Louisiana Purchase

Full-Length Musical, Comedy  /  6w, 10m

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Morrie Ryskind
Based on a story by B.G. DeSylva

A political satire lampooning Huey Long and his stronghold on Louisiana politics.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6w, 10m
  • Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Period, Parody / Spoof
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Appropriate for all audiences


The plot machinations of this 1940 hit musical could have been ripped from today's headlines. Set in New Orleans, the musical lampoons Huey Long and his stronghold on Louisiana politics. When Senator Loganberry arrives in the Big Easy to investigate the dubious doings at the Louisiana Purchasing Company, it isn't long before he's set up for plenty of scandal himself. In his review of the recent Carnegie Hall concert - the first time the musical had been seen or heard since its original Broadway run - New York Times critic Lawrence Van Gelder posited, 'Does the South still produce corrupt Democratic politicians and businessmen? Are there still Republican senators eager to expose them to further their own Presidential ambitions? Is sex still a weapon in these wars?' Louisiana Purchase answers these questions with a gleeful wink of the eye and a score full of Berlin magic!
3 Women
2 Men

3 Women
8 Men

Singing Chorus

A Secretary
Sam Liebowitz, a lawyer
Colonel Davis D. Davis, Sr.
Colonel Davis D. Davis, Jr. ('Junior')
Dean Joseph T. Manning
Captain Whitfield
Jim Taylor
Beatrice, an employee at Madame Bordelaise's café
Lee Davis, the second son of Col. Davis
Emmy-Lou, the niece of Jim Taylor
Marina Van Linden
Madame Yvonne Bordelaise - proprietress of a cafe
Senator Oliver P. Loganberry
Alphonse - a waiter at Madame Bordelaise's cafe
A Singing Quartet (2 Women, 2 Men)
  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration 120 minutes (2 hours)


"Berlin's score is one of his best, with no fewer than seven showstoppers."
Hollywood Reporter

"4 stars out of 4!...Highly sophisticated Berlin, full of big-band jazz and tight vocal harmonies."
USA Today

"An unjustly forgotten gem. One of the funniest and sharpest political satires!"

"Pure heaven."

"We're sold on Louisiana Purchase."
New York Daily News

"Berlin's score is one of his best, with no fewer than seven showstoppers."
Hollywood Reporter

"A sly political satire."
New York Magazine


Music Samples

1. "Overture" - 
2. "The Letter" - Liebowitz
3. "Apologia" - The Ensemble
4. "Sex Marches On" - Jim, Col.Davis Sr., Col.Davis Jr., Dean Manning and Captain Whitfield
5. "Louisiana Purchase" - Beatrice, the Quartet and the Ensemble
6. "It's A Lovely Day Tomorrow" - Madame Bordelaise
7. "It'll Come To You" - Madame Bordelaise and Beatrice
8. "Louisiana Purchase (Reprise)" - Madame Bordelaise, Beatrice and the Quartet
9. "Outside Of That, I Love You" - Jim and Marina
10. "You're Lonely And I'm Lonely" - Loganberry and Marina
11. "Tonight At The Mardi Gras" - The Quartet
12. "Finale Act I" - The Company
13. "Entr'acte" - 
14. "Latins Know How" - Madame Bordelaise and the Ensemble
15. "What Chance Have I With Love?" - Loganberry
16. "The Lord Done Fixed Up My Soul" - Beatrice and the Company
17. "Fools Fall In Love" - Marina, Jim and the Quartet
18. "You Can't Brush Me Off" - Lee, Emmy-Lou and the Quartet
19. "Finale Ultimo" - The Company

Full Orchestration
Reed I (Flute, Piccolo, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone)
Reed II (Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet)
Reed III (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Alto Saxophone)
Reed IV (Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, Oboe, English Horn)
Reed V (Flute, Alto Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Baritone Saxophone)
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Trumpet III
Trombone I
Trombone II
Violin A (Divisi)
Violin B (Divisi)
Violin C (Divisi)
Viola (Divisi)
Cello (Divisi)
Trap Set
2 Timpani
Orchestra Bells (Glockenspiel)
Suspended (Crash) Cymbal

  • Musical Style Classic Broadway, Jazz
  • Dance Requirements Difficult
  • Vocal DemandsModerate
  • Orchestra Size Large
  • Chorus Size Medium

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!
28 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Reed 1
1 Reed 2
1 Reed 3
1 Reed 4
1 Reed 5
1 Trumpet 1
1 Trumpet 2
1 Trumpet 3
1 Trombone 1
1 Trombone 2
1 Piano
2 Drums/Percussion
1 Guitar
1 Violin A
1 Violin B
1 Violin C
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass
1 Logo Pack
28 Libretto-Vocal Book
1 Piano-Conductor
1 Logo Pack


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Irving Berlin

With a life that spanned more than 100 years and a catalogue that boasts over 1,000 songs, Irving Berlin (1888-1989) epitomized Jerome Kern’s famous maxim that “Irving Berlin has no place in American music – he is American music.” Berlin wrote scores to 13 Broadway musicals, ...

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Morrie Ryskind

Morrie Ryskind, the librettist of Louisiana Purchase, was born in New York City in 1895 and graduated from the Columbia University School of Journalism. His principal collaborator in the theater was George S. Kaufman, with whom he wrote the Marx Brothers musical Animal Cracke ...

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B.G. DeSylva

B.G. DeSylva (1895-1950) was a composer, author and publisher, born in New York, NY, January 27, 1895, and died in Los Angeles, CA, July 11, 1950. Education: University of Southern California. DeSylva wrote songs for several Broadway musicals, including Ziegfeld Follies (1918 ...

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