￼The Magic Horse
Music & Lyrics: Victor Spiegel
Originally a tale from The 1001 Arabian Nights, this is a contemporary retelling of a young man’s quest for his heart’s desire.
STANLEY WELLER is CEO of the Weller Corporation: manufacturers of various helpful inventions. His son, DANIEL, though employed by his father has no wish to be part of this thriving empire and instead reads his fantasy novels.
When a WOODCARVER presents a colorful wooden horse Stanley exclaims they are too difficult to reproduce. The Woodcarver reveals that this is a magic horse. Stanley is offended, “It’s a scam!” he shouts. He is about to send the Woodcarver and the horse away when Daniel protests and asks to examine it.
Daniel takes it back to his room, sits on it and discovers there are buttons and levers cleverly concealed on its body. He pushes one and suddenly he and the horse fly out the window.
He returns elated and excited. He runs to tell his father the fantastic news when his dad takes him aside and explains that everything he does is “for the good of all.” Daniel is torn. He does not know what he can do for the good of all and returns despondently to the horse. This time when he sits and wonders what good he can do, or even know his heart’s desire the horse flies out the window across strange lands and oceans to a castle floating in the sky. There he meets PRINCESS ARIANNA. They fall in love. He learns that her Magician-King father KAHHAR has imprisoned her and she cannot leave until she marries PRINCE WEST. Daniel heroically claims that he will rescue her from her father and jumps on his horse and descends to the city below.
The Big City is so unusual and distracting that Daniel forgets for a while why he is there. Finally he remembers his mission and flies into the king’s room to wait. He is awakened as King Kahhar bangs and pokes his wooden horse, yelling for guards to find the culprit who has gained entrance to his private quarters.
Frightened for his life, Daniel slips out a window, climbs along the balcony and drops into the moat. He swims then runs all through the night.
When the sun rises he is in an inhospitable desert. He is totally unprepared for survival, bemoans his fate and though he keeps traveling at night, there is no shade, no water, no food.
Finally, after nearly going out of his mind, he reaches an enchanted garden where strange creatures roam but there is a stream and a luscious but odd fruit tree. He drinks his fill, eats the fruit and falls asleep.
When he wakes his hands have become paws and he brays like a donkey. He’s turned into a monster! He is doomed! No one will want him- especially Princess Arianna. He falls into a fitful sleep. A sage comes to him in the night and tells him to eat the dried fruit beneath the tree, not the growing fruit. He does and slowly recovers his former shape.
The next morning Prince West and his retinue enter the garden to drink and eat. When the COURTIER runs to Daniel to ask him what to do because their Prince has turned into a monster, Daniel, still recovering from his transformation can only nod. The Courtier, seeing that Daniel is about the same build as their Prince, dress Daniel as the Prince and disguising their own monster prince as a servant and set out to the castle.
The wedding goes ahead and Arianna, surprised at Daniel’s appearance willingly goes through the nuptials, during which Daniel whispers to her to ask for the horse as a parting gift from her father.
On their way back across the desert the Prince has recovered himself enough to throw off his servant’s disguise and vows to destroy Daniel and take his rightful wife when Daniel ducks, runs with Arianna to the magic horse and the couple speed away back home.
There they reward the Woodcarver, help Stanley run the business, and live happily ever after.