Flora, The Red Menace

Full-Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  4w, 5m

Book by David Thompson
Music by John Kander
Lyrics by Fred Ebb

Original Book by George Abbott and Robert Russell

Kander & Ebb's first Broadway musical, set amidst the American Communist agitation during the Great Depression of the 1930s, asks: Is Flora a “red menace”... or just a girl in love?

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4w, 5m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


Musical cultists will remember this show as the first Broadway collaboration of Kander and Ebb (composer/lyricists of Cabaret, Chicago and Kiss of the Spider Woman) as well as the Tony Award-winning debut of Liza Minnelli as Flora Mezaros. With a new, updated book that presents a romance of charming simplicity set amidst the American communist agitation during the Depression of the 1930's, this spirited musical asks: Is Flora a “red menace” or just that good ol' Broadway standby... a girl in love? The score's memorable songs include “A Quiet Thing,” “All I Need is One Good Break,” “The Flame,” “Dear Love” and “Sing Happy.”
Flora, The Red Menace premiered on Broadway at the Alvin Theatre on 11 May 1965. Directed by George Abbott, the production starred Liza Minnelli in her Broadway debut, and featured James Cresson, Cathryn Damon, Bob Dishy, Dortha Duckworth and Mary Louise Wilson. For her performance, Minnelli won the 1965 Tony Award for Best Actress.
Cast Attributes

FLORA MESZAROS – A young fashion illustrator, full of hope, optimism, and a desire to take over the world. She is absolutely guileless, willing to take on any challenge, without a trace of brassiness. 
HARRY TOUKARIAN – A shy, intense, oddly handsome artist. He stammers, especially when he is nervous. He has a romantic vision of how to make society perfect.
CHARLOTTE – A bit of a misfit, a party zealot,  she is determined to spread Communism singlehandedly. She is dry, droll -- the quintessential comic villian.
WILLY – Very boyish, spirited. A songwriter who plays the clarinet, Willy, in a sense, serves as the narrator of the play.
ELSA –  Extremely practical, pulled together, she has aspirations to be a fashion designer and has yet to get up the nerve to get her sketches around town.
MR. WEISS – A former Communist who has lost his jewelry shop to the Depression, he is kindly, knowing.
MAGGIE – Very innocent. Honest. Maggie came to New York from Oklahoma following a dust storm. She is now trying to get a break with her dance partner, Kenny.
KENNY – Moving with Ray Bolger-like limberness and comedy, he is very serious about his dancing and determined to get ahead.
MR. STANLEY – Arrow Shirt Collar-perfect. The perfect department store executive. Easily disliked.          

Cast plays a variety of roles.

  • Time Period 1930s
  • Setting New York City. 1933-1935.
  • Cautions
    • No Special Cautions


“A highly entertaining evening.” – Newsday

“The score is consistently winning and often quite funny.” – WQXR Radio

“Covers familiar territory with a refreshing lightness of touch.” – New York Magazine


  • Flora, the Red Menace youtube thumbnail

    Flora, the Red Menace


Music Samples

Act I

“Opening/Graduation Song” – Company
“The Kid Herself” – Flora and Artists
“All I Need Is One Good Break” – Artists
“It’s Not Every Day of the Week” – Flora and Harry
“Sign Here” – Harry
“A Quiet Thing” – Flora
“The Flame” – Charlotte and Communists
“It’s Not Every Day of the Week (Reprise)” – Flora and Harry
“Dear Love” – Flora and Company

Act II

“Keepin’ It Hot” – Kenny and Maggie
“Express Yourself” – Charlotte
“Where Did Everybody Go?” – Harry, Flora and Charlotte
“You Are You” – Mr. Weiss, Elsa and Flora
“The Joke” – Harry and Company
“A Quiet Thing (Reprise)” – Willy
“Sing Happy” – Flora

  • Orchestra Size Piano Only

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.

Music Rentals

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10 Piano-Vocal

This title is orchestrated for Piano Only.


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Fred Ebb

Fred Ebb (1933–2004) was an award-winning lyricist, librettist and director who frequently and successfully collaborated with composer John Kander. Ebb's work for the theatre included Flora, The Red Menace; Cabaret; The Happy Time; Zorba; 70, Girls, 70; Chicago; The Act; Woma ...

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John Kander

John Kander is a Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winning composer, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award, and a member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame. With frequent collaborator Fred Ebb, he composed the score to dozens of Broadway musicals, including Cabaret, Zorba, Chi ...

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David Thompson

David Thompson's theatre credits include And the World Goes ’Round (Drama Desk and Outer Circle Critics Award), The Look of Love, Thou Shalt Not, Flora the Red Menace (Drama Desk Award nomination), Steel Pier (Tony Award nomination) and the 1996 Broadway revival of Chicago, f ...
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George Abbott

A Broadway actor, director, playwright and producer, George Abbott (1887-1995) wrote and starred in his first comedy, Perfectly Harmless, while attending Harvard. In the 20's/30's, his plays were mostly comedies, including Twentieth Century, Three Men on a Horse and Room Serv ...

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