(A to D) Synopses of
Musicals and Plays


 

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"After the Ball"
Music & Lyrics by Noel Coward
Opened June 10, 1954 at the Globe Theatre, (London)
Synopsis
A musical adaptation of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" tells the story of a mysterious woman who is turning the heads of several men, including the happily married Lord Windermere. Lady Windermere. wants revenge, but the discovery of her fan in Lord Darlington's apartments may prove her downfall. A brilliant social comedy of Victorian manners and morals.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1955 Return to Previous Page

"Allegro"
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Director-Choreographer - Agnes de Mille
Opened at the Majestic Theatre in New York on October 10, 1947
Synopsis
Hammerstein had brought the idea of ALLEGRO to Rodgers and it was the first of only two original musicals by R&H not adapted from another source. Hammerstein had conceived it as an Everyman story, an allegory travelling from birth to death.

He chose to make his Everyman a doctor. In addition to its presiding message, ALLEGRO tackles very real concerns about the medical profession: dilemmas that doctors face when a patient's needs conflict with a hospital's agenda, the role of big business in medicine, and a doctor's responsibility to his own community. Rodgers, whose brother and father both practiced medicine, shared his partner's interest in these issues.

Source: http://www3.rnh.com/RHStein/Theatre/showslevel3/allegro/notes.html


Performed at the Music Circus in 1952 Return to Previous Page

"Annie Get Your Gun"
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Herbert & Dorothy Fields
Produced by Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II
Opened May 16, 1946 at the Imperial Theatre, (New York) and ran for 1147 performances.
Synopsis
The story is about a girl, Annie Oakley, who gets her big break into show business with her rifle markmanship. She joins Colonel Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show to be with Frank Butler, the man she fell in love with and the star of the Wild West Show. After some time, a falling out takes place, causing Frank to leave Annie and the Wild West Show to join the rival show. Later on, though, both shows are in need of money. They mutually agree to merge the shows, and Annie and Frank decide to get married. Based on the True Story of Annie Oakley.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1951
Performed at the Music Circus in 1956
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"Anything Goes"
Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book By Guy Bolton, P.G. Wodehouse, Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse
Opened November 21, 1934 at the Alvin Theatre, (New York) and ran for 420 performances.
Movie 1936, 1956
Synopsis
The action takes place on the SS. AMERICAN, sailing from New York to England. On board are the beautiful American heiress Hope Harcourt, her English fiancÚ Sir Evelyn Oakleigh and Hope's mother. Stowing away on board is Billy Crocker, a young admirer of Hope's who can't believe she would really marry the silly Sir Evelyn and determines to try and stop her.

Public Enemy Number Thirteen, with his moll Bonnie, is also along for the ride and he passes on to Billy the passport and ticket of a gangster friend of his who didn't catch the boat. This leads to unwelcome complications for Billy as he and the Public Enemy have to keep changing disguises to avoid arrest.

Keeping the steam at boiling point in the ship's engine room and working the stabilisers overtime is sexy, incandescent Reno Sweeney, ex-evangelist and currently night club singer. With her help all the shipboard disasters are averted and all the romances sorted out - including her own.

This show, widely regarded as the very best of Cole Porter, shows off all the consummate skills of a master, right at the very pinnacle of his powers.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1950
Performed at the Music Circus in 1955
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"Auntie Mame"
"Auntie Mame" began as a novel by Patrick Dennis (aka Ed Fitzgerald)
Adapted into the Broadway play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee (1956)
Synopsis
Mame Dennis, the flamboyant, devil-may-care aunt of young, impressionable Patrick Dennis. Left in Mame's care when his millionaire father drops dead, young Patrick is quickly indoctrinated into his aunt's philosophy that "Life is a banquet--and most poor suckers are starving." Social-climbing executor Dwight Babcock does his best to raise Patrick as a stuffy American aristocrat, but Mame battles Babcock to allow the boy to be as free-spirited as she is.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1958 Return to Previous Page

"Bells are Ringing"
Book and Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Music by Jule Styne
Opened November 29, 1956 at the Shubert Theatre, (New York) and ran for 924 performances.
Movie 1960
Synopsis
This "Sweetheart of a Musical" opens with eight girls complaining about the doldrums---they're just not getting enough telephone calls. The solution is simple announces an advertisement for Susan answer phone, a telephone answering service. Before the days of answering machines and high technology, the only choice was to hire a service to answer your phone when you weren't home.

This particular answering service is owned and run by Sue, who employs her cousin Ella to answer the phones. Ella has a deplorable tendency to get involved in customers' lives as she takes and delivers their messages. She even falls in love with one of the customers who she has never even met. In It's A Perfect Relationship Ella describes her feelings for Jeff Moss, this unknowing customer. Now, Jeff is a writer who is having trouble getting to work on his next play, and Ella is determined to help him. Whether you call it curiosity or eavesdropping, one thing's for certain, Ella's busybody personality is entertaining!

A subplot involving Sue and Sandor unravels at the same time. Sue falls in love with Sandor, who runs a company called Titanic Records. Conveniently the record company sets up a branch office in Sue's office space. The record company turns out to be a book-making concern, with an ingenious code which Sandor describes to his assistants in It's A Simple Little System. Unknown to anyone, the police are already monitoring Susansweringphone, suspecting that it's a front for a vice ring. Ella takes on a new identity, goes to Jeff's apartment, and convinces him to rework his new play. In the number Hello, Hello There! she teaches him about friendliness. Jeff invites Ella out for the evening, and a friend teaches her the cha-cha in the sizzling Mu-Cha-Cha dance. Eventually Jeff meets her in Central Park and explains that he has grown to love her. He takes her to a party where Ella sings Drop That Name when she finds herself at a loss for conversation. She doesn't think that she's up to Jeff's social status, and sadly slips away as she sings the great ballad The Party's Over. Jeff still doesn't know who Ella really is.

Meanwhile, Sue and Sandor plan a trip abroad, as he tries to borrow money from her to cover some racing debts. Two other answering service subscribers who Ella has also befriended coincidently meet the despondent Jeff in a nightclub. The songs in the club's floor show are written by one of the subscribers who is a musical dentist. The three men discover that Ella's good deeds have helped them all, but not one of them realizes she is the answering service girl. As the police close in on the bookies from the "record company," the three men set off to find Ella. Just as she decides to run away, she is reunited with Jeff. We have a classic happy ending.

Source: http://www.musicalheaven.com/b/bells_are_ringing.shtml


Performed at the Music Circus in 1959 Return to Previous Page

"Bitter Sweet"
Music, Lyrics & Book by Noel Coward
Produced by Florenz Ziegfeld & Arch Selwyn
Opened November 5, 1929 at the Ziegfeld Theatre, New York and ran for 159 performances.
Synopsis
Everything that wealthy London society had to offer a properly brought-up girl lay at the feet of little Sarah Millick in 1875; but she fell so desperately in love with her handsome young singing master that she threw it all away in order to be with him. In Vienna, five poverty-stricken years later, her adored Carl is killed in a duel. But his music lives on as the self-reliant Sarah earns fame throughout Europe with her singing. Finally returning to England, she marries the elderly Marquis of Shayne who has waited so patiently for her. Years later, at a madly bright party in the late 1920s, she tells her story, winning the grudging admiration of the smart young set. The Marchioness, they decide, must have been a gay old bird.

Source: http://www.nodanw.com/shows_b/bitter_sweet.htm


Performed at the Music Circus in 1949 Return to Previous Page

"Bloomer Girl"
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E. Y. Harburg
Book by Sig Herzig & Fred Saidy
Based on the play by Lilith and Dan James
Opened October 5, 1944 at the Shubert Theatre and ran for 654 performances
Synopsis
The setting is the small southern town of Cicero Falls at the time of the American Civil War. Evelina is the only unmarried daughter of the principal manufacturer of hoop skirts for crinolines. Unfortunately she has fallen under the influence of her Aunt Dolly Bloomer, passionate suffragette and the originator of bloomers. Her father, Horatio Applegate has decided the best way to straighten out Evelina is to pick out a nice suitor from a good southern family, Jefferson Lightfoot Calhoun a member of the Kentucky sales team. Evelina is interested in Jeff but is suspicious of any hoop-skirt salesman. To test his resolve she gets him to free his personal slave, Pompey. Jeff agrees and helps Pompey to escape to freedom in the North through a secret underground railway.

This actually gets Jeff into trouble but the trouble is compounded when Evelina. modelling a new super skirt at a garden party organised by her father, lifts her skirt to show that she is clad in bloomers. This she does in support of her Aunt and her causes. Jeff's brother, a committed slave owner, causes trouble and Evelina, Dolly and the slaves are all thrown into jail.

On release the group organise a performance of Uncle Tom's Cabin. Whilst this is taking place news comes that there has been firing of rifles on Fort Sumpter. The American Civil War has begun! This puts on hold the romance between Jeff and Evelina. Jeff enlists in the Confederate Army. Meanwhile, Evelina's brothers-in-law have enlisted in the Zuoave regiment of the Union Army - the regiment that wears trousers that look like bloomers!

The Applegate factory, under the joint direction of Horace and Dolly is turned over to the manufacture of bloomers. After Jeff hears Lincoln speak he changes allegiance. He returns to Evelina as the curtain falls.

Source: http://www.nodanw.com/shows_b/bloomer_girl.htm


Performed at the Music Circus in 1950 Return to Previous Page

"Blossom Time"
Lyrics & Book by Dorothy Donnelly
Based on a Vienesse operetta Das Dreidmaederlhaus
Music by Sigmund Romberg based on the music of Franz Shubert
Opened September 29, 1921 at the Ambassador Theatre and ran for 516 Performances
Synopsis
Old Vienna - and the shy, young composer, Franz Schubert, writes a beautiful love song to his beloved Mitzi. But he gets his best friend Baron Schober to sing it to her, and she falls in love with him instead of poor Franz, who has to find consolation in their happiness - and in his music. Delightful sub-plots concern Mitzi's two attractive sisters and their boyfriends, a temperamental prima-donna and a jealous Count. Famed and loved all over the world for more than half a century, this is a charming show with excellent comedy - and immortal music.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1952 Return to Previous Page

"The Boys from Syracuse"
Book by George Abbott
Based on William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Opened November 23, 1938 at the Alvin Theatre (New York) and ran for 235 Performances
Film Version 1940
Synopsis
The action takes place in Ephesus in ancient Asia Minor, and it concerns the efforts of two boys from Syracuse, Anthipholus and his servant Dromio, to find their long-lost twins who, for reasons of plot confusion, are also named Anthipholus and Dromio. Complications arise when the wife of the Ephesians, Adriana, and her servant, Luce, mistake the two strangers for their husbands, though the couples eventually get sorted out after Adriana's sister Luciana and the Syracuse Antipholus admit their love.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1954 Return to Previous Page

"Brigadoon"
Music by Frederick Loewe
Book & Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Opened March 13, 1947 at the Ziegfeld Theatre, (New York) and ran for 581 performances.
Movie 1954
Synopsis
"Once in the Highlands, the Highlands of Scotland, two weary hunters lost their way." It is this desolate situation which Tommy Albright and Jeff Douglas, two young New Yorkers, are contemplating when the curtain rises on a misty glen in Scotland. As the two exhausted men reflect on what they have forsaken in the States for their present predicament, a lift in the Highland veil reveals to them the awakening village of Brigadoon; a village which comes into being for only one day in each century.

The strained and strange greetings of the villagers bedecked in 18th century costumes, who have gathered in the market square to sell their wares and to discuss the final wedding preparations of Jeannie MacLaren and the boyish Charlie Dalrymple, are softened for Tommy by his encounter with Jeannie's lovely sister, Fiona, and enlivened for Jeff by his reluctant entanglement with the maid, Meg Brockie.

The blissful occasion is momentarily tinged with gloom when the fate of Brigadoon is threatened by Harry Beaton, Jeannie's rejected suitor. And Tommy, now burdened with the knowledge of Brigadoon's secret and enraptured by the gentle charms of the beautiful Fiona, is confronted with the choice of remaining forever at the side of the Scottish lass or returning to the unsatisfying world familiar to him. At the close of the day he is still unable to commit himself without doubt or regret to Fiona and to Brigadoon, and leaves with Jeff for America.

Restless and unhappy in New York, Tommy finally yields to the haunting memory of Fiona and, guided by the faith and strength of his love, finds his way back to Brigadoon.

The misty mood of this Highland setting is strikingly complemented by bright 18th century costuming, contrasting the idyllic Brigadoon villagers with the malcontent young hunters. The fanciful flavor is augmented by superb choreography by Agnes de Mille which gracefully mingles the regional with the modern. An outstanding band orchestration by Philip J. Lang, as well as the standard orchestral accompaniment, offer a memorable resonance to the production.

Like Tommy, the audience delights in the whimsical loveliness of the Highlands, and it is with similar reluctance that they exit Brigadoon.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1950
Performed at the Music Circus in 1951
Performed at the Music Circus in 1954
Performed at the Music Circus in 1959
Performed at the Music Circus in 1963
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"By the Beautiful Sea"
Music by Arthur Schwartz
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Opened April 8, 1954 at the Majestic Theatre, (New York) and ran for 268 performances.
Synopsis
The wacky goings-on in a brightly colored theatrical boarding house in Coney Island in 1907 owned by Lottie Gibson a mature but lively lady, down-to-earth, with no pretenses except in her choice of clothes; many colors, many ruffles, feather boa, and sparkling fake jewels who entertains. Shirley Booth created the role in the 1954 Broadway production.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1955 Return to Previous Page

"Bye, Bye Birdie"
Lyrics by Lee Adams
Music by Charles Strouse
Book by Michael Stewart
Opened April 14, 1960 at the Martin Beck Theatre (New York) and ran for 607 performances.
Movies 1963, 1995
Synopsis
BYE BYE BIRDIE tells the story of a rock and roll singer who is about to be inducted into the army. The singer, Conrad Birdie, an Elvis Presley type, has a pompadour and thick sideburns; he wears gaudy gold costumes and speaks in a rugged voice. Albert Peterson, his agent, is a very pleasant mild mannered young man. Albert's faithful secretary Rose Alvarez keeps him and Birdie moving forward in the world. Rosie concocts one final national publicity plan before Conrad's induction. Conrad will bid a typical American teen-age girl goodbye with an all-American kiss. Kim MacAfee in Sweet Apple, Ohio wins the honor. All of the phones in her town are already busy during The Telephone Hour as Kim has just been pinned to Hugo, a local boy. She is a pretty girl of fifteen and sings with springlike ardor How Lovely to Be a Woman, as she pulls on the plaid woolen socks and the baggy mustard colored sweater considered stylish and popular among young ladies. The arrival of Birdie in Sweet Apple causes people of all ages to swoon. Birdie says that his success is due to the fact that he is Honestly Sincere when he sings, and the quiet little town goes into a spin. The MacAfee household is completely upset by the visiting celebrity. It is decided that Birdie will give his One Last Kiss on the Ed Sullivan show. Kim's father who laments the whole uproar, tries to break into the act and behaves like a ham on the TV show. Hymn for a Sunday Evening is a salute to the greater glory of Ed Sullivan. Birdie becomes disgusted with his life and goes out on the town with the teenagers. He feels tense with Albert and is tired of being supervised. The parents of Sweet Apple cannot understand the new generation and express this in Kids. Rosie, still waiting for that band of gold from Albert after eight years, invades a Shriners' meeting. An extremely hilarious ballet ensues. She then decides to become the Latin American spitfire that she is painted as, by Albert's lead-footed catastrophe-ridden mother. She is determined to become Spanish Rose. Kim is reunited with Hugo, and Rose with Albert in the lovely number Rosie. Other hit numbers include A Lot of Livin' to Do and Put on a Happy Face. BYE BYE BIRDIE is a satire done with the fondest affection. It gives an insight into the everyday life that is very much part of us all. It is the tops in imagination and frivolity; a show that will be enjoyed by the cast as much as the audience.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1962
Performed at the Music Circus in 1965
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"Can Can"
Music By Cole Porter
Lyrics By Cole Porter
Book/Libretto by: Abe Burrows
Produced by: Cy Feuer & Ernest Martin
Choreography by: Michael Kidd
Directed by: Abe Burrows
Opened: May 7, 1953
Theatre: Schubert Theater, (New York)
# of Performances: 892
Synopsis
The story is set in the year 1893 and tells the tale of La Mome Pistache who is upset about the investigation of her Bal Du Paradis, where the major attraction is the Can-Can. She tries to seduce the highly moral investigating judge Aristide Forestier. The two eventually fall in love and when her case comes to trial, Aristide takes over the defence and wins the acquittal.

Source: http://www.musicalheaven.com/Detailed/940.html


Performed at the Music Circus in 1956
Performed at the Music Circus in 1963
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"Carnival"
Music By Bob Merrill
Lyrics By Bob Merrill
Book/Libretto by: Michael Stewart
Based on: the film Lili and material by Helen Deutsch
Produced by: David Merrick
Choreography by: Gower Champion
Directed by: Gower Champion
Opened: April 13, 1961
Theatre: Imperial Theatre
# of Performances: 719
Synopsis
CARNIVAL opens on a few trees and the hint of an expansive meadow. The stage is otherwise empty, without even a curtain. A small figure in shabby clothes enters and starts to play a wheezy concertina. Slowly the instruments of the orchestra join in. The stage begins to light up as roustabouts carry in poles and canvas. A carnival is assembled before our eyes. A wide-eyed, pale faced girl appears. She carries a lopsided suitcase and wears a poor fitting suit and black stockings. Lili, this lonely orphan, is enchanted with the desire to join the lively and glamorous carnival.

Lili is unsuccessful at several jobs with the troupe. The troupe, touring the small cities of France about a generation ago, is raffish and run down. We can see that at one time they were very successful. Touches of this former splendor come forth in the jubilant production number Grand Imperial Cirque de Paris. The jugglers, animal acts, aerialists, clowns and dancers perform before Lili's eyes. She is dazzled by their spirited and colorful excitement. One scene segues into the next without need of curtain or scenery change, except for a few pieces which are pushed off and on by the roustabouts. Scenes are created by banners dropping from the sky and by imaginative highlighting of sections of the stage.

Lili becomes the pawn in a fierce rivalry for her affection between Marco the Magnificent, the troupe's magician and Paul Berthalet, a puppeteer with an injured leg. She is fascinated with Marco's fabulous magic. Paul becomes very jealous of Marco, who seems to be winning Lili with his suave and gallant ways. Marco's dance -Sword, Rose and Cape highlights his personality. His partner in his magic act is billed as The Incomparable Rosalie. She is a comic who threatens to leave him, to marry a doctor who turns out to be a veterinarian. They argue continuously and do a hilarious number -Always Always You in which Marco pierces (with swords) a basket in which Rosalie is enclosed.

Paul communicates through his charming puppets. They include the sentimental walrus who is afraid of "antiwalrus" remarks; the sophisticated fox who observes, "You've never fox-trotted until you've done it with a fox"; a lively redheaded boy and a society lady who the years have somehow passed by. Still searching for her place in the carnival, Lili finally joins the puppet act.

The spirit of the show is brought to the audience with rousing circus parades, hawkers throwing souvenirs into audience members' laps, and performers marching down the aisles. At last the conflict between Marco, the lover who is beguiling, and Paul the lover who is true, is resolved. In a brilliant dramatic moment Lili rejects Marco and exits with Paul.

The hauntingly wonderful musical theme Love Makes the World Go Round runs through the story. The mood of the carnival people is captured perfectly in a simple, touching, lighthanded way. Comedy is blended perfectly with pathos. The effect is "America's Magical Musical" with enchanting appeal for matinee audiences and Saturday night sophisticates.

Source: http://www.musicalheaven.com/Detailed/952.html


Performed at the Music Circus in 1963 Return to Previous Page

"Carousel"
Music By Richard Rodgers
Lyrics By Oscar Hammerstein II
Book/Libretto by: Oscar Hammerstein II
Based on: The Play "Liliom" By Ferenc Molnar As Adapted By Benjamin F. Glazer
Choreography by: Agnes de Mille
Directed by: Rouben Mamoulian
Opened: April 19, 1945
Theatre: Majestic Theatre, (New York)
# of Performances: 890
Synopsis
Freed from labor, mill girls joyously meet their boy friends at an amusement park (Prologue: The Carousel Waltz). Among them are the effervescent Carrie and the moody Julie, who infuriates Mrs. Mullin, the carousel owner, by arousing the interest of her barker (and lover, we infer), Billy. In the ensuing quarrel, Billy is fired. Carrie thinks Julie is attracted to Billy (You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan) and fittingly chooses this as the moment to reveal that she, too, has a beau (Mister Snow). Billy returns, chases Carrie off, and romances Julie (If I Loved You).

Two months later, Julie and Billy are married and living with Julie's cousin Nettie. Preparing for that evening's clambake, the girls and boys indulge in a bit of gender scuffling, then, with Nettie presiding, celebrate the erotic liberation of spring (Give it to 'em good, Carrie... / June Is Bustin' Out All Over). Julie confides to Carrie her marital problems: Billy is out of work and angry. He has even hit Julie. Carrie's news is happier - Mister Snow and she are engaged. The eavesdropping girls are thrilled, not least when Snow himself shows up (Mister Snow (Reprise)). Snow and Carrie look forward to married life: a big family and a thriving business in canned sardines (When the Children Are Asleep).

Whalers on shore leave pile into a waterfront dive (Blow High, Blow Low) and get into a brawl. One whaler, the infinitely sleazy Jigger, tries to interest Billy in a robbery, which they can pull off during the clambake. Billy is leery - but the Julie tells him she is pregnant. Overjoyed at the thought of fatherhood as he walks along the beach (Soliloquy), Billy decides to turn thief with Jigger after all. Nettie, Billy and Julie, Carrie and Mister Snow, Jigger and the rest of the gang sail off to the clambake.

That evening, resting up after the cookout (A Real Nice Clambake), everyone prepares for the annual treasure hunt. Jigger, pretending to show Carrie self-defense maneuvers, gets her into a compromising position just as Mister Snow appears. Now the gender scuffling turns serious, as Snow walks out on Carrie, Billy heads off with Jigger for their robbery despite Julie's protests, and the women lament their lack of power (Geraniums in the Winder / Stonecutters Cut It On Stone / What's the Use of Wond'rin').

Back on the mainland, Billy and Jigger await the arrival of their intended victim by playing twenty-one. Jigger, dealing, cheats Billy out of virtually all his share of the coming boodle. But the robbery is foiled, Jigger escapes, and Billy, seeing his whole life as a failure, kills himself crying, "Julie!" The clambaker's arrive, Julie only just in time to trade a few words with Billy before he dies. "I love you," she tells him, for the first time in her life, after he has died. Nettie comforts her (You'll Never Walk Alone).

It's not over yet. A Heavenly Friend shows up to take Billy "Up There," where, in a scene suggestive of some advanced Protestant sect's open-air meeting house, an austere Star keeper allows Billy to go back and resolve problems he left "Down Here" - for instance, his daughter, Louise, who is now fifteen and as wild and resentful as Billy was. The Star keeper gives Billy a star to take to her as a present. A ballet reveals Louise to us: as a tomboy cut-up, then as a young woman tasting love with a boy she meets in the ruins of her father's carousel (Ballet: Pas de Deux). She is, in effect, recreating her mother's experience, breaking out of a drab life in a dangerous yet wonderful relationship. But the boy wanders off, leaving Louise heartbroken and destructively defiant. Back on earth with the Heavenly Friend, Billy tries to give Louise the star, she suspiciously resists, and he slaps her face - once again, in his inarticulate rage, failing to express his true feelings to those he loves (If I Loved You (Reprise)).

"Common sense may tell you that the endin' will be sad" - but, at Louise's high-school graduation, Billy heartens his daughter and tells Julie, "I loved you." As the congregation clusters in socio-religious community, Billy, in the distance, climbs a great stairway to heaven (You'll Never Walk Alone (Reprise).

Source: http://www.musicalheaven.com/Detailed/954.html


Performed at the Music Circus in 1952
Performed at the Music Circus in 1954
Performed at the Music Circus in 1960
Performed at the Music Circus in 1963
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"The Chocolate Soldier"
Music by Oscar Straus
Book & Lyrics by Stanislaus Stange
Adaptation by Agnes Bernelle, Adam Carstairs and Ronald Hanmer
Based on the play "Arms and the Man" by George Bernard Shaw
Lyric Theatre, New York - September 13, 1909 (296 performances)
Lyric Theatre, London - September 10, 1910
Synopsis
When Lieutenant Bummerli, a Swiss mercenary in the Serbian army, takes refuge from his Bulgarian enemies in the house of a Bulgarian general—to be precise, in the daughter's bedroom—he sets hearts a-flutter, almost compromises three ladies and then ruins the daughter's wedding to a Bulgarian soldier-hero by being recognised as the fugitive! This is just as well because he and Nadina, the daughter, were destined for each other anyway.


Source: http://www.nodanw.com/shows_c/chocolate_soldier.htm

Performed at the Music Circus in 1949
Performed at the Music Circus in 1950
Performed at the Music Circus in 1954
Performed at the Music Circus in 1962
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"Damn Yankees"
Music By Richard Adler
Lyrics By Jerry Ross & Richard Adler
Book/Libretto by: George Abbott, Douglass Wallop
Based on: Douglass Wallop's play "The Day the Yankees Lost the Pennant"
Produced by: Frederick Brisson, Robert Griffith & Harold Prince
Choreography by: Bob Fosse
Directed by: George Abbott
Opened: May 5, 1955
Theatre: 46th Street Theatre, (New York)
# of Performances: 1019
Synopsis
Act One
Scene One: Joe and Meg Boyd, a couple in their forties, are sitting in their comfortable living room in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on a warm evening. Meg is talking to Joe about the weather, but he's obsessed with a baseball game. She sings that for Six Months Out of Every Year," Joe is a great husband, but a lost cause during baseball season, when the Washington Senators take over his heart. The game ends; Joe is furious because his team lost. He wants them to lick those champion Damn Yankees just once. Meg gives up and goes to bed, announcing she has to play bridge the next day. As she leaves, Joe swings at an imaginary ball, and says he would sell his soul for one long-ball hitter for the Senators. Applegate, a mysterious stranger who seems to be a cross between a slick salesman and a song-and-dance man, suddenly appears from the shadows.

Applegate knows of Joe's youthful dreams to play baseball. The stranger does several feats of magic, and enables Joe to touch his toes for the first time in years. Two friends of Meg's, Sister and Doris, pass by, and accuse Joe of talking to himself. Joe realizes Applegate is invisible to everyone but him. Applegate reveals his identity as the Devil, and offers Joe a chance to save the Senators. If Joe agrees, he has to disappear from his present life and become a 22-year-old baseball star named Joe Hardy. A shrewd real-estate agent, Joe insists on an escape clause. Applegate is sure he can make Joe forget his wife, and agrees to let him have one chance to escape selling his soul forever on the 24th of September at midnight. Applegate goes off to call a taxi, and Joe leaves Meg a note as he sings "Goodbye, Old Girl." Although he doesn't tell her where he is going, he insists he loves her. Applegate transforms Joe Boyd into young Joe Hardy, and they leave for the baseball stadium.

Scenes Two and Three: In the Washington Senators' dugout, the team's manager, Van Buren, is encouraging his players to keep trying to win against the Yankees. His players have talent but they also need one essential ingredient for success: "Heart." As they leave, reporter Gloria Thorpe enters to interview Van Buren. Applegate convinces Van Buren to let Joe try out for the team. Joe amazes the team with his skills, and is hired. While Applegate insists he found Joe in Hannibal, Missouri playing sandlot ball, reporter Gloria probes to learn more about him. In the meantime, Joe has to borrow a pair of shoes-his old shoes are too tight for him. Gloria decides to make him famous: she nicknames him "Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, Mo."

Scenes Four and Five: Sister and Doris are outside the ballpark trying to see the new baseball sensation, Joe Hardy. Joe, who is now hitting .480, has led the team to second place in the American League. He is in team owner Welch's office complaining about the reporters' nonstop questions about his past. Welch leaves Applegate to reason with Joe. When Applegate scolds him for sneaking around his old home, Joe says he is lonely for Meg. Applegate says he is going to bring Joe a fascinating woman who will make him forget his wife, but Joe insists he isn't interested. He reminds Applegate that Applegate doesn't own his soul until September 24th. Left alone, Joe reflects on all he has given up to join the Senators ("A Man Doesn't Know"). Joe tells Gloria and a group of reporters that the Senators will have the pennant race sewn up by September 24th.

Scene Six: Applegate gets together with Lola, his female assistant. She reports success on her last assignment; she ruined a man's life and got him to jump out a window. Applegate, who actually wants the Yankees to win, has called her in to help with Joe. He fears Joe's escape clause may endanger his evil plot. He plans to let Senators' fans believe their team can win until the last minute. Then he will pull the rug out from under them by letting the team lose, causing the fans to have heart attacks, apoplexy, or commit suicide. He wants Lola to make Joe forget Meg. She assures him she is the woman for the job ("A Little Brains, A Little Talent").

Scene Seven: Increasingly lonely and disturbed by Applegate's treachery, Joe returns to his house to see Meg (who does not recognize her much-altered husband), and convinces her to let him rent a room in her house. They share their feelings of loneliness, although she has no idea who he is (Reprise: "A Man Doesn't Know"). Sister and Doris recognize Joe as the famous ballplayer, Joe Hardy. Joe pretends to find money in his room, which Meg is sure her husband left for her. Applegate tries unsuccessfully to stop Joe from renting the room.

Scenes Eight and Nine: In the locker room corridor, the players are enjoying their new success. Gloria presses Applegate for information about Joe's past. Applegate brings Lola to the locker room to begin working on Joe. When Joe rebuffs her initial advances, she explains, "Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets." Joe is impressed, but he remains true to Meg. When Joe heads for Meg's house, Applegate accuses Lola of using old-fashioned methods. He decides to cause a scandal for Meg because she has a single man living in her house.

Scenes Ten and Eleven: A group of teenagers and Sister are rehearsing their fan club presentations for a Senators Pep Rally. They reprise "Heart." At the rally, Lola, claiming she is on Joe's side, explains that Applegate made the team lose that afternoon as part of his plan to win Joe's soul. Gloria tells Applegate she has been to Missouri to research Joe's past; she has found out Joe is not really from Hannibal. Applegate suddenly insists that Joe is not Shifty McCoy. Gloria discovers Shifty McCoy was a ballplayer in Mexico who took bribes; she goes off to investigate. Lola performs "Who's Got the Pain" as a member of a group called the "I Love Joe Fan Club." The baseball commissioner calls Welch and accuses Joe of being Shifty McCoy. Joe insists the story isn't true and swears he will clear his name and lead the team to victory.

Act Two
Scenes One and Two: In the locker room, the team members discuss their support for Joe and express their determination to live by the rules, dedicating themselves to "The Game," forgetting any thought of enjoying themselves until the pennant race is over. Joe has asked Meg to meet him outside the ballpark. She apologizes for asking him to give up his room. She says she misses her husband more than ever now that Joe Hardy is gone too. Joe assures her her husband will come back ("Near To You").

Scene Three: Applegate tells Lola that once he has Joe trapped after the 24th, he will make him throw the pennant game. Joe comes in and says he is going to exercise the escape clause on the 24th and Applegate pretends to agree. After Joe leaves, Applegate chastises Lola for feeling sorry for Joe and mourns "The Good Old Days" when evil was in fashion.

Scene Four: At the hearing at the Commissioner's office on September 24th, Applegate says he has a witness coming to prove Joe's innocence who will arrive at fifteen minutes past midnight. Joe says he can't wait. Meg, Sister and Doris appear, pretending to be from Hannibal, and claim they can identify Joe. They convince the postmaster from Hannibal, who has come to the hearing, that he remembers Joe too. At five minutes before midnight, Joe asks to leave the room. The commissioner won't let anyone leave. Meg is giving a speech to vindicate Joe as the clock strikes. Joe has surrendered his soul by default.

Scenes Five and Six: Lola has knocked Applegate out with strong drinks. She tells Joe she was the ugliest woman in Providence, Rhode Island before she sold her soul to Applegate. Joe says he will find a way to win the pennant in spite of Applegate. Joe attempts to make the best of his new life and kisses Lola. They go off to spend the evening dancing together ("Two Lost Souls").

Scenes Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten: Outside the ballpark, Doris and Sister join a crowd waiting for tickets to the big game. Applegate has awakened and is furious with Lola. He is on his way to the game and intends to make Joe throw the game, even if he has to change him back into Joe Boyd on the field. In the dugout, Lola and Van Buren are watching the game. Joe catches the ball that wins the game as Applegate turns him back into Joe Boyd. In the corridor outside the locker room, the team is looking for Joe, who has disappeared.

Scene Eleven: Joe Boyd has returned to Meg's house. He finds her crying on the sofa. She joyfully accepts his return. As they sit together reaffirming their feelings for each other (Reprise: "A Man Doesn't Know"), Applegate and Lola appear. Applegate tries to convince Joe to come back and lead the team to win the World Series. Joe ignores him, to Lola's delight.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1963 Return to Previous Page

"Destry Rides Again"
Music & Lyrics by Harold Rome
Book by Leonard Gershe
Produced by David Merrick
Directed by Michael Kidd
Choreography by Michael Kidd
Opened April 23, 1959 at the Imperial Theatre, (New York) and ran for 472 performances.
Synopsis
In the wide-open town of Bottleneck, Gambler Kent has Judge Slade in his pocket to help him take over the town. And his ace in the hole is the duplicitous Frenchy (Lisa Carroll), who provides the needed distraction to help Kent fleece landowners of their property. After murdering the sheriff, Kent appoints town drunk Washington Dimsdale to take his place. 'Wash' promptly goes on the wagon and sends for Thomas Jefferson Destry, Jr. (Jean Shepard), the son of the ferocious and legendary peace officer Tom Destry. Tom Destry Jr. turns out to be a disappointingly easygoing type who's opposed to the use of firearms and relies instead on hilarious exemplary tales with rather grim morals. However, he proves quite adept at this work, whether it be intimidating would-be lawbreakers with extravagant sharp-shooting exhibitions or making the troublesome, Frenchy , fall in love with him.


Performed at the Music Circus in 1961 Return to Previous Page



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