Romance of the Monarchs

Musicals & Operas · lovestar records/earth harmony foundation · Ages 15+ · United States of America

family friendly world premiere

“Even in the jungle, love is in the heir.”


Romance of the Monarchs

A New Musical by Dov Gertzweig



  • The Explorers Guild – From across the globe, explorers and scientists sing of their love for nature, acknowledging that even with their best efforts thus far, earth could still use a helping human hand. As the song ends, the ensemble take seats, and we’re now in a college auditorium for a concert. Preston, the head of the school’s Music department, takes the stage with his violin.
  • Romance of the Monarchs – Leading the school orchestra, Preston performs a moving instrumental. As he plays, another teacher, Marina Windsor, cradling a large potted plant and a microphone, makes her way through the crowd to the front of the stage. She holds the plant up towards Preston, so it can better “hear” the emotional melody. Still standing, the two make eye contact. Obviously they know each other, as they sway in tempo, almost as if dancing together. At the conclusion, Preston bows to the applause, and ducks off stage. Marina turns to face the crowd, as though she’s now before her Science class.
  • Great Big World – Marina, with her plant still sitting there, delivers (sings) her lecture about how all life is connected, perhaps with a slide presentation, and all that she still yearns to learn. Preston slides into the classroom to listen. At the end, Professor James Longley, the school’s Dean, shows up to let Marina know that the university has been selected to attend the Earth Summit in Rio, and he’d like Marina to attend to share her research. Afterward, everyone congratulates her, and then clears out. Alone, Marina sings:
  • Tell me I’m Cute – baring her soul to the plant. Sure, she’s a renowned scientist, but she still craves a human connection. Two female students return to sing a few reassuring verses. On her way out, Marina runs into Preston, and after some discussion, it’s decided that he should accompany her to Rio to help demonstrate live how nature responds to music. They sing:
  • Let’s Go to Rio – The entire school joins in for some impressive choreography with suitcases, ending in a blackout. When the lights come back up, the stage has been transformed with colorful banners, and now we’re in Brazil.
  • Ship of Dreams – This is the “Welcome to Rio” song, laying out the goals for the conference, sung by two new characters, Jimmy Highrock, a rasta-looking dude, and Ronaldo Paulos, a corporate businessman. 
  • How Do They Know – Marina sings her initial conference presentation, citing the synchronistic cycles of milkweed, caterpillars and butterflies. After, Jimmy tells them about an indigenous Amazon tribe, known as the Butterfly Tribe, that he thinks they should meet.
  • Me and Marina – Preston and Marina settle in, dancing on Ipanema Beach. Is their romance brewing? Ronaldo, the corporate guy, shows up, destroying the moment, to make Marina an offer to be the spokesperson for his (supposedly) ecology-based mining and agricultural empire, Orwall Industries. She says she’ll give it a try, and he offers to give her a tour, which they schedule for next week after the summit’s big parade. Is he competition for Preston?
  • Keepers of the Forest – Jimmy guides Marina and Preston through the jungle to the elaborately costumed Butterfly Tribe. Chief Mistolo and the tribe welcome their guests with an impressive dance, singing a song that seems to mirror Marina’s insights.
  • Heal – Marina and Preston undergo an elaborate cocooning vision-quest  ritual, then emerge with a newfound awareness, as well as a seemingly deepening love for one other.
  • Butterflies in the Sky/Forest of Love – Holding hands, Marina and Preston reflect on what they’ve just experienced and learned. Marina, more at home in the wild shows Preston a few secrets of nature.
  • Forever in Time – The tribe surround the lovers to send them off. A flock of iridescent Monarch butterflies rises from the jungle, and seems to lead Marina, Preston and Jimmy home. The three catch sight of a light glowing in the distance. They emerge on a huge devastated patch of land, gutted by deliberately set fires, still burning in the distance. A bulldozer nearby is stenciled with “Orwall Industries,” Ronaldo’s company name! The trio rush back to town. 
  • Dolphin Tango – They arrive at the middle of the big parade. Marina climbs onto the festive Orwell float. Ronaldo spots her, gives her a thumbs up, and she forces a smile. She addresses the crowd, “Not to praise Orwall, but to bury them.” She reveals the truth. Like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, Ronaldo’s thugs grab her from the platform, and spirit her away to a hidden fortress behind a waterfall. It’s all happened so fast that no one’s sure of anything, other than that Marina is missing.
  • Come Home – Preston sings his grief to the various council members, and to Jimmy. The courage Preston lacked before he now musters and ventures to find her. But where can she be? We see the image of Marina having an earnest conversation with Ronaldo in her palace prison. Could this be real, or is it just Preston’s wishful seeing?
  • Love Angel – Jimmy Highrock tries to help, singing his advice to Preston to trust his heart and let love lead the way. 
  • Forever in Time – Reprise  This duet is now Preston singing to missing Marina, and Marina singing back from her kidnapper’s prison. Preston plays on his violin, and the butterflies reappear, and lead him to the waterfall jail, just as Toto leads Dorothy’s friends to find her. The entire town has joined him, transformed to caring about the butterflies and their forests, so Ronaldo is forced to release Marina, offering a lame excuse for her “safekeeping.”
  • One World Now – A big production number with costumes and banners flying, everyone singing, all celebrating Marina’s rescue. Preston plays his violin, and the butterflies reappear. 
  • Power of the Sun – At Marina’s urging, as a coda, Ronaldo has seen the light. He’ll replant the forests, and shift to manufacturing solar panels.

The End


Learn More at

Production Team

* Fringe Veteran