begins (Prologue) as Thomas Andrews, the architect of
the great ship, pores over the blueprints of his design
(In Every Age). The curtain then rises to reveal the Ocean
Dock in Southampton, England, where people are gathering
to wonder at and to board the ship on sailing day: first
a stoker, then additional crewmen, officers, and stevedores,
the owner, the architect and the captain, the Third and
Second Class passengers, and finally the First Class passengers.
Now fully boarded, the ship pulls out as the company sings
a prayerful farewell (Godspeed Titanic).
One by one, the dreams and aspirations
of key characters are presented: Barrett, the stoker who
wanted to get away from the coal mines (Barrett's Song);
Murdoch, the ship's officer contemplating the responsibility
of command (To Be A Captain); Kate McGowan and the Third
Class passengers who yearn for a better life in America
(Lady's Maid); Chief Steward Etches and the millionaires
he serves who exult in the wonders of their world (What
a Remarkable Age this Is!)
Barrett finds his way to the Telegraph
Room where he dictates a proposal of marriage to his sweetheart
back home (The Proposal) in a telegram transmitted by
Harold Bride, a young telegraph operator smitten with
the possibilities of the new radio technology (The Night
The next day, April 14, after Sunday
morning church service, the First Class attends the shipboard
band's spirited out-of-doors dance-concert (Hymn/Doing
the Latest Rag), an exclusive event crashed by Second
Class passenger Alice Beane, a hardware store owner's
wife who wants more out of life (I Have Danced). That
evening, as Fleet the lookout scans the horizon (No Moon)
and bandsman hartley regales the First Class Smoking Room
with a new song (autumn), the ship sails inexorably towards
her collision, which ends Act One.
Act Two opens as the suddenly awakened
First and Second Class passengers are assembled in the
Grand Salon (Dressed in Your Pyjamas in the Grand Salon)
for life-belt instruction by Chief Steward Etches, before
being sent up to the Boat Deck to board the lifeboats.
In the Telegraph Room, Captain Smith, Mr. Andrews and
Mr. Ismay, the owner, argue over who is for the disaster
(the Blame) while Mr. Bride tirelessly sends out the S.O.S.
Up on the Boat Deck, the male passengers are separated
from their families (To The Lifeboats), and all express
hopes of being reunited (We'll Meet Tomorrow) as the final
boat is lowered. Isidor Straus (the owner of Macy's) and
his wife Ida remain behind together, as she refuses to
leave his side after 40 years of marriage (Still) and
Mr. Etches utters a prayer (To Be A Captain reprise).
In the abandoned Smoking Room, Thomas Andrews desperately
redesigns his ship to correct its fatal flaws until the
futility of his actions leads him to predict, in horrifying
detail, the end of Titanic just as she begins her now-inevitable
descent (Mr. Andrews' Vision).
In an Epilogue, the survivors picked
up by the Carpathia numbly retell what had once been Mr.
Andrews' dream (In Every Age reprise). The living are
joined by their lost loved-ones in a tableau recapturing
the optimistic spirit of the Ocean Dock on sailing day