Lyrics by Lorenz
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by Lew Fields
Book by Herbert Fields
Directed by Alexander Leftwich
Choreoghraphy Jack Haskell
Starring: Helen Ford and Stark Patterson.
It ran for 31 performances.
Early Title:Violet Town
Li-Pi Tchou, the Grand Eunuch's son, and his wife Chee-Chee
flee from Pekin because the young man, about to succeed his father, doesn't
care to meet the usual condition of employment. On their journey they are
set upon the tartars, monks, and brigands . Chee-Chee is carried away but
Li-Pi Tchou rescues her. Then the Great Eunuch catches up with his son and
order him to prepare for the great office. Chee-Chee and her friend Li-Li
Wee arrange for a friend to first kidnap and then substitute for the surgeon.
"Patient" and "doctor" play dominoes during the "operation".
Chee-Chee opened at the Mansfield Theatre on September 25, 1928. Despite
its simple and pristine beauty, it turned out to be a great failure. Although
the critical reaction was in the main understanding, even supportive, the
public's view coincided with that of critic St. John Ervine who headlined
his review "NASTY! NASTY!" and went on to say, "I did not believed any act
could possibly be duller than the first - until I saw the second"
Hart on Chee-Chee
In Chee-chee we are doing away with the ordinary idea of the musical comedy
dance routines and chorus numbers stencil. Here we dare to write a musical
not as a music opera bouffe with recitative, but with little songs some
of them not a minute long.
This new musical technique of Richard Rodgers insures the continuity of
our story. The libretto by Herebert Fields is far from commonplace with
a heroine who dares to be sophisticated and even a naughty little baggage.
In decor too we shall attempt to garish overloading of the stage, but we
shall decorate our stage with pictures that are refreshing in simple and
Lorenz Hart from Philadelphia Public Ledger 08/26/1928