A TAMS-WITMARK TITLE

Top Banana

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  2f, 7m

Johnny Mercer, Hy S. Kraft

Music and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer / Book by Hy S. Craft

The zany and uproarious story of variety-show host Jerry Biffle, the ratings-obsessed star of the Blendo Soap Program, with songs from award-winning tunesmith Johnny Mercer.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    2f, 7m
  • Duration
    Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • WINNER! 1952 Tony Award for Best Actor (Phil Silvers)

Licence details
  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.
Top Banana

Details

Summary
Top Banana is the zany and uproarious story of variety-show host Jerry Biffle, the ratings-obsessed star of the Blendo Soap Program. While courting the department-store model Sally Peters, Jerry introduces her to Cliff Lane, a singer on his show. Cliff and Sally fall in love and plan to get married, but Jerry is oblivious to their romantic involvement.
History
Top Banana opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on November 1, 1951, starring Phil Silvers as Jerry Biffle. The show played for 350 performances. In 1954, a film adaptation of the show featured several cast members from the Broadway production.
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
The noisy, imperial Jerry Biffle is told by his sponsors to establish a love interest on his television program. He hires Sally Peters, and before long a real love affair develops between her and singer Cliff Lane. Biffle also falls in love with Sally, but when he realizes where her heart lies, he helps her - with uncharacteristic selflessness - to get her man.

Principals
(2 female; 9 male)

Sally Peters
Betty Dillon

Jerry Biffle
Vic Davis
Cliff Lane
Pinky
Moe
Tommy Phelps
Mr. Parker
Danny
Walter

Ensemble

Crew, Sales Staff, Models, Singers, Dancers

  • Time Period 1950s
  • Setting New York City. 1951.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)

Music

Music Samples

Act I

"The Man of the Year This Week" - Ensemble
"You're So Beautiful That--" - Jerry, Vic, Cliff, Pinky & Moe
"Only When You're In Love" - Cliff & Sally
"My Home Is In My Shoes" - Tommy & Ensemble
"I Fought Every Step of the Way" - Betty
"Okay For TV" - Jerry, Vic, Sally, Pinky, Moe & Danny
"The Slogan Song" - Jerry, Betty, Vic, Sally, Cliff, Tommy, Danny & Parker
"Meet Miss Blendo" - Company

Act II

"San Souci" - Betty, George Marci, Gloria Smith & Ensemble
"Dog Is A Man's Best Friend" - Jerry, "Sport" & Grenadiers
"Be My Guest" - Cliff, Sally & Ensemble
"A Word A Day" - Jerry & Betty
"Top Banana" Ballet - Jerry, Tommy & Ensemble
Finale - Company

Full Orchestration

Violin A
Violin B
Violin C
Viola
Cello
Bass

Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
Reed II: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax
Reed III: Oboe, English Horn Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Reed IV: Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Sax
Reed V: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Baritone Sax

Horn
Trumpet I & II
Trumpet III
Trombone
Trombone II

Percussion
Harp
Guitar

  • Musical StyleClassic Broadway
  • Dance RequirementsModerate
  • Vocal DemandsDifficult
  • Orchestra SizeLarge
  • Chorus SizeNo Chorus

Materials

Music Rentals

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Please contact your licensing representative for further information regarding this rental package

Scripts

Available Formats:

Authors

Author

Johnny Mercer

Hy S. Kraft

HY KRAFT had many works for the Broadway stage include Top Banana, starring Phil Silvers; The New Yorkers; the musical Hot-Cha; Cue for Passion; and Ten Per Cent. For film he co-adapted An American Tragedy and Tobacco Story with Theodore Dreiser and also wrote Champagne Waltz ...

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