Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lux Radio Theater
Show: Little Women
Date: Mar 13 1950

CAST:

The Lux Team:
ANNOUNCER, John Milton Kennedy
WILLIAM KEIGHLEY, your host
LIBBY COLLINS, Hollywood reporter
BENAY VENUTA, intermission guest

The Little Women:
JO, the tomboy / JUNE ALLYSON
BETH, the youngest, very shy / MARGARET O'BRIEN
MEG, the eldest / JANET LEIGH
AMY, very status-conscious

The Others:
HANNAH
MARMEE
AUNT MARCH
LAURIE, the boy next door / PETER LAWFORD
JOHN BROOKE
MR. LAURENCE
MRS. GARDINER (2 lines)
SALLIE (1 line)
SERVANT (1 line)
PROFESSOR BHAER
2ND SERVANT (2 lines)

ANNOUNCER:

Lux presents Hollywood!

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Lever Brothers Company, the makers of Lux Toilet Soap, bring you "The Lux Radio Theatre," starring June Allyson, Peter Lawford, Margaret O'Brien and Janet Leigh in "Little Women." Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. William Keighley!

MUSIC:

THEME ... UP AND OUT

SFX:

APPLAUSE

KEIGHLEY:

Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. "Little Women" is one of the most enjoyable stories ever written. It has all the endearing qualities that make for real drama, laughter, romance, and tears. And never has the story been presented more expertly, or with greater artistry, than in the recent picture from the studios of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Tonight's play is based on this picture and we have four of the original stars. First, June Allyson, whose warmth and sincerity have made her an outstanding attraction; Peter Lawford, with all his charm and talent; Margaret O'Brien, in one of her most appealing roles; and lovely and gracious Janet Leigh, to complete one of the greatest casts we've ever presented.

"Little Women" is the story of the March sisters and their romances. Four girls whose loves and ambitions are completely different, but who are bound together by happy family ties -- a story beloved by three generations of Americans. You know, every day we receive letters from modern little women, telling us that Lux Toilet Soap is the complexion care in their homes. Mothers set the example and daughters follow -- a good rule where Lux complexions are concerned.

The curtain rises on the home of our "Little Women," starring June Allyson as the unforgettable Jo, Peter Lawford as Laurie, Margaret O'Brien as Beth, and Janet Leigh as Meg, who tells our story.

MUSIC:

FOR A BRIEF INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) We were four sisters -- Amy, Jo, Beth and I. I shall start our story during that winter of Eighteen Sixty-Four when Papa was still away at war. What a miserable Christmas, we all thought; how happy a Christmas it really was.

BETH:

Well, at least we have a Christmas tree, Amy -- and I think it's beautiful.

AMY:

Christmas won't be Christmas, Beth! Not without presents!

MEG:

Oh, it's dreadful to be poor. I especially feel it, because I'm the eldest and I can remember when we used to be rich.

BETH:

We're better off than a lot of people, Meg. Orphans, for instance. We have Father and Marmee -- and each other.

JO:

But we haven't got Father, Beth, and probably won't have him for a long time.

BETH:

But, Jo, the men in the Army are having such a terrible winter. Marmee's right -- we have to make sacrifices.

MEG:

Only I'm tired of making over these same dresses year after year.

AMY:

Well, I don't think any of you suffer as I do. You don't have to go to school with impertinent girls who label your father just because he's poor.

JO:

Oh, Amy! If you mean "libel," then say so, and stop talking about "labels" as if Papa was a pickle bottle. ...

AMY:

Well, you needn't be so "statirical" about it, Jo! It's proper to use good words and improve one's "vocabilary." (PRONOUNCED "VO ka bil AIR ee")

JO:

"Vocabilary"?! Christopher Columbus!

MEG:

Jo! Don't use slang words.

AMY:

Oh, I just detest rude, unladylike young ladies.

JO:

And I hate affected snips.

BETH:

"Birds in their little nests agree."

JO:

Oh, I'll never get over my disappointment at not being a boy. Look at me! Dying -- simply dying! -- to go and fight at Father's side, and here I am, sitting and knitting -- like a poky old woman.

BETH:

Poor Jo.

JO:

Oh, thank you, Miss Beth, but I don't need any pity -- because someday I'll be a famous writer and make my fortune. Oh, not that I'll forget about my sisters. You'll all ride around in fine carriages. And you, my Beth -- you will have a new piano. And you, Meg -- you'll have ten dozen dresses and satin slippers, and red-headed boys to dance with.

MEG:

I shall like that. I thank you.

JO:

So there's no use fretting now. I'll get famous just as soon as I can. Meanwhile, let's rehearse the play.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS OFF

HANNAH:

(APPROACHES) Meanwhile, it's time for tea! Come, girls; help me with the tray.

SFX:

RATTLE OF TEA TRAY

AMY:

Don't we ever have coffee any more, Hannah?

HANNAH:

Coffee is scarce and dear. And it seems to me, you'd be-- Hmmph!

MEG:

What is it, Hannah?

HANNAH:

Someone's looking in this room!

GIRLS:

(GASP)

AMY:

What?!

HANNAH:

Keep away from the window.

BETH:

But, Hannah, who is it?

HANNAH:

(WITH DISAPPROVAL) That Laurence boy.

JO:

(INTERESTED) Where? Where is he?

HANNAH:

Next door in the Laurence house, where he belongs. Only he does not belong at their parlor window, staring into our parlor window.

AMY:

But what Laurence boy?

HANNAH:

Mr. Laurence's grandson, of course.

JO:

Ha! I didn't know the old fusspot had a grandson. ...

HANNAH:

Well, he just came home. First, he ran away from college.

AMY:

Ooh, that's the bravest thing I've ever heard of!

HANNAH:

And when they found him, there he was -- wounded, in an Army hospital. He'd lied about his age and enlisted.

JO:

How perfectly splendid! I should like to do the same.

AMY:

Jo, what are you doing?

JO:

Well, if he can look out of his window at us, I can look out of ours at him.

AMY:

(GASPS) Josephine March!

JO:

Oh, he's still there. Gee, I'm glad he's a boy. I certainly would like to know a boy for a change and have a little fun.

MEG:

Oh, how can you say such things?

JO:

Hmm, I wonder how I could get to know him.

SFX:

JO SLIDES THE WINDOW OPEN

JO:

(CALLS) Yoo hoo! Hello!

AMY:

Oh, Jo! You're disgracing us!

LAURIE:

(OFF) Hello!

JO:

Why, that dreadful boy. He's waving at me!

SFX:

JO SLAMS THE WINDOW SHUT

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) Marmee didn't come home until late that afternoon. She'd been in the village helping poor Mrs. Hummel. As soon as Beth had brought her chair to the fire, I told Marmee my big news.

MARMEE:

News, Meg? What news, dear?

MEG:

I saw Mrs. King about the position, Marmee, and - and she's going to take me. Four dollars a week.

MARMEE:

Meg, I'm proud of you.

MEG:

Oh, they have a beautiful house, Marmee, and the children are sweet. I - I won't mind working at all.

JO:

Was there any mail in the village, Marmee? A letter from Father?

MARMEE:

You don't think he'd forget to write us at Christmas, do you? Amy dear, the letter's in my muff.

BETH:

A letter! A letter from Father!

MARMEE:

He sent you all a little Christmas message.

SFX:

FRONT DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS

AUNT MARCH:

(APPROACHES, IMPERIOUS) How do you do?

JO:

Aunt March!

GIRLS:

(AD LIB) Oh, merry Christmas, Aunt March!

MARMEE:

How nice of you to come.

AUNT MARCH:

Yes, it was nice of me to come. ... Here -- a Christmas remembrance for each of you. Meg.

MEG:

Thank you, Aunt March.

AUNT MARCH:

Jo.

JO:

Thank you, Aunt March.

AUNT MARCH:

Amy.

AMY:

Thank you, Aunt March.

AUNT MARCH:

Beth.

BETH:

Thank you, Aunt March.

AUNT MARCH:

Heh! When I was a girl, my aunts didn't have to come to me.

MEG:

Oh, we planned to visit you tomorrow, Aunt March.

AUNT MARCH:

One never knows if there will be a tomorrow. Well, have you heard from that foolish father of yours? Waltzing away to war and leaving others to care for his family.

JO:

We're very proud of Father, Aunt March, and there's nobody looking out for us.

MARMEE:

(QUIET ADMONISHMENT) Jo--

AUNT MARCH:

Highty-tighty! Heh! If your father'd listened to me, young ladies, you'd be better off today. I begged him not to invest his money with that swindler. If I told him once, I told him--

MEG:

Forgive me, Aunt March, but - but that was years ago and has nothing to do with now.

JO:

Besides, it was our money that got lost, not yours.

AUNT MARCH:

Don't be impertinent, miss! (SCOFFS, MOVING OFF) It's a waste of time to talk. Nobody listens to me anyhow. (UNMERRILY) Merry Christmas!

SFX:

FRONT DOOR OPENS

GIRLS:

(AD LIB) Merry Christmas, Aunt March!

JO:

Aunt March? I'll walk out to your sleigh with you.

AUNT MARCH:

And catch your death of cold while you're about it.

SFX:

FRONT DOOR SHUTS

JO:

Aunt March? You still want me to work for you, don't you?

AUNT MARCH:

Fine time to ask me.

JO:

Well, I'd like to be your companion.

AUNT MARCH:

A companion should be companionable, young woman.

JO:

I will be, I promise. I am willing to bury the hatchet.

AUNT MARCH:

Very well, then.

SFX:

AUNT MARCH GETS INTO SLEIGH ... JINGLE BELLS AS SLEIGH MOVES OFF

AUNT MARCH:

(MOVING OFF) Come over after the holidays. And bring an apron!

JO:

(CALLS) All right; thank you, Auntie. Merry Christmas!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG AND MARMEE--

MEG:

(NARRATES) For all her scolding, Aunt March had given each of us a new shining silver dollar. Supper would have to wait that night as we dashed off to the village store. And later, after we wrapped the presents we were giving to ourselves, Marmee took out the letter that had come from Papa.

MARMEE:

(READS, WARMLY) And give my girls my love and a kiss. Tell them I think of them by day, pray for them by night, and find my best comfort in their affection at all times. I know they will remember to be loving children to you, will work diligently so that these hard times need not be wasted, and that when I return I may be fonder and prouder than ever of my - my little women. How long this sad war will last--

HANNAH:

(INTERRUPTS, AGITATED) Mrs. March, ma'am?

MARMEE:

Yes, Hannah?

HANNAH:

A message from poor Mrs. Hummel, ma'am. She wants to know how soon can you come?

MARMEE:

Right away. Amy, get my boots, dear. My wraps, Jo. Good night, my children.

GIRLS:

(AD LIB) Good night, Marmee.

MARMEE:

Don't wait up for me. I may be late.

SFX:

FRONT DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS BEHIND--

GIRLS:

(AD LIB) Good night! Merry Christmas!

AMY:

A fine Christmas Eve! Papa far away and Marmee out taking care of sick people!

MEG:

And our presents; they look so lonesome under the tree.

BETH:

And there's - there's nothing for Marmee. Nothing. And she needs a new pair of slippers.

JO:

Well, I'm the man in the family while Papa's away, so I'll supply the slippers.

AMY:

But how? Our money's all spent.

JO:

Well, I bought a book. I'll take it back.

BETH:

But I thought of the slippers first, Jo.

JO:

So you did, Beth. Well then, I'll buy her Army shoes -- the very best to be had!

MEG:

And I'll get her a nice pair of gloves. Pink ones.

AMY:

A little bottle of cologne from me. Both Marmee and I just love cologne.

MEG:

Oh, but - but won't the stores be closed?

JO:

Who cares?! (ENTHUSIASTIC, MOVING OFF) Come on, me hearties! We'll storm the Citadel!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN POIGNANT IN BG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) It was long past midnight when Marmee returned. We were huddled at the top of the stairs. We couldn't see her as she stopped by the Christmas tree, but - but we knew that she had found our presents.

BETH:

(MILDLY DISTRESSED) But - but why is she crying? I can hear Marmee and she's crying.

AMY:

Doesn't she like our presents?

MEG:

Come on now. Back to bed before she sees us.

BETH:

(INSISTENT) Why is she crying, Meg?

MEG:

(SLOWLY, SIMPLY) Because she loves us, little Beth. And love and tears live very close together. Come on now.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A FEW MOMENTS ... THEN FADES OUT

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

SFX:

BREAKFAST TABLE BACKGROUND (DISHES, UTENSILS, ET CETERA)

JO:

Christopher Columbus! What a breakfast! Look! Kidney pie and sausage!

AMY:

Popovers and - (INHALES SHARPLY) - and coffee!

BETH:

And everything!

HANNAH:

Merry Christmas, girls.

GIRLS:

Merry Christmas, Hannah!

JO:

Hannah, you do beat the Dutch!

HANNAH:

Oh, I can remember when I served a breakfast like this every day!

BETH:

(IMPRESSED) We must have been enormously rich.

AMY:

Well, kindly pass the popovers, Meg!

MEG:

Now, wait for Marmee, Amy.

HANNAH:

Your Mum's took breakfast and gone. She said she'll meet you all in church.

JO:

Gone?

HANNAH:

Back to the Hummels. The baby finally come, early this morning.

BETH:

(TENSE) Another baby?

HANNAH:

One after another! Six children, half-frozen, huddled in one bed, she said. Your Mum took her breakfast to them.

BETH:

I - I'm not hungry, either.

MEG:

Oh, Beth!

BETH:

(INSISTS) I'm not hungry.

MEG:

But people are starving everywhere, every day. Well, if you're going to let that worry you, you'll never eat at all.

AMY:

(MOUTH FULL) I try not to think about it.

JO:

Those people are far away, Meg, and we don't know them. But the Hummels are near and we do know them.

AMY:

(OFFENDED) You - you're not thinking of giving our breakfast to the Hummels?!

BETH:

(EXCITED) Yes, we are! Aren't we, Jo?

AMY:

Oh, no! You couldn't think of a thing like that! No!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES, AMUSED) Poor hungry Amy! A few moments later, as we passed by the Laurence mansion, loaded with food for the Hummels-- There he was! Mr. Laurence's grandson and - and another young man.

SFX:

GIRLS' FOOTSTEPS TRUDGE THROUGH SNOW ... MOVING OFF DURING FOLLOWING--

LAURIE:

Aren't you rather loaded down, madam? May I help you?

JO:

Oh. Oh, no thank you, sir.

MEG:

(OFF) Josephine! Must you lag so?

JO:

(CALLS, TO MEG) Just a minute! (TO LAURIE) You're his grandson, aren't you? Mr. Laurence's?

LAURIE:

Why, yes. Yes, I am. I'm Theodore Laurence and this is my friend, John Brooke.

JO:

How do you do?

BROOKE:

How do you do.

JO:

I'm Jo March. And I'd like you to meet my sisters -- only I guess they're too far up the road.

LAURIE:

Oh, what a pity.

JO:

Oh, we know all about you, you know! ... 'Bout how you ran away to join the army. Oh, and I'd've done the same in your place. And how you were both in the same regiment, which is splendid, I think. Simply splendid!

LAURIE:

Oh, we're pleased, Miss March. Simply pleased.

MEG:

(OFF) Josephine! Come on!

JO:

(TO THE BOYS) Well -- goodbye.

SFX:

JO'S FOOTSTEPS HURRY AWAY

LAURIE:

Goodbye, Miss March.

BROOKE:

Goodbye, Miss March.

SFX:

JO'S FOOTSTEPS APPROACH MEG ... THEIR FOOTSTEPS CONTINUE DURING FOLLOWING--

MEG:

(MILDLY HORRIFIED) Really, Jo! I must say, really!

JO:

(DISAGREES) Oh, fiddlesticks.

MEG:

What will they think? Stopping to talk when we hadn't met them properly!

JO:

Well, you weren't very friendly. You didn't even say "How do you do?"

MEG:

I don't like the way that man stared at me.

JO:

What man? Oh, Mr. Brooke? I didn't notice.

MEG:

Well, I did! (BEAT, LOW) And he's still looking!

JO:

Who?

MEG:

(LOW) Mr. Brooke! Don't look back.

JO:

Oh, pooh. (CALLS, TO THE BOYS) Bye!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG UNTIL LAURIE SPEAKS--

MEG:

(NARRATES) That was a big morning in our lives, surrendering our breakfast to the Hummel children and meeting young Mr. Laurence and Mr. Brooke. The next afternoon, Jo was out on the walk shoveling snow-- (FADES OUT)

SFX:

JO SHOVELS SNOW

LAURIE:

(OFF) Hello!

JO:

Hello! Hustle yourself out here and help me!

LAURIE:

(OFF) I can't. I have the quinsy.

JO:

Oh, what a shame!

LAURIE:

(OFF) Oh, it isn't contagious. I can have visitors, but -- I don't know anyone, though.

JO:

Well, you know me!

LAURIE:

(OFF) Well, would you care to come over and keep me company?

JO:

Well, I'll speak to my mother, Mr. Laurence. You may expect me, though.

LAURIE:

(OFF) Thank you!

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE ... DOOR SHUTS

JO:

Well, here I am, Mr. Laurence. And I brought you some blancmange; it's soft and will slide down easily. Quinsy, huh? Got some flannel around your throat?

LAURIE:

Oh, yes, yes. You see? And thanks for the blancmange.

JO:

Well, I've come to entertain you. I'll read aloud and you can listen. I do love to read aloud.

LAURIE:

Well, I'd rather just talk, if you don't mind. Uh, won't you sit by the fire?

JO:

Oh, thank you. I love to talk, too. I always-- Christopher Columbus!

LAURIE:

What's the matter?

JO:

Well, this room! What richness! Oh, I call this splendor. That's what I call it -- splendor! Mr. Theodore Laurence, you should be the happiest creature alive.

LAURIE:

Well, it's just a room to me. And it certainly doesn't make me happy. Some tea, Miss March? How many lumps?

SFX:

TEA IS POURED

JO:

One, please. (FIGURES HE CAN AFFORD IT) Uhhh, three. ... Now do tell me all about yourself. Oh, of course I know all about your school and the Army. But before that, what?

LAURIE:

Well, I used to live in Europe with my parents before they died.

JO:

Oh, I'm sorry. Uh, I'm going to Europe, too, you know.

LAURIE:

Oh, really? When?

JO:

(RAMBLING RAPIDLY) Oh, well, I don't know exactly. You see, my Aunt March-- I've decided to work for her as companion-- Oh, and what a nervous, fidgety soul she is, too. Well, anyway, my Aunt March has rheumatism, and the doctor thought that baths-- Oh, not that she hasn't got a bath. She has a very nice bath.

LAURIE:

Mm hm.

JO:

Did you have any baths while you were there, Mr. Laurence? ... I mean for your rheumatism?

LAURIE:

I haven't got rheumatism.

JO:

Oh, well, neither have I. But, you see, I figured that baths wouldn't do me any harm. That is to say, while I was there. Because I've always wanted to go to Europe. Oh, not for the baths, of course. Not at all. But for my writing.

LAURIE:

Mm hm.

JO:

It's so good for writers. You see Aunt March-- Oh, but you don't know Aunt March. (BEAT) What were you going to say, Mr. Laurence?

LAURIE:

(BEAT) Well, it was so long ago, I've forgotten. ... But I'm not Mr. Laurence; I'm Laurie.

JO:

Oh. Well. Laurie. Um, how are you getting along with your grandfather, Laurie?

LAURIE:

Oh, fine, fine. Once I got used to him. Isn't he a holy terror?

JO:

Ha! You should see my Aunt March! ...

LAURIE:

Well, this, uh, this blancmange looks too good to eat.

JO:

Oh, it isn't. Meg made it. She's the oldest.

LAURIE:

Oh, she is? You know, John and I were wondering--

JO:

Why should he wonder?

LAURIE:

Well, he, uh, seems quite taken by your sister's beauty and-- Well, he wondered if there was anybody-- That is, anybody she liked.

JO:

Did he ask you to find out?

LAURIE:

No, no, no. I was just--

JO:

Well, you may tell Mr. Brooke that we don't like anybody in our house. That is, we like a great many people, but we don't like young men. Oh, we like young men, too, but ... we don't like young men who wonder about who else we like.

LAURIE:

Oh.

JO:

And Meg is too young and too fine -- and far, far too clever to bother about who wonders about it. It's ridiculous!

LAURIE:

I beg your pardon, Miss March.

JO:

Yes?

LAURIE:

Uh, you're on fire.

JO:

What?!

LAURIE:

Your dress; in the rear.

SFX:

SLAP, SLAP, SLAP! OF THEIR HANDS AS FIRST JO, THEN LAURIE PUT OUT THE FIRE DURING FOLLOWING--

JO:

Oh! Oh, how clumsy--

LAURIE:

Here, let me help you.

JO:

Well, put it out! Don't just stand there. ...

LAURIE:

Oh, I'm sorry. I hope I didn't hurt you.

SFX:

SLAPPING STOPS

JO:

Oh, that's the second dress I've scorched this week. You see, I like to toast myself and I get too close. ... I think I'd better go home.

LAURIE:

Oh, please don't go. It's dull as tombs here.

JO:

Is that why you stand at your window looking at us?

LAURIE:

It's rude of me, I know. But you always seem to be having such a good time. When the lamps are lighted, it's like looking at a picture, Miss March -- all of you gathered around the fire with your mother.

JO:

Well then, why don't you come over? Then you'd be a part of the picture. And Marmee is so splendid.

LAURIE:

Well, my grandfather mightn't approve. He'd say I was imposing. But in spite of that--

JO:

Oh, bilge. Oh, I know his face frightens half of Concord, but it doesn't frighten me. Of course, every time I've ever seen him, he's been barking at something. Nevertheless, I - I rather like him.

MR. LAURENCE:

(APPROACHES) Well, that's something, isn't it?

JO:

(DISMAYED) Oh. Mr. Laurence.

MR. LAURENCE:

Thank you, madam! My face frightens half of Concord, does it?!

JO:

(BOLDLY) Yes, sir. Frankly, it does. You understand, I don't think you mean to frighten them, but your face is-- Well, you asked me, sir, and-- Yes, I do think so.

MR. LAURENCE:

And I bark, do I?!

JO:

I've heard you bark. Yes, sir. Perhaps you don't bark all the time, but you do bark. Yes, sir. ...

MR. LAURENCE:

And with all that, you rather like me, do you?

JO:

(GENUINELY) Yes, I do. I really do, in spite of everything.

MR. LAURENCE:

And I like you. Have a cup of tea.

JO:

Oh, thank you, I had one. I was just going.

MR. LAURENCE:

No, not so fast, young lady. I have something to ask you.

JO:

Yes, sir?

MR. LAURENCE:

Unless you have already asked her, Laurie.

LAURIE:

Uh, no, sir. I've had difficulty saying much of anything, sir. ...

MR. LAURENCE:

Ah, yes. (TO JO) Young lady, on Saturday night, there will be a cotillion of sorts in this house. We shall be happy if you and your sisters attend.

JO:

A cotillion?! Here?!

MR. LAURENCE:

Well, will you attend?

JO:

Will we! Uh, I mean, I shall ask my mother, Mr. Laurence. It's very grateful of you, sir. I'll go home and ask her right now. (MOVING OFF) A cotillion! Christopher Columbus! ...

MR. LAURENCE:

You know, Laurie, I wonder if that young woman ever walks.

LAURIE:

Christopher Columbus, sir -- I wonder, too. ...

MUSIC:

CURTAIN

SFX:

APPLAUSE

KEIGHLEY:

In a few moments, we'll bring you Act Two of "Little Women." And now here's our Hollywood reporter, Libby Collins. What's new, Libby?

LIBBY:

Well, Mr. Keighley, the darling of musical movies will soon be seen in a new one -- Betty Grable in Twentieth Century-Fox's "Wabash Avenue."

KEIGHLEY:

An event that will make the fans happy. You know, Betty's always delightful in a singing and dancing part.

LIBBY:

She plays a Gay Nineties cabaret performer in love with Victor Mature, the breezy lad who helps her to stardom.

KEIGHLEY:

And Phil Harris does himself proud in his first straight part as the diamond-in-the-rough café owner.

LIBBY:

You know, some of the ensemble scenes are way beyond what the Nineties could have produced in lavishness. And Betty wears some fabulous costumes.

ANNOUNCER:

And does full justice to them.

LIBBY:

Indeed, she does, John. For "Wabash Avenue," her hair is lighter than usual. And in Technicolor you get the full effect of her pink and gold loveliness.

ANNOUNCER:

She's a glamor girl, all right, especially in some of those off-the-shoulder dresses.

LIBBY:

Yes, John. You know, Betty Grable has been a Lux girl for years. For all-over Lux loveliness, Betty Grable recommends the new bath-size cake. Says it gives her skin fresh, new beauty. Leaves her arms and shoulders looking so soft and smooth.

ANNOUNCER:

The new bath-size Lux Toilet Soap is really luxurious. Screen stars like its rich creamy lather.

LIBBY:

And the delicate fragrance it leaves on the skin -- a flowerlike fragrance that lasts.

ANNOUNCER:

Women everywhere are delighted with this satin-smooth bath cake. Your store is featuring Lux Toilet Soap now. Be sure to put both the bath- and the complexion-size on your shopping list. Let everyone in the family enjoy this generous, longer-lasting bath cake. See for yourself why nine out of ten screen stars use Lux Toilet Soap. (BEAT) Now, our producer, Mr. William Keighley.

KEIGHLEY:

Act Two of "Little Women," starring June Allyson as Jo, Peter Lawford as Laurie, Margaret O'Brien as Beth, and Janet Leigh as Meg.

MUSIC:

FOR A BRIEF INTRO ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) A party! An invitation to a party in the richest, most elegant home in Concord. No wonder we were so excited when Saturday night finally arrived. Yet, to be completely honest, only Amy and I really wanted to go.

MARMEE:

You look just lovely, Meg dear.

MEG:

Thank you, Marmee.

MARMEE:

Just lovely. Now, where's Amy?

MEG:

Oh, she's painting Jo's dress, Marmee.

MARMEE:

She's what?

MEG:

Jo's done it again -- stood too close to the fire. Her best dress, too.

MARMEE:

Oh, no.

MEG:

Beth and I patched it for her and now Amy's painting the patch to sort of blend it in. Watercolors.

JO:

Oh, that's splendid, Amy. Splendid! It's right as rain now.

AMY:

(UNHAPPY) But it still shows, Jo. I don't know what you're going to do.

JO:

Oh, that's very simple. I shall spend the evening sitting in chairs. With Beth.

BETH:

(NERVOUS) Do I really have to go? Do I, Marmee? There'll be all those people--

MARMEE:

But it would hurt their feelings if you stayed at home. And besides, little Beth, you must learn not to be afraid of people.

JO:

Well, you, at least, look most attractive, Beth. But look at me. My shoes are too tight, I have nineteen hairpins sticking in my head and a patch on my --- back, and I feel dreadful. ...

AMY:

Jo? Don't you have your white gloves?

JO:

(RELUCTANT) Oh, all right. (SHIVERS) Oooh, how I hate to be elegant. Well, good night, Marmee.

MARMEE:

Good night, my dears.

GIRLS:

Good night, Marmee.

MARMEE:

Now, don't eat too much, Amy, and wait until you're asked.

AMY:

Marmee! You'd think I were a child. Just tell Jo not to stride about and swear. She'll disgrace us.

JO:

I shall be prim as a dish. (MOVING OFF) Come on, my dears! Let's be elegant or die!

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

MUSIC:

SMALL ORCHESTRA PLAYS FOR DANCING

SFX:

PARTY BACKGROUND ... MURMUR OF GUESTS

BETH:

I'm glad we found this spot, Amy. Nobody can see us behind all these potted palms.

AMY:

A palm in a pot is a mark of elegance. Can you see Meg?

BETH:

Oh, yes. She's still dancing with Laurie's friend.

AMY:

Mr. Brooke?

BETH:

(YES) Mm hm.

AMY:

You know, my dear Beth, I do believe our Meg is stricken.

BETH:

I think so, too. Dancing makes anybody dizzy.

AMY:

Oh, I don't mean that.

BETH:

Amy, just look! Just look at that piano over there.

AMY:

(IMPRESSED) Oh, isn't it perfectly absolute?!

BETH:

Why - why, it's bigger than our kitchen.

MR. LAURENCE:

Who's that? Who's that behind the palm?

BETH:

Oh, don't let him see me, Amy.

MR. LAURENCE:

Why aren't you dancing, Miss Amy?

AMY:

Mother thinks I'm too young, Mr. Laurence. Besides, I'd rather mingle with my little sister than mingle with the crowd. She has an informity, Mr. Laurence.

MR. LAURENCE:

Oh?

AMY:

She's shy.

MR. LAURENCE:

Oh, I see.

AMY:

But if it weren't for that, she'd be simply fastidious. She's a real artist, you know. Plays the piano beautifully.

MR. LAURENCE:

Well, she should come over here and play sometime.

AMY:

Oh, she'd never do that. She doesn't play for people. Just herself.

MR. LAURENCE:

But I wasn't going to listen to her. It's just that that piano is going to ruin for want of use. Well, if no one cares to come, never mind.

BETH:

(OVERCOMES HER SHYNESS) Someone cares -- very much.

MUSIC:

DANCE ORCHESTRA FINISHES ITS NUMBER, QUIETLY IN BACKGROUND

MR. LAURENCE:

Oh, I didn't realize you heard what I was saying.

BETH:

I heard, sir. I'm Beth. And I'll come if no one will hear me and be disturbed.

MR. LAURENCE:

Not a soul, my dear. Not a soul. (MOVING OFF) And please tell your mother that I think all her daughters are - are - simply fastidious. ...

AMY:

Oh, Beth! Isn't he just perfectionary? Why, I think--

BETH:

Amy, somebody's coming. Let's hide again.

AMY:

Oh, it's that stuck-up Mrs. Gardiner and her daughter. Don't move.

MRS. GARDINER:

(APPROACHES, WITH DISDAIN) Did you see him, Sallie? Theodore Laurence still with that impudent Josephine March? Well, it's very obvious she's set her cap for him.

SALLIE:

Well, what can you expect, mother? One of them has to marry for money, since they've none of their own.

MRS. GARDINER:

Well, Mr. Laurence will have something to say about that. I'm sure he has other ideas for the boy. Of course, it would be a triumph for Mrs. March. (MOVING OFF) I must say, she's managing the affair very well.

MUSIC:

DANCE ORCHESTRA RETURNS DURING ABOVE

BETH:

(HORRIFIED) Amy? Amy, did you hear what they--? Oh, Amy!

MUSIC:

DANCE ORCHESTRA ... UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG

LAURIE:

Now, this is the third dance, Jo, and I'm hanged if I'll let you refuse me again.

JO:

Please, Laurie, don't ask me any more.

LAURIE:

Well, why not? How can a girl sit so much?

JO:

Oh, very well. See for yourself. There! I'm patched.

LAURIE:

Oh, so you did it again, huh? Too close to the fire.

JO:

You know, life will be far less complicated for me when the warm weather comes.

LAURIE:

Well, the least you can do is--

AMY:

(APPROACHES) Jo! Jo, something awful's happened!

JO:

Amy!

LAURIE:

Well, it can't be that bad.

JO:

Well, what is it?

AMY:

Oh, I can't tell you now. Not in front of him. Beth wants to go home. She's had a dreadful shock and - and I think I want to go home, too.

JO:

Where's Meg, Laurie?

LAURIE:

Still with John Brooke, of course.

JO:

Laurie, would you fetch her please?

LAURIE:

Of course.

MUSIC:

DANCE ORCHESTRA ... UP, FOR A MOMENT ... THEN FADES OUT

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

MARMEE:

I don't understand, Jo. Coming home from the party so early? Well, I'm glad you all had a nice time.

JO:

Oh, yes, Marmee. It was splendid!

GIRLS:

(DRYLY COMPLETING JO'S CATCHPHRASE) Simply splendid!

JO:

Marmee?

MARMEE:

Mm?

JO:

Um-- You don't have any plans for us, do you?

MARMEE:

Plans?

JO:

Well, you know, like - like wanting us to marry rich men or something.

MARMEE:

Why, yes, Jo. I have a great many plans. I want you all to be beautiful, accomplished and good. Of course I'd like to see you marry rich men -- if you loved them. But I'd rather see you as the happy wives of poor men -- or even respectable old maids -- than queens on thrones without peace or self-respect.

JO:

(DETERMINED) Oh, I'm never going to get married. Never.

MARMEE:

(TENDERLY AMUSED) Aren't you, my Jo? Now, go to bed, sweetheart. Go to bed.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) One reason why Jo was so sure she'd never get married was because she wanted to be a writer far more than a wife. Jo never stopped writing. It left her very little spare time -- even for Laurie.

BETH:

Laurie's here, Jo. He said that you said that Aunt March said you didn't have to go to her house today.

JO:

Well, Beth, just send him away.

BETH:

He says he's just going to wait until you come down.

JO:

Oh, I wish he'd realize I haven't time for his nonsense. And what's in that package?

BETH:

Slippers. I made them.

JO:

Who for?

BETH:

A gentleman.

JO:

A gentleman?! What's the matter with everybody in this family?!

BETH:

Oh, but this is an old gentleman. They're for Laurie's grandfather. He's been so kind about letting me play on that lovely piano. And in all the weeks I've been going there, I haven't even seen him.

JO:

Well, go ahead then. Give him the slippers.

BETH:

If your story's finished, Jo, can I read it?

JO:

Nope. Not now. But you keep your fingers crossed and maybe someday you'll read it in print! I'm taking it to the publisher's this morning. Now you run along.

BETH:

Jo-- But what'll I tell Laurie?

JO:

(MOVING OFF) Oh, tell him I went up in smoke.

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

MEG:

(NARRATES) So Jo went into town. But what she didn't know was that Laurie went into town, too -- and he waited for her in front of the publishing office.

SFX:

STREET TRAFFIC BACKGROUND ... HORSES AND CARRIAGES, ET CETERA

JO:

That's not very good manners, Mr. Laurence -- following me.

LAURIE:

What about your manners? Trying to avoid me all the time. What were you doing in there?

JO:

What I was doing is a secret.

LAURIE:

All right. Keep your secret. Only, I've got one, too.

JO:

(INTERESTED) Oh? Something plummy?

LAURIE:

Something very plummy. Now, tell me yours -- and I'll tell you mine.

JO:

All right. Here.

SFX:

RATTLE OF PAPER

LAURIE:

A bank draft?

JO:

Well, read it.

LAURIE:

(READS) "Pay to Josephine March the sum of one dollar." (TO JO) For what?

JO:

Turn it over.

LAURIE:

(READS) "In full payment for her story entitled -- (MOCK OMINOUS) -- 'The Phantom Hand.'" ...

JO:

(PROUD) Well?

LAURIE:

(AMUSED) One dollar!

JO:

(DISAPPOINTED) Oh. Well, maybe it isn't much, but some day I'll get as - as much as ten dollars.

LAURIE:

Jo, I just don't understand you. Cooping yourself up in a garret; missing a lot of fun with me; working -- and for what? For one, measly little dollar!

JO:

It isn't the dollar. At least, that's not all of it. It's-- Well, it-- It'll be read in print, and I wrote every word. And people will read it -- people I've never even seen. (BEAT) Anyway, what's your secret?

LAURIE:

Well, you remember the glove that Meg couldn't find?

JO:

Meg's glove? What about it?

LAURIE:

I know where it is. In somebody's pocket. John Brooke's. That's very romantic, isn't it?

JO:

No. It's horrid!

LAURIE:

You don't like it?

JO:

Of all the sickly, sentimental rubbish! I'm disgusted! And I'm certainly glad Meg doesn't know! She'd be furious!

LAURIE:

Well, I'm not so sure. I believe she's very fond of John.

JO:

She's perfectly happy with the way things are! And you'd better tell Mr. Brooke to keep away from us, or I'll let him know just what I think of him. Trying to break up my family!

LAURIE:

Oh, just wait till someone falls in love with you, Jo. You'll feel differently then. A soft summer day, with the sun setting through the trees, and your lover's arms around you.

JO:

I'd like to see anyone try it! ...

LAURIE:

Would you? Then what would you do?

JO:

I'd give him a good shove -- just like this!

SFX:

JO GIVES LAURIE A GOOD SHOVE ... THEN RUNS OFF

LAURIE:

(CALLS) Jo! Jo, wait! What are you mad at me for?!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) Jo must have run all the way home. I remember how annoyed I was because she burst into the house just as John-- Just as Mr. Brooke was about to leave. He'd been calling on me. She all but knocked him down, too.

JO:

Well, can't a member of the family even come into the house?

MEG:

Oh, I was never so embarrassed in all my life! Oh, Jo -- when are you going to stop your rude, romping ways?

JO:

Not till I'm old and stiff and need a crutch!

MEG:

Look at you. No hairpins; no combs; running down a public road!

JO:

I wish I was a horse!

MEG:

Oh! ...

JO:

Falling in love -- that's what you are! And Amy's not much better, either. Always primping and showing off. Beth's the only one I can depend on. Where is she?

MEG:

She's in the parlor. (REMEMBERS) Oh, we just had a big surprise.

JO:

What kind of a surprise?

MEG:

Mr. Laurence sent her a present. And it took six men to carry it over. His piano.

JO:

Piano?

MEG:

Yes. He's given it to Beth.

SFX:

SCENE FADES OUT ... TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

BETH:

(OVERCOME) For me, Jo. He - he gave it to me. Mr. Laurence!

MARMEE:

But his note, darling. We haven't even opened up the note he sent. Well, read it, Beth.

BETH:

I can't. Will you read it, Jo?

SFX:

LETTER OPENED

JO:

(READS) "Miss Elizabeth March. Dear Madam."

AMY:

Ooh! How elegant!

JO:

(READS) "I have had many pairs of slippers in my life, but never any that suited me so well as yours. I like to pay my debts, so I know you will allow the "old gentleman" to send you something which once belonged to the little granddaughter he lost."

AMY:

(IMPRESSED) Ohhhhh.

JO:

(READS) "I remain, your grateful friend -- and humble servant -- James Laurence."

MARMEE:

(BEAT, QUIETLY) Aren't you going to play the piano, darling?

BETH:

(STILL IN A TRANCE) Not now. (MOVING OFF) I - I have to go and thank him.

MEG:

Look at her, Marmee. Our scared little rabbit going all by herself.

JO:

The piano's turned her head. She'd never go -- not in her right mind.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN INCREASINGLY EMOTIONAL IN BG

SERVANT:

A young lady to see you, Mr. Laurence -- Miss Beth March, the pianist.

MR. LAURENCE:

(GRUFF) Well, show her in! Show her in!

BETH:

(QUIETLY) Good afternoon.

MR. LAURENCE:

(VERY GENTLE) Well. Can't you come any closer?

BETH:

Yes, sir.

MR. LAURENCE:

Now, look at your chin. It's all quivering. But why?

BETH:

(INTENSE) I - I came to thank you, sir. I came to thank you.

MR. LAURENCE:

(LOVINGLY, AS THEY EMBRACE) Little girl, little girl.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN OUT BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) So many things happened in those fast-fleeting days and - and now in retrospect I see them far more clearly than when they were actually happening. But then, I suppose, all I could think of was John, John Brooke. But one event struck all of us -- like a bolt of lightning. A telegram from the War Department.

AUNT MARCH:

Well! So your father's in a hospital, eh? Wounded?

JO:

Marmee's packing now, Aunt March, and she sent me to ask for your help. (HESITANT) She needs -- (BLURTS IT OUT) -- twenty-five dollars for the fare.

AUNT MARCH:

Oh, she does, Miss Jo? I begged your father not to go in the first place, but nobody listens to me! Not until they get into trouble.

JO:

Oh, Aunt March, what's the use of all that now? The train leaves in two hours.

AUNT MARCH:

Always interrupting me! But you'll listen this time!

JO:

(ANGRY) No, I won't! I only came here because Marmee says she's not too proud to beg for Father. Well, I am! I'm too proud to beg for anyone. (MOVING OFF) I'd rather sweep the streets than ever come to you again!

AUNT MARCH:

(TO HERSELF) Stubborn! Obstinate! Rude! (CALLS) Josephine! Come back here! Come back here!

MUSIC:

FOR TRANSITION

MARMEE:

(NOT MAD) So you had another argument with Aunt March?

JO:

(APOLOGETIC) Yes, Marmee.

MEG:

Well, that's funny. She didn't say anything about it when she was here just now.

JO:

(SURPRISED) Aunt March was here?

MARMEE:

Why, yes, dear. She brought me the money.

JO:

Oh, no.

AMY:

And where have you been?

BETH:

Laurie's been looking all over for you, Jo.

JO:

(RELUCTANT) Oh, I lost my temper, so I decided to get some money on my own. Here, Marmee.

MARMEE:

But - but where did you get it? How?

JO:

Well -- look.

GIRLS:

(GASP)

MEG:

Oh, Jo! Jo, your hair! Your beautiful hair!

MARMEE:

(SHOCKED AND MOVED) Oh, my poor Jo.

BETH:

(HORRIFIED) Amy! Amy, look. Jo's cut her hair off and sold it.

JO:

(WITH BRAVADO) Well, it doesn't affect the fate of the nation, so don't start wailing!

LAURIE:

(APPROACHES, TO JO) So you've come home? I've been looking-- Christopher Columbus, you look like a porcupine! ...

JO:

Really? I feel deliciously light and cool.

MARMEE:

(VERY WARM) Your hair will grow back, Jo. It'll be just as lovely as ever, but you will never be more beautiful than you are now.

JO:

(MOVED) Marmee, your - your train.

LAURIE:

I'll be glad to drive you to the station, Mrs. March.

MARMEE:

Thank you, Laurie. Goodbye, my darlings. God bless, keep us all.

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) Never was our house as empty as now. Father, wounded in a hospital -- how badly we didn't even know -- and - and now Marmee had left us, too. And then came the worst disaster of all.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

AMY:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) Come on in, Beth! Lunch is all ready! How are the Hummels, dear? Did you help them like Marmee said?

BETH:

(QUIET, INTENSE) Don't come near me.

JO:

Beth? What is it?

BETH:

The baby. The Hummel's baby. The baby's dead, Jo! The baby's dead!

JO:

(STUNNED) Oh, no.

MUSIC:

TRAGIC ... IN BG

BETH:

(TEARFUL) I tried to warm her feet, but she was so cold and lay so still ---- that I knew she was dead. And then the doctor came and he said it was scarlet fever.

MEG:

Oh, Beth.

JO:

Look at her. Look at her face.

BETH:

No, keep away from me! I feel funny. I-- (FAINTS)

MEG:

I'll put her to bed! Jo, run for Dr. Barnes!

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A DRAMATIC CURTAIN

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

We pause now for station identification. This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.

MUSIC:

LUX SIGNATURE FILLS THE PAUSE ... THEN OUT

KEIGHLEY:

In a few moments, we'll continue with Act Three of "Little Women." We're delighted to have with us tonight the well-known musical comedy star of stage and screen Miss Benay Venuta. Welcome to the Lux Radio Theatre, Miss Venuta.

VENUTA:

Thank you, Mr. Keighley.

KEIGHLEY:

I understand you've been appearing with Betty Hutton in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's new Technicolor musical "Annie Get Your Gun."

VENUTA:

Mm hm, and I think it was the most exciting experience I've ever had. Betty is certainly the girl to play Annie Oakley in the screen version of Irving Berlin's stage hit.

KEIGHLEY:

And, of course, the picture has the famous Irving Berlin tunes from the show.

VENUTA:

Uh huh. "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Doin' What Comes Natur'lly" and many others.

KEIGHLEY:

At the preview, the audience came out as thrilled as though they'd attended a Broadway opening.

VENUTA:

And, at the same preview, feminine fans discovered a new romantic singing star when they saw Howard Keel as Frank Butler.

KEIGHLEY:

And don't forget Louis Calhern as Buffalo Bill and Edward Arnold as Pawnee Bill.

VENUTA:

Weren't they wonderful?

KEIGHLEY:

They were indeed.

VENUTA:

But this will interest you, Mr. Keighley. I know the whole cast feels that much of the credit for the picture should go to George Sidney for his fine direction.

KEIGHLEY:

I agree. And I'm sure everyone in M-G-M's "Annie Get Your Gun" was charmed by Betty's high-spirited beauty. I'll wager that when they saw you and Betty, they said, "Mmmmm, what lovely Lux complexions."

VENUTA:

Thank you. Those of us who have camera close-ups to face give our skin the best care we know. Mr. Kennedy, both Betty and I are devoted to our daily Lux Soap facials.

ANNOUNCER:

Those facials really work, don't they?

VENUTA:

Yes, it's such a quick, easy care, but it certainly does the trick.

ANNOUNCER:

Recent tests by skin specialists prove that. In actually three out of four cases, complexions became softer -- smoother -- in just a short time. Thank you, Miss Benay Venuta, for being here tonight. I think women everywhere will welcome your beauty tip on gentle, protecting Lux Soap care. Now, here's a suggestion. Your store is featuring Lux Toilet Soap now. Be sure to put both the complexion- and the big bath-size on your shopping list. See what quick new loveliness this fragrant white soap will give your skin. Remember, nine out of ten screen stars use Lux Toilet Soap. (BEAT) Now, Mr. William Keighley, our producer.

KEIGHLEY:

The curtain rises on Act Three of "Little Women," starring June Allyson as Jo, Peter Lawford as Laurie, Margaret O'Brien as Beth, and Janet Leigh as Meg.

MUSIC:

BRIEF INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) Those were the darkest days of our lives, but our prayers were answered and our little sister Beth was spared. Marmee was home by now and - and then the glorious day when Papa came back to us, too. Thin and worn and weak, but - but home again.

JO:

Well, Meg, I guess the March family is all together once again. Oh, I call that splendid; I do, really. If only you didn't--

MEG:

If I didn't what?

JO:

Meg, are you expecting that man to call?

MEG:

Man? Well, if you mean John Brooke, Jo--

JO:

Well, I hope you don't think you're in love with him, because I can tell you that you're not.

MEG:

(SURPRISED) I'm not?

JO:

Nope. You see, Meg, I'm a writer -- and so I know. You have none of the symptoms. Your appetite's fine, you sleep like a log, and you don't mope in corners. Therefore you're not in love. Therefore do not go and marry that man.

MEG:

(WITH DIGNITY) I don't intend to go and marry any man.

JO:

You don't? Hurrah for you! You're a trump! But what will you say to him when he comes begging for your hand?

MEG:

Well, I shall say, "Thank you, Mr. Brooke," quite calmly and decidedly. "Thank you, Mr. Brooke, let us be good friends, but nothing more."

JO:

Good! Hand him the mitten, Meg, and then maybe things around here'll be the way they were when--

MEG:

Oh, no!

JO:

"Oh, no" what?

MEG:

Jo, he's here! Look! The veranda!

JO:

(PLEASED) You're in luck. You can tell him off right now! (MOVING OFF) Ohhh, if I could only see his face when you do!

MEG:

(NARRATES) Poor John. I - I tried to send him away; I really did, but I didn't have a chance to. We weren't alone for five minutes before Aunt March descended on us and ordered me out in the hall.

AUNT MARCH:

What was he doing? Proposing to you, wasn't he?

MEG:

Oh, please, Aunt March. He'll hear you.

AUNT MARCH:

Well, let me tell you, Miss -- accept that rook, crook or Brooke and not one penny of my money goes to you!

MEG:

(AROUSED, DEFIANT) I shall marry whom I please, Aunt March, and - and I don't care anything about your money!

AUNT MARCH:

It is your duty, Miss Independence, to marry a rich man and help your family! You may be perfectly sure that fortune-chaser knows you have a rich aunt and that is why he wants to marry you!

MEG:

How dare you say such a thing? Why - why, my John would no more marry for money than - than I would!

AUNT MARCH:

Ha! Do as you please! But the day you marry him, consider yourself disinherited! (EXCLAIMS, MOVING OFF) Now you've even made me forget what I came here for in the first place!

SFX:

DOOR SLAMS SHUT

MUSIC:

QUIETLY ROMANTIC ... IN BG

BROOKE:

(APPROACHES) Meg? Meg, I couldn't help but overhear.

MEG:

Oh, John!

BROOKE:

Thank you for defending me, Meg; for proving that you - do care.

MEG:

I didn't know how much until she said those dreadful things.

BROOKE:

(LOVINGLY) Meg, my dearest Meg.

MUSIC:

UP ... THEN FADES OUT BEHIND--

JO:

Marmee! Marmee, do something!

MARMEE:

Jo? Jo, what is it?

JO:

Go downstairs, quick! John Brooke is acting dreadfully! And Meg likes it! ...

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) John and I were married three months later. There was a reception afterwards at the Laurence home and - and I saw Jo steal away from the crowd and - and then Laurie going after her. I was so sure then that another wedding would not be far distant.

SFX:

OUTDOORS BACKGROUND (BIRDS TWITTER, ET CETERA)

LAURIE:

Oh, don't feel too badly, Jo. She's still your sister and there isn't a finer man in the world than John Brooke.

JO:

(GLUM) She married him. After all of her promises.

LAURIE:

Well, you've still got me, Jo. I'm not good for much, I know, but I'll stand by you all the days of my life.

JO:

You don't know what a comfort you are to me, Laurie.

LAURIE:

Jo? Will you listen to what I want to tell you?

JO:

No, Laurie. Don't say it.

LAURIE:

Oh, but I will, and you must hear me. It's no use, Jo.

JO:

Please--

MUSIC:

YEARNING, ROMANTIC ... IN BG

LAURIE:

I've loved you ever since I've known you. I couldn't help it. I've tried to show you, but you wouldn't let me, and now I'm going to make you give me an answer.

JO:

Well, I never wanted you to care for me so. I've tried to keep you from it when I could.

LAURIE:

And I only loved you more for it. Oh, I know I'm not good enough for you, Jo, but-- If you love me, you can make me anything you like.

JO:

Oh, Laurie, I wouldn't change you. You should marry a lovely, accomplished girl who adores you. Someone - someone who would give you the sort of life you really want. I wouldn't. We'd quarrel, Laurie, and--

LAURIE:

Oh, no, no, we wouldn't.

JO:

We always have, you know. And everything would be horrid.

LAURIE:

Oh, it'd be heaven. Jo, I just can't go on without you.

JO:

I'm so sorry, Laurie -- so desperately sorry -- but I can't say I love you when I don't.

LAURIE:

(HEARTBROKEN) Really and truly, Jo?

JO:

Really and truly, Laurie. I don't think I'll ever marry.

LAURIE:

(BITTER) Oh, yes, you will. You'll meet some good-for-nothing fool and work and live and die for him. I know you will, because it's just your way! And I'm to stand by and see it all happen! Well, I'll be hanged if I will!

JO:

(ALARMED) Laurie, where are you going?

LAURIE:

(MOVING OFF, SAVAGELY) To the devil!

JO:

(CALLS AFTER HIM) Laurie!

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

MEG:

(NARRATES) The months went by and Laurie and Jo scarcely saw each other. And then, through Aunt March, Jo heard of a position in New York -- a good family in need of a governess.

JO:

Oh, I've always wanted to go to New York, Marmee. Why, they have the finest libraries and theatres there, and in my spare time I can write.

MARMEE:

Let me talk it over with Father, my darling.

JO:

I've already asked him. He says it's - it's up to you.

MARMEE:

It might be good for you, Jo.

JO:

Oh, it would! And I won't stay forever -- a year maybe -- and when I come back, why, everything'll be just the same as it used to be.

MARMEE:

I have no little ones any more, Jo.

JO:

You have Beth, Marmee. And Amy.

MARMEE:

Yes, Jo. Yes, of course.

MUSIC:

BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN OUT

MEG:

(NARRATES) So Jo left Concord. We heard from her regularly -- and always an inquiry about Laurie -- and, after a while, always a passing mention of a tutor in the household, a foreigner named Professor Bhaer.

MUSIC:

DURING ABOVE, FADE IN BHAER'S SINGING AND HIS PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT

BHAER:

(SINGS) Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt
Weis was Ich leide
Allein und--

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

MUSIC:

WITH ABOVE, BHAER STOPS SINGING AND PLAYING

BHAER:

(MILD SURPRISE) Oh. Oh, Miss March.

JO:

Oh, please don't stop, Professor Bhaer. It's so beautiful.

BHAER:

Thank you very much.

JO:

What is that song? I've heard you play it before.

BHAER:

It's called "Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt." Do you understand German, Miss March?

JO:

No. No, I don't.

MUSIC:

PIANO, IN BG

BHAER:

The words are by a famous writer, Goethe. I will try to say them for you in English. Let's see now. (AS HE PLAYS, HE SPEAKS THE TRANSLATION, WITH FEELING) "Only who knows what longing is
Can know what I suffer.
Alone and parted, far from joy and gladness,
My senses fail, a burning fire devours me."

JO:

(INSPIRED) Oh, if only I could write something like that. Something that would set other hearts on fire.

MUSIC:

PIANO OUT

BHAER:

You truly like to write, do you not?

JO:

Oh, it's my life, Professor Bhaer!

BHAER:

Sometime you will show me what you have written?

JO:

Oh, yes. And I've just sold another story. It's - it's in "The Weekly Volcano." Oh, it's a wonderful one about-- Well, if you'd really like to read it--

BHAER:

"The Weekly - Volcano"?

JO:

It's a magazine. And it's the best story I've ever done!

BHAER:

How happy you look, Miss March. I'm so glad for you.

JO:

I am happy.

BHAER:

And you have not missed your home so much lately? Or your - your old friends?

JO:

No. No, I haven't. And you are most responsible for that.

BHAER:

Thank you, my little friend.

JO:

Oh, showing me this wonderful, exciting city; the museums, the theatres!

BHAER:

I will tell you something, Miss March. There is no greater pleasure than to hear or see something beautiful with someone - someone who--

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

2ND SERVANT:

Excuse me, Miss March?

JO:

Yes, Paul?

2ND SERVANT:

You have visitors, miss. Your aunt and your sister.

SFX:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

MEG:

(NARRATES) Yes, Amy and Aunt March were in New York, but not for long. Aunt March was taking Amy abroad to Europe.

AUNT MARCH:

Of course I know I promised to take you to Europe, Jo, but then Amy and I get along famously, and I never did get along with you, now did I?

JO:

(TRIES NOT TO SHOW DISAPPOINTMENT) Oh, it's all right, Aunt March. Oh, and, Amy dear, I'm so happy for you. (CHANGES SUBJECT) Now, tell me, how's the family?

AMY:

Oh, they're all fine, Jo. Except Beth. She hasn't been well since she was so sick that time.

JO:

(SADDENED) Beth. Oh, but she must get well. She must.

AUNT MARCH:

(LOW, WITH DISDAIN) And you do know that Meg is expecting? Dreadful, isn't it? ...

JO:

(CHUCKLES) No, Auntie, it's wonderful. (BEAT) And, um, how's Laurie?

AMY:

(SURPRISED) Laurie? Well, didn't you see him when he was here?

MUSIC:

SAD, IN BG

JO:

(STUNNED) Here? In New York?

AMY:

Mm hm, two weeks ago. He and Mr. Laurence are on their way to England.

JO:

And he didn't come to see me?

AUNT MARCH:

Well, can you blame him after the way you trotted off?

JO:

He didn't even try to see me.

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

BHAER:

Yes, Miss March. I have read every one -- all your stories. Thank you for lending them to me.

JO:

Well, Professor Bhaer?

BHAER:

I must be honest, little friend. I was disappointed.

JO:

Oh.

BHAER:

(GENTLY) Why do you write such - such artificial characters, such contrived plots; villains, murderers, fainting women? Do you not know that--? (STOPS, SURPRISED) Miss March? I - I have hurt you. Oh, I'm so sorry.

JO:

Oh, don't pay any attention to me. It's just that everything happens at once.

BHAER:

Everything?

JO:

Well, my little sister is ill. And my trip to Europe will never be. And - Laurie.

BHAER:

Laurie? Oh, yes. Your friend.

JO:

He was in New York. He didn't even try to see me.

BHAER:

What a fool he must be. And I chose this moment to criticize your writing.

JO:

Oh, no. No, I always knew my stories weren't very good, but, you see, they - they help at home to pay the bills.

BHAER:

Yes. Yes, that is what I thought. And I said to myself, maybe I have no right to speak to her, for she does have talent.

JO:

Have I really?

BHAER:

Great talent, little friend. And I say to you, sweep first the mud in the street before you are false to that talent. Say to yourself, I will never write a single line which I have not first felt in my own heart! Say to yourself, while I'm young, I will write the simple, beautiful things I know and understand. Will you do that, Josephine?

JO:

I'll try.

BHAER:

I have a rich friend. He's a publisher. When you are ready for it, I will see that he reads what you write.

JO:

Thank you. Only, I'm going back to Concord. I'm going home.

MUSIC:

ROMANTIC ... IN BG

BHAER:

Going? Home?

JO:

It's where I belong.

BHAER:

Then I - I will not see you again? (BEAT) Yes. Go back to your home and write your stories. And maybe someday, I will see you there, in your home.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) Jo was back and the old house in Concord was briefly lighted again. But there was a great darkness impending. (OVERCOME) Oh, Beth. Our little Beth.

BETH:

Don't cry, Jo. I don't want you to cry for me.

JO:

I'm not crying for you, darling. I'm - I'm just lonesome for Amy and Meg and our old happy times. I'll be all right.

BETH:

It's no use, Jo. I know what the doctor must have said. Please don't tell Marmee or Father, but I know. Jo, you mustn't be afraid. Doesn't it sound funny, me saying that to you, when you've always said it to me? You've always reminded me of a sea gull, Jo. Strong and wild, fond of the wind and storm, and dreaming of flying out to sea. And Marmee said I was the cricket on the hearth, content to stay at home. I can't express it very well. I guess I shouldn't even try, except to my Jo. But it seems that I was never intended to live very long. I never planned what I would do when I grew up like the rest of you did -- because I could never bear the thought of leaving home. But I'm not afraid any more, Jo. I've learned that I won't lose you, that nothing can really part us, though it seems to. And that we'll always be a family, even though one of us is gone. But, Jo, I think I will be homesick for you, even in Heaven.

MUSIC:

SOMBER TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) In April, when my baby was born, I named her Elizabeth in memory of my sister. After we had lost Beth, no one saw very much of Jo. She shut herself up in the garrett, writing. But then, one day, she came to visit me.

JO:

It's all finished, Meg -- my novel. I'm on my way to the post office now.

MEG:

Oh, Jo, how wonderful. Can I read it?

JO:

When it comes back.

MEG:

Maybe it won't come back. Maybe they'll publish it.

JO:

I'm not sending it to a publisher. It's going to Professor Bhaer.

MEG:

Oh. You - you write to him often, don't you?

JO:

Yes, I do. And he knows what I'm writing about. I mean, he understands me, Meg.

MEG:

Well, I think it's splendid. (CAREFULLY) We had a letter, Jo, from Laurie.

JO:

Oh?

MEG:

Jo, how would you feel if - if you heard that Laurie was learning to care for someone else?

JO:

Amy?

MEG:

Yes. They're all in Paris now.

JO:

Then I wouldn't mind at all, Meg. How could I?

MEG:

Well, it's just that - that, you seem so alone, Jo. I-- Well, I thought that if Laurie came back again--

JO:

No. No. (THOUGHTFUL) Amy and Laurie. I'm truly glad, Meg. Truly glad.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG--

MEG:

(NARRATES) In June, Amy and Laurie were back in Concord as husband and wife.

SFX:

OMINOUS THUNDER ... KNOCKING AT DOOR

LAURIE:

(BEHIND DOOR) Jo? Jo, you busy? May I come in?

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

JO:

(DELIGHTED) Laurie! Oh, Laurie, when did you get back? Where's Amy?

LAURIE:

Downstairs with the family. We and a thunderstorm just arrived.

JO:

Oh, I can't wait to see her.

MUSIC:

WARM, IN BG

LAURIE:

Jo? Jo dear, I want to say one thing, then we'll put it by forever.

JO:

You don't need to say it, Laurie. It was always meant to be this way.

LAURIE:

(AGREES) You tried so hard to make me understand.

JO:

But you were so impatient and stubborn.

LAURIE:

Well, now that everything came about the way you wanted it, it'll be like old times again.

JO:

No, Laurie. The old days can never come back. But we can still love each other and help each other all the rest of our lives.

LAURIE:

(AGREES, WARM) Dear Jo, for the rest of our lives.

JO:

Now let's go down. I want to kiss the bride.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND MEG, OUT AT [X]

MEG:

(NARRATES) It was a wonderfully happy reunion that day. (CHUCKLES) Even Aunt March was reasonably cheerful. [X] (SUDDENLY WISTFUL) Only if Beth-- If Beth--

SFX:

VOICES OF FAMILY BUZZ IN BACKGROUND

MEG:

(RECOVERS, NARRATES) During the party, Laurie heard someone at the front door.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS ... POURING RAIN

BHAER:

I beg your pardon. Is Miss March in? Miss Josephine March?

LAURIE:

Why, yes. Won't you come in?

BHAER:

Oh, but-- But there are guests?

LAURIE:

Well, yes, but, er--

BHAER:

I will go. If you will just give her this, please?

LAURIE:

Why, yes. Yes, of course.

BHAER:

Thank you.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES ... BUZZ OF FAMILY GROWS LOUDER

LAURIE:

This is for you, Jo.

JO:

Why, thank you, Laurie.

LAURIE:

Oh, it isn't from me. Some man just--

AMY:

Well, open it up, Jo. Don't just look at it.

SFX:

PACKAGE UNWRAPPED

MARMEE:

(SURPRISED) Why-- Why, it's a book.

JO:

Yes. Yes, Marmee.

MEG:

(READS) "'My Beth' by Josephine March." (EXCITED) Jo, it's your book! It's been published!

AMY:

Well, why didn't you tell us?

LAURIE:

Published a book?!

JO:

Who left it, Laurie?

LAURIE:

Well, a man with sort of an accent.

JO:

Well, where is he?

LAURIE:

Well, he wouldn't come in. He went away.

JO:

(MOVING OFF) Oh, no. He couldn't have. He couldn't have!

MEG:

Jo, come back! It's pouring outside!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS DURING ABOVE ... JO'S RUNNING FOOTSTEPS IN THE RAIN

JO:

(CALLS) Professor! Professor Bhaer!

BHAER:

Miss March? Josephine?

JO:

Where are you going?

SFX:

JO'S FOOTSTEPS SLOW TO A STOP BEHIND--

BHAER:

Back to the railroad station. I came to bring you your book. My friend published it, you see. He has great hopes. He thinks--

JO:

Oh, never mind what he thinks. Did you like it?

MUSIC:

TRUE AND BEAUTIFUL, IN BG

BHAER:

It has such truth, such simple beauty. But I cannot tell you what is deep in my heart.

JO:

And you were going away. I might never have seen you again. Oh, please come back.

BHAER:

I couldn't intrude. You have guests.

JO:

Oh, no, it's just my family. My sister's come home; Amy. She's married to that man I told you about.

BHAER:

Laurie?

JO:

Yes.

BHAER:

Oh.

JO:

And it's the first time we've all been together in such a long time. You will come back?

BHAER:

Oh, please. Please, Jo. Just one moment before--

JO:

Yes?

BHAER:

I have a wish to ask something. Would you--? I have not the courage to think that, but - but if I could hope that-- I know, I shouldn't have asked. I have nothing to give you but my heart, which is full, and these hands, which are empty.

JO:

Then take my hands in yours.

BHAER:

(LOW, LOVINGLY) Jo. Jo, my darling.

JO:

Let me keep them there forever.

MUSIC:

FOR A ROMANTIC CURTAIN

SFX:

APPLAUSE

KEIGHLEY:

We reluctantly draw the curtain and bring our "Little Women" forward for a bow. And here they are, escorted by Peter Lawford -- June Allyson, Margaret O'Brien and Janet Leigh. June, we'll never forget your performance as Jo March.

ALLYSON:

Well, it's an unforgettable part, Bill, but thank you anyway.

KEIGHLEY:

And you, Peter, you're an extremely lucky fellow to star with three such charming girls.

LAWFORD:

Oh, I know it, Bill. I hurried home from New York the moment I heard you were going to produce it.

ALLYSON:

Margaret just got in from New York, too. You must have followed her out here, Pete.

O'BRIEN:

Oh, dear! I hope some columnist won't make an item out of this! ...

SFX:

EVERYONE LAUGHS ... AND THE AUDIENCE APPLAUDS

LAWFORD:

Well, Little Woman, you are a very attractive item.

LEIGH:

Incidentally, June, did you know that Bill Keighley once played in "Little Women" on the stage?

ALLYSON:

No, I didn't. When was that, Bill?

KEIGHLEY:

Well, let's just say it was, uh, some years ago, June.

O'BRIEN:

I guess "Little Women" will go on forever growing up.

LEIGH:

That's what you seem to have done, Margaret.

KEIGHLEY:

Yes, Margaret practically grew up on this stage, and she's always been one of our most enthusiastic Lux girls.

ALLYSON:

Well, aren't we all? Lux Soap is my favorite complexion care.

LEIGH:

You're wise to start early, Margaret. I always use Lux Soap, too.

LAWFORD:

June, I know you've been starring in a picture at M-G-M called "The Reformer and the Redhead." I can guess who the redhead is, but who's the reformer?

ALLYSON:

Oh, it's a new actor named, um, Powell. Dick Powell. ... It's a little different role for him and one I hope he won't try around the house. I'm quite happy with the way things are.

O'BRIEN:

What's your play going to be next week, Mr. Keighley?

KEIGHLEY:

It's the Twentieth Century-Fox comedy hit, "Father Was a Fullback," a rollicking story of a football coach who has as much trouble raising two daughters as he does winning a football game. We're delighted to welcome back for her original role the glamorous Maureen O'Hara. And co-starring with her, the very popular Paul Douglas. It's a comedy the whole family will enjoy.

LAWFORD:

Well, we'll be listening, Bill. Good night.

ALLYSON:

Yes. Good night.

LEIGH:

Good night.

O'BRIEN:

Good night.

KEIGHLEY:

Good night. It's a wonderful evening.

SFX:

APPLAUSE ... FADES OUT ... INSISTENT BEEP-BUZZ-BUZZ OF TELEGRAPH SIGNAL

ANNOUNCER:

Here's a fashion flash from Hollywood!

LIBBY:

Dark seams of contrasting clocks on blonde stockings are the most exciting stocking news since nylons came back. June Allyson likes them with sheer chiffon dresses for a fragile, delicate look. But even her sheerest nylons last twice as long because they always get Lux Flakes care. You know that rubbing stockings with cake soap or using strong soap makes runs come much sooner; strain tests prove it -- prove that Lux Flakes makes all kinds of stockings last twice as long. No wonder over ninety percent of the makers of stockings recommend this gentle care. Put Lux Flakes on your shopping list tomorrow. Give all your nice washables that lovely Lux look.

MUSIC:

LUX THEME ... CONTINUES IN BG

KEIGHLEY:

Lever Brothers Company, the makers of Lux Toilet Soap, join me in inviting you to be with us again next Monday evening, when THE LUX RADIO THEATRE presents Paul Douglas and Maureen O'Hara in "Father Was a Fullback," with Betty Lynn. This is William Keighley saying good night to you from Hollywood.

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

LUX THEME ... CONTINUES TILL END

ANNOUNCER:

June Allyson, Peter Lawford and Janet Leigh appeared by arrangement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, producers of "Nancy Goes to Rio," starring Ann Sothern and Jane Powell. Heard in our cast tonight were Rhoda Williams as Amy, Betty Lou Gerson as Marmee, and Robert Boone as the Professor. Our play was adapted by S. H. Barnett and our music was directed by Louis Silvers. This is your announcer, John Milton Kennedy, reminding you to join us again next Monday night to hear "Father Was a Fullback," starring Maureen O'Hara and Paul Douglas, with Betty Lynn. Stay tuned for MY FRIEND IRMA, which follows over these same stations.

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.