| The Garrick Gaieties 1925
[Plot] [...about Manhattan] [Go To] [Merchandise links]
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by the Theatre Guild
Book by Benjamin M. Kaye, Arthur Sullivan, Morrie Ryskind, Louis Sorin, Sam Jaffe, Howard J. Green, and Edith Meiser
Directed by Philip Loeb
Choreoghraphy Herbert Fields
Starring: Sterling Holloway,James Norris, Romney Brent, June Cochrane, Betty Starbuck, Edith Meiser, Philip Loeb, Eleanor Shaler, Lee Strasberg, Elisabeth [Libby] Holman, and Sanford Meisner
It ran for 211 performances.
Settings and costumes by Carolyn Hancock
Orchestra under the direction of Richard Rodgers
Following a scarf dance by Eleanor Shaler , Edith Meiser sang "An Old-Fashionedoned Girl" the sole effort of the team of Rodgers and Meiser. The first Rodgers and Hart song, "April Fool," performed by Betty Starbuck and Romney Brent, drew a hand big enough to make Rodgers, leading the eleven-piece orchestra, believe he could feel the glow of the audience's enthusiasm.
Next was a spoof of Sidney Howard's play "They Knew What They Wanted", wich had opened at the Garrick six months earlier. It was by Ben Kaye, who called it "They Didn't Know What They Were Getting."' By this time, the audience did, and applauded vigorously, as they did for Hildegarde Halli-day's impersonation of monologist Ruth Draper. The first-act finale was the piece Larry had fought for, a burlesque on opera in the jazz idiom, set in a department store and called "The Joy Spreader", "The curtain came down," Rodgers said "on an extremely generous hand." piece
Act Two opened with "Rancho Mexicana," the production's sole bow to "spectacle," danced by Rose Rolando in a multi-colored set designed by her hushand, the distinguished artist Miguel Covarrubias, "Ladies Of The Box office," which followed, featured Betty Starbuck as Mary Pickford, Libby Holman as a Ziegfeld girl. and June Cochrane as Sadie Thompson, heroine of the hit play Rain. Larry had all sorts of fun, writing lyrics that demonstrate brilliantly his flair for putting the social history of the day into his songs. This was followed by a Morrie Ryskind-Arthur Suivan sketch about the home life of President and Mrs. Coolidge; Ryskind could still perform it, verbatim, half a century later, and remember the enornous laugh its punch line got. Then Sterling Holloway and June Cochrane sang Manhattan in one (that is, in front of an unadorned curtain). There was no question about the audience liking it: the performers had to give several encores, and could have done even more had Larry written extra choruses (a lack he would quickly remedy .
After another sketch Holloway, Brent, and Loeb did the Musketeers number: "Athos, Porthos and Aramis/ We are the kitten's pajamis" followed by Louise Richardson singing the waltz "Do You Love Me, I Wonder? " and Libby Holman doing a torchy version of "Black And White."
The final sketch was a skit on Fata Morgana, another arty Guild production which here became "Fate in the Morning." Then musical director Richard Rodgers led the whole cast into The finale, "The Guild Gildeld."
I just wonder how Larry did write Manhattan. Now I know. He wrote it on a dirty envelope four minutes and twelve seconds before the show opened at the Guild Theater.Larry says he realy worked on the song, polished it as it grew from a todpole to a frog.
Dick Rodgers, Herald Tribune 03/21/1926
The Garrick Gaieties 2nd Edition
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