Musical numbers
  • Height-ho, Lackaday
  • War is war
  • I beg you pardon
  • Cheerio
  • Full-brown roses
  • Here in my harms
  • Finale, act one
  • Gavotte
  • I'd like to hide it
  • Where the Hudson river flows
  • Bye and bye
  • Sweet Peter
  • Here's a kiss
  • The pipes of Pansy (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • Girls do not tempt me
  • Ale, ale, ale (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • Dearest enemy (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • How can we help but miss you? (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • The heremits
  • Old enough to love
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by George Ford
Book by Charles Sinclair and Harry Ford
Directed by Carl Hemmer
Choreoghraphy John M. Anderson
Starring: Helen Ford and Charles Purcell
It ran for 286 performances.

Helen Ford makes her entrance in Dearest Enemy
The setting is the American Revolution-era "forests of Manhattan," at that point a burg far overshadowed by Philadelphia and the like. Menfolk are away fighting the Brits; Mrs. Robert Murray (Lois Saunders) leads the homefront sewing circle, but her younger, more hormonally oriented charges can't hardly stitch for thinking about those absent boys, boys, boys. It's mixed good fortune, then, that a group of British officers turns up to commandeer the house as its temporary headquarters. "Hooray! We're gonna be compromised," the girls enthuse. At first "beating a maidenly retreat," they all learn to flirt for freedom's sake when it turns out Yankee generals Washington and Putnam need the redcoats detained overnight so rebel forces can secretly gather. This subterfuge creates a wee dilemma for Mrs. Murray's niece, Betsy , who wants the colonies freed almost as much as she wants wooing from "enemy" Sir John Copeland .

Helen Ford on Dearest Enemy
I knew this would make a star of me, I knew this instinctively. Up to that time I'd been playing these lead in the shows where the comedian was probably the most important character, and .... well, I just wanted a good part. You know what sold it to me? The entrance. We were going throught a period when they were sneaking the leading lady on so she'd come on with the chorus and they wouldn't see her. I'd had a couple of shows where that had happened to me, and - it's silly, you know? - when you are that young you still have your dreams of being the grand lady. So when I read the book, I saw this marvelous entrance, I made the entrance in a barrel. At the time, this was shocking, you know? It was a wonderful entrance, and it was cute and it was funny, with the English redcoat soldier chasing me with one of my slippers in his hand, and obviously I had no clothes. And I did like the music

Helen Ford

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