkerton.
  • Scene 5: Miss Todd can’t hurry home quickly enough, for the similarity of Bob’s appearance and the description Miss Pinkerton gave of the escaped criminal has given her plenty of cause for alarm. Into the front door she flies and into the parlor where Laetitia is dusting.
  • Scene 6: The days pass by. Bob remains a guest in Miss Todd’s house. A week later we find Laetitia in the kitchen taking pains mending and then pressing a pair of well-worn trousers, Bob’s, of course!
  • Scene 7: A little later in the day Miss Todd is sitting on her front porch when Miss Pinkerton rushes up the steps in breathless excitement.
  • Scene 8 and 9: A few days go by. Miss Todd is sitting in her parlor. Laetitia is in the kitchen getting ready to go upstairs with the customary morning tray, so that Bob can have his breakfast in bed as usual. Meanwhile Bob, up in his room, prompted by a desire to take to the road again is secretly making a bundle of his clothes.
  • Scene 10: Two o’clock in the morning. The village is sleeping quietly. In front of the liquor store all is deserted, but down the block two stealthy figures are approaching.
  • Scene 11: The next morning Miss Todd is in her parlor when the door burst open.
  • Scene 12 and 13: Hurry, Miss Todd! Hurry, Laetitia! There is no time to lose! Out of the parlor, up the stairs to Bob’s room. But they find the door closed.
  • Scene 14: A few minutes later Miss Todd returns to her house...and this, ladies and gentlemen, is the final scene.

A song with an asterisk (*) before the title indicates a dance number; a character listed in a song with an asterisk (*) by the character's name indicates that the character exclusively serves as a dancer in this song, which is sung by other characters.

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