Cover art by Dixon Scott

Croesus and the Witch and Hansel and Gretel (in the 1980s)

Vinnette Carroll, Marie Thomas, Micki Grant
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This collection includes one short and one full-length musical play. CROESUS AND THE WITCH: In this tale based on an African-American fable, Croesus and his brothers are on a search for success and money. They come up with the idea of finding and catching large numbers of deer, which would not only bring them success but would also help the people of the village. On their journey, they are warned many times about the witch Hecuba. With her crafty disguises, she runs into them on several occasions and continuously tries to be a road block on their path to success. The brothers become heroes in the village after bringing an end to Hecuba and her tricky ways. HANSEL AND GRETEL (IN THE 1980S): This play updates the familiar fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm from the 1800s to the 1980s. Hansel and Gretel’s stepmother, Irma, has a plan to get rid of them. Using a magic spell she convinces her husband, Herman, to get the children out of the house. Once the children are gone, the animals of the forest work to help Hansel and Gretel get back home and escape from the evil Wilma the Witch.


Press Quotes

“CROESUS AND THE WITCH is designed as a children’s show, but it is one entertainment that families can enjoy.” —Mel Gussow, New York Times

About the Author


  • Vinnette Caroll

    Vinnette Carroll was a trailblazing actress, director, and playwright who was the first African-American woman to direct a production on Broadway. Carroll attended Long Island University (B.A., 1944) and New York University (M.A., 1946). Although she was educated in psychology and for a time worked as a clinical psychologist, she left the field to study for the theatre. She appeared in several student productions at the New School for Social Research (now New School University) and made her professional debut in 1948. She first appeared on Broadway in 1957. In 1962 she won an Obie Award for her role in Errol John’s MOON ON A RAINBOW SHAWL. A strong proponent of arts education, she founded in 1967 the Urban Arts Corps (renamed the Urban Arts Theater in 1980) to foster participation by minority groups in all aspects of the theatrical arts. She based her first play, TRUMPETS OF THE LORD (1963), a musical revue, on the work of poet James Weldon Johnson. The hit gospel revue DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE, conceived by Carroll and with music and lyrics by Micki Grant, opened on Broadway in 1972 with Carroll as director and was nominated for four Tony Awards. Her adaptation of The Gospel According to Matthew, YOUR ARMS TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD (also in collaboration with Grant), opened on Broadway in 1976 and was nominated for four Tonys. As an actress, Carroll appeared in Up the Down Staircase (1967), Alice’s Restaurant (1969), and other films. She also worked in television, and in 1964 she received an Emmy Award for Beyond the Blues.

  • Marie Thomas

    Marie Thomas appeared on Broadway in the musical DON’T BOTHER ME I CAN’T COPE, and at Lincoln Center Theater in THE DUPLEX and ANTIGONE. She played Nina Dubois in Charles Smith’s KNOCK ME A KISS at New York’s New Federal Theater, the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and at Crossroads Theater in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She received the Audelco Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance. Also at Crossroads Theater, she played Sister Moore in THE AMEN CORNER and Dorabelle in THE DISAPPEARANCE with Ruby Dee. She received an Audelco Award for Best Actress for THE TALENTED TENTH in New York and at Atlanta’s National Black Arts Festival. She also received an Audelco nomination for her performance in AN EVENING WITH JOSEPHINE BAKER (Off-Broadway and at the National Black Arts Festival). Other theater credits include THE SUMMER HOUSE (The Passage Theater), KING LEAR starring Avery Brooks (Yale Repertory Theatre) and THE DANCE ON WIDOW’S ROW (New Federal Theater and The National Black Theater Festival). Television and film credits include The Cosby Mysteries, L.A. Law, Knots Landing, Amen, The Doctors, One Life to Live, As The World Turns and Hot Shots.

  • Micki Grant

    Micki Grant was a composer, lyricist, bookwriter, singer, and actor. With DON'T BOTHER ME, I CAN'T COPE in 1972, she became the first person to solely write book, music, lyrics and star in a Broadway musical. For the same show, she also became the first woman composer to win a Grammy for Best Score From an Original Cast Show Album. Her other Broadway writing credits include additional music and lyrics for YOUR ARMS TOO SHORT TO BOX WITH GOD (1976), songs for WORKING (1978), and IT'S SO NICE TO BE CIVILIZED (book, music, and lyrics, 1980). Her other writing work includes THE UPS AND DOWNS OF THEOPHILIS MAITLAND, CROESUS AND THE WITCH, STEP LIVELY, BOY, music and lyrics for J. E. Franklin's THE PRODIGAL SISTER (1974) and music and lyrics for PHILLIS (1986). She also wrote the English lyrics for JACQUES BREL BLUES. She received a Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delaney in a two-year tour of HAVING OUR SAY (1996), which also ran six-weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa (1998). She is the recipient of the National Black Theatre Festival's Living Legend Award (1999) and the AUDELCO's Outstanding Pioneer Award in 2000. In February 2005, she was honored at the New Federal Theatre's 35th Anniversary Gala. Grant garnered an OBIE Award for music and lyrics; a Drama Desk Award for lyrics and performance; an NAACP Image Award; an Outer Critics Circle Award for music, lyrics, and performance; and five Tony nominations. In 2013, Micki Grant was awarded the Dramatists Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/1/1984
Pages 190
ISBN 9780881450248