Celebration is a 1969 avante-garde musical. The music was written by Harvey Schmidt and the lyrics by Tom Jones, partners for the more well-known musical, The Fantasticks.
The story centers on Orphan, a young man who one New Year's Eve stumbles into the home of Mr. Edgar Allen Rich, a very wealthy but jaded old man. Rich's entourage includes Angel, a beautiful young woman and a struggle ensues between Orphan and Rich for the love of Angel. Angel wishes to "be somebody", but it is unclear whether her aspirations would be better served by the old-but-wealthy Rich or by the youthful, vigorous Orphan.
The progress of the story is catalyzed by Potemkin, a Loki-like character who also serves as the narrator, and by the chorus (known as the Revelers). The Revelers are presented almost as a fifth principal character, acting as a group masked by the impersonal industrialism of their society, all the while obediently following the rich man's requests but secretly aiding the young orphan who understands them as individuals.
In the end, Angel makes her choice.
The show explores the interplay between the young and the old, the rich and the poor, and the morals involved with each extreme, while presenting a broader comparison of materialism and simplicity.
Songs and musical numbers
The show contains the following songs: