I'd Rather Be Right 1937

Musical numbers
  • A Homogeneous Cabinet
  • Have you met Miss Jones?
  • Take and Take and Take
  • Spring in Vienna/Milwaukee
  • The World Is My Oyster (same music as Spring in Vienna, dropped before the New York opening)
  • A Little Bit of Constitutional
  • Not So Innocent Fun (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • Sweet Sixty-Five
  • We're Going to Balance the Budget
  • We Just Dance And Sing (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • Labor Is the Thing
  • I'd Rather Be Right (first version, dropped before the New York opening)
  • I'd Rather Be Right (second version)
  • Off the Record
  • A Baby Bond
  • We Just Sing And Dance (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • Ev'rybody Loves You (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • A Treaty My Sweety With You (Dropped before the New York opening)
  • His Chances Are Not Worth A Penny (Dropped before the New York opening)
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Music by Richard Rodgers
Produced by Sam H. Harris
Book by George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart
Directed by George S. Kaufman
Choreoghraphy Charles Weidman, Ned McGurn
Starring: George M. Cohan, Taylor Holmes, Joy Hodges, Austin Marshall, Marion Green, Mary Jane Walsh
It ran for 290 performances

 
Plot
  The locale is New York's Central Park on the 4th of July. Peggy and Phil (Joy Hodges and Austin Marshall) hope to get married but Phil's boss won't give him a raise until Roosevelt balances the budget, Phil falls asleep and dreams that they meet FDR strolling through the park, After Phil explains the couple's dilemma, Roosevelt promises to help - which is only an excuse for some genial ribbing at the expense of Cabinet member, the Supreme Court, the PWA, fireside chats, Alf Landon, press conferences, and the President's decision to seek a third term.
Overview
 Overview   
George M. Cohan

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.







Overview
 Reviews   

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."

NEWSWEEK:
"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."

 

Overview
33" nowrap>  Joy Hodges on the show:    "Never before had the advance sale for a musical been $67,000. Never before had anyone offered an automobile for four tickets to opening night (and been refused). Never before had a musical presented the President of the United States, the Supreme Court and the entire Cabinet as song and dance men all trying to accomplish one goal: to balance the budget so Peggy Jones' boy friend could get a raise and they could get married. Even the President's mother got into the act.

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, žIs 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, žMy 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."


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