Fifty Million Frenchmen

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

Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
Book by Herbert Fields
Adapted by Evans Haile and Tommy Krasker

Cole Porter’s delightful melodies ornament this charming boy-meets-girl comedy set in Paris in 1929.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 5m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Fifty Million Frenchmen


When an American millionaire bets his friends he can live for a month in Paris without his fortune, complications quickly ensue. This romantic comedy features several Cole Porter standards, including “You Do Something To Me,” “You’ve Got That Thing,” “The Tale Of The Oyster” and “Paree, What Did You Do To Me?”
Fifty Million Frenchmen opened on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre on 27 November 1929, starring William Gaxton, Genevieve Tobin, Betty Compton and Lester Crawford. The production played 254 performances.
Cast Attributes

Act I

Peter Forbes, a young American millionaire, journeys to Paris and bets his friends Billy Baxter and Michael Cummins that he can live without his money for a month and, while doing so, get engaged to Looloo Caroll, a young woman he adores. Looloo is in Paris with her parents and her best friend, Joyce. The catch is that Peter has one month, until July 4, to throw their engagement party at the Chateau Madrid. While Peter pursues Looloo, Michael sets his eye on Joyce (“You've Got That Thing”). Trying to woo Looloo while penniless, Peter endures a series of humiliations. He gets a job as a tour guide, but – much to his dismay – catches the eye of Violet Hildegarde, a fur-buyer who sends risqué French postcards to her children (“Where Would You Get Your Coat?”). Meanwhile, an aspiring singer, May DeVere, also develops an interest in Peter. While Peter is preoccupied by doing his job and fighting off two potential suitors, Looloo and Billy begin flirting.

Everyone goes to the racetrack, where Louis Pernasse tells Peter that the race is fixed and a horse called Toujours Moi will win. Peter combines his money with May’s and places a bet. It appears that the horse has lost, so Peter tears up his ticket. However, the winner is disqualified, meaning Peter has won! Looloo, who had lent Peter some money,  thinks he is being selfish in not sharing his winnings. Disgusted, she leaves him (“You Don’t Know Paree”).

Act II

A week later, Pernasse is busy preparing a party for Looloo’s mother, Mrs. Carroll (“Somebody’s Going To Throw A Big Party”). Mrs. Carroll plans to match Looloo with a poor but titled Grand Duke (“The Queen of Terre Haute”). Mr. Carroll, distressed at the cost, gets drunk, and Looloo does not attend, as she has no desire to marry the Grand Duke.

On July 4, Peter is working as a dance host at the Chateau Madrid. As the guests arrive, Billy and Michael continue to chase Violet and Joyce. Peter, with the pressure of the time-limit bet, proposes to Looloo. But Pernasse orders him to dance with a customer, and he obliges. Confused and embarrassed, Looloo starts to leave. Peter and Pernasse have words about the torn-up ticket, and Looloo realizes that Peter told her the the truth. She tells him she trusts him, and the young lovers become engaged – just as the clock tolls midnight (“You’ve Got That Thing” Reprise).

(5 female; 5 male)

Mrs. Emmit (Gladys) Carroll
Joyce Wheeler
Looloo Carroll
Violet Hildegarde
May DeVere

Louis Pernasse
Mr. Emmit Carroll
Michael Cummins
Billy Baxter
Peter Forbes


Male Quartet

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting Paris, 1929.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)



  • Fifty Million Frenchmen at The York Theatre youtube thumbnail

    Fifty Million Frenchmen at The York Theatre


Music Samples

Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2. “You Do Something To Me” – Peter & Looloo
3. “The American Express” – Entire Company
4. “You’ve Got That Thing” – Michael & Joyce
5. Find Me A Primitive Man – Orchestra
6. “I Worship You” – Billy
7. “Do You Want To See Paris?” – Peter & Tourists
8. Playout: Omnibus – Orchestra
9. “Where Would You Get Your Coat?” – Violet
10. “At Longchamps Today/Yankee Doodle” – Entire Company
11. “I’m In Love” – Looloo
12. “Please Don’t Make Me Good” – Joyce
13. “You Don’t Know Paree” – Peter

Act II

14. Entr’acte – Orchestra
15. “Somebody’s Going To Throw A Big Party” – Servants
16. “It Isn’t Done” – Pernasse & Servants
17. “The Queen Of Terre Haute” – Mrs. Carroll
18. “Let’s Step Out” – Looloo & Joyce
19. “The Tale of the Oyster” – Violet
20. Scene Change: Let’s Step Out – Orchestra
21. “I’m Unlucky At Gambling” – May
22. “Why Shouldn’t I Have You?” – Billy, Michael, Violet & Joyce
23. “Paree, What Did You Do To Me?” – Entire Company
24. Reprise: “You’ve Got That Thing” – Entire Company
25. Bows & Exit – Orchestra

Full Orchestration

Violin 1
Violin 2
Viola 1
Viola 2

Flute (doubles Piccolo & Alto Saxophone)
Reed 1: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Reed 2: Clarinet & Alto Saxophone
Reed 3: Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone

Trumpet 1 & 2
Trumpet 3


Trap Set (Snare Drum, Bass Drum, Tom Tomds, Hi-Hat, Suspended Cymbals)
Wood Blocks
Indian Drum
Bells (Glockenspiel)
Timpani (2)


Orchestra Piano (plays from Piano-Conductor’s Score)

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Large
  • Chorus Size No Chorus

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
16 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Flute
1 Oboe
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Horn
2 Trumpet 1&2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
1 Banjo
2 Violin 1
1 Violin 2
1 Viola 1
1 Viola 2
1 Cello
1 Bass
16 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor


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Cole Porter

Cole Porter was born in Peru, Indiana in 1891 and died in Hollywood 73 years later. In between, he wrote some of the most memorable songs ever heard on stage or screen, among them “Night and Day,” “Begin the Beguine,” “You’re The Top,” “I Get a Kick Out of You,” “Love For Sal ...

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Herbert Fields

Herbert Fields (1897-1958) was a celebrated librettist and screenwriter. The brother and sister team of Herbert and Dorothy Fields was part of a vibrant New York theatrical family that also included their brother, Joseph, a prolific librettist and playwright, and their father ...

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Evans Haile


Tommy Krasker

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