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Book & Lyrics by Stan Gill / Music by Cindy Bright & Jeffrey Payne


T he village of Calliope is very poor. They have patches upon patches on their clothes, and the footwear situation reaches crisis proportions — for the old Shoemaker is a generous and selfless man who turns his last piece of leather into a pair of shoes which he gives to a child rather than see her go barefoot. So when the wicked Tax Collector threatens to take his shop if he can’t come up with ten gilders by the following day, the Shoemaker and his wife start to pack, thinking that it will be their last night there. But that night a strange and wonderful thing happens: Three tiny elves appear, and from the scraps on the Shoemakers table make a remarkable pair of shoes — and then disappear again into the night.

When the Shoemaker and his wife awake to find the shoes, they are puzzled. But nevertheless the shoes sell for ten gilders, and when the wicked Tax Collector arrives to claim the shop, the Shoemaker offers him the money. But the dishonest Tax Collector refuses the ten and instead demands twenty. The couple buy more leather and go to sleep hoping to be able to earn the money tomorrow. The elves come again during the night and make two wondrous pairs of shoes!

The next day, the wicked Tax Collector again refuses their twenty gilders and demands one hundred! This time the Shoemaker and his wife wait up to see who’s making the mysterious shoes. In the meantime, the Lord Mayor has heard about the extraordinary shoes and visits Calliope to purchase a pair for himself — and arrives just in time to catch his Tax Collector extorting gilders from one of his merchants. Furious, he punishes his Tax Collector by making him repay what he’s taken and start repairs on the little village. When the elves return that night, they find tiny clothing that the Shoemaker and his wife have made for them as thanks. They are grateful for the outfits, but realize that they’ve been spotted, and disappear forever. And Calliope lives happily ever after.

Running time: Approx. 50 minutes


The Herald (m or f; narrator)
Rosie (girl)
Pipi (girl)
The Constable (m)
The Nanny (f)
The Shoemaker (m)
The Shoemaker's Wife (f)
The Wicked Tax Collector (m)
The Lord Mayor (m)
The Elves (m or f):



"The Elfin Wind" (Herald)
"I Need Shoes" (Constable, Nanny, Herald, Rosie & Pipi)
"The Jingle of Gold" (Tax Collector)
"One Another" (Shoemaker & Shoemaker's Wife)
"Elfwork" (The Elves)
"These Must've Been Made For Me" (Constable, Nanny, Herald, Lord Mayor)
"The Wise and Benevolent, Timely and Relevent, Glorious, Grand Lord Mayor" (Villagers)
"Look at Me!" (The Elves)

Sample media
Teacher's Guide
Sample Sheet Music for "I Need Shoes"