Ludlow Ladd — Libretto by Michael Colby, Music by Gerald Jay Markoe

Ludlow Ladd

Christmas Musical/ 8 Characters, 4 Men, 4 Women/ One Act

Synopsis: Part Dickens, part Gilbert and Sullivan, part Fractured Fairy Tale, this family operetta evolves through mock-Christmas carols. It centers on Ludlow Ladd, a poor young orphan in Victorian Liverpool. It’s Christmas night and his birthday, as Ludlow wanders the streets, searching for a home. The eccentric Grimbles take him to their house, already crammed with animals, plants, and Prudence, their bratty daughter. After annoying the Grimbles, Ludlow is left alone with their Christmas tree. He dreams of the tree turning into the magical Misssus Pinecones, who whisks him to the Land of Yuletime Cheer. The dream becomes a nightmare. But, once he wakes, a miracle leads Ludlow to become the Grimble’s son.

The first half of Ludlow Ladd may be read by clicking on the “Read It Now” button. For a complete reading copy, please see the Contact Information elsewhere on this page.

“Musical of the week. A jolly romp.”
Show Business

“A fascinating prize. Plays off all the gooey sentiment that has been built up around the modern Christmas in story and song. Energetic, charming fun.”
The Rockford Register

“Really wonderful.”
– Bill Thompson, Literary Manager, Actors Theatre of Louisville

Read it Now
Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
330 West 42nd Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10036
(212) 757-6466
Playwright’s website:

About the playwright: Michael Colby is the librettist/lyricist of such musicals as Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk Award nomination), Tales of Tinseltown (Coconut Grove Playhouse), North Atlantic (Show Business Award), Mrs. McThing (Goodspeed), and Ludlow Ladd (New American Theatre). He was chief writer for the Drama Desk Award-winning New Amsterdam Theatre Company, and has written special material for numerous celebrities and Theatre by the Blind. He is a member of the BMI and The Dramatists Guild.

About the composer: Gerald Jay Markoe studied at the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School, receiving Master and Bachelor of Music Degrees. His musicals include Charlotte Sweet (Drama Desk nomination), Delphi or Bust, Happy Haunting, and Ludlow Ladd. In addition to his theatre scores, he is the widely acclaimed composer of numerous CD’s which have topped the New Age best-seller charts. These include Music From the Pleiades, Music of the Angels, Zen Meditations and Celestial Mozart Volumes I and II.

Ludlow Ladd was first produced by New American Theatre, Rockford, Illinois in December, 1982.