A CONCORD THEATRICALS TITLE

Rio Rita

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

Book by Guy Bolton & Fred Thompson
Music by Harry Tierney
Lyrics by Joseph McCarthy

One of Florenz Ziegfeld’s most successful and spectacular shows, Rio Rita is set in Texas and Mexico along the Rio Grande.
  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    3f, 5m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Details

Summary
Rio Rita, one of Florenz Ziegfeld’s most successful and spectacular shows, is set in Texas and Mexico along the Rio Grande. The Texas Rangers are hunting a notorious bandit known only as the Kinkajou. The Rangers are lead by the handsome Captain Jim Stewart, who is in love with Rita Ferguson, an Irish-American-Mexican girl known as Rio Rita, who sings in the local hotel after being displaced from her family ranch along with her brother Roberto. The regional Mexican Governor, General Esteban, also loves Rita and convinces her that Jim courts her only because he believes that the man they are looking for is her brother. Only when Jim arrests Esteban as the real villain can he and Rita hope for happiness.
History
Rio Rita opened on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Theatre on February 02, 1927, starring Ethelind Terry and Bert Wheeler leading a cast of 132 performers. The show later transferred to the Lyric Theatre and the Majestic Theatre, playing a total of 494 performances.
Cast Attributes
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Keywords
Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
Jim Stewart, the captain of the Texas Rangers, is in San Lucar Mexico on the Rio Grande, in disguise in order to catch the notorious bandit Kinkajou. While there, he falls in love with Rita Ferguson, an Irish/American/Mexican girl who sings in the local hotel after being displaced from her family ranch along with her brother Roberto.

General Esteban, the Governor of the San Lucar District, also loves Rita and hates all gringos. He hatches a plot to set Jim and Rita at odds by making Rita doubt both her own brother, who may be the Kinkajou, and Jim, who may be spying on her brother through her.

Amid all of this intrigue, Chick Bean, a soap salesman, and Dolly, an American cabaret girl, arrive in San Lucar and get married. Unbeknownst to Dolly, Chick also went to Mexico to obtain a quick divorce from his unfaithful first wife, Katie. But mere hours after Chick and Dolly are wed, Ed Lovett, a lawyer of dubious reputation, informs Chick that his divorce is not recognized by the U.S. Government. Complications ensue.

Principals
(3 female; 5 male)

Rio Rita
Dolly, an American cabaret girl
Carmen

Ed Lovett,a lawyer
Chick Bean, a bootlegger
Jim, a stranger
McGinn, a Texas ranger
Corporal Wilkins, a Texas ranger

Supporting

Jose, a musician
Davalos
Padrone, proprietor of the Mesa Francesca
Gonzales
Generale Esteban
Lolita
Roberto Ferguson, Rita’s brother
Katie Bean, Chick’s wife

Ensemble

Cowboys, Mexicans, Ruales, Texas Rangers, etc.
Cabaret girls, Guests at Don Esteban’s Villa, etc.

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Setting Mexico and Texas. 1927.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Music

Act I

"Siesta Time (in San Lucar)" - Chorus
"The Best Little Lover in Town" - Ed Lovett
"Sweethearts" - Rio Rita and Ensemble
"River Song" - Rio Rita and Ensemble
"Are You There?" - Dolly and Chick Bean
"Rio Rita" - Jim and Rio Rita
"March of the Rangers" - Jim, McGinn, Wilkins and Rangers
"The Spanish Shawl" - Carmen and Serenaders
"The Charra Dance" - Ensemble
"The Kinkajou" - Dolly and Ensemble
"If You're in Love, You'll Waltz" - Rio Rita and Jim
"Out on the Loose" - Chick Bean & Ensemble

Act II

"Yo Ho and a Bottle of Rum" - Ensemble
"Following the Sun Around" - Jim
"I Can Speak Espanol" - Dolly and Ed Lovett
"Montezuma's Daughter" - Rio Rita and Ensemble
"The Jumping Bean" - Dolly and Ensemble
"Moonshine" - Chick Bean

Full Orchestration:
Piano
  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsEasy
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Chorus SizeLarge

Materials

Music Rentals

Concord offers a full suite of resources to help you put on the show of a lifetime!
30 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor

This title is orchestrated for Piano Only.

Authors

Joseph McCarthy

JOSEPH MCCARTHY born in 1885, was a charter member of ASCAP. He wrote over 500 songs and eleven plays and reviews. He wrote the film scores for his Rio Rita and for several other motion pictures, including Song of the Big Trail, High Society and a second version of Irene. Mr ...

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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

Harry Tierney

HARRY TIERNEY was already an established composer before his first Broadway show, Irene. He wrote the scores for Keep Smiling and Not Likely later in London. When he returned to the States, he wrote songs for the Ziegfeld Follies, Royal Vagabond and Follow Me, among others. T ...

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