The unique collaboration of Rodgers & Hart and Kaufman & Hart brought George M. Cohan back to Broadway after an absence of ten years, resulting in the largest advance sale in Broadway history.
This depression-era political satire, set in NYC's Central Park, poses the question, "What's a young couple to do when they can't get married until he gets a raise, and his boss won't give him a raise until the president balances the budget?" Who should come strolling through the park but FDR himself, and soon he is determined to resolve the country's economic crisis on behalf of his young new friends.
The ensuing machinations bring on the entire cabinet, the supreme court, the Chief Justice, the Federal Theatre's production of "Spring in Vienna," and the president's mother. No one escapes unscathed in this hilarious political sent-up which, ironically, over half a century after its creation, still plays as if inspired by last week's headlines.
NEW YOURK POST:
It should swell out pride, in the freedom we enjoy and in the gift for laughter which must be counted among our natural assets. The more good-humored liberties Mr. Kaufman and Mr. Hart's satire takes, the more liberty is mere performance bespeaks.
NEW YORK DAILY MIRROR:
"Catchy Rodgers & Hart songs...in sum, perfectly swell...an exhilarating cocktail, concocted of romance, hilarity, satire, swing music, tasteful color and vivid personalities."
"Rich in amiable monkeyshines...it applies a droll and delightful slapstick to the seat of government and amounts to as happy a sport as the theatre has provided in some time."
Never before had a little girl from Iowa made her stage debut playing opposite the grand old man of the theatre, George M. Cohan, on Broadway. But it all did happen in 1937.
When I auditioned for the part of the simple naive Peggy Jones (" Have You Met Miss Jones?" was the hit song from the show), I asked George Kaufman and Richard Rodgers who had been searching for me after seeing me at a Sunday afternoon benefit two weeks before, ¾Is this part the girl lead in the show?' You see, I was movie struck and did not really want to leave California just then. Mr. Kaufman smiled and quietly said, ¾My dear, you never leave the stage.' And I didn't for one solid year. It was the most fun year I have ever experienced, hearing gales of laughter night after night. I am sure every audience can relate it all to the political scene going on today. History keeps repeating itself. I introduced Ronald Reagan, my friend from radio days, to my agent in California, who introduced him to Warner Brothers and who, as President of the United States, is still trying to balance the budget for Peggy Jones and all her friends, young and old."