Bryan D. Leys

Black Crook


Black Crook is a musical fantasy for young and old alike featuring dark sorcery, fantastic creatures and magical instruments, as well as song, dance, whimsy and lovable western characters. Black Crook is based on the plot and characters of the 19th century work by Charles M. Barras often referred to as the first American Musical.

In the year 1600, Hertzog, a German sorcerer, gains immortality by promising to deliver one soul a year to the devil. 188 years later, in 1888, Hertzog, now known as “Nick Holster," a notorious gunfighter in the American west. With a sorcery-enhanced fast draw, Holster has no problem fulfilling his annual obligation to offer up one “human” soul. But in the gold rush town of Desperation, Colorado the local demon, bored with the arrangement, comes up with a new offer. This year, if Holster will provide one “innocent” soul sacrificed of their own free will, he will get ten years of life rather than one.

More than ready for a ten-year vacation, Holster arranges for Rudy, a not-so-bright local boy to go on a treasure hunt to a cave in the Rockies, guarded by a giant magical spider. However with the help of Chesterfield, a prize winning pig transformed by Holster to be a guide, Rudy manages to slay the guardian and return from the cave with bags of gold. He also brings back Stalacia, a fairy princess curious about the outside world, and a magic guitar that turns Rudy into something of a western pied piper. Chesterfield, meanwhile, realizes being rich and human is better than being pork chops.

With his treasure, Rudy claims his true love, Bad Luck Amy, a girl whose boyfriends all seem to have fatal accidents. Soon, Holster forms a reluctant attachment to the fairy princess and Amy’s greedy aunt, Barbara, finds herself in a relationship with the transformed pig. Thus begins a series on entanglements involving the local sheriff, the trickster demon and the sneaky mayor. In the end, good threatens to turn to evil, evil contemplates turning good, and everyone lives more or less happily ever after.

Cast of Characters in Order of Appearance

Nick Holster Gunfighter and sorcerer
Sheriff Wolff The best law money can buy
Bad Luck Amy An unfortunate damsel
Barbara Amy's avaricious aunt
Horatio J. Puffenworth Crooked mayor of Desperation
Rudy A dumb but endearing young man
Sam (Zamial) A female demon masquerading as a dance hall girl. (Zamail also plays a townswoman and others).
Chesterfield A humanized prize pig; (Chesterfield also plays a prospector and others)
Lacey (Stalacia) An errant Fairy Princess

Music Excerpts

Music by Clare Cooper