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Lindbergh Baby Kidnapped: THE STORY

The famous crime is recounted through the eyes of six reporters covering the surrounding events and hoopla. They play a multitude of roles as they reenact their version of events, each reporter putting forth a pet theory of what may actually have happened. One of the reporters, Laura Miles, a friend of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, identifies with Anne and worships Lindy but, through the course of the play, becomes disillusioned by a hero who is merely a man.

In a prologue, the bare facts of the crime are examined by the reporters ( "LINDBERGH BABY KIDNAPPED" and UNDERSCORING).

Act One begins with Laura articulating her hero worship ( "THE MAN AND HIS MACHINE") Accosted by Lindy on the grounds of his estate, the reporters revel in the breaking story, the "crime of the century" ("IT'S A CIRCUS").

In flashbacks, we see Lindy dreaming of conquering the air ("SCIENCE, BEAUTY, FREEDOM, FLIGHT"), and the "circus" surrounding his historic Transatlantic flight which precipitates his lifelong distaste for the attentions of the press (REPRISE: "IT'S A CIRCUS"). Then, after their marriage, Anne and Lindy's solution for avoiding the press ("EVERYWHERE WE GO").

Back in the newsroom, the reporters begin to put forth various theories on the crime. Two early suspects are the baby's nanny Betty Gow ("SOMEONE IS WATCHING") and her boyfriend Red Johnsen ("BETTY AND RED").

Another suspect, Al Capone, offers his assistance ("WHAT KINDA BUM STEALS BABIES?"). The kidnappers demand $50,000 ("RANSOM LETTER"). Anne Morrow Lindbergh asks, on the front pages of the next mornings papers, that the kidnappers feed her baby his usual diet ("BABY'S DIET").

A retired Bronx professor offers himself as intermediary ("JAFSIE CONDON OF THE BRONX HOME NEWS") and, unbelievably, the kidnappers accept his offer and direct him to put a message in the paper saying ‘mony is redy' ("MONY ISN'T REDY"). Jafsie meets the man called "John" in Woodlawn Cemetery ("CEMETERY JOHN") and arranges the delivery of the baby's pajamas as proof of the kidnappers' sincerity ("HOPE" and UNDERSCORING). After protracted negotiations, Lindy and Jafsie hand over the ransom money but information of the baby's whereabouts prove false (PART 2: "CEMETERY JOHN").

Another suspect appears, one of the Morrow family maids who can't quite explain what she was doing on the night of the kidnaping ("ROADHOUSE TANGO"). After further complications, the baby is found dead. Time passes. Anne, who with Lindy is charting new routes for airlines in South America, examines her grief ("DREAMING").

Two years later ("NEW DEAL), a suspect is arrested for passing Lindbergh ransom money - at last! (FINALE ACT I - "JUSTICE")


In Act Two, the jailed suspect, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, is interrogated by Finn and handwriting experts are called in ("ALBERT S. AND ALBERT D."). Finn coerces the Alberts into a false positive on the test and accuses Hauptmann of lying ("IF YOU WERE AN INNOCENT OR HONEST MAN"). Finn brings in Jafsie to finger Hauptmann and again coerces a false testimony. Finally Anna Hauptmann is brought in but is unyielding to Finn's interrogation. Hauptmann and Anna speak briefly and Hauptmann imagines himself free once more to go walking in the country with his infant child ("MY SON").

The reporters question the viability of Hauptmann's guilt (REPRISE: "MY SON") and (REPRISE: "IT'S A CIRCUS).

At the trial, Anne testifies about her son ("BABY'S THINGS). The trial goes on as we see all the politics and hysteria of the media exposed by our roving reporters. The reporters comment on the choice of lawyers for Hauptmann ("DEATH HOUSE REILLY"). Hauptmann is convicted and sentenced to the electric chair (REPRISE: "IT'S A CIRCUS").

The reporters question the viability of Hauptmann's guilt and look for someone who resembles a hero to step in ("ONLY A HERO WILL DO"). The Governor questions the fairness of the trial and the verdict and grants a reprieve, but with each subsequent postponement comes public outcry. After three stays of execution the Governor is unable to save Hauptmann from the electric chair. Hauptmann is executed for the crime he says he didn't commit. In his final hour he meets with a pastor (REPRISE: "MY SON").

The reporters find themselves back at the opening tableau. Laura comes to terms with her disillusionment ( FINALE ACT TWO: "TODAY"S NEWS").