A TAMS-WITMARK TITLE

Lady, Be Good!

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  3w, 5m

Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson

The very first Broadway collaboration of the Gershwin brothers, Lady, Be Good! tells the story of an impoverished brother-and-sister dance team who will do anything to help one another.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3w, 5m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Lady, Be Good!

Details

Summary
The very first Broadway collaboration of the Gershwin brothers, Lady, Be Good! tells the story of an impoverished brother-and-sister dance team who will do anything to help one another. The tuneful score includes the hits "Oh, Lady Be Good!" and "Fascinating Rhythm."
History
Lady, Be Good! opened on Broadway at the Liberty Theatre, December 1, 1924 and played for 330 performances starring Fred Astaire and his sister, Adele Astaire.
Cast Attributes

Act I

The brother/sister dance team of Dick and Susie Trevor are so broke that they can't pay the rent and have been evicted from their childhood home. They crash the garden party of wealthy Jo Vanderwater for a free meal. Dick loves Shirley Vernon but is ashamed to pursue her because of his financial situation. Jo is interested in Dick, and it turns out that she was behind the eviction, as a ploy to get his attention. Meanwhile Susie tries to talk herself into liking the affluent Jeff White, but she finds herself falling for Jack, a charming "hobo"; Jack leaves town.

Jack's uncle dies, and he is apparently a millionaire. Lawyer Watty Watkins is looking for Jack Robinson on behalf of his client, the flamboyant Manuel Estrada, who says that his sister married Mr. Robinson in Mexico. Watty offers Susie $50,000 to help him, by pretending to be Robinson's widow, to get the money from the Robinson estate. Meanwhile Dick proposes to Jo, since he thinks he can never afford to court his true love Shirley.

Act II

Dick finally tells Shirley that he loves her, while Watty and Susie (in disguise) execute their plan. Jack finally hears that he has inherited the fortune and returns, still dressed as a hobo. He is amazed to find Susie claiming the money as his "widow". Susie does not know that her Jack is the now-wealthy Mr. Robinson, nor that she is being used by Estrada, whose sister never really married Jack.

In the end, Dick and Shirley are reunited, Jack saves Susie from disgrace by declaring his love, and Jo and Watty pair off happily. All wed happily ever after.

Principals
(3 female; 5 male)

Dick Trevor
Susie Trevor
Jeff White
Jack Robinson
Daisy Parke
Bertie Bassett
Shirley Vernon
Watty Watkins

Supporting

Josephine Vanderwater
Manuel Estrada
Rufus Parke
Three Moving Men
A Policeman
A Flunkey
A Delivery Boy
A Butler
A Waiter

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting Beacon Hill, Rhode Island and Eastern Harbor, Connecticut. 1925.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Music

Music Samples

Act I

Overture – Orchestra
[#1 - Cut from show]
2a. Underscore: So Am I – Orchestra
3. "Hang On To Me"  Dick and Susie
4. "A Wonderful Party"  Ensemble
5. "The End of a String"  Ensemble
2. "We're Here Because"* – Daisy, Bertie and Ensemble
6. "Fascinating Rhythm" – Jeff, Dick, Susie and Ensemble
7. "So Am I" – Jack and Susie
8. "Oh, Lady Be Good" – Watty and Girls
9. Finale Act I – Ensemble

Act II

10. "Linger in the Lobby" – Ensemble
12. "The Half Of It, Dearie, Blues" – Dick, Shirley and Ensemble
13. "Juanita" – Susie and Boys
11. "I'd Rather Charleston"* –  Dick and Susie
14. Reprise: "So Am I" – Susie and Jack
15. España Waltz
16. Reprise: "Lady Be Good" – Jack (plays Ukulele, opt.)
16a. "Little Jazz Bird" – Jeff
17. "Carnival Time" – Ensemble
18. "Swiss Miss" – Susie and Dick
19. Finale Act II – Company

*Songs are listed in proper sequence. Some songs were moved, so numbering is non-consecutive.

Tams-Witmark, now Concord Theatricals, supplies the 1986 Tommy Krasker book of Lady, Be Good!. Materials provided included detailed notes on the correct running order of musical numbers and details how the original music materials is to be used with the Krasker book.

The original music materials – Piano-Conductor's score and orchestra parts – are all manuscript. There is no published Piano-Vocal score for this work. All measures in the Piano-Conductor's score and the orchestra parts have been numbered. Since repeat refrains may not be written out in the Piano-Conductor's score even if these repeats are written out in the orchestra parts (because of changes in orchestration between repeats), the additional measure numbers have been included in the Piano-Conductor's score. This is not the same material that is heard on the 1992 Elektra.Nonesuch Roxbury CD recording. Music materials made for this recording are not available for stage performance.

36   Libretto-Vocal Book
1   Piano-Conductor

1   Flute/Piccolo
1   Oboe
1   Clarinet (in Bb and A)
1   Alto Saxophone
1   Bassoon
2   Trumpet 1&2 (in Bb and A)
1   Trombone
1   Drums (Timpani (2 Pedal Drums), Bells, Bass Drum (w/attached Cymbal), Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks), Tom Tom, Tambourine, Castanets, Wood Block, Sand Paper Blocks, Clog Box, Triangle & Suspended (loose) Cymbal)
1   Leader Violin
1   Violin 1
1   Violin 2
1   Viola
1   Cello
1   Bass
  • Musical Style Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements Moderate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra Size Medium
  • Chorus Size Large

Licensing & Materials

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Music Rentals

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36   Libretto-Vocal Book
1   Piano-Conductor

1   Flute/Piccolo
1   Oboe
1   Clarinet (in Bb and A)
1   Alto Saxophone
1   Bassoon
2   Trumpet 1&2 (in Bb and A)
1   Trombone
1   Drums (Timpani (2 Pedal Drums), Bells, Bass Drum (w/attached Cymbal), Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks), Tom Tom, Tambourine, Castanets, Wood Block, Sand Paper Blocks, Clog Box, Triangle & Suspended (loose) Cymbal)
1   Leader Violin
1   Violin 1
1   Violin 2
1   Viola
1   Cello
1   Bass
36   Libretto-Vocal Book
1   Piano-Conductor

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Authors

George Gershwin

George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn on September 26, 1898, and began his musical training when he was 13. At 16, he quit high school to work as a "song plugger" for a music publisher, and soon he was writing songs himself. "Swanee," as introduced by Al Jolson, brought George ...

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Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin, the first songwriter to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize, was born in New York City on December 6, 1896. In 1917 The Evening Sun published his first song (“You May Throw All The Rice You Desire But Please, Friends, Throw No Shoes”). Four years later, Ira enjoyed hi ...

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Guy Bolton

Guy Bolton (1884-1979) was born in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, England, on November 23, 1884. Bolton famously collaborated with Jerome Kern and P.G. Wodehouse on a series of buoyant musicals for the 299-seat Princess Theatre, including Have A Heart; Oh, Boy!; Leave It To Jane; ...

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Author

Fred Thompson

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