Inspired by the real events of 1856
...and a few that might have happened.
The Vigilance of San Francisco is an epic musical with the heart of It's a Wonderful Life about political ambition, artistic jealousy, and the redemptive power of brotherly love. Story is centered around the remarkable events of San Francisco’s unbridled citizen’s revolt of 1856 when a populist Vigilance Committee overthrew the corrupt government only to turn the city into an Orwellian dictatorship.
The central action develops between two men who have never met: the repressed, entertainingly evil aspiring writer, Hubert Nobcraft, who suddenly finds himself the powerful secretary of the Vigilance Committee, and the respected Judge Ned McGowan, a handsome, urbane, bon vivant in his early 50’s, more admired for his romantic poetry than his misguided participation in the political shooting that sparked the Committee's formation.
Consumed with jealousy over Ned's celebrity, especially with women, and supported by the unchecked rage of the Committee, Nobcraft embarks on a propaganda campaign using the popular press to not only indict Ned and force him underground where he loses everything, he transforms the judge into the most colorful, reviled, wanted fugitive ever to grace the annals of California history.
Pursued like an animal by Committee goon squads, shameless opportunists and reward-crazed mobs, Ned assumes several disguises as he encounters a string of colorful characters along the way, among them the usual host of Spanish California caballeros, señoritas and banditos (picture the California of Disney's Zorro), a cowardly general, a brave future general, a righteous bandito, a gun-toting Supreme Court justice, a penitent courtesan, and a little old nun at the crumbling Mission Dolores whose conviction, cunning, and fearless temper sees all the central characters unwittingly come together, each in disguise for ulterior reasons, in an unexpected charade that changes hearts and, in the end, the course of history.Go Back