By Joseph Robinette.
Cast: 16-27, flexible, 5-7m., 9-11w., with doubling. Humpty-Dumpty Is Missing! is an affectionate spoof of the private-eye thrillers of the 1940s and '50s and an exciting, funfilled way to introduce young audiences to this classic genre. Sammy Scoop is a private investigator in the tradition of his grandfather, Samuel Shovel and his father, Sam Spade. Sammy faces the biggest challenge of his illustrious career with the sudden fall and disappearance of the jolly Humpty-Dumpty who apparently had no enemies. But Sammy and his sidekick, Alice from Dallas, soon come up with a list of suspects who had motive and, perhaps, opportunity. Mistress Mary, Rip Van Winkle, Henny-Penny, Peter Rabbit and his sisters, Rapunzel and the Handsome Prince (who, because he is a painter, prefers to be called the Artist Formerly Known As the Handsome Prince) are among the many suspects called onto the carpet. A last-minute surprise appearance by two of fairy tales most celebrated characters, Mother Goose and Mother Hubbard, finally help Sammy and Alice nab the culprit (the least likely suspect, of course—we'd never break tradition in that important area). As with the popular Trial of Goldilocks and The Trial of the Big Bad Wolf, this play may be performed by children or adults or any combination thereof. With one simple set and flexible casting, Humpty-Dumpty Is Missing! is ideal for all groups. One interior set. Approximate Running Time: 50 minutes.