- Very Good Eddie
name= Very Good Eddie
caption= Original Cast Recording
P. G. Wodehouse
John E. Hazzard
productions= 1915 Broadway production
1975 Broadway revival
"Very Good Eddie" is a musical with a book by
Guy Boltonand Philip Bartholomae, music by Jerome Kern, and lyrics by Schuyler Green, with additional lyrics by P. G. Wodehouse, Elsie Janis, Anne Caldwell, Frank Craven, Harry Graham, Herbert Reynolds, and John E. Hazzard.
The farcial plot focuses on Eddie Kettle, a very short young man newly married to Georgina, who is extremely tall. They board a
Hudson RiverDay Line boat headed for the Honeymoon Inn in Poughkeepsie. Also on board are extremely tall athlete Percy Darling and his very short bride Elsie. Chaos ensues when the couples cross paths and accidentally trade partners. The vaudeville-style adventure continues at the hotel, where guests with names like Gay Anne Giddy, Fullern A. Goat, Tayleurs Dummee, Alwys Innit, and Madame Matroppo, a sex-crazed opera coach whose student is Lily Pond, pop in and out of rooms while an inebriated desk clerk tries to sort through all the madness. Eventually the mismatched newlyweds find their way back to each other and, not surprisingly, true love prevails.
Early in the 20th century, American
musical theatreconsisted of a mix of elaborate European operettas, like " The Merry Widow" (1907), British musical comedy imports, like" The Arcadians" (1910), George M. Cohan's shows, the operettasof Victor Herbert, and the spectacular revues of Florenz Ziegfeld. But as Cohan's and Herbert's creative output waned, new creative talent was being nurtured on Broadway, including Jerome Kern, Irving Berlinand Sigmund Romberg. Kern began by revising British musicals to suit American audiences, adding songs that "have a timeless, distinctly American sound that redefined the Broadway showtune."Kenrick, John. [http://www.musicals101.com/1910bway.htm "History of The Musical Stage 1910-1919: Part I", "Musicals 101.com: The Cyber Encyclopedia of Musical Theatre, TV and Film"] , accessed May 27, 2008]
Princess Theatrewas a simply designed, 299-seat Broadway theatrethat had failed to attract successful productions because of its small size.Bloom and Vlastnik, pp. 230–31] Theatre agent Elisabeth Marbury asked Kern and Bolton to write a series of musicals specifically tailored to its smaller setting, with an intimate style and modest budgets, that would provide an alternative to the star-studded extravaganzas of Ziegfield and others. Kern and Bolton's first Princess Theatre musical was "Nobody's Home" (1915), an adaptation of a London show called "Mr. Popple of Ippleton". " Very Good Eddie" was their second, with Wodehouse joining the team. This was followed by an even bigger hit in 1917, " Oh, Boy! (musical)" and several others, all featuring modern American settings and simple scene changes (one set for each act) to more aptly suit the small theatre, eschewing operetta traditions of foreign locales and elaborate scenery.
Elisabeth Marburyand F. Ray Comstock, the original Broadway production opened on December 23, 1915at the Princess Theatre and ran for 341 performances. The cast included Ernest Truexand Helen Raymond. The sets were designed by the interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe, who also coordinated the costumes. [Sparke, Penny, "Elsie de Wolfe: The Birth of Modern Decoration", New York: Acanthus Press, 2005, pages 155-156]
In 1975, the
Goodspeed Opera Housein East Haddam, Connecticutrevived the show to great acclaim, prompting the producers to transfer it to Broadway. After three previews, it opened on December 21, 1975 at the Booth Theatre, where it ran for 304 performances. The cast, directed by Bill Gileand choreograped by Dan Siretta, included Charles Repole, Virginia Seidel, James Harder, and Travis Hudson.
* We're on Our Way
* Some Sort of Somebody
* Thirteen Collar
* Bungalow in Quogue
* Isn't it Great to Be Married?
* Good Night Boat
* Left All Alone Again Blues
* Hot Dog!
* If You're a Friend of Mine
* Wedding Bells Are Calling Me ;Act II
* Honeymoon Inn
* I've Got to Dance
* Moon of Love
* Old Boy Neutral
* Babes In The Wood
* Nodding Roses
1975 awards and nominations
Tony Awardfor Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Repole, nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Seidel, nominee)
*Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (nominee)
Theatre World Award(Repole and Seidel, winners)
Drama Desk Awardfor Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Seidel, nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical (Harder, nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical (Hudson, nominee)
*Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival (nominee)
*Bloom, Ken and Vlastnik, Frank. "Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of all Time." Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, New York, 2004. ISBN 1-57912-390-2
* [http://www.ibdb.com/show.asp?ID=9078/ Internet Broadway Database listing]
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