About Runaway (Grecian Light)

With a book by Blake Leach, this musical was based on a modern version of Manon Lescaut. Manon and her brother (Lescaut, the cousin in the original) are traveling through Greece as part of a backpacking teenage group when Manon meets up with Peter (des Grieux in the original), an American teenager on a commercial tour with his parents. Peter and Manon fall in love in spite of their differences in background and economic status. There is, however, resistance, both from Peter's parents and Manon's brother, Robie. Peter's parents like an American girl on the tour, Carol, and find her a much more suitable romantic interest for Peter, although she is somewhat spoiled and antiseptic, even with her good looks. Robie simply hates Americans, for he associates the American way of life with greed and materialism. At the end of the first act, an old, rich Greek comes on to Manon in a local Greek disco. She resists and eventually fights with him. A disco brawl ensues in which he is accidentally killed. Manon is blamed for the old man's death.
Peter and Manon flee the disco, seeking to hide in the surrounding hillside area. They are unaware that they are being followed surreptitiously by Robie. They find a cave for shelter that night, make love, and watch the magical Greek dawn as the second act opens. They plan to run away to Paris, where Peter dreams of becoming a successful writer and Manon a model. In the middle of spinning their dreams, the police arrive, having been tipped off by Robie as to their whereabouts. The lovers are arrested. Peter is returned to his parents, as the tour is about to move on. Manon is taken into custody and will be tried for murder. Peter asks for a moment with Manon alone to comfort her and swear that he will return to help defend her. She is depressed over what seems a hopeless situation, given that she is a poor teenager without support in a foreign land. As the lovers are about to part, Manon makes an abortive attempt to escape, dashes into the street, and is run down and killed by an automobile. An important character throughout the show is an African-American woman, Lily, who is on the tour with Peter's parents. She offers counsel at various points in the show, providing insight both with dialogue and music into the problems that develop between people of diverse cultures.
The original production consisted of choreography by Jacques D'Amboise, donated for his two children who were in the cast. Songs include: "Oh, it's Easy to Hate" (used later in Hello, I Love You and Lovehandles), "Americans" (adapted for Libby as "The New York Scene"), and "The Action" (used later in Hello, I Love You and Lovehandles) "The Worry Bead Song" later became "The Dirty Book Song" and used in Hello, I Love You and Lovehandles. Music for the opening of the second act was adapted into a piano composition entitled "Delphic Dawn."